Mendocino County Today: July 18, 2013

THIS JUST IN. The Mateel Community Center, Garberville-Redway, has decided not to use ammonium sulfate to green up the grass on their Eel River venue for Reggae on the River.

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REPORTS FROM POINT ARENA say the salmon are running thick and big, with lots of them upwards of 20 pounds. $8 a pound off the boat.

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LOSING FOCUS: Congressman Jared seems lost. With all the many and serious challenges we face, our representative has decided to fight back by holding a … photo contest! After our initial reaction of disgust and disappointment, we entered a photo in this contest, chronically Mendocino Redwood Company's extensive chemical warfare above the upper Albion River last summer. (MRC poisons around 5,500 acres in Mendocino County every year.) Congressman Huffman says the two photos with the most "likes," as of noon, July 18, will be featured on his Facebook and Twitter pages. You can help Jared focus by voting for our photo here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=280720425400106&set=a.280717998733682.1073741831.200227780116038&type=3&theater

Mike Kalantarian, Navarro

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“FUKUSHIMA, NEVER AGAIN” tells the story of the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdowns in northeast Japan in March of 2011 and exposes the cover-up by Tepco and the Japanese government. This is the first film that interviews the Mothers Of Fukushima, nuclear power experts and trade unionists who are fighting for justice and the protection of the children and the people of Japan and the world. The residents and citizens were forced to buy their own geiger counters and radiation dosimeters in order to test their communities to find out if they were in danger. The government said contaminated soil in children’s school grounds was safe and then when the people found out it was contaminated and removed the top soil, the government and TEPCO refused to remove it from the school grounds. It also relays how the nuclear energy program for “peaceful atoms” was brought to Japan under the auspices of the US military occupation and also the criminal cover-up of the safety dangers of the plant by TEPCO and GE management which built the plant in Fukushima. It also interviews Kei Sugaoka, the GE nulcear plant inspector from the bay area who exposed cover-ups in the safety at the Fukushima plant and was retaliated against by GE. This documentary allows the voices of the people and workers to speak out about the reality of the disaster and what this means not only for the people of Japan but the people of the world as the US government and nuclear industry continue to push for more new plants and government subsidies. This film breaks the information blockade story line of the corporate media in Japan, the US and around the world that Fukushima is over.

FNAFUKUSHIMA NEVER AGAIN will play Monday July 22nd, 7pm, at The Saturday Afternoon Club, 107 S. Oak St, Ukiah. There will be light refreshmsnts, snow cones and a cooling system provided to beat the heat. A question and answer session will follow. Find out what can be done to break the media blackout. Sponsored by Fukushima Response Mendocino, The Mendocino Environmental Center, Yemaya Seaweed Co. and The Service and Justice Committee of The Ukiah United Methodist Church. Donations accepted. Contact Charlie Vaughan 707-367-2194

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"IT WAS AN ACCUMULATION of velvet, lace, ribbons, diamonds and what else I couldn't describe. To undress one of these women is like an outing that calls for three weeks advance notice; it's like moving house. (— Jean Cocteau, 1913)

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RESIDENTS OF SINKING CALIF. SUBDIVISION FILE CLAIM by Tracie Cone

LakeportSinkingIn a Monday, May 6, 2013, file photo Robin and Scott Spivey walk past the wreckage of their Tudor-style dream home they had to abandon when the ground gave way causing it to drop 10 feet below the street in Lakeport, Calif. The homeowners of the sinking Northern California subdivision have filed claims against the county, alleging a leaking county water system is to blame. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli)

For months homeowners agonized as houses in their subdivision sank one-by-one into a California hilltop. It got so dangerous that the U.S. Postal Service refused to deliver mail.

Now, they say they know the reason eight homes were destroyed and 10 others are in danger, and they've taken the first step toward recouping damages by filing a claim against Lake County.

A leaking county water system that went undetected for months saturated the hillside and caused the ground to give way, said Michael Green, an attorney for the 41 homeowners in the subdivision with sweeping views of Clear Lake in Northern California.

Green is seeking $5 million for each homeowner in the claim filed last month against the county.

"They're facing a pretty significant economic disaster," he said.

County officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. They have 45 days to respond to Green's claim for damages before he can file a lawsuit.

Lake County supervisors previously asked Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a disaster area, but the request was declined.

The county has maintained that a landscape irrigation system operated by the Lakeside Heights homeowners association could have contributed to the ground saturation.

As home after home sank into the hillside, bewildered homeowners began to wonder if their land might be haunted.

Eventually, tests revealed leaks "dumping substantial amounts of water into the hillsides," Green said.

He said even the owners of homes not damaged by the sinking earth are suffering damages because they will be unable to sell their property.

"We're just trying to get these folks reasonable compensation," he said. (Courtesy, Associated Press)

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McBride
McBride

ON JULY 16, 2013, at about 10:30am a Deputy Sheriff from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office observed a male driver talking on his cellular telephone while driving in the 42000 block of Highway 101 in Laytonville. A traffic stop was conducted near milemarker 60 and the driver, 36 year-old George R. McBride of Willits, was contacted at the driver's side window. While standing outside the driver's side of the pickup, the deputy detected the strong odor of both burned and unburned marijuana emanating from inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle. A search of the truck revealed 14 one pound bags of bud marijuana hidden behind the seat. McBride was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana and transported to the Mendocino County Jail, with bail set at $30,000.

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A BOOK IS BETTER THAN A BOX OF CHOCOLATES

by Ralph Nader

Summer is an ideal season for jolting your mind into action by expanding your reading horizons. So shut off the computer and the television, put away the various gadgets, close your email and pick up a good book. There are plenty of entertaining choices for your reading pleasure, but the following titles are ones that I have enjoyed. They all address the serious pursuit of justice/happiness side of the written word.

1. Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard(Globe Pequot Press, 2013).

This is the personal story of a 21-year-old college graduate who, against his family's advice, took over part of the family land in Virginia and, in less than twenty years, turned it from a working farm making only $18.00 in profit in the previous year into a bustling organic farm/community that is making an expanding family farming livelihood worthy of wider emulation.

2. Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Constitutional Action by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson (NYU Press, 2013).

I remember when Andrew was born. His mother gave him lots of attention, while also, then and now, directing the Pension Rights Center. The time was very well spent. For Andrew grew up to become a lawyer, a public defender, teacher and now an author who urges you not to be one of the too many citizens who under-appreciate and avoid the greatest civil institution of Anglo-America law - the jury. This is a brilliant and motivating plea to please serve when summoned.

3. Nuclear Roulette: The Truth About the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth by Gar Smith, Ernest Callenbach, Jerry Mander (Chelsea Green, 2012).

Civic Leader and editor emeritus of Earth Island Journal needs a whole documented book to cover the myriad present and deferred costs, colossal risks, and institutional insanity around this uninsurable, national security danger, this posterity poisoning and dictatorial technology - all designed just to boil water. As he demonstrates, there are many better renewable and efficient ways to produce electricity that the people are already using to displace the utter madness of nuke power plants, that even Wall Street won't finance without a 100 percent Uncle Sam guarantee.

4. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger (Simon and Schuster, 2013).

Sure, this fast paced little book concentrates on how products, online content and some news catches on and spreads. As a marketer, you'll love this readable volume. But as a fretting citizen, you'll also see ways to become stronger with your message and your activities. For the impatient, Berger has it down to "six principles of contagiousness" you can put into practice.

5. No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses by Peter Piot (Norton, 2012).

This clinical microbiologist has been there - in the most dangerous African hotspots to the executive directorship of UNAIDS. He's warning us that the real mass terrorists are those we cannot see with the naked eye, until, that is, their ravages eat their victims alive. This is a wakeup call to adopt the priorities and resources that can disprove Louis Pasteur of the nineteenth century who was heard to say "Gentlemen, it is the microbes who will have the last word."

6. Our Commonwealth: The Hidden Economy That Makes Everything Else Work by Jonathan Rowe (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2013).

These are the last concrete, inspiring, challenging words of the late Jonathan Rowe who practiced what he preached but also preached what he practiced in Point Reyes Station, California (population 350). Public land, public airwaves, the air, the water, the oceans, the Internet, the sun and more human-made commons are what these brief and clear essays cover. Rowe describes the emerging movement to protect the vast commonwealth owned by the people. Gird yourself to see nature and human ingenuity in a very different light. A whole new world could come into focus.

7. American Canopy: Trees, Forests and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow (Scribner, 2012). They're all around us. We either take them down, or take them for granted. Rutkow does not. In his imaginative book, you tour with him and savor just what trees and forests have meant to our country's history - and will mean for our future. Author S.C. Gwynne calls the book "a wonderful magic. He takes the most obvious of things - trees - and weaves an astounding and complex narrative that ranges across American history, from Johnny Appleseed to Henry David Thoreau, from Franklin Roosevelt to John Muir. You come away thinking that this country was, well, built out of trees." Note Rutkow does not neglect climate change.

8. Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America by John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney (Nation Books, 2013).

There they go again. These advocates do not give up. Nor should we. Events have proven their prior works as understatements. With the mighty help of five corporatists on the U.S. Supreme Court, corporations and their wealthy bosses are "radically redefining our politics in a way that, failing a dramatic intervention signals the end of our democracy. It is the world of Dollarocracy." The authors show ways out of this dictatorial compression chamber. Assuming that is, you become indignant enough.

9. The Rich Don't Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph Over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900-1970 by Sam Pizzigati (Seven Stories Press, 2012).

Veteran Labor Journalist Pizzigati challenges us with the question: If our forebears took on plutocracy to uplift most Americans and strengthen laws on business rampages, what's our excuse? Some of the big/progressive/populist changes by average people over a century ago came before the wide use of the telephone, electricity, motor vehicles on smooth highways and other instant means of retrieving and communicating information symbolized by the Internet. Read this book for the answer. We have no excuse is what I think.

10. A recent oldie that merits revisiting. Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings (Orbiz, 2009). A Jesuit priest, poet and ardent peacemaker, who paid the price, Father Berrigan truly walked his talk. Imprisoned for civil disobedience against the War Machine, he came back again and again, shaming prosecutors and judges alike, with his powerful books, diaries, poems and homilies. It seems that Berrigan's faith and witness came down to his practiced religion and the belief that reality is truth and truth is reality. These writings will touch your conscience and expand your cognition.

11. Another oldie. Take it Personally: How to Make Conscious Choices to Change the World collected by Anita Roddick, Founder of the Body Shop (Harper Collins, 2001).

Selections by many change advocates, including me, are in this book. But its genius, colorful layout, gripping photographs, searing posters against injustice, memorable quotations and pungent insights are tributes to the late, great Anita Roddick who, in moral terms, turned the business of business upside down. You can digest Anita's activating nutrition minutes at a time and you'll want ever more. It waits for you, however impatiently.

Did someone once say a book is better than a box of chocolates?

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 “GIVING IS A TREAT” CANNED FOOD DRIVE AT THE LIBRARY

County libraries accepting food donations through Aug. 17. Ukiah Daily Journal The Mendocino County Library is partnering with local food banks this summer in a canned food drive from June 16 to Aug. 17. The county library is joining more than 70 other libraries throughout California in the statewide "Acquire a Taste for Giving" campaign. The Giving is a Treat food drive will occur during this year's Summer Reading program, called Reading is So Delicious. During the food drive, the county library will offer a Food-For-Fines forgiveness: for each nonperishable canned food item brought to any County library, $2 will be subtracted from a patron's overdue fines. Only non-perishable, unexpired, store-sealed items will be accepted. No glass, please. The overdue book fine forgiveness program serves a two-fold purpose: it will help meet the needs of many hungry members of the community, and customers who have accumulated high fines will be encouraged to continue to use the libraries. "Libraries are a vital part of our communities," said Mindy Kittay, Director of the Mendocino County Library. "They are the public education centers of our county, and the place you can turn to for the discovery of ideas, the joy of reading and creating, and the power of information. "We are very happy to begin this new program and hope to make it a tradition every year during Summer Reading." Whether or not you have library fines, your contributions to the Giving is a Treat food drive are most welcome. "We hope the community will use this opportunity to help the libraries, while also reaching out to their neighbors and helping families that are struggling in this poor economy," said Dan Hamburg, Chair of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. Canned food items will be accepted at the following locations: Ukiah Main Branch Library, 105 N. Main St., Ukiah. Willits Branch Library, 390 E. Commercial St., Willits. Fort Bragg Branch Library, 499 Laurel St., Fort Bragg. Coast Community Branch Library, 225 Main St., Point Arena. Round Valley Public Library, 23925 Howard St., Covelo. Bookmobile, Call 459-7850 for location schedule. For more information, please call 467-2590.

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PERILOUS, VERY PERILOUS

by Bruce McEwen

Fifth District Supervisor Dan Hamburg was in court the week before last, and a good thing, too. He was about to lose $35,000, and after paying $9,500 in election fines imposed by the California Fair Political Practices Commission earlier this year, and maybe spending another $10,000-plus in lawyer fees for burying his wife at home without a legal sign-off his fellow Supes have refused to reimburse, wealthy as Hamburg is, he surely didn't want to get socked another $35,000.

The Supervisor arrived in court with an impressive retinue of supporters who included several tax-paid retainers. County Counsel Tom Parker, togged out in a pinstripe suit and Mr. Parker’s assistant, a pretty young woman in a fawn-colored skirt suit and high heels named Brina Latkin, formerly associated with Hamburg's Ukiah attorney, Barry Vogel. And there were the usual miscellaneous Hamburgians whose cult-like devotion to the su­pervisor has been discussed before. It was quite a show.

The defendant was the disoriented-looking young guy out in the hall in bedroom slippers and baggy sweats that looked like he'd slept in them.

We would learn that young Matthew Hamburg had, completely outside all laws and procedures, been released from the County Jail and spirited away to a lock-up mental facility far from Mendocino County, the whole show paid for by local taxpayers.

The DA and the judge wanted to know how all this had happened.

The defendant, a pawn in this unprecendented maneu­vering, didn't seem to know where he was. Ordinarily, the bailiff would have enforced the dress code for Superior Court. But the bailiff even had to allow a psych tech in who, called in at the last minute, was wearing shorts. She was Anderson Valley resident and Mendocino Mental Health senior crisis worker Beverly Bennett. Ms. Bennett said she had no idea she was coming to court or she would have dressed appropriately, and the bailiff made an exception by allowing her to stay.

A little background is in order here. Matt Hamburg’s latest legal problems stem from an episode back on May 5thwhen he got into some sort of beef at or near the Frank Zeek School in South Ukiah. He was reportedly using foul language at peak volume and blistering the sensitive ears of the young scholars on the playgrounds. The police were called, a dangerous high-speed chase ensued as Matthew lead cops down South State Street and out the Boonville Road to Shepherds Lane, site of the Hamburg property, where Matthew was finally run to ground and arrested after a scuffle with deputies. He was charged with recklessly driving to evade an officer, a felony.

Young Hamburg’s attorney is Carly Dolan of the Public Defender’s office. She is calmly capable in an office characterized by calm incapacity. She was immediately rushed — swarmed, really — by the Hamburgians when she appeared in the hallway.

“Oh, Ms. Dolan. Matt’s all better now, aren’t you, Matt? And Ms. Elliott, here, will be taking over. You know Ms. Elliott, of course, don’t you? Thank you, Ms. Dolan.”

Ms. Dolan’s comment the week before suggested that the Hamburg clan might be putting their political interests ahead of her client’s, and the judge had characterized visiting Judge Kossow's work on the Hamburg case as “incompetent.”

Out in the hall someone had nudged Matthew forward, and he had made some perhaps rehearsed com­ments to Ms. Dolan when Katherine ‘Kit’ Elliott pointed up like an Irish setter to smile about how the Hamburgs had just retained her services and she would be substi­tuting in. “Thank you, Ms. Dolan,” but here's your hat and what's your hurry. Ms. Elliot will be taking over for you.

When Ms. Dolan finally got to the courtroom she was still attorney of record. She seemed a little overwhelmed. But that’s her natural expression. If you had any idea what she endures daily, you’d understand. She’s one of the few public defenders with a sense of humor, and enough sense of propriety to conceal it. They call her Olive Oil at the jail, but in any sane county she’d be running the Public Defender’s Office instead of taking orders from Linda Thompson who does such a bad job that her in-custody clients charged with serious crimes routinely ask to have her removed from their case or ask for new trials based on ineffective assistance of counsel.

Judge Moorman called the Hamburg case and mentioned the bench warrant for Matt Hamburg's arrest she'd issued the previous week, explaining that she had no choice in the matter after 14 days of holding the warrant from the first time Mr. Hamburg had failed to appear. By law, she had to issue it. Young Hamburg, having been magically released from the County Jail and hustled off to Yuba City by County Counsel, the Mendocino County Mental Health Department and, apparently, the Public Defender's office, acting at the behest of Supervisor Hamburg but unaware of what was happening to him, had blown dad's $35,000 bail. Judge Moorman’s bench warrant meant that cops would have to re-arrest him for bail jumping.

“I had no information as to his whereabouts, and I still don’t know where he was,” Judge Moorman said.

“He was at North Valley Behavioral,” Dolan said.

North Valley Behavioral is a mental health crisis facil­ity in Yuba City. They have 16 beds for adults deemed in crisis. Mendocino County has an agreement with North Valley which requires the County to pay $825 per day for patients the County sends to Yuba City. Stays in this place are normally limited to three-to-five days. According to their website, North Valley Behav­ioral does not accept private placements or walk-ins, only county assignments. Private placements or walk-ins are unlikely to have the $825 per day.

“What was the nature of his residence at North Val­ley Behavioral?”

Dolan turned and gestured to the clutch of suits stand­ing in the doorway and said, “Mr. Pinizzotto would like to address the court on that point, your honor.”

County Counsel Tom Parker, his female assistant Ms. Latkin, and a short gray-haired man, who turned out to be County Mental Health Director Tom Pinizzotto, scurried forward to the defense table, but the judge had more to say about the warrant, and she seemed to be speaking to Dan Hamburg and his daughter Laura who had taken seats in the gallery.

“When you post bail, that is a monetary promise to appear, and when the defendant failed to appear, the court had no choice but to forfeit the bond because it was unclear as to his whereabouts.”

At this point it became clear that the supervisor was unaware of the complicated logistics done on his son's behalf by County employees. It's doubtful he would have sacrificed 35 grand simply to get his son out of the County Jail.

“If I may, your honor, give the court a brief timeline,” Pinizzotto interrupted. “On 5/5/13 he (Matthew Hamburg) was arrested and his competency was in doubt by the public defender; then on 5/30/13 he was 5150, and on 5/31/13 he was bailed out—”

“Wait a minute,” Judge Moorman broke in. “He was 5150 while he was in custody? How can that happen?”

How indeed. That adjudication has to be adjudicated. In court. An inmate can't be declared 5150 and sprung from custody outside the judicial process.

The judge's question caused much confusion on the part of the delegates from the County offices. The entourage huddled hastily with Mr. Parker. DA David Eyster seemed unaware that his jaw had dropped to the floor. He looked at the Judge like a man who felt he was owed an explanation. A junior prosecutor, Deputy DA Damon Gardner was handling the case for The People. It seemed that something spectacularly unusual, if not downright unlawful, had taken place and DA Eyster was present throughout, marveling with wide-eyed wonder as the scope of the shenanigans became evident.

“Under what circumstances?” Judge Moorman demanded of Ms. Latkin. The judge wanted to know how young Hamburg had been declared a 5150.

“For three days,” Ms. Latkin said. “He wouldn’t come out of his room at North Valley and Judge Mayfield granted the conservatorship.”

Judge Moorman clapped her hand to her head. Something had just occurred to her, it was plain to see, and in a few minutes we were to learn what it was. But first, she wanted to know, “Who placed him (Matthew Hamburg) at risk, Mr. Parker?”

Matt Hamburg, in custody at the County Jail, had been declared incompetent, removed from the Jail and taken off to Yuba City. Everyday 5150s who are not in custody, and there are lots of them in Mendocino County, must have the agreement of a judge and the DA on how they will be processed in the criminal justice system and on into whatever mental health programs may be available to them. It hadn't happened that way in the Hamburg case.

Parker stammered inarticulately. There was still much confused scrambling about in the courtroom. Supervisor Hamburg hung his head and shielded his eyes with his hand. Parker fell silent.

“But you understand my concern, don’t you, Mr. Parker? There was no notice given to the court, no letter to the Public Defender’s office or to the DA!”

Judge Moorman waited but County Counsel Parker had nothing to say. What could he say? Parker had done somersaults to bypass usual legal commitment proce­dures. The judge resumed: “The client-lawyer rela­tionship is one I take quite seriously, I warn you, and if I find that there’s been any interference in that relation­ship, that would be perilous, very perilous. Now, it sounds to me like some County resources were used to do the 5150 without the court’s permission. But what I want is this not to ever happen again, so I’m going to recall the bench warrant, and I sincerely hope this has been a lesson to everyone involved.”

Supervisor Hamburg had just been granted a $35,000 reprieve. The Hamburgians in the gallery breathed a collective sigh of relief.

“However,” Moorman resumed, “I refuse to sign the placement order. A 1368 trumps a 5150 — and a conservatorship. Does anyone in the room know—?”

(A 1368 is legal shorthand for a hearing to determine if a defendant is competent to stand trial and participate in his own defense, per Penal Code Section 1368. You have the 1368, then you deal with the 5150 designation if the subject really is crazy.)

Ms. Elliott, self-declared attorney for the Hamburgs, rose and made her way forward, repeating that she’d been contacted by the family to substitute for the Public Defender.

“Not now,” Moorman said irritably, lashing Elliott back to her seat.

“Does anyone know how Matthew is right now?” Moorman asked.

Ms. Dolan resumed her skillful defense of Matthew Hamburg, as if his influential family were beside the point. Although she did falter a trifle. She said she’d just spoken with her client in the hall outside and was ready to withdraw her earlier assertion that he was unable to participate in his own defense.

“I had serious doubts before, but he seems much bet­ter today,” Ms. Dolan beamed with a fey glance over her shoulder at the Supervisor seated behind her.

Katherine Elliott again stood up.

“I’m ready to substitute, your honor. I’ve handled numerous 1368s and I’m ready to take the case forward.”

Judge Moorman said, “Please sit down, Ms. Elliott. The defendant has perfectly capable counsel at present.”

“Yes, your honor, but I’ve been asked to—”

The Hamburg purse, it seemed, recently having escaped a $35,000 withdrawal, was being opened to a private lawyer, so the Hamburg family voice would have a direct say in the proceedings via said private attorney.

As a county-paid lawyer Ms. Dolan, in a sense, works for Dan Hamburg — he is a County Supervisor, her superior, her her boss, but here she was hanging on to the case.

“He’s made a turnaround rather quickly,” Dolan said with a little jet of enthusiasm.

If a mentally ill person makes a dramatic behavior change it probably means his meds have been changed from the wrong meds to the right ones. In any case, someone has to make sure the mentally ill take their meds, and right there is where “the system” often breaks down.

Addressing the gallery, Judge Moorman said, “Keep in mind that a lot of taxpayer money is going into this proceeding and what I want to know is where is he now? Is he still at North Valley?”

“He has not yet been discharged,” Ms. Latkin, Assistant County Counsel, said, and Judge Moorman was sud­denly reminded of her earlier consternation.

Moorman fixed her sights on Ms. Latkin and fired.

“When you went to Judge Mayfield for the conserva­torship, did you tell her that criminal proceedings against Mr. Hamburg had been suspended because of a 1368?”

Ms. Fawn stammered, “Well, I, umm, don’t really, um, recall, exactly, everything that was said… I’d have to look at the file and see. I don’t really remember, um, all of our conversation. I can’t say.”

“Okay,” Moorman said impatiently. “Where is this North Valley Behavioral?”

“It’s in Yuba City, California,” Pinizzotto said.

“What?! You physically removed him [Matthew Hamburg] out of the county when he was deemed men­tally incompetent on a felony?!”

DA Eyster seemed to be enjoying the ongoing spectacle. He’d recovered his mandible and was popeyed with delight at this latest gaffe.

Moorman said, “Okay, that’s it. I’m going to take a recess and call in Dr. Kelly.”

A knot formed as the crowd moved towards the door. Supervisor Hamburg sidled up to County Counsel Parker and spoke his first words in the courtroom.

“Geez, I guess it’s turned into a real mess, huh?”

Parker noticed me sitting in the area reserved for the press with a pen poised over my notebook and deftly ushered our Supervisor out of earshot. When they’d mostly all adjourned to the hall, Moorman sent Dolan for her client, young Mr. Hamburg.

“I’m going to re-appoint Dr. Kelly now,” she told Matthew Hamburg. “I want to find out if you’ve been restored. We’re all concerned about your mental health, so I want you to go to Dr. Kelly’s office and talk with him again. Come back at 4:00 or 4:30, however long it takes, and we’ll decide what to do.”

Ms. Elliott made another attempt to substitute for Ms. Dolan, but Judge Moorman wasn’t having it.

“I’m not inclined to agree to the substitution without him signing the form, and he must first be deemed competent to sign. If he’s found competent by Dr. Kelly we’ll take up these other issues at that time.”

I had to go to the dentist at 3:30 and didn’t make it back by 5:00.

But neither did Matthew Hamburg and the matter was put over for another week.

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DETACHMENT & STYLE

It is an occupational hazard of the journalist to get caught up in the story, the deeper you dig the more you realize how desperate a give situation is and the more you realize something must be done; so you report the facts, the sobering facts, and still the world whirls on, the populace concedes, yes, it is a dismal situation, but they go on about their lives, saying in essence “it’s too much, the powers are too great, and we are simple folk with modest expectations." Perhaps they need to be shown how it’s done. So you lock yourself to a piece of heavy equipment to stop the destruction until after eleven days they come and cut you loose and take you off to jail. This is what happened to Will Parrish, who was arraigned last Wednesday on three counts of trespassing, an infraction. The DA asked for 12 months of probation and charges of $250 for each day Parish was on the work site of the Caltrans Willits bypass, plus approximately $250 in fines and fees totaling about $3,000. Judge Richard Henderson gave Parrish a couple of weeks to think it over and released him on his own recognizance on the condition that he stay away from the bypass work site.

Carl Sandburg was a socialist and activist until he realized it was hurting his credibility as both a journalist and a poet. It was only after his friend Amy Lowell mentioned to him that his poetry was beginning to read like propaganda, that he finally left the Socialist Party; and then, not entirely coincidentally, the resulting detachment enabled his career as a journalist to develop. “The Sandburgs never again affiliated with a political party, although they supported liberal causes all their lives. But as Sandburg’s identity and visibility as a journalist grew nationally, his detachment from party politics was essential to his credibility.” (— ‘Carl Sandburg, A Biography’ by Penelope Niven.)

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