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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

Sunny | Rock Lot | Ballot Bungling | Winter Clearing | Wrong District | Housing Fundraiser | Occasional Lodging | Angel Missing | Johnsons Beach | Cellphone Outages | Landline Use | Navarro Mouth | CPUC Hearing | SF Shopping | Princess Pony | Chili Flakes | Julie/Mary | Larkspur 1955 | Planning Agenda | Micele Tour | Pet Behavior | Yesterday's Catch | Spiritual Practice | Lotto Ticket | Blue Zones | 1980 Lowriders | Illiterate California | Thousand Lives | Barkley SF | Meyers Recognized | Economic Disparity | Neruda Death | Big Hunt | Normie Americans | Lemanade Stand | Economic Reckoning | Sale Ends | General Strike | Unloved Life

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DRY WEATHER is expected today through the weekend with patchy fog each night in the interior valleys. Monday a colder weather system will bring light rain and snow to mainly Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Additional weather systems are expected to bring rain and snow through next week. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): 46F under mostly clear skies this Thursday morning on the coast. That large system west of us is forecast to move AWAY from California giving us dry skies thru the weekend. Light rain & colder temps are forecast for next week so far. I had a 96 hour rainfall total of 4.59".

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Van Damme State Park, Oceanside Parking Lot Closed (Falcon)

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County officials Wednesday said they are investigating new reports of incorrect ballots for the upcoming March election and are seeking guidance from the Secretary of State’s office on how to address the situation.

The County was made aware today of candidate and resident concerns that voters may be receiving ballots from the incorrect Supervisorial districts. The initial belief is that the 2021 redistricting may not have been correctly imputed [sic] into the voter files.

“We want to bring this new issue to the immediate attention of Mendocino County voters as soon as we learned of it,” said County Chief Executive Officer Darcie Antle. “We are investigating the issues with the Register [sic] of Voters office and their vendor. We are seeking guidance from the State of California’s Secretary of State’s Office.”

“Most importantly, we want to assure voters that they will receive and get the proper ballots and that every vote will be properly counted. We are going to be working overtime to get to the bottom of what has gone wrong and to ensure voters receive the proper ballots,” Antle added.

The County is also seeking assistance from Renne Public Law group, one of the state’s top municipal government law firms, in determining next steps.

(County Presser)

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Mark Scaramella Notes: Apart from the grating misuse of words that you’d think the press release writer and/or CEO Antle should know, the choice of Renne Public Law Group as the outside, expensive SF-based law firm the County is turning to for “assistance” should be another red flag since James Ross, the interim County Counsel, is himself a Renne Public Law Group contractor. This poses both conflict of interest and financial questions: Why pay for “assistance” from Renne when Mendo is already paying for Renne to provide County Counsel services which should include “assistance” to the Board on such matters? 

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Not much happening on the farm these past few weeks except lots of rain. In between rainstorms we're pruning, setting up starts, cleaning the barns and garage, and composting the trees, berries and green-house peppers. The latest batch of warm rains have been doozy's...some periods of literal buckets full being dumped, very loudly (just what the climate scientists have predicted), and resulting in rivers of soil oozing from the rocky parts of the hills. Aside from having to "gear up" (rainpants, muck boots, rain jacket) to feed the critters every morning and afternoon, then in the evening to put them to bed, we keep to the house and, in front of a good fire, go through many boxes of old photos, slides of my art as well as from long ago trips, letters, cards, and collected detritus from both our and our parents' past. 

We're lightening our "load" (and our childrens') but what's uncovered is sure puzzling and a bit unnerving at times. Many events and people I just don't remember. Then there are those that the reading about or seeing bring back the memory and I regret not having kept in touch or that I didn't remember at all. Reading copies of my own letters is also revealing. The best are the exchanges I had with my boys over the years. I do, and always did, love to write except when I was a child and I was required to write a daily essay. Ugh...but I'm sure thankful now! 

Don't float away; enjoy the quiet time; stay well. 

Nikki Auschnitt and Steve Kreig


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A THIRD ROUND OF BALLOT BLUNDERS Triggers Call for State Intervention in Mendocino County’s Primary Election

by Sarah Reith

In a brief press release yesterday, Mendocino County acknowledged widespread voting irregularities, saying “the 2021 redistricting may not have been correctly imputed (sic) into the voter files.” The county is seeking guidance from the Secretary of State.

Katrina Bartolomie, Assessor Clerk Recorder Registrar of Voters, was unaware of the press release about an hour after it had gone out. She told this reporter she was aware that 55 voters in Lennix precinct, which straddles the first and fifth districts in Redwood Valley, had incorrectly received fifth district ballots. She did not yet know how many voters in other precincts had also received incorrect ballots to replace the misprinted ballots that went out earlier this month. All voters in Mendocino County initially received Republican ballots for the first district, an error attributed to a subcontractor working for the ballot services vendor, Integrated Voting Systems. Bartolomie said she plans to send out a third round of ballots and explanatory letters to the voters whose first set of replacements was also in error.…

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I think most of your members know that we found a live-in caregiver for my mom in Philo. Our caregiver has had daytime help, but we are looking for a solution that provides an overnight away from my mom's house so she can rest and recharge her batteries. She is from Eureka and is unable to easily go home for just an overnight trip. She is 65 years old, single, non-smoker, non-drinker and is very respectful and trustworthy (she has been great with my mom). Do you know of anyone in the Valley that has a room or RV available from midmorning on Monday until Tuesday evening, likely 2-3 times per month?

Thank you!!

From (Please reply to her): Karen Verpeet

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THE DISAPPEARANCE of 24-Year-Old Ukiah Man Angel Murguia-Martinez: A Week Later, Still No Trace

Today marks one week since 24-year-old Angel Murguia-Martinez walked away from his Ukiah home late into the evening and disappeared. Despite attempts to find him by family, friends, and authorities, his whereabouts remain unknown.…

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AT&T, VERIZON AND T-MOBILE USERS reported early Thursday that they are having network issues nationwide. The issue has left AT&T iPhone users stuck in SOS mode, meaning that users can only make calls to emergency services. According to DownDetector, the spike in the outages (middle) occurred about 4am Eastern time. Service disruptions have been reported in New York, Boston, Washington, Montreal, Honolulu, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco. The largest number of issues was reported by AT&T users, which spiked at 31,931 reports at 4:30am. More than 2,400 service outages of U.S. wireless carriers Verizon and T-Mobile were also reported on the platform. Nationwide, 911 operators have warned that the outage has impacted their ability to take calls. 

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So happy to hear Kurt Harrison survived the end of 8-track tapes and that he feels confident he’ll survive the loss of landlines. That’s great. It would be even greater if he put himself in someone else’s shoes for a moment.

Those of us who live in the hinterlands — the places people go to get away from where they live — aren’t so sure we’ll survive should the California Public Safety Commission approve AT&T’s request to be excused from its obligation to provide last resort telephone service.

Many Mendonesians live deep in the woods and have no cell service even on a good day. After one recent storm, some of us were without power for five days, unable to pump well water, let alone charge cellphones. Others are hard of hearing and find it impossible to conduct business cellphone-to-cellphone. Dialing 911 from a landline sends help on its way, but in some communities calling from a cellphone tells emergency responders nothing about one’s location.

We all know that as the climate changes, there will be more emergencies. Taking landlines away from disadvantaged populations is sure to cause unnecessary deaths and injuries. Show me an 8-track tape that ever saved a life.

Jean Arnold


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Mouth of Navarro River to the ocean (Falcon)

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The California Public Utilities Commission is hosting two hearings in Ukiah Thursday to collect public comments regarding a proposal by AT&T that could leave many rural residents without the landlines they depend upon for communication.

The CPUC is currently holding “in-person and virtual public forums for customers of AT&T to provide input into the company’s two proposals to remove its obligation to provide voice services in its service territories,” with two scheduled in Ukiah on Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., at the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors chambers, located at 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1070. 

According to the CPUC, the forums “will begin with a brief overview of AT&T’s proposals, then parties to the proceeding may provide brief overviews, and then public comments will be heard. At least one representative from AT&T will be available to answer questions about individual customer bills or service.” 

Live video broadcast with English or Spanish captions via webcast will be available at Participants who choose to view via webcast will have audio and video but will not be able to make verbal comments. The public forums will also be recorded and archived for future viewing. 

To call in and make comments: Phone: 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 6032788# 

How the CPUC describes what AT&T is requesting: 

Approval to be relieved of its Carrier of Last Resort obligations in certain areas of California. If approved, AT&T would no longer be required to offer landline telephone service where it is currently required to offer Basic Service in those areas. Basic Service includes nine service elements such as Lifeline rates for eligible customers, free access to 9-1-1, Telephone Relay Service, and directory and operator services. 

Approval to give up its designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier, which is a telephone company that operates in a specific geographic area that receives financial assistance from the federal government-established Universal Service Fund to provide high quality and affordable telephone service to customers at all income levels. 

What is a Carrier of Last Resort? A COLR is a telecommunications service provider that stands ready to provide basic telephone service, commonly landline telephone service, to any customer requesting such service within a specified area. At least one telephone company in a specified area is legally required to provide access to telephone service to anyone in its service territory who requests it. This ensures that everyone in California has access to safe, reliable, and affordable telephone service. AT&T is the designated COLR in many parts of the state and is the largest COLR in California. Where AT&T is the default landline telephone service provider, it must provide traditional landline telephone service to any potential customer in that service territory. AT&T is proposing to withdraw as the COLR in certain areas without a new carrier being designated as a COLR. 

What might happen if AT&T withdraws as a COLR? If AT&T’s proposal is approved, as set forth in its application, then no COLR would be required to provide Basic Service in the areas in which AT&T is the COLR. This does not necessarily mean that no carriers would provide service in the areas — only that they would not be required to do so. Other outcomes are possible, such as a carrier other than AT&T volunteering to become the COLR, or the CPUC denying AT&T’s proposal. 

What is an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier? An ETC is a telephone company operating in a specific geographic area that receives financial assistance from the federal government-established Universal Service Fund to provide high quality and affordable telephone service to customers at all income levels in specific geographic areas. One example of a program funded by the Universal Service Fund is federal Lifeline. While funding for this program is provided by the federal government, each state determines a telephone company’s eligibility for ETC designation. In California, a company’s eligibility for these federal funds is determined by the CPUC. 

What are the potential impacts of CPUC approval of AT&T’s ETC de-designation request on customer bills? For a household receiving federal Lifeline from AT&T, the bill could increase by $5.25 per month for voice-only service, or $9.25 per month for bundled or internet service. In addition to these amounts, a household on Tribal lands receiving federal Lifeline from AT&T could experience an additional $25 per month bill increase. 

What is required of AT&T for the CPUC to approve AT&T’s ETC de-designation request? AT&T must demonstrate that another ETC provider can provide Universal support in the areas where AT&T wishes to surrender its ETC designation. 

The CPUC welcomes attendance and comments at the public forums (formally called Public Participation Hearings), as public comments help the CPUC reach an informed decision. The Administrative Law Judge assigned to the proceedings is scheduled to issue a Proposed Decision in the case for consideration by the CPUC within a year. 

No official action will be taken on this matter at the public forums.

(Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Dorothea Lange: Consumer relations, San Francisco, 1952

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Dear Editor,

I think the public should be aware that Supervisor Mulheren is refusing to put the living wage proposal for IHSS workers on the BOS agenda because CEO Darcie Antle told her not to. The tail should not be waging the dog, and this is exactly why people in the 2nd district should vote for Jacob Brown. The CEO’s office should not running the entire county, because these staff lack the expertise. Jacob Brown and Adam Gaska have the intelligence and courage to stand up to bad ideas. I hope voters in the 1st and 2nd districts will agree with me.

Julie Beardsley, MPH


PS. I’ll tell you why the Farm Bureau decided to back Madeline - her uncle, Joe Hurlbut, is on the Board of Directors! Her family is basically buying the “Princess” a pony. (She may not know how to ride it or care for it, but they’re getting her a pony). Look, I’d love to see more women in politics, but I’m not supporting someone whose job experience has been only 2-3 years, and some of that not in real jobs. She’s being hand-fed sound bites from the CEO’s office. I don’t think we can take much more of the same mismanagement. Carmel Angelo hand picked Darcie Antle to succeed her, despite Darcie having VERY little experience in government. Let’s try and make better choices.

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YING & YANG… & …

Julie Beardsley:

I’ve seen the incompetent, “yes men,” (and you know who you are), get promoted to positions of power while the people with real knowledge and competence get passed over. I never wanted to do anything other than to be the person doing the data and disease surveillance, and did that for almost 8 years, so this isn’t about me. But in my time at Public Health I saw Tammy Moss Chandler, then Director of HHSA, fire our very loved and effective Director of Public Health, Barbara Howe. Why? Because someone told Tammy a rumor and Tammy acted on it. I think she felt Barbara was a threat and used it as an excuse to march her out. Fast forward and Darcie Antle fires Anne Molgaard, who was doing a great job as Director of Public Health. Why? Because Anne was hiring competent people and this was too expensive. No warning, or admonishment of wrong-doing, just marched out. Why? I think Darcie felt she was a threat. (Anne would be a great CEO. She’s an attorney, with years of experience in government.) Dr. Jenine Miller finally got her wish and Darcie made her Director of Public Health. Jenine almost immediately fired Dr. Cathy Boyle, Director of Nursing — a 47 year veteran Family Nurse Practioneer with more expertise in pediatrics and child abuse than anyone I’ve ever met. Why? Because Cathy wouldn’t sign off on expenditures that she had never seen and were not a part of the Nursing budget. I think she was a threat to Jenine’s take-over of Public Health. This caused the Director of Maternal Child and Adolescent Health and the Home Visiting Program to move on. In her place, Dr. Miller hired a newly minted Public Health Nurse who had never even been on a home visit! Dr. Andy Coren left 6 months earlier than planned. I think it was because of the disrespectful way he was treated by Dr. Miller and Angle Slater, (a CEO staff member and Madeline Cline’s campaign manager, by the way). He was excluded from meetings, emails and calls ignored — because I assume Jenine and Angle felt they knew more about how to run a Public Health department than the Chief Medical Officer! And I left because I couldn’t stomach what was going on. After years of seeing good people fired or passed over, I couldn’t take it anymore and retired. These are just some of the highlights, and the good people who’ve left, (including Trevor Mockel), are too numerous to mention. Dr. Miller likes to surround herself with people who are not the most competent, but who won’t question her. There is no transparency and accountability. The County’s blather about “leadership from the bottom up” would be great if they actually put it in place. We need a real change to eliminate the cronyism and nepotism in this government. That said, the majority of the people who work for the county are some of the most dedicated people you’d ever want to meet. In my years as President of SEIU 1021, I hope I represented them well. They, and the people of this county deserve better. Public Health is really, really important and it should be overseen by people who actually know what they’re doing.

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Mary Alice Willeford:

Julie, you know as well as I do, not all the information you have stated is true. In respect for all the people you mentioned and confidentiality, I am not going to dispute it line by line. However, just because you don’t like someone is not a reason for slander and/or defamation of character. In my 22 years with the county I have never seen a person released for not being willing to sign a a document. As I worked with the management team you are stating is underqualified and/or are yes ma’am people, I have to strongly disagree with your comments. The management is educated, has experience, and has no problem voicing their opinions. I have found Dr. Miller to be open to feedback, change, and support her staff. It’s one thing to campaign for a candidate, it’s another to participate in slander and defamation especially when it’s lies. I would never vote for a candidate that supports slander, defamation, and misrepresentation of hard working county staff.

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Mary Alice, I believe you began your career in fiscal. In the break up of HHSA, the county was deciding on whether to make BHRS (Behavioral Health and Recovery Services) and Public Health a “Health Department.” Jenine Miller was temporarily put in charge of Public Health and she made you the Acting Public Health Director. With all due respect, you had no public health credentials. I spoke up – along with many other past managers and Public Health officials who I won’t name here, but they were past employees. The BOS listened and made Public Health a stand-alone department. Your feelings were hurt, and I’m sorry, but sometimes you must speak up. I know you did a lot of good work for the county, but people are not interchangeable widgets. There are some positions that demand a certain level of education, experience and qualifications. I am not slandering anyone, and everything I’ve stated here is what the people involved have told me. You are more than welcome to follow up with the people involved. And for example, if the CEO comes into your office and says either you sign this agreement, or you’ll never work in your field again – you sign. But we all know that’s not right. Just because the truth is unpleasant doesn’t mean it’s slander.

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Julie: Wrong again!! I was not appointed by Dr. Miller. I was appointed by the CEO as an interim with the understanding that I would cover it until a new Director could be found. My feelings were never hurt as I never wanted that position. I was an assistant HHSA Director at the time. I am happy to speak to any of the people that you have mentioned if they want to speak with me. Lastly, when HHSA was splitting Dr. Miller actually fought against merging as Behavioral Health did not want to merge with Public Health. But I guess you don’t know that because you probably never asked.

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Yes, the CEO’s office has a history of questionable decisions. Which is why I would like the new Board of Supervisors to step up. Your reply speaks volumes about the chronic lack of communication to county staff. If you want people to be engaged, you must engage with them. And by the way, the surgeon who removes the scab is not the one responsible for the infection.

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Once again the information you have is wrong. I was there so I am aware of what happened. The CEO was pushing for the merge and directed the presentation. But I guess you knew that right? Oh wait how could you? Also so you know, more than half of the Public Health staff signed a letter wanting the merge. That letter went to the CEO. So not sure how one can say Public Health staff did not want the merge at all. Just to clarify, the CEO directed the presentation and model design.

However, this is all water under the bridge and things are moving forward. I feel public health is in good hands with the current management. Please let’s support them and let them do their job.

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Mary Alice, you forget, I was there too. I think I can speak with greater authority about how a Public Health department should function. No, “half of the Public Health staff” did not sign a letter pushing to merge PH and BHRS. That letter was signed by many people who were actually BHRS staff. My point is that a Public Health department shouldn’t be directed by people who do not have the training in public health. Just like a surgical arena shouldn’t be run by car machanics. They both know how to take things apart but…

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Larkspur, 1955

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The Staff Report(s) and Agenda for the March 7, 2024, Planning Commission meeting is now available on the department website at:

Please contact staff if there are any questions,

Thank you

James Feenan

Commission Services Supervisor

County of Mendocino Department of Planning & Building Services

860 N Bush Street, Ukiah, CA 95482

Main Line: 707-234-6650

Fax: 707-463-5709

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Our first shows of 2024 went really well and I am gearing up for more this coming week. I'm heading south towards and to the Bay Area for three shows before flying to Mexico for a couple more. Then I return to Oregon for shows in March. I'm still trying to book a Portland show so if anyone wants to host a house concert or if you have another type of space/cafe/bookstore for a show, please get in touch with me! The date I'd like to play in Portland is Thursday March 21st.

Upcoming shows. 

Tickets moving fast for the shows... get em before they are gone!

February 21st House Concert in Redwood Valley at Jini Reynold's wonderful cozy home. 

February 22nd Lost Church Santa Rosa.

Get tickets by logging on to or through my facebook or twitter pages.

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by Karen Novak, DVM

Working at home on an especially stormy day, I happened to look over at my two dogs when a large clap of thunder occurred. One dog hadn’t really even noticed, while the other was under a blanket shaking. Their reaction was an expression of what we see clinically and hear about as veterinarians, some dogs live with intermittent fear, anxiety, or phobias, while others are completely immune to the stresses of daily living. Why do dogs react so differently and what can we do to help our pets have an easier time navigating through life.

Let's start with some definitions of the three most common emotional states; fear, phobias and anxiety. Phobias might be the easiest to uniquely differentiate. It is an overwhelming, debilitating and irrational fear of an object, place, situation, animal or person. Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when an animal has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object. This is in contrast to fear which is an emotional state aroused by specific stimuli that give rise to defensive behavior or escape. Fear is considered an adaptive response in that the animal may learn to fear situations in which they have previously been exposed to pain or stress, and subsequently show avoidance behavior when they reencounter that situation. Fear is a natural defense mechanism and in the wild is an important component for survival. Lastly, anxiety is described as the anticipation or apprehension of a future real or perceived threat or danger.

From looking at these definitions, it may be apparent that it can be hard to distinguish which emotional state is the frontrunner. Fear and anxiety are often used interchangeably as the expression of these emotions can be very similar. The easiest way to distinguish them may be to think of fear as a response to a real or perceived threat, whereas anxiety is a response to a threat that has not yet happened or may never happen. Anxiety can also be much more subtle. Phobias on the other hand can often easily identified, such as a noise phobia, or an irrational fear of thunderstorms, fireworks, or other loud noises, 

In addition to defining the behavior, it is important to consider why these may have developed. Behavioral issues may be due to a pet’s genetics, but probably more commonly they are learned behaviors from an unpleasant or painful experience or from not being adequately or sufficiently socialized. It is important to understand where the behavior may have originated from to help us manage our expectations of treatment. There are critical periods of socialization for dogs and cats to other species and different environments. When this does not happen, the resulting behavior can be difficult to change. 

To start addressing a behavior issue, we need to get some baseline information. We need to identify the fear-eliciting stimulus if possible and if there is a threshold or point at which the behavior begins after exposure to the stimulus. What reaction is your pet having to the stimulus; panting, pacing, aggression, urinating, defecating, vomiting, hiding, salivation, or trembling. This type of information will help you and your veterinarian come up with the best treatment plan for your pet. 

Treatment generally includes behavioral modification which can include desensitization, counterconditioning, positive reinforcement for examples and medication. There are many medications available that your veterinarian may consider, the selection of which will be based on the diagnosis of the behavioral issue.

Treatment will also generally include some owner training as well. As pet owners we can reinforce a behavior without even knowing it. When we try to calm our pets that are demonstrating some avoidance or aggressive behavior with treats or attention, we may be distracting them from the situation, but we are also reinforcing the behavior. On the other hand, punishing a fearful dog is only going to escalate the problem.

Behavior issues are complex and take patience and time to address and hopefully improve. The prognosis for successful treatment is strongly influenced by the cause of the behavior. Behaviors that are due to a strong genetic component or when a pet has not had any socialization can be the most difficult to change. Acquired behaviors have a better prognosis. Setting realistic expectations are important and remembering that it most likely will take some experimentation to find the treatment plan that will hopefully lead to an easier, more peaceful life for all involved. 

Karen Novak, D.V.M.

Village Veterinary


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CATCH OF THE DAY, Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Bettencourt, Biggie, Larvie, Lincoln

CURTIS BETTENCOURT, Fort Bragg. Under influence.

ADRIEL BIGGIE, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats, witness intimidation, resisting, probation revocation.

ALDEN LARVIE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

REMA LINCOLN, Covelo. DUI causing bodily injury, child cruelty-infliction of injury.

Martinez, McClellan, Orion, Sales

ISMAEL MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Suspended license for DUI, evasion, county parole violation, failure to appear.

MICHAEL MCCLELLAN, Fort Bragg. Probation violation.

CAMERON ORION, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI.

ROBERT SALES, Willits. Toluene or similar substance.

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MR. STEHR, A LOST SON OF THE ONE TRUE CHURCH (you can tell he misses it)

Portion on Practice

Sitting here in front of computer #3 at the Ukiah Public Library, following an evening at the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center, which featured performances from several homeless who have an assigned bed and locker, showcasing loud constant irrational behaviour and talking about illegal narcotics with an occasional odd reference to sex, what is most important is having a continuous spiritual practice for the purpose of uniting the mind with its Source. This ensures that the Divine Absolute works through the body-mind complex without interference. 

Because of the variety in the human population, it is necessary for there to be innumerable ways to achieve this. A Zen Buddhist saying (from the Sandokai) is: "Although by wit and dullness, the True Way is varied." Yoga teaches: "Paths are many, Truth is one." Christianity embraces ecumenicism, since the encyclicals of Pope John XXIII in the 1960s. The point is that there is a way for everybody. 

Cultivate a high degree of mindfulness, or thought watching, and when the mind wanders, just bring it back to basic meditative awareness. This is a fundamental vipassana practice which is powerful. If you like, add a mantra which is comfortable. Throughout the day, anywhere and everywhere, silently chant the mantra. The Hare Krishna mantra is recommended for the current Age of Kali, but more important is to have a mantra which is satisfactory with the practitioner, guaranteeing that one will chant regularly. One's chosen mantra may be chanted at any time. There are no rules, regulations, or restrictions of any kind. As zen master Shunryu Suzuki once said at the San Francisco Zen Center: "I want everyone here to know that some day you will have your own practice, and it won't be zen center's practice!" [Reported to me by friend Loring Palmer, an early student of the roshi.] 

In other words, it is your practice. Own it!!

Craig Louis Stehr

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by ChatGPT*

In a stunning turn of events, Blue Zones LLC, the company claiming to have found the secret to longevity, has just unveiled their latest product: "The Fountain of Eternal Youth Subscription Box." Priced at a mere $999 per month, this revolutionary service promises to deliver the elixir of life right to your doorstep.

The subscription box includes a collection of essential items carefully curated to extend your lifespan. First up is a set of exclusive Blue Zones™ branded organic kale seeds, guaranteed to make you the envy of your local farmers' market. Because, as everyone knows, nothing says immortality like a daily dose of kale.

But that's not all – subscribers will also receive a personalized guide on how to mimic the lifestyles of the world's oldest living people. This includes daily exercises like chasing after goats in the mountains, herding sheep in the highlands, and other activities that may or may not be feasible for urban dwellers.

In an attempt to cater to the modern age, Blue Zones LLC has partnered with a meditation app that promises to transport you to a virtual village where you can soak in the wisdom of centenarians from the comfort of your living room. However, users have reported feeling more stress trying to navigate the app's glitchy interface than they ever did before seeking eternal life.

And for the pièce de résistance, subscribers will receive a monthly supply of specially filtered air, extracted from the cleanest corners of Blue Zones worldwide. Because breathing air from a region with a high concentration of centenarians is apparently the key to unlocking the secret of longevity.

Critics argue that Blue Zones LLC is simply capitalizing on the age-old desire for immortality, preying on people's fear of aging and death. Skeptics have also pointed out that the only true blue zone here is the one forming around the bank accounts of the hospital corporation which owns Blue Zones, Adventist Health.

As the company's CEO proudly declares, "We've cracked the code to living forever, and it comes in a beautifully designed box that fits seamlessly into your minimalist, anti-aging lifestyle. Who needs the uncertainty of science and actual healthy living when you can have the Fountain of Eternal Youth Subscription Box?"

While some may scoff at the absurdity of Blue Zones LLC's latest venture, the company remains optimistic that the market for immortality in a box is just getting started. 

In the meantime, potential subscribers are advised to invest in a good sense of humor – because laughter might just be the real secret to a longer life.

(*One sentence edited by the carbon-based life form (Homo sapiens sapiens) which calls itself Andrew Lutsky.)

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24th and Mission (1980) by Lou Dematteis

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by Dan Walters

Of all the skills that children may acquire in school, none surpasses reading in importance.

The ability to read and comprehend what’s read is the key to all other learning, either formal or personal, and the students in California’s schools are not doing well. 

Results from the state’s latest academic achievement tests, released last October, revealed that fewer than half met standards in English language skills and scarcely a third met those in mathematics. 

California’s overall score in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal government’s program of measuring academic achievement, is equally bleak, ranked seventh from the bottom. 

One reason the state fares so poorly is that for decades, California embraced trendy theories of teaching them to read, such as “whole language,” while spurning strong evidence that using phonics, a more traditional method, would produce better results. 

The conflict, dubbed the “reading wars,” was not confined to California, but the state was one of the major battlegrounds given its size. 

Ultimately, phonics-based instruction, recast as “the science of reading,” won out, at least on paper. But the state has not been insistent on its adoption, and many local school systems have continued to use less effective teaching methods. 

Last month, the National Council on Teacher Quality released a report on how well states are implementing the science of reading and California achieved only a mediocre score, once again falling behind other states, such as Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama, that many would regard as regressive. 

California won plaudits in some areas, such as setting reading standards in teacher training and including skills in its licensing process, but fell behind in requiring ongoing literacy training and overseeing teacher preparation programs to ensure that the science of reading is being stressed. 

“In California, only 58% of fourth grade students can read at a basic level based on the most recent National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP),” according to the report. “That number falls precipitously for California’s historically underserved students. 

“Students who are not reading at grade level by the time they reach fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school, which in turn leads to additional challenges for them as adults: lower lifetime earnings, higher rates of unemployment, and a higher likelihood of entering the criminal justice system. 

“These alarming statistics can be largely attributed to inequities in access to effective reading instruction, a problem that strong state policy and bold state leaders can solve.” 

The brighter side of the picture is that within a few months, California will require teacher preparation programs to stress the science of reading with an eye on meeting the state’s new literacy standards. 

Newly introduced legislation would make the science of reading mandatory. In the absence of such a mandate, it could take years for full implementation, if ever, because many liberal school districts will continue to resist, falsely believing that phonics are incompatible with educational equity. 

California has an odd policy on overseeing what happens in local school systems. It closely monitors their finances and will essentially seize districts that are in danger of becoming insolvent, but takes a more hands-off stance regarding educational outcomes. 

Reading is too important to allow local school systems to decide if and when they will adopt the science of reading. As the report on teacher quality points out, a child who can’t read is likely to fall behind for the remainder of his or her life. 


* * *

* * *

‘BIG BABY’: San Francisco officials push back on Charles Barkley insults

While hosting the NBA All-Star Game this weekend, Charles Barkley made some impromptu comments about San Francisco

by Alec Regimbal

During a broadcast of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, basketball legend and television commentator Charles Barkley made some impromptu comments about San Francisco. Now, city officials are pushing back. 

During the broadcast on TNT, Barkley and his co-hosts — including Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller — were discussing the frigid temperatures in Indianapolis, where All-Star Weekend was being held. Barkley, seemingly out of nowhere, decided to take the opportunity to insult San Francisco. 

“Hey, Reggie,” Barkley asked Miller. “If you had a chance to be in cold, or being around a bunch of homeless crooks in San Francisco, which would you take?”

Barkley’s question seemed to take his co-hosts by surprise. While some chuckled nervously, Green pushed back, joking that Barkley is “not welcome.” 

When commentator Taylor Rooks, from off-camera, said, “We love San Francisco,” Barkley immediately shot back, “No we don’t,” prompting a back-and-forth with Green about safety in the city. When Green said anyone can walk around safely, Barkley sarcastically agreed, saying that was true so long as the person wears “a bulletproof vest.” 

In a statement to SFGATE, District 11 supervisor and mayoral candidate Ahsha Safaí agreed that San Francisco has room to improve, likening it to the three teams Barkley played for during his 16-year career. 

“Just like any team Charles Barkley played on, the City of San Francisco has areas we need to improve,” Safaí wrote in an email to SFGATE, “but we have the talent, we have the desire — we just need a new head coach to lead our City!” 

Kyle Smeallie, chief of staff to District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston, told SFGATE that Preston didn’t have a comment on Barkley’s remarks. But Smeallie offered his own insight into what inspired Barkley to take a swipe at San Francisco: He never won an NBA title (the Warriors have won seven NBA championships). 

“Our City rules — big baby Barkley is just mad he never got a ring,” Smeallie said in an email to District 4 Supervisor Joel Engardio told KGO-TV that he would direct Barkley’s attention to the notion that “violent crime is at an all-time historic low,” but acknowledged that the city is seeing “too much property crime,” an issue he says could be solved by giving police more resources. When asked what message he has for Barkley, Engardio told the outlet that he’d like to invite the former NBA star to visit an upcoming night market in his district. 

“I would invite Charles to come to the next Sunset night market that we're going to produce later this year - to see thousands of people, San Franciscans in the street - enjoying each other's company, living their best lives,” he said. 

While San Francisco’s representatives may not have been thrilled with Barkley, his comments did win him some strange bedfellows. On Monday, Fox News hosts Jesse Watters, Dana Perino and Jeanine Pirro celebrated Barkley’s remarks, as the Daily Beast noted, just a few months after he was vilified by the same network for defending Bud Light after it briefly partnered with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. 

It’s also not the first time he’s done this. In 2022, Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks was delayed after rain began to leak from the roof of the American Airlines Center in Dallas. During the delay, Barkley remarked: “You know the bad thing about all this rain? It’s not raining in San Francisco to clean up all those dirty-ass streets they got there… all that dirtiness and homelessness, y’all, man, y’all gotta clean that off the streets.”

The next NBA All-Star Game will be hosted by the Warriors at Chase Center in 2025. A spokesperson for the team told SFGATE that the organization had no comment on Barkley’s comments. But, assuming Barkley arrives in the area to call that game, we should remember to check whether he shows up wearing a bulletproof vest.

(SF Chronicle)

* * *

MARION COUNTY RECORD founders recognized

* * *



Putin killed Navalny? Any proof of that? Biden is allowing the killing of 250+ Palestinians every day. And that we see that on TV.

An FBI informant lied about Biden. Goodness. A British spy lied for Hillary/the DNC about Trump. Everyone is dirty.

Second class citizenship for women comes one step closer with Alabama SCOTUS’s “embryo is a person” decision.

Ukraine has lost. Stop the slaughter. Only the warmongers benefit.

Civilization crumbles from economic disparity. TAX THE RICH!

Joan Vivaldo

San Francisco

* * *

A CHILE APPELLATE COURT instructed authorities Tuesday to reopen the investigation into the death of poet Pablo Neruda. The Nobel Prize winner's cause of death is listed as cancer in his death certificate. The court said in a statement Tuesday that it was heeding a request by Neruda's family and Chile's small Communist Party, adding that the inquiry into his death had not been “exhaustive” and there were still steps to take that would help “clarify the facts.”

* * *

* * *


by Bari Weiss

If you listen to some of the loudest voices in American life right now, they seem to have more affection for tyrants and terrorists than democracy. 

Take the Squad. In the months since October 7, the members of the House’s ultra-progressive wing have been among the most vocal politicians on the Israel-Hamas war, and sometimes sounded like they were Team Hamas. Last week, Rep. Rashida Tlaib refused to vote in favor of a resolution condemning the rape and murder of innocent civilians by the Palestinian terror group. 

Or look at Tucker Carlson. Just as it’s not always clear whose side the Squad is on in the Israel-Hamas war, it’s often hard to tell who Carlson wants to win the Ukraine-Russia war: a European democracy defending itself, or the invading force of a Russian despot. And in videos from his recent trip to Moscow, including a riff on the brilliance of Russian shopping carts, it wasn’t always clear who Carlson thought had it better: Russians or Americans. If only they would listen to the normies. Normal Americans know the difference between right and wrong, democracy and tyranny, Ukraine and Russia, and Hamas and Israel. New polling from Pew suggests that the American people are still invested in the fights on the front lines of the free world. According to the survey, three-quarters of Americans think the Israel-Hamas war, the Ukraine-Russia war, and tensions between China and Taiwan are “important” to U.S. national interests. And a majority of Americans say these conflicts are personally important to them. Consider a few other numbers: 38 percent see foreign policy as a top priority for 2024, second only to the economy, and an increase from 18 percent this time last year. Only 5 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Vladimir Putin. 15 percent of Americans view China favorably. 80 percent of Americans say they support Israel in the conflict with Hamas. Voters, it seems, are awake to the dangerous moment we find ourselves in, and clear-eyed about the sources of the threats to U.S. interests. Are members of the Squad about to pay for their fringe views on Israel? That’s the question Free Press writer Eli Lake investigates in his piece today. Polls show the Squad’s harsh criticism of the Jewish state is out of step with voters — even in their own districts. More than half of the constituents for Squad members Ilhan Omar and Cori Bush back Israel in the war, compared to 6 percent who support Hamas, according to a recent poll. No wonder three Squad members are facing a tough primary challenge from more moderate Democratic candidates. Read Eli’s full dispatch on whether October 7 could bring down the Squad here: How do Tucker Carlson and the Squad, in their own ways, find themselves so out of step with the average American? Because — unlike the average American — they formulate their views from a place of self-loathing and resentment. That’s what Peter Savodnik argues in his new Free Press video essay contrasting Carlson’s moral relativism with Alexei Navalny’s moral clarity. All of this, Peter says, is part of “the great tsunami of stupid that has swept the nation.” Thankfully, a majority of Americans appear to have made it to higher ground before the tsunami hit. But there’s still room for disagreement in the mainstream on issues like the right level of support for Ukraine, or who should run Gaza after the war, or what exactly we should do to get Europeans to spend more on defense, or how to actually respond if China were to move on Taiwan. With multiple international crises threatening our national interests, these debates aren’t just tolerable but essential. (Look out for one such debate, between Bret Stephens and Elbridge Colby, on funding for Ukraine, later this week on Honestly.) But these important conversations will only be constructive if they’re predicated on a few important truths: that Chinese communism, Russian dictatorship, and Islamist terrorism are evil. And that America and the West are, despite their faults, a force for good. In other words, things that most Americans — the normies — know to be true. 

For more on Russia, read Alexei Navalny’s 2014 courtroom speech, “The People Who Look the Other Way,” translated by Konstantin Kisin.


* * *

* * *

THE WORLD IS DROWNING IN DEBT — brace yourself for economic turbulence

by Desmond Lachman

When it comes to a country’s overindebtedness, the four most dangerous words are “This time is different.”

As Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart taught us in their magisterial book “This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly,” unless addressed promptly, overindebtedness almost always ends in tears — an economic, banking or exchange-rate crisis.

How much more should we be worried about the world’s long-run economic outlook?

It’s not only a single major country with troubling debt.

Each of the world’s major economies has a serious debt problem caused by too many years of irresponsible budget policies and zero interest rates — and could make it all the more difficult to avoid a recession and renewed financial strain at home.

Take the United States, the world’s largest economy.

At a time of cyclical economic strength, when the country should be running a budget surplus, it’s managing to run a deficit of around 6% of gross domestic product.

On present policies, such deficits will continue as far as the eye can see, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

That in turn will take us to public-debt interest payments exceeding those during World War II in relation to the size of the economy.

Since our government borrows in dollars, there’s little chance we’ll default on the debt even if it reaches astronomical levels.

The Federal Reserve can always print money to repay it.

But there is a great chance such money printing will lead to ever-higher inflation and a dollar crisis.

Unfortunately, we have not only a public-debt problem but a commercial-property-debt problem.

Over the next two years, almost $1.5 trillion in commercial-property debt matures.

With post-COVID vacancy rates at record levels and interest rates much higher than in the days of easy money, it’s difficult to see how such debt can be rolled over without major debt restructuring.

This makes it only a matter of time before we see a wave of regional-bank defaults that could shake the financial system as Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic Bank failures did last year.

China, the world’s second-largest economy and until recently its main engine of economic growth, also has a major debt problem.

Over the past decade, credit to China’s nonfinancial private sector grew by around 100% of GDP, per the Bank for International Settlements.

That’s a larger rate of debt increase than those preceding Japan’s lost economic decade in the 1990s and the 2008-2009 US Great Recession.

With its property and credit market bubble burst, China could be well on the way to a lost economic decade of its own.

Europe’s debt problem is largely concentrated in the eurozone’s south.

Both Italy and Spain have public-debt-to-GDP ratios considerably higher than at the 2010 eurozone sovereign-debt crisis.

Complicating matters, these countries are stuck in a euro straitjacket that precludes them from using their own exchange-rate or interest-rate policy to offset the adverse effect of budget belt tightening on aggregate demand.

Another round of the eurozone debt crisis is inevitable.

As if this were not enough reason for concern, Japan, until recently the world’s third-largest economy, has a public-debt level exceeding 250% of GDP, around double that of the United States.

This hasn’t been a problem so far since the Bank of Japan has effectively been financing the government by keeping long-term interest rates below 1%.

But once rising inflation forces the bank to end its yield-control experiment, we could see a Japanese public-debt crisis.

With so many major debt problems around the globe, it’s hard to see how we avoid a day of world economic reckoning.

The world’s economic policymakers could mitigate such a day by recognizing we are sleepwalking to a world crisis and taking measures to make our debt more sustainable. 

If they don’t, we should brace ourselves for economic turbulence at home and renewed financial-market strains as economic trouble abroad spills over to our shores.

(NY Post)

* * *


* * *


There was a huge, lengthy, and generally very sincere ‘thread’ in these comments asking the question, “How do we fix this?”. Folks pointed out some plain truths, e.g. regular folks have to work for a living, while our adversaries are getting a free ride on our backs (I’m looking at all those bureaucrats making all those rules, and those elected officials who are making all those laws). We don’t have time to deal with all these assholes even if we had some means.

Welp, I read of one remedy – sort of the current ‘NYC Truckers Boycott’ writ large. A General Strike. It’s non-violent. It’s impossible to make some rule or law against it. And even if you could take away the money in everyone’s bank account that’s just part of a General Strike too.

Here’s an allegorical example which pits violence vs. a passive approach. We have a monumental problem here out in America’s countryside (but now invading suburbia), Feral Hogs. They destroy billions of dollars of agricultural production each year.

There are two methods being in general use to combat these pests. Active and passive. The active approach involves hunting them down with rifles one pig at a time. Very inefficient given the numbers of pest animals and the number of hunters. The passive approach is traps. Very efficient, removing many animals at once.

I thought of this when considering whether we serfs should go with the active approach, such as “a well-regulated militia”, or the passive approach, a general strike. You can kill these assholes lording over us one at a time, or get them all at once with a general strike ‘trap’.

Nota bene: Gandhi chose the strike.

* * *

In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I just choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to our world.

— John Steinbeck


  1. Mazie Malone February 22, 2024

    Blue zones…… hilarious !!! hahaha !! 😂🤣👍

    Happy Thursday …..

    mm 💕

  2. Kirk Vodopals February 22, 2024

    Mendocino County politics just seems like high school drama ala the Brady Bunch:
    Julie, Tammy, Darcie, Carmie, Mo… Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!
    She got fired cuz she spread rumors about Tammy. Marsha saw Darcie as a threat.
    Peter and Bobby just sit silent like wussies cuz they don’t want Marsha to unleash her female scorn.
    Greg fired Jan cuz she was gonna rat Greg out for throwing a big house party and leaving a big mess.

  3. Harvey Reading February 22, 2024

    “And that America and the West are, despite their faults, a force for good.”

    That’s a “good” one. Totally divorced from reality though. Whyn’t you sign up with Zionists? My opinion is that you would fit right in. The “west” is doomed. Its day has come and gone, as anyone looking at current affairs around the world is forced to conclude. Prayin’ to some nonexistent god ainta gonna help at all.

    THE WORLD IS DROWNING IN DEBT — brace yourself for economic turbulence

    More of the same right-wing hokum I’ve been hearing all my life.

  4. Mike Williams February 22, 2024

    Sanora Babb was an assistant to Tom Collins at the Weedpatch farm labor camp during the dust bowl years. She took notes and wrote reports about the people she encountered during her time at the camp. She wrote a novel called Whose Names are Unknown, it was accepted for publication but in the mean time Tom Collins gave John Steinbeck access to her work while he was doing research on the Dust Bowl migration. Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath, Babb’s novel was shelved, eventually being published in 2004, the year before she died. It is an excellent read, really chronicles the hardships that drove midwestern prairie farmers to head for California and the hardships of migrant farm life.

  5. Jonesy February 22, 2024

    Thanks Craig

  6. Mazie Malone February 22, 2024

    Craig, I am curious if you have reached out to your roommates to engage them in mindfulness meditation and mantras? You could make Building Bridges a place of healing and hope.

    And the Divine Absolute is not outside of you it is you. ……..

    mm 💕

    • Anonymous February 22, 2024

      🤔, hmm, good one.

      Especially now, during Lent.
      The three pillars of Lent—prayer, fasting and almsgiving—are expressions of the fundamental purpose of Lent, which is to turn to God in a conversion of heart.

      • Mazie Malone February 22, 2024


        mm 💕

  7. Craig Stehr February 22, 2024

    Focus attention on the mental factory, and using will power bring the mind to silence. One’s true spiritual identity appears without any covering. The Divine Absolute may then work through the body-mind complex without interference. N.B. Particularly in urban areas, churches are a good place to sit in a pew and perform this basic practice. Usually, “The One True Church” is empty and quiet, because the Sunday faithful are next door at the Irish bar. ;-))

    • Mazie Malone February 22, 2024

      Shouldn’t be so hard….. just breathe and observe ….. quieting the mind through sheer will power and focus is not really meditating…..more of an act of rebellion against your own process… 🤪💕

      “Meditation not according to various groups that exist throughout the world, but actual meditation is a state of mind which look; regards, observes everything with complete attention; total not just parts of it. Attention is not fragmentary, it is a total thing.” Jiddu Krishnamurti ……

      mm 💕

    • Anonymous February 22, 2024


      Once upon I time, I worked for their body lobby, and for lunch I headed down the street to a nearby church climb the stairs to the balcony, and lie down on a bench. It was heavenly.
      One day the balcony door was closed.

      • Anonymous February 22, 2024

        Did Mr. eMarmon complain about my verb tense?

        Here’s a reVISION…

        Once upon I time, I worked as a Lobbyist for AT&T. For lunch, I would head down the street to a nearby church, I would climb the stairs to the balcony, and I would sit down on a bench. If no one else was around, I would let myself fall horizontal on the bench. It was heavenly.
        One day the balcony door was closed.

        • Mazie Malone February 22, 2024

          Now a days you can’t lie on benches…..
          Hostile architecture and all….
          Hopefully benches on church property do not follow suit….

          mm 💕

  8. MAGA Marmon February 22, 2024

    The Major and his pal, Mike, are still censoring my comments. At least the Editor would allow them so he could disagree with me.

    MAGA Marmon

    • Bruce Anderson February 22, 2024

      Sorry, comrade, that was me who did it. I try to keep out insults and abuse. I operate a civilized site here, compadre.

      • MAGA Marmon February 22, 2024


        LOL, Insults against the right is okay, huh?

        MAGA Marmon

        • Bruce Anderson February 22, 2024

          OF COURSE

      • Marshall Newman February 22, 2024

        +1. Please continue to keep the site civilized.

        I hope healing goes well.

        • Bruce McEwen February 22, 2024

          The mountain man rendezvous encampments were patrolled by “dog soldiers” who enforced civility. Newspapers traditionally used editorial boards to patrol the comment pages and letters to the editor— now all we have is our esteemed editor’s just and even hand to steady the temper of the comment page. Steady on, Skipper, all ahead full.

      • peter boudoures February 22, 2024

        Marmon has never offended me. -1
        Julie Beardsley use of the term Latinx makes me want to break my phone.

        • Julie Beardsley February 22, 2024

          I didn’t make it up- it’s the “politically correct” term people in government have been told to use when referring to the Spanish speaking community rather than use Hispanic or Latino.
          I think it sounds odd too.

          • Martha Moreno-Sanchez February 22, 2024

            In response to comments made by Julie Beardsley’s yesterday.

            I’d like to first address that the majority of the Hispanic population does not appreciate being addressed as “Latinx”. Our language is one where feminine and masculine nouns are part of our language, culture, and heritage. The majority of us who have been raised in a traditional Hispanic home do not appreciate being called Latinx, as we are not all from what is considered Latin America.

            I appreciate you bringing up the subject of Madeline not translating her campaign into Spanish due to the cost.
            Again if you were part of the Hispanic community you would understand that the majority of the first generation households are bilingual, we translate for our parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and relatives, as well as for other community members who might need to have it directly translated. I reiterate if you had grown up in this area and were Hispanic you would know that we are a close community, and the community knows that if they are in a non-bilingual household, they have translation available from neighbors, friends, or other relatives. Regardless of what amount Madeline has raised in her campaign, if it is necessary there are those who support Ms. Cline, who would gladly translation any documents for her. Not all of us who support Ms. Cline are “heavy-hitters” as you describe, just so you know.

            I would like to bring up something that I think needs to be addressed, Julie Beardsley continuously brings up, Ms. Cline’s age. I may not be as young as Ms. Cline, however I can tell you that just because something is on paper does not mean it’s true. I have, as many others of us from this area have, worked from a young age. Not all of our work is documented on paper or the web. Regardless of age or race, for many of us our afternoon, weekends, summers, and holidays were spent working in agriculture. Just because it is not directly behind a desk pushing paper does not mean that we do not know politics or have experience in multiple areas.

            Martha Moreno-Sanchez

          • Bruce Anderson February 22, 2024

            That’s right. I see it all over the place. It instantly offended me, an un-woke gringo.

  9. Stephen Rosenthal February 22, 2024

    So let’s see, multiple ballot snafus, paying the Interim County Counsel’s personal San Francisco law firm to advise (conflict of interest, misappropriation of county funds), and not a peep from any of the Supervisors or the DA. It took Adam Gaska to discover it – at his own expense! The question of election fraud must be raised and Bartolomie should be suspended immediately without pay. Just like the scenario of the manufactured charges against Cubbison.

    • Adam Gaska February 23, 2024

      I haven’t gotten to the point to believe it was intentional but one of the messed up precincts is literally nextdoor.

      The error was not properly updating precincts when we redistricted after the census. I watched the redistricting meetings because I was already thinking of running, knew I was close to the boundary between the 1st and 5th, and was concerned about being moved to the 5th. The new boundary moved literally to across the street.

      I was talking to neighbors at the mailbox about the redistricting and told them that the 5th was now across the street but we remained in the 1st. A week later, they came back to me after receiving midterm election ballots and were able to vote in the 5th district supervisor race. I verified they were in the 1st and told them to go to the elections office to report the mistake, which they did. They received new, correct ballots.

      Fast forward to a week ago. A woman in my neighborhood reported getting the wrong ballot. I told her she was in the first. I looked on the master voter rolls I got to send out mailers then realized that the Lennix precinct was mixed up with 1st and 5th district voters. I dug more and found 8 precincts with voters from different districts mixed up. They are all precincts where the boundary shifted. The two largest precinct mistakes of people receiving the wrong ballot are cases where 1st district voters received 5th district ballots. There is another precinct where about 10 1st district voters received 2nd district ballots. So roughly 160 1st district voters need new ballots.

      This is enough voters that coupled with a number of voters that likely will be disenfranchised by the initial mistake that it may effect the results of my election depending on how close my race is.

      • Bob A. February 23, 2024

        Not only is it possible that these unforced errors will affect the 1st district race, but I can also foresee an expensive and embarrassing day in court for the county.

        Pro tip for all involved in this SNAFU: If you move district boundaries, add “update voter rolls” to your to-do list.

        • Adam Gaska February 23, 2024

          They were told to do that and the Elections office was giving the information on what needed to be changed.

          I don’t know if they made a mistake entering the data, if they just dropped the ball but that’s where the mistake happened.

          • Stephen Rosenthal February 23, 2024


            I appreciate your detailed explanation and the thorough research you put into every topic you comment on. What with all the chicanery (dare I say corruption?) associated with this BOS and current and previous administrations, skepticism is always my initial reaction. Whether these missteps were a product of malfeasance or not, at the very least it’s gross incompetence on the part of the elections department and, in my opinion, a fireable offense. As head of the department, Bartolomie should suffer some serious consequences.

            • Mike J February 23, 2024

              There are no statutory or administrative avenues to fire this elected official…..and, there’s no need to that’s evident to us. To find out exactly how the new district border data was or wasn’t inputted is something that hasn’t been made known to the public as yet, so your judgement call here is also missing the mark in this way.

            • Adam Gaska February 23, 2024

              I would like to know what the error was and who was responsible before passing judgement. Ultimately it was Katrina’s office responsibility so she is responsible.

              I had a conversation with my neighbors after redistricting and mentioned that the 5th district was now across the street but we remained in the 1st. When midterm election ballots came, they asked me about our previous conversation saying that the ballot they received was for the 5th district supervisors race. I confirmed they were in the 1st by looking at the County’s GIS map and told them to report the error to County Election’s which they did. They were issued new ballots.

              I didn’t look further because I didn’t have a spreadsheet with voter rolls until now. Another neighbor said she got a 5th district ballot but thought she should be in the 1st. I confirmed she was. Then I cross referenced her on the voter roll and discovered that there was a precinct in the 5th that had a mix of 1st and 5th voters. That was the precinct ‘Lennix’.

              We, the voters, can mete out consequences at the ballot when the Clerk Recorder/Registrar of Voters/Assessors office comes up for election or by initiating a recall.

              Let’s see how this plays out. Maybe a recall is in order.

              • Bob A. February 23, 2024

                “I didn’t have a spreadsheet with voter rolls until now.”

                Of course there would be an Excel spreadsheet at the heart of this mess. It’s probably festooned with Visual Basic scripts written by a long gone someone who had no more business writing code than I have performing brain surgery. No matter how broken it is, no one dares touch it. It just exists, like a lump you may have noticed in your armpit that you’ve chosen to ignore.

                • Adam Gaska February 23, 2024

                  I got it as a CSV file.

                  • Bob A. February 23, 2024

                    Oh well, at least I was able to enjoy my little theory for a few minutes. Seriously though, the incompetence demonstrated throughout this fiasco is breathtaking.

                • Adam Gaska February 23, 2024

                  The elections office was given the information they need to update their overlay of the gis platform. I don’t know who dropped the ball but hopefully we find out. Overall, it just needs to get cleaned up.

                • Adam Gaska February 23, 2024

                  I manually scrolled through the entire spreadsheet looking at precincts. Every precinct I looked at the first and last address, verified it against the gis map. Grabbed a few random sampmes to verify. If the precinct was on the border of another district or the boundary had changed, I used a separate platform of property ownership called parcel viewer. I wrote down a few addresses on the other side of the district I was going through to look to see if an address popped.

                  I went through the entire roll.

    • George Hollister February 24, 2024

      Every aspect of our government has to set the integrity, and credibility of the vote as the highest priority, or we have no government by the people. Why was the Tax Assessor’s office combined with the County elections office, and was this a good move? Is saving money ever a reason, by itself, to change the way we vote. Is making it easier to vote, by itself, ever a reason to change the way we vote? Is our voting process better than it was 30 years ago?

      • Harvey Reading February 24, 2024

        This country has never had, “…government by the people.” That has always been the propaganda drilled into us from childhood, though. The funny thing is, we’re so gullible that we continue to fall for the line of BS.

  10. Martha Moreno-Sanchez February 22, 2024

    When I started in Public Health, I was told by several county vested employees that my experience in management was not the right kind. Well Ms. Beardley, I can tell you a leader is a leader regardless of where they go or where they acquired their experience. I can personally attest to many instances where in Public Health, when I initially was hired, I was left by multiple experienced managers to lead projects I had zero experience in with no training or help. Those individuals’ mind set was it was “not their job.”

    As a Mendocino County employee my job is to be of service to the public. I have many times been the lead of many projects with no training or support as those with “historical knowledge” and “experience” refused to share it with those of us who were new to Public Health. I, as many of us. are here to work and provide a service to the community. I grew up here, my children are growing up here, I work everyday to make the county safer for our current and future generations. Most of us who were new to Public Health learned if we didn’t know something we had to learn it on our own and did. I do hear your point, but there are wonderful people who are still part of Public Health and have experience and knowledge who have not only shared it with many of us, but have cheered us on in our advancements.

    I understand you were the SEIU Union president for many years, therefore you maybe the one to answer this question for me. As union president, why were certain Hispanic women that held programs together and hold essential historical knowledge never once encouraged or supported to pursue promotions or pay increase? Why had no one prior to me, ask them and question the leadership at the time why these people were being dumped on by racist managers and held down to the cap of their step? As Union president would this not be something you would have like to have supported while you were here? I also understand that when questioned why the union representatives do not accurately represent our primarily Hispanic workforce in Public Health, I was told the union reps are volunteer based, however it is my understanding that as Union President your work did not go uncompensated, so why would others go uncompensated? I have been offered to be a representative for the union, however when it comes to personal matters that should be supported by the Union, as my Hispanic colleagues and I also pay biweekly Union dues? Or is the systemic racism ingrained more in the Union than in other places? My colleagues and I feel unsupported, used, demoralized, and unsafe due to the Union supporting only a specific race clearly and when questioned in writing the Union leadership offers only telephone conversations, nothing in writing, no answers. The Union has tied our leaderships hands. The a Union is protecting only their friends and not thinking of the true safety and mental well-being of everyone regardless of age, gender, or race. The lack of support from the Union has resulted in many of us who have started the process to leave the Union. As the former Union President, I would urge you to reach out and maybe reach out to other chapters for guidance on how to resolve one union manager handling cases that are clearly a conflict of interest.

    I understand that change is not easy for everyone, I continuously read how this county is messed up in so many ways, Ms.Beardsley you were here long before I was, you were witness to the lack of structure and management, how could you not welcome innovation and change? Yes, there are many who as I mentioned have historical knowledge, however they are not always willing to learn and adapt to change, the aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic has forever changed society how are we as an agency expected to hold on to old ways when clearly the pandemic brough to light the social determinates of health plaguing our community. Our current leadership has been nothing, but supportive throughout this difficult transition, they see the issues our community faces and the distrust of county workers through out the community. Our current leadership is being bullied and questioned because they are holding people accountable for work, isn’t that their job? I have nothing but upmost respect for the leadership we have now as they have not abandoned Public Health during this transition as others have. They keep an open door policy and have address all of my concerns, are brilliant individuals who encourage and guide staff to learn and continue to support staff growth into leadership positions regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. 

    I urge you to encourage community members to trust the younger generations with our county, we care for it because are a part of it. 

    Best Regards,
    Martha Moreno-Sanchez

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