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Mendocino County Today: Friday, February 28, 2014

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THE OLD ALBERTINUM PROPERTY on Ukiah's Westside is about to be sold to the ever larger Buddhist presence in the Mendocino County seat. The Buddhists already own the former state hospital site at Talmage, which they bought for a literal song some 30 years ago when the County of Mendocino declined to pick it up as surplus state property on the ground that it might cost money to maintain.

THE BUDDHISTS have since put the property to productive use, converting it to schools, an excellent vegetarian restaurant and, of course, large set asides for the mystic mumbo jumbo that drives the Buddhist's world and other world views.

THE ALBERTINUM/TRINITY SCHOOL property due west of Talmage began life in 1895 as an orphanage and boarding school run by the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. In the middle 1960s, as America's social glue began to melt with more and more children essentially orphaned by crazed or drug-addled parents, the Greek Orthodox Church took over the five-acre property on which it operated an institution for disturbed children called Trinity School. (Prior to the 1960s, psychotic children, relatively uncommon before The Fall, were placed in state hospitals.)


TRINITY SCHOOL was run by a lugubrious Orthodox priest called Steve Katsaris who lost his daughter to the murderous cross-town charlatan, Jim Jones, who was then fleecing his flock in Redwood Valley and, for a time, serving as foreman of the Mendocino County Grand Jury. Miss Katsaris became Jones' chief aide; she falsely denounced her father as a child molester, the ugliest accusation a child can make against a parent, but one that Jones, a mega-perv himself, often deployed against his enemies. That accusation, of course, is now common in child custody disputes as our disintegrating society further disintegrates.

THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH closed Trinity School for good in 2009 and the property, valued at around $4 million, has been vacant ever since, longer actually, as the more institutional part of the property was abandoned a few years earlier as Trinity down-sized to a single group home on Hazel Avenue, Ukiah.

KEVIN STARR, the renowned California historian, is the Albertinum's most prominent graduate.

ORPHANAGES seem to have somehow gotten a bad rap, but they were common in America and on the Northcoast through the early 1960s. There are many affectionate memoirs written by men and women whose parents either abandoned them or consigned them to orphanages, which were much more intelligently and humanely run than the unstable, mercenary system that dependent children suffer today.

THE FOLLOWING TESTIMONIALS give us some idea of what the old Ukiah orphanage was like:

“YES, many people didn't want to be in a residential school (including me). But, as such facilities run, the Albertinum was among the top 5% in the way they treated their students. I know, my mother put me in several others over the years (and didn't pay the tuition after a few months). I knew my mother didn't want me around, and she was so irresponsible that she wouldn't even pay for the privilege of getting rid of me. At the Albertinum, I found love, affection and was encouraged for the very first time in my life to use my mind. I was introduced to Choral Music, Gregorian Chant, and I have been musically active ever since. They encouraged me to be creative in many ways, they encouraged reading virtually anything and everything (I devoured their library). They even gave me my first pair of roller skates, and i learned to skate there at the age of 9. I also learned to play chess there, something i have done ever since. Had it not been for my experiences in the 2nd half of the 4th grade, the summer between 4th and 5th grade (when I got to go to Camp St. Albert's, the only summer camp I ever went to), the first half of the 5th grade, and then the entire 6th grade, I doubt if I would have maintained my sanity. Had it not been for those Dominican Nuns, I doubt very much if I would have my Doctorate today..... Had I not learned, at the tender age of 9, that there was something in this world besides cruelty, abuse, lies, punishment, and virtual total rejection, I suspect I would have ended up in prison or in a mental hospital."

"…To give you an idea just how tolerant those nuns were, I climbed up into the trees around the swimming pool, and hid there when the nuns were going to go swimming. They all filed in in full habit, and went into the changing rooms. When they came out, they were in somewhat severe plain black swim piece swim suits. I was caught looking at them, and was held for Mother Superior to deal with me. She asked me why I had done such a thing. I told her that all of the boys said the nuns shaved their heads, and that they had their breasts removed when they became nuns. She laughed, told me that I now obviously knew that this was not true, and sentenced me to sweep the courtyard behind her office. Really mean, wasn't she? (Needless to say, I was the hero of the dorm for a few days though.)"

“I went there before Vatican II, under the rules of the old church. I was not a Catholic, but went to Mass and the first time, I went up to communion with everyone else. I had no idea what was going on, but I just did what everyone else did. If you remember, the nuns always went into the front two rows of pews, right up by the communion rail. I got up front, knelt down when the guy next to me did, and waited. The priest came along, and because I had been watching, I stuck out my tongue. He put something hard and dry on it. I stood up, turned around and took the host out of my mouth and looked at it. In those days, no one but a Priest was allowed to touch the host, and you never, ever chewed it. I was right in front of Mother Superior when I took it out of my mouth. I heard a gasp all over the chapel, and then I put the host back in my mouth and chewed it. Another huge gasp. When I got back to my pew, the boys on either side moved as far away from me as they possibly could. I think they believed a lightning bolt was going to get me. I knew I had done something wrong, but i didn't have a clue what it could possibly be. As we were leaving, one of our prefects pulled me out of line, and said that Mother would want to speak to me. Now I REALLY knew I was in trouble. Mother came over, and asked me if I had made my first communion? I nodded yes, and then she asked me, "How did you do it?" For some reason I blurted out that I had said it twice. She laughed, and gently told me that Communion was reserved for Catholics that had made their first communion. I was more than welcome to attend Mass, but please don't go up to communion again. That was that, and I went to breakfast. The other boys were amazed that I was not expelled, or at least flayed alive or something similar. Now, you tell me, if those nuns were so indifferent, so mean and uncaring, how did a non-catholic kid get away with the kind of stuff I did? I was a good student, but not that good. I went back to visit that school numerous times after I went back home permanently. I was always welcomed by the staff, and by all of the Nuns. (And no, I did NOT come from a rich family, quite the opposite. In fact, my mother did not pay any of the tuition for the last 5 months I was there, and they never cut off my allowance, my store privileges, etc…"

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Gregory Jacobs, in the yellow shirt
Gregory Jacobs, in the yellow shirt

GREGORY JACOBS died this week. You may know him as “Bushman,” the guy who popped out from a jumble of eucalyptus branches to startle passersby at Fisherman's Wharf. The easily amused, me faithfully among them, would drop cash appreciation into Jacobs' tip can. The less amused, and there were many, would keep on walking. Lots of merchants wanted Bushman outtathere but he, and a pal of his he sublet his act to, were always popular enough to beat back the detractors.

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THIS SUNDAY, (February 2nd), Mendocino County Sheriff's employees are holding a spaghetti feed and auction to help Steve Adams, 45, a corrections officer at the County Jail, pay medical-related bills. Adams has lost his left leg above the knee to a cancer called chondrosarcoma. He hopes to return to work after ongoing rehab. Adams' co-workers hope to raise $15,000 to help make up his lost wages and the many ancillary costs he has incurred fighting the sudden affliction. The fundraiser begins at noon Sunday at the Ukiah fairgrounds. Meal tickets are $10 each. Tickets can be purchased by calling (707) 621-1398 or at the door.

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DAMON GARDNER, 39, a former Mendocino County deputy district attorney, has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of informal probation for shooting a man during a midnight fight in downtown Sacramento on October 17th. Gardner was on medical leave from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office at the time of the shooting and has since resigned.

HE HAD BEEN CHARGED with two misdemeanors related to carrying a concealed weapon in public but was not charged with shooting one of two assailants who'd accosted Gardner and his female companion, also now a former Mendocino County prosecutor.

ACCORDING TO PRESS ACCOUNTS at about 12:24am on October 17, Gardner got in an argument with a pedestrian near 15th and L streets. The argument escalated into a physical fight, during which Gardner punched the pedestrian in the face with a closed fist, officials said. The pedestrian and a friend retaliated, forcing Gardner to the ground in a fetal position. A witness reported seeing the pedestrian get on top of Gardner and punch him in the midsection, while his friend repeatedly kicked Gardner’s head like it was a “soccer ball,“ according the news release. Gardner retrieved his .38 caliber handgun from his back pocket while lying on the ground and fired one shot at the pedestrian in self-defense, officials said. The pedestrian suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Gardner suffered a fractured nose, as well as bruises to his eyes, head and ribs. Gardner allegedly had consumed alcoholic beverages at local restaurants and bars beginning at 5:30pm and was under the influence when the fight occurred. Those acts, according to the DA’s office, violated the terms and conditions of Gardner’s permit to carry a concealed weapon, which was issued from Mendocino County in November 2012.

GIVEN THE FACTS as they have been reported, Gardner was entirely justified in shooting the yob. The yobs, plural, started it by verbally accosting Gardner's female companion, who just happened to be a co-worker in the Mendo DA's office, which is not relevant here. Two oafs casually insulting a young woman? Gardner objected, and soon he was on the ground with one of the oafs kicking him in the head. A single well-placed kick could have been fatal. Gardner's probably lucky he had a gun.

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ARMY CORPS LAUNCHES BARGE TO HELP REDWOOD VALLEY. Visitors to Lake Mendocino Wednesday saw a road being cleared so the barge pictured here could be taken into the water. Maintenance Supervisor David Serafini said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was using the barge to install a pump that would help the Redwood Valley County Water District get more water. Serafini said the water district has a pumping station at the lake, but since the lake level is so low, the Corps is helping the district improve its system so “4,000 residents don't lose water.”

LakeMendoBargePhoto Courtesy of Dave Mueller

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CRIME OF THE WEEK: On February 26, 2014 at 8:20am Pablo Reyes-Sanchez, 24, of Willits, arrived at the Mendocino County Superior Courthouse in Ukiah, California. Reyes-Sanchez was told to place the contents of his pockets into a plastic container by courthouse security staff at the security checkpoint prior to being allowed access to the courthouse facilities. Reyes-Sanchez dropped a baggie into the container and it caught the eye of a security staff member who summoned Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies assigned to the Court Security Unit. Deputies arrived and arrested Reyes-Sanchez for possession of a controlled substance (approximately .5 grams of suspected cocaine) and he was also found to have an active felony warrant. Reyes-Sanchez was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the above charges and was to be held in lieu of $70,000 bail. (Sheriff’s Press Release)

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STATEMENT OF THE DAY ONE: I feel free of all cults, isms, movements, countries, latitudes and philosophies. I am alone, a man, an artist by Jesus, and I want nothing to do with these sap-heads. They talk like weather experts who always manage to predict sunshine when it rains. — Henry Miller

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STATEMENT OF THE DAY TWO: It's only when you see a mosquito landing on your testicles that you realize that there is always a way to solve problems without using violence. — Charlie Musselwhite

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HEY! I THINK THE 2500 BLOCK IS RIGHT ABOUT AT THE JAIL. I think I'll walk by the County Jail with a concealed weapon just to see if anybody there remembers me.

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On February 26, 2014 at about 11pm Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office contacted Timothy McCall, 36, of Ukiah walking in the 2500 block of Low Gap Road in Ukiah, California. Deputies recognized McCall from prior contacts and knew him to have a history of carrying weapons on his person. Deputies asked McCall if he had any weapons and he said he had a knife in his pants pocket. Deputies conducted a consent search of McCall and located a fixed blade throwing dirk/dagger weapon in his pants pocket. Deputies subsequently arrested McCall for possession of a concealed dirk/dagger weapon. McCall was transported to the Mendocino County Jail and incarcerated on the listed charge to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail. (Sheriff’s Press Release)

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The Mendocino County Library wants to hear from you, whether you currently use the library or not, your opinion is important to us! There will be three public meetings held in March 2014 which will provide a forum for public comments on the future direction of the library.

“We want to find out what direction the community wants the library to go in, what’s working, what’s not working, and what our community wants that isn’t already offered,” County Librarian Mindy Kittay said. “The meetings, along with an online poll, are part of our efforts to give the residents of Mendocino County a chance to participate in shaping the strategic vision for the libraries.”

Meetings are scheduled as follows:

Ukiah: Alex Rorabaugh Center - Saturday, March 22, 10 am – noon

Willits: Willits Library Meeting Room: Sunday, March 23, 3 pm – 4:30 pm

Fort Bragg: Fort Bragg Library Meeting Room - Monday, March 24, 6 pm – 8 pm

Meetings will primarily be a time for participants to provide brief (two-minute) comments regarding what they would like to see the Library provide. Library staff will remain on site after each session to answer questions about current library services and offerings.

“Mendocino County citizens supported our libraries through Measure A, now we are asking them to become more proactive and involved in the future direction of their library. This is a great opportunity for everyone to come and express their opinions and give us input,” Kittay said.

For more information about the meetings or the library, please contact Mindy at – (707) 463-4492 or your local branch

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Kym Kemp

What will happen to the millions of gallons of Mad River water that used to be purchased daily by Eureka’s two closed pulp mills? Current state law says that water must be assigned to some user. As Kelly Lincoln of KMUD explains in her audio report, “If the [Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District] does not find a user for the water, they will lose the water rights. Then someone else will be able to take the water and will not have to provide the District any compensation for it.”

The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District [HBMWD] and its Community Advisory Committee have decided to first allocate this water to the environment and local industry, as well as any other North Coast communities in need, Lincoln says. However, according to HBMWD’s calculations, “That will leave up to 50 percent of their water right in need of a user,” Lincoln explains. Thus, Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District is looking for ways to export the unused portion of this water out of Humboldt County.

“The next piece of California’s extravagantly engineered water plumbing may be built from the Redwood Coast in the next couple of decades,” Lincoln says in the following radio piece. The plan is just beginning to take shape, but on Tuesday the 25th, Lincoln says, “the Board examined a map developed by their lead engineer showing about seven possible pipeline routes.” The map, she said, was the “most provocative piece.”

In the following story, Lincoln describes several possible routes for the pipeline in general terms and the possible outcomes of the two major route directions. One of the possible directions is south through drought-stricken Southern Humboldt where some Eel River water has been diverted to customers in Sonoma County. The idea might be to exchange some of the Eel’s currently diverted water for some of the Mad River’s water — thus restoring higher flows to the currently low Eel. “But a route south is the longest pipeline to build,” Lincoln says, “meaning it is the most expensive, and with the fewest customers to help pay for it.”

The other alternative is to go east to the Central Valley. This, she says, “would probably be half as long and … [there] are literally millions of people to buy the water.” But, she says, “the board imagines, however, that almost no one in the entire North Coast will like the idea.”

Lincoln explains in the piece below how moving the plan through the environmental and approval processes will take many years and will be difficult to achieve by the deadline before the District loses its current right to a significant portion of the Mad River.

More about the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District’s plans can be found by going to their page here. Input can be made here.

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WE ARE HAVING AN OPEN HOUSE as the first of the Community Supported Agriculture farm tours on Sunday March 2, 2014 between 3 and 5 PM at our farm on Laughlin Peak in Redwood Valley. If you are curious about hugelculture, permaculture, our 50 ingredient salad mix, berms and swales, or biodiversity in farming, then this may be a good opportunity to see these in practice. There may even be a sunny break between the wonderful rains we're getting. This is a potluck and we will also have some food for visitors. Please RSVP so we know how many to expect and we will send directions. You may email or call 707-272-1688. The event is free, but purchasing produce - or even signing up for a CSA share (a weekly bag/box of food) - is always welcome! Just not required. We hope to see you! — Bill Taylor and Jaye Alison Moscariello

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Documents Say Navy Knew

by Harvey Wasserman

A stunning new report indicates the U.S. Navy knew that sailors from the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan took major radiation hits from the Fukushima atomic power plant after its meltdowns and explosions nearly three years ago.

If true, the revelations cast new light on the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the sailors against Tokyo Electric Power. Many of the sailors are already suffering devastating health impacts, but are being stonewalled by Tepco and the Navy.

The Reagan had joined several other U.S. ships in Operation Tomodachi (“Friendship”) to aid victims of the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami. Photographic evidence and first-person testimony confirms that on March 12, 2011 the ship was within two miles of Fukushima Dai’ichi as the reactors there began to melt and explode.

In the midst of a snow storm, deck hands were enveloped in a warm cloud that came with a metallic taste. Sailors testify that the Reagan’s 5,500-member crew was told over the ship’s intercom to avoid drinking or bathing in desalinized water drawn from a radioactive sea. The huge carrier quickly ceased its humanitarian efforts and sailed 100 miles out to sea, where newly published internal Navy communications confirm it was still taking serious doses of radioactive fallout.

Scores of sailors from the Reagan and other ships stationed nearby now report a wide range of ailments reminiscent of those documented downwind from atomic bomb tests in the Pacific and Nevada, and at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. A similar metallic taste was described by pilotswho dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and by central Pennsylvanians downwind of Three Mile Island. Some parts of the atolls downwind from the South Pacific bomb tests remain uninhabitable six decades later.

Among the 81 plaintiffs in the federal class action are a sailor who was pregnant during the mission, and her “Baby A.G.,” born that October with multiple genetic mutations.

Officially, Tepco and the Navy say the dose levels were safe.

But a stunning new report by an American scholar based in Tokyo confirms that Naval officers communicated about what they knew to be the serious irradiation of the Reagan. Written by Kyle Cunningham and published in Japan Focus, “Mobilizing Nuclear Bias” describes the interplay between the U.S. and Japanese governments as Fukushima devolved into disaster.

Cunningham writes that transcribed conversations obtained through the Freedom of Information Act feature naval officials who acknowledge that even while 100 miles away from Fukushima, the Reagan’s readings “compared to just normal background [are] about 30 times what you would detect just on a normal air sample out to sea.”

On the nuclear-powered carrier “all of our continuous monitors alarmed at the same level, at this value. And then we took portable air samples on the flight deck and got the same value,” the transcript says.

Serious fallout was also apparently found on helicopters coming back from relief missions. One unnamed U.S. government expert is quoted in the Japan Focus article as saying:

At 100 meters away it (the helicopter) was reading 4 sieverts per hour. That is an astronomical number and it told me, what that number means to me, a trained person, is there is no water on the reactor cores and they are just melting down, there is nothing containing the release of radioactivity. It is an unmitigated, unshielded number. (Confidential communication, Sept. 17, 2012).

The transcript then contains discussion of health impacts that could come within a matter of “10 hours. It’s a thyroid issue.”

Tepco and the Navy contend the Reagan did not receive a high enough dose to warrant serious concern. But Japan, South Korea and Guam deemed the carrier too radioactive to enter their ports. Stock photographs show sailors working en masse to scrub the ship down.

The $4.3 billion boat is now docked in San Diego. Critics question whether it belongs there at all. Attempts to decontaminate U.S. ships irradiated during the Pacific nuclear bombs tests from 1946-1963 proved fruitless. Hundreds of sailors were exposed to heavy doses of radiation, but some ships had to be sunk anyway.

Leaks at the Fukushima site continue to worsen. Despite its denials, Tepco recently admitted it hadunderestimated certain radiation releases by a factor of 500 percent. A new report indicates that particles of radioactive Cesium 134 from Fukushima have been detected in the ocean off the west coast of North America.

Global concerns continue to rise about Fukushima’s on-going crises with liquid leaks, the troubled removal of radioactive fuel rods, the search for three missing melted cores, organized crime influence at the site and much more. The flow of information has been seriously darkened by the pro-nuclear Abe Administration’s State Secrets Act, which imposes major penalties on those who might report what happens at Fukushima.

But if this new evidence holds true, it means that the Navy knew the Ronald Reagan was being plastered with serious radioactive fallout and it casts the accident in a light even more sinister than previously believed.

The stricken sailors are barred from suing the Navy, and their case against Tepco will depend on a series of complex international challenges.

But one thing is certain: neither they nor the global community have been getting anything near the full truth about Fukushima.

(Harvey Wasserman edits and wrote Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth. With he and others are presenting petitions to the United Nations with more than 150,000 signatures calling for a global takeover of the situation at Fukushima.)


  1. Guy Kibbe February 28, 2014

    They should be after General Electric for a faulty design .

  2. Jim Armstrong February 28, 2014

    It is sometimes a little difficult to answer people who ask “Why the hell are you still reading that piece-of-shit (i.e. this) newspaper?”

    That the official AVA opinion of Buddhist belief is apparently “mystic mumbo-jumbo” does not help.

    • Mike Jamieson February 28, 2014

      But, the official AVA disposition is politico all the way and the fine folks there won’t appreciate awakened non dualistic awareness until they get reminded of that awesome basis for living, which will happen when they see one day that’s its the Buddhists and mad sadhus that first take to the streets, spearheading a revolution. Exactly what just happened in Myanmar, a fascist state that is now shifting into the early phases of “democracy”.

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