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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

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THE COMMUNITY MEETING to discuss the AV Health Center crisis is this Wednesday, October 22, 5:30pm at the Philo Grange (NOT the Apple Hall at the Boonville Fairgrounds). This meeting is open to all community members.  Please spread the word and come yourselves.

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IT'S NOT YET KNOWN if the Health Center's inept board of directors, a living, breathing argument for democratically elected non-profit boards, signed off on Dr. McGhan's dismissal, which was conducted by another new hire, Shannon Spiller, on the job for about two years.

COMMUNITY ANGER over recent developments at the Anderson Valley Health Center has all of Anderson Valley in an uproar.

WE CAN'T HELP but think all of this is related to the recurrent rumors that Diane Agee of Redwood Coast Medical Services based in Gualala really wants to close the Anderson Valley Health Center.

IT'S CLEAR that Shannon Spiller is Agee's surrogate, her Boonville listening post cum hatchet person. We don't ordinarily tend to paranoid thinking, but given the way Agee, Spiller, Gorchoff et al are throwing our Center's money around they are sabotaging the economic viability of the Anderson Valley Health Center. Add the turmoil and community unhappiness, and we have an imperiled institution.

THE HEALTH CENTER often tells us they need money, that they're on fiscal life support. It must be a lot broker now, what with Dr. Gorchoff, the newly installed “Chief Medical Officer” pulling down better than a hundred thou a year for tasks that don't even add up to nebulous. And now the ruling troika has hired Ms. Coursey of Ukiah to do their public relations for them. (I'll be interested to see how Ms. Coursey spins this one.)

THE CENTER is, to say the least, administratively top heavy. There are eight people shuffling paper for the eight “line” staff at the Clinic, or seven if you don’t count Dr. McGhan.

THE SHOWDOWN between McGhan and Spiller occurred when McGhan e-mailed complaints about administration of the Boonville clinic to Dr. David Gorchoff, the $100k-plus consultant formally listed as Chief Medical Officer. (Gorchoff does not see patients. He does whatever he does from far, far away.) Gorchoff e-mailed Spiller to snitch off McGhan, and a couple of days later she fired McGhan who, incidentally, is solidly supported by staff at the Boonville facility. There are indications that a significant segment of that staff may walk out in support of McGhan if he isn't immediately reinstated. And the rest want to walk but they can't afford to.

IT'S CLEAR, and it's been clear for months now, that people distant from Anderson Valley are making decisions, all of them destructive, about the Center. We have three administrators based in Gualala at the Redwood Coast Medical Center, led by Diane Agee, who are clearly hostile to the Boonville clinic — after helping themselves to lush stipends for allegedly straightening things up administratively. Then we have this Gorchoff character pulling down an enormous annual stipend for doing whatever invisible tasks he does from wherever he's based, which is not anywhere near the Anderson Valley or even in Mendocino County.

SPILLER, GORCHOFF, AGEE, & TURNER have to go. They are killing the Anderson Valley Health Center, and one has to wonder what kind of shape the Gualala facility is in with these people in charge of it.

WE CAN'T REMEMBER a time when the Anderson Valley was more united in a single demand arising out of community shock and outrage. Dr. McGhan must be re-hired. And of all the piss poor performances by The Valley's self-selecting boards of directors — drawn from the same small pool of self-important bozos and bozettes, the Health Center Board takes the all-time prize for pure incompetence. And most of them are "friends" of Apfel!

WE AGREE that Dr. Mark Apfel should immediately be re-appointed Center Medical Director, although he has plenty of local critics who would like to see him retire. Backed up by new energy, Apfel should be able to again be our lead medico. And we join the rest of the community's demand that Dr. McGhan be immediately reinstated. The guy's a true breath of fresh air, especially in a community dominated by ..... well, no need to pile on the insults, but the Nice People really ought to take a close look at themselves, preferably in a group setting — Lauren's? — then boot each other in the ass.

McGHAN'S a good one. The pure sadism meted out to him is simply astounding, as was the firing of Kathy Corrall, marched out of the Center like a criminal earlier this year. Dr. McGhan was similarly escorted off the premises. Bring a young family guy to Anderson Valley then proceed to destroy his life? Even by Nice People standards this is all pretty low.

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A READER WRITES: Re: Community Meeting about the Health Center Oct. 22, Wed. 5:30 PM — What we have here is a plethora of meetings, or possible meetings. I don’t have any official information on any, except that Heidi Knott reserved the Fair Apple Hall for an open Community Meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 5:30. I saw today, when at the AVHC, on an unrelated personal medical matter, members of the Board “in the back offices at a Board Meeting.” I was told earlier by someone who had met with Ric Bonner that the Board was having a closed meeting to discuss the personnel issue on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at the Health Center at 5:30. The regular monthly meeting of the Health Center is scheduled for the fourth Monday at 5:30, i.e., October 27th . I do not know if that will be a closed or open meeting or if it will even happen. Bonner is the official word on AVHC meetings, but that does not mean that they do not have emergency, unannounced, or even over-the-phone meetings.

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ANOTHER READER WRITES: Please remember that while the Board may not comment on individual personnel actions, the Board is charged with and fully responsible for the development of personnel policy for the Health Center.  The Board is also responsible for the hiring and firing and evaluation and direction of the Executive Officer.  Think of the personnel policies that allow the brutal and dishonest firing of Kathy Corral; the failure to recruit medical personnel in a timely fashion to provide support for Mark, Cindy and Phan, the disrespect and mishandling of Mark’s employment status, the failure to systematically recruit for a Chief Medical Officer with the opportunity for Mark to be informed and to compete, or discuss his role;  the hiring of Shannon Spiller as Chief Executive Officer without any similar professional recruiting (and perhaps without required approval from the HRSA project officer?), and  the failure to recruit for medical personnel in general -- see the web site for an example of what passes for recruiting at AVHC. Think how long it was before a new doctor was found to replace Jack Powers, or how long it was before an RN was found to replace Judy and Anys; think of the debacle of the hiring and then reneging on terms of employment of Stephanie Long, the incredible stupidity of the treatment of Logan for which Shannon is not being called to task.   There is no board human relations committee or personnel committee.  There is no policy for employee grievances, nor for whistle blowers.  Our medical personnel are the reason the center works; they should be highly valued and their career development should be a matter of grave concern for the Board.  The Board has no statement of required staffing numbers or staffing pattern for the center  programs.  There is no evaluation of the relationship of personnel requirements for grants.   There is no clear statement or understanding of how the responsibilities of the Medical Officer and the Executive Officer interact, or what “supervision” of medical personnel means or who does it.  Would you like to risk your professional standing and career and the possibility of doing meaningful work in your chosen field in an outfit like that.  It’s not OK to blame this on Diane or on Shannon.  The Board develops the policy for the personnel to execute the programs of the clinic.  They should be held responsible for this failure of duty.

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On Friday, October 17, 2014 at approximately 6pm, officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department were dispatched to the area of the Beachcomber Motel for the report of a hit and run collision involving a vehicle versus pedestrian. The initial report was that the pedestrian was injured, and the suspect vehicle had fled the scene. Witnesses described the suspect vehicle as a white pick-up truck with a utility bed or tool boxes on the back. The vehicle was reported as fleeing northbound on SR-1 being driven by a white male adult. An Oregon license plate with the number 601GQR was provided. A Be On the Look Out was broadcasted to surrounding law enforcement agencies, and the vehicle was stopped by a California State Parks ranger at approximately mile marker 68.50 on N. Highway 1.

Michael Bitney
Michael Bitney

Upon arrival at scene, Fort Bragg Police Department officers located an unconscious adult female lying on the ground, while witnesses and responding firefighters were performing CPR on the female. A second victim located was a seven month old male infant. The adult female victim was declared deceased by responding medics, and the infant child was air-lifted to Oakland Children’s Hospital for treatment. The driver of the suspect vehicle was identified by one of the witnesses on scene, and Michael Bitney was subsequently arrested for vehicular manslaughter.

Releasing Officer: Sergeant Brandon A. Lee

Report Number: FA1401384 / FG1401384

Date/Time Incident: October 17, 2014 / 6:00pm.

Location of Incident: 1111 N. Main Street (Beachcomber Motel), Fort Bragg

Crime or Incident: 192(c)(1) PC – Vehicular Manslaughter, 20001(b)(2) CVC – Hit and Run Collision Causing Death

Victim: Karen Zuehlsdorf, 45 years old, Oakland, CA

Suspect: Michael Bitney, 56 years old, Fort Mohave, AZ

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When Firefighters Encounter Marijuana Growers

By Kym Kemp

“Thank you, firefighters,” proclaimed signs that sprouted up in northern Mendocino County near the Lodge Lightning Complex soon after several blazes started in late July. Residents near wildland burns are often extremely grateful for lives and homes being saved, often at great risk by fire crews.

However, there are some individuals who perceive firefighters as a possible threat. Marijuana growers fear they’ll lose their crop or even be jailed when fire personnel encounter their rural gardens.

And, at the same time, firefighters fear that growers will get violent or that possibly booby traps set (very rarely) to protect a grow might injure crewmembers who encounter them. Out-of-the-area personnel on a blaze off of Hwy 36 on August 1st briefly panicked when they encountered wires at a marijuana grow near the incident. The firefighters feared that these were traps set by growers to injure people who might try to access the garden. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Marijuana Eradication Team was called. It turned out that the wires were there for benign purposes but the incident serves to illustrate both the firefighters’ concerns and the reasons that some growers don’t want firefighters near their gardens

At the Lodge Lightning Complex, some growers, presumably fearful of being turned in to law enforcement, refused Cal Fire crews access to their properties.

Matthew Henderson, son of a firefighter and a popular wildfire photographer (see his work here) related one incident he experienced at the Lodge Lightning Complex. He described an encounter with a man that he believes must have been a grower.

Henderson said that he and a CalFire crew were headed in a marked CalFire vehicle out a dirt road made by bulldozers near the front lines of the raging wildfire. Henderson describes being warned by CalFire personnel about marijuana growers. He said personnel told him that there were a number of pot farms near the perimeter of the fire where they were headed. He said he was told that “the pot farmers aren’t wanting to evacuate.”

Henderson and the crew did see a lot of marijuana grows. Henderson said, “It seemed like every house that we passed had at least a greenhouse. For the most part [the plants] were right out in the open.” He described seeing several homes with 20 to 30 foot greenhouses.

Henderson, like many of the CalFire crews, comes from an area outside the Emerald Triangle and was astounded by what he saw. “You could look right into the greenhouse and see the plants,” Henderson explained. “I didn’t even know [marijuana plants] got that big. I had thought they were the size of ferns.”

He added, “I kinda thought [marijuana] was more hidden than that. Some of the operations were pretty large. Like half of a football field. It seemed like an awful lot to be growing right out there.”

Henderson described the situation as a little unsettling for someone not used to the culture. He described seeing the grows as “interesting and a little scary at times.”

On the day of his excursion into the backcountry, after traveling awhile, he believes the CalFire driver must have made a wrong turn. A large pickup pulled abruptly across the road in front of them. Henderson said, “[The driver] was stopping us. He was parked in the middle of the road. He wasn’t going to let us past.”

The driver looked at them very intently and said, according to Henderson, “You must be lost. The road is in the other direction.”

This, Henderson said, was “a little odd.” The driver, he said, “was very serious. He wasn’t playing around…he wasn’t going to let us past.”

Eventually, he and the Cal Fire crew turned around and left after deciding that they weren’t in the right area. None of the marijuana grows or growers observed during the drive were disturbed or even reported by Cal Fire as far as Henderson knew.

However, marijuana growers do have a basis for their concerns. Firefighters at the Lodge Lightning Complex in northern Mendocino, were given special instructions on how to spot a “Cultivation Threat” and what to do if they spotted it. Under a section entitled “If You Encounter a Grow Site,” fire personnel are told to “report your find to your supervisor and law enforcement.” But, in practice, most firefighters locally are more concerned with building trust with the communities they serve, explained Diana Totten, a reserve captain for Briceland Fire Department who worked fighting fires for over 20 years all over the state. Firefighters, She said, try to reassure growers that “we’re here to fight the fire, not get your pot.”

“We were on a fire up in Orleans 8-10 years ago,” Totten said. The wildfire headed into an area thick with marijuana grows as well homes, she said. The fire was moving in towards a residential area. There were orchards, vegetable and marijuana gardens. “We did everything we could to protect those gardens. We saved almost all of them.” This strategy came from the supervisors on the fire. Cal Fire and US Forest Service from other areas, she explained, were surprised. In fact, she said, “A lot of the homeowners were also surprised… For the next few days as we mopped up…, there was a little less tension as the residents realized that our job was to work on the fire not to be law enforcement.”

However, a commenter on a recent article in the Outpost succinctly explained the reasoning behind such a policy. The commenter said, “The last thing we want is for people hesitating to call the Fire Dept because they’re worried about getting busted.”

Totten agreed, “It is a known fact that people have been severely injured and hesitated to call 911 because they were in the proximity of a marijuana garden. On behalf of firefighters, we want people to know their lives are our first priorities…Don’t hesitate to call… First, we protect [people’s] lives and, then, we protect their property — whether it is an orchard, a vineyard or a pot garden — we protect them. That’s what firefighters do.”

A landowner near the front lines of the Lodge Lightning Complex fire who wishes to remain anonymous explained that, in her experience, the firefighters were courteous and a bit curious. “Our ranch had mandatory evacuations,” she said. As the source of contact for the neighborhood, Cal Fire came up to her house multiple times. “They parked in front of my garden,” she explained. It had about 25 marijuana plants growing in it.

At one point, she said, there was a group of probably 20 guys standing above her garden. “One of them said do you sell this?” she noted. The landowner explained to the firefighters that she only grew plants high in CBD, a compound that reputedly has high medicinal value but does not produce the same “stoned” effect as plants high in THC. Her cannabis is used for its medicinal value, she said.

According to the landowner, “They responded very well to this.”

And, according to her, other bigger and more likely to be illicit grows were not just left alone but actively protected from the coming fire. For instance, she said, another neighbor much closer to the Lodge Lightning Complex front lines had a “large grow operation.” When bulldozing in the firebreaks, she said, the CalFire “tried to save what [gardens] they could save. Because of the terrain and the contours of the terrain, there was one that had to be excluded [outside of the fire lines.]” But mostly, the fire breaks were cut in by the dozers in such a way as to provide protection for the gardens, she said.

The landowner said that CalFire personnel made it clear to her that their “number one priority was to protect human life, protect the homes and protect the pets, then to protect valuables.” In retrospect, she said, “they realized that what was valuable to us was our work. They saw that it was our livelihood.”

Totten, the reserve captain with Briceland Fire, agreed. She pointed out that firefighters aren’t the only non-growers encountering cannabis as they do their jobs. “The UPS driver, the propane delivery guy, the phone company, direct tv — they go to houses with marijuana in the area. They do their job without having any issues. Firefighters and emergency service people do the same thing. We deal with the emergency and marijuana isn’t the emergency.”

There’s a practical reason for this, she explained. “Almost every fire we go to in Southern Humboldt, there is a marijuana grow nearby.” If firefighters were to bring in law enforcement to deal with the situation, they would lose the trust of their communities and overwhelm law enforcement. “Its our job to just deal with the fire and move on,” she said.

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I just found a notice from the California Department of Justice about the Mendocino Art Center. It’s dated October 16, 2014. It looks like the Art Center hasn’t filed any tax returns with the State for two years running. If it doesn’t file the missing tax returns in thirty days, MAC can lose everything. It’s certainly possible. In 2011, the IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of a quarter-million nonprofits. Religious charities are at the bottom of Uncle Sam’s hit list. Arts organizations are at the top.

One of the missing tax returns is for 2012. Five months ago, MAC’s accountant assured me that it’d been already been filed. That’s CPA Mark Adler. He referred me to GuideStar — an online resource for nonprofit filings. It was there. But something was missing: a stamp showing that it’d been received by the State. Nonetheless, I took Mr. Adler’s word and put it in my tickler file for October 17. That’s when I found the State DOJ notice.

MAC means a lot to me. I took my first art class there at age ten. That was in 1963. Founder Bill Zacha was a friend of mine. I was one of his pallbearers. Hell, I don’t want the place to go under. Everything seemed fine until 2010 until the alarm sounded. The Art Center’s board wanted money. But no questions. Like why. They obviously didn’t want anyone snooping through their records. An office fire had destroyed them all. Or so everyone around here was told. But a little Internet research turned up copies of the important stuff at the DOJ’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. Including MAC’s State approved articles of incorporation and bylaws. Along with ten years of tax returns. Looking through it, the problem was obvious.

Instead of being governed by dues-paying members per the State-approved bylaws, MAC is being operated by a self-appointed board that collects dues without any say from the general membership. As a public charity, MAC is required by law to produce bylaw amendments on request. So I asked for copies of any records showing that the Art Center’s general membership had approved any such change. That’s when I got a phone call from one MAC board member telling me to butt out. And not to show up on Art Center property again or I might be injured. So I left the questions to Google.

One search turned up a set of meeting minutes from 2010 where MAC’s board got a warning from attorney David Alden. According to Alden, Art Center assets had been distributed without the consent of its members. And if it were ever challenged, there’d be trouble. Another search revealed a set of new bylaws allowing self-dealing by MAC board members. That’s taboo for any organization under Federal law. Doubly so for nonprofits like MAC. Which is why I kept digging.

My first art teacher was Charles Stevenson. A kind and talented man. Stevenson left a handsome piece of Mendocino real estate to the Art Center. Then in 2009, somebody sold it for $1.2 million. But the Art Center’s tax return for that year showed it receiving only half that amount. Afterwards, the self-appointed board started making particularly bad hiring decisions. Starting with MAC’s new executive director, Karen Ely. Ms. Ely claimed thirty years of experience leading nonprofits. That she’d left her position as executive director at the Sedona Arts Center in 2009 to hook up with MAC. SAC’s tax return for that year says she wasn’t there. According to Ely’s online resume, her sole qualifications are self-publishing a book about the demise of her 32-year marriage and holding women’s retreats. Prior to her brief stint at MAC, Ely’s resume shows no experience whatsoever in running a nonprofit. Her inevitable failure drew the community’s ire, so MAC’s self-appointed board put Tom Becker on the job. Becker didn’t last long as executive director at MAC either. So the board replaced him with Liliana Cunha. Another flop. Then in 2012, the board replaced her with its current executive director, Lindsay Shields.

Ms. Shields’ work history includes a fifteen-year term as treasurer of a nonprofit called The Jagriti Foundation. Jagriti was chartered in 2000 with a mission to support international women’s groups, but not for long. According to the State DOJ, Jagriti’s nonprofit charter was revoked in 2004 for filing only one tax return. The Feds revoked it ten years later for the same reason. Yet there are three tax returns at GuideStar. Shields’ signature is on two of them. Under Shields’ watchful eye, nearly two hundred grand in gifts, grants and contributions passed through Jagriti’s coffers. Another of Ms. Shields’ gigs was a one-year term as board member with the Long Beach Police Foundation in 2009. Neither position appears on her online resume.

The only MAC record on file at the State DOJ from Shields is a registration renewal for 2012. On that form Shields swore — under penalty of perjury — that MAC’s gross annual revenue for that year was $759,116, and that MAC had audited financial statements to prove it. But according to the tax return on GuideStar, that amount was six figures less. The same tax return reported only $7,500 in accounting fees for that year — hardly enough for audited financial statements. And the signature page is blank. The most interesting part appears at the very end. That prior to filing, the tax return was ‘reviewed and approved by all MAC board members’.

In MAC’s meeting minutes for the last few years, there should be a record of that approval. But no minutes are available to the public anymore. So what about the tax return for 2009 when the Stevenson property was sold? Some board members never saw it. According to the minutes, it was filed on August 10, 2010. Who approved it? The same guy who signed it — Tom Becker. But not until 2011, when he was no longer on the board. And the tax return for 2010? It was never signed by anyone. Just like the ones for 2012 and 2013. The same tax returns the State DOJ is looking for.

One provision in MAC’s new bylaws allowed ‘Other Committees’ to be made up of non-board members. Like Mr. Becker. This included an ‘Investment Committee’ that can make financial decisions without board approval. These bylaws are dated July 24, 2003 and they’re unsigned. There’s no evidence that any MAC board member ever adopted them. With the exception of Mr. Becker, that is. Those bylaws appeared very briefly on MAC’s website. Along with several sets of board meeting minutes. Before they were taken down, I copied everything. In reviewing them, I recognized the names of two other individuals appointed to Mr. Becker’s ‘Other Committees’. The general membership was never told about either of them.

Finally I checked out MAC’s latest pick. CPA Mark Adler. How bad could it be with a Certified Public Accountant on board? The last set of minutes I could find reported that Mr. Adler was a current board member at San Diego’s Firehouse Museum. That was in March of 2013. The Firehouse Museum has a website. Check. Promoting itself as a tax deductable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Check. Doing business as the Firehouse Foundation, Inc. Check. It’s on GuideStar too. Revoked for not filing tax returns three years running. Three years ago. Caught in the IRS dragnet of 2011. Oops!

In case any current board members think that not filing MAC’s tax returns won’t affect them, they’d better think again. If MAC’s nonprofit status is revoked, penalties won’t be levied against the Art Center. They’ll be charged to individual board members. That includes members of ‘Other Committees.’ Like Mr. Becker and his invisible friends. And the same folks responsible for reviewing and approving the tax returns that never got filed. Including Mr. Adler. It won’t cost the Art Center a penny. As soon as I got that notice, I emailed it to all the MAC board members. In the event Ms. Shields forgot to tell them about it. And to make sure it didn’t get lost in the mail, I emailed her a copy too. Mr. Adler got one as well.

If MAC’s missing tax returns ever turn up, it’ll be nice to know what all these folks have been hiding. Otherwise, we’ll see what the authorities do about it. Either way, this is bound to get interesting.

Should you have any information to help the Art Center preserve its nonprofit status, you can contact the DOJ at the email address provided on the notice: Be sure to put CT File Number 042398 in the subject line. You can also reach MAC’s board of directors at

Scott M. Peterson, Mendocino

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CANDY ASS CAPITAL OF AMERICA? Yes, if the reference is to San Francisco. Cases in point. The constant cutesy stuff that goes on these days, like these flash mobs that show up on the Embarcadero for a pillow fight where less than a hundred years ago men died trying to get an honest day's work for enough money to live on. As it happened, just this morning (Monday) the Chron asked in a big hed, “Do grown-ups actually live in San Francisco?” I thought I saw one a couple of weeks ago, but that was a weekday when lots of people are dressed in a way that at least enhances nostalgic notions of dignified public comportment and brief thoughts of visual respect. Weekends, however, the city is teeming with people dressed age-inappropriately — old ladies togged out like teenagers, teenagers as tattooed as Dyaks, grown men dressed like small boys, women in tutus, and so on.

OFFICIAL SF functions as a kind of civic enabler of Mass Silly, with a lot of rah-rah bullshit about “San Francisco values,” whatever those are, but apparently meaning tolerance of even the most aberrant public behavior.

ANOTHER CASE in point of the general dumbing down, characteristic of public life in what is laughably (but earnestly) advertised as “America's most European city,” is a series of Muni ads heavy on purported uplift. Maybe a few illiterates are inspired by Maya Angelou's vapors: “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” But probably not an erection after all that effort. The author seems to be referring more to blind lust than mere affection, and anyone inspired by the gooey sentiment expressed there is more likely to find himself down at the clinic getting tested for the clap than he is holding hands with his betrothed at a church picnic.

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WILDLIFE UPDATE. Dave Severn writes: “About a week ago I stumbled across a dead deer down along the river by Shenoa. It was lying on the dry gravel riverbed with its rear end toward a deer trail coming down the bank just a few feet away. A close examination showed a beautiful, healthy smallish doe without a disturbed hair on its body save a gaping hole in its left-side ribcage and all its vital organs missing. It was fresh without stink but stiff and cold. A google search made me guess a mountain lion had got it. Sam Prather guessed a dog. Both Eileen and Marylin Pronsolino separately thought a coyote. Two days later the buzzards had drug it 25 feet toward the river and pretty much picked it over. And boy did it stink. Just this morning I found another dead deer maybe 300 yards upstream below Van Zandt's Resort. This one was a bit smaller yet and in about the same stinking shape as the first, though with some meat still attached to the hindquarters, it might be a couple days fresher (?). There was no way of telling what the injuries were with this one. These two are curious enough but added to the deer two/three weeks ago on Rays Road by Van Zandt found being feasted on by a bobcat makes one wonder. A couple of people have surmised that the drought might be bringing both prey and predator down to the dwindling river water source. The river itself maxed out at about 0.7 cubic feet per second following the little rain we had and has now dropped back to about 0.45 cubic feet per second — but it's still there.”

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NEWARK COMPARES TO STOCKHOLM as an Ebola victim in the gutter compares to a supermodel at poolside. The scene in the Newark train station was like the barroom from Star Wars, a creature-feature extravaganza, intergalactic Mutt Central, wookies in hoodies with burning coals for eyes, ladies with pierced cheeks, crack-heads, winos, missing body part people, lopsided head people, and the scrofulous physical condition of the station is proof positive that Chris Christie is unqualified to be president. This is a gateway to New York, America’s greatest city, you understand, and it looks like the veritable checkpoint to the rectum of the universe. You know what occurred to me? Maybe it is.

James Kunstler

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Susan Mason
Susan Mason

ON FRIDAY, October 17, 2014 at 8:41 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office responded to a residence in the 2800 block of South State Street in Ukiah, California for a welfare check. Upon arrival, Deputies contacted an adult male who stated he was involved in a physical fight during an argument with his girlfriend, Susan Mason, prior to the Deputies arrival. During the fight the adult male was struck in the ear by a plate that was thrown by Mason, which appeared to have caused a minor injury. The adult male refused medical attention for his injury. Mason was arrested for domestic violence battery and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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Freddie Drummond
Freddie Drummond

ON SATURDAY, October 18, 2014 at 6:30 AM, a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a silver Mercedes Benz for speeding on Highway 101 near the intersection of Reeves Canyon Road in Redwood Valley, California. Upon contacting the driver, Freddie Drummond, 58, of Willits, the Deputy could immediately smell the odor of burnt marijuana emitting from inside the vehicle. A subsequent search of the vehicle was conducted and several packages of suspected cocaine (approximately 1.9 grams total) and marijuana (approximately 6.7 grams) were located inside the vehicle. Drummond was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of Sale/Transport/Furnish Organic Drug and was to be held in lieu of $35,000 bail.

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Baraquel Ruiz
Baraquel Ruiz

ON FRIDAY, October 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM, a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy was on uniformed patrol in the 2100 block of South State Street in Ukiah, California when the Deputy observed a male subject, Baraquel Ruiz, 28, of Ukiah, walking along the roadway. The Deputy observed a hatchet partially exposed from Ruiz's clothing so the Deputy made contact with Ruiz. Upon contact Ruiz displayed signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Ruiz provided a name which was later determined by the Deputy to be a false name. The Deputy completed a records check on Ruiz's real name and was able to determine Ruiz had two Felony warrants for his arrest (Probation Violation) and that he was also on felony probation. Ruiz was arrested for Dirk or Dagger, Probation Revocation, False ID to Police Officer, Under the Influence of Controlled Substance, and Felony Warrants and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to held on a NO BAIL status.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 20, 2014

Allen, Castillo, Gibson, Grippi
Allen, Castillo, Gibson, Grippi

JOSEPH ALLEN, Ukiah. Possession of meth, under the influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

ANGELA CASTILLO, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

LEON GIBSON, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)

ANTONI GRIPPI, Redwood Valley. DUI.

Kidd, Maher, Manuel, Mendez
Kidd, Maher, Manuel, Mendez

JARED KIDD, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

JACOB MAHER, Ukiah. Domestic assault, robbery.

LAMAR MANUEL, Ukiah. Possession of tear gas, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

CHRISTIAN MENDEZ, Ukiah. Drunk in public. Parole violation.

Pearson, Rozek, Sanchez, Tutor
Pearson, Rozek, Sanchez, Tutor

ADAM PEARSON, Ukiah. Battery with serious injury.

ZACHARIA ROZEK, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public.

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Assault, drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

JOSEPH TUTOR, Fort Bragg. Under influence of controlled substance.

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Just two short days after Occupy Mendocino & friends celebrated its third year of community activism on the Mendocino coast, we were saddened to learn that our constant source of inspiration, steadfast sponsor and dear friend, Howard Ennes, age 97, of Fort Bragg peacefully passed on with his beloved family by his side.

Howard regretted having to miss the festivities but his presence was felt through the message he sent with his friend, caretaker and OM member, Irene. With his ever facile mind, Howard expressed his satisfaction with the many accomplishments of Occupy Mendocino since its inception in which he was an integral part. Among the achievements he enumerated was OM's successful Street Fair in which OM encouraged the public to support local banks and credit unions and educated people about the injustice of local fraudulent foreclosure practices of national banks. He mentioned OM's support of the local college, its work in getting a community rights ordinance on the November ballot and the importance of the Friday afternoon protests in front of the offending banks of BofA, Chase and Wells Fargo which have been assessed large fines in numerous court cases since 2012.

Howard rode along with OM as they marched in last year's 4th of July Mendocino parade and sang an original Occupy song to the crowd. Two weeks ago, smiling and chipper, he sang along with the Occupy Songsters at his bedside to Woody Guthrie's classic, This Land Is Your Land.

He worked in the Roosevelt administration as part of the New Deal's focus on improving public health and relished the retelling of that historic time in the recent PBS documentary of the Roosevelt family by Ken Burns.

He will be long remembered and loved for his tireless work and compassion for the poor, the homeless and the vulnerable — the 99%.

— Sheila Dawn Tracy, for Occupy Mendocino



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