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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Jan 18, 2015

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TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: America's lead audio nuzzlebum, Scott Simon of NPR, smarmed his way through a segment on Boontling this morning, describing Anderson Valley as a kind of wine paradise.

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MIKE KALANTARIAN sends along this ominous photo of the Navarro, already closed at the mouth. Last year, it rained hard in December and was mostly dry the rest of the year. We may be getting a repeat.


“Drove past yesterday (Jan 16) afternoon near low tide. The sand now keeps the river from the sea, a little more than six weeks after it finally broke through (Nov 29).”

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DA Hopes For ‘Third Time Is A Charm’ Conviction

The following was posted by the Mendocino County District Attorney's office:


“UKIAH, Jan. 16. — Jury Trial Result: A mistrial was declared by Judge Richard Henderson yesterday in the criminal prosecution of Billy Ray Doak, Jr., 42, of Fort Bragg. 
Doak is charged with committing mayhem by use of a firearm on a domestic partner.
 Upon returning from deliberations, the jury reported to the court that they were hopelessly deadlocked. Once a mistrial was declared, the foreperson advised the court that the split was 9 jurors in favor of guilt to 3 for acquittal.
 After an afternoon case review by the Asst. DA, it was decided that the case should be reset for a third trial before a new jury. The new trial date was set this morning for late February in Fort Bragg.
 The prosecutor who presented the People's trial evidence was Deputy District Attorney Kevin Davenport. The investigating law enforcement agency was the Fort Bragg Police Department. The three-day trial was held in Dept. E.”

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KENDALL-JACKSON carries forward The Big Wind's litigious tradition. Jess Jackson sued Gallo because he claimed their label was similar to one on his wine. He sued Edmeades winemaker Jed Steele to prevent Steele from using the Steele-developed "recipe" for chardonnay. Just before he died, he tried to get Sonoma County to change the name of a mountain to, what, Mount Bluster? Now here's the K-J gang suing a tiny beer business on the basis of nothing at all. Jackson was, and is, a good example of how the rich get what they want via the courts. They can afford to litigate their opponents into bankruptcy by keeping them endlessly in court. Dominic Affinito did it to Fort Bragg when he illegally added an extra floor to his then new motel, the garish view-blocking tourist dump called the North Cliff Motel.

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A Ukiah couple exemplifies the thorny issue of persistent homelessness

by Justine Frederiksen

It’s no secret that Ukiah is having problems with homeless people. But what is somewhat secret, at least to those who don’t work for law enforcement, the hospital or social services, is that many of the problems are caused by just two people: a man named Scotty L. Willis and a woman named Kelisha S. Alvarez.

Alvarez, Willis
Alvarez, Willis

For years, Willis, 31, and Alvarez, 26, have generated a repetitive chain of calls to the Ukiah Police Department for camping, panhandling, loitering, domestic violence, assault and violating their various restraining orders and probations.

In the summer when there’s no water running in Gibson Creek, the pair lives in the spacious culvert below South Orchard Avenue, creating piles of human waste and litter volunteers clean up every year.

“The same two people have been there for the past two years, accosting people on their way to their cars at night in the shopping center, assaulting people at the ATM and stealing out of cars,” a Ukiah resident who regularly cleans up the creek told the Ukiah City Council when it was considering strengthening its camping ordinance last fall.

“Yes, they are human beings, but there comes a point where the general public becomes the victim when people leave behind trash and use the river and the culvert for bathrooms. It is horrible, nasty stuff, and what about the rest of us? We have to clean it up.”

When the heavy rains came last month and the creek filled with water, Willis and Alvarez moved above ground, pushing their overflowing shopping cart to nearby parking lots, prompting calls wherever they went.

If the businesses they sit in front of do not have restraining orders against the couple, they prompt calls because of alleged panhandling, harassing customers or just setting up camp.

On days when someone else isn’t calling about them, they call the police on each other, sometimes for minor squabbles, sometimes for domestic violence. Both have been arrested several times on suspicion of assaulting each other, sometimes on the same day.

Both have been arrested on suspicion of serious assaults on other people, as well: Willis most recently for allegedly stabbing someone last summer, Alvarez for reportedly hitting someone over the head with a 40-ounce beer bottle.

If they aren’t calling the UPD because of a fight, they call for medical aid for difficulty breathing or seizures, necessitating a response from an ambulance. When medical staff arrives, either Willis or Alvarez will often assault them, and they have attacked staff at the Ukiah Valley Medical Center so frequently the hospital has restraining orders barring both of them from entering.

Drain On Resources

It’s rare that a day goes by without any call for services involving the couple. Unheard of that a week goes by.

“They’re definitely a drain on our resources,” said UPD Capt. Justin Wyatt, describing them as both “poster children” for the city’s difficulties with transients and the homeless, and a frustrating exception to the norm.

While most transients are nomadic and move on after a few weeks, Willis and Alvarez remain, taxing the community’s resources by tying up police officers and firefighters, ambulance and hospital workers, city and county maintenance workers and scaring off customers from local businesses.

And while most transients determined to live on the street make an attempt to hide, Wyatt said Willis and Alvarez almost taunt officers.

“They say, ‘I’m going to be here and I don’t care what you do, until you make me move’,” Wyatt said of the couple, who seem to know exactly what they can get away with without being arrested.

The issue came to a head last month when at least once a day between Dec. 17 and Dec. 27, someone called the UPD to report that the pair was camping near the vacant former Sears location at 125 S. Orchard Ave.

Officers responded at least once a day to tell the couple to move along – “We had 16 contacts in 10 days,” Wyatt said – and most times could not find evidence of a citable or arrestable offense.

“They’ll be sitting in a pile of garbage, which we know is theirs, but we have to see them litter,” he said.

After a few of the calls, an officer did cite them on Dec. 18 for violating the city’s camping ordinance, which was recently changed to a misdemeanor on the first offense.

When the officer told them the Buddy Eller Center had reopened as an emergency shelter and the pair could stay there instead, Willis said they didn’t want to because they “didn’t like black people,” which the shelter employs.

Alvarez also told the officer that they preferred to stay where they were because there were electrical outlets they could use to charge their electronics.

The next day, the calls continued, sometimes twice a day, until the morning of Dec. 27, when they were arrested for violating the camping ordinance after being asked to leave just before midnight the day before.

“We did arrest them, and that was a huge undertaking,” Wyatt said, explaining that because they are required to by law, officers collected and inventoried about seven garbage bags of their stuff, which he said was infested with mites. “And they were out of jail before we had their stuff in our lockers.”

‘Tip of the iceberg?’

“I don’t know if they’re the tip of the iceberg, or the iceberg,” said 2nd District Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen, who is very familiar with the couple and seems to be on a one-man mission to roust them, often scouring the creek for them at night.

“Scotty and Kelisha are the opposite of zero-waste campers,” McCowen said. “No one should be allowed to use our local creeks as a waste dump and open sewer, or set up permanent homeless camps on private property.”

To Wyatt, the pair is definitely the iceberg, since communities across the country are dealing with similar issues, and each city likely has its own version of Willis and Alvarez.

While he has only been aware of Alvarez for a few years and is not sure where she came from, Wyatt said he has known Willis since he was a kid, and knows he has serious medical issues. He said both of them have used drugs and been arrested for such in the past.

While it is unclear exactly what keeps the pair on the streets, staff at the Buddy Eller Center said some of the most persistent cases of homelessness they see are people who are struggling with both drug use and mental illness.

Regardless of why Willis and Alvarez stay here, Wyatt said they and others like them are a “national, multi-faceted, societal issue. This is the most challenging problem we’ve ever dealt with, and if you told me 10 years ago that this is what I would be doing, rather than dealing with real crime, I would have thought you were crazy.

“I don’t know how to solve this, but policing is not the answer, though what they do is certainly not acceptable to the majority of society,” he continued, adding that by continually arresting people like Willis and Alvarez for most of the things people want them to be arrested for, “at a certain point you start violating people’s constitutional rights. It’s not a crime to be outside and be dirty.

“People don’t want them here because they think they’re disgusting, and they want us to be a--holes to them so they’ll want to leave,” he said.

“But we’re not going to do that. We’re going to treat everyone we contact with respect. So we’ll continue to respond and continue to arrest them when we can, but this issue is not going to be solved by law enforcement. We can’t control people’s behavior; we can’t just make them leave.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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ATTABOY, LEE. Lee Howard, the crusty senior citizen and long-time member of the Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District (and many other inland boards previously), has been censured by his colleagues. According to fellow trustee, Richard Shoemaker, one of Ukiah's lead passive-aggressives, as quoted in the Ukiah Daily Journal, “If you pound the table and wag your finger and raise your voice at other people, they tend to have a negative reaction.”

SO THE WIMP-TWITS “threatened by Howard,” went out and spent district money on “the firm Herum, Crabtree and Suntag” who found:

  • Howard raised his voice and made comments to [District General Manager Sean] White during board meetings in a manner that was reasonably perceived to be unprofessional and inappropriate;
  • Howard engaged in physical behaviors directed at White during board meetings in a manner that was reasonably perceived as intimidating, including pointing his finger and rising out of his chair and/or leaning into the table while forcefully addressing White;
  • Howard also sent e-mails to White that were found to be inappropriate and were reasonably perceived by White as intimidating and aggressive.

HOWARD rightly told the Journal that he regarded the censure as a “badge of honor.”

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A READER COMMENTS: “Raising his voice, wagging his finger, and leaning into the table? I am surprised the PC police did not refer him to Eric Holder on domestic terrorism charges. And how much did the outside legal firm charge for their ‘investigation’ — that is what I want to know. Remember when Wysocky yelled at the City Attorney and the SR mayor ordered up an investigation? It took $42,000 of taxpayer money to establish that Wysocky and the City Attorney did not get along with each other? Jeesh!”

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Something inside me

I know is dying for you

The sleet and the snow

Does this mean I know the way?


After the rains have gone

Something inside me cries

What's behind that door?

This girl just can't take it anymore

This girl just can't take it anymore


After the pain has gone

I finally open my eyes

Not crying anymore

We drifted apart

It's broken our hearts surviving


After the rains have gone

Something inside me cries

What's behind that door?

This girl just can't take it anymore

This girl just can't take it anymore


After the rains have gone

Something inside me cries

What's behind that door?

This girl just can't take it anymore

This girl just can't take it anymore


Oh, I just can't take it

Got my love, don't want to fake it

This girl just can't take it anymore

This girl just can't take it anymore

This girl just can't take it anymore

— Richard Willis (performed by Shirley Bassey)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Jan 17, 2015

Barriga-Barrera, Cady, Cunningham, Flores
Barriga-Barrera, Cady, Cunningham, Flores

JOSE BARRIGA-BARRERA, Ukiah. Domest assault, probation revocation.

WILLIAM CADY, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

NICOLE CUNNINGHAM, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

ALEX FLORES, Nice/Ukiah. DUI, driving on suspended license, probation revocation.

Galindo, Gonzalez, Hesherton, Knight
Galindo, Gonzalez, Hesherton, Knight

THOMAS GALINDO, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

MANUEL GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on suspended license, false ID, resisting arrest, probation revocation.

HEART HESHERTON, Ukiah. Pot: possession for sale, sale, furnish, transport, possession of hash, possession of controlled substance.

Lopes, Martinez-Rosales, Matson, Pinola, Sanders
Lopes, Martinez-Rosales, Matson, Pinola, Sanders



JOSE MARTINEZ-ROSALES, Nice/Ukiah. Petty theft, failure to appear.

ROBERT MATSON, Fort Bragg. Assault with firearm, drawing firearm in vehicle, carrying loaded firearm in public.

ANTHONY PINOLA, Ukiah. Drunk in public. Probation revocation.

THOMAS SANDERS, Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

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JOHN FREMONT posted this comment on the Coast Listserve regarding Fort Bragg’s decision to convert the Old Coast Hotel to a housing facility for homeless and mentally ill: “Does the City Council's decision to allow the old hotel and restaurant to be used for transitional housing and services for the homeless and mentally ill contribute to a downtown upgrade? Wouldn't the Affinito building south of town house more patients in a cleaner and safer environment? Just asking.”

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FRANK HARTZELL, also posting on the Coast Listserve, commented on the future of downtown Fort Bragg in general: “If we want local, solid businesses people need to do more to support local business and the City needs to do something to develop LOCAL business rather than awarding contracts to out of town companies. Local People have one bad exchange at a local grocery store or hardware store and then set their face to buying stuff from China over the hill. Its an excuse to do what the advertising drone in your head is telling you. The inevitable result is a town full of chains, low pay and near zero opportunity for young people.”

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JIM HOULE passes along this revelation from national commentator, Richard Johnson: “Ever wonder how lowly paid lawmakers leave office filthy rich? Sen. Dianne Feinstein is showing how it’s done. The US Postal Service plans to sell 56 buildings — so it can lease space more expensively — and the real estate company of the California senator’s husband, Richard Blum, is set to pocket about $1 billion in commissions. Blum’s company, CBRE, was selected in March 2011 as the sole real estate agent on sales expected to fetch $19 billion. Most voters didn’t notice that Blum is a member of CBRE’s board and served as chairman from 2001 to 2014. This feat of federal spousal support was ignored by the media after Feinstein’s office said the senator, whose wealth is pegged at $70 million, had nothing to do with the USPS decisions. When the national debt is $18 trillion, a billion seems like small change.”

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A READER WRITES: Enjoyed reading your football reminisces, and found this paragraph while searching for a photo of hard-hitting Hardy:

“Hardy Brown was an obscure linebacker for the 49ers in the 1950s who became legendary for his hitting. There isn’t one incident involving Brown that is a lasting image, like Bednarik’s hit on Gifford, but Brown’s technique of winding up his shoulder and hitting opponents, knocking them back sometimes up to 10 yards, became legendary. He knocked out 21 players in the 1951 season, and once knocked out an entire team’s backfield in a single game. Playing in the era before the dawn of facemasks, Brown also fractured an opponent’s face, almost took out a running back’s eye, and crushed another player’s vertebrae. He was banned from his own team’s practices by coach Buck Shaw.”


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(In fact, he seems to have quite an interest in sex — crimes.)

Fiumara & Doll
Fiumara & Doll

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THAT’S BEEN A SPHERE OF INFLUENCE we’ve exploited economically and dominated politically and militarily very much the way the French, with a bit more success, continue to dominate their former colonies in Africa. We’ve run that part of the world without a lot of respect for the people who live down there; we’ve looked down on them as racial inferiors. I have a copy of theNavy Times from around 1913 that carries an ad for Shinola shoe polish that says, “Whether you’re going on the beach for a party or storming ashore to teach the greasers a lesson, you want to look sharp!” We saw these places as banana republics peopled by gooks who somehow were not quite real people. Nobody thought it compromised American virtue to kick their ass if they got out of line. It was, you know, the white man’s burden. And we have to remember that when Kipling passed that duty on to the United States there was no cynicism or irony intended. I don’t believe this country has simply been some horror story of racism and murder. But we have incurred a blood debt and it is coming up for payment. The end of empire comes for everybody and it’s coming for us. So now we’re faced with this area close to our southern sea frontier where people have it in for us and are only too eager to collaborate with our enemies. I mean, if there was an invasion of the United States and whoever it was wanted to have a Central American legion, they’d get plenty of volunteers.

— Robert Stone

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FOR THE FIRST TIME, more than half of US public school students live in low-income households, according to a new analysis from the Southern Education Foundation.

Overall, 51 percent of U.S. schoolchildren came from low-income households in 2013, according to the foundation, which analyzed data from National Center for Education Statistics on students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. Eligibility for free or subsidized lunch for students from low-income households serves as a proxy for gauging poverty, says the foundation, which advocates education equity for students in the South. The report shows the percentage of schoolchildren from poor households has grown steadily for nearly a quarter-century, from 32 percent in 1989. "By 2006, the national rate was 42 percent and, after the Great Recession, the rate climbed in 2011 to 48 percent," says the report.

HERE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, that percentage is somewhat higher. In Anderson Valley alone the percentage of students qualifying for subsidized food is a little over 80 percent.

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“IT IS TRUE that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather ‘nonviolently’ in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail

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‘Not A Real Protest’

I read “BART protest to rally for dropping charges” (Jan. 14), here we go again. A BART station shut down, a disruptive throng fouling up the commute, purportedly in the name of a cause. There is certainly some truth in the idea that a certain amount of civil disobedience can shake the public out of its torpor and effectuate worthy change. But lets get real: this is the Bay Area.

This sort of stuff happens all the time, and with the rigidity of a kabuki play and the predictability of the sunrise. It’s getting to the point that the only reaction from a growing number of average citizens has become a jaded “Who cares, will you please get lost?” More and more, it is becoming apparent that a large number of the people who show up in these mobs aren’t interested in the cause, but the choreography. They’re not protesters, they’re street clowns.

Joe DiPietro, Oakland

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Dear Editor,

North Korea and the United States are engaged in an escalating thermonuclear weapons confrontation, which could escalate into an apocalyptic nuclear war in a hot second, either by accident or intention. That's why US military commanders should take the advice of many analysts, including the editorial writers of The New York Times, and test North Korean intentions in their recent offer to suspend nuclear weapons testing if the US will call off its annual military exercises with South Korea.

The Times editorial on Jan.15 noted that North Korea now is believed to be able to make a dozen massive thermonuclear weapons, and probably has missiles which could put these weapons into high-altitude orbit over the US. North Korea believes it needs a credible nuclear threat to defend its tiny nation against the United States. The two nations are formally at war, and North Korea has threatened nuclear attack against the United States several times.

We and our living environment are all hostages in this pointless and outdated military confrontation. North Korea knows that thermonuclear weapons are the great equalizer. Actual nuclear war would be a catastrophically unfavorable field of battle for the United States, which has a well-known strategy of "full spectrum dominance" of every field of battle in the world.

North Korea is a threat to the US only if the US, with sanctions and aggressive military moves, makes it one. It's time for "full spectrum de-escalation" of conflict with North Korea.

John Lewallen, Philo

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Devil Girl from Mars.

At you'll find the recording of last night’s (2015-01-16) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show ready to download and keep or just play with one click.

You’ll hear an Alex Bosworth story about coming of age. Russell Brand eviscerates Fox so-called News’ bellicose warmongering clown Judge Judy. There’s a long section about *Dr. Brinkley, the goat gland transplanting, snake oil, and border-blaster 1,000,000-watt Mexican-radio guy of so long ago. I also read from several MCN listservs – the Announce list, of course, the local swap shop; the Discussion list; the KZYXtalk list about the coming shakeup at that station. Master Yang accordiates, the Mills Brothers, Melanie Safka, Ruth Etting, the Boswell Sisters (including Connie, before the acrimonious split over handsome cad Don) sing. The Julie London sleep-talks Louie Louie (not “me gotta go” but “I gotta go”). And more. And then some more, and then Boston Blackie. A complete, nutritious diet -- minerals, vitamins and fiber.

Also at you'll find gobs of fresh links to wonderful but not necessarily radio-useful items that I traipsed past in inappropriately revealing clothing while putting the show together. Here are just a few:

A photographer documents people reading real paper books on the subway.

Some rules for dating, for example: Don't stick your finger in your date's ear. When you're on a date with a guy, don’t reach back over the booth and grab the next guy’s head. This is good advice. People in 1930 didn't just know these things yet.

For contrast, a modern date, swinging flaming steel wool.

And Devil Girl From Mars, complete.

One Comment

  1. Harvey Reading January 18, 2015

    Well, well, what a surprise. Now that the rethugs control both cesspools of congress, Obama’s out peddling tax cuts for the yuppies and tax increases for the super wealthy. Of course, he’s not so stupid as to think, or even to imagine, that such things, which he despises in reality, will happen. What he does know is that now it’s safe to go back to pretending he’s a progressive democrap, so that people, in 2016, will once again fall for the line that democraps will make it all better again … a total lie, since they suckle at the same corporate teats that nourish rethuglicans. Of course, there will be much handwringing and crocodile tears from the democrapic sewer rats, but nothing of substance when they next control the cesspools, and when another their war criminals, Hillary, ascends the throne. The sad thing is, that voters in this country are so damned stupid that they will fall for these theatrics — they always do — and sit by calmly, spouting meaningless economic and “patriotic” slogans as things just keep getting worse.

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