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Mendocino County Today: Wed Feb 11(&10), 2015

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HIGHWAY 128 is now open as of February 9, 2015 at 2pm from previous road closure due to downed trees in roadway. (CHP News Release.)

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WILLITS AND UKIAH emerged mostly unscathed from the big winds and rains of last weekend, suffering no power outages inside their city limits. Ukiah, incidentally, is civic proof that municipalities can elude the power-eating monopoly of PG&E by operating its own power system, just as Green Bay, Wisconsin, proves that cities can own and operate pro football franchises. Ukiah isn't quite ready for the NFL, but there are other government ways of doing things that actually benefit everyone…

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SPEAKING OF WILLITS, the guys working on the Bypass, a section of which famously collapsed a couple of weeks ago, have been warned by their bosses not to talk about anything related to the magnificently botched project.

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YOU REALLY want to annoy me? Say something along the lines of, "Well, you guys really aren't a newspaper…"

YOU MEAN A REAL NEWSPAPER with horoscopes and sex ads and bulletins about what Madonna wore to the Degenerate's Ball? Or a real newspaper like the Press Democrat of Monday Feb 9, 2015? "Lifestyle. Locals open up about first loves, lessons learned. Readers share memories of the first time they fell victim to cupid's arrow, and how it shaped their views on romance today."

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A CALLER wants it brought up: "It's rude and arrogant of our supervisors to look at their cell phones while people are addressing them." Agreed. Checking the video of the most recent meeting of the County's leadership, we see the four male members of the board electronically distracted, Woodhouse and Gjerde not so much, McCowen and Hamburg a lot. Carrie Brown, a child of the 1950s, when good manners were still assumed, of course remains fully attentive at all times. In defense of the distracted, especially during windy presentations by County department heads, they couldn't be blamed if they simultaneously read War and Peace while the bureaucrats droned on. And a note to new Supe Woodhouse: "Don't say, 'I'll be brief' then ramble on for five minutes. Get to the point and get off, Tom. For pure arrogance, however, the 'liberal' members of the Fort Bragg City Council take the Rude trophy going away, especially that nut in charge of the speaker's time clock.

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ACCORDING to a presser from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department, a "Child Custody Exchange Location Project," located in the County Jail parking lot, "came about through a partnership between Sheriff Tom Allman and Superior Court Judge David A. Riemenschneider."

IT ALSO ACKNOWLEDGES the sad fact that there are so many semi-psychotic and fully psychotic parents loose in the County that their weekends with the kids have to be babysat by the authorities.

THE NEW WRINKLE creates a “safe zone” of parking spaces near the parking lot for the jail that are “well-lit and video-recorded 24/7 with multiple cameras for the purpose of documenting all activity.” It is designed to allow families with court-ordered child custody and visitation agreements to document their exchanges without the direct assistance of law enforcement officers.

THE SHERIFF said there is no need to call ahead of time as the cameras are already recording at all times, and while it is intended to assist families with court-ordered agreements, it is available to “anyone that would like to utilize this free service when families are meeting to exchange custody of children from one parent to another.”

THE PARKING SPACES are clearly marked on the ground and with a sign noting that the area is being recorded and is intended for “Child Exchange Only.”

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STEVE BURKE, the CEO of NBC Universal, said: “By his actions, Brian Williams has jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News. … His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate.”

GOT SOME BREAKING NEWS for you, Steve. Millions of Americans do not trust anything the blow dried news readers say. Your entire work product is laughably inappropriate, so…

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A buddy of mine had the idea for housing from shipping containers a while back too. Told me that right after I noted in passing that, what with the many advancements corrugated cardboard technology, my long unrealized dream of one day living in a refrigerator box down by the river was coming ever closer to fruition. But seriously, what single human being needs more than 200-400 square feet to live in and store their actual useful shit? I’m living in 550′ now, and it’s only slightly cramped because I, like almost every American breathing, have too much shit! And just think, if everyone in America were to somehow even try to approach that figure, public spaces would once again bloom, simply by default!

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Blackwell, Brantley, Cook-Schuleter
Blackwell, Brantley, Cook-Schuleter

ERIN BLACKWELL, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MARKEESE BRANTLEY, Ukiah. Domestic assault, false imprisonment, probation revocation.

DYLAN COOK-SCHULETER, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

Halvorsen, Joaquin, LaForge
Halvorsen, Joaquin, LaForge

NICHOLAS HALVORSEN, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

ALISIA JOAQUIN, Covelo. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.

ASHLEY LAFORGE, Ukiah. Sale, transport, furnish pot, possession of smoking-injecting device.

Lamoureux, Mullins, Ortega
Lamoureux, Mullins, Ortega

LEVI LAMOUREUX, Laytonville. Probation revocaiton.

MIRANDA MULLINS, Willits. Domestic battery.

ALFREDO ORTEGA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Pacheco, Rantala, Vassar, Wright
Pacheco, Rantala, Vassar, Wright

JOSE PACHECO, Fort Bragg. Court order violation.

MATHEW RANTALA, Willits. Probation revocation.

TRAVIS VASSAR, Willits. Vandalism.

ERIC WRIGHT, Ukiah. Resisting arrest, probation revocation.

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Dear Editor,

In the letters to the editor last week, there was a PS about strange lights on Thursday night. I actually saw something really strange that Thursday during the day but felt a bit weird about sharing it. When I was walking up to the AV Health clinic, there was this strange light moving across the sky and since I had my phone handy, I took a picture (see below). A friend told me he saw something too, so we would just like to know if the government was doing something up there or what? It didn't look like an airplane, though. Was it a drone?


I called the number given in the letter to the editor (895-3362) and I got a call back that it would be investigated, so I'm still waiting. Are there others who have seen weird things moving across the sky? We don't want to feel like we're the only ones seeing strange things.

Just wondering,

John Kendall

Rancho Navarro

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DON CLAUSEN, who was born in Ferndale and served in the US House of Representatives for this area from 1963 to 1982, died over the weekend. He was 91. The County of Humboldt will fly the US flag at half-staff in Clausen’s honor.

Clausen was born April 27, 1923 and graduated from Ferndale elementary and high schools. He enrolled in the V5 Naval Aviation Cadet program at St. Mary’s College after the United States entered World War II, and much of his career revolved around aviation. He started a flight school and ambulance/charter service at the Del Norte County Airport, where the terminal still bears his name, as well as an aviation program at Del Norte High School. He served as a member of the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors from 1955 to 1962.

While in congress, Clausen served on the Public Works and Transportation and the Insular Affairs committees. He served in leadership positions on several committees in the 1970s, and many of his Congressional Papers are stored at the Humboldt State University Library. After Clausen left congress, President Ronald Regan appointed him to the Department of Transportation where he worked as the Director of Special Projects with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He remained with the FAA until 1990, and moved to Fortuna shortly thereafter.

Clausen’s work in Congress also included creating the Redwood National Park in 1968 and expanding the park in 1978. He secured funding for local rivers, especially the Eel, Russian and Klamath. In addition, he furthered efforts relating to Native American concerns, the King Range National Recreation Area, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, establishing the 200-mile off-shore fishing limit, and the forestry and wine industries.

“Our condolences go out to Don’s family. Our community, the North Coast and the state are all better places for his efforts,” said Chair of the Board the 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell. “He will be missed and remembered.”

Clausen’s Congressional Papers collection can be viewed here.

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"First off, we had to change venues to the rec center — cold, vast room, bad acoustics, no viable ladies toilet… a mostly older crowd, but large and all opposed to the Hospitality House project. Everyone tired out from the blackout… so first we listen to the usual blather… then we get about an hour of a woman reporting on plans for a marine mammal center on the mill site… a lousy public speaker droning on about a project that may never happen but makes Mayor Turner look good, he thinks… Then, instead of allowing the public input period, Turner asks for a financial report. Asked how long this would take — 40 more minutes — it was clear that Turner was out to punish us, like first graders, and the crowd got angry. Turner called for a recess, and Councilman Lindy Peters suggest moving to the Hospitality House sooner by a vote…

But after the recess, Lindy makes the motion and it's voted thru..but Councilman Hammerstrom, petulant, says he isn't feeling well, we should get the financial report first so he can go home, which is not happening, so he left. Public input of maybe fifty people unanimously against the Coast Hotel project, and included some very accurate cutting remarks on the behavior of Councilman Deitz and Mayor Turner… worth watching on public tv. However, we were not organized enough or too worn down to demand a re-vote… it may be a done deal, as it's in escrow, but Turner is baked.

Odd item… at the beginning of the meeting, Turner publicly asked if the petition opposed to the deal had been handed in… but he already knew it had been, as he returned from lunch with a crowd of about thirty in city hall in the act of filing the petition… he looked quite shocked… .then feigned ignorance?

Also — discovered that someone edits the city council minutes, to make Turner look better… also cut were discussions of possible sex offenders at the HH, and Councilman Cimolino stating that if he could have voted, having had to recuse himself he would have voted against it as his wife operates a day care center less than 500' from the hotel… .and they certainly may have a few pedos among their clientele., also believe the Ortner stooge's claim of an 80% success rate, never explained, was cut.

As was an exchange when Turner retorted to Don Snyders remarks, which Turner isn't supposed to do… .would love to have a comparison of minutes with the tape of each meeting to see how long the edits of the minutes has been happening. Anyway, am certain Turner will be recalled, but how to stop this project?

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CITY OF FORT BRAGG RESPONDS to charge that Council meetings are edited to favor one official or another:

"I was out of the office on Friday and just saw your two emails to me, one from 2/5/15 at 6:48 PM and one from 2/8/15 at 6:00 PM. I am assuming from the second one that you did find the minutes you were looking for.

As to your query regarding editing of City Council minutes, City Clerk Cindy VanWormer takes the minutes at the meetings and does the editing. Unlike a court of law where a court reporter transcribes the record verbatim, there is no such requirement for public hearings before a City Council. According to the City Clerks Handbook published by the City Clerks Association of California, "Oral Testimony. The record should show the name of the person speaking, his or her address, and whether testimony was for or against the hearing subject. Some City Clerks briefly refer to content of testimony in the minutes; however, there is no requirement that this be doneArguments and Debates at Hearings. The inclusion of arguments and debates occurring at public hearings is a matter of personal preference of the individual City Clerk or City Council. There is no requirement for inclusion in the record, but some cities, as a matter of procedure, briefly note arguments/debates." [Emphasis added.]

I hope that clarifies it for you, but if you have any further questions, please let me know.

June Lemos, Administrative Assistant
Community Development Department
City of Fort Bragg
416 North Franklin Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Phone: 707.961.2827 x 110
Fax: 707.961.2802

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“High Maintenance” Bring Marijuana to NY and the Web

by Jonah Raskin

Do New Yorkers smoke weed? Yes, indeed, and apparently lots of it, though most of the New Yorkers on the new web series “High Maintenance” don’t seem to know where it comes from or how it might have arrived in the city.

But that’s all right. The series derives much of its appeal because it focuses on a closed universe with gravitation pulls of their own. The characters are so wrap up in themselves and their own little worlds that they don’t seem to know much about the world beyond New Jersey, let alone the Mississippi River. California might as well be on another planet. Mendocino County? Where’s that?

“High Maintenance,” which began in November 2012, and that has attracted a loyal following ever since, offers slices of New York life. The characters are almost all young and hip; they’re white and Asian and black and they’re rooted in the subcultures of the city. Nearly all of them have “schticks,” as New Yorkers would say. They’re identified and identifiable by certain unique behaviors, such as smoking dope. They’re urban dope fiends, though nothing really bad happens to them.

At times, “High Maintenance” feels like a study in provincialism, though “study” isn’t exactly the right word to describe the series. The episodes are all short; less than 15 minutes each. Scenes shift rapidly. The dialogue sparkles.

“I have a pretty big clitoris,” a woman says in one memorable episode. Sex underlines many of the stories while the music provides a sense of cool.

The endings are often ironical and surprising. O ’Henry, the master of the short story, would approve. Clearly the writers, Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld, have been listening carefully to the ways that New Yorkers speak, to the rhythms of their conversations and not just to the things they talk about. But they’re not just recording devices that play back what they’ve heard. The dialogue is inventive, witty, and believable, too.

Ben Sinclair himself plays the dope peddler, “The Guy,” who rides around New York on his bicycle to deliver weed to those in need, some more desperate than others. Neither blistering heat nor freezing cold stops him from making his appointed rounds. He ties most of the strings together and gives the series the coherence it needs.

While marijuana isn’t the theme, it’s the glue that links the characters, the plots, the subplots and the divergent scenes that take place on the street, in an apartment, or a café. So far there are 16 episodes. The series has gotten better as it has gone along. The writers, the directors, the producers, and the actors seem to have gained in self-confidence and to have grown into their respective roles. As soon as they realized that they had an appreciative audience they became more inventive; marijuana as a kind of character its took on a more natural and relaxed role. Indeed, the trick of the series is that it takes marijuana for granted as the subtext, and at the same time pushes it in your face. The viewer can almost smell it and then it vanishes suddenly.

The brevity of the episodes is both strength and weakness. Making them longer might undermine the genius of the show and yet making them longer would allow the writers, directors and producers to delve more deeply into the lives of the characters. Still, they manage to make the characters more than one-dimensional and with a great deal of economy. In this case less really is more.

For those who grew up on Cheech and Chong and who enjoy pot comedy, “High Maintenance” ought to be a treat. Viewers can go on line to Vimeo ( and rent individual episodes or the whole series. Watch out. They can be addicting. New York takes on a new, strange and wonderful identity. “High Maintenance” provides an escape into a place that feels real and surreal, as real and as surreal as the Emerald Triangle.

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FROM 1877 TO 1950, nearly 4,000 blacks were lynched across the South. On Tuesday, their names were finally revealed. The Equal Justice Project released an inventory that includes 700 people whose deaths were previously unaccounted for in lynching records. “If you’re trying to make a point that the amount of racial violence is underestimated, well then, there’s no doubt about it,” said Professor E.M. Beck of the University of Georgia, who has worked on researching and revising other lynching records. “What people don’t realize here is just how many there were, and how close. Places they drive by every day.” The organization plans to erect markers and memorials across the 16 states where blacks were hung, shot, beaten, stabbed, castrated, and set on fire.

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Comes a time

when you're driftin'

Comes a time

when you settle down

Comes a light

feelin's liftin'

Lift that baby

right up off the ground.


Oh, this old world

keeps spinning round

It's a wonder tall trees

ain't layin' down

There comes a time.


You and I we were captured

We took our souls

and we flew away

We were right

we were giving

That's how we kept

what we gave away.


Oh, this old world

keeps spinning round

It's a wonder tall trees

ain't layin' down

There comes a time.

— Neil Young

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Curator Marvin Schenck celebrates retirement, reflects on years at Grace Hudson

by Roberta Werdinger

On Friday, February 13th , from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah will host a special evening for Museum Curator Marvin Schenck, who is retiring after 15 years at the Museum. Live music will be provided by the Ykuholics, and refreshments will be served. The event is free and all are welcome to attend to honor the multifold achievements of this talented curator.

"I love to tell a good story," Marvin Schenck muses, summing up his approach to curating in a small-town museum where responsiveness to the community is an imperative. Schenck's education and first-hand experience in fine arts combined with Director Sherrie Smith-Ferri's expertise in Pomo and other California Indian cultures and Registrar Karen Holmes's knowledge of history have fostered a dynamic range of exhibits that has made the Grace Hudson Museum a cultural centerpiece of the entire county. Schenck's reminiscences of these exhibits reveal the wide range of his curating: from the exhibit of glass plate negatives of Grace Hudson's father, A.O. Carpenter, which had been forgotten under the Sun House and rescued with the help of Hudson family member Bob Lee, to a 2008 show titled "Northern California Visionary Art: A Contemporary Legacy," gathering artists from the psychedelic movement centered in San Francisco and their current disciples, to the "Growth Rings" show of last summer, which featured wood furniture and artworks from graduates of the Fine Woodworking Program at College of the Redwoods.

Schenck has had the satisfaction of curating a museum that is also a national historic site and California landmark, thanks to the person and legacy of Grace Hudson (1865-1937), whom Schenck calls "the most notable person to come out of Ukiah." Schenck credits the City of Ukiah with the foresight to purchase the Sun House, the home that Grace and her husband John built and lovingly furnished a century ago, and the surrounding property, in 1975. Later, with funding raised by the Sun House Guild, the current Museum building was constructed, and enlarged in 2001. In this way, Grace Hudson's legacy and that of the many people she lovingly portrayed lives on.

Marvin Schenck's artwork can currently be viewed and purchased at the Museum Gift Shop. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm, and Sunday from noon to 4:30 pm. For more information please go to or call (707) 467-2836.

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A GUY GOES TO THE DOCTOR and complains that he's been having blinding headaches for years and nothing helps. The doc gives him a thorough exam, sits him down, and tells him that he has a rare disorder. The headaches are the result of his testicles pressing up against the base of his spine. The only cure is surgical castration. The guy thinks about his options for weeks and with the headaches being unbearable, he decides to have the operation. Afterwards he is understandably depressed, if headache-free. He decides to cheer himself up by buying some new clothes, and goes to a men's shop. “I want a pinstripe suit,” he tells the old salesman. The salesman takes one look at him and says, “Hmm, 42 long, 33 on the inseam.” “On the button!” the guy says. “How do you do that?” “Sonny, when you've been in this business as long as I have you get a second sense for these things.” The guy asks for a dress shirt to go with the suit, and in the salesman says, “Okay, 16 1/2 in the neck, 34 in the sleeve.” “Amazing!” the guy says, starting to feel cheered up. “Hey, while I'm here I'll get some briefs too.” “Size 36,” the salesman says with his usual certainty. “Nope, you're wrong this time,” the guy says. “I wear a 34.” “Sonny,” the salesman says, “You don't wear a 34 -- that would press your balls up against the base of your spine and you give you one hell of a headache!”


  1. David Gurney February 11, 2015

    You guys aren’t a real newspaper. More like a creative writing class for lazy, unqualified myopic old-farts.

    • LouisBedrock February 11, 2015

      Have the salesman check the size of your briefs.

      • David Gurney February 11, 2015

        I prefer boxers.

  2. Dave Smith February 11, 2015

    OMG… the exchange below is about as good as it gets in local humor…

  3. Bill Pilgrim February 11, 2015

    RE: Strange Lights. Drones do not glow with brilliance. A conventional aircraft would have been noticeable by its fuselage, wings, vertical stabilizer, etc. Burning up space debris would have been fiery, with a smoke trail. A meteor would have been traveling much faster.
    Definitely a U.A.V. = Unidentified Aerial Vehicle.
    Further speculation would depend on the degree one’s open-mindedness.

  4. Randy Burke February 11, 2015

    You ARE a newspaper, and a damn good website too.

    Randy Burke,Gualala

  5. Jim Armstrong February 11, 2015

    Anyone interested in strange flashes and such in the sky should read about Iridium flares, which happen many times a day and can seem pretty spooky if you are looking the right way at the right time.

    On the Catch (and Release) of the Day is a guy who has been several times, but not for being drunk in public.
    His dozens of seriious and violent felonies qualify him for a long stint in state prison.
    The last time is was in the lineup, the Editor said that the AVA was planning a system to follow the serlous return perps.
    Is that still in the works?

  6. Jim Updegraff February 11, 2015

    Always interesting comments in the AVA. Hey Bruce, What do you think of As pitching staff this season.

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