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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Feb 13, 2015

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AMONG MENDOLAND'S many unsung heroes and heroines, count Dr. Mark Nash of Fort Bragg. He may be the only dentist in the County to take MediCal patients, and not only does this guy accept and treat the poorest of the poor, he calls them, post-op, to make sure they're ok. Talk about going the extra mile! (961-4290)

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WHILE WE'RE PASSING out the bouquets here this evening, let's here it for Dave Gurney and Friends for their important, last minute effort to prevent Fort Bragg from establishing a Willits-like sprawl at the town's southern ramparts. There are only two coherent municipalities left in Mendocino County, and Fort Bragg, except for the ghastly Boatyard shopping center and the McDonald's at the intersection of Highway One and Highway 20, has managed to stave off the miles of visual squalor characteristic of Willits and Ukiah. Another shopping center on Todd's Point would screw up the entire north sector of the Mendocino Coast, converting it to an ocean view Gualala. (Mendocino, village of, is ghastly for different reasons, with the Anderson Valley, now dominated by shifting millionaires with their own wine labels, sinking fast. The other remaining coherent town? Point Arena. It's wacky population aside, it still at least looks like a distinct place. Gurney and Co. may not be able to stop the arrogant City Council majority presently do its best to permanently damage Fort Bragg, but their legal challenge to the shocking City Council decision to erect another Boatyard deserves high praise.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ABE LINCOLN! Yeah, yeah, yeah. He was a reluctant abolitionist and so on, but Honest Abe explained himself and fessed up every step of the way. Put him up against the clown show we suffer under today and… Just in my life time we've gone from FDR to a perfect entropy presided over by straight-up sociopaths, all of them celebrated by media. For instance, just the other day the SF Chron gave us an embarrassingly slavish gush-gush story on Bill Clinton playing golf as Senior Citizens rushed up to President Nafta for autographs, for which the Seniors ought to be stripped of their MediCare cards and Dentu-Cream, as the audio Chron, NPR, does gush-gush all morning long. The Chron partially redeemed itself by at least questioning the propriety of an expensive farewell dinner for the crooked head of the Public Utilities Commission, Michael Peevey. Thursday morning's stories seem dominated by the news that California's emptiest suit, Gavin Newsom, says he's running for Governor in 2018, a couple years after Americans get a presidential choice between Hillary and another Bush, a choice between death today or tomorrow midnight.

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TERRIFIC INTERVIEW by Barry Vogel with Deputy Orell Massey, Mendocino County's first and only black law enforcement officer. Among other revelatory comments from the deputy, Massey says Mel Brooks’ 1974 movie Blazing Saddles best represents his experience here in Mendo:

HERE’S an audio clip from the opening scene of Blazing Saddles:

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ALBION AND COMPTCHE RESIDENTS will meet at the Comptche Community Hall (30672 Comptche-Ukiah Road) on Sunday, February 15 at 1pm to discuss Mendocino Redwoods/Mendocino Forest Products’ plans to use a toxic hack-and-squirt herbicide application process on tanoak in their neighborhoods leaving hazardous poisoned wood/fire kindling around waiting to burn for perhaps decades to come.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Feb 12, 2015

Barajas, Britton, Davies, Drebaum
Barajas, Britton, Davies, Drebaum

JOEL BARAJAS, Possession of meth for sale, prohibited person with firearm, probation revocation.

NICHOLAS BRITTON, Covelo. Possession of drug paraphernalia.

GARETH DAVIES, Salt Lake City/Willits. DUI.

MICHAEL DREBAUM, Clear Lake/Ukiah. First and second degree felony robbery.

Gardner, Hipes, Marquardt, McKee
Gardner, Hipes, Marquardt, McKee

ROBERT GARDNER, Potter Valley. DUI with drugs causing great bodily injury, vehicle theft, evasion, driving on suspended license, addict driving a vehicle, grand theft auto, obtaining vehicle by extortion or theft, under influence of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of controlled substance, resisting arrest, probation revocation.

DUSTIN HIPES, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, possession of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia.

CONRADT MARQUARDT, Los Angeles/Potter Valley. DUI.

GAVIN MCKEE, Venice/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Nartatez, Sampson, Steele, Wooldrige
Nartatez, Sampson, Steele, Wooldrige

ROCKY NARTATEZ, Santa Maria/Willits. Violation of county parole.

BODIE SAMPSON, Willits. Pot cultivation.

EDWARD STEELE, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, possession of drug paraphernalia.

WILLIAM WOOLDRIGE, Fort Bragg. Possession of controlled substance for sale.

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LAKE MENDO is filling up.


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LAST WEEK’S RAIN TOTAL for the Rancho Navarro Ridge area went all the way up to 7.2 inches.

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Response to Gordon Black

I truly do not understand Gordon's letter to the editor printed in the AVA on page 2 of the February 2, 2015 edition and so would like to clarify a few of the issues he brought up. First, I am not aware that current board member John Sakowitz has publicly endorsed my candidacy for the at-large seat of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, but if he has, why would it have anything to do with his complaint to the FCC? I would like to let voters know that I have no affiliation with Mr. Sakowitz other than that I have spoken with him at length in order to understand the frustrations that led him to file a complaint. I made it clear to him at the time, and am now making it clear to you, that I never advocated for his complaint to the FCC. It put the station’s very existence at risk. I believe the problems at KZYX should be dealt with in house, through public discussion of station policy and fair and free elections determining the will of the membership. It is the membership, according to the Mission Statement of MCPB, that maintains control over the station’s “programming and operational philosophy.” If elected, I promise to ensure that statement is honored, as is the legal obligation of any duly elected board member of a non-profit corporation.

I always enjoyed our conversations at the station between our shows, Gordon, and I consider you a friend. If all I need to do to earn your trust is apologize for not complying specifically to FCC regulations when a caller used inappropriate language on Open Lines then by all means Gordon, I apologize. I made a mistake.

To set the record straight, I do not recall ignoring a directive to correct the violation, but rather I remember hanging up on the caller the instant Mary Aigner walked into the studio and told me to. I do not know where you heard otherwise. Also, I am not a programmer “on suspension.” Rather, I am an ex-programmer who chose to leave the station after Open Lines was offered back to me with perimeters on discussion of station policy that I was uncomfortable with. I always billed the program as the show “for the people, of the people and by the people.”

Free speech is a big issue for me. The changes made to Open Lines seemed more to do with my feelings about station policy than anything to do with the occasional off color word that may slip through onto the airwaves. I would also like to mention that of the five people who did ultimately complain to the FCC, none of them complained about foul language. They did complain about many of the issues I brought up to the board of directors privately in the months leading up to the loss of my program. Had the board listened to me when they had the chance, this FCC mess might well have been avoided entirely.

It is interesting to note that the FCC has never fined nor shut down a radio station for the occasional, accidental airing of a bad word. It is my feeling that staff seriously overreacts when this occurs and makes a mountain out of a molehill. KZYX has lost too many good programs and too many good volunteers for minor infractions while larger issues, the very issues that led some members of our community to complain to the FCC, have been ignored. My question for you Gordon is: “What are those issues, and why aren't they being discussed on Open Lines?”

Doug McKenty, Elk

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Calling all writers: the 26th annual Mendocino Coast Writers Conference encourages you to register early for the three-day event, August 6-8, at the Mendocino Campus of College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg.

If you’ve always dreamed of writing a book, the conference features outstanding authors who are also noted teachers, acclaimed editors and agents, and a friendly, inspiring campus setting where writers connect with experts and each other.

Registrants will participate in intensive writing workshops with the same author for three consecutive mornings. Afternoons consist of craft sessions and seminars with authors, editors and agents. Topics range from screenwriting to poetry to new publishing platforms and more.

David Corbett, a New York Times Notable Author, will lead a morning workshop Master Class. His novel Blood of Paradise drew comparison with Graham Greene and was selected as a top-ten thriller in 2007 by The Washington Post. His latest novel, The Mercy of the Night, is set in a fictional Everytown, midway between Napa and San Francisco. His textbook, The Art of Character, won this praise from Cheryl Strayed: “David Corbett has written a wise, inspiring love letter to all the imaginary creatures in our minds.”

Indigo Moor, whose poetry collection Through the Stonecutter’s Window won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, also writes scripts. Moor’s students learn the “how” as well as the “why” of effective poems. He will lead a morning poetry intensive and an afternoon session “Writing for Stage and Screen.”

Sheila Bender, author, poet and writing instructor, founded Writing It Real, an online community that encourages writing from personal experience. Print publications include a memoir and over a dozen titles on writing, including Creative Writing DeMystified. Bender will lead a morning workshop in creative nonfiction and an afternoon session on revision for poetry, flash fiction or memoir.

Catherine Ryan Hyde, prizewinning bestselling author of Pay It Forward and dozens of other books, will lead a morning workshop on writing novels and young adult (YA) fiction. Her afternoon seminar will focus on “Developing Distinct Dialogue.” Hyde’s YA titles include Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World, both honored by the American Library Association’s “Rainbow List.” Her enduring theme: “The more we focus on the beauty in the world, the more we live in a beautiful world.” Pay It Forward was made into a major motion picture starring Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey.

Albert DeSilver is former Marin County Poet Laureate, and author of the memoir Beamish Boy, praised by Kirkus Reviews as “…poignant and inspirational, comical and terrifying.” He has taught workshops internationally with Maxine Hong Kingston and Cheryl Strayed. DeSilver will lead a morning workshop “Explorations: Prose and Poetry,” and an interactive afternoon seminar called “Selective Memory: The Art of Invention in Memoir.”

Lisa Locascio’s fiction and criticism have been widely published, and she has received major awards including a Djerassi Fellowship and the 2011 John Steinbeck Prize for Fiction. Locascio is currently a PhD candidate in creative writing and literature at USC and also teaches at Colorado College and Mount St. Mary’s College (Los Angeles). She will guide students through the processes of invention, drafting and revision in her morning short fiction workshop and lead an afternoon seminar called “Mapping the Interior.”

Publishing professionals include Frances Caballo, social media consultant; Brooke Warner, publisher and co-founder of She Writes Press; Kate Gale, editor and co-founder of Red Hen Press; Laurie Fox and Chelsea Lindman, literary agents.

Some literary events are free and open to the public, including the well-attended “Paths to Publishing” panel. The panel features local children’s author Ginny Rorby, whose newest title is How to Speak Dolphin, and John Evans, currently a lecturer at Stanford, whose memoir Young Widower won the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize. Conference faculty and selected students will share their new work at literary readings to be held each afternoon, also open to the public.

For more information visit or phone 707-485-4031, or email

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What: Hearing for a motion filed by attorneys representing solitary confinement prisoners to expand the class in a class-action case, “Ashker v. Brown,” challenging the constitutionality of long-term solitary confinement, filed on behalf of prisoners in the Secure Housing Unit (SHU) at California's Pelican Bay prison.

When: Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 2pm

Where: Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building
, 1301 Clay Street, 
Oakland, CA 94612

Who: Counsel for the plaintiffs include Center for Constitutional Rights, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Christensen, O'Connor, Johnson & Kindness PLLC, California Prison Focus, Siegel & Yee, and the Law Offices of Charles Carbone.

Why: Since “Ashker v. Brown” was filed in May 2012, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) established a "Step Down Program" to review SHU prisoners' status and place them in one of five "steps," in an attempt to appear to be allowing for a pathway out of solitary confinement, and to make certain plaintiffs ineligible as class members in the lawsuit. Despite being moved out of Pelican Bay’s SHU, prisoners are still subjected to solitary confinement in other prisons. A motion filed by the plaintiffs will be heard today, challenging CDCR by arguing that the class should be expanded to include plaintiffs who have been transferred out of Pelican Bay prison since the lawsuit was originally filed. As the plaintiffs’ motion before the court today notes, "While the new regulations implement many changes, many things remain the same: most importantly, the Step Down Program continues California's unique commitment to prolonged solitary confinement.”

For more information, please contact Carol Strickman at 510.289.7225. Strickman is co-counsel representing plaintiffs as a Staff Attorney with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, a member organization of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition.

Mohamed Shehk, Media and Communications Director
Critical Resistance
1904 Franklin Ave, Suite 504
Oakland, CA 94612

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Etty — a play from the diaries of Etty Hillesum, a Jewish teacher and lover of life, living in Holland during World War II, who chose not to go into hiding, featuring playwright and actor from New York, Susan Stein, will be presented at the Ukiah Methodist Church Social Hall on March 5th at 7pm. Donations.

(N. Bush St. between Smith & Standley Sts)

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Dear Beloved,

On this Valentine's Day, 2015, I'm thinking of one of my favorite poets, W. H. Auden.

In a world that Auden, and also probably most people, often find to be disappointing and heartbreaking, or find to be even worse — gloomy, monotonous, barren, and boring — Auden wrote of hope.

The older Auden got, he wrote of hope. Toward the end of his life, almost desperately, Auden wrote of hope. He wanted to believe that "life-out-there is good, miraculous, loveable."

Towards that end, Auden wrote that we should "trust ourselves again, and know that, subjectively, at least, all is possible."

And so, on this Valentine's Day, 2015, as I get older, I write to you:

My Immortal Beloved, Meine Unsterbliche Geliebte,

My Bright Light, My Joy, My Intimacy,

My lover who is also mother, daughter, sister,

My rare and precious one,

My Beloved who I cherish beyond reason,

My Beloved for whom I wait silently in the tunnel of time —

listen to me.

I believe.

I believe that life-out-there

is good, miraculous, and loveable.

I trust myself again.

I feel innocent again like a child.

I believe all is possible.

I believe you are possible.

--John Sakowicz, Ukiah


  1. Jim Updegraff February 13, 2015

    Kudos to Dr. Nash for taking and caring about MediCal patients. Unfortunately most of the medical professions are too greedy to take care of the poor folks on MediCal. Of course, many citizens do not care one whit about the poor among us.

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