Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Feb 14, 2015

* * *


My funny valentine

Sweet comic valentine

You make me smile with my heart

Your looks are laughable


Yet you're my favorite work of art


Is your figure less than Greek?

Is your mouth a little weak?

When you open it to speak

Are you smart?


But don't change your hair for me

Not if you care for me

Stay little Valentine stay

Each day is Valentine’s day

— Lorenz Hart



Ben ‘The Tone’ Webster with Art ‘The Genius’ Tatum!

* * *

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.

INTERESTING ARRAY of charges faced by Mr. Gardner. “Addict driving a vehicle”? Apply that standard to all American drivers and our highways and byways would be largely traffic-free.

* * *

THE EDITOR of your beloved community newspaper is in Portland for a funeral where, stuck in rush hour traffic Thursday afternoon he couldn't help but notice the large number of people texting. Looking around at my roadmates it seemed like they were all doing it. Speaking purely for yours truly, Mr. Gardner on crank behind the wheel, so long as he wasn't tweaked and texting he's probably fully attentive.

PORTLAND? Not quite as cool-o as Frisco but close. Us Golden Staters tend to forget that Oregon was settled earlier than California so Oregon did a bunch of smart stuff early on, like establish vast city parks in its urban areas with walking paths everywhere. The town is wonderfully walkable and, today, as all you sybarites are already aware, there are also lots of coffee shops, bakeries and cheap quality restaurants. There's also plenty of the neo-piety of the politically correct type common in Mendo but not as prevalently oppressive as in Eugene to the south.

I SET OUT by bus to find evidence of Portland's most illustrious son, John Reed, the first and only journalist endorsed by both Lenin and The New York Times. As I was about to pay a dollar fare, the driver asked me if I was an “Honored Citizen.” Startled, I replied, “Not where I come from.” Turns out Seniors ride free if they get an “Honored Citizen” card. Comes with a side order of mawk.

REED'S Ten Days That Shook The World should be required reading as the definitive account of how Lenin pulled it off. The silly movie, Reds, is a kind of visual Cliff's Note's guide to the period of history when American radicals didn't mess around.

THE ONLY evidence of Reed was a plaque on a bench in Washington City Park. Nice park, weirdly eclectic collection of memorial statues ranging from Native Americans to the Holocaust. The Indian memorial depicts two men gazing outwards as they say something like, “Here they come. I hope we have enough guns and ammo.”

* * *


This sect also believes rich, successful people are so because God loves them, while poor, disadvantaged people are so because God obviously holds them in disfavor. This concept is logically consistent with what people generally believe, even secular people.

Karma, the Buddha, Christianity, Islam — all the same. The speak-no-evil Christians nevertheless have nothing else but to believe it when Life kicks them in the ass. Apologists can backpedal all they want when faced with the implications for God’s universal all-knowing and all-powerful attributes, but the bottom line for the rank-and-file is that when you have ascribed all the good things in life to God because you pleased him with your piety and adulation, you can’t shake the feeling that all the bad things in life come from God because you haven’t been good enough. The default reversion of the faithful is always the same - descent into a twilight world where you end up apologizing for God’s kicking your ass and taking responsibility on yourself - like an abused child who concludes that, if only he had been a better son his father wouldn’t have whupped his ass so often, and of course, he was so clearly justified because the kid was such a screw-up. We’re only inches from a situation in this country of spectacles of bloody Christians flogging themselves in the streets - our current sublimation is a bloody neck tattoo of religious iconography and a lifetime of low self-esteem, and mainstream addictions to nicotine and caffeinated malt beverages.

* * *



The pleasant young woman only signed on as Editor of the Mendocino Beacon and Fort Bragg Advocate in November…

A Reader Writes: Suzette Cook has "stepped down" as editor of the Mendocino Beacon and Fort Bragg Advocate.

“Suzette Cook has decided to pursue other endeavors and has stepped down as Editor of The Mendocino Beacon and Fort Bragg Advocate News. We appreciate all she's done during her time here and wish her well on her journey!”

* * *


by Justine Fredericksen

City of Ukiah crews this week were preparing for the undergrounding of utilities on Perkins Street, and could be seen hoisted on cranes to reach power lines Wednesday.

“It is quite a feat to keep power on while we do the undergrounding, so we’re doing some modifications now,” said Mel Grandi, director of the Electric Utility, explaining that the city plans to make sure that businesses remain open during the year-long project that will move the power, cable and telephone lines underground.

Last March, plans began in earnest for the project, which was first approved by the Ukiah City Council in 1984, and at the council’s last meeting Feb. 4, it approved hiring Costal Concrete of Rohnert Park for $619,000 to prepare the necessary conduit vaults under Perkins Street from South State Street to Pomeroy Avenue, just east of Highway 101.

“Since it is moving all of our lines, as well as cable TV and phone lines, underground, the cost will be split with the other utilities,” Grandi said, telling the council that Comcast and AT&T will pay approximately half of the cost, and the remaining half will be covered by the Electric Utility, using $100,000 from the Street Lighting fund.

“Will the undergrounding be used for fiber-optic lines?” asked resident Peter Good, referring to recent difficulties with Internet service experienced by county residents. “For we as a city here, it might be time to at least start thinking about the public benefit of the city of Ukiah having its own fiber-optic network.”

Grandi said crews would not be undergrounding new facilities, only the existing ones, and Mayor Doug Crane said, “The discussion of whether we as a community should, or could, embark on adding fiber-optics is a separate issue.”

Council member Steve Scalmanini asked if there were any way crews could also do improvements “that would get rid of the flooding that occurs every year at the corner of East Perkins Street and Orchard Avenue,” such as putting a pipe underground to help it drain.

“Our work there is very selective, and none of the areas have a long enough stretch that would allow crews to reconfigure the drainage,” he said.

Grandi said the first phase of the project is expected to take three months, then city crews will “build out our facility,” followed by Comcast and AT&T. The project is expected to be completed by December of 2015 or January of 2016.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)

* * *



Women's History Month entertainment....


Quel Nightmare! … Sweet jeezus. … Hear Me Roar, indeed. … Is this some sort of un-fashion show? … Very troubling images. … I hope my sleep isn't disturbed.

* * *


“Check out this video of Jim Koogle, mayor of Point Arena, showing off his totally illegal Biodiesel station (located right next to the high school I believe). Notice there is no spill containment system in place as required by law. Do you see a single fire extinguisher? I don't. I'll bet there are a host of other violations too. Here is the funny part: councilmembers Reimuller, Wasserman and Koogle put Billy Hay's junk in a meat grinder years ago for EXACTLY the same thing. Billy's fuel tanks were on Riverside Drive where that first pullout is across from the African animal preserve. The three stooges sicced the enviro-cops on Billy and made him install expensive concrete spill containment basins under the tanks (they had to be engineered for seismic zone 4 etc KA-CHING!. Well Billy hasn't forgotten and he is fully aware of Lord Jim's gas station. Billy intends on returning the favor.”

* * *


Agenda Item 5(c), Board of Supervisors meeting, February 17, 2015

Discussion and Possible Acceptance of Recommendations Regarding the Operations of the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Animal Care Services (ACS) in Conjunction with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office as Requested by the Board of Supervisors

SUMMARY OF REQUEST: In 2014 the Mendocino County Grand Jury issued a report on Mendocino County HHSA Animal Care Services. As a part of the report the Grand Jury recommended integrating Animal Care Services and Animal Control back into one department (i.e., the Sheriff’s Office). The Board directed staff to bring the item back in February 2015 with recommendations. Subsequent to the Board of Supervisors providing direction in 2014, the County has received an unsolicited letter of intent from the Petaluma Animal Services Foundation expressing their desire to assume management of Mendocino County Animal Care services. Staff has met numerous times to discuss the options for consideration regarding the operations of the ACS and have the following for Board of Supervisors consideration:

1) Move the shelter services under the Sheriff’s Office (which would consolidate ACS operations under one department);

2) Leave shelter services under HHSA (with Control services remaining with the Sheriff’s Office);

3) Direct staff to conduct further research regarding possible alternatives related to ACS (including the proposal from Petaluma Animal Services Foundation).

RECOMMENDED ACTION/MOTION: Accept recommendations regarding the HHSA Animal Care Services (ACS) in conjunction with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and direct staff to explore possible alternatives related to ACS (including the unsolicited letter of intent from Petaluma Animal Services Foundation).

* * *

Attached Letter:

Date: Wednesday, February 11, 2015

To: Carmel Angelo, Chief Executive Officer, County of Mendocino

From: Jeff Charter, Executive Director

Re: Unsolicited Letter of Intent

Petaluma Animal Services Foundation was recently contacted by a group of concerned Mendocino County citizens and Ukiah animal shelter volunteers regarding management of Mendocino County Animal Services. This group is led by the Mountanos Family. After careful consideration we wish to open discussions with the County of Mendocino regarding a potential contract with Petaluma Animal Services Foundation for the running of the Animal Care and Control Services Division. We believe this can be accomplished with no additional cost to the taxpayers while many improvements can be realized by the citizens of Mendocino County. This potential contract also allows the County to freeze their costs associated with the division, no cost increases are incurred by the County during the length of the contract.

Petaluma Animal Services Foundation currently provides services to The Cities of Petaluma, Healdsburg and Cloverdale. We also have a contract pending with the City of Calistoga. We are a 501c(3) nonprofit Corporation, TIN 45-2156120.

Jeff Charter, 707-293-6940

* * *


And this time: It’s Unanimous!

AGENDA ITEM 4(b) TITLE: Receipt of an Update on the Business Improvement District (BID) Ad Hoc Committee

PREVIOUS BOARD/BOARD COMMITTEE ACTIONS: November 10, 2014: The Board appointed Supervisors Gjerde and McCowen to the Business Improvement District (BID) Ad Hoc Committee; December 2, 2014: The BID Ad Hoc reported to the Board that additional time was needed to work with the BID stakeholders.

SUMMARY OF REQUEST: Supervisors Gjerde and McCowen have held a series of meetings with representatives of the Mendocino County Lodging Association (MCLA) and Mendocino County Promotional Alliance (MCPA) and are providing the attached memorandum titled “MCLA and MCPA representatives reach consensus on key Business Improvement District Issues” as an update to the Board.

As noted in the memorandum, at least one additional meeting is planned to further refine details of the proposed new governance structure. The Committee is optimistic that a revised BID ordinance and resolution will be presented to the Board for consideration in March.

Date: February 10, 2015

To: Mendocino County Lodging Association (MCLA) Board of Directors; Mendocino County Lodging Association Membership (via MCN listserv) Mendocino County Promotional Alliance (MCPA) Board of Directors

From: John Dixon, President of MCLA; Cally Dym, President of MCPA

Re: MCLA and MCPA representatives reach consensus on key Business Improvement District Issues

Background: The Board of Supervisors Business Improvement District (BID) Ad Hoc Committee (Supervisors Dan Gjerde and John McCowen) have been meeting with five representatives of MCLA (John Dixon, Renata Dorn, Jitu Ishwar, Marcus Magdaleno, and Roger Martin) and five representatives of MCPA (Cally Dym, John Kuhry, John Meyer, Jennifer Seward, and Hal Wagenet) in an effort to build consensus regarding proposed changes to the BID governance structure and assessment. During a joint meeting held February 6, 2015, the MCLA and MCPA participants reached consensus on key outstanding issues and agreed to recommend approval to their respective Boards of Directors. In order to reach agreement it was necessary for everyone to compromise on certain points in return for assurances on others. The participants believe that the package of agreed upon changes represents significant reform to the current BID process and will enhance our ability to efficiently and effectively promote Mendocino County. This statement has been reviewed and approved by Supervisors Gjerde and McCowen and each of MCLA and MCPA participants listed above.

The MCLA and MCPA representatives unanimously recommend endorsement of the following points by their respective boards:

  1. Elimination of the tiered BID proposal in favor of an across the board 2% assessment with a continuation of the 50% County match to be applied to all funds;
  2. A guarantee that a high (but yet to be determined) proportion of all new revenue will be dedicated to direct promotion and marketing, not administration;
  3. The County shall retain copyright and use rights to all documents and work products of the BID;
  4. Formation of a single Governing Board to administer the BID and oversee the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) and implementation of the approved Marketing Plan;
  5. MCLA and MCPA may continue as independent organizations but will have no direct authority over BID funds or administration;
  6. The Governing Board shall be subject to the Brown Act and shall provide for financial transparency in all DMO operations, including payroll;
  7. Governing Board members:
    1. shall be elected or appointed to three year terms based on their core business or organizational interest;
    2. shall be subject to term limits of no more than two terms (except a member who has completed less than one half of a full term may serve two additional terms if duly elected or appointed);
    3. shall be ineligible to serve for three years after being termed out;
  8. The Governing Board shall be composed of eleven (11) members as follows: five (5) Lodging; two (2) Chambers of Commerce; one (1) Mendocino Winegrowers, Inc.; one (1) Arts and Attractions; one (1) Food and Beverage (includes culinary, beer and other spirits); and one (1) At Large.
  9. All Governing Board members shall be required to submit a resume showing relevant experience; complete a questionnaire demonstrating their interest and commitment in promoting Mendocino County; and be elected or appointed as follows:
  10. Lodging members shall be directly elected (in a County conducted election) by and from lodging operators as follows: three (3) elected by large lodging operators; one (1) elected by medium lodging operators; one (1) elected by small lodging operators;
  11. Non-lodging members shall be appointed by the BOS as follows: two (2) members nominated by local Chambers of Commerce; one (1) member nominated by Mendocino Winegrowers, Inc.; one (1) member who applies from or is nominated by an Arts organization, an Attractions governing board, or Attractions proprietor; one (1) member who applies from a food or beverage business including culinary, beer and other spirits; one (1) member who applies At Large; and
  12. The BOS shall provide for public noticing of all vacancies; shall actively encourage multiple nominations for each open seat; and shall seek to provide for geographical diversity (for example: one member should be selected from nominees by the coastal chambers and one member selected from nominees by the inland chambers).

(Note: This process remains a work in progress with at least one additional meeting of the Ad Hoc members and the MCLA and MCPA participants in order to further refine the details of the new governance structure. Our intention is to present an updated recommendation for consideration by the MCLA and MCPA Boards of Directors at their next regularly scheduled meetings.)

* * *

ED NOTE: If that sounds workable to you, you must be one of the ad hoc committee members.

PS. Note that there’s conspicuously no estimate of the amount of money that the taxpayers will be contributing via the newly (to be) established 2% lodging tax. Under the previous proposal the County would have handed over $550k to the promotional perps next fiscal year (up from $360k this fiscal year). (Hint: It will be higher than the previous proposal.)

We particularly like the #2 kicker of a provision: “A guarantee that a high (but yet to be determined) proportion of all new revenue will be dedicated to direct promotion and marketing, not administration.”

At best, this depends on how you define “administration,” and who gets to decide which expense goes in which account.

PPS. In this wonderfully consensed and agreed upon RubeGoldberg arrangement there’s also conspicuously no mention of the current marketing organization known as “Visit Mendocino County” (VMC) which is the top heavy (and ineffective) “promotional” outfit that currently does whatever they do (mostly place ads in Foodie mags and host pricy wine and tourism mucky-mucks from outtahere to expensive Mendo-Yuppo events for free in hopes that they’ll write nice things about it — aka bribery) which provoked the whole re-evaluation in the first place. As long as they’re getting the promotional pot of gold (upwards of $2 mil a year now), it will be very difficult to get them to spend it on people other than themselves. (Funny, the promotional people never mention marijuana…)

* * *


AGENDA TITLE: Approval of Automobile Allowance for Interim Human Resources Director Position

PREVIOUS BOARD/BOARD COMMITTEE ACTIONS: On December 7, 1999, the Board of Supervisors approved Agreement No. 99-263 creating an executive automobile allowance for appointed Department Heads, and extended by Resolution No. 14-078 to elected and exempt Department Heads and approved County executives. On June 5, 2007, the Board amended agreement No. 99-263 by adopting Resolution No. 07-100 and Agreement No. 07-100A.

SUMMARY OF REQUEST: As provided in BOS Agreement No. 99-263, the following classifications/positions are eligible for an automobile allowance upon application to, and written approval from, the acting or appointed County Executive Officer, or designee, and acceptance by the Board of Supervisors: a) an assistant department head, who is an exempt bargaining unit employee, at the request of the appointing authority department head; b) Alternate Defender; and c) an acting, interim temporary or other non-appointed or non-exempt department head.

The Executive Office is requesting that the allowed amount of $250 per pay month (effective PP 3/15) be granted to the position of the current Interim Human Resources Director. Staff is seeking formal acceptance by the Board of Supervisors as prescribed by the language in the agreement.

RECOMMENDED ACTION/MOTION: Approve automobile allowance for Interim Human Resources Director; distribute approved paperwork to Human Resources, and Auditor.

(Cost: $3,000.)

* * *


(In all the following gibberish of an agenda item for the Board of Supes Tuesday meeting we could find nothing actually explaining what “Community Choice Aggregation” is.)

AGENDA TITLE: Authorization for the Chief Executive Officer Carmel J. Angelo to Sign an Agreement with California Clean Power to Begin a Feasibility Study Assessing the County’s Participation in a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Implementation Process

SUMMARY OF REQUEST: On February 10, 2015, California Clean Power presented Mendocino County representatives with information regarding a potential solution to assist the County in considering a customized Community Choice program. California Clean Power provides services that manage the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) implementation process from start-to-finish, including the intricacies of feasibility studies, working with utilities, regulation, power purchase, set-up and ongoing costs, legal support, political advocacy, public awareness, customer service and more. A feasibility study is the first step to the process in considering a CCA program. The agreement would grant California Clean Power the legal authority to contact PG&E on the County’s behalf and begin the research. Based upon the initial feasibility study, determinations can be made from both parties as to the viability of the program in Mendocino county. This initial feasibility process is considered preliminary and the County would not be responsible for any costs associated with this study should the County decide to not move forward with this project. It should be noted that the County is simultaneously looking into CCA options with Sonoma Clean Power as well. Should the County move forward with the feasibility study, the County will be able to utilize the information gathered from this study/review with multiple organizations and companies, not just California Clean Power.

RECOMMENDED ACTION/MOTION: Authorize the Chief Executive Officer Carmel J. Angelo to sign an Agreement with California Clean Power to begin the a feasibility study assessing the County’s participation in a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) implementation process.

* * *


“Community Choice Aggregation, abbreviated CCA, is a system (neither a company nor an organization) adopted into law in the states of Massachusetts, Ohio, California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Illinois which allows cities and counties to aggregate the buying power of individual customers within a defined jurisdiction in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts on a community-wide basis, but allowing consumers not wishing to participate to opt out. Also known as "Municipal Aggregation," "Governmental Aggregation," Electricity Aggregation," and "Community Aggregation," CCAs now serve nearly five percent of Americans in over 1300 municipalities as of 2014.[1] CCA's are de facto public utilities of a new form that aggregate regional energy demand and negotiate with competitive suppliers and developers, rather than the traditional utility business model based on monopolizing energy supply.”

* * *

These ideas sound nice in principle, but never work out well (kinda like cap & trade as a solution to global warming, but dumber) because, bad as PG&E is, the “clean power” alternatives frequently turn out to be the same people under another name at a higher cost because they are self-allegedly “clean.”

* * *


Glad you threw some written bouquets toward Dave Gurney. Dave is almost lovable, in an antic, yet miniature Teddy Bear sort of way, even when he is acting silly in public.

A couple of corrections to the piece [about Gurney & Co’s appeal in Friday’s Mendocino County Today] as a whole: The last sentence mentions the ‘shocking City Council decision…’ The Fort Bragg City Council hasn't heard the Hare Creek Shopping Center matter yet. It was the Fort Bragg Planning Commission that authored the split decision to deny the permits to the developers, but not require an EIR. The piece also refers to McDonald's being at the intersection of Highways One and Twenty. McDonald's is actually located a block north of that intersection…

Appreciated the truth (still today) of the Eleanor Roosevelt quote in Friday's “Mendocino County Today.”

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, February 13, 2015

Abreu, Bowes, Crow, Fields
Abreu, Bowes, Crow, Fields

SUMERR ABREU, Ukiah. Contempt of court, probation revocation.

ROBERT BOWES, Covelo. Drunk in public.

ALAN CROW, Clearlake/Ukiah. Reckless evasion, violation of county parole.

PATREASE FIELDS, Point Arena. Assault with deadly weapon not a firearm, child abuse/endangerment, failure to appear.

Gonzalez, Humphrey, Jewell, Jones
Gonzalez, Humphrey, Jewell, Jones

LUIS GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Driving without a license.

TRAVIS ‘THE HUMP’ HUMPHREY, Talmage. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

CLINT JEWELL, Willits. Domestic assault.

JOHNNIE JONES, Fort Bragg. Harboring a felon, conspiracy, failure to appear.

Long, Mecom, Perez, Sutherland
Long, Mecom, Perez, Sutherland

JEANETTE LONG, Philo. Probation revocation.

MARVIN MECOM, Monroe, Louisiana/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

MARYLOU PEREZ, Ukiah. Possession of meth.

RACHELLE SUTHERLAND, Ukiah. Charges pending.

Vigil, Willis, Yeomans, Zumwalt
Vigil, Willis, Yeomans, Zumwalt

LOUIE VIGIL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

SCOTTY WILLIS, Ukiah. Battery, domestic battery, brandishing, criminal threats of death or great bodily harm, assault with a deadly weapon not a firearm. (Frequent flyer.)

DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in pubic. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

HAYDEN ZUMWALT*, Laytonville. Drunk in public.

* According to his Facebook page the young Mr. Zumwalt was badly burned when his Laytonville trailer burned down about a year ago. The booking photo shows what appears to be a throat scar from that hospitalization. (Maybe that’s why he’s turning to booze at the tender age of 19.)


* * *

FORMER CONGRESSMAN DON CLAUSEN of Santa Rosa died last week at the age of 91. Not many people would remember it, but his entering politics, and his leaving it, tells us much about what has transpired in California and American politics over the past half century.


Don Clausen ran for Congress as a Republican in 1962 in a marginally Republican district running from Marin County to the Oregon border. His opponent was Democratic Rep. Clem Miller, but just before the election Miller was killed in a plane crash. Clausen, the gentleman that he was, stopped campaigning, but Democrats urged a sympathy vote for Miller, and on Election Day the dead Miller bested the live Clausen.

Clausen then entered and won the 1963 special election to replace Miller. It was hardly apparent at the time, but this was the beginning of the way back to power for the California Republican Party. A Republican replaced another Democratic congressman who died later in 1963; in 1964, the GOP picked up the US Senate seat, and then in 1966 along came Ronald Reagan and everything changed. Clausen’s victory was the start.

There were always more Democrats than Republicans in Clausen’s district, and he stayed in office by being a moderate, non-ideological Republican who brought home the bacon, including dams and roads. His best friend in Congress was neighboring Rep. Harold “Bizz” Johnson, the Democratic chairman of the House Public Works Committee.

Republicans had no chance to take the House during those years, because of the solid Democratic South, and while Clausen backed his GOP Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan at the end of his career, he saw no point in being a useless bomb thrower; instead he tried to be productive and work, where he could, with the majority Democrats.

In the late 1970s, Don and Bizz both recognized a problem: Don’s coastal district was becoming more Democratic, while Bizz’s inland district was more Republican. So they made a pact in the 1981 redistricting to trade voters to make each of them safer. But in the Reagan landslide of 1980, Bizz got beat by a Republican, so there was no one to make the deal with Don.

Enter now Rep. Phil Burton, Democrat of San Francisco. Burton was the master at redistricting, and in the past he had helped make all members of the California delegation safe. Clausen trusted Burton; they had neighboring districts and had worked on a number of projects. But Burton went on a gerrymandering rampage in 1981 to increase Democrats in the California delegation, and one of his first victims was Republican Clausen.

Bosco, mid-80s
Bosco, mid-80s

Burton drew him a district that was impossible to win and in 1982 Clausen went down to defeat to a young Democratic Assemblyman named Doug Bosco.

Phil Burton’s 1981 gerrymander, his contribution to modern art he called it, was the first truly brutal partisan gerrymander in American history, but not the last. I chuckle when I hear bleating Democrats complain about what the Republicans did to them in Texas – where they only have 11 of 36 congressional districts, or Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan where GOP governors and legislatures have reduced their House membership to almost nothing. Burton taught them how to do it, and if a nice guy like Clausen could be cut out of his district, Republicans in future decades would have no restraint on doing the same thing when they were in power.

Don Clausen was what people say they want in a legislator, a hard worker for his district who got along with the other side. He probably would have lost eventually; the north coast was just becoming too Democratic. But he did not deserve to be gerrymandered out of his seat as Burton did to him. Clausen has a legacy of roads and water projects in his district; Burton’s legacy is that of the great gerrymanderer who taught the Republicans how to do it, so much so that they have now cut and diced enough states to probably assure a GOP House of Representatives forever and ever.

Tony Quinn (Courtesy,

* * *

MARIN MOM LASHES BACK at false 'measles party’ media furor

* * *

THE SATURDAY BOONVILLE WINTER MARKET is on Valentine's Day at the regular time, 10-12:30 (the good stuff goes early), in front of the Boonville General Store.

We will have simple Kid's Yarn Scarf Making - any mid-kids out there?

Here's what we know about the lineup (others tend to show up, as well):

Nancy Mayer - Russian kale, red chard, lacinato kale, herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, maybe some arugula,) carrots, daffodils, paper whites, butternut squash, and hats

Yorkville Olive Oil - oil in both sizes, 375 ml and 750 ml

Judy Nelson - valentine heart beads and more

WildeAcre Farm - sun chokes, yacon, creme fraiche, sauerkraut, water kefir, honey vanilla yogurt, almond chia muffins, and chocolate hearts for Valentines Day (and maybe some eggs)

AV Community Farm will be there with Cabbage, Turnips, Chard, dried fruit and veggies, hot sauce, pesto, eggs, and USDA meat: Lamb, Pork, and Beef.

— Tim Ward

* * *

AV FOODSHED'S 3RD SUNDAY SOUP POTLUCK AND MOVIE NIGHT is this Sunday Feb 15, potluck at 6, with the film and discussion following. Future of Hope is a documentary that will take us on a journey focused on the sustainable developments in organic farming, business, innovations in renewable energy & environment, all instrumental in restoring hope to the frozen country of Iceland.

Please bring soup enough for 6 people and/or anything that would go great with soup (ie; bread, salad, dessert, your choice) also B.Y.O. Dish/Bowl/utensils/glass...

Also at this event you will have the opportunity to support AV Food Bank by bringing sealed pantry items and/or abundance from your garden.

* * *

THE ANDERSON VALLEY GRANGE MONTHLY MEETING is this Tuesday Feb 17, potluck at 6:00, meeting at 7:00. Great things are happening at the AV Solar Grange. C'mon down to the Grange Hall in Philo and check it out.

* * *


Letter to the Editor,

Listen to the news on TV or read about it in the newspaper, including your own, and the amount of killing going on domestically and globally is mind-boggling. Take a look at the video games and movies and one's mind staggers at the violent assault on both the mind and emotions.

Yes, there has always been killing, down through the ages. This in spite of the fact that every known human culture in history has banned via taboo the act of murder and of incest. Yet history is full of countless murders, all of which got rationalized.

The rationalizations have mostly been in the form of “God wills it” when it has been murder in the name of the religion, or the tribe. The second most common rationalization has been by the state or the tribe, in wars. “National interest” or “tribal interest” have been hauled out ad infinitum to excuse the killing. The drive for more territory, more power, more resources make it all seem so necessary.

According to the police most murders are either about love or about money or about revenge for some real or imagined act. When you combine the murders for personal reasons with the murders for “reasons of state or tribe” it seems to be the case that we humans like to kill each other.

Wait a minute say most people. Is it not true that the great majority of human beings never kill anybody? They may want to, but they don”t actually do it. True enough, but when it is done in their name very few protest. They act out the urge to kill vicariously. They hire substitutes called soldiers to go and do it for them, and then make them heroes when they do it.

Is there, deep in our collective unconscious, a desire to kill; and if there is, why is it there? I have a suspicion that killing another person, or many of them, whether directly or indirectly, provides the perpetrator with an affirmation that he or she is still alive.

It is, after all, the fact of being conscious of our own mortality that separates us from the other animals. Knowing we are going to die gives us a reason, albeit unconscious, to need to re-affirm that we are still alive. Every generation needs its own war(s). This is not a happy thought.

The instinct for survival is deeply hard-wired in each of us. Is it such a stretch to posit that when we kill we are unconsciously affirming our own life?

Lee Simon

Still in Virginia

* * *


* * *


Dear Friend,

We are a month into the 114th Congress and I wanted to update you on what I've been working on:

New Environmental Leadership Role in 114th Congress

I was named Ranking Member of the newly-created House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans. The Subcommittee oversees America's water resources (including federal reservoirs and local water recycling programs), commercial fisheries and coastal management, and tribal and interstate water rights.

I know we'll have our work cut out for us to restore fisheries, improve West-wide water supply reliability, and protect our coastline. I have been privileged to work on a number of statewide water successes in my career, and I look forward to tackling the complex natural resource issues that we face in a constructive, problem-solving manner.

Transportation & Infrastructure

I was also named a member of the powerful House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which oversees the nation's roads, bridges, highways, airports, ferries, pipelines, rivers, and harbors. I look forward to bringing fresh ideas to the table to ensure Congress invests in critically-needed updates to transportation infrastructure.

There's a lot we can do to meet California's North Coast transportation infrastructure needs: from congestion relief on Highway 101, dredging of harbors and waterways, funding for public transportation, smart flood management programs, and maintaining rural airport service.

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is also one of the most important committees in the fight against climate change. I will use the position on the committee to focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and investing in climate change mitigation.

I already introduced a bill to ensure that the Highway Trust Fund—which funds transportation projects across the United States—stays solvent, and fights climate change. Read more about it HERE.

The bad news:

As you can tell, I'm ready to get to work! Unfortunately, the 114th Congress is so far repeating the playbook of the 113th Congress: last week the House voted for the 56th time to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Instead of ceaselessly rehashing these stale ideas, we should be working together on things that we agree on— investing in infrastructure, education, and research —and securing the American dream for ALL Americans.

For example, I know many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle agree that Congress should do more for rural America. Fortunately, President Obama has proposed several ideas in his budget to help rural America:

It would double federal investment in rural broadband. Right now, many people across the North Coast don't have access to reliable high-speed Internet. This is something we can work together to fix. We should work together to close the digital divide in rural America.

It would invest $920 million to support rural business creation.

It would establish a bold infrastructure program. The President's budget proposal fills the gap in the Highway Trust Fund, which funds transportation projects across the United States, and accounts for more than 48.1% of California's transportation budget. We need to work together to ensure that Americans can get where they're going efficiently and safely.

I hope to work with colleagues in both parties who represent rural areas to hopefully move some of these policies forward.


These are just some of the areas I'll be working on in the new Congress. In the weeks ahead, I will provide more information on my 2015 legislative package—an ambitious series of bills I am authoring on a wide range of priorities from environmental protection to education, water supply reliability, transportation infrastructure and more. I will also update you on the dozens of bills I'm co-sponsoring. Despite the gridlock and general lack of productivity in the last Congress, I was proud of what we were able to accomplish during my freshman term. The 114th Congress brings new opportunities to get things done for this great district that I am honored to represent.

If you would like to stay up to date on my work in Congress, please subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here, friending me on Facebook, or following me on Twitter at @RepHuffman.


Congressman Jared Huffman

* * *


How Brian Williams (and Tom Brokaw) betrayed my family

by Sherri Mandell

When Williams interviewed my family in our home, he similarly staged a false drama in order to sell a story. And in that process, he betrayed us and his viewers.

Brian Williams interviewed our family in the late of summer 2004 about our son Koby’s murder. We sat on the nubby sofas in our sunroom in Tekoa, in the West Bank, and he told us that he had been in the neighborhood -- in Greece for the summer Olympics -- and that is how he came to be in Israel. I looked at his pressed pants, his shiny black shoes, his clean shirt: impeccable.

Tom Brokaw was still the anchor of NBC news but I knew that Williams was set to take over in the following months. I asked Mr. Williams: “Do you have any special education about this part of the world?”

“No,” he said, to his credit. “I wish I did have more knowledge.”

I wasn’t surprised. After my son’s murder, I felt sure that journalists who interviewed us would be specialists in some way, experts in the history and cultures and religions of this region. But that was rarely the case. Knowledge was certainly not a prerequisite for an interviewer.

After talking about how we came to Israel, we told Mr. Williams that Koby and Yosef had been eighth-grade boys who cut school, went hiking in the canyon behind our home in 2001, and were murdered by Palestinians terrorists, beaten with rocks.

He sympathized and then asked whether Seth had a gun. Seth said yes -- he had one locked in a safe upstairs in the bedroom.

“Would you mind going upstairs and getting the gun so we can film you with it?” his producer asked Seth.

Seth said no. We both realized that they wanted to stage a scene -- to reinforce a stereotype, a visual of the angry rifle-toting, trigger-happy settler.

Brian Williams interviewed us for about a half an hour. We told him how Koby was not to blame, that the Palestinians had incited violence. We were told that the story would appear on NBC news sometime in the next week.

A few days later, we saw the interview on the Internet. I was furious. I wasn’t upset by what Seth and I had said. We were distraught about the way our story was framed. To open the segment, NBC interviewed an Israeli -- an English speaker from Tel Aviv -- about her views on the intifada. She sat on the couch in her Tel Aviv apartment and said: The settlers are a cancer on today’s society. They are the reason for all of the problems in Israel.

Then the newscaster said: And here is an example of the people she is talking about: Seth and Sherri Mandell. Settlers from Tekoa. And the camera panned to show us sitting on our couch in our sunroom...How could they malign and betray us like that? How could they mislead us into thinking that they were going to tell our story, our story alone? Nobody had informed us that my son’s murder would be folded into a specious debate about the settlements.

The next morning I wrote to Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw. I sent them an email that said that the way they had framed the broadcast was outrageous, and that they had done us -- and the memory of our son Koby -- an injustice. They had let the woman from Tel Aviv attack us without giving us a chance to defend ourselves. It was as if she and they had personally called us a cancer.

Tom Brokaw emailed me back. He wrote that the night the program had aired, he had been out to dinner with a Jewish couple, friends of his who had seen the broadcast and thought that it was just fine. A lovely Jewish couple who he had dined with had found the broadcast unobjectionable. Indeed they had felt that we, the settlers, were portrayed very positively.

This was his answer? That was his logic? That a Jewish couple he knew thought that the segment was a wonderful example of journalism. His defense seemed pathetic: no evidence other than an unrepresentative couple who were his friends. This is how the anchor of major network news supported his opinions, garnered his evidence?

I never heard back from Brian Williams.

Thanks to The Augean Stables.



  1. humbilly February 14, 2015

    Clausen was in Big Timbers back pocket but to his credit Redwood Nat’l Park happened on his watch (Nixon)
    Bosco the ultimate ‘me too’ phony married into timber money and turned sour
    Burton brothers exemplify the misuse of power in this country, one still poisoning the well in Sacto…

  2. MarshallNewman February 14, 2015

    Webster and Tatum! Two jazz giants in a lovely rendition of “My Funny Valentine.” The version by Frank Sinatra is also worth a listen.

  3. Harvey Reading February 14, 2015


    No, Virginia, there is NO Santa Claus … And, truth be told, humans are an evolutionary dead-end species, one that is not destroyed by natural changes, but by itself.

    • Rick Weddle February 14, 2015

      Not where I live.

      • Harvey Reading February 14, 2015

        Where’s that? Sounds like a tiny dream land.

        • R. Weddle February 14, 2015

          Tiny dreamland? No, Mr. Reading. I’m fortunate to have a bunch of prize-winning Humans about, family members, acquaintances, and good friends, all of whom are at least as cognizant as you seem to be. We live on the troubled planet Earth, and though beset by several crises, each of them urgent, not one of us is resigned to the Jonestown-style tune being played for us. Perhaps where you live, that’s the only station you get? We do have some complicated problems, it doesn’t take very many brain-cells lined up and sparkin’ to see that. You may believe Humans were smart enough to get us into this fix, but not quite smart enough to solve the Puzzle. I don’t. And it matters not a fraction of a crap whether it’s ‘too late,’ the conservation of angular momentum will perk along just fine whether we’re here to puzzle over it or not…like Always. So what are we doing in the Mean Time besides enumerating our woes?

          • Harvey Reading February 15, 2015

            You’re not gonna “fix” anything until world population is brought within the carrying capacity of the planet, which isn’t likely to happen. And, humans were DUMB enough to get us into this fix, not smart. The problems are not “complicated. They’re simple. But calling them complicated lets people off the hook in terms of responsibility.

            This country relies for its food supply on petrochemicals. Midwestern soils, where our staples are produced, were exhausted decades ago. When they’re gone, guess what? No food. The idiots who think they’re gonna go “local” for food are out of their minds. Most of the country cannot produce enough food to supply even regional need, irrespective of the “locovore” crowd, which is completely loco.

            What you’re peddling is pure Mendo middle-class nonsense.

  4. Jim Updegraff February 14, 2015

    In re: to the speak no evil Christians. You would think this way if you believe in a personal God. A Pew poll on religion showed a significant number of those polled do not believe in a personal God.That is,a God that answers prayers or punishes or rewards people for their actions. An interesting question that currently is being discussed – Can there be Christianity without a God?

    • Harvey Reading February 14, 2015

      Sure, it’s called fascism.

      • Harvey Reading February 14, 2015

        … along with nationalism, patriotism, militarism, and atheism (the BELIEF in the nonexistence of a supreme being, which is quite different than the state of having NO belief system at all, which is quite satisfying).

  5. Harvey Reading February 14, 2015

    “… friending me …” Please. And so, the democraps keep on with their bullshit, now that they know for certain that there isn’t a chance in hell of anything they propose getting through the cesspool of congress … when once again they take power, they will revert to their their actual record of voting for the interests of their wealthy elite controllers. There is little that is more worthless than a congressional “newsletter”, unless it’s one of the sewer rats meeting with the public, usually scheduled when most commoners are working, so that only the peddlers and the wealthy are likely to attend. And, why should they bother? They already have a direct line to the great one.

  6. Rick Weddle February 14, 2015

    re: killing through the ages…
    The homicidal culture described by Lee Simon here is close to accurate, in my own view, but some reservations are in order. Our histories are chronological lists of ‘advances’ marked by conflicts written almost entirely by the victors with considerable cosmetic adjustment to their ‘facts’. Opposing accounts have been allowed where their authors have some sense of what’s good for them regarding consequences of their reporting. This leads many to accept that war is somehow tattooed into our DNA. How very refreshing, then, to come upon loudly outspoken opposition to this view coming from one who’s counted among ‘our’ most highly decorated victors. General Smedley D. Butler’s book, ‘War Is A Racket,’ calls it more accurately, I think. His assertion that wars (all of ’em) are highly-organized crime, perpetrated for cash and prizes, places war in the aberrant criminal category, correctly. Butler’s point is in solid agreement with the older pronouncement by von Klauswitz (another military ‘expert’) that ‘the sole cause of war is undefended wealth.’ No burglar ever blamed the victim for the crime more succinctly.

    The ravages of empire in the old days were limited in their reach, both geographically, and internally, within the cultures of the belligerents. All the damage the Hittites could do in their neighborhood didn’t mean crap to a tree in Brazil. Now, it’s way different.

    Refreshing too was the American revolutionary notion that the manifest and consistent harm done among human populations by tiny, obscure elites could be minimized and even ended by Constituting a lawful government specifically to outlaw such piracy by ‘rulers.’

    I suggest that the present version of the military/ industrial/media cult has gone far in coloring our vision and defining our role in contravention to almost all of our Laws, but also to our inherent sense of decency, to our innate cooperative impulses.

    There’s lots more to being a homo sapiens sapiens than the killer ape image with which we’re so often presented. Otherwise, we’d never have gotten this far. Nor would we have lasted this long IN SPITE OF the homicidal tendencies so often noted in our species.

    We’re still encouraged to accept the misrepresentation of people as murderously flawed, even though we know damned well better than that, individually and in groups.

    So how is it we continue to endure such misrepresentation individually and in groups? How is it we can accept war as part of our ‘nature,’ when in fact it’s our least attractive, most dangerous ARTIFACT?

    The hack ‘fundraiser’ Mark Hanna said of Wm. Jennings Bryan, when Bryan was running for pres. against the Sugar Trust’s boy, McKinley, “…You don’t think we’d let that fool in the White House do you? You know you can hire half the people in this country to kill the other half, and we’ve got the money to hire them.” This sociopathic, homicidal attitude was then already firmly in control of ‘our’ national government, elections, etc. Small wonder that Teddy Roosevelt (who was in a position to know whereof he spoke) then publicly warned against ‘…that most dangerous of classes: the wealthy criminal class.’

    People are not born fighting mad or killing crazy; they’ve got to be trained, conditioned to it. Accepting the training and conditioning then has us subscribing to Senator Hanna’s peculiar and highly rewarding psychoses. That’s not helping.

  7. Harvey Reading February 14, 2015

    Gotta admit, I cannot empathize with so-called West Bank “settlers”. Williams was just another sanctimonious act, like Brokaw before him, and Cronkite (Frankly Unctuous) even earlier. If people would just quit watching and listening to broadcast nooze, and stop reading major newspapers and weeklies, those scum would be forced into honest work.

  8. trickledown February 14, 2015

    Re the utility undergrounding in Ukiah. Since the digging and placement is the major expense in any undergrounding project why not have the city pay for an extra conduit to be placed alonside the ATT lines in case the city or att want to run fiber in the future. That would save a lot of money in the long run.

  9. Jim Updegraff February 14, 2015

    An interesting fact about Smedley Butler is he was a Quaker. After retiring he became a pacifist. His father, also a Quaker, was a Congressman who was chair of the budget committee that passed on the Marine Corp budget Which no doubt was a help to his career.

  10. debrakeipp February 14, 2015

    Dianna Krall’s version delightful.

  11. Rick Weddle February 16, 2015

    re: ‘intelligence’

    It’s more than amusing, among the only species in the known universe with a word for intelligence (or the need for one), there’d be so many claiming a monopoly on that bright faculty, having sole possession of its correct definition and of its function in the world. Mr. Reading takes his place among this cerebrally elite throng, each of whom is bleating their lone superiority there. Golly, we’re so fortunate to have ’em, and their many gracious contributions. It might be said of each of these that it’s ‘lonely at the top,’ except there are so very many of them.

    We ‘advanced’ folks are lofted upon lots of layers of cross-laminated complications through which our view of simplicity is obscured…to the point it doesn’t seem to occur to even our ‘most intelligent’ that the dirt-simple answers to our Problems can be had by listening to those we habitually call ‘backward.’ In bedrock fact, there have been many (and still are vestiges) of successful Human cultures (unlike this one) with their ‘backward’ grasp that enables them to maintain stable populations in balance with their resources over indefinite periods of time…specifically and intentionally.

    How you or I define intelligence doesn’t mean shit to a tree in Brazil, or to the ones being murdered there trying to protect it…unless we contribute something real. Dueling semantics ain’t it.

    I’m pretty sure Mr. Reading and I are in agreement on lots of things about our world. It’s clear that Americans are long in the habit of a kind of self-determination much like the milk cow runs the dairy; taxcattle forever taking a screwin’ and keeping right on mooin.’ Looking and acting like a dying calf in a hailstorm won’t be of any use whatever in the survival department. If we’re going to insist on whining about our difficulties and barking about our intellectual primacy, looks like we might DO something with some results in it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.