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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Feb 27, 2015

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BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — In his most extensive comments on the JonBenet Ramsey case, the former Colorado police chief who led the investigation into the high-profile 1996 slaying of the 6-year-old beauty queen acknowledged online that officers botched the initial handling of the crime scene.

Dr. & Mrs. Keegan
Dr. & Mrs. Keegan

WHICH IS WHAT HAPPENED here with the murder of Susan Keegan, 55, of Ukiah, a prominent and popular member of the community murdered November 11th, 2010. Her killer is unlikely to be prosecuted although her death certificate under cause of death reads, "Homicide." Why no prosecution? There's no other theory about what happened, no late night mystery intruder, no enemies other than the one she was married to.

THE KEEGAN CRIME SCENE was botched. Er, check that. “Botched” isn't the word we want; the site of Mrs. Keegan's visibly suspicious death was not treated as a crime scene. The Keegan home wasn't sealed off, the home wasn't searched for a weapon, a statement wasn't taken from Dr. Peter Keegan, the only other person in the home at the time of his wife's death from at least two blows to the top of her head. The doctor simply told the two cops from the Sheriff's Department, one a rookie the other with no investigative experience, that his wife had died from a drunken fall in her bathroom, a final slander of the doctor's wife of thirty years.

THE REACTION IN UKIAH? Most prevalent were versions of, “But, but, but... Gee, Peter Keegan was my family doctor. I know him. It's impossible that he killed Susan.” Nice People, especially Mendo Nice People, don't kill their wives by bludgeoning them to death or, as in another uninvestigated case with its origins here in Amnesia County, they don't blow up their ex-wives with car bombs. Why? Because we know them.

THE OBVIOUS PERP was only belatedly regarded as a poss-perp when the present DA was in office and took a close look at the case. But by then a certifiably incompetent coroner had written that the wounds to Mrs. Keegan's head could have been caused by a fall. A personal friend of the incompetent coroner soon declared that his Ukiah buddy's autopsy had been capably carried out. Subsequently, a third coroner, hired by DA Eyster, said Susan Keegan had clearly been murdered.

KEEGAN, soon after his wife's death, hired ace criminal defense attorney, Keith Faulder of Ukiah, an odd hire by a man whose wife has suddenly died innocently in a bathroom fall. The doctor's second act was to advertise for a girlfriend on Facebook.

COMPETING CORONERS isn't the only problem DA Eyster faces in trying the doctor for murder, defense attorney Faulder will make mincemeat of the Sheriff's Department's non-investigation. However, in the opinion of the writer, who is not a detective, given everything else known about the circumstances of Mrs. Keegan's death, there is plenty to convince a jury that the doctor murdered his wife. The DA ought to at least take his case to a criminal grand jury. Let them decide if Dr. Keegan should be indicted and prosecuted.

INCIDENTALLY, anyone who's been falling down drunk in a bathroom — count me among those many millions — knows that it's virtually impossible to fall and die from a wound TO THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD. I suppose the deceased could have climbed up on her bathroom sink and hurled herself spear-like head first against the floor, but most of us drunks simply swoon in a heap somewhere in the vicinity of the toilet bowl.

THE DA has put a lot of time and effort into the Keegan investigation, and the reason he has is because he and his staff know that the poor woman was murdered. But the DA just doesn't think there's enough in the way of solid evidence to convince a jury.

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A GUY at Healdsburg Printing told me the best thing I've heard yet about our hard-hitting Congressman, Jared Huffman: The Huff has been leaning on the Post Office to get Nothcoast newspapers to their readers in a timely manner, which hasn't happened in at least a decade. There are lots of small circulation papers and other periodicals on the Northcoast, and every single one of them laments loud and long that the P.O. is not getting their publications to their readers with anything like reasonable timeliness. And we all pay second class rates, which is supposed to expedite delivery, not delay it. Go, Huff!

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SCANNING THE HEALDSBURG paper, I read a letter to the editor decrying both the large new structure where the old post office used to be and the meat business it will soon house. The letter prompted me to do a fast reality check on my normally infallible aesthetic sense. (You just rushed past a joke, literalists.) I think the new building is beautiful, a kind of neo-Mediterranean job you might call it, and very nicely accomplished for a building its size. The meat biz? Why should that bother anybody? O, excuse me. I seemed to have strayed from the catechism. Cows cause global warming, meat is bad for you, and so on. If cows are good enough for a billion Hindus, by Shiva they're good enough for me! Anyway, I'm told the building will not only house a century old local meat biz but an upscale restaurant and four or five fancy suites upstairs for the high end gastro-maniacs who now make Healdsburg their destination. The only reason I might have for ever stepping foot in the place is to buy some beef jerky, but whatever it houses Healdsburg has itself a very nice new building.

Healdsburg Meat Company
Healdsburg Meat Company

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IF ISIS can recruit wannabe fanatics from around the world, why can't America's toughest talkers form a kind of idiot's Lincoln Brigade, a volunteer force to fight Isis? We could call it the Fox News Brigade with O'Reilly and Hannitty as its frontline commanders.

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by Jennifer Savage

If you paid attention to the Oscars, you already know that Citizenfour, the documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, took top honors in its category – catch up here if you’d like.

Concurrently, Bob Rowen, who blew the whistle on PG&E’s Humboldt Bay nuclear power plant, has a new book out, My Humboldt Diary: A True Story of Betrayal of the Public Trust, which he describes as, “a well-documented explanation of why the general public cannot rely on the operators of nuclear power plants, or the regulators of them, to provide for the welfare and safety of the American public.”

My Humboldt Diary is not only Rowen’s account of how his experience working at the Humboldt Bay nuclear power plant turned him against nuclear power and caused him to become disenchanted with America’s system of justice, but a chronicle of “how powerful and sinister America’s nuclear juggernaut truly is.”

Humboldt Bay Unit No. 3

Rowen appeared on KHUM’s Coastal Currents Thursday at noon to talk about what prompted the diary and about the upcoming book signing at the Jogg’n Shoppe, Saturday, Feb. 28, noon to 3 p.m. While having a book signing at a running equipment store might seem an odd combination, history notes otherwise. The reason the signing’s at the Jogg’n Shoppe is to honor [former power plant coworker] Forrest Williams,” Rowen explained. The Jogg’n Shoppe is owned by Forrest’s son, Mike Williams, “who is very familiar with what his dad went through during our nuclear workplace ordeal at Humboldt Bay.”

For more of Rowen’s backstory, read this excellent 2008 North Coast Journal profile.

For more on his current efforts to prevent future development of nuclear power, see the video linked here:

(courtesy Lost Coast Outpost)

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Dear Editoria,

The editor here in Lake County at the Record-Bee — David Faries, — has been very supportive, a real FIRST in Lake County. The Bee, of course, is owned by the same people that run the UDJ, under Kevin McConnell (if that helps).

The importance of this article isn't my effort to protect a single individual — which is an ongoing travail, more to come in challenging the responsible agencies on the particular individual's behalf — but the fact that our new County Supervisor actually talked about the enormity of this issue statewide and regionally, and supported our modest effort to protect the person in need.

After nearly 15 years of wrangling with local "cases" (I'm not a licensed anything) that could not be discussed because of various privacy laws, and being stonewalled by the local agencies, this particular individual's willingness to allow publicizing her plight gave me free rein to open up the conversation.

As we all know, this is a matter that horrifically impacts our rural societies, civic bodies, and community services — all of which receive little if any "support" from the official agencies and governmental offices to whom we are forced to turn.

Mendocino's current "mental health" service debacle (vis. the Ortner Group contract with MCMHD) is a further degradation of the "social contract" — we are only one step removed from being turned over to an "outside agency" as your services were.

And our long-standing county policies that virtually (but never explicitly) prohibit discussion of any "negative" issues must be overturned to restore comity in the body politic. Keep up the magnificent work, and thanks every day for the AVA.

Betsy Cawn*

The Essential Public Information Center

Upper Lake, CA 707-275-9376

*Senior Support Services - Upper Lake, CA / Outreach & Advocacy Program Director

P.S. — the quote from our Lake County Social Services director is priceless, and more than makes up for the financial hit we took to keep this woman from being in "imminent danger," which is one of the legal mandates of the Area Agency on Aging. Refer to this little known federal law: Oh, but the agency in charge is a different Social Services Department, so no one in AAA has this responsibility, eh?

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by Dick Meister

Finally, serious steps are being taken to curtail baseball's deadly chewing tobacco habit — proposed legislation that would ban its use throughout California beginning next year.

The great need for a ban should be obvious. Chewing tobacco is highly addictive, slovenly, disgusting, repulsive. It causes cancer that can eat away at your throat, mouth, lips, tongue, your face and digestive system. It can kill. It's a serious threat to the health of Major League Baseball players and millions of others.

One-third of major leaguers use it, stuffing their mouths with foul tasting leaves or loose bits of tobacco, spewing out streams of muddy brown juice. It's used as well by many players at other levels, high school, college and minor leagues, professional and amateur, and by at least six million others who similarly risk their health - if not their lives.

Many of the other users, particularly the young, began using the stuff as a direct result of the example set by major leaguers.

The players convey "a strong message that it's safe because young, healthy, wealthy athletes are using it," says Dr. Michael Ericksen, who helped conduct one of several federal studies showing the dangers of smokeless tobacco.

The figures on use by the young are startling. Eighty percent of users start before age 18, including about 15 percent of high school boys and 10 percent of middle-schoolers. Every year, more than one million teenagers and pre-teens try spit tobacco, and every year about 300,000 of them become regular users.

One of those who started young was Sean Marsee, who was voted "most valuable athlete" in his high school class in Ada, Oklahoma. He began using tobacco when he was 12.

By the time young Marsee reached high school, he was using 7 to 10 cans a week. By the time he reached his senior year, in 1983, he had developed a painful sore on his tongue that was diagnosed as malignant. Operations over next six months cut out parts of the tongue, then parts of his throat and jaw. But nothing could contain the cancers. Within a few months he was dead.

Although the example is extreme, it's not unique, and it accurately illustrates the dangers of smokeless tobacco.   Cancer is but one of the consequences. Tobacco users also risk heart ailments, high blood pressure, ulcers, and severe gum and tooth diseases.

Using smokeless tobacco is even more dangerous than smoking. A pinch of it delivers to the body within seconds three to four times the amount of nicotine that a cigarette delivers to the lungs and stays in the system twice as long. Addiction develops more quickly, too.

Players are generally aware of the dangers, but that doesn't stop them from using spit tobacco - even the 60 percent who are estimated to already have developed possibly cancerous lesions in their mouths.

"There's just a lot of vacant time around here, a lot of nervous energy," one player explained. "It's one way of dealing with it."

A manager observed that "ballplayers get tense, and when you get tense, your mouth might get a little dry, and chewing helps."

The bubble gum and sunflower seeds favored by some players could accomplish the same thing. But as one player who turned to tobacco instead noted, "You get hooked. It makes you light-headed, on your toes."

It's a habit not easily broken. Just ask Curt Schilling about his attempt to quit while he was pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies a few years back: "I was waking up in the middle of the night - getting violently ill, throwing up, sweating, everything."

Some players who've tried to quit have had to take time off because of the intense withdrawal pains they have suffered. Most users, however, don't even bother to try quitting. Most don't even want to try.

A few who have managed to shake the habit have joined with some other players, superstar Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs among them, in a nationwide campaign by the non-profit Oral Health America to educate players and the general public about the dangers of the habit.

Major League Baseball and the Baseball Players Association have joined in the campaign, Among other things, that has kept tobacco companies from continuing their years-long practice of stocking clubhouses with unlimited supplies of free spit tobacco. As television viewers undoubtedly have noticed, it also has caused players to limit their tobacco spitting while on camera. But the players' use of tobacco has declined only slightly.

Officially, use is banned in the minor leagues and in college and high school baseball. But even so, use ranges to up to at least 30 percent of the players.

What's obviously needed is an outright ban on the use of deadly smokeless tobacco in the major leagues as well - and strict enforcement of the ban there and throughout baseball, despite concerns that it would violate the rights of players. Their health and that of millions of other Americans is at stake.

Copyright © 2015 Dick Meister, a San Francisco freelance columnist (

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THE CLINTON FOUNDATION raked in millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments, including Kuwait and Qatar, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, foundation officials revealed to The Washington Post on Wednesday. The contributions included a $500,000 donation from the Algerian government that violated an ethics agreement with the Obama administration, but the foundation contends the half-mil arrived without notice for the relief effort for Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. The donations were used to fund philanthropic work or multi-year grants on initiatives such as lowering the cost of HIV and AIDS medication, a foundation spokesman told the Post. Clinton formally joined the foundation in 2013 after leaving the Obama administration. The donations raise concern as foreign governments and individuals are banned from donating to U.S. political candidates, but the Clinton non-profit's spokesman said it will "begin taking steps to change the role of foreign donors if Clinton runs in the presidential election."

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Dear folks,

The Fort Bragg City Council will hear two appeals concerning the proposed Hare Creek Mall proposal at its meeting on March 23 at Town Hall starting at 6 p.m. It will hear the appeal of the Planning Commission's decision to OK the Mitigated Negative Declaration instead of an Environmental Impact Report.  The Council will also hear the developer's appeal of the Planning Commission's decision to deny the permits for the project. If you don't want to see an ugly mall at the entrance to Fort Bragg from both Highways 20 and 1 please attend this important meeting and make your feelings heard. Please write a letter to the City Council as well. Citizens for Appropriate Coastal Land Use ( will be circulating petitions against the Hare Creek Mall for anyone to sign and they will be handed in to the City Council.

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I am writing to appeal to the Community, Fort Bragg City Council and the Board of the Hospitality Center. Thanks to the excellent grant writing skills of Jennifer Owen, the compassion of the community and good work of the Hospitality Center’s Board we have an opportunity to create an environment that meets the needs of homeless and mental health clients.

The Old Coast Hotel is an inadequate and inappropriate site for the 1.2 million dollar project proposed. This decision will impact the city for generations; let’s not make a mistake that our children have to correct. Let’s not feel pressured by fear of losing money.  Let’s take a deep breath, open our hearts and minds to the reality of the situation. Let’s not “work around” city parking codes, confidentiality regulations and the federal ADA law. Let’s think like locals and get the “biggest bang for our buck.” We can do better than the Old Coast Hotel.

Ms. Owen reported to the City Council that at capacity there will be 12 housing units.   The report states that no permits are needed if people are housed on the second floor of the building.  The second floor is not accessible to people with physical disabilities. Permits for accessible unit/s on the first floor will be applied for later. The five units disclosed to the public will become at least 12.  Selective disclosure makes it hard to trust or support the City Councilmen and the Hospitality Center.

The Old Coast Hotel is in the business district.  People going in and out have no privacy.  Privacy is a legal mandate and right of the clients. Clients will not go there for the services they need for fear of being seen, labeled, judged. The location is inappropriate for this vulnerable and sometimes volatile population. A police officer on site will make the situation worse as it triggers people; criminalizing and stigmatizing unfairly.

The old hotel sound proofing is antiquated; privacy inside the building is marginal at best.  Crying, noises, offices downstairs; a noise problem is inevitable.  How could this site possibly accommodate HIPPA confidentiality law?  Where will the children play?

Staff cars, day service clients’ cars, residents’ cars, and in a mental health crisis - the police, ambulance and family members’ cars have to be parked. Where will the 30-50 cars park?  Why would anyone want to get around rules important to traffic flow?

We can do better than the Old Coast Hotel.

Motels on the market have more rooms, more privacy and plenty of parking. The “old social services” building on South Franklin Street is a location where we planned the city’s service and housing development. This building could be rehabilitated to meet the needs of the project. More square footage and three entrances provide appropriate boundaries and privacy.  Staff won’t be isolated from other providers. Clients can walk to other services. There is plenty of parking.  There is an adjacent lot for the $200,000 homeless garden grant.

Let’s choose adequate, safe housing that has the privacy people need that complies with the laws.

Where would you rather live? In an old hotel room downtown where everyone knows that you are “homeless” or “mentally ill” or a discreet location?

If you were seeing a psychiatrist or in crisis would you rather go to a private office or a “Center” in the middle of town being used for classes, housing and possibly a coffee shop?

I am asking City Council and the Hospitality Center Board to choose a site for this project with adequate; privacy, housing, office space, parking, and immediate access for the disabled.

The community needs to be heard. The Mayor doesn’t believe that many people are against the Old Coast Hotel site.

What can you do?

  • Show up at the City Council Meetings on Monday Nights.
  • Stop giving to the Hospitality Center until they find a more suitable site.
  • Stop doing business with the Hospitality Center.
  • Let them know what you think.

Fort Bragg City Council email addresses are on the city’s web site.

Please do what you can.

Anne Marie Cesario, Fort Bragg

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With the telescope it was built for returned, Park Interpreter Martin Bradley recently employed the same sophisticated equipment they used 100 years ago to open the ceiling of the Ukiah Latitude Observatory.

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FORT BRAGG POLICE WARN OF 'IRS TELEPHONE SCAM. "The Fort Bragg Police Department has received approximately 20 telephone calls today (Wednesday) regarding a telephone scam.
 The callers have received telephone calls from scammers claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service. The scammers have altered their caller ID to appear to be with the IRS. Fake names and bogus IRS identification numbers are being used.
 The scammers are attempting to shock the victims into sending them money. 
It should be noted the Internal Revenue Service will never call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill. They will not demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
 They will never require you to use a specific method for payment or request your debit card information. Most importantly they will never threaten to involve local law enforcement or threaten that you be arrested for non payment.
 If you have any questions regarding this scam feel free to contact the The Fort Bragg Police Department at 707-964-0200.

(Fort Bragg Police Department press release)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Feb 26, 2015

Arreguin, Cranford, Dalson, Ducharme
Arreguin, Cranford, Dalson, Ducharme

JORGE ARREGUIN, Willits. Drunk in public.

RYAN CRANFORD, Willits. Vehicle theft, receipt of stolen property.

STACY DALSON, Covelo. DUI with priors, driving on suspended license.

JUDITH DUCHARME, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Johnson, Masker, Matteson
Johnson, Masker, Matteson

ANGELA JOHNSON, Potter Valley. Pot possession for sale, pot cultivation/processing, honey oil extraction.

AUTUMN MASKER, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

CHARLES MATTESON II, Point Arena. Burglary, receipt of stolen property.

McAllister, Rose, Seale
McAllister, Rose, Seale

ELIZABETH McCALLISTER, Ukiah. Domestic assault, assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

PETER ROSE JR., Point Arena. Residential burglary, receipt of stolen property.

ERIC SEALE, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, battery with serious injury, burglary, probation revocation.

Swanson, Terkelsen, Tims, Wolfe
Swanson, Terkelsen, Tims, Wolfe

CARL SWANSON, Gualala. Battery of peace officer, probation revocation.

RYAN TERKELSEN, Redwood Valley. Driving on suspended license, violation of community supervision.

JONATHAN TIMS, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public.

JASON WOLFE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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The Rights of Nature is the recognition and honoring that Nature has rights. It is the recognition that our ecosystems — including trees, oceans, animals, mountains — have rights just as human beings have rights. Rights of Nature is about balancing what is good for human beings against what is good for other species, what is good for the planet as a world. It is the holistic recognition that all life, all ecosystems on our planet are deeply intertwined. Measure S that was passed in November 2014 by 69% of Mendocino Voters was a huge legislative stepping stone that not only protects the rights of nature but also protects future generations from the hazards associated with Fracking. Frack-Free Humboldt will be exploring the option of adopting this or similar language in Humboldt County. Please join us for an Organizers Meeting this Thursday March 5th from 3:30 to 5:30 at the Redwood Community Theater on Sprowel Creek Rd in Garberville. All are welcome to attend.

— Cody Dillon, Redway

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The FCC just voted in favor of a strong net neutrality rule to keep the Internet open and free. That happened, in part, because millions of Americans across the country didn't just care about this issue: You stood up and made your voices heard, whether by adding your names to petitions, submitting public comments, or talking with the people you know about why this matters. Read a special thank-you message from the President, then learn more about how we got to where we are today:

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What's the use to deny we've been living a lie

That we should have admitted before?

We were just victims of a half hearted love

So why should we try anymore?


The vows that we make are only to break

We drift like a wave from the shore

The kisses we steal we know are not real

So why should we try anymore?


The dreams that we knew can never come true

They're gone to return no more

False love like ours fades with the flowers

So why should we try anymore?


Our story so old, again has been told

In the past, let's close the door

And smile, don't regret but live and forget

There's no use to try anymore.


Why should we try anymore...?

— Waylon Jennings

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by Norman Solomon

A month after former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on nine felony counts with circumstantial metadata <>, the zealous prosecution is now having potentially major consequences — casting doubt on the credibility of claims by the U.S. government that Iran has developed a nuclear weapons program.

With negotiations between Iran and the United States at a pivotal stage, fallout from the trial’s revelations about the CIA’s Operation Merlin is likely to cause the International Atomic Energy Agency to re-examine U.S. assertions that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.

In its zeal to prosecute Sterling for allegedly leaking classified information about Operation Merlin — which provided flawed nuclear weapon design information to Iran in 2000 — the U.S. government has damaged its own standing with the IAEA. The trial made public a treasure trove of information about the Merlin operation.

Last week Bloomberg News reported <> from Vienna, where IAEA is headquartered, that the agency “will probably review intelligence they received about Iran as a result of the revelations, said the two diplomats who are familiar with the IAEA’s Iran file and asked not to be named because the details are confidential.”

The Bloomberg dispatch, which matter-of-factly referred to Merlin as a “sting” operation, quoted a former British envoy to the IAEA, Peter Jenkins, saying: “This story suggests a possibility that hostile intelligence agencies could decide to plant a 'smoking gun’ in Iran for the IAEA to find. That looks like a big problem.”

After sitting through the seven-day Sterling trial, I don’t recall that the government or any of its witnesses — including 23 from the CIA as well as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — ever referred to Operation Merlin as a “sting.” Instead, it was consistently portrayed <> as an effort to send Iran down the wrong technical path. In fact, over the years, Operation Merlin may have been both.

Near the end of the Clinton administration, CIA documents released at the trial show, Merlin was a botched effort to screw up Iran’s nuclear program. (There is no evidence that Iran’s government took the bait.) But documents also show that Merlin continued for years, with the CIA considering plans to widen the operation beyond Iran.

As a matter of fact, one CIA document was not redacted sufficiently to hide evident interest <> in also trying a similar tactic against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. History certainly tells us that the Bush-Cheney administration would be capable of seeking to cite fabricated evidence in a push to justify military action against a targeted country.

Investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler, my colleague at ExposeFacts, has written an extensive analysis of the latest developments. The article on her EmptyWheel blog raises key questions beginning with the headline “What Was the CIA Really Doing with Merlin by 2003? <> “

An emerging big irony of United States of America v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling is that the government has harmed itself in the process of gunning for the defendant. While the prosecution used innuendos and weak circumstantial evidence to obtain guilty verdicts on multiple felonies, the trial produced no actual evidence that Sterling leaked classified information. But the trial did provide abundant evidence that the U.S. government’s nuclear-related claims about Iran should not be trusted.

In the courtroom, one CIA witness after another described Operation Merlin as a vitally important program requiring strict secrecy. Yet the government revealed a great deal of information about Operation Merlin during the trial — including CIA documents that showed the U.S. government to be committed to deception about the Iranian nuclear program. If, as a result, the International Atomic Energy Agency concludes that U.S. assertions about an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program lack credibility, top officials in Washington will have themselves to blame.

(Norman Solomon is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and the author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He is a co-founder of

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“All qualified citizens interested in serving on the 2015/2016 Mendocino County Grand Jury are invited to submit their applications to the Superior Court for consideration”, announced the Honorable Jeanine B. Nadel, Chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee. Applications will be accepted until May 8, 2015. The 2015/2016 Grand Jury will be sworn in on June 26, 2015.

The 19 members of the Grand Jury serve for one year and are empowered to investigate the operations of county, city and district governments and to provide civil oversight of local government department and agencies and respond to citizen complaints.

A Grand Juror must be a United States citizen, 18 years or older, a resident of Mendocino County for at least one year, and sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English. A Grand Juror may not serve on any other governmental board or commission during the term and cannot be presently holding a public office or become personally active in any campaign of a candidate for elective office. Prior to being nominated, each qualifying applicant is interviewed by a Superior Court judge and background investigations are conducted by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department. Since the Grand Jury sets its own agenda and the scheduling of meetings and because small committees perform much of the work, there is considerable flexibility in the work schedule and meeting locations. Training for Grand Jurors will be provided.

Service on the Civil Grand Jury is an excellent opportunity to learn about the inner workings of government, while providing a valuable service to the community.

Applications and related information are available and can be downloaded on the Internet at: The application may also be obtained in person at the Superior Court, 100 North State Street, Rm. 303, Ukiah or by calling the Grand Jury at   (707) 463-4320.

For further information, call Sally Nevarez at (707) 463-4662.


  1. Betsy Cawn February 27, 2015

    The story published by the Lake County Record-Bee on February 25, “Helping Older Homeless in a bind,” is found at:

    It is not clear whether the practice of lodging indigent clients of the responsible agencies (Adult Services, Adult Protective Services, Social Services?) in local motels — forcing the motel managers or owners to remove them without further ado when they cannot continue to pay for such expensive “hospitality” — is compliant with any standard, policy, or procedure, leaves the community with many larger concerns than just the plight of a single individual.

    The Area Agency on Aging, Planning & Service Area 26 (Lake & Mendocino Counties) is not directly responsible in this situation, but all volunteers delivering Meals-On-Wheels, and the staffs of the senior centers that prepare them, are legally required to report conditions that place a vulnerable older adult in peril — or worse. Many of our agencies whose front-line services (Fire Protection/EMS Districts and the Redbud Health Care District, AAA-contractors) and charitable organizations like the one I serve cannot even obtain case-load/type data on which to base funding applications to mitigate the community impairments we grapple with almost daily. If this is the situation that prevails in Mendocino County, there is more amiss here than whether Lake County is boosting its “Tax on Transience” in this back-handed manner.

  2. Jim Updegraff February 27, 2015

    The lousy service by the post office in delivering weekly newspapers in your area appears to be a nation wide problem. My wife subscribes to a weekly newspaper in Deer Lodge, Montana(she likes to read the obits). You never know when the paper is going to arrive – sometimes you get two papers the same day. Other times you will get a newer paper before an older paper. The AVA generally arrives the following Monday or Tuesday.

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