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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Mar 14, 2015

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by Justine Frederiksen

When Judge David Nelson began working at the Mendocino County Courthouse in the late 1970s, the jail and all its inmates were housed on the top floor – men on one side, women on the other.

Having all the defendants in the same building was quite convenient when it came time for their court cases, since they only had to be transported down a floor or two. Once the jail moved to Low Gap Road, however, inmates need to be driven from one facility to another, adding much more time to the process.

“A lot of our time these days is spent just twiddling our thumbs, waiting for someone to be brought to court,” said Nelson, explaining that there is a holding facility in the courthouse now, but it is not big enough to allow all the inmates on any given day’s court calendar to be brought in at the same time and wait together for their cases to be called.

Instead, Nelson said, staff are often waiting 30 minutes for corrections staff to deliver some inmates back to jail and others to court. And when the inmates arrive at the courthouse, they are brought in a back door and down a public hallway that may be full of potential jurors before entering the same elevators that the public uses, as well.

“Security is our biggest concern,” Nelson said, explaining that there currently is no other way to bring inmates to courtrooms without using the public spaces, something that bothers him for reasons other than safety.

“When juvenile defendants are brought in, often in shackles, they pass the jury room (that might include their neighbors or others who know them),” said Nelson. explaining that the proceedings for juveniles are supposed to be confidential. “It’s shameful and sad, but we don’t have a choice.”

If the new courthouse that the Judicial Council of California wants to build becomes a reality, Nelson said it will be designed with a holding facility large enough to house all the in-custody defendants with hearings that day, so jail staff only have to make one delivery.

Once the inmates arrive, Nelson said, they will enter the building through a secure sally port and into non-public elevators that will stop at each courtroom, eliminating the need for inmates to use public hallways.

Another safety issue with the current courthouse, which is a mix of an older building facing School Street, built in the 1920s, and a newer building, built in the 1950s, facing State Street, are the seismic upgrades it needs to make it more secure during an earthquake.

In addition to the safety and security concerns, Nelson said the mix of old and new buildings means the elevators, which came with the new building, only stop on the even floors of the old building, leaving some courtrooms only accessible by stairs.

“If you’re in a wheelchair, there’s many rooms you just can’t get to,” he said.

Christopher Ruhl, the courthouse’s executive officer, said updating the building’s elevators to solve the access and security issues simply “can’t be done. You’d basically be building a whole new building on the site.”

Lastly, Nelson said the current courthouse does not have enough space for staff members, defendants, and jurors, and many of the courtrooms have barely enough seating for family members or other people who would like to attend trials and hearings.

The JCC plans to build a new, approximately $100 million, courthouse on about four acres near the Ukiah Depot building. The state has yet to purchase the site, but the Ukiah City Council recently approved more work to prepare the property for development.

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JUDGE NELSON'S latest bushwah about why he and, presumably, his overpaid and underworked colleagues, need a new County Courthouse is the same set of discredited assertions the judge has been trotting out for about five years now.

BUT this indefensible scheme plunges ahead outside the local approving processes and beyond all public consideration. It's not needed, it's not wanted by anybody but the judges.

NATURALLY, the judge's reasons for a new County Courthouse are seconded by the court administrator — a guy who contradicts the judges at the peril of his job. This guy says it's impossible to install handicapped accessibility to such an old structure, nevermind that it's been done everywhere in the United States in old structures, including the state capitol. The present County Courthouse could be made entirely accessible for the handicapped at much less expense than a whole new structure can be erected.

IF THE JUDGE says he and his colleagues have to sit around "twiddling their thumbs" while waiting for their victims, er, defendants, to be driven over from the County Jail, maybe there are too many judges here in Mendo, a county with 9 of them for a population of 90,000 the largest ratio of black robes to population in the state. Also, one of their honors could be permanently posted to the jail to do a lot of routine stuff there instead of hauling people back and forth.

JUVENILES and The Catch of the Day exposed to potential jurors as their coffles shuffle in and out of the present County Courthouse? Unsafe? There was one episode many years ago where a mommy tried to hand off a pistol to her killer son. Possible prejudicial exposure to jurors is obscure to the point of irrelevance. Thank the goddess for juries, the last dependable part of a justice system long gone over to injustice.

WHEN ALL OTHER arguments fail, haul out earthquakes.

PEOPLE should bear in mind that our judges, including Nelson, thought the Willits Courthouse was absolutely necessary for the efficient, safe dispatch of justice in the county, especially the North County. Easily the ugliest public or private building ever erected in Mendocino County, it sits abandoned in the center of Willits to this day, a malignant pile of unusable space apparently with us forever.

JUDGE NELSON'S new County Courthouse near the foot of West Perkins, Ukiah? A slightly larger version of the Willits Courthouse.

THIS THING boils down to a major misdirection of public money. But, but, but.... The judges say it won't cost the taxpayers anything. More bullshit. They and their buildings are funded out of public money and fine money (ever more exorbitant and disproportionate), and this thing has already cost Ukiah in site prep. And Ukiah needs another ugly building like Boonville needs another winery.

AND NOWHERE does Judge Nelson mention all the disruption to the County’s supporting offices — (DA, Public Defender, Probation, Jail, private attorneys, staff, etc.) that the new courthouse will cause. That’s not their problem, not their responsibility, not in their cost calculations.

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YOU WANT TO REGULATE US? Well then, you'll have to pay for it! In the latest local example of socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else...

Board of Supervisors meeting agenda, March 17, 2015.

AGENDA ITEM TITLE: Approval of Letter of Support for a Grant Application to Fund the Stream Flow Monitoring Program Required by the State Water Resources Control Board for Agriculture Frost Regulation in the Russian River Watershed

Previous Board/Board Committee Actions: The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has taken numerous actions to support local agriculture’s frost protection of crops in the Russian River watershed. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, through unanimous Board actions, provided strong written comment on 3/17/09, 11/18/09, 12/11/09, 1/13/10, and 6/28/11 to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) these actions supported both the continued beneficial use of water for the frost protection of crops and supporting the Upper Russian River Stewardship Alliance (URSA) action plan to ensure that fisheries are protected from the effects of frost pumping. As a directive from the Board, Supervisors Brown and McCowen have appeared before the SWRCB to testify on behalf of the County of Mendocino in opposition and have actively participated in the URSA grower meetings to implement the action plan.

Summary Of Request: The California Land Stewardship Institute, in coordination with the Upper Russian River Stewardship Alliance (URSA), is submitting a grant proposal to fund the stream flow monitoring required under the frost regulation enacted by the State Water Resources Control Board and have requested a letter of support. The specialty crop block grant is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the State Deptartment of Food and Agriculture.

Recommended Action/Motion: Approve the letter of support for a grant application to fund the stream flow monitoring program required by the State Water Resources Control Board for agriculture frost regulation in the Russian River watershed, and authorize Chair to sign same.

March 17, 2015

California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street Sacramento, CA 95814

Subject: PIN 29444

Water Stewardship and Drought Resilience in the Russian River Watershed

Dear Grant Review Team:

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors strongly supports the grant funding of a proposal from the California Land Stewardship Institute (CLSI) to the 2015 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program entitled Water Stewardship and Drought Resilience in the Russian River Watershed (PIN 29444).

Agriculture is the main economy in Mendocino County. Growers of wine grapes and pears in the Russian River basin depend on the use of water for frost control in spring. In 2008 extended spring frost and low flow conditions coincided and salmon fry were affected. Growers must now be part of a Water Demand Management Program (WDMP) to use water for frost control. CLSI manages the WDMP for tributaries in the Mendocino portion of the Russian River watershed and works with the Russian River Water Conservation Council which manages the Sonoma County WDMP. As part of these WDMPs extensive stream flow monitoring and creek assessment along with surveying have to be completed to prove that water diversions do not affect salmonid habitats. These tasks are scientifically complex and expensive to carry out.

The proposal submitted by CLSI will partially fund several tasks needed to evaluate stream flow on tributaries. These include installing stream flow gages, completing discharge measurements and working with growers to coordinate diversions to avoid dewatering of creeks. The proposal will assist the many family farmers in these WDMPs who lack the resources to complete these tasks.

CLSI has a demonstrated ability to carry out science-based tasks and work cooperatively with growers through their program of Fish Friendly Farming.

The Board of Supervisors strongly encourage funding of this proposal.


— Carre Brown, Chair, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors

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DAVE SHAPIRO, son of Mike and Sharon Shapiro of Boonville, and a graduate of Anderson Valley High School, has been named CEO of Steel Sports, an appointment noted by the Wall Street Journal.

David Shapiro Joins Steel Sports as Chief Executive Officer

Seasoned Leader to Usher In Next Era of Growth for Youth Sports Provide

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif.–(Mar 12, 2015)–Steel Sports, Inc. today announced that it has hired David Shapiro to be its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Steel Sports is a network of branded participatory and experience-based businesses engaged in sports, training, education and entertainment. Shapiro will join Steel Sports on March 17.

Previously, Shapiro held a variety of senior-level positions for more than a decade with Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), helping to grow the organization into a leading national nonprofit that is reaching over two-million athletes each year and is focused on working with youth and high school athletes to develop “Better Athletes, Better People.” He most recently served as the organization’s Chief Revenue Officer.

“David is a successful leader whose passion and expertise are uniquely aligned and well qualified to lead Steel Sports as we enter this next era of growth,” said Warren Lichtenstein, Chairman of Steel Sports. “David shares our dedication to improving the culture of youth sports. Our mission is to increase the participation rate and extend the life cycle among young athletes and sports enthusiasts. We intend to do this by offering the kids in our programs the best on and off field curriculum that will enhance their experience as they engage across Steel Sports’ growing platform.”

“I have worked closely with David and watched him grow Positive Coaching Alliance into a nationwide movement that is changing the culture of youth sports,” said Dusty Baker, a former major league baseball player and manager who worked with Shapiro at PCA. “There isn’t anyone in this country that knows the youth sports sector better than David. I am excited to see Steel Sports grow under his leadership, much like David was able to grow Positive Coaching Alliance.”

“Steel Sports is uniquely positioned to have a tremendous impact on the youth sports’ culture throughout our country and I am excited to join an organization that is dedicated to fostering positive experiences both on and off the playing field,” said Shapiro. “We will be committed to offering the very best sports experience across our platform through implementing and delivering the best in coach education. I’m joining Steel Sports at a time when the company is poised for growth, and I look forward to enhancing Steel Sports’ position of strength and leadership to help ensure a successful future.”

As CEO, Shapiro’s responsibilities will include overseeing the strategic direction of Steel Sports’ portfolio companies including U.K. Elite Soccer headquartered in Cedar Knolls, N.J., which focuses on providing a world-class youth soccer experience, and Baseball Heaven, a 27-acre state-of-the-art baseball facility in Yaphank, N.Y., that offers young athletes the opportunity to engage across both the instructional and competitive spectrums of baseball. Combined, U.K. Elite and Baseball Heaven reach more than 1.3 million people on an annual basis. Steel Sports will also actively pursue other businesses in the youth sports’ space, including, camps, facilities, tournaments, training and technology companies.

Shapiro will be based at Steel Sports’ headquarters in Hermosa Beach, Calif. He is a graduate of the Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Shapiro received a bachelor of science degree in managerial economics from the University of California, Davis.

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Geary & 31st Ave., San Francisco. 03-07-2105 12:00 PM

A resident received a call from a person claiming to be from the IRS. The suspect told the victim that if he did not pay back taxes immediately he would be arrested. The suspect ordered the victim to go to the store and buy “Reloadit” money cards for payment, which the victim did. The victim then gave the card information to the suspect over the phone and the suspect emptied the cards of value stealing almost $6000.

Captain’s Note: Sadly, we keep seeing this scam. Here is a link to the IRS web page on tax scams:

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I read your piece about Fort Bragg/Gjerde etc. and your comments at the end which I thought succinctly summed it up very well and makes the most sense of anyone speaking on the matter, especially when you point out the fact that it probably the "homeless" population involved county-wide is only a few hundred people. It seems towns in this county like to put their crazies, drunks and homeless on display. Even in Santa Rosa there's a place right near the 101 off ramp near Railroad Square where there is some kind of treatment program….it's near the Farm Supply and I see the folks walking around every time I drive out to get back on the freeway. At least it's a ways from the commercial district….but the same kind of thing as the Coast Hotel would be. There seems to be no real solution as essentially the State of California decided a very long time ago to abandon this population and leave it up to the gods to figure it out. Same problem in the City, isn't there? Those movies with dark shadows lurking on every corner in a country that has gone to ruin is swift approaching….or already here.

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WE COUNTED SIX DAYS OF WINTER in Mendocino County this season, two furious rainfalls lasting three days each. At our place in Boonville, like many Mendo people outside the incorporated areas, we depend on a well. It's a good one. Hasn't conked out yet, although our demands on its bounty are modest, spartan even. Other residents of the Anderson Valley aren't so lucky. Their wells grind to a sandy halt late summer even in wet years, and this year, so far, is pretty wet in concentrated form of a few days of big rains. Ditto for the stream and spring-dependent. The drought seems to be deepening as the state prepares new rules on water use.

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THESE NEW RULES will be proposed by the State Water Resources Control Board:

  • Restaurants and bars will serve water only on request.
  • Hotels and motels will have to give guests the option of not having towels and linens laundered daily.
  • Water agencies will be required to notify their customers when leaks are noted on customer property.
  • Water agencies will restrict customer outdoor watering to two days or fewer a week.
  • Homes and businesses cannot water when it's raining or within two days of rain.

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JUST SAYIN' but how come Mendo doesn't have a Helen Vine Recovery Center. You get falling down drunk in Marin, nod off on the old smackeroo or tweak yourself into a gibbering wreck, you wake up in this place:

The Helen Vine Recovery Center, which became a part of Buckelew Programs in April 2011, is a licensed 26-bed co-ed residential detoxification program located at 301 Smith Ranch Road in San Rafael that provides welcoming, recovery-oriented services to individuals with alcohol and drug addiction issues, as well as co-occurring psychiatric problems.

Helen Vine’s services integrate well with Buckelew’s other innovative behavioral health programs. Not only does Helen Vine give people with drug or alcohol problems — including those that have a mental illness — a chance to begin their recovery, they can also find support, acceptance and hope through individualized programs including counseling, education about alcohol and drug addiction, 12-step meetings, medical services, wellness and life care tools, relapse prevention and community mentors.

For more information, call (415) 492-0818.

"When I first came to The Vine, I was a broken man, homeless and hopeless. Hearing alumni 
share their stories gave me hope that as they had recovered, so could I. Today I am sober 
for over six years, and have the privilege of working at Helen Vine Recovery Center. It feels 
good to give back!"

- Robert, Counselor at the Vine and former client

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Didn't mean to fall off the edge of the world but it got so I liked it. Been checked out every way from Sunday and my heart is healthy and strong, my circulation and blood pressure fine, my chest free of cancer. Had a couple of exotic and mysterious allergic reactions that laid me low (two near death experiences) but now strong enough to get back to normal life. Be hauling dirt next week . . . doing some landscaping and painting and getting back to hiking.

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REP. HUFFMAN: LEGALIZE POT to regulate it and save environment

North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman on Friday reiterated his desire to see marijuana legalized nationally, saying it would help bring rational management to pot cultivation and thus reduce damage to the environment.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 13, 2015

Gardner, Gunter, Knight
Gardner, Gunter, Knight

JAMES GARDNER, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.

CLINT GUNTER, Ukiah. Drunk in public, driving on suspended license, probation revocation.

ALFREDO KNIGHT, Hopland. Touching intimate parts of another against their will.

Koski, Mayorga, Mendez
Koski, Mayorga, Mendez

AARON KOSKI, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JESUS MAYORGA, Balgardens, CA/Ukiah. Offense not specified.

GAUDENCIO MENDEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Speeding, driving on suspended license, pot sales, transport, furnish, pot possession for sale, “poss of money for use.”

Marangjo-Sanchez, Ostrander, Rojas, wildman
Marangjo-Sanchez, Ostrander, Rojas, wildman

ANGEL NARANJO-SANCHEZ, Ukiah. DUI-drugs, driving without a license, under influence of controlled substance.


ROLANDO ROJAS, Freeman/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, transport, furnish, possession of controlled substance, possession of meth, “poss of money for use.”

EZRA WILDMAN, Gualala. Witness intimidation.

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Are those wild iris I saw? Must be spring - or is it summer already? Come on down to the Boonville Winter (Spring) Market Saturday to see what all the unfortunately beautiful weather is bringing forth. We know we will have:

Andy - Diaspora Seeds will be at the Saturday Market in Boonville.

Trout - Natural Products of Boonville will be there with some lion's mane mushrooms.

And perhaps some gluten-free oatmeal cookies — depending on how Geoffrey's week goes.

(Also check out their website

Nikki and Steve - Petit Teton will be at market with eggs, some greens, their large selection of canned goods, and meats: pork (sausage, chops, bacon, shoulder and leg cuts), beef (stew meat, steaks, liver, hamburger), and whole stewing chickens.

Cindy - WildeAcre will have asparagus and eggs this week (get there early for those two), yogurt, creme fraiche and almond chia muffins.

And maybe more. Check us out in front of the Boonville General Store (a great place to have breakfast.) We'll be there 10-12:30 - maybe with some live music again this week.

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AV Grange Pancake Breakfast is this Sunday at the Grange Hall in Philo, 8:30-11:00. Good food and community.

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AV Foodshed 3rd Sunday Potluck is also on Sunday, followed by a brainstorming session for those with ideas for the upcoming Anderson Valley Goat Festival. Goat Fest will be Saturday April 25 at the County Fairgrounds in Boonville, in conjunction with the annual Wildflower Show, and will be followed Saturday night by a dance in the Apple Hall, featuring Dean Titus & the Boot Jack 5 with Susan Clark.

Please join us on Sunday at 6pm with your potluck dish, your eating ware and your ideas for our inaugural Goat Festival.

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Renew your flock with Barred Plymouth Rocks hatched at Acorn Ranch in Yorkville.

Barred Rocks are a widely recognized dual purpose breed that thrive on pasture; the ultimate homestead birds. Sold straight run, hens will become reliable layers of medium brown eggs and still be delicious stew birds in 3-4 years, cockerels will dress out nicely in 16-18 weeks with amazing flavor unrivaled in industry meat breeds.

Day old chicks $6/each locally. Hatched to order (small orders will be grouped together). 894-8520 or

This free range breeding flock is certified by the Sustainable Poultry Network, a group dedicated to the revival of heritage poultry breeds through selective breeding focused on production characteristics. Heritage birds hatched by large hatcheries for backyard and show enthusiasts are flock bred pale ghosts of their predecessors; it only takes a few generations to lose the qualities these birds were once renowned for. SPN Breeders are determined to once again provide small scale locally hatched poultry that are productive members of the agricultural and food communities. More at

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WildeAcre Farm in Boonville has herb, flower, asparagus, nettles and raspberry volunteers available for the digging. Please contact Cindy at

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The Not-So-Simple Living Fair organizing committe is looking for someone with website skills to apprentice this year. The 6th annual NSSLF will be July 24-26 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville. Please contact if you are interested.

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Letter to the Editor,

Here’s an interesting tale!

I read the AVA when it comes to me here in Wisconsin and was very interested in the accounts of strange lights in the skies! Then I just this past few days met Jason Liljengren by phone. He is a friend of my son, CT’s, and a year or so ago was living up on our property on Peachland Road, helping CT maintain our three-quarter-mile water line for our renter. CT had told me Jason was very expert in hightec stuff, and when I talked with Jason, he told me about his system he had installed at my place to monitor the water, measuring the spring flow on Lone Tree Ridge and measuring the flow at my tank, so that the difference would indicate any leak in the long line which went steeply down from the spring into the redwood canyon and then back up to my property! How many years did I do that hike?! For many of the years I lived up there on Peachland Road, I did that strenuous hike myself, and one of the reasons I live in Wisconsin now, not Boonville, is I knew I couldn’t do that hike to maintain the water line into my old age! But for years I hiked up to the water tank everyday during the summer months, measuring and timing how long it took for the flow to fill a quart jar, and keeping a record of my water supply! So imagine how thrilled I was to hear Jason describe his system! Then I went and looked at his website he referred me to, which described his business of remote monitoring of country property, and saw that he knew all about drones, and it occurred to me that he was probably testing equipment and that would be the cause of the strange lights your readers have been reporting!

But then I talked with CT and he told me that all those letters were fake, being a buildup for the theme of the recent Variety Show of “Rainbow’s Been Abducted”! What a great story! And just for your information, CT went to both nights of the Variety Show this year and absolutely loved it! Sad to say, despite having grown up in the Valley, and worked summers at Hendy Woods, and been back most years for the Beer Fest, he had never seen a Variety Show!

For all you newcomers to the Valley, thank you for helping with all the various community services there are: the CSD, the Senior Citizens, the Health Center, saving Hendy Woods, the School Board, the Education Foundation, the Fire Department, the EMTs, the AVLT, the senior housing association, and the Variety Show, etc. etc. etc. Community participation is one of the most rewarding things in life! Kudos to you all!

Briana Burns

Black Earth, Wisconsin

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A prolific writer and researcher as well as a dedicated advocate of democratic socialism in the Americas

by Fred Rosen

RogerBurbachRoger Burbach, a NACLA staffer in the 1970s and 1980s, an Editorial Board member in the 1990s, and a prolific reporter and researcher for nearly a half century, passed away on Wednesday, March 5, at the age of 70. He died after a long and debilitating struggle with a variety of illnesses.

A paraplegic since suffering a spinal cord injury in Nicaragua in 1989, Roger never let his disability or subsequent illnesses get in the way of his writing and reporting. He faced his disability in the same way he faced the challenges of doing hands-on research and reporting from Latin America: with determination, honesty and a great deal of courage. His physical determination was a reflection of his professional and political determination to honestly analyze and report on the struggles for sovereignty and social justice in the Americas — and on the contradictions that some of those struggles fell into.

There was an unflinching honesty to Roger’s work. He never saw his commitment to solidarity and social justice as a commitment to sweep the contradictions of Latin American socialism under the rug. Nor, on the other hand, did he ever abandon his long-term commitment to the creation of a better world — one organized around the principles of fairness and solidarity.

The unflinching honesty of his work was mirrored by his unflinching acceptance of his disability; as a reporter, there was never an event he shied away from covering, or an interview he didn’t try his best to get despite his physical limitations. Nor did he shy away from asking for help when he needed it. When, back in the early days of Chavismo, he and I were reporting from Caracas and staying in the same two-star hotel, I never ceased to marvel at the way he routinely got hotel staff to carry him and his wheelchair up and down a long flight of stairs at least three or four times a day, or the way he got cab drivers to load his power-driven wheelchair into their trunks — sometimes with help from passers-by.

And just as he made no effort to hide any part of his disability, he made no effort to hide his doubts about revolutionary processes he otherwise supported — in countries like Nicaragua, Ecuador and Venezuela — while keeping his faith in the ultimate goals of those processes very much alive.

He was a firm believer in socialism but was scrupulously honest in detailing the shortcomings of actual socialist experiments both in and out of power. This critical loyalty to his socialist vision was probably best expressed in an essay he wrote for NACLA back in 1997 titled “Socialism is Dead, Long Live Socialism.” In it, he made ample use of the term “postmodern socialism,” as a tool with which to differentiate his humanist vision (grassroots democracy) from the actual historical reality (vertical models of socialism that were, in his view, failing throughout the world). Because of the many meanings and associations of the term “postmodern,” his use of it here never really caught on, but the vision of a horizontal movement toward socialism has been strongly influenced by Roger’s work.

“My general thesis,” he wrote in that 1997 essay, “is that twentieth century socialism has been defeated for two contradictory reasons. In those socialist experiments that were the most democratic, like Chile from 1970 to 1973, the United States was able to exploit relatively open political and economic processes to destroy them from within. On the other hand, in those centralized and verticalist socialist projects such as Cuba, the lack of authentic democratic processes weakened their popular support and led to the implementation of inefficient state-dominated economies.”

“Radical movements for change,” he wrote, “can only be successful to the extent that they are able to demonstrate that they are more democratic in their struggles and goals than the neoliberal democratic paradigm. In particular, they need to continually demonstrate that capitalist democracy is insufficient; that true democracy extends to the economic arena; and that the unregulated market advocated by neoliberals is incompatible with authentic democracy.”

In making this argument, he was able to honestly keep two conflicting commitments in his head at the same time: the Revolution’s need to defend itself and the Revolution’s commitment to liberty, equality and solidarity. “It was this paradoxical choice,” he wrote, “between maintaining the Popular Unity's commitment to democratic institutions and procedures and the need to take military steps to destroy the opposition that makes Chile the most tragic socialist experience in the Americas and perhaps in the history of twentieth century socialism.”

After the 1994 Zapatista Rebellion in Mexico, he co-authored Globalization and Its Discontents: The Rise of Postmodern Socialisms with Orlando Nuñez and Boris Kagarlitsky. Inspired by — and writing about — the Zapatistas, he was able to imagine the construction of a society based on respect and equality for all.

Roger was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Peruvian Andes from 1966 to 1968. From 1971 to 1973, while conducting research for his Indiana University doctoral dissertation in Chile, he worked with dependency theorists Andre Gunder Frank and Theotonio Dos Santos at the Center for Socio Economic Studies in Santiago. He paid a brief visit to Berkeley in 1972 and then returned to Chile later that year, remaining through the coup.

With the overthrow of President Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973 and the death of his friends Frank Teruggi and Charlie Horman at the hands of the Pinochet dictatorship, he became a dedicated campaigner for human rights and social transformation. After the military coup he left Chile, made his way back to the United States, and came to work for NACLA in what was then our West Coast office, contributing extensive research to NACLA reports on Chile in the 1970's. Together with Patricia Flynn, he also did important research on the global role of U.S. agribusiness during that period, publishing, together with Flynn,Agribusiness in the Americas in 1980.

At the time of his death Roger was working on a political autobiography in which he emphasized his life-long commitment to Chile. He returned from Chile determined to become a more effective anti-intervention activist. And that, he once told me, is how he got involved in Nicaragua. “It was actually because of Chile. When the Nicaraguan Revolution happened, I knew the United States was going to screw it over as much as it could. I did it out of anti-imperialist solidarity. I went to Nicaragua and started working with NACLA people on the unfolding Nicaragua story.”

He was an enthusiastic supporter of the 1979 Sandinista Revolution, and spent the next decade traveling extensively to Nicaragua and El Salvador to write about the popular resistance to the interventionist polices of the Reagan and Bush I administrations. He worked with the Sandinista Front’s Directorate of International Relations on a project established to analyze U.S. foreign policy. Roger received the Carlos Fonseca Award from the FSLN in 1986 for co-authoring with Orlando Nuñez, Fire in the Americas: Forging a Revolutionary Agenda. He conceived of his research and reporting as weapons to advance the cause of liberty and justice for all. He was optimistic to the very end. He was a demanding and generous compañero. He will be missed.

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A memorial service will be held in Berkeley on Sunday March 15 at 2:30 PM at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave.

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by Briana Burns

Too many teachers of beginning reading don’t have a clear understanding of what reading really is! Not only are they confused themselves, they confuse the children they are instructing. Taken in by the advertising of publishers, they think that “reading” is “natural inflection” and “comprehension”, among other misunderstandings. However, trying to teach beginners these skills is making the proverbial mistake of trying to teach someone to run before they can walk.

“Reading” is simply seeing sounds. Getting meaning is a second, and separate, step. Seeing the sounds and then getting the meaning is fun and exciting and self-rewarding. (For a wonderful and entertaining example of this, look at a little book of cartoons titled “C D B!” by William Steig. With pictures and single letters, Steig tells whole stories! This book is an excellent way to show a beginner how to get meaning from sounds, as even adults have to do a little problem solving to “get it”! The cartoon accompanying the title is of a boy is pointing at a bee and telling his companion to look at it!)

The written word is exact and attempts to make the author’s meaning as clear as possible. If you read my words aloud and misread a word, I can hear your mistake at that level. Whether or not you get the intent of my words is another step. Teaching children to “guess”, or to read by associating one word with a similar-looking word, or to simply memorize “sight words” all can lead to inaccurate reading. All children should be taught to read by first learning single letter sounds and the sounds requiring two letters to spell them, such as th, sh, and ch. They should be taught to hear and pronounce the sounds, next to write the letters, and then to read these sounds in sequential order.

Writing, or Spelling, Really Comes Before Reading

All it takes to teach reading, which is decoding, is to first teach the encoding. Figuring out how to spell “cat” the first time you do it is a slow process. But having performed the slow process of spelling “cat”, the higher-level task of decoding (reading) the word “mat” comes easier.

If children are taught to hear, and then write, the first sound they hear in a word, and then some weeks later the ending sound, and then weeks later the intervening sounds, they can then spell hundreds of phonetically-spelled words, first of one syllable, then more. A first grader taught by this method can spell “deliberate” and the child who can write “deliberate” will know how to read.

Comprehension is a Separate Skill

If you let publishers’ sales materials confuse teaching reading with comprehension, the result can indeed seem a huge task. But like all tasks, if you break them down into easy pieces, they are just that, easy pieces! Teaching phonics is an easy piece. There are only twenty six letters and approximately 42 sounds to learn. When a child has mastered this much, he can sound out any word. (Whether or not his pronunciation is standard is not the issue here.)

For example, Japanese is a very easy language to read in Roman type because the phonics is simple. I once took a class in Japanese taught by a native Japanese and she was amazed that I could “read” Japanese more easily, that is more fluently, than she could! She was amazed because she knew what the words meant, and she knew that I, a beginner in her class, did not know what the words meant. She assumed that because she spoke and understood Japanese, that she would be able to read more fluently than I, who didn't know the language. I didn’t think at the time to ask her how she learned to read in Japan, but I assume that she learned the characters (equivalent to our learning “sight words”) first. I think perhaps she only later learned to read Japanese spelled phonetically with the Roman alphabet.

So if someone tries to tell you that “reading” must include comprehension, clarify for them that these are two separate skills. The first can be easily taught. The second is far less “teachable”. It depends a lot more on life experience and maturity. A first grader can learn to “read” college-level material with no comprehension, and you’re not going to have much luck trying to “teach” him to comprehend what he just read! Maybe this explains, at least in part, why our educators complain that “teaching reading” is so difficult They’re trying to “teach” comprehension, which, in my estimation, largely can’t be taught It just comes, with practice, and experience, and thinking.

Writing and spelling should be taught before (or at least simultaneously with) reading.

When you stop and think about it, this is obvious, but largely ignored in our schools! But you can’t read or write unless you can distinguish individual sounds, in order, and write them and then recognize them. Since writing forces one to process sounds slowly, one at a time, “sounding out” the word, it seems apparent that this skill should be taught first. Next you would learn to sound out someone else’s written word, and then you are “reading”.

Another strong argument for writing as a precursor to reading is the addition of muscle-learning to support the visual-recognition involved in reading skill. Every first grade teacher (and now that they teach the alphabet in kindergarten, every kindergarten teacher also) knows that at first many children do not reliably distinguish between lower case b, d, p, and q. (Who among us, even as an adult, has not at one time or another misread a word by confusing these most-similar letters!) It is also well known by now that one method of helping beginners distinguish these similar shapes is to put the recognition in the muscles, as well as in the vision. So some children are taught by having them trace letters that have been cut out of sandpaper. (I happen to find this technique unnecessary because my first graders learned to make their letters communally, at the chalkboard. This practice takes advantage of the recently-discovered brain cells, called mirror neurons, that let us learn a motor skill simply by watching the action performed by another.)

As I will describe in more detail later, the Phonovisual method I discovered early in my career has children learning to write letters at the chalkboard as they hear them, first as initial consonants, then ending consonants, and so forth. They quickly learn to “draw” or “write” the proper letter for the sound. Even though the letters look very similar, the motions used to make the letters are more dissimilar, and this early training in writing leads to less difficulty in distinguishing similar letters in later reading.

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On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Mendocino County Water Agency and the University of California Cooperative Extension Service will hold an educational forum on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA). The presenter, Mark Nordberg, is the Senior Engineering Geologist at the Sustainable Groundwater Management Section of the California Department of Water Resources, the agency that has oversight under the newly enacted law. Mr. Nordberg will give an overview of the SGMA and respond to questions regarding the groundwater regulation. Topics will include timelines for enactment, the authority and responsibility of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), a map and overview of the Ukiah Valley groundwater basin, and available funding sources.

“The SGMA became law at the beginning of the year. Every water manager in the Ukiah Valley, including private property landowners with wells, must understand the new law and be prepared for its implementation under very short timelines,” stated First District Supervisor Carre Brown, who also chairs the Mendocino County Water Agency Board of Directors.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend this meeting and reserve a seat by calling 463-4441. The discussion will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, Room 1070, 501 Low Gap Road, in Ukiah. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and receive up-to-date information.

Attendees will be requested to take the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act information back to their constituency, or local governing bodies, for discussion and to develop a recommendation for the creation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA). A follow up meeting will be scheduled for the end of April to receive recommendations on a GSA. More details on the follow up meeting will be coming forward at a later date.

For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.

Released by:

Carmel J. Angelo

Chief Executive Officer/Water Agency Director

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Mendocino County’s HHSA Behavioral Health Outreach staff will be in the communities disseminating information on Behavioral Health Programs and resources in partnership with the Mendocino County Book Mobile at the following locations on Tuesday, March 31st:


  • 9:00am - 9:35am, Branscomb - across from the store
  • 10:00am - 10:45am, Laytonville - across from the Post Office
  • 11:15am - 11:45am, Leggett - Leggett School
  • 12:00 - 12:30, Leggett - Redwood Mercantile
  • 1:30 - 2:00, Piercy - Post Office

The Schedule is published at

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Furia Motorsports Prepares An Action-Packed 2015 Racing Season

Plans are being made, cars are being built and work is being done to make the 2015 Lakeport Ukiah Challenge the best racing season ever! Word around the track is that the racing bug is spreading. Old cars are coming out from under tarps and shiny new cars are being designed as the excitement builds for an unforgettable season. Drivers will get a chance to test and tune their cars at Lakeport Speedway April 3rd. Then the gates will open at 3:30pm April 4th for the first race of the 2015 season. In gratitude for the fan support that racing receives, every person from 5 on up only has to pay Five Dollars for grandstands admission to a whole night of racing! There will also be an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids. With auto racing fast becoming one of the nation’s most popular sports, fans from all ages and walks of life attend local races to see their friends and neighbors race. Local businessman and Racing Promoter David Furia is proud to bring motorsports to the community where he lives and works. Furia states “I am proud to be local and proud to support local. I live here, I buy equipment and vehicles here, I do everything I can to keep my dollars local and I am happy to be part of bringing revenue to our local community through racing. With the help of my awesome crew, racing brings thousands of out of town dollars to our community every season. I love supporting my community!” Being a community minded organization, Furia Motorsports is also looking for organizations that would like to have their cause supported at the speedways. Non-Profit organizations can use the speedways as a platform to fundraise or share information for their organization. Non profits can use a race night to share their message and fund raise. In the 2014 racing season, Furia Motorsports was proud to support organizations like The Wounded Warrior Project, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and Relay for Life. For more information about being part of Lakeport Speedway or Ukiah Speedway or to reserve a racing night for your organization, call 272-6514 or email  An exciting season of racing is just around the corner! Make plans now to support community motorsports at the Lakeport Speedway and Ukiah Speedway.

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A brief warning to wireless users. If you experience nightmares, heart palpitations or sleep disorders, discontinue the use of wireless routers in your home, try keeping your cell phone off your body in a purse or car side pocket and turned off when not directly using it. A brief vacation from cellular use may surprise you with instant results. Some folks put timers on their wireless routers for internet time. And remember your cell phone is operating constantly. Do not keep it near you in your bedroom. It is particularly important for children. I can provide a list of scientific reasons why <>. The independent studies by real scientists show very important concerns. Perhaps most revealing is the brain barrier disruption. This barrier surrounds the entire nervous system and keeps all toxics out. It is crucial. Back in the 50s they discovered that radar wireless shut it off and then confirmed low levels Rf does the same. New tumors are appearing on these membranes in the brain and spinal cord that have never been seen before.

Greg Krouse, Philo

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After more than a decade of effort by California lawmakers, the Obama administration gave final approval Thursday to a giant expansion of two marine sanctuaries off the coast north of San Francisco that will protect one of the planet’s most prolific ocean ecosystems.

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by David McNamee

Smoking marijuana daily for 3 years as a teen is linked with having an abnormally shaped hippocampus and long-term memory problems, according to the results of a new study by researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Il.

The hippocampus region of the brain is known to be important for regulating emotions and long-term memory. Previous research, such as a 2008 study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia, found an association between structural abnormalities in the hippocampus and long-term, heavy cannabis use.

The Australian researchers found that the hippocampus and amygdala were smaller in cannabis users than in non-users. The cannabis users also demonstrated more "sub-threshold symptoms" of psychotic disorders than the control group who did not use cannabis.

The Northwestern study, published in the journal Hippocampus, used "advanced brain mapping tools" to examine in closer detail the subtle changes in brain regions found in marijuana users.

Previously, the Northwestern team had demonstrated poor short-term and working memory performance in marijuana users, along with abnormalities in the shapes of other brain regions, including the striatum, globus pallidus and thalamus.

"Both our recent studies link the chronic use of marijuana during adolescence to these differences in the shape of brain regions that are critical to memory and that appear to last for at least a few years after people stop using it," says lead study author Matthew Smith, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.

The researchers recruited 97 participants for the study, which included people with a marijuana use disorder, schizophrenia patients with no history of substance use disorders, schizophrenia patients with a marijuana use disorder, and matched groups of healthy control subjects.

The participants in the study who used marijuana did not use other drugs and reported using marijuana every day for an average of 3 years beginning at the age of 16 or 17. The participants were in their early twenties at the time of the study and had been marijuana-free for an average of 2 years.

Length of marijuana use correlated to severity of hippocampal abnormalities

The study shows that the longer the subjects were chronically using marijuana, the more abnormal the shape of their hippocampus. The researchers think the hippocampus may be more susceptible to these changes the longer the use of marijuana occurs.

The authors also believe that the abnormal shape indicates damage to the neurons and axons within the hippocampus.

Participants in the study took a "narrative memory test," in which they were required to listen to a series of 1-minute stories and then recall as much content as possible 20-30 minutes later.

Overall, the former cannabis users performed 18% worse on memory tests than healthy control subjects. Participants with schizophrenia who had used marijuana in their teenage years were found to perform about 26% more poorly on these tests than peers who had never used marijuana.

However, a longitudinal study is required to show conclusively whether marijuana is responsible for the brain differences and memory impairment found in the study subjects who had used marijuana. Smith explains that the current results are unable to definitively show this, as the study examined just one point in time.

"It is possible that the abnormal brain structures reveal a pre-existing vulnerability to marijuana abuse," Smith says. "But evidence that the longer the participants were abusing marijuana, the greater the differences in hippocampus shape suggests marijuana may be the cause."


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I just wanted to take the time to respond to the article written by Tom Melcher in a recent edition of the AVA. Tom and I have had a few phone conversations and I have seen him at a few board meetings of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting over the last year or so. While I respect that he has some experience in understanding the complex issues surrounding our only countywide community radio station, and many good ideas as to how it may go forward into the future, it is my fear that he does not yet have the depth of understanding to interpret the current state of affairs at KZYX. I will say that it took many years for me to learn the history of the station and years after that before I actually met and got to know the diverse and varied cast of characters that make up the KZYX family. After almost a decade of experience at our local radio station, both helping to produce multiple programs and serving as the programmer's representative to the board of MCPB, I would like to throw in my two cents. I will say that in my experience everyone I know who is associated with the station has its best interests at heart. This may be difficult for some to believe, as it is easy to point fingers, and even easier to get angry when someone appears to be acting out in an irrational way.

I wonder how many of you were raised in a family that had issues? If your family is anything like mine, you probably experienced more than one irrational outburst from a parent or family member over the years. This is pretty typical and no one is to blame, for life is complex and we are all working on something, right? Nobody is perfect. Problems arise, however, when the pressures that cause these outbursts don't get resolved. Those pressures build and build until somebody becomes overwhelmed by them and lashes out in any of a variety of ways. These situations often devolve into real self-destructive behavior. Because everybody has issues, and nobody is perfect, the world of psychology typically does not address mild symptoms. Only when the problems prevent an individual or family (or community) from functioning in a healthy way is intervention necessary. At that point, without intervention, these unhealthy patterns can become habits that are very difficult to break.

One thing I have learned when observing dysfunctional relationships is that it takes two to tango. All addicts invariably hang out with enablers. Enablers are typically hiding problems of their own behind the obvious foibles of the addict. Very often there is passive aggressive behavior going on which is difficult for an outsider to understand, and even many insiders can't see it unless the passive aggression is targeted towards them. A lot of people have control issues and will do whatever is necessary to maintain control even if that behavior triggers the addict. A lot of people have addictions, its not always as obvious as drinking alcohol until falling down or hitting the crack pipe. Things get complicated really fast. In psychology the “addict” is called the identifiable patient. They are very easy to spot and often take the blame for the dysfunctional situation. What is interesting, however, is that if the enabler is treated, the easily identifiable problem almost always resolves itself as well. As I said, it takes two to tango. It is important to have compassion for both an addict and an enabler as these are all just coping mechanisms for trauma that happened in the past. Resolving past traumas usually results in the cessation of this cycle of violence.

Just pointing out the identifiable patient only enables the enabler! It will only make the identifiable patient more self-destructive. As a community I caution against that kind of thing. Yet living in denial can cement unhealthy habit patterns, causing the destructive situation to last for years. Only by bringing these issues out into the daylight can they be resolved. Most of the time when you bring the skeletons out of the closet, you find out they are just skeletons. The mortal remains of past trauma that no longer really apply to what is happening right now. There is nothing to be afraid of. No Hitler, no Stalin, and no megalomania, just old coping mechanisms that aren't working anymore.

So how does this relate to our KZYX family? Well, you will have to fill in the blanks for yourselves. All I can say is that the radio is a great place to talk things out. I hope to hear more Open Lines type discussions in the future, allowing as much input from the community as possible. Also, I really like the mission statement of MCPB when it says, “the membership controls the stations programming and operational philosophy,” and I do believe the airwaves should be open to “all points of view.”

By the way Tom, I hope you don't catch that nasty virus that's going around...

Doug McKenty, Elk

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1. There will be no peace at KZYX until Coate and Aigner are gone. Gone. Gone. Gone. Gone forever. Gone immediately. Gone without trace.

Coate has been been wielding his "executive director" powers with an iron hand at KZYX for the last 8 years. Aigner has been at KZYX since the station was started 25 years ago. She has been on the payroll for most of that time and wielding her "program director" powers with an iron hand for the entire time she's been the program director.

You know that, Doug!

Two years ago, Coate and Aigner canned you and canceled your show. Your show, "Open Lines", was wonderful. You were a good host, and you had a big audience. But that wasn't enough, was it? You had to kiss Coate's ring, and you had to kiss Aigner's ass. But you couldn't force yourself, could you?

Think about it: KZYX is not Coate's and Aigner's private fiefdom, is it, Doug? They've got to go. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. It's non-negotiable. Coate and Aigner have got to go. Why? To save KZYX.

Coate and Aigner are enemies of the people, enemies of change, enemies of the station's membership, enemies of progress. And the governance model that Sean Donovan set up 25 years ago when he started the station plays right into Coate's and Aigner's hands. Sean Donovan was a con man. The very first thing he did when KZYX got it license from the FCC was to charge KZYX something like $30,000 for his "services". At that time, the KZYX's first Board of Directors -- a victim of Donovan's own governance model -- was forced to pay him.

And what is that model? Total, tyrannical control of KZYX by its executive director and general manager. No control over operations by the Board of Directors -- the Board ceded all control over operations 25 years ago. No control over anything by membership -- Coate keeps them around only because he needs their membership dollars; otherwise, membership is superfluous, a legal necessity, and, in Coate's case, his attitude toward membership is almost derisive. The PAC and CABs are a joke to him.

2. The truth needs to be told about station finances. You, Doug, more than most, know that Coate's so-called "wizardry" in turning around station finances is a total and absolute fabricated myth. It's a lie. A big lie.

The truth is Coate was hired, inherited some debt, and did nothing for two or three years, while running up the debt to near-bankruptcy levels.

Coate's answer at that point? Layoffs . Coate eliminated administrative staff. Membership coordinator, Kate Blaisdell was shown the door. Also, Coate eliminated the news department. Christina Aanestad was shown the door, and then, later, Paul Hanson and David Brooksher were also shown the door.

Meanwhile during Coate's reign, membership numbers have stayed stagnant at 2,300-2,400 folks, and the number of underwriters has fallen off. There were 122 active underwriters in 2008 -- at the very bottom of the recession when you would expect the fewest number of underwriters. How many underwriters do we have now? I don't mean soft dollar, in-kind, underwriters. I mean those underwriters paying hard dollars to KZYX? Not 122. Certainly not. KZYX has far fewer than 122.

Also, Coate pulled another trick. Popular programs for which KZYX had paid fees, i.e. " Prairie Home Companion", were eliminated from the schedule and replaced with programming that was inferior and certainly not as popular with our listeners. For the record, most of this other stuff comes free from the Public Radio Exchange.

To summarize?

Flat membership numbers. Fewer underwriters. A downgrade in program quality. And oh. I forgot to mention something else -- lots of failures of old broadcast equipment. Dead air. Many interruptions of service. Scratchy irritating signals.

Meanwhile, Coate gave himself a 10 percent raise in 2013. And all the other staff got a raise last year -- the second since Coate has been executive director. Aigner and the rest of staff got this second raise at the Board meeting in May when the new budget was approved.

So where's the financial wizardry, Doug?

Again. Flat membership numbers. Fewer underwriters. A downgrade in program quality. Also lots of failures of old broadcast equipment. Dead air. Many interruptions of service. Scratchy irritating signals. And higher salary costs.

3. Coate is in trouble with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Real trouble. I don't know who you're talking to, Doug, but the CPB has cut our funding since Coate came on board eight years ago. The CPB has deeply slashed our funding for the last several years. And I expect they will continue to do so in the future, especially if Coate and Aigner are still hanging around.

Why do I say this? Because there are now several new complaints about KZYX before the Inspector General's Office of the CPB.

Complaints about Coate meddling in Board elections. Complaints about Coate denigrating you, Doug, a Board candidate -- denigrating you on listservs. Complaints about Coate saying things like you were "demonizing" him, and even implying that 2nd District Supervisor, John McCowen, was a slumlord. Shocking. Absolutely shocking. But then again, Coate is a tyrant. And the Board won't -- and can't -- touch Coate.

Complaints at the CPB, too, about a dead air. And irritating scratchy signals. And failures of old broadcast equipment.

Sound familiar?

Complaints also about Coate and Aigner purging their critics. Kicking popular programmers, like you, off-the-air. Like myself and Norman De Vall. Off-the-air.

Any objective, third party can see it, Doug -- the Reign of Terror.

The Reign of Terror at KZYX.

Speak up against Coate or Aigner -- even question something, anything -- and you can expect the guillotine. You'll lose your show. And the remaining programmers at the station are easily persuaded to keep in line. How? By the threat of the same fate and repressive force.

4. KZYX remains in trouble with the FCC. Our license has been held up for over a year.

A year!

And Coate has spent close to $14,000 in legal fees defending himself!

Think about it, Doug. Apparently, the FCC thinks something is wrong at KZYX under Coate's and Aigner's control. Very wrong.

5. Finally, I wouldn't rule out a lawsuit in the future. KZYX is increasingly vulnerable. I, and others, have been patient. Waiting for the pieces to fall into place. Documenting incidents. Collecting evidence. Developing a witness list. Talking to lawyers. Talking to other public radio stations. Watching as Coate makes increasingly makes more and more mistakes in his desperate attempt to hold on to power.

As long as Coate and Aigner are still at KZYX, the fat lady hasn't sung in this opera, Doug. You only heard the first act. Our opera seria has a long way to go. The lawsuit will be the final act.

I'll finish by saying you're a good man, Doug. But this thing with Coate and Aigner is a war. A revolution. And the reasons for this war are compelling.

Me? What am I fighting for?

Certainly, I'm fighting against Coate's royalist regime, but I'm also fighting for something. I'm fighting for the people. The people of Mendocino County, Doug. That the will of the people -- the station's membership -- be what really's important at KZYX. That the station's 2,300 members drive the station's decision-making process, not Coate and Aigner. And I'm fighting for enlightened governance -- that the executive director be obedient to the will of the Board and the membership, not the other way around .

Personally, I'd like to see all staff fired, and one really competent chief engineer hired, instead. Only one person on salary -- the chief engineer.

And I'd like to see the balance of the station's budget go to replace old and failing broadcast equipment. I'd like to see investments in infrastructure. No more dead air or scratchy signals.

Also, I'd like to see investments in technology. Every show should be archived. Every programmer should be linked to their own website with a blog, podcasts, etc.

And I'd like to see a Ukiah studio.

I'd also like to see stipends or gas money being offered to programmers who need it.

It''s pretty simple, Doug. Personalities are not the issue. A flawed governance model and everything that followed a flawed governance model for over 25 years are the issue.

You're a good man, Doug. Smart. Capable. But you're too kind. Too sweet for this war. Maybe too weak. You must think like Geronimo and his little band of Chiricahua Apache. Think like the Vietcong. You must be strong. You must be persistent. In it for the very long haul. In it for principle. For what's right. There is no compromise with Coate and Aigner. They are devils. We are the people.

-- John Sakowicz

----- Original Message -----

From: "doug mckenty"
To: "kzyxtalk"

New Article

I have been thinking about all the infighting at KZYX and what to do about it. The us vs. them "bunker" mentality of staff combined with the all out attack mentality of Sakowicz is really dragging the reputation of the station down throughout our community. While John Coate has improved the stations situation financially, he has done so by increasing personal donations, acquiring rural status with NPR, and receiving another $120K from the CPB in the last two years, membership dues have remained stagnant. This implies to me that the community as a whole is not satisfied with the service KZYX is providing.

Much of this dissatisfaction from the public is, I believe, a result of the constant infighting that continuously plagues the station. Many people are just tired of it. As Ed Keller said in last weeks debate, KZYX now has a hard time finding people willing to volunteer. I have spoken with many ex-volunteers who just walked away after encountering the confrontational attitude at the station and never looked back. Many now help out at other, smaller radio stations around the county.

I have written an article for this weeks AVA at least outlining what I perceive as the problem. I am not sure what the solution is but the entire community needs to at least start talking about it without pointing fingers and naming names. Yelling back and fourth is not functional communication. There will be no change for the positive until we become capable of listening to each other with an open mind.

Check this out and let me know what you think,


Doug McKenty

One Comment

  1. Bill Pilgrim March 14, 2015

    RE: KZYX. The personality issues are merely a subtext to the greater problem: bland & canned programming that rarely focuses on local issues and how the larger national and international issues might impact us here.
    As long as NPR (national propaganda radio) news remains the flagship newscast, KZYX will continue to be regarded by many as a lost opportunity.

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