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Mendocino County Today: Monday, May 18, 2015

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THE TURNOUT for Saturday's pinot protest was small but made the point that not all of us are happy with the local wine industry. Some of the wine businesses are very bad neighbors, especially those who resort to frost fans for many days in the spring. We won't go into the industry's blank draw on local streams and their better-living-through-chemicals "farming." The frost fans make it impossible for roughly a thousand residents of Anderson Valley to sleep from midnight to 8am for up to twenty nights a year.

THE LEAFLETTING went well, in that the more thoughtful among the pinot festival crowd will now understand that the wine they enjoy comes at a cost much greater than they pay in The Valley's tasting rooms.

THE LEAFLET:

Campaign For Quiet Nights

by the Anderson Valley Red Eyes

Key Points:

The recent drought has caused vineyards to choose new methods of frost protection.

Many community friendly vineyards have adapted without disturbing the neighbors.

Many nuisance vineyards choose to use outdated frost protection fans that create intolerable nocturnal noise (up to 80 dB) that keeps the community awake all night, night after night.

The Mendocino County noise ordinance states that no one can emit more than 40 dB of noise between 10 PM and 7 AM.

Quality of life and health are severely impacted by the noise, the accompanying low vibrations and the associated sleep deprivation.

Local residents have taken every measure to resolve the problem, including talking with vineyard owners, local officials and even bringing legal action — to no avail.

Please help Anderson Valley residents return to quiet nights by: asking the nuisance vineyards listed to stop disrupting our nights; and spending money at community friendly vineyards only.

Thank you. We hope you enjoy your visit to our beautiful valley!

The Anderson Valley Red Eyes are a group of residents who have had their health and well-being affected by intolerable nocturnal noise generated by the vineyard industry. For the last two years, this noise has been coming from the vineyard industry frost protection fans and pesticide spraying. Neighbors describe the fan noise as if a helicopter has landed outside their homes and run all night long. In fact, several of our residents have been in hospice at home and have had to pass away with the sound of those fans rattling their windows. Some residents have measured the noise at 80 dB inside their houses.

The World Health Organization states that health problems from noise or interrupted sleep increase significantly when noise is accompanied by vibration or by low-frequency components (as with the frost fans). This intensity and duration of noise exposure invokes the fight or flight response by increasing heart rate and peripheral resistance, increasing blood pressure, increasing blood viscosity and levels of blood lipids, shifting electrolyte balance, and increasing levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. Noise pollution aggravates existing mental illnesses and accelerates and intensifies the development of latent mental disorders. A wide range of negative emotions are caused by noise pollution. These include anger, disappointment, dissatisfaction, withdrawal, helplessness, depression, anxiety, distraction, agitation or exhaustion. Lack of perceived control over the noise intensifies these effects. This is why all communities, including Mendocino County, have noise ordinances. Ours states that no one should emit noise over 40 dB between the hours of 10 PM and 7 AM.

Residents have already had community meetings, talked with officials, filed complaints, and some have even filed lawsuits but the county refuses to enforce its noise ordinance. The majority of vineyards do not cause problems for their neighbors, so it is clear that there are many other options. Nuisance vineyards like Roederer (also the owner of Scharffenberger and Domain Anderson), Navarro and their Penny Royal Farms, Goldeneye (owned by Duckhorn), V.Sattui, Foursight Wines, Cakebread, Elke, and others continue to claim that their private profit is more important than the health and well-being of their neighbors.

The Anderson Valley Red Eyes has launched our campaign for quiet nights. It is our intention to cause these businesses to lose money until they realize that harming their neighbors is neither moral, legal nor profitable. We will be demonstrating the sound and volume of these frost fans throughout the Pinot Festival so that you may experience what we have been dealing with. Want to help? Please talk to any vineyards that you visit about their practices and how they affect their community. Choose to spend your money at community friendly vineyards only!

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A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, Supervisor Dan Hamburg mentioned that the State Mental Health auditor had “disallowed” $4.5 million in Mendo Mental Health bills which was, allegedly, part of the reason Mendo’s discretionary budget coffers were depleted and, therefore, why patrol deputy pay was so low and deputy recruitment was difficult. We found this number surprisingly high but, in theory, a manageable number, especially since it was one of the reasons the County rushed to privatize mental health services. Mental Health Services, such as they may be, are only provided to people with some kind of insurance that can cover Ortner’s costs. So what was disallowed and why? Read on.

SO WE SENT THE FOLLOWING EMAIL to County CEO Carmel Angelo:

Dear Ms. Angelo,

“Supervisor Hamburg said last night at a local discussion about our resident deputy and associated county budget/revenue issues, that the county had (apparently recently) been advised of $4.5 million in disallowed mental health service costs. It wasn't clear what year(s) he was referring to or when this astonishing figure was sent to the County. Mr. Hamburg also said that large as it was, it was less than it had been in prior years.

”Further, I had been under the impression that Mental Health privatization was supposed to at least partially deal with this problem.

”So, can you tell me if there is a $4.5 million recent bill from the state and which year it applies to?

“Also can you tell me how it compares to prior year disallowances?

Thank you, Mark Scaramella/AVA-Boonville

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CEO ANGELO REPLIED:

Mr. Scaramella,

My staff worked on your questions. I think we have it all for you now. I appreciate the opportunity to clarify this issue with you.

The $4.5 million in disallowed mental health costs that was mentioned, was not simply attributable to one year, nor was it all related to audit findings. The $4.5 million (actually originally anticipated as $4.6 million) was the total anticipated deficit in the Mental Health fund by the end of the fiscal year. This is the total of several years of audit findings that are hitting the County all at one time. This approximate total includes: $790,658 from FY 2007-08, $2.17 million from FY 2008-09, $911,926 from FY 2009-10, for a total of $3.9 million. The remaining balance of the $4.6 million deficit is related to other issues. I am including below the text from our recent 3rd Quarter Budget Report related to the Mental Health fund which provides more detail on both the audits and other cost increases.

MHBudgChart

“BU 4050 – Mental Health: Projected to be $3,693,074 over budget. This is a reduction from the anticipated amount of $4,665,056 at mid-year. The primary driver of the deficit is due to audit and settlement charges that were expected to settle by the end of the year. The costs associated with the various audits identified at Mid-Year are as follows: FY 2007-08 ($790,658), FY 2008-09 ($2,171,000), FY 2009-10 ($1,000,000) for a total of $3,962,658. These ‘costs’ will be claimed by the state reducing local revenue to Mental Health. Staff has been working to mitigate the impacts of the audit to the extent possible. Recently it was determined that the 2009-10 amount of $1,000,000 will not end up impacting the budget until FY 2015-16. The total difference in costs is shown below as $0 due to the anticipation that the Health and Human Services Agency will cover these cost increases with savings in other budget units within the Agency. In addition, the Agency intends to utilize the Mental Health Audit Reserve of $1,000,000, established for this purpose, to offset a portion of the costs. Significant savings within BU 4050 are anticipated due to the difficulty in hiring clinicians to provide services in both the 1000 and 2000 series accounts. However, the staffing challenges are also expected to impact revenue due to lower than anticipated billable services. Increased costs are also anticipated due to Affordable Care Act (ACA) driven increases in Medi-Cal eligibility, setbacks in housing for mental health clients, and delayed implementation of electronic health records technology. The Executive Office is working closely with the Agency to identify and perform an external audit of the Mental Health fund in order to provide more clarity and additional analysis of on-going audit liability and cost overruns. The Executive Office and HHSA will continue to work through the remainder of the fiscal year to mitigate the impacts to the budget, now and in the future, by minimizing revenue reductions and identifying ways to cover additional costs.”

I hope this helps clarify your questions. As mentioned in the text above, we are working on auditing the fund, but the audit exceptions are a problem that is plaguing Counties across the state. It is difficult to get a handle on it because of the significant lag time between the FY that is audited and the year the audit is performed. For example we were notified in December 2008 of the findings from the FY 2003/04 audit, in September 2009 of the findings from the FY 2004/05 audit, October 2011 of the findings from the FY 2005/06 audit, July 2013 of the findings from the FY 2007/08 audit, and January 2015 of the findings from the FY 2008/09 audit.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Carmel Angelo

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OF COURSE, 1. We already knew all of this; it’s in the budget book which we tried to read; 2. If the problem is so old, why is it still a problem, lag time or not? 3. What specifically is being disallowed and why? And why does that require an “audit” (which should have been done years ago)?; 4. Has privatization made a difference? … We’d also like to know how many uninsured mental health clients are receiving services and how are they paid for?

BUT ASKING THESE QUESTIONS — which should be asked by Ms. Angelo and the Board of Supervisors since it’s such a big number and is contributing to line-employees being underpaid — would just be a lot of work for staff which, if it’s just us asking, isn’t even worth bringing up.

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THIRD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR TOM WOODHOUSE is the latest in a long line of shallow thinking Mendo officials to insist on “local control” of whatever pot legalization scheme the state comes up with. In some areas, local control is a good thing: land use, law enforcement, transportation… But Pot? NO! Definitely not! Do we have local control of booze? NO! We have the state’s fairly simple and efficient ABC — alcoholic beverage control bureaucracy. Does anyone think we need “local control” of booze? No. Of course not. Could pot be merged into the ABC department, making it M&ABC? Easily, with no new bureaucracy, just a few new rules and staffers for the existing regional state offices. Do you want your pot rules to change from county to county? Do you want to wonder if you’re legal if you move your dispensary from one county to another? (PS. We have “local control” of our various welfare offices too. Is that a good idea? Not at all. Same reason. Look at Oregon and Washington. In those states you have a state welfare agency -- food stamps, MedicAid, mental health, etc. -- with one set of administrators and offices in all the major cities. One set of rules, one set of bureaucrats, one software program… In California there are 58 different redundant but inconsistent welfare offices and rules and bureaucrats in each County exercising “local control” when none is needed and where it’s much more expensive to administer.) Supervisor Woodhouse, an alleged government-phobic libertarian, should re-think the idea of local control of pot. PPS. Counties can still use zoning and ordinances to control where it’s grown and sold just like with booze. Nothing needs to change there.

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TOXICS IN PARADISE? The long-abandoned Point Arena Air Force Station, at one time a radar installation, is an intact, well-maintained but long uninhabited village perched on 81 acres atop the highest ridge east of town. As many as 200 airman and their families once lived at the station which, incidentally, came with a gym, a swimming pool and a bowling alley. Begun in the teeth of the Cold War, 1950, the installation was decommissioned in 1998.

PAafsHousing

THE VILLAGE is almost four miles up Eureka Hill Road out of Point Arena. It would be a perfect site to house Mendocino County's population of habitual dependents, the roughly hundred or so people constantly in and out of the County Jail, the non-reimburseables they might be called, whose alcoholism and varied mental illnesses make them the responsibility of the Sheriff's Department, not the County's privatized, cash and carry mental health “services” allegedly offered by the Ortner Management Group of Yuba City.

CALIFORNIA'S Department of Toxic Substances Control has announced that it's beginning the clean-up process at the site. "Historical military operations at the Air Force Station lead to the presence of lead, volatile organic compounds and total petroleum hydrocarbons in the soil and groundwater." Plans for the clean-up may be viewed at the Point Arena Library and are on-line at the department's website. Public comment on clean-up strategies began on May 15th and must be received by June 15th.

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SANFORD DORBIN

“Sanford Fare Well” Honors Marathoner and Jazz Poet

Sanford Dorbin, who died May 27, 2014, will be honored in the jazz-poetry program “Sanford Fare Well” next Wednesday, May 27, 2015. It commemorates his life as Mendocino County resident, activist, long-distance runner, and especially as lifelong jazz poet and aficionado, ––as well as recalling a vanished era of Willits life.

“Sanford Fare Well” takes place Wednesday at 7 P.M., at The Muse, the colorful business complex East of the Chinese ribs house on Main St. in Willits. (30 E. San Francisco Ave.) Parking is limited by the hall but ample in the vicinity. The musical program lasts an hour and a half.

DorbinFarewell

Noted musicians Jon Solow on piano and Les Tarr on bass will back WJ Ray reading to a set of eight jazz standards by Coltrane, Mingus, Jobim, Benny Golson, and Bill Evans. The music interplays with Dorbin’s jazz-influenced tropes, as well as with poems by Kenneth Patchen, Theodore Roethke, James Joyce, A.E. Housman, and Ray.

Producer and poet Ray said, "This performance does not so much commemorate the fact of a death as it affirms a noble life––and precious life itself. We celebrate in the language of two art-forms dear to Sanford: jazz and poetry. In addition to that, May is high Spring. We would love to send music and poetry drifting out the doors and down the streets of Willits. I am moved by the beauty of Jon’s and Les’s contemplative jazz."

While living out Sherwood in the “Back to the Land” era, Sanford Dorbin took active parts in building, cord-wood gathering, teaching, and the humanist counterculture that characterized local life in rural Northern California. He was a noted long-distance runner who ran 50 kilometers to celebrate his 50th birthday here, the equivalent of thirty miles. His route was from downtown Willits to Hearst and back. He finished numerous marathons and often won in the seniors age-group.

Originally a scholar, editor, and skilled librarian at UCLA and Santa Barbara, noted for his bibliography of Charles Bukowski’s literary works, he moved with his wife and young son Shelley to Willits in the early 1980’s. This was also the period of time during which a nuclear build-up threatened the entire basis of civilization in Europe and the U.S. He was twice arrested, at Diablo Canyon and Livermore.

Later history revealed that the populist uprising against a nuclear war footing was a significant factor in withdrawing the Cruise missiles and discouraging nuclear plants in the United States. On a per capita basis, Willits was the highest represented locale among the 1000+ arrests.

After moving to Vallejo in 1991 to take care of his wife’s mother, who died at 99, they moved again to Chico to be close to their children. There as here in Mendocino County he was prolific in poetry, road-running, and sharing his love for jazz. He was known for producing commercial level jazz tapes that were of such quality they might be suitable for a documentary archive. He gave them away.

His own poetry shows distinctive epigramic brilliance, much influenced by the brevity and surprise aspects of bebop jazz. It has jazz lilt and subtlety, with his own whimsical quality of cool bemused rhythmic quipping.

While in college in Southern California, Dorbin witnessed the flourishing of West Coast Jazz in dark L.A. nightclubs after driving cab until midnight. He knew all the players by name and work, and shared their underground sense, that Jazz as a subculture rejected the prejudice, inequity, and hypocrisy so imbued into ‘30’s-‘50’s American society. He found spiritual sustenance which he never abandoned, and he passed on to a younger generation its artistic and philosophical powers.

His last years were occupied with the younger generations and very late with editing his friend Barry Powell’s translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey. The books were published and dedicated to Sanford just before he died. To the end he was fearless, conscious, and witty. Ray’s last words to him were “We’re keeping an eye on you.” He came back with “Just one?”

Orphaned at five when his mother died of cancer in 1938, Sanford could seriously say in reply to a jest his wife made (“You’re on your own now!”): “I know, always have been.” He and his sister and brother were passed among relatives and boarding schools, and like many artists who have experienced inexplicable and unacceptable loss, Nature and all humanity became his abiding comforts. It can be said that he lived well and died well.

The performers in the “Sanford Fare Well” event are two professional musicians and a life-long poet. Pianist Jon Solow is a classical composer and an instrumentalist in several genres, best known for “Jazz From the Wharf” on KZYX-FM. Les Tarr on bass has played professionally for decades with a long jazz lineage and is also a radio deejay. Ray has produced or read in poetry readings here since 1985 with Miriam Patchen, Daniel Marlin, Linda Noel, Sharon Doubiago, Mary Norbert Korte, Jack Hirschman, Joanne Kyger, and Gary Snyder.

“Sanford Fare Well”, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 7 P.M., The Muse, 30 E. San Francisco Ave., Willits. $5.

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DEPUTIES DESERVE BETTER

To the Editor:

Earlier this month members of the Mendocino County Deputy Sheriffs Association agreed to a contract with the County of Mendocino. The agreement includes employee assumption of their portion of future contributions to the retirement system and a 4 percent salary reinstatement credited against a 10 percent reduction imposed by the County five years ago. Loss of the employer retirement subsidy will mean that most employees will not see a penny of the 6 percent “reinstatement” referenced in your article and some, myself included, will actually experience a small reduction in salary. While welcome, the modest 4 percent salary reinstatement will result in our members making less in three years than they were paid nearly ten years earlier. This simple fact is not likely to improve morale or help us address serious recruitment and retention issues. Given the training and experience our members possess and the risks we take, the deputies and staff of the Sheriff’s Office deserve better.

Craig Walker, President,

Mendocino County Deputy Sheriffs Association

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ANOTHER 'HISTORIC GEM' FROM THE KELLEY HOUSE MUSEUM

ON THIS DAY in 1894 Riccardo Cecchi was born in Italy. Many are familiar with the motto of Dick’s Bar: “so few Richards, so many Dicks.” Not all realize that Dick Cecchi was not a Richard, he was a Riccardo. He immigrated from Italy with his father in 1904. He spent 20 years working in various logging camps in the Mendocino area. He met his wife Dora at the Irmulco camp and married her three months later in 1921. As the logging business began to dwindle with the Depression, Dick Cecchi chose this time to begin a new business. He opened a liquor store on Main Street in 1934 and purchased the bar building and house next to the liquor store in 1937.

DicksPlace

The image shows Dick behind his bar; his daughter Irene is to his right. Dick’s Place can still be found on Main Street in Mendocino.

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus.)

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DOCTOR PETER KEEGAN TOURS PARIS with Libby Crawford, both of Ukiah. Dr. Keegan remains the only suspect in the bludgeoning death of his wife of 30 years, Susan Keegan

DrKeegan&Libby

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 17, 2015

Alvardo, Anderson, Andes, Cook
Alvardo, Anderson, Andes, Cook

BRENDA ALVARDO, Sunnyside, Washington/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

KEITH ANDERSON, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

WILLIAM ANDES, Cloverdale/Ukiah. DUI with priors.

THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Galvan, Halvorsen, Johnson, Jordan
Galvan, Halvorsen, Johnson, Jordan

OMAR GALVAN, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

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

NOEY JOHNSON JR., Ukiah. Probation violation. (Frequent flyer.)

SANTIAGO JORDAN, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Kendall, Knight, McCosker
Kendall, Knight, McCosker

ADAM KENDALL, Harrison, New Jersey/Covelo. Attempted murder, probation revocation.

JANET KNIGHT, Redwood Valley. Assault with deadly weapon with great bodily injury, resisting arrest.

TIMOTHY MCCOSKER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Roberts, C.Tuttle, J.Tuttle, Webb
Roberts, C.Tuttle, J.Tuttle, Webb

ERIC ROBERTS, Ukiah. Drunk in public, county parole violation.

CLAYTON TUTTLE, Covelo. Possession of meth for sale, prohibited person with ammo.

JACQUELINE TUTTLE, Covelo. Under influence of controlled substance.

JOSHUA WEBB, Laytonville. DUI.

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK

On the front page of the Fort Bragg Advocate-News of May 7, 2015, garbage czar Mike Sweeney proposes a land swap that would preserve endangered pygmy forestland in Caspar in exchange for destroying endangered pygmy forestland in Jackson Demonstration State Forest on Highway 20 where Sweeney hopes to build a multi-million dollar transfer station.

The proposed swap is not new, though the public may have forgotten AB384 by Sweeney’s buddy, assemblyman Wes Chesbro, who offered a similar deal in 2011. The problem is not with preserving pygmy forest in Caspar in exchange for destroying it elsewhere. Even Mike Sweeney acknowledges there are fewer than 2000 aces of pygmy forest in California and the United States.

Another endangered species demonstrates Sweeney’s faulty logic. To save one threatened spotted owl does not mean another spotted owl can be killed, and saving one section of pygmy forest does not forgive the destruction of pygmy forestland elsewhere.

If Sweeney truly cared about the environment, he would contract with the Skunk Train to haul coastal garbage to Willits. He might also explore a co-generation facility on the coast to deal with our garbage locally.

Mike Sweeney is a faux environmentalist.

— John Fremont

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THE GREAT DISTANCE RUNNER, JIM GIBBONS, has put his Willits property on the market to live full-time in Hawaii. Jim's pal and carpenter workmate, Bob Deines, is also selling his half of the property west of Willits. Tara Moratti at Coldwell Banker is the sales agent. Willits won't be the same. The Gibbons boys set all kinds of Northcoast foot race records as high school kids, while their old man was a nationally ranked senior competitor. Mr. G. often writes for the ava. Mr. Deines, a pretty good distance man himself, now lives full-time on the Mendocino Coast. A gifted photographer, his pictures have graced the New Settler Interview for many years.

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OPPOSITION to the Coast Hotel project is not the only reason for the recall launched last week against Fort Bragg mayor, Ron Turner. Turner's regime makes a lot of decisions behind closed doors, and a lot of those decisions are made by unelected staff, not the city council. The Main Street remodel was extremely unpopular, as is the Hare Creek Mall, and the new transfer station. Turner's focus on future mill site development, on land the city doesn't own, cost time and tax money, and ignored entirely the city that exists now. The recall represents years of residents' frustration at being denied a democratic process. And portraying opponents of the Coast Hotel proposal as homeless haters is simply slanderous.

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A MEMORIAL DAY MASSACRE

by Dick Meister

It's a dramatic, shocking and violent film. Some 200 uniformed policemen armed with billy clubs, revolvers and tear gas angrily charge an unarmed crowd of several hundred striking steelworkers and their wives and children who are desperately running away. The police club those they can reach, shoving them to the ground and ignoring their pleas as they batter them with further blows. They stand above the fallen to fire at the backs of those who've outraced them.

Police drag the injured along the ground and into patrol wagons, where they are jammed in with dozens of others who were also arrested. Four are already dead from police bullets, six others are to die shortly. Eighty are wounded, two dozen others so badly beaten that they, too, must be hospitalized.

The close-ups are particularly brutal. As one newspaper reviewer noted, "In several instances from two to four policemen are seen beating one man. One strikes him horizontally across the face, using his club as he would a baseball bat. Another crashes it down on top of his head and still another is whipping him across the back."

The film ends with a sweaty, fatigued policeman looking into the camera, grinning, and motioning as if dusting off his hands.

The film was made in 1937. It was not, however, one of those popular cops and robbers features of the thirties. It was not fictional. It was an on-the-scene report of what historians call "The Memorial Day Massacre," a newsreel segment filmed by Paramount Pictures as it was happening on the south side of Chicago on May 30, 1937.

We're accustomed these days to the use of videotaped evidence to show wrongdoing by abusive law enforcement officers. Video technology was unknown in 1937, of course, and though film was available, it had rarely - if ever - been used for that purpose.

The 1937 film, in fact, was initially kept from the general public by Paramount's executives. Fearful of "inciting riots," they refused to include it in any of their newsreels that were shown regularly in movie theaters nationwide.

But the film was shown to a closed session of a Senate investigating committee chaired by Robert LaFollette Jr. of Wisconsin. The committee, concerned primarily with civil liberties, was outraged -- particularly since the Chicago police had acted in violation of the two-year-old federal law that guaranteed workers the right to strike and engage in other peaceful union activities.

The committee found that strikers and their families, while noisily demanding collective bargaining rights as they massed in front of the South Chicago plant operated by Republic Steel, had indeed been generally peaceful. But that was beside the point to the police in Chicago and other cities with plants operated by Republic and two other members of the "Little Steel" alliance that also were struck. For as the committee concluded, the police had been "loosed ... to shoot down citizens on the streets and highways" at the companies' behest. The companies even supplied them with weapons and ammunition from their own stockpiles.

The committee said the companies had spent more than $40,000 on machine guns, rifles, shotguns, revolvers, tear gas canisters and launchers and 10,000 rounds of ammunition to use against strikers. Republic alone had more supplies than any law enforcement agency in the entire country.

The companies were prepared to go to any extreme to remain non-union. Two closed their plants temporarily, anticipating that most of the 85,000 strikers would soon be forced to return to work because they had little - if any - savings. But though Republic Steel closed most of its plants, it continued to operate the Chicago plant and a few others.

Republic fired union members at the plants that remained open and, with police help, cleared out union sympathizers and brought in strikebreakers to replace them. The strikebreakers, guarded by police day and night, ate and slept in the plants to avoid confronting the pickets outside.

Municipal police, company police and National Guardsmen harassed and often arrested pickets for doing little more than lawfully picketing. Six strikers were killed outside Republic's Ohio plants in Cleveland, Youngstown, Canton and Massillon.

The killings and other violence, the steadily increasing financial pressures on strikers, unceasing anti-union propaganda - all that and more combined to end the strike in mid-July, two months after it had begun.

But the steelworkers didn't give up. Determined to not have made such great sacrifices in vain, they turned to the labor-friendly administration of President Franklin Roosevelt for help. They got it in 1941, when heavy pressures from the administration finally forced the steel companies to recognize their employees' legal right to unionization and the many benefits, financial and otherwise, that it brought them and the many other industrial union members who followed their lead.

NOTE: A videotape of the uncut newsreel segment, "Memorial Day Massacre of 1937," is available from the Illinois Labor History Society (ilhs@prodigy.net).

Copyright©2015 Dick Meister, a freelance columnist in San Francisco who has covered labor issues for more than a half-century as a newspaper and broadcast reporter, editor and commentator (dickmeistersf@earthlink.net).

* * *

DEAR THEATER LOVERS,

After the passing of our beloved leader Rod Bashore, some of the existing AVTG members picked up the reins to restructure and energize the Theater Guild. We have successfully begun the process and have formed a well functioning steering committee of 10 members.

They are, with their subcommittee positions, as follows:

Artistic: Marcus Magdaleno and Kristy Hotchkiss

Tech: Derrick Roseboom and Ray Langevin

Administrative: Dan Mandelbaum and Sarah Larkin

Financial: John Hanes and Jim Taul

Grange Liaison: Greg Krouse

At Large: Barbara Lamb.

We are planning a production with details to follow soon.

In an effort to update our membership roster we are asking all, whether pre-existing members or new, to fill out the attached membership form. So if you haven't sent in your Membership information form please do.

We look forward to your participation in keeping community theater alive in Anderson Valley.

Also, please feel free to forward this email and attachment to any person who might be interested in being involved.

Sincerely,

The AV Theater Guild Steering Committee

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WATERLOGGED ALMOND INDUSTRY PROSPERS DURING DROUGHT

An Additional 150,000 Acres Added

by Dan Bacher

California growers continue to expand their almond acreage in the state during the current drought while the Brown administration has mandated that urban families slash their water usage by 25 percent.

California’s 2014 almond acreage is estimated at 1,020,000 acres, up 50,000 acres from the 2013 acreage of 970,000, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. That is an increase of 5 percent in one year.

At the beginning of our current drought, almond acreage was 870,000 acres, reported the “On the Public Record” blog.

When you subtract the 870,000 acres from 1,020,000 acres, you get an increase of 150,000 acres – again, all during a record drought.

Of the total acreage for 2014, 870,000 acres were bearing and 150,000 acres were nonbearing, the Service reported. The preliminary bearing acreage for 2015 is estimated at 890,000 acres, according to the service.

The survey also revealed that Nonpareil continued to be the leading variety of almonds, followed by Monterey, Butte, Carmel and Padre.

Kern, Fresno, Stanislaus, Merced and Madera were the leading counties. These five counties had 73 percent of the total bearing acreage, the Service reported.

So how would the amount of increased almond acreage translate into increased water usage during the current drought?

Using a number of 3.5 AF of water per acre of almonds at ULTIMATE demand with mature trees, the new acreage of 150,000 acres X 3.5 af/Acre = 525,000 AF of water ultimate demand. In other words, over 500,000 acre feet, or half of Folsom Lake when full, would be necessary to irrigate the new almond acreage once the trees become mature!

This new almond acreage when mature will also use more water than the average annual yield of all the proposed CALFED storage projects put together, according to Steve Evans, Wild Rivers Consultant. The PPIC estimates the CALFED projects will have a combined average annual yield of 410,000 AF.

Representatives of fishing groups, environmental groups and Indian Tribes have criticized the expansion of water acreage for almonds, a water intensive crop, at a time when salmon, Delta smelt and other fish populations are imperiled by poor water management by the state and federal governments – and when urban users are now mandated to cut back on water use by 25 percent.

“It’s a good thing for urban users to conserve water, but since agriculture uses 80 percent of water, the Governor’s emergency drought declaration missed the mark by not including agriculture,” said Tom Stokely, Water Policy Analyst for the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN) “A lot of people feel their efforts to conserve water are so that a wealthy almond farmer can plant more trees and make greater profit. These statistics on increased almond plantings actually PROVE that we are conserving water in urban areas so that more almonds can be planted.”

In response to those who argue that if the acreage wasn’t planted with almonds, it would be planted with cotton or other crops, Stokely noted, “Cotton is not a permanent crop and you can fallow it any year. You cannot fallow permanent crops like almonds and pistachios.”

“It’s inexcusable to increase the demand for California water by 500,000 AF in the midst of a historic drought,” Stokely emphasized.

As urban users are mandated to slash their water use, Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick, owner of Paramount Farms and the largest tree fruit grower in the world, revealed his current efforts to expand pistachio, almond and walnut acreage during a record drought at this year’s annual pistachio conference hosted by Paramount Farms.

During the event covered by the Western Farm Press, Resnick bragged about the increase in his nut acreage over the past ten years, including an 118 percent increase for pistachios, 47 percent increase for almonds and 30 percent increase for walnuts.

For more information about the California Water Impact Network, go to: http://www.c-win.org

(Dan Bacher can be reached at: Danielbacher@fishsniffer.com)

13 Comments

  1. Eric Arbanovella May 18, 2015

    Please publish the list of nuisance vineyards mentioned in the pinot fest protest leaflet.

    • Mark Scaramella May 18, 2015

      It’s there, in the penultimate paragraph of the leaflet: “Nuisance vineyards like Roederer (also the owner of Scharffenberger and Domain Anderson), Navarro and their Penny Royal Farms, Goldeneye (owned by Duckhorn), V.Sattui, Foursight Wines, Cakebread, Elke, and others continue to claim that their private profit is more important than the health and well-being of their neighbors.” The loudest vineyard fans are the permanent installations on pads and large poles. The towables are not as loud but there are more of them; the few cold air drains are not very loud.

      • BB Grace May 18, 2015

        “Save the Kite” An endangered hawk in Anderson Valley from the frost fans.

        Tell how the fans prevent the kite from normal flight and mating patterns and you’ll get peace.

        DF&W and plenty of environmental groups could back you.

  2. BB Grace May 18, 2015

    It’s my understanding that Proposition 63 (2005)created the Mental Health Services Act (within the CA Department of Health Care Services)http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/mh/Pages/MH_Prop63.aspx

    Audits are cyclic appearing more to do with the Govenor’s accountability to budget more than county’s actual cost and why County budgets are artificially bloated with staffing jobs that are never actually availavable, such as the staff psychiatrist who never materializes, which is what one might hope privatization would accomplish, yet because Mendocino does not have a university which most psychitrists want to be associated with because University’s offer protection and benefits. Because there is no test, no physical way to determine mental illness or appropriate medication, as it’s all done by guessing with hope.

    The introduction of PET scans on the brain are now being developed (Amen Clinics) for diagnosis and dispensing medication, but this is on the free market, not socialized (privatized) medicine.

    Dissallowed costs come from service providers contracted with Mendocino County Behavioral health Care, for example First Five
    http://mendochildren.org/
    EXAMPLES OF DISALLOWED COSTS
    • Providing services to clients not eligible for services (age, county eligibility)
    • Salary increases for FY 2011/2012, unless union authorizes.
    • Entertainment costs – Gift cards, wine glasses, movie tickets, etc.
    • Fundraising costs – Cost for the activity of fundraising (personnel, materials) for an event
    • Lobbying expenses – Costs incurred and related to attempting to influence legislation must be less than 30% of the staff person’s time
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Tobacco purchases
    • Equipment not included in the approved budget
    • Training/Travel not approved by First 5 Program Officers and not in personnel section of the approved budget
    • Mileage occurred for non-First 5 activities or trainings – travel to non related First 5 trainings/conferences
    • Program expenses that do not benefit the participants
    • Unhealthy snacks or food
    • Movie tickets for participants or staff
    • Expenses incurred in a different fiscal year (i.e. trainings, purchases of materials and supplies, etc.)
    • Fines and penalties – Speeding tickets and parking tickets
    • Severance pay
    • Baggage claims for non First 5 staff
    • Employee moving expenses
    • Losses on other grants or contracts – Any excess costs over income on any grant are not allowable as a cost of any other grant or contract.
    • Contributions or donations
    • Expenses allocable to other federal programs are not allowable
    • Incentives/Stipends – For attending program activities (i.e. workshops, meetings, events)
    • Not meeting cash match and/or other funding requirements stated in the contract.

    And then came the Affordable Care Act (2010) which gave us Covered CA (for those earning over $16,400) This has been a huge problem due to lack of communication (digital medical records communication between the MediCAl/Covered CA/ Union Insurance) and deadlines, so many people who should be converd are not covered.

    Mendocino County Behavioral Health Services appears to be focused on enrolling as many people as possible on MediCAL (0 – $16,400.00), which could includes county employees with SEIU, who would be “lost” in the system as those with Covered CA.

    Privatization is government contracted services, which is how Mendocino County (and cities within) operate (to protect the county/city from being sued).

    Is privatization working, yes.
    Is privatization delivering services? Yes.
    Are there problems? Yes, because legislative changes (Prop 63, ACA) take time and money to implement. And the truth is, it’s far more complicated with programs that are not fluent on the National and State levels.

    Mendocino is fortunate to have some really great people working very hard, making personal sacrifices and contributions to help as many people as quickly as possible. It appears some of these people are more frustrated than one might imagine because just when they see a light at the end of the tunnel, the light gets knocked out. For example, the Nation, State and County are mandated to provide housing, health care and mental health help for the homeless. The Old Coast Hotel met the requirements, so this was a very passionate venture to Mendocino government and contractors because with the acquisition of the Old Coast Hotel Mendocino County Health and Human Services could say, “Finally we did it!” “We have met the mandate by the Nation/State”.

    You might know that I remain opposed to the Old Coast Hotel conversion, but I am not opposed to the 300 North Harrison conversion, nor am I opposed to Ortner having an office there, as I think it’s practical, rather than the long distance relationship to Yuba County.

    What Mendocino County needs is more choices for Mental Health Care, and that includes private (free market which can be more affordable than privatized). Also needed is the affiliation with a University for a resideny or Post, and this could include psychiatric nurses who can prescribe medications.

    I believe the difficulty in hiring clinicians is the county wants contracts (privatized), so a clinician needs to form a company, have an attorney and an accountant (team).

    I also believe the “uninsured” are those who see a clinic before being set up on MediCAL, or if they live in another state, before the state can be billed, so the costs of the time and medication are eventually reimbursed or assumed by the state.

    I aim to be an informed consumer so any information that helps me understand is appreciated.

  3. Bill Pilgrim May 18, 2015

    The abandoned Point Arena Air Force Station … converted to house the county’s incorrigibles?
    Seems like a perfect fit for all the “frequent flyers.”

  4. Judy Valadao May 18, 2015

    Your statement is correct with the exception of the Mayor’s name. It’s Dave Turner.

    “The Main Street remodel was extremely unpopular, as is the Hare Creek Mall, and the new transfer station. Turner’s focus on future mill site development, on land the city doesn’t own, cost time and tax money, and ignored entirely the city that exists now. The recall represents years of residents’ frustration at being denied a democratic process. And portraying opponents of the Coast Hotel proposal as homeless haters is simply slanderous.”

    It is very clear and in writing that “Turner is 100%” in favor of the project two months before the public was even aware of it. With the other issues such as the transfer station and mall (all of which I don’t have an opinion on yet) you have to wonder if these are “done deals” also. It isn’t just about the Old Coast Hotel even though spending 1.2 million for basically office space and only 5 small rooms to house those needing housing is outrageous to say the least. The last I heard, the order of government is 1. THE PEOPLE 2.THE COUNCIL 3.THE CITY MANAGER…what’s wrong with this picture?

  5. Harvey Reading May 18, 2015

    Re: A MEMORIAL DAY MASSACRE

    More evidence that human nature never changes.

    • Rick Weddle May 18, 2015

      More evidence, sure enough. But ‘human nature’ (whatever that is) was troublesome enough before the Unhuman and unhumanizing beast, the corpiration, came to rule, call the shots, and define most Everything for us. The Genetically Non-existent Organism and its unsensitized human appendages have been giving People a bad name long enough even smart People like yourself, Mr. Reading, have begun tarring live folks with the GNO brush. That lines up too damned close to the original ‘original sin’ deal, and it don’t wash here.

      • Harvey Reading May 18, 2015

        People deserve their bad name. It has nothing to do with religion’s “original sin”, or anything religious at all. It really has nothing to do with good or bad, either. It’s just the way it is. The monkey has not advanced nor has it regressed. It has simply remained unchanged in its nature, irrespective of all its “knowledge” and all its toys. The U.S. military is just as horrific now as the Greeks and Romans were in their day. The self-entitled “aristocracy” rules with an iron hand now, as it always has … since long before the corporation existed.

        • Rick Weddle May 19, 2015

          Agree again the Iron Hand isn’t new. What is new is the greatly extended reach and grip exercised by the corpirations. And what’s puzzling to me is that People generally continue to disregard the distinction here, accepting whatever spurious definitions offered them by those very artificial organisms, even to the color and shape of ‘human nature.’ Somewhat more than odd. This, the previous 200 years of the greatest bloodletting in recorded history, happens to be congruent with the advent of corpirations as permanent artifacts, and with the emergence of ‘our’ country as The World Power (so far). We’re happy to be ‘conquering Nature’ on a scale more than Humanly possible but greatly mystified that all these great chickens are suddenly coming home to roost.

          There are a good many People who do NOT deserve the Biocidal rep you mention, folks who do their damnedest to keep their lives together with style, compassion, love, respect, and I dare say, MANNERS. To these we owe not just acknowledgement, but deep gratitude; making the world go ’round just ’cause they feel like it…ANYWAY.

          • Harvey Reading May 19, 2015

            A good many people, I agree. However, except in times of extreme, usually economic, stress, that affects millions, that good many falls far short of a majority.

            My conclusion, based on decades of observing my fellow monkeys, is that most people are more authoritarian by “nature” than are not. Our species of monkey by and large loves to laud, and look up to, power, physical, economic, or hereditary, and those who wield it. It also likes to follow leaders.

            Hell, as an example, the Brits still allow their useless queen and her family to use public money for their existence … not to mention how the world went crazy over “Princess Di”, who, without the royal trappings, was basically a cypher, a nonentity.

  6. Lazarus May 18, 2015

    “THIRD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR TOM WOODHOUSE is the latest in a long line of shallow thinking Mendo officials to insist on “local control” of whatever pot legalization scheme the state comes up with.”

    The truth is everyone likes it the way it is… the growers like the money even with the decline in price, and the sheriff and the DA seem to like things as they are. Note the objection to the Indians proposing a commercial site. DA and sheriff get extra money for virtually nothing and the smart business oriented growers make excellent money for their labors. The truth is with the exception of the trespass growers and the chem abusers, the system, if you want to call it that, works pretty well. Regardless it will take years if not decades for the government to take control of anything marijuana, it’s way to intrenched in the fabric of the Mendo and surrounding counties…bashing the politicians on this topic just makes you look lame if not naive.

  7. Nancy May 18, 2015

    Regarding Disallowed Mental Health costs, I invite all interested community members to come to Covelo (Yuki Trails) this Wednesday, May 20 for the monthly Mental Health Board meeting.

    Ask and ask again the questions you raised. Despite numerous requests, the County and the MH Dept. have not been forthcoming or cooperative with the Mental Health Board regarding the Mental Health Dept’s (BHRS) financial situation. The meeting starts at 10:00 am. Please come … the individuals who access mental health services and the advisory board need your help to keep asking questions until the County provides truthful, complete answers.

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