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Mendocino County Today: Monday, June 15, 2015

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STEPHEN CURRY LEADS GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS TO A 104-91 GAME 5 WIN OVER CLEVELAND CAVALIERS TO TAKE 3-2 SERIES LEAD

Stephen Curry rose up and drained a 29-foot dagger of a 3-pointer to seal the victory — literally out-amazinging LeBron James for the evening.

His 37 points and seven assists helped put the Golden State Warriors one win away from a championship after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 104-91, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena on Sunday night.

Both teams fought to the end, but the depth of Golden State proved to be too much in the fourth.

LeBron James registered 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. It was his 14th career postseason triple-double. He was gassed in the third quarter. His heavy-duty workload took a toll. He was 1-for-6 in the quarter. He tried to preserve some magic for the fourth quarter and he found some, scoring 16 in the quarter. However, his teammates could only come up with eight.

The Warriors went on an 11-2 run capped off by a Curry step-back, high-arching 3-pointer over Matthew Dellavedova to put them up 10 with 2:43 left to play. It was their biggest lead at that time. The Warriors' Andre Iguodala had five crucial points during that run and finished with 14 points, eight boards and seven assists in his second straight start.

Cleveland went to a strategy of fouling Iguodala immediately after the run, to which the veteran missed five of his next six free throws. He was 2-of-11 from the line.

But the Cavaliers couldn't gain substantial ground to get back in it.

From the onset, the Warriors forced the Cavaliers to change their lineup.

Golden State got out to an 8-2 run, ignited off four turnovers that led to six fastbreak points and that's all Blatt needed to see after five minutes. He took Mozgov out and inserted Smith to match the Warriors' small-ball lineup.

But for Golden State, they're used to playing fast from start to finish. Cleveland is not.

There were some theatrics that will be discussed in the coming days.

Game 6 is at The Q on Tuesday. It's win or go home time, and surely James isn't ready to embark on an extended vacation.

(— Chris Hanes, Courtesy, Cleveland.com)

* * *

RE MENTAL HEALTH FUNDING, a reader writes: “What's being overlooked here is that Health and Human Services Agency was funded for the unfilled positions in Family and Children's Services and instead of hiring people, or giving pay raises, they placed the money in their ‘reserve account.’ Now they are using those reserve funds to pay down the $3 million mental health debt. It's a big shell game. That mental health debt should be paid from the general fund reserves, not HHSA reserves. That %3 million debt occurred prior to realignment. I caught on to this during the budget hearing Tuesday when they moved through this really fast. The mental health debt is due to overpayments made to the county prior to 2011. The County General fund received the overpayment dollars during those years, so they should be responsible for the debt. CEO Angelo, HHSA Director Cryer and Brian Lowery (Assistant HHSA Director) are running HHSA into the dirt.”

* * *

WE ASKED SUPERVISOR JOHN McCOWEN for further clarification. The 2nd District supervisor said that funds were indeed budgeted to hire “x” number of positions, and that it was also true that not all budgeted positions were filled. But, McCowen said, it was not true that a decision was made not to hire people so the Supes could funnel money into a “reserve account.” McCowen said there are many reserve accounts and positions were not filled for all the reasons detailed in the GJ report, but not for lack of trying.

THE MENTAL HEALTH deficit, the supervisor said, will be paid from cost savings within the overall HHSA budget but wasn't sure if this is from unspecified “reserves” or “year end carryover” from cost savings in the overall budget, mostly from salary savings for positions that were not filled last year.

THAT THE MENTAL HEALTH DEBT should be paid from the general fund reserves, not HHSA reserves, the Supe characterized as “a statement of opinion but it is not the way that the County operates or has operated. The real prob is that the federal government has defaulted on its responsibility to adequately fund mental health services, just as they have on social services in general. That $3 million debt occurred prior to realignment. It is true that the audit exception portion of the Mental Health deficit stems from 5-7 several years ago. So apparently, things weren't exactly ticking like a Swiss watch before privatization and the dread Ortner.”

AT VARIOUS POINTS in the marathon budget presentation, a form of verbal rope-a-dope designed to narcotize rational thought processes, Supervisor McCowen asked pointed questions of the budget presenter, the replacement for the departed Kyle Knopp. Knopp's replacement guy looks like he's about 14, but the kid seems to have a precocious grasp of the art of obfuscation — never respond with a yes or no if a longer answer will confuse matters, never admit to anything, and always insist that whatever is being requested is not possible because we have always done it this way.

THE YOUNG OBFUSCATOR did, however, agree with much of what McCowen, the 2nd District supervisor, said. He agreed that the $3 million transferred into the Road Fund every year is General Fund money that is transferred by policy/direction of the Board of Supes, not because it is required. The Supes probably do want to support the road department, although the money typically goes for salaries, not paving.

FOR DECADES Howard Dashiell, and Budge Campbell before him, maintained that the Road Fund is the equivalent of a “special district” guaranteed by law to receive a set percentage of the County property tax. County administrators and County Counsel tacitly or overtly supported this unique stance over the years, and here we are again at “Because this is the way we've always done it.”

THE YOUNG BAFFLEGAB FELLER also agreed there is no reason why the recommended budget, when it is published, cannot show a projected balance for the end of the current fiscal year. The practice has been to show “actual through 5/30” which omits any revenue or expenses for the final month of the year, and which makes meaningful comparisons to previous years difficult to impossible since it results in an apples and oranges comparisons. County bureaucrats have said for years it would be too much work to make the change. The new budget guy, with the brashness of youth, said he didn't see any reason why it couldn't be done. Woodhouse, 3rd District supervisor, supported McCowen, acknowledging that McCowen's “annual request” to reform this particular practice made sense.

McCOWEN also requested that the supervisors develop two new schedules, one that would show all reserve accounts by department, and a second that would show all operating transfers in (and out) when those transfers are from the General Fund or another department.

THESE SUGGESTED MODIFICATIONS would indeed be helpful to the Board and to the general public in understanding the budget, which, one would think, would be a Board priority.

* * *

LODGING IS DESTROYING PROMOTION IN MENDOCINO COUNTY?

Supervisor Dan Hamburg on why he was reluctantly going to vote for the re-organized Business Improvement District (BID) with a doubling of the County match to about $400k, June 9, 2015:

“The trajectory of the bid is going to be set by what we are doing today and I think what we need to be doing over the next year if we do continue the BID for the next year is planning what is going to be our new structure going forward and I don't think it should be a structure where lodging can dictate the terms of promotion for Mendocino County. It has been pointed out time and again that promotion is much bigger than just the lodging industry and also you've got a significant part of the lodging industry that's basically pretty hostile to this kind of a countywide organization and I don't want to fight with them anymore, not like I've been in the front lines like you guys, but we are doing something really good for the entire county and to see this one, you know, one sub-element of the County, this one part of the lodging industry, just trying to destroy it is just very it disheartening and I want to look to the day when we don't have to deal with that anymore and if that means taking this organization in house and doing it without a BID and with increasing the TOT [Transient Occupancy Tax] that's the direction I want to go, so I'm willing to go along with, you know, passing this going forward with a somewhat crippled, at least budgetarily crippled organization, but I don't see that as the future of promotion for Mendocino County. We need a new plan. I definitely appreciate the structure that supervisors Gjerde and McCowen have designed, that may be workable, but I'm just not willing to let lodging and the elements of lodging that are so opposed to this continued to drive this train.”

* * *

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, MENDO SUPES TO CONSIDER doing something ranchers don’t like — albeit under threat of lawsuit/court order.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4062233-181/mendocino-supervisors-to-weigh-federal

* * *

THERE AREN'T MANY LOCAL ATTORNEYS who practice both civil and criminal law at both the state and federal levels, but our very own Edie Lerman of Santa Rosa and Ukiah does all four, and does all four with a high rate of success.

* * *

WOW — TROY NIELSEN SENT IN PHOTO OF PHILO ACCIDENT.

PhiloWreck

MSP viewer Troy Nielsen just sent this photo of the accident in Philo at mile marker 19.25 on CA-128 (see post below). He addeded: "Accident on 128, just before elk turn off." Thanks Troy! 
12:37 PM--CalStar 4 is hovering over Gowan's Oak Tree awaiting instructions.
 First Responder (12:30 pm) "You can cancel the air ambulance."
12:46 pm: From CHP: "One medic on scene doing evaluation now, one patient, unknown injury."
At 1:06 pm, CHP posted "minor injury" which comes as a surprise to us after looking at the wreck.

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

* * *

BOONVILLE GRADUATES

by Sarah Kreienhop

A slow bluegrass tune played last Thursday evening as parents and friends found their seats just as a breeze cooled down the stuffy gym. Everyone was here to see the 8th graders promoted to 9th graders. The next chapter in their lives would be high school. The graduates were excited and nervous as they stood outside the gym waiting for their big moment. They have no idea what is to come but they do know that they have made it this far and will keep going up the academic ladder.

The music changes to See You Again as we watch them enter. All 45 of them walk in, one by one. The girls look beautiful in their dresses and their kind, soft faces. The boys walk in looking very handsome and proud of their new success.

Ava Sanchez and Johnathan Magana-Gomez stand up nervously to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Caleb Devine-Gomes then stands to talk about how they should all work to improve themselves. Melanie Laqunas does a beautiful job repeating it in Spanish.

The junior high school teachers — Nicole Davis, Rene Ochoa, Beth Swehla, Stefani Ewing, Nat Corey-Moran and Nathan Bublitz — read their students bios. The teachers seemed nervous themselves as they read what the students had written what they felt they needed to say about each graduate, each student’s favorite memories of junior high as well as what they plan to do in the future. Each student stands when their name is called and blushes at the recognition. The crowd claps and smiles at the presentation. As an English-only speaker it was easy for me to understand the teacher’s statements, but it must have been difficult for the Spanish-speaking families. Fortunately, Rene Ochoa made his remarks in both English and Spanish. But the microphone was too loud and made the speakers hard to understand sometimes.

Michelle Hutchins, the principal, and Nat Corey-Moran presented the certificates. Mrs. Hutchins talked about how energetic the class was and that she felt a part of the class since she began her work at the school the same time they did. She said she felt a part of them. She also reminded the graduates that even though they are promoted they still had an 8th grade final in the morning.

As each student received his diploma, they were presented together as the class of 2019

High School Graduation

The high school graduation is always the most exciting and most important because it's the final event in twelve years of education in the Anderson Valley schools. The gym is decorated the same way as the 8th grade promotion except for additional flowers provided by Maria Jones.

Everyone is nearly an hour early. The gym is hot and stuffy and is absent the cooling breeze of the previous evening. Pomp and Circumstance begins but the crowd doesn't pay attention until the first graduate walks up the center aisle. The soon-to-be graduates enter through the side doors by the stage and walk completely around the gym before they make it to the middle of the audience. It took a lot of time to get all 46 graduates onto the stage and into their seats. Each student walks in with a smile and with their head held high.

The microphone wasn’t as loud as the night before as the ceremony was presented in both English and Spanish.

The program listing the names of the graduates are soon serving as fans in the heat of the gym.

The proud graduates (*denoting honors gradutes) were: *Aaron Alvarez, Avigayl Alvarez, *Selena Anguiano, Micah Backstrom, *Diego Becerra, Uriel Carranza, Jessica Ceja, Lana Dewolff, Aileen Eligio, Karina Belen Espinoza, Romario Espinoza, Flavio Flores, *Gualberto Gastelum, Elvis Gaxiola, Jesus Gonzales, Erick Guerrero, *Mayte Guerrero, *Sandra Gutierrez, *Grecia Herrera, Beatriz Jimenez, *Marisol Jimenez, Jaylynn Laviletta, Leticia Macias, Luis Magaña, Yazil Magaña, Juana Manriquez, Lucero Marquez, Julissa Martinez, Cali Mendoza, Jesus Mendoza, Kaylie Mendoza, Oscar Natareno, Mariah Nunley, *Kathya Orozco, *Heather Perez, Jacqueline Perez, Jesus Ramirez, Fabian Sanchez, Luis Sanchez, *Victor Sanchez, Moises Segura, *Chelsea Teague, *Heather Teague, Abril Torres, *Maxence Weyrich, Regina Wilson.

There were fourteen seniors graduating with honors and two with FFA honors. Aaron Alvarez graduated with both honors. The students wanted a moment of silence for the recent losses of persons dear to them — Marianne Pardini and Ernesto Contreras. Selena Anguiano leads everyone through the Pledge of Allegiance. Heather Perez and Gualberto Gastelum welcome the parents and friends with a humorous speech highlighting their foibles. Mayte Guererro, Salutatorian, remembers the class as it went from its first days at the Anderson Valley Elementary School to four years of high school. The Valedictorian, Maxence Weyrich, delivers a wonderful speech in both English and Spanish as he wishes his classmates well. Next came the class historians, Victor Sanchez and Marisol Jimenez, who shared their memories of their classmates.

In the middle of the ceremony a little boy walked right in front of the stage and then went behind the stage. A minute later he walked back out in front of the stage. The kids were loud and playful but this little guy was the only one to walk in front of the stage. The crowd was constantly talking as well. It made the ceremony feel more casual than an important event.

Next were the awards. This took the longest. Award after award, speech after speech. It was great to see so many of the graduates receive scholarships for their hard work, but it seemed to go on for an awfully long time.

The class video, presented by Victor Sanchez, was the liveliest event of the night. Seeing the class of 2015 grow up from elementary to high school was very moving, and reminded me that I will be up there next year. Victor did a wonderful job with the video, which included memorials to Marianne Pardini and Ernesto Contreras.

Finally, it was time to award the diplomas. The graduates, holding their diplomas, paused at the foot of the stage while their proud families took their pictures. The moment had finally come. Once everyone had their diploma, a lively piece of music began and the graduates, in unison, rose from their chairs and started dancing. They danced and everyone laughed, which helped take away some of the tears of the people looking on as they marked the end of childhood and the beginning of life in the big world outside. The graduating class then walked down the middle of the gym and disappeared into the congratulating crowd waiting for them with cameras and presents. The evening had been a success!

* * *

FRAUD, AN EXCHANGE

Dear Editors,

On June 11, 2015, you posted on-line a paragraph evidently authored by Don Mullinax, “certified fraud investigator.” (I read the piece on my radio program that evening, on KPFZ 88.1 FM, and it generated quite an interest.)

“AS A GENERAL RULE, fraud is possible in any set of circumstances that are unusual in nature or vary from normal activity. Problems arise when these warning signs are ignored or not adequately investigated. Such warning signs may include: a single vendor receiving a majority of contracts, refusal to produce records and files, significant lifestyle change of people involved in bond program, refusal to take vacations (for fear someone else will look at the books), turning down promotions or transfers, no exceptions or errors (reports are "too clean"), lack of separation of duties (minimal checks and balances), successful bidders subcontracting to losing bidders, winning bidder always bids last, losing bidder cannot be located in business directories, numerous or large dollar change orders, and invoices without addresses and phone numbers for vendors, and costs billed not consistent with progress of construction. Change orders are a big deal. Contractors will bid low, then add change orders sometimes the day after they get the contracts. — Don Mullinax, certified fraud investigator”

* * *

I am curious as to why that piece was published? It reads like a response to an inquiry, perhaps, or an excerpt from a presentation that might have been delivered by the author, not necessarily in conjunction with a particular investigation (although the allegations against KZYX practices might lead one to think there is a significant level of hanky-panky going on there, and that the accusations of its board members and member candidates certainly echo the description in Mr. Mullinax’s opining).

Of course, I am deeply involved in attempting to unearth the truth about one of our County’s most mysterious agencies, and the descriptions he provided include some that strongly resemble the situation here. Do you folks know Mr. Mullinax, by some chance? (I googled, of course, but I’m no less daunted by the official orientation — it being that to employ a CFI one must already have a corporate attorney taking up one’s cause. There’s not a single attorney here that would dare, if they had the knowledge and moral compunction to begin with, to charge the agency with anything. Lord knows if it’s actual “fraud” or just stupidity, but the practices are so bad that everyone in the County [Lake] is getting screwed.)

I also looked up the Association of Certified Fraud Investigators, which has a San Francisco chapter. I’ll give them a call, for wont of anything else to try, but if you have any thoughts on how to elicit legal support for this misbenighted governmental outhouse, please send them my way. (I did contact Rod Jones, but he declined owing to his own priorities, alas).

Meanwhile, huzzah to the 800th Anniversary (June 15, 1215) of the Magna Carta! That and the AVA are my constant inspirations, over here in this political wilderness.

Affectionately yours,

Betsy Cawn
The Essential Public Information Center
Upper Lake, CA 707-275-9376
epi-center@sbcglobal.net

* * *

Dear Ms. Cawn,

I'm on our local school bond oversight committee. Committee members are automatically sent news bulletins from the California State Association of School Bond Oversight Committees. Plus some of us have our own informal email connections. That quote came in one of those as part of a larger article from somewhere related to much larger school bond projects where, of course, occasionally, there really is fraud on a large scale. Unfortunately, I didn't save the email (I don't even remember if it was from the Bond Oversight Association or one of the informal ones. I just thought it was a useful summary worthy of note with, as you say, echoes locally.

(It could have been the LA Schools’ use of construction bond money to give iPads to all the students and teachers at LA Unified, now that I think about it. I think the LA School Superintendent is under investigation by the FBI — apart from the crazy idea of using such construction bond funds for iPads!)

I'd say your best bet is the local Grand Jury there. Ours has been a little better in recent years although the County steadfastly refuses to agree to anything, ever. (Mental Health Director Tom Pinizzotto, case in obvious point.) In that case I even emailed the GJ's Conflict of Interest report to the losing bidder (a big national outfit called Optum) and told them they should sue to have the bid process re-done without Pinizzotto. No response either. There are entire books on this subject nationwide. For example:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cheating_Culture

Best, Mark Scaramella/AVA-Boonville

* * *

Dear Mr. Scaramella,

Thanks for this info (had no idea the problem set was so comprehensive, as described in the Wikipedia); I feel so completely ignorant but that seems to be the sisyphean job of work.

I do remember the scandal at the LA School District over the iPads (every now and then I deign to scan the LA Times on line, but I have to be pretty desperate for easy reading material).

Our Grand Jury is instructed/directed by our County Counsel — a few years ago she forbade the jury from investigating a major cesspool involving my local senior center (a GJ member at the time happened to be related to one of the center’s board of directors, a former county supervisor at that).

But of course, I’ll keep trying — Grand Jury, State Controller’s office, OIG, whatever I can muster the energy for. I’ve certainly paid close heed to your coverage of the school board and the Mendo Mental Health insanity (I work with our MH and other Adult Services agencies from time to time — we’re all scared silly that the County supervisors will outsource our meagerly accessible services to Ortner, just because they love that sort of thing).

And, what the heck, I’ll call up the CFE people — why not? Thanks again for AVA and all of you —

Betsy

* * *

A REMINDER FROM THE MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFF

Bikes

This weekend is the Redwood Run in Piercy, just off U.S. Highway 101 in Mendocino County.

* * *

HOW JOSE CANSECO shot the tip of his finger off: "I was cleaning four guns at once, and I had all the magazines over to the right, and I’m on the fourth gun, and my girlfriend comes in and she distracts me, and I grab the wrong gun, I put the wrong clip in."

* * *

COATE RESIGNS

To the Editor:

On June 11, KZYX Executive Director and General Manager, John Coate, resigned, only one day after he was served with a demand letter for financial disclosure at the station. The letter was prepared by a legal team, and it was signed by three current or past KZYX board directors, including myself, Doug McKenty, and King Collins, one past member of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, Norman De Vall, and one member and recent board candidate, Dennis O'Brien.

The demand letter was prompted by Coate's refusal to answer questions asked by a board director about staff salaries when the station's audit was presented at the May 4 annual meeting. The refusal by Coate to answer questions from a board director about important financials at a public meeting is a violation of the California Corporate Code.

The letter was also prompted by Coate's post on his Facebook page where he referred to 37% and 32% of the station's members who voted for reform candidates, respectively, during the last elections, as a "hate group" and "haters" who should "STFU". (See Urban Dictionary foe the meaning of this acronym.)

Coate's resignation is effective July 1.

With Coate’s resignation, it’s time for real and meaningful change at KZYX. Change. New faces — Program Director, Mary Aigner, has got to go. For 25-years, Aigner has been the one constant in a highly dysfunctional organization. Also, operations manager, Rich Culbertson, and business manager, David Steffen, have got to go. They been at the station for the last 10 years, as both operations and finances have deteriorated, and as management hunkered down in a bunker mentality. KZYX needs fresh faces. Outside people. Young, talented, new people.

Change. New business model — Out with the old guard, top-down, centrist management model. Out with the autocratic management style. Out with management bullies and control freaks who purge their critics, and even those who dare to ask questions. Out with the station's decision not to embrace affirmative action by advertising all jobs, including part-time jobs. Out with the station's submissive board that has relinquished all authority to management, particularly over hiring and firing decisions, and program decisions.

Change. New community radio — In with a strong and robust Community Advisory Board and Program Advisory Committee, just like at KMUD. In with the station's 2,100 members. In with the public. In with community. Let the station's 2,100 members make hiring decisions, and decisions over what shows they want to hear. Power to the People! Change. New main studio — Ukiah, not Philo, should be the station's new headquarters. Nobody lives in Philo except Mary Aigner. Change. New equipment and technology — No more dead air, scratchy irritating signals, and fuzzouts. No more webstream constantly dropping out. No more feeble attempts at archiving shows on a temporary basis on an inferior "turnstile" platform. If little KMEC can permanently archive shows and post them to Youtube, why can't KZYX? And why can't really good shows be distributed to the wide world outside of Mendocino County via the Public Radio Exchange or Radio4All? Change. New transparency — KZYX needs to totally comply with the demand letter for financial sent to Coate. What is station hiding? Why does staff get regular raises, even as the station struggles financially? Why did Coate get a 10% raise during the summer of 2013 at precisely the time county employees were being forced to take a 10% pay cut. About a quarter of county employees didn't even get the pay cut. They got pink slips. And why does the station's board of directors insist on secret communications, even on communications that have nothing to do with confidential personnel matters? Change. New beginnings -- New beginnings with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). KZYX remains in serious trouble with the FCC and CPB, and may also soon be in trouble with the California Secretary of State. The FCC has yet to renew both of the station's licenses, despite many thousands of dollars spent in a legal defense of poor management practices, and the CPB slashed its funding to KZYX by $50,000 this year. Think the FCC and the CPB aren't paying attention to our problems? Think again! We need to get back into compliance with the law. Soon the California Secretary of State will be all over us, too. Change. New collaborations with other media — KZYX needs to pool resources, particularly regarding news reporting, with other media. K.C. Meadows of the UDJ should be given her show back. Mark Scaramella of the AVA should have a show. Christina Aanestad should be invited back as a special features investigative journalist. KZYX should form formal working relationships with KMUD, KMEC, KNYO, and Mendocino College. Change.

New beginnings with members — KZYX membership numbers continue to fall, and pledge drives continue to fall short of goals for very real reasons. Why? Because members feel disenfranchised, uninvolved with the station, and unconnected to one another. Members need to communicate with one another via a listserv sponsored by the station, and they need their own newsletter. Change. It’s time! -- It's time for real and meaningful change at KZYX. Now more than ever. The station is in trouble. And with Coate gone, change is finally possible. Members are the key. Our next board meeting is on June 29, at 6 p.m., in Willits, at a location TBA.

John Sakowicz

KZYX Board of Directors (2013-2016), Board Treasurer (2014)

* * *

THE ORCHARD AVENUE GAMBLE

To the Editor:

Every time that I drive on that handy stretch of road from the North end of Orchard Avenue up Bush Street to North State and Low Gap, I shudder at the many driving and walking hazards that there are on such a short stretch. This presents even more danger than usual as it connects to and is used by so many that are continuing on to Low Gap going up to Ukiah High School by car, bicycle, or on foot. Anyone who has driven on it can see and feel how unsafe it is and has been for too many years. (I thought that it would be repaired after the new Orchard road connection was made to it.) To cite some of the problems: Bumpy, irregular surface, little or no shoulder, not uniform in width, No continuous painted lines in center or sides of road, few, if any, street lights, extra-wide trucks parked by Daniel’s Steel.

Isn’t it about time to attend to this unsafe eyesore, but good shortcut, in our City?

Francine Bearden, Ukiah

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, June 14, 2015

Alvarez, Ayala, J.Baker, M.Baker
Alvarez, Ayala, J.Baker, M.Baker

HUGO ALVAREZ, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

ALFONZO AYALA, Ukiah. DUI.

JASON BAKER, Mendocino. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, battery, assault.

MILEKA BAKER, Mendocino. Unspecified violation.

Biord, Derr, Duncan
Biord, Derr, Duncan

CHRISTOPHER BIORD, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

ROXANN DERR, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance, suspended license.

ROBIN DUNCAN, Kelseyville/Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

Fee, Knapp, Marsh, Mendoza
Fee, Knapp, Marsh, Mendoza

ANNE FEE, Fort Bragg. Resisting arrest.

VERNON KNAPP, Fort Bragg. Misdemeanor hit&run, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

LAWRENCE MARSH, Covelo. Domestic assault, petty theft, court order violation, probation revocation.

FRANCISCO MENDOZA, Willits. Under influence of controlled substance.

Riggert, Wedgley, White
Riggert, Wedgley, White

CHERYL RIGGERT, Willits. Pot cultivation, possession of meth.

SCOTT WEDGLEY, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

WILLIAM WHITE JR., Willits. Domestic assault.

* * *

BEGIN THE BEGUINE

When they begin the beguine

It brings back the sound of music so tender

It brings back a night of tropical splendour

It brings back a memory evergreen

 

I'm with you once more under the stars

And down by the shore an orchestra's playing

And even the palms seem to be swaying

When they begin the beguine

 

To live it again is past all endeavour

Except when that tune clutches my heart

And there we are, swearing to love forever

And promising never, never to part

 

What moments divine, what rapture serene

Till clouds came along to disperse the joys we had tasted

And now when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted

I know but too well what they mean

 

So don't let them begin the beguine

Let the love that was once a fire remain an ember

Let it sleep like the dead desire I only remember

When they begin the beguine

 

Oh yes, let them begin the beguine, make them play

Till the stars that were there before return above you

Till you whisper to me once more: "Darling, I love you!"

And we suddenly know what heaven we're in

When they begin the beguine

— Cole Porter

 

* * *

PATRIOT ACT VS. FREEDOM ACT -- OR IS IT A SHELL GAME? on KMEC Radio, Monday, June 15, at 1 pm, Pacific Time

By popular demand, this show is a follow-up to last week's show, "NSA Bulk Collection Is Not Ending", with guest, Marcy Wheeler.

BACKGROUND

AP reported on June 1: "Eight days after blocking it, Senate Republicans have agreed to begin debate on a House bill that would overhaul the National Security Agency's handling of American calling records while preserving other domestic surveillance provisions.

"But that remarkable turnabout didn't happen soon enough to prevent the laws governing the programs from expiring at midnight Sunday as Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a presidential contender, stood in the way of extending the program, angering his GOP colleagues and frustrating intelligence and law enforcement officials.

"Now, the question is whether the Senate will pass a bill the House can live with. If so, the surveillance programs will resume, with some significant changes in how the phone records are handled. If not, they will remain dormant.

"The Senate vote on the measure known as the USA Freedom Act can come no earlier than 1 a.m., Tuesday. Senate Republican aides said they expected some amendments, but no major revisions to the bill."

See CNN report: http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/31/politics/patriot-act-senate-showdown-nsa/

See Obama's radio address backing the so-called USA Freedom Act: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/30/weekly-address-pass-usa-freedom-act

J. KIRK WIEBE

Wiebe, a popular guest on KMEC Radio, is a retired National Security Agency whistleblower who worked at the agency for 36 years.

Unable to stay at NSA any longer in good conscience, Wiebe retired in October 2001.

Since retiring, Wiebe and his fellow NSA whistlblower Bill Binney made several key public disclosures regarding NSA's massive surveillance program. Wiebe said today: "The larger picture is that the government is playing a shell game, essentially doing what it wants with or without USA Freedom, and that unless we achieve comprehensive review of intelligence policies, we are essentially not improving much in the way of privacy. That's not to say a victory in defeating parts of the Patriot Act is not important, just that it leaves much to be done by a Congress that doesn't like being held accountable.

"The whole matter would be moot if the government would adopt an intelligence production process from collection through analysis that was in line with the Constitution -- that the technology exists to do just that, even addressing judicial review (not FISA, but regular Article III court) within seconds, thus mooting the Haydens out there who say the regular court review process takes too long. That fact -- that the problem is solvable with today's technology -- portrays the existing proponents of keeping Patriot or just modifying it slightly as in Freedom as either incompetent, or possessing hidden agendas, or just not interested in defending the Constitution."

Wiebe took part in Stand Up for Truth events earlier this month, a series of events to support whistleblowing.

Kirk Wiebe and Bill Binney were last of a series of webcasts. Talks were held in Chicago and Los Angeles. Other webcast participants included EPA whistlblower Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, and State Department whistleblower Matthew Hoh.

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Dan Ellsberg were with a group of whistleblowers speaking in London, Oslo, Stockholm and Berlin.

For a full schedule, see: standupfortruth.org/events.

BILL BLUNDEN

Blunden is an independent investigator whose current areas of inquiry include information security, anti-forensics, and institutional analysis. He teaches at San Francisco State University.

Blunden is author of "Behold a Pale Farce: Cyberwar, Threat Inflation, and the Malware-Industrial Complex".

This book presents a data-driven message that exposes the cyberwar media campaign being directed by the Pentagon and its patronage networks. By demonstrating that the American public is being coerced by a threat that has been blown out of proportion -- much like the run-up to the Gulf War or the global war on terror -- this book discusses how the notion of cyberwar instills a crisis mentality that discourages formal risk assessment, making the public anxious and hence susceptible to ill-conceived solutions.

With content that challenges conventional notions regarding cyber security, "Behold a Pale Farce" covers topics -- including cybercrime; modern espionage; mass-surveillance systems; and the threats facing infrastructure targets such as the Federal Reserve, the stock exchange, and telecommunications -- in a way that provides objective analysis rather than advocacy.

This book is a must-read for anyone concerned with the recent emergence of Orwellian tools of mass interception that have developed under the guise of national security.

Blunden is also the author of several other books, including "Offshoring IT: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly".

He's probably best known for writing the industry's most detailed manual for software back doors, the "Rootkit Arsenal: Escape and Evasion in the Dark Corners of the System."

Blunden recently wrote the piece "The USA Freedom Act Doesn't End Bulk Data Collection.

See: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/05/the-usa-freedom-act-doesnt-end-bulk-data-collection/

In the domain of the social sciences, he has co-authored articles related to 9/11 that have appeared in academic journals like "Peace Psychology" and "Aggressive Behavior."

Blunden is one of my personal heroes.

KMEC RADIO

KMEC Radio airs at 105.1 FM in Ukiah CA. We also stream on the web at www.kmecradio.org

Our shows are archived and posted to Youtube.

Please support KMEC Radio and the Mendocino Environmental Center by becoming a member: http://www.kmecradio.org/donate/

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LOBBYIST FOR OIL PIPELINE COMPANY OVERSAW CREATION OF FOULED "MARINE PROTECTED AREAS"

by Dan Bacher

The head of the same oil industry trade association that lobbies for the Plains All  American Pipeline corporation, whose corroded pipeline rupture caused a massive oil spill off Refugio State Beach on May 19, is the very same person who chaired the panel that created the so-called "marine protected areas" that have been fouled with crude oil.

"Plains All American, the owner of the pipeline, is a member of the Western States Petroleum Association," proclaimed Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) in her blog post responding to the spill on May 19. (https://www.wspa.org/blog/post/statement-santa-barbara-oil-spill)

In a huge conflict of interest, Reheis-Boyd served as the chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called marine "protected areas" (MPA) in Southern California, including four MPAs being fouled by the spill. She also served on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast from 2004 to 2012, as well as on a federal marine protected areas panel from 2003 to 2014.

The disaster that resulted from over 21,000 gallons of oil fouling over 9 miles of ocean, took place after a badly corroded pipeline burst off Refugio State Beach.

A wildlife update on June 9 from International Bird Rescue revealed the oil spill's enormous cost to seabirds and mammals. Wildlife experts have counted 60 live and 161 dead seabirds and 46 live and 87 dead sea mammals to date.

Of course, the big impact to the many species of fish, invertebrates and the delicate ecosystem, including those living in the "Yosemites of the Sea," will last for many years to come.

The cost of cleaning up the oil spill that fouled beaches last month on the California coast has reached $62 million so far, a pipeline company representative told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Patrick Hodgins, the Plains All American Pipeline's on-scene coordinator, said the clean up costs are running at $3 million a day, and "there is no timetable for when the cleanup will be complete." (http://theweek.com/speedreads/559899/cleanup-costs-santa-barbara-oil-spill-hit-62-million)

Yet in the reports from the Associated Press, other mainstream media and most of the "alternative" media you won't see one word about one of the most important aspects of this oil spill - that Reheis-Boyd, the WSPA President and a lobbyist for Plains All American Pipeline and other oil companies, served as the Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create the same "marine protected areas" that are now being fouled by crude oil.

Four "marine protected areas" created under her "leadership" - the Goleta Slough, Campus Point, Naples and Kashtayit State Marine Conservation Areas - are now imperiled by the oil spill that started at Refugio State Beach on Tuesday, May 19,  devastating over 9 miles of the Santa Barbara County Coast.

Nor will you see in the mainstream media any mention of the fact that Plains All American CEO Greg Armstrong raked in over $5 million in compensation last year and is guaranteed $29 - $87 million in golden parachute cash while oil from a rupture in his company's shoddy pipeline is fouling the beaches and ocean waters for 9 miles off the Santa Barbara County coastline. Santa Barbara spill can't be addressed without discussing Big Oil capture of regulators 

I have discussed this in previous articles, but it important to talk about this once again because the mainstream media and most "alternative" media are censoring any discussion of one of the key issues in the spill - oil industry lobbyist oversight of what passes for "marine protection" in California.

We can't effectively address the Santa Barbara disaster without discussing the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, a controversial "public-private partnership" between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation (RLFF) that was supposed to create a network of "marine protected areas" along the California coast.

During the MLPA Initiative process from 2004 to 2012, state officials and initiative advocates made sure that Big Oil and other corporate polluters weren't impacted by the creation of alleged "marine protected areas" along the California coast.

In an article published widely in June 2010, environmentalists and representatives of fishing groups warned that the "marine protected areas" created under the MLPA Initiative don't protect the ocean from oil spills and pollution. (http://yubanet.com/california/MLPA-Initiative-will-do-nothing-to-stop-a-big-oil-spill-off-California.php)

"These marine protected areas, as currently designed, don't protect against oil spills," said Sara Randall, then the program director of the Institute for Fishery Resources and Commercial Fishermen of America. "What's the point of developing marine protected areas if they don't protect the resources?"

In violation of the provisions of the landmark Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) of 1999, the "marine protected areas" failed to protect the ocean from oil spills, oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture, military testing and all human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

Of course, MLPA Initiative advocates neglected to address why Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the Western States Petroleum Association President, was allowed to not only chair the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, but to sit on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast, as well as on a NOAA federal marine protected areas panel. (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa/brtf_bios_sc.asp)

In yet another huge conflict of interest, the WSPA President's husband, James Boyd, served on the California Energy Commission from 2002 to 2012. From 2007 to 2012, he served as the Commission's Vice Chair, the second most powerful position on the Commission! (http://www.energy.ca.gov/commissioners/boyd.html)

Founded in 1907, WSPA is the oldest petroleum trade association in the United States. WSPA represents "companies that account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing in the five western states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington," according to the WSPA website.

The companies represented by WSPA are a who's who of the oil industry: Aera Energy LLC, Alaska Tanker Company, Berry Petroleum, BP, California Resources Corporation, Chevron Corporation, Chevron Pipelines, Chevron Shipping, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, ExxonMobil Pipelines, HollyFrontier, Noble Energy, Inc., Olympic Pipeline Company, Pacific Operators Offshore, Phillips 66, Plains All American Inc., Santa Maria Energy, LLC, SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., Seneca Resources Corp., Shell Oil Products US, Shell Pipeline, Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company, US Oil & Refining, Valero, Venoco, Inc. and Western Refining.

WSPA is the most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento - and tops the list every year for the most money spent by any any organization lobbying state officials. WSPA set a new record for lobbying in Sacramento in 2014 when it spent over $8.9 million lobbying California officials. The group heads the campaign to expand fracking in California, to stop a bill that protects marine protected areas from oil spills and oil drilling, and to eviscerate the state's clean air and water laws.

For more information, read my investigative piece in the East Bay Express about oil industry money and power in California at: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2015/02/06/big-oil-group-spent-89-million-last-year-lobbing-jerry-brown-and-california-officials

Unfortunately, as we can see from the current oil spill disaster off the coast of Santa Barbara, the state and federal regulatory agencies and the MLPA Initiative's so-called "marine protected areas" weren't able to prevent a big oil spill like the one now taking place from occurring - and the fishermen, Tribal members and grassroots environmentalists who criticized oil industry lobbyist oversight of the MLPA Initiative process were absolutely right about their fears that the highly-touted "Yosemites of the Sea" wouldn't protect the ocean.

This disaster could have been averted if the pipeline had an automatic shut-off valve and the regulators had done their job to properly inspect the pipeline, but they didn't. The disaster could have also been averted if oil spills and pollution were completely banned in the MLPA Initiative's "marine protected areas," forcing state and federal officials to take greater measures to stop an oil spill from fouling MPAs.

Now you will see the federal and state regulatory agencies pointing fingers at each other as to who is to "blame" for the spill when it is the entire regulatory apparatus, now captured by Big Oil, that is really responsible for the spill.

To make matters worse, these same agencies, ranging from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the federal agency that permits offshore drilling, to the California Coastal Commission, failed to stop oil companies from fracking the ocean off California over 200 times over the past 20 years.

Pipeline company has had 175 incidents since 2006  

The company that owns the pipeline involved in the major oil spill in Santa Barbara has had 175 incidents (mostly oil spills) nationwide since 2006, including 11 in California, according to a Center for Biological Diversity analysis of federal documents! (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/santa-barbara-oil--spill-05-21-2015.html)

But ultimately, the people responsible for the Santa Barbara Oil Spill of 2015 are the state and federal officials who have allowed the oil industry to hijack what passes for "marine protection" in California - and who have let the oil industry get away with fracking the heck out of Southern California marine waters while engaging in very lax enforcement of environmental laws, including effective inspections of oil pipelines.

If the regulators had not been controlled by the regulated, this pipeline spill might have been prevented.

On a positive note, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) joined legislators from coastal areas around California and Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) on June 9 to announce the creation of the Senate Select Committee on the Refugio Oil Spill, which she will chair.

The public must exert pressure on this committee to make sure that all aspects of the complicity between regulatory agencies and the oil industry involved in this spill are thoroughly investigated by this committee. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/06/11/1392456/-Jackson-to-Chair-Senate-Committee-on-Refugio-Oil-Spill)

Take Action: Avaaz, a "global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision making everywhere," is now calling California Attorney General Kamala Harris and local District Attorney Joyce Dudly to file civil and criminal charges against Plains All American and its CEOs in a petition campaign. This is a campaign that I strongly support: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/santa_barbara_oil_spill_loc/?bsDJDab&v=59399

You can view an eyewitness video on the oil spill by Madeline Stano of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment at: https://youtu.be/viIaT8bpqPc

2 Comments

  1. BB Grace June 15, 2015

    Re: Mental Health;

    Those interested in Mendocino County Mental Health might consider attending Mendocino County Mental Health Board meetings (Next meeting Wednesday 17 June, 10AM Ukiah – 1120 South Dora).

    Assistant HHS is Tom Pinizotto since 20 Oct 2010 http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/hhsa/pdf/mhb_minutes_2010_10-20_.pdf. Brian Lowery is now a Public Gaurdian http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/hhsa/pdf/ssDirectory_201009.pdf

    Ortner’s representative is Mark Montgomery Vice President of Operations.

    There are 15 seats on the Mendocino County Mental Health Board divided by five districts into three representative branches: consumer, consumer/family and public interest; Each seat is interviewed by the board for recommendation, and appointed by the district Supervisior. Five seats are consumed by district 2 representatives; McCowen “owns” 1/3 of the Mental Health Board.

    Mental Health Consumers are not clearly discribed in the MCMHB By-Laws, though it can be understood from Federal and State organizations, that Mental Health Consumers are people who are QUALIFIED for Social Security Income and Disability, Public Housing / Section 8 and HUD, MediCal and Medicare because of their mental health disability. It appears the board has Mental health customers, those who have taken anti-anxioty or depression medication, but not on Social Security Disability and dependent on the County to deliver state and federal services through grants.

    AVA’s finger wagging at privatization is a pet peeve and irrelivant to the problems on and with the MCMHB. Had consumers showed up at MCMHB meetings, Old Coast Hotel might not have happened. (March 2015 I was the only person at the meeting who opposed Old Coast Hotel and told the board such during my interview; The board shocked me when offering me a seat in district 2 or 5. I live in district 4).

    The financial planning for Mendocino County HHS/ Mental Health reflects the financial planning of the state. The state is behind on getting with the SAMSHA grants as the state recieved less than $1 million in funding.

    The problem with Mendocino County HHS is that Mendocino County employees and the SEIU have become a group of “the haves” as in having the government jobs and benefits that pay living wages, while they rotate themselves through multible non-profit (privatization) boards that are very reluctant to adopt new blood. Vetting is very narrow and why jobs are not filled as it’s not what one knows but who one knows. It appears to be all about protecting their jobs, more than serving consumers (Old Coast Hotel Folly is a perfect example).

    The MCMHB has many seats filled with National Allience Mental Illness. NAMI lost it’s way with Kendra’s Law/ Laura’s Law (one county in CA applied Laura’s Law and it’s “helped 4 people” = FAILURE, yet the MCMHB is stuck on implementing Laura’s Law AB1421).

    Meanwhile, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, SAMSHA, is where the money’s at, nearly $6 Billion for 2015-16. How much of this fund did Mendocino County get? $99K (Ukiah High School, grant to a teacher). Key West Florida with a population of under 25K took $1.5 Million. (Every MCMHB member could be eligible for a grant.. why aren’t they applying? They don’t know because they are with NAMI.) Old Coast Hotel could have been funded by a SAMSHA grant for $1.3 Million, so why did The City of Fort Bragg produce a Community Development Block Grant? “You can tell them (MCMHB), but you can’t tell them much”.

    I’ve attended MCMHB meetings since March and make statements backed on paper, asking to be recorded in the minutes at the opening public comment, and closing public comment. My statements issued in writing are never recorded in the minutes. I assume that I am their gadfly, one of those pesky consumers that, “if they ignor me I will go away”.

    One way to correct the problems concerning mental health, one is for consumers, and those interested, to show up to meetings, get involved, make statements demanding services and rejecting shenannigans: “No Old Coast”, or “HIRE A PSYCHITRIST!!”, or “Process 5150s so the jail isn’t doing overtime as a nanny!”.

    The meetings are long, the junk food is an insult to good mental health, the board appears to act more in personal emails while entertaining themselves as quality controllers during meetings concerning Ortner and Redwood Quality Management Company (serves children to age 24), but the public showing up and holding them accountable could change this.

  2. james marmon June 15, 2015

    “McCowen said there are many reserve accounts and positions were not filled for all the reasons detailed in the GJ report, but not for lack of trying.”

    GJ Report
    F-15. “Senior Management has known of the lack of staff for years. Failure to actively recruit exacerbates this problem. Recruiting is haphazard at best.”

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