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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, June 18, 2015

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UNDERSTANDABLE GRAFFITI...

RIPJD

Anyone headed to the mouth of Noyo River sees this "tag" to the late Jonathan Denver (age 24) on the base of the Noyo bridge. Denver was stabbed to death two years ago by Michael Montgomery, 21, in San Francisco after a Giants game. San Francisco prosecutors declined to file charges in the stabbing case saying "With multiple sources indicating how the event transpired, it makes it impossible for us to meet our burden and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Montgomery was not acting in self-defense," District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. "We are ethically obligated to decline to prosecute this case."

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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TOP FIVE ZINGERS From Eureka High’s Salutatorian Speech

Mike Dronkers

Like so many high school graduates, Jordan Thayer is eager to get the hell out of the town he grew up in. In his zesty Salutatorian speech, he likens the high school experience to a drive along Eureka’s 101 corridor. And while the picture he paints is not pretty, he packs a lot of laugh lines into his speech.

• “It is truly an honor for you to be here today, to watch me graduate.”

• “I was told this speech should be about three minutes long, but if Eureka High taught me anything, it’s to always exceed everyone’s expectations.”

• “Humboldt’s original In’n’Out - no, not the burger shop, the county jail.”

• “Like the pajama-bottom shoppers at Wal-Mart, we have stopped caring what others think.”

• “That concludes the first tenth of my speech. We will begin again after a quick intermission, when I’ll read excerpts from “50 Shades Of Grey.”

In an effort to remain positive, we’ve decided to not include Jordan’s Arcata diss in this list … but listen for it at the end of his speech, all the same! Go grads!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgrt7-xipw4

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Doonesbury

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Powell, Parks
Powell, Parks

ON JUNE 9, 2015, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were notified that mail was taken from a residential mailbox in Leggett, California. The 65-year old male victim was alerted to a vehicle parked next to his mailbox with a male and female inside. When the victim was approaching the vehicle, the individuals drove off. The victim followed the suspects to Boomer’s Bar in Laytonville where Deputies responded to investigate further. The individuals then drove off at a high rate of speed but eventually pulled over as the Deputies caught up to the vehicle and initiated an enforcement stop. Deputies spoke with the driver, Donald Powell, 34, of Cottonwood, and passenger Lawanda Parks, 30 of Corning, who both originally denied stealing any mail. During the investigation, the Deputies discovered several pieces of stolen mail within the vehicle from at least 11 victims, all from other counties, totaling $22,076.75 in altered money orders or checks. The Deputies located two additional money orders that the Leggett victim had previously placed inside his mailbox. These money orders had already been altered by having Powell’s name written on them. The Deputies learned Powell was also wanted out of Shasta County for a burglary arrest warrant. During the course of the investigation methamphetamine was discovered inside the vehicle as well. Powell and Parks were booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of conspiracy of two or more committing crime, receiving stolen property, forgery, Possessing, receiving or uttering forged notes and possession of controlled substance. They were both to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail. (Sheriff’s Press Release)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, June 17, 2015

Brandt, Collins, DeCosta
Brandt, Collins, DeCosta

MARK BRANDT, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance & paraphernalia, pot sales.

ANTONIO COLLINS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, use of offensive/provocative words, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

LATHINA DECOSTA, Contempt of court.

Delsol, Durant, Fulmer
Delsol, Durant, Fulmer

ALPIZAR DELSOL, Willits. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale

CLINTON DURANT, Fort Bragg. Shoplifting, drunk in public.

LORRAINE FULMER, Fort Bragg. DUI.

Garcia, Hayden, McMurphy, McOsker
Garcia, Hayden, McMurphy, McOsker

DIEGO GARCIA, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, sale.

DAVID HAYDEN II, Under influence with weapon, concealed firearm, loaded firearm, suspended license.

JEROME MCMURPHY, Ukiah. Parole violation.

JEREMIAH MCOSKER, Ukiah. County parole violation.

Slagle, Smith, Vargas, Zamora
Slagle, Smith, Vargas, Zamora

JUSTIN SLAGLE, Calpella. Suspended license, probation revocation.

LAURENCE SMITH, Ukiah. DUI, resisting.

ROBERT VARGAS JR., Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

FRANCISCO ZAMORA, Ukiah. Battery of peace officer, resisting arrest, probation revocation.

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SHEPHERD BLISS WRITES:

LA Times on Santa Monica ban & Financial Times on China's Wine Rush

Dear Sonoma County Supervisors, wineries as event centers critics, & journalists,

My appreciations to the two supervisors who responded to my previous two emails today on the wine industry. Following are two more items related to the need for a moratorium on all new and expanded wineries as event centers in Sonoma County:

  1. A link to the LA Times story on the Santa Monica ban, indicating that this is at least a state-wide issue: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-county-vineyards-ban-20150616-story.html.I have also added the story itself at the end of this email.
  2. A feature from Saturday's (international) Financial Times, "China's Grape Rush -- Chinese buyers thirsty for profits and prestige are developing a taste for wineries in California's Napa Valley." (It references Sonoma, too.) See the attachment for more details. This was sent by a professional journalist who attended Saturday's Four County Network to challenge the over-expansion of the Wine Empire here on the North Coast. One of my colleagues at Sonoma State has been traveling to China and elsewhere in Asia to promote the no-longer-local Wine Empire here. This indicates that the Wine Rush is not only a local, regional, and national issue; it is an international issue with far-reaching implications, including the hoarding of our limited water supply. Thirsty people have been know to do anything to get water. How many local people do you think it would benefit if prices are "driven up to $1 million an acre," as they have been in France? Commercial food farming in Sonoma County would virtually vanish. Among the interesting material in the article:

-- Wealthy Chinese are buying citizenship with their wineries.

-- A Napa realtor predicts an "onslaught from the Asian market."

-- This is a switchover from buying vineyards in France, where prices have been driven up to $1 million an acre.

-- They can sell their wines at a 200% markup in China.

-- They apparently expect to build previously permitted wineries.

This suggests a possible answer to the mystery of how Napa wineries are going to produce more wine than locally-grown grapes make possible -- perhaps China's labeling laws permit a broader definition of "Napa" wine.

It's time for the Supervisors to act! Shepherd Bliss

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BACKCOUNTRY BRIDGE TO NOWHERE

by Katy Tahja

My husband’s idea of a great day trip is anything that involves trains and back roads so we headed over to Maxwell on I-5 to satisfy his curiosity about an old rail line. While most travelers may have noticed train lines run north and south through the Central Valley west of the Sacramento River very few rail lines ran west into the foothills, except at Maxwell.

Once upon a time the Colusa and Lake Railroad had grand dreams of a line that would run through Colusa, Lake and Mendocino county mountains all the way to the sea. While the line would reach mineral springs resorts in Lake County where the freight revenue to support such a line would come from was a mystery. The line made it about 30 miles, all the way to Sites nine miles west of Maxwell and ended.

Sites had a sandstone quarry that cut blocks to be shipped by rail to Colusa and on to San Francisco. There the stone was dressed (cut to size) and used constructing the Ferry Building, the Spreckles Bandstand in Golden Gate Park, and banks throughout the city. The quarry’s existence kept funds rolling in for decades to the Colusa and Lake Railroad along with shipments of salt obtained at Salt Lake north of Sites. When business from the quarry slowed the tracks were torn up. But if you’re a rail fan there are old track grades to spot, bridge abutments and assorted detritus to make a search interesting.

Now I have seen some strange sights on California back roads but along the north side of the Maxwell Sites Road is the Olney Land and Cattle Company. What should they have decorating their roadside equipment yard but a small Plymouth diesel locomotive, a Western Pacific caboose, and a Southern Pacific Maintenance of Way passenger car and another caboose. Someone went to a lot of time and expense to truck in this old equipment and it would put a smile on the face of any train fan to what’s materialized on a roadside.

From Sites, which consists of a half dozen homes and what appears to be an old schoolhouse, we took Colusa County’s gravel Huffmeister Road south to connect to Bartlett Springs Road at Bear Valley. Bouncing along at 20mph what did we find about 10 miles down the road but a locked gate across the roadway. Excuse me, but is it an unreasonable expectation when you look at a current road map of Colusa County to expect a road to be OPEN from one location to another? How about a road sign back in Sites that says “Road Closed 10 Miles Ahead.” Retracing our route back to Sites we went north towards Ladoga, then west towards Stonyford, then back south again to get to Bear Valley and Bartlett Springs Road. Luckily we had all day for mis-adventures.

Rural Lake and Colusa Counties ranchlands feature dead coyotes disintegrating on barbed wire fences, fields of star thistle in bloom, and lots of cows. Could someone please tell me why a utility company chose seldom traveled Bartlett Springs Road for a 33-mile underground line all the way to Clear Lake at the town of Nice?

Last year I shared a story in the AVA on the development of mineral springs 120 years ago in this area. Twisting and turning up and down hills and constantly climbing I could only imagine the dusty ride by stagecoach back then. We had a picnic at Indian Valley Reservoir’s dry lakebed under oak trees. Six miles long and a mile wide with 22 miles of shoreline ...it’s gone. No Kokanee Salmon, no Rainbow Trout, it’s a victim of the drought. There was a faint glimmer of water miles away to the south but the whole area is closed to visitors.

AbandonedBridge

Traveling up along the headwaters of Cache Creek another puzzlement presented itself. In an area I believe was once Hough Springs Resort, which could accommodate 100 visitors at a time a century ago, was a bridge to nowhere. We found a steel girder bridge 50’ long stranded in the middle of Cache Creek. The creek had changed direction and cut off the bridge from Bartlett Springs Road with a new channel. The old rusty structure just sits there, still sturdy, but no way to reach it.

On to Bartlett Springs, which I’d last seen 30 years ago. Discovered in the 1860’s by the mid-1870’s it had a two story hotel, 40 cabins, campground, and resident doctor and masseur, There was a dance hall, a billiards room, pool hall, bowling alley, tennis and croquet courts and riding stables. There were stores, restaurants, a telegraph office, steam laundry, barbershop, and an ice making plant. Visitors took the waters, hunted, fished, swam, and relaxed. It was not unusual to have 5,000 guests over a season of visitors. We might have driven right by if I hadn’t spotted huge rose bushes in bloom and ornamental cedar trees, and we stopped.

You can still walk the cement paths of the resort and drink the mineral water burbling out of a pipe into a small overgrown pool but the buildings first burnt down in 1934, burned again in 1960, and yet again in 1996. The wind was roaring as it blew up the canyon and the place was far noisier than I would have expected. The old advertisements claimed it was insect free at 2,600’ but no one's told the abundant flies and bugs today that they are in the wrong place. I imagined myself a century ago in a long dress, strolling on a veranda, smelling rose blossoms, sipping mineral water and swatting flies.

Chinese workmen were brought in during the 1880’s to finish the tortuously twisting road down to Clear Lake’s shore. One statistic I read said the road drops 2,700’ in three miles as it corkscrews down the mountains. Spectacular views of the Clear Lake basin appear at every turn. Arriving at the Highway 20 intersection travelers find a bottling works. Built by a French company about 25 years ago to bottle Bartlett Springs water it never prospered and closed. Now the facility blends and bottles custom wines.

While Bartlett Springs Road claims it is 33 miles from Bear Valley to Nice it’s a 20mph drive at best. With stops for photos, a bridge to nowhere, and ruins it took us three hours and in all that time we saw a grand sum total of three other vehicles. That’s my kind of road and my best way to waste a day.

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NAPA VALLEY WINE, FOOD COMPANY EXPANDS IN ANDERSON VALLEY

by Bill Swindell

Long Meadow Ranch in Rutherford has bought a 145-acre parcel in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley as the farm-to-table food business looks to grow its wine operations with high-end pinot noir and chardonnay in a burgeoning wine region.

Long Meadow Ranch, operated by longtime vintner and former Robert Mondavi chairman Ted Hall, bought the property from the Corby family. It consists of 69 acres of planted vineyards, comprising 50 acres of pinot noir, 17 acres of chardonnay and 2 acres of pinot gris. The purchase price was not disclosed, though a knowledgeable source put the deal at more than $100,000 per planted acre.

The sale is one of the largest transactions in the past decade for the Mendocino County appellation and signifies the growing popularity of pinot noir from the region. Long Meadow Ranch represented itself in the sale while the Corby family was represented by International Wine Associates. In fact, a recent vineyard sale for a premium property in the valley went for $100,000 per acre, said Aubrey Rawlins, executive director for the Mendocino WineGrowers, a local trade group.

“Expanding into estate-grown pinot noir and chardonnay is a natural fit, and we believe Anderson Valley is the ideal location to produce premium, Burgundian varietal wines,” Hall said in a statement.

The property is located near Philo and the Navarro River. It will be an organic estate like other Long Meadow Ranch vineyard properties, which consist of 74 acres in Rutherford and 16 acres in the Mayacamas. The company produces 35,000 cases of wine annually.

Chris Hall, Long Meadow Ranch’s vice president and Ted’s son, said the company had been eyeing property in the area for some time given its terroir where a marine layer regularly blankets the area and produces well-balanced fruit.

As part of the purchase, Stephane Vivier will serve as winemaker for the new Anderson Valley estate. Vivier is a native of Burgundy and the longtime winemaker at HDV wines in Napa. He will work with vineyard manager Paul Ardzrooni of Ardzrooni Vineyard Management in Philo.

In an interview, Chris Hall was extremely bullish on the venture, noting he hopes to replicate with Vivier what his father did with winemaker Cathy Corison in the 1990s with Bordeaux-style wines from the ranch that garnered much acclaim.

The family-owned ranch also produces its own estate olive oil, beef and lamb, fruits, vegetables and eggs as part of its organic integrated farming style with permanent cover crops and homemade fertilizer. It also operates a St. Helena farmstead that has a restaurant, market, wine bar and general store.

Chris Hall said there are future possibilities for the new property as well, such as using apple trees to make hard cider, as both Boonville Cider House and Bates & Schmitt have gained a following in the fast-growing sector.

Approximately 35 wineries are represented in the valley, where the average vineyard is 12 acres in size. They range from well-known vintners such as Kendall-Jackson, Duckhorn Vineyards and Roederer Estate to those who helped pioneer the local industry in the 1970s, such as Navarro Vineyards & Winery.

“I believe it takes a certain kind of family that wants to be here and invest in the area,” said Janis MacDonald, executive director of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers. “It’s very collaborative.”

The area has seen a little controversy lately as one community resident filed a lawsuit claiming that wind machines used to stave off frost in the vineyards regularly violate the county’s noise ordinance, which limits noise to 40 decibels at night.

Residents want to preserve their quality of life in the hamlet and are wary of tourism growth and events that are commonplace in Sonoma and Napa counties, MacDonald said.

One upside, Rawlins said, is that there is very little real estate left on the valley floor for development of new vineyards, which a 2010 count put at 2,244 planted acres. Pinot noir represents the lion’s share of the crop.

“We have a lot of pushback from the locals who don’t want to see here what has happened in Napa,” MacDonald said. (Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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NAPA’S LONG MEADOW RANCH acquires 145-acre property in Anderson Valley

Editor,

Today Long Meadow Ranch announced the acquisition of a 145-acre property in Anderson Valley, California, one of the biggest land purchases for that area. The property is planted and will produce Estate portfolio Pinot Noir and Chardonnay selections.

A release follows and photos are available here <https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3yWBFrpdk_cfjJTTFdTUVNlLThpTjRJWDdKRXhEcnpBclBjbkRmOHJPS1A4X3BMSDcwQ1E&authuser=0>.

Chris Lyman, for Long Meadow Ranch

chris@lymanpr.com | 707-256-3948 | 707-927-6535

LymanPR.com | Facebook.com/LymanPR | Twitter.com/LymanPR

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Long Meadow Ranch Acquires Premier 145-Acre Vineyard Property in Anderson Valley Expanding Estate-Grown Wine Portfolio with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Winemaker Stephane Vivier Joins Team, Adding Decades of Experience with Burgundian Varietals

RUTHERFORD, Calif. (JUNE 17, 2015) -- Long Meadow Ranch<http://www.longmeadowranch.com/> (LMR) announced today the acquisition of a 145-acre property in Anderson Valley, California, completing one of the appellation’s largest viticultural land purchases in the past decade. LMR also announced that Stephane Vivier will serve as winemaker for the new Anderson Valley Estate's 69 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Combined with the Rutherford Estate’s 74 acres of vineyard and Mayacamas Estate’s 16 acres of vineyard, the Anderson Valley Estate expands LMR’s estate-grown vineyards to over 159 acres. Purchase price of the Anderson Valley Estate is undisclosed.

Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Estate is planted with 50 acres of Pinot Noir, 17 acres of Chardonnay and two acres of Pinot Gris. Located in the “deep end” of the valley (near Philo, CA), Long Meadow Ranch CEO & President Ted Hall believes this location is ideal for producing vineyard-designated Burgundian wines that present true varietal character.

“Our Anderson Valley Estate will enable us to make estate-grown wines of the highest quality, a perfect compliment to our existing portfolio,” said Ted Hall. “We’ve established strong positions with the classic Bordeaux varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot at our Rutherford and Mayacamas Estates in Napa Valley. Expanding into estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is a natural fit, and we believe Anderson Valley is the ideal location to produce premium, Burgundian varietal wines.”

Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Estate’s southeastern border lies at the Navarro River, providing a natural conduit for the marine layer that regularly blankets the deep end of the valley, creating terroir that is ideal for producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines that express balance and complexity.

“I’ve admired wines from the Anderson Valley appellation for a long time,” said LMR’s Executive Vice President Chris Hall. “Wine quality speaks to the expertise of the winegrowing community here. That’s valuable to us because so much of winegrowing is learning; we’re not just expanding our estate wine portfolio, but also deepening our knowledge of organic viticulture.”

Comprised of numerous blocks with varying elevations, soil composition, sun exposure and proximity to the Navarro river, the property’s diversity is a significant part of its winemaking appeal. The vineyard is also planted with a unique combination of Dijon and Heirloom clones, providing new winemaker Stephane Vivier with a myriad of options for the initial releases expected in 2016.

A native of Burgundy and longtime winemaker at HDV Wines<https://www.hdvwines.com/>, Stephane Vivier will be Long Meadow Ranch’s winemaker for the Anderson Valley Estate. “Stephane’s old world sensibility is well-suited to produce the balanced style of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines that we want to feature in our Estate portfolio,” said Chris Hall.

“Terroir of this quality allows for a light touch,” said Vivier, referencing the unique winemaking conditions present at the site. “The subtleties and complexities characteristic of the Burgundian varietals are not always easy to achieve in the United States. Pinot Noir here can have a tendency for high alcohol and can be overly fruit-forward, in part because that’s what the climate allows. But in the Anderson Valley, and specifically in the deep end of the valley, the possibilities are intriguing.”

Vivier joins the winemaking team for LMR, which includes Ashley Heisey, director of winemaking, and Sal Godinez, winemaker for the Mayacamas Estate. Vivier will work in Anderson Valley with longtime LMR viticulturalist, Garrett Buckland of Premier Viticulture, and vineyard manager Paul Ardzrooni of Ardzrooni Vineyard Management. Together, they will oversee the 2015 harvest from the new property.

Full-Circle Farming Commitment to the highest quality, organic farming is the mechanism that achieves extraordinary results. Every farming practice at Long Meadow Ranch is grounded in scientific first principle with a well-developed point of view about why it works. LMR's integrated farming system relies on each part of its operations contributing to the health of the whole. Vineyards and winemaking, olive groves and olive oil, organic fruit and vegetable farming, honeybees, egg-laying poultry and cattle breeding all work together in cost-effective, complementary fashion.

Fertilizers are produced through an extensive composting operation that relies on organic material from each segment of the operation. Soil erosion is controlled and new soils are built through the use of permanent cover crops comprised of carefully selected grasses, clovers, and legumes.

Long Meadow Ranch has adopted dozens of similar practices throughout its operations, creating an integrated, full-circle approach to farming.

About Long Meadow Ranch

Long Meadow Ranch is a family-owned agricultural enterprise producing estate-grown grapes and wine, olives and olive oil, grass-fed beef and lamb, fruits, vegetables, and eggs. The multifaceted operation includes, in the Napa Valley, the 650-acre LMR Mayacamas Estate home ranch located in the Mayacamas Mountains above Rutherford and the 90-acre LMR Rutherford Estate, located on the Rutherford Bench, and, in Mendocino county, the 145-acre LMR Anderson Valley Estate.

In addition, Long Meadow Ranch operates a general store and wine tasting bar in the historic Logan-Ives House, an outdoor cafe, a farmer’s market, and an acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, all located at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch (738 Main Street, St. Helena in the Napa Valley). The destination location also includes working gardens and a variety of unique event spaces.

In addition to the activities in Anderson and Napa valleys, farming and cattle operations take place on properties in Marin and Humboldt counties.

Consistent with its time-honored motto of “Excellence through Responsible Farming,” Long Meadow Ranch is certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers.

Contact: Farley Green, Long Meadow Ranch <farley@longmeadowranch.com> or 707-963-4555 x7112

Chris Lyman, Lyman Public Relations <chris@lymanpr.com> or 707-256-3948

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GoodOldDays

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SOUNDS OF SILENCE

Hello darkness, my old friend

I've come to talk with you again

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted

In my brain still remains

Within the sound of silence

 

In restless dreams I walked alone

Narrow streets of cobblestone

'Neath the halo of a street lamp

I turned my collar to the cold and damp

When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of

A neon light that split the night

And touched the sound of silence

 

And in the naked light I saw

Ten thousand people, maybe more

People talking without speaking

People hearing without listening

People writing songs that voices never share

And no one dared

Disturb the sound of silence

 

Fools said I, you do not know

Silence like a cancer grows

Hear my words that I might teach you

Take my arms that I might reach you

But my words like silent raindrops fell

And echoed in the wells of silence

 

And the people bowed and prayed

To the neon God they made

And the sign flashed out its warning

In the words that it was forming

And the signs said, 'The words of the prophets

Are written on the subway walls and tenement halls'

And whispered in the sounds of silence

—Paul Simon

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FreeClinic

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CITY OF POINT ARENA Regular Meeting Agenda June 23, 2015

https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/9f3c7cda-2722-4cfa-a5b0-c76bcecf7181

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TIME TO UNBLOCK

Dear Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (MCPB) Board:

Question: What has been the one constant at our dysfunctional radio station since its founding 25-yeras ago?

Answer: Program Director, Mary Aigner.

Aigner has been the one constant problem at KZYX since its founding 25-years ago.

How is this possible?

Well, it's simple. Aigner keeps her job by selectively enforcing FCC profanity regulations to purge the station of her critics, or even those who dare to raise questions about station operations.

Doug McKenty (former board director and programmer), Norman De Vall (former member of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and programmer), Johanna Schultz ( programmer), K.C. Meadows (editor of the Ukiah Daily Journal and programmer), Els Cooperrider (anti-GMO activist and programmer), Beth Bosk (editor of the New Settler Interviews, environmentalist, and programmer), DJ Sister Yasmin Solomon (activist and programmer), myself (current board member and programmer), and many, many others over the last 25-years can all sign affidavits attesting to this abuse under the color of authority.

Meanwhile, Aigner, herself, has aired shows -- including recent shows -- wherein prerecorded material contained profanities. Aigner committed these violations without consequence. And, yes, I have tapes of those shows.

This double standard will be the basis for my next complaint.

Censorship will be another element of my complaint.

There's something else that bothers me.

Aigner's job description.

Aigner's job description as program director is a mystery. A complete mystery. What exactly do Aigner do for $40,000 or $50,000 a year? Also, why do I as a board director have to guess at her salary? Why is her salary not disclosed in the station's financials?

Most of all, why has Aigner been the one constant at the station since its founding 25-years ago? Why 25-years? Hundreds of people have come and gone at KZYX over the last 25-years -- many of them purged by Aigner -- but Mary Aigner has survived them all. Why? How? By what deceptions, manipulations, and abuses of power?

Another issue: Where is Aigner's job description, her work logs, and her job performance evaluations?

They're all non-existent. I know. As a board director, I have asked for all of the above. The station has refused. I doubt these documents even exist. In any other organization -- private sector or public sector -- this sort of deference towards one employee would be seen as favoritism.

Favoritism.

This will also be the subject of a future complaint.

Incidentally, you, the public, may also have your own complaints about KZYX. Complaints may be filed at the following: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB); the California Secretary of State; the California Department of Labor, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement; the U.S. Department of Labor, Civil Rights Center; and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Each of these agencies oversee a particular area of the law. If you need guidance, or want to know how to file a complaint or report a violation, please write to me off list.

Also, if you are a current programmer or member, please be aware that there are whistleblower statutes that protect you.

See: http://www.whistleblowers.gov/wb_filing_time_limits.html

Bottom line?

Aigner
Aigner

Mary Aigner is the major stumbling block for real reform here at KZYX. First and foremost, she would never allow either programmers or members to organize to challenge her power.

Being allowed to organize -- it's the key to change at KZYX.

Programmers, like members, are not allowed to organize at KZYX. Programmers are regarded simply as a source of free volunteer labor. Members are regarded simply as a source of funds.

And this is a fourth area where KZYX can expect complaints. Programmers and members at a public radio station must both be allowed to organize under station auspices, but we are not.

If KZYX's board wants to preempt complaints in the four areas I have described above -- double standards, censorship, favoritism, and "union busting" of organizations supportive of programmers and members -- the board should show Aigner the door now.

Now!

Otherwise, the station's board can expect more complaints from more people, and the board can also expect to pay more in legal fees in defending itself against bad business practices at the regulatory agencies charged with overseeing KZYX.

With Executive Director and General Manager John Coate's resignation last week, Aigner's protector -- her enabler -- is gone. It's time for change. Real and lasting and meaningful change at our public radio station.

Thank you.

John Sakowicz

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

* * *

MARCO McCLEAN WRITES

Tomorrowland.

It's not too late to find the recording of last Friday night’s (2015-06-12) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show ready to download and keep or just play with one click. In other news, Juanita and I just saw the movie Tomorrowland and then stayed and saw it again. It's wonderful for all kinds of reasons I don't want to go into now because I'll just go on and on not rebutting but butting the negative points sour critics made in the articles I read about it. As in, "Sure, yeah, but..." If it's still in a theater near you, see it there, where it fills your field of vision and it's sharp enough to see all the details. Details count. Juanita looked it up and found out that in Britain it suffered at the box office just because at one point near the end a disappointed character justifiably says, "Oh, bollocks!" and in Britain that's a swear word, so it got their equivalent of a PG rating. Too bad. Kids everywhere need to see movies like this one. Teachers need to see movies like this one.

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I WAS SENT to the market late Wednesday afternoon to buy an onion. Count 'em. One onion. There's a Whole Foods-like store not too far away, but as a progressive, whatever that means anymore, I headed for a union shop, in this case Safeway in the Red Hill Shopping Center, San Anselmo. One of the biggest stores in the Center is a pet store, a sure sign of majorly skewed priorities. I always get a strong end-of-the-world vibe at the place, a kind of slo-bake decadence, but the Whole Foods-like store is even unhappier on the Deca-Meter. Not wanting to walk out of the place with an onion — "Look at that poor old guy, the senile one over there with the onion" — I also bought the little lady a bundle of red gladiolas. In the parking lot, a woman of about 50, but dressed in shorts, cowboy boots and a halter top, walks up and says, "Glads and an onion. That's an odd purchase." So I, thinking quickly for the first time on the day, replied, "Not if you're a gardener. I'm going to plant the onion and in a couple of months I'll have twenty glads." The cowgirl did an abrupt walkaway. It occurred to me that she thought I was a nut, which was ironic because I'd assumed she was one. I think my analysis was the more correct of the two. She was obviously at least mildly cuckoo given her outfit and bold approach to a stranger, albeit a stranger with a plump puss that radiates harmlessness. Nuts either don't get it because things stopped being funny for them many years ago, or they still don't get it but dissolve in laughter out of all proportion to the joke.

 

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