- Hot Week
- Covelo Fires
- Marijuana Cacaphony
- Helping Professionals
- Raid Conference
- Gualala THPs
- AVA Sign
- Philo Produce
- Yesterday's Catch
- Balo's Barn
- Ten Pills
- Manly Tradition
- Big Be-in
- Inspection Requirements
TWO COVELO FIRES SUNDAY
Home & several outbuildings destroyed
Two fires erupted within 45 minutes of each other in the remote Mendocino County community of Covelo burning at least four structures Sunday afternoon, including one residence.
By dark both fires, apparently started accidentally by ill-advised afternoon mowing, were contained. A total of four structures were destroyed — three outbuildings and a residence. No injuries.
As evening arrived, all fires reported in the Covelo were under control.
Sheriff Tom Allman thanked American Red Cross, already on their way to Covelo to help with those displaced due to these fires, and Bones Animal Rescue for housing all evacuated animals.
PRESIDING OVER A HELLISH, unplanned sprawl of a small town, one might think that the Ukiah City Council would have more urgent priorities than adding its confused voice to the marijuana cacophony. Trees anyone? Maybe a realistic approach to the wandering tribes of the self-medicating? A re-visit to the preposterous pay — $252,000 annually — for their city manager? Nope. At Wednesday's meeting the Ukiah City Council "may appoint two members of its board to serve on a Marijuana Legislation and Policy ad-hoc committee."
NEWLY ELECTED Maureen Mulheren requested that the item be put on the meeting’s agenda. "Legislative and policy discussions regarding marijuana reform are occurring at a local and state level, and in order to ensure that Ukiah is participating in the discussion, Mulheren requests that the City Council consider appointing an ad-hoc committee.”
HIP SHOTS: The mental health hustlers clustered around the privatized half of Mendocino County's mostly invisible mental health services, make it seem like they're by golly going to make a real dent in the prob. Their supporters, like Fort Bragg's mayor, seem to think that Ortner Management Group, a private mental health business based in Yuba City, is a giant step forward in getting the walking wounded and the self-medicating off the streets and into "treatment."
IN LIVING FACT, Ortner will assume responsibility for a few reimbursable persons while the hard cases, i.e., the majority of the homeless, many of them drop-fall drunks and miscellaneous multiple substance abusers, will remain free range and the responsibility of the police.
WHICH IS WHY Mendocino County needs, just for openers, a realistic discussion of who's out there and how they can be gotten off the streets. We say a County Farm approach is what's needed, not fancy offices for a few of Ortner's mental health bureaucrats in the former Old Coast Hotel with a few heavily medicated neurotics downstairs as window dressing. Won't happen. A whole apparatus of people employed in the "helping professions" will resist all reform, resist any strategy that they see as threatening them.
IT'S IRONIC that in a county widely considered "progressive" that there hasn't been, until now, no real opposition to Mendocino County's privatization of mental health services, a major gift of public funds to Mr. Ortner, the Yuba City cash and carry therapist. (Ortner gets upwards of $7 million a year to take care of Mendocino County's mentally ill — and they charge by the minute. Yes, you are excused if you've noticed no difference in the previous program of invisible services.)
FOR THE ROUGHLY $16 million Mendocino County, population 90,000, pays annually for mental health services every year we could have an effective strategy, pegged to our own central facility, of caring for the mentally ill, chronic drunks, the incompetent, and all the casualties of self-medication programs.
BRUCE McEWEN attended the Sheriff’s Friday afternoon Press Conference concerning the big Island Mountain Pot Raid — Operation Emerald Tri-County — and provided these notes:
Lieutenant Christopher Stoots of the California Fish & Wildlife’s Watershed Enforcement Team (WET) was the name the AVA didn’t get at the Sheriff’s Press conference on Friday afternoon. He described the blade work from bulldozers and graders as amateurish, “looked like it had been done by people who didn’t know what they were doing, just push the sluff off from an area graded for a grow and right into a streambed.”
Lt. Stoots pointed out that the water diverted into storage tanks and irrigation pipe has left the Eel River even more depleted than usual in an unusually dry year after four dry years prior. When the water does finally runoff into the river, after having been used to irrigate the pot grows, it carries nitrates from the fertilizers which feed the algae blooms in the stagnant pools along the riverbed. Stoots described the result as “complete devastation for fish and other wildlife.” The Lieutenant also mentioned the impact on the deer herd. Pot growers loathe deer, as we know, because deer don’t consider marijuana a sacred plant. Deer like to browse on pot plants, so growers use repellents, poisons and firearms to kill or drive them off. Ditto for rabbits and other wild animals.
Assemblyman Jim Wood and DA David Eyster had also been taken on the Island Mountain Raid. No sign of the pot growers who threatened to show up and “upstage” the press conference. Musta got stoned and missed it.
Most of these were light-deprivation grows (Light-Dep). The pot plant begins to bud on June 22, the summer solstice, in a natural, outdoor grow; it’s all attuned to the lengthening and then the shortening of daylight, and therefore can be manipulated by growing the plants in a hoop-style greenhouse with dark sheets of plastic or other materials to be pulled over the plants at a certain hour each day. This way, two or three crops can be grown in the same season.
Sheriff Allman was furious with KMUD radio for telling listeners that the eradication team was towing a large tank of herbicide to spray the area with. He said this was not true – it was water — and he was “disappointed” in the responsibility of the press. The Sheriff brusquely dismissed an apology from The Mudd’s correspondent. He was red in the face and made a curt, dismissive gesture with his hand.
Sgt. Bruce Smith came forward at the end to remind the Sheriff that there was indeed one trespass grow in the area, on BLM property, approximately 11,000 plants.
‘NO EFFECT ON DOWNSTREAM FLOW’?
Does the Gualala River have 25,000 gallons per day to spare, in addition to ongoing diversions during yet another historical critical drought year?
The water drafting proposed for two timber harvest plans (THPs) by Gualala Redwood Inc.’s new owners indeed calls for a staggering 25,000 gallons per day to supply the “Apple” timber harvest plan for the hills above Sea Ranch, and the “Dogwood” logging plan for the floodplain of the lower five miles of the river up to the mouth.
Water drafting would occur from April 1 to Nov. 15 each year the logging occurs. It’s buried as “Item 26” in the hundreds of pages of disorganized documents along with massive amounts of outdated or boilerplate information. The maximum rate of pumping goes up to 350 gallons per MINUTE at Twin Bridges, Pepperwood Creek Crossing, powerline crossing, and a summer crossing.
But don’t worry. The timber plan assures us that the pumping would have “no effect on downstream flow” because the timber company’s hired consultant said so back during the pre-drought 2010 conditions. Oddly, there is no cumulative impact analysis of water drafting in the plans.
How could “no effect” be possible if an additional 25,000 gallons are diverted when the drought-drained river is already running below summer minimum flows allowed by law, like the last two years?
The logging plans have not yet been approved. The “Apple” plan THP number is 1-15-033 SON. The “Dogwood” THP is 1-15-042-SON. If you have concerns about water supply or fish, comments can be sent to CalFire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Water Board so far has made few comments about these THPs. Their Santa Rosa office contact is 707/576-2220.
Peter Baye, Annapolis
SIGN BY JOHN KENNAUGH, genius woodworker, San Francisco.
This Week at Blue Meadow Farm
- Santa Rosa Plums, Strawberries
- Walla Walla Onions
- Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash
- First Tomatoes, Peppers & Eggplant
- Lettuce, Kale & Chard
- Sunflowers & Zinnias
- Garlic & Walnuts
Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo 707-895-2071
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 28, 2015
BRAULIO ALVAREZ, Ukiah. DUI.
RICHARD BUSCEMI, Branscomb. More than an ounce of pot.
DARRELL CARADINE, Fort Bragg. Possession of drug paraphernalia, destruction/hiding of evidence, probation revocation.
JONA CHAPMAN, Fort Bragg. DUI, Possession of controlled substance, failure to pay.
SALAVDOR GOMEZ, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.
TIMOTHY KING, Fort Bragg. Contributing to delinquency of minor, evidence tampering, obstruction of justice, offenses while on bail.
RUTHIE MARTINEZ, Torrance. Drunk in public, suspended license.
FRANCISCO MENDOZA, Willits. DUI, probation revocation.
ANGEL MORFIN, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment, suspended license, probation revocation.
EVELIA OLEA, Ukiah. Misdemeanor hit&run, false information, no license.
DANIEL REED, Willits. DUI.
WESTON RILEY, Santa Rosa/Covelo. DUI, evasion, false ID, concealed weapon in vehicle, alteration of firearm ID.
EDWARD SHOULDERS, Willits. Drunk in public.
ANTHONY THOMPSON, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance, parole violation.
TRAVIS TRIPP, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
JESSE WILKINSON, Willits. Probation revocation.
ATTENTION MR. STERN
I just read the article “Balo’s Barn,” in last week’s AVA. My first thought was: David Stern, you have way too much time on your hands. And you must be a nightmare of a neighbor. They’re parking tractors in what they called a horse barn? Have you ever considered applying for a job with the NSA?
OBAMACARE - "Take Ten Pills and You're Fine" - Safeshare.TV
Men on an outing feel obliged to stay up drinking to the vile and bilious end, jabbering, mumbling, and maundering through the blear, to end up finally on hands and knees, puking on innocent sand, befouling God's sweet earth. The manly tradition.
— Edward Abbey
AT THE BIG BE-IN
by Clay Geerdes
January 14, 2007 was the 40th anniversary of the great Gathering of all Tribes for a Human Be-In at the Polo Grounds in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
I was teaching English at Fresno State College on January 14, 1967 that year, 33 years old, married six years to my second wife Shirley, living in a basement flat at 903 Ashbury Street, a couple of blocks from an intersection that had recently become known all over the world. A lot of people were dying in Vietnam that Saturday morning when we left the apartment and walked down the hill to Haight Street, but there were no helicopters above the trees that framed what was known locally as the panhandle of the park. It was a bright, warm, sunny day and people were all heading in the same direction. We turned the corner, glanced into Ron Thelin’s Psychedelic Shop, and fell in step with the crowd of costumed people on their way to what was anticipated as the greatest happening yet. The Be-In was announced in the Berkeley Barb and other underground papers, notably the San Francisco Oracle, and there were flyers and posters in the windows of numerous magazines and head shops listing the celebrities and performers who would be present to entertain the community.
Tim Leary would be there. Leary, a Harvard psychologist, had been going around the country lecturing on the wonders of LSD, telling his audiences to turn on, tune in, and drop out. Problem was, the majority who followed Dr. Leary’s prescription for expanding consciousness were teenage runaways who had never dropped in, kids who had no work experience. For them, the appeal of psychedelic drugs was purely hedonistic. While an educated psychologist and Harvard teacher like Leary might use psychedelic drugs to explore the parameters of his own consciousness and enhance his writing ability, the average teenager dropped acid to get high. He blows his mind, that barely formed repository of parental and society rules of behavior, and once acid had helped rid him/her of Establishment restraints, he was ready for colorful trips into inner space, not to mention technicolor orgasms and an instant understanding of the lyrics of Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues and Positively Fourth Street.
Acid was passed around as casually by local teenagers as it had been by CIA agents attached to MK-ULTRA a few years earlier. Yes, though we didn’t know it in 1967, Johnny Acidseed actually worked for the CIA, seeding the unsuspecting populace with LSD in hopes it would prove to be an effective crowd control substance. Didn’t work that way, naturally, and it was so easy to make that it quickly circulated among the hip population as the ultimate high. Acid did, however, work quite well as an antidote to activism. Turn on by dropping acid, tune in to your inner self, and drop out of external social games, including organizing against an illegal, undeclared war. Hippies or Heads were never in phase with activists, though after a year or so they might appear similar because of their long hair and beards. While the activists, defamed as “militant students” by a corrupt establishment press, held meetings and organized marches and demonstrations, acidheads got high, listened to rock music, turned singers and lyricists into prophets, had unsafe sex as often as possible, and rejected the parental generation as “unhip,” “straight,” “uncool,” “out of it,” and, generally, “the brainwashed victims of the establishment.”
Those parents were, naturally, in a state of despair and bewilderment, because they could not understand what had happened to their children so suddenly. Religious Catholics could not understand why their children should reject their religion out of the blue only to join Eastern religions like Krishna Consciousness which had even more rigid codes of behavior. The middle class in general could not understand why their children turned against all the material things they had (except their stereos) and went to live in squalor. To the parents, the Rolling Stones were history’s worst roll models, encouraging their children to look like savages and talk worse, but the kids loved the Stones and listened to their albums for hours. The Stones played erotic music to ball by and parents did not like to think that their children were anything but virgins.
Drug rap was epidemic. No one could escape it. The younger people were pressured at every turn to experiment with psychedelic drugs. Nearly everyone I know from college was dropping acid and talking about their trips and I could not get through a single conversation with a couple of my best friends without hearing about someone who had just gotten back from Taos where they made the rounds of the communes and ate peyote buttons and had visions like those written about by Carlos Castenada in his books. I had to listen to long raps about a psych prof up in Sonoma County who was leading his students through “some groovy pscilocybin trips.”
“Hey, man, you read Burroughs’ book about Yage? He got it from a real Shaman. That’s for me, man.”
“Oh, wow, whatta trip!”
Though my wife and I were never into drugs, we soon found that everyone we knew, including some of our straightest friends, now teachers and social workers like ourselves, were smoking marijuana fairly regularly and dropping acid on the weekends. Shirley and I were going through a period of monogamy and we were surprised to find that some of our friends had been to meetings of groups like the Sexual Freedom League and talked openly about having had group sex down at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. Stories and articles about drugs and sex trips were common. People often wrote journals of their LSD experiences and published them. Peter Fonda made several drug movies. The Trip was a dud, but Easy Rider drew a cultic audience. Acid became a fad, a craze, and when celebrities like The Beatles, the Stones, Allen Ginsberg or Cary Grant dropped acid it was a media event covered by all the papers and tabloids. The establishment press went nuts covering the antics and pranks of folks like Neal Cassidy, Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsberg, and Jerry Rubin. Fashion spies copied all the externals of hipness and capitalism assimilated, packaged and resold it all as fast as possible. Polyester people in the suburbs were soon wearing bell-bottomed slacks, body shirts, “granny” glasses, and FRODO LIVES buttons. Their teenagers had acid rock posters on the walls of their bedrooms and went around saying “far out” and “groovy” as they considered the parents who bought them all that crap to be “uptight.” Those near enough ran away to San Francisco for a weekend, while others who hitched back to their homes in the midwest tossed marijuana seeds out the windows. Before long, marijuana was growing wild along the highways of Nebraska and Iowa and the highway patrol was busting hippie busses that stopped to harvest a bit on their way through. That grass was polluted with malathion and other pesticides just like everything else in Nebraska, but the hippies never seemed to think of that when they saw those familiar leaves.
All of us had read Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and anything Kesey did was fascinating to us. We followed his travels, went to hear him talk at the Experimental College at San Francisco State, loved the way he trashed the establishment, admired the way he outwitted the FBI by putting on a blue suit and tie and going down to the financial district. Kesey wore a gold space suit at his Trips Festival in 1965, and they were probably looking for that gold suit.
Allen Ginsberg got into his Hindu trip after his stay in India, and drove his American audiences nuts chanting mantras, but that didn’t change the way many of us felt about him. Allen bridged the gap between hippie and activist as well as that between gay and straight. He was present at the marches and he spoke at political events and he was never wishy-washy about anything. His critique of modern capitalism is devastating and “Howl” is as valid today as it was in the mid-50s when he wrote it.
They were all present at the Human Be-In, all the icons of hip, the psychedelic pioneers, the performers, and the way you see them or remember them depends on where and who you were at the time. If you were a parent whose daughter or son was somewhere in Haight-Ashbury and you didn’t know where they were or what they were doing, it is unlikely you think well of those who might have played a part in luring them there. I’ve talked to people who consider Tim Leary worse than Simon Legree and hate his guts, people who cheered when he died on the internet. I’ve always considered this a bit strange because there were so many other people promoting psychedelic drugs at the time that it seems a little unusual to act as though Leary were the ultimate villain.
I’ve yet to hear anyone say anything negative about Ken Kesey and I heard Ken personally promoting acid more times than I can remember. His acid parties down in Woodside are legend. taking acid was practically a rite of passage during the mid-60s in Haight-Ashbury and there were few who could resist. Even if you did, you were likely to be spiked and sent on an unexpected trip. I never took acid and I was at parties when just about everyone was stoned but me.
I went on only two trips and both were spikes. The first was at Mike Corrigan’s wedding reception. Someone thought it was cute to lace the frosting on his wedding cake with acid. I started seeing colors and my vision shifted while I was driving across the hills to my apartment on Noe Street. I knew enough about the drug to know what was happening, but I could have been killed just the same. There were many people who considered it their duty to try to turn other people on to acid in 1967 with or against their consent. After that cake experience I was careful about what I ate or drank at someone else’s house, no matter how well I knew them.
The Human Be-In in 1967 was an important event in my life. For the first time I realized how many people were involved in what everyone felt was a movement toward a new lifestyle, toward retribalization. When we reached the Polo Grounds (where Rugby is played now), there were people covering almost every inch of space. I had never seen so many people in one place in my life. We made our way toward the stage, stepping over blankets and people tanning themselves. Tim Leary was talking to some people behind the stage. Allen Ginsberg was nearby. Both wore East Indian clothing. Jerry Rubin wore the uniform of a soldier of the Revolutionary war. Lenore Kandel was there. Her “Love Book” had been called obscene and she had been through a trial over it. I saw her on-stage with Ginsberg and Leary later in the day.
I saw Ken Kesey’s bus in the distance, some Harleys guarded by Hell’s Angels, a lot of varied costumes, and a few members of Sopwith Camel waiting to take the stage. Marty Balin and Jerry Garcia were sitting against the tires of a vehicle, passing a joint back and forth. Paul Kantner was nearby tuning his guitar. Jorma Kaukonen was there, but I didn’t see Grace Slick. Many of the band members lived on Ashbury Street and we often saw them during the day. I was headed down to the Haight the day Jack Cassidy drove up in his new red Mustang. It was a day of poetry and music and general celebration and the political people kept their lines to a minimum.
When the music started people got up and danced and it was easily the biggest dance on earth to that point. It would be upstaged in 1968 by Woodstock and in 1969 by Altamont, and I’m sure the crowds would have continued to get larger and larger if certain promoters could have figured out a way to do it. There was a group trying for a Be-In in Grand Canyon and after People’s Park in April and May of 1969 there were people promoting Earth People’s Park. I dunno.
How many of you would like to go to a party to be attended by, say, five billion people?
TO: John Sakowicz, Doug McKenty, King Collins, Norman deVall, Dennis O’Brien
We are in receipt of your letter of June 9, demanding inspection of various records and asking various questions. We reply as follows:
- The right of a member to inspect and copy records is limited to a narrow set of documents under Section 6330 of the California Corporations Code. Most of the 30 categories of records listed in the letter are not ones that the Corporations Code gives a member the right to copy and inspect.
- Under Section 6334 of the Corporations Code, the right of a Director to inspect and copy records extends to all books, records and documents of every kind. Mr. Sakowicz is a Director. None of the other signatories to the letter is a Director. Accordingly, Mr. Sakowicz, and only he, has the right to demand inspection of the documents in most of the listed categories. We are aware that a Director may make an inspection personally, or he may send an agent or attorney to make the inspection and copy the documents if he chooses not to make the inspection himself. Corp. Code § 6311. If Mr. Sakowicz chooses to send an agent or attorney in his stead, that agent or attorney may inspect and copy records instead of Mr. Sakowicz. We will require the agent or attorney to sign a non-disclosure agreement promising not to reveal confidential information except to a person who has also signed a non-disclosure agreement.
- Nothing in the Corporations Code requires managers or Directors to create records that the corporation does not maintain. The Corporations Code provides for inspection and copying of existing records.
- This is not the first request from Director Sakowicz to inspect and copy KZYX records. In October 2014 Mr. Sakowicz sent then Board President Eliane Herring an e-mail requesting to inspect and copy records that pertained to nine separate questions. In response to that e-mail, KZYX spent considerable time and resources to (1) determine if it had documents responsive to Mr. Sakowicz’ s questions; (2) assemble the requested categories of documents; and (3) respond to Mr. Sakowicz outlining the documents in KZYX’s files that would be responsive and offering them up for copying and inspection. Copies of that correspondence are attached. Mr. Sakowicz has not yet followed up on his demand and has not yet reviewed the documents gathered by KZYX. This leads KZYX to question whether his request was made in good faith.
- This is also not the first request from Mr. Collins and Mr. O’Brien to KZYX based on alleged rights of inspection pursuant to the Corporations Code. In July 2013 Mr. Collins sent a request for access to the members list. KZYX responded to that request with a detailed letter on July 19, 2013, outlining a process by which that access could be obtained. Formulating a careful response took KZYX considerable time and effort – time and effort that it could not spend on fundraising, attention to station infrastructure, or recruiting new programmers. A copy of that letter is attached. On January 19, 2015 Mr. O’Brien made a request for access to the members list. KZYX sent a response to that request on February 1, 2015 and distributed a copy of the response at the Board meeting on February 2, 2015. A copy of that response is attached. Because of the complex interplay between the Corporation for Public Broadcasting rules and the Corporations Code, it took KZYX considerable time and effort, including engaging an outside attorney, to formulate a legally correct response to Mr. O’Brien’s request. Again, that was time KZYX could not spend on fundraising and other productive activities. Neither Mr. Collins nor Mr. O’Brien has ever followed up to take advantage of the process offered by KZYX. This leads KZYX to question whether these requests were made in good faith.
- As you know, John Coate has resigned his position as Executive Director and General Manager effective July 1, 2015. The station will need to rely heavily on him to assist in the transition before his last day. Due to his impending departure, and the fact that he is the person with the best understanding of where and how KZYX records are maintained, it will be physically impossible for KZYX to deal with the extraordinary and burdensome demands in your June 9 letter in the near term. We must recruit and train a new ED/GM and, at the same time, keep the station running. As such, we are forced to put your request aside until we have hired a new ED/GM, and that person has had a reasonable amount of time on the job, at least 4 weeks, to get up to speed. Then we will substantively respond to your requests, and provide access to records as appropriate. At such time as we have the resources to respond to this most recent request and its 30 categories of documents/information, we anticipate that it will again take us considerable time and effort to make a proper response and to gather the records.
- In the meantime, we stand by the offer made to Mr. Sakowicz on December 10, 2014 to inspect and copy certain documents responsive to his October 2014 request. Once Mr. Sakowicz reviews the records he has already requested and that KZYX has already spent considerable time gathering, then he can assess what records, if any, he still wants to see. In other words, the results of his first document request may inform any subsequent document requests.
- We think it not insignificant that Mr. Sakowicz has openly stated that his goal is to bring the station down. He openly undercuts that station’s fundraising efforts (with his slogan “Starve the Beast”), and he has written numerous letters to local newspapers attacking the station. Based on Mr. Sakowicz’ lack of follow-through on his document request last fall, we have a strong concern that the current request may just be another exercise in harassment and intimidation, intended to distract and demoralize KZYX. We hope that is not the case.
- Finally, we note that one of the signatories to the June 9th letter, Dennis O’Brien, has offered to drop his demand to inspect and copy if the board/management adopts certain proposals he has put forth. While we cannot promise to adopt Mr. O’Brien’s proposals immediately, we are open to considering them as part of the Board’s Committee on Bylaws and Policies. That Committee will evaluate them and potentially present them, as refined by the Committee, to the full Board for further consideration and possible adoption. The Committee will communicate directly with Mr. O’Brien as part of its process.
Very truly yours,
President, MCPB Board of Directors
* * *
Dear Media Representatives:
Above is the reply from President, Stuart Campbell, MCPB, dated June 23, 2015 re: Demand Letter of June 9th. Below is the response to Mr Campbell sent this past Friday, June 26, 2015 from the Signatories. The hope was to reply prior to the June 29 Board Meeting, in Willits, 6 p.m.
As always, should you have questions, please contact me, email@example.com or any of the Signatories.
M Kathryn Member, KZYX, Members for Change
Thank you for your email of June 23, 2015, responding to our written demand of June 9 for the inspection of documents. We disagree with your analysis.
- The right of a member to inspect and copy records is not based solely on California Corporations Code Section 6330, which authorizes the inspection of membership records. There is also Section 6333, which states:
"6333. The accounting books and records and minutes of proceedings of the members and the board and committees of the board shall be open to inspection upon the written demand on the corporation of any member at any reasonable time, for a purpose reasonably related to such person's interests as a member."
In addition, the Bylaws of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting grant members the right to inspect any records that are not personnel records or otherwise protected by law:
"Member Inspection Rights:
Members shall have the right at all reasonable times to inspect all of MCPB’s records which are or should be maintained at the principal office except personnel records and other items that would violate the privacy of a specific individual or are otherwise protected under Federal or California law."
Thus the members' right to inspect does indeed extend to the categories of documents enumerated in the demand.
Please note that the Board of Directors does not have the power to amend the Bylaws to diminish any rights granted to members. Only a vote of the membership can do that. If you wish to oppose the demand, Corporations Code Section 6331 requires you to file a petition in Mendocino County Superior Court. Under Section 6336, any director or officer who does not comply with the demand can be punished for contempt of court. Under Section 6337, the organization can be held liable for members' reasonable costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees, in connection with any related legal proceedings.
- Thank you for acknowledging a director's absolute right to inspect any document under Corporations Code Section 6334. Because the volume of documents may be too great for any one person to inspect, Mr. Sakowicz may be accompanied by an agent or attorney to assist him. Since any given record will be inspected by the director or his attorney/agent, he will be in compliance with Section 6311 regarding such assistance. Further, any non-disclosure agreement must be limited to records that cannot otherwise be inspected by members, i.e., "personnel records and other items that would violate the privacy of a specific individual or are otherwise protected under Federal or California law." The Code does not require anyone to sign a blanket non-disclosure agreement as a condition for inspecting records, nor will they.
- Your objection concerning a need to create records is misplaced. As stated in the Demand Letter:
"Please also note that a failure to present any of the requested items does not relieve you of the duty to make any and all of the other requested items available for inspection and/or copying. We are not asking you to create any summaries. But we do want access to all of the documents that are related to the above list, including any existing summaries, as part of the inspection of all records from 2007 to the date of inspection."
See also #6 below concerning your request for a delay.
- To the extent you have already produced specific documents to Mr. Sakowicz in response to a prior demand, you do not need to provide duplicates. This exception does not apply if any member has demanded the same information.
- The alternatives you have offered to Messrs. Collins and O'Brien concerning their prior demands to inspect the membership rolls are unreasonable and too expensive. They are based on an incorrect reading of a statute that bars releasing such information to third parties. Members are not third parties. In any event, prior efforts and negotiations are not a waiver of a member's right to inspect.
The efforts of Messrs. Sakowicz, Collins, and O'Brien to try to resolve the current crisis at MCPB/KZYX through negotiation with the board and discussion with the membership are not signs of bad faith but rather an attempt to avoid litigation. Do not confuse patience and reason with weakness and ill-will.
- We see no need at this time to delay the inspection. As noted above, the failure to have all records available by July 11 does not relieve you of the duty to allow inspection of those records that are available at that time. If for any reason certain records are not available that the director or members believe are essential, then arrangements can be made to inspect them at a later time. Asking us to wait until four weeks after some unspecified date is too uncertain. However, we will consider a later date once the full board has met and considered this reply.
- As noted above, you do not need to produce the same documents to Mr. Sakowicz twice. But the Demand Letter is more comprehensive and includes demands for inspection by members, demands which stand alone. There is no "condition precedent" that must be met before MCPB complies with the current demand.
- Because Mr. Sakowicz has an absolute right of inspection as a director, his intentions are not an issue. The only time intent is an issue is if you believe that the members' demand for access to membership information under Sections 6330 is for reasons not related to their interests as members. If you believe so, then your remedy, as noted above, is to file a petition with the Superior Court to have that particular demand set aside. But the members do have a legitimate reason for their demand, as stated in the Demand Letter:
"The purpose of the demand by the members is to review all financial transactions and data, and all membership and voting records and data, from the year prior to the employment of the current general manager, Mr. John Coate, up to and including the date of inspection, as there has been inadequate oversight by the board of directors concerning finances, memberships, and elections during his tenure. The membership has a legitimate interest in the financial affairs of the corporation and the integrity of the voting rolls and election process."
- Thank you for your willingness to consider the proposals set forth by Mr. O'Brien, one of the Demand Letter signers. If you adopt those specific proposals before July 10, he will drop his demand for inspection of the membership rolls, and will encourage the other signers to do likewise. However, this will have no effect on the demand to inspect and possibly copy all other records, including financial. Mr. O'Brien looks forward to working with the new Committee on Bylaws and Policies. MCPB policies authorize the Board of Directors to name volunteer members to board committees. The Board should consider naming some of the signers to certain committees - e.g., Mr. McKenty to the Finance Committee - as a way of engaging with the membership, promoting transparency of governance, and avoiding the need for future inspection demands.
Thank you again for you detailed response. Please make sure that the full board has time to consider this reply before it meets next Monday. We hope that the full board will acknowledge our right of inspection and take positive steps to address the underlying concerns. If it does, we will consider a delay. If not, then we will be at the main office on July 11 to proceed with the inspection. Please do not remove any records or take any other action that might hinder the process.
John Sakowicz, Doug McKenty, King Collins, Norm de Vall, Dennis O'Brien
* * *
To the Mendocino County Communities,
Re: KZYX June 29, Board Meeting, 6 p.m, Location: Willits City Council Chamber, 111 East Commercial Street
Much has been written, discussed, denied, and underreported about the Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, aka, KZYX/Z.
Tomorrow, Monday, June 29, @ 6 p.m., Willits, the KZYX Board meets to discuss several important issues in the life of our volunteers and your radio station, KZYX/Z.
Some, but not all, of the concerns, issues, and reports include:
- Review/Vote, Fiscal Year Budget, Hear (or not) exactly how your money is being spent
- Structure of the Station going forward, a Better Model to save the county's money, and put the station in the hands of the Community
- KZYX License Expires on, Wednesday, June 30, 2015; Hear why the FCC has not renewed the station's license directly from the Board itself.
- Final Report of Outgoing GM, Mr. John Coate
Each of you have three minutes to talk about Station business in the Public Forum, an agenda item. While you will not have your questions answered directly by the Board, you will be on record as stating your concerns, complaints, or suggestions in the Station's minutes and history, for future follow up by the Board.
Please, make every effort to attend the Board Meeting, 6 p.m., Willits City Council Chamber, 111, East Commercial Street, Willits.
M Kathryn Massey, Member KZYX, Members for Change