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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, July 11, 2015

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MRC BRAGS TO SUPERVISORS that Business As Usual activity is somehow a decent response to their creation of a major fire hazard created by their killing of millions of tanoaks left out in the forest just waiting for a spark:

(And the Supes seemed gullible enough to believe it.)

Dennis Thibeault (pronounced Tebow), Vice President of Forestry for Mendocino Redwood Co. Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting, public expression, July 7, 2015:

“I have with me today John Anderson, our director of forest policy. It's unusual for us to make a public statement of what we consider to be just our usual operations, or plan of operations. But given the discussions that have occurred at the Board of Supervisors earlier this year we felt that it would be appropriate to come before you today just to give you a short update of what we have been doing this summer with respect to fire preparedness and some of the changes we have made as a result of the discussions that occurred here.

“We have re-reviewed our forest policies and we have gone around and met with all of our forest land managers and reiterated some policies that I want you to know we have which is that we treat all the logging slash adjacent to our private property boundaries and along public roads. We maintain all the roads within our open ownership, open and passable at all times for fire prevention. In addition to distributing our annual fire plan to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, we also distribute that plan to all the local fire agencies that have jurisdiction over our property. We have modified one of our policies with respect to leaving standing dead oak trees adjacent to private land and on public roads. That was somewhat discretionary for forest land managers in areas that might be remote where it was not perceived to be an issue. We have changed that to make that a mandatory requirement on all of our operations regardless of their location. In that context we have made some accomplishments to date. We have moved close to 100 log truck loads of tanoak firewood from along our boundaries and in addition we have treated logging slash and tanoak brush on approximately 40 acres adjacent to our ownership as well as the installation of a community fire water tank in Comptche. We have been participating in a committee to develop community wildfire protection plan and we have made our people and resources available to that extent. Through that process we recognize the challenges that the Fire Safe Council may have towards achieving their goal that was set for them by this board earlier with respect to an analysis of our -- of the fire danger associated with our practices. To that extent we intend to meet with them to further see how we might be able to facilitate with respect to people or material or financial support for the Fire Safe Council. Finally, I want to reiterate our commitment to take anyone anywhere at any time on our property to review our forest practices.”

Supervisor John McCowen: “A clarification if I may. With regard to making the policy mandatory not to leave standing dead trees along property boundaries and along public roads, is there a stated setback zone for that policy? Or is it—?”

Thibault: “We directed them to use the same requirements that the state requires which is 200 feet.”

McCowen: “So there will be a minimum—”

Thibault: “It will vary based on topography and our ability to access it. So I intentionally did not put a specific distance down there because in some cases it may be wider because it will allow us to create a fuel break. In other cases it might be narrower because of the topography and operational constraints. In addition, we have also begun implementation of three fuel breaks within the County of Mendocino on Alaska Ridge, Miller Ridge and Cliff Ridge. We were able to do that through the recently enacted legislation, AB-744 which allows us to do these pilot projects with expedited permitting processes. So we are in the process of implementing those as well.”

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CATCH OF THE DAY: July 10, 2015

Baker, Belion, Borja
Baker, Belion, Borja

MICHAEL BAKER, Fair Oaks/Ukiah. Felony hit&run with serious injury or death, DUI with priors, no license, false information to police.

ANDRE LILMIKEY BELION, Stockton/Ukiah. County parole violation.

DAVID BORJA, Tepulcatepec, Michoacan, Mexico/Ukiah. Pot cultivation, processing possession for sale, short barreled rifle, offenses while on bail.

Hedin, Kaplan, Kroll
Hedin, Kaplan, Kroll

STEPHANIE HEDIN, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, resisting.

TIFFANY KAPLAN, Calpella. Drunk in public.

DAVID KROLL, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Long, Louch, McOsker
Long, Louch, McOsker

BRYAN LONG, Fort Bragg. Child abuse/endangerment, criminal threats, resisting, probation revocation.

CHAD LOUCH, Berkeley/Ukiah. DUI.

JEREMIAH McOSKER. Ukiah. County parole violation.

Mesa, Pemberton, Sanders
Mesa, Pemberton, Sanders

MARK MESA, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats, probation revocation.

JASON PEMBERTON, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

THOMAS SANDERS, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

White, Winegar, Woods
White, Winegar, Woods

TIFFANY WHITE, Willits. Domestic battery, child abuse/endangerment, criminal threats, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting.

JASON WINEGAR, Mendocino. Fighting in public.

BRYCE WOODS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

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Woman Bagged For Claiming She Could 'Expedite' Citizenship

"For several months the Fort Bragg Police Department has been investigating accusations that Araceli Martinez has been victimizing undocumented citizens of the Hispanic community by claiming she has the ability to expedite their citizenship process.

“These accusations were accompanied by claims that Martinez may have been accepting large amounts of cash for these alleged fraudulent services, as well as requesting personally identifying documents such as birth certificates, identification cards and social security cards as part of her criminal activity. 
The Fort Bragg Police Department believes this criminal activity may have been occurring for the last 20 years, and is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying other victims in this investigation.

“Local law enforcement agencies have 24 hour translation services, and they welcome tips and questions regarding illegal activity within our community. Anonymous information can be left on the Department Crime Tip Hotline at 707-961-3049. Potential victims or those with any information pertaining to this investigation are requested to contact Officer Thomas O’Neal at (707) 961-2800 ext. 167.
Anonymous information can be left on the Department Crime Tip Hotline at 707-961-3049."


(Ms. Martinez, 51, was arrested by Fort Bragg Police on Thursday, July 2nd on a misdemeanor charge of obtaining property, labor or services by false pretenses. On Friday, she was booked and released.)

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BACK IN APRIL of this year, Anthony Junger Witt, 43, of the Holmes Ranch, Philo, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, possession of a controlled substance, manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of methamphetamine. Witt was allegedly operating a second drug op at a property he owns on Cameron Road, near Elk. He was in court Friday represented by Keith Faulder of Ukiah.

Anthony & Jacqueline Witt
Anthony & Jacqueline Witt

WITT'S FATHER is Paul Junger Witt, a well-known Hollywood producer who brought us such television shows as “Soap” and “The Golden Girls” and the movie, “Dead Poets Society.” Witt Sr. was recently in the news when he listed his Big Sur home for sale at $28.8 mllion, which must be good news to Faulder who is mos def gonna get paid.


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BRUCE McEWEN ADDS: The prelim for Mr. Anthony and Mrs. Jacqueline Witt of 750 Smith Hills Road, Philo, resumed Friday — it had been continued from June 18th and took up all of the afternoon, yet had to be put over again because of a comment by the newly installed County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team (COMMET) officer, Deputy Jeremy Mason — which infuriated defense counsel Keith Faulder — concerning facts that were not in the police report and addressed an issue in dispute. At 5pm Judge Moorman said she had to let her staff go for the weekend, and with a jury trial on Monday, the hearing cannot resume until Friday July 17th at 9am. This case is a real doozie — with Jona Saxby (Faulder’s wife) representing Mr. Witt. We hope to have a full report in two weeks.

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Paul Witt
Paul Witt

Paul Junger Witt (born March 20, 1943 in New York City, New York) is an American film and television producer. He, with his partners Tony Thomas and Susan Harris (also his wife), produced such hit TV shows as Here Come the Brides, The Partridge Family, The Golden Girls, Soap, Benson, Empty Nest and Blossom. The majority of their shows have been produced by their company, Witt/Thomas Productions (alternately Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions), founded in 1975. Witt also produced the hit films Dead Poets Society, Three Kings, Insomnia, and the successful made-for-TV movie Brian's Song. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia.

A distinguished TV producer whose prolific career began in the 1960s, Paul Junger Witt has extensive credits that reflect a flair for classy comedy vehicles characterized by fine ensemble acting and boosted by the writing of his partner and later wife, Susan Harris, who created several of the series from Witt-Thomas-Harris Productions. Witt began his career in the mid-60s, eventually working as a producer and director on such series as "Here Come the Brides" and "The Partridge Family". In 1970, while still at Screen Gems, he produced the Emmy-winning TV-movie about the true story of a friendship across racial lines between football players, "Brian's Song" (ABC, 1971). But perhaps more significantly, it was on this production that Witt became close with the associate producer, Tony Thomas, and the duo decided to work together.


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BANK IT. Fort Bragg City Manager, Linda Ruffing, will get a hefty raise Monday night on the 3-2 auto-YES vote she gets.

The Fort Bragg City Council will be voting on this interesting resolution at their next meeting Monday, July 13th.

We're sure it will draw some interesting comments from those who wouldn't give the same reward if they had the task of compiling a city manager "performance evaluation" over the past year.

Here's the link for the rest of the agenda Monday night:

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A READER ASKS: The KZYX license to broadcast was not renewed on June 30, the listed deadline. Stuart Campbell says the station is broadcasting legally because KZYZ was renewed. That doesn't make any sense to me. Why? Because the tiny translator stations get their signals to translate off the air via the main transmitter — KZYX, on 90.7MHz — therefore, if KZYX isn't legal, there's no radio station. What am I missing?

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WE GOT A GARBLED AND FRAGMENTARY EMAIL NOTICE FROM THE COAST BOTANICAL GARDENS that we could not decipher. It was apparently supposed to contain some gorgeous pictures of flowers and plant life, but didn’t. Something’s in bloom at the Gardens and several neat things are going on out there, but we couldn’t figure out what to do with their fragmentary computer generated email. So please go to their website:

And see what’s blooming and growing out there!

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A READER WRITES: “Nathan Bedford Forrest was a traitor to the United States. The Confederate criminals killed far more American service personnel during the Civil War than the number of people slaughtered by Osama Bin Laden's attack on the Twin Towers. Forest committed domestic terrorism with his formation of the Ku Klux Klan and its racist post war suppression of the rights of Black Americans. When Forest's body is disinterred from the Memphis cemetery, the corpse ought to be taken aboard a US Naval vessel and deep sixed in exactly the same manner as Bin Laden was disposed of.”

IRONY IS, THOUGH, that Forrest died a liberal. Said he'd been wrong about race. If he was still alive he'd be a Clintonian. I think rather than digging up his bones and pulling down his statue, the old boy's life ought to be studied as a model of redemption. At one of his last public appearances, Forrest got a Standing O from a black audience for his eloquent repudiation of his earlier life and opinions.

A READER ADDS: “I'm not sure that dropping out of the Klan because they didn't have enough of a military style command structure qualifies Nathan as a liberal (but then again it might). As the Great Helmsman said (or maybe it was someone else), ‘Combat Liberalism and subscribe to the Anderson Valley Advertiser’.”

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Photo by Annie Kalantarian

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by Josh Lederman

More than a million acres of wilderness will be protected as part of three new national monuments that President Barack Obama is creating in California

The presidential move, announced by the White House early Friday, brings to 19 the number of monuments that Obama has created or expanded since taking office. Environmental advocates hailed the new monuments as bringing sorely needed protection to natural American treasures, even as Republicans in Congress were pursuing legislation to stop the president.

Tourists and nature lovers in California will see more than 330,000 acres in Northern California set aside for a new monument at Berryessa Snow Mountain. The White House touted the area’s rich biodiversity and Native American cultural sites, but the area is best known as a destination for hikers, campers, fishermen and hunters. Officials said designating the site as a monument would likely prompt increased visits to the area and drive economic growth in the coming years.

“I applaud the president, because his historic action will preserve this magnificent area for generations and boost the local economy,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

“As a local business owner, I am thrilled to see President Obama take action to protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument,” said John Pickerel, owner of Buckhorn Steakhouse in Winters and Napa. “It will help our local economy and give local businesses more opportunities to thrive. Protecting these lands safeguards the region’s natural resources and wildlife habitat and will enhance recreational opportunities for everyone. It will encourage tourism particularly along scenic Highway 128 from Winters to Napa and create a desirable place for people to live and work.”

Yolo County and other people in the region have called on President Obama to permanently protect the 100-mile stretch of federal lands — from Berryessa Peak to Snow Mountain — to safeguard the areas water, wildlife habitat, and recreational resources. The remarkable plate tectonic geology, biological diversity, and Native American cultural history make this a special place under the Antiquities Act.

“The designation of this unique area as a national monument will help preserve the region’s natural splendor for future generations,” said California State Assemblyman Bill Dodd. “The national monument will provide continued recreational opportunities and will bring enhanced visitation. This is a great example of how we can protect our environment and support our local economy.”

These efforts were championed by Northern California congressmen Mike Thompson, John Garamendi, Jared Huffman, and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. Efforts to permanently protect the Berryessa Snow Mountain region through a Congressional designation have been made since 2012.

The new national monument includes parts of Yolo, Solano, Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Glenn, and Colusa Counties. The designation only pertains to existing federal public lands, and will not affect any private properties, or existing water rights.

“As a farmer, my livelihood depends on land and water,” said local walnut farmer, Craig McNamara. “Without either, I’m out of business, which is why it is especially important to me to do all I can to conserve. Healthy landscapes and clean water is part of what makes Northern California such a special place to live and work, which is why I support the new Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.”

Outdoors and wildlife groups are also applauding the Berryessa Snow Mountain designation, saying it will allow future generations to enjoy its spectacular hiking trails, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding, hunting and fishing, legal OHV use, and many other recreational uses.

“We are ecstatic that President Obama has recognized the importance of protecting these special lands,” said Sara Husby, executive director for Tuleyome, the regional conservation organization that spearheaded the protection efforts that has long been active in seeking the designation. “Together with our congressional champions and the many, many supporters of the Berryessa Snow Mountain region we got this done. I am overjoyed.”

The Snow Mountain area will be managed the U.S. Forest Service and the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, the White House said.

Elsewhere in Texas, Obama is creating a monument at Waco Mammoth, a relatively small site in central Texas where archaeologists have discovered remains of 24 Columbian Mammoths — the largest of the mammoth species — from more than 65,000 years ago, the White House said. Like other mammoths, the Columbian Mammoth is now extinct, but roamed freely in North America during the Pleistocene epoch, known colloquially as the ice age. The site marks the only spot in the U.S. where a nursery herd of mammoths has been discovered, and is also home to preserved remains of other ancient species including the saber-toothed cat, dwarf antelope and the western camel.

Nevada’s Basin and Range, home to rare rock art from 4,000 years ago, will also become a national monument. The White House said more than 700,000 acres of public land will be protected in an untouched area of the Great Basin region. In addition to petroglyphs, the site also contains “City,” an array of abstract sculptures that artist Michael Heizer has worked on for more than four decades. The project evokes elements of Mesoamerican life, with ceremonial mounds interspersed with more modern architecture. Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate’s top Democrat, has been pushing for years to protect the site and its surroundings.

Under the 1906 Antiquities Act, presidents have broad authority to designate historic or ecologically significant sites without congressional approval, protecting those areas from new development like mining, oil wells and grazing.

Obama has used that authority aggressively as he’s worked to secure a legacy of protecting the environment and warding off the effects of climate change. Earlier this year, Obama designated new monuments in Hawaii, Illinois and Colorado, and last year he expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to cover 490,000 square miles, making it the largest marine preserve in the world.

(Courtesy, the Associated Press)

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Mendocino County Breastfeeding Coalition Sponsors Contest

Are you a working mom who breastfeeds an infant? Do you have an employer who is supportive of this activity? Breastfeeding mothers who are employees of friendly lactation workplaces in Mendocino County have the opportunity to nominate their employers for an award and could win a prize for themselves as well.

To nominate your employer, visit for the nomination form and instructions. The due date to nominate is Friday, July 24. Nomination form may then be faxed or e-mailed as directed on the form. FAX # is (707) 472-2734. The mom that nominates the winning employer will receive a $50 VISA Gift Card for herself. Any nominated business might expect a site visit from a Breastfeeding Coalition member to acknowledge their accommodations and be included in future press release.

The contest helps highlight the importance of breastfeeding infants and the role an employer can play in helping support the activity. World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7 this year and is in its 22nd year of recognition. We are using this celebratory week to recognize exemplary employers who are complying with current California State Law which requires lactation accommodation and support in the workplace. (See *below at end of article to read text of law)

In Mendocino County, the Breastfeeding Coalition works to raise the community’s awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, to educate and share resources among breastfeeding advocates and to promote support for mothers who choose to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is proven to prevent disease and is an important component of emotional, mental, social and physical health for both infant and mother. The Coalition is comprised of breastfeeding advocates from numerous different practices and agencies, including Health and Human Services, FIRST 5 Mendocino, Partnership HealthPlan of California, MCHC Care for Her, Ukiah Valley Medical Center, Pinoleville Native American HeadStart & Early HeadStart, Consolidated Tribal Health Project and La Leche League of Ukiah.

For more information on the Mendocino County Breastfeeding Coalition or if you are interested in attending monthly meetings, you may contact the HHSA Women, Infants and Children Program: Peter Schlichting at 472-2737 or Nicole Pogrund 472-2731.

* California State Labor Code 1030-33: Every employer, including the state and any political subdivision, shall provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee's infant child. The break time shall, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. Break time for an employee that does not run concurrently with the rest time authorized for the employee by the applicable wage order of the Industrial Welfare Commission shall be unpaid. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee's work area, for the employee to express milk in private. The room or location may include the place where the employee normally works if it otherwise meets the requirements of this section. An employer is not required to provide break time under this chapter if to do so would seriously disrupt the operations of the employer.

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The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) will host a meeting on how to conserve water and prevent water pollution associated with agricultural practices, including cannabis cultivation, starting at 10 AM on Saturday, July 18 at the Little Lake Grange in Willits. ERRP is also able to render technical assistance to land owners at their residences on a confidential basis for free and contractors who are supplying these services will present at the workshop.

ERRP Managing Director Patrick Higgins will welcome the audience and give a brief talk on the importance of the project to the future health of the Eel River and how citizens are helping monitor during this period of extreme drought. Larry Desmond of Mendocino Water Works will then explain how to plan water systems, calculate a water budget, and to implement water conservation measures. Anna Birkas of Village Ecosystems will cover a wide range of topics from storing water in your landscape with bioswales, to catching water off your roof, to designing and implementing a graywater system. Noah Cornell is the southern outreach coordinator for ERRP’s best practices project and has expertise in soil building and organic gardening techniques. In addition to a presentation, Noah will give a demonstration of how to make compost tea. Many tips offered in the workshop will also have significant value to backyard gardeners in Willits or households that want to reduce water use.

Previous ERRP activities also included a June outdoor workshop in the Salmon Creek watershed in Humboldt County at restoration practitioner Kyle Keegan’s Fools Farm. Demonstrations there included how to build a graywater system, converting wood from fire safe activities to biochar, employing bioswales for dry farming, and various methods of making compost teas from plant extracts and other materials. Video of the event was recorded and will be made available via You Tube and the ERRP website.

Water rights and pollution prevention permitting issues will be explained at the workshop by North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board staff. That agency will be issuing permits to cannabis growers, known as waivers of waste discharge, sometime in the next several months. Many small organic cannabis growers may already comply with waiver requirements and ERRP contractors can advise them in this regard. Previous ERRP best practices outreach meetings in Emandal, Fortuna and the Heartwood Institute in eastern Humboldt County have been well received and rural cannabis farmers are signing up for consultations. These are two hour visits from ERRP contractors provide a check list of things that meet “best practices” standards and identify parts of an operation that might need improvement.

To acquire free technical assistance, come to the event and sign up, or call Noah Cornell at 707 972-9503. This project is supported by a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board Clean Up and Abatement fund. The event will run from 10 AM to 2 PM and will conclude with a panel discussion and an opportunity for the public to comment. For more information, see The Little Lake Grange is at 291 School Street in Willits. A light lunch will be provided; there is no need for reservations, and no charge for admission.

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To the Editor of the Ukiah Daily Journal:

I am unclear as to why such a negative and destructive person is permitted to write a column for the UDJ.

(Also posted in Mendocino County Today, July 8, 2015:

Each time Mr. Arteaga writes, it's to discredit, disparage, and to discourage those who are working to make positive change. Mr Arteaga has written libelous and slanderous comments not only about a sitting KZYX volunteer, but about a citizen who came to the meeting and is working for reform.

Five people out of a county of 75-80,000 cannot make the FCC withhold a station's operating license. However, the FCC can investigate reporting from the community, if there is cause for such investigating to occur. The FCC encourages and makes this opportunity available to the public for compliance and professionalism. I worked for an NPR affiliate as a paid staff person and have 20+ years in non-profit management. I wrote to the FCC from my work experiences. Mr Arteaga has no experience to be writing about public radio and has used this paper to malign people who want and are working to make real change.

A few comments to Mr. Arteaga directly:

Mr. Arteaga, if you are such a big fan of KZYX why didn't you write to the FCC in your admiration for the staff? You could have done so.....but, you didn't..... I don't recall that you are a volunteer, a programmer or a past Board Member. How much of the day to day operations would you even know about? How many years have you volunteered? Actually, you have no authority or experience to write about the station for this paper or any paper.

Mr. Arteaga, you must live under a rock. In the last five years, $1,250,000 has come from our community for the salaries, benefits and taxes for the "smart, talented, incredibly hard-working folks" who work with no job descriptions and no time accountability. Did you miss the fact that 54-55% of the FY 2016 budget will go for those same people? Did you even look at the budget? There is no accountability of staff to the Board. Perhaps this will change now that Mr. Coate is gone.

To say a citizen who loves KZYX and supports reform looks like a violent criminal such as the Unabomber should be reason enough for you to never have a letter printed again in this paper or any paper. In fact, I am requesting "John's Corner" (Arteaga’s self-suggested column head) end immediately.

Those of us who were at the meeting also saw the entire Board and President sit and watch a volunteer board member be verbally attacked by Programmers and Staff alike. The staff person who attacked the Board member did so in the May meeting as well. He ranted profanity and by all appearances, was inciting a person to become violent in return. You know what? It didn't happen. This same staff person has not met his financial goals as Underwriter Manager for several years counting. He hasn't raised enough money for his own salary, benefits, and taxes. His salary and the other staff salaries comprise 54-55% of the total budget. Yes, that needs repeating, Mr. Arteaga.

To his credit, Mr Sakowicz, whom you have attacked in this column did not raise his voice nor yell profanity; he did not behave abusively nor violently to the Programmers and Staff when the President and the other board members permitted the screaming outbursts. The Board President culled and selected when and if Mr. Sakowicz was able to politely respond. There was no order to the meeting and it poorly reflected on the Chair and Board.

Funny how this part of the meeting was selectively left out of your column. BTW, the meeting lasted 4.5 hours. This, in and of itself should tell you there are serious problems and trouble at KZYX.

Mr. Arteaga, if you are going to write about the June meeting, let's not forget the volunteer programmer who addressed the Board during Public Comment. This volunteer bravely appealed to the Board to return the Safe Harbor policy to KZYX. This volunteer approached the board saying the Program Director unilaterally removed the Safe Harbor policy without the full Board's knowledge or VOTE. Yep, you read that correctly. A staff person can change station policy without the full Board's knowledge and vote.

Ukiah Daily Journal Editor: Mr. Arteaga is an embarrassment to the paper, to the community, and most importantly, to himself. Please remove him from the paper as he doesn't report fairly, accurately, or professionally.

M Kathryn Massey

KZYX, Members for Change, Mendocino

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