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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

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AS OF CLOSING TIME Tuesday afternoon at the County Courthouse in Ukiah, there was no verdict in the Zamora trial. Francisco Zamora stands accused of threatening Supervisor John McCowen with a walking stick.

Prosecution: "Defense is trying to make this a case about County Supervisor John McCowen's ego."

Defense: "This is a case about a politician, John McCowen's ego, ladies and gentlemen of the jury."

Racism and intolerance for the homeless was also mentioned. Judge Behnke ordered the jurors to return tomorrow morning at 9:30 to either deliver a verdict or resume deliberations. Supervisor McCowen took the stand on Monday and described how the defendant, Mr. Zamora, brandished a stick at him. The charge has been upgraded from brandishing to assault with a deadly weapon due apparently, to the "ego" of the alleged victim. Standby for up dates. (— Bruce McEwen)

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DA DAVID EYSTER confirms Sheriff Allman's ICE policies:

…In my experience … ICE is not slow to pick up illegals who we believe need to go in to the deportation process. It is a matter of ICE being provided advance notice by jailers of when the individual will be finished here and available to be swooped by ICE. THE DA investigators have a good relationship with the ICE agents and we try to identify individuals whom we believe pose a public safety risk and then give ICE notice of when we believe the person in question will be unentangled of all Mendocino holds and ready for pick-up. Timing is the name of the game.”

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SCOTT SCHNEIDER HAS RESIGNED as CEO and President of Visit Mendocino County, Inc. (VMC) the private promotional outfit funded by a 1% assessment on the gross revenue collected by lodging operators and a 50% match put up by Mendocino County. In return VMC is supposed to be administering the BID (Business Improvement District) and promoting Mendocino County to the outside world. In reality, many lodging operators believe VMC has been milking the promotional cow to pay for percs and fun trips for themselves and their staff. The VMC leadership has always brushed off its critics by saying they were a small clique of noisy malcontents who did not represent lodging and weren’t particularly cost-effective as promoters of Mendocino County. But just last month when VMC tried to renew the 1% assessment for another year, the Fort Bragg and Point Arena lodging operators opted to protest out. The County later said it had computed the Fort Bragg protest incorrectly and that the protest vote was less than 50%, which meant that Fort Bragg stayed in the BID, at least for now.

THE PROTEST IN POINT ARENA, and the nearly successful protest in Fort Bragg prove that many lodging operators believe VMC is mismanaged, is not listening to their concerns and is taking them for granted. Facebook postings of the VMC crew whooping it up in Monterey, or Richard Strom in Japan underscore the concerns. Supervisors John McCowen and Dan Gjerde spent several recent months in an ad hoc committee with selected members of the local tourist industry trying to bring some less top-heavy organizational arrangements to the ongoing promotional scam. With his legendary perseverance and attention to detail McCowen has led the effort to reform the VMC governance structure and make it more accountable.


THE VMC BOARD OF DIRECTORS has 10 members, five from the Mendo County Promotional Alliance (MCPA) Board of Directors and five from the Mendo County Lodging Association (MCLA) Board of Directors. The whole unwieldy mess is governed by a series of over-lapping contracts — including the one from the County itself that’s tied to the County’s sizable tax-contribution — that no one can understand which also means that no one can be held accountable. The promotional house of cards began to crumble a year ago when dissident members gained control of MCLA and tried to remove VMC from promotional effort. That's when the Board of Supes appointed the McCowen-Gjerde ad hoc to unravel the scam.

MCCOWEN AND GJERDE managed to get the Boards of Directors of VMC, MCLA and MCPA to sign off on a series of reforms that will create a single eleven member board with full authority to collect the BID funds and manage the promotional effort. The new board will also be subject to the Brown Act so all decisions will be made in an open public forum. This should make it easier to find out how the money is being spent and hold people accountable. Schneider had been a lightning rod for criticism and many of his detractors will welcome his departure. Who or what comes next is anybody's guess at this point, except we know a new board will be in charge of a new structure come January. And the Lodging members, at least, will be paying particular attention to what VMC does.

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NOT EXACTLY UNPRECEDENTED, but the following letter appeared in last week's Independent Coast Observer: "I apologize to the people of Point Arena and to the downtown businesses for my disruptive behavior on Main Street on May 26th. I will try not to repeat it in the future, and hope that you will forgive me. Daniel Vergara, Point Arena"

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JUST ABOUT THE SCARIEST article we've ever read appears in the current edition of The New Yorker. The Really Big One by Kathryn Schulz is about the inevitable earthquake and ensuing tsunami that will "take out everything west of I-5" from Eureka to Vancouver.

FROM THE NEW YORKER STORY that’s scaring the entire Pacific Northwest:

In the Pacific Northwest, everything west of Interstate 5 covers some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people. When the next full-margin rupture happens, that region will suffer the worst natural disaster in the history of North America. Roughly three thousand people died in San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake. Almost two thousand died in Hurricane Katrina. Almost three hundred died in Hurricane Sandy.

FEMA projects that nearly thirteen thousand people will die in the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Another twenty-seven thousand will be injured, and the agency expects that it will need to provide shelter for a million displaced people, and food and water for another two and a half million. “This is one time that I’m hoping all the science is wrong, and it won’t happen for another thousand years,” Murphy says.

In fact, the science is robust, and one of the chief scientists behind it is Chris Goldfinger. Thanks to work done by him and his colleagues, we now know that the odds of the big Cascadia earthquake happening in the next fifty years are roughly one in three. The odds of the very big one are roughly one in ten. Even those numbers do not fully reflect the danger — or, more to the point, how unprepared the Pacific Northwest is to face it. The truly worrisome figures in this story are these: Thirty years ago, no one knew that the Cascadia subduction zone had ever produced a major earthquake. Forty-five years ago, no one even knew it existed.


The story is rife with urgency. According to scientists, the Cascadia region probably has a 243 year interval between earthquakes. It’s been 315 years since the last major eruption along the fault. So they’re massively overdue.

The earthquake itself is projected to be somewhere between a 8.7 and 9.2. The upper limit of our fearful friend, the San Andreas fault, is about 8.2 which, according to the story, is just six percent as strong as the quake that hit Japan in 2011. Whew.

Our partners up in Seattle at the PI have been writing about the coming disaster for years, including in this story published in 2013 when a study was released confirming the relative timing for megathrusts in the Northwest:

Digging into the soil at the Effingham Inlet in British Columbia, Canadian scientists have confirmed that a city-destroying megathrust earthquake in the Northwest is due.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone running the length of the coast from northern Vancouver Island down to California last slipped and shook the surface of the Earth 300 years ago, and that was just the latest of 22 such quakes in the past 11,000 years.

The scientists, whose work is published in the latest Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, used a new aging model for identifying and dating disturbed sedimentary layers in a core raised from the inlet.

The disturbances appear to have been caused by large and megathrust earthquakes that have occurred over the past 11,000 years, According to a science news site run by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

One of the co-authors of the study, Dr. Audrey Dallimore, associate professor at Royal Roads University, told the news site:

“We have identified 22 earthquake shaking events over the last 11,000 years, giving an estimate of a recurrence interval for large and megathrust earthquakes of about 500 years. However, it appears that the time between major shaking events can stretch up to about 1,000 years.

“The last megathrust earthquake originating from the Cascadia subduction zone occurred in 1700 A.D. Therefore, we are now in the risk zone of another earthquake. Even though it could be tomorrow or perhaps even centuries before it occurs, paleoseismic studies such as this one can help us understand the nature and frequency of rupture along the Cascadia Subduction Zone.”

If you’re now intensely paranoid about a tsunami striking the Bay Area, here’s a link to the California Geological Survey’s tsunami inundation maps.

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by Malcolm Macdonald

On Monday evening, July 13th, the Fort Bragg City Council met in front of a subdued audience of 25-30 citizens. Anna Shaw, head of the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center (MCHC) was there, so were a few of that non-profit's board members. None of them spoke. Presumably the agenda item they were there to witness was Item 5A, consideration of a resolution for the Fort Bragg City Council to request that the Mendocino County Registrar of Voters verify signatures submitted with a ballot initiative entitled “Prohibiting Social Service Organizations in the Central Business District.”

The initiative is aimed directly at Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center's acquisition of the Old Coast Hotel, at the northwest corner of Oak and Franklin Streets, as a consolidated mental health services facility as well as the site for 5-6 transitional housing units. The Old Coast Hotel (OCH) was acquired through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of $1.2 million dollars. Approximately $900,000 of that grant money went to the Carine family, the owners of the property. The purchase of the Old Coast Hotel from the Carines began to materialize last autumn after a deal to acquire a building at 300 North Harrison St., for similar purposes, fell through in the spring of 2014.

Critics of the whole process screamed bloody murder when they learned that city officials and council members, most prominently Mayor Dave Turner, had discussed the possible Old Coast Hotel deal in mid November, 2014 and the general public allegedly didn't find out about the Old Coast Hotel aspect of the CDBG deal until it was noticed in the local newspaper a few days before a city council public hearing in January, 2015. Here's where reality and some folks' choice of reality cross paths. Since the CDBG deal had already been heard at a city council public hearing in late March, 2014, technically the CDBG grant money for a new location (the Old Coast Hotel) could have been awarded by the City of Fort Bragg to MCHC without the subsequent public hearing.

Some of the same people who cried foul about the Old Coast Hotel were also the objectors to the 300 Harrison Street site. To be fair, some folks were not yet involved. Therein lies more of the rub. Civic participation requires just that, participation, not just crying wolf when you suddenly awake from a Rip Van Winkle length slumber and discover one or two things in your community are not to your liking.

Despite more than a week's worth of out of state vacation in late December/early January, this writer was aware of the Old Coast Hotel becoming the potential new site for the CDBG grant before leaving for said vacation. The reason: Sometime in early December I called Jennifer Owen, the City of Fort Bragg's go-to person about CDBG. My impression is that Ms. Owen has been perfectly willing and open to discuss ongoing CDBG grants with anyone who asks her. Apparently, none of the cry-wolfers bothered to ask her about the potential new site (OCH) for the mental health services facility/transitional housing location or they would have had knowledge of it within a week or two after Mayor Turner learned about it.

Another curious aspect to the opposition to the Old Coast Hotel as the new site for the CDBG property is the documented fact that some of the most vocal opponents to the 300 North Harrison site voiced the opinion in 2014 that one of the appropriate locations for the mental health services/transitional housing units was in Fort Bragg's business district.

Contradictions abound in this entire scenario and, by no means, are those contradictions confined to opponents of the OCH location. Fault lies with the director of Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, or perhaps more accurately with the non-profit's board for not giving MCHC and its titular leader, Anna Shaw, direction toward making contact last autumn with the neighbors of the Old Coast Hotel, particularly with the businesses within a block or so up and down Franklin Street. An effort at explanation last November and/or December, in advance of the January city council public hearing, might have gone a long way toward assuaging concerns. A seemingly valid comment/complaint I have heard repeatedly from at least one business owner runs along these lines, 'where is their (MCHC) business plan?'

Despite attendance at numerous city and countywide meetings at which MCHC has made presentations concerning the Old Coast Hotel site, this writer has yet to witness anything approaching a clear and detailed plan from MCHC about just how they intend to run the facility at the Old Coast Hotel on a day to day basis. What I have seen are handouts that extol the virtues of mental health facilities and transitional housing; more pie in the sky platitudes than diagrammed X's and O's, if I may be permitted a sports analogy.

Heck, yeah, Fort Bragg and the Mendocino Coast obviously need many more housing units to help the homeless transition to functional citizenry. Equally obvious, the area is woefully short on mental health services. MCHC is a cog in the relatively new privatized form of mental health service on the Mendocino Coast. The jury is still out as to the capability of MCHC, or its contract partner Ortner Management Group, to adequately provide such care and service.

Of course, there are those who signed the petition for the initiative prohibiting social services in Fort Bragg's central business district (CBD) just because they are ignorant about and afraid of all things having to do with mental health service. Some of them may express their dismay that I dare to say such a thing, but it is as true as the certainty that bigotry still exists in this country. You don't have to fly a Confederate flag to think like the worst brand of redneck.

At the July 13th meeting, the Fort Bragg City Council eventually voted 5-0 to send the initiative to the County Registrar of Voters to verify the signatures. Here are the next possible steps. If enough signatures are verifiable, the initiative will come back before the Fort Bragg City Council. At that point, the council, by a simple majority vote could adopt the idea into the municipal code. A second option is that if the council does not do so itself, the initiative would be set for ballot approval or denial, by a 50% plus one vote. This voting process would break down one of two ways: If the verified signatures amount to more than 15% of Fort Bragg's registered voters a special election would be called for as soon as feasibly possible. If the number of verifiable signatures falls between 10% and 15% of the registered voters, the ballot initiative would become part of the next general election in November, 2016.

The contradictions and ironies associated with this issue go back to some of those first objectors to the 300 N. Harrison St. site being thoroughly ignorant that a transitional housing unit had already been existing in relative quiet for several years just a few doors up, on the opposite side of Harrison Street. A current oddity concerns the very wording within the initiative and existing codes. Here's the pertinent language: “This measure would add language to the Fort Bragg Municipal Code to provide that a social service organization is not a permitted use within the Central Business District zoning district unless such organization was established and existed within the district prior to January 1, 2015.”

One paragraph later: “A social service organization is defined by the Fort Bragg Municipal Code as...” After a paragraph long description of what constitutes a social service organization the code states, “Does not include day-care services, emergency shelters, and transitional housing...”

BAM! This initiative could pass, causing MCHC to cease and desist mental health service operations at the Old Coast Hotel location, but the transitional housing units apparently would not be touched by the passage of this initiative.

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JUDY VALADAO COMMENTS: For your information Malcolm your comment about the transitional house on Harrison street is rather ignorant. “The contradictions and ironies associated with this issue go back to some of those first objectors to the 300 N. Harrison St. site being thoroughly ignorant that a transitional housing unit had already been existing in relative quiet for several years just a few doors up, on the opposite side of Harrison Street”. A meeting was even held in that very house with the HH board and the neighbors in the area. This is a done deal so move forward and hope everything turns out well for those in need. Why not take on the subject of people like the man in Willits who is accused of taking advantage of young women? A lot of cases just like this go unreported and others are hurt by the suspect. Your reporting is always done with a lot of background investigation (I’ve said that before) so let’s move on and try to help with issues that we can do something about.

ALICE CHOUTEAU COMMENTS: I believe Malcolm is seriously off track when he repeatedly claims the local public is ignorant (his favorite adjective) and fearful of mental health services. Nearly everyone of my acquaintance has sought psychiatric help in some form at some point. . If not, surely someone in their family has. In fact, for our small population, this area has a plethora of psychologists, psychotherapists, and all sorts of counselors in the field.
He does hit the mark questioning the capabilities of the crew from HH and Ortner to actually help the mentally ill homeless population, as do most intelligent local critics.
Bringing transient schizos, psychos, and sex offenders into the heart of town seems risky business to me. The well-being of local residents has been sacrificed for the transient population and the biz that profits from ‘helping’ them.
This is also true of housing the homeless. The first priority should be providing low income housing for residents who work hard, contribute to this community, but suffer from the inflated rental prices.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 14, 2015

Allen, Bennett-Swank, Branson
Allen, Bennett-Swank, Branson

ROBERT ALLEN, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

VEDA BENNETT-SWANK, Covelo. Under influence, possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia, probation revocation.

ROY BRANSON III, Willits. Domestic battery, drunk in public.

Hoff, Jubb, Mandujano
Hoff, Jubb, Mandujano

BENJAMIN HOFF, Ukiah. Probation violation.

LYRA JUBB, Fort Bragg. Misdemeanor Hit&Run, forge/alter vehicle registration, resisting.

JOSE MANDUJANO, Willits. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, probation violation.

McCaha, Miller, Petersen
McCaha, Miller, Petersen

ARIEL MCCAHA, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, possession of controlled substance without prescription, probation revocation.

JAMES MILLER, Willits. Parole violation.


Sala, Wagner, Wiley
Sala, Wagner, Wiley

ZEVA SALA, Clearlake/Laytonville. Fighting, resisting.

DONALD WAGNER, Willits. Vehicle theft.

CHRISTOPHER WILEY, Willits. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.

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I was entertained, the other day, to read in the Journal about the city at last lowering the boom on the Palace's dysfunctional owner Eladia Laines, and finally moving to hire a “receiver” to take over the reins of the ill starred project, but I had to laugh at the notion that this receiver (who would doubtlessly be paid handsomely out of the city’s humble coffers) would be able to, “borrow against the equity of the Palace to refurbishing the building.”

Let us be clear-eyed about this: There is no equity in the Palace Hotel to borrow against! The value of all the equity of the Palace ruins is an unknown number, but one thing is certain; that number has a negative sign in front of it!

I remember a number of years ago, before Ms. Laines began her years of foot dragging excuses for inactivity, talking about the situation of the Palace with then City Councilman John McCowen, who opined something to the effect that without having a demolition permit in hand, that the Palace was a liability rather than an asset. This has only become more true in the intervening years of leaky roofs and rotting timbers.

Isn't it finally time for the City Council to pull its head out of the sand and deal forthrightly with this problem?! Instead of wasting a bunch of money on an overpaid “receiver,” wouldn't it make a lot more sense to just move right to soliciting a demolition contract which is clearly the eventual fate of the old ruin of a building?

On a completely different matter, how annoying is the appeal of this completely bogus lawsuit aimed at stopping Costco from coming to Ukiah? I mean, even though the folks supposedly bringing the suit (under the preposterously named “Citizens for Safety First” or some such organization) are transparent shills for Food Maxx Corporation, yet they are still able to hang up progress on this worthwhile project for at least six months. Is Ukiah the capitol city of NIMBY(not in my back yard)ism? It is an indictment of our legal system that such frivolous lawsuits are permitted to go forward and to cause expensive delays in something as worthy as this exciting addition to our County.

For those who don't know, there are a lot of good things about Costco; besides offering excellent prices on virtually everything they carry, they pay their workers handsomely, a fact that is obvious anytime you ask for help in a Costco store; unlike many of their competitors, virtually every employee is highly competent and knowledgeable. Another thing I like about the company is that their CEO pays himself a relatively paltry salary compared to other CEOs of similar size companies. I guess he has earned the hatred of many of those CEOs by demonstrating that one can be an excellent large company CEO without having to pull down 10 million or so out of the company every year. I can't wait to see Costco open in Ukiah, but we've got to get those on and off ramps upgraded, and probably rebuild that entire Airport Park Boulevard, which is crumbling to pieces, before that can happen.


John Arteaga, Ukiah

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PART OF THE OVERALL DESPAIR of this Luxury Cruise is that no matter what I do I cannot escape my own essential and newly unpleasant Americanness. This despair reaches its peak in port, at the rail, looking down at what I can't help being one of. Whether up here or down there, I am an American tourist, and am thus ex officio large, fleshy, red, loud, coarse, condescending, self-absorbed, spoiled, appearance-conscious, ashamed, despairing, and greedy: the world's only known species of bovine carnivore.

— David Foster Wallace

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Noyo Harbor (photo by Larry Livermore)

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"It makes me feel like we’re not safe anywhere."

Human beings haven't been safe anywhere since the invention of human beings. "Safe" is merely a bourgeois construct designed to sell home alarm systems, triple-washed spinach, side-curtain airbags, etc. You're not safe, lady. The world is comin' to gitcha, the Grim Reaper is in the next line over at Trader Joe's, staring right at you. And he doesn't need a camera.

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WHO SAYS KZYX management doesn't have a sense of humor? John Sakowicz probably isn't laughing, but we think Stuart Campbell's (interim station boss) response to a Sako inquiry is hilarious:

"The Zen door disappears and I am without words."

We are kicked out of the temple.

Our mouths are stiff and we can't say anything.

— Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Battles

Obscure? Perhaps yes. Relevant? Yes. Your concern? A non-issue.

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MSP was forwarded this link to a "Gofundme" site started to help defray the costs of funeral expenses for 36-year-old coast resident Jacob "Jake" Howard who was struck and killed by a hit & run driver in a red truck while bicycling south of Highway 1 last Sunday. 
According to the page: "The people who knew Jake knew him as a kind, caring, individual, a dedicated friend, and a loving son."
According to his Facebook page, Howard was from Woodland, CA (the county seat of Yolo County, located approximately 15 miles northwest of Sacramento, and is a part of the Sacramento - Arden-Arcade - Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area) and was a member of Esparto High School Class of 1996.
Started Monday, the Gofundme site has raised $600 (from 10 people in 12 hours) towards the $10,000 goal.

This is the link to the site:

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Equestrian Resort planned for Cloverdale

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I got a reefer headed woman

She fell right down from the sky

(Good Lord)

Woh...I got a reefer head a woman

She fell right down from the sky


Well, I gots to drink me a two fifths of whiskey

Just to get half as high


When the good Lord made that woman

He sure went to town

Oooh...when the good Lord made that woman

He sure went to town


Well, when he was feelin' high

Oooh...he sure should have been feelin' low


Oh Mr. Perry!


I got a reefer headed woman

Lord...she fell right down from the sky a reefer headed woman

She fell right down from the sky


Lord, I gots to drink me two fifths of whiskey

Just to get, just to get, half as high

— Aerosmith

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Help us help Friends of Outlet Creek stop an asphalt plant alongside this important tributary to the Eel River. Friends of the Eel River has provided a $500 matching donation to help defray costs of the lawsuit filed on behalf of Outlet Creek residents. To contribute to the campaign please send a donation marked for Friends of Outlet Creek to the Willits Environmental Center, 630 South Main Street, Willits CA 95490 (707-459-4110); note "Friends of the Eel River match" in the check memo please. From Friends of Outlet Creek:

On April 17th, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved a use permit for Grist Creek Aggregates to install a new asphalt plant in the flood plain of Outlet Creek. This action bypassed the California Environmental Quality Act and any requirements for a new Environmental Impact Report to assess impacts of this new use on water, endangered species, air quality, traffic, noise, etc.

The project site is located within the flood plain of Outlet Creek, one of the last remaining coho salmon-supporting watersheds in the main stem of the Wild and Scenic Eel River.

A group of Mendocino county residents came together as Friends of Outlet Creek and filed a lawsuit challenging the asphalt plant on Friday, April 24 2015.

Read Friends of Outlet Creek's press release from July 7


Read KMUD transcript here


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AWARD WINNING GARDENER LADY Kate Frey At Coast Botanical Gardens Tuesday

(Photo by Susie DeCastro)

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The Not-So-Simple Living Fair is a weekend of rural living skills education, homesteading workshops, back to the land demonstrations, music, and dance, held July 24-26, at the Mendocino County fairgrounds in Boonville.

This is a family event, featuring wholesome local food, socially responsible vendors, and much more.

Friday night entertainment begins with the Campout Cabaret. Local talent will perform by the campfire. Please bring an instrument, or story, or talent to share.

This year our workshop options are better than ever.

Choose from Alternative Energy, Bee Keeping, Dairy Culturing, Natural Building, and Fermentation to name a few.

All of our presenters donate their time. People teach at The Not-So-Simple Living Fair because they believe in our mission to offer affordable workshops all weekend.

This year we are pleased to add John Jeavons, Director of Ecology Action, Chris Tebbutt of Filligreen Farm, and Joe Craven to our list of presenters.

On Saturday night we host “The Worlds Best Pot Luck”

Please bring a dish to share.

After dinner we dance out under the stars to the music of Joe Craven and his wonderful band Mamajowali.

On Sunday morning you won’t want to miss a sheep dog trial demonstration, including a human trial, where groups of people will attempt to herd a flock through the course.

Sunday will also be full of workshops and classes.

This year’s keynote speech will be given by Starhawk.

Tickets are available locally at The Ukiah Coop.

Tickets are online at

For more information about the details, or to volunteer, please visit our website:

Or call us at 707-901-7080

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Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital's Free Sports Physicals Give Kids a Chance to Play

Summer is in full swing and for many parents, and kids for that matter, going back to school is probably the last thing on their minds. But to fully participate in school activities, a sports physical needs to be done. Fifteen-year old Jocey Thieman, from Round Valley, is on her game. This young athlete who plays basketball and volleyball is doing her part now to make sure that she meets the requirements to play when school opens in the fall. And she is thankful to Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH) for offering free sports physicals to young athletes in Mendocino County. Kristi Thieman, Jocey's mother who came to the first Sports Physical on June 28, says it is a great service to the community. "We learned about it last year but we missed it. So this year, we made it a point to go. Even though we have private insurance, our deductible is pretty high. So getting this for free definitely helps." As a parent, Thieman recognizes the importance of keeping kids active and giving them every chance to participate in sports. But sometimes the costs associated with sports can be pretty high, with uniforms and all the other equipment added up. Michael Medvin, MD, ER physician at HMH who conducts sports physicals, agrees. "The idea to provide free sports physicals really came from the fact that I know how important physical activity is for our kids. Expenses associated with playing sports can sometimes be prohibitive to kids' being able to participate. By providing free sports physicals we are helping reduce the barriers that parents may face to keep their kids active and healthy in our community." In California, sports physicals are required for all students participating in sports. Dr. Medvin underscores the importance of getting a sports physical not just to participate in sports, but also for overall health. "It's important to get a physical done prior to involvement in sports because we are doing a physical exam to make sure you don't have any issues that would create problems while you are playing sports. We also ask a lot of screening questions to help us identify potential health issues that may preclude you from playing sports or make you more prone to accidents or injuries when you're playing. And sometimes we discover conditions that would have never been diagnosed otherwise," he explains. The return to school is still weeks away, so scheduling a sports physical probably isn't high on the list right now, but if you follow the Theiman's lead, your athlete will be well ahead of the game. "There's always a big rush at the end of summer. But parents should get them done as soon as possible because a sports physical done now will get you through the entire school year." said Dr. Medvin. Sports physicals don't necessarily make your kids better athletes, but they will definitely ensure they are healthy and lessen the potential for injury. Last year, HMH staff performed 249 free physicals during the three weekend events. HMH hopes to give every student athlete an opportunity to play by offering these free sports physicals in the years to come. "We've made a commitment to improve the health of our community and this is just one of the ways we are fulfilling this promise. And with our new hospital coming soon, it can only get better," concludes Rick Bockmann, HMH President and CEO. Free sports physical exams are open to all children in elementary and high school participating in a sports program. The next back-to-school sports physicals are scheduled for July 19 and August 9. To register, please call 707.456.3185.

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(Check that — Beats of the Antonov!)

Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch, Presents the PBS POV Documentary, Beats of the Antonov, on Wednesday, August 5th at 6:00 pm.

On Wednesday, August 5th, at 6:00 pm, Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch, is proud to present a preview of the PBS POV documentary, Beats of the Antonov by Hajooj Kuka.

“Sudan has been in an almost constant state of civil war since it achieved independence in 1956, and it split into a pair of sovereign states in 2011. Today, on the border between the two, Russian-made Antonov planes indiscriminately drop bombs on settlements in the Nuba Mountains below. Yet, incredibly, the people of the Blue Nile respond to adversity with music, singing and dancing to celebrate their survival. Beats of the Antonov explores how music binds a community together, offering hope and a common identity for refugees engaged in a fierce battle to protect cultural traditions and heritage from those trying to obliterate them.”

Winner, Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award, 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

The screening is a brown-paper-bag-dinner event with a discussion following the film. This event is in collaboration with POV, PBS’s award-winning nonfiction film series.

For more information on the film series, please see http://www.pbs.pov/.


  1. David Gurney July 15, 2015

    “Up dates” is one word, Mr. McSkew’em, one word – “updates.”
    With Supervisor McCowen’s obsession with the homeless, he has turned himself into a one man, good-cop, bad-cop enforcement squad. He has often put himself into dangerous situations he shouldn’t be in, including at times aggressively sticking his nose into other peoples’ business – people who have no defense against his confrontational intrusions, because of the fact that they are homeless, and have nowhere to hide. If McCowen wants to help the downtrodden, he could do so a lot better by passing favorable laws as a Supervisor, not by going to out alone to clean up the situation, and definitely not by prosecuting a pissed off cripple for threatening him with his cane. Unless the arrogant Mr. McCowen received a right proper throttling, the defendant Mr. Zamora should be released.

    • Mike Jamieson July 17, 2015

      Last summer I was engaged in one of my middle of the river hikes (enabled by the drought of course) and heard the Supe upriver tell a guy in a tent about the ordinances on camping. He sounded polite. BUT, I’ve seen some very angry graffiti regarding him at the Talmage Bridge site.

      I guess his focus is on waterway areas, creeks and the river. What we need is a safe grounds camping site that perhaps can be developed into various camping options, including yurts. A token or small “rent” could be charged and, if no money, paid off by chores needed for upkeep of the area. City could hire security guard patrols and the place could be run by the homeless in a committee fashion. Firm limits on where people can consume alcohol and pot, so that clean and sober lifestyles can be encouraged in most of the area.

      People say, “build it and they will flock to such a place”. Well, they are already flocking, moving up and down 101 from Petaluma to Arcata.

  2. John Sakowicz July 15, 2015

    “True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care—with no one there to see or cheer. This is the world.” – The Pale King (2011)by David Foster Wallace

  3. Alice Chouteau July 15, 2015

    I take umbrage over Malcolm’s sniping word, that “some folks’ choice of reality ‘ overlooked knowledge that the CDBG grant funding for the OCH deal for purchase by HH was discussed at a CC meeting in late March 2014. Perhaps he could provide the pertinent minutes of that meeting.
    The fact is, the public knew nothing about this or there would have been the same uproar as in January when residents became aware of the city’s plans. There is a problem in Fort Bragg obtaining news, as many opt not to read the very biased Advocate, the only paper in town, and the city gov. keeps public notification period at a minimum. Those who subscribe to the city’s online notification received the agenda for this week’s CC meeting, last Wednesday, for example, for the Monday meeting. The agenda is available to those who lack computer access at the public library and at City Hall. For whatever reason, the City does not publish their upcoming agendas in the Advocate, perhaps because their abbreviated notification period makes it too late for the paper’s deadline. It is obvious that the city does not want involvement from the general public, only from their cheerleaders.

    Alice Chouteau

  4. Jim Updegraff July 15, 2015

    Years ago when I was a bank examiner we use to stay in Ukiah when we were in the area. Occasionally we would eat at the Palace Hotel. But stay there – never – the place was a dump in those days.

  5. james marmon July 15, 2015

    Regarding “stick shaking.”

    I remember a Ukiah where there was no mentally ill, drunks, or drug addicts roaming the streets and embarrassing city council members. No county supervisor had to take it upon himself to rid the streets of the homeless and the mess they create. There was no urine or feces left for shopkeepers to have to clean up and there was none of those dreaded shopping carts strung all over town. At only five years old, it was safe for me to walk alone from Luce Street all the way to Yokayo Elementary School (now city hall) without any worry of being accosted by undesirables. The children of Ukiah were given the opportunity to be “free range children.” Ukiah was indeed a very nice and safe town to live in.

    In the Ukiah I lived in there was place to get help for these individuals mentioned above. That place was called the Mendocino State Hospital, which most of us in Ukiah at that time referred to as Talmage. Talmage treated thousands of people each year with mental health issues, alcohol dependency, and substance abuse issues. Not only did Talmage provide housing and psychiatric treatment, it had a medical center that was at least 10 times larger than the 8 room hospital located on Dora Street (where I was born on July 4th 1954). Despite the horror stories of the State’s Mental Health System, Talmage was a good place. People did not have to suffer or die on the streets. And, just like the movie “one flew over the Coo coo’s nest,” a large portion of the patients there were voluntary commitments and did not want to leave.

    When the hospital closed in 1972, things changed rather rapidly. Talmage was forced to release hundreds of patients to the downtown streets and surrounding areas of Ukiah. Many of them moved on to who knows where, but a good portion of them stayed in town and found housing within the community. A lot of local citizen’s opened their doors to these individuals and some profited well by doing so. Some of these homes were good and some were not so good. I know of one place on Orchard Street that housed several of these former patients in their garage. A local business man in downtown Ukiah transformed his motel across the street from the Palace into a housing facility where he as their payee took most of their social security checks from them and gambled it away while on long trips to San Francisco. Sometimes he left his tenants with no air conditioning or heat for weeks at a time. The place finally caught on fire and several mentally ill tenants died. The owner received a large insurance settlement and the building was remodeled and put to use as an office complex. Jim Jones and the People’s Temple also took on quite a few of them, where we later learned that many were beaten and abused and eventually committed mass suicide.

    Plowshares stepped up and opened their doors at an old church on Luce Street and started feeding a lot of these people who were left hungry. For many of them, Plowshares provided their only meal of the day. Today, people blame Plowshares as the problem and want to close its doors. Yes, Ukiah has seen its ups and down when it comes to society’s downtrodden. I could go on and on about the history of Ukiah and the mentally ill. To me, deinstitutionalization of our state hospital was a grave mistake, and it changed Ukiah and America for the worse. Now we focus on how to run the undesirables out of town or throwing them in jail instead of providing the humane services that they need in order to survive. As a community who once had all the answers, we have taken many steps backwards and have not evolved as we should have.

    • james marmon July 15, 2015

      I hate to say this, but during the 70’s the only downtown drunk I remember in Ukiah besides myself, was the late Honorable Judge McCowen. He was found passed out in front of the Forest Club on more than one occasion. He was the talk of the town. The police department used to pick him up and transport him home, they never took him to jail. Me, I always went to jail.

    • BB Grace July 15, 2015

      I just returned from the Mental health Board meeting in Laytonville. Why aren’t you showing up?

      I’m not challenging you, but I attend as “the public”. There are a few who are pretty regular shows, but most are Board members, Supervisors Hamburg and McCowen, Ortner and RQMG representatives, and guests from county or non-profits.

      I’m sure that you are aware that “the public” is limited to a 3 minute statement near the beginning and the end of the meeting. “The public” is occiaionally allowed to ask a question or make a statement during disscussion of agenda items.

      The meetings are long, and they appear to be in a process of examining the by-laws and looking at Big changes. I find the Board wanting input from “the Public”. I find Pinizzotto and the Supervisors feeling like, “the board is ‘the Public’, so someone who is not on the board or there with official business is wasting their time.

      Today Board member William Russell, district 1/ public Interest resigned, but not before he addressed the Board to talk about his 55 years experience with Mental Health, and his belief that a Community Mental Health Team should be established. Something like this: (Which is what Stepping is but comming from Juctice and County Government perspective)

      State Hospitals were run by Psychitrists. Why the county is employing a social worker and expecting him to operate an out patient auxillery health service throughout the county is beyond my engineering ability to comprehend.

      It would be worth more than twice Pinizzotto’s salery to hire a psychitrist that had administrative experience and some military experience (because a good triage saves lives and out patient is like triage, or should be when there is no base AKA state mental hospital).

      City managers take home more pay than Pinizzotto.

      Anyways, the next meeting is in Gualala.

  6. Mike Jamieson July 17, 2015

    Fascinating quote by Thich Nhat Hahn there, given the fact that several months or so ago he had a severe stroke and went through extensive therapy in France. Just a few days ago he was flown to UCSF for intensive therapy TO RESTORE HIS SPEECH.

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