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Mendocino County Today: Friday, July 17, 2015

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THE BLACK CAUCUS of the state legislature wants Fort Bragg to re-name itself. The caucus today (Thursday) sent a letter to the city signed by eight of its 12 members that reads:

“Fort Bragg is known for its strong sense of community, natural beauty and forward vision. It is also a very diverse community, with residents of many ethnicities and nationalities. But the name Bragg comes from a darker history: Braxton Bragg served as a military adviser to the president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, and as a general in the Confederate Army who led many bloody battles against the Union. He personally owned 105 slaves as he fought to preserve slavery. This is not the legacy that your city or any city should be associated with."

THE LEGISLATURE'S black caucus seems to have taken their lead from demagogic state senator Steven Glazer of the all-white Bay Area enclave of Orinda who has proposed legislation banning Confederate names from public buildings and places in California. The state's black caucus's attempt to re-direct state attention from real problems, conveniently and opportunistically singles out Fort Bragg — small, rural, weakly-represented, if represented at all at the state level of government, to make this show biz stand against racism, cynically clamoring onto the national news featuring the removal of Confederate flags from the South's public buildings.

BRAXTON BRAGG, who later in his Army career fought for the South in the American civil war, had his name affixed to the then fort on the Mendocino Coast prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. The fort at what became Fort Bragg was abandoned in 1864. It had functioned as a collection point for what was, essentially, a genocidal removal of Native Americans from California's Northcoast. Indians rounded up from areas as far south as Gualala and as far inland as the Anderson Valley were quartered at Fort Bragg before being herded on foot to the Round Valley reservation.

PRELIMINARILY, Fort Bragg people are shouting a resounding NO to this odd and clearly undoable proposal.

FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCILMAN Mike Cimolino described the re-name proposal as "crazy" in a statement to the Press Democrat. “It would be crazy,” he said, and, "I haven't had one person come up to me and say, 'I want you to change the name."

The state legislature's black caucus, however, urges the city to change its name. “Now is the time to show leadership. Now is the time to embrace a new vision for your city and not be shackled by its shameful namesake,” the caucus’s resolution insists.


IF WE'RE GOING to remake American history to make it nicey-nice, we'll have to re-brand everything with either Washington and Jefferson in its title. George and Tom were both slave owners and both spent many nights with female slaves whose many descendants are spread throughout today's United States. Here in Mendocino County, not an acre from Covelo to Gualala doesn't rest on the murder of the original peoples. Our country has a bloody history. Name a country that doesn't. This movement to rewrite our history demeans all that we've overcome to get where we are. Where exactly that is is a matter for debate, but it's a lot better than where we were, and that's the fact of it that ought to be celebrated, revered even, not the attempt by demagogues to posture on the struggles of much better men and women than they are.

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Lost Australian Shepherd. Her name is Kolo and she is a loved family dog. She is one year old and is red Merle in color with checkered pattern on her head. She came untied and fell out of our truck between Manchester and Navarro Wednesday morning. Please contact: Tammy Rigly at

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Or, How To Do Lousy Staff Work but get your item approved anyway. (Hint: Wait until the last minute when there’s no choice but to approve it and threaten the Board with “disruption of service.”)

TOWARD THE END of the Mental Health Service Contract Amendment approval discussion at the July 7, 2015 Board of Supervisors meeting, questions were raised about what was being approved and how much it was costing.

Supervisor John McCowen: “We're now being told that the residential crisis treatment program is in the mental health services act plan — or not?”

Health and Human Services Director Stacey Cryer: “I'm looking at page 51 which is under the adult — older adult services program and it says — no, it's under program that, — no that's under programs that cross the lifespan — and it's under number eight, and it talks about the mental health wellness grant which is what we are talking about — I think — and again, like I said, we are talking about four different things here so — I mean it has a whole paragraph on it, just as it does adult wellness and recovery centers, and Laura's Law is in there. It's on page 51. So we did not put in the plan that we were going to fund it completely, the wellness — or the crisis residential within HHSA dollars because that is not in our intention. We plan to use this grant.”

McCowen: “But if staffing costs delivery of services exceeds $100,000 then that would come from general fund?”

Cryer: “If we wanted to use HHSA money, yes. We would have to do a plan amendment, I believe, to do that.”

McCowen: “And then it's also correct to make a change to the plan at this point would require going back to the public?”

Cryer: “You would have to start over. Yes I believe so.”

McCowen: “So if we want to cover the cost through MHSA funds — I mean, we could approve the plan today, it is going to take awhile to get this up and running. But we could come back with a plan amendment presumably?”

Cryer: “And we have done that in prior years, we have done plan amendments. I guess sitting here I wouldn't — I would be — I wouldn't be very favorable of using all of our MHSA dollars for the wellness — or for crisis residential, some counties do that, and we have talked about that as a county before, the issue was that there was service provisions done by the MHSA plan that did not want to lose such as Manzanita and the Senior peer counseling and so you would have to look at your entire plan and give and take and this county has not been very receptive to that, so the crisis residential we wanted to use the wellness grant supported a little bit within MHSA and then the intention is to have it be reimbursable or have savings from hospital admissions. You know, so you would be able to sustain yourself through that, it is not going to be continually funded through MHSA because, although that's a need and if this community wanted to go there we could, but it has not been what I've heard from the community to date or from this board.”

Supervisor Dan Gjerde: “We have talked about these different programs we want to provide. Laura's Law which is in the works. We already have the mental health court on the Coast which started in February, the one that Judge Moorman started two years ago in Ukiah. That's great. We also have in the budget a placeholder amount of about $150,000 for the Stepping Up initiative. Could that Stepping Up program be funded out of the money we're talking about in these contracts? Is it prohibited?

Cryer: “Well, we have not developed a program yet. Remember Stepping Up is an initiative, so it would not be an appropriate expenditure of the dollars that we have. We could use perhaps [illegible acronym] dollars.”

Gjerde: “What I'm getting at is, I'm looking at the two contracts, they are both on the same agenda because the one contract for RQMC, the administrative line item is 2.3% of their total allocation. For the Ortner contract it's 8.5% of their contract. For the Utilization Review it's 4.8% for RQMC, and for Ortner it's 10.1%. So you add those two together, the Redwood Services is 7.1% for administration and the other contract it's 18.6% of the total amount. So even though the Ortner contract is for less money, it's got a bigger administrative bill and the other contract for the larger amount has the smaller amount and a much smaller percentage. My understanding from previous questions I've asked along these lines in the past is that paperwork with the county for adult services which had been in-house for a long time until relatively recently was in total disarray. The paperwork was in disarray so the contractor was going to have to sort of build a system from scratch. The children's mental health services had been contracted out on mini contracts but largely contracted out prior to the new contract system. So they were maybe in better shape to handle it. … So it seems to me that you would expect that the Ortner system would become more efficient over time and you wouldn't need the larger administrative bill and more money could go to services. I'm just trying to figure out at what point does that happen? Because if the Ortner contract has the same administrative percentage allocated to them as Redwood Quality Services, there would be an additional $470,800 available for services. If they also had the same percentage allocated for Utilization Review services there would be an additional $876,800 available for services. Whether we allocated that for adult services or for children's services, that's almost $1 million that's not going to services, it's going to administration because we have a less efficient system in that contractor.”

Cryer: “My response to that is, I don't think you can necessarily draw the conclusion that you have a less efficient contractor in Ortner Management Group from all that you just said. I think that they are different. You have two different contractors and again it would be lovely to have one and we wouldn't be having some of these conversations, but you are contracting for different services. They are not cookie-cutters. They are not the same. You are doing different things and so you are negotiating with each contractor based on the needs of that client population that they are serving and how they serve that and how their mechanism is set up. So I don't — it doesn't make sense to me that you could say you get this and you get this and its equal because they are doing different things. I don't think you can draw the conclusion that it's inefficient. We do negotiate on the administrative rate and they are handled a little differently between the two organizational providers. We do the best job we can. We are trying as hard as we can to continually improve this every year and as I said the administrative piece is cumbersome because the county does administration and they do administration and sometimes we both do the same administration and so we are working through all of that as we learn how this goes. I will do whatever the board directs me to do. If you want to eliminate one of the contracts and put it all together, I will do that. Whatever this board wants to do I will be happy to do.”

Board Chair Carre Brown: “Supervisor — what's your name? McCowen? (Laughs.)”

McCowen: “Thank you Madam chair. I perceive that I have exceeded your level of tolerance.”

Hamburg (gratuitously): “Yes.”

McCowen: “But I simply want to say for the record that I'm voting no on this one as I did on the previous one for the reasons we previously discussed this morning. I think it's a huge topic. There are questions not completely answered. And the documents in front of us are not accurate. So that raises the question: What exactly is being approved? What's in the packet? Or what we are told should have been in the packet?

Gjerde: “My concern is not with the administration cost of this [Redwood Quality Management Company] contract, so I'm going to vote for it. But my concern is the administration cost for the Ortner contract which continues to be high and I don't hear a plan of action from the county staff on how they are going to reduce that over time. The other piece of it is we were promised at the time of the contracting out that the county would have 13 employees in mental health, then they added in and capped the ADA program which was 10 employees so you would have 23. But yet we have 43 county employees still. If you add that unexplained phenomenon with the very high administrative costs for Ortner and combine the two, it seems like money is being spent on something other than service that needs to go to service.”

Brown: “I'm very interested in making sure we do not have disrupted services. That's why I'm voting in favor and moving this forward as quickly as possible.”

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THE ORTNER CONTRACT AMENDMENT for an additional $500,000 was approved 3-2, McCowen and Gjerde dissenting. The Redwood Children's Management Company $500,000 contract amendment was approved 4-1, McCowen dissenting.

NOTE: We were particularly interested in Ms. Cryer’s remark that “We do negotiate on the administrative rate and they are handled a little differently between the two organizational providers.”

TRANSLATION: The “negotiations” are conducted by Mendocino County Mental Health Director Tom Pinizzotto who happens to be a former Ortner executive and who is likely to accept any claim about Ortner’s administrative overhead load from his old buddies at Ortner without question. So we’re not surprised at all that Supervisor Gjerde has discovered much higher administration costs and percentages at Ortner.

ACCORDING TO ORTNER’S CONTRACT, Ortner is paid about $120 an hour for “targeted case management.” (Which they bill by the minute at about $2.00 per minute or $120 per hour.) The average case manager salary in the United States is $35,000 per year. So if you assume (generously) that Ortner’s employees get around $50k per year for 2080 hours per year, that’s about $25 per hour, double that for payroll and benefit costs to $50 per hour. So Ortner is billing Mendocino County $120 per hour for an employee that probably costs them about $50 per hour. It would be very interesting to know where the rest of that that $120 per hour goes and how much of it contributes to Ortner’s high cost of administration.)

FOOTNOTE: THIS PAGE FROM ORTNER’S JUNE BILL to the County shows that Ortner billed Mendocino County about $46,000 for 22,760 minutes (about 380 hours) under service code T1017 which is “case management.” ($46,000 divided by 380 = $121 per hour.)


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by Gary Margolis, Yorkville

I am writing to you today as a result of a recent serious accident. This accident caused me to be put up in the hospital and as of the writing of this article I have been here over 60 days — 66 to be exact. I instantly became unable to care for my dog, home; unable to work and quickly had to think about how to overcome these obstacles, all the while continuing to heal and maintain a positive outlook.

I quickly experienced a kindness and giving from those close by, my neighbors, that I am thankful for, humbled by and grateful that god and the universe allowed me to experience such grace. Let me not forget to mention that often overlooked neighbor; we are aware of their presence, maybe take for granted, too often do not show appreciation for, yet when the time arises, they show up without equivocation — those are the Emergency personnel of Anderson Valley fire, emergency and ambulance-first responders.

Do you have neighbors as described above? Are you the giving, kind neighbor described above?

What value do you put on 'helping others'? Being kind to your neighbor(s)? Do you value the impact these actions have on the communities we live in? Do you believe that it is in every man's interest to be a good neighbor? To be a catalyst to creating a community filled with belonging, identity, empathy, understanding, and a strong sense of community? How and why do some of us ignore these facets?

Isn't life about our connection with other human beings? Marriage, BFF, brothers, sisters, mom, dad, cousins, etc.

None of you can ignore that in every segment of life — interaction with other human beings is inevitable. Work, getting groceries, fixing your car, taking your children to sporting events, the visit to your doctor or dentist. In all exchanges with others, each of us has great influence over how that encounter will be.

A simple smile is very powerful and brings positive energy to the recipient. Please and thank you should be the standard. So why wouldn't anyone take a proactive stance and be the good neighbor? The rewards are apparent and the environment you create is so much better than the alternative. It is within our individual powers to become the good neighbor. Your efforts toward this endeavor will create a harmony this world seriously needs.

Being positive and caring towards your neighbor, towards all people is a powerful tool, one that can not only make your community a happier place, but has a profound effect on us, individually. All of us have a choice, daily. We can choose to smile instead of frown. We can choose to be kind instead of being unkind or simply absent. These very simple steps — all of us should behave like a good neighbor.

It is very important I use this platform to give a special, warm, deserving thank you to my neighbors, my friends, who have gone out of their way “to be a good neighbor.” I cannot thank them enough and really owe them so much more than just “thank you.” I am indebted to you; More than grateful and quite humbled for your grace. I love you. Thanks and big Gar hugs to Carin Bokoff, Sue Marcott, Kay Jablonski, Guy Rowe, Peter Hudson and Jay. Also thanks to Bob Lawson for his visit with Kay. I would be remiss if I did not also give a big, special thank you to the personnel of the volunteer Anderson Valley Fire Department and first responders. Your presence in our community is quite valuable and greatly appreciated. Special thank you to Colin, Sarah and Andres. You guys (gals) kick butt!

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L: Lorraine is a MCDH Auxiliary Volunteer

R: Bob Edwards, Coast Hospital CEO

(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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You'll never get a job with the Ukiah Daily Journal, Bruce, if you submit this clip of your crisp reportorial prose: "McKenty had been a loyal programmer at Mendo County Radio prior to his purge for the crime of whatever it was—-muted criticism of station management, as I recall."

Bruce, do search your memory, whatever it is, or was.

Gordon Black, Mendocino

ED REPLY: Concern for my employment is doubly appreciated coming from a guy who's never been employed, perhaps because of his life long misunderstanding of that old saw about brevity being the soul of wit. You've always had brevity down, Gordy, but we're still looking for wit. As I recall, McKenty somehow ran afoul of The Dragon, thus joining KZYX's lengthy roster of the non-personed. PS. About your employment history: How have you managed? Are you one of these latter-day remittance men so common in Mendocino County? Reading liner notes at an obscure public radio station doesn't pay all that much, does it?

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Marin Headlands
Marin Headlands

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by Jeff Costello

There are no vegetables in Wyoming, although we can hope that Dick Cheney will soon achieve such a state. In the west (to the east from the Pacific coast), the old joke goes "way out west, where the women are scarce, men are men and the sheep are scared." Barbecued meat, big bellies, and huge pickup trucks appear to be the Real Man western style.

One can hardly imagine a more dreary drive than across Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Approaching Ogden Utah, there are frequent "drowsy driver" warning signs, and rightly so. On local radio, we hear Mormons discussing Jews - what is with this somewhat intense interest, I wonder - and at highway rest stops one sees the nice, clean-cut Mormon families and their nice, clean-cut children. And on billboards, one sees Mormon business hustles everywhere. The Romney business ethic at work.

Driving east from Portland, I think of Woody Guthrie's song, "Roll on Columbia." In his day, the thing was "progress." The hydroelectric dams on the great river were a miracle of progress. Could Lewis and Clark have imagined it? Could Woody have envisioned how quickly and to what extent "progress" would progress? And I'm wondering how many salmon can find the "ladders" some thoughtful soul installed in the mighty structures. The green Columbia Gorge becomes bleak desert almost instantly at one point, and I can't helping thinking, Okay, we are now beyond the influence of the ocean. It always occurs to me that this is where the interior, the midwest begins, even if we're still in Oregon or California or Washington. Culturally, it's hardly different from Utah or Arizona.

There is, in Idaho approaching the Utah border, an exit with a sign saying "Last Gas in Idaho." We pulled off there only to find the place closed, with a sign in the window: Welcome to the Middle of Nowhere. A sheep and a llama were penned up near the front door. These were the only signs of life besides the other fools who kept arriving, and finding places to relieve themselves around the side of the building or behind two large tanks just off the parking lot.

Not far down the road in Snowville, we were surprised by Mollie's Cafe, an old-fashioned diner with a good breakfast and friendly waitresses. It is, I'd guess, about the best Idaho has to offer, while Twin Falls may be the worst, with its traffic, endless malls and condos, creepy, overbearing Mormon-ness, and memories of Evel Knievel's failed rocket stunt over the Snake River Canyon.

Crossing into Wyoming on I-80, I should have been prepared for the endless dreariness, but it was worse than I remembered. There is evil stuff along this road, including a big chemical complex called Tronox, as well other quasi-industrial-toxic-seeming operations of one sort or another. At least they're situated away from any towns.

American highway monoculture is provided at truck stops, the only trace of civilization one can find in the bleak territories. My old friend who was a cross-continent truck driver recommended Petro as the best of them, although I don't see much difference. The difference I do see in truck stops lately is lots of black and brown faces that wouldn't have been welcome in places like Wyoming 25 years ago. The tide has turned, America, already ahead of schedule.

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CATCH OF THE DAY: July 16, 2015

Azbill, Boettcher, Carlile, DeGroot
Azbill, Boettcher, Carlile, DeGroot

FOLEY AZBILL, Covelo. Driving on suspended license.

THOMAS BOETTCHER, Fort Bragg. Parole violation.

BRYCE CARLILE, Willits. Domestic assault, vandalism, probation revocation.

JENNIFER DEGROOT, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Diaz Del Muro, Guss, Medina-Lindsley
Diaz Del Muro, Guss, Medina-Lindsley

JOSE DIAZ DEL MURO, Covelo. Battery.

MELODY GUSS, Willits. DUI, Resisting.

SHERRY MEDINA-LINDSLEY, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.

Pruitt, Woods, Zepeda
Pruitt, Woods, Zepeda

DAVID PRUITT, Ukiah. DUI causing injury.

CASSANDRA WOODS, Albion. Pot sales, transport, furnish.

JUAN ZEPEDA, Ukiah. Robbery, robbery in concert with others.

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Grand had a bit of fun when he engaged a man to smash crackers with a sledgehammer in Times Square.

The stout fellow arrived with his gear — a box of saltine crackers and a 60 pound sledge — at concisely 9am and "set up shop," as Guy expressed it, just outside the subway entrance on 42nd Street, the busiest thoroughfare in the world at this particular hour.

Dressed in khaki and wearing a tin hat, the curious man forced his way through the deluge of people pouring out of the subway and then in the very midst of the surging throng, opened the brass-studded pouch attached to his belt, extracted a single saltine cracker, and stooped over to place it carefully on the sidewalk.

"Watch yourself!" he shouted as he stood up, gesturing impatiently. "Keep clear! Mind your step!" And then, raising the hammer to shoulder height, he brought it down in one horrendous blow on the cracker — not only smashing it to dust, but also producing several rather large cracks in the sidewalk.

Within a few minutes the area was swollen with onlookers — all but the nearest of whom had to crane their heads wildly or leap up and down to get a glimpse of the man in the tin hat now as he squatted to examine the almost invisible dust of the cracker. "Sure smashed it, didn't it?" he muttered, as to himself, in a professional manner.

"What'd he say?" demanded several people urgently of those near the operation.

"Said it sure mashed it," someone explained.

"Mashed it?" snorted another. "Boy, you can say that again!"

Guy Grand was on the scene as well, observing the diverse comments and sometimes joining in.

"Hey, how come you doin' that?" he asked directly of the man in the tin hat.

The man laid out another cracker, placing it with great care.

"This?" he said, standing and raising the big sledge. "Oh, this is all technical."

"What's he say?"

"Says it's technical."



"Yeah, well, what's that he's hitting with the hammer? What is that? It looks like a cracker."

"Naw, what'd he hit a cracker for? You kidding?"

"Boy, look how that sledge busted up the sidewalk! Man, that's some sledge he's got there!"

Within a very short time indeed, the gathering had spilled over into the street, interfering with the traffic there and causing the tough 42nd Street cop to wade growling into the heart of the crowd. "Okay, break it up!" he kept saying. "Shove off!" And when he reached the center where the operation was being carried out, he stood for a long while with his cap pushed back on his head, hands on hips, and a nasty frown on his face, as he watched the man in the tin hat smash a few more crackers with the giant sledge.

"Are you working for the city, bud?" he finally asked in an irate voice.

"That's right," said the tin hat man without looking up. "City planning. This is technical."

"Yeah," said the cop, "well, you sure picked a hell of a place to do it, that's all I got to say." Then, adjusting his hat, he started pushing at the crowd.

"Okay, let's keep moving!" he shouted. "Break it up here! Get on to work! This is technical — shove off!"

Diversion is at a premium at this hour however, and the crowd was not to be dispersed so easily. After a while the hoses had to be brought. When the ruse was discovered, Grand had a spot of bother clearing it.

— Terry Southern, "the Magic Christian"

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Roseleaf: Photo by Annie Kalantarian
photo by Annie Kalantarian

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You are invited to the 16th Annual Boonville Aviation Knowledge And Folklore Convention (aka) Airport Day and Potluck Dinner, Saturday August 8, 2015. Festivities begin at Noon. Potluck Dinner at 5pm. Please bring your favorite potluck dish. Drinks provided. Corner of Estate Drive & Airport Road at the Boonville Airport. No RSVP necessary. For additional info contact Cindy or Kirk Wilder at (707) 895-2949. Join us for a fun day at the Airport.

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ZAMORA: GUILTY OF RESISTING: Ukiah, June 15. Jury Trial Result: A jury returned from its deliberations Wednesday morning with a guilty verdict against Francisco Javier Cornejo Zamora, age 50, of Ukiah. The jury found the defendant guilty of resisting his arrest by two sheriff's deputies on June 17th, a misdemeanor. The jury also found the defendant not guilty of two separate counts of misdemeanor brandishing a dangerous weapon. The allegations were that the defendant brandished a walking stick in a threatening manner at a private citizen and then again later at the responding deputies. It is assumed that the jury did not believe the walking stick was capable of inflicting great bodily injury, as required by the jury instructions. What was not shared with the jury was that Zamora was on probation at the time of the June 17th incident for earlier convictions for having brandished a dangerous weapon and for having resisted arrest. It should be noted that during pretrial proceedings the deputy prosecutor assigned to the matter had offered the defense a plea bargain that allowed the defendant to select and plead to any one of the three charges. Thus, the jury's verdicts were the same result the defendant would have achieved had he accepted the pretrial offer. After the jury was released and excused, Judge John Behnke found that the defendant was in violation of his earlier grant of probation by not obeying all laws. The defendant was sentenced to a new term of probation and ordered to serve 90 days in the county jail. The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at trial was Deputy District Attorney Jessalee Mills. The investigating law enforcement agency was the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

(District Attorney Press Release)

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Ukiah, June 15. — Jury Trial Result: A mistrial was declared today after a Department A jury returned from its deliberations saying it was not able to reach a unanimous decision on any of the three charges it had been asked to decide. Shannon Louis Barden, age 34, of Willits, is charged with resisting an executive officer by means of force or threat, a felony; using and being under the influence of methamphetamine, a misdemeanor, and driving on a suspended license, a misdemeanor. This matter will undergo the standard post-trial review by senior prosecutors next week to decide if a new trial with a new jury should be scheduled. The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at this week's trial was Deputy District Attorney Beth Norman. The investigating law enforcement agency was the Willits Police Department.

(District Attorney Press Release)

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Bay Area marijuana advocates Thursday ramped up their campaign to legalize the drug, announcing plans for a high-powered team behind a ballot initiative to go before voters next year.

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FROM THE UDJ: "Last year, with virtually no press, the first annual Pride March took place in downtown Ukiah. Over 250 people showed up to march to support the area’s LGBTQ community, and this year, organizers are planning for much, much more.

“Our goal is outreach,” says Wil Gonzalez, one of the many Pride Alliance Network members organizing Sunday’s event.

“It’s not easy being open and gay in a small community. But the reality is we have an extremely supportive community all around us. 250 people showed up last year – our first time out the gate. This speaks to how strong this community is,' he continues.”

This year, the event has expanded. Sunday’s march, which will take place through downtown Ukiah and end at Alex Thomas Plaza will feature an entire afternoon of speakers, music, vending and fun for the entire family…"

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All of Europe, and insouciant Americans and Canadians as well, are put on notice by Syriza’s surrender to the agents of the One Percent. The message from the collapse of Syriza is that the social welfare system throughout the West will be dismantled.

The Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has agreed to the One Percent’s looting of the Greek people of the advances in social welfare that the Greeks achieved in the post-World War II 20th century. Pensions and health care for the elderly are on the way out. The One Percent needs the money.

The protected Greek islands, ports, water companies, airports, the entire panoply of national patrimony, is to be sold to the One Percent. At bargain prices, of course, but the subsequent water bills will not be bargains…

(— Paul Craig Roberts)

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Mendocino County Youth Project and Mendocino Family and Youth Services have chosen the 2015 Jim Levine Legacy Scholarship Award winners. The 2015 Jim Levine Legacy Scholarship awardees are: Cristal Tapia of Ukiah High School, Julia Moore of Mendocino High School, Kathya Orozco-Medina of Anderson Valley High School, Emma Lee Smith of Point Arena High School, Rebecca Sanchez of Fort Bragg High School and Jessica Portillo of Fort Bragg High School. Each graduating senior receives a $500 scholarship, to be paid directly to the university, college or trade school the student enters in the Fall of 2015, to be used for fees, books, and other school items.

The annual scholarship program, keeps the spirit that Mr. Levine brought to the Youth Project by selecting the ideal applicant who; has overcome personal difficulties, reached out to help others, is graduated in June 2015, and is focused on building a future and a career through education and or advanced technical training. The Scholarship Committee considered carefully the attributes and essays of the many high school applicants from different schools around Mendocino County. While it was felt all applicants were worthy of recognition, the committee members expressed their admiration for the hard work and dedication the award winners and their references shared in the applications.

If you are interested in making a tax deductible donation to the Jim Levine Legacy Scholarship please contact MCYP at 707-463-4915 or email

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by Ellen Pao

I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history. And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.

What happened to me while head of the popular online forum Reddit for the past eight months is important to consider as we confront the ways in which the Internet is evolving. Here’s why:

The Internet started as a bastion for free expression. It encouraged broad engagement and a diversity of ideas. Over time, however, that openness has enabled the harassment of people for their views, experiences, appearances or demographic backgrounds. Balancing free expression with privacy and the protection of participants has always been a challenge for open-content platforms on the Internet. But that balancing act is getting harder. The trolls are winning.

Fully 40 percent of online users have experienced bullying, harassment and intimidation, according to Pew Research. Some 70 percent of users between age 18 and 24 say they’ve been the target of harassers. Not surprisingly, women and minorities have it worst. We were naive in our initial expectations for the Internet, an early Internet pioneer told me recently. We focused on the huge opportunity for positive interaction and information sharing. We did not understand how people could use it to harm others.

[Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire]

The foundations of the Internet were laid on free expression, but the founders just did not understand how effective their creation would be for the coordination and amplification of harassing behavior. Or that the users who were the biggest bullies would be rewarded with attention for their behavior. Or that young people would come to see this bullying as the norm — as something to emulate in an effort to one-up each other. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was founded to help protect Internet civil liberties, concluded this year: “The sad irony is that online harassers misuse the fundamental strength of the Internet as a powerful communication medium to magnify and co-ordinate their actions and effectively silence and intimidate others.”

Reddit is the Internet, and it exhibits all the good, the bad and the ugly of the Internet. It has been fighting this harassment in the trenches. In February, we committed to removing revenge porn from our site, and others followed our lead. In May, the company banned harassment of individuals from the site. Last month, we took down sections of the site that drew repeat harassers. Then, after making these policy changes to prevent and ban harassment, I, along with several colleagues, was targeted with harassing messages, attempts to post my private information online and death threats. These were attempts to demean, shame and scare us into silence.

Undeterred, we took steps to prevent bad behavior in an incremental and thoughtful fashion. We doubled the size of our community-management team. We brought in two experienced managers to improve our operations, training and overall leadership. We added to our engineering team. We hired a product manager to help develop tools to help our volunteer moderators.

This isn’t an easy problem to solve. To understand the challenges facing today’s Internet content platforms, layer onto that original balancing act a desire to grow audience and generate revenue. A large portion of the Internet audience enjoys edgy content and the behavior of the more extreme users; it wants to see the bad with the good, so it becomes harder to get rid of the ugly. But to attract more mainstream audiences and bring in the big-budget advertisers, you must hide or remove the ugly.

[Report: 40 percent of Internet users have been harassed]

Ellen Pao resigned this month from her position as interim chief executive of Reddit.

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July 17 - September 17, 2015

Hours: Friday - Sunday, 11-5pm

Saturday, July 18, 2015, 5-8 pm

204 N. Cloverdale Blvd.

Downtown Cloverdale


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Rescheduling of The Art of Marbling Paper

The Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch, is Hosting The Art of Marbling Paper On Friday, August 7, 2015, at 5:00 pm., the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch, will be hosting The Art of Marbling Paper.

The Fort Bragg Branch Library presents artist Marykae Johnson who will demonstrate the technique and history of the Art of Marbling Paper. Participants will learn and observe the marbling process in action and get a chance to try the technique themselves.

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Family Fun event teaches the art of origami

by Roberta Werdinger

The educational workshop series "Family Fun at the Museum" continues at the Grace Hudson Museum from 1 to 2:30 pm on Saturday, July 25. Artists Cathy Monroe and Tim Easterbrook will teach and demonstrate the Japanese art of origami as well as the many creative uses of bamboo. The event is free with Museum admission. Participants will first focus on making origami boxes using paper. Bamboo leaves will be provided for making leaf rubbings on paper that will then be folded into boxes, along with a variety of photos collected from magazines. The group will look over and talk about bamboo and its many deep religious, cultural, and practical applications in Japan; each family will be given bamboo so that they can make bamboo containers. Additionally, they will be invited to see bamboo artistry put into effect in the Museum's current exhibit: "Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art," featuring 38 works by 17 contemporary Japanese artists exploring the innovative shapes bamboo art has taken since the mid-twentieth century. They will also be able to compare Japanese bamboo art with 12 Pomo baskets on display from the Museum's collections, and those of other lenders. This workshop is recommended for children age eight and older. Space is limited so reservations are recommended by calling the Museum at 467-2836. Materials are included; participants are also invited to bring calendars they have saved that can be converted into boxes. The Family Fun at the Museum program is made possible with funding from the Mendo Lake Credit Union. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm, and Sunday from noon to 4:30 pm. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please go to

or call (707) 467-2836.

Roberta Werdinger
Writer, Publicist, Editor

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Fourth of July Celebration Discussion


  1. Rick Weddle July 17, 2015

    re: Renaming Ft. Bragg…

    Nah, don’t. Remember the ‘collection point for what was, essentially, a genocidal removal of Native Americans…’ could rightly be called a concentration camp. John Toland’s two-volume ‘Adolph Hitler’ pointed to the young fuhrer’s favorite childhood games centering around cowboys and indians. Yeeha.

    Keep the name Ft. Bragg, recall your history as something besides Gene Autry and Maureen O’hara…put up the world’s first memorial for the uncounted North Coast First Nations Peoples ‘collateral damages,’ with their names and numbers where available…

    Get real, a little.

  2. james marmon July 17, 2015

    If the County is really serious about solving the chronic Homeless Mentally Ill problems that are costing them millions of dollars each year, they would develop the Housing First model in Mendocino County. It really works.

    “Housing First successfully addresses homelessness by giving chronically homeless people permanent housing. Once in a Housing First program, chronically homeless people get a permanent place to live immediately, despite possible untreated drug, alcohol, or emotional health problems”.

    My friend, who is a social worker for the Veteran’s Administration, told me that they have recently adopted this model and he gives it a big “thumb’s up.”

    • james marmon July 17, 2015

      “Housing First is an evidence-based, cost-effective approach to ending homelessness for the most vulnerable and chronically homeless individuals. The Housing First model prioritizes housing and then assists the Veteran with access to healthcare and other supports that promote stable housing and improved quality of life. The model does not try to determine who is “housing ready” or demand treatment prior to housing. Instead, treatment and other support services are wrapped around Veterans as they obtain and maintain permanent housing. Within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Housing First model is being implemented through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) program. The program combines Housing Choice vouchers for Veterans to rent privately-owned housing, and support through VA case management services that include health care, mental health treatment, vocational assistance, and job development.”

      • james marmon July 17, 2015

        Social Work 101 teaches Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Physiological and Safety Needs have to be addressed before a person can focus on more complex issues such as mental health, substance abuse problems and finding employment.

  3. Jim Updegraff July 17, 2015

    The folks of Ft. Bragg really don’t want to be reminded by a memorial of what a murderous group their ancestors were with the genocide of the native Americans. Truly the same mind set as the guards in a Nazi extermination camp.

    • R. Weddle July 18, 2015

      re: the Ft. Bragg Collateral Damages Memorial…

      No, Ft. Bragg folk wouldn’t want to be reminded. I know I don’t. But this isn’t a matter to satisfy some want…it’d be more in your face, prominent on Main St., maybe… like, here’s what happened that you’ve had to cover up and wish away (making you complicit in the most chickenshit way) in order to ‘feel better about yourself,’ support your goofy and dangerous notions of being so very exceptional. It’s taken some doing to whitewash the ‘Christian’ history of ‘settling’ N. America, but it seems most of the ‘christians’ have taken to the illusions. Handy. Profit is not the least evident factor in the GoodGuy racket, whatever jive they bleat. To demonstrate this fact, try screwing with one of these self-described GoodGuys (who’s record as of this date is — ahem — awash in the blood of innocents) and see how this turn-the-other-cheek deal works.

  4. james marmon July 17, 2015

    I first became aware of the “housing first” concept in 2006 when I was a social worker in Crescent City. There, the Chief of Police led the charge. He personally met with apartment complex managers and introduced the program. He understood the need to get people off the streets and out of homeless encampments so that they could benefit from treatment services. It would have worked if the County would have bought into concept, especially with the Chief’s commitment to provide oversight. It was apparent that Del Norte County officials were not prepared to evolve.

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