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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, July 30, 2015

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EVACUATIONS HAVE BEEN ORDERED as crews with CalFire battle a fast-spreading 3,000-acre-plus (as of late Wednesday night) blaze in Lake County that has been dubbed the Rocky Fire. A structure fire in the 9000 block of Rocky Creek Road in Lower Lake at about 3:30pm Wednesday caused multiple spot fires in the area which has now spread quickly. Firefighters said the blaze is spreading near Morgan Valley and Rocky Creek roads about 15 miles east of Lower Lake and about 20 miles northeast of Middletown. Emergency personnel are responding to the area.


Residents were asked to stay away from the area, so emergency personnel can concentrate on fighting the fire and evacuating residents. Cal Fire and Lake County Sheriff Officials didn't know exactly how many people are leaving their homes. Cal Fire says the blaze is traveling at a rapid rate because the terrain is heavy with dry brush and timber and access is difficult.

(Courtesy, the Associated Press)

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Firefighters in Mendocino County filed a citizen initiative today to address the danger posed by millions of trees killed and left standing in the forest.

Albion Little River Chief Ted Williams explains: "This initiative safeguards firefighters from unnecessary manufactured hazards and residents from loss of critical infrastructure, including escape routes and telecommunications lifelines. It effectively places people before private industry profit, shifting damage losses from the citizens to the corporations who stand to profit from radical forest management practices. It’s about industry accountability."

The timber industry in Mendocino County kills over one million 
"undesirable" hardwood trees each year and leaves them standing dead in the forest because they see it as the cheapest and easiest way to restore the more profitable conifers.

Retired CAL FIRE Air Attack Captain Kirk Van Patten observes: "In ten years of aerial wildland firefighting in Mendocino County, one of the most profound and troubling observations I made was the timber management practice of hack & squirt. This clearly has created a serious wildland 
fire threat for the firefighters and citizens of Mendocino County."

Dead standing trees ignite easier and burn hotter and faster, endangering everyone who lives near the dead zones. They also pose increased danger to firefighters who are called upon to respond to such fires. A dead tree burning is one of the most dangerous situations a firefighter can face, and that hazard increases exponentially as the number of dead trees rises.

Mike Coltan, volunteer firefighter, states: "Mendocino County's rural residents are at greater risk of catastrophic wildfire due to standing dead timber intentionally left after hack & squirt, which greatly increases wildfire flame height, rate of spread, and fire line intensity. I am very concerned about community safety as well as the safety of my fellow volunteer firefighters."

More than 200 residents and firefighters came before the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on April 21, 2015, requesting action on this industrial practice. In spite of overwhelming public support, the resolution failed by one vote.

James Sibbet, another volunteer firefighter, says: "The practice of killing millions of trees over thousands of acres, compounded with leaving the dead trees as a fuel load for fire, after years of drought, is a clear case of human arrogance."

These four firefighters, along with Comptche resident Katy Tahja, are the proponents of this initiative. Once enough signatures have been gathered, this measure, which declares intentionally-killed-and-left-standing trees a public nuisance, will be on the June 2016 primary ballot.

Ms Tahja concludes: "It would be much nicer to not have to worry about having a standing dead forest in our backyards."

Supporters of this initiative hope to finally achieve what the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors unanimously called for in a resolution twenty years ago: "Call an immediate halt to any practice which leaves large acreages of killed hardwoods standing but not downed."

When signature gathering starts, organizers expect it will take place throughout the county, especially the western half where the industrial timberlands are located.

The ballot title and summary, the ordinance and notice of intention to circulate the petition are published below.

(Press Release)

Ballot Title And Summary

Shall the People of Mendocino County Declare Intentionally Killed and Left Standing Trees a Public Nuisance?

It is being proposed that an initiative be placed on the ballot that asks the voters to declare trees that have been intentionally killed and left standing, that are more than five meters tall and within 1,000 meters of specified “critical infrastructure”, be declared a public nuisance.

The proposed initiative would make the “party responsible” liable for any resulting damage caused by the tree. Finally, the proposed initiative does not give “[t]he County the right to enter onto residential property to verify compliance.”

The initiative must be adopted by a majority of the voters.

Dated: July 27, 2015

s/DOUGLAS L. LOSAK Interim County Counsel County of Mendocino

The Ordinance

Declare Intentionally Killed And Left Standing Trees A Public Nuisance

Title 8 of the Mendocino County Code entitled Public Health, Safety And Welfare grants Mendocino County the authority to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the county's residents. The citizens of Mendocino County find as follows:

The county has over 1 million acres of forest lands with much of it in private industrial ownership; and B. Some industrial owners manage their forest lands by intentionally killing but not downing unwanted trees; and C. Intentionally killed and left standing trees present an extreme fire hazard; and D. Intentionally killed and left standing trees can impede rapid suppression of fires; and E. Intentionally killed and left standing trees pose a life safety risk to firefighters; and F. Intentionally killed and left standing trees endanger the public health and safety of rural residents.

The citizens of Mendocino County, by their authority to adopt ordinances by initiative add a new chapter to Title 8 of the Mendocino County Code to read as follows:

Trees greater in height than 5 meters, intentionally killed and left standing for more than 90 days (except those created for the benefit of wildlife habitat) are a public nuisance and the party responsible shall be liable for any resulting damage when the tree is:

(1) within 1,000 meters of one or more critical infrastructures: (a) roads including public roads, private roads and driveways, fire lanes (b) telecommunication infrastructure including poles, wire, fiber, terminals, towers (c) electrical infrastructure including poles, wire, substations, transformers (d) significant water sources, including rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes (2) within 1,000 meters of a structure (3) within CAL FIRE State Responsibility Area

The County shall not enter residential property to verify compliance.

Severability If any section, subsection, sentence, phrase or clause of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of the Ordinance. The citizens of Mendocino County here declare that they would have adopted the Ordinance and each section despite the fact that one or more section, subsection, phrases or clauses be declared invalid.

Date of Effect This Ordinance shall take effect and be in full force immediately upon adoption by the voters of Mendocino County.

Notice Of Intention To Circulate Petition

Notice is hereby given by the persons whose names appear hereon of their intention to circulate a petition within the County of Mendocino, California, for the purpose of qualifying a citizens' initiative for the June 7, 2016 primary election, to be voted on by the voters of Mendocino County, California. The initiative states: Shall the people of Mendocino County declare intentionally killed and left standing trees a public nuisance?

A statement of the reasons for the proposed action as contemplated in the petition is as follows:

Many citizens, including firefighters, believe that the practice of intentionally killed and left standing trees presents an extreme fire hazard, impedes early rapid suppression of fires, and poses a life safety risk to firefighters and endangers the public health and safety of rural residents.


Ted Williams, Fire Chief, Albion Little River Fire Protection District

James Sibbet, Firefighter, Comptche Volunteer Fire Dept.

Katy M. Tahja, Librarian, ret.

Kirk Van Patten, CAL FIRE Air Attack Captain, ret.

Mike Coltan, Firefighter, Comptche Volunteer Fire Dept.

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TALK AROUND the County Courthouse is that two judges will be leaving at end of 2016. David Nelson's term ends then, and he's retiring. (Nelson passed the bar in 1972!) Henderson's third term doesn't end until 2018 but word is he's decided to retire early. (Henderson passed the bar in 1974.) There would be an election for Nelson's seat, and a governor's appointment to replace Henderson. Ace criminal defense attorney Keith Faulder is making it known he'll run for Nelson's seat. And we wouldn’t be surprised to see DA David Eyster somewhere in the judicial mix in the future.

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CON CREEK disappeared this week. Ordinarily, the little stream that flows out of the Peachland hills, past the north side of the Boonville Elementary School and on into Anderson Creek sustains at least a trickle all summer. Dave Severn points out, “There are definitely some people and quite a few grapes up Peachland so beyond question there is human impact. Even if the wine guys are not taking directly out of the creek any water pumped out of the ground will affect springs which feed the streams. The term ‘diversion’ is used when impounding surface water, i.e., creek flow. But finally the State has recognized that groundwater and surface water are interrelated. Unfortunately, Anderson Valley is deemed at ‘low priority’ to do anything about it.” There are also dope growers, lots of them, in the upper reaches of Peachland and, as Severn says, more and more full-time residents. Our Con Creek is happening all over the Northcoast.

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A COALITION of animal defense groups is suing Mendocino County. Again. The beef boils down to a claim that Mendo ignored some of the basics of an existing settlement agreement between wildlife preservationists and the County. The Supes, of course, are loathe to interfere with a program stoutly supported by the County's ranchers. The defense organizations also claim that the Supervisors packed their chambers with ranchers who support the ongoing extermination of "nuisance animals" via a $144,000 USDA contract that pays trappers to kill predators, suggesting bias on the Supes end. The animal forces claim the present program is environmentally unsound because it disrupts the natural order. According to USDA stats, trappers wiped out 346 animals in 2014, including bobcats, feral pigs, coyotes, and deer.

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IN HIS OTHERWISE THOROUGH POINT BY POINT COMMENTARY on Mendo’s Health and Human Services Agency (non-)response to what should have been an opportunity for Official Mendo to make important improvements in a seriously dysfunction department formerly called Child Protective Services (now called Family and Children’s Services, FCS) James Marmon did not address himself to the County’s responses to the grand jury’s Recommendations, only to the findings. (See his lengthy comment at the end of yesterday’s Mendocino County Today: Not that it matters much because the County dismissed so many of the findings with ignorant non-answers as Mr. Marmon notes.

However, let’s look at Grand Jury Recommendation R10, for example. “HHS report to the Board of Supervisors on a fixed schedule (at least twice a year) the compliance status of the County with respect to Social Work Manual of Policy and Procedures (SWMPP) Section 31-070.1 (staff education ratios.)

(From the SWMPP: “31.070.11 At least 50 percent of the professional staff providing emergency response services, and at least 50 percent of the professional staff providing family maintenance services, shall possess a master's degree in social work, or its equivalent in education and/or experience as certified by the State Personnel Board or a county civil service board. 31.070.12 One hundred (100) percent of the supervisors of staff providing emergency response and family maintenance services shall possess a master's degree in social work, or its equivalent in education and/or experience as certified by the State Personnel Board or a county civil service board.”)

County response: “This recommendation has not yet been implemented but will be implemented in the future. HHSA presents to the Board of Supervisors throughout the year, this information will be incorporated into a HHSA presentation to the Board of Supervisors in the next 6 months.”

No it won’t, no they don’t, and, no they won’t.

HHSA does not “present” anything to the Board of Supervisors on a fixed schedule (at least twice a year) and what little they do “present” is haphazard and ad-hoc, not organized required reporting to the CEO or the Board of Supervisors with status of staffing or budgets in any of their bloated, top-heavy departments. In the case of the privatized Mental Health department they offer no regular reports on contractor staffing or qualifications.

The County’s stated intention to incorporate compliance status in their mythical department reporting in the next six months is meaningless since 1. They won’t do it, and 2. No one will remember that they said they would, and 3. It’s not even a promise to make fixed-schedule reports as they imply they do, but in fact do nothing of the sort.

In fact, any regular reporting to the CEO or the Board is dismissed out of hand in the next recommendation/response, R11: “HHS report to the Board of Supervisors on a quarterly basis what is needed in terms of budget and staff to meet the State requirements (SWMPP) section 31.070.1).”

County Response: “This recommendation will not be implemented because it is not warranted. The Executive Office has a process for budget preparation that addresses department needs. The Executive Office presents to the Board of Supervisors quarterly budget updates (1st quarter, mid-year, 3rd quarter and final). The budget information for HHSA is included in all budget presentations.”

Totally non-responsive. Of course the recommendation is “warranted.” The budget does not address itself to “what is needed,” only what the department says is budgeted. There’s never been a report to the Board of Supervisors comparing what is budgeted to what is needed. This stands in stark contrast to the County’s initial response to the Grand Jury report at the outset that Family and Children’s Services is indeed understaffed, undertrained and underqualified. They can’t have it both ways. If they’re understaffed then the proposed budget should be higher to accommodate proper staffing. If they’re not understaffed then you’d have what you have: a budget that reflects a serious understaffing problem but doesn’t address the problem at all.

If the Board of Supervisors accepts these pathetic non-responses from HHSA and the CEO — they can’t even bring themselves to require regular reporting? — they will be rubberstamping the business as usual that got them into this mess in the first place (which the grand jury says is endangering the lives of Mendo’s children, a crime if an individual does it) and saying they do not even care enough to want to know if anything’s being done about the few problems they acknowledge. As long as the Board of Supervisors accepts non-responses from their staff (as they traditionally do) the entire Grand Jury exercise is a giant waste of time.

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The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has received several calls from concerned citizens who are reporting a possible money transfer scam. The callers indicate they had been contacted by a member of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, who in turn advised them they had missed jury duty and that they have a warrant for their arrest as a result. The Scammers then instruct the victim that they can pay off an arrest warrant by obtaining an amount of money, (Over $5,000.00) and forward it electronically via various money sending programs located in local grocery stores. The Sheriff's Office wants to alert everyone that in no way does the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office call people and try to obtain money in this fashion and if you receive one of these calls it is likely a money scam. If you receive one of these calls please contact your local law enforcement agency to report its occurrence. For more information on money transfer scams please see the Federal Trade commission website at:

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A recent letter to the editor gave thanks to neighbors and friends and firefighters for help after an injury. So many times emergency workers appear only to have patients injured and dying to deal with. Our encounter with CALSTAR had a happy ending. Twenty months ago our daughter delivered our grandson at home in Comptche and had birth complications justifying a flight to Ukiah’s hospital. CALSTAR was great. This year at the Comptche Volunteer Fire Department’s Fathers Day Chicken BBQ we saw that CALSTAR crew and took grandson over to meet the folks who gave him a copter ride the day he was born. Those folks were so touched to meet the little man and see the results of a transport that had a happy ending. We thanked that CALSTAR crew again and our family suggests that when you do see emergency personnel that had aided your family thank them again.

Katy Tahja, Comptche

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sandersFREQUENT FLYER BIRTHDAY WISHES go out to Thomas Lee Sanders. Tom's been through a rough patch lately, having been arrested nine times over the past two months (drunk in public). So if you happen to see Tommy out there on the mean streets of Ukiah today (July 30) be sure and wish him a happy birthday!

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SONOMA COUNTY to consider “tiny houses” as homeless mitigation measure.

The concept has been raised as one way to address the chronic shortage of shelter for the homeless — a shortfall compounded by Sonoma County’s tight housing market.

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Hi Dave (Turner, Mayor of Fort Bragg),

Just finished at county and no valid signatures in the 83 (a few not registered mostly wrong addresses). We bought the new voter list on a disk and spoke in depth about timing. There is no way we can get this on the November ballot and the next election that we will have signatures for will be June far past the date that it can be held, this will have to be a special election if left to being a people's initiative. You folks under code 9222 can adopt the initiative to go through and then have it on the November ballot but this must be done by August 8. Sue Ranochak at county told us a special election will cost $20-50k! Please call for a special emergency city council meeting and put it on the ballot. I am sending this letter to all council members and Linda [Ruffing, Fort Bragg city manager] and the various local media concerns. Hope you’re having a great day, too hot in Ukiah!

Charles Brandenburg, of Fort Bragg

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A response from City Council Member Doug Hammerstrom


I don't know if you engage in self reflection, or would at my behest. I hear you at our meetings profess clear thinking, but then you puzzle me by some things that you say that seem anything but. The reflection I would suggest is that, I believe that the City Council views work of the Hospitality Center as a benefit to our community and that work is directed at solving the behavior problems that your group objects to. Also, I believe the Council is generally supportive of social service organizations in our community. Your proposed initiative demonizes all social service agencies by suggesting they need to find their place in the shadows, and should not proudly show their face in a place they can be seen; that you consider them an embarrassment to our community. Because of the above two areas of support, I find it surprising that you think the Council would take an action supporting your initiative. I ask you to reflect on what you are doing.

Doug Hammerstrom, Fort Bragg City Councilman

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Really Doug,

You are so out of touch with the reality of our town. Services are needed but not there [at the Old Coast Hotel] for a hundred reasons from thousands of people. Your reason for moving ahead is "because it’s good.” Doug, whereas I think Dave Turner is a good mayor I think you are the weakest and most benign member of the council. My recent statements aren't to get you to support what we are doing they are to get you to save $$$ by having this scheduled instead of a special election. Seems like you don't understand that.


Tired of crappy politicians in Fort Bragg

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The Anderson Valley Film Club and the Anderson Valley Grange #669 have joined together in a ongoing relationship to offer high quality films to the local community. The First Friday Film Nights will occur monthly with a social gathering at 6PM and films commencing at 7PM. This collaboration will provide the Anderson Valley Community to enjoy a night out viewing high quality films without having to drive out of the Valley.

This joint effort is in keeping with the purpose of both organizations. The Anderson Valley Grange’s mission statement includes the objective of meeting the community’s social needs. The films will include high quality documentaries, art films and films from the library of the State Grange that focus on rural life and agriculture. The viewings are free to the public. A donation jar will be present for those who wish to contribute to the occasional film royalties that must be paid, and projection maintenance.

The initial First Friday Film will feature Fish Friendly Wine (20 min) A 2014 Documentary filmed and produced by local filmmakers about vineyard farming methods that are ecologically sound for fish habitat. This film features our local Navarro River Watershed and the ecological influences of the evolution of land use and its impact on the local watershed. This film will be followed by The Russian River: All Rivers – The Value Of An American Watershed (123 min.) A 2015 documentary filmed and produced by Sonoma County residents, this film explores the diverse forces that have come to shape one of California's relatively small but significant rivers - and compares the pressures that shape rivers in our modern world to rivers throughout North America. The film is noted for it’s beautiful nature photography and important messages. It has been selected for viewing at 2015 Columbia Gorge International Film Festival and the 2015 International Wildlife Film Festival.

The Anderson Valley Grange and Anderson Valley Film Club are looking forward to a long relationship of providing the local community with the opportunity to experience high quality films and socialize among our local community.

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To the Fort Bragg City Council

July 27, 2015 — I'm wondering why the City of Fort Bragg is violating its Local Coastal Plan? Your Planning Commission recently approved single family residences on two lots at the Snug Harbor development on Todd Point that were specifically zoned to have two residences on them apiece. The plans for these two projects are incomplete, and do not conform with zoning regulations. The purpose of the zoning for six to twelve units per acre on the five lots adjacent to the College campus is to support the college by providing housing for students and faculty.

The larger issue at Todd Point is why the city seems to be abandoning the south end of Fort Bragg and the college with needed infrastructure such as student housing. The college is already there, and so is plenty of land for it to expand and thrive. Instead, we're getting proposals for single family residences, and shopping malls on Hare Creek. It seems some people are banking on plans for a performing arts center, the Noyo Marine Center, and educational facilities all on the old mill site. The problem is that the planned Noyo Center is directly adjacent to, and downwind of the sewage plant.

Apparently the city has already made the decision to abandon the college, allow the open space at Hare Creek to be developed, and place future educational, performing arts, and park facilities on the old mill site. I think this is a big mistake. The College needs to be supported and developed where it is, and Hare Creek needs to be protected as open space unless and until a truly worthy project is proposed.

Fort Bragg has a multitude of motels, but many of the people staying here are really coming to see Mendocino. One of the reasons Mendocino continues to attract tourists is because locals there were smart enough to preserve large areas of open space at Heeser Headlands and elsewhere. Fort Bragg still has a nice area of pristine open land at Hare Creek, but developers and the city seem hell-bent on paving it over for blind greed.

Once undeveloped land is bulldozed, paved over and built on, that's it — it's gone. Right now, Fort Bragg's economy is based on tourism. But once all the glass on Glass Beach is gone, once we've paved over and destroyed everything but the Coastal Trail, you might find you've killed the goose that laid the golden egg. Placing higher education next to a sewage plant, in a tsunami zone with sea levels rising does not seem like intelligent planning. I want to urge this council to protect areas of unspoiled open land at Todd Point, to develop the Mendocino College campus where it is, and to be patient and wise enough to make prudent decisions for the re-development of the mill site, without totally ruining the south end of town in the process.

David Gurney

Fort Bragg

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 29, 2015

Biffle, Ewing, Hodges, Marquezin
Biffle, Ewing, Hodges, Marquezin

EMILY BIFFLE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

KENNETH EWING, Ukiah. Dirk-Dagger.

JODI HODGES, Ukiah. Burglary.

SAULO MARQUIZIN, Mill Valley/Ukiah. Stolen vehicle.

Perez, Shoffeitt, Torres, Vanbezooyen
Perez, Shoffeitt, Torres, Vanbezooyen

REFUGIO PEREZ, Healdsburg/Laytonville. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.

KEITH SHOFFEITT, Ukiah. Violation of protective order.

RAMIRO TORRES, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear.

JACQUELINE VANBEZOOYEN, Redway. Engaging in 3 or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with child under age 14 and not less than 3 mos.

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Political parties and their leadership aside, I find the average democrat voter just as disconnected as the average republican voter. To a person all the Democrats I know are climate ‘believers’, yet none extend their beliefs into personal behavior aside from whatever has been made convenient…like curbside recycling. I probably lost a longtime acquaintance (real, not facebook) a few weeks ago after he bought a new car with roughly 28 mpg highway. He was deriding climate deniers in an unrelated conversation and I asked why, after almost 30 years since the formation of the IPCC, and over 20 years since the Kyoto Protocol, is he buying such a car for what essentially amounts to a daily commute? In other words, the science has been around a long time. Way before he even had a driver’s license. Why doesn’t he act accordingly? He took it as a personal attack. To him, and all the Democrats I personally know, the whole climate debate is political, not personal. To suggest that someone, say, dry their clothes in the sun rather than burn coal to do the same places me squarely in the nutter camp.

I understand and agree with much of my democrat acquaintance’s opposition to the republicans, but I am mystified in that these supposedly educated people so quickly place their trust in anyone-not-republican. I can point out any number of obvious shortcomings of the democrats in dealing with the real issues that confront us, but, to a person, they revert to “at least they aren’t republican”. Then it is back to cat videos and the upcoming football season. I say fuck the republicans, what are WE waiting for? But nobody wants to hear anything that isn’t, on a personal level, business as usual.

I have had to self-segregate from most everyone (republican and democrat) who can’t have a normal conversation without jabbing at political opponents or advocating for supposed allies. Few will brook any dissent and I find the democrats the worse of the two. Their smug mockery of all opposition leaves them little to no room for honestly critiquing their own party or behavior.

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The following was posted by the Mendocino County District Attorney's office @ 7:57 pm Tuesday:
" At the conclusion of a lengthy sentencing hearing today presided over by Judge Ann Moorman, a hearing that lasted several hours in Department A of the Mendocino County Superior Court, defendant Jacqueline Caroline Vanbezooyen, age 50, of Willits, was sentenced to six (6) years in state prison for her involvement in the continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14. Vanbezooyen had hoped and her attorney argued for a grant of probation to avoid state prison.

Griswould, VanBeZooyen
Griswould, VanBeZooyen

Vanbezooyen's co-defendant, Charles Vernon Griswould, age 69, of Utah, was sentenced to twelve (12) years in state prison for his role in the continuous sexual abuse of the same child.
 Because the crime of continuous sexual abuse is characterized by law as a violent felony, both defendants will be required to serve 85% of their respective sentences before they may be released on state parole.
 Upon their eventual release, each defendant will be required to register with local law enforcement wherever they may be allowed to live as a sex offender and renew that registration annually.
 Griswould has been held in custody pending today's sentencing. Vanbezooyen was remanded into custody this afternoon and taken to county jail for processing and housing in preparation of being taken to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
The attorney who handled the prosecution of this matter is Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox, with support from Assistant District Attorney Paul Sequeira. 
The law enforcement agencies who cooperated in the investigation that lead to today's sentences were the Yuba City Police Department, the Willits Police Department, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Bureau of Investigations.

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Dear friends,

The MP3 link to KMEC's show on Monday (below) with Iraqi nuclear physicist, Amad Khadurri, about the Iran Nuclear Deal:

It's an important show with a credible guest. Please listen. Feel free to forward.

— John Sakowicz

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GLORIANA PRESENTS: Company, a musical — starts Thursday


(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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Ukiah Branch is hosting: Celebrate Everyday Heroes in Our Community: Adult Summer Reading Program Finale, “Every Hero has a Story” Thursday, August 6th, 8-10 pm

Adults are invited to the Ukiah Library to celebrate everyday heroes in our community. Join us for round-table lightning talks with “local heroes” to learn more about the many valuable ways they positively impact & support our community. Esteemed guests will include the Mendocino Grapevine Quilters Guild, RCS crisis center workers, police officers, firefighters, writers, philanthropists, animal shelter workers & coordinators, library & disaster service volunteers, NCO food justice advocates, Friends of the Library & LAB members, & environmental crusaders from Cold Creek Compost to name a few! Our own Darline Bergere will also be on hand to discuss her new book: Legendary Locals of Ukiah. Copies will be available for sale & proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Ukiah Valley Library. Winners of our Adult Summer Reading Raffle will also be announced. Food & refreshments will be provided. Wine will be available for a small donation. For more information * please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library. 105 N. Main St. Ukiah

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Fort Bragg Branch is hosting: Woodland Wildlife’s Program

On Friday, August 28, 2015, at 1:30 pm, the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting Woodland Wildlife’s Program.

Fort Bragg Branch Library is pleased to announce that Woodland Wildlife will be presenting a wildlife program for adults that focus on the wildlife that surrounds our Fort Bragg community. This program will include a slide show, Mountain Lion Safety, a Q&A, and information about other animals that inhabit our region. Stop by Fort Bragg Branch Library and join us on Friday 8/28/15 at 1:30 pm. for a wonderful educational program about the wildlife in our backyard.

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Fort Bragg Branch is hosting: Screening of PBS Documentary Art and Craft

On Friday, August 7, 2015, at 5:00 pm, the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting PBS Screening of the documentary Art and Craft.

Fort Bragg Branch Library is pleased to announce our First Friday Art Program will be showing an advance screening of the PBS documentary Art and Craft. This documentary by PBS is scheduled to be shown on PBS in September. The Fort Bragg Branch Library will host an advanced screening on Friday August 7th at 5:00 pm. This documentary looks at one of the most prolific Art Forgers of our time. Come by the Fort Bragg Branch Library to view this wonderful and critically acclaimed documentary.

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Brookings, Oregon — Checked the thermometer on the front porch last night on my way to bed at 9:30pm ...89 degrees F (humidity ~30%; estimate wind speed about 10-25 mph from NNE; barometer 29.25"). Second day in a row with not a cloud in the sky — anywhere — but occasional cumulus looming up and peeking over the hills from inland. This am, 6:30, it was still 82, wind still NNE, gusting to maybe 30, 35. Some note has been taken lately that when the polar ice-caps finally disappear (this year or next?), their planet-cooling effects will also have gone, and we should expect a sharp increase, acceleration in the world-warming processes, raising sea and atmospheric temps past the comfy mark. All accounts I've seen relating to these matters contain warnings and calls to action (or denials and 'don't worry, be happy at the gaspump'). Those who acknowledge that humans contribute to the warming processes usually end their messages with ', unless we take dramatic and prompt corrective action, it's going to get a lot warmer, a lot faster...' dot, dot, dot. There seems to be an assumption that the warming trend is partly a 'natural cycle,' that it will level out at some point, and life as we know it (or nearly) will just go on as usual, la-d-da. Weatherfolks are aware that the globe is hugely complex, a vastly interrelated set of systems that has successfully sustained life for some time now, so most of us take it for granted. I like to think the sun will always rise again tomorrow, and there'll be someone or something here to see it. I suggest this is an optimistic assumption. Our biosphere is after all a very precariously balanced family of systems found nowhere else in the known universe, and it came with no 'guarantees' whatever. Who says that this warming trend will not just continue off the chart, that all Earth's water (all of it) won't just boil off into space leaving us not so high but quite dry? Nobody.

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Re: Brother of Alicia Silverstone arrested in Mendocino County.

As to Glenda Anderson's speculation of whether David and Alicia Silverstone are siblings, shows David Silverstone dob 17 November 1971 in San Francisco county with mother's maiden name "Radford". Alicia Silverstone dob 04 October 1976 in San Francisco county with mother's maiden name also "Radford".


  1. Jim Updegraff July 29, 2015

    Climate change will only be taken serous when it is too late to take meaningful action. I noted in the news today it it forecast the world population will reach 9.7 billion by the year 2050. That is the same year C O 2 will reach 450 ppm. At the point extreme temperature and rise in the ocean will wreck havoc on the world. Half the population could die of starvation. the deniers obviously do not give a damn about their grand children and great grand children

  2. BB Grace July 30, 2015

    Why wouldn’t the Board of Supervisors accept these pathetic non-responses from HHSA and the CEO? They accepted the, “Mental Health Services Act, Community Services and Supports, Workforce Education and Training Prevention and Early Intervention, Innovation, Capital Facilities and Technological Needs Componates Plan for fiscal year 2015 -16”; 83 pages, CPS not mentioned once, no real fiscal plan included, though the documents is signed by Pinizzotto, and County Auditor Controller / City Financial Officer Lloyd Weer.

    Note: Hammerstrom responses RE Fort Bragg Hospitality House; Somehow, those for the Hospitality House taking the Old Coast Hotel are convinced that those that oppose have stigma against the mentally ill. No matter how many times they are told that’s not the case.

  3. Judy Valadao July 30, 2015

    Watch the Council meetings and see for yourself, Charles is correct in saying that Hammerstrom is the weakest and most benign member of the council. Hammerstrom isn’t just “puzzled” by what Charles says at meetings. He appears to be “puzzled” by what most people say according to some of his responses that leave members of the community shaking their heads wondering what the hell he’s talking about. It seems clear that what Charles is asking of the Council is to leave the decision up to the voters and save $$$$ by allowing the initiative on the November ballot. The bottom line is this Council doesn’t want the voters making any decisions because in their own eyes they (the Council lead by the Mayor) know what is best no matter what others have said. It is my belief the City of Fort Bragg can not be beaten by a law suit or by an initiative or by attending meetings where the communities words fall on deaf ears. The only way changes are going to be made is when the community speaks up and takes action for change. To many people speak behind the security of a closed door and support change but for some reason will not voice their opinion publicly. Why is that?

  4. Alice Chouteau July 30, 2015

    Thanks to David Gurney for keeping the future development of Todds Point under discussion. With better city leadership, that area would never have been zoned commercial. Tourism aside, the city needs to remain a desirable choice to live for working families and retirees, and shopping centers are no longer an attraction or economically viable.
    The Mayor has claimed that under his leadership, the City is ‘partnering with Mendocino College’, a rather mystifying statement, unsupported by any evidence. The city has not done nearly enough to help prepare our young people for better jobs, instead filling the town with chain retail and fast food outlets (now a new Taco Bell!) that provide only minimum wage, no benefits work. A concept floated in the ’90s by City Council, would have seen the city buy the Old Coast Hotel to provide local youth on the job training in the dining and hospitality field. Perhaps Fort Bragg would have become known for its cooking schools, with Living Light a glowing example; instead our city gov. has chosen to place the interests of the transient population, the Hospitality House, and Ortner Corporation above providing a better future for our kids.
    We all need to be vigilant with this city council; they have every intention of supporting a shopping mall on Todd’s Point.
    Alice Chouteau.

  5. Harvey Reading July 30, 2015

    “The Supes, of course, are loathe to interfere with a program stoutly supported by the County’s ranchers.”

    Welfare ranchers in action … their wishes to be paid at public expense. I’ll betcha Mendo has more non-ranchers than welfare-queen ranchers. So, why not stand up to the board, and recall their lackey supes?

  6. james marmon July 30, 2015

    Thank you for addressing the HHSA’s responses to the Grand Jury recommendations. The findings totally exhausted me. I stayed up until 2:30 am deciphering them.

    I immediately recognized the author of the responses to be that of Assistant HHSA Deputy Director Bryan Lowery. He used to use this style of writing in CPS court reports too. The poor parents never stood a chance after Lowery twisted and turned facts around so that he would prevail in Court.

    Stacy Cryer has no idea about the inner workings in CPS and depends on staff to run the department and report accurately to her any issues. Unfortunately nothing ever gets to her that doesn’t go through Lowery first.

    What’s even more interesting is that there was no response from Deputy Director Jena Conner. It may be because the Grand Jury referred to her as Assistant Director of Family and Children’s Services in their request.

    “Pursuant to Penal Code §933.05, responses are requested from the following individual(s):
    • Assistant Director, Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services (All Findings and All Recommendations).”

    There is no such thing in the HHSA organization chart that refers to a Assistant Director of Family and Children’s Services, only a deputy director. Bryan Lowery would see that as a big hole and drive right through it. He is the master of word games.

    To add to that, according to the Organization Chart that Lowery presented in his grand jury response, Jena and that position don’t exist anymore. The chart shows that Jena Connor and her position have been scratched. Very frightening, he is running the whole show by himself now.

    I would have loved to have seen her response. I assure you that it wouldn’t have looked anything like this mess Lowery presented to Cryer and Angelo for their signatures. Did they even read it before they signed it? Probably not, and besides they wouldn’t have known if what they were signing was true or not.

    It appears that they put their own futures in the hands of this extremely disturbed individual. In a situation like this I would usually just say let them have at it and let the chips land where they fall, unfortunately, human lives are at stake here, I can’t remain silent.

    For several years now I have done my best to warn the Board of Supervisor, CEO Angelo, and Director Cryer about this man. They ignored me and went after me with a vengeance. They allowed him to lie about me, and destroy my career. Angelo and Cryer even joined him in taking out a workplace violence restraining order against me, based on their fear that I might physically harm them.

    They were never afraid of me physically harming them, they were afraid of what I was saying and they wanted to silence me anyway they could. I tried to explain that to Judge Henderson, but he ruled against me. I never stood a chance by showing up in court by myself. The County packed the courtroom against me with Carmel Angelo, Stacy Cryer, Bryan Lowery, County Counsel Tom Parker, and County Counsel Doug Losak. Sheriff Tom Allman even showed up but left before the hearing. Why would these powerful and respected individuals not win against this long haired biker type social worker.

    I stay completely away form Mendocino County now, call me paranoid, but I’ve pissed off the wrong people and worry about my own safety now. I miss my family and friends and the community I called home since 1954. Hopefully I will be vindicated some day, and again be allowed walk the streets of my childhood without fear.

    • james marmon July 30, 2015

      Update: Good news, Jena Conner is still Deputy Director for Family and Children Services. I spoke with a couple of my sources who informed me that she was still there.

      Why Lowery scratched her name off the Organizational Chart in his response to the Grand Jury is probably anyone’s guess.

      I was told that Jena met with all the staff and spoke with them about the Grand Jury findings and requested feedback from them all. I was also told that she spent a significant amount of time and effort writing her response as requested by the Grand Jury.

      Jena is honest and a straight shooter, she would never put her name on that pathetic document like Cryer and Angelo did. If she didn’t have enough qualified staff, she would say so.

      My guess is that Lowery, Cryer, and Angelo are blocking her response, that is why they scratched her name and position from the Organizational Chart and moved forward without. A Bryan Lowery move for sure.

      Knowing how things work in that Agency, Bryan didn’t like her signed response, so he rewrote it. Jena then refused to sign his response as her own. Sounds like what happened in my final days when he ordered me to sign court documents under penalty of perjury, that were not my own.

      Pursuant to Penal Code §933.05, Jena Conner was required by law to submit her response to the Grand Jury within 60 days, where is it?

      • james marmon July 30, 2015

        Shouldn’t the District Attorney get involved about now? I presented evidence to DA Eyster about some of Lowery’s illegal activities 4 years ago, nothing ever happened.

  7. james marmon July 31, 2015

    Where is Jena Connor’s response to the Grand Jury?

    I hope that she is okay, she’s stepping on some pretty big toes. I’m worried about her.

  8. james marmon July 31, 2015

    “free Jena Connor”

  9. james marmon August 1, 2015

    BOS Discussion and possible signing of response to grand jury report Tuesday. Still no response from FCS Department head Jena Connor.

  10. james marmon August 1, 2015

    My favorite HHSA non-response to Grand Jury.

    F7. A significant number of FCS professional and supervisory staff do not meet State educational standards for their positions and are considered under-qualified by State standards.

    “I (we) disagree wholly with this finding. They are not under-qualified they meet current specifications for job classifications.”

    Lowery is right that they may meet the specification for their classification, but they still don’t meet the educational standards for their positions, therefore, they’re still under-qualified.

    Apples and Oranges here folks.

    • james marmon August 1, 2015

      You have social Worker III’s, who have skipped the whole IV and V thing, who are now supervisor’s.

      Jena Conner already admitted that only 1 out of 9 of her supervisors met state standard’s in her waiver request to CDSS in January.

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