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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Aug 4, 2015

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A spot fire from the Rocky Fire jumped Highway 20 Monday afternoon, charring about 50 acres of land as crews continued to aggressively combat the massive, raging wildfire. A shift in the weather over Sunday night and into Monday, however, allowed firefighters to gain some ground against the fast-moving blaze, which grew to 60,000 acres by Monday morning, somewhat less of a daily growth than the previous days. By Monday evening the fire was over 62,000 acres but some containment had been achieved as CalFire estimated it at about 12%. All evacuations remain in place.


Firefighters had to stop backfiring operations Sunday night because of higher humidity and vegetation that reportedly wouldn't burn. The blaze, which is now burning part of Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties, has destroyed 24 homes and 26 outbuildings and was threatening 6,300 homes. Three additional structures have been damaged, officials said. More than 13,000 people have been asked to evacuate.


By Monday evening more spot fires had jumped Highway 20 however, causing another grim report from CalFire:

The fire has crossed Hwy 20 in multiple spots and is expected to have significant activity. Firefighters are working aggressively to build control lines and sustain perimeter control. Residents are urged to stay vigilant and adhere to any changes in evacuations and road closures. Terrain is steep and rugged with limited access. In total, all evacuations impact over 13,118 citizens living in over 5,530 residences. Resources continue to respond from in and out of the state.


Almost 3,200 firefighters are on scene with almost 300 fire engines, operated by 72 large crews supplemented by four airtankers, 19 helicopters, 57 dozers and 40 water tenders.



Mandatory: Jerusalem Valley area east of Soda Creek, Bonham Road, Quarter Horse Lane, Mustang Court, Bronco Court, Sunset Court, Morgan Valley east of Bonham Road, Canyon Road, June Bug Road, Cambell Ranch Road, Sloan Ranch Road, Sky High Ranch Road, Rocky Creek Road, Dam Road from the gate to the dam, Grizzly Canyon, Long Branch Drive, Lance Road, Cougar Road, Red Rocks, Meridian Road, Antelope Road, Mule Skinner Road, Flint Look Place, Moccasin Road, Roundball Road, Watertrough Road, Grigsby Canyon, Lucky Canyon, Remington Canyon, Walker Ridge, Walker Ridge Road, No Guns Road, Meriann Drive, Bear Valley Road from Highway 20 to Wilbur Springs Road, Wilbur Springs Road and Morgan Valley Road X Butte Creek Road, Ogulin County Road and Spring Valley, Paradise Canyon, New Long Valley Road, Old Long Valley Road, Salt Canyon, Indian Hill Road, Flaming Hills Lane, Benmore Canyon, Red Rock Road, Red Rock Court, Round Mountain Road North West of Highway 22, Fern Way, Juniper Way, Holly Way, Golden Red Way, Shasta Road, Cougar Road, Jeep Trail, Smith Lane, Pueblo Trail, Quail Trail, Ogulin Canyon Road, Meadow Creek Road, Cache Creek Road, Wolf Creek Road, Spring Valley Road, Riverview Road, Rocky Ridge, Chalk Mountain Road, Lakeview Campground, Cache Creek Winery, Noggle Winery, Elm Way, Dogwood, Cedar, Blue Berry, Acacia Way, Acacia Street, Doe Trail, Madrone Way, Peach Way, Quince Way, Redwood Way, Sequoia Way, Tamarack Way, Weeping Willow Way, Yucca Way, Coyote Way, Elk Way and Fox Way.

Advisory: All areas including east of Hwy 29 @ Raita Road east of Hwy 53 north to Hwy 20, Clear Lake area east of Highway 53 from Dam Road to Highway 20, Spruce Grove Road, Noble Ranch Road, Black Bass Pass, Jerusalem Valley area west of Soda Creek, Double Eagle Ranch, Homes along Hwy 20 corridor between New Long Valley Road and east of the county line, Spruce Grove Road to intersection of Jerusalem Grade, Lake Ridge, Highway 53 west to Sulphur Bank Road along Highway 20.

Evacuation Centers: Middletown High School, Kelseyville High School

Road Closures: Jerusalem Valley Road is closed to all traffic at Spruce Grove Road, Highway 20 corridor will be closed from New Long Valley Road to Highway 53, both directions of Ogulin County Road and Highway 16 is closed from Highway 20 to the Yolo County Line.

An animal evacuation center is opened at the Lower Lake Social Services parking lot, 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway, Lower Lake.

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WILLOWS, Calif. – The Mendocino National Forest is continuing to search for and identify fires sparked by lightning from recent storms over the Forest.

Of the approximately 15 fires located on the Forest, only three on the Upper Lake Ranger District remain active, with the other fires declared either contained, controlled or out.

The Etsel Fire is approximately 32 acres and 60 percent contained. It is located in the Yuki Wilderness and is burning in heavy timber and brush.

The Boardman Fire is 72 acres and 30 percent contained.

The Deer Fire, burning southeast of Lake Pillsbury, is approximately 100 acres. It is burning in mixed conifer. There are three structures threatened. Two engine crews and one Type 1 handcrew are currently working on the fire with the help of various air resources.

As dry conditions and hot temperatures continue, firefighters anticipate discovering more lightning fires in coming days. There are additional thunderstorms in the forecast this week.

Forest visitors are asked to be aware of their surroundings and be prepared for changing conditions. This includes reporting visible smoke that could be from a wildfire.

To report a fire, please call 911.

As a reminder, the Mendocino National Forest is currently under fire restrictions. Visitors are asked to follow regulations and be careful with anything with a flame or that can throw a spark in the forest. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact the Mendocino National Forest at 530-934-3316 or visit Updates are also available on Twitter @MendocinoNF.

(CalFire Press Release)

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On Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 10:57 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a welfare check at a residence located in the 32000 block of Navarro Ridge Road in Albion. At the location, a neighbor concerned for the two residents tried to contact them and was unable to do so. The neighbor peered through windows and observed what they believed to be the two residents deceased. Deputies arrived and gained entry into the residence due to the circumstances of the situation. A 77-year-old white female adult was found to be deceased and an 80-year-old white male adult was found to be suffering from life threatening injuries. The 80-year-old white male adult was treated by medical personnel and subsequently transported by air ambulance to an out of county hospital. Sheriff's Detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Investigative Services Bureau responded and assumed control of the investigation of the incident. The name of the 77-year-old white female adult is being withheld pending contact with her legal the next of kin. On Sunday, August 2, 2015 the 80-year-old white male adult died as a resulted of his injuries and his name is being withheld pending contact with his legal next of kin. Sheriff's Detectives are continuing investigations but initial evidence at the scene suggests this incident was a murder-suicide.

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PERTINENT COMMENT from James Marmon re CPS procedures in Mendocino County: "HHSA agreed to all the GJ findings regarding late court reports, something the judges have been upset about for years. My experience with Presiding Judge Nelson in dependency court is that he is very supportive of FCS and would just about rubberstamp anything FCS presented to the court. However, a few years ago he did talk to one of my colleagues who now works for the VA about this very issue, under-qualified staff. My colleague explained the different classifications and educational standards to him. The problem with the Mendocino County court reports is that social workers do not state their classification or educational credentials on their court reports. In other counties this is required. The judge or the lawyers have no idea if the report is coming from a social worker I, which is a trainee position, or a social worker V which is a master level classification with at least two years experience as a social worker IV. Mendocino County social workers sign documents with just their name, and “Social Worker” only. I always received criticism because all my reports were signed “James Marmon, MSW, Social Worker- V.” I completely identified myself and my credentials. Supervisors who only had bachelor degrees and only met the specification of a social worker III, did not approve of my practice, but it was the way I was taught. They would only sign their names and Social Worker Supervisor only. Now, this relates to my original complaint about FCS protecting their social workers from being “torn apart on the witness stand.” In Mendocino County social workers rarely take the stand. In Del Norte County where I worked for 5 years, the judges were not so social worker-friendly, they had caught social workers lying or excluding exculpatory evidence, so they were leery about rubberstamping anything. There, I testified 2 or 3 times a week and would be drilled by attorneys and the judge. Social workers had to explain themselves and their decisions and recommendation, they were not allowed to just tell the court “It was an Agency decision.” In fact, more than one time a judge would ask me if my recommendation was my own, or the Agency’s, they always wanted to know this. In the 5 years I worked at FCS Mendocino, I took the stand only 3 times, and I worked in the Court Unit. In the 5 years I worked at CPS Del Norte County, I testified at least a hundred times. To sum it all up, Mendocino County FCS does everything they can to hide the fact that they are operating with unqualified staff."

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ACCORDING to the KZYX website, "There will be a meeting of the MCPB Board of Directors Hiring Committee on Thursday, August 6th from 6pm to 8pm. The meeting will be held in the Ukiah Library meeting area at 105 N. Main St in Ukiah. This committee is charged with conducting the search for a new general manager."

AND SO BEGINS the Mendo-inevitable "national search for excellence" which, just as inevitably, finds an excellency in the building. Prediction: The bloodhounds will drag in someone from inside. Maybe Aig will get the nod as recognition for her years as de facto manager, although the old girl is a little short on people skills. But from inside or outside, expect a low energy, marginally competent, low-grade authoritarian of the dreary type who's always run the place and has also dominated the station's self-selecting board of trustees. (With the one refreshing exception of Nicole Sawaya back in the 90s.) We agree with John Sakowicz: There's too much management for an organization whose membership is decreasing, and membership is decreasing because of years of bad management. A smart, friendly person would do wonders for the place, but that perhaps mythical entity would have to wear full body armor to do his or her job because there's not a more reform-resistant institution in the County.

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MONDAY'S PRESS DEMOCRAT featured these headlines: "Sonoma County DA's office very, very white." Like transparent? Then, "Smoky skies worry winemakers." And when the wine people are worried the Press Democrat comes running with the prose aspirin.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 3, 2015

Acosta, Doggett, Elder
Acosta, Doggett, Elder

JOSE ACOSTA, Ukiah. Shoplifting, evading.

SARAH DOGGETT, Redwood Valley. Child endangerment.

KENNETH ELDER, Manchester. Honey oil extraction.

Frey, Hernandez, Hiatt
Frey, Hernandez, Hiatt

THOMAS FREY, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public, false ID.

EUFECIO HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia.

TIMOTHY HIATT, Willits. Probation revocation.

Knapp, Kroll, Moore
Knapp, Kroll, Moore

VERNON KNAPP, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

DAVID KROLL, Ukiah. Fighting/challenging. (Frequent flyer.)

DANNY MOORE, Ukiah. DUI-drugs. Probation revocation.

Reynaga, Villa, White
Reynaga, Villa, White

PEDRO REYNAGA, Calplella. Drunk in public.

WILLIAM VILLA, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Engaging in speed contest, evading.

ZACHARIAH WHITE, Ukiah. Fighting/challenging.

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FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL in Fort Bragg is Monday, August 17th, 2015.


(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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What Color is Your Wristband?

by Emily Hobelmann

The Mateel Community Center’s 31st Annual Reggae on the River is happening right now at French’s Camp in Southern Humboldt. It started last Thursday and runs through today. Meanwhile, there are active wildfires in Humboldt County, namely the Humboldt Lighting Complex fires in SoHum. According to a KMUD News Facebook page update from this morning, the fires have consumed 2,300 acres as of 7am.


But the Reggae on the River juggernaut goes on — neither thunder nor lightning nor wildfires nor low flow river conditions can stop it. Reggae is a huge deal, and the hubbub around it makes SoHum even more bananas than usual. There’s this SoHum Reggae joke that goes something like… “There are only two seasons in Southern Humboldt — before Reggae and after Reggae.”

(Gotta throw in another Emerald Triangle jest I keep hearing lately: “These days, summer is more like four or five seasons…” Like, people are probably harvesting weed five times in the summer season alone (before fall even hits) because of their light dep operations.)

It’s true, Reggae is an institution in these parts. Local businesses like Persimmons Garden Gallery, The Branding Iron and Amilia’s have limited hours or are closed altogether during Reggae. Other businesses around town sport windows with red, green and gold flair in honor of the event. Reggae tourists are everywhere.

Most local folks I know do not actually pay cash to attend ROTR. Instead, they work the event in some way in exchange for admission — as vendors, volunteers, performers or press people. For example, I know a woman from Eureka who works four 12-hour shifts for a local security company as a way to attend the event and make some cash too.

Just one local person told me she outright bought a $250 four-day ROTR ticket. But when I ran into her on Friday night in the concert bowl, she proudly announced that she wound up getting in for free by piggybacking on a group of local performers. She scored a backstage pass too. She was able to recoup her $250 investment by selling her original ticket in front of the venue with little effort.

The Mateel Community Center’s 31st Annual Reggae on the River is happening right now at French’s Camp in Southern Humboldt. It started last Thursday and ran through Sunday. Meanwhile, there are active wildfires in Humboldt County, namely the Humboldt Lightning Complex fires in SoHum. According to a KMUD News Facebook page update from this morning, the fires had consumed 2,300 acres as of Sunday morning.

Collie Buddz
Collie Buddz

I met this guy named “Woes” on Friday night. He is a very friendly fellow from Los Angeles. As I savored the aroma of his Dolce & Gabbana cologne, he told me that he paid the $250 cost in lieu of getting a ticket in exchange for some kind of work. Woes is making ROTR a legit vacation. He is a rapper, and when I asked for a sample of his work, he launched into a rap right then and there. I talked to two other people that paid for single-day admission tickets too — people do pay.

There are many different levels of admission to the Reggae event. It’s like a social hierarchy, and the wristbands and laminates people wear indicate their class. As for me, I got a press pass. So when I checked in at the media table on Thursday night, I received a two wristbands — a light purple one for backstage access and blue with yellow bubbles for my press pass.

Reggae staffers have a key with images of all the different wristbands used at ROTR. I counted 17 wristbands on the key. A security guard told me it’s 10 wristbands and seven “additions.” There are regular admission wristbands for the weekend and for single day tickets, there are performer wristbands, performer guest wristbands, security wristbands, “VIP Ambassador” wristbands, press and photo pit wristbands, vendor wristbands, medical crew wristbands…

And then there’s laminates too. One SoHum friend has a “Property Owner” laminate — she owns property that is part of or adjacent to the ROTR site. I saw Sponsor KMUD Press Tent and “Emcee” laminates; Backline Coordinator, Critical Incident Team and straight up “All Access” laminates. It’s like a big wristband-laminate soup at Reggae.

I assumed my backstage/press wristband combo would afford me access to every corner of the ROTR venue. Not so. I was stopped at many points on my ROTR journey with stern “WRONG WRISTBAND” admonishments. Like, I couldn’t get into the VIP Ambassador Lounge, which has leather couches and a bar hosted by the folks from the Brass Rail. (Well, I did get in eventually, but it took like four tries.) No “Ambassador” wristband? No VIP Lounge.


It’s all good though. I am grateful for my press access — it’s like upper-middle-class ROTR status, and that’s huge for me. And aside from the fascinatingly complex social strata at Reggae, I have to say the music is excellent and there are definitely a lot of people there this weekend.

Indeed, the crowd is thick with festival circuit types, tattooed and tanned to a crisp. Partying is prime — there’s lots of alcohol available and plenty of weed to be found. (I got hooked up with some stellar Durban Poison backstage.) People eat psychedelics at Reggae. People also bring their kids. I saw many toddlers and babies, right there in the concert bowl crowd. Shit’s wild.

As I walked around the concert bowl on Friday night, with dusty trash underfoot and wasted familiars and strangers surging around me, I tripped out on the massive stage right there on the bank of the South Fork Eel. I watched the rainbow light show pulsing along with the Collie Buddz show and I wondered: Do other community centers put on shows like this?

SoHum is a trip.

(Big thanks to the folks at the Mateel for having me at Reggae this weekend. And double-big thanks to Agnes Patak for contributing photos. Courtesy,

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Another massive fish-kill?

Congressman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, has called on the U.S. Department of the Interior to act quickly to prevent a repeat of a massive fish kill on the lower Klamath River as extreme drought conditions threaten struggling salmon.

The deadly parasite that killed up to 68,000 salmon in 2002, commonly known as ich, is infecting this year’s run of salmon as they try to survive hot, warm water by crowding into the lower Klamath tributary Blue Creek. The largest portion of the fall run of salmon is likely to begin within the next two or three weeks, and could drastically increase crowding and the spread of the disease.

“I have asked Secretary Sally Jewell to work closely with the Yurok and Hoopa tribes and Humboldt County on a plan to release additional water from the Trinity River, which will boost flows on the Klamath,” Huffman said. “The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation must preserve cold water in Trinity Lake to prevent a repeat of the tragic 2002 salmon run disaster.”

The 2002 fish kill caused severe damage to tribal trust resources and commercial and sport fisheries for years to come, undermining the regional economy.

In a letter to Secretary Jewell, Huffman asked for up-to-date information on water diversions, temperature, and the incidence of disease on the Klamath and Trinity rivers. He also asked that the bureau minimize any additional export of water from Trinity Lake and to reexamine its future operations on the rivers in light of the unprecedented California drought. Huffman also asked that Reclamation draw on Humboldt County’s contractual right to 50,000 acre feet of water from the Trinity River as well as additional flows the tribes, county and agencies have requested to improve conditions on the Klamath.

“Humboldt County’s allocation of 50,000 acre feet should be used to protect the fisheries our region depends on,” said Humboldt County Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg. “We hope the Interior Department recognizes this as an available resource and used that and other sources of water to avoid another horrible fish kill this year.”

“We take this threat to our fish very seriously, and we’re looking at every option to protect our fish,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke, Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “We don’t want to go through another catastrophe like the fish kill in 2002, and we will do anything we can to avoid that outcome this year.”

“The Hoopa Valley Tribe and North Coast communities remain concerned about the health of Klamath and Trinity rivers,” said Hoopa Valley Tribe Fisheries Director Mike Orcutt. “We hope and pray that the Interior Department will take appropriate actions to prevent a fish kill this year.”

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by James Kunstler

That the snarkier circles of political commentary thrill to the elephantine bellowings of Donald J. Trump only shows the pathetic limitations of the snarkists. They enjoy Trump’s filterless mouth, his harsh goadings of the other presidential wannabes, and his supposed telepathic empathy for the suffering public outside the magic kingdom of DC.

Trump has one legitimate issue, immigration, plus a brief against the general incompetence of professional politicians, and a pocketful of grandiose claims about his majestic skills in business and deal-making. As business goes in this huckster’s paradise, being a real estate developer is perhaps one click above being a car-dealer, and the fact that some of Trump’s artful deals end up in bankruptcy court might argue against his self-proclaimed mastery. Hence, his relegation to the clown category.

What Trump represents most vividly in this moment of history is the astounding lack of seriousness among people who pretend to be political heavyweights. No one so far, including the lovable Bernie Sanders, has nailed a proper bill of grievances to the White House gate. A broad roster of dire issues facing this society ought to be self-evident. But since they are absent so far in the public discussion, here is my list of matters that serious candidates should dare to talk about (all things that a sitting president could take action on):

The security state. America has developed the most horrifying state security apparatus that the world has ever seen in its NSA and associated agencies. It has become the sugar tit for some of the most malevolent enterprises of the corporatocracy — the black ops companies and the weapons dealers. The growth of this monster was not mandated by heaven. A president could lead the move to deconstruct it. A candidate with a decent respect for our heritage would make this a major campaign issue.

Related to this is the disgusting militarization of the police. Police forces in small towns have no business owning MRAP vehicles, tanks, and heavy weaponry. The federal government gave a lot of this stuff to them. Guess what? It can take the stuff back. Serious candidates should propose this.

There is a more general militarization of national life that ought to be disturbing to thoughtful citizens. I live near a US Naval base. I see enlisted men in town wearing desert camo uniforms on their time off. I resent this hugely. Military personnel at home have no business wearing war theater garb in a place where they are not at war. Historically, it was never before the case that US soldiers went about in battle dress at home. This disgusting trend has even been adopted in major league baseball. The New York Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates have gone on TV wearing camo baseball uniforms. What are they trying to prove? That we are all at war all the time?

The pervasive racketeering in American life is destroying the country. Medical racketeering leads the way. Be very clear: it is a hostage racket. You are the hostage when you are sick or in need of treatment. You will probably agree to anything that will save your life. The medical racketeers know this. Hence, we live under the tyranny of the “Charge-master” pricing system that assigns ludicrous costs to everything doled out as “medicine,” with the pharmaceutical industry creaming off whatever remains. A trip to the ER with a broken arm can easily propel a household into financial ruin. A president could apply the antitrust laws to many of these rackets and practices. There is no excuse for failing to take a stand.

The most dangerous rackets of our time are those running through banking and finance. The superficially genial President Obama has done absolutely nothing to defend the public against gross financial misconduct and pervasive accounting fraud. His justice department has failed to prosecute widespread criminality in banking and his regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies have sat on their hands for six years while markets are hijacked and manipulated. This behavior gives credence to a greater conspiracy between the governments, the “systemically important” banks, and the Federal Reserve to prop up a Potemkin financialized economy for political cover and favor at the expense of crumbling real economy. A potential president has got to swear to defend the public against these institutional turpitudes. A president can lead the way by proposing to reinstate the Glass-Steagall act and by directing the justice department to break up the “systemically important” banks before they implode the entire operating system of the global economy.

President Obama didn’t do a damn thing in the wake of the 2010 Citizens United decision issued by the Supreme Court. This decision endowed the alleged “personhood” of corporations with a “right” to express their political opinions by giving money in unlimited amounts to candidates. The decision has been a disaster, since it amounted to a “right” to buy elections. The “personhood” of corporations has evolved during the industrial age from a very circumscribed set of chartered practices to the very dubious realm of “personhood” privileges. The basic truth is that corporations do not have duties, obligations, or responsibilities to the public interest; only to their shareholders and boards of directors; and this condition should be self-evident to jurists. Hence, it is necessary to directly address by statute or constitutional amendment the limitations on the personhood of corporations. A president can lead the effort to do this via his party allies in congress.

Why has the foreign policy apparatus of the USA gone into the business of antagonizing Russia? How does it benefit the American people for its government to finance and direct a coup d’é·tat in Ukraine? Why did the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cease to function. Some of the GOP candidates for president are sitting senators. Why doesn’t press inquire of their failure? Why is there no public discussion of this very disturbing policy?

President Obama promised in 2009 to put an end to the revolving door between government regulators and the entities they were regulating, banks in particular. He did absolutely nothing about it. In fact, he installed a revolving door at the White House, allowing the free movement of such rogues as Robert Rubin, Gary Gensler, Mary Jo White, and Larry Summers in and out of government. Such villains are destroying the nation. Any president with a shred of common decency could put an end to this practice.

There you have a few choice things to chew on. They go beyond mere inchoate rage and revulsion against politicians. They represent a very rich agenda of matters the country must attend to if it is going to survive. I wonder if the major media grandees who make up the debate questions will even think of these things.

(Kunstler’s third World Made By Hand novel is available !!. The Fourth and final is finished and on the way — Spring 2016. “Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page- turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist

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CURRENTLY, FEMINISTS LACK SYMPATHY and compassion for men and for the difficulties that men face in the formation of their identities. I’m not talking in terms of the men’s rights movement, which got infected by p.c. The heterosexual professional woman, emerging with her shiny Ivy League degree, wants to communicate with her husband exactly the way she communicates with her friends–as in “Sex and the City.” That show really caught the animated way that women actually talk with each other. But that’s not a style that straight men can do! Gay men can do it, sure–but not straight men! Guess what–women are different than men! When will feminism wake up to this basic reality? Women relate differently to each other than they do to men. And straight men do not have the same communication skills or values as women–their brains are different! — Camille Paglia

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by Ralph Nader

TO: Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
2236 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515;

Representative Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
308 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515;

Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH)
1524 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representatives Chaffetz, DeSantis, and Jordan,

The taxpayers elected you – and therefore pay your salary – with the expectation that you would be responsible legislators, but your behavior as Committee and Subcommittee chairs, along with that of House Speaker Boehner, regarding the IRS has been wholly irresponsible.

Following Representative Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) example, you have made mountains out of molehills in regards to the charges of IRS bias against right wing, tax-exempt, political groups. These charges have been rebutted item by item by the IRS Inspector General, congressional witnesses who have no political ax to grind, and by Rep. Issa’s counterpart, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), most recently on July 27, 2015

Remember that when these 501(c)(4) PACs have overtly politically partisan names and rhetoric, whether from a Tea Party or progressive viewpoint, the IRS should give them closer scrutiny.

In this letter, I wish to address your constituents about your utter ignorance or hypocrisy – you choose – in complaining about government deficits while strip-mining the already small tax collection budget of the IRS, which is supposed to collect over $3 trillion for all three branches of the federal government. Cutting the IRS budget to the bone means it cannot adequately address and collect more of the roughly $300 billion in tax evasions each year.

When the Republican’s yearly reductions in the IRS budget angers someone like conservative economist Jerry Jasinowski, who served as the President of the National Association of Manufacturers for 14 years, and was a frequent witness at congressional hearings, you’d better listen.

Mr. Jasinowski says that cutting the IRS budget for five consecutive years by a total of $1.2 billion and lowering the budget to $10.9 billion – its lowest level, adjusted for inflation, since 1998 – “promotes cynicism [and] encourages cheats.”

He continues: “As a result, the IRS has lost 13,000 employees, 11 percent of the total [employees],” initiated “19 percent fewer criminal investigations than the year before,” and completed “46,000 fewer audits.” Consequently, billions of dollars will, of course, go uncollected every year.

People cannot reach the IRS with their questions. There are not enough IRS agents to answer the phones; millions of calls go unanswered. You have helped cause this mass irritation and waste of time for the people back home.

The increased complexity of the tax laws and the surging number of identity thefts are putting more burdens on the diminishing number of IRS staff, who are resorting to spending their own money on office supplies in order to keep things running. (The Affordable Care Act alone has generated many questions for the taxpayers.)

Mr. Jasinowski charges that “Congress is undermining that trust [known as voluntary compliance], shortchanging the treasury and encouraging illegal behavior. This is a serious mistake.”

It is more than a mistake. Republicans are to blame here because they are running the Congress and passing these cuts despite the opposition from the Democrats. They are knowingly and willfully making it impossible to have the IRS crack down on big corporate tax evasion and large individual violators. No doubt some of these tax cheats are gratefully contributing to the campaign coffers of the Republicans.

It gets worse. While the Republicans are calling for the impeachment of the capable, turnaround expert, John Koskinen, the Commissioner of the IRS, these same Republicans have fashioned a tax code that allows dozens of major corporations, like GE and Verizon, to pay no income taxes at all on billions of yearly profits in the U.S. (see for more information).

Republicans do not hesitate when taking money from commercial interests in return for providing tax laws with so many lucrative loopholes that the rich and powerful can become legal tax avoiders instead of remaining illegal tax evaders. The tax code has been wholly shaped by political influence. Fewer tax dollars are being collected even though our country has a huge federal deficit, leaving taxpaying Americans to ultimately pay the price for the flaws in the tax code.

How can you collect your sizable paycheck with that kind of grotesque performance? Try disagreeing with Mr. Jasinowski, who accuses the Congress of presiding over an indecipherable tax code that results in “big time tax cheats getting off scot free.”

The rumble from the people gets louder and louder in Left-Right alliances. The gerrymandering of single-party congressional districts that allows members of Congress to avoid the consequences of these actions is ripe for change. Your day of reckoning is approaching. You will be held accountable for your ruinous actions.

Meanwhile, enact President Obama’s partially restored IRS budget to slightly over $12 billion next year – still less expensive than the cost of the latest, redundant aircraft carrier.


Ralph Nader

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

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Ukiah, CA. -On Sunday, August 16th in Todd Grove Park at 6:00pm Fowler Auto & Truck Center, The City of Ukiah, KWNE-FM and MAX 93.5 are proud to present the fifth concert of the 24th annual Sundays in the Park concert series with two of Mendocino’s favorite bands, Double Standyrd and Top Shelf.

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"United States of Fracking" Banner Now on Tour — The 50 foot "United States of Fracking" banner that anti-fracking protesters created in Washington D.C. is now on tour, with Beyond Extreme Energy spokesperson Jimmy Betts. To host a presentation in California, please make contact at Here's the link: N.B. I am presently in San Francisco, following months on the east coast participating with Earth First! and associated uncompromising enlightened individuals and groups, going against the grain of neoliberalism and imperialistic militarism. I am available for more! Feel free to contact me. ;-)

Craig Louis Stehr


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Mendocino, CA- From sculpture to assemblage, pottery to photography, furniture to painting, Art Mix in Mendocino is the most eclectic mix of eleven Mendocino artists to assemble in one show each year. This unique show celebrates the imagination of diverse artistic minds collectively spanning centuries of art creation.

The Art Mix will run August 4th through the 29th at the Odd Fellows Hall in the town of Mendocino (Kasten St & Ukiah St). There will be a Grand Opening Reception with music, food and wine Saturday August 8th from 5pm to 8pm with all the artists in attendance to greet patrons and talk about their art.

The eleven artists participating this year include Harry Cohen, Spencer Brewer, Hans Bruner, Krystine Graziano, George Gruel, Jo Killian, Raven Mahon, Odis Schmidt, Susan Spencer, Michael Wilson and Lynne Zickerman.

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Oh yes! There IS a cure for The Summertime Blues! Shake your body and free your mind out on the dance floor at 215 Main in Pt. Arena on Saturday, August 22 at a Summertime Dance Party with your hostess with the mostest, DJ SISTER YASMIN, mixing the tunes. The music starts at 8pm, for 21 and over, with no cover charge. Enjoy a fun night of good food, libations, great vibes, and exciting music from around the globe, all styles, all eras, for every ear and heart. Soulful rhythms that will make you move your dancin' feet to the funky beat. Shine your light, celebrate Life, Summertime and Community out on the dance floor at Pt. Arena's hippest night spot for great food, drink and excellent music! The joint will be jumpin', the tunes will be pumpin', the cats and kitties will be groovin', and feet will be movin' at the swinginest party in town! Shake a tail feather! Information at 884-4703; 882-3215


  1. BB Grace August 4, 2015

    So very sad to read about the murder suicide on Navarro Ridge Road. Were psycotropic drugs prescribed? That’s my bet, not to say that all psychotropic drugs are bad, because the right psychtropic drug prescription is a marvelous tool that benefits the person, their family, friends and community. Today the benefits of psychotropic drug prescriptions is to the prescriber and their facility.

    Mr. Marmon has an issue with under-degreed social workers, as if Mendocino County hired nothing but social workers with Master Degrees all our issues concerning Mental Health would go away.

    I don’t agree. First, many times higher degrees simply say, “I had nothing going for me at the time so I spent more time in school”, or “I needed a career change, had a bachelors degree and took on a Masters”, or “Instead of promoting me, my corporation bought me this Master’s degree”, which in real life experience doesn’t make better social workers.

    Some folks are cut out for social work and others are not. I’m not. I have a real hard time witnessing violence, neglect, abuse of children, seniors, women, gentle men, immigrants and animals. Besides, there are plenty of social workers with masters degrees that FAIL the community they serve. They are self serving degreed frauds knowing this county will rubberstamp whatever crap they put out there in the kumbayah allience of the politically correct.

    Having an army of social workers with Master Degrees would not prevent the murder suicide on Navarro Ridge Road.

    The problem is that Mendocino County is looking at psychotropic drugs as THE SOLUTION.

    Psychotropic drugs are very dangerous and people agreeing to any psychotropic medication should be highly monitored, checked up on, given tons of support, occupational therepy, physical therepy, emotive rational therepy, greif therepy, workshops, where they can be observed and taken off the medication that is pushing them the wrong way, and perhaps prescribed a better medication. But to write a prescription and send people out the door with no support is as good as writing them a prescription for suicide and homocide.

    As for the rubber stamping, that will continue as long as the public decides to not participate. Today is the BOS meeting, Stepping Up Iniative will be discussed. I can’t be there, but you can bet I’m very interested in what’s going on. My hope is that because Mendocino County has a great Sheriff, Mendocino County will establish one of the best Stepping Up inniatives in the state. I have NO faith that the HHSA is going to do anything more than as little as they can, like “pose” and play word games because the MHSA Plan that was approved had been a term paper, would have gotten a FAIL. It’s not a plan, it’s a collage of cut and pastes, not that the Mental Health Board’s recommendations was any better. It wasn’t. It’s a shame and it’s not going to improve until people step up, show up, and say “ENOUGH!”

    • BB Grace August 4, 2015

      I checked it out. I’m not a facebooker so I didn’t like it, not that I didn’t like it, but it seems it got off to a good start, had a couple of good motavation moments, and then it’s just hanging in there. So what is it really? If CPS has taken your child away and it’s destroying your life, what on this facebook page is going to help you besides vent (which is a very expensive service provided by BHSA contractees)?

      • james marmon August 4, 2015

        About “Reform Mendocino County CPS”

        “First and foremost, we do not want anymore children removed from innocent parents; but we also want to ensure that Social Workers employed by Child Protective Services Investigative Unit have the proper training.

        We have heard from numerous parties in the community that Social Workers are hired off the street with no training, and the funding is not available to properly train these social workers. So what we have are employees of the county that enter people’s homes by intimidating them, and removing children without a search warrant. Not only are the families traumatized by these actions, but also social workers then falsify the facts in their report to the court to cover up their illegal activities, a fact confirmed by a number of court- appointed family attorneys.

        Law enforcement, whom we support wholeheartedly, has somehow been misinformed that they need to support these illegal acts. We encourage all law enforcement officials called to a home by a social worker, to ask where the search warrant is, unless exigent circumstances exist that put the child in harms way. We do not want our wonderful law enforcement members, or even social workers for that fact, leaving themselves open to criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits.

        Mendocino County is a great place to live, but as residents, we need to live here without fear of renegade social workers misinterpreting the child welfare codes, which were written to protect children from gross neglect, abuse, and possible death.

        We are inviting any resident of Mendocino County, past and present, to write us with their experiences of violations by Child Protective Services and their interest in a class-action lawsuit against Child Protective Services for violation of their Constitutional rights, namely the 4th and 14th Amendments.

        Please feel free to post violation experiences committed against your family by Child Protective Services here on this page.”

        • BB Grace August 4, 2015

          “Please feel free to post violation experiences committed against your family by Child Protective Services here on this page.”

          So it’s a nice place to vent. Other than that, they have an issue, which I presume you share, that Mendocino County social workers are not trained or paid enough.

          In the “2015 – 16 Mental Health Services Act Fiscal Plan”, which I would have never approved for numberous reasons, I have written down a few issues for a presentation to the Mental Health Board meeting, Wednesday, 19 August, Gualala, for example, of the total $2,871,099.00 planned (estimated), $323,444.00 is going to training social workers; $612,163.00 Capital Facilities/ Technology , $917,779.00 Prevention Early Intervention (to contractors, OMG/RQMG, others, to “service” less than 1/4 the eligiable consumers).

          The problem is Mendocino County is putting mental heath in the hands of social workers instead of administrative psychiatrists who can socially engineer a system that works for all the people of Mendocino County.

          Mendocino County would be better off giving all eligable consumers $14K so that 20,000 people can afford good mental health care and raise their life styles, which would raise the life styles of the entire county.

          As it is, Mendocino County lifts the lifestyles of a few hundred “poorly trained, under-degreed and unqualified” social workers serving approximately 2,000 consumers at $10,000 an hour.

          Many people hoped that Aaron Bassler tragedy would have waked Mendocino County up to the need of a good mental health system, but nothing has changed, as they just keep the MSHA ball rolling giving social workers jobs rather than getting a real leader with programs and services that keep Mendocino mentally healthy.

  2. james marmon August 4, 2015

    Child Protective Services, or Social Worker Protective Services.

    Below is a paragraph taken from a letter I received in 2010 from CPS Deputy Director Becky Wilson regarding the Agency’s policy to protect under-qualified social workers.

    “The Department recommends was established years ago (at least 8 or 10) as an effort to support and protect social workers through the court process. We find that often our court cases can be contentious and sometimes individual social workers are not confident with the direction a case may proceed. In particularly difficult cases’ following a case conference a supervisor, manager or county counsel can see the need for a case to move in a direction contrary to the views of the social worker. In other cases everyone may agree but understand that the social worker needs support for his/her position through the court process. for these reasons we began using the phrase “the Department recommends” etc. rather than “this social worker recommends'” In particularly heated cases this gave the social worker the opportunity to discuss the team decision which was made; or the supervisor, manager or deputy the responsibility to provide the bottom line explanation to the court and protected the social worker from being torn apart on the witness stand in front of their client.”

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