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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Aug 9, 2015

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ON SATURDAY, CalFire declared the 70,000 acres of scorched earth called the Rocky Fire 70% contained. Authorities also re-opened Highway 20, and lifted all remaining evacuation orders.

CalFire, August 8, 7:30pm: “During peak fire conditions throughout the day deep seated pockets of heat have produced several small flare ups within the interior. Overnight cooling with relative humidity recovery is reducing the threat of fire activity along the perimeter. Access to the fire line continues to be challenging in various parts of the fire. Damage assessment has been completed and firefighters continue to establish and construct containment lines and implement the suppression repair plan.”

A total of 43 residences and 53 outbuildings were destroyed; 8 more structures were damaged. The total number of firefighters on the Rocky Fire has been cut to about 2400, down from the high of over 3500 a few days ago. Firefighters on the ground deserve a lot of credit for keeping this giant blaze from being even worse under some very difficult conditions. But there are months left in the beginning of the fire season.

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JUDY VALADAO SPEAKS TRUTH TO FORT BRAGG POWER

I am having a very hard time understanding why this City's leaders are so hell bent on helping those who obviously aren't trying to help themselves. And I'm not talking about the few who are honestly looking for a hand up and not a hand out. I am talking about those roaming our streets who are being fed three meals a day for free. I'm talking about those who keep our Police Department jumping day and night. I'm talking about those who get their free meals on paper plates and throw them wherever they happen to be when they are finished eating. I'm talking about those who deposit their recycled food wherever they can find a spot to squat. Yes, I am angry!

Why wouldn't those looking for handouts, or those hiding from the law and living on the streets come to Fort Bragg? My God, we have turned this City into Ground Zero for the Homeless with all the handouts and freebies.

Why isn't the leader who claims to "love Fort Bragg" doing something for the elderly who have put blood, sweat and tears into making this town what it is? Why isn't there more affordable housing for the elderly instead of once again looking for more property to purchase for Transitional Housing? Why isn't there a break given in the cost of water to Senior Citizens who don't use as much water as younger people?

The answer to those questions is quite simple: MONEY. There is no big money in helping the elderly, the money is in helping those who have not contributed one iota to the growth of this City. The money is in helping those who don't pay taxes to support this City. Isn't it odd that it is the elderly who are preparing, serving and cleaning up after feeding the ones who are getting more help from the City than they are?

Isn't it odd that when I asked a few of Dave Turner’s "I LOVE FORT BRAGG" group to help me crochet scarves for the homeless (I started doing this when a person froze to death near the Food Bank) they laughed and made fun of my project. I guess I deserved it because me making scarves that actually help doesn't generate a dime for the City, does it?

A lot of Fort Bragg’s elderly sit by and barely make ends meet each month while the City's chosen are given handouts on every corner and even get their medication for free. Some of our elderly do without medication because of the cost.

Someone help me to understand how a City Mayor can pride himself in restoring a trestle (which he didn't do), pride himself in saving the Starr Center (which he didn't do), pride himself in saving the Skunk Train (which he didn't do), pride himself in making his term of Mayor the cornerstone of helping the homeless, but NEVER, NOT ONE TIME, mention helping the elderly. I would love to hear some thoughts on this.

All the handouts are allowing some to hang on to their money by not having to feed themselves. In fact it leaves them more money to spend on booze and drugs. Our Seniors could use some help so they would have money to spend on drugs also. Their drugs are legal and in some cases drugs that make their lives more bearable. Drugs that help with the pain in their joints from years of hard work.

This is so very wrong and I am trying to understand how anyone can justify the wrong being done by this City.

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Noyo Bridge (photo by Annie Kalantarian)
Noyo Bridge (photo by Annie Kalantarian)

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SAN FRANCISCO: A CITY IN CRISIS

by Ben Terrall

From any perspective other than the robust prosperity of the 1%, San Francisco is a city in crisis. In the past five years, reported evictions have increased 54.7%. The number of homeless children has doubled since 2007. A recent study compiling data through 2013 reports that black people are 7.1 times more likely to be arrested in San Francisco than white people, 11 times more likely to be booked into jail and 10.3 times more likely to be convicted. Meanwhile tech millionaires are newly minted in droves and housing prices skyrocket.

As politicians and the media glamorize the transformation of working class neighborhoods into trendy high-income housing, it’s important to hear voices from the other side of the barricades. In his new collection of poetry and prose Cool Don’t Live Here No More: A Letter to San Francisco writer/activist Tony Robles addresses contemporary urban realities head on. Published by independent small press Ithuriel’s Spear, the book is a defiant affirmation of one man’s refusal to buckle under to capital.

CoolDont

Raised in a black/Filipino family, Robles is committed to honoring the legacies of his forebears and to affirming the power of the communities that have nurtured him. He writes from a passion for social justice, which makes his work a bracing contrast to the over-privileged, navel gazing memoirs that clog today’s bookstores. As a board member of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, where he has long advocated for the rights of seniors, and through involvement in ongoing anti-eviction battles, he has paid his dues fighting the good fight.

Robles writes about a world that is rapidly being wiped out by the tsunami of Silicon Valley money that’s flooded the Bay Area. He recalls stories from his uncles, who regaled him with memories of gang life in the Fillmore district of the 1950s and 60s. The Fillmore was “the Harlem of the West Coast” and “The sound of jazz was everywhere — the music made of words buried deep and kept inside for too long — black and brown fingers walking the keys, black over white.” As “redevelopment” hit the neighborhood, long term residents were forced out, “leaving behind empty lots and memories … My father watched as the rich antique dealers descended on these places, extracting fixtures and cleaning places out — hauling out banisters and intricately designed mantles to resell in their shops in Marin County.”

Robles describes leading a job training program for people with mental and physical disabilities in which he has the attendees read Langston Hughes, Charles Bukowski, and Raymond Carver. Those authors speak to the lives of the poor and working class; through those writers’ words, Robles helped the students see their own lives more clearly. Hughes, Bukowski, and Carver provide a good frame of reference for understanding Robles’ style: from the gut and through the eyes of the underdog. That’s true of both his prose and his mostly bare-bones poetry, which never aspires to be highbrow or overly ethereal. He sticks closely to a maxim his uncle Al Robles, also a poet and activist, shared with him: “The best part of our struggle is our poetry, and the best part of our poetry is our struggle.”

Though Robles’ subject matter can be pretty depressing, he always maintains his sense of humor, about himself most of all. In one of my favorite prose pieces in the book, he contemplates communicating with “ghetto raccoons” at the apartment complex where he works as a security guard. Struggling with the prospect of applying for a writing fellowship “at a large prestigious university,” he asks the raccoons for feedback. They reply, “We’re struggling to survive on dumpster scraps and all you can think about is a pansy-assed writing fellowship?”

Given the plight of poor people in San Francisco, every voice that rises in opposition to the status quo is worth supporting. At a launch party for this book, Robles said, “I would hope that people, particularly those that are born and raised in San Francisco, that are forgotten, people that don’t get listened to, can read this book and get inspired to write or to do their own creative thing and get their voice out.” Buy Cool Don’t Live Here No More and help keep such a culture of resistance alive.

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SAN FRANCISCO’S SWEET REAL ESTATE DEAL

by Debra J. Saunders

SFHomeless1

OK, I don’t really think that many people want to move into this homeless encampment near these swank six-figure Berry Street condos just because it’s free — with free electricity and water too. (The topic of my Sunday column, “Stench and the City, SF’s summer of urine.”)

Still, these photos do show a certain amount of ingenuity and defined living quarters. Squatters found empty space and made the most of it — and the least. It helped that they had a lot of what looked like stolen goods.

SFHomeless2

If you look inside this tent, you can see a power strip. Homeless need not mean powerless.

SFHomeless3

I also saw mountains of trash and scattered used drug paraphernalia. You don’t want to go barefoot in this camp.

As I’ve been writing about San Francisco’s Summer of Muck, I’ve channeled a lot of anger at how filthy the city has become. It’s worth noting that the Department of Public Works has the dirty job of cleaning this up. I believe City Hall can and should do more — but that’s no swipe at the men and women who clean up the messes the rest of us walk by quickly.

What do you think San Francisco should do?

(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)

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WHILE WE AWAIT THE FULL VIDEO of last Tuesday’s Board Supervisors meeting, let’s revisit the “Stepping Up” initiative — a national idea to try to reduce the number of mentally ill people in jail. It was on the Agenda again last Tuesday, after having been tabled several weeks ago.

IN JUNE, you’ll surely recall, the Board allocated $150k — Health and Human Services Agency Director Stacey Cryer had asked for $250k — of otherwise hard-to-come by discretionary money to, well, step up.

At that time Health and Human Services Agency Director Cryer said that Stepping Up was “an initiative, a movement, a new way of thinking, stepping out of the box, coming together, collaborating…” … and “we decided to do something a little more proactive.” Adding, “We are meeting about the way that people are picked up and the way they are delivered and how they are in the emergency room and how they end up in jail.” … She wanted to “move this county forward in a new way” and “focus on the problem. It's really putting our money where our mouth is,” and “get the collaboration started, get the collaboration of groups together and supporting what we think could be some steps to move this forward.” … “We estimated $250,000 to go into this project, again to start the conversation and a group really — we don't have the money so we haven't talked about how it would be used. We would use it in different venues to move this item forward, to move this movement forward.”

AT WHICH POINT Boonville's beloved community newspaper awarded Ms. Cryer the all-time Mendo Cliché Award for the most buzzwords and phrases in one comment by a local public bureaucrat.

THE SUPES said they wanted a few more specifics before they actually turned over the $150k, and Ms. Cryer assured them they’d have some in an upcoming presentation.

ACCORDING TO Willits Weekly’s Supes reporter Mike A’Dair, seven weeks later, what do we have?

“[SHERIFF] Allman, Cryer and Thompson have been working with other countywide and statewide organizations to craft [sic] an effective strategy for Mendocino County. Allman said on average some 20-22% of the jail inmate population has mental health issues. Currently the jail holds about 300 inmates. 20% of that would be 60 inmates. According to Allman the idea is to divert low-level offenders from the correctional system and into the mental health recovery system. ‘Once a person is in the county jail, funding stops for mental health services for this person,’ Allman said. ‘If we can prevent low-level offenders from crossing the threshold of the jail and hand them off to mental health then our community is better off’.”

We don’t know if by “our community” Allman meant his Jail staff who have to deal with roughly 60 mentally ill people at any given time, or the larger community.

“ALLMAN said the $150,000 would be used to expand training to other branches of law enforcement that may not have had it. ‘The guys in my department have had training in the past four years,’ Allman said. ‘What we want to do is expand the training to police officers, ambulance personnel and other first responders.’ When Supervisor John McCowen asked what providing one-time money would mean for the future, Allman replied the commitment would likely be ongoing. ‘I certainly am not trying to tell you that $150,000 is going to solve this problem forever. This needs to be a continuing conversation.’ Public Defender Linda Thompson told supervisors the combined efforts of her office, the district attorney, the Health and Human Services Agency, and the Mendocino County courts have diverted 85 people with mental health issues from the jail over the past 2.5 years.”

NAMES! WE'RE SUSPICIOUS of Ms. Thompson’s numbers. 85 diversions? We know they’re not the frequent flyers, most of whom obviously have mental health problems, because the frequent flyers continue to “cross the threshold” — aka get arrested — in the usual wholesale names and numbers. We’d guess that if there were 85 people “diverted” from jail they’d be the “low hanging nuts,” er, fruit — the self-diverted, mostly.

REPORTER A’DAIR also noted that “No one from either of the county's two privately owned mental health providers, Ortner Management Group and Redwood Quality Management Company, spoke to supervisors in support of the national Stepping Up campaign.” A’Dair added, “While supervisors appeared to view the presentation from Allman, Cryer and Thompson with approbation [sic] they did not vote to assign the $150,000 to the training program.”

TRANSLATION: Staff spent seven weeks developing what they first said would be a “pilot program” or at least some specifics and all they could come up with was a vague “expanded” training program? At least the Supes realized this wasn’t even close to a “program” — in fact it was an insult: Did staff really think they could get $150k for nothing more than ill-defined “training”? Do they think the Board will hand over money for literally anything if it’s accompanied by a blizzard of buzzwords? (Don’t answer that.)

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ArmHurts

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CALTRANS TO COMPLETELY CLOSE 128 near the Sonoma County Line at night for weeks.

State of California • Department of Transportation

TRAFFIC ADVISORY

Date: August 5, 2015
District: 4 - Oakland
Contact: Allyn Amsk
Phone: (510) 286-5445

State Route 128 Slope Protection Project — Night Closures begin August 24 at 11pm

Sonoma County – On Monday night, August 24, Caltrans will begin full closures of State Route 128 in order to place piles for a retaining wall project approximately 1.4 miles west of the three-way intersection of North Cloverdale Boulevard, North Redwood Highway, and Oat Valley Road, and approximately 2.4 miles east (inland) of the Mendocino County line.

Closure Schedule

State Route 128 will be closed from 11pm to 5am on the following days:

  • Monday night, August 24, through Thursday night, August 27.
  • Sunday night, August 30, through Thursday night, September 3
  • No work during Labor Day Weekend
  • Tuesday night, September 8, through Thursday night, September 10

Detour: Motorists will be detoured to State Route 253. When traveling from Cloverdale to Boonville, the detour adds approximately 16 miles and 20 minutes of additional travel time.

For all other hours, one-way reversing traffic control will continue until the project is complete in mid-October 2015, and motorists should expect delays when traveling through the construction zone. If this work is delayed due to weather conditions, it will be rescheduled for a later time. Please drive cautiously through the construction zone, leave a safe traveling distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you, and Slow for the Cone Zone. For more information, visit the website at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/128oatvalleyroad

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SHERIFF ALLMAN DECLARES AUGUST 5, 2015: WARRANT WEDNESDAY!

SeanMcGlaughlin

“Sean Maclaughlin is wanted on a $15,000 warrant for Failure to Register as a sex offender.
 Height: 5' 10." 
Age: 59
. Hair: Brown
. Eyes: Blue
. Weight: 255 lbs. 
If you have any information regarding his location, please call MCSO Dispatch at (707) 463-4086.”

THAT WAS FOLLOWED BY: FELONY FRIDAY!

KamaraPage

“Kamara Page is wanted on three NO BAIL warrants. Her charges include accessory to attempted murder of a police officer, and possession of a controlled substance for sale. Height: 5' 0." 
Age: 27
. Hair: Black. 
Eyes: Brown. 
Weight: 110 lbs. 
If you have any information regarding her location, please call MCSO Dispatch at (707) 463-4086 or (707) 234-2100.

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“GRAPES VERSUS EGGS” — Sonoma County’s Goliath vs. David Story

by Shepherd Bliss

(Sonoma County, Northern California) — “Grapes versus eggs,” reports an excellent August 6 article in Sonoma County’s daily Press Democrat (PD). The Windsor Oaks Vineyard and Winery, seeking to expand its events, forced the closure of the popular Wise Acre Farm’s egg stand, disappointing many local food customers.

Selling eggs directly to people for years, Wise Acre owners Bryan Boyd and Raina Brolan were forced to shut down their operation by the winery that owns the road to the stand. A growing backlash against the wine industry erupted on YELP’s social media platform, supporting the food farmers. Many criticisms of the winery were posted online at the PD’s website; the most frequent description of the winery was “bully.”

It’s a classic Goliath vs. David story, with Sonoma County’s powerful wine industry as Goliath. Their high-paid lobbyists and marketers re-branded this region from our cherished, natural “Redwood Empire” to their commercial “Wine Country.” Goliath hoards more than its fair share of water, agricultural land, and road space. These wine barons run a Wine Empire that colonizes food farms and usurps natural resources.

Wise Acre is a local David. Most wineries here are owned by large corporate investors from Wall Street and outside the US. “The Myth of the Family Winery: Global Corporations Behind California Wine,” published by the Marin Institute, documents this. A few alcohol companies own most of the wine production here, including E & J Gallo, The Wine Group, Constellation Brands, Foster’s, Brown-Foreman Kentucky, and Altria Group, which also owns Phillip Morris and Marlboro cigarettes.

Wise Acre needs $7-$10,000 to build a new driveway. Goliath would consider that to be what used to be called “chicken feed.” But for these authentic small family farmers who already work 12-hour days caring for 1,200 chickens, it’s a lot of money, especially since good chicken feed now costs a lot.

A photo accompanying the article shows those happy chickens free ranging with their huge Great Pyrenees guard dog, which protects against predators like foxes, skunks, bobcats and raccoons. But it was two-legged predators who shut down a small family farm that used to feed now irate people.

As the Wine Empire expands, food farming in Sonoma County contracts. Over 60,000 acres are already planted here to wine grapes, with only around 12,000 to food crops. Modifying an ancient statement, one cannot live by wine alone.

Closing the road is “un-neighborly,” customer Carrie Marvin told PD reporter Clark Mason. “I’m so sad. This is an agricultural area.” Some plan to picket or boycott Windsor Oaks wines. With such community support, David may still prevail.

Sustainable?

Sonoma County’s lucrative wine industry promotes itself as “sustainable.” It ran two expensive, full-page, color ads in the PD and other publications, paid for by state and federal taxes. That’s after leveling hillsides and clear-cutting redwood forests and oak woodlands. They replace them with regimented rows of stakes in the ground, surrounded by fences to keep wildlife out.

More recently, they have been replacing apple orchards with industrial vineyards, using poisonous pesticides. “Bad apple” Paul Hobbs cleared a working orchard next to schools with over 500 children on Watertrough Road in the countryside of small town Sebastopol.

The Winegrowers sponsored a Sustainable Field Day on July 31, which this food farmer attended. Their claim to being sustainable is false advertising. True sustainability involves a triple bottom line: profits, environmental protection, and social equity. The Wine Empire is certainly profitable.

“Except for an overview on marketing sustainable wines, the topic of sustainability was not on the agenda,” wrote Teri Shore of the Greenbelt Alliance in her report. The conference was basically about how to sell more wine.

“It was mainly about how to use the word “sustainable” to increase profits and presented no additional environmental or social justice practices beyond what regulations already require,” according to Dee Swanhuyser of Preserve Rural Sonoma County (PRSC). It was not even in the field at the farm. This “field” day was held indoors with no connection to the land, earth, grapes, plants or nature.

“The wine industry addresses sustainability vineyard-by-vineyard,” writes PRSC co-chair Padi Selwyn. “But they do not address the cumulative impacts of all the traffic, pesticides, environmental degradation, and impact on neighbors. In an industry and community where true sustainability is valued, this story about the egg stand never would have happened.”

“Sustainability doesn't exist in a vacuum,” added former Supervisor Ernie Carpenter. In an opinion article in the local daily last month he compared Big Wine to Big Oil. “The cumulative impact of the over-concentration and over-development of wineries and event centers combined with environmental degradation must be addressed for real sustainability to happen,” Carpenter continued.

We need diverse, resilient agriculture and economies, not a vulnerable mono-crop. It is sad to see people deprived of good, healthy eggs to be replaced by expanded parties and wine tastings. After all, how much wine can one eat?

One of the most important things that my Grandma Laura taught us on our Iowa diversified food farm in the late 1940s was to “share your things.” If the expanding wine industry with its current Grape Rush could learn this, Sonoma County would be a better place to live.

(Dr. Shepherd Bliss, (3sb@comcast), farms, teaches college, and has contributed to 24 books.)

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WILLITS CITY COUNCIL VOTES 3-2 AGAINST LOCATION FOR NEW JOHN’S PLACE

by Linda Williams

The Willits City Council, acting as the planning commission, voted not to allow John’s Place to reopen at a new location 175 feet from Willits High School. Mayor Bruce Burton and council members Ron Orenstein and Madge Strong voted against the proposal.

Whether the new location would have received a new Alcoholic Beverage Control License was not clear, due to the proximity to Sanhedrin and Willits high schools.

Dan Chesser, the proprietor of John’s Place, applied to move his full-service bar into the old Suncycle building at 151 N. Main Street across from the old Vassar’s Pizza.

JohnsPlaceNot

The former John’s Place is now an empty lot on East Commercial Street. The building burned in mid-November. Building demolition completed in April.

[Ed note: The arson fire at John’s Place was covered in the Willits News at that time:

http://www.willitsnews.com/general-news/20141114/johns-place-willits-bar-burns-to-the-ground-an-alleged-arson]

JohnsPlaceFire

Chesser has stated his intent to move back into this old location for John’s Place whenever the site is rebuilt, but that until this occurs he would like to continue to conduct business as John’s Place at the North Main Street location.

About 25 teachers from the Willits Teachers Association signed a letter opposing the 151 North Main Street site for a bar. The letter stated, “We are deeply concerned about the decision to install a business serving alcoholic beverages so close to Willits High School and Sanhedrin High School. Even if this is merely a temporary solution, it is not a wise plan.

“It is common knowledge that teens are vulnerable to the influences of alcohol and unlike most adults, they do not know their limits and can be fearless about getting behind the wheel after drinking. The youth of Willits are even more vulnerable, as many families are in the marijuana business. Values around intoxicants are blurred here more than in the average-American town.”

WHS teacher Laura Herman read the letter at the planning meeting on behalf of the other unnamed teachers.

Some residents opposed the potential for increased traffic near the Sherwood Road intersection and others opposed the potential for noise from music at the bar.

Several supporters of Chesser spoke urging a yes vote, citing Chesser’s nearly 40 years of positive experience running a bar.

Property owner Al Nanna spoke of the improvement to the property caused by Chesser’s recent involvement. “Derelicts” and students alike have used the back area of the property for smoking dope and other anti-social behaviors. He said Chesser’s mere presence has reduced this by 80%. Nanna stated the proposed fencing, lighting and electronic surveillance would improve things even further.

Chesser had agreed to the fencing, improved lighting and surveillance in the parking lot at the proposed entrance as part of his permit application. Hours of operation were 9am until 2am daily with amplified music allowed only between 5pm and 10pm.

Burton and Strong voiced concerns about approving a bar in this part of town, so close to the schools. Burton said he had no problem with John’s Place being grandfathered into the former location.

Councilman Larry Stranske said the sale of liquor at the mini-mart located across the street from Willits High School likely posed a greater threat to students than the presence of a bar at the proposed location.

Chesser has the right to appeal this decision to the Willits city council.

(Courtesy, the Willits News)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, August 8, 2015.

Arnold, Beers, Belducea
Arnold, Beers, Belducea

JUSTIN ARNOLD, Willits. Receiving stolen property, conspiracy.

MICHAEL BEERS, Ukiah. Vandalism.

CRISTOBAL BELDUCEA, Fort Bragg/Albion. Under influence while in possession of weapon, possession of pot for sale, false ID, possession of meth for sale.

Bill, Cocone-Daniel, Elliott
Bill, Cocone-Daniel, Elliott

WYATT BILL, Covelo. Failure to appear.

RAUL COCONE-DANIEL, Ukiah. DUI, domestic assault.

ALICIA ELLIOTT, Covelo. Possession of controlled substance & paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.

Flint, Flinton, Fox
Flint, Flinton, Fox

BRYAN FLINT, Little River. Possession of controlled substance and smoking/injecting device, resisting, probation revocation.

SEAN FLINTON, Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting.

LANCE FOX, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

Guerts, Hoaglin, Macias
Guerts, Hoaglin, Macias

NATHANYAL GEURTS, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, battery with serious injury, criminal threats, vandalism.

MORNINGSTAR HOAGLIN, Grand theft.

FERNANDO MACIAS, Fort Bragg. DUI, no license, probation revocation.

Mansfield, Monts, Randell
Maciel, Mansfield, Monts

MARQUES MACIEL, Ukiah. DUI.

GEORGE MANSFIELD SR., Ukiah. Court order violation.

JAMES MONTS, Oregon House, CA/Gualala. Pot possession for sale.

Randell, Recla, Samson
Randell, Recla, Samson

ROBERT RANDELL, San Francisco/Ukiah. Possession of meth for sale, perjury.

RICHARD RECLA, San Francisco/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

PETER SAMSON, Hollywood/Mendocino. Drunk in public.

Sandoval-Ramero, Wright, Young
Sandoval-Ramero, Wright, Young

MIGUEL SANDOVAL-RAMERO, Anchor Bay. Child endangerment/abuse.

CLARENCE WRIGHT, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.

JULIA YOUNG, Willits. Domestic battery.

* * *

MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN is the recipient of the Western Fairs Association's Blue Ribbon Award, awarded to him last Thursday night at the 2015 Redwood Empire Fair Western Round-Up.

Sheriff"Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman has spent the last 35 years as a law enforcement officer. He began his service in 1981 with the Fairfield Police Department in Solano County. From that time forward, he has worked in different areas and positions with Mendocino County, spending one year as a civilian peace keeper with the United Nations in Kosovo in 1999. He has been a resident deputy, a patrol deputy, a patrol sergeant and a patrol lieutenant. In 2007, he was elected to his current position of Mendocino County Sheriff-Coroner.

“Tom serves on the boards of the Mendocino Community College Foundation, the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation and the California State Sheriffs Association. He is also involved with local service organizations, including the Elks, Lions, Masonic Lodge and Rotary. His honors include the 2000 United Nations ‘Medal of Peace’ and the 2010 Governor’s ‘Medal of Valor.’

“Raised in Garberville, Tom is married to Laura and has two sons, Adam and Josh. When not attending the many Mendocino County festivals, events and serving the public of Mendocino County, he enjoys time in his apple farm crafting fresh and hard cider.”

Congratulations, Sheriff.

— from the attorneys and staff of the District Attorney's Office.

Congratulations, also, to:

  • Walt Stornetta -- Agriculturist of the Year Award;
  • Mendo Mill And Lumber Co. -- Business of the Year Award;
  • Mel Grandi -- Exemplary Service Award; and
  • Sheryn Hildebrand -- Exemplary Service Award.

* * *

WHATEVER ELSE

My warmest spiritual greetings to all, Please know that Hostelling International at 11th & K St. has booked me into an economy dorm share from August 10 to August 16th. It is my ongoing intention to perform group rituals, participate in frontline dissent, and do whatever else which is spiritually called for to kill the monster once and for all; its current primary manifestations being neoliberalism and imperialistic militarism. Beyond next week, I am interested in being in the district longer term, which means that I am as of now actively looking for a place to live. As always, you are encouraged to contact me...hey, let's make it happen, y'all! :-)

Craig Louis Stehr, Berkeley

Email: CraigStehr@inbox.com

August 8, 2015, 1:47 P.M.

N.B. Am booked into a private room at the Zen Center in San Francisco through Sunday. They will take messages for me: I am in guest room #33. Zen Center information: Telephone +1(415)475-9362, or Toll Free +1(888)743-9362. Fax: 415-431-2943

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COSPLAY HEROES: Teen Summer Reading Party (Saturday, Aug. 15th, 4:30-7:30

District Teens at Ukiah Library is hosting: Cosplay Heroes: A Teen Summer Reading Party, Saturday, August 15th, 4:30-7:30 pm

Teens are invited to cosplay it up AFTER HOURS at the library on Aug. 15th. We’ll have prizes for best cosplay & best costume. There will also be a Lip Sync Battle & a Wii-U Sing Party, as well as a special appearance by UPT’s Repose in Action. Snacks & refreshments will be provided. For more information * please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or carrm@co.mendocino.ca.us Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library. 105 N. Main St. Ukiah

* * *

SAILING TO BYZANTIUM

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
— Those dying generations — at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

--William Butler Yeats

2 Comments

  1. BB Grace August 9, 2015

    On the Stepping Up Initiative(SUI) website, under the topic, “The People”, the majority of people are, “The Public”, who have been through their mental health system, and express what the problems were, and what hope they have in the SUI.

    The most interesting person under, “The People”, is Steve Leifman, a Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, who appears to my research on the webpage, the master mind. A Judge who admitted, “What we are doing is not working”, and decided to make a system that works.

    Leifman’s research is very interesting to see who and how he worked with to get his research, and apply the research which resolved issues, the same issues we have in Mendocino County. Leifman admits in his video that he thought there were thousands of “frequent flyers” in Miami. The research revealed that there were 97 “frequent flyers” consuming the majority of costs.

    Non profit support organizations, for example NAMI, have come on board so the list is growing, but the information continues to be very little to the public (at least on my search engines which focuses me on Mendocino County).

    The first mention of the SUI to the Mendocino County Mental Health Board, was July 15, 2015, Agenda Item No. 5 – Director Pinizzotto, MSW, HHSA Assistant Director, “c”: Stepping Up Strategies to Measure Prevalence and Assess the Needs of Individuals with Mental Illness in Jails.

    Pinizzotto supplied a handout, dated June 30, “Stepping Up: Strategies to Measure and Assess the Needs of Individuals with Mental Illnesses in Jails”, 57 color pages of webinar screen shots.

    That’s it.

    I was suprized when I learned that the County had joined the SUI June 9th. There was no mention to the Mental Health Board of the SUI before July. (though I am positive that the real Mental Health Board meets in email and why their agenda doesn’t knit month to month).

    The Stepping Up Iniative is being taken seriously in counties such as Akron, Ohio, who have dedicated county meetings with about 70 people from Public Saftey, Criminal Justice, the stakeholders, dispatchers, crisis intervention teams, and Chiefs of Clinical offices are getting training. The Office of Justice Programs is leading the way.

    The SUI is an opportunity for Mendocino County to change programs that are not working and adapt programs that are working in other counties. It appears for some reason, perhaps “Mental Health” being the part of the package, that HHSA has been given to lead the Stepping Up Iniative rather than the Justice Department, Drug Courts, who this affects the most.

    Yet, the Mental Health Board was not informed about the SUI until 6 weeks after the resolution was signed. By the way, the “Mental Health Services Agency Plan”, June 4th, all the Mental Health Board does according to the plan is listen to the public. Which is ironic since at May’s meeting we learned that the public comments were not included in the minutes.

    I believe that the SUI’s Justice Center, Bureau of Justice Assistance, is offering funds to law and order for training. So why is HHSA offering the $150K to Allman rather than training stake holders?

    And what’s perhaps most important about SUI as a platform, is they make it very clear that THE PUBLIC, public participation is crucial for success, because they understand each County has it’s own culture, resources, problems.
    P. S.

    (((((( JUDY VALADAO )))))) I appreciate your efforts! Good letter!

  2. Alice Chouteau August 9, 2015

    Thanks Judy, for shedding some light on this conundrum. It’s not just the needy elderly being passed over in favor of the homeless industry——the city has also missed an opportunity to help our young people. The Old Coast Hotel could have been purchased to train our young in all aspects of the dining and hospitality business , a concept floated by city gov in the 90’s.
    Worst of all, putting the homeless first not only destroys our security and quality of life in and around town, it erodes hopes of becoming a viable tourist destination, giving Anna Shaw of Hospitality House the funding and power to establish even more facilities for ‘transitional’ housing within the city limits, thus giving an un-elected person tremendous power to shape and degrade Fort Bragg’s future.
    The city has spent tax dollars on their grand scheme for a bike trail around the core town, without researching the disaster of Portland’s Springwood Corridor, where the homeless have taken over a once popular recreational project,
    I still hope we can vote Deitz and Hammerstrom out of office, and that a recall election for the mayor will happen. This seems the only way to put a stop to their disastrous practices.
    Alice Chouteau

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