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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Aug 13, 2015

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A wildfire burning north of California wine country has grown to more than 14,000 acres and is threatening dozens of homes.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said that the blaze, known as the Jerusalem fire, was only 5 percent contained early Wednesday. More than 1,100 firefighters were battling the blaze, which broke out Sunday in the heavy brush about 100 miles outside San Francisco.

Evacuation orders were expanded on Tuesday. It was not clear how many people had been forced to leave.

Farther north, the largest wildfire burning in California, known as the Rocky fire, was almost 90 percent contained. It was burning across about 70,000 acres and had destroyed 43 homes.

Hundreds of people were forced from their homes because of that fire before evacuation orders were lifted on Saturday.

(Courtesy, NBC News)

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Since the above NBC report, CalFire reports as of 6:30pm Wednesday that the Jerusalem Fire is now up to 20,500 acres and growing. Only 16% contained. Predicted containment: Monday, August 17, 2015. All Evacuation orders remain. Now over 2000 firefighters with 150 engines, 52 crews, 15 choppers, 28 dozers, 21 tenders. “The fire is burning in heavy vegetation and the lack of improved roads continue to hamper fire suppression efforts. The fire still remains active and firefighters are working aggressively to stop the forward progression and sustain perimeter control. Erratic winds are contributing to the increased fire activity and promoting high intensity uphill runs with short range spotting.”


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THURSDAY MORNING JERUSALEM FIRE UPDATES (6:45am): 23,500 acres burned, 33% contained.

News release from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM): "The Cache Creek and Knoxville management areas are closed to all public use and access, including hunting and off highway vehicle use, until further notice due to the Rocky and Jerusalem Fires burning in Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties."

BLM is also providing a map of open and closed hunting areas:

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Clarke, Fennell
Clarke, Fennell

UKIAH SENIOR CENTER honcho, Diana Lynn Clarke, 65, and Peter Francis Fennell, 42, a former computer operator for the Mendocino County Superior Court, are being charged by the State Attorney General's Office with 11 felony counts of accessing and sharing private and confidential e-mail, and bilking Consolidated Tribal Health of more than $65,000.

Fennell was arrested in June 2013 for a domestic violence-related crime involving a local court reporter that seems to have been handled informally, meaning probably at the victim's request.

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by Malcolm Macdonald

The August 10, 2015 Fort Bragg City Council meeting offered plenty within its agenda to pique the interest of the citizenry. Unfortunately less than ten showed up, fewer than a handful stayed for most of the subject matter, including the adoption of a resolution declaring a Stage 1 water emergency for the town. With so little tangible interest paid to the civic matters at hand, it seemed somewhat ironic that Councilman Lindy Peters proposed that city staff provide a report giving direction as to how the council might go about putting the concept of excluding social services from Fort Bragg's central business district on the ballot in California's June, 2016 primary election. A drive to gather enough valid signatures for just such an exclusionary initiative recently fell one signature short of qualifying for a yea or nay ballot vote.

There were only two brief public comments concerning this proposed initiative to ban social services from the downtown business district, Rex Gressett in favor and Scott Menzies vehemently opposed. Both left the premises relatively soon thereafter. The audience quickly dwindled to two members of Mayor Turner's family, lifelong Fort Bragg resident Jay McMartin-Rosenquist, and yours truly. While Ms. McMartin-Rosenquist remained silent at the City Council gathering, she did offer her opinion online some time later: "Did you hear Scott's [Menzies] comments re the initiative. He is a new comer. They use to run them all out of town. I was born and raised here and so were many. Support the locals who built this town and enjoy it as yu decided to live here but I am tired of others telling us what to do and how to act. Go home to where you came from and tell your home town folks how to walk, talk and behave. Sorry my rant for the night."

Just how definitively Ms. McMartin-Rosenquist's words reflect others who are signatories to the potential initiative barring social services from the downtown area of Mendocino County's second largest municipality remains to be seen. On the Facebook page where her remarks appeared the next comment was, "yeah... new guy with personal ties to the old coast project via thai chi classes called all of us bigots...."

Joe Wagner, who offered the preceding comment had earlier offered his thoughts on why so few locals are attending recent council meetings, "Many people feel really shut down by the city. i talk to many in this group and i keep hearing i'm done with those stupid meetings.... they don't listen to anything the public has to say..."

Those fixated, yea or nay, on the possibility of privatized mental health services being offered up at the Old Coast Hotel site on the corner of Oak and Franklin Streets are missing out on a story that has slithered through the weeds in Fort Bragg for years now. That story centers around the financial woes of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH).

There was some consternation a month ago about the raise, approved by the city council, given to Fort Bragg's City Manager. Most reliable sources report that said raise was actually below the statewide COLA (cost of living average). When Ruffing's city manager pay was approximately $153,000 annually, the chief financial officer at Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) was getting about $213,000 in yearly pay. In the past few months MCDH has hired a new CEO, Bob Edwards. What his precise salary is remains unknown at this juncture.

MCDH board meetings are primarily attended by hospital staff, with extremely little participation from the general public. Many readers will need a little backstory: MCDH, though it theoretically came out of bankruptcy earlier this year is still operating, month to month, just above and sometimes below the break even point. Unexpected costs have a way of continually popping up for this outfit.

In a similar vein, it has been rumored that the deadline for negotiating with the hospital's union employees came and went without action from the hospital's board or new CEO. An item that would have appeared run of the mill ordinary, negotiations for new contracts for four mainstay physicians at North Coast Family Health Center (NCFHC), the hospital affiliated clinic just across the parking lot from MCDH, has turned into a brouhaha.

The four physicians in question at NCFHC are Jason Kirkman, John Cottle, Jennifer Kreger, and Diane Harris. According to sources fairly close to the situation the four physicians were offered "take it or leave it" contracts that did not include the usually standard malpractice tail coverage. Tail coverage provides insurance for a doctor for several years following their tenure at a medical facility, protection for after the fact lawsuits alleging malpractice. Leaving such a basic clause out of a contract offer could be viewed as a professional slap in the face.

Apparently, Dr. Kirkman signed the proposed new contract, reportedly with some sort of statement indicating, 'Heck, contracts don't mean all that much around here.'

Drs. Cottle and Kreger were the subject of an emergency MCDH board of directors meeting on July 30th. The focus of the meeting: a two month extension in the negotiating process between MCDH and Drs. Kreger and Cottle.

This leads us to the August 11th Fort Bragg City Council meeting. In the agenda section entitled, "Matters From Councilmembers" Councilman Doug Hammerstrom, who is the husband of Dr. Diane Harris, made the following statement: "North Coast Family Health Center [NCFHC] has been putting out a great deal of misinformation. Some of you patients have contacted Diane, worried about her because of the information you were hearing, worried about North Coast Family Health terminating Diane's contract.

“First, it is not true, as patients have been told, that she has taken a medical leave. She does not have a medical issue. You do not need to worry about her health. Patients have also called because the information they've been told makes no sense and they think there must be some other story, and worried that Diane has some unknown problem. Diane is not having some unspeakable problem.

“The reason you are being misinformed is a smoke screen by North Coast Family Health Center. They do not want to tell you the truth that two days before the end of her contract term, they [NCFHC] informed her they would no longer negotiate the renewal of her contract. The next day at a [Mendocino Coast District Hospital — MCDH] board meeting two other [NCFHC] doctors had their contract terms extended two months to continue negotiating renewal of their contract terms.

“Diane asked the [MCDH] board to take the same action on her negotiations, but that request was declined. Diane would not have terminated her relationship with her patients in this sudden way. The suddenness is a result of being involuntarily terminated by North Coast Family Health Center.

“Diane loves being a doctor. She enjoys her relationship with her patients, some of those relationships are twenty-three years in duration. She feels a responsibility to her patients, and feels at this time that she is letting them down. She is seeking to find another situation in this community where she can continue her relationships with her patients.

“If you are concerned about her treatment you can write a letter to the [MCDH] board. There is a board meeting on Thursday, August 20th, at 6 p.m., in the Redwoods Room [of MCDH]. You could attend and speak to the issue at that meeting, perhaps on non-agenda items, perhaps there might be an agenda item that might involve it.

“On her behalf I wanted to take this opportunity that I have to speak to the community to attempt to get the word out to at least some of her patients who my have heard the same worrying information that has caused people to call her with these worries.”

This writer called Mendocino Coast District Hospital CEO Bob Edwards on August 11th in an attempt to garner his side of the story. An assistant answered the phone and said she would try to get Edwards to return the call later on the 11th or the morning of August 12th.

I also called Ilona Horton, the adminstrator for North Coast Family Health. She sounded somewhat startled to hear that I was in the midst of writing a piece about the contract offers to the four NCFHC physicians. She stated that she would have to consult with a public relations person before making any comment. About a half hour later Horton called back to say that "we" will be sending an email response within a couple of hours. Half of the following day came and went without the promised email. Follow up calls to Ilona Horton's office produced only voicemail. I left a reminder message that no email had been forthcoming, including a slowly spelled out repetition of the email address and my phone number. An hour later I called Bob Edwards' office. The assistant answered again. Her response was that their PR guy, Sid Garza, was supposed to have already sent me said email. Fifteen or twenty minutes later the CEO's assistant called back to say "they" were working on an email response and that I should receive it within a few minutes.

Is there anything in this list of obfuscations that would make readers believe the powers that be at MCDH and North Coast Family Health over Dr. Harris or her husband's comments at the City Council meeting?

How was the decision to decline a contract renewal to Dr. Harris made by the hospital? The closest thing to clear evidence lies in the July 16th MCDH Board of Directors agenda and minutes. Under "Action" items: Mr. Hogan [Board Chairman Sean Hogan] would like to appoint two Board members to review physician contracts with Bob Edwards; they can make a presentation to the Board and suggest the Board either accept or reject the contracts without the Board having to hear all the details of the contracts. Discussion ensued. Mr. Hogan appointed Dr. Glusker and Tom Birdsell to the Physician Contract Review Ad Hoc Committee.

This implies Edwards was in charge of making the contract offers to NCFHC physicians Kirkman, Kreger, Cottle, and Harris. How much input Dr. Glusker and Mr. Birdsell had in the makeup of said contract offers remains to be seen. How much needs to be read into the phrase "without the Board having to hear all the details of the contracts" is still open to interpretation.

Finally, the promised email arrived in my inbox, signed by a Sid Garza-Hillman. Beneath his name are the descriptive terms: Writer. Podcaster. Speaker. Health Coach.

Here is the email response Mr. Garza-Hillman offered up, with the heading, Mendocino Coast District Hospital August 12, 2015:

"Regarding the recent physician contract renewal, MCDH believes the most responsible course of action is to present the facts as documented in the Hospital Board meeting minutes in hopes of minimizing misperceptions and false rumors. Four primary care physician contracts were due for renewal by July 31, 2015. A boilerplate agreement was presented to the hospital board on May 28, at which time the Board requested additional information. On June 25, the Board approved the agreement. Following the Board approval, the four physicians acted in the following ways. One physician signed the new agreement on July 31. One physician did not wish to sign the agreement, thus allowing her existing contract to expire on July 31. Two physicians signed extensions to the agreement, wishing to continue their work while receiving more time to review the new agreement. We ask that the public contact the hospital directly with any concerns or questions they may have about the conflicting reports currently surfacing in local media."

Mr. Garza-Hillman offered the quotation marks on behalf of MCDH. Precisely which individual in a position of authority is being quoted remains distinctly obscure. And this is a huge part of the point regarding MCDH currently. Note the closing line, "We ask that the public contact the hospital directly with any concerns or questions they may have about the conflicting reports currently surfacing in local media."

Well, this member of the public, who pays taxes that help support MCDH, called and asked for either the CEO of the hospital or the administrator in charge of North Coast Family Health to explain what's going on and their response was to hide behind a PR guy's tardy and feeble response.

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The joint meeting of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and Fort Bragg City Council that was scheduled to take place in Fort Bragg on Monday, August 17, 2015 has been cancelled. The meeting was scheduled in order for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the Fort Bragg City Council to consider whether to certify the Final EIR, adopt CEQA findings and a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, and whether to proceed with the transfer station project. The agenda also included consideration of an amendment to the Joint Powers Agreement between the County and City for the Caspar Landfill and Solid Waste Transfer Station to address the new Central Coast Transfer Station project.

The meeting has been cancelled in order to give staff additional time to further consult with interested agencies to address concerns. Public notice will be provided of the date set for the next joint meeting of the Board of Supervisors and City Council concerning the Central Coast Transfer Station project.

The proposed commercial transfer station is intended to improve the efficiency of solid waste disposal in the Fort Bragg/Mendocino area by consolidating trash into larger truck loads for hauling to a destination landfill. It would replace the existing self-haul disposal site in Caspar and also the piecemeal truck trips made by Empire Waste Management to the Willits Transfer Station. The proposed site for the new Central Coast Transfer Station is on Highway 20, approximately three miles east of its intersection with Highway 1 (30075 Highway 20) at the northern edge of Jackson Demonstration State Forest. It was named as the preferred site by the Board of Supervisors and City Council in 2013 after a six-year search of possible locations in the Fort Bragg area.

The final EIR for the project is available at, and bound copies are available for inspection at Fort Bragg City Hall and the Fort Bragg Library. The final EIR includes responses to comments on the Draft EIR which were received during the 45-day public review period which closed on March 26, 2015.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Mike Sweeney, General Manager of the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority, which is representing the County and City in project planning. Contact: (707)-468-9710 or

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JUDY VALADAO writes: The Fort Bragg City Council agreeing to talk about the initiative does nothing to get it on the November ballot. The timeline has passed and everyone knows it (our should have known it). They can talk about it until hell freezes over, it will not be on the ballot in November. The Council could have made the decision to allow it on the November ballot weeks ago but made the decision not to do so. Now when it’s to late they want to discuss it? Is this just another way to make the people think the Council is willing at last to listen when in fact they know it is a moot discussion? You be the judge. By the way, does anyone know who will be paid to conduct the Tai Chi classes at the Old Coast Hotel? Of course money has nothing to do with a persons willingness to speak out for or against projects. Right!!

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A move by county winegrowers to form an irrigation district has alarmed environmentalists who say the proposal appears to only deal with the water needs of agriculture. [i.e., grapes]

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FROM MATIER AND ROSS in Wednesday's Chron: Starting this fall, students applying for undergraduate admission to UC campuses will have the option of picking among six genders and four sexual orientations when asked how they want to be identified.

I WAS STUMPED. Six genders? I thought there were only versions of the two, male and female.

READING ON, I learned that in addition to male and female, there are now trans male, trans female, genderqueer/gender nonconforming, and different identity. I hope that “different identity” would be more precisely defined, but I was already lost at genderqueer/gender nonconforming.

MANY YEARS AGO, I saw a hermaphrodite at a carnival in Southern Illinois. Outside, this dual person was advertised as "half man, half woman." The illustration depicted half the person with a beard and male garb, the other half a female in a dress. As a kid, that's what I expected to see. And I probably wasn't the only one who had no idea what a hermaphrodite was. I think they charged a quarter to get in. Inside, a bedraggled, beat down creature who looked like a woman to me, was introduced to us as something like “SueBob.” SueBob perched itself on a table and pulled up her dress to display a penis on top of a vagina. I fled. It was way too weird for a twelve-year-old. But back then, at least at this carnival, it seemed anything went and, as I dimly recall, it was soon shut down for alleged prostitution, which, I've always hoped, did not involve SueBob.

THE ONE SHOW I really wanted to see was The Toughest Man in the World. He was an old fighter who made his living knocking out the local tough guys who paid to fight him. My mother drew the line at that one, why, I don't know, but I never did tell her I'd seen the hermaphrodite. She would have flipped at that, and I'm assuming I'm the only guy in Mendocino County who's seen one.

SINCE THEN, America has been taken over by lawyers and moralists of various kinds, but if the Mendocino County Fair offered the Toughest Man in the World and a hermaphrodite, they'd double attendance.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 12, 2015

Boettcher, Brown-Steele, Bumstead
Boettcher, Brown-Steele, Bumstead

THOMAS BOETTCHER, Fort Bragg. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

SPARROW BROWN-STEELE, Ukiah. Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

KEVIN BUMSTEAD, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale.

Byrne, Fennell, Hernandez-Guerrero
Byrne, Fennell, Hernandez-Guerrero

JAY BYRNE, Covelo. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.

PETER FENNELL, Redwood Valley. Conspiracy.

JOSE HERNANDEZ-GUERRERO, Covelo. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.

Holliday, Langston, Moynihan
Holliday, Langston, Moynihan

ALAN HOLLIDAY, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

NICHIRIEN LANGSTON, Kelseyville/Ukiah. ID forgery.

SEAN MOYNIHAN, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance.

Mussey, Nevarez, Page, Ristau
Mussey, Nevarez, Page, Ristau

CATHERINE MUSSEY, Garberville/Hopland. DUI.

CHANCE NEVAREZ, Ventura/Mendocino. Resisting.

KAMARA PAGE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

ERIC RISTAU, Lucerne/Ukiah. Criminal threats.

Smith, Stevens
Smith, Stevens

TERESA SMITH, Willits. Grand theft.

KATHRIN STEVENS, Roseville/Mendocino. Resisting.

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This is from the UDJ, 8/6/15—

“Some of the disagreements of findings by the supervisors included accusations by the grand jury that the statistical performance of Mendocino County’s FCS is an “embarrassment” compared with other state counties. The supervisors’ response stated this grand jury finding was not supported by any evidence, nor did it feel the county FCS is an “embarrassment.”

In addressing a statement made by the grand jury which recommended that HHSA management bring the consequences of late FCS investigations to the board, the supervisors’ response stated that it wasn’t warranted because it is aware of potential consequences of late responses, and that in most instances, the investigations are being performed, but the data is simply not being entered into the database.”

There is plenty of evidence, “numbers never lie.”

— James Marmon

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Imagine that all the Sunday morning pundits are dead WRONG and The Donald gets the Republican nomination. Imagine that Hillary the Oligarch Candidate loses. Imagine that Bernie gets the Democratic nod. Impossible? I don’t know what impossible. Hillary got beat for the nomination by a nobody with a really thin resume who basically said nothing for the whole campaign. And this nobody went on to win the Presidency not once but twice. They say that Hillary has the money and the organization. And so what? Bernie is packing them in wherever he goes. Everyone who knows much, much more than you and me has said multiple times that The Donald is done like dinner, stick a fork in him because THIS time he won’t recover, his numbers will crash. Oops, as one other Republican hopeful once said, it appears that nothing of the sort happened. As for the life-form that’s growing on top of his head, well let’s say that the two of them have come to an accommodation, a symbiosis of sorts. Shouldn’t be a problem. What if it’s the creaky, old hippie against the self-proclaimed real-estate billionaire with the life-form. How would you vote? Who would win?

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Name that Heirloom...


Heirloom, Early Girl and Cherry Tomatoes

Corno di Toro, Gypsy & Bell Mild/Sweet Peppers

Padron, Jalapeno, Anaheim & Poblano Peppers

Rosa Bianca, Nadia, Beatrice & Asian Eggplant

Basil, Walnuts, French Prunes

Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash

Sunflowers & Zinnias

Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo. 707-895-2071 (— Pam Laird)

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MoMandelIn SF at the SF Punchline 444 Battery St by Clay: Wednesday, August 26, 8:00 pm

San Francisco Punchline: Thursday, August 27, 8:00 pm

San Francisco Punchline: Friday, August 28, 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm (2 shows)

San Francisco Punchline: Saturday, August 29th

In Denver, Colorado @ The Gothic Theater 7:30 pm Taping One Hour Special (Free Tickets!)

Hey guys, I am thrilled to announce that I will be taping my first One-Hour Special August 29th in Denver At The Gothic Theatre. If you or any of your friends would like Free Tix to the taping hit me up with names and email addresses at or better yet go his website and there’s a link for free tickets.

Mo Mandel

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Dear Editor:

While President Obama and Congress go through their prolong exercise as whether to approve the deal other countries are going ahead as if it has already been approved. Last month General Soleimani, the Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander, traveled to Russia to discuss the acquisition of the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. That there is a travel ban on him did not seem to be of concern to Putin. Aside from this incident European countries on the approval of the unanimous UN security council endorsement are rushing to Iran to arrange trade agreements with Iran. The German vice-chancellor and economy minister signed a MOU with Iran's development ministry. All of these countries are acting as if the sanctions were lifted. Russia has made it clear they are going ahead regardless of sanctions. China apparently is going ahead with an agreement for purchase of Iranian oil. Iran has announced they have approved more than $2 billion of projects for European countries. I am sure the President and Congress are not happy with Russia, China and the European countries for going ahead on their trade agreements.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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MY PARENTS never went out of their way to talk to us about religion, except that we knew that my father grew up in a household dominated by his Scottish father's Presbyterian faith, spending long hours in church as a child, which he hated. But he was a low-key guy and didn't go on about it. He was just determined not to subject his children to that sort of thing. It's still not clear to me if he thought of himself as an atheist.

My mother grew up in a family that rarely went to church, though she remembers enjoying singing in a church choir as a teenager, which she described as more of a social activity than anything having to do with religion. Toward the end of her life, I remember her saying emphatically that “I just can't go for it!” — “it” being any kind of religious interpretation of life.

Hence, religion simply wasn't on for us as children. Like all children, we had many other interests and activities: school, sports, radio — and the advent of TV in the early 1950s — and reading. My parents always had books — the Book of the Month club! — and magazines around and encouraged us to read.

I'm still a serious reader, and nothing I've experienced or read since childhood leads me to think that religion is a valid interpretation of life. I post anti-religious videos and material here not to annoy the faithful among my readers — if there are any — but because I think it's obviously an important issue for everyone and that if you accept religion — any religion — you get everything wrong about life.

I was never exposed to any anti-religious literature until as a young man I read Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian.

— Rob Anderson, District 5 Diary

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A Mendocino County woman was convicted Monday of being an accessory to a crime in the attempted murder of a Mendocino County sheriff’s deputy in February 2013, according to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

Ashley Jo La Forge, 31, of Ukiah, previously of Willits, was found to have materially aided Walter Kristopher Miller by obtaining and paying for a hotel room that she then allowed Miller to use to hide from law enforcement, which was seeking the man’s arrest, said Mike Geniella, DA spokesman. She pleaded no contest Monday in Mendocino County Superior Court. The adult probation department will conduct a social study and make a sentencing recommendation. A formal sentencing for La Forge is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 9.

Miller was convicted by a jury of attempted murder in December 2013, and is serving 181 years to life in state prison, according to Geniella.

After a tip, law enforcement surrounded and evacuated the Best Western hotel on South Orchard Avenue before taking Miller into custody after an armed stand-off on Feb. 27, 2013.

The firearm that was used in the attempted murder, a gun stolen by Miller during a residential burglary two days earlier in Potter Valley, was recovered from the room where La Forge was hiding Miller, Geniella said. Alicia Marie Gallups was the first of three women to be convicted of being an accessory. She was sentenced to formal supervised probation and 150 days in the Mendocino County Jail in February 2014.

Kamara Marie Page was also convicted of being an accessory, and was sentenced to the local jail in August 2014. Page subsequently violated her mandatory supervision and is currently being sought as a fugitive from the law, according to Geniella.

Previous reports state Miller was sought in 2013 after he allegedly fired five or six rounds from what was believed to be an AP9 9mm semi-automatic pistol with a 30-round magazine from the passenger window of a 1995 Thunderbird.

The driver, identified as Christopher Skaggs, of Redwood Valley, later took a plea deal and was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his involvement in the incident, according to previous reports.

A sheriff’s deputy had originally stopped the vehicle for expired registration tags in Ukiah before Skaggs reportedly drove-off as the deputy approached the vehicle. A high-speed chase ensued.

Miller allegedly leaned out the passenger’s-side window off of Highway 253 during the pursuit and shot toward the pursuing deputy several times from a distance described as about 35 feet. Miller stopped shooting when the gun jammed, according to previous reports. A bullet apparently hit a pursuing patrol car’s radiator, stopping it. The Thunderbird was later found abandoned with items reported stolen from the Potter Valley burglary, previous reports stated.


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UKIAH, Aug. 10. -- The third of three women, all of whom materially aided a defendant sought in 2013 for the attempted murder of a deputy sheriff, was convicted today of being an accessory, a felony. Ashley Jo La Forge, age 30, materially aided Walter Miller by obtaining and paying for a hotel room that she then allowed Miller to use to hide from the highly-publicized police dragnet seeking his arrest. Acting on a tip, police surrounded and evacuated the hotel, before eventually taking Miller into custody after a prolonged armed stand-off. The firearm that was used in the attempted murder, a gun stolen by Miller during a residential burglary two days earlier in Potter Valley, was recovered from the room La Forge was hiding Miller in.

California law states that an accessory is a person "who, after a felony has been committed, harbors, conceals or aids a principal in such felony, with the intent that said principal may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction or punishment, having knowledge that said principal committed such felony...."

Potential jurors called to decide the case were released just before noon after La Forge plead no contest to the felony charge. A "no contest" plea is the same as a guilty plea for all purposes. La Forge's matter was referred to the adult probation department for a social study and sentencing recommendation. Formal sentencing is now calendared for October 9, 2015 at 9 o'clock in the morning in Department A.

Additional Background:

Walter Kristopher Miller was convicted of the attempted murder in December 2013 by jury. He is currently serving a state prison sentence of 181 years to life.

Alicia Marie Gallups was the first of the three women to be convicted by plea of being an accessory. Gallups was sentenced to formal supervised probation and 150 days in the county jail in February 2014.

Kamara Marie Page, aka Kamara Love (see on Facebook), was also convicted by plea of being an accessory. Page was sentenced to local prison in August 2014. Page subsequently violated her mandatory supervision and is currently being sought as a fugitive from the law.

The prosecuting attorney who personally handled the prosecution of all of the above defendants was District Attorney David Eyster.


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CAPTURED: Kamara Page is in custody as of August 11, 2015


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CAPTURED! 8/9/15. Warrant Wednesday! (From last week)

Pauline Rachal Dungan [was] wanted on 3 felony warrants — assault with a firearm on a peace officer, crimes committed while released and obstruction.
 Bail is set at $135,000
. Age: 32. 
Height: 5' 09". 
Weight: 155 lbs. 
Hair: Blond. 
Eyes: Hazel.


 (This week: August 12, 2015)


Manuel Rodriguez is wanted on a NO BAIL warrant for Terrorist Threats/Use of a Firearm.
 Height: 5' 9."
Age: 20
. Hair: Brown. 
Eyes: Brown
. Weight: 165 lbs. 
If you have any information regarding his location, please call MCSO Dispatch at (707) 463-4086.

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On 08-10-2015 at 4:25 p.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy took a missing person report, regarding 44 year old, Scott Joseph Fitzgerald. The Deputy spoke to Fitzgerald’s sister on the telephone. She lives in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.


She said Scott was last heard from on 07-26-2015 and she was concerned about his welfare, because he has medical issues and walks with a cane. Scott was in the Eureka area staying with friends, he told these friends he was going to drive to Garberville.

On 08-03-2015 friends looking for Scott found his vehicle at the BLM, Wailaki camp ground in the Whitethorn area. Scott’s vehicle is described as a 1999, dark blue, Jeep, Grand Cherokee. Scott was not at the camp site. Scott had stayed at this camp ground in the past so friends were not concerned.

On 08-10-2015 friends went back to the camp site to check on Scott. They noticed his vehicle was still at the camp site and he still was not there. They noticed his food was rotting and it appeared he had not been there in a while.

On 08-05-2015 Scott’s dog was found wandering in the Whitethorn area. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control responded and picked up the dog. A friend of Scott’s later took custody of the dog from the Animal Shelter in McKinleyville.

The Sheriff’s Office with assistance from BLM has checked the surrounding area on Scott’s campground and did not locate Scott.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help for any information of Scott Fitzgerald’s location. Scott is described as a white, male, adult, age 44, 6’- 2” in height, 185 pounds brown hair with hazel eyes.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release

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North Coast water quality officials are poised to adopt first-of-their-kind regulations governing waste disposal, erosion, chemical use, riparian management and other water-related impacts of widespread cannabis cultivation.

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Fort Bragg – California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Mendocino Unit is pleased to announce the sale of one additional firewood permit per household on Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) beginning Monday, August 17, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. Firewood permits are for two cords per household at a cost of $20.00/permit.

Further, a second firewood gathering area is being opened on August 17th. Permit holders with remaining tags can return to the JDSF office in Fort Bragg with their permit and remaining tags in order to receive an updated map of the new firewood area. Firewood areas are tentatively scheduled to close on September 30, 2015, or until wood supply is gone, a significant rain event, or other resource constraints force closure, whichever occurs first.

Firewood permits and information on how to safely engage in collecting firewood are available at the CAL FIRE Fort Bragg office located at 802 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA (707) 964-5674. Office hours are 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (closed from 12-1:00 p.m.) Monday through Friday.

Multiple uses of JDSF for a wide variety of activities that benefit the public, the economy and natural resources are what our demonstration forests are all about.

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I read with interest Doug McKenty's recent LTE criticizing my letter in opposition to his cadre of KZYX dissidents. In it, he beseeches his me to pitch in and help the station, rather than criticizing their efforts. He asks whether I have read all of these bylaws etc. having to do with the station, and asking what I have done to help its situation.

Well, I have served in the past on the stations PAC (programming advisory committee), where we gave community feedback to Mary Aigner on programming decisions, and I believe I may soon be appointed to fill in the recently vacated board of directors seats, where I hope to pitch in a lot more to do what I can to help the station that I enjoy listening to so much, prosper.

I was a big fan of Doug's call-in program when it used to be on the air, and I wish that he could find a way to bury the hatchet and return to the airwaves with his wonderfully laconic call-in host style, but I find it hard to understand how he believes that going over chapter and verse of the station's various mission statements, licensing agreements etc., looking for ways to trip up and find fault with KZYX's management constitutes 'helping' the station in any way; it strikes me as more of an expression of male ego conflict.

Perhaps now that John Coate is leaving, reasonable folks like Doug may find a way to get back on the air and actually help the station, unlike some of his more obsessed compatriots in the 'destroy KZYX to save it' contingent.


John Arteaga


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New Moon Washington D.C. Widdershins Action

On the occasion of the new moon August 14th, 2015, there will be a 'round the Washington D.C. beltway widdershins mobile action, for the purpose of performing magical rituals to counteract the unfortunate behaviour of a political system which is predicated on neoliberalism and imperialistic militarism, and which is directly responsible for global climate destabilization. All are welcome to counterclockwise circumambulate the central political region in Washington D.C., contributing whatever you collectively bring to this critically needed radical environmental direct action.

Craig Louis Stehr


August 12, 2015, 3:34 P.M.

Washington, D.C.


  1. james marmon August 12, 2015

    The County argues that all the data the grand jury used was skewed by late data entry, unfortunately for thme, they contradict themselves in finding 6.

    The Grand Jury’s finding 6

    F6. Short term (monthly) performance statistics are skewed by untimely data entry; long term statistics will not be skewed. Whether poor performance is due to late investigations or late entry of data, the underlying cause is the same, understaffing.

    County’s Response.

    I (we) agree with this finding

    My response.

    In 2015 the grand jury examined data from the quarters starting on January 1, 2011 and ending September 31, 2014. The data the grand jury used was “long term statistics.” Any late data entries would have already been updated in the system by the time the grand jury extracted the numbers used in their report.

    • james marmon August 13, 2015

      On Tuesday I contacted the California Department of Social Services and asked the following question:

      “Would late data entry by a social worker skew the “long term statistics” in Measure 2B, Referrals by Time to Investigation?”

      Their answer to me was:

      “2B data is publicly posted on the California Child Welfare Indicators Project website: and is updated on a quarterly basis (every 3 months). The data posted is for a quarter prior, so October 1st 2015 data is for the 2nd quarter of 2015 (April – June). Each quarter when the data is posted, it is updated with any new data entries.

      I hope this answers your question. If not, please feel free to clarify further.”

      Thank you,

      CWS Data Team

      Child Welfare Data Analysis Bureau
      CA Department of Social Services
      744 P Street, MS 9-13-84
      Sacramento, CA 95814

      This answer clearly supports my position that the database is refreshed every 90 days, and that by the time the grand jury extracted their data, any late entries would have already been updated in the system.

      These investigations can only be open for 30 days and FCS exceeded state averages in 30 day closures. Therefore, the data the grand jury used was accurate.

        • james marmon August 13, 2015

          According to the database, the last quarter that the Grand Jury looked at was Quarter 3 in 2014. Today, at this point in time, the database still indicates that FCS only responded to 67% of their 10 day referrals on time.

          • james marmon August 13, 2015

            Please add to last sentence in above comment:

            in that same quarter.

  2. Judy Valadao August 13, 2015

    Sad that very few are attending FB Council meetings but that’s the way the Council likes it and people are tired of attending and not being heard so does it really make a difference? Not attending and blocking Malcolm does cause him to have to dig for a story. Jay will catch on.

  3. malcolmlorne August 13, 2015

    Postscript to the Mendocino Coast District Hospital story: A reliable source puts new CEO Bob Edwards’ annual salary at $320,000 plus benefits.
    Also MCDH eventually did make a proposal to the employees union (approx. August 1st). Union members are voting on that proposal by mail. Results should be announced on August 20th.
    Malcolm Macdonald

  4. james marmon August 13, 2015

    According to the California Child Welfare Indicator Project (CCWIP) which is used by both the feds and the state; Mendocino County ranked 56th out of 58 counties in conducting timely investigations for the entire year of 2014. Only Glen and Imperial counties had worse rankings.

    This was for the whole year not just for a quarter or a month. That statistic would not skewed by late data entry, as we are now 8 months into 2015

  5. james marmon August 13, 2015

  6. Judy Valadao August 14, 2015

    Malcolm, I know you do your homework on stories like the one above. If in fact CEO Bob Edwards’ annual salary may be $320,000 plus benefits is true, how does that number compare with other hospital CEO’s in California? It sounds extremely high to me considering the former was over $100,000.00 less. If the Hospital board actually listens to the people of the community it might be a good idea to attend some of these meetings and express your opinion. On the other hand if they do as they please even after public outcry it wouldn’t make a difference would it? You mentioned how few attended the Council meeting. That is an example of what happens when attending meetings and speaking out falls on deaf ears. In your opinion would the Hospital Board actually “listen and hear” if the community spoke out?

  7. Nate Collins August 19, 2015

    “Was she resisting arrest”
    “No, she was resisting all common sense as it relates to fashion.”

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