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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Sep 11, 2015

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WEATHER REPORT

Scorching conditions that wilted NorCal this week will ease a bit over the weekend as the fog rolls in.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory through Thursday, but while the heat is expected to extend into Friday, temperatures will likely fall by as much as 10 degrees on Saturday.

Humidity, however, will increase so you'll still feel hotter than hot.

The weather service also extended an advisory cautioning beachgoers of potentially deadly rip currents and sneaker waves from Humboldt County south to Monterey County.

Hopes of a wet winter grew Thursday as federal forecasters again upped the odds of a historic El Niño.

The US Climate Prediction Center, in its monthly report, said the equatorial Pacific Ocean remained abnormally warm while weakened trade winds allowed waters to continue heating — with both at levels observed before monster storms smacked California during the wet El Niño winters of 1997-98 and 1982-83.

While the current El Niño brings no guarantee of rain, history shows that the stronger the weather pattern, the greater the chance of precipitation in California, particularly in the southern part of the state. And this one is robust.

“It could be one of the strongest we’ve seen,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.

Thursday’s report cited a 95% chance that the brewing El Niño will persist through winter, up from 90% last month.

Last month’s El Niño forecast, which similarly cited conditions on par with the two biggest episodes during the past half century, fanned media reports calling this one the Godzilla and Bruce Lee of El Niños.

The projections come at a good time for California, which has seen four years of drought and is rooting for rain.

Without the certainty of rain with an El Niño, however, state water officials caution Californians against getting their hopes up.

“Current El Niño conditions cannot tell us how many storms may cross California this coming winter or how much rain and snow will fall in our state,” said state climatologist Mike Anderson in a prepared statement. “This uncertainty means that Californians should continue to use water carefully and sparingly in the face of the ongoing extreme drought.”

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THE SUPES will put up a grudging $60,000 towards an emergency winter shelter, which means barebones outta the rain and the cold during, as the chuckle buddies say on the tv news, "extreme weather events." Whatever your views on the homeless problem, a problem that seems to be growing almost exponentially, it's not good for Mendocino County's or Ukiah's reputation as a kind of rural bastion of progressive public policy to have bums freezing to death in January sleet storms. Ukiah, as announced yesterday, has set aside some vacant land near the former Buddy Eller Center where temporary shelter can be erected without permits.

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THE UKIAH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT is circulating a pile of barely decipherable weasel words in the form of a press release announcing the results of Ukiah's place in statewide testing results. The gist of the press release? Don't get your hopes up. And don't be misled by the numbers. Our kids can read and write and do their numbers just as well, maybe even better, as their teachers, they just don't test well. It's not our fault. The tests are unreasonable. We teach real good, the kids are… Well, LOL.

AS SUPERINTENDENT DEB KUBIN, quoting herself in her press release puts it, "This year’s baseline data will provide us with information about our learning and instructional goals for the year. We are in a transition, and as with any transition, it takes time to adjust… parents should not be discouraged by their children’s test scores, but rather view them as a starting point as students and their teachers adjust to more challenging standards.”

TRANSLATION: We have no goddam idea how to instill the edu-basics in these beasts. Look at the context! A culture so far dumbed down that millions of young people think it's cool to be stupid and non-verbal. Etc.

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NOT A THROUGH ROAD

WitsEnd

Photo by Susie de Castro

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JUDY VALADAO nicely sums up the political situation in Fort Bragg: I am not a member of any group and will not march to Town Hall with any group. I have disassociated myself with anyone who does name calling and acting in any threatening manner towards any person or group who happens to have a different opinion on issues than they do. I do not attend Council meeting or any other meetings where plans may be made to overpower those wishing to speak. In my eyes this town is being pulled apart by some of those who should be the force that binds it together. Most everyone knows the “I love Fort Bragg” group has sent out an email to their friends to march to the Council meeting on Sept. 14th starting from the Franklin St. area.

For years the Council meetings have been held with next to no one in attendance except for the Council members and Staff. I thought it was great when people started showing up to voice their opinion on issues. Then I realized no one was really being listened to at all. I have stood in meetings and listened as a select group accuses those who happen not to agree with them of being misinformed (while contributing misinformation themselves). I have heard the word “bigotry” used more than once. Doesn’t it make sense that someone accusing another of “bigotry” is in fact displaying that trait themselves? Sad, our citizens can’t sit down and talk and come to an understanding that not only works for everyone but helps those in need.

All the grants (and they amount to millions) is a quick financial helping hand for the City (who gets a percentage). As we talk about this, more grants are in the works for even more housing. I think it would be interesting to know why help isn’t handed out to our seniors who are having a hard time making ends meet with their needs of living day to day. Why didn’t the City step up and help all the mill workers who lost their jobs? The answer seems pretty simple. There is/was no money in it for the City.

In today’s economy people need help, but that includes all not just a select group that creates a pay day for the City. There are homeless and mentally ill who need help and they should get it, I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. The truth is Fort Bragg needs help and they are getting it off the misery of those they claim to help. What help have they done other than file for grants and sign the checks? There are those of us who purchase food for those who need it and give so their dogs are cared for also. Some, work throughout the year to do what we can to see that they are kept a little warmer through the cold months. When some of the people in the “I love Fort Bragg” group were asked if they would like to help, they laughed.

This group started out as a Dave Turner group and on September 14th they will march to Town Hall and Dave will no doubt sit there in all his glory (again). Initiative or no initiative this City is becoming divided and no good will come of it. But the checks will continue to flow in.

When this blows over the Council meetings will once more be attended by only the Council Member.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 10, 2015

Cranford, Dragness, Evans, Garren
Cranford, Dragness, Evans, Garren

RYAN CRANFORD, Willlits. Probation revocation.

WAYLON DRAGNESS, Willits. Domestic assault.

WILLIAM EVANS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

RICHARD GARREN, Ukiah. Violation of protective order, contempt of court, probation revocation.

Goodnough, Koch, Mayberry, Piffeno
Goodnough, Koch, Mayberry, Piffeno

ROBIN GOODNOUGH, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

CHRISTOPHER KOCH, Fort Bragg. Under influence of controlled substance, making disturbingly loud noise.

BRANDON MAYBERRY, Willits. Leaded cane, bill, blackjack, slungshot, sandclub, sap, sandbag.

MICHELLE PIFFENO, Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, possession of controlled substance.

Roydowney, Sanger, Shively
Roydowney, Sanger, Shively

RYAN ROYDOWNEY, Covelo. Possession of meth for sale, possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia, suspended license.

DOUGLAS SANGER, Richmond/Willits. Probation revocation.

TYLER SHIVELY, Willits. Under influence of controlled substance, resisting.

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HILLARY REVEALS HER TRUE COLORS

Her book is bluestocking vision of human freedom based on therapeutic policing.

by Alexander Cockburn

January 26, 1996 — The prime do-gooder bluestocking of all time was probably Beatrice Webb, who with her husband Sydney fostered the political tendency known as Fabianism, very influential in the evolution of the British Labor Party. The Fabian view was that under the expert guidance of enlightened intellectuals such as the Webbs, society would gradually evolve toward maximum efficiency--good drains, good trains, sound economic management, with the state judiciously presiding over all.

Beatrice was a stringent supervisor. As a child I used to listen to Malcolm Muggeridge, a close friend of my father's, describe his visits to the Webb household, where he was courting Beatrice's niece. Beatrice would order Sydney to go for a jog before lunch. The wretched man would trot off down the driveway, with Malcolm lumbering after him. No longer under the scrutiny of Beatrice, he would dodge behind the barn, invite Malcolm to recline on a bale of hay and spend the next hour talking about the future of the world. Then they would sprint back up the driveway to where Beatrice would lay her hand on Sydney's brow, ascertaining from the perspiration that improvement--in this case physical--had indeed taken place.

Time and again, reading Hillary Rodham Clinton's "It Takes A Village," I was reminded of Beatrice Webb. There's the same imperious gleam, the same lust to improve the human condition until it conforms to the wretchedly constricted vision of human freedom that gave us social-worker liberalism, otherwise known as therapeutic policing.

There's scant evidence that HRC likes children very much. The book's subtitle is "And Other Lessons Children Teach Us," but not a single such lesson does Hillary ever cite. She sees childhood as a time when things might go wrong, the "investment" turn out to be wasted capital. The Clintonite passion for talking about children as "investments" tells the whole story. Managed capitalism (liberalism's ideal) needs regulation, and just as the stock market requires the Securities and Exchange Commission, so too does the social investment (a child) require social workers, shrinks, guidance counselors and the whole vast army of the helping professions.

And if the yield looks to be poor? If the investment might fail? Enter the therapeutic cops, in whose ranks HRC seems to have eagerly enlisted when she got her first real job, supervising children in a park. The "village" — HRC's cozy synonym for the state — moves in: "The village itself must act in place of parents; it accepts those responsibilities in all our names through the authority we vest in government."

An allegation of abuse? "We could be willing to terminate parental rights more quickly whenever physical or sexual abuse is involved."

A social worker suspects improper child maintenance? "States might also consider making public welfare or medical benefits contingent on agreement to allow home visits or to participate in other forms of parent education."

When Hillary looks at a child she sees a million chances for disaster, as though the little human were a computer without an adequate operating manual, into which the wrong software will most likely be installed.

In HRC and her awful book, we see the Fabian parable. The do-good progressives at the start of the 20th century saw the family — particularly the immigrant family — as a conservative institution, obstructive to the goals of society and the state. So they attacked it. Then their preferred economic system — consumer capitalism — began to rend the social fabric, and so today's do-gooders say that the family and the children, our "investment," must be saved by any means necessary.

Poor Hillary. Like Beatrice Webb, she watched her husband jog down the driveway of the governor's mansion in Little Rock. Bill, at least according to Gennifer Flowers, swerved off the allotted track just as Sydney Webb did, though to more active pastimes than discussion of the future of the world.

I would like to write that I have a sneaking sympathy for this refugee from moral uplift. But Bill Clinton is as eager-beaver a social cop as his wife. In Tuesday's State of the Union speech, he proclaimed the end of big government, then promptly called for state pogroms against teen gangs, teen TV viewers, illegal immigrants (many of them in their teens) and teen moms. Not less government, but meaner, more intrusive government. Bill wants us to start throwing stones at pregnant girls. Hillary wants social workers to kick down the girl's front door to make sure she's raising her child along state guidelines. She should change her book's title to "It Takes a Police State."

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HRC

February 21, 1996 — For my harsh remarks about Hillary Rodham Clinton's book "It Takes a Village," I was taken to task by Ruth Rosen, professor of history at UC Davis. According to Rosen, writing angrily in the Los Angeles Times, anyone who is publicly savaged by William Safire and yours truly "must be doing something right." Rosen thinks that attacks on HRC are not "simply politics as usual" and that HRC "is the kind of strong woman that weak men love to hate, a brilliant woman who makes mediocre men feel incompetent." The left's attacks on HRC "stem from a more visceral misogyny" and that "even today, there are still some liberal men who cannot grasp the radical nature of what they call 'women's issues'." Rosen says that "like Jane Addams and Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton believes that a truly humane society places children, not corporations, at the center of its economic agenda" and that she's "the perfect scapegoat because she has a moral compass and is not afraid to follow it."

The one thing Dr. Rosen could not bring herself to do was read HRC's book. Admiring Hillary usually depends on such omissions. Look at her book, or her commodity trades, or her membership on the board of an incinerator company or her treatment of the employees of the White House travel office and you like her less. HRC's resume, it seems to me, contains the bankruptcy of a certain strain of feminism, the same way her husband's resume, in this single person, encapsulates the bankruptcy of the Democratic Party.

Alexander Cockburn

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BLAST FROM THE NOT SO DISTANT PASS

County employees union takes action!

(October 2011)

A highly touted subject for last Tuesday’s meeting involved the County employees union’s press release the week before that said, “Mendocino County employees — seeking to reach a mutually acceptable agreement but fed up with the County’s refusal to send decision-makers to negotiations — are planning their most creative action yet at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, October 4.

 The creative action will address County workers’ frustrating efforts to get the Board of Supervisors or key County officials to join negotiation efforts, which are being stalled by a hired County consultant who has no authority to make decisions.


”

What could they be planning? You could feel the anticipation in the air! Something dramatic was in the wind! Finally, the employees were going to do something “creative” that would force the Board of Supervisors to return to the bargaining table and solve the long-standing negotiating problem!

County employee/negotiator Sandy Madrigal began the long-awaited moment by summarizing the dismal state of negotiations, the County’s refusal to negotiate and the absence of decision-makers at the bargaining table, concluding, “It takes two to tango.”

Then came the big moment: “740 people are asking each of you to dance with them,” said Madrigal in an apparent reference to the number of unfired SEIU employees still left on the County’s payroll. “So we have 740 dance cards for the negotiation ball. One set for each of you plus [CEO] Ms. Angelo. The dance steps are the no-tension tango, the work-together waltz, the change it up charleston, the settlement salsa, the labor peace polka and funky finish flamingo. Ole!” … “Each dance uses the same basic steps,” continued Madrigal. “Problem solving, invent and expand options, be non-positional, allow yourselves that extra wiggle room, use executive authority to make decisions, strive for mutual gain — we’re all about win-win, and value the ongoing relationship with the negotiating partner.”

The small group of employees in the room then formally presented their easel-sized “dance map” with little footprints for each of the “basic steps” to the Clerk of the Board, as Ms. Madrigal declared: “Change your ways and put a decision maker in the room.”

After the clerk awkwardly accepted the now-crumpled dance step map, Ms. Madrigal concluded, “Have a nice day,” and the employees politely left the boardroom.

Not one Supervisor nor Ms. Angelo responded or commented.

Obviously, the chirpy Ms. Madrigal is not Harry Bridges.

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CALTRANS WANTS YOU! — but only if you’re available at the drop of a hat for vague, unspecified heavy highway maintenance work with no specific hours or location.

(Are people as desperate as Caltrans assumes?)

Job Description:

There are potential multiple permanent intermittent (PI) [sic] openings [sic] in District 1 along The Northern California Coast, including Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Lake Counties. These positions are represented under collective bargaining. PI's may work up to 1500 hours per calendar year, hours will vary and are not guaranteed. Will work irregular shifts and alternating work schedules which may include nights, weekends, and holidays, overtime may be required. Will be expected to respond within 30 minutes of call-out, may be required to respond to emergency situations and may be loaned to other cost centers based upon operational needs. [Emphasis added]

Must reference PARF 01-5-139 / CHMW PI on your application. Your application must be received or postmarked by the final filing date. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted. Mail applications to the Division of Human Resources:

Ruth Scarborough / PARF 01-5-139
Department of Transportation
DHR Office of Classification & Hiring Services, MS 90
PO Box 168037
Sacramento, CA 95816-8037

Applicants are responsible for obtaining proof of mailing or submission of their application to the Division of Human Resources.

If you have questions regarding the duties of these positions, please contact the District 1 Maintenance Office at 707-445-6676.

Working under the close supervision of a Caltrans Maintenance Supervisor, the incumbent operates light vehicles and equipment requiring a Class C driver’s license used by assigned unit, and works individually or with a crew performing tasks related to highway maintenance work. Must possess a valid driver's license.

Heavy manual labor is required. Activities may include traffic control, vegetation control, removing debris, paving operations, and other tasks associated with maintaining the State Highway System.

You must have taken an examination for this classification or have transfer eligibility based on present or past state civil service eligibility. To participate in the on-line exam, please visit website: www.jobs.ca.gov.

All methods of appointment will be considered (e.g. list appointment, transfer, re-instatement, surplus, SROA, re-employment, Training & Development assignment, etc.). All applicants must meet the minimum qualifications for the classification in order to be eligible for appointment to the position. Your application must clearly demonstrate how your experience meets those qualifications.

All applications will be screened to ensure that minimum qualifications are met. If hired, applicants must successfully pass a pre-employment physical and drug screening prior to appointment.

A link to the class specification has been provided and the minimum qualifications are highlighted.

To view the Class Specification, click here.

To view the position's Duty Statement, click here.

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ROSS MURRAY TURNS 97

Jill Hannum writes: I was wondering if you'd be willing to put out the info below to the Clinic friends' list serve. Your list would get the word to a segment of the community that may include many of his friends. "We have a very significant birthday celebration coming up this weekend here in Anderson Valley. Our community’s oldest man, Ross Murray, will be turning 97 years of age. Yes, Ross was born on 16th September, 1918! (The oldest resident in the Valley is Freda Fox who turned 97 back in March). In recognition of this wonderful occasion, the Elder Home is hosting a gathering on Saturday, September 12th from 1-4pm at the ElderHome [downtown Boonville] side-lawn area with cake, ice cream and refreshments. Friends of Ross are welcome."

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FILL THIS OUT; Move Us A Little Closer To Broadband

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/another-outage

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SAME-SAME

Safeway is regarded as an everyday neighborhood market where shoppers equipped with Club Cards score deals on pantry staples. This is where you stock up on bags of flour and sugar and cans of beans and tomatoes because the prices are amazing, right?

Whole Foods, on the other hand, has a reputation as a gourmet grocery store where beautiful organic fruits and vegetables are piled high in the produce section and the shelves are stocked with specialty items such as raw almond butter and locally made salsa. You might shop at Whole Foods regularly, but you're going to pay a high price, right?

I spent this week browsing the aisles of Whole Foods and Safeway, studying the differences in prices, and discovered these stereotypes no longer ring true. Both stores have evolved with Safeway trying to become more like Whole Foods by introducing a house brand of organic staples and Whole Foods adopting Safeway's bargain approach by stocking shelves with its affordably priced 365 Everyday Value brand.

I concluded that the price of staples are exactly the same or similar at Whole Foods and Safeway in San Francisco. I found the grocery chains are comparably priced when you consider the overall cost of a bag of groceries. Nearly a third of the products I checked cost the same at both stores. The trends in pricing differences were erratic but organic house brand items seemed to be less expensive at Whole Foods and non-house-brand items were a better deal at Safeway (but not when it came to beer as six packs of both Sierra Nevada and Hell or High Watermelon were more expensive at Safeway).

When you add up all 29 standard grocery items in my selection, Whole Foods cost $125.32 and Safeway $127.98— that's a difference of only $2.66. Are you surprised?

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Re Public Administrators: Don't have a problem with top execs being paid well. My issue is still the old pension issues. Get paid, save and invest your money, and take a moderate pension is what most tax payers expect from our public servants. They got a steady check in exchange for not taking a private sector business risk. 
To paraphrase an old quote, 'no democracy will survive once the elected leaders know they have access to the public's money'. We crossed that bridge a long time ago. I played league tennis for many years. Years ago I played against a guy who worked the system masterfully. He started as a young man as an SF officer. Did his time and qualified as a pension still a young man. Then he took a job with with the state and qualified for a separate state pension. His wife had done the same thing and he bragged about having social security and FOUR pension checks. 
As a small business guy my entire life, these are the stories that drive me nuts.

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ONE SMALL STEP FOR CHICKENS, ANOTHER LATERAL MOVE FOR JUNK FOOD EATERS

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/10/business/mcdonalds-to-use-eggs-from-only-cage-free-hens.html?_r=0&referrer=

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SKUNK TRAIN OR JUNK TRAIN?

SkunkTrain

Photo by Susie de Castro

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RESTORATION FORESTRY HIKE

Please join Sanctuary Forest for the Restoration Forestry in Action hike on Sunday, September 20. This hike will be led by Sanctuary Forest Board President Campbell Thompson and Tim Metz of Restoration Forestry. It will be held in Whitethorn Grove, a 40-acre parcel owned by Sanctuary Forest in the Mattole River headwaters. Hike leaders will take participants on a tour of the restoration timber harvest that recently took place in the grove. Topics will include the history of forestry on the property, the use of forest management to accelerate the return of old-growth conditions, and a discussion of future stewardship projects planned for the property. This is a great way to see firsthand the use of selective thinning in a crowded, second growth forest of redwood, mixed hard wood and conifer. Meet at the Sanctuary Forest office at 10 a.m. in Whitethorn. Bring a lunch, plenty of water and wear comfortable hiking shoes. The hike will end at 3 p.m. This is a group excursion, and participants are asked to stay together at all times. The hike is free of charge, though donations are gladly accepted and help Sanctuary Forest offer this program year after year. For questions or clarifications, contact marisa@sanctuaryforest.org, or call 986-1087 x 1#. Hope to see you there!

Support from volunteers and local businesses have made this program possible for Sanctuary Forest. Local businesses that have made generous contributions are James Holland, MSW Counseling Services, J.Angus Publishing Group, Southern Humboldt Fitness, Sylvandale Gardens, The Security Store, Blue Star Gas, Caffe Dolce, Charlotte’s Perennial Gardens, Coffee Break, Mattole River Studios, Monica Coyne Artist Blacksmith, Randall Sand & Gravel, Whitethorn Construction, Ned Hardwood Construction, Pierson Building Center, Chautauqua Natural Foods, Dazey’s Supply, Madrone Realty, First Fig Gallery, Hohstadt’s Garden Center, Humboldt Bar & Grill, Roy Baker, O.D., Redwood Properties, Vella Wood Flooring, Wildberries Marketplace, Whitethorn Winery and Mattole Meadows

Sanctuary Forest is a land trust whose mission is to conserve the Mattole River watershed and surrounding areas for wildlife habitat and aesthetic, spiritual, and intrinsic values in cooperation with our diverse community.

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GOVERNOR BROWN UNDER FIRE FOR AXING STATE OIL REGULATORS AND ‘PAY TO PLAY POLITICS’

By Dan Bacher

Jerry Brown continually attempts to portray himself as a "climate leader" and "green governor" at environmental conferences and photo opportunities across the globe, but new court documents obtained by the Associated Press bolster the claims by many anti-fracking activists that the California governor is in reality "Big Oil Brown."

In these documents, two former senior level officials in Governor Brown’s administration reveal that they were fired on November 3, 2011 — one day after warning the governor that oil drilling would imperil the state’s groundwater.

In a declaration, Derek Chernow, Brown's fired acting director of the state Department of Conservation, said he told the Brown Administration that granting permits to oil companies for oilfield injection wells would violate safety provisions of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, reported Ellen Knickmeyer of the Associated Press.

"Chernow's declaration, obtained by The Associated Press, was contained in an Aug. 21 court filing in a lawsuit brought by a group of Central Valley farmers who allege that oil production approved by Brown's administration has contaminated their water wells. The lawsuit also cites at least $750,000 in contributions that oil companies made within months of the firings to Brown's campaign for a state income tax increase," according to Knickmeyer.

You can read the full story here.

The Committee to Protect Agricultural Water filed their civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) lawsuit in Federal Court on June 3, 2015. On the following day, Mark Nechodom, the controversial director of the California Department of Conservation who replaced Chernow, resigned.

The RICO Complaint by the committee, a citizen organization composed of Central Valley farmers and "individuals concerned about California's drinking water," claims that Governor Brown's Office ordered the state Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to approve permits to inject contaminated water in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The lawsuit alleges that "the Oil Companies, Governor's Office, Director of Conservation Mark Nechodom, State Oil & Gas Supervisor Tim Kustic, Director of the Kern County Planning and Development Department Lorelei Oviatt, DOGGR, WSPA, CIPA, and others known and unknown, formed an "enterprise" ("the Enterprise") to achieve through illegal means the goal of increasing oil production and maximizing profits and tax revenue by allowing the Oil Companies to inject salt water into fresh water in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act."

In a memo to David Albright of the US Environmental Protection Agency that was obtained by the AP, Elena Miller, the fired supervisor DOGGR, points out how draft regulations proposed by the Brown administration — a "proposed interim solution" to the "timely issuance of individual well permits" — resembled documents created by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA).

"This (referring to the draft regulations) was provided to us during a meeting at the Governor's Office on 10/28/11 — prepared by Lianne Randolph of the CA Natural Resources Agency. I agree with your point that this has similarities to what was prepared by WSPA late September/early October," wrote Miller.

For those not familiar with the WSPA, it is the trade association for the oil industry and the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento. Last year, the WSPA spent a record $8.9 million on lobbying — double what it spent in the previous year.

Since 2011, the Brown administration has come under fire from the US EPA for failing to protect groundwater under the federal law. In addition, after Brown fired the two oil regulators, oil companies made at least $750,000 in contributions to Brown’s campaign to increase state taxes, according to Californians Against Fracking.

Brown's spokesman, Evan Westrup, told the Associated Press that the allegations in the documents obtained by AP are "baseless."

"The expectation — clearly communicated — was and always has been full compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act," Westrup claimed Thursday.

Anti-fracking activists disagreed with Brown administration claims that the allegations are "baseless." Following the revelation, Californians Against Fracking issued a statement from Adam Scow, California Director for Food and Water Watch.

“Gov. Jerry Brown intentionally allowed California’s groundwater to be contaminated, and subsequently accepted financial backing from the oil industry for his political efforts," said Scow. "The cracks in Jerry Brown’s leadership on climate change, already demonstrated by his support for fracking, now go beyond hypocrisy. Firing two watchdogs in order to allow irresponsible and illegal dumping of toxic oil wastewater in California takes the state back to pay-to-play politics as usual."

The documents obtained in the RICO lawsuit also provide further evidence of how, once again, the regulated have captured the regulatory apparatus in California. Just as Big Oil has captured the Department of Conservation, agribusiness tycoons, the Metropolitan Water District and the State Water Contractors have also captured the California Department of Water Resources.

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FIRST MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION ON COAST!

This will be a marvelous free, cross-cultural Hispanic and non-Hispanic celebration of an important date for our Hispanic friends on the Coast. Join the fiesta this Sunday, September 13th, from 11-4, in Bainbridge Park at Laurel and Harrison in Fort Bragg. Lots of Mexican food will be for sale and there will be music, children’s games, piñatas, and more. Organized by Project Sanctuary, Safe Passage, Latino Coalition. Come and bring your family and friends!

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“A CHILD, A DOG, AND A GOOD BOOK”—

Therapy Dogs Return to the Ukiah Library, Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30 PM

The Ukiah Library is proud to announce our registered therapy dogs have returned to the library on Wednesdays, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. for our program, “A Child, a Dog, and a Good Book.” Bring your children to enjoy the dogs and a good story every Wednesday.

18 Comments

  1. Lazarus September 11, 2015

    “SKUNK TRAIN OR JUNK TRAIN?”
    If these guys get the long waiting Remco property this type of neglect could fit right in with the rotting hulk.
    The property needs development, not idle promises, not meaningless studies, not unfulfilled schedules, and defiantly not profit takers.
    Don’t trust them, any of them, who say they are fixers. Skunk promised other stuff in the Willits too, never happened.

  2. Jim Updegraff September 11, 2015

    Re Fort Bragg City Council: “politics is too important to be left to the politicians”.

  3. Harvey Reading September 11, 2015

    “A culture so far dumbed down that millions of young people think it’s cool to be stupid and non-verbal. Etc.”

    Nothing new. This country started off dumbed down. And, it’s hasn’t been just the kids.

    • Lazarus September 11, 2015

      You really believe this stuff, don’t you? I’m sorry for your pain, this life, this planet. this country must be very awkward, for you… Harv.

      • Harvey Reading September 12, 2015

        You’re living proof of my assertions.

  4. james marmon September 11, 2015

    RE: BLAST FROM THE NOT SO DISTANT PASS

    The Union, along with most the citizens of Mendocino County have been under the impression that by contacting their elected officials could promote change. That’s how its done in America, right?

    Everyone knows different now. Our elected officials are not decision makers. There is only one decision maker and that is the CEO.

    The current Board of Supervisors, as long as they look good, are content with hiding behind the CEO’s skirt and leaving the hard work to her.

    That is a problem you have when you elect career politicians to operate your local government. Dan Gjerde, Dan Hamburg, and late comer John McCowen are all career politicians.

    The County’s finances are good, so they look good. All the Department heads are happy with their budgets, so all is well.

    They could care less that their public servants are not being treated appropriately or earning a living wage. They can care less that most the qualified and experience staff have left the county for parts unknown.

    I think it is shameful that the current board does not seem to be phased by how the poor and underprivileged are going without proper services. Welfare eligibility workers, CPS workers, Alcohol and Drugs workers, and Public Health Workers “all gone” because of the board’s reluctance to question what is really going on in HHSA. All this effects the poor.

    On Tuesday the HHSA Director informed the board that she had requested a waiver from the state to operate public health without the registered nurses that are required by law. HHSA has already filed for a waiver to operate Family and Children’s Services with under qualified staff. The Alcohol and Drugs program is down to just a handful of counselors, and as for Welfare, Ms Cryer’s solution for the shortage there is to work with the local high schools for recruiting EFAS workers. She said, “we’re going to grow our own.”

    Cheap labor is all they care about now, and unfortunately, the only place in the County that is hiring is the County. I can’t wait until these new employees evolve and organize. If I were all these workers I would demand that the County pay them for working out of class. If the county had to pay the same price for unqualified staff as they do qualified, they may be more inclined to change their philosophy.

    What’s going on in Mendocino County is why unions were created first place.

    • james marmon September 11, 2015

      Dan Gjerde, John McCowen, and Carre Brown’s terms all expire in 15 months. It is time to start looking for some replacements. Those three have done a good job pleasing the “haves”, but its time we get some people in their who also care about the “haves not”.

      • james marmon September 11, 2015

        Any interested citizens who have ever thought about becoming a County Supervisor should throw their hats in the ring now. SEIU supported all three of the ones mentioned above. They supported them with money and an army to do the footwork. The problems at HHSA and the treatment of public servants would be an excellent platform to run on, and I’m sure SEIU would be happy to help. They know what has to change now. The problem has been identified, now is the time for the solution.

        We need leaders in our local government, not more followers.

        • james marmon September 11, 2015

          A “strong supervisor” initiative would be another good place to start, giving supervisors back some executive powers in certain situations. There are times that they really do need to interfere in the day to day business of some County departments.

  5. Nancy September 11, 2015

    Re: James Marmon

    “The Alcohol and Drugs program is down to just a handful of counselors”..,,, Solution? Hire a new AOD (SUDT). Deputy Director for an understaffed and underfunded department. This highly paid position was eliminated, the last Deputy Director laid off, years ago when the department was still effectively serving clients. Now it’s being brought back at a time when there are few services, a few counselors (many rapidly reaching retirement age) and a unmet need that is costing our county’s law enforcement, social services, healthcare, mental health and other agencies millions of dollars.

    Brilliant! Hire a new AOD deputy director, an additional mental Health Director, while retaining Mr. Pinizzotto. No new counsellors, clinicians or initiating/maintaining programs that actually provide services to those in need. The services that remain (Monday – Thursday, only) are provided by overworked and underpaid (not to mention frequently under qualified or under trained) employees. We need more direct service workers…not more administrative staff with nothing to administer.

    • james marmon September 11, 2015

      These two new hires, the Mental Health Director, and AOD Deputy Director are only to provide Mr. Pinizzotto and Ms. Cryer more insulation. Just another level of bureaucracy to fight through. Besides, why hire two employees when you can have another administrator for the same price.

  6. BB Grace September 11, 2015

    My hope is that the new mental health directors would know how to write comprehensive componate and culture plans, enjoy the opportunity to establish the Stepping Up Iniative, which gives Mendocino County the freedom to develope and establish alternative mental health solutions for Vets, gangs, medical marijuana, and that the directors would be hiring their staff rather than inheiriting someone elses?

    Now that I understand that Mendocino County, Ukiah, Fort Bragg everywhere that has a CEO, the only job of council or supervisors is to hire and protect the CEO they hired.

    So the question becomes for a council seat or supervisor’s campaign: “Who you want for CEO?”

    I’d pick Tom Allman because he would put the jail and law and order in it’s proper place rather than the catch all the county doesn’t do, he would find someone he wants to work with to be sheriff.. We would have transparency. Just thinking out loud. Hmmm

    • james marmon September 11, 2015

      The Director of Mental Health will be a yes man or woman. He or she will be promoted from within. That person will be rewarded for their loyalty not for their knowledge. HHSA will not bring in outside expertise and risk exposure. They always promote from within.

      • BB Grace September 13, 2015

        James Marmon, I appreciate RQMG and RCS having a psychiatrist because some people need help beyond a person with a certificate and 20 minutes to observe to prescribe psycotropics.

        A good psychiatrist is slow to prescribe anything, usually prescribing psychological tests and therepies, collecting and reading observations, blood tests, and networked with facilites. A good psychiatrist is well aware of the side effects and what damage they can do to a person, so they are slow and methodical getting it right rather than fast.

        What’s the story behind Talon Barton? Piece of shit, he’s gone. But was he on meds? Is Mendocino County flushing Talon who is too young and mentally unstable to make his own decisions.

  7. Sonya Nesch September 12, 2015

    Mendocino County needs to return to the CAO system where County Department Managers and employees work for the elected supervisors; and dump the CEO system where they work for the unelected Carmel Angelo.

    • james marmon September 12, 2015

      The current CEO is a savoir since the economical downturn of 2008. It looks like she has really turned things around.

      Unfortunately I think she is taking credit where credit isn’t deserved. She is not responsible for the vastly improved economic picture at either National or State level. She had absolutely nothing to do with the increased State and Federal dollars flowing into the County. She had nothing to do with the increased property values which led to the increased tax revenues that the County appears to be enjoying. She did none of this.

      What she did do was take from County employees 10% of their pay for past 7 years. Many of which are so underpaid they qualify for food stamps. She also ran off hundreds of qualified and experience employees who left because of the decreased pay or because of the way her administration treated them.

      She also reduced vital services to our county’s poor. County residents have to wait weeks or months to have their welfare applications processed, because EFAS is only half staffed. Furthermore, it is rumored that EFAS administration is intentionally making it hard for homeless people in the County to receive aide in an attempt to run these people out of the County. Where are you whistle-blowers?

      Children are left in abusive homes because Family and Children Services are so understaffed. Some children are unnecessarily removed from homes because FCS does not have the manpower or needed services to monitor a child in their home instead of foster care.

      Substance abuse services have also been reduced to almost nothing, in a county that has one of the highest rates of drug and alcohol occurrence indicators in the state and nation, she has decided that treatment is insignificant.

      Public health has also been grossly effected. There is a critical shortage of public health nurses, especially in light of the increased STD occurrences in the county. We are currently facing a rate of reported STDs that is closing in on being at the epidemic level.

      Mental Health, nobody knows what’s really is happening there. There is reports that Ortner cherry picks the clients they want to serve and many others are left to go without. To top things off, we have no way of knowing if they are accurately billing Medi-Cal and are going to leave the county with the bill. I know one thing, Ortner is not contributing to the reserve fund HHSA has set up to cover any anticipated overcharges.

      As for RQMG, they appear to want to serve everyone whether they “really” meet medical necessity or not. Their administration costs appear to be much lower that Ortner, but that shouldn’t be an indicator that all is well. Their sister company RCS is making up for it with inflated administrative costs for children placed in their foster care and group home system. Furthermore, we know nothing about their Medi-Cal billing practices. They could be really racking up a big bill for HHSA to pay. They too do not contribute to the reserve fund.

      Now, ask yourself, is the CEO really doing a good job?

  8. Nate Collins September 13, 2015

    “Therapeutic policing” is a perfectly descriptive term for the the type of tyranny I experienced in a liberal midwestern working middle class family growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.

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