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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Sep 14, 2015

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AS OF SUNDAY EVENING, CalFire had estimated the Valley Fire at over 50,000 acres with no containment information at all, only an expanding list of mandatory evacuations:

Point Lakeview Hwy and Hwy 281, Rivera West and Clearlake Rivera, Hwy 29 (Kelseyville) at Hwy 175 south on Hwy 175 towards Cobb, Red Hills Road to Hwy 29, Hwy 29 X Hwy 175 south to Seigler Canyon Road (south side of Hwy 29), Hwy 29 Tubbs Lane (Calistoga, Napa County) to Hwy 29/Hwy 53 (Lower Lake, Lake County) Butts Canyon Road to Napa County Line, including Berreyssa Estates, Butts Canyon Road to Pope Valley. Communities of Cobb, Seigler Canyon, Loch Lomond, Middletown and Hidden Valley Lakes, Livermore Road, Summit Lake Road and north of the community of Angwin.

And Advisory evacuations:

Pine Flat Road 5000 and above, Geysers Road out of Healdsburg 6000 block and above and Geysers Road out of Geyserville 9400 block and above

Evacuation Centers:

Kelseyville Presbyterian Church in Kelseyville and Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga and Highland Senior Center.

At that time there were over 1000 firefighters on scene in 30 crews with 125 engines, 4 air tankers, 16 dozers and 15 water tenders. “The Valley Fire Incident is currently 50,000 acres with 0% containment. The fire is threatening critical communications infrastructure in the Geysers area, as well as, threatening the Adalin Power Plant (Cal Pine). This morning mandatory evacuations were added in Point Lakeview Hwy and Hwy 281, Rivera West and Clearlake Rivera. There have been an unconfirmed number of structures destroyed. 5000+ are without power. Additional resources are on order and responding to this incident.”


ASH from the rampaging Valley Fire has drifted over the Coast Range to the Anderson Valley and the Mendocino Coast. An apprehensive Mendocino County awoke this morning to a burnt orange overcast sky and the ominous smell of smoke in the air. This Valley fire's destructiveness is unmatched in NorCal history. A thousand homes have been destroyed so far, many thousands more imperiled, thousands of people displaced.

Bob Rider is one of those evacuees who shot video on his phone after he got out. He told ABC7 News that he, his wife, three young boys and their dog "ran for our lives" from their home in Hidden Valley Lake. "The sound of this fire was that of a jet plane in flight. You could see fire advancing. It was incredible. We weren't evacuating carefully and cautiously, we were fleeing," he said. Rider says they only had time to grab a couple important items before loading up and leaving. He believes his home and photography business have been destroyed. As lightning fires continue to burn throughout the Emerald Triangle, much-needed rain clouds are expected to reach the Northwest by Tuesday. Firefighters are still battling several fires throughout Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Lake counties. However, as the flames become increasingly contained, many firefighters are switching to fire-suppression repair and burned area emergency response.

Although showers are expected to dampen some of the existing fires, the US Forest Service issued a press release Sunday, warning that charred earth heightens the risk of flooding and landslides.

“Wildfire increases the potential for flooding, mud and debris flows that could impact campgrounds, fishing areas, homes, structures, roads, and other infrastructure within, adjacent to, and downstream from the burned area,” the press release reads. “Summer thunderstorms and winter rain events in the Northern California mountains can bring heavy rain storms. Residents and visitors should remain alert to possible flooding when traveling along roads downstream from the burned areas of the recent Northern California wildfires.”

Firefighters in California are contending with 13 active wildfires, the largest of which has scorched nearly 130,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada since it ignited July 31, according to the U.S. Forest Service. More than 3,000 firefighters are battling the so-called Rough fire, which is 31% contained and is threatening world-famous sequoia groves in and around Sequoia National Forest, according to the forest agency.

MENDOCINO COUNTY lives on mass tenterhooks. We're as dry and wooded as Lake County, but so far this summer, we've had no fires of consequence. Traditionally the months of September and October are when the worst fires occur.

ON-LINE COMMENT: Stunned and horrified at the explosive growth of the Valley Fire. We evacuated from Harbin Hot Springs at 4pm, left Middletown at 4:30pm. Harbin is likely gone, Middletown is burning, reports are that Hwy 29 is jammed at a standstill with people fleeing. It seems so unreal. We dodged a bullet today.

Lake Mendocino has opened up Bushay Campgrounds [Lake Mendocino] for refugees. Isis Oasis in Geyserville has opened up its place for the Harbin Hot Spring community members. But, this day started with 5000 new refugees and I just heard it was up to 17,000 but I haven’t confirmed that or seen a source.



Businesses and residents around Geyserville are closely watching the status of the voracious Valley Fire, which moved into Sonoma County Sunday afternoon and had burned three cooling towers at The Geysers geothermal energy complex, about 20 miles from the tiny Alexander Valley town. “We’re definitely keep an eye on it, for sure,” said Becca Belitz, a guest services associate at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. People have been calling the winery and restaurant all day to see whether they should cancel, she said, but in the end most have chosen to make the trip. At the Geyserville Inn, front desk receptionist Amy Gagarin said “It’s a little smoky up here, but it’s safe, as far as I can see.” Speaking of those affected in Lake County, he added, “Oh, man, it’s so sad.”


The Valley Fire has burned some of The Geysers geothermal energy facilities in the mountains above northern Sonoma County and six fire engines are heading to the area to combat further spread of the massive blaze. “They’ve lost some cooling towers at The Geysers,” said Gold Ridge Fire Chief Dan George, who supervises strike team orders. At least three of the wooden towers reportedly have burned. How critical that is to operations at the electrical power facility wasn’t initially clear, but the cooling towers are used to reduce the temperature of the water used to produce electricity, George said. Three of the engines were from Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park and Valley Ford and three were from Marin County. “They need help with the infrastructure,” George said. “The fire is well established on the Sonoma County side.

UPDATE 6:15pm Sunday: Sonoma County emergency officials have issued evacuation advisories to certain residents of Pine Flat and Geysers roads in Healdsburg and Geyserville, notifying them to be on the alert for changing conditions and evacuation orders in the event the out-of-control Valley Fire descends further into Sonoma County. The blaze already has crossed the county line and caused fire damage at The Geysers geothermal energy complex, officials said. It also has spread into the Big Sulphur Creek drainage, county officials said. Though no homes in Sonoma County were immediately threatened, an automated dial-up system was used to alert more than 80 residences in the following areas to be prepared to leave on short notice, if necessary: Pine Flat Road, addresses 5000 and above; Geysers Road out of Healdsburg, addresses 6000 and above; Geysers Road out of Geyserville, addresses 9400 and above. Those with special evacuation needs should leave as soon as possible, emergency officials said.


There is very little wind right now in Clearlake, nothing like yesterday. News is not good for tomorrow, winds return. I saw one post that the firestorm is creating its own wind and pushing embers and causing spot fires out ½ mile ahead of itself. Its growing in all directions. On the northeast section of the fire it is believed that it will meet up with the two fires we had several weeks ago. That will help them get containment there. 0 containment right now, it doesn’t look good for the next day or two. — James Marmon, Lake County

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The County Of Mendocino, Health And Human Services Agency (HHSA), Disaster Response Team Has Opened An Emergency Shelter

In response to the neighboring fire in Lake County (named the Valley Fire), the County’s HHSA Disaster Response Team has opened an emergency shelter at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds located at 1055 North State Street, Ukiah. The shelter opened at 2:00 p.m. and will be available to provide beds, water, and meals. Please note that donations can be made through the Red Cross, however, cannot be accepted at the shelter directly. Details regarding the fire at this time are unknown, as well as the numbers of citizens affected.

The County is coordinating the shelter effort with Lake County Office of Emergency Services (OES). The Lake County OES has a pre-recorded information line set up at (707) 263-2360.

Carmel J. Angelo, Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer

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ANDERSON VALLEY’S ONLY AVAILABLE STRIKE TEAM was already out of the Valley fighting the Butte Fire when the big Valley Fire started, according to AV Fire Chief Andres Avila. “It’s really busy out there,” said Chief Avila.

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MONDAY MORNING CALFIRE UPDATE (6:30 am): 61,000 acres - 5% contained. "There has been a report of a civilian fatality in the fire area. That report is being investigated by local law enforcement. 400 homes have been destroyed by the Valley Fire and many hundreds of other structures have been destroyed as well."

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by Bruce McEwen

Born August 10th, 1925, she has had her gravesite and headstone in place ever since she lost her first husband a train wreck, 1954. While he had been fighting with Patton’s Third Armor in the Battle of the Bulge, his fiancée was riveting wings of B-24 bombers at Consolidated/Convair in San Diego.

She’d already lost one brother to the war, Uncle Art, whose military portrait hung on her living-room wall, between two windows, and a splendid photo of an air-borne Liberator over the pacific, at the entryway.

She was next-to-the-youngest by one, her favorite sister Lila, who preceded her in death. Betty The Riveter’s next oldest sibling was her beloved brother Dell Dickinson, (alas, also gone) a handsome young Marine, taking shrapnel on Iwo Jima, after several days awash in the bay on a landing craft, the cockswain shot dead, and the Japs zeroing-in their new field howitzers on the derelict. Betty’s next older sister Mary — Aunt Molly, actually — was a US Marine, herself. And she’d just married a veteran of Guadalcanal, the dashing Uncle Carl Calcara.

Widowed at such an early stage of her life, with three wee lads, her loyal sister Lila came to help. They plugged a radio in the old cabin her brother Dell had given her, and together the sisters took care of the Three Little Pigs, as the boys soon were known — behind their backs, all smiles and kisses up front!

Union Pacific, who owned the train that hit her husband’s new dump truck and killed him, gave Betty a new car to compensate, a 1954 Chevrolet coupe. The boys would be in the backseat, Saturday nights as this car piloted its way to an open air dance hall, all white stucco under a high canopy of cottonwoods. The sisters would park down by Otter Creek and let the rills and burbling of the creek sooth the sleepy kids.

The Purple Haze dancehall was probably where she met her second husband, just back from bombing the Burma Road out of Calcutta, Merwin Brown. The kids were awake to the rumbling drums and strumming guitars to some extent and keen to look for Aunt Lila coming back from the grill with hamburgers and hotdogs.

Merwin, Betty loved and devoted herself to. Even in a crisis between Merwin and her children, she differed to his judgment. Tensions arising from the growing stepsons were relieved by the specter of another war, and the maturing boys were hurried off to Vietnam, Okinawa, and Stuttgart, as soon as they came of age. Soon he house Dell gave his sister became Merwin’s property, an artifact of chauvinism both Merwin and Betty were long-accustomed to.

Merwin had a drinking problem, a glamorous debility of the war in those days (what we call PTSD, nowadays), which he shared with Uncle Dell, and Betty sometimes looked like Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, as Merwin played Marlon Brando’s role.

Betty took over Merwin’s recovery. She opened her house (an old newspaper office) to Alcoholics Anonymous; she deep-fried kilotons of doughnuts and brewed a river of coffee. She made every sacrifice to save her marriage. And took care of her three, then four, then five; finally, six boys, all at the same time. And she prevailed.

Besides her beauty, Betty’s gift was at the cookstove. We all know she got her noodle recipe from her mother Lula, but her dinner rolls were far and away to die for over Grandma’s — not even any of the Great Aunts, not even her celebrated Aunt Jane, whom she was named after and whom she idolized, not even Aunt Jane, could make better rolls than Betty and, as Secretary of the Treasury, Cousin Ivy Baker Priest said in her autobio, Green Grows Ivy “I’ve never seen Betty so happy as when [her Aunt] Jane told her her rolls were better than her mother’s [Lula’s].”

Aunt Ivy, as we were taught to address her, had been US Treasury Secretary for Eisenhower, later in California for The Guv. Ronald Reagan. She had grown up in a boarding house and knew good rolls from bad. They — everyone from Pat Nixon to Mimi E., everybody had a recipe and they put out a cookbook Betty had known the secrets of long before. President Eisenhower played the fool, Col. Stupenagel: How to Sty a Frake — burp!

Betty also had a book, first edition, signed by the author, addressed to Lula and found on a rubbish heap after Grandma’s funeral services.

None of the Dickinsons, excepting Lula, were avidly literate, to put it mildly.

Betty and Leila read Margaret Mead, or not at all! One of the brothers gave her a collected works of Earl Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason and a Zane Gray series. One of her boys had to have his hands slapped and ears boxed for snooping into this mysterious library which served as an emblem of rectitude and social standing more than any source of pleasurable escape from the daily tedium. One day they were jettisoned to clear room for a new TV.

It was Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink, with a recipe for suet pudding written in Betty's mother’s beloved hand on the back pages. None of her siblings seemed to want it. Betty opened it and saw why: Girls in grass skirts cavorting with bare breasts, drunken old men passed out on the beach, a fire burning and a pig roasting. A devout Mormon who never let even her wedding toast sip of champagne pass her lips, she slapped the book shut and hid it in a closet; Trader Vic had served liquor to three of her brothers, her sister, and at least one of her husbands. No wonder, Betty must have thought. She certainly said it often enough.

Merwin Brown had many virtues, but his sense of humor wasn’t one of them. Betty was avid for compliments on her cooking, and she knew she was good enough to be deserving. For Merwin to have taken a little notice would have meant the world to her. And sometimes she would be hanging on to every bite her husband took, expecting an adjective.

But the Browns are Scotch; thrifty, sour old cynics to a man.

“Bruce,” he’d snarl, “go out and get the axe so I can cut your mother’s steak.”

At table, Betty learned that compliments could be more devastating than insults.

She wouldn't let us see her cry.

She loved to work with her hands and to be included in whatever humble capacity she was capable of. She proved to be capable in many things, and won a prize for devotion to helping others in a number of aspects: It was an engraved silver bowl, and she kept a verse on a scrap of paper in it, in her own precious hand, of a Mother Teresa sentiment.

Good-bye, Betty the Riveter. You won the war and saved the casualties, fed them the best stuffed pork chops, venison tamales, and fresh baked dinner rolls any of them ever ate in their lives.

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THIRD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR TOM WOODHOUSE made it clear last Tuesday that he was no longer even going to be mildly skeptical about the County’s mental health department and their two expensive private service providers. Woodhouse’s announcement seemed to have been precipitated by nothing more than some limited positive financial news from the CEO’s office that the Mental Health budget deficit wasn’t as bad as previously thought.


Assistant CEO Alan ‘The Kid’ Flora: “The Executive Office has contracted with an outside auditor to come and begin auditing mental health both I would say operationally as well as looking at the finances as well. We are anticipating them to be on-site the first full week of October to begin their work. We are anticipating that we will have some recommendations towards the end of this year. They will actually have a pretty short timeframe maybe — I don't know. We will see how well the timeline works out. But they are going to be dedicating a lot of effort in the short-term to taking a look at mental health, so we are excited to dig into that. We had initially reported to the board as part of the midyear budget update in February that there was a potential for roughly $4 million deficit in mental-health related to a number of audit findings. That was really the worst case scenario. There have been a lot of things that have changed since then and a lot of effort that the staff and HHSA have spent in trying to reduce some of those amounts. They have been relatively successful in doing some of that. What we anticipate happening that did not happen in fiscal year 14/15 — whenever there is an audit finding basically what the state does is reduce the revenue that they normally give us — it's not like we send them a check for the amount, but instead we don't get as much revenue until that audit finding amount has been taken out of our revenue. That did not happen at all in 14-15. It did begin happening in July of this fiscal year so at this point a little over $1 million has been taken. And this is one of the audit amounts that is just over $2 million so we need to make sure that there is a plan to cover that amount for this year. So you can see in some of the budget adjustments that are included in your packet that there is an adjustment to the state revenue that we are recommending be included and that is the amount of that audit finding. There are a number of things in the works. We have received a letter from the state saying that there will be an amount over $400,000 that will be returned from previous audit findings and we have received unofficial word that a previous audit would kind of be reversed and that is expected to be over $2 million returned to the local agency from previous audits. This is money that was already taken. So that's good news. We don't know exactly when that's going to happen but I just want the board to be aware that there is some fund balance in the mental health fund and from what we know now with the rest of that revenue from this audit being taken away the fund balance in the mental health fund and the audit reserve which currently has $1 million in it we will be able to cover that deficit. Of course the best case scenario is that one or the other of those other audit reversals will produce money that will come back to the County sometime this fiscal year. We have also transferred $326,000 from a realigment trust account from social services to mental health to help make up the difference in balancing the mental-health budget.”

Supervisor Dan Gjerde: “This is definitely good news for the county's finances. What is the time period for this audit? It only goes forward to a certain fiscal year. So there will be future audits of later fiscal years which mental health was managed by the county?”

Health and Human Services Director Stacey Cryer: “The $2 million he's referring to is from the audit exception in 06-07. We also have an amount from 2002. It has not been reimbursed. A very small amount. Since the county did not spend general fund dollars for these audit exceptions it will come back directly to the agency [not to the General Fund].” Cryer added that There could be more audit exceptions from the fiscal years of 2010, 11, 12, and perhaps later.

Woodhouse: “This is like hearing a new song that you think you really really like a lot. It's fun. I appreciate all the work you have put in. I'm very proud of all of you and I am going to push the reset button on myself to break the history and the complaining and the stuff from before and the stories that people have fallen between the cracks. There's always going to be that negative. But I am definitely going to partner with you. My comments to you I'm going to do publicly and with specific questions and look for specific answers from you and I think that approaching anything like this with openness and working as a team— there's really no way it can be stopped. I'm tremendously relieved and I will have to find something new to worry about now. Thank you very much for all your work. I am very impressed.”

CLOSE OBSERVERS of the County budget may recall from Supervisor Dan Hamburg’s appearance in Anderson Valley last spring that Hamburg used the excuse of the now-much reduced $4 million mental health budget deficit as one of the main reasons the County couldn’t pay patrol deputies a competitive wage. Now it turns out that 1. That $4 million hadn’t come out of the General Fund (which funds the Sheriff’s Department), and 2. It isn’t going to be anywhere near that big. So, is there any chance that Hamburg or any other Supervisor or the CEO will revisit patrol deputy pay (which even with the recent contract agreement between the Deputies and the County is still not even back to pre-2009 levels)?


PD. MS. CRYER ALSO ANNOUNCED that she plans to hire a new Mental Health Director to replace former Ortner Management Group exec Tom Pinizzotto who will assume the title of Assistant Health and Human Services Director — one among several other assistants. What this means to the actual Mental Health department and its subcontractors remains to be seen.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY DAVID EYSTER told the Board at last Tuesday’s Budget hearing that Proposition 47, which allows people convicted of certain less serious (mostly drug) felonies to have their charges reduced to misdemeanors has had among its consequences an increase in the number of frequent flyers that the cops have to deal with.

Eyster: “Throughout the year I have sent the supervisors a kind of breakdown of the filing rate, how fast criminal reports are coming into the District Attorney's Office. Last year we were setting records on the numbers coming in and having to review. That doesn't mean that all those that come in get filed, but it certainly means that it is work that has to be considered and reviewed. It's also an indicator of what is happening out on the street as far as law enforcement on patrol, the investigators, and the like. Realignment [shifting state prisoners to County jails] has continued to be a challenge for us. Not so far as implementation but as far as what it has done. We are doing some statistical analysis now. We had some funding given to us by the CCP [Community Corrections Partnership, the state agency put in charge of prison realignment] and we are early in that proceeding. We are early as far as what the statistics mean. We wanted to make sure we had clean data. From that clean data we had strict business rules how that would be applied so that when we got a statistical result it would be something we could replicate. According to the last run we are looking at the Proposition 47 where we started. We have done probably about 210 Proposition 47 petitions. Those are petitions or folks who have asked that felonies be reduced down to misdemeanors because of the change in the law. It was very difficult at first because we had a big tidal wave of petitions coming in. It has slowed down now. One of the things I was doing this morning was I was in Prop 47 court and we had three petitions we had to deal with. People [coming to that court] would say, ‘I'd rather take my hit now and not participate in drug rehab through the drug court. We'll just see how it goes.’ Well, it doesn't go well. We have some folks coming back and back and back. That is not anything new. It has just kind of expanded. Up in the Third District we have folks who are charged with 647F, drunk in public. The Willits Police Department is bringing folks down maybe every three days that they just can't stay away from the bottle. They get in the jail. They get out. They get back again and we have to keep amending our complaints because we can't get them into court for arraignment before they reoffend again. It's a very difficult thing. Supervisor Woodhouse knows and I know that the Willits Police Department is working hard as is the sheriff. But it's one of these things that's kind of a cultural issue that we have had for years and we have just not been able to deal with it. We have the drunks in public. We have the folks that I call 11550, using or being under the influence of controlled substances. A lot of repeat flyers. Proposition 47 in that regard did not help us very much, in fact it's made it more difficult.”

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AFTER DA EYSTER made his budget presentation (which was fully supported and approved by the CEO and the Board) there was this brief exchange between Supervisor John McCowen and DA Eyster:

McCowen: “In an effort to inject a little humor, I was going to ask if the auditor had approved your ermine cape or not. And I decided I should not ask.”

Eyster: “I think you have been reading too much of the AVA.”

McCowen: “No, actually that was the Ukiah Daily Journal.”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 13, 2015

Brown, Campbell, Chim
Brown, Campbell, Chim

JAMES BROWN, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

WAYNE CAMPBELL, Redwood Valley. Under influence of controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, probation revocation.

NATHANIEL CHIM, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

Cunningham, Hernandez, Jewell
Cunningham, Hernandez, Jewell

SEAN CUNNINGHAM, Elk Grove/Ukiah. Pot sale, transport, furnish.

MARQUITA HERNANDEZ, Sacramento/Ukiah. Pot sale, transport, furnish.

AMANDA JEWELL, Willits. Battery, failure to appear.

Ramirez, Silva, Taylor
Ramirez, Silva, Taylor

SERGIO RAMIREZ, Garberville/Ukiah. DUI-drugs, under influence of controlled substance.

MANUEL SILVA, Willits. Parole violation.

DANIEL TAYLOR, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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RECOMMENDED VIEWING: WILD TALES, made in Spain. Just thinking about it a couple days later makes me laugh. I can't remember a film this funny. It consists of six stories ranging in hilarity quotient, but all six memorable in their way. Can't go wrong with this one.

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ANOTHER SHELTER NOT NEEDED — We think the city of Ukiah and the county ought to think very carefully before funding what looks to us like another large homeless shelter in Ukiah. We are as concerned about the coming winter as anyone, but we have yet to see any clear data that providing a Buddy Eller-style shelter is what is needed in the Ukiah Valley. As we have pointed out before, the Ukiah Valley already has 10 units for homeless families and 20 units for homeless individuals. If actual experience counts for anything we may have approximately 50 homeless in need this winter on any given night. That means coming up with about 20 beds. Unsubstantiated estimates of homeless people in this county are only that, numbers made up based on very little real information. Opening another large shelter means more people come into our area looking for handouts. It means more problems for law enforcement who saw in years past the kinds of conflict and crime that occurs when people are housed like crates of canned goods in a warehouse setting. Looking back through our own files we find that just between 1994 and 2004 this county spent more than $11 million on homeless services. That was back when homelessness was a burgeoning issue. Back in 1991 this county studied its homeless population, looked at campgrounds, cabins and other temporary housing and found the supply seriously wanting. Gearing up with the millions from HUD and other government sources we did manage back then to put together a variety of shelter components. We created 100 emergency beds, more than 100 transitional housing beds, and more than 200 permanent housing units for people with disabilities, families with homeless children and other low income people. Many of those resources still exist and some have been added. We think it's too easy an answer to just open another large shelter. We believe there are enough resources in this county to provide for the homeless and by providing funding to local churches and other organizations like Plowshares with space to house people temporarily we can handle the rest. It works right now on the Coast with the Love In Action program at local churches. The trouble, we think, is that there is little to zero cooperation in the nonprofit community to make truly coordinated efforts work. The city has now declared the Mazzoni Street area a zone for a homeless shelter. That does not mean that we simply throw the doors open to anyone who shows up. The community tried that. It was not a good fit. — K.C. Meadows (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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ON MONDAY, September 13, 2015, at 1 p.m., Pacific Time, KMEC Radio brings you a special edition show that we're calling "Syria, A Refugee's Nightmare". James Paul is our guest. John Sakowicz and Sid Cooperrider host the show.


  1. Jeff DeVilbiss September 14, 2015

    I know of the revenge of the old woman mountain, but always beleived it would be a Valcano, not wildfires!

  2. BB Grace September 14, 2015

    RE: PD. MS. CRYER ALSO ANNOUNCED that she plans to hire a new Mental Health Director to replace former Ortner Management Group exec Tom Pinizzotto who will assume the title of Assistant Health and Human Services Director — one among several other assistants. What this means to the actual Mental Health department and its subcontractors remains to be seen.

    One reason Mendocino County mental health assumes the shape of a speghetti monster is the lack of published directory and the combination of acronyms and adlib of titles; For example, Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), established by proposition 63, created the Mental Health Services Agency (MHSA) and the Mental Health Board (MHB) AKA Mental Health Advisory Board (MHAB), presently discussing a new name change, and takes it’s lead from the county Behaviorial Health Services(BHSA), rather than the mission of proposition 63, and one reason for the confusion of purpose and funds of MHB/MHAB/MHSA/MHSA/BHSA. The County has the Mental Health Board all over the map with mixed agendas, rather than the MHB focused on and distributing their Prop 63 funds to the county(outside county contractors and their contractees).

    The County (self)”employs” the board as a rubber stamp, and how the board got involved with Hospitality Center, which was none of the board’s business, because it wasn’t the board’s funds, other than the Fort Bragg Community Development Block Grant, or was it? Mental Health componates and cultural Plans don’t say, but I digress..

    I have a business card here, “Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency; Bryan Lowery; Assistant Director – Human Services; address, phone, email contact numbers”.

    So what’s going on with Mr. Lowery if Pinizzotto is taking his job, or will there be two assistant directors? Or will Lowery be the new Mental Health Director? Why wouldn’t Cryer get a new director before announcing staff changes?

    What this means is Mendocino County has no mental health plan.

    Ahhh Woodhouse’s one taste of the Mendocino County mental health Speghetti monster and he joins his peers, “let them eat pizza!”

    • james marmon September 14, 2015

      Like I said the other day, HHSA very rarely ever hires people from the outside for these top positions, such as Mental Health Director. A loyal soldier from within will be promoted to that post.

      Pinizzotto was an exception to this rule because he was brought in to do one thing, and that was to privatize mental health. He and Camille Schraeder cooked this whole thing up before Ortner even came into the picture. Pinizzotto just knew a guy, who knew guy, who might be interested in making millions of dollars.

      Flora: “we have received unofficial word that a previous audit would kind of be reversed and that is expected to be over $2 million returned to the local agency from previous audits. This is money that was already taken.”

      My 84 year old mother just received unofficial notice from Publisher’s Clearinghouse that she too might be a millionaire, she just has to keep spending money on things she doesn’t need.

      Now you can call me a conspiracy theorist, but until the State actually sends the Agency that money, it doesn’t exist. I think that it was just an excellent ploy to get out in front the fire storm surrounding HHSA’s budget.

      Word of this money, a audit, and putting the Mental Health contracts out to bid has completely shut up all the questions everyone has been asking, including Woodhouse. Ms. Angelo has achieved total containment.

      Sorry for the fire references but when you live in the Hell that is now known as Lake County, its hard to think in other terms.

      • james marmon September 14, 2015

        Speaking of fire storms, CalFire is calling the Valley fire the most destructive fire in history. Now just about everyone is either poor or going without food, clothing, and shelter in Lake County. Mendocino County thinks they have a homeless problem, they should be thankful for what they have and quit complaining. Where is your “attitude of gratitude” Mendocino County? It could happen to you too.

        • BB Grace September 14, 2015

          Mendocino County has a homeless problem because Mendocino County claims to have a medical marijuana economy and yet the county won’t process people who chose medical marijuana (and alcohol and other drugs), and why despite all the money being given to Mendocino County to process homeless, Mendocino County continues to have a visable homeless/ transient population.

          The Valley Fire could happen to Mendocino County and I think that fact escapes very few who are in shock with no idea where to go or what to do if it did happen. It’s not over, just the set up for the coming floods. Heart and mind breaking events.

  3. james marmon September 14, 2015

    Just in case anyone is interested, I had an article published in the Crescent City Times. It addresses pretty much the same stuff going on here with our foster care industry, and the availability of mental health and substance abuse treatment.

  4. Jim Updegraff September 14, 2015

    Wild fires are bad this year but next year as we have an even hotter year the wild fires will increase in intensiveness. At some point there will be a big one in Mendo County that will wipe out the vineyards and the marijuana plantations.In other words no more intoxicants in the county There will be a migration of alcoholics and junkies out of the county.

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