Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Oct 8, 2015

* * *


by Jane Futcher

Nineteen-year-old old Talen C. Barton was sentenced Tuesday to 71 years to life in prison for the Laytonville stabbing murders of Coleman Palmieri and his 17-year-old son Teo Palmieri, and for the attempted murders of Cindy Norvell, M. D., and her brother Theodore Norvell, Ph.D, of Newfoundland, Canada. Barton pled guilty to those crimes last month and to the false imprisonment of two teenaged Norvell/Palmieri family members who were at the house the night of the murders—July 19.

TalenBartonManacled and dressed in a yellow-green county jail jumpsuit, Barton watched the proceedings impassively, occasional smiling.

When asked by Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman at the County Court House if he had anything to say before his sentencing, Barton said, "Not particularly."

"If anyone calls him a monster," Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster told the court. "They hit it right on the head."

Barton appeared to nod in agreement with Eyster's characterization.

Eyster told the court: "The moments in the notoriety spotlight that he seems to have fun with when he's here in court are coming to an end today. He is going to a warehouse where the forgotten go and he's doing that because of conscious decisions he's made."

The DA said that in addition to the "grievous harm" Barton has inflicted on the Norvell/Palmieri family, Barton intentionally damaged the community by his attack on Norvell, Laytonville's primary physician. This occurred, Eyster said, despite the fact that she "had taken him in as one of her own."

Eyster also blamed Barton, a former foster child, for damaging the foster care system by creating fears in families that might consider taking a child into their homes.

As she announced the sentence, Judge Moorman said that she herself would be dead by the time Barton could be eligible for parole. However, she said, "I'll see to it that you never see the light of day."

"Yes, ma’am." Barton replied to the judge.

Eyster said after the sentencing that Barton would go to the state correctional system's reception area San Quentin, and from there he will be sent to another prison, probably a maximum-security facility given the gravity of his crimes.

"This is a calculated, wholehearted and evil series of acts," Eyster said in his office after the sentencing. "He made his bed and now, as the old saying goes, he has to sleep in it."

Jen Aragon of Willits attended Tuesday's sentencing because her teenaged son had been a friend of both Teo Palmieri and Barton. Aragon, also a foster mother, said she had mixed feelings about the sentencing.

"I do understand that it's scary to bring someone into your home," she said. "At the same time, what's going to happen to these kids? Are we just going to throw them away? This child was a victim of abuse and he was failed by his parents. His first three years of life were crucial in learning compassion and empathy. He didn't get that. And then he was failed again by society. I don't agree with the prison system. I don't agree with sending people away. The end of his life is going to be just like the beginning of his life—he's going to be sent away to a violent environment."

(Jane Futcher lives near Laytonville.)

* * *


* * *


Honestly, what kind of travesty is this? Who was this kid's lawyer? Let's see, on July 19th he allegedly commits the crime, pleads guilty on September 4th and is sentenced to life in prison on October 5th. What kind of incompetent representation is that??? How could his lawyer have possibly fully investigated the circumstances of this case and her client's background, particularly his mental state and history, in such a short period of time in a case of such extreme gravity that demands the utmost caution and care? How can this possibly represent due process of law in such a situation? Count on this outcome being challenged on a writ due to ineffective assistance of counsel.

* * *


Mr. Campbell,

I'm a board director, and I have the absolute right of inspection of station records per California Corporations Code and MCPB's corporate bylaws. I will be scheduling to inspect all the documents that station members McKenty, Collins, and Tracy were prevented from seeing today. You have that list for the production of said documents.

Yours very truly,

John Sakowicz, Ukiah

MCPB Board of Directors (2013-2016)

* * *

Dear friends,

I just returned from my conference at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on bankruptcy law as it applies to public pension systems. I just read the email below. I'm concerned — troubled — that you, members of KZYX, were denied a full inspection.

I'm a KZYX board director, and I need to inspect the records that you (the members) were denied from inspecting this afternoon.

I'll do this with all of you, or I'll do it with attorney Peter Kafin.

It might interest the group to know that when I returned home in Ukiah, I had a message from MCSO Lieutenant Jason Caudillo warning me that no violence would be tolerated at today's inspection. No doubt KZYX station manager, Stuart Campbell, initiated the call.

It was insulting — deeply insulting — for Campbell to imply that the station need a police presence. Campbell clearly wants to escalates a civil matter.

Why call the MCSO? I'm a former member of the MCSO, having worked at the jail from 2000-2004, and I'm both of public trustee of our county's $455 million pension system MCERA, and a sworn fiduciary of the same. I was vetted by the county's CEO for this position.

Furthermore, I'm a member of the 2015-2016 grand jury where I was vetted by the courts.

I'm law abiding in every respect.

I'm copying both Lieutenant Caudillo and Sheriff Allman on this email.

John Sakowicz, Ukiah

* * *



You will no doubt be proud to note that your piece this week referencing Judy Bari prompted the KZYX staff to call the police and have them meet us in the parking lot during our attempt to review documents that their bylaws specifically state any member can see.

They were so frightened that we were mounting a Bari like demonstration they felt compelled to call for police protection. Sakowitz even got a call warning him that violence would not be acceptable.

The best part of the day for me was, once I explained to the police why we were there, a policeman took me aside to explain what to do if we found evidence of embezzling…

Doug McKenty, Elk

* * *


No drugs, no alcohol, no consumption of same, and pets only if they’re quiet and in carriers. And, only if there’s room after the first 46 people with disabilities, elderly, pregnant or adults with children are in first. Otherwise: Sure! Come in out of the cold! PS! NO LOITERING!

by Justine Frederiksen

Wednesday night the Ukiah City Council considered providing funds to help operate an emergency shelter this winter that will not allow drug or alcohol use, but will allow pets.

According to the staff report prepared for the Oct. 7 meeting, the council already allocated $30,000 to help fund such a shelter in its 2015-16 budget, and staff is recommending that City Manager Sage Sangiacomo be authorized to give it to the “Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network for the operation of an Emergency Winter Shelter contingent upon demonstration of readiness.”

Last month, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors agreed to reserve up to $60,000 to match whatever the city allocated for a shelter. Last year, the county and city entered into a similar agreement with each contributing $26,200 in funds to temporarily reopen the Buddy Eller Center.

Also last month, the City Council approved creating a Homeless Shelter Overlay District, which includes the site of the former Buddy Eller Center and several blocks north on Mazzoni Street and would allow the operation of a shelter without requiring a permit.

MCAVHN will be the lead operator for the shelter, planned for a warehouse at 943 Mazzoni St., but several other organizations will be assisting, such as Redwood Community Services, Plowshares, Project Sanctuary, Manzanita Services, and Mark Rohloff, former executive director of Ford Street and the Buddy Eller Center.

According to the draft policies for what is being called the Inland Valley Shelter, the facility can take up to 46 people each night, offering them each a bed or a cot, linens, a pillow and at least one blanket. New guests will be given clean bedding, but returning guests will only have their linens washed once a week, and guests are expected to help with the laundry.

“The purpose of the Inland Valley Shelter is to provide a warm, dry, safe place to sleep for guests who have nowhere else to go with the intent of minimal negative impact on the neighboring community,” the policies state, explaining that priority will be given to certain guests, including people who are ill, disabled, elderly, pregnant or adults with children. Registered sex offenders will not be admitted.

Guests will not be allowed to bring in drugs or alcohol, nor consume them on the premises, and will be expected to conduct themselves “in a peaceful and respectful manner.”

On a limited basis, guests will be allowed to bring in pets for the night, as long as there is “space and animal crates available on first-come, first-served basis,” and if the animals can be quiet throughout the night. If not, the animals will need to go outside.

Beginning on Nov. 1 the shelter will open each night at 6pm, and guests will be expected to stay until 8am the following day.

After 8am, “individual guests may remain on site to engage in life skill, counseling, volunteer work and other supportive and housing services if accompanied by a case manager or shelter employee,” the policies note. “Loitering will not be permitted.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

* * *

FROM A RECENT STORY on Winona Ryder. The commune referred to here, Rainbow, was located off Greenwood Road, Philo. Old hippies still refer to Ms. Ryder as “Noni.”

"From the ages of 7 to 10, Ryder grew up on a remote commune — sans electricity — in Northern California with seven other families. At 10, her family moved to Petaluma, California, and in her first week of junior high, Ryder, who back then was a punk rock kid that sported a short haircut in tribute, she says, to Bugsy Malone, was jumped by a group of fellow students.

Ryder, then, recent
Ryder, then, recent

‘I wasn’t just bullied — I was straight-up beat up,’ she says. ‘It was my third day of school in seventh grade in a brand new town, and I had the short hair. I had a hall pass, and there was this gang of kids behind me, both guys and girls, and they were yelling “faggot” at me. I didn’t think they were talking to me, and also, having come from the Bay Area and being around the gay community there, I thought that word was really fucked up. But I really didn’t think they were yelling it at me, and then all of a sudden they came at me. I had six stitches and a fractured rib, and then I got put on home study that year and went to a different school in eighth grade.’

“There is a silver lining in all of this, of course. ‘Because of that I’m an actress,’ Ryder says. ‘When you get put on home study you get your week’s worth of work on Monday, and I was a pretty good student — I got straight A’s — so I’d do my week’s worth of work on Monday and then have nothing to do. And my parents, god bless them because we were very poor, they saved up and sent me to ACT [American Conservatory Theater], which I never would’ve been able to attend had I been in school because it was a 45-minute drive, and that’s where I was discovered. So if those kids hadn’t beaten me up I’d have stayed through seventh grade, never gone to ACT, and gotten discovered. It’s kind of crazy’.”

* * *

Wikipedia: “In 1978, when Ryder was seven years old, she and her family relocated to Rainbow, a commune outside of Philo California where they lived with seven other families on a 300-acre plot of land. As the remote property had no electricity or television sets, Ryder began to devote her time to reading and became an avid fan of J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. She developed an interest in acting after her mother showed her a few movies on a screen in the family barn. At age 10, Ryder and her family moved on again, this time to Petaluma. During her first week at Kenilworth Junior High, she was bullied by a group of her peers who mistook her for an effeminate, scrawny boy. As a result, she ended up being homeschooled that year. In 1983, when Ryder was 12, she enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater in nearby San Francisco, where she took her first acting lessons. Ryder graduated from Petaluma High School with a 4.0 GPA in 1989.”

* * *


To the Editor:

It is no wonder that they all people think of the phrase "petty bureaucrat" like it was one word. This fracas over Third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse having the audacity to speak with county employees is one of the silliest things I have heard lately.

Apparently, he received a "confidential letter" from Board Chair Carre Brown calling him to heel for potentially distracting people from their work.

Well, I'll tell you, if I had sent such a letter I would want it kept confidential too. I wouldn't want anybody to know.

Before I came to Mendocino County in the mid-80s I worked in design and manufacture of specialized equipment for stress testing new types of microchips. One thing all levels of management knew was, If you want to understand and solve problems, talk to the people who are actually doing the work. They know what is really going on. It is pretty obvious.

Why then would anyone object to one of our elected Supervisors talking to the people who may have an idea what's really going on? It reminds me of the old saying: "Treat ’em like mushrooms — keep them in the dark and feed them heifer dust."

Brown grudgingly admitted in her "confidential letter" that Supervisors could "speak directly with department heads," but they thought that they really ought to go through the CEO. It is "very important all board members provide the CEO with the level of deference appropriate under Ordinance 4140."

So come on, Tom. Show a little deference here.

When you run into the CEO take off your hat and say, "Yes ’um."

Tom Fristoe


* * *

JUNIPERO SERRA. It is hard for Anglo and Latino Californians to accept the facts that ‘our’ indigenous population suffered a die-out following contact with the Spanish Franciscans, and later, an even graver crisis between 1860 and 1900, when contacts between California Indians and English-speaking ranchers and Russian trappers in California resulted in a veritable genocide. The indigenous people of California were extremely vulnerable. Their ecological niche allowed them to live in small, semi-nomadic bands of hunting, fishing and gathering peoples, speaking hundreds of dialects and living off the bounty of the land and the sea. They were nothing like the powerful Iroquois-Mohawk confederacy of the Northeast of the United States or the settled Pueblo Indian agriculturalists of New Mexico.

JuniperoSerraFather Serra had a dream, a utopian one. He hoped to create a system of Catholic missions that would link San Diego to San Francisco, each mission just a three-day horseback ride apart. Junipero Serra dreamed of ‘planting’ a European outpost in New Spain through a Mission-Central that would put California’s indigenous people at the center of the new colony. Later, Mexican and Spanish American settlers were expected to build their towns and pueblos around the Missions with intricate gardens, craft workshops, dormitories for men and women and children who accepted Christ, the Spanish language, Latin, and European carbohydrates, corn, flour, and oatmeal. The plan resembled a Spanish-colonial version of the Puritan New England towns built around a central square with a simple wooden Protestant Church and cemetery, buttressed by the town meeting house.

But in California it didn’t happen that way. The recruitment of thousands of unrelated “triblets” (small bands) and their “concentration” at the Missions was a disaster. Many did not survive their first year living at the Missions. Men, women and babies died of epidemics, protein hunger, respiratory infections, and homesickness. The Mission fathers recorded their distress in letters: for every Catholic convert two of the “neophytes” (candidates for conversion) died. The worst period occurred after the end of the Mexican War and the secularization of the Missions. It was later, during and after the Gold rushes in 1849, that there was, without exaggeration, a Native Californian genocide. Our beautiful California landscape is forever scarred by that history.

— Nancy Scheper-Hughes

* * *


ON SUNDAY, October, 4, 2015 at approximately 11:00 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office conducted a traffic stop on a white Toyota Four-Runner with expired registration in the 29800 block of North Highway 101 in Willits, California. As the driver was contacted, a Deputy standing on the passenger side observed a jar of marijuana in the cup holder inside the car. A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of three methamphetamine smoking pipes and approximately one ounce of crystal methamphetamine. The driver, Peter Ryan Rodriquez, 44, of Redway, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Rodriquez was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

(Sheriff’s Office Press Release)

* * *


* * *


Eel River Canoe Trip

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, October 7, 2015

Blackwell, Bolton, Byrne
Blackwell, Bolton, Byrne

ERIN BLACKWELL, Ukiah Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JOHN BOLTON IV, Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

TIFFANY BYRNE, Ukiah. Under influence and possession of controlled substance, child endangerment.

Campbell, Curtis, Daniels
Campbell, Curtis, Daniels

WAYNE CAMPBELL, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

RICKIE CURTIS, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

STEVEN DANIELS, Fort Bragg. Under influence of controlled substance.

Delgado, Donohue, Gray, Logan
Delgado, Donohue, Gray, Logan

RYEN DELGADO, Ukiah. Saps/Similar.

PATRICK DONOHUE, Ukiah. Possession of meth, parole violation.

JAMES GRAY, Willits. Court order violation.

STEPHEN LOGAN, Sacramento/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Ortiz, Petersen, Pierce, Richards
Ortiz, Petersen, Pierce, Richards

EDUARDO ORTIZ, Redwood Valley. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, armed with firearm.

MARLIN PETERSEN, Ukiah. Resisting, probation revocation.

LONNIE PIERCE, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

KENNETH RICHARDS, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

Rodrigues, R.Smith, T.Smth,
Rodrigues, R.Smith, T.Smth,

MANUEL RODRIGUES, Redwood Valley. Pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale, armed with firearm.

RAYMOND SMITH, Cobb/Laytonville. Vandalism.

TERESA SMITH, Willits. Petty theft, paraphernalia.

Stewart, Tutdiaz, Yadon
Stewart, Tutdiaz, Yadon

RIVER STEWART, Willits. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.

EDWIN TUTDIAZ, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, destruction of cellphone to prevent calling for help.

EMILEE YADON, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, failure to appear.

* * *

MY PARENTS READ GOODNIGHT MOON to me and my siblings, and I read it to my son many years later. Apparently it's still the champ: 25 Most Popular Bedtime Stories of All Time.


Rob Anderson. (Courtesy, District5Diary)

* * *


Dear Editor:

Our local paper has an article about some regional brewpubs and wineries catering to pooch loving folks. In general, the dogs are not allowed into the tasting room but have to stay in the outside garden. There are exceptions and some brewpubs and wineries do allow dogs into the tasting room. One of our local TV stations ran a news story on tap dogs showing a lady talking baby talk to a small dog she was holding and feeding it pub food. There are problems when you allow dogs — some dogs may fight with each — others may mistake a table leg for a fire hydrant — some patrons may not like a dog at the next table slobbering over some food — not all people like someone next to them talking baby talk to a dog. In the tasting room some folks with a flight of beer might not appreciate some dog lover sitting next to them giving the mutt a glass of beer and listen to the dog slobbering as it drinks the beer.


Hopefully, there will be brewpubs and wineries who will continue not to allow dogs on their premises. If I was an unkind person I might mention how dogs in China are very popular in restaurants.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


* * *


Don't see public input for this— no pun intended. (Alice Chouteau)


  1. Judy Valadao October 8, 2015

    Alice, what I saw when I read about the toilet issue was this: “INSTALLATION OF A PORTABLE TOILET IN THE CITY HALL PARKING LOT AND PROVIDE DIRECTION TO STAFF”
    If a person who have stopped reading at that point one would think a portable toilet was being installed in the parking lot for Staff and someone was going to give them directions on how to find it. After a good laugh I finished reading and by the time I was finished reading I was still laughing. When a lot of people were complaining about the human feces around town weren’t others saying there is no problem? Which made it a non problem when dealing with those choosing to use the bushes and sidewalks to relieve themselves. Now it’s necessary to install portables and “City’s
    maintenance and operations staff to keep
    such a Downtown restroom minimally clean”. Minimally clean? Are you kidding? By the time I finished reading all of this I really wish I had stopped when I thought the City was going to be shown direction to the one being placed in the parking lot behind City Hall. And now our Police Department is going to be on POTTY PATROL.

  2. BB Grace October 8, 2015

    by Jane Futcher, Jen Aragon and ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY”

    I appreciate Arogon and O-LCOTD’s perspective and agree.

  3. Harvey Reading October 8, 2015


    OK, now let’s see your big shot DA bring charges against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton –who was so proud of her attack on Libya, Henry Kissinger, et al. for war crimes and crimes against humanity, as suggested several years ago by Vincent Bugliosi. Not a chance of that here in the land o’ exceptionals. We save our sense of justice and retribution only for those who are powerless.

  4. Harvey Reading October 8, 2015


    A name that should live in infamy. The missions were staffed by Indian slaves, and the Spanish in general were as racist and vicious as our very own ancestors who “settled” this land over the blood of indigenous people. Things are as they are, but that does NOT mean that those who preceded us should be worshiped — or that accounts of their vicious acts be kept under wraps.

    • Bruce Anderson October 8, 2015

      The mission upside? Architecture.

      • Harvey Reading October 8, 2015

        After seeing the Spanish style routinely for the 52 years I spent in CA, I found it became tiring. I prefer the “varied junkiness” style of “architecture” that prevails here in central WY. Any “modern” styles that they attempt here seem to have problems with roof leakage …

      • R. Weddle October 8, 2015

        Actually, the ARCHitecture was an indirect gift from those pesky moors…always some raghead in the woodpile.

        • Harvey Reading October 9, 2015

          Who most likely adopted it, along with the number, zero, from folks in what we now call India.

  5. Jim Updegraff October 8, 2015

    Harvey needs to remember Bush et al were bringing democracy to the countries they destroyed. American imperialism at its best – Also, any that resist are terrorists.

    Re Junipero Serra: Harvey speaks my mind. sainthood for Serra is a sick joke.

  6. BB Grace October 8, 2015

    Sublimus Dei

    Who sold the American indiginous to the Roman Catholic Church? Colonists? Or was all that talk about Catholic Church enslaving natives just the Union’s excuse to take, colonize, occupy CA and prepare for an industrial revolution in the name of Civil War against labor in the name of ending slavery and as usual because “Black lives matter” (when it comes to manipulating the population).

    Contest: Who sold more sex slaves today? ISIS or Roman Catholic Church, not to be confused with the Orthodox Catholic Church, or the first Vatican, but you may group the all Catholics and add the protestants and Christain cults if you like in your answer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *