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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Oct 11, 2015

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Please share this info. If you or anyone you know have clues or saw Asha on or after the day she went missing (Monday, September 21, 2015), please email Asha's mom, Jeannie at (The phone number on the top photo is 415/769-1654.)

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THE FEDERAL AUDIT THAT WASN'T. Rumors of a Federal audit of county Mental Health appear to be widely overblown. Reliable sources confirm that a couple of people from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) did show up on September 22 for a "survey" of the county's "partial hospitalization program" — a program the County has not had for years, although the CDPH says the County still has an active registration number for the program. The "Feds" turned out to be Cindy Purdy, an RN and lead investigator with CDPH and Kristine Monroe, another RN with the same agency. They apparently thought they were on site to review the equivalent of a skilled nursing facility. When informed the County had no such program, they decided to do a site survey anyway, which did include visiting the local access centers run by Ortner Management Group and Redwood Quality Management Group, the County’s two privatized mental health contractors.

THE RUMORS OF A FEDERAL AUDIT appear to have originated with a couple of hold-over Mental Health employees. The merger of Mental Health, Public Health, Social Services and Alcohol and Other Drug Programs into one big Health and Human Services Agency a few years ago, never mind the privatization of adult Mental Health services, was never embraced by a diehard group of senior county employees. The false rumor of a Federal audit, or even a Federal takeover of Mental Health, is not grounded in reality, at least not at this time. The AVA continues to believe that Ortner is raking off millions in excess profits and that former Ortner executive Tom Pinizotto is running cover for Ortner. We think an audit is long overdue (and apparently in the works, but no specifics yet), but the visit from CDPH was not in response to complaints and was not an investigation. Results are due shortly.

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THE COUNTY'S CHAIN-OWNED PAPERS — The Willits News, the Advocate-Beacon on the Coast, and the Ukiah Daily Journal — are having their premises sold out from under them. The building housing the Journal on School Street has been sold — asking price was about $400,000 — and what's left of the paper's shrunken staff now labors at 617 S. State Street, Ukiah, across the street from the Ukiah Cinema. That staff worries for the stately old redwoods out in front of the paper's former School Street headquarters and laments that the structure is probably going to become another World Gym. Although one staffer said she is "delighted to be out of that old falling apart structure and into a bright new space with windows where we are feeling more like a team again rather than the leftovers of a bygone era. Truly. We're happy not to have to look at empty rooms and empty desks any more....”

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A reader writes: Thought You Might Enjoy This Mass Mailer & List of Endorsers that arrived at District homes this Tuesday and Wednesday.


NOT MENTIONED IN THE FLYER is the fact that “third generation farmer” and “Sierra Club member” Tyler Rodrigue is vineyard manager/real estate development specialist for Haiku Vineyards in Ukiah and president of the Mendocino Winegrowers Association. Thus we have two hard-line wine people running for the two seats up for election on the Board that controls Mendocino County’s 8,000 acre-foot water allocation in Lake Mendocino. Incumbent Al White is of course a monomaniacal wine-guy going way back and at least mentions his “vineyard management” role in his bio. The only open seat up for election is the one recently vacated by Ukiah pol Richard Shoemaker who was recently hired as “City Manager” for Point Arena.

BALDWIN, who is the only non-wine candidate for the Flood Control District Board told the Ukiah Daily Journal on Saturday: “I will bring my 16 years of [Ukiah] City Council experience but, more importantly, I will bring an independent voice. Unlike the two other contenders, my livelihood is independent of interests reliant on District water allocation contracts [aka grape growers]. Retrieve the recent expensive endorsement mailer; look it over and wonder with me why such powerful economic interests [aka grape growers] seek to place their people on our District Board. … It may be instructive for voters to know the full name of this agency: Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District. That’s a big undertaking. And all who’ve read Mark Reisner’s Cadillac Desert or seen the film Chinatown know that because water projects frequently trump good planning, this election is a big deal. The mass mailer noted earlier attests to that.”

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WHILE FORT BRAGG goes to serious rationing, Willits, reluctantly having gone to tapping emergency well water, has not had to ration water. Brooktrails, or North Willits, has had to cut way back on water use from its ponds and remains at odds with Willits regarding cooperative strategies. There is a water pipe from Brooktrails to Willits within a few feet of the Willits water system but the state would probably have to force agreement on how Brooktrails might exploit it. Lots of Brooktrails residents would like to see Brooktrails buy land down the hill in Little Lake Valley to install a well on, but so far Brooktrails simply prays for early rains.

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A 19-YEAR-OLD MAN was shot and killed Friday night at a Ukiah apartment building in the 200 block of Observatory. The shooting was called in by multiple persons beginning at 9:40pm. As of Saturday evening, the name of the victim has not been released.

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SUPERVISOR JOHN McCOWEN reported last Tuesday that the dispute over how to allocate overhead expenses to the library has been tentatively resolved:

McCowen: “Supervisor Gjerde and I are on an ad hoc committee to review issues related to the Grand Jury's Library report (which reported two years running that the County was misallocating sales tax money to the detriment of the Library by misconstruing the rules for allocating overhead costs under a process known as the A-87 process]. We have been working closely with Auditor-Controller Lloyd Weir who I think should be commended for the work that he has done and he is also working with Library administration to thoroughly review all of the A-87 costs. What can be said at this time is that there is absolutely no disagreement on how the A-87 costs should be applied. They should only be applied to general fund expenses that were born by the county, they should not be applied to improvements that were funded by donations or grants or insurance proceeds. The county for decades has used a rather cumbersome process to— it's really a process intended to track fixed assets and it has also been used to calculate A-87. But because it tends to go through four or five different county departments I think people have lost track of making sure that they are accurately tracking all the detail as to the source of funding and the length of time it ought to be applied. So that's being reviewed. It will be corrected and there will be a significant credit to the library as a result of that. There are still some questions but we hope we will be able to resolve— some of these may be an ongoing process. There will be a report from Supervisor Gjerde and myself with a recommended response to the Grand Jury on the October 20 agenda.”

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ALSO LAST TUESDAY the Board of Supervisors “tentatively” decided to uphold the appeal of Redwood Valley residents who disagreed with the Planning Commission that Dollar General chain cheapo merchandise store could move in across the street from the nice little existing Redwood Valley Market, thus turning down the application from “Cross Development,” a Dallas based realty outfit that builds the cookie-cutter stores and then rents them to Dollar General, a sort of mini-WalMart operation.

The numerous Redwood Valley aging hippies, er, residents in the audience who opposed the project were correct if annoying in their constant “twinkling” whenever one of their fellow aging hippies said something they liked. (Twinkling, for those of you who came in a few decades late, is a cutesy wiggling of raised fingers, a favorite of many old Mendo hippies who eschew applause because it is “disruptive.”)

At one point Board Chair Carre Brown held up a dark photo of a Dollar General Store, asking the cute, young Cross Development representative Janet Kramer, "Is this what your store is going to look like?"


Ms. Kramer replied, “That is a fair representation of what the store would look like, yes. It is a combination, a mix of masonry and metal sheeting on the building. Neutral colors that enhance the environment and the colors around there. Thank you."

The aging hippies in the room erupted into scoffing laughter at Ms. Kramer’s silly “environmental enhancement” remark which Chair Brown, who usually doesn't like such outbursts, allowed without censure.

ALEX CHEHADA, the personable young owner of Redwood Valley Market, redeemed the hippies though, by pointing out why his popular little rural market is a lot better than any corporate chain operation: “In the last eleven years I have learned a lot about my customers' needs and I have brought in everything that they asked me for. I listen to their stories and they listen to mine. We are just like a family now. I never say no to anyone who asks me for donations. I have helped the fire department with money and I help them with product every year on Barbecue Day and whenever they need it. We have helped all the schools in Redwood Valley through the years. We have helped most of the churches in Redwood Valley. And the Police Department. And the monastery in Redwood Valley. We help the soccer teams. We have the adopt-a-highway sign on Highway 101 so we can clean the roads for 2 miles. We donated a lot of food and water and ice to the fire victims who were camping at the lake and at the fairgrounds. I help Hopper’s Corner Store in Potter Valley: I buy all their groceries so they can buy it from me because no one would deliver product to their remote store in Potter Valley. Don't make me close my business so you can give it to others who don't care about the locals and who do not support local companies. Thank you.”

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DURING HER SUPERVISOR'S REPORT Board Chair Carre Brown reported some rather startling if unlikely water developments:

Brown: “I was on a US Army Corps of Engineers conference call and that has to do with the feasibility study for Lake Mendocino. There are still some more hurdles that they want us to jump over. Janet Pauli [fellow Farm Bureau member and Potter Valley grape grower] and I concluded [sic] that phone call. [Former Ukiah City Manager] Candace Horsley was on it and we did go to the Mendocino County Water Agency and speaking with Sarah [illegible — "Defet"?] about how we could tweak some of our information we've already sent in to give them this other information that they want and it also involves bringing water from Humboldt County Bay, Municipal Water District. They want figures on that. So we are working towards a meeting to hold and a salination— a desalination facility — they want to know if that type of facility could supply water to inland Mendocino County and if so what would be the cost? Which is probably going to be unbelievable, but we are moving forward on that. There has been a variance applied for by PG&E to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and that is going to have to do with — cut down all the water flows coming through the tunnel. In a normal year they can take as much as is there. Of course this is a drought year but every drop counts that's going into Lake Mendocino. The problem again this year is maintenance of the diversion tunnel like we had last year when it was shut down for I think two and a half or three months so this is going to be taking place and we will monitor it but PG&E does have to do that upkeep and it will be several million dollars that they will spend but that guarantees the continuance of the tunnel being able to divert water.”

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The Highly Sensitive Person Class

A Reader Writes: “Can you imagine? The most difficult people in town!”

From: "susan dillon" <>

Date: Sat, October 10, 2015 9:48 am

“Coming soon !!! The Gifts and Challenges of the Highly Sensitive Person Class and Support Group at the Caspar Community Center. Led by Shoshana Susan Dillon, M.A. 25 years counseling experience and a Highly Sensitive Person. Call 707 929-5550.”

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Pampas Grass in Fort Bragg (photo by Susie de Castro
Pampas Grass in Fort Bragg (photo by Susie de Castro)

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Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded grants to four entities in Huffman’s 2nd Congressional District, helping to support local agriculture throughout California’s North Coast. The Arcata Economic Development Corporation, Commercial Fishing Association of Bodega Bay, Food for People, and Yurok Tribe received the grants under the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) grant program, which provides federal funds to regional food enterprises to increase access to locally produced agricultural products and develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations.

“California’s North Coast is home to some of the best farms, fisheries, and ranches in the nation, and our region is a leader in the local food movement. These federal funds will be put to good use, improving access to local food and expanding markets for our ranchers, farmers, and local fishing businesses. The diversity in our awardees is a testament to the North Coast’s legacy of sustainable agriculture and sustainable seafood, and I look forward to supporting their continued efforts,” Huffman said.

USDA awarded a total of $11.9 million in Local Food Promotion Program grants to 160 marketing and promotion projects for intermediary local food enterprises such as food hubs, aggregation businesses, local food processors, and farm-to-institution activities. This program, begun in 2014, has funded 351 projects totaling $24.6 million to support local/regional supply chain activities including processing, aggregating, storing or distributing local and regional food. Each LFPP grant requires a 25% match.

Further details:

Recipient: Arcata Economic Development Corporation, Arcata, CA

Specialty Processing for Local Meats: Feasibility Study and Business Plan

Award Amount: $25,000.00

Matching Amount: $8,519.00

Total Project Amount: $33,519.00

Project Type: Planning

This project will identify a viable operation for processing locally-grown livestock and poultry into high-value specialty meat products, localize the value chain and enable producers to increase sales revenue, expand consumer bases, and establish new markets.

Recipient: Commercial Fishing Association of Bodega Bay, Bodega Bay, CA

Matching Market Opportunity with Access: A New Sustainable Seafood Business Enterprise in Bodega Bay

Award Amount: $97,038.00

Matching Amount: $34,350.00

Total Project Amount: $131,388.00

Project Type: Implementation

This project will develop new locally- and regionally-focused seafood markets by sourcing, aggregating, storing, and processing locally-caught, sustainable seafood for consumers. Specifically, the project includes hiring staff and business consultants, administration and accounting activities, and equipment purchases.

Note: This May, Huffman wrote a letter to the USDA supporting Commercial Fishing Association of Bodega Bay’s grant request. That letter can be found HERE.

Recipient: Food for People, Eureka, CA

Business Feasibility for a Community Food Bank as a Shared Food Hub Facility

Award Amount: $25,000.00

Matching Amount: $11,138.00

Total Project Amount: $36,138.00

Project Type: Planning

This project will determine the feasibility of developing a combined food bank/food hub facility that would contain food storage, distribution and processing infrastructure.

Recipient: Yurok Tribe of the Yurok Indian Reservation, Klamath, CA

A Yurok Food System & Distribution Facility Market Study & Action Plan for the Yurok Indian Reservation.

Award Amount: $15,000.00

Matching Amount: $5,000.00

Total Project Amount: $20,000.00

Project Type: Planning

This project will analyze current food barriers, opportunities and market demand in relation to food production and distribution in the Yurok Reservation community. The study will examine the viability of value-added products at the Yurok Tribe’s processing facility.

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The Big Surprise.

The terminal cancer. The word leaks out. The "goys" bring the Irish whiskey. The Jews smoke and pain pills. All in all it has been a wasted life. I flew off the handle too much. Never felt comfortable in my own skin. My business just making ends meet. In my heart — tried to be a good Jew and a patriotic American. In fact, I have not done shit with my life. I tried to do right by the people who worked for me. I loved and took care of my dog. So there I was, sitting on the pity pot when who should walk in but the Chairman of the Board of the family. The surprise of my life. After he dropped a tear in reference to my condition, we went to the roof for a private chat. This is the deal: It's $1 million for a hit on a very bad guy. A man all America hates. Although not stated — the potential victim has a lot of information that has to die with him. As the cancer will kill me anyhow, I will die a hero. In fact, the sign I saw from the jail cell that first night was: "God bless you, Jack Ruby."

Alan "Captain Fathom" Graham


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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 10, 2015

Alford, Bauer, Furniss
Alford, Bauer, Furniss

DELBERT ALFORD, Ukiah. Parole violation.

DEBRA BAUER, Ukiah. Possession of meth.

JACOB FURNISS, Willits. Under influence of controlled substance.

Joaquin, King, Mcgrath
Joaquin, King, Mcgrath

DAVID JOAQUIN, Covelo. Escape (or attempted escape) from jail.

TIMOTHY KING, Fort Bragg. Harboring-aiding wanted felon, suspended license.

GWENDOLYN MCGRATH, Ukiah. DUI, domestic battery, probation revocation.

Ortega, Pedigo, Want
Ortega, Pedigo, Want

JAMES ORTEGA JR., Bakersfield/Ukiah. Domestic battery.

RONALD PEDIGO, Ukiah. Parole violation.

DENNISON WANT, Covelo. Court order violation.

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A NEW YORK TIMES INVESTIGATION found that 158 families have donated $176 million to the presidential election so far, much of it to Republicans, by giving more than $250,000 each. They, along with about 200 other families who donated more than $100,000, made up more than half of all campaign contributions. The vast majority of these influential donors have self-made fortunes, many of them made through hedge funds. The Times further reports that the neighborhoods these families live in are concentrated, small, and homogenous: practically none of the ultra-wealthy donors' relatives are black.

— Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the greatest gift to corporations ever, like all free-trade bills, it will eliminate trade tariffs on imports, thereby making it more profitable to employ foreign laborers, forced to work for slave wages under horrible working conditions, to produce manufactured goods whose prices U.S. companies and factories that employ American workers can’t match. It will also create a cause of action for corporations to sue for lost “potential” profits that are prevented by laws of other countries, including laws requiring healthy working conditions for workers as well as laws seeking to address global warming or other environmental problems. And those causes of action won’t be litigated in American courts of law, but rather before arbitration panels, whose members are bought and paid for by their corporate masters, all supposedly to prevent China from setting trade rules, which actually ensures the survival of our oligarchic tyranny. The TPP is yet another triumph for our economic tyrants, plutocrats who get corrupt politicians and corporately controlled newspapers like The Chronicle to ignore its full impact while singing hymnal praises for how it will benefit all of us, especially those of us who live on the West Coast.

Michael Marowitz

San Rafael

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In wake of devastating fire, Middletown finds relief in football

(Ed note: The very strong Fort Bragg 2015 Timberwolves team won 28-14 against a very game Middletown Mustangs team.)

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LOU [REED] CALLED HIS SISTER, who was living on Long Island with her husband, Harold, to warn her about the [new] album. “Bunny, I have to tell you something.”

“What did you do now?”

“This song’s coming out.” Lou recited the lyrics of “Kill Your Sons,” which described a sister who’d married a fat guy on Long Island who took the train to work and didn’t have a brain.

“Are you serious?” asked Bunny. “You wipe out my lifestyle and my husband in four phrases?”

“Ah, I needed something to rhyme with train. So I had to take poetic license.”

— Notes From The Velvet Underground by Howard Sounes

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An interview with Dale Gieringer of CA-NORML

by O’Shaughnessy’s News Service October 4 (Fred Gardner)

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At you'll find the recording of last night’s (2015-10-09) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show ready to download and keep or just play with one click.

A Columbus Day sale of just a huge mishmosh of everything under the sun. Doug McKenty called and talked about the current episode in the ongoing KZYX comic debacle of paranoid management. The poetry of Pushkin. Michael Hughes on Woody Guthrie. Exciting news from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Oaky Joe Munsen in his own words. Todd Walton. Jim Bakker's Dream. The Black Death. Blackie in wax...

Further, at there are wholesale quantities of worthwhile but not necessarily radio-useful items that I found while putting the show together. Here are just a few:

Time-lapse paper mush dragon construction, from newspaper to finished product.

A street musician's impressive recycled percussion display.

What sorcery is this!

And the Inquisition number from History of the World by Mel Brooks (incl. two dozen synchronized-swimming nuns to pull the old Jews under the water and drown them then rise smiling from the dungeon pool, on a giant hydraulic menorah, with burning fireworks in their cruelly fashionable metal hats).

Marco McClean

Happy Columbus Day.


  1. BB Grace October 11, 2015

    re: (Twinkling, for those of you who came in a few decades late, is a cutesy wiggling of raised fingers, a favorite of many old Mendo hippies who eschew applause because it is “disruptive.”)

    Applause is discouraged for being disruptive by the government.

    Sign language is such a basic natural form of communication that should be taught from the cradle to everyone. American culture from the 60s has people reading body language which is a waste of time compred to the complete affective message sign language delivers. For example, how many names does the American population have for the sign of a middle finger raised from a fist? “the finger”, “the bird”? How many people in American have no idea what the finger means?

    The world could use more twinkling.

  2. james marmon October 11, 2015

    RE: Library Money.

    “There will be a report from Supervisor Gjerde and myself with a recommended response to the Grand Jury on the October 20 agenda.” John McCowen.

    I hope the response includes an apology to the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury has been spot on the last couple if years only to be criticized and belittled by McCowen and crew.

    The Grand Jury was spot on in their “Children at Risk” report and “Appearance of Conflict of Interest” report. Losak, Cryer, Lowery and Pinozziotto cooked up ridiculous responses to both of them.

    With Losak’s departure, the BOS might change their attitude towards the Grand Jury and acknowledge that what appears to be negative criticism to them, just might be what saves their asses in the long rum.

    Enough groupthink.

    Symptoms of Groupthink

    The eight symptoms of groupthink defined by Janus are as follows:

    1. Illusions of Invulnerability

    The group begins to believe it’s own hype and starts to think it always makes the right decisions – they can do no wrong.

    2. Rationalization of Warnings

    The group convinces itself that despite evidence or warnings to the contrary it is making the right decision. The group creates rationalizations such as, “We know there is contrary opinion to this decision but we’ve been right before in the face of negativity and we’ll we right this time too”.

    3. Complacency

    After reaping the rewards of making many correct decisions the group begins to overlook the negatives. Think how derivative models were never run showing what would happen to a banks financial position if house prices began to fall in the years leading up to 2007.

    4. Stereotyping

    Those who are opposed to the group are pigeonholed as heretics, non-believers, or just plain stupid.

    5. Loyalty Pressure

    Direct pressure is place on any team member who raises a contrary opinion, with typically the entire group openly calling the team member disloyal or fickle.

    6. Self-Censorship

    Individuals refrain from airing any private concerns they may have for fear for ridicule, for example, if you are in a group with 10 clever people who all agree with each other, then you begin to question if you might look like a fool for raising your concern – perhaps you a just being stupid.

    7. Illusion of Unanimity

    If asked, “does everyone agree with this decision?”, and nobody speaks up, then the decision is understood to have been made unanimously. In essence, silence is regarded as compliance.

    8. Mind-guards

    The group contains self-appointed members who protect the group from conflicting opinions from both inside and outside of the group.

    • james marmon October 11, 2015

      About 4 years ago, I demonstrated at a Board of Supervisor’s meeting regarding “groupthink” being practiced among them. I sat in the back with my large groupthink sign during the entire meeting. I would raise it high every time they unanimously voted on any issues without proper discussion. The looks on the Angelo’s, Losak’s, and the Board of Supervisor’s faces were priceless.

      I’d be there with my sign every week now if it wasn’t for the 3 year restraining order Angelo filed against me which prohibits me from even contacting the Board of Supervisors by email.

      Fortunately for me, my 3 year restraining order and self imposed banishment from Mendocino County will be over in 5 months. I will be back with my sign and I will have a lot to say. I can’t wait to look them all in their eyes and exercise my first amendment rights and express how I feel about each and everyone of them.

      I might even consider taking up John McCowen’s offer to meet eye to eye with me over a cup of coffee and have what he characterized as a “civilized conversation.” Angelo, Cryer, and Lowery won’t like that.

      I’ll be attending lots of other meetings throughout the County as well. I can’t wait to express both my professional and personal opinions to some of those folks.

      Last but not least, it will be my primary purpose to “ask as many questions as I can at these meetings.” My questions will be on the record and they will not be able to ignore them. The proverbial “they” hate that, it disrupts their pursuit of total harmony.

      On the positive side, I might even have a few good suggestions to share if anyone is finally willing to listen.

      Thank you AVA for allowing me a forum to get my messages out. If it wasn’t for the AVA, I would’ve been completely silenced. If noting else, I at least made people think.

      Mission accomplished.

      James Marmon, MSW.

  3. mr. wendal October 11, 2015

    “But because it tends to go through four or five different county departments I think people have lost track of making sure that they are accurately tracking all the detail… It will be corrected and there will be a significant credit to the library as a result of that.”

    Is the sloppy accounting intentional? It should be straightforward, but it’s difficult to track the money that is, by law, earmarked for only certain library expenditures. It has been misspent and either someone made that decision consciously or the people in charge are in way over their heads and have no idea what they’re doing (unlikely).

    And the fact that the Mental Health accounting is just as nebulous makes a resident wonder where else our hard-earned taxes are going. And then there’s the Prop 172 money…the list could go on. All of these dedicated monies should be easy to follow but are not. What’s wrong with this picture?

    I hope that the door to dealing with this arrogant nonsense is opening. I’m glad that there are two supervisors finally willing to take it on because without them asking questions it will remain business as usual.

    • james marmon October 11, 2015

      All 5 of the supervisors need to wake up and stop being led around by their noses. Their job is to supervise, and they’re not doing it. Allowing Carmel Angelo “absolute power” is a disaster in the making.

      1.absolute power(Noun)

      “Complete authority to act in an area, not restrained by supervision or review.”

      I just hope they haven’t let things go too far already. The mistakes made in HHSA will most likely cost the county for years to come.

  4. Justin October 22, 2015

    The story you’ve posted about Jamai is strait bogus. It is flawed, biased, grossly defamatory, and simply arbitrary. In my opinion, this takes the focus away of finding Asha and bringing her to safety. By writing this, you’ve not done your blog nor the community any justice. What you’ve written and presented here is simply not good journalism, it is hokum. Shame on you.

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