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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Oct 30, 2015

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‘Social Security a Ponzi Scheme’

To the Editor:

This is to respond to syndicated columnist Robert Samuelson’s piece on Social Security, Medicare, et al. He is proposing a ‘means test’ for benefits in order to rescue some of the programs from the abyss of the Ponzi Scheme for which they really are. Those of us who participate in Social Security and Medicare, did not do so voluntarily and were compelled to pay into the systems with after-tax dollars. That is, the money we contributed was taxed as part of our overall income each and every year. The money that was not paid out as benefits to others was borrowed by the Federal Government and is really part of the national debt. In other words, the money that each of us paid into the system (as well as the amount our employer matched as part of the law), is debt the Federal Government owes each and every one of us. It is irrelevant whether someone in government feels some of us don’t ‘need’ it. We were compelled to pay into it. We paid income taxes on the money we ‘contributed’. The Federal Government must pay us back.

Because Social Security and Medicare require a steady stream of payments greater than or equal to what is paid out in benefits, it is unsustainable and should be phased out. Here is my proposal starting the first of January 2018;

-There will no longer be contributions to Social Security or Medicare. Instead, everyone will be entitled to set aside up to an equivalent amount of money towards private plans for retirement income and medical care. By making this activity ‘tax free’ will be an encouragement for people to think ahead. A private plan can be almost anything: a brokerage account, an insurance policy, a savings account in a bank, or stuffed in a mattress. The only stipulation is that the money cannot be touched until one has reached retirement age.

-Everyone who is currently receiving benefits will continue to receive those benefits for the rest of their lives.

-For everyone under the age of 50, the amount that they have contributed to date can be used as a tax credit against future income. With several years of tax holiday, presumably, they will invest the money, they would have paid in taxes, towards retirement.

-For everyone 50 and over who are still working, they will have a choice of the tax credit or to receive at age 65 a lump sum payment equal to everything that they and their employer have contributed to these two programs.

-For everyone who has already retired, but are not yet receiving benefits, they can have the choice of a tax credit, the lump sum at age 65, or the stipulated benefit.

This proposal phases out unsustainable programs, encourages people to take responsibility for their own retirement, and staggers the amounts the Federal Government must pay out over a reasonable period of time.

D.E. Johnson, Ukiah

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Keep Your Hands Off Social Security.

The writer, Mr. Johnson, is wrong for several reasons.

The rightwing, aka Republicans, have been trying to get rid of Social Security since it was enacted by FDR. Calling it a "ponzi scheme" is just another cheap attempt to do that.

Ponzi schemes are frauds to benefit one person or an inside group of persons based on misrepresentations. Social security benefits us all and there are no misrepresentations as to where the money comes from or where it goes. It comes from all Americans and goes back to them after age 62 as they see fit.

Ponzi schemes collapse of their own weight and don’t deliver on their promises. Social Security has been around for decades and continues to deliver on its promises based on fully and openly audited revenues and disbursements. It would be even more solvent if it were means tested or if the earnings cap was lifted, but even without that Social Security delivers on its promises and is depended on by millions of aging and disabled Americans. The people who want to get rid of Social Security are rich and don't need retirement protection. The only threat to Social Security is the government using its revenues as collateral for more borrowing and Wall Street which wants it all -- now.

Ponzi schemes are based on fantasy methodologies that no ordinary person would believe unless they were gullible and greedy enough to want to believe them. Social Security has no fantasy or secret schemes and does not promise more than it can deliver.

Ponzi schemes collapse when periodic capitalist boom or bust cycles generate declining revenues to feed the scheme during economic downturns. Social Security has survived numerous downturns because it is based on sound and modest revenue generation tied to employment.

Ponzi schemes typically do not produce real money to their investors, only fraudulent reports of paper-gains. Social Security produces real benefits to real people every month without fail.

Mr. Johnson’s declaration that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme is not supported by his own logic. He simply claims that it is “unsustainable” without backup. He does not provide any point by point checklist of what makes it a Ponzi scheme or why he thinks Social Security is one.

If anything is a Ponzi scheme, it is the Big Casino known as Wall Street and the Stock Market (aka the “private plans” Mr. Johnson seems to prefer) which do indeed produce paper revenues based on exaggerated hype and mystery schemes such as Collateralized Debt Obligations, derivatives, and mark-to-market borrowing (which means you can borrow up to thirty times what you put up as collateral based on ridiculous claims of future returns, like the ones at Enron.), etc.

The entire reason for Social Security in the first place was because those “private plans” that were in place before the Great Depression left millions of elderly people starving and destitute after the stock market crashed. Privatizing social security would turn over the entire system to the vagaries of what individuals might or might not choose to do and put most of the money in the hands of the Wall Street bigshots who should be in jail for what they did in the 2008 crash.

Mr. Johnson can give his own money to Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon and Angelo Mozilo and their unindicted ilk if he wants to, but I don’t want them getting their dirty hands on my monthly Social Security check or the checks of millions of others.

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It is inevitable that there will be another wildfire. It is part of the redwood ecology. As with the 2008 Lightning Complex fires, it will be high intensity and difficult to fight. Decades of overcutting and fire suppression have resulted in proliferation of forest fuels.

Timber companies are currently poisoning hardwood trees using a method called "Hack & Squirt", leaving the trees to die and eventually decompose. As a result, our coastal forests now have as many as 15 million intentionally killed hardwood trees left standing. Add to that a tinder-dry forest in its fourth year of drought and we have—a ticking time bomb!

Even if you don’t live near the forest and are not in danger of losing your life or property, you care about our brave volunteer and professional firefighters.

A Cal Fire Incident Commander cautions his firefighters about the dangerous snags and dead trees which can fall and spread a fire. "He wanted to be sure that the firefighters paid attention carefully to each and every snag. It only takes one to cause injury or death." (Quote and photo by Rod March, 2008)

I asked our Mendocino County Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Scaglione about the smoke from these poisoned trees when they burn. He wrote: “… the main ingredient, isopropylamine salt of Imazapyr…indicates that when thermally decomposed, may release hazardous and/or toxic fumes. and may release irritating or toxic fumes if burned." He went on: Just as in "treated" lumber, I would whole heartedly recommend NOT burning wood that has been treated with any other EPA registered herbicide or pesticide.

Scaglione continued: “As to your question concerning protection of you and your family in case of fire, let me state the obvious; the most healthy option is not to remain in smoke laden areas if at all possible.”

You may not be in danger of burning in the next forest fire, but most of us will be breathing that toxic smoke when those poisoned trees burn. Think of our firefighters, putting themselves in harm’s way. They are the first line of defense and the first to be harmed by this misguided practice of intentionally killing and leaving standing millions of trees every year.

I hope you’ll give your firefighters and neighbors a fighting chance by signing the petition to place this important initiative on the ballot. MRC’s Mike Jani recently told a reporter that when this initiative becomes law they’d stop hack & squirt. Please help us defuse this time bomb.

Els Cooperrider
Citizens for Fire Safe Forests
Campaign Coordinator
(707) 937-6250

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The dead tree initiative may be fatally flawed.

Arguably, tan oaks slashed and squirted dead in the forest, could, though not in all soil types and geographical ecology micro-climates, provide a pulse of browsing vegetative growth accessible to wildlife at ground level, for a number of years, until the overhead forest canopy closes, thus the situation could initially comply with the initiative text: 'created for the benefit of wildlife habitat.'

The secondary effect after the first years time lag, when the canopy closes, may no longer seem to 'be created for the benefit of wildlife habitat,' however the ordinance text does not appear to recognize this loophole.

Possible error in the proposed ordinance is that 'a net benefit to wildlife over time', is not addressed nor substantially conditioned after a number of drafts, in the final text which was approved by County Counsel for backers of the petition drive.

Not to say it isn't a good thing to grandstand and support said initiative in the court of public opinion, but the scope and effect of the proposed ordinance may be far less than what the average registered voter could expect, in my opinion, thus everyone might be encouraged to vote for it.

Eric Sunswheat,

Potter Valley


"Trees greater in height than 5 meters, intentionally killed and left standing for more than 90 days (except those created for the benefit of wildlife habitat) are a public nuisance..."

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I was watching the Republican debate tonight and noticed that all the candidates (incl. Fiorina) were wearing US flags on their lapels. I didn't notice but I'm sure all the Democrats were wearing one at their debate. I know Obama wears one virtually all the time.

This practice kind of cracks me up because they do it because if they didn't wear one they'd be slammed for being "unpatriotric". It's done solely out of fear, which none of them would ever admit.

I think the practice of wearing a flag on the lapel started after 9/11, I don't know if Bush started it but he abided by it.

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FROM THE MENDOCINO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Jury Finds Ukiah Man Guilty Of DUI, Gets Jail & Sanctions


"UKIAH, Wed., Oct. 28. -- Jury Trial Result: A Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations Wednesday afternoon with a guilty verdict against George Anthony Mansfield, Sr., age 55, of Ukiah. Mansfield was convicted by jury of driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol of .08 or greater, a misdemeanor. A separate charge of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol was dismissed on the motion of the prosecutor when the jury could not reach an agreement on that alternative theory of charging. While driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol of .08 or greater are commonly charged together, the prosecution is always satisfied with a guilty verdict on one or the other. Prior to jury selection, the defense requested that the jury not be told that Mansfield is on probation for an earlier "wet reckless" conviction that he suffered in August 2012. Known as 'bifurcating the prior,' this defense request was granted. However, Superior Court Judge John Behnke then conducted a court trial and ruled after the jury was thanked and excused that the misconduct heard by the jury constituted a second offense DUI. Judge Behnke also found true that the defendant violated the terms of his court probation by committing the May 2015 DUI offense. Mansfield was sentenced to 60 months court probation, 20 days jail on the new case, with an additional 10 days in jail for the probation case (which was then terminated as unsuccessful). Mansfield must enroll in and complete an 18-month alcohol education program approved by DMV. He has been ordered to not drive a motor vehicle for the next year unless it is equipped with an ignition interlock system. Mansfield is also now subject to search and seizure, including a separate clause that he must submit to a blood test without need for a warrant if a peace officer suspects he is once again driving under the influence. Mansfield may not drive with a measurable amount of alcohol in his system, and he may not drive without a valid driver's license and insurance. It is likely that DMV has or will suspend his driver's license for the next 12 months. The investigating law enforcement agencies who handled the 2015 incident were the Coyote Valley Tribal Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Justice Crime Lab. The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence to the jury and Judge Behnke was Deputy District Attorney Jessalee Mills."

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors fallen Mendocino County servicemen. Unveiling Nov. 11 at Mendocino County Museum

by Roberta Werdinger

The Mendocino County Museum will host the unveiling and dedication ceremony of the Mendocino County Fallen Vietnam War Veterans memorial at 2 p.m. on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11. The public is invited to attend and families of the veterans will be present. The Museum will be open free of charge during its regular hours of 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in honor of the occasion; visitors can view personal effects and photos of the servicemen who died. The schedule of activities includes the reading of names and hometowns of the 22 Mendocino County servicemen who lost their lives during that war and will be the first time these 22 residents have been honored as a group.


This memorial was initiated by Willits resident Dennis Miner, who served for 20 years in the military and retired as a Major. While he was not sent to Vietnam, he felt connected to and curious about the servicemen in this area who had fought there, many of whose families he knew. With the 50th anniversary of American involvement in the war approaching, Miner decided it was more than time to tell their stories. He collaborated with veterans' groups and the Mendocino County Museum to produce testimony and photos which he collected in a booklet that will be available at the memorial service; this research also extends the "Veterans History: Personal" exhibit that is on permanent display at the Museum. Miner spearheaded the project to create the Memorial, approving design plans, scouting locations and gaining endorsements from the Willits City Council and, with the support of Museum Director Alison Glassey, from the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

Miner states, "This event will not seek to make any statement about the correctness of the war. It will however, honor those who have sacrificed and recognize those who have suffered in their loss. Our goal is to honor, heal and to remember."

All veterans will be recognized for their service at this memorial. There will be music, outreach for veterans, a receiving line where special guests will meet and greet attendees, and refreshments inside the Museum.

The Mendocino County Museum is at 400 East Commercial Street in Willits and online at <>.Contact the Museum for general questions at 459-2736 and for seating questions, Dennis Miner at 472-8417.

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ON TUESDAY, October 27, 2015 Mendocino County Deputies were dispatched to the 6000 block of Ridgewood Road regarding the theft of mail from a roadside mailbox. As Deputies were responding to the area they were provided a description of the suspect vehicle seen by a witness. Deputies located the suspect vehicle at which time they conducted an investigative stop. As they contacted the driver of the vehicle they noted a very strong odor of marijuana emitting from within the vehicle. They were also able to determine that one of the occupants of the vehicle had two No-Bail out of county arrest warrants. During a more thorough search of the vehicle Deputies located heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, a firearm, stolen mail from local mailboxes and pry tools used to pry open locks/doors.

Kendzior, Turman, Ruybal
Kendzior, Turman, Ruybal

The following persons contacted inside the vehicle were arrested and transported to the Mendocino County Jail: 1. Caroline Kendzior (the driver), 51, of Antioch, was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance, transportation of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance, possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance for sale and transportation of a controlled substance for sale. She was booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $35,000 bail. 2. Claude Turman, 48, of Antioch, was placed under arrest for possession of ammunition by a felon, possession of a controlled substance for sale, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance and an two outstanding out of county arrest warrants (possession of controlled substance and felon in possession of ammunition). He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held without bond pending transport to Contra Costa County in regards to the arrest warrants. 3. John Ruybal, 40, of Antioch was placed under arrest for possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance for sale, violation of probation and possession of burglary tools. He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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The Sonoma County Coroner’s Office hopes several pages of scribbled notes found on the body of a man who died in January may provide clues as to who he was.

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To the Editor:

Caltrans Stalls Finalization of Important Agreement related to Bypass.

By this letter, Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo is reporting to the state, local governments, and our neighbors in surrounding communities that after 18 months of effort, Caltrans has indefinitely stalled, if not altogether abandoned, the finalization of a crucial agreement related to the Willits Bypass Project.

From January – December 2014, Sherwood Valley worked closely with Caltrans to create a Programmatic Agreement (PA) that would mitigate the adverse effects to historic properties occurring within the Bypass Project, as well as set forth protocols for how best to manage any new discoveries of cultural resources during Project construction. When new Project staff took over in 2015, substantial internal agency edits to a nearly complete PA began in earnest. Specifically, Caltrans District 3 staff has worked tirelessly to revise the PA in ways that move the document further and further away from an agreement that responsibly manages the historic properties in Little Lake Valley. What’s more, each of the five draft versions of the PA provided by Caltrans to Sherwood Valley in 2015 has been substantially worse than its predecessor, ultimately leaving the Tribe without a document we can sign.

Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo’s comments on the last version of a draft PA, which were provided to Caltrans on September 2, 2015, highlight the reasons for the Tribe’s lack of concurrence and concern:

Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo's Tribal Council cannot agree to or accept CT's July 2015 version of the [PA] because the execution of CT's proposals will:

(1) appreciably and inappropriately limit the number of archaeological deposits across the WBP that will constitute a site qualifying for in-field NRHP-eligibility assessment;

(2) significantly decrease the number of archaeological sites within the WBP that will meet the threshold forNRHP-eligible status;

(3) replace necessary (i.e., legally mandated, professionally- and ethically-best) NRHP assessments and data recovery with cursory construction-based monitoring; and

(4) drastically diminish (if not altogether divest CT of) CT's legal obligation to consult with federally-recognized Indian Tribes that are culturally affiliated with the lands encompassed by the WBP regarding inadvertent discoveries of archaeological resources.

Furthermore, agreeing to CT's proposed processes would create an exceedingly troublesome precedent for all California Indian Tribes with regard to (1) their legal rights to government-to-government consultation and (2) the legally compliant and culturally appropriate management of cultural resources on all current and forthcoming Caltrans-managed undertakings…”

This same communication concluded with a request for Caltrans to contact the Tribe to bring the PA to finalization. A subsequent letter from the Tribe dated October 2, 2015 made a similar plea. Caltrans has not responded to or acted upon either request. Such reticence is deeply disturbing to Sherwood Valley. However, it has not altered the Tribe’s resolve to continue its demands for the successful execution of a Project-based agreement, as evidenced by the following statement from Tribal Council:

“Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo’s leadership has consulted in good faith with Caltrans regarding the Willits Bypass Project for over two years and acted in a trustworthy manner with unimpeachable integrity. We have tried to build consensus, attempting to understanding Caltrans’ limitations while championing our unwavering goal of being responsible stewards to our aboriginal lands—the Little Lake Valley—and the natural and cultural resources that this landscape contains. Sherwood Valley has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars in an attempt to create a PA that adequately manages resources of concern to our community and offers some restitution for the great harm inflicted upon Mitom Kai and its people, the Mitom Kai Poma and their descendants. It has been a grief-filled process, punctuated by disrespectful, subversive, and cavalier attitudes and acts on the part of Caltrans. We find this behavior particularly egregious given the fact that the Tribe has not attempted to delay or stop construction of the bypass, despite it being a project that was never supported by Sherwood Valley. Rather, the Tribe has only asked for the State and its agents to merely comply with the letter and spirit of existing statutes, regulations, and directives while undertaking the Project—most notably Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and Presidential and Gubernatorial Executive Orders and Memoranda, as well as USDOT and CT policies, on the subject of Tribal consultation and environmental justice. The Tribe finds Caltrans’ refusal to continue conducting the consultation required to finalize a mitigation-based agreement for the Willits Bypass Project unjustifiable and unacceptable. Despite the agency’s recalcitrance and lack of integrity on this matter; however, Sherwood Valley will remain steadfast in our efforts to exact satisfactory mitigation for the adverse impacts to our community’s resources within the Little Lake Valley. Our Tribe will not quietly or idly stand by and permit a failed PA to be yet another tragic outcome of the Willits Bypass Project.”

Moving forward, Sherwood Valley will continue to reach out to Caltrans, as well as other consulting parties on the Project—including the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Office of Historic Preservation, and the Federal Highways Administration—to finalize an agreement document that secures mitigation for those historic properties negatively impacted by the Bypass Project. Our community will also maintain its in-field monitoring presence and persist in advocating for more substantial and valuable archaeological investigations and more meaningful and transparent consultation.

Tribal Council, Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo


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On Sunday, October 25, 2015, at 8:47 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to the Emergency Room of the Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC) to meet with the victim of a stabbing. The victim was an 18 year-old male adult who suffered multiple stab wounds to the back. The victim reported that earlier in the evening he had been at the soccer field at the Grace Hudson Elementary School when he was approached by two Hispanic males who appeared to be between 18-20 years of age. The victim stated these two males confronted him because he was wearing a blue T-shirt. The two Hispanic males then repeatedly asked the victim if he was a gang member. The victim denied any participation in a criminal street gang. The two Hispanic males then began to stab and beat the victim. The victim was able to flee the area on foot and received a ride to UVMC where he was treated for his injuries.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)

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Longvale residents suffer from asphalt fumes and noise

by Jane Futcher

Twenty-five residents who live near the new Grist Creek Aggregates/Mercer-Fraser asphalt plant on the Covelo Road in Longvale gathered Saturday, Oct. 24, to talk about the nolse and air pollution the plant has generated since it went on line in September.

The group convened on a wide turnout by Covelo Road close to Highway 101 and Outlet Creek. Because the plant, which is 2.2 miles east of the highway, was making asphalt that morning, the acrid odor of burning rubber drifted down the valley to the meeting site. Large trucks rumbled by taking asphalt to areas on the highway where Caltrans is doing roadwork.

Although Grist Creek Aggregates owns the production site, Mercer-Fraser, a much larger, Eureka-based construction company, operates the plant and owns the plant itself, a fact most residents said they learned only recently.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved the plant in March, without the full environmental impact review that neighbors requested. The supervisors subsequently rescinded their decision, turning it over to the county Air District, which issued a permit for the plant. Friends of Outlet Creek appealed that decision by the Air Board, which voted 3 to 1 to uphold the permit.

Many neighbors of the plant complained that clouds of fumes, particularly those emitted when old tires are melted into the asphalt, sting their eyes and throats. No one knows for sure what is in the smoke, although the California Air Quality Management is investigating, according to 3rd District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse. Some residents said they must close their windows and doors to keep out the noise and smell. Three went to the hospital because their breathing was impaired.

The grinding sound of gravel on a conveyor belt that emanates from the plant sometimes goes all night, one resident said. There are no limits on the plant’s hours of operation.

A man who identified himself as David told the group that he lives across from the plant. The noise and polluted air have destroyed his dreams, he said, as well as the quiet home he worked hard to build for his family. He said that at times he feels like ending his own life he is so distraught by what’s happened.

“Most of us moved here to get away from noise and pollution,” one woman said at the meeting. “It’s not habitable the way it is now. People shouldn’t have to evacuate their homes. We have nowhere else to go.”

Sue Crews, who lives west of the plant on Helms Road, told the group that when the plant starts up, she often leaves her home in tears of pain and frustration because the air and fumes burn her eyes and throat. Her husband Phil said he is beside himself because he feels helpless to protect his wife, his daughter and his home from the plant’s assault.

“I don’t want to sue them,“ Phil Crews said. “I don’t want money, I just want some fresh air. I built my home with my own hands. I raised my children on my ranch. This is our soul, our blood, our sweat, our tears.”

Members of the group discussed strategies for stopping the plant, including: writing letters to newspapers and the Board of Supervisors; calling the county and state air quality boards to complain when the fumes and noise are bad; giving money to assist the Friends of Outlet Creek lawsuits; holding regular community meetings; recruiting a media-relations coordinator, and posting a sign somewhere along Covelo Road saying: “The odors you smell emanate from Grist Creek Aggregates/Mercer-Fraser.”

In an interview with KZYX news last week, Woodhouse said he hopes the state inspectors will soon be able to assure residents that the air they are breathing is safe. He said he was not surprised that neighbors in the area were complaining because “They are very vocal.”

The supervisor suggested that residents unhappy with the plant should not have bought land in an area zoned industrial.

But, according to Friends of Outlet Creek, the board changed the zoning at the site from rangeland to industrial in 2008. Most residents at the meeting bought their land or homes long before that date. Many have said they were not notified by the county at the time of its intent to change the zoning.

According to Friends of Outlet Creek member Lyn Talkovsky, a California Environmental Quality Act or CEQA review should have been done on the new asphalt plant regardless of the zoning of the site. “I don’t think it’s ethically or legally justifiable to set aside state environmental laws put in place to protect basic needs such as the air we breathe,” Talkovsky said.

Woodhouse said the supervisors did not need a full environmental study because an asphalt plant had been located on the site in the past. But the Friends of Outlet Creek members say the previous asphalt plant, which few in Longvale even remember, was a much smaller operation under different ownership. The equipment formerly used to make asphalt was removed years ago, around 2002. Furthermore, opponents argue, environmental laws are much more stringent today than they were at the time asphalt production was first approved by the county for the site some time during the last century.

Asked by KZYX why he and the board approved the controversial plant, Woodhouse said: “It was grandfathered in and zoned properly. We need asphalt in this county. I’d rather have the jobs here if we need the asphalt here . . . I’m certainly not pretending it’s perfect.”

Woodhouse said that although the plant is on the Outlet Creek flood plain, it won’t be operating in the winter, when the rains come. “All these piles of rock and sand and gravel will be cleaned up. They’ll be gone.”

The supervisor said Grist Creek is doing what it can to make the odors more palatable, such as putting “cherry flavoring” in with the burning tires to mitigate the smell.

The cherry flavoring does not help resident Robert Lawrence, a Grist Creek neighbor interviewed by KZYX. He said that he and his wife have been suffering from sinus headaches and other health issues since the plant went on line.

“We both feel that we’re actually being poisoned, that we’re some kind of a sacrifice zone for Tom Woodhouse and his cronies,” Lawrence said. “It’s a pretty big blow. We’re kind of reeling from it. We sunk our savings into this place, but it doesn’t look like we could ever sell it. Who wants to come out here and live by an asphalt plant? Maybe Tom Woodhouse would. I’d certainly sell it to him if he wants to buy it.”

(Jane Futcher lives above Grist Creek Aggregates/Mercer-Fraser asphalt plant and is active in Friends of Outlet Creek.)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 29, 2015

Beets, Brest, Campbell
Beets, Brest, Campbell

RODERIC BEETS, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

PAULA BREST, Fort Bragg. Shoplifting, probation revocation.

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

Dominguez, Garcia-Nunez, Mattos
Dominguez, Garcia-Nunez, Mattos

ANGEL DOMINGUEZ, Fort Bragg. DUI causing injury.


ROBERT MATTOS, Lucerne. Possession of meth for sale, honey oil extraction, offenses while on bail.

Peredia, Philliber, Ruppert
Peredia, Philliber, Ruppert

JOSE PEREDIA, Calpella. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

CYNTHIA PHILLIBER, Ukiah. Probtion revocation.

CHRISTINA RUPPERT, Willits. Vehicle theft, burglary from vehicle, retail burglary, possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia, conspiracy.

Sermeno, Townsend, Wedgley
Sermeno, Townsend, Wedgley

MARVIN SERMENO, Vallejo/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

RICHARD TOWNSEND, Cloverdale. Under influence, failure to appear.

SCOTT WEDGLEY, Fort Bragg. Burglary/shoplifting, probation revocation.

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BACK TO SCHOOL at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Upcoming Classes & Workshops

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens educational offerings provide a spectrum of learning opportunities for new and experienced garden-lovers alike. Our popular classes and workshops encompass a variety of information to reach a broad base of interested people.

Here are a few upcoming classes and workshops to help expand your garden knowledge this November and December:

Growing, Processing, and Eating Quinoa Saturday, November 7, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Learn to harness the natural powerhouse of a grain, QUINOA! Quinoa is an ideal addition to your North Coast garden. The cool coastal weather, low threat of frost and even the recent dry weather we have been experiencing . Quinoa is also perfect for the dinner table, a high-protein super grain! Join Staff Gardener, Jaime Jensen, at the Gardens Meeting Room. Classes are $10 Members and Master Gardeners, $20 Non-Members (includes Gardens admission).

Monday Mushroom Walks Each Monday from November 16—December 21 beginning at 1:30pm The Gardens is home to more than 150 species of mushrooms. Enjoy an identification walk and learn mushroom lore with a local fungi expert each Monday through December 21. Join Staff Mycologist, Mario Abreu, at 1:30 PM on the Plaza at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Free with Garden admission.

Mushroom ID for Beginners Saturday Workshop and Field ID Walks on Nov 21, Dec 12, and Dec 19 from 10:00am—3:30pm What are mushrooms, how and where do you find them, and which species are safe to eat? What visual features are used to identify mushrooms? What role do fungi play in ecology? Should you be worried or happy about the mushrooms sprouting in your yard? Join Staff Mycologist, Mario Abreu, at the Gardens Meeting Room to learn the answers to these questions and more. Students provide their own lunch. Lecture/workshop: 10:00am to 1:30pm; Field ID Walk: 2:00pm to 3:30pm. $20 non-members; $10 Garden members.

Call 707.964.4352 ext. 16 or stop by The Garden Store at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens to reserve your space, class sizes are limited. For more information on the Gardens and upcoming workshops or events please visit our website,

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ON VERY SHORT NOTICE, the Fort Bragg City Council will consider a walking and biking trail that loops around east Fort Bragg through the Noyo and Pudding Creek watersheds. When the subject of the trail came up at the last public hearing, there was so much loud and adamant opposition from residents that City Clerk Marie Jones dramatically ripped up the plans at the meeting. But as we know, once grant money is acquired and a consultant hired…

LOTS OF FORT BRAGGERS are opposed, and their reasons range from the environmental disruption a trail through these forested areas would cause and the fear that the trail would become dangerous habitat for the Lurk and Perv communities which, as we know, have become prominent in Fort Bragg over the past decade.


FORT BRAGG has an existing trail that is unmatched for convenience and beauty. It's called the Haul Road and runs right along the Pacific and will soon be linked to Noyo Harbor. Maybe the idea is to completely encircle the town for the riding pleasure of a relative handful of bicyclists, but it seems from here, and speaking as a person who foots it along the Haul Road whenever I'm in Fort Bragg, the town is fine with its existing embarrassment of trail riches.

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I sat there looking at the ten of them wondering how Honest Abe would have fit in. Or Eisenhower. Teddy Roosevelt anyone?

OK, imagine yourself a One Percenter. Of the ten people on the stage, who would you trust to keep the masses away from your vaults? None of these people are about to redistribute wealth, but the real money will support Hillary. She's safest for ensuring that nothing changes, nothing disturbs present day power arrangements.

Of the ignoble ten, and as the ava, ahem, predicted a month ago, Marco Rubio is the smartest and, by a long way, the slickest. He's a crafty little reactionary with a true gift for gab, hiding his nutball opinions just enough to make him look a little less crazy than the rest of them. People like the Kochs, though, will pour money into Rubio. (Although says Jeb Bush has some dirt on Rubio if he chooses to use it.)

If you didn't already at least suspect that he was nuts, Dr. Carson, America's zaniest brain surgeon, made his unfitness to hold office clearer than clear Wednesday night. And, like Trump, he simply denies having said what he said on prior occasions, in speeches and in print, as the doctor did last night when he said he never endorsed a quack product called glyconutrients — fights autism, cancer, ms, aids and whatever ails you.

Never thought I'd feel sorry for a Bush, but Jeb looked completely lost. Trump got a good shot in at Kasich, pointing out that Ohio's Kasich’s-alleged prosperity was from one-time fracking revenues, and that Kasich, as a Wall Street guy, is hardly an advertisement for prudent fiscal management.

The format was terrible, the "moderators" worse, mixing in idiot personal questions like "How would you describe your personality" with too rare substantive ones. If they'd asked the candidates for their astrological signs I wouldn't have been surprised.

Ten candidates, three moderators, chaotic event.

* * *


Thursday Book Club

On Thursday, November 19, 2015, at 6:00 pm the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting Thursday Book Club. Fort Bragg Branch Library will meet on Thursday November 19th at 6:00 pm for the Adult Book Club. We will meet to discuss the book Delicious by famous food critic Ruth Reichl. In her first novel Ruth takes the readers through the foodie and magazine world of New York and a journey into history. Stop by Fort Bragg Branch Library to pick up your copy and join us on Thursday November 19th for an evening filled with fun and great conversations.

After School Legos

On Tuesday, November 24th, 4-5 pm the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting After School Legos. Fort Bragg Branch Library is offering After School Legos every last Tuesday of the month from 4-5pm. After School Legos will be offered in November on Tuesday the 24th from 4-5 pm. Kids of all ages can come to the library to play and build a Lego Creation. This is a free event that offers kids a chance to just come and play at the Fort Bragg Branch Library.

Bilingual Storytime

On Wednesday, November 18th at 4:30 pm the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting Bilingual Storytime. Fort Bragg Branch Library is offering Bilingual Storytime every Third Wednesday at 4:30 pm. On November 18, 2015 at 4:30 pm Fort Bragg Branch Library will offer a Bilingual Storytime for all kids.

Zen Adult Coloring

On Friday November 20th 5-6pm the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting Zen Adult Coloring. Fort Bragg Branch Library is offering the latest art craze, Adult Coloring. This fun new art craze will be offered every Third Friday of the month from 5-6pm. Join us for the month of November on the 20th from 5-6 pm, relax and enjoy being creative while coloring intricate pictures. Everyone is welcome to come to the Fort Bragg Branch Library and enjoy creating beautiful pictures.

International Gaming Day

On Saturday November 21, 2015 the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting International Gaming Day. Fort Bragg Branch Library will be celebrating International Gaming Day on Saturday November 21st from 11-4pm. Stop by the library and enjoy the fun games we will have out. Bring the whole family and enjoy playing on the Wii U and various board games. We will also have a fun craft at 11am and other fun surprises. Come to the Fort Bragg Branch Library for gaming fun on Saturday the 21st from 11-4.

Pajama Storytime

On Tuesday, Novemeber 2, at 6 pm the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting Pajama Storytime. Families come join us for our first Pajama Storytime. Every first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 pm we’ll be inviting families to join us for bedtime stories and lullabyes. Kids are welcome to come in their pajamas if they want, and it’s a fun way to wind down for the whole family.

National Novel Writing Month Write Ins

On every Saturday starting November 14 at 2 p.m. the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting National Novel Writing Month Write Ins.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

We’re hosting Write Ins for both adult Wrimos as well as participants in the Young Writers Program this year, and it looks to be a fantastic month. There will be dedicated space to write, writer’s block busters, and a few surprises. If you’re working on a novel in November, feel free to join us.

Fall Art Contest

On November 10, 2015, the Mendocino County Library, Fort Bragg Branch is hosting Fall Art Contest. Fort Bragg Branch Library will offer its first Fall Art Contest. The contest will begin November 10th 2015. Entry Forms can be picked up at the Fort Bragg Branch Library along with contest information. A reception will be held in the library in December with winners to be announced at the reception. Contact the Fort Bragg Branch Library for guidelines and more information.

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  1. BB Grace October 30, 2015


    “Mr. Johnson can give his own money to Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon and Angelo Mozilo and their unindicted ilk if he wants to, but I don’t want them getting their dirty hands on my monthly Social Security check or the checks of millions of others.”

    Mr. Johnson did not suggest anyone get any hands on anyone’s social security money.

    I refer to Mr. Johnson’s letter: “-Everyone who is currently receiving benefits will continue to receive those benefits for the rest of their lives.”

    When THE MAJOR says, “Mr. Johnson can give his own money to Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon and Angelo Mozilo and their unindicted ilk if he wants to….”

    Social Security is a FORCED PAYMENT. Mr. Johnson is suggesting that he not be FORCED to pay THE MAJOR’s social security check.

    Why not give the Mr. Johnsons of the USA freedom from forced social security payments? What’s the worse to happen, they become a frequent flyer catch of the day on the AVA? (I highly doubt they would).

    For some, Social Security might as well be a Ponzi scheme because they had or found the ability to invest in their retirement successfully. All the money they were forced to pay into Social Security feels like a robbery.

    Maybe Social Security should begin to change with an “Opt Out”?

  2. LouisBedrock October 30, 2015

    Expanding on the comments of Mark Scaramella:

    1. Certain types of income, mainly wages, is taxed 12.4%. Income above $117,000 per year is not taxed by Social Security (this limit on the amount of earnings subject to the tax is adjusted annually to keep up with inflation). Thus, someone who makes $234,000 pays the tax on only half of his or her wages.

    This is the real “Ponzi scheme”. There should be no limit on contributions to Social Security.

    2. Another “Ponzi scheme” is manipulating average inflation rates by understating the impact of food and fuel price increases:

    “To measure the cost of living for consumers and come up with the Consumer Price Index, the Bureau of Labor Statistics prices everything consumers spend money on. Then all of the expenditures are categorized and weighted based on the amount that the average consumer spends on those categories. The percentage change from month to month is the rate of inflation, and it’s usually expressed as an annualized number.
    The all-items inflation rate represents everything people spend money on: haircuts, plane tickets, medical care, clothes — you name it. But, that number is puffed up by the pesky necessities — food and energy. So those two categories are discarded when calculating the core inflation rate.”


    3. Social security and pensions are not “entitlements”: they are deferred wages, negotiated and agreed to by contract. It is outrageous that in Michigan worker’s pensions have been reduced by fiat. And it is outrageous that criminals like Carl Icahn—virtually fellated by Diane Sawyer in an interview, could liquidate pension funds for 16,000 workers at TWA, and more through leveraged buyouts and sale of a company’s assets. And now he is threatening the pensions of casino workers in Atlantic City.


    This too is a “Ponzi scheme”.

    I have reverence for the erudite, civilized Jim Updegraff, who signs his sage letters “In peace and in love”. However in this case, I’ll go with Che Guevara:

    “I am not Christ or a philanthropist, old lady, I am all the contrary of a Christ…. I fight for the things I believe in, with all the weapons at my disposal and try to leave the other man dead so that I don’t get nailed to a cross or any other place.”

    Letter to his mother (July 15, 1956) as quoted in
    Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (1997) by Jon Lee Anderson
    ISBN 0802116000

    I’ll fight for social security and my pension. They are not entitlements nor “Ponzi schemes”. I earned them.

    • BB Grace October 30, 2015

      When Social Security came into affect the US dollar was on a gold standard. The US dollar lost 75% of it’s value in 1971 when the US empowered the Federal Reserve Bank which has enabled the dollar to drop into trillions in debt, which is part of the “End of America”, “economic collapse”.

      If Social Security didn’t administer any checks for Nov. what would happen? Personally, I don’t believe SS was established to become so powerful and I do believe there should be an “Opt Out”.

      • LouisBedrock October 30, 2015


        “When Social Security came into affect the US dollar was on a gold standard. The US dollar lost 75% of it’s value in 1971 when the US empowered the Federal Reserve Bank which has enabled the dollar to drop into trillions in debt, which is part of the “End of America”, “economic collapse”.

        This is a non-sequitur. Gold has no more intrinsic value than wampam beads or paper money. The trillions of dollars of debt is due to financing the nation’s imperial wars by borrowing instead of taxing, by paying the gambling bets of investment banks, by allowing the superrich and corporations to shield their money in tax havens.


        “Personally, I don’t believe SS was established to become so powerful and I do believe there should be an ‘Opt Out’ .”

        “Annual aid to Israel from the U.S. is about $5 billion–$3 billion in military aid. Between 1949 and 1997 it amounted to about $85 billion.”
        (Stephen Zunes)

        Great idea. Can I opt out on that portion of my taxes that support the Zionist theocratic state?

        I’d also like to opt out on paying for imperial wars, religious schools, and Papal visits.

        Can I opt out from paying property taxes? Religious institutions don’t pay property taxes on churches, mosques, and synagogues.

        Here in New Jersey we have a problem with homeless people. Some of these people have jobs or collect social security but still cannot afford to pay rent.

        How much worse would it be it there were no social security or pensions?

        I don’t believe in gods or angels. We have to take care of each other. Like Lazarus, I have done volunteer work. When I taught in the southeast Bronx, I saw working people struggling to support their families even with two paychecks.
        Their children occasionally came to class hungry. My colleagues and I often fed these children in addition to educating them.

        The government needs to do more for its citizens, and less for fascist religious states like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. I don’t mind my tax money being used to house, feed, and clothe the poor. It outrages me that much of it is used to murder them.

    • BB Grace October 30, 2015

      Where and how does someone negotiate how much wages are “deferred” by social security?

      What’s the name of the contract I signed to have any of my wages automatically deferred?

      What contract? What negotiations?

      I appreciate being educated. Thank you

        • BB Grace October 30, 2015

          The response from the poster Jay Lickus made the article worth reading, and the idea that the Opt Out could also include an opt to pay more.

          Overwhelming popularity for social security (as if that’s a reason to go for something) isn’t because of understanding, it’s because of a lack of it.

  3. Jim Armstrong October 30, 2015

    I had many friends and fellow servicemen die in Vietnam. Several of both died in my arms.
    Those that died are always in my heart and mind and I honor them every day, especially on their universally celebrated day: Memorial Day.
    I also have many friends and fellow servicemen who served in Vienam and other places, survived and came home.
    They are Veterans and their day is Veterans Day, November 11.
    That day is very much NOT not for sadness and unveiling memorials to the fallen, but for joy and thankfulness for the living.

  4. Bruce Anderson October 30, 2015

    I think the mystery man looks like Lanny Cotler of Willits. Has anybody seen Lanny lately?

  5. Harvey Reading October 30, 2015


    Right On!

  6. Whyte Owen October 30, 2015

    For the record: FICA withholding is pre-tax.

    • Harvey Reading October 31, 2015

      Thank goodness someone finally mentioned that.

  7. Jim Updegraff October 30, 2015

    friends of Outlet Creek: In reading the comments of Stupidvisor Woodhouse it is quite clear he doesn’t give a damn about the health of the people and in a particular the children in the the area of the asphalt plant. Dollars are far more important to him and his fellow supervisors. I would make the same suggestion to this group as I did for the Cherry Creek Ranches. Contact American Rivers, a non profit whose concerns includes the pollution of rivers. You can contact them at their Nevada City Regional office (539) 478-206. Also you might want to contact the Redwood Chapter of the ACLU. Their area of concern includes Mendo County.

  8. Jim Updegraff October 30, 2015

    I assume that the call for an audit for the Fed means the various current audits of the Fed are lacking in some aspect insufficient depth.

  9. Jim Updegraff October 30, 2015

    Keith Bramstedt speaks my mind. It’s the politicians badge of honor. Too bad since most of these bums don’t deserve to wear it.

  10. Jim Updegraff October 30, 2015

    I always am amused about all the misinformation one hears about social security. Governor Christie is a good example of misinformation.It’s all part of the voodoo economics that kept poping up at the GOP “debate”. a real love fest.

  11. Jim Updegraff October 30, 2015

    Dear Mr. Grace; Please read carefully what I said. The FRB is audited by a private CPA firm as well as the GAO. please read the article in The WSJ on February 17, 2015 by David Wessel – “Q & A: Explaining ‘Audit the Fed”. If you do not read the WSJ there are several other articles in various publications written in a similar vein. The one activity not audited by the GAO is Monetary Policy Decisions. Do you really want a bunch of politicians “auditing” monetary policy decisions?

    Mr. Grace I almost find it best before making rash statements to do your homework. There is a fair amount written about an audit of the FRB. Probably most point Senator Paul is not correct in his comments.

  12. BB Grace October 30, 2015

    Dear Mr. Updegraff,

    I read the article in The WSJ on February 17, 2015 by David Wessel – “Q & A: Explaining ‘Audit the Fed”.”

    Here’s what Nader had to say about the Fed in 08.;_ylt=AwrTHQgtGTRW_zMAqGZXNyoA;_ylc=X1MDMjc2NjY3OQRfcgMyBGZyA2hwLXB2ZHQEZ3ByaWQDbmV1MFh4dGZRT3k1SEw2T1paZ3J4QQRuX3JzbHQDMARuX3N1Z2cDNARvcmlnaW4Dc2VhcmNoLnlhaG9vLmNvbQRwb3MDMQRwcXN0cgNBdWRpdCB0aGUgRmVkIFJhbHBoIE5hBHBxc3RybAMyMgRxc3RybAMyNQRxdWVyeQNhdWRpdCB0aGUgZmVkIHJhbHBoIG5hZGVyBHRfc3RtcAMxNDQ2MjU1Mzg2?p=audit+the+fed+ralph+nader&fr2=sa-gp-search&fr=hp-pvdt

    Why do you think that a Wall Street economist would provide honest answers about a banking system that bails them out?

  13. Jim Updegraff October 30, 2015

    Who really cares about what what Ralph Nader has to say. He is ungodly long winded and takes 300 words to say what most people could say in 30 words. And what he had to say 7 years ago in 2008 has no connection to where we are today. If you want to live in the past be my guest. Wessel was not the only person writing articles about an “audit” of the Fed. Do you want a list of other writers who had similar comment try Google.

    • BB Grace October 30, 2015

      Wessel mentions Fed changes in 2009 as if Ron Paul, Alan Grayson, Bernie Sanders, Barney Frank, Ralph Nader, Jill Stein and a large number on the right, didn’t fight to get that ort. Wessel thinks it just happened because the Fed are simply good guys helping Wall Street which the Wall Street Journal can appreciate.

      Another thing about Mr. Wessel is his “conspiracy theory” claim. “Conspiracy theory” must be code for, IGNOR THIS ISSUE, and why events long claimed to be conspiracy theory, recently the Trans Pacific Partnership, materializes leaving so many clueless as to what it’s about. For the rest of us it was watching domaine names and intellectual property being challanged on an international scale. The Fed’s hearings were too short.

      Where we are today is putting special operations forces on the ground in Syria so guys who paid into Social Security won’t ever get to enjoy the benefits, while Ted Cruz, seeing it’s a popular bi-partisian issue, especially among the newly registered to vote, who have no hope or faith in the USA lasting much longer and could use every dime SS takes from them.

      I’ll be happy to view your reading list Mr. Updegraff. Thank you.

  14. Jim Updegraff October 30, 2015

    Re: Veterans Day. It must run in the family but neither my father, brother and I have ever any interest in belonging to a veterans organization or participating in a Veterans Day parade. My father I didn’t see for 3 years – he was in the navy in the Pacific and was involved in all of the various battles. My brother was in the Marines in Korea 1951-1952 – got a Purple Heart and 2 members of his company received the Medal of Honor. I spend 1952-1953 with the 3rd Infantry Division. We all did our thing for God and country, mom and apple pie None of us ever had an interest in siting around and dwelling in the past. I’m 85 and every day is for the present and future. Who cares talking about something that happened a long time ago.

  15. Jim Updegraff October 30, 2015

    Mr Grace I am over whelmed with your views, do you look under your bed every night before you go to sleep?

    • BB Grace October 31, 2015

      I count my blessings.

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