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Off the Record (Nov 11, 2015)

STILL NO SIGN OF ASHA KREIMER, 26, the young Australian woman last seen at the Rollerville Cafe near Point Arena about 9:30am on Friday, September 21st. She had been driven there by her boyfriend.


ASHA was seen by people at the Lighthouse Point Resort talking on her cellphone at the time her boyfriend said he'd last seen her. She was described as distraught. Then she disappeared.

THE BOYFRIEND, however, said he had her cellphone at home in Albion, and it is said by her mother that the last two calls on Asha's phone had been deleted. So whose cell was she speaking on in the parking lot when she disappeared?

WHEN ASHA's childhood girlfriend returned to Rollerville Café to get a coffee at around 2pm, she made no mention of her missing friend. No one in the restaurant was alerted to the fact that the young woman was missing until the boyfriend returned at 5:30 to say that he'd been looking for her without success.

ASHA's jacket was found between Rollerville and the ocean down Lighthouse Road. The bluffs at the end of the road are formidably steep and rugged. If the young woman had thrown herself over the side it is likely her remains would have turned up by now. (But not always. The Pacific has been known to carry its victims many miles in both directions.)

TWO DAYS after Asha went missing, a man described as "quite out of it," presumably the boyfriend, posted fliers in the Rollerville area which had no contact number on them. The posters just said MISSING and her name ASHA, with a BIG picture of her on about 2' x 1' photo stock paper.

THIS SAME MAN was seen digging along the tree row on Lighthouse Road "where the orange mold grows on the fence and in the trees," the day the "out of it" man appeared with the posters without a contact number.

IT TOOK another couple days for an updated poster with a contact number on it to be distributed. The boyfriend had shown up for three consecutive days after Asha's disappearance, asking folks in the parking lot of Rollerville if they'd seen her. Asha's childhood friend apparently returned to Australia soon after Asha's disappearance.

THERE'S ENOUGH MURK in Asha's disappearance that one might assume the case was under active investigation from County detectives. It isn't.

WILLITS WATER may look and taste bad but so far it hasn't killed anyone. And, with the town's new wells, there's plenty of it. The assertion that “Most people take it for granted that Willits water is not safe to drink, and perhaps not even to bathe in,” is challenged by a Willits reader who points out that when the water was bad-tasting in 2013 it was because of an algae bloom, and it was not brown. I remember being at the taqueria the first time I heard of it, when a customer returned a plastic glass of water, complaining about the taste. And then experiencing it at home. It was nasty, no doubt, and moldy-tasting: Safeway bottled water shelves were half-empty for some time (doesn’t that indicate that, most of the time, people do use city water?) The water does get brown sometimes, and when Willits failed a water standards test in 2013 the California Department of Public Health sent a couple of staffers to Willits to assure the city council that there was no threat to the community, 'unless high levels of haloacetic acid continued over time’.”


On October at approximately 5:30 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a report of a man, later identified as Charlie Crawford, 28, of Reno, acting strangely in the downtown area of Covelo. Crawford was described by witnesses as possibly being under the influence of some type of drug.(He sure as shit was.) 

Crawford was reported to have entered Keith's Market speaking to employees and customers in a confused and rambling manner. Crawford was also described as being aggressive and confrontational.(Hey, you people, listen up! Did you know Willows was just over the hill?) 

Crawford was contacted by a Keith's Market employee about the disturbance he was causing. Crawford responded by threatening to harm the employee.(Come and get me, fucknuts.) 

As Crawford made the threat, he brandished a broken wooden mop handle with a sharp end, motioning toward the employee in a stabbing movement. Crawford subsequently climbed onto the roof of Keith's Market.(Want some-a this, punk?) 

Crawford climbed down off the roof and went across the street to the Redwood Market where he attempted to walk away with an item from the store.(Hey! How come nobody cared if I was on the roof across the street?)

When the clerk, a 56 year old male, attempted to keep Crawford from walking away with the item, Crawford punched the clerk once in the face.(Tough guy like me, he shoulda gone down and stayed down.) 

The clerk called out for help and at least two customers responded to assist him. The customers restrained Crawford for several minutes as another employee called 911.(And missed an opportunity to give ol' Crawford a few instructive, ah, messages.)

When Crawford appeared to relax, the customers relinquished their hold on him and Crawford fled on foot.(Never let a tweeker go.)

The clerk suffered only minor injuries that did not require medical attention.(Crawford can't hit.) 

Deputies searched for Crawford on the evening of October 31, 2015 but were unable to locate him successfully.(Or unsuccessfully.) 

On November 1, 2015 the search for Crawford resumed and he was located at approximately 1:00 PM walking on Barnes Lane in Covelo.(Of course.)

Crawford was arrested for robbery, criminal threats and brandishing a weapon.(Public Defender Linda Thompson is certain to defend him straight into life without the possibility of parole.


DAN BAXTER, General Manager, Mendocino Transit Authority, writes: "I am so sad to have to share that our dear friend and colleague, Glenna Blake, passed away Saturday Night, with family at her side. I can’t imagine MTA or this community without her. We’ll miss her amazing ability to organize anything and everything, her sense of style, her laugh and, most of all, her friendship. Glenna represented MTA amazingly well for almost 22 years and demonstrated the highest level of community involvement."

Glenna Blake
Glenna Blake

NOT TO SPEAK EVIL of the dead, Glenna often complained to me about criticism of the MTA, a typical Mendolib boondoggle in that it is highly subsidized and runs empty buses to and from places no one wants to go at inconvenient times, with overpaid bureaucrats sitting in a brand new taj-like admin building they built for themselves after rubber stamp approval from the usual inland jive-o's sitting on their alleged board of directors, Glenna, in typical Mendolib style that reduces all issues to Appropriate (blanket approval for them and their friends) and Inappropriate (blanket disapproval for them and their friends), would say, "Why aren't you as nice as your brother?"

HELP ON THE WAY FOR HOMELESS IN UKIAH,” declared the headline over a story in the UDJ announcing a plan to build tiny houses for big drunks. Not to be more unkind about it, but at some point there's got to be a serious distinction made between people who are homeless because of sudden misfortune and want to get back indoors, and people whose addictions and bad behavior have combined to put them beyond tolerance. The multiple substance abusers often prefer to live outside because, like truant children in big bodies, they can do whatever they want.

UKIAH'S TENTATIVE PLANS to establish a kind of reservation for the homeless under the well-paid supervision of the usual cash and carry warm wonderfuls, won't work, because the drop-fall drunks and hard drug users, leavened by a small group of the untreated mentally ill, the whole package reinforced by old fashioned bums, will not abide by the rules of the proposed Little House rez. They will remain outside where they foul the feeder streams to the Russian River, and the Russian River itself, and make general nuisances of themselves.

THE PLAIN FACT is that almost all of the "homeless" are the kind of hopelessly screwed-up people who used to be confined to the state hospital system before Reagan destroyed that system. Today's "homeless" have to be compelled into treatment, and compulsion means, if we're serious about doing something about the "homeless," an expansion of the County Jail where help for the "homeless" can be delivered to them. Any kind of voluntary program won't work unless, of course, unlimited amounts of drink and drugs are part of the program, and somehow I can't imagine Ukiah's First Five brigades administering that kind of program.

THE PEOPLE who ought to get priority help in this county and this country are the people who try, the people barely making their rent, the people who go a little hungry every month. You can find these people at your local food bank, and you can find some of them hidden away living in their vehicles. Many of them are single women raising children by themselves. How about some help for them?

AS FOR THE THANATOIDS, any possible useful program for them has to begin with handcuffs, ice cold turkeys, and locked gates.

SUPERVISOR HAMBURG explains his vote to allow Dollar General to install a chain store in Redwood Valley, as provided by Mike A'dair, ace reporter for the Willits Weekly: “One of the speakers talked about government being ‘of, by and for the people,’ and it’s pretty clear, if you look at where the people are, the people are overwhelmingly opposed to this. At least the people who are in favor if it haven’t been showing up in any great numbers. The phrase ‘of, by and for the people,’ that comes from Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address. A hundred years before that, another American revolutionary, John Adams, talked about a government of laws, and not men. And if you look at that theory, and you hold to that theory, Dollar General — as distasteful as they are to me, and as much as my heart is totally with the people in this room. I want to keep Dollar General out of Redwood valley. I still can’t get my head around the idea they followed the laws. We don’t like the law. The law is imperfect. The General Plan written in 2009 was imperfect. There’s a lot of really ‘wobbly’ language in there, including the language about smart growth and aesthetics. As you own counsel said, it’s very vague. But still, in Mendocino County law, the granting of a building permit in a commercial zone is not a discretionary act. It is a ministerial act. And unfortunately form, hating everything about dollar General and the type of business they represent doesn’t change the fact that it is a ministerial act under the law. And I get back to that question, are we a government of men, and women, or are we a government of law? Here’s the other thing. This thing has really been bothering me. If we go down this path, if we approve this appeal and withdraw Dollar General’s use permit, we are committing ourselves to a court fight in the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a case our own attorney tells us has a 5% or less chance of winning. That’s a tough one. That’s a tough one for me.”

WHAT’S THE PRECEDENT HERE? Hamburg, himself a long time marijuana scofflaw, seems to have a newfound respect for the law. His reference to the General Plan being “vague” is interesting. A former co-worker of mine used to say, “Rules are only rules until they’re questioned, then they’re guidelines.” Especially when the challenger has a team of lawyers to pounce on the vagueness. (Almost anything official Mendo puts on paper is going to be vague by virtue of its origin.) So here we have a large corporation threatening to sue the County. No one knows if they’d really sue for the privilege of opening a small chain store in Redwood Valley. But just the threat of a lawsuit is enough to get Hamburg to pre-emptively cave, as always slathering his sell-out in pious rhetoric.

WE'D PREDICTED that the Supervisors would vote against the Dollar Store proposed for Redwood Valley, then reverse themselves before Dollar sued. But at their meeting last week, the Supes voted 3-2 to approve the chain store, Supervisors McCowen and Brown voting not to approve.

OBJECTIVELY, the Supervisors probably had no choice but to either approve now or approve later. Why? Because Dollar bought a lot that is commercially zoned. The Supervisors can't re-zone them or anyone else outta there retroactively.

THERE IS HUGE opposition to Dollar, but the only option left to Redwood Valley at this point is to avoid shopping with the outside mega-corp. Too bad, but the fault lies with the elected reps of yesteryear who zoned downtown Redwood Valley to commercial, but that zoning assumed that the giants of Made In China retail would ever light down in Redwood Valley.

LIVING CONFIRMATION of the old saw that no good deed goes unpunished, Supervisor McCowen found himself as that living confirmation last week.

MOST LOCALS are aware that McCowen spends much of his free time cleaning up after Ukiah's ever expanding population of homeless, many of whom prefer to live on the bucolic banks of the Russian River and its feeder streams where they leave mounds of trash that wash into the streams and the RR with the rain. McCowen's is a thankless and Sisyphean task. It's also a task that rightly belongs to the City of Ukiah.

TAKE THE TIME to read the following for the full impact of the kind of buck passing and dithering typical of the City of Ukiah. The remarks of the town's $400,000-a-year city manager are especially irritating.

"Business gets dumped on," is the title of the following story by "Ukiah Daily Journal Staff"

Kerry Vau and John Lazaro got to the Coldwell Banker real estate office they own on Mason Street Monday morning to find that someone had dumped a huge load of trash in their business’s driveway. How it got there and why yesterday has got them scratching their heads. The story started about a month ago when Vau and Lazaro called the city police department to let them know that they were seeing increasing sheets of cardboard and signs of a homeless camp in a Gibson Creek culvert with homeless people coming and going through their property on Mason Street near East Perkins Street. Vau said the UPD came by, had a look and told her and Lazaro that the city would get it cleaned up but it would take time — about a week — since the city public works department had to get the county hazardous materials team out there first to dispose of syringes and other dangerous items before city workers could move in. A week went by with no action says Vau, and then the city police sent its business liaison officer, Nancy Sawyer, to meet again with Vau and Lazaro and apologize for the delay. By that time, the two business owners said they were seeing blankets and other evidence of people living in the creek bed but also on their business’s deck during the night. They said they urged the city to do something before it began to rain, when the homeless debris would be more difficult to move and much of it would likely start to drift down the stream bed. Another week went by. Then Vau and Lazaro talked to city public works director Tim Erickson who assured them action was imminent. They had still seen no evidence of a hazardous materials team.On last Friday the UPD identified the man who had set up the camp and told him he had to clear out. Lazaro says at that point one homeless woman piled her belongings in the Coldwell Banker driveway. Still no action from the city crews. By 4 p.m. that day, Lazaro called the city and said he was going to load all the homeless debris piled in their parking lot and move it to the nearby city parking lot, which he did. (By Sunday that debris was gone he notes.) On Saturday the UPD cited the homeless man for camping and warned him that all the debris was about to be removed. They also called Lazaro and urged him not to move any more homeless debris because the homeless man was going to go through it and pick out what he wanted to save and then the city would come and get the rest this week. Instead, apparently, 1st District County Supervisor John McCowen went into the creek Sunday and cleaned it out, leaving the garbage piled, once again, in the Coldwell Banker parking lot. McCowen was not available Monday so there is no confirmation that he was responsible, although two people the UDJ talked to said it was his doing and that he did alert the city that the pile was there. McCowen has over the years often taken it upon himself to clean up homeless camps in Ukiah creeks and rivers and is generally congratulated for doing so. After another frustrated phone call from Vau and Lazaro, the city on Monday went to the business and hauled the debris away. Lazaro and Vau are dumbfounded by the whole experience.

They can’t understand why it took so long to get anything done, and especially why it was thought that dumping the debris from a homeless camp onto a local businesses property was OK. They said not only was there another pile of garbage on Monday, but their recycle dumpster had also been filled up, largely with non-recyclable materials from the creek. “We’re disappointed that the city and hazmat didn’t react faster,” Vau said. “Or have a plan for hauling it away,” added Lazaro. While both appreciate that McCowen may have acted in desperation to clean up the creek bed as it was raining on Sunday, they say dumping all the garbage in their front yard was not the right decision. “He could at least have come here this morning or called us to say ‘I’ll get it cleaned up,’” Vau said. Ukiah City Manager Sage Sangiacomo said Monday that cleaning up homeless camps is a complex problem and can only be done under certain legal procedures including giving advance notice to the homeless, determining what’s trash and what’s belongings and making sure the clean up is safe for workers.  In this case the city decided it was not safe, and asked the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority, which operates hazmat disposal, to do the clean up, which was scheduled for this week. He added, however, that the city realizes the response time for the business on the cleanup could have been better and the city has put into place new procedures that allow the UPD’s Sawyer, who had been working with Vau and Lazaro, to make the phone call directly to MSWMA rather than going through city department staff first.

SUPERVISOR MCCOWEN RESPONDED: "Yes, the story is true. It was a mess. I called the property owners to apologize for not at least leaving them a note. A friend and I spent several hours Sunday cleaning up trash at several hot spots in the creekbeds. We were trying to get things cleaned up before the creeks started flowing. It was very nasty, tedious work, especially in the rain. We concentrated on spots that I already knew were trashed, but I wanted to go by the Mason Street culvert because I had just read a newspaper report that campers were cited there. We got to Mason Street just as darkness was setting in and the rain was picking up. The amount of trash in the culvert under the street was incredible. I did not see how we were going to get it all out of there but we did. Bear in mind we had to work using flashlights and bent over at the waist all the time because there is only about four feet of clearance. I intended from the beginning to load the trash up and haul it away, but by the time we finished hauling it out of the culvert and out of the creek bed we literally ran out of gas. We were soaking wet, dead tired and it was still raining. I decided to notify the City because the street and culvert belong to them. Under the circumstances I thought it was reasonable to ask the City to haul the trash away. I was up late getting ready for a LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) meeting Monday morning. I went by Mason Street after LAFCO with the intention to clean it up if it was still there. What I don't get is why the campers were not cited for leaving all that trash in the creek bed. There is a specific state code that prohibits depositing trash within 100 feet of a stream, not to mention right in the streambed itself. The pallets and all the trash could easily have blocked the next culvert that goes under Perkins Street which would have been a real mess. My experience in dealing with homeless camps is that it is easier to prevent them from getting established than it is to clean up after them. The Mason Street camp proves my point."

THE REAL QUESTION is why it fell to McCowen to haul the trash out of the creek. The neighboring property owners began calling for help from the City four weeks ago but the Police Department and Public Works were more interested in handing the prob off than in dealing with it themselves. If not for McCowen the trash would have been swept down the creek, into the river, and would be passing through Sonoma County just about now. Or it would have clogged up the culvert creating a dam and backing up water on to who knows what. The basic prob is that our judges have signed off the right of drop fall drunks, hard drug addicts, and crazy people to die on the streets. The rest of us gaze helplessly on as our fellow human beings commit public suicide. Before America lost its way (It happened in the summer of '67. I was there!) people unable or unwilling to care for themselves got shelter and got help.

THE EUROPEAN UNION has said it is expecting a small but positive economic impact from the 3 million migrants expected to arrive in the bloc nations by 2017. “There will be an impact on growth that is weak but positive for the EU as a whole, and that will increase GDP by 0.2 to 0.3 percent by 2017,” the economic commissioner said. According to the predictions, 1.5 million migrants will arrive in the EU next year, exceeding this year’s total.

I THINK MENDOCINO COUNTY should arrange for at least a thousand of these intrepid emigants. Covelo could use a hundred new families, Willits 500, the rest to be distributed to all neighborhoods of Ukiah. Imagine, a thousand new families from ancient Mesopotamia, all of them fully committed to education and enterprise. Mendo would be instantly transformed for the better.

FOR YOUR WELL DUH FILE… As everyone except Republicans understand, former President George Bush set about three-quarters of the world on fire, igniting a war with the Arab countries that would destroy those countries and make refugees out of the survivors. Bush's father, hardly a liberal, lightly chastizes Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, key members of his son's administration, over their reaction to the September 11 attacks, in a new biography. In Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey Of George Herbert Walker Bush, author Jon Meacham quotes Bush as saying that Cheney and Rumsfeld were too hawkish and that their harsh stance damaged the reputation of the United States. Speaking of Cheney, who was vice president under President George W. Bush, the senior Bush said: “I don't know, he just became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with,” according to the report.

CHENEY WAS PROBABLY a prick and a nut all the way back to his kindergarten years, but in office he became a global menace. The notion that Cheney and Rumsfeld went bad only under Bush Two is way off.

RONALD BAUMEISTER was recently arrested in Ukiah for drunk in public. The guy gets himself arrested on this charge from time to time. Whenever he's in jail for drunk in public, the cops should question him about two unsolved Westport murders.


BAUMEISTER'S name came up in the James Denoyer case back in 2007, the complete story of which can be found in the ava's on-line archive. A native of Comptche, Baumeister worked for Denoyer at Denoyer's Starved Horses Ranch just north of Westport. He knew both of the men who also worked at Denoyer's place where they disappeared under highly suspicious circumstances. We can understand Baumeister's reticence. Denoyer, who emerged unscathed from the scandal over his neglect of his animals, was never charged in the disappearances of his uncle, Donald Cavanaugh, and an Albion man named David Neily. Baumeister's probably lucky he didn't disappear, too.

“WHEN I WENT BACK to Jim’s (Denoyer) to look for my dad,” Ryan Neily remembers, “I found my dad's dog locked up in a truck at Jim's. I was up there poking around near the trailer where I'd lived, and I met Ron Baumeister up there. He told me my dad had left ‘months ago in his Mustang.’ Baumeister knows what happened,” Ryan Neily insists. “He knows something to lie like that because both my dad’s vehicles were at Jim's. The Mustang hadn’t moved. I called the Sheriff, and the next day the cops were there in force complete with cadaver dogs. They searched the whole place but found nothing. I know the cops wanted Ron to come in for a polygraph, but Ron didn't and hasn't been seen since, either, that I know of.”

James Denoyer
James Denoyer

In 2008, WE WROTE: The police consider Denoyer “a person of interest” in the disappearances of David Neily and Donald Cavanaugh, two senior citizens who haven’t been seen since they made Jimmy Denoyer very, very angry. And now another man who Denoyer was said “to be tired of” is among the missing. Or at least the people and places he’s ordinarily in the proximity of haven’t seen Ronald “Ronnie” Baumeister in several months. Baumeister, like Neily and Cavanaugh, occasionally worked with Denoyer at Denoyer’s 20 acre ranch near Westport. Baumeister has also been seen at Denoyer’s 200-plus acre ranch off Scott’s Valley Road between Highway 20 and Lakeport. But Ronnie hasn’t been seen anywhere lately and he, too, had made Jimmy very, very angry.

NOPE. BAUMEISTER'S alive and drunk in Ukiah, and probably still in touch with Denoyer who now owns a ranch in Lake County.

VIEWING RECOMMENDATION: Vice News, best series of documentaries I've seen, especially the Vice News docs on global warming, which represent the clearest explanations of what's happening you are likely to get. I've watched Vice News on HBO and a couple on YouTube, but I'm sure they're available lots of other places.

HARVEY READING on Fort Bragg policing: "Quite an interesting recounting. More evidence that this country has always been very much a fascist police state, where ideas not acceptable to the ruling class are violently squelched. Kinda ironic that Fort Bragg hired such a chief. A course I never found Fort Bragg, or Mendocino County for that matter, to be all that progressive. That always seemed a myth to me. Just like the myth that Berkeley has no right wingers, or that antiwar groups spit on or threw things at returning Vietnam vets."

ON-LINE COMMENTS re Trump's appearance Saturday night on Saturday Night Live:

(1) "Classic sour grapes reporting. Naturally, this writer would be negative in light of the 6.6 household rating this sketch received, its highest in over a decade and 47 percent more than Miley Cyrus (Miley Cyrus?) and Hillary Clinton received. The media do not understand the Trump phenomenon just as they don't understand the views of average Americans who see the nation in major decline in the past seven years (Pew Research poll). Ignorance is inexcusable."

(2) "SNL used to be can't miss TV, but SNL stopped being funny and cutting edge comedy decades ago… It's clear that the politicians have imposed conditions on their appearance on shows like SNL and that they have script approval; they would not go on these shows during the era when Chevy Chase, Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Aykroyd and Bill Murray did not care who they criticized or insulted. Some of those folks were pushed out of SNL because of insults of the rich and powerful."

(3) "Equating the audience reaction of an SNL political guest host to the political atmosphere in America is a fool's adventure. John McCain, Mitt Romney and Al Gore should have been president based on their ratings and positive reaction on SNL."

HEADLINE Sunday's Press Democrat: Tell Us: What do you want from the future Press Democrat?  The inquiry begins,  "We started meeting with readers this fall to discuss some possible changes to the newspaper, and now we would like to invite you to join the conversation."

GLADLY, and thank you PD for asking. Ahem. Let me begin. I see the Press Democrat through the 49er football prism. We need a total rehab of both the Niners and the PD.  The whole PD show, from the ownership on down through the paper's obviously incompetent editors, should go. The reporters?  Any  high school kid can be trained to do the work. However, given that the Rose City daily, like every other daily in this country, is entirely beholden to its advertisers, even with a smart group of owners, and sorry, Doug Bosco is not smart — cunning undoubtedly — but not smart, even good owners, if there is such a thing, need literate editors with a least half a cojone. The present craven crew of PD editors is stupid and terminally chickenbleep, a fact you can confirm for yourselves simply by reading their editorials. But even with no changes at the editorial and management levels, get the paper's over-large posse of so-called reporters off their dead asses. They should be required to file every day from somewhere in the redwood-less Redwood Empire. Look at the masthead, then look at the daily paper. What the hell are all these people doing all day? It's hopeless, though. Reporting is not the purpose of the enterprise. Advertising revenue, which seems to be way off, is the point of the half-assed daily effort. The paper's on-line comment remarks are the only interesting aspect of the operation. They're often smart and funny, unlike the daily edition where smart and funny are confined to the sports page.

ANYBODY who even bothers to respond to the PD's bogus solicitation is a gd fool; first for even thinking about it then, more of a fool, for knocking out a couple paras about it. Call me fool.

A RECENT EXAMPLE of how a lot of people die with zero notice being taken of their departures appears almost clandestinely in the Sheriff’s media incident log entry for the 18th of October where we learn that a man died at 41801 Little River Airport Road with no mention of who he was or what he died from, and no obituary anywhere that we could find. We discovered from our own sources only that the deceased was a man in his forties who, our sources speculate, died from a drug overdose.

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