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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Dec 4, 2015

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A 3.2 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE about 3am this morning rattled teacups in Fort Bragg and Mendocino. Epicenter was nine miles east of FB and 3.2 miles deep.

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(Intro to Mendocino County’s Recently Adopted Budget for FY 2015/2016)

On September 22, 2015, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors adopted its final budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016. The final budget was compiled in accordance with the County Budget Act (sections 29000 through 29144 of the Government Code). This is a balanced budget as required by California Law. The final budget sets forth the appropriations and estimated financing sources for County services. Budget information for special districts such as lighting and sanitation are also included. The FY 2015-16 Final Budget funds a wide variety of services for the citizens of Mendocino County including public safety, planning and building services, health and social services, and road maintenance.

The FY 2015-16 budget was built with the Board identified goals and priorities. The goals of: Fiscal Stability, Financial Sustainability and Organizational Development by prioritizing debt mitigation and elimination; maintain the reserve policy; one-time revenue to not be used for on-going expense and invest in the organization’s future through the Leadership Initiative, succession planning, and recruitment and retention practices. The priorities are: 1) maintain current levels of services to the public, 2) focus on financial sustainability and identify cost savings whenever possible, and 3) continue to invest in County infrastructure.

This budget is balanced, innovative, fair, and most importantly, it indicates we are continuing with a period of fiscal stability. With the adoption of this budget, the County now has a $11.5M General Reserve, and a $3.65M Pension Gap Reserve and negotiated salary increases which continues to show positive steps taken in the process of giving back to our dedicated and hard-working employees.

Other highlights of the FY 2015-16 Final Budget include an allocation of $2M for corrective maintenance on our County roads; over $2.5 million in salary increases and incentives for employees; an investment of over $5 million in deferred maintenance and infrastructure improvements; over $1 million in new patrol and county fleet vehicles; and maintaining a $506,977 contingency fund for unanticipated expenses that may occur during the fiscal year.

I am pleased to report that the FY 2015-16 budget is once again a stable, responsible and balanced budget to be proud of.


Carre Brown, Chair

Mendocino County Board of Supervisors

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CEO Carmel Angelo: The Final Budget was developed within the framework of the Board of Supervisors’ current goals of Fiscal Stability, Financial Sustainability, and Organizational Development along with their current budget priorities which are included below. To meet these goals in FY 2015-2016, the following actions are included in the adopted budget:

Goal One – Fiscal Stability:

Priority: A contingency fund is established annually for unanticipated expenses.

Action: Established a FY 2015-2016 Contingency Fund of $506,977.

Action: Budget is structurally-balanced with no one-time revenue used to fund on-going costs.

Goal Two – Financial Sustainability:

Priority: Debt mitigation and elimination is a priority, one-time revenue will not be used to finance on-going costs, and continued efforts to build the General Fund Reserve to an acceptable balance in accordance with government standards and recommendations with a target balance of 6.35% of the General Fund (prior year’s appropriations).

Action: Allocated $1,470,000 to the General Fund Reserve bringing the balance to $11,500,000 in accordance with County policy. The reserve balance equals 6.6% of General Fund FY 2014-15 appropriations.

Action: Continued to meet the County’s debt obligations by allocating $1,400,000 to the Certificates of Participation and $7,883,408 to Pension Obligation Bonds.

Action: Allocated an additional $737,285 to the Teeter Reserve bringing the balance to $2,000,000 in accordance with County policy and to ensure greater sustainability during a future time of declining property tax revenues.

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COMMENT: As is obvious, most of the County’s budget priorities are financial, not organizational or managerial. As per ancient tradition, Mendo does not use the budget process to prioritize efficient or measurable service delivery, pretending instead that the County organization runs like a Swiss watch when to all observable indications it’s a mishmash of catch-as-catch-can ad hoc organizations with little to no oversight, management or measurable objectives for their numerous, disparate departments which are left to operate themselves despite the many inter-relationships and ongoing complaints and difficulties.

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Goal Three – Organizational Development: Priority: Invest in our future through the leadership development initiative, succession planning, and recruitment and retention practices.

Action: Allocated $2,360,153 to fund salary adjustments and one-time stipends to employees of bargaining groups that reached agreements which included this benefit.

Action: Allocated an additional $2,150,000 to the Pension Gap Reserve bringing the total to $3,650,000 to ensure the County is able to meet its pension obligations to past, current, and future employees of Mendocino County.

In addition to the actions listed above, the FY 2015–2016 budget includes an allocation of $2,000,000 to Roads for corrective maintenance projects, an allocation of $5,056,976 for capital improvement projects, a final appropriation of $701,429 allocation for a new property tax system, an additional $915,000 for vehicle replacement, and $565,000 for various IT upgrades.

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Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, aka Mental Health Services, has 67 full-time equivalent County employee staff members against an allocated 77 — despite most of their operations having (allegedly) been privatized.

Among the “Goals/Objectives For FY 2015-16” for mental health in the current fiscal year (July 2015-June 2016) are:

“Continue working with the Administrative Service Organizations to improve and enhance specialty mental health services. “Provide oversight and monitoring of the Administrative Service Organizations.” And, “Continue to provide full‐service partnership slots for intensive ‘wraparound’ support for the seriously mentally ill, who are homeless or most at risk to be homeless, hospitalized, incarcerated or placed out‐of‐county in residential facilities.”


No mention of the on-going mental health department audit and potential for budget changes based on its outcome. No mention of the possibility of going out for re-bid of mental health contracts. No mention of reviewing apparently high rates of administration and overhead in the “administrative service organizations” (Redwood Quality Management and Ortner Management Group).

No explanation of what “full service partnership slots” for “intensive ‘wraparound’ support for the seriously mentally ill who are homeless or most at risk to be homeless, hospitalized, incarcerated, or placed out of county in residential facilities” is, nor how that will be measured. (What we do know, however, based on daily observation of the Sheriff’s booking log, that the “homeless” who are “most at risk to be … incarcerated” are not likely to receive anything remotely resembling “wraparound support.”)

In fact, the “goals/objectives” for mental health in FY 2015/16 are almost all unmeasurable statements with vague, meaningless verbs and phrases such as “continue to work,” “provide oversight,” “increase,” “expand,” “decrease,” “reduce,” and “research.”

The only specific goal for this fiscal year is “Opening of The Anchor, a Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Youth Resource Center on the Coast,” which simply goes to show that if they wanted to provide real goals, they could have. (PS. We can find no reference to “The Anchor” in any other County documents, so this “goal” is purely a budget artifice. There’s “The Arbor,” an inland program run by Redwood Children’s Services which is a “youth-led, inter agency resource center in Ukiah for youth ages 15-24.” In other words, it’s not much more than a drop-in center for mentally ill 20-somethings to hang out — something which, even if set-up, will produce no measurable results and could cover half of Mendo’s entire 20-somethings whether they’re diagnosed as mentally ill or not.)

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THE AVA'S ACE Courthouse reporter writes: "Amazing occurrence today in court, demonstrating the scope and power of the mighty AVA.

Early last summer we reported a bust in Covelo of a honey oil lab involving incredible amounts of the substance described by converts to the cannabis faith as a cure-all miracle drug. The bust was made by Sergeant Peter Hoyle of the Task Force. Omar Figueroa took the case of one Tyler Smith, formerly of Sylacouga, Alabama.

The case was on for a pre-trial conference today, and when Mr. Smith and his lawyer came in they seemed unhappy to see Sgt. Hoyle.

This was not usual – Hoyle needn’t have come until the trial date, unless … Unless something was up.

Turns out that the real Tyler Smith of Sylacouga, Alabama, had been contacted by someone who read about his bust online (the AVA was the only paper that wrote about his bust, as far as we know) and said, “Hey, Tyler, what’s this about you getting busted out in California?”

Preston Smith (formerly ID'd as Tyler Smith)
Preston Smith (formerly ID'd as Tyler Smith)

Tyler went to the article, read it, then called Sgt. Hoyle and explained he’d never been to California. Hoyle ran his fingerprints – the ones of the guy he'd busted in Covelo -- and found out the honey oil man in Covelo wasn’t Tyler Smith at all – even though he had Tyler’s Alabama driver's license.

The guy in court turned out to be Preston Alexander Smith, a fugitive from Alabama. His tattoos on his hands say “Outa-bama,” but he’ll certainly be "Inna-Bama" on his extradition papers as soon as he gets his time served in Mello Mendo.

Just goes to show how widespread the AVA readership is — and, hey, howzabout that!

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"Ok, the following is a true story that just happened to me. I'm at Santa Rosa airport for a quick 24 hour trip to LA for a conference tomorrow. Our plane, Alaska Air, just hit a deer. I think it was on the runway because Rudolph doesn't fly for 23 more days. We will now fly to Seattle and get into LA around 1 in the morning. Wish me luck. Yes, you read that correctly. Our plane hit a deer. OMG!"

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On 11-24-2015 at approximately 9:30 PM, Mendocino County Deputies responded to a structure fire in the 100 block of Sherwood Hill Drive in Willits. Fire personnel were already on scene and the fire was reportedly suspected to be arson. Deputies arrived on scene and discovered a large pile of burnt garbage and other unrecognizable debris outside the resident just below a bedroom window. Neighbors stated they observed the pile on fire and it was beginning to burn the side of the residence, when they used a portable fire extinguisher to put out the flames.


While they were putting out the flames Gerald Simpson, 45, of Willits, who resides at the location, came walking up to them with burning embers in his beard and hair. Neighbors advised they had also used the fire extinguisher on Simpson to put out the burning embers. Simpson then left the scene prior to any other emergency personnel arriving. Deputies entered the residence and spoke with the owner (73 year-old adult female) who stated she had been inside the residence with her son and granddaughter at the time of the fire. The owner and granddaughter could smell something burning about the same time Simpson had exited his bedroom inside the residence. When Simpson exited the residence, she could hear the neighbors screaming about the presence of the fire. Deputies entered Simpson's bedroom and notice several fresh burn marks on a dresser that was located just below the window that contained the pile of garbage and debris outside. A preliminary investigation was conducted and arson was suspected as the cause of the fire. Deputies searched the area for Gerald, which were unsuccessful. Gerald was subsequently located the next morning and was arrested for arson of an inhabited structure. Gerald was booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $30,000.00 bail.

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by Justine Frederiksen

It’s likely dozens of people saw what happened the night 19-year-old Roman Elliott was shot to death nearly two months ago on Observatory Avenue in Ukiah, but so far no one has come forward to tell their story to the Ukiah Police Department.

UPD detectives say this unwillingness by witnesses to go on record is very common when incidents involve rival gangs, and is one of the reasons why gangs have such a strong foothold not only in Ukiah, but throughout California and beyond.

“The gangs have been here for a long time,” said UPD Officer Chris Long, explaining that two in particular, the Norteños and the Sureños, are “the main ones causing all the problems right now,” though they certainly aren’t the only gangs represented in Mendocino County, whether it be in Ukiah, Willits or Fort Bragg.

“The gangs are going to be wherever there is someone who wants to be a gang member,” Long said, explaining that intimidation and fear are used very effectively by gangs to not only increase their territory and numbers, but to keep victims and witnesses silent.

Since Elliott’s death Oct. 9, many community members noticed an increase in violence such as stabbings, which the UPD acknowledges has occurred. However, officers say they have noticed an upswing in activity for about a year, in particular since January.

There are many reasons for this increase, UPD Chief Dewey said, but two main ones are recent laws affecting the penal system. The first was AB109, also known as Public Safety Realignment, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011. That law removed many inmates from the overcrowded state prisons and sent them back to their home counties to be jailed.

In Mendocino County, where Dewey said the jail is “always full,” that change means many of the inmates are now on parole and probation rather than incarcerated.

Another change is Prop. 47, passed last November, which made offenses like possession of methamphetamine and thefts of less than $1,000 no longer a felony.

“We used to have many more tools to combat criminal activity with,” Dewey said, describing Prop. 47 in particular as “really hampering our ability” to penalize criminals, since for many offenses officers can now only write tickets.

“But it’s not going to stop us,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world; it’s just made our jobs tougher.”

The Community Needs To Step Up

“If people aren’t afraid to stand up and say they’re not afraid, then the gangs will have to stand down,” Long said, adding that he is not immune to intimidation attempts, recalling how while at community events with his daughter on his shoulder, gang members will make it clear they recognize him with threatening looks.

“At some point, people have to take back their city,” Long continued, explaining that in Elliott’s murder and many other instances, no one has been punished – legally at least -- because no one else is willing to “stand up and point their finger and say that person did it.”

In many ways, Dewey said, Ukiah and Mendocino County are uniquely qualified to combat gang activity, since “every fifth-grader in our county goes through a 12-week gang resistance program,” and strong local organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and MESA (Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement) provide more positive outlets for kids’ energies.

“Studies have shown that kids who get a job or are successful in after-school activities are much less likely to join gangs,” Dewey said, urging parents to not only encourage their kids to participate in sports or clubs, but to monitor their behavior, and especially their smart phones and social media activity, for signs of gang allegiance.

“Kids bring home warning signs, like suddenly only wanting to wear red, such as red shoelaces,” Dewey said, explaining that red represents one gang while blue represents the other, just like the number 13 represents one gang and 14 the other.

Another example of what the community can do was the party hosted at the Alex Rorabaugh Center on Halloween night, Dewey said, describing that as a great success he hopes to see repeated and expanded upon.

“We’re not giving up,” Dewey said. “We’re not going to accept gang activity in our community. This is still a great place to raise a family, and I don’t want gang activity to change that.”

To report any suspicious activity or get more information, contact the UPD at 463-6262.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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WHAT WOULD YOU THINK are the top two accomplishments listed in local Assemblyman Jim Wood's full-color mailer to his constituents this week?

IF YOU guessed that one of them has to do with the wine industry, you'd be right, of course! However, the wine industry accomplishment is not listed first. Mr. Wood's top accomplishment is "AB 81 — Frank Howard Hospital. AB 81 extended the seismic safety deadline for Frank Howard Memorial Hospital to September 1, 2015. This extension provided time to complete construction on the hospital building that serves as a vital resource in Mendocino County."

Good work, Jimbo!

BIG DEAL number two was just for the wine industry: "AB 143 — Food in Small Wineries. AB 143 eliminates the need to obtain a local food permit for wineries that serve pretzels or vacuum sealed snacks instead of or in addition to crackers. The bill would also eliminate the need for wineries to obtain a local food permit if they maintain no more than 25 feet of retail display of packaged foods."

THINK OF IT! Thanks to Assemblyman Wood, wineries and tasting rooms can now sell packaged pretzels, peanuts and popcorn too!

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On 10-25-2015, 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.

UPDATE-- During the month of November Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office continued to investigate this crime. Deputies learned of another subject who had been at the Grace Hudson Elementary School with the victim during the time of the attack. Deputies were able to locate and interview the witness who provided deputies with a gang "moniker" which the suspect had used in the past. Further investigation revealed the suspect's name which deputies used to complete a photographic lineup which was shown to the witness. The witness was able to identify a 17 year old suspect. Deputies learned the suspect has ties to a local gang. It was further learned the suspect was currently in custody at the Mendocino County Juvenile Hall on unrelated charges of violating the terms of his juvenile probation. Deputies contacted and interviewed the suspect at juvenile hall. The 17 year old suspect made statements to the effect that this incident occurred as a result of an early assault against him by a rival gang member. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office will submit this case to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office requesting the subject be charged with assault with a deadly weapon (knife) and a gang enhancement for his participation in a street gang. Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Tip line at (707) 234-2100.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 2, 2015

Carrillo, Cisneros-Mosqueda, Dessoliers
Carrillo, Cisneros-Mosqueda, Dessoliers

TINA CARRILLO, Hopland. Conspiracy, probation revocation.


STEPHANE DESSOLIERS, Montreal/Laytonville. Domestic battery.

Gouber, Hammons, Hayes
Gouber, Hammons, Hayes

JACK GOUBER, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.

BRADY HAMMONS, Lucerne/Ukiah. Possession of/under influence of controlled substance.

LAURIE HAYES, Covelo. Possession of controlled substance and smoking/injecting device.

Kares, Keach, Knight
Kares, Keach, Knight

JAMIE KARES, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

STEPHEN KEACH, Rohnert Park/Redwood Valley. DUI.

CRYSTAL KNIGHT, Hopland. Probation revocation.

Konopasek, Martinez, Murphy
Konopasek, Martinez, Murphy

CLIFFORD KONOPASEK, Willits. Domestic assault.

ARACELI MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Grand theft, using another’s ID, stolen vehicle, offenses while on bail.

WESLEY MURPHY, Laytonville. Pot possession for sale, possession of ammo by prohibited person, possession of assault weapon.

Neagle, Nelson, Rennacker
Neagle, Nelson, Rennacker

RICHARD NEAGLE, Willits. Drunk in public.

SHANE NELSON, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

CHRISTOPHER RENNACKER, Fort Bragg. Reckless driving, evasion.

Rodriguez, Roland, Winter
Rodriguez, Roland, Winter

DIANE RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Embezzlement.

RAYMOND ROLAND, Willits. DUI with priors, resisting.

GARY WINTER, Laytonville. Felon with body armor.

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That nun.

A nun like her sisters.

Sister Rita.

Santa Rita.

Pretty prickly for a saint.

Santa Claws.

— Shirley Hazzard, “The Great Fire”

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LUNCH TODAY at the World Global Warming Summit; a buffet featuring some of the rarest and most expensive food on the planet, including Kobe beef, caviar, and a duck that’s almost extinct, washed down with $1000-per-bottle champagne chilled just right. What, you think these luminaries are going to save the world eating hotdogs and drinking Coca Cola? Well think again. Cost of this single chowdown? Upwards of $1,000,000.

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Almost twenty years have passed since this poster challenged viewers to rethink gun laws, and mass shootings have only become more commonplace throughout the world. A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which four or more people are shot. Just yesterday, a married couple opened fire at an office holiday party in a health center in San Bernardino, killing 14 people and injuring 21 others. The two assault rifles and two semi-automatic handguns used in the attack appear to have been purchased legally. Both suspects were killed following a police chase and a shootout. While the motive behind the shooting is unclear and under investigation, police have discovered large amounts of assault rifles, handguns, and bombs in the couple's home. The mass shooting occurred just days after a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, where three people were killed and nine wounded. The San Bernardino attack was the 355th mass shooting in the U.S. to occur in 2015 alone. CSPG's Poster of the Week was created circa 1997 to point out the large disparity between handgun-related deaths in the U.S. with those of other leading industrialized countries. In 1996, 9390 people were killed by handguns in the U.S., while only 379 were killed that year in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the UK, Canada, and Germany combined. It is important to note that these numbers are limited to handguns alone and do not reflect deaths caused by assault rifles, which are more deadly, kill more people in less time, and have become increasingly common in contemporary mass shootings.

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These insolent children of identity politics on one hand and the destabilizing effect of an overt and covert military/commercial/financial empire are two sides of the same coin. When a cabal decides to concentrate on one world reserve currency and abuse the $printing presses, then the wealth pump flows their way. The budget deficits were used to build an empire. The flip side is that the power so concentrated has had no concerns other than their aspirations of world wide conquest. The responsibility inherent in that position of power includes the investment in the physical and social fabric of a nation. So the base interests of profiteering off advertising to children, selling wanton sex and violence to adolescents in the entertainment and gaming industries, and the promotion of poor purchasing decisions in the place of personal accomplishment fills the vacuum. Add our society’s stewards’ decision to roll back important restrictions on the ability of the professions to advertise, such that we have been inundated with misinformation and manipulation from both ambulance chasers to pharmaceutical companies – all promising something for nothing.

So we dumb down one generation from birth and then roll back the academic standards to accommodate the result. About every 15 years another hard-earned civilizational peg is removed from the social structure. We can have an empire for nothing. We can have cheap consumer widgets without having to manufacture anything. We can have big Wall Street gains without doing anything but reshuffling the deck faster and faster. We can have a pain free life and good health by popping a few pills. And we will all have a joyous future if we were only to have enough faith in technology.

Is it any wonder that children of ALL classes develop a sense of entitlement? Is it any wonder that those who sense the phoniness if it (without necessarily understanding that’s what they’re seeing) develop depression?

It’s the unravelling of an empire.

I believe the economic collapse of the empire has begun so the world wide destabilization campaign has hit the “go” stage. All to precipitate a world war they fully intend to win. Those debts and deficits are to be paid with the blood, gold, and resources of vanquished nations. And since I believe that the US Citizen is now a client of this military/financial empire, we are to be rendered as well. Extorted from us will be our viable public infrastructure and our national public lands.

But at least this infantile and asinine sense of entitlement will be knocked out! The whole thing will be the national social Reset Button.

So maybe Frank Gehry is memorializing the current moment in history more effectively than anyone else. At least that’s ONE explanation for this work!

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by Ted Rall

CEO Mark Zuckerberg promises to give 99% of his Facebook shares to charityeventually.

Mark Zuckerbnerg
Mark Zuckerberg

Exact phrasing: the stock, currently worth $45 billion, will be donated “during [he and his wife’s] lives.” He’s 31 and she’s 30, so actuarial tables being what they are, by approximately the year 2065.

If Facebook or the Internet or the earth still exist.

Whoop de doo.

I would be far more impressed if Facebook would put some money into the American economy. How? By hiring more workers — a lot more workers. Facebook’s market cap is $300 billion — almost ten times more than GM. GM has 216,000 employees. I’m not sure Facebook could find work for 2 million workers — but 12,000 is pathetic. They might start by hiring a few thousand 24-7 customer service reps so they could respond quickly when some antisocial pig posts your nude photo.

The part of the “ain’t Zuck nicephilanthropist suck-uppery that really has me annoyed is the “charity” bit.

Disclosure: I’m on record as being not at all into charity. If something is important enough to require funding — helping hurricane victims, sending doctors to war zones, poetry — it ought to be paid for by society as a whole, out of our taxes. We shouldn’t allow billionaires to aggregate enough wealth to make them billionaires in the first place. Partly, this is because it’s unfair. No one can work hard enough to earn one billion dollars. Also because it gives too much control to individuals at the expense of the 99.99% of everyone else.

Unfortunately, we await the revolution. So we still have billionaires running around pretending to be nice (as opposed to where they belong, hanging from a lamppost).

Even by our current dismal standards, however, Zuck is full of crap.

Point one: the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is not a charity. It’s a limited liability corporation (LLC) that, like any other company, can donate to actual charities but can also invest in for-profit companies.

Point two: this is all about control.

A donation to an independent, classic 501(c) charity can come with strings attached — the money is only for a children’s wing of the hospital, no adults — but it’s ultimately spent by the charity based on its directors’ decisions. Under the LLC structure Zuckerberg will maintain nearly dictatorial control over the funds he’s “donating” to “charity.”

It’s the difference between you giving a hundred bucks to the United Way, and taking a hundred bucks out of your wallet and dropping into a coffee can in your kitchen. Maybe the C-spot in the coffee can will go to the poor. Maybe not. It certainly isn’t accurate to claim you gave it to charity.

If Zuck wants a “gives 99% of his stock to charity” headline, he ought to earn it — by giving 99% of his stock to actual charities. Charities that aren’t named after him. Charities he doesn’t control.

“Zuckerberg To Maybe Eventually Do Things He Deems Good With Some Of His Fortune” would be more accurate.

The vagueness of the Zuckerbergs’ announcement highlights how little anyone should be impressed. “Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities,” they said.

Sound familiar?

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was founded in 2000 with billions of dollars Microsoft extracted from American consumers via price gouging and gangster-style monopolistic tactics so ugly the feds almost broke up the company. The charity’s (it’s chartered as a 501(c)) mission sounds remarkably similar to those of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative: “Our foundation is teaming up with partners around the world to take on some tough challenges: extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries, and the failures of America’s education system.”

Which, right out of the gate, meant donating PCs to schools so that fewer kids would grow up using Macs.

If you’re a conservative who thinks government can’t do anything right, let me show you a charity that’s worse. The Gates Foundation wants to destroy teachers’ unions to take away their benefits and drive down their wages — hardly a way to attract the best and brightest young college graduates into the profession. And it has poured millions into the disastrous Common Core, which has created today’s “teach to the test” culture in public schools. Given Zuckerberg’s previous involvement in public schools, a $100 million fiasco in Newark, New Jersey that declared war on teachers, fetishized standardized testing and led to so many school closures that kids wound up walking miles through gang territory to new schools chosen for them by, really, an algorithm — it isn’t a stretch to guess that Chan Zuckerberg will look a lot like Bill and Melinda Gates.

I wouldn’t expect much — much good, anyway — from Zuckerberg on the poverty front, either. After all, Facebook is spreading poverty among American STEM workers by pushing Congress for more H1C visas for foreign workers hired by big tech companies to replace better-paid Americans. Odds are that, here too, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s approach will be similar to the Gateses.

Too young and too rich to have a clue — and the only people they know are over-privileged corporate pigs. How do you think this will turn out?

In 2010, for example, Bill and Melinda drew fire for subsidizing African projects by agribusiness conglomerates Cargill and Monsanto, both notorious for crushing small farmers, to the tune of $23 million. They’re way into sketchy genetically-modified foods. They wind up propping up authoritarian and dictatorial political regimes by focusing on technocratic short-term “quick fix” projects that don’t address the underlying causes of poverty (psst — capitalism). It’s a safe bet Zuck’s anti-poverty stuff will make more people poorer.

It’s Zuckerberg’s billions. He can do what he wants with his money. But let’s not make the mistake of calling him a charitable giver, much less a great guy.

(Ted Rall, syndicated writer and the cartoonist for, is the author of the book “Snowden,” the biography of the NSA whistleblower. Courtesy,

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By Nate Collins

Congratulations to FOX News and the rightwing media for creating social destabilization and further shifts to the right in American society. To me these latest acts should give us due warning as to how radically depersonalized technology has made these next generations. Seriously these jihadis are all in their 20’s?!? The police raided the terrorist flat in France and said to the female Jihadi, “Where is your boyfriend?” Her last words before exploding her vest, “He is not my boyfriend!!!” This is a jihad for facebook status now?!?

Even the American Taliban actions like the shooting in Colorado Springs are clearly by rightwing media proxy suggestion. The scary thing really in America is that whites of all ages are susceptible to extremism whereas with the Muslims it really looks like it’s the young ones causing the problems in the West. It’s entirely predictable in that America has always eaten its young, and so the children of immigrants are swallowed into this cauldron of lost traditions, with some screaming and moaning and gnashing of teeth on the way out (for old testament sake).

In San Bernadino it seems like this warped mind was absolutely led by narrative. “Yes you Muslim people are bad, even evil, YES you are one of them. YES, you are evil!!! You can do it!!!” It’s like some sort of perverse pep talk for extremism, it’s pornographic.

I have met rightwing Jews who swore their inspiration was jihadi muslims. I have met radical Muslims (a majority not jihadis because many just blather on and on aka ALL TALK) whose clear inspiration was rightwing America. They were obsessed with their own demonization and objectification.

“Strike a blow against the evil empire in the vacuum of the news spectacle.”

It’s the perverse facebook ego mind going for 15 minutes of fame… by any means necessary. Look out.

* * *


John Chamberlin was prolific at drawing, sign painting and poster and commercial design on the North Coast for over four decades. His work is like a history of community culture during these years. I've spent the past month curating a retrospective exhibit and sale of his work. It is without doubt the most extensive selection of John's graphics ever to be exhibited. In the neighborhood of 600 pieces of work will be on the walls of Odd Fellows Gallery in Mendocino. Most of them are originals, direct from John's hand, and very nearly all of them will be offered at rock bottom low prices for original artwork. All proceeds from the sale of John's work will be donated to the Mendocino Coast Children's Fund and Mendocino Unified School Enrichment (MUSE).


Odd Fellows Gallery is located at 45101 Ukiah Street in Mendocino. The exhibit opens this coming Friday, December 4th, at 12 noon. Regular hours are: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 12 noon to 6 PM; and Friday and Saturday 12 noon to 9:30 PM. The last day of the exhibit is Sunday, December 13th.

On the evenings of Friday and Saturday the 4th and 5th, and again on Friday and Saturday the 11th and 12th, there will be stage shows at Odd Fellows beginning at 7:30 PM. The featured entertainers include Richard Fienburgh, Lenny Laks, Johnny Bush, Stevie Gurr, Ayn Ruymen, Laura Jean Cardinal, Frannie Leopold, The Cumbaleros, Pattie DeMatteo and Janna Hansen Ukulele Duet, and the Random Holler Jug Band.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this brief but monumental display of graphic art, and to purchase work by a truly inspired artist. All the originals that remain unsold at the end of the exhibit will be transferred to the Kelley House Museum for permanent archiving, and will not be offered for sale again.

There's already a considerable buzz about this show. I urge you not to miss it.


Robert Ross, Mendocino

* * *


L.A. proved too much for the man

Too much for the man, he couldn't make it

So he's leavin' the life he's come to know uhoo

He said he's goin'

He said he's goin' back to find

Goin' back to find

Ooh, what's left of his world

The world he left behind

Not so long ago


He's leavin' (leavin')

On that midnight train to Georgia

Leavin' on the midnight train

Said he's goin' back

Goin' back to find

To a simpler place in time

Oh yes he is


And I'll be with him (I know you will)

On that midnight train to Georgia (leavin' on the midnight train to Georgia)

I'd rather live in his world

Than live without him in mine

That world is his, his and 'ers alone


He kept dreamin' (dreamin')

That someday he'd be a star

A super star, but he didn't get far

But he sure found out the hard way

That dreams don't always come true

So he pawned all his hopes

And he even sold his old car

Bought a one way ticket back

To the life he once knew

Oh yes he did

He said he would


Oh oh he's leavin'

On that midnight train to Georgia (leavin' on the midnight train)

Said he's goin' back to find

Oh a simpler place in time


And I'm gonna be with him (I know you will)

On that midnight train to Georgia

I'd rather live in his world

Than be without him in mine


The world is his, his and 'ers alone

Oh he's leavin'

On that midnight train to Georgia (leavin' on the midnight train)

Said he's goin' back to find (goin' back to find)

Oh a simpler place in time


And I've gotta be with him (I know you will)

On the midnight train to Georgia

I'd rather live in his world

Than be without him in mine


The world is his, his and 'ers alone

For love gonna board

The midnight train to Georgia

For love gonna board

The midnight train to Georgia


For love gonna board

The midnight train to Georgia

For love gonna board

The midnight train to Georgia

For love gonna board

The midnight train to Georgia


For love gonna board

The midnight train to Georgia

For love gonna board

The midnight train to Georgia

For love gonna board

The midnight train to Georgia

For love gonna board

The midnight train to Georgia

— Jim Weatherly

(Note: Pay particular attention to the Pips’ amazing, perfectly synchronized back-up singing and dancing!)

* * *

"WRITING, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, of the lack of it, each day."

— Excerpted from Ernest Hemingway's Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

* * *


Here's what I sent to the MCPB board of directors and the staff of KZYX&Z using the forms on their web page-- one for the board and one for the staff:

"Please use this form to let us know your thoughts about KZYX, if you want to volunteer or to direct a question to any staff member. Please let us know if you need a response."

Marco here. Yes, thank you for asking, I need a response.

Please explain to the paying members and the public why the so-called search committee for a manager for KZYX&Z is performing its deliberations entirely in secret, and why even the names of the people on the committee are being kept a secret.

And explain your reasoning for keeping secret from the full board of directors, much less the public, the applications and resumes of the people who have applied. Why shouldn't we all be involved in the process instead of being shut out of the loop entirely?

If you won't put these simple things on the station's website, nor talk about them on the air, nor group-email them to the membership, simply email them to me --one email-- and I'll read them on KNYO and KMEC. And/or you can email them to the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Or --and here's a thought-- you can tell one of your news reporters, and distribute the information via the KZYX news.

It would be much more ethical for you not to do everything in secret in the first place as though the inner workings of a tiny noncommercial radio station are a matter of national security. But if that's not going to change, at least make the entertaining five-minute effort to explain why.

Marco McClean

* * *

Dear Mr. McClean:

Why do we the MCPB Board of Directors act in secret? Why, Mr. McClean? Because information is power. And because so much of what we do here at KZYX is secret. We could write a mandate for secrecy into our By-laws, and, really, no one would know the difference from how we operate now. We are a secret organization.

Remember, we're not really a public radio station, Mr. McClean -- not "public" in the way you and most folks construe the word. You must have us confused with KMUD. No, Mr. McClean, we're not public. We're a private clubhouse here at KZYX. We're closed to people like you who ask questions, who criticize staff, who challenge authority -- in a word, people who believe that public radio belongs to the public.

No, we will not disclose the names of the Search Committee. Nor will we disclose the names of the twelve applicants for the GM position, no matter how qualified they may be. Why? Because we don't want qualified applicants. We want more of the same autocratic, controlling, exclusionary management style a la John Coate and Mary Aigner.

In other words, Mr. McClean, we want Stuart Campbell. Indeed, he applied for the job.

Forget for a moment that Campbell has no nonprofit fundraising/administration experience, except for that experience which Coate and Aigner allowed Campbell to have -- he was their boy.

Forget that Campbell was a part-time, adjunct faculty instructor at a junior college who remodeled and flipped houses before he landed here at our doorstep at KZYX.

Forget that many of Campbell's students gave him low grades at, despite Campbell's propensity of giving everyone in the class an overly-generous "A" -- damn, you can't fool those kids.

Forget that Campbell's show here at KZYX is tedious and boring, and that Campbell's show rarely makes its Pledge Drive goals except through the help of so-called anonymous gifts that we throw his way.

Why do we want Campbell as our next GM?

It's simple, stupid.

We want Campbell because he is one of us.

Thank you for your question.

Happy Holidays,

John Sakowicz, MCPB Board of Directors (2013-2016),; Board Treasurer (2014)

* * *


North Coast Rep. Jared Huffman introduced legislation Wednesday that would expand the landmark 1936 Rural Electrification Act to provide reliable broadband service to isolated pockets of America, including communities in his district that still don’t have affordable high-speed Internet service.

The bill would broaden federal investment in telecommunications infrastructure and seek to break down barriers that block community groups from accessing $670 million in funding intended to help bridge the nation’s digital divide.

“High-speed broadband is essential to economic development, public safety and a vibrant quality of life,” Huffman said in a statement. “This legislation is a step towards ensuring that our rural and remote North Coast communities are not left behind.”

Thousands of North Coast residents and business owners, particularly those in rugged coastal areas along Highway 1, are without access to the kind of reliable high-speed Internet that urban denizens take for granted in everyday life.

A report released last year by the California Public Utilities Commission identified nearly 14,000 Sonoma County households as unserved or underserved because of slow or nonexistent fixed broadband availability. Mendocino County had an additional 12,800 underserved households.

It’s not for lack of trying.

Collaborative partnerships around the North Coast and Northern California have worked for years to develop successful proposals that would extend fiber-optic routes to areas whose sparse populations meant such efforts didn’t pencil out for commercial telecommunication companies.

The most promising proposal — a $138 million initiative that would have put high-speed Internet within reach of 150,000 residents in 16 counties, including Sonoma and Mendocino — collapsed last year, in part because commercial providers challenged the need for so many routes, saying that it was no longer financially feasible, organizers said.

Current language in the Rural Electrification Act — which initially provided federal loans to extend electrical power and, later, telephone service to rural areas — favors existing telecommunications providers, essentially giving them first right of refusal for development of new fiber-optic routes.

The new bill would make it easier for regional partnerships, developed in the absence of action by commercial providers, to compete for grants and loans.

Co-sponsored by Reps. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, and Rick Nolan, a Democrat from Minnesota, the bill also would change the definition of a rural community from one with 5,000 residents to one with 20,000, so that geographically broad partnerships can qualify.

It would double the broadband funding available through the Rural Utility Service, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, from $25 million to $50 million a year beginning in 2016.

The measure includes funding for technical grants to help community groups apply for federal loans and loan guarantees.

“I believe it’s good news and am excited about the potential,” said Trish Steel, executive committee chairwoman of the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County.

Huffman said, “Our government’s promise of universal service should mean just that: high-quality, high-speed broadband service for every American household. Investment in broadband today will provide a better future for our communities tomorrow.”


  1. BB Grace December 4, 2015

    UDJ reports that statements in favor of Measure U has been submitted by Jeanne Stubenrauch, Carolyn Petersen, Dawn Ferreira, Marissa Colombi and Anne Marie Cesario.

    RE: AVA Comment on “To The Citizens of MC”.
    Spot on evaluation.

    RE: “Nate Collins
    Congratulations to FOX News and the rightwing media for creating social destabilization and further shifts to the right in American society.”

    The shifts to the right are not because of Faux News. The shift to the right began with the Ron Paul rEVOLution. Ron Paul made a statement that deserved to be challenged. Ron Paul claimed the GOP was a facade, no one was home. He suggested that folks go to their Republican Central Committees and see for themselves.

    To be honest, I was very afraid to go, and what do I find? Two senior citizens eating Chinese food. Three others showed up as if they didn’t want to be there, and what was so interesting about this group is how unrepublican they were. Was I at the right place? I seriously thought, “Did the Democrats take over the Republican Central Committee?” Come to find out that’s what many Republicans say in Mendocino County (and that Kenny Rogers is a political prisoner, I don’t know as he was before Ron Paul).

    So why this move to the right? Because those who took Ron Paul’s challenge found Ron Paul to be RIGHT ON, and what was even better was the opportunity to implement change through a major party after decades of voting decline to state party and working with third parties that got no where, or worse, victims to dirty tricks (usually by the Democratic Party and Green Party combo, against Nader). As Nader, who I worked for on three campaigns said, “It’s a good fight!”

    I don’t know anyone supporting Donald Trump BTW. Ron Paul Republicans see Trump as a MSM frontman to make sure what’s actually going on in the GOP doesn’t get aired, least the Democratic Party wind up like the GOP after Bush. Bush destroyed the GOP, that’s how we are able to come in. The GOP is changing and it’s not being televised, instead there’s Trump. Trump = Pfffft.

    So how about doing some homework Nate? I challenge you to go to your Republican Central Committee and see what’s up. You may find no one there, and then ask yourself, “What am I really writing about besides my imagination on MSM?”

  2. Keith Bramstedt December 4, 2015

    On Mark Zuckerberg: I heard the comedian Lewis Black say that Mark Zuckerberg compared the invention of Facebook to that of the printing press! Like they even come close to comparing in importance! Self-inflated importance.

    • LouisBedrock December 4, 2015

      I couldn’t agree with you more: the printing press expanded literacy, made mass education possible, facilitated the spread of news and new ideas, spawned literature and libraries.

      Facebook has generated narcissism and solipsism.

  3. james marmon December 4, 2015

    “maintain current levels of services to the public”

    That is very scary, besides the mental health fiasco, Public Health is down qualified nurses, Family and Children Services are operating with unqualified social workers, EFAS(TANF eligibility)is understaffed by 50%, and Alcohol and Other Drugs Program are in critical need of certified counselors.

    Is this something to be proud of?

    • james marmon December 4, 2015

      The reason EFAS is short on eligibility workers is because Social Service Director, Bryan Lowery, keeps stealing workers from that pool to replace educated and qualified social workers who are leaving Family and Children’s Services for greener pastures where the are valued and not marginalized like they are in Mendocino County.

      Christ, when I was working there they even developed a policy stating that social worker opinions were no longer accepted in FCS and that all decisions and recommendations were that of the Agency, not individual social workers. Talk about being marginalized.

      After 7 years of higher education, and nearly 10 years experience as child welfare social worker, I was stripped of my opinion and told that I was to be seen and not heard. It was clear that I was only hired for my degree only.

  4. Jim Updegraff December 4, 2015

    Facebook is a play toy for the intelectually challenged

  5. Jim Updegraff December 4, 2015

    Poster of the Week: merely confirms what we already know that the U. S. is one of the most violent gun crazy countries in the world.

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