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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Dec 14, 2015

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THE WILD WET WINDS Saturday night and into Sunday have meant widespread power outages in here and there pockets of Mendocino County. In Boonville, lightning strikes and thunderbolts were added to the winds and occasionally heavy rains. The bolts were seemingly aimed right at us and had the Boonters on edge because they are so rare in the Anderson Valley.

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THE GRID in Northern California is owned and operated by PG&E. A monopoly and theoretical public utility, PG&E acts like a private corporation, and a corrupt one at that with all kinds of gifts and lavish junkets for the Public Utilities Commission that allegedly oversees the power company. While PG&E spends a literal fortune on inane television ads and donates heavily to political office holders, every winter the power fails up and down the state because the lines aren't buried like they are in the civilized countries of the world.

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THE PRESS DEMOCRAT ran a weekend story on poverty in Sonoma County. The subject is always discussed by media with an assumption of, "Well, hell, the pathetic bastards are always with us so what can we do?" For starters, we could tax the wealthy at a reasonable rate like we did up through Eisenhower, a Republican. Another Republican, Reagan, rolled back taxes on the rich as he got "government off our backs," and the libs, in the form of the Clintons, unraveled helping programs even more. And here we are, with millions of Americans a paycheck away from the streets if they have a job in the first place.

CANDIDATE SANDERS addresses American poverty every time he opens his mouth. Most Americans will support him on the off chance he gets past a convention wired by and for Hillary, with the corporate media and, natch, NPR, non-personing him. Sure, he can beat whatever loon the Republicans put up, but whatever loon they put up can also beat Hillary.

BASED on my life experience I'd say that Americans who most need to take on the system don't vote, which accounts for control of the system by their class enemies and their doom unto their tenth generation. In most areas of the world, people pretty much vote for people who defend their interests, meaning the wealthy vote for people who can be depended on to give them more (Hillary, any of the Republicans) while working people, and working people vote in most of the world, vote for people who will protect and advance their interests. The rich usually win because, as they do here, they own the media and they have lots of money to put into elections. When the poor or their reps are elected anywhere, such as in certain Latin Americans countries, they either get killed by the CIA or otherwise removed from office. (Venezuela is right now an example of Venezuela's rich and our CIA undermining Venezuela's elected government.)

HERE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, working people — nevermind the poor — are not well represented if their interests are represented at all. If you say, "Wait a minute. Dan Hamburg is for the poor." Sorry, I'll need some evidence of that support. Hamburg is good at looking very, very concerned but that's as far as he takes his concern. Supervisor Woodhouse remains in a constant state of confusion, and Carrie Brown, a rancher, may be registered as a Democrat but I'd guess, from her general affect and certainly her cowboy social circle, she's a bootstrapper. (Potter Valley ranchers, most of whom inherited their spreads, think they should get free water forever from the Potter Valley diversion which, historically, was diverted to electrify Ukiah, not support welfare cows and grapes. Dear Carrie springs from that retro venue. Her politics mirror the Farm Bureau's.) Gjerde and McCowen are the only fully functioning supervisors we have, but they defer too often to Mommy, County CEO Carmel Angelo. With all the supes in support, Mom continues to shovel huge amounts of money to the upper end of our bureaucracies. After Mendo's big shots and our mostly privatized mental health "system" get their cuts, there's not much left over for locals who could use some practical help.

THE 99 PERCENT movement was a mass impulse in the right direction. I think it will be back and this time with a lot more energy because too many people have it too tough and the worm is turning. The country is coming apart so fast in so many ways, and with another tribune of the rich poised to become president, we're in for a violent ride.

WHERE WERE WE? SoCo poverty. At 12.3% for 2014, the share of (SoCo) residents who now live below official poverty is 2 percentage points greater than it was in 2010. In 2014, the federal poverty level was $14,580 for an individual and $29,820 for a family of four.

IN MENDOCINO COUNTY 20% of Mendo residents were below poverty level from 2009-2013.

SOCO'S median household income has remained flat at just below $64,000 a year.

MEDIAN household income in Mendo for 2009-2013 was $43,469. Per capita 2009-2013: $23,306. The CA average per capita is $30k.

FOREIGN BORN RESIDENTS of Mendocino County are 12.5% of the County's population, according to the 2010 census. The overall percentage of foreign born California residents is 27%.

THE CENSUS also reports that the percentage of people age 5 or more who live where a language other than English is spoken at home, 2009-2013, is 21.2%. The overall CA percentage is much bigger at 43.7%

SO THERE'S CLEARLY a significant undercount of Mexicans in Mendo, which probably means there are more people in poverty in Mendo than the census indicates.

BUT SO MANY PEOPLE work off the books in Mendocino County, including in the always booming marijuana industry, accurate stats about poverty are imprecise, to put it mildly.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY’S 382 page (!) Departmental Budget Book for 2014-15 & 2015-16 includes a section listing each department’s “major accomplishments” for last fiscal year (July 2014-June 2015). Because most of Mendo’s bloated departments are paid way too much for what they do, the individual department honchos take full advantage of the budget opportunity trying to persuade the Supes that they really really need the millions of dollars they get. Accordingly the document is essentially one big advertisement for government wrapped around the same old indecipherable budget charts. This expanded promotional format even got CEO Carmel Angelo an award from some distant financial outfit for being so great (They call their self-ads “transparency.”). The department heads carefully tailor their presentations so that nothing critical, much less informative, is included. The document is so frigging thick with hype that nobody bothers to actually read it and the departmental operations remain unreviewed or criticized. (It’s bad form in Mendo to even report on actual cost-drivers or monthly budget or personnel status, much less openly complain about anything the departments do.) Because of that lack of review, over the years the cut-line on what’s considered a “major” accomplishment has dropped to things like “We held a meeting.” It’s so low that even ordinary functioning is now deemed to be a major accomplishment. Obviously, Official Mendo never heard Chris Rock’s famous remark that “You don’t get credit for doin’ what you’re supposed to do!”

HERE are a few selected “major accomplishments” from Mendo’s many departments, presented without further comment:

AGRICULTURE: Hired two (2) new Biologists and started their field training to perform the various tasks of the Department. … Filled the vacant Office Services Supervisor position and worked to familiarize that person with the multitude of tasks in that position. … Continued publication of the Annual Agricultural Newsletter and the annual Crop Report. … Provided training and outreach to various elements of the agricultural community. … Continued to work towards re-writing the County’s Williamson Act Ordinance. … Upgraded telephone system. … Provided more ergonomically designed work stations for some staff members.

AIR QUALITY DISTRICT: Issued nearly 400 burn permits on-line, resulting in greater convenience for our customers and preventing unnecessary vehicle trips. … Developed in-house dust suppression grant for private roads and driveways, helping to reduce Particulate Matter generated by vehicle traffic in those areas. … 100% District participation in the County Leadership Initiative program.

CLERK-RECORDER-ASSESSOR: Continue to make forms most commonly used by taxpayers available for downloading on Department’s website, saving staff time, printing costs and postage charges. … Continue to participate in the California Assessors’ Association’s standard data record filing and e-filing of business property statements. Since the implementation of these filing options the Assessor’s Division has been able to reduce printing and postage costs. … Adhered to strict deadlines established by law. … Completed many labor-intensive tasks in a timely and efficient period of time.

AUDITOR CONTROLLER: Work with Executive Office to evaluate and improve the County’s Purchase card and Travel card programs. … Continue to review the program chart and staff duties to effectively plan for the future. … Began implementation of the new property system. … Continue with technology replacement within the County’s data center.

CHILD SUPPORT: Accepted credit card payments for Child Support. … Worked with Health and Human Services Agency on case opening training as it relates to Child Support. … Support staff attended court to explain Child Support processes. … Gave contract investigator difficult process serving to increase compliance.

COUNTY COUNSEL: Currently, in the process of streamlining the process and setting up protocols to be followed when cases are referred to the Public Guardian/Administrator from different avenues than Adult Protective Services. … There had been additional scrutiny of Conservatorship cases by the Court and the public as a result of ongoing issues with mental health services. … This office is now in court on a weekly basis not only for the regular LPS (Lanterman-Petris-Short) calendar but are also present to assist on issues related to inmates and mental health issues, including appropriate placement and treatment.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Successfully prosecuted and obtained life sentences for four defendants – two for murder, one for attempted murder, and one for child molestation. … Won rare praise from the overseeing state agency for the hard work and increased services provided by the advocates of the District Attorney’s Victim/Witness office.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE: Update and maintain the Mendocino County Water Agency Library. … Submit a Supplemental Statement of Water Diversion and Use to the SWRCB in March 2016 on diversion associated with the Middle Mill Dam for the years of 2013, 2014 and 2015. … Proactively responded to county drought issues and collaboratively work with all departments to increase conservation efforts. … Participate in the development of an Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) Local Agency Management Plan (LAMP). … Participate in the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Russian River total maximum daily load stakeholder efforts to discuss potential actions. … Implement the use of technology tools to enhance efficiency. … Continuation of the County Leadership Development Initiative including regional training with Humboldt County. … Drafted staff training materials and a program for new hires. … Transition and update the County’s Pcard Program. … Refine internal procedures regarding capital projects and bidding procedures. … Completed Health and Human Services Agency’s Yokayo site’s parking lot seal, front section. … Develop a robust evacuation and safety drill calendar. … Address any safety or hazard concerns that arise. … Continue to attend training opportunities.

FOREST/FARM ADVISOR: Assisted with the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) seminar held in Lake County in November 2014. … Continued to address pest management, particularly fire blight and pear scab. … Mendocino County 4-H hosted the Statewide 4-H Archery Postal Match for the 3rd year. … Continued to assist with local woolen mill business plan and its development. … Revitalized the Mendocino County Master Gardener Facebook page.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Provided training in the county on the prevention of underage drinking. … Initiated an outreach and education program to assist Mendocino County households affected by the drought. … Harvest of The Month lessons and samples were given out in Fort Bragg Unified and Ukiah Unified schools and Anderson Valley food bank on a monthly basis for 10 months. … promoted physical activity, especially walking and biking to school while conducting Rethink Your Drink (RYD) and Harvest of The Month nutrition Classes. … A public opinion poll and decision-maker interviews were conducted to assess community attitudes and knowledge about tobacco and the retail environment. … Mailed annual newsletters to businesses on the EH inventory. … Organized and facilitated monthly meetings of the Redwood Empire Hazardous Incident Team (REHIT). … Issued 24 Body Art Facility permits. … Forty-Seven (47) women were served by the Women in Need of Drug-Free Opportunities (WINDO) Program. … PAPU continued to collaborate with The Prevention Team, a group of diverse community partners, for program planning, evaluation and course correction measures. … Leveraged resources and promote collaboration among the diverse service groups. … Educated the public on prescription drugs and abuse. … Received local business acknowledgement. … Participated with Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in World Breastfeeding Week at three local farmer markets. … A Supervising PHN was hired in July 2014. … Released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to contract with an RFP writer for an RFP for an Inland Exclusive Operating Area (EOA). … Acknowledged the valuable contribution of emergency medical responders through a proclamation and participated in the Mendocino County Survivors Reunion during National EMS week.

MENTAL HEALTH: Therapeutic services to identify students in Counseling Enriched Classrooms. … Peer mentoring/wellness and recovery center(s). … Transitioned medication support services to the Administrative Service Organizations. … Review and apply for grants to allow for new funding opportunities.

CHILDREN’S SERVICES: Continued to maintain medical eligibility and case management timelines. … Hired Senior Program Manager for Children’s Medical Services (CMS) and an Occupational Therapist for CCS. … Three CHDP provider facility reviews were completed.

SOCIAL SERVICES: Continued to work to fill on-going vacancies to provide mandated services. … Continued efforts to keep children and youth placed locally. … Disaster Response Team had 7 hazardous weather statements issued to put DRT on alert for possible weather related disasters. … Four special events were held during the Point‐In‐Time homeless count to count youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. … HHSA Executive Team hosted twenty-three All Staff Check-in meetings in Ukiah, Willits and Fort Bragg. … Staff Resources successfully transitioned three separate payroll systems into an Agency-wide, unified payroll/time study system. … Successfully implemented the extensive and detailed 24-month welfare to work time clock changes known as SB 1041. … Continue to successfully interview clients to determine appropriate eligibility for funding.

HUMAN RESOURCES: Launched 3 different Wellness Campaigns to encourage healthy behaviors. … Successful transition to new Employee Assistance Provider – Magellan Health Services. … Automated the MCWOW registration process through the creation of an online registration form.

PLANNING & BUILDING: Continued support for budgeted economic development activities. … Continue efforts to increase public participation in Commission meetings and initiatives. … Continued focused effort to close backlogged code enforcement cases while addressing new issues. … Continued efforts to identify and implement improved processes that result in efficiencies and enhanced customer service. … Applied for and received recertification from the California Workforce Investment Board (CWIB). … Successfully procured and awarded contracts for WIA program service delivery.

PROBATION: Completed perishable skills training to all staff, in compliance with State standards. … All staff continued compliance with Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) mandates. … Introduced a Zumba program for detained youth as a tool to assist in managing daily stress. … Added four new Deputy Probation Officers who have completed all mandated training requirements since being hired.

PUBLIC DEFENDER: Assure that all attorneys are able to maintain CLE credits and attend important and critical educational seminars. … Represented three different clients charged with murder, two with special circumstances; one of those is still pending. … Ensure that there continues to be good communication between the Chief Executive Officer and the Public Defender. … Provided the best criminal defense services that are possible in Mendocino County. … Effectively and vigorously defended the juvenile clients. … Staff continues to work hard despite the tough financial times. … Three attorneys assigned to the traffic department due to a very heavy caseload. … One investigator maintained responsibility for assisting the 13 attorneys over a fairly lengthy period of time.

SHERIFF: Actively recruited internally from Corrections Division for reassignment to the Field Services Division. … Established a multi-faith chaplaincy program. … Installed a fenced parking lot for the safety and security of employee vehicles at the Ukiah office. … Continued to use resources to employ Sheriff's Technology Specialist.

JAIL: Increased the number of people on home detention. … Installed shower gates.

TRANSPORTATION: Processed the final development extension for the Vichy Springs Unit 2, Phase 2 improvement agreement. … Continued the rocking, reshaping and culvert replacement for the Fish Rock Road sediment reduction project.

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by K.C. Meadows

StoenCoverOne of the men who helped make Jim Jones and The People’s Temple a powerhouse in the 1970s and then turned against him just before Jones killed more than 900 people in Jonestown, Guyana, has now written his version of the story.

“Marked for Death” is the title of the new book out this week by Tim Stoen, Jones’ former attorney, right hand man and People’s Temple chairman of the board.

Stoen lived in Redwood Valley and San Francisco on and off during the heyday of the People’s Temple, but was just a few miles away in Georgetown, Guyana when the Jonestown massacre happened, a tragedy that also took the life of Stoen’s 6-year-old son, John.

Stoen now lives on the coast in Mendocino County and has been a prosecutor in the DA’s Office since 2000, hired by former DA Norm Vroman. It’s Stoen’s second go-round as an assistant DA, a job he had in the 1960s when he worked both for Jim Jones and as county counsel when that office was part of the county DA’s Office.

Stoen had a middle class upbringing, was a Republican and a recent Stanford law school grad driving a Porsche when he took a job in Ukiah in 1965 with the DA’s Office.

But his views had begun to change a couple years earlier when he was startled by the poverty among the homeless during a college era trip to Paris. By 1967, he was still in the DA’s Office but reading more about economic and racial equality and decided to jump to a new job in Ukiah with the Legal Services Foundation. This organization was helping the poor and doing work Stoen thought important.

At a meeting of the directors of the legal services organization, he met board member Jim Jones.

Much of “Marked for Death” is Stoen’s ruminations on the dichotomy between his attachment to the ideals of communal living, equality and racial harmony and the incessant pull of what he calls “culture,” particularly women and jazz. He swings from lawyering for the Black Panthers to jetting off to London, and seeing John Guilgud in “Julius Caesar.”

Stoen goes into great detail about his years with The People’s Temple, especially once he has met and married the love of his life, Grace, another on and off Temple enthusiast.

Tim&JohnStoenAt the heart of the book and one of the prime mysteries in the Stoen-Jones relationship was the fate of the child borne in 1972 by Grace and named John Victor Stoen.

The boy is claimed as Jones’ own son before he is even born, and Stoen, admitting to having an open marriage, does not dispute it. In fact, it is a promise to Jones that he would always provide Jones access to John that leads Stoen to some of his worst decisions.

This is among the harder parts of Stoen’s story to grasp. It is the legal attempt, in 1978 to get 6-year-old John back from Jones — who has taken him, with his parents’ permission, to Guyana — that appears (to Stoen anyway) to finally send Jones over the edge to the mass suicide-murder in Jonestown.

Yet the Stoens willingly allowed John to be fostered in the home of other People’s Temple members as a toddler, and allowed him to move around with Jones and the People’s Temple during his young life.

The book also raises lots of questions about Stoen’s ability to come and go from the church, at one moment a devoted servant, at the next telling Jones he never promised to be a lifetime member.

Stoen was involved in setting up offshore bank accounts, keeping Jones just inside the legal line in his activities, yet acknowledging the severity of Jones’ methods.

Jones forced tithing by Temple members, collecting millions; he had his inner sanctum spying on members, including Stoen; he encouraged members to rat out each other over who was more devoted.

Jones also, in essence, took control over the Ukiah community by having Temple members in lots of areas of government. He even sent members out in force to courtrooms to, in essence, try to intimidate judges on behalf of defendants.

Besides Ukiah, Jones had offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, a publishing business, a fleet of 11 Greyhound-sized buses which he would dispatch full of Temple members to carry out whatever political mission he gave them.

Stoen relates all of this, clear-eyed even at the time, but never walks away, telling himself Jones is “doing far more good than bad.” Stoen does point out that if he was foolish and naive about Jones, so were many others.

Jones was a darling of the San Francisco political crowd. Former Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown was among his admirers, as was columnist Herb Caen. He dined with many powerful men and women, including First Lady Rosalyn Carter, none of whom saw the dark side, the side that increasingly, Stoen says, he began to notice.

In an interview in Ukiah before the book’s publication, Stoen said he’s been trying to write this book for many years but it wasn’t until more recently that he felt he had the perspective and distance to do it.

“It’s not a tell-all, but it’s truthful,” he said of the book.

Stoen said much of the book’s purpose is to assure people who have made serious mistakes in their lives, that they can survive it and move on. He also hopes the book will help warn people against a future Jim Jones, a man suffering from what Stoen calls “malignant narcissism” (using a term coined by German psychologist Erich Fromm).

Someone who gains power and influence through charm and mental coercion must be met with power, not negotiation, Stoen believes. He says it wasn’t until he had threatened Jones’ empire with multi-million dollar lawsuits on behalf of former Temple members and their families that Jones actually considered him an opponent worth paying attention to.

While Stoen was in a high position in the Temple, he says he was not a constant member, he didn’t go to the meetings, or the services, always had a separate job and that while Jones trusted him, he never invited him into the inner circle of staff — all women.

Stoen gave Jones general legal advice and advice on political and financial matters.

When asked about John’s upbringing, he said he and Grace believed in the communal ideal, but he saw John all the time.

“I was an extremist,” he said. “I wanted a sociocentric child. I didn’t want to be a selfish person, owning a child.”

If you don’t know very much about Jim Jones and the People’s Temple this book will certainly provide a good basic history, albeit from one man’s point of view.

If you already have read widely on the subject, there is little news here. Stoen does not add to the record on his relationship with Grace, who he believes saved his life by giving him the information he needed to realize it was time to oppose Jones.

But he does tell, for the first time, of the moment he realized Jones had crossed the line into darkness. During the interview, he also explained that the millions in offshore accounts was retrieved after the massacre and much of it went to the US government for the costs of bringing all the bodies back from Guyana and some went to survivors and their families.

Mostly the book encompasses Stoen’s determination to explain himself — which many have been waiting years for him to do — and counter stories that have followed him about his role in the Temple and of alleged election tampering in San Francisco, which he denies and of which he was cleared.

Stoen has been accepted back into the Mendocino County community by most, although there are certainly those who will never forgive or forget his role in making Jim Jones the powerhouse he was and helping him to establish an organization that in the end was devastatingly lethal.

Stoen calls Jones a devil – a term more in keeping with his new Christian beliefs than the old communal ones. Although he still tears up when he speaks of John, Stoen says he has managed finally to get past the guilt over his son, over being part of the Temple, over not doing more to stop Jones earlier. And he hopes anyone who reads the book will put it down and think, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

“Marked for Death,” by Mendocino County resident Tim Stoen, will be available in Ukiah at The Mendocino Book Company later this week.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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To The Editor:

Back in the Fall of 2009, there was battle here in Mendocino County for the future of the abandoned Masonite site. An international developer wanted to build a giant mall on the site and fill it with giant chain stores which would have killed downtown Ukiah along with many local businesses and jobs. It also would have ruined our rural character and destroyed our chance for having a local industrial center and job creator, for which it is zoned.

Measure A was the vehicle used by the outsiders to force the issue, spending a million dollars on their campaign to change the zoning and bypass environmental tests. They were supported by many Chamber of Commerce, Real Estate, and conservative interests crying "property rights". Among those supporters of the outside developer was entrepreneur Ross Liberty who wrote letters to the editor supporting the mall. Local citizens rose up to support our community, and the mall developers lost the vote decisively.

Soon thereafter, Mr. Liberty moved his small business in to one of the Masonite site buildings, and has recently announced that an investment group he heads wants to develop the site into an industrial center.

Good for him. The least he could do is say thank you.

Dave Smith

Redwood Valley

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by Jim Young

A review for local school sports fans: CIF is California Interscholastic Federation, the “buck stops here”, of all California high school athletics. NCS is the North Coast Section, one of 3 sections of the CIF. The CMC is the Coastal Mountain Conference, one of the conferences in the NCS. NCL 3 is the North Central League 3, one of the 3 leagues in the CMC. The teams in the NCL 3 are Anderson Valley, Mendocino, Geyserville, Potter Valley, Round Valley, Laytonville, and Point Arena.

Boys: Just 3 weeks into game play I have now seen all the teams play in the boys and girls NCL 3 except the Round Valley boys. (I spoke to AV coach Luis Espinoza who has seen them). There is a clear 2 way battle in the boys side. AV, "on paper”, is the favorite as they won league last year and has the most returning starters. Mendocino has decided not to read this “paper” as they came out on top of AV last weekend at the 37th Annual Potter Valley Invitational Tournament. Those who were present saw "round one" of 3 match ups between these teams battle to a 63-50 victory for Mendocino. Anyone following for two years know this was the same outcome as the first meeting between the two teams last year, only for AV to come back and win the next two and the league. Both have came out on top this year against D-6 runner-up Archbishop Hannah Boys of Sonoma.

So far Anderson Valley has played well against incredible talent at the Redwood Classic and had won every game it should win coming into Saturday night’s game with Mendocino. They have a group of seniors who know how to win and love it. Rumors has it, it’s the best group to play at the school since their coach was there.

As mentioned above, Mendocino must not read the papers out on the coast as they came into this tournament championship game and went right to work to go up 15 in the first half. AV cut it to 3 at half, then Mendo won by 13. Mendocino is coming off a six game winning streak and two tournament championships in a row. An impressive start and it’s early.

Third through sixth in this league will be a great race. When I asked Detective Espinoza yesterday, he picks Round Valley in third. They have returning players and have a history of upsets at home. I have not seen them but it makes sense. Potter Valley looks better than I have seen them in years. The second year PV coach gets some credit. Laytonville has two veteran starters who can take over any given game. Point Arena’s players are young but seem to stay close in every game, which will pay off. Again, a well coached group. Geyserville plays hard, has fun, but will struggle to win games.

Girls: A similar dynamic on the girls side has Round Valley “on paper” to repeat as league champs, as they were undefeated in league last year and have many players returning. Again, the paper has not been read by Mendocino who have 9 seniors returning and the tallest player in the league. The new coach in Mendocino has predicted a Mendocino league title. Point Arena is the wild card here and may upset either of the two, but don’t count on it. I pick them as a commanding third and the rest is up in the air with many good games between Laytonville, Potter, Geyserville and AV.

If I was to have a motto for NCL 3, a league with all schools presently under 199 in population — "Play hard, enjoy the competition, have fun, and if you can’t be a good sport — Don’t play."

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 13, 2015

Boudreau, Davidson, Fitch
Boudreau, Davidson, Fitch

DENTON BOUDREAU, Reno, Nevada/Willits. Failure to appear.

JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent Flyer)

FREDRICK FITCH, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Reckless driving, possession of controlled substance, violation of court order, probation revocation.

McFall, McOsker, Smith
McFall, McOsker, Smith

SABRINA MCFALL, Willits. Under influence.

REMO MCOSKER, Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance, failure to appear. (Frequent Flyer)

ANDREW SMITH SR., Willits. Domestic battery, child endangerment.

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Open Letter to MCPB Board of Directors.

I must say I am deeply troubled by this turn of events of having Stuart Campbell as one of the finalists in the application for the open General Manager position.

Having gone to the two open Search Committee meetings involved in the process of job description and placing of ads and having asked formally to be acknowledged as being a community representative of the coast, I was excluded, as I thought I would be, from the closed session of vetting applicants. I must point out, with Jenness Hartley's appointment to the Board, there was no longer any — I repeat , NO, community member left on the Search Committee. It was only Staff, Volunteers and Board members, past and former — all who are closely associated with each other.

Eubank has promised that Board business would be conducted with integrity and transparency — that "moving forward was going to be different than what has been in the past." As much as I want to believe this to be true, after 4 years of observing the proceedings of previous Boards & 6 months of watching the current Board in action, I find little, if any, transparency, misinterpretations of Bylaws and CPB donor regulations, no implementation of CAB recommendations and still after two years of promises, no real means of communicating both with the station's listeners or members.

Campbell's performance as a programmer's Representative was non existent and, as such harmful. He was also negligent as Board President to not have a discussion of the rescinding of the Safe Harbor policy on the Board agenda as an Action item for discussion and input from the public with a corresponding vote of Board members in affirming a policy change.

All of this negligence disqualifies him as a serious candidate for the permanent position of General Manager. He is deceitful and I will go so far as to say, I believe he is a pawn of the former Board President, David Hopmann as was former GM, John Coate, who still remains the voluntary administer of the station's website long after his resignation. Hopmann wrote Coate's contract and insidiously inserted the title of Executive Director which had never been a part of any previous GM's contract.

Campbell's kowtowing to Hopmann was evident at the past Willits meeting when at Hopmann's suggestion from the position of audience member, Campbell call a recess so that Hopmann would not miss any of the meeting while attending to an eye problem. Such attention to "special interests" while neglecting the public interests by having closed nominations does not indicate a change of any kind but more of the fanciful window dressing for the sake of appearances that we have been accustomed to through the machinations of past Boards.

The fast rise of Campbell from programmer to Board member to Board President to Interim General Manager does not show any management experience except that he is an incumbent and, in my opinion, complicit in the authoritarian show of disregard for process shown by the current Program Director and the former GM in rescinding Safe Harbor.

He did not allow inspection of station documents and even called the sheriff to secure the station against security threats even though the alleged source of the threat was not among those, myself included, who showed up at the station having given previous notice of their right to inspect and their intent to do so. Is this really what we can hope to expect more of in the future? And what became of his professed intent to go back to his teaching job after his contract ended? More show and no follow through. Campbell is contaminated material and not a prime example of the desire to leave past discordance behind and move towards a harmonious integration of diverse voices.

Not that I think it will be of consequence, but my vote is for someone who has experience in radio management and most important of all, has the confidence of the listening public of making a fresh start. I ask the current Board of Directors to not throw away a golden opportunity to select someone who comes untainted from previous alliances.

This is a crucial time of the station to come together in support of new talent and new energy. I find it difficult to believe that in the search process we cannot find someone more suited to the job than the person who, by default, ended up substituting for the truly qualified. Is the fix already in? Let's hope not.


Sheila Dawn Tracy


* * *

ONE PROBLEM I distinctly did NOT worry about when I wrote The Big Short was how to write it so that it would become a movie. Who’d make a movie about credit-default swaps? Who for that matter would make a movie of any book of mine? By 2008, when I started gathering string for The Big Short, I had come to think of the movie business as a place that spent huge sums of money with incredible enthusiasm to ensure that movies of books were never made.

Moneyball was hard to imagine as a movie, but at least it was about baseball and thus organically linked to popular culture. Wall Street, even in the aftermath of a financial crisis that has cost so many so much, is not. The behavior of our money people is still treated as a subject for specialists. This is a huge cultural mistake. High finance touches — ruins — the lives of ordinary people in a way that, say, baseball does not, unless you are a Cubs fan. And yet, ordinary people, even those who have been most violated, are never left with a clear sense of how they’ve been touched or by whom. Wall Street, like a clever pervert, is often suspected but seldom understood and never convicted.

It is my hope that Adam McKay’s The Big Short might actually help change this situation. The very material I would have thought would frighten away a movie director McKay embraces. He lucidly explains credit-default swaps and collateralized debt obligations! He captures the essence of the behavior that led to the recent financial catastrophe, and of the main characters of my book — in ways that I suspect will haunt their real-life loved ones. The Big Short is just a movie, but it’s also an invitation, to a huge popular audience, to have a smart and interesting discussion about the place of money and finance in all our lives... — Michael Lewis

* * *


by Ralph Nader

The 50th anniversary of my book, Unsafe at Any Speed, which analysts associate with the launch of the modern consumer movement, prompts comparisons between 1965 and 2015.

The life-saving impact of the book through the highway and auto safety laws Congress passed in 1966, creating an auto safety enforcement agency to lift up safety standards for motor vehicles, has been historic. According to an analysis of deaths per mile driven by the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) “the 1966 federal laws, federal agency and general measures they created – have averted 3.5 million auto deaths over the past 50 years.”

CAS executive director Clarence Ditlow declared that “3.5 million represents the difference between the number of deaths that there would have been if the death rate had stayed at 5.50 per 100 million VMT (vehicle miles traveled) in 1966 versus what it went down to in each subsequent year, falling to 1.07 by 2014. [Lives] have been saved by traffic laws (seatbelt use, helmet and drunk driving laws), safer roads, vehicle safety standards and vehicle safety improvements spurred by consumer demand for more safety after Unsafe at Any Speed.”

Of course, even more injuries were prevented or reduced in severity by these vehicle and highway safety advances.

How did this happen? As author and consumer advocate Mark Green writes, “The issue is not the size of government but how smart democracy can successfully save millions of lives.” It started with knowledge about the gap between cars, promoted for their style and horsepower, and what feasible safety devices were being left out of the vehicles by the auto industry bosses.

The more people knew, the more they questioned why their friends and relatives did not survive vehicle crashes. Congressional hearings, widely disseminated by the mass media, addressed this issue again and again. It was because the auto companies wanted to market anything but safety. It was also because there was no meaningful federal policy and program for highway safety, leaving it to the states, whose legislatures were uniformly under the control of industry lobbyists.

Unfortunately the insurance industry (with few exceptions such as Liberty Mutual) focused on drivers and premiums but not getting safer vehicles on highways.

The winning combination included 1) Enough influential senior members of Congress, led by senators Abraham Ribicoff, Warren Magnusun, Gaylord Nelson and Walter Mondale, along with Congressman John Moss; and 2) reporters such as the Washington Post’s Morton Mintz, United Press’s Patrick Sloyan, the Detroit News’s Bob Irvin, James Ridgeway of the New Republic and the New York Times’s Walter Rugaber, who stayed with the developing exposés week after week. There were also columns by the famous Drew Pearson that appeared in 500 newspapers. Finally there was President Lyndon Johnson and his Chief of Staff Joseph A. Califano, who encouraged Congress to act and then organized the signing ceremonies for the landmark auto safety legislation in the White House in September 1966.

It took only ten months from the appearance of Unsafe at Any Speed to the first regulation of the giant auto industry for safety and fuel economy.

All this movement to protect Americans from industry malfeasance would prove difficult today. Congress is a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Business. Reporters are not the same for lots of reasons beyond their control in the new media business. Even after corporate crime and abuse is reported by leading newspapers, efforts in Congress to correct and reform sputters.

Congress has become the “graveyard” of our country’s needed changes that are supported by a majority of the American people. Look at congressional deadlock on increasing the minimum wage, climate change, regulatory frameworks for biotechnology, nanotechnology and infrastructure repairs of airports, bridges and railways. Medical and hospital malpractice and over-prescription of medicines (including those that are antibiotic resistant) and avoidable hospital-induced infections are together taking over a quarter of a million lives annually. Yet Congress does little to curb medical negligence. Both political parties are dialing daily for the same commercial dollars – not seriously championing advances in health and safety.

Yet, it is still possible to make changes through Congress, which is made up of only 535 men and women who need your votes more than they need corporate lobbyists’ money. One change after another long overdue change can be achieved if the majority of the people want it. With this support, it takes one percent or less of the voters back home to organize and get Congress to do the people’s bidding.

That one percent or less, sometimes far less, needs to spend a “hobby-amount” of time each year (say 300 to 500 hours) organizing in every congressional district and a “hobby amount” of money to maintain a full-time office of three or four full-time advocates in each District.

How do I know this? First of all, it took less than that to make many important reforms and changes in American history. Second, our numerous citizen groups made changes in industry after industry – from coal to drug and food companies to the polluting chemical companies. And, third, a handful of dedicated activists pushed Congress to create the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) in 1970, to name just one of many “small group” achievements.

So take heart, America! We have far more problems than we deserve and far more solutions on the shelf than we apply. That is the “Democracy Gap” that is being widened by the plutocrats and the oligarchs from Wall Street to Washington. A result-driven, democratic, citizen resurgence would bring the best out of the American people, often with Left/Right alliances that are unstoppable. Visit for examples of what small numbers of activists with limited budgets have accomplished.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

* * *

BERNARD BLOOMBERG, aging retired stage actor, decides he wants to make a comeback at the age of 75. He badgers his agent daily begging for any part available no matter how small just to get back into the business.

Finally, his phone rings one day and it’s his agent.

“BB, I got some good news. I’ve found a small part for you in an off-off Broadway show about the American Revolution. But you start today — in about an hour. Get down to the New Euripides Theater on 31st near 6th Ave by 2pm. You have only one line — remember it: ‘Hark, I hear the roar of cannons’!”

The agent hangs up and Bernard immediately begins to practice his line in front of the mirror:

Hark! I hear the roar of cannons! Hark, I hear the roar of cannons! Hark, I hear the roar of cannons!”

Bernard calls a cab and tells the driver to get him to the Euripides Theater as quickly as possible.

The cab drops him at the theater ten minutes before showtime. He runs up the stairs repeating, “Hark, I hear roar of cannons! Hark, I hear the roar of cannons!”

BernardHe gets into the theater where he’s grabbed and taken to a dressing room. They put him into a costume, throw some make-up on his face, hand him a musket, and push him onto the stage where he is greeted by a thundering boom.

He croaks: “What the fuck was that?”

— Louis Bedrock

* * *


Once in a while it feels good to engage in some irrelevant nonsense, such as a shit talking “poem” by Dana White lionizing the Irish cage fighter Conor McGregor:

Cage Fighter Conor McGregor
Cage Fighter Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor had a staring contest with Medusa and won.

Jesus walks on water. McGregor swims on land.

Conor McGregor once jizzed into a semi trucks gas tank. That truck is now called Optimus Prime.

Dragons breathe fire. 
Conor McGregor breathes dragons.

Conor McGregor was in all 6 Star Wars movies… as The Force.

When Alexander Bell invented the phone, he already had three missed calls from Conor McGregor.

Conor McGregor has already been to Mars. That’s why there are no signs of life.

Conor McGregor can beat you in Connect 4 with only 1 move.

Conor McGregor has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn’t dead, it’s just afraid to move.

Conor McGregor can slam a revolving door.



  1. james marmon December 14, 2015

    Re: Major accomplishments.

    It looks like the planning and building department has been taking some writing lessons form Bryan Lowery, Director of Social Services. Both department’s major accomplishments are that they “continued to” do what they’re supposed to do. Keep up the good work!!!!

    My major accomplishment is: “continued to” expose Bryan Lowery and his crony’s for the fraudulent, incompetent, and unethical leadership. He somehow has been able to circumvent fair hiring practices and has succeeded in placing all his friends in leadership roles throughout social services. A good portion of them have no formal education or experience for their positions, but they are loyal and that’s what counts. This practice has caused low morale with the more deserving employees and is responsible for the degeneration of services overall.

    Bryan Lowery feels threatened by anyone who may know more than he does, and that’s a lot of people. He himself is proof you don’t need to go to college or have any real experience to succeed in Mental-cino. Marginalizing our most educated and experienced workforce is not going to benefit anyone in the County. We need leadership that values education and experience and is more concerned about improving things and not so much with “continuing” down the same destructive path they’re on now.

    James Marmon MSW

    • james marmon December 14, 2015

      Public Defender Major Accomplishments.

      “Ensure that there continues to be good communication between the Chief Executive Officer and the Public Defender. … Provided the best criminal defense services that are possible in Mendocino County. …”

      Yea, Ms. Thompson, you save the county (Angelo) lots of money. I can hear the dump truck backing up right now, beep beep beep beep…… Good work girls.

      Staying under budget is more important than anything else, including a fair trial.

  2. Harvey Reading December 14, 2015


    Seems to me I recall the pseudolibs going mad with adulation over another “progessive” back in 2008 and 2012. His name was Barack Obama, and he was spouting all kinds of good things, too, but it was clear even to a dummy like me that he was as phony as a three-dollar bill. Bernie is just another babbling phony, one who loves a big military, especially if it bases operations in his home state. At this point, my ballot will be left blank as far as the prezudenchul “race” goes.

    • Harvey Reading December 14, 2015

      I can’t help snickering (and shuddering a little) when I read commentary by dimwitted yuppie “liberals” who operate on the assumption that Trump can’t win. He can, and unless the democraps come up with something better than Horrid Hillary or Bernie the Babbler — an unlikely prospect, he just might.

      The guy isn’t stupid and he appeals to one hell of a lot of people in this country, (including people in “liberal” CA the state that started Reagan on his political career, back in 1966), a country that has always been one of institutionalized racism.

    • LouisBedrock December 14, 2015

      Any “reformer” who proposes a rational foreign policy, support for quality secular education, reduction of military spending, a sane national healthcare system without insurance companies, sex education in the schools, complete reproductive freedom for women, elimination of support for the Zionists and other loony theocracies, and taxation of churches, mosques, and synagogues, would encounter fierce opposition from the corporate owned media, the lobbyists, the military and intelligence communities, the Catholic Church, the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and the rest of the god-fearing ignoramuses, the super-rich, and the corporate feudal lords.

      The supporters of the status-quo, on the other hand, would have their support.

      Leonard Cohen had it right:

      Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
      Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
      Everybody knows that the war is over
      Everybody knows the good guys lost
      Everybody knows the fight was fixed
      The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
      That’s how it goes
      Everybody knows

      • Harvey Reading December 14, 2015

        One of my favorite songs.

  3. james marmon December 14, 2015

    RE: Stoen.

    Mr. Stoen was never held accountable for the crimes he committed while he was working as the legal counsel for both the County and Jim Jones. There was all kinds of corruption going on in almost every department in the County, especially in Social Services, the DA’s office, and the sheriff’s office.

    We need to remember, over 900 adults 300 children died in Guyana, not just his son. If the reports of elder and child abuse had properly been investigated by social services and law enforcement, some of those lives would have never been lost.

    Mr. Stoen and Mr. Jones fed off the sheep of the greater Ukiah Valley, devouring the whole community. They provided votes for all the politicians who in turn, turned a blind eye to what was really going on here.

    I find it hard to forgive and forget as Mr. Stoen would prefer, I am a survivor of that era, and it is why I am so concerned about what I see going on throughout our local government today. The love fest going on between all our top officials is frightening. Reports of wrongdoings all over the county are being ignored and not investigated. Anyone making allegations are retaliated against and/or run out town. Same ole, same ole, just like old times.

    Remember!!!! don’t drink the Kool-Aid being served up, its poison.


    “Those who choose to forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”

    Jim Jones’ last speech.


    “Groupthink exists here. Do yourselves a favor, think for yourself, ask questions, and evolve.”

    James Marmon, MSW.

  4. Jim Updegraff December 14, 2015

    Harv and Louis let’s face there never will be a candidate you two will like – just hold your nose and vote for the one that you think will do the least damage.

    • Rick Weddle December 14, 2015

      Agree no candidates on the horizon to please those above…disagree heartily about ‘hold your nose and vote…’ part. Subscribing to one of two evils (sorting for a ‘lesser’) can’t yield anything good…can’t. Taking part in such a travesty of ‘democracy,’ then walking away like you’ve done your part has not been working out so swell.

      We better be finding the RESET button, and with some alacrity.

    • Harvey Reading December 14, 2015

      I’d vote for Huey Long in a second. But, you’re right. Under the corporation-dominated, wealth-dominated system we have, no decent candidate, acceptable to the rulers, will ever arise. There hasn’t been one in my lifetime, and given the idiocy of most voters, there won’t be one after I no longer exist.

      But damned if I’m going to choose the lesser of two evils. They’re both evil, and voting for Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum simply encourages more of the same. They all do about the same amount of damage in the end. Obama is a perfect example of that. So were Nixon and Clinton.

  5. LouisBedrock December 14, 2015

    Jesus Effin Christ, what cloying drivel!

    Here’s some grown up advice for Mr. Marmon and the rest of us:

    You must always be intoxicated.
    It is the key to all: the one question.
    In order not to feel the horrible burden of Time
    Breaking your back and bending you toward the earth,
    You must become drunk without truce.

    But on what?
    On wine, poetry, or virtue,
    As you wish.
    But you must get drunk.

    And if at times,
    On the steps of a palace,
    On the green grass of a ditch,
    In the mournful solitude of your own room.
    You awake and your intoxication
    Is already diminished or gone,
    Ask the wind, the wave, the star,
    The bird, the clock,
    Everything that flees,
    Everything that groans,
    Everything that rolls, that sings, that speaks,
    Ask what time it is,
    And the wind, the wave, the star,
    The bird, the clock will answer you:

    “It is time to get intoxicated!
    In order not to be slaves
    Martyred by Time,
    Always become intoxicated!
    On wine, poetry, or virtue,
    As you will.”

    (Charles Baudelaire)

  6. LouisBedrock December 14, 2015

    My compromise will be a write-in vote for Vladimir Putin.
    He sometimes seems like the only adult in the room.
    His restraint has so far avoided nuclear war.

    He’s certainly exponentially superior to Hillary Clinton and the rest of the testosterone infused witches at the State Department like Victoria Nuland and Samantha Power.

    I’d prefer Che, but he was murdered by the CIA.

    • Harvey Reading December 14, 2015

      Now there’s a thought.

  7. Jim Updegraff December 14, 2015

    No human is prefect – It is a scoreboard of pluses and minuses – You will never what you are looking for if you want someone that is all pluses- go for the one that will do the least damage.

    • Craig Stehr December 14, 2015

      I am planning to vote for Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. I am happy with my choice. ;-)

  8. james marmon December 14, 2015

    Ms de Castro,

    I can’t forgive without forgetting, I remember watching a close family friend sitting in my mother’s home in tears because his ex wife and Jones took his children to South America. He told my dad that he trying for years to get someone to listen to him about what was really going on in town. No one would listen to him. His 3 children were among the 304 children who died.

    Many of us who lived in the area lived in constant fear of Jones and Stoen. We were forced into silence for fear of the goon squads who were allowed to move freely thoughout the community threatening and intimidating us all. Still to this day people are afraid of speaking out, not all temple members committed suicide, there were thousands of followers left behind. Keep him on the Coast please.

    I remember when those gun towers first went up in Redwood Valley. My dad, John Woolley, warned my 3 brothers and I that this was no regular church and that we should stay as far away from this bunch as possible. Unless you lived the nightmare, don’t criticize me.

    • BB Grace December 14, 2015

      I thought the poem from Susie de Castro’s daughter was beautiful, really a very special LOVING message. I appreciate both Mr. Marmon and Susie de Castro’s contributions to the AVA for being educational, thought provoking, inspiring and creative. I thought the poem was a compliment.

    • james marmon December 14, 2015

      My apology, and thanks to your daughter. The whole “we who keep forgiving” threw me off kilter. Forgiveness is not in my vocabulary right now I guess. Its like watching a re-run, our political leaders are under a trance right now and unable to see or act responsibly. I wish I could count to 3 and snap my fingers and they would all wake up.

      Yes I loved my job, very much. It was my dream come true when I received my master’s degree in Social Work. I left school at age 14 and never returned until I was 37. Since age 37 I have worked with thousands of children and their families throughout Northern Ca. My first job in 1993 was working at the Youth Project in Ukiah as a crisis and outreach worker while I attend adult night school and eventually enrolled at Mendocino College.

      I won’t give up though, I will do whatever I can to push the town forward. I was born there and I will probably die there. My burial plot is in Potter Valley for Christ’s sake. I didn’t come home to fight, I went away to gain knowledge and experience so that I could return and help make things better.

      Ukiah isn’t everyone’s center of the Universe, but it was mine. Forgive me for making bad choices.

  9. Rick Weddle December 14, 2015

    Actually…writing in Che, or some other symbolic, deceased person is an idea that could stand some development. Such a gesture by the Sovereign Electorate would send a clear PR signal on the face of it, …and keeping the live scumbags away from the Office would cut WAY down on the overhead.

  10. james marmon December 15, 2015

    Regarding Major accomplishments.

    “COUNTY COUNSEL: Currently, in the process of streamlining the process and setting up protocols to be followed when cases are referred to the Public Guardian/Administrator from different avenues than Adult Protective Services. … There had been additional scrutiny of Conservatorship cases by the Court and the public as a result of ongoing issues with mental health services. … This office is now in court on a weekly basis not only for the regular LPS (Lanterman-Petris-Short) calendar but are also present to assist on issues related to inmates and mental health issues, including appropriate placement and treatment.”

    I hate to say “I told you so” but I knew things were a mess in the public guardians office. It has been a mess every since Bryan Lowery and some of his cronies from CPS took over that office. None of them had any prior experience dealing with adult mental health and/or case management of that population.

    Maybe they’re learning the hard way, but at what cost for the people they court ordered to serve, not to mention the hit on the County’s pocket book.

    For County Counsel to list this as a major accomplishment, it had to have been a big deal.

    Hiring or promoting someone who had experience with dealing with LPS conservatorships never crossed his mind. To Lowery, putting all his friends in that office was more important than doing the job right.

    Coincidently, I was the LPS Mental Health Specialist/Case Manager for lake County in 1999 and 2000. I could’ve offered some of my expertise to Mendocino.

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