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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Dec 20, 2015

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A RECORD RAINFALL of 1.97 inches was set in Eureka Friday, breaking the previous December 18 record of 1.29 inches set in 2005.

UNSETTLED WEATHER to Impact Holiday Travel Sunday through Tuesday: Two storm systems will move across northwest California bringing snow to Trinity County on Sunday — then abundant rainfall to all areas Monday and Tuesday. Snow levels will fall to 2000 feet across Trinity County on Sunday, with 4 to 7 inches of accumulation expected. Snow levels will rise on Monday in advance of a major rain producing storm that will bring as much as 6 to 10 inches of rain to Del Norte and Humboldt counties, with lower amounts over Trinity and Mendocino counties through Tuesday. (National Weather Service)

BOONVILLE PRECIPITATION FORECASTS: 0.26" Sunday; 3.08" Monday; 0.13" Tuesday; 0.35" Wednesday; 0.26" Thursday.

A FLOOD WATCH has been issued for portions of northwest California Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon.

* * *

A READER WRITES re the Ross Liberty deal for the Masonite property north of Ukiah: “On the other hand, we can look at the Masonite slab for the next 30 years, just like the Palace Hotel. Based on what Liberty paid for his current 10 acres at Masonite and the improvements he made, he probably pays $40-50,000 in property tax annually. He also gets taxed on the value of his equipment. The 10 year tax break will only be on new buildings and new equipment if and when they are built and go on line. His goal is to develop the bulk of the property with manufacturing businesses that pay a living wage (like Factory Pipe) which would result in the creation of 600 well paid jobs. Another consideration is that the County is getting nothing now from buildings that do not currently exist and may never exist without an incentive of the type you guys complained about.”

PUT YOUR READING GLASSES ON. We didn't "complain" about Liberty's possible tax break, although Ms. Michael certainly did. We said it should be done through a formal, open process with all the investors named (either now or when they invest) and clear delineation of the size of the tax break(s) involved.

* * *


ANGELO SANGIACOMO owned more San Francisco rental units than any other landlord in the city. He died last month. His family took out a full page obituary in the Chronicle that made him seem like a philanthropist. The obit concluded with a solicitation of funds for a memorial for the great man, as if his family couldn't afford one.

A YOUNG COUPLE, close friends, moved to San Francisco in July of 2012 because the young man, a tech wizard, had gotten a job with a promising startup. I accompanied them while they looked for a place to live. Everywhere we went there were crowds of young people and their parents or grandparents waving cash and fat move-in checks if they could move in to places that went for $75 a month when I was a kid.

MY FRIENDS found one of Sangiacomo's apartments on Craigslist. The pictures made it look immaculate and sunny. We took a look. It was an ok place under major remodel in a big complex on lower Pacific Heights. The two friendly women who managed this building and a bunch of others for Sangiacomo said the place would be ready for move-in in a week. The agents were all smiles and happy talk as the rental agreement was signed. The young couple borrowed six thousand dollars to move in. The young man's job started a week from Monday.

THE YOUNG COUPLE arrived at the place with all their stuff in a U-Haul truck only to find their apartment in total tear down state, much worse than when we'd all first seen it. They couldn't move in because it was under construction.

DEAL'S OFF? NO. Sangiacomo's agents informed the young couple that the contract they'd signed was iron clad, that unless they found someone else to take it on they had to pay rent on it. The young couple quickly found a hurry up rental way down the Peninsula. They now had two apartments. The friendly rental agents were no longer friendly, and were difficult to reach by phone, which meant constant trips to their office near California and Van Ness to try to get out of the contract for an apartment that was not livable.

THE RIPPED OFF COUPLE finally got connected with a tenants rights lawyer through the San Francisco Bar Association. "I deal with these bastards all the time," the lawyer said by way of introduction. He prepared a small claims action against Sangiacomo, complete with photo evidence of the state of the unit and also proof in writing that the young couple had been promised a livable apartment.

IT TOOK THE JUDGE about three minutes to find for the tenants. Ten days later their money was refunded. If the young couple hadn't been determined to fight what amounted to grand larceny on Sangiacomo's part, they would have gone away ripped off, which is what lots of young people probably do.

* * *

A READER IN UKIAH, familiar with the Prop 172 issue clarifies: “The initiative has been submitted to County Counsel for a ballot title and summary, which is what triggered the lawsuit. Instead of preparing a ballot title and summary (which is 100% within the purview of County Counsel) for an initiative that she believes to constitutionally invalid, she decided to seek declaratory relief. Why let everyone waste time and money supporting or opposing something that the voters lack the power to enact?”

APPARENTLY, the reader and Ms. Elliott believe that the Supervisors have sole authority to allocate revenues and the taxpayers cannot use the initiative process to dictate how to spend revenues. Our information came from someone associated with the Fire District Association and/or their attorneys who didn’t quite understand whether Ms. Elliott was acting on her own behalf or the County’s or even what argument she was making nor that the initiative has gone past the draft stage and been submitted. Apparently Judge Nadel has to read up on it too.

THE READER CONTINUES: “If Ms. Elliott is not correct the courts will say so and the process will proceed as it normally would. Also, as I understand it, she is not suing as an individual private citizen but as County Counsel, an individual, as distinct from County Counsel on behalf of the County or the BOS.”

THUS THE CONFUSION. “…as County Counsel, an individual, as distinct from County Counsel on behalf of the County or the BOS.” Which sounds like a very fine splitting of hairs.

THE READER CONTINUES: “One further note, as far as I know, the Mendocino County Association of Fire Districts has not been ‘formed’ — so far it is a small group of individuals spearheaded by Dave Roderick, Chief of the Hopland Fire Department.”

WE DON’T KNOW the formation status of the MCAFD either. But they don’t have to be legally “formed” to circulate a petition, do they?

AS WE UNDERSTAND IT, there are two questions involved: 1. Can the County keep all the Prop 172 monies for the County or must they allocate some to Fire Protection? And, 2. If not, how much?”

ACCORDING to a Prop 172 summary by, “What Public Safety Services Can Proposition 172 Be Spent On? A city or county that receives Proposition 172 funds must place the revenues in a special revenue fund to be expended only on public safety services as defined in Government Code Section 30052. Eligible services include sheriffs, police, fire, county district attorneys, corrections and ocean lifeguards. Government Code Section 30056 contains “maintenance of effort” provisions concerning Proposition 172 funds requiring cities and counties to maintain funding levels to public safety functions which receive Proposition 172 funds. These provisions ensure that Proposition 172 funds are spent on public safety services as defined.”

SO IT APPEARS that the County is saying that just because fire protection is “eligible” to receive funds, the County just doesn’t want to give any to them. Maybe the County doesn’t have to, but does the Board or County Counsel really want to deprive VOLUNTEER fire departments of even a share of that $7 million? How else should the public interpret this?

* * *

ON DECEMBER 15, 2015 the item we complained about last December 15 ( proposing that the County contract with the Thomas Law Group to handle the Animal Legal Defense Fund lawsuit against the County’s plans to use the Federal Wildlife Service for predator control was “withdrawn by staff” from the Board’s agenda. We’d like to think that someone out on Low Gap Road realized that the response to the ALDF lawsuit needs to be re-thought so that it doesn’t require any expensive outside legal firms.

* * *

ANOTHER CRYPTIC REMARK from Supervisor Tom Woodhouse at the December 15 Board meeting regarding the timeline for development of new pot regulations under the state’s new Prop 215 regulations: “We are not going to ram it through by January 1 because there’s absolutely no reason to. I understand people are afraid. I’m not going to respond just to their fear. We’re looking for what’s good for everyone in the County, not just these isolated pockets, so I ask John (Supervisor McCowen) to please watch for rumors of vile things I’ve said about him because anything I have to say to him I’ll tell him directly.”

* * *

ACCORDING to a press release from the Sheriff’s Department, a raid early Monday morning (1am) on a property at 5700 Robinson Creek Road netted 468 pot plants, 42 grow lights and Sara Fraker, 30, of Ukiah. Deputies from the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team (COMMET), with the help of night shift MCSO patrol deputies, agents from the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, Mendocino County Probation Office and wardens from the California Department of Fish and Game, served a search warrant on the address southwest of Ukiah where they found indoor grows in several buildings. Ms. Fraker was booked at the Mendocino County Jail on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale and maintaining a place to grow marijuana. Her bail was set at $25,000.

GIVEN THE NUMBER of cops involved, one might have thought Ms. Fraker was an al Qaeda affiliate, but the raid is likely to turn out to be a net financial plus for Mendocino County given DA Eyster’s innovative pot prosecution policies. Eyster basically settles these things for cash and minor misdemeanors on the bustee’s record. Eyster’s way spares the bustee the very real possibility of serious jail time if he takes his case all the way to a jury and loses, but if he or she pays up and takes his or her misdemeanor the County gets the fine money and the taxpayers aren’t left with the expense of lengthy court proceedings. So far, no one’s complaining. (AVA, March 28, 2015)

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TURNED OUT, Ms. Fraker took her arrest to a jury, and the jury took thirty minutes to laugh it out of the courtroom. If there was a case against her, the DA didn't make it. An Albion guy who served on the jury told friends the case against Ms. Fraker was a joke.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, December 19, 2015

Alexander, Ball, Bates
Alexander, Ball, Bates

CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

MARTIN BALL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

BRUCE BATES, Laytonville. Under influence.

Brandt, Degroot, Dickinson, Ezell
Brandt, Degroot, Dickinson, Ezell

MARK BRANDT, Ukiah. Pot sale-transport-furnish, dirk-dagger, paraphernalia.

JENNIFER DEGROOT, Ukiah. Camping. (Frequent flyer.)

RYAN DICKINSON, Ukiah. DUI, drunk in public, probation revocation.

DALLAS EZELL, Willits. Probation revocation.

Hensley, Holm, Kerr
Hensley, Holm, Kerr

CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public, camping. (Frequent flyer.)

ELIZABETH HOLM, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JOHN KERR, Woodside/Philo. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run, petty theft.

Litzin, Nave, Ornelas
Litzin, Nave, Ornelas

KEVIN LITZIN, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

WILLIAM NAVE, Laytonville. Honey oil extraction.

TASHA ORNELAS, Ukiah. Under influence. (Frequent flyer.)

Pike, Rangel, Vantreese, Yazzie
Pike, Rangel, Vantreese, Yazzie

CARMALINDA PIKE, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

ALEXI RANGEL, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

WILLIAM VANTREESE, Ukiah. Drunk in public, camping, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

LANCE YAZZIE, Torrance/Ukiah. DUI with priors.

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In a first, Norwegian government invests in California carbon credits.

by Peter Fimrite

A government-run power company in Norway has agreed to buy carbon credits from the owners of a Northern California forest, a clear signal that the eyes of the world are on California’s pioneering cap-and-trade program after last week’s landmark global climate treaty in Paris.

Statkraft, Europe’s biggest generator of renewable energy, is essentially investing in the carbon stored in California trees, which can be bought and sold under the state’s one-of-a-kind, stock market-style program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Companies that release more gases than state law permits can avoid fines by purchasing the carbon credits, or offsets, from those who conserve or capture greenhouse gases.

“Everyone should take notice,” said Chris Kelly, the California program director for the nonprofit Conservation Fund, which is selling the offsets. He said the deal “marks an important milestone in the international recognition of the viability of California’s approach to reducing emissions in general, and the importance of forests in particular.”

First foreign investment

The nationalized hydro-power, wind and gas company invested an undisclosed amount in the 16,300-acre Big River and Salmon Creek forests in Mendocino County. It is the first time a foreign company has entered California’s controversial carbon market, the largest and most far-reaching system established in the United States.

“We cannot fight climate change without improving the management of forests worldwide to store carbon,” said Mary Nichols, the chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, which administers the program. “California’s cap-and-trade program provides a mechanism to support that goal with incentives to expand forest conservation within the United States and, as we move forward, beyond our borders, too.”

The deal means that Statkraft, which has 403 power and heating plants in 20 countries, will pay for the carbon stored in the vast stands of redwood and Douglas fir in the two forests near the town of Mendocino.

The money will be used by the Conservation Fund, which owns 75,000 acres in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, to pay off debt and cover the cost of forest recovery, including sediment reduction programs, restoration of creeks and habitat improvements for coho salmon, spotted owls and other wildlife.

The fund, which has sold 3.5 million carbon offsets to a variety of groups for a total of $37 million since 2008, practices what it calls sustainable logging, which means it buys timberland from loggers and drastically reduces the number of trees that get cut every year as part of a long term ecological improvement program.

“This is the largest single transaction that we have done with any entity in terms of the total volume of offsets that have been delivered,” Kelly said. “We think the carbon market has never been more promising and the role of forests have never been more prominent, and California is at the forefront of it all.”

California’s cap-and-trade system was made possible by AB32, the landmark law passed in 2006 that requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

It specifically allows credits or offsets to be sold by companies and organizations that have state-certified technology or practices that fight global warming. Wind farms, solar energy and methane-capturing systems for livestock, food waste, landfills and coal mines can sell credits. Urban tree planting, forest management and reforestation programs can also be certified by the state to sell offsets.

Offsets verified

The offsets sold to Statkraft have been verified by the California Air Resources Board and could be sold or used to offset emissions in California if the company were to build a plant in the state. Statkraft, however, did not indicate that it has any plan to use the credits. Norway has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Our work in producing renewable energy and now helping to ensure the protection of North American forests demonstrates our support and confidence in the integrity of the California cap-and-trade program as a means to reduce greenhouse gases globally,” said Patrick Pfeiffer, the managing director of Statkraft’s U.S. operations, in a written statement. “The Conservation Fund has always been a leader and early mover in forest conservation, and we are thrilled to be supporting their continued efforts.”

The deal comes a week after representatives of 195 nations agreed on a historic global climate treaty in Paris, the first time so many countries have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)

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WILL PARRISH WRITES: The Chron’s story has the Big River as a tributary of the Russian River.

I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of this kind of thing. I've been working on about 10,000 words of articles about California cap-and-trade's sordid methods of using forests as their carbon sponge, an arcane but I think very important story. MRC has 78,000 acres of projects on the road to getting similar investments and probably won't even have to change its timber harvest practices much while netting tens of millions of dollars from oil companies, electric companies, and the like. But this one is nice PR, since it's one of the kindest and gentlest projects you'll likely see. The Carbon Bubble in North Coast forests is upon us.

The Conservation Fund seems to be doing a decent job with its land, but cap-and-trade at its core is a capitalist perversion of the idea of preventing climate change, and the forest protocols for California cap-and-trade are largely a Sierra Pacific Industries work product that claims clear-cutting as a great way to lock away carbon molecules. When the Los Angeles non-profit hired by the state to create the forest protocols, the Climate Action Reserve, posted their final draft online, the author listed in the PDF's "Properties" section was Sierra Pacific’s head forester. Within a couple of days, the Reserve's webmaster scrubbed that particular piece of evidence from the document and re-posted it. Not surprisingly, Sierra Pacific has now proposed 27 (!) separate carbon offset projects that generate "credits" for things like replanting their land when they salvage log following fires.

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Bernie Sanders: In the 1950s, what state in this country had the lowest paid white workers? … Mississippi.

What did the whole system tell these white workers, who were the lowest-paid white workers in the US — in other words, these workers were being exploited.

What they said is, you can go over to that water fountain and take a drink, and this black guy can’t. You can go to this bathroom, you can go to this restaurant — Man, you got it good!

Meanwhile, we’re paying you nothing.

So you divided blacks from white, in that case, whites from blacks.

It is what they always do.

And then they go, you see that woman over there? An uppity woman wants your job, man.

You’re not gonna let that woman take your job, you’ve got to divide from her.

And that guy’s gay over there, you gotta hate him, he’s going to destroy your marriage because he’s gay, gotta hate him.

Oh, and there’s a guy who talks with a Mexican accent, a little bit Spanish. You’re supposed to hate him.

That has been what the ruling class has done over and over again. Why?

Because they understand that when we come together, if we fight for decent wages, for education for your kids, the right to Social Security, we win. If they divide us, they win.

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Eco-Offense, Spiritual Mojo, Power On!

Warm Holiday Greetings, Please know that my guest stay at Piedmont House travel hostel ends on the Winter Solstice, December 22nd at noon. I will henceforth be available for eco-offense direct actions and collective spiritual mojo rituals. I am feeling powerful after several weeks of treating the chest congestion which I got in Washington D.C. (protesting the stupidity of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and also performing a banishing ritual on the D.C. beltway in the ongoing spiritual warfare in the belly of the beast). I am looking for opportunity! I am able to afford airplane fare, feed myself, and only ask cooperation for a place to go to upon arrival. If you believe that we could be effective in saving the planet earth, restoring sanity in society, and ultimately bringing in our spiritual power to purify the core craziness of this civilization, then please contact me at

Craig Louis Stehr

Berkeley, California

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Dear Editor:

The climate change agreement such as it is - Some pluses and some minuses fails to address the real problem - runaway population growth. The United Nations reported as of June 2013 world population was 7.2 billion and in the next 12 years (2025) would increase by one billion. It was a further forecast that by 2050 world population would reach 9.6 billion or about a 30% increase over 2013. Further, the population of developed countries will remain relatively unchanged at around 1.3 billion from now until 2050. The growth is primarily in the least developed countries with high fertility rates. At our current population level we already have insufficient food sources to adequately feed the world population. Does anyone seriously believe that we can increase food crops to a level that would feed a 30% increase in world population? What we will have is mass starvation and mass migration to the developed countries. It will happen because we live in an era of denial about what is going to happen as the earth continues to heat up.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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THE ARREST OF AN ARCATA WOMAN, Tamara O'Shea Abrams, 47, in Missouri for transportation of 180 pounds of marijuana, prompted these remarks on LCO's comment line:

  1. “Last time I was eastbound on 70 through there I had a cop come up on my tail. Dude with long hair? California plates? First he followed me in my blind spot (which I kind of don't have, since my mirrors are adjusted to prevent that, but it's still a sneaky place to be), then he pulled behind me for a few miles, then he passed me and pulled the old "exit the highway then get back on" trick, then he pulled that trick again. Dude followed us for almost an hour. Had a hard on for us. My passenger postulated that they ran my plate and found out we were from Humboldt. 
But, I wouldn't give him the slightest reason to pull me over. Toward the end it was dark and raining, so I just followed this big rig so I couldn't be pulled over for driving "too fast for conditions". There's hills in Missouri. The big rigs slow down to about 40 going up. Cop still followed me for about 20 minutes. Not a good experience. I need to get a dash cam so the judge can decide if it was a legal stop. And no, I was not transporting any more than personal use for me and my passenger.”
  2. “I had Mendo Sheriff follow me from 15 miles before Willits. I pulled out of the rest stop and he was just behind me. I knew he was there the whole time so I had cruise set dead on the speed limit and I even slowed down to 55 BEFORE the sign where it goes from 65 down to 55 just so he wouldn't have a reason to pull me over. He still pulled me over right at the old scale house before Willits and claimed he clocked me going 75 in a 55. When I had the lawyer ask for the dash cam video of him following me to prove I wasn’t speeding at all, they told her they couldn't locate the file. Go figure.”
  3. “It is all a matter of revenue generation under the guise of "public safety". The deck is stacked against the citizen in favor of law enforcement. Cruise control set at just below the speed limit along with always making sure there are no burned out lights on the car is about the best one can do to avoid being taken for a ride, figuratively and literally.”

* * *

WELL-PREPARED and battle-tested in many political debates, Hillary knows how to impress conventional political reporters, while limiting their follow-up questions. She claimed, "I don't take a backseat to anyone when it comes to progressive commitment… I'm a progressive."

And the moon is made of blue cheese. Hillary Clinton, a progressive? She is the arch Wall Street corporatist, who hobnobs with criminal firms like Goldman Sachs for $250,000 a speech, and goes around the country telling closed-door business conventions what they want to hear for $5,000 a minute!

As a senator, she did not challenge the large banks and insurance companies whose avarice, willful deceptions, and thefts set the stage for the economy's collapse in 2008-2009. In fact she supported Bill Clinton's deregulation of Wall Street with its resulting painful consequences for single mothers and children who suffered the most from the deep recession.

A progressive would not have waited year after year, while receiving the entreaties of women's and children's assistance groups to endorse a modest minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over three years by her own Democratic Party in Congress. She finally took the plunge and endorsed it in April 2014, during a speech to the United Methodist Women in Boston. If the Democratic lovefest were a real debate, Bernie Sanders, who voiced domestic progressive positions all evening long, would have intervened and sent her packing. What everlasting hubris do the Clintons exude! (See Peter Schweizer's new book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped make Bill and Hillary Rich. Harper Collins, 2015)

As an embedded militarist, during her tenure as Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton never saw a boondoggle, obsolete weapons system, or boomeranging war she didn't like. She delivered belligerent speeches against China, and scared Secretary of Defense Robert Gates by overruling his opposition through her White House contracts to overthrow the Libyan dictator. This illegal war opened up the savage chaos, bloodshed, and havoc in Libya that continued to spread into huge areas of central Africa.

But Hillary's war didn't seem to interest anyone on stage much.

Senator Bernie Sanders continues to miss opportunities to highlight Hillary Clinton's true corporatist and militarist identity. Most unfortunately, she placed him on the defensive with socialist/capitalist questioning. Bernie Sanders needs to tell the millions of voters watching the "debates" that local socialism is as American as apple pie, going back to the 18th Century, by mentioning post offices, public highways, public drinking water systems, public libraries, public schools, public universities, and public electric companies as examples.

He then could add that global corporations are destroying competitive capitalism with their corporate state or crony capitalism, despised by both conservatives and real progressives.

— Ralph Nader


  1. BB Grace December 20, 2015

    RE: Jobs
    My 2c. Congrats to Liberty, Ukiah and County working to establish six hundred locals having living wage jobs (and able to afford Costco).

    I was told that Fort Bragg’s Taco Bell opened yesterday with a long line of customers waiting to order while enjoying the sun.

    There’s must be a name besides “Grand Opening” to explain why a mob of people go to any restaurant’s first day of business. I wonder if the first day of business is the most business a restaurant ever does, if nothing goes wrong, and it’s bound to have wrongs when you’ve got all new customers some baring left handed monkey wrenchs, “that’s not what I ordered”, “How much paper will clog the toilet?”, party games to be expected. Isn’t that why after days of rain Fort Braggers will stand in line to go to Taco Bell? It’s not like anyone hasn’t been to Taco Bell before, eh?

    I hear the owner hired well liked locals known to be hard workers and worth more than the $15.00 he’s paying, so there appears to be a team that not only survived the grand opening, but are cooking up the ultimate CA Gringo Mex in Fort Bragg.

    If I was a betting person, I’d wage that South Main Street is going to become just another fast food pit stop, and that may be a sign of the times as independent places shut after years of annual street improvement during tourist season, and this year no water for them, but enough water to build a Taco Bell.

    Is that irony? To me that’s fraud. You tell little local restaurants that they have to serve on paper plates (congrats Mendocino Waste), and then you approve plans for a new francise that’s going to put more mom and pop restaurants out of business. I’m all for competition, but the water used to build that Taco Bell could have helped some Fort Bragg mom and pops survive.

    This is what a lack of vision does to a place. Little tourist spots turn into fast food strips that kill all the charm, replace the sweet garden and salty ocean smells with hot oil for food and fuel. I’m telling you, Dolly Parton could manage Fort Bragg better.. 3 thousand jobs, little independent businesses doing their ARTS and CRAFTSMANSHIPS.. culinary ARTS, is not Taco Bell.

    Whine I know.. but

    The Times They Are A-Changin’ Lyrics
    Come gather ’round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You’ll be drenched to the bone.
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’
    Or you’ll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won’t come again
    And don’t speak too soon
    For the wheel’s still in spin
    And there’s no tellin’ who
    That it’s namin’.
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside
    And it is ragin’.
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin’.
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is
    Rapidly fadin’.
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Songwriters: BOB DYLAN

    • james marmon December 20, 2015

      Mr. Liberty is not pro labor, he is for pro business. What makes you so sure that there will be living wages paid? I can’t wait to see the names of this group he has assembled. I know some of his buddy’s and they are scumbags. They’re in it for themselves and nobody else.

      Meanwhile, while county employees are being told that they will never have their wages restored until there is an increase in County revenues, this is a big slap in the face. This venture doesn’t increase revenues for at least another 10 years.

      So much for improving morale!!! Ms. Angelo’s gift to her friend is disgusting.

      The Union busting bastards.

        • james marmon December 20, 2015

          “He recently made and distributed a video where the SEIU Organizers are portrayed as Nazi’s. Mr. Liberty certainly doesn’t know the details of my family’s experience with the Nazis, but he knows I am Jewish and he knows I was the SEIU Organizer. Portraying me as a uniformed Nazi is beyond the bounds of decency.”

          • BB Grace December 20, 2015

            It seems Liberty is accused of belonging to an organization that made and distribted a film that identified SEIU like “nazis”. I never saw the vid, and while I find the terms, “nazi”, fascist”, being used alot, seldom do the terms correctly identify issues or motivations of people.

            If you believe that Mr. Liberty is distributing propeganda that personally endangers you, why not get a restraining order?

            If being Jewish is important, than Mr. Liberty must celebrate everyday that Mendocino does not have a Chabad, Hasedic Temple, Conservative or Reform congregation. I see Jews being called “nazis” frequently, but not by republicans. Like the so called Ross Liberty film, just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Still if it does exist, isn’t this a good time to put it out?


      • BB Grace December 20, 2015

        “Mr. Liberty is not pro labor, he is for pro business. What makes you so sure that there will be living wages paid?”

        I’m not so sure that living wages will be paid, but I can state that I would expect living wages to be paid so Costco has local customers.

        “I can’t wait to see the names of this group he has assembled. I know some of his buddy’s and they are scumbags. They’re in it for themselves and nobody else.”

        Some say social services and Union employees are in it for themselves. If you’re not in something for yourself, what are you in for? Seems the focus is on creating tax payers so they county can force the tax payers to afford to raise wages for self serving social services and union jobs. Hm?

        “Meanwhile, while county employees are being told that they will never have their wages restored until there is an increase in County revenues, this is a big slap in the face. This venture doesn’t increase revenues for at least another 10 years.”

        County employees do not produce taxes. They spend taxes. If the County is tax poor, and it is, then how does it pay ot’s employees that are paid through business generating tax payers?

        How about doing a good job that makes the County tax payers happy for improving good moral?

        • james marmon December 20, 2015

          How much do you think the two privatized non-union mental health providers have contributed to increasing the County’s revenue stream, Ms. Grace? Aren’t they spending the same tax dollars?

          And, how about the good job they’re doing? They’re certainly improving my morale as a taxpayer.

          I’ll tell you right now, my choice to become a social worker was never for the money. I truly care about the people I serve, which includes you too. To make a blanket statement that everyone in the helping profession is only in it for themselves and the money is mean spirited and untrue.

          Good grief, get off the Kool-Aid.

          • BB Grace December 20, 2015

            “How much do you think the two privatized non-union mental health providers have contributed to increasing the County’s revenue stream, Ms. Grace? Aren’t they spending the same tax dollars?”

            Not exactly, but Yeeees. The same.

            “And, how about the good job they’re doing? They’re certainly improving my morale as a taxpayer.”

            I never thought, until you posted your above question, the SEIU is upset that the County “privatized”, because that made the SEIU “weaker”?

            “I’ll tell you right now, my choice to become a social worker was never for the money. I truly care about the people I serve, which includes you too. To make a blanket statement that everyone in the helping profession is only in it for themselves and the money is mean spirited and untrue.”

            My blanket statement is regergitated hearsay that I don’t find to be mean spirited from those who claim to be hurt by unions, especially when they don’t serve the people. How true it is, depends on where the experience happened, and it seems when it comes to Mendocino, the Union is against privatization because they wanted those jobs, and that $7 Million. So wee the people suffer in this war between tax payer funded Union or privatized social service jobs.

            “Good grief, get off the Kool-Aid.”

            Seems after what you’ve been through in your life, that term might be in poor taste. Let’s face it, I’m so far gone on the kool-ade I didn’t know I was on any. Must be in the water. Thank you for caring about me.

  2. Bill Pilgrim December 20, 2015

    re: Carbon Cap & Trade. The whole zany scheme is merely a model created by capitalist ‘shuck & jive’ think-tankers who are experts at making the movement of credit look like something real is being accomplished.
    If the trend continues, Wall Street will inevitably find a way to get in the game and turn it into a cash stream while forests continue to fall.

  3. Harvey Reading December 20, 2015

    So, I guess the conclusion is that the world is better off with one less Sangiacomo in it?

    • Bruce Anderson December 20, 2015

      You got it, Harv.

  4. Randy Burke December 20, 2015

    Sangiacomo….isn’t that a garlic and mushroom dish served at Dinucci’s in Valley Ford?

  5. Jim Updegraff December 20, 2015

    My observation is many people think public servants are over paid and under worked except perhaps for police and fire personnel and unions are there to protect the incompetents.

    • BB Grace December 20, 2015

      Mr. Updegraff stated what I intended to say in a much kinder way which I appreciate.

    • LouisBedrock December 20, 2015


      I hope you don’t believe this.

      I taught in the southeast Bronx for 18 years and I don’t think I owe anyone anything. I worked with social workers like Marmon–they don’t owe anyone anything either. A lot of them worked 12 hour days or longer attempting to solve problems that were insolvable. Our guidance counselor, Carmen, worked at three different schools, but would always find time for kids in crisis.

      The bureaucracy that James Marmon complains of is not very different from what we dealt with in New York. I often felt myself between the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis when dealing with troubled kids and families. On the one hand, I was obliged by law to report any possible evidence of physical abuse to the authorities; on the other hand, I was reluctant to do so without knowing the circumstances because some of the agencies were very heavy handed and made things worse. Fortunately, I had some friends who were social workers and who shared the commitment (and angst) of Jim Marmon. I could always go to them for advice.

      I ran a morning basketball program with two or three other teachers in the mornings between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. We were not paid. One of the “coaches” also ran a reading program in his classroom from 2:45 to 4;00 p.m.–he wasn’t paid. Teachers routinely spent over $1,000 or more buying equipment and supplies each year. I bought three microscopes when i taught science–there were none in the school.

      People who have doubts about whether most teachers, guidance counselors, or social workers earn their salaries should try working at any of these professions in an urban area like the Bronx. Try doing what Marmon did.

      I wonder how long they’d last.

      All the best,



  6. Betsy Cawn December 21, 2015

    As one of the lucky ones who has no need for “services” provided by County government, I also question the efficacy of the management systems we pay for and depend on to provide health and safety services to our community members.

    Union? Yes, as long as the union staff earn their pay as well — by working with members and management to negotiate practical and mutually beneficial exchanges of labor for pay, to meet mutually agreed standards of practice.

    When public agency authorities allow the standards of practice to degrade, legitimate service providers to be penalized for taking responsible action (union? where were they, James?), and political friendships dictate social welfare policies, the funders of governance have their own responsibility: to object — vociferously if necessary; the whole community is getting ripped off, not just your neighbor.

    Surely human welfare (shelter, nutrition, medication, education, occupation) is our most important responsibility as citizens? “Business” must contribute to that, and the never-ending debate over how wages contribute to the tax base must include the private existence of each government employee — with their own rents and mortgages, property management, transportation, and health care expenses, all of which are part of the constant “revenue stream” feeding the machine of public employees.

    It seems to me (from a highly biased perspective of daily AVA intake) that Mendocino County community members are pretty hip to the central government’s mismanagement, thanks to constant illumination by folks like Mr. Marmon and AVA readers.

    Lake County, of course, suffers some of the same ills as you do, but seems to have a different approach to solutions. Local central government maintains a strict “no problem” policy — low level crime and mental health conditions do not rise to the level of policy discussions, as long as the swift removal of miscreants from the public view is manageable. No information is publicly available to allow the communities to assess their own priorities — it’s close to “every man for himself” in the painful world of homelessness: our Mental Health Department openly admits that it cannot “treat” any other than “severe mental illness” cases; all other levels of need are bereft of resources.

    MHSA funding has allowed provision of “innovative” services like “drop-in” centers for “culturally” appropriate (Native Americans, Hispanic) and non-material forms of “relief” (the talking cure?). In the aftermath of Lake County’s recent conflagrations the County Behavioral Health Department is facilitating some “supervised” field worker services to solace and console, if not to provide actual assistance (FEMA funded “peer counselors”?).

    There is also a blitz of “faith-based” organizations who arrived shortly after the fire did its worst. These various groups (including Red Cross, Mennonites, Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, Buddhist, and miscellaneous non-denominational Christian coalitions) are willing to provide “case managers” for fire survivors with “unmet needs” — but they all need housing and feeding, and there are no resources yet to provide that.

    Environmental clean-up, appraisals, permitting, financing, infrastructure replacement, insurance and emergency funding navigation, psychological trauma and conciliation consume the attention of the main players (government, business, social services, and civic organizations) presently engaged with efforts aimed at retaining or replacing former population levels.

    In my opinion, the objections raised in the AVA, and ensuing dialogues (often enlightening) serve the public well, which needs to take the contributors to heart. Your weird government club, post Jones/Trinity-PHF/EarthFirst recovery, has demonstrated its incompetence. You all have ably illustrated it. My hat’s off to you.

    • james marmon December 21, 2015


      The union represented me pretty good, they were able to prove that I was not given a fair and impartial pre-termination hearing by the County, and ordered them to pay me $50,000.00, for violating my constitutional right to due process.

      Unfortunately for me, the administrative law judge chose to take Bryan Lowery’s and AJ Barrett’s story over mine. They lied and we couldn’t prove otherwise.

      They said I scared them.

      I should have never stepped in that room without witnesses.

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