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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015

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LIGHT TO MODERATE RAIN will continue overnight. Rain will decrease to only showers on Tuesday. Another cold system will bring chances for rain to coastal areas and snow to the interior Wednesday night into Thursday. … all main stem rivers are rising sharply and expected to peak this evening...overnight...or during the day tomorrow. Currently the Mad River at Arcata...Eel River at Fernbridge...Van Duzen River at Bridgeville...and the Russian River near Hopland are expected to reach monitor stage. We will continue to monitor all of the rivers to see if river flood warnings will be required. Of greatest concern will be the Navarro at Navarro...the Russian near Hopland...and the Eel River at Fernbridge where current forecasts bring the rivers just below flood stage. About two inches of rain fell on Monday.

—National Weather Service

OVER A 24-HOUR STRETCH (beginning 5am Monday morning) Boonville received 2.9 inches of rain, bringing the season total up to 12.8 inches.

HIGHWAY 128 WAS CLOSED, between Flynn Creek Road and the Coast Highway (1) Bridge, Monday evening because of roadway flooding.

RAINFALL REPORTS PAST 48 HOURS (Public Information Statement as of 6:10 am PST on December 22, 2015)

... Mendocino County...

  • Manchester 7 E : 6.94 inches
  • Willits Howard rs : 6.24 inches
  • McGuires RAWS : 6.12 inches
  • Laytonville RAWS : 5.58 inches
  • Willits 1 NE : 4.94 inches
  • Dos Rios 3 SSE : 4.74 inches
  • Potter Valley 2 : 4.64 inches
  • Potter Valley powerhouse : 4.56 inches
  • Covelo 8 ENE : 3.92 inches
  • Covelo 9 ENE : 3.68 inches
  • 4 WSW Ukiah : 3.44 inches
  • Lake Mendocino dam : 3.36 inches
  • Boonville RAWS : 3.31 inches
  • Covelo 4 se : 2.88 inches
  • Hopland 5 NNE : 2.84 inches
  • 9 W Comptche : 2.70 inches
  • Yorkville 1 NE : 2.61 inches
  • Cloverdale 5 NNW : 2.44 inches
  • Ukiah Municipal Airport : 2.37 inches

[Observations are collected from a variety of sources with varying equipment and exposure. Not all data listed are considered official.]

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A FEDERAL AUDIT by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has blasted Mendocino County's half-privatized mental health services as so deficient that it killed a man who died waiting for privatized attention from the Ortner Management Group. Last week, doctors from the County's three hospitals repeated essentially the same defects found by the feds. The Supervisors seemed unmoved.

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THE "NEW" PRESS DEMOCRAT'S lede stories this week include, "Santa Claus delights, terrifies kids," complete with a color photo of Santa and a kid; "Where to find last minute gifts in Sonoma County," a tribute to the paper's advertisers; and "Sebastopol, Cloverdale among top 100 liberal cities in US," which may be true of Sebastopol but certainly isn't true of Cloverdale unless our neighbor to the south has undergone a recent population transplant. The Rose City daily's vaunted revamp turns out to be more of the same, not that anyone is surprised.

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RECOMMENDED VIEWING, both available on NetFlicks: A BBC production called Broadchurch, a murder mystery brought off with the creative aplomb unique to the writers and actors of the sceptered isle, and an American documentary called Making A Murder that so astounded this viewer he gasped wtf's throughout. And you will, too. Making A Murder ought to be required viewing for lawyers. What the cops and a series of elected lawyers and judges did to this guy at all levels of Wisconsin state government is disgusting, and even shocked me, and I thought I was shock proof.

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THE FORT BRAGG City Council approved a final remediation plan to clean up nearly 280 acres of the town’s former Georgia Pacific mill site. However 8 acres out of that area will still have to be limited to non-residential uses, with ongoing monitoring of contaminants.

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FROM THE AVA of April 9th, 1963. The headline reads, "Fort Bragg Pair, On Relief, Ask For $32,000 Building Permit." The story begins: "Is it really possible to receive county aid through the Mendocino County Welfare department and still make plans to build a $32,820 home?"

YES, and a few years later commenced a full-on deadbeat assault as the back-to-the-landers, aka hippies, laughed about gaming the system, while making it much more difficult for people in true need to get help.

THE '63 CASE featured a pair of female chiropractors named Mary Jane Reed and Ella W. Rocks who'd moved to Fort Bragg from Oakland and almost immediately applied for help because they said they couldn't find work. The County soon agreed to pay their rent, utilities and threw in ten bucks a week for groceries but soon discovered the ladies had considerable resources, enough anyway to buy a lot and qualify for a loan to build a house, which they said they intended as a care home of some kind. The back and forth on the matter is delicious. Welfare director Kussow said in defense of the chiro-paupers, "They had no money." Supervisor Oscar Klee thundered back, "Neither do I. If such a policy is continued we'll soon have 100,000 people in Mendocino County."

I HAVEN'T YET been able to find the follow-up story about what the Supervisors decided to do about the two ladies, but I do know that Oscar Klee was an aggressive populist whose tenure on the board was stormy, to say the least. I've heard he was handy with his fists in his youth, which became one fist after a logging accident severed one of Oscar's arms. An autodidact, Klee studied law on his own and became a justice court judge on the Coast. He was imprisoned for tax evasion, which really wasn't evasion because he'd fought the IRS on what he considered principle, and lost. And then there was the famous War of the Warrants, about which I want to write about at much greater length.

* * *

AT THE DECEMBER 15 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Dan Hamburg raised a question during the review of the first quarter budget presentation:

Hamburg: “When I was looking over these what really stands out in 4010, 4011, 4012 and onward in HHSA that not only are they under budget, they are under budget by a lot — 30, 40, 50%. And it's all due to unfilled positions.”

CEO budget staffer: “Correct.”

Hamburg: “So, I mean, I think it was great that we took the steps that we did, you know, tried to incentivize people and — but, that just jumps off the page to me. I don't know if it did do the other board members. But those are not small deficiencies, if you want to call them that, in terms of having those positions filled. Of course, not having positions filled means not having services delivered. I can't see it any other way. So I don't know. I know it's just the first quarter. Maybe we will be in better shape in future quarters. But it certainly struck me very strongly.”

Supervisor John McCowen: “I'm sure we all noticed the same item that Supervisor Hamburg just commented on. Just to go into a little more detail: Public health administration under budget by 40%. Environmental health, 36%. Alcohol and other drugs programs 46%. Public health nursing 51%. California children's services 44%. All due to unfilled positions. Which highlights a number of issues really. One is, not filling the positions obviously means that there are either fewer services being delivered or more work for the employees who are delivering the services, or both. It also creates a situation where we are likely faced with a significant budget carry over due to unfilled positions which potentially highlights the problem with how we budget. If we are not accurately anticipating the level of unfilled positions then we wind up with a somewhat artificial carry-over at the end of the year. And that kind of flies in the face of realistic budgeting projections. So there is potentially a couple of very significant things here that are out of sync. And that is our apparent inability to fill positions. We are aware of some of the issues involved with some of these. And yet we don't seem to be making progress in getting these filled and that's a concern and then the issue that goes along with that is what it does in terms of budgeting. So I know the executive office is a very aware of both of these issues. But they definitely are a concern potentially both with our process on one or more levels and then also the impact on either service delivery or the impact to our employees.”

CEO Budget Officer Alan 'The Kid' Flora: “The first point is that as far as I understand it, this is not an unusual situation. This is just information that really hasn't been shown to the board previously this early. One of the reasons that we had asked the departments to provide this information to the board at this time was because of what Supervisor McCowen mention related to budgeting and how we end up at the end of the year. We come in and often have a large fund balance. In a lot of cases it is related to the salary savings in some of the budget units. So we are continuing to work with fiscal staff on this and trying to make sure that the budget is something that is going to be as close to reality as possible. Also, this is a large organization, the county, you have 1000 employees, so there is always a lot of natural turnover for a variety of reasons. I do want to make sure that your board is aware that as I understand it, this is not essentially an unusual phenomenon that all of a sudden now services are not being delivered that were being delivered in the past. It's just that we are providing information to your board earlier on that. Of course we are hopeful that a number of steps that the board has taken with recruitment and retention bonuses will begin to — as well as the salary increases that have been provided by the Board — will start having an impact on these percentages.”

Health and Human Services Director Stacey Cryer: “Recruitment has been an issue for several years in the agency. When I started there were 12 public health nurses working in health and human services. And now there is 1.5. We are having a difficult time as we have had for years recruiting the professional positions in addition to eligibility workers and various classifications. We have done a lot to beef up our recruitment efforts and we will continue. Job fairs. Internships. I told you at one boarding board meeting I was going to start to grow my own employees. I meant that. We're in the high schools. We are getting into the colleges. Trying to get into different intern programs. Doing what we can. We're going to work with the residency program at the hospital. Whatever mechanism we can to help people get the education and training they need to meet these criteria. The wage increases will help. I don't know if they will solve the problem. We had the problem before. We had tried to deal with the wages before. I think that we as a county we need to look outside the box. The retention bonuses are great. The recruitment bonuses will be helpful. Other counties are looking at alternative methods. I don't know when or if we start looking at those kinds of other alternatives. Some are work from home projects. Different kinds of job-sharing. I don't know. We have not had that conversation. We have to start doing something to get these positions filled. Services are being delivered because you have amazing staff. I call them superheroes and I mean it. They are doing an amazing job. We are not doing everything as well as we should. You have talked about reorganizing my agency. That's one reason we have started working with some positions and get some work done differently. So you will see different kinds of classifications being recruited for and hopefully that will make a difference too. The public health budget units don't contribute to the carryover I don't believe. They stay in realignment costs. That's a different issue I think. Thank you.”

Supervisor Tom Woodhouse: “I would like to see — we've talked about this before. When we work on retention there are challenges about that and unforeseen consequences of bad. So everything we try to touch we create more problems. I want to encourage you to bring us more options of what other counties are doing if anything and look at paying the nurses more money and the board does want to be involved and I know it is hard when you're working full blast just to keep afloat so thank you for everything you do. We really are interested in making a difference rather than hearing another report next year about the same facts. We are going to have to do something and I know you want to too. Thank you.”

Board Chair Carre Brown then cut off the discussion so that the Board could spend almost an hour giving out employee service awards.

* * *

THIS is what passes for “management” in Mendocino County.

HERE WE ARE in mid-December and the Board is reviewing budget information from July-September (more than three months ago) and Supervisors are a tad concerned about staffing shortfalls which previously had been the subject of a very pointed grand jury report and the Board of Supervisors is only now getting around to even bringing up the issue, albeit lamely and under a discussion of the budget, not a management report which should be given monthly addressing such issues as staffing, budget status, workload, cost drivers, and unresolved issues.


Hamburg and McCowen: Looks like lots of slots were vacant a few months ago in Health and Human Services.

Flora: Yup. Been goin’ on for years, but we’re finally getting around to telling you. We don’t want to deal with the management and morale problems in HHSA (please don’t ask us how many people have left in the last few months), so we just offered a little more money to a few positions so we can pretend we’re doing something about it. But, of course, it’s not working because money isn’t the problem, never has been.

Cryer: We’re reaching out to local high schools and colleges because those kids have no clue how bad we are so a few of them might sign up and maybe a few of the dimmer ones will stick around for a few years to become real trainees. Of course, that won’t really address our lack of senior qualified staff. The staffing shortfalls are still a problem but our “amazing” “superheroes” are still doing something (we don’t know what, for whom or how much, of course, or how much backlog has built up because we prefer amazing blather to actual numbers and reports and the Supes never follow-up with specific questions anyway.

Woodhouse: We’ve talked about this before and got nowhere so let’s do it again and again. Oh, and thanks for whatever you do!

Brown: Who cares? It has nothing to do with water in Potter Valley so let’s just stop talking about it and give out some awards to the people who haven’t left yet.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, December 21, 2015

Cazares, Litzin, Plancarte
Cazares, Litzin, Plancarte

ENRIQUE CAZARES, Laytonville. DUI, no license.

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

NARCISO PLANCARTE, San Jose/Piercy. Brandishing loaded firearm, criminal threats.

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by Spec MacQuayde

Thunder boomed, lightning flashed on Thursday night as our ride dropped us off at the Caretaker's Garden, near the old Boont Berry farm where we planned to spend the night in the yurt I built out of redwoods and necessity in 2007. He'd picked us up from the Greyhound drop off near the airport on South State in Ukiah, and was giving us time to shower before heading to the KZYX studio to meet John McCallister and perform a song on the air. We'd arrived in town with only an hour to spare after a grueling four days on the bus, and it was necessary to shower before sharing the confined space of the radio studio.

"Never seen lightning like this around here," said our ride, who's lived in the Valley for more than two decades.

"That's 'cause I'm here," said Jetta, giving me that defiant look that I've grown familiar with, the one that accompanies her reading off Facebook about the changing consciousness coming with the solar flares. Like many hippies who have discovered the magical keys to the universe, Jetta believes that she can influence the weather with her thoughts. She'll probably fit in well in Mendo. She gives me that look when stating a hypothesis that will no doubt sound ludicrous to me.

She was referring to a line in the chorus of a song I'd composed more or less about her that we'd never performed together, "Bringing Heaven Down," a line that really only was included because it rhymed: "You might here some thunder when she rolls into town."

The storm added dramatic backdrop, especially when sleet pelted my hat as I crossed Highway 128 in a dead sprint from the hotel to Pic & Pay to get beer and cigarettes and say hello to the night clerk who misses my business, he said, asking about my son who used to loiter in front of that building with his buddies back in the day.

"He's 18 now, watching the farm back in Indiana while I'm gone."

The radio show went smoothly, quite a great time after the Greyhound ride. We hadn't planned to take the bus. I consider cross-country Greyhound trips to be somewhat more arduous than doing time in jail, the only differences being you can't do push-ups and the inmates are co-ed, and you have to deal with babies crying all night. The Amtrak, however, is like a bar on rails, somewhat like riding a cruise boat. The passengers tend to be retired teachers and European tourists, but we missed our train in the Chicago station. The connection from Indianapolis arrived at 10 a.m. Monday, and I felt like shit, realizing I'd been infected with the stomach flu that my son and all his friends had been fighting, regretting the impulsive decision to eat White Castle hamburgers at 4 a.m. in Indy. I never eat White Castle or fast food, but was sort of excited for the trip and just agreed to do something impulsive since we were early for that train. Now at 10 a.m. in Chicago I had to find a restroom quick. My head was throbbing, somewhat hungover with lack of sleep, as Jetta and I had been so giddy we'd messed around somewhat inappropriately on the ride.

"Let's find the bar," I suggested upon finally emerging from the john. I'd been to the station before and knew of a place somewhere in that magnificent old gem of architecture, so asked the Homeland Security guys who were everywhere thanks to the recent tragedy in San Bernadino. Awkwardly I carried a naked banjo because minutes prior to our late night departure from the remote hills of Kentuckiana I'd discovered to my chagrin that kittens had pissed on the nylon case. The banjo was strapped to my neck, tied by thin galvanized electric fence wire to its cheap frame.

"You play us a song?" they asked.

"No, I gotta get some beer. Ain't in the mood." I was real polite with the fellas, mostly in their early 20's, who were probably just glad to have the jobs. And they were protecting us from random whackos who could strike at any second. They all gazed at Jetta who drug a wheeled suitcase and might have been dressed for a show, paying no more attention to me. One of the guys told her we had to go to Union Station which was outside and around this great marble hall.

We rambled forever, up escalators and down concrete steps outside, the rolling suitcase bouncing with its heavy cargo. After one of those labyrinth nightmares that usually include federal agents in sunglasses stalking you at every step that are a result of movies like the Matrix, we finally located the bar I remembered and took a nearby table since Jetta had lost her photo I.D. and looks more like my daughter than my girlfiend thanks possibly to night life and avoiding the sun.

"Is that your daughter?" they ask me at the farmers' markets.

"No, she's my niece. I'm putting her through college," I usually reply, giving her a kiss on the lips and grabbing her ass.

We shared a tall beer at the table and eaves-dropped on the pro football discussion between fellows from various cities extolling the virtues and vices of their heroes. In between a black dude from Philly and a local white fanatic donning a Chicago Bears Jacket and cap sat a uniformed soldier from Denver. We had four hours before the two o'clock departure time for San Fran on the California Zephyr, so shared one beer after another. A few more fellows from Wisconsin and Minnesota sat at the bar, as well as a voluptuous woman who it turned out hailed from an organic farm in southern Indiana slammed whiskey. I invited her to our table, bought a round of shots for the three of us. The guys from up north joined us, asking me to play the exposed banjo.

Recently Jetta has started performing with me on stage, and bangs a tambourine. She knows the songs better than I do. We started out with a crowd favorite that usually gets across in boisterous environments called, "Piss Test." The guys liked it and made us play it one more time so they could record it on their smart phones. Somebody ordered a pitcher. We all got to know each other. I can't say what songs we shared with them after that, but at about 1:45 Jetta and I decided prudently to get over to the boarding platform. Gazing up at the digital arrivals and departures, she noticed that the California Zephyr was due in at 3pm.

"Shit, let's go back to the bar," I concurred, worried that if we sat on those benches we'd crash out after no sleep. One more round, and we returned to the departure station only to have the sweet black woman inform us that the train had departed on schedule at two.

"When's the next train?"

"Tomorrow at 2. You can get a hotel."

Rather than a hotel, we chose to transfer our tickets to Greyhound, who routed us through Las Vegas and L.A. Four days on the bus without booze except for smuggled vodka in water bottles after Denver, where we discovered they'd sent us south and another day out of the way. Four days with the stomach flu and craving restrooms, regretting the mistake in Chicago which I originally somewhat blamed Jetta for mostly out of miserableness. The first two nights a baby screamed from the back seat, but the second two nights the infant turned out to be a possible son of the devil who belted out this heavy metal gut-level angst. Most of the passengers in the back had spent at least half their adult lives in prison. They were all discussing "scripts," meaning "prescriptions" for various drugs like oxies, and the laws regarding such in different states. Of course the prison system prescribes pharmaceutical versions of heroin to inmates.

"These voices are driving me insane!" I whined to Jetta as we veered off course towards Vegas.

"I always wanted to see Vegas!" she exclaimed, hogging our smart phone to snap breathtaking pictures of the barren desert rocks. "Have a positive attitude!"

"I'm not angry, just feel like shit after two days of not being able to eat or drink or smoke a joint or walk around except to hit the crapper."

Las Vegas turned out to be a good time after all my negativity, though, as we hit this pedestrian den of sin near the bus station for a few hours, walking around with the naked banjo and really looking and smelling like hobos. We bought a bottle of vodka and poured it into a plastic water bottle, chilling on the side of a club with brick walls on the outside. Immediately a Canadian couple approached and asked if we were an act.

"I got to drink some more water," I said, shivering a little with hands unsteady, somewhat nervous. I hit the vodka, looked over at Jetta and started playing in the cool night air. They seemed like nice folks my parents' age from Midwestern Canada if there is such a thing, by their accents a little north of Minnesota, so I played "Ain't no Machine Gonna Pick a Watermelon," though I could barely pick the banjo for nervousness in this overwhelming environment. After that we played "Piss Test," maybe just to make them leave us alone. More folks approached, handing us a cup of coffee which I refused as the vodka appealed more to my mood on this break from the gauntlet bus ride. Eventually a dude in a suit who looked like the role he played--a bouncer for the casino outside which we loitered, informed me that if I stayed at that spot for another song the cops woulds be there and slap us with a $1000 fine for busking without a permit. Gratefully I returned to the bus station for the ride to L.A., though Jetta was disappointed to miss out on the Vegas experience.

"You don't have an I.D., anyway."

"Thanks for reminding me!"

The whole ride to L.A. we passed the water bottle of vodka across the seats as she shared one with a white-haired black dude, and I sat beside another African guy younger than me who said he had five kids with five different women. "I'm a rambler. If one of my girls pisses me off I just go find another." We hit it off, the three of us, and passed the bottle all the way across the desert, until we neared the city of angels and somehow Jetta and I got into a domestic dispute that really cracked the black dudes up. We nearly split ways in L.A., at the station, and sat in separate seats the whole ride up to San Francisco where it started raining, finally. I felt like I was finally coming home once we got to the bay area.

In San Fran we ended up waiting six hours for the bus to Ukiah, so we rode the transit up to Haight-Ashbury and found a music store along with outfits for the upcoming show at Lauren's in Boonville. I bought a case for the banjo, tired of people coming up and demanding a song when I wasn't in the mood. Riding up 101 through the insane stop and go traffic and rain all the way to Santa Rosa I stressed out about making the show, my whole body reeking after four days of sweating off the flu, my toes nearly rotting off, but once we passed the rose city the driver laid on it to make time, the bus swaying with G-forces as the tires vibrated over the warning friction beyond the white lines. Once we hit the two-lane stretches and Hopland my mood brightened more.

After the radio show my friend dropped us off at the old farm down Lambert Lane in Boonville, where we spent the night in the ramshackle yurt I built out of necessity with funky, barked redwoods back in 2007. The structure has some gnomish charm and has been occupied by the new farmers on that property who took over when I left in 2010, though they are five months pregnant and she now prefers to sleep in a camper with electricity and propane so they wake up warm. I don't believe in much in life except for irony and poetic justice, and had to admit both were in play as Jetta attempted to build a fire in the wood-stove while I held the cell phone like a flash light, watching.

The bark she'd brought in from outside the yurt had soaked in the storm, and though she shredded a Tecate beer box discovered in the old barn, the fire failed to light.

Holding the cell phone and watching her attempt to light a fire in this yurt I grew impatient. Irony temporarily soured my mood. "I never got laid in there," I told Tim, the new manager of the Anderson Valley Community Farm, when inquiring about spending a night there. "No sooner did I get the roof on, and my first Ex sent my 12 year-old son to live out here. That's when I moved into the barn."

Jetta's futile attempts to build a fire frustrated me. Both of us had endured the four day bus ride without getting laid or any such fun, and she really wanted to get that fire going, but the bark was wet and I asininely neglected to inform her that I'd observed dry kindling in the barn where the current inhabitants built fires at night. Holding the cell phone and watching her I remembered all the times that strong-willed hippie girls I loved had insisted upon doing things like use a backwards skill saw blade to cut thick sheet metal. As a feminist I'd always supported that stuff. As a beer drinker I'd often run into intelligent women who thought power tools and alcohol don't mix. But after four days on the bus I might have forgotten to mention the dry kindling in the barn, and when I finally commented something about strong women who think they know how to do everything better, Jetta ran outside and told me to do it myself since I was so much smarter.

Of course with the dry redwood splinters the fire started immediately. What should have been a romantic night had its ups and downs as I admitted to having known about the kindling the whole time holding the cell phone as a flash light.

"I'm going to live here!" she said, once the fire raged and we got over our little spat.

"No way. It's impossible."

"Why? I love it! It's all I need!"

"The aliens."

"What?" she seemed genuinely interested.

"I didn't build this yurt alone. Look at the symmetry in those rafters. I had--I had help from beyond this realm. They don't want me to live here. That's all I can say. That's why I never got laid the whole time I lived here. It's not meant to be."

I can't say what happened after that, but suffice it to say we won't be staying in the yurt at the old Boont Berry Farm again.

* * *



* * *


Media interpretations are mixed.

In the L.A. Times, reporter Evan Halper says the new provision “effectively ends the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy.” Halper quotes Bill Piper, a lobbyist with the Drug Policy Alliance, who boldly declares, “The war on medical marijuana is over.”

* * *

Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana

by Evan Halper

December 16, 2014

Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy.

The bill's passage over the weekend marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana.

Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.

The Obama administration has largely followed that rule since last year as a matter of policy. But the measure approved as part of the spending bill, which President Obama plans to sign this week, will codify it as a matter of law.

Pot advocates had lobbied Congress to embrace the administration's policy, which they warned was vulnerable to revision under a less tolerant future administration.

More important, from the standpoint of activists, Congress' action marked the emergence of a new alliance in marijuana politics: Republicans are taking a prominent role in backing states' right to allow use of a drug the federal government still officially classifies as more dangerous than cocaine.

"This is a victory for so many," said the measure's coauthor, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa. The measure's approval, he said, represents "the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana."

By now, 32 states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot or its ingredients to treat ailments, a movement that began in the 1990s. Even back then, some states had been approving broader decriminalization measures for two decades.

The medical marijuana movement has picked up considerable momentum in recent years. The Drug Enforcement Administration, however, continues to place marijuana in the most dangerous category of narcotics, with no accepted medical use.

Congress for years had resisted calls to allow states to chart their own path on pot. The marijuana measure, which forbids the federal government from using any of its resources to impede state medical marijuana laws, was previously rejected half a dozen times. When Washington, D.C., voters approved medical marijuana in 1998, Congress used its authority over the city's affairs to block the law from taking effect for 11 years.

Even as Congress has shifted ground on medical marijuana, lawmakers remain uneasy about full legalization. A separate amendment to the spending package, tacked on at the behest of anti-marijuana crusader Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), will jeopardize the legalization of recreational pot in Washington, D.C., which voters approved last month.

Marijuana proponents nonetheless said they felt more confident than ever that Congress was drifting toward their point of view.

"The war on medical marijuana is over," said Bill Piper, a lobbyist with the Drug Policy Alliance, who called the move historic.

"Now the fight moves on to legalization of all marijuana," he said. "This is the strongest signal we have received from Congress [that] the politics have really shifted. ... Congress has been slow to catch up with the states and American people, but it is catching up."

The measure, which Rohrabacher championed with Rep. Sam Farr, a Democrat from Carmel, had the support of large numbers of Democrats for years. Enough Republicans joined them this year to put it over the top. When the House first passed the measure earlier this year, 49 Republicans voted aye.

Some Republicans are pivoting off their traditional anti-drug platform at a time when most voters live in states where medical marijuana is legal, in many cases as a result of ballot measures.

Polls show that while Republican voters are far less likely than the broader public to support outright legalization, they favor allowing marijuana for medical use by a commanding majority. Legalization also has great appeal to millennials, a demographic group with which Republicans are aggressively trying to make inroads.

Approval of the pot measure comes after the Obama administration directed federal prosecutors last year to stop enforcing drug laws that contradict state marijuana policies. Since then, federal raids of marijuana merchants and growers who are operating legally in their states have been limited to those accused of other violations, such as money laundering.

"The federal government should never get in between patients and their medicine," said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland).

* * *

IT CAN HAPPEN HERE (and probably has)

Man with “FUCK COPS” tattooed on his forehead is charged with robbing victim — who had no trouble identifying him

by Kiri Blakeley

A man's distinctly anti-police tattoo on his forehead led to his arrest on Saturday on robbery charges.

Terry, Moro
Terry, Moro

Paul Terry, 26, was arrested after he and Sonja Moro, 29, allegedly broke into her ex-boyfriend's house in Tulsa, Oklahoma and robbed him at knifepoint, according to Newson6.

The man was easily able to identify the male suspect thanks to his “Fuck Cops” tattoo on his forehead. He also has a tattoo of devil horns on his head and one of a red lip imprint on his cheek.

The pair allegedly knocked on the victim's door on Friday afternoon and when he answered, they forced their way inside.

The twosome allegedly threatened to stab the suspect if he didn't give them money.

The victim reportedly handed over his wallet and Terry fled.

His ex-girlfriend, Moro, then allegedly demanded more money but when the victim threatened to call police, she too left.

The victim was easily able to identify Moro, the woman he used to date.

The victim then told cops he thought the alleged male accomplice's name was Terry — but he was able to give a perfect description of the man thanks to his unique face tattoo.

Terry is being held on a complaint of robbery with a dangerous weapon after the commission of a felony, and Moro was arrested for robbery with a dangerous weapon.

(Courtesy, the Daily Mail on-line)

* * *


From Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County

The winter solstice brings the return of the light, and with the light...hope. You have given light to those we serve all year long and the Cancer Resource Centers thanks you from the bottom of our heart. You have driven our clients to their medical appointments, you have created and held fundraisers for us, you have volunteered at our events, you have pulled weeds, washed our windows, answered our phones. You have donated with love and compassion for those who are facing cancer in our communites. You have done this not only this year, but for 20 years! Thank you for supporting CRC's vision that no one in Mendocino County will face cancer alone. In gratitude from the CRC Staff and Board of Directors,

Sara O'Donnell, Nancy Johnson, Rita Martinez, Carla Jupiter, Erin Placido, Robin Dolan, Nice Alterman, Tony Marden, Jendi Coursey, Nancy Puder, Margaret Fox, Jim Flaherty, Peter Braudrick, Michelle Greene

Call us:

Coast office: (707) 937-3833 or Ukiah office: (707) 467-3828

Or write to us:

P.O. Box 50
Mendocino, CA 95460

590 South Dora St.
Ukiah, CA 95482 -

* * *

NOW PEOPLE — fathers and mothers and sisters and kin and sweethearts of those young men—were coming to Oxford from further away then Jefferson—families with food and bedding and servants, to bivouac among the families, the houses, of Oxford itself, to watch the gallant mimic marching and countermarching of the sons and brothers, drawn all of them, rich and poor, aristocrat and redneck, by what is probably the most moving mass-sight of all human mass-experience, far more so than the spectacle of so many virgins going to be sacrificed to the some heathen Principle, some Priapus—the sight of young men, the light quick bones, the bright gallant deluded blood and flesh dressed in a martial glitter of brass and plumes, marching away to battle.

— William Faulkner

* * *


On Wednesday, January 6th, at 5:30 pm, the Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch, in partnership with KZYX, is hosting a screening of Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, by Andreas Johnsen, The film will be followed by an open community discussion that will be recorded by KZYX for later broadcasting.

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case shows how the Chinese government's attempts to silence Ai Weiwei have turned him into China's most powerful artist and an international voice for free speech and human rights." (PBS film summary).

Film goers are welcome to bring snacks or take-out dinners. This event is most suitable for adults.

* * *


Master Gardener Classes will be held at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens starting January 14, 2016. There are still a few left left, applications will be accepted until January 5, 2016 if space permits. The $200 fee covers books, materials and faculty travel. Non-MCBG members, as of January 1, will also be asked to purchase a $30, 6-month household membership. (This will convert to an annual membership upon completion of 25 hours of service.) MCBG hosts a group of 20-25 students for 50+ hours of instruction in plant science and horticulture covering such topics as soils, fertilizers, irrigation, weeds, integrated pest management, fruit and landscape trees, vegetables and more. During the first year after graduation, students are expected to complete 50 hours of volunteer work. In subsequent years, each volunteer completes 12 hours of continuing education and 25 hours of volunteer service to maintain certification as a Master Gardener. Through their volunteer activities Master Gardeners continue their learning and reach out to the general public, enlightening them on the benefits of healthy gardens, reducing fertilizer and pesticide pollutants, conserving water, and composting green waste. Mendocino Coast Master Gardeners achieve these goals in many ways, including the following:

  • Leading docent tours through MCBG
  • Managing the MCBG/MG Library
  • Answering garden questions on the MG Hotline
  • Giving talks and demonstrations in public venues
  • Assisting with the Anderson Valley Seed & Scion Exchange
  • Producing and harvesting food in the MCBG demonstration garden for the Fort Bragg Food Bank
  • Advising and assisting in school and community gardens
  • Staffing information tables at the Gardens and farmers' markets
  • Hosting displays at the annual Apple Fair
  • Answering questions at the nursery and while working in the gardens
  • Conducting independent research projects

Learn more about the Master Gardener program and training:

* * *


First Friday Art Walk

Friday January 8th, 5:00-7:30pm

Artist Dorothy Gayle Hass will lead and evening of SoulCollage®, a creative collage process using found images to create cards that reflect your inner self. In this introductory workshop, participants will create a SoulCollage® card and have the opportunity to "read" and name their card.

This event is graciously sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

THE FRIENDS OF THE UKIAH LIBRARY BOOK SALE will be open Friday January 8th from 4:30- 7:45pm and Saturday January 9th 10:00 am to 3:30 pm.

IS THIS THING EVEN ON?: Tech Help With Personal Devices, Saturdays 1-3 pm

Having difficulties with your new laptop or personal device? Come to the Ukiah Library & get help mastering your new tech. Librarians will be available every Saturday afternoon from 1-3 pm to assist patrons with their electronic devices, e-readers, laptops, tablets and phones.

Stop by the Ukiah Library on Saturdays from 1-3 pm and we’ll help you troubleshoot your tech issues. Bring in your e-readers, phones, tablets, iPads or basic computer questions and we will help you understand how to work your device.

For more information, please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or

* * *


* * *

BECOME A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR while supporting Valley Fire survivors

North Coast Opportunities Volunteer Network is looking for compassionate, devoted professionals to volunteer their time to provide support to Valley Fire survivors. From college students and retirees to families looking for a way to give back over the weekend, everyone has valuable skills that are needed during this time of recovery.

Volunteer opportunities change every day so there are always new and interesting ways to get involved. Currently, the most pressing need is for individuals and small groups to help with donation sorting. We also regularly need shopping and errand assistance for fire survivors, as well as data entry, workshop facilitation, and tiny home construction assistance.

Since the Valley Fire erupted in early September, more than 500 dedicated community members have volunteered thousands of hours to support fire survivors. Valley Fire volunteer Rachel Manning praised NCO’s volunteer program and thanked NCO for the opportunity to volunteer for Valley Fire relief efforts. “I feel like an extension of your organization through my efforts. It's a win-win scenario,” says Manning.

In addition to feeling great about giving back to your community, there are a lot of compelling reasons to volunteer:

  • Enhance your resume
  • Build new skill sets
  • Develop social skills
  • Make new friends
  • Cultivate community connections
  • Provide fire survivors with needed support

For information on how you can get involved, contact NCO Lake County Volunteer Coordinator Traci Boyl at 707.263.4688 ext. 121, or email You can also visit our website at and follow the link to start the process of registering as a Valley Fire Volunteer.

Traci Boyl

Volunteer Coordination and Homeless Services
Community Action Project Coordinator
North Coast Opporuntities
850 Lakeport Blvd., Lakeport
707.263.4688 ext. 121

* * *

AS FOR THE REPUBLICANS, how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial views exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles...Intellectually the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.

— H.P. Lovecraft

* * *

TRUMP v. CLINTON: First Presidential Debate, 2016

by John V. Walsh

The following abruptly appeared on our TV screen, apparently due to a fissure in the spacetime continuum.

Host: Good evening ladies and gentleman. Welcome to the first presidential debate of 2016 between the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, and the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Instead of reporters as questioners, each candidate chose a “second” who will pose questions to both candidates. The “seconds” are Jesse Ventura for Mr. Trump and Samantha Power, for Ms. Clinton. Now let us all introduce ourselves. Ms. Power, please go first.

Power. Good evening. At the outset I must say quite frankly that I can hardly bear to be in the same room with Mr. Trump. I am here only as a favor to Ms. Clinton. Mr. Trump is not properly educated, never spent a day at Harvard and simply does not say the correct things. It is as exasperating as dealing with Russian Ambassador Churkin at the UN who keeps bringing up facts. I hope that Mr. Trump will refrain from such odious ploys this evening.

Ventura. Well I am quite happy to be here. I hope we get some insight into the candidates this evening.

Clinton. It is a pleasure to be able to talk with the American people as I have so very, very many times over many long decades. And I would quickly add that all women should vote for me because I am a woman. That is much more important than a lot of talk about a third World War and that sort of thing. I might add that most major news outlets recognize this fact – like NPR, one of my favorites.

Trump. Well it is terrific to be here. Terrific! This has been a beautiful campaign and I have loved every moment of it. Debating is new to me and I have loved that too. It is all great.

And I should say right off that Ms. Clinton should be proud of being the first woman to be nominated by the Democratic Party. Quite an honor. Personally I want to thank you for coming to my most recent wedding, Hillary – although I deserved it since I gave you a bundle. But it was worth every penny to have you and Bill there. Your husband is a terrific guy, very appealing. He has a lot to teach you. The wedding was beautiful.

My entire family was terrifically happy to see you at the wedding. I just don’t get it when they hang the unlikeability label on you, Hillary. You are likeable enough as my man, Barack once said. I am delighted to see both Mr. Ventura and Ms. Power, both great public servants. But Samantha, you should learn to get along with Russian Ambassador Churkin. I get along very well with President Putin, as I have said, and we respect one another, a great starting point. You know that was true of Reagan and Gorbachev also, and they accomplished a great deal. You could pave the way for my future dealings with Mr. Putin when I am President by treating Churkin better at the UN right now. Why scream at Churkin, Samantha? That accomplishes nothing. Show some respect and you may get somewhere.

Power (mumbling). This man Trump is disgusting.

Ventura. Ms. Clinton, I will turn to you first. What about the Iraq war? You voted for it and backed it all the way until your presidential election campaign. Suddenly you say it was a “mistake.” Many might take that as a statement of convenience, given how unpopular that war has become.

Clinton. I said it was a mistake and that is it. Period. It is an old story. And how dare you impugn my integrity! You would not say that if I were a man.

Ventura. If I may do a follow-up, Mrs Clinton. According to the highly respected medical publication, The Lancet, over 1 million Iraqis are dead and 4 million displaced, all based on lies that took us to war. Does that not bother your conscience?

Clinton. Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, and the world is better off without him. What more need be said. It is old news. Those lives are gone. We can never bring them back. They perished in a noble cause. I think the price was worth it, just as I thought the sanctions that Bill and Madeleine Albright and I put in place were right even though 500,000 children perished. We advanced our values – and interests – there in Iraq. What does it matter now anyway. So I lose no sleep over it.

Ventura. Mr. Trump, what about the war on Iraq?

Trump. Sure Jesse. By the way you look great, half your age. It’s that Seal training and all the surfing you get in these days. It is terrific. So Iraq, sure. I started speaking forcefully against the Iraq War in March of 2004 in an interview with Esquire.

On Iraq, yes it remains a mess, as I said in 2004. No WMD. That info was a pack of lies from the start, to say the least. And Hillary how you could have voted for that war and continued to support it right up until you became a candidate for the Presidency 12 years later is beyond me. As I said in 2004 so many lives lost, and not just American kids, but as I also said at the time, so many, many Iraqi kids as well. Yes, Iraqi kids count too – although no other candidate in this race has said that. I have never heard Ms. Clinton say that.

How would you feel, Hillary, if you were an Iraqi mom and one of your kids were blown away by an American bomb – for no reason at all. Knowing you, you would be pissed off, to put it mildly. You would probably strap a suicide bomb onto Bill at once and send him off to do Jihad. Hillary, have you not an ounce of compassion? To put it like my friend Vlad does, do you regard yourself as an experimenter and our troops and the Iraqi people like so many rats. No compassion, Hillary. No compassion. A POTUS without compassion is a dangerous proposition.

Clinton. I have to jump in here. I voted based on the best intelligence we had at the time. There were weapons of mass destruction there, I was told. That is the best I could have done. The world is better off without Saddam Hussein. Let’s get that straight. The world is better off without Saddam Hussein. Let me repeat the world is better off without Saddam Hussein.

Trump. Is the world better off without the million dead Iraqis? Is Iraq better off with 4 million Iraqis displaced? Did it take you 12 years to realize your mistake? And how could it be a mistake if you think that the deciding factor is the demise of Hussein. If the demise of Hussein is the deciding factor, then the war was a success and there is no need to apologize. You are trying to label the war as a success and a mistake both. You cannot have it both ways. That is not something people will respect, Hillary. People can smell that they are being lied to when someone talks that way. And it brings disgrace upon other women who will run for high office and makes it more difficult for them.

Hillary, in 2002, before the war there were millions of people all over the world who knew damned well that the evidence presented at the UN on WMD was bogus. If you could not recognize that, then you are not competent. At that point the voters of New York should have said, “You’re fired, Senator Clinton.”

Samantha. I think we should end this idiotic commentary. This is just not the kind of thing that should be said.

Ventura. This is my time to direct the discussion, Ambassador Power. Please let him finish.

Trump. But I think, Hillary, in fact you knew that the WMD evidence was bogus. You are a smart lady in fact. But you do things that are stupid in terms of the rest of humanity. So let me say that I think you lied. You knew damned well that there were no WMD, and now hundreds of thousands are dead. And I do not say that lightly. If I am making a deal and someone lies to me, that is the end for me Hillary. No more business with such a character. The late columnist William Safire once called you a “congenital liar.” Maybe you can’t help that. I feel sorry for you in that case. But that should disqualify you from being POTUS.

Wild applause!

Samantha. OK, I want to intervene here for a moment, Governor Ventura. I think we cannot go farther without asking Mr. Trump about his racist comments toward Muslims. He advocated in 2015 preventing them all from entering the U.S., albeit temporarily

That is horrible, inexcusable. (Here Power raised her voice to a screech and lifted herself out of her chair so that her head went missing for a moment from the TV screen. She lost her head – from the TV screen.)

Trump. Ms. Power I would be glad to address that.

First, let me ask you this, Samantha. Why is it not racist to starve with sanctions and kill with bombs hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and Libyans, dark skinned and foreign, many Black in the case of Libya. Ms. Clinton and her husband and you were all involved in implementing those policies. I used words that you find offensive. I think murdering people of color or of a different religion is much worse than speaking ill of a few of them. And as I have said, we need to seek the help of Muslims. We need them to defeat the jihadists.

Now Mrs. Clinton says that my words added fuel to the fire that is ISIS. But Mrs. Clinton’s wars on the Muslim world have added giant forests of fuel to that fire. Compared to that my words are only a handful of wood chips.

Clinton. The world is better off without Saddam and Gadaffi. That is the bottom line. And without Assad, too. We need to finish the job Mr. Trump.

Trump. That is a fiction, Hillary. As I have said before, Iraq was better off under Hussein, Libya was better off under Gaddafi and Syria is better off under Assad. Why do you want to replace these secular leaders with Jihadists intent on blowing us up. My good woman, have you lost your mind?

Here the screen went blank for a moment and we were back to programming in the present, a rerun of a Seinfeld episode, as it turned out – from the past.


* * *


Sunshine, blue skies, please go away.

My girl has found another and gone away.

With her went my future, my life is filled with gloom.

So day after day, I stayed locked up in my room.

I know to you it might sound strange.

But I wish it would rain. (How I wish that it would rain)

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah


'Cause so badly I wanna go outside. (Such a lovely day)

But everyone knows that a man ain't suppose to cry, listen.

I gotta cry 'cause cryin' eases the pain, oh yeah.

People this hurt I feel inside, words can never explain.

I just wish it would rain. (Oh, how I wish that it would rain)


Oh, let it rain.

Rain, rain, rain (Oh, how I wish that it would rain)

Ooo, baby. Let it rain.

(Let it rain) Oh yeah, let it rain.




Day in, day out, my tear stained face

Pressed against the window pane.

My eyes search the skies, desperately for rain.

'Cause raindrops will hide my teardrops.

And no one will ever know.

That I'm cryin'... cryin' when I go outside.

To the world outside my tears, I refuse to explain.

Oh, I wish it would rain. (Oh, how I wish that it would rain)

Ooo, baby.


Let it rain, let it rain.

I need rain to disguise the tears in my eyes.

Oh, let it rain.

Oh, yeah, yeah listen.

I'm a man and I got my pride.

Give me rain or I'm gonna stay inside.

Let it rain.


(Let it rain)

(Let it (rain) (rain) (rain) rain, rain)

Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong


* * *


Oh, I wish it would rain, it's gonna wash my face clean

I wanna find some dark cloud to hide in here

Oh, love and a memory sparkle like diamonds

When the diamonds fall they burn like tears

When the diamonds fall they burn like tears

Once I had a love from the Georgia Pines who only cared for me

I want to find that love of twenty-two here at thirty-three

I've got a heart on my right and one on my left, it neither suits my needs

No, the one I love is way out West and he never will need me

So I wish it would rain and gonna wash my face clean

I want to find some dark cloud to hide in here

Oh, love and a memory sparkle like diamonds

When the diamonds fall they burn like tears

When the diamonds fall they burn like tears

Gonna pack up my two-step shoes

And head for the Gulf Coast plains

I wanna walk the streets of my own home town

Where everybody knows my name

I want to ride a ways down to Galveston

When the hurricanes blow in

'Cause that Gulf Coast water tastes sweet as wine

When your heart's rolling home in the wind

And I wish it would rain and gonna wash my face clean

I wanna find some dark cloud to hide in here

Oh, love and a memory sparkle like diamonds

When the diamonds fall they burn like tears

When the diamonds fall they burn like tears

When the diamonds fall they burn like a tear

— Nanci Griffith

* * *



Can you please put this in the AVA this week? It would really help get some new Voting Members, which we need to make a democratic station, at long last. Thank you. Happy Holidays to you, Ling, Mark, Sheila and everyone at the AVA. Peace, Love and Justice, DJ Sister Yasmin

* * *

Dear Radio Lovers, I will say it one more time: Sorry to be redundant, but I think this is important, and I hope you agree: If you want to VOTE in the next election for the KZYX/Z Board of Directors (your Vote is Power!), and you are not a current Member, you must become a Member by Wednesday, December 30, 2015. KZYX/Z does have a "Simple Living $25 Membership" for those of us who cannot afford more, and it gives you full membership rights, including The Vote. You can join by calling the office at 707-895-2324 or online at Thanks for becoming a Member of OUR Radio Station, and for voting in our next election Spring 2016.

Your Vote does matter!

Peace, Love & Justice, DJ Sister Yasmin


  1. Marco McClean December 22, 2015

    Re: your H.P. Lovecraft quote on the lack of human sentiment in Republicans

    H.P.L. also wrote: “The only thing that makes life endurable where blacks abound is the Jim Crow principle, and I wish they’d apply it in N.Y. both to niggers and to the more Asiatic type of puffy, rat-faced Jew.”

    He expressed visceral horror so well because he experienced it on a daily basis. The subhuman fish-men and other hideous mongrel lower orders in his stories were modeled, in his mind, on people of every other so-called race but his. He was pathologically racist. His racism pegged the racism-o-meter so hard it wrapped the needle around the peg.

    Here, get a load of one of his poems on the subject:

    On the Creation of Niggers, by H.P. Lovecraft (1912)

    When, long ago, the gods created Earth/
    In Jove’s fair image Man was shaped at birth./
    The beasts for lesser parts were next designed;/
    Yet were they too remote from humankind./
    To fill the gap, and join the rest to Man,/
    Th’Olympian host conceiv’d a clever plan./
    A beast they wrought, in semi-human figure,/
    Filled it with vice, and called the thing a Nigger.

    Jeez, Louise, hey? Here’s Betsy Phillips on H.P. Lovecraft in ThinkProgress:

    Marco McClean

  2. BB Grace December 22, 2015

    RE: “A FEDERAL AUDIT by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services…”

    I’ve heard the term “rabbit hole” used discribing conspiracy theory. Reading about Mendocino Mental Health, the Rabbit Hole appears to apply because there is so much confusion inside and out.

    At County Mental Health Board meetings, the privatized contractors present data dash board statistics every meeting, are eager to answer questions and find solutions. The County and contractors data never include Medicade or Medicare data. It is always about reporting statisics on MediCAL. Why would the Supes be moved by a audit on Medicare and Medicaide? They wouldn’t.

    At this point the greivances against the privatized contractors appear to be “Union” sour grapes more than accurate, because the people at Ortner are never mentioned by name, but the County employed names of Lowery, Cryer, Pinizzotto appear repeatedly. It’s obvious that the problem of delivering services directly falls on the County HHSA/ DHSA with this statement by McCowen: “Supervisor John McCowen: “I’m sure we all noticed the same item that Supervisor Hamburg just commented on. Jsut to go into a little more detail: Public health administration under budget by 40%. Environmental health, 36%. Alcohol and other drugs programs 46%. Public health nursing 51%. California children’s services 44%. All due to unfilled positions.”

    And this statement by Cryer: “Health and Human Services Director Stacey Cryer: “Recruitment has been an issue for several years in the agency. When I started there were 12 public health nurses working in health and human services. And now there is 1.5. We are having a difficult time as we have had for years recruiting the professional positions in addition to eligibility workers and various classifications.”

    Whether this is a County or Union based conflict, it’s a COUNTY inside problem. Blaming Ortner is a red herring, or why figuring mental health services feels more like a rabbit hole where the fight for taxpayer dollars in the name of serving and helping low and no income is more important that actually delivering services.

    Furthermore, at the April 15 Mental Health Board meeting, I witnessed The Mental Health Board, McCowen, County and Fort Bragg City employees, NAMI members, and past MHB members come together to rage against NIMBY FB residents and GREEDY FB businesses accused of being full of stigma against the most vunerable in the community, the mentally ill and homeless. Ortner did not write or sign letters supporting Old Coast Hotel, even though FB City and the County would be giving Ortner offices in the Old Coast Hotel.

    Willits Old Howard Hospital is vacant and a perfect place for the mental health facility Sheriff Allman suggested is priority. Who’s job is it to get that facility? Ortner? NO.

    Just like the Old Coast in FB we see how a City/ FB, and County acquire property. Ortner does not acquire property, it rents space.

    I believe Mendocino has not found the right person for the job diecting health services in a rural culturally diverse area. The biggest problem with Mendocino Mental Health employment is the lack of a University connection so doctors and nurses with doctorates have ability to network, write, research, develope therepies for Mendocino’s diverse population. San Francisco State has one of the top psychiatric nursing schools in the world. Someone with a doctorate in psychiatric nursing administration could not only open Old Howard Hospital, but improve Mendocino College nursing with classes, work experience, and materialize what Cryer is claiming the County is doing and not working: “Training and educating the masses through social services”. I suggest the training and education needs to happen in HEALTH. Without health, what are services but a racket for those dependent on low and no income needing services?

  3. Dave Smith December 22, 2015

    C’mon, Bruce. The new PD features a new typeface and more sections because they can charge more for the full page ads on fronts and backs of sections.

    My weather app did the same thing, asking for input and, voila, they added stupid videos right up front so thay could add more advertising. I know, they have to survive, but beware when they say “you asked for it, and you got it.”

    The main thing that has happened over the years on the internet, even more so now that millions are adding ad blocker apps, is that ads are now just disguised as another story with trigger words in headlines like epic, hilarious, awesome, dramatic, 10 best, dangerous, amazing, huge, etc.

    Isn’t that cool? Less annoying interruptions and clamoring for attention, more prevarication, fabrication, falsification, misrepresentation.

  4. Jim Updegraff December 22, 2015

    I always like to start the day with a good laugh. Reading about your Board of Stupidvisors certainly started my day with a laugh. Those clowns really should be in a circus.

  5. Rick Weddle December 22, 2015

    re: Now People…

    Yes, indeedy. If you’ve had the dubious fortune to be around fire arms and firing ranges much, you’ll probably have also witnessed people there who should never be allowed near an electric toothbrush, much less a deadly weapon. I mean those who’re unclear enough on the concept, when they pull the trigger, the report and recoil startle the shooter, and the piece jumps out of control, sometimes clattering onto the ground. Clearly, gun control regulations are called for in the interests of such Shooters themselves, without any regard whatever for prospective victims.

    Faulkner’s picturesque vision of martial assembly for human sacrifice is so poignant and goddamned real, it looks perfectly unarguable to me.

    Consider how an entire powerful Nation acts, not quite in coherent control of its own faculties:

    The U.S. now has lots (LOTS) of our own Humans in harm’s way around the world, including several live-fire hot-spots in the mideast. So, we have now flung outrageous weaponry and manpower halfway ’round the world, at unbelievable expense now and later, to solve a set of Problems that started right here at home, and is the responsibility of we working, voting and surviving Humans in the first place. What chance of success would you allow such an effort, beyond that of a snowflake’s in Bakersfield?

    Going down on election day…if you’ll pardon the expression…taking part in yet another spurious election choosing between two evils, expecting anything good whatever, then walking away like you did your part just doesn’t get it.

  6. Harvey Reading December 22, 2015


    And a delightful holiday to you, too.

  7. Harvey Reading December 22, 2015

    Re: A FEDERAL AUDIT … supes unmoved.

    Whadda shock. About what the Fremont County, WY commissioners would have done, as they would have then moved on to privatization of every beneficial public service the county offers (through taxation of us all), including ambulance service, and probably ending up by selling county roads to private outfits to be run as tolls roads. Yessir, this country is truly bursting with exceptionals, who all oughta be hanged.

    • james marmon December 22, 2015

      Anything Freemont County, Wy. does wouldn’t surprise me at all. I lived in that rat hole for a couple of years, Riverton to be exact.

      • james marmon December 22, 2015

        You stirred up some old memories, Mr. Reading. I lived in a cheap trailer house next to the Wind River on the Wind River Indian Reservation. It was back in the 70’s. Talk about the wild wild west. I think I participated in a barroom fight at least once a week. Lucky to get out of there alive.

        • james marmon December 22, 2015

          Life as an oil field roughneck, WOW!!!

          • james marmon December 22, 2015

            That’s Haliburton country now, I’m surprised that they have any public Agency at all. Went back there in 2012 on my way to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

            I swear, every other truck I passed on the highway belonged to Haliburton.

            Dick Chenny is God in Wyoming.

      • Harvey Reading December 23, 2015

        Riverton is one weird town. I go there once a month, at most, since they at least have Wally World, Safeway, a Kroger affiliate, and a store, just outside town, that sells cigarettes. I’ve had more problems with small businesses and “professionals” in that town over the last 13 years than in my entire preceding life. I prefer the atmosphere of the Bighorn Basin to the north for professional services. There’s just something about Riverton people. Maybe it’s the condescension; maybe it’s the authoritarianism, the willingness to go along with whatever the Chamber wants; all I know is that I don’t like being around them.

        For several years, I considered my Riverton optometrist OK, if a bit pushy on the subject of cataract surgery. The last visit, in early November, when he claimed to have charged Medicare for the exam (no sign of a claim yet …) ended that “relationship”.

        C’est la vie.

        • Harvey Reading December 23, 2015

          Oh, and the barroom fights are still commonplace, plus, cage fighting is popular, too.

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