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Mendocino County Today, Thursday, Dec 24, 2015

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A WINTER STORM watch was issued through this afternoon. The national weather service says there could be up to 6 inches of snow possible above 3000 feet and some potential accumulation as low as 2500 feet.

RAINFALL TOTALS Since July 1, 2015:

  • Boonville has received 12.94 inches of rain;
  • Rancho Navarro 18.92 inches;
  • And Holmes Ranch (Philo) is probably somewhere between.

CALTRANS REPORTED that Highway 128 and Highway 1 (previously closed due to flooding) were re-opened at 7am.

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NATURE Wins Most Beautiful Christmas Décor


(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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SUPERVISOR JOHN McCOWEN clarified why the $250k item to pay the Sacramento based Thomas Law Group for legal work concerning the lawsuit against the County demanding that Mendo cease using the Federal Wildlife Service's lethal predator control methods was on the agenda last week: “What we are doing here is not necessarily authorizing a forward-looking expense. We are essentially rectifying an error that was made where a previous incumbent of the County Counsel's office was incurring legal fees — significant legal fees — without properly advising the board and the Executive Office. But they have been incurred. I believe the County is bound to pay them. I will make the motion to approve the item as presented.”

McCOWEN DIDN'T IDENTIFY which previous County Counsel or when the unauthorized expenses were “incurred,” but it was probably Tom Parker who abruptly “retired” back in February of 2014, saying, "It is with regret that I am resigning from my position as county counsel due to personal reasons. I will be taking early retirement from Mendocino County as well. I want to thank all those who have worked and supported me during my tenure here." Parker’s kiss-off letter from the Board was minimalistic: "On behalf of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, we wish Mr. Parker the very best in his retirement," carefully avoiding even a “thank you” for your service. Maybe now we know the reason (or one of the reasons) that he not voluntarily “retired.”

THE MOTION to pay The Thomas Law Group the $250k was approved 5-0. (Covering up these kinds of near-thefts this way is common in large organizations. Nobody wants to admit that controls were so lax that such things can go on, so they just let the official go rather than charging them with misappropriation which would make everyone look bad.)

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On December 22, 2015 at approximately 10:00 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to contact a 50-year old female adult who wanted to report a domestic violence incident. Upon contact Deputies learned the female adult and her husband, William Knight, 55, of Ukiah, had been at the couple’s residence (7000 block of Highway 20 in Ukiah, California) earlier in the day. During this time the couple engaged in an argument resulting in Knight physically assaulting the female adult by grabbing and pushing her to the ground. The female adult sustained a laceration to her head during the incident and left the residence prior to reporting the incident to the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies subsequently contacted Knight at the couple’s residence where he was arrested without incident. Knight was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on a felony domestic violence charge and was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail.

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THE BOONVILLE FAIR has received $115,552 from the California Food & Agriculture Department.

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In consistency with the Board of Supervisor’s directed process related to the Exclusive Operating Area (EOA) sub-committee, the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) formed a Dispatch Services sub-committee to evaluate Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and fire dispatch services. The sub-committee is comprised of two representatives from the County's EMS Agency, three representatives of the Mendocino County Fire Chiefs Association, and one representative each from the following County departments: HHSA, County Counsel, the Executive Office, and Information Services.

Currently, the County contracts with the CAL FIRE Emergency Communications Command Center at Howard Forest in Willits to provide County-wide fire and EMS dispatch services. The dispatch contract has been in place since 2007 and in July of 2015 was extended for three years by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, for an expiration date in 2018. Dispatch services for all areas of the County, except the City of Willits and City of Ukiah, are fully funded by the County through general fund dollars, a property tax assessment, and fees for service. The total budgeted contract amount for FY 2015-16 is $648,130.

County policy requires that a Request for Proposals (RFP) be issued for any contract let to the same party for three years. This is an important policy that seeks to ensure that the County is receiving the highest level of service in the most cost effective manner. Therefore, in preparation, the County convened the Dispatch Services sub-committee to provide expertise for development of an RFP and to ensure the procurement of ongoing dispatch services. Pursuant to the CAL FIRE contract for dispatch services, the County is required to provide a one-year advance notice of termination.

Due to this obligation, a letter was sent on July 9, 2015 to notify CAL FIRE in order to meet the minimum opt-out provisions of the contract, if in fact a change is recommended as part of the RFP process. An additional letter was sent on September 28, 2015 that further clarifies the value of the partnership between CAL FIRE and the County. The County has not terminated its contract with CAL FIRE, and critical dispatch services are continuing to be provided pursuant to the agreement.

The Dispatch Services sub-committee anticipates having recommendations completed by March of 2016, with a projected RFP release date in April 2016.

Separately the County has convened a multi-agency workgroup to provide insight, recommendations, and develop an RFP for the provision of ambulance services in the inland portion of Mendocino County. Additional information on the status of this process will be provided in the near future.

— Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer

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WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE of this press release. We do know that the Fire Chiefs unanimously oppose privatizing the CalFire dispatch service. If the County were to do so, they’d further irritate the chiefs who are already irked about not getting any Proposition 172 funds. $643k sounds like a reasonable price for round the clock professional service for covering something as important as fire and emergency service dispatch service. Jeopardizing that service to save a small percentage of that $643k seems like a major fool’s errand. And even considering it is a slap in the face of the local fire chiefs and the “partnership” with CalFire. The County has already created one privatization fiasco with mental health. Obviously, they haven’t learned their lesson.

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CROWDPAC, a data service headed up by a couple of Stanford professors, calculated ideological rankings for nearly 5,000 U.S. cities showing the top 100 most liberal cities in the nation for towns with a population of more than 6,000. Lakeport, which has three or four liberals, was 887th on the list, Ukiah, which has lots of libs huddled west of State Street and up in the hills, came in 515th. San Francisco, 33rd and Berkeley ranked 7th. The profs based their their scores on campaign donations to state and federal candidates along the Hillary-Bernie-Rand Paul spectrum.

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THE STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD says California averaged 25% water reductions to mostly meet the conservation standard demanded by Governor Brown. State Water said they might lower the conservation target to 22% if NorCal continues at this rate.

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FEINSTEIN’S SECRET WATER NEGOTIATIONS with Republicans anger Democrats

Democratic House members from Northern California demanded Tuesday that Sen. Dianne Feinstein divulge the details of secret water talks she had with San Joaquin Valley House Republicans during their failed effort to slip California drought legislation into a must-pass year-end spending bill.

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CLEAR LAKE is among only a few sites in California where evidence of organized human life goes back more than ten thousand years. Three tribes have signed an agreement with Lake County officials to better protect artifacts. Last year, Lake County tribes achieved guarantees that they'd be consulted on developments in sensitive areas. It’s only taken two centuries to achieve this landmark “guarantee” (which may not be a guarantee at all in practice).

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From Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:

Basically, everyone is willing to give lip service to fighting ISIS, but for most of the actors in the Middle East it's not really a high priority. They'd rather keep their powder dry for the main event. In that respect, ISIS is sort of like Donald Trump. All the other Republicans want to get rid of him, but they don't want to spend a lot of their own energy doing it. They want someone else to do it, so that it will be someone else who's too worn out to win the actual nomination fight.


Even so there's some recent progress in the campaign against ISIS.

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$88 MILLION is going to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection from three grants from FEMA for the reimbursement of costs due to the Butte and Valley fires. The money includes more than $49 million for firefighting costs for the Butte Fire, almost $38 million in firefighting costs for the Valley fire and about $1 million for operation of the Valley Fire Support Base Camp in Lake County which provided meals, lodging and other support for first responders. FEMA reimburses 75% of total costs and the state has to cover the rest — about $117.4 million.

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LEGAL FIGHT RAMPS UP in Mendocino County over tax funding to support fire districts. A proposed ballot measure from fire district officials has bogged down in a legal standoff with the acting county counsel.

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THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION REPORTS approving more than $20 million in federal disaster loans for businesses and residents after both the Valley and Butte Fires in Lake and Calaveras counties. The agency approved more than $2.5 million for businesses and almost $18 million for residents so both can rebuild and recover from the summer fires. Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses that work in aquaculture and the majority of private nonprofits of any size can qualify for loans. They can cover fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could not be paid because of the disaster.

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A GREENWOOD RIDGE RESIDENCE was broken into Wednesday. “At 1pm a CHP showed up and said he saw this guy walking down the road in the rain. He slowed down to see if he was ok, and he bolted onto my property. He dropped a bag, and ran down a forested ravine. The CHP couldn't find the guy after looking around for an hour. The ravine is super steep and all poison oak. The CHP said he found an iPad and a laptop and some weed and a Mikita bag with serial numbers on it in the bag he dipped. After the CHP left at 2, I left for work for a couple hours. When I got home, I realized that the door was not locked, and I noticed a window broken. I immediately called 911 and drove away. 40 minutes later 5 cops arrived. They searched the property and didn't find the guy. They did find his wet cap underneath the shop building here which meant he was hiding there while the CHP was looking for him. I went through the house with them and found that he ate food from the fridge and tried to cook a pizza. He stole camping gear. He stole clothes and boots and cash. He left his old clothing in my bedroom. The police continued to search the property and neighboring properties, but didn't find him. They figured he is camping somewhere nearby in the forest. He also broke into 2 other houses this morning on greenwood ridge. I live a couple miles north of the town of elk. He is probably heading north. He is 5'11-6'. Dirty blonde. Wearing a carhart jacket and my brand new Danner black leather side zip boots. He is probably heading north of Elk looking for vacant buildings or recently vacated buildings. Or camping in my bright orange tent. He would be in the area of Cameron Road or Little Geyserville next.

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At another break in on Greenwood ridge by this same burglar my daughter's bike was stolen. If anyone happens upon a royal blue Surley Long Haul Trucker laying by the side of the road or some such, please let us know. Thanks !

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A FIRE at an apartment building in Fort Bragg has damaged the building, but there were no injuries reported. The Little Lake Fire Dept. and Brooktrails Fire (both out of Willits) responded to Creekside Village Apartments after a tenant left the stove top on and left. The fire last Tuesday was quickly contained and only damaged that one apartment. Neighbors were out on the street watching the firefighters at work. The apartment’s tenant got a phone call about the fire and quickly returned.

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TIS THE SEASON: Dana Lindsey, of Lakeport, seems to have been intent on killing herself Saturday when she told her husband she was going to commit suicide by running into another vehicle. The CHP located Ms. Lindsey in a 1997 gold Volkswagen convertible on Hwy 29 where they tried to stop her. Officers said she tried driving her car into other cars twice before successfully hitting one with a man inside who was seriously injured and taken to a hospital. The driver in that car had minor injuries. Police say they think Lindsey was under the influence of methamphetamine and MDMA. She also had minor injuries and was treated then arrested for attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, felony evading a peace officer, felony DUI and more. She was held on $1 million bail.

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On December 18th at about 9:36 am, a UPD officer was dispatched to South State and Mill Street, for a reported male subject walking in the middle of the roadway. Upon arrival the officer contacted Florentino ‘Turk’ Tobie age 28, who appeared extremely intoxicated. Tobie was placed under arrest for being drunk in public and booked into county jail.

Donahe, Hensley
Donahe, Hensley

On December 20th at about 5:50 pm, UPD officers were dispatched to Verizon Wireless on North Orchard Avenue, for a report of multiple subjects in front of the business aggressively approaching citizens and consuming alcohol. Upon arrival officers contacted Charles Hensley age 52 and Michael Donahe age 61. Hensley and Donahe were both extremely intoxicated and arrested for being drunk in public. Both were booked into county jail.

Johnson, Litzin
Johnson, Litzin

On December 21st at about 9:28 am, UPD officers were dispatched to CVS on South Orchard Avenue for a report of a physical disturbance that had just occurred. Upon arrival officers contacted Edward Johnson who had a bloody nose and Kevin Litzin age 44 who is on probation. Litzin was extremely intoxicated and placed under arrest for drunk in public and violation of his probation. Johnson did not want Litzin prosecuted for assaulting him. Litzin was booked into county jail.

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We are writing today to notify you that we are suspending our efforts to enforce the right of members to inspect documents at MCPB/KZYX.

Last election a group of members generally described as KZYX Members for Change began to campaign for a board of directors that would put policy ahead of personalities. We believed that the management at the station, particularly the General Manager and the Program Director, had become disengaged from the members and the public and were making important decisions in violation of state and federal law and our own bylaws and policies.

Since that election, the board of directors has reasserted itself, reviving the committee system and encouraging greater member involvement in decision-making. The General Manager resigned shortly after being given a formal demand for inspection of financial documents. And the Program Director resigned following a public outcry when she unilaterally eliminated the Safe Harbor for free speech from 10pm to 6am. More recently, the board has rejected the autocratic tendencies of the interim GM and hired a permanent GM with a record of commitment to engaging with the community.

We believe it is time to give the new board and management a chance to move forward without worrying about impending litigation. Therefore, we are suspending our efforts to force an inspection at this time, and will not file a lawsuit in the immediate future. However, we reserve our right to do so, and will submit another demand should the nouveau regime choose to withhold information or make important policy decisions without engaging with the members and the public.

Meanwhile, the board should not shy away from addressing important issues. Implementation of the Programming Policy, including the Program Advisory Council, must be a high priority, and should be considered when selecting a new Program Director. Any programmer who was terminated in recent years should be given a chance to appeal the action to the Personnel Committee, a process that was stymied by the former GM and PD. And allowing members who join in January and February to vote in the spring elections is essential for good governance, and may be required under state law.

In short, we want our public community radio station to be as open and engaged as possible. All of the problems of the past few years grew from management's refusal to share information and engage with the public, positions that were supported by the old board. We now have a chance for a fresh start. MCPB/KZYX is a bold experiment in giving a voice to our collective consciousness, and the board of directors represents our collective will. Please help us reach our best destiny, providing member-inspired commercial-free media that entertains, informs and nurtures us all.


John Sakowicz, Doug McKenty, King Collins, Norm de Vall, Dennis O'Brien

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 23, 2015

Barnett, Brown, Burgess, Donahe
Barnett, Brown, Burgess, Donahe

CRAIG BARNETT, Fort Bragg. Suspended license.

JAMES BROWN, Ukiah. Battery.

JOELLE BURGESS, Potter Valley. Probation revocation.

MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Hill, Knight, Moore, Norton
Hill, Knight, Moore, Norton

MARK HILL, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

WILLIAM KNIGHT, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

JOSHUA MOORE, Willits. Dirk-dagger, resisting, probation revocation.

JAMES NORTON, Willits. Probation revocation.

Peters, Stiles, Strahan
Peters, Stiles, Strahan

BYRON PETERS, Covelo. Possession of controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

REBECCA STILES, Laytonville. Drunk in public.

JOSEPH STRAHAN, Fort Bragg. Indecent exposure, failure to register.

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Ah, the Technoptimists. I have news for them: A planet that is running out of it’s main fuel supply, dealing with the ever-worsening effects of massive climate change and confronting a global guerrilla war by medieval barbarians is not going to Mars anytime soon.

Also, there are no substitutes for oil or water and a stable food supply requires a stable climate. And billion dollar cancer cures will be overwhelmed by how easily new cancers can be initiated by the radiation we have now released world wide.

So hunker down and try to enjoy the final years of modern civilization.


  1. Marco McClean December 24, 2015


    Marco here. I’m on the email list, among the so-called dissidents, and I got that email with a request to look it over and maybe sign on. I would never. I know that King Collins also would not, because he replied to the list to say so. Here was my immediate reply:

    /So the previous administration, which is really the present administration –don’t kid yourselves– refused to follow the law and allow inspection. And now there’s a new hood ornament and front left fender on the car, and it’s still locked in the garage so you still can’t inspect it, or drive it, for that matter, but somehow that’s okay and, to not seem pushy, you’re going to spare them the trouble of ever following the law in future?/

    /What the hell?/

    And here’s what King Collins wrote, copied to me:

    /I agree, totally, with Marco. I could not sign such a letter. And I hope you would not send it on your own. This is not the time to suspend our efforts to inspect./

    /This board continues to hide its deliberations, and on occasion deigns to reveal its decisions. In that respect, NOTHING HAS CHANGED./

    /The very premise of hiring a GM and creating a hierarchy and spending members’ money that way was never addressed at all, as far as anyone knows./

    /This is not the time to concede on any of these points./

    /Have we forgotten what democracy is about? What bullshit./ –King Collins

    Marco McClean

  2. BB Grace December 24, 2015

    RE: McCowen: “We are essentially rectifying an error that was made where a previous incumbent of the County Counsel’s office was incurring legal fees — significant legal fees — without properly advising the board and the Executive Office…”

    AVA: “…Nobody wants to admit that controls were so lax that such things can go on, so they just let the official go rather than charging them with misappropriation which would make everyone look bad.)”

    First, Everyone looks bad.

    Incumbant refers to elected, no?

    Is Mendocino at the point where the public needs to get Freedom of Information petitions to get real answers?

  3. Rick Weddle December 24, 2015

    re: the comment of the day…

    Ah, dem ol’ medieval barbarians…on both sides of the fence…

  4. Jim Updegraff December 24, 2015

    Comment of the Day: the key date is the year 2050 when CO 2 hits 450 ppm and that does not take into account the methane that is being released as the permafrost melts. Let the deniers enjoy their SUVs while they can. One does wonder what type of life will replace the human race.

  5. Jim Updegraff December 24, 2015

    Is there end to the tale of KZYX?

  6. james marmon December 24, 2015

    Nearly freaked out this morning, I couldn’t post anything on the AVA. Thought I was going to have to go back to standing in front of the courthouse with my “groupthink exists” sign yelling at cars as they passed by.

    It turned out that all I needed to do is log in.

    Good Grief.

    • james marmon December 24, 2015

      One of the good things that happened when Mendocino County took out the restraining order against me, which included no contact with the Board of Supervisors, was that it forced me to go to the media.

      The way the three year restraining order is written I can’t even contact the Sheriff or District Attorney if I wanted to. According to a letter I received from County Counsel, Doug Losak, I’m not to have contact with any county employees or elective officials.

      This restraining order is going to be a big thing before it is over. My first amendment rights are extremely important to me. Three more months and that restraining order expires. I can’t wait to stand face to face to these people (BOS) and personally voice my opinions, I might even go over my allotted 3 minutes.

      Right now, the courthouse is a neutral place for me, its not included in the restraining order, but its winter time and I don’t know how long my sign would hold out in this kind of weather. And gas for the drive back and forth would break me.

      The AVA for just twenty-five dollars year is bargain and allows me to be heard countywide and beyond. Its much more effective than some long haired fat guy standing on the Courthouse lawn waving a sign and yelling at passing cars.

      Thank you AVA.

      • james marmon December 24, 2015

        “respondent is to send all e-mails and other electronic communication addressing Mendocino County and/or its employees to Thomas R. Parker only.”

        I didn’t catch this at my hearing, but it appears to be “catch all” for the County. I’m surprised that they haven’t use this against me for writing in the AVA.

        The order is extremely broad and was written to keep me completely silenced.

        • james marmon December 24, 2015

          “Freedom of speech is one of science’s most important norms. Nineteenth-century philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill developed an influential account of the importance of freedom of speech in public debate. According to Mill, social and scientific progress occurs through vigorous debate involving opposing points of view. To generate different points of view, people must have freedom of thought and speech. Progress cannot occur if the majority uses its power to suppress minority viewpoints.”

          • james marmon December 24, 2015

            The County’s restraining order even prohibits me from participating in “public expression” at board meetings as well. Just because Angelo is sitting there.

            With respect to public comment at meetings subject to the Brown Act, the Act provides that “[e]very agenda for regular meetings shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body on any item of interest to the public, before or during the legislative body’s consideration of the item, that is during the legislative body’s consideration of the item, that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body.” Govt. Code Section 54954.3

            Section 54954.3
            (c) The legislative body of a local agency shall not prohibit public criticism of the policies, procedures, programs, or services of the agency, or of the acts or omissions of the legislative body.

            Well, they found a way to prohibit me from doing so didn’t they?

  7. Jim Updegraff December 24, 2015

    That $250,000 fiasco sounds like Tweddle-dum and Tweddle-dumber.

  8. Jim Updegraff December 24, 2015

    Dear Mr. Marmon. In my opinion the restraining order is chickenshit.The judge and county counsel are just a couple of political hacks that couldn’t make a living in the real world. If they put the screws on you just e-mail me and I be more than happy to convey your thoughts to the AVA.

  9. John Sakowicz December 24, 2015

    I’m on the kzyxtalk listserv, but I didn’t sign any letter to call off the inspection of documents. Please issue a correction.

    I think Dennis O”Brien wrote the letter. I don’t think anybody signed it.

    Thank you.

  10. james marmon December 24, 2015

    Under §5150 of the Welfare& Institutions Code, an employer may request a psychiatric evaluation and detention of a violent individual who harasses its employees.

    I could never figure out why I wasn’t ever detained and evaluated. Especially on the day I was removed from my office. Bryan Lowery told the State Personnel Board that my behavior was that of someone with severe mental health issues and that he feared for both his and other employees’ lives and/or safety.

    The Police Department was just blocks away, but he chose to have the Welfare Fraud Investigator drive all the way from Ukiah to Willits an hour later and ask me to step outside. Then they directed me to wait out in the parking lot, by myself, for another hour while Stacy Cryer sent up a letter placing me on administrative leave. During that time I had conversations with at least 6 of my co-workers who came out to ask me what was going on.

    They, Lowery then allowed this crazy man (me) to drive away from the Willits facility which placed the entire Mendocino County community at risk.

    If I was so dangerous, why wasn’t Willits PD called and why wasn’t I placed on a 5150 hold and evaluated?

    Why, because Lowery and Barrett lied. They were not afraid of me, they were afraid of what I was saying and wanted to silence me anyway they could.

    True Story

    • james marmon December 24, 2015

      Cryer, Lowery, and Becky Wilson all told the SPB administrative judge that the County conducted a threat assessment before they had me removed and it was determined that I was extremely dangerous.

      Why wasn’t the freaking cops called? Why wasn’t I locked up?

      • james marmon December 24, 2015

        I’ll tell you why Lowery didn’t want the Willits cops coming. It was because Lowery didn’t want the cops to know what subject matter of our conversation was about. It was about his ordering the warrantless removal of children, him deleting official records from the State’s secure database, and his practice of excluding exculpatory evidence from Court reports. All provable.

        They kept it all in house. They did not want Willits PD involved at all. There would have been a police report and they didn’t want to take any chances.

        Shit, mental health was just a few feet away in the next building, and they didn’t even call them.

        • BB Grace December 25, 2015

          To think that with all your education, inside experience, connections, history, and good friends, you’re still scratching your head figuring out how YOU were railroaded. For ALL you know about social services, you did not know how to protect yourself from your own employer. It must be mind blowing.

          No doubt, the County negotiated with your Union as your removal was illegal on many levels. People win millions in wrongful termination suits.

        • Kimberly Ortwein December 28, 2015

          My children which were put up for adoption to cover up ALL of these ruthless people (social workers, court workers, lawyers, county council and judges corruption. I’ll waste and break my bank and pockets a million times over to picket in front of that court house to reform and turn in all of these corrupt people.

  11. BB Grace December 24, 2015

    Christmas is a special time for remembering those who made ot legacy:

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