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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Jan 8, 2016

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(Fort Bragg Advocate News, talks with FBPD Sergeant in charge of investigation who new Boardman quite well.)

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The murder of 67-year-old Dennis Boardman was discovered at his home in the 100 block of Morrow Street, Fort Bragg Saturday, January 2 (11:53 am) but a look at the Police log found a "welfare check" was requested FOUR days earlier at 9:49 am on December 29th.
 Did Police miss the opportunity to capture the murderer?
 Boardman's "one-of-a-kind" 1990 red pickup with the shingled "shack on the back" was noted (and his dog Bugsy removed) on Wednesday, December 30th by a Santa Barbara Sheriff unit 503.7 miles south in Carpinteria.
 Had the body been discovered the day before (December 29th) and a BOLO for the vehicle issued that day might the murderer have been caught "in transit”? We'll never know. 
Anyone who watches television crime reality shows knows the first 48 hours after a murder are the most critical.
 There have been reports the truck was sighted in Willits on Saturday, December 26th.


(Courtesy, Mendocino Sports Plus)

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THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT has not confirmed it, but a young man with Boonville connections has emerged as the primary suspect in the murder of Dennis Boardman.

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On 1-07-2016 around 11:58 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received several 911 calls regarding a deceased female washed ashore on the California State Beach, at the south end of the MacKerricher State Park. This area is commonly referred to as the "Haul Road". State Park personnel responded to the area and confirmed there was a deceased female and called for the Coroner to respond. The State Parks requested assistance from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Detective Unit. During the investigation it was learned a female, 33 years of age, who resides in Little River had been reported missing to the Willits Police Department earlier that morning around 8:00 AM. This person had been experiencing mental health issues and had been staying in the Willits area temporarily. The investigation confirmed the decedent was indeed the woman reported missing to the Willits Police Department. She had last been seen around 5:30 AM that morning and discovered missing shortly before 8:00 AM. The decedent's Next of Kin has not been notified so her identity is not being released at this time. The case is currently under investigation. Anyone with information related to this case is requested to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Tip Line at 234-2100.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)

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IN SEPTEMBER of 2015, an attractive young woman named Asha Kreimer, 26, a native of Australia, went missing from a cafe near Point Arena. Her boy friend, Jamai Gayle, subsequently drove into a redwood near Navarro. We were informed that Gayle had died in a Santa Rosa hospital from his injuries. He's alive, and was charged with a DUI. Miss Kreimer remains missing.

Asha & Jamai, from Gayle's facebook photo collection, date unknown
Asha & Jamai, from Gayle's facebook photo collection, date unknown

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Ukiah’s Factory Pipe Owner now owns Masonite Site: $1.65 million in financing

Ross Liberty, owner of the small motor exhaust system manufacturing operation already on a small portion of the Masonite Site, recently completed the $1.65 million purchase of the 63 remaining acres of the old Masonite site in Ukiah from mall developer DDR (whose plans to convert the site into a large mall went down to defeat in 2012 via a Countywide initiative). According to a 2013 account in the North Bay Business Journal, Mr. Liberty spent $6 million to remodel the first ten acres he bought into the current Factory Pipe facility, triple the size of his previous facility. So $1.6 million for 63 more industrially zoned acres with significant water rights sounds like a bargain price (about $25k per acre).

Remodeled Factory Pipe facility on old Masonite Site
Remodeled Factory Pipe facility on old Masonite Site

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Mr. Liberty appeared before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday January 5 to discuss his new acquisition:

Ross Liberty: “I come before the board with a kind of good news / bad news proposition. The good news is that with your help I closed on the Masonite property and I now own it. The bad news is that with your help I closed on the Masonite property and I now own it. (Laughs) Hopefully it will become more of a good news thing as time goes on.”

Crude Site Diagram, showing current Factory Pipe site and Liberty's newly acquired acreage
Crude Site Diagram, showing current Factory Pipe site and Liberty's newly acquired acreage

Supervisor Carre Brown: “So you changed your mind from the time you called me?”

Liberty: “It was a cliffhanger to the end. Actually I want to give recognition and a shout out to Sue Ranochak for staying late last night so we could record. I really appreciated that. I thanked her and -- it was really a nailbiter. We almost didn't make it. 100 mph on the freeway -- Tom's (Sheriff Allman) not here -- it was brutal. It wouldn't have happened. Matter of fact I probably would have left three years ago if not for my friend Carmel (Angelo, County CEO).”

Supervisor John McCowen: “Don't forget your wife. I think she had some influence.”

Liberty: “She had some influence, yes. The Board of Supervisors has been very supportive of this. I appreciate it. Dan Hamburg has been working in trying to help find some funding for it. We actually did it through Savings Bank. Carre [Brown, supervisor] talked with the water board. I appreciate that. The Board of Supervisors in general. John. Everybody. John always likes to say we will part the waters, stealing a phrase from Carmel. It's just great. This board has been very supportive and I appreciate it. While I am very appreciative, I also feel a great obligation to pursue this, this goal of having an industrial park down there. I think it's very important for our community. I hope that I live up to your expectations and my commitment. In addition, individually and collectively I really hope to get your input on what that should be. This is not all about me as my wife always says. You guys have a really good understanding of what you think should happen there. I really want to hear about it. I really want to know what you think we should do. This is a big community resource. My name is on the title but at the end of the day it will make me feel better if I can benefit the community with this purchase and this project.”

Carre Brown: “I am available to help you as much as I can. We talked about some of the issues with the Regional Water Board and talking directly to their executive officer. I'm still there. We had a long conversation about the responsibility of the Masonite property and International Paper, the former owner.”

Liberty: “Masonte's not owned by them anymore, it's standalone.”

Brown: “There have been property owners who do need to follow through and clean up and be responsive to that. Masonite. Some of the pollution in the soil that needs to be fixed and should have been fixed a number of years ago. I believe that DDR should have been held responsible too. Here you are stepping forward and it is a big step and I'm very appreciative. In 2008 I ran a campaign that opposed anything else but industrial there. That is one of the best industrial sites in the entire county. Getting that railroad, maybe, going again someday makes it even better. I want to work with you in every way I can.”

Liberty: “I appreciate that. I've been talking with Masonite already about it. Seeing what it takes to move forward. The attention that this board has given it and the attention that it's gotten as a result of this acquisition I think is going to help move that forward. I believe — it's my goal, on August 29 I want to have all issues resolved there. We are going to start, maybe tomorrow, we are going to start putting holes in it and we are going to find out anything that's out there. All the stuff that's existing we are going to get that pushed through and cleaned up as required and signed off. We will get this done. When there's no activity there, there's no interest, there's no buyers, then there's no activity. They're not going to do anything. I plan to fix that. And move it forward. I appreciate the help of the board in doing that.”

McCowen: “We typically don't get involved in a dialogue during public comment, but this is potentially a sea change for Mendocino County in that I believe that your history of accomplishment and follow through with what you set out to do augurs very well for the future. If anyone can take a slab and transform it into living wage jobs I think it's probably you. No one else has stepped up to do this. No one was on the horizon to do this. I think one reason DDR ultimately agreed to the sale is that they were able to survey the landscape and realize that you were probably their best and only chance to be able to sell the property for a decade if not two. They wanted to get that off their books and you were the guy who could do it. I believe that if it can be effectively developed you are the guy who can do it. It is a long-range project. It might take 10 or 20 years to achieve full buildout. But when do you want the 10 or 20 years to start? The answer is, we are starting today. With regard to the water board, many people in the community including myself believed that a letter of no further action had been issued as far back as 2006 or 2007. In fact that only pertained to one incident that had occurred that impacted the property. It did not accure to all the different known sites on the property. I only learned that very recently. I think it was a surprise also to DDR who owned the property.”

Liberty: “They found an unknown which they had insurance for and they took care of it right away. The knowns were in hand.”

McCowen: “But there was still known contamination on the site that has not been remediated to the extent of the water board being able to issue a sign a letter. That fact became the greatest challenge to closing this deal after the price had been agreed upon which you would have thought would have been the hard part about this because DDR is experiencing a significant write down. The hard part was dealing with the historic legacy contamination issues that should have been cleaned up a decade or more ago. So the Water Board was sitting there effectively doing -- I won't say nothing -- but very little, not pushing the responsible party, the original responsible party to clean it up. Then ultimately the burden falls to subsequent owners if the responsible party does not follow through. If Masonite were to have gone bankrupt the subsequent innocent owners would get stuck with the responsibility for cleanup. That's really inequitable to the owner and it means that a property like that can be held hostage essentially do to the legacy cleanup issues. Again it is certainly one of the premier industrial sites in the county. Yet it can be effectively taken off the market if the state regulators don't do their job. We are clearing that hurdle. You plan to go forward and identify and clean up the issues expeditiously without anyone pushing you. But this deal was almost killed because of what the State Water Board had not done for a decade.”

Liberty: “Exactly. I might come to this board asking for support in moving it forward. But I have a feeling they got the memo. So we will see. Thank you again. Thanks, Carmel.”

First phase of Factory Pipe facility remodel
First phase of Factory Pipe facility remodel

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Ross Liberty told the Ukiah Daily Journal that he hopes to rezone part of the property nearest North State Street to commercial and that his initial group of investors backed out of the deal so he’s now financing it through a new group called “Friends of Liberty LLC.” Liberty apparently thinks that there are more businesses like his who’ll jump at the chance to lease the property, including some kind of operation of the old Masonite fiberboard manufacturing variety.

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COLIN ROACH of Fort Bragg was convicted of shooting an unarmed man in the back. He did nine years in prison for that crime. Roach was recently arrested in possession of a sawed off shot gun and ammo but was released on his own recognizance.

A Fort Bragg reader asks: How does a convicted felon get released from jail after being in possession of ammo and firearm?

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To the Editor:

It was the night before Christmas

And all through the county

Nothing was burning

Despite no share in tax bounty.


Oh fire departments try

And hold their fund raisers

Since budgets are Scrooged

By Supervisor Ebenezers


The saddest thing is

We citizens can’t even vote

On whether tax dollars

Should keep firefighters afloat


So wake up supervisors

And listen to what we say

So we don’t burn like Lake County

Because you took the funding away


Phyl Speser, Comptche

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The water level remains far below normal, in part because of lingering drought conditions and in part because of upstream work that’s keeping water from being diverted into the lake.


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Mr. Pinizzotto came to Mendocino County and fulfilled his mission to get a contract for Ortner. Now that he is on his way out, I wonder if/when the BOS will remove their blinders and publicly acknowledge their mistake and correct the mess from the top on down.

If Ortner loses their contract, what will happen to Ortner’s subcontractors (i.e. the Hospitality Center, who got the huge grant for 5 rooms for the mentally ill at the Old Coast Hotel and potential clients stay away in droves)? With Ms. Shaw at the helm the situation on the coast will never improve. She has one personality for people she wants something (money) from and another not-so-nice one for people in need. Talk to the people living on the streets, not just those who are making money off of the misery of those who are down and out – it’s not good. Maybe the Mental Health Board members could talk with people on the streets when they go to the coast for their next meeting if the weather isn’t too bad. There are plenty of them out there with mental health and substance abuse problems who are not getting any help.

The Old Coast Hotel has lead paint in it (no surprise there). The request for bids for remodeling includes lead paint abatement, a very expensive proposition when done legally. I don’t see how they can afford the upkeep on the building. It’s already showing signs of needing an exterior paint job. Most of the money spent on upkeep could be used to help people if one of the more modest or newer buildings available were accepted. Sometimes maintenance on a gift makes it too expensive to keep. I’d rather that my taxes go for helping clients, not historical building upkeep where the clients who need help the most avoid it. Another costly mistake by those in power. But maybe the Fort Bragg City Council has in the back of their minds that they will end up with the building in the end after the Hospitality Center runs out of available grants to pursue. The losers, besides the taxpayers, are the ones who were said to be helped by the acquisition.

— “Mr. Wendal”

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Letter to Editor

There are important liability implications in the September 2015 Surprise Federal Audit Report of Mendocino County Mental Health. The County programs are now officially documented as deficient to non-existent, and outside of standards of participation for publicly funded programs. Specifically,

  1. Failure to coordinate services between Ortner, various psychiatrists, the drop-in programs, and the drug dispensing organizations.
  2. Failure to organize, manage and administer resources to provide Community Mental Health Services such as: Outpatient Partial Hospitalization Program, and accurate accountings of patients.
  3. Failure to provide patients with active day treatment, or psychosocial rehabilitation services.
  4. Failure to perform professional management responsibility by retaining administrative and financial management and oversight of staff and services for all contracted services. County failed to maintain an accounting of active patients with potential for inaccurate billing.
  5. Failure to practice effective infection control measures when disposing of sharps and medications at Ortner’s Access Centers. Ortner never had a contract for handling or discarding biohazardous waste and sharps containers as Policy required.

The full Federal Audit Report can be found at

Sonya Nesch

Author, Advocating or Someone with a Mental Illness


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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 7, 2015

Chiles, Dutra, Harreschou, Murphy
Chiles, Dutra, Harreschou, Murphy

CHRISTOL CHILES, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

JODI DUTRA, Calpella. Pot sales.

ROBERT HARRESCHOU, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

TERRY MURPHY, Fort Bragg. Court order violation.

Norton, Riddle, Rozek, Smith
Norton, Riddle, Rozek, Smith

JAMES NORTON, Ukiah. Petty theft, under influence, probation revocation.

JESSE RIDDLE, Newville, PA/Ukiah. Pot sales.

ZACHARIA ROZEK, Redwood Valley. Trespassing.

JACQUELINE SMITH, Fort Bragg. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

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Democracy Is Sometimes Idiocracy

Midhat Ridjanović, Ph.D.

My dear fellow Americans,

I am not an American citizen, I am a citizen of a phantom state called Bosnia-Hercegovina. I believe that all human collective problems arise from divisions of people on racial, ethnic, religious and a dozen other criteria, so the first step in solving these problems is to ignore the divisions and treat everybody else just as fellow humans. People like myself, who believe that all humans should treat each other as if they belonged to the same extended family, are simultaneously Bosnian, American, Ugandan, Chinese, Japanese, Djiboutan, Somali, Mozambiquan, Chilean, Mauritian and nationals of every other of about 195 countries around the world. So, 'My fellow Americans' simply means 'My fellow humans called Americans'.

I have been a careful observer of democratic systems of government for over fifty years now. Democracy is universally touted as the best political system. Some say that it has its drawbacks (Churchill said wittily, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried."), but few question its superiority over all other political systems. Well, my own view of representative democracy is that it is the second worst system, immediately after cruel dictatorship, such as Hitler’s or Stalin’s. Also, I am convinced that political life can be organized in ways that are more beneficial to the masses than democracy as practiced in the U.S.A.

It is not necessary to enumerate crimes perpetrated against innocent citizens of “democratic” countries by a particular country's police, because they are almost daily news in the media around the world. America has an abundance of them, from the Haymarket massacre of Chicago steel workers in May 1886 to the killing of more than a hundred black people last year.

The word ‘democracy’ originates from the Greek demos ‘people’ and kratia ‘power, rule’. But if people rule, why do the ruling people often decide to kill their fellow ruling people? Or is it that some people rule and others are ruled? There is no way that all the people of a state or country can vote every time an important political decision is to be made. Okay, say defenders of democracy, you elect somebody who will make those decisions on your behalf. Ah, there’s the rub – who guarantees that the elected representative will decide in a way you think is appropriate? Nobody. And in a majority of cases the elected politicians make political decisions which are contrary to the interests of the people who voted for them. When they decide to wage war without adequate justification, they make innocent citizens of their country fight the war and thus literally kill many of the people who voted for them.

Obviously, then, democracy is not rule of the people and the very word is a misnomer. Besides, it is a “nice” word which politicians use whenever they wish to sell something to the masses, whether it is war or conquest of the cosmos. Politicians everywhere are very good at using nice words to brainwash the masses into believing in the fictional world they are selling to the predominantly uneducated and often dumb people. Thus, if a country has the word “democratic” in its name, you can be sure that it is not democratic. One possible translation of the official name of North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea) is People’s People’s People’s State of North Korea. The irony is that the country is governed by a despotic clique which uses all kinds of abuse and torture to keep its citizens obedient. Remember also the German Democratic Republic. In most cases, the true meaning of “nice” words as used by politicians is obtained by interpreting them in the opposite sense – when you hear “people’s” read “totalitarian”; if a country has “democratic” in its name, its government is dictatorial. In my last book (written in Bosnian) I give a list of about thirty nice words which I call dangerous words because politicians use them to win over the masses; when they achieve that, they can do pretty much anything with impunity. Other dangerous words include freedom, sovereignty, patriotism, justice, independence, law, United Nations, NATO.

Let’s face it, a large proportion of people in every country are poorly educated and of inferior intelligence. Yet we trust them to decide, by proxy, whether to start a war or to invest in a multi-million dollar space program rather than use the money to feed millions of Americans who go hungry. I am not saying that there aren’t intelligent and educated voters who cast their votes after careful weighing of all options, but they are definitely a minority. The best proof of this claim is the rise of Donald Trump in the polls to the top position among Republican presidential candidates. He has made what most normal educated people would call outrageous statements, but the more outrageous they are, the greater the number of his supporters among voters. His popularity rose dramatically after he announced that he would ban Muslims from entering the United States. Now every sensible person knows that such a ban is blatantly impractical. There are over 40 countries with a significant Muslim populations, but most educated Muslims, especially in Europe, are not even religious, and are vehemently opposed to terrorism of every kind. How will would-be President Trump distinguish such “Muslims” from prospective terrorists? My own family background is Muslim but all I have left from that background is an Arabic name. I have published a book in the States and several articles in American linguistics journals; I was also a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer at the Ohio State University in 1984-85. What if I am invited to lecture at an American university, or if I decide to attend a linguistics conference in America – will President Trump let me in? Also, my three lovely grandchildren live in America with their next of kin – will Trump deprive a loving grandpa of the possibility to visit them? Do any of those who started supporting Trump after he declared that he will ban Muslims from entering the U.S. know that there are Christian Arabs whose names are mostly indistinguishable from Muslim names? I doubt that they do, in fact I doubt that many of them know that there are Christian Arabs.

Last but not least, a prospective terrorist can have a forged passport, s/he can even “order” one that is most pleasing to American immigration officials. (Trump’s political opponents respond to his Muslim ban by saying that it is unconstitutional; such responses are vacuous in view of the fact that American governments have routinely disregarded the American Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights; Two recent examples are the New York Police Department's widespread spying on mosques, which violates the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion, and the NSA's widespread spying on just about everybody, which violates the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.

The big rise in the number of Trump’s supporters after his announcement that he would ban Muslims from entering the States clearly shows that the easiest way to gain mass political support in a democracy is to pander to the majority of voters, i.e. to people of meager education, of limited cultural horizons, of inferior intelligence, and often of bigoted political and religious views. Such a state of affairs leads us to an irrefutable logical conclusion: the better candidate in an election is the one with fewer votes. I therefore believe that democracy would be a better political system if the counting of votes is reversed so that candidates with fewer votes are elected to positions for which they ran. American democracy has given rise to a situation in which the most likely candidates in the final race for the presidency will be a fascist-leaning Republican and a proven liar on the Democratic side (I watched Hillary and Chelsea on Bosnian TV as they were coming out of their plane in Tuzla during the Bosnian war on a peaceful sunny day, which she later described as a dangerous episode with bullets criss-crossing over their heads. Hillary’s other big lie is connected with the slaughter of four American diplomats in Benghazi in 2012; that was followed by a stream of mendacious statements to the media. She also broke the law by using a private e-mail server to send messages containing classified information).

So how do you like a political system in which you are stuck with a choice between two evils? But let us imagine that there are no political parties in America and that three candidates are competing for the presidency, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. If we go by current election polls, Bernie Sanders would get the lowest number of votes. Yet he is the only candidate who is genuinely committed to reducing the shameful economic disparity between the rich and the poor, he is the only candidate genuinely committed to making higher education free for everyone, he is the only candidate genuinely committed to securing a living wage for everyone, he is the only candidate genuinely committed to a humane immigration policy, racial justice, women’s rights, LGBT equality… Isn’t it obvious now that America would have a dream President if only my suggestion were accepted to elect the candidate with the fewest votes?!

My main message is that, in politics in particular, we should stop listening to words and start looking at deeds. Between 1945 and 1992 former Yugoslavia was under a communist dictatorship; true, a “milder” form of dictatorship, but still a dictatorship. In the course of forty-odd years a primitive agricultural society was transformed into a mid-developed industrial state. Thousands of peasants living in shacks with no flooring moved to modern apartments, became educated, and worked in well-paid jobs. All education was free, health care was free, and apartments were given for free to all deserving employees - especially those with expert knowledge important to the society at large. (When I came back from the States in 1985, I was welcomed by the dean of my Faculty with keys to a brand new apartment.) True, you couldn’t say “Down with communism” or insult Tito, but you had to be foolish to do that – what’s the use of freedom of speech if there is no freedom to eat? Now we have a “democratic” multi-party system which is responsible for probably the worst economic situation in Bosnian history – out of a population 3,800,000 people, close to a million don’t have enough to eat. Throughout former Yugoslavia there is general nostalgia for Tito’s communism. Surveys indicate that the masses would be happy to revert to the political situation we had before 1992; the masses, of course, do not include current rulers, who literally plunder the people.

I would like to invite Americans with a right-wing political orientation to come to any part of former Yugoslavia and carry out surveys asking people which political system they prefer, the current or the former one. I am sure they will be shocked to find that nearly all ordinary people will say that they yearn for “communist dictatorship.” I personally don’t believe in communism, especially not in its utopian goals, but I refuse to be blinded by words and ready-made interpretations of political systems and ideologies. The facts are not in words but in flesh-and-blood human beings.

I said earlier that I believe that political life can be organized in ways which are more beneficial to the people at large than democracy as practiced in the U.S.A. I will now give two examples of political systems that I believe are closer to the rule of the people (unattainable in the literal sense) than the American system. I am doing this although I don’t believe that American political life, run by the military-industrial complex, can be changed. The American power wielders are so deeply entrenched that nothing short of a nuclear war can remove them from their positions of power.

Some American corporations are very well organized and function in a way which brings satisfaction and decent earnings both to employers and employees. Why not organize the government of the United States in a similar way? Congress announces a vacancy for the President (corresponding to the CEO of a corporation), people who feel they can fill the vacancy apply, and Congress appoints the best candidate as President of the country. S/he hires assistants and advisers for various activities needed to carry out the business of government. S/he is given a mandate for a particular period of time but is constantly watched and supervised by Congress. Just like a bad CEO, the President can be sacked for bad work or any negligence of her/his constitutional duties. A possible name for this political “system” could be Semi-Democratic Supervised Benevolent Dictatorship.

In 1950 the Yugoslav government introduced self-management as the pivotal principle of the country’s political system. The main idea was that people working together for a common goal, say in a school or a furniture factory, should elect a workers’ council which will make all important decisions related to the functioning of the particular institution. I am aware of a couple of American Ph.D’s who produced researched evaluations of the system. Some were affirmative, some less so. But Yugoslav self-management was in operation long before the advent of the computer. I am sure that the system would function much better with the Internet, the social networks, and other technical advances such as smartphones that have made communication easier and faster. Self-management could eventually do away with “important” people because all decision-making would be done in workers’ council meetings, chaired successively by individual members of the council. Councils at the lowest level would elect councils at the next higher level; the same procedure would apply to all levels of government and would ultimately reach the highest level, i.e. the country’s parliament. This of course is only a rough outline, with details to be worked out in accordance with the particular political environment.

The main advantage of self-management is that it doesn’t need political parties, which have often been an end unto themselves and, especially in less developed countries, a source of income for corrupt politicians. Governments usually assist political parties financially and the money often ends up in politicians’ pockets (that is why we have over fifty parties in Bosnia). Besides, there is usually no significant difference between a country’s parties, which means that elections are generally a huge waste of money. Insightful American political analysts say that America doesn’t have a multi-party system but a single party with two right wings.

Midhat Ridjanović, Ph.D.
Professor emeritus of English and linguistics
University of Sarajevo
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina
Fulbright visiting lecturer, Ohio State University, 1984-5

PS. Two Bosnian jokes

Milošević, Tuđman and Izetbegović, the Serbian, Croatian, and Muslim leader in the Bosnian war of 1992-95, died and are to be sent to Hell for their responsibility in killing thousands of innocent people. They're met by St. Peter who says to them: "Before I throw you into the eternal fire, I will grant one wish to each of you." Milošević says: "I want all Croats out of Bosnia." Tuđman says: "I want all Serbs out of Bosnia." Izetbegović turns to St. Peter and says: "You go ahead and grant their wishes, I'll just have a cup of coffee."

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A Serb is crossing the border to go to Bosnia. The Bosnian border policeman asks him: “Your name?” The Serb says Milan Milanović. Then the policeman asks: “Occupation?” “No,” answers the Serb, “just a visit.”

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China’s main stock index, which tumbled nearly seven per cent Monday before trading was halted under a new emergency measure, has been volatile for months.

The latest drop appears largely due to the same concerns: a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, greater investor caution after markets hit dizzying heights last year and Beijing's attempts to unwind controls on trading.

A report showing a further decline in manufacturing, a huge sector that has fuelled China's economic surge in past years, prompted investors to sell Monday.

China is in the midst of a massive plan to shift its economy away from its traditional reliance on industry and exports toward consumer spending.

Another concern is an expected decline in the Chinese currency, the yuan. A drop in the yuan could make foreign debt held by Chinese companies harder to bear and encourage investors to pull money out of the country.

Adding to these worries Monday are geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia said Sunday it is severing diplomatic relations with Iran, a development that could potentially threaten oil supply. Oil prices rose on the news.

More practically, Beijing is trying to undo limits on markets, such as new stock offerings, it imposed last summer, when markets began falling.

Stocks had more than doubled in the 12 months leading up to the first of a series of plunges, as state media encouraged the public to invest.

Prices started to fall in mid-June after regulators imposed limits on the amount of money brokerages could lend to customers to trade shares. That prompted concern among investors authorities would no longer support share prices.

What Does This Mean For Investors Elsewhere?

China's stock market is one of the world's biggest, but most investors in the United States and elsewhere own very small amounts, if any, of the stocks at the centre of the tumult.

Markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen are slowly opening to foreign investors, but many barriers to direct ownership remain.

The Chinese stocks most U.S. and other foreign investors own directly or through mutual funds trade instead in Hong Kong.

These stocks have also fallen, but they've largely been steadier. They also tend to make up relatively small portions of the diversified funds available in many employer-sponsored retirement accounts. The bigger worry for investors outside of China may be the spillover effect a tumbling Chinese market could have. The turmoil in China's market helped pull other global stock markets lower Monday.

Why Did Global Investors React With Such Alarm?

China is the world's second-largest economy and has been a key driver of global growth for several years. But its growth has been fading recently. In the quarter ending in September, it fell to a six-year low of 6.9 per cent.

The country's manufacturing sector is a huge buyer of raw materials and energy from countries such as Australia, Brazil, Chile and Russia, as well as machines from the likes of Germany. Many consumer-goods companies and automakers are also hoping to sell more to increasingly wealthy Chinese households.

The potential risks are reflected in the global market drop Monday. Germany's stock market was down a whopping four per cent. In the U.S., the Standard and Poor's 500 index lost 2.6 per cent in morning trading.

Is China's Stock Market A Reliable Indicator Of Its Economy?

Not as much as in the U.S. or Europe.

Chinese stock markets have little connection to the rest of the government-dominated economy. The biggest companies are state-owned and their health is decided by official policy.

Traders respond more directly to government cues and the availability of credit. Stock prices can rise when the economy is weakening or fall even though conditions are improving.

(Courtesy, The Associated Press)

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To the Editor:

I would like to bring this pro-gun / anti-gun controversy to an end once and for all. I have asked a hedge fund manager to please give me a million dollars. You and I could try something a little different and see if it works. Pro-gun, which is well organized, is clearly winning. Anti-gun efforts are scattered and not effective. The Times could put an editorial on its front page seven days a week and not move the anti-gun agenda forward an inch.

Now, Mr. N.F.M. here is how we are going to spend your (our) money: Most of the money will be used for publicity, some for organizing. We will attempt to have an anti-gun candidate on the ballot in each of the 435 congressional and 33 senate contests in the Nov. 2016 Election.

If an anti-gun candidate can’t get past the primary, it will be deemed a victory for pro-gun. The portion of the million dollars that goes to publicity is to ensure the focus is on the gun issue as well as whether the Republicans or Democrats win control of each chamber. I hate to use a hankneyed cliche such as letting the chips fall as they may, but there you are.

Ralph Bostrom, Willits

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Dear Editor,

As is widely suspected, a democracy whose institutions lend such import, gravitas and credibility to a quackery of plutocratic bootlickers like our GOP has to be in deep doo-doo, not that our yellow-bellied Dems are a whole hell of a lot better. Hence, please humor a suggestion for taking our first baby step toward replacing our flawed democracy with a more inclusive European-style parliamentary system. As our honorary known as “Poet Laureate” sounds far too academic and ivory-towerish to be anything better than ignored by ordinary people, “Poet Laureate” shall henceforth be replaced with the much more down to earth sounding “Rhyme Minister.” Once that change is accomplished, the popular surging urge to add a Prime Minister to the top ranks of American democracy will scarcely be able to be repressed, and the remainder of the badly needed governmental rehab will thereafter quickly ensue. ;-)

Ken Ellis

New Bedford, MA

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There are quite a few measures which are quite painless to the population, which could buy us quite a bit of time. I suggest, 
1. it has been estimated that the greenhouse effect could be much reduced simply by painting roofs, walls, and roads. Accordingly, I would mandate white. 
2. mass transit was deliberately killed off throughout North America to raise sales of cars and fossil fuels. Reverse it. 
3. it has been estimated that 40% of food in the USA is wasted. Conserve it. 
4. it has been estimated that 30% of all fossil fuel use in the USA is military. Stop it. 
5. ceaseless advertising is required to bolster consumption. Stop it. 
6. many trucks are vanity symbols. Tax them, with a sliding scale of rebates for honest working trucks.
 7. fossil fuel companies are subsidized. Stop it. 
8. nuclear power companies are subsidized. Stop it. 
9. economic measures can accomplish quite a lot. Tax wasteful behaviours (such as flaring gas wells, buying new cars) and fossil fuel use.
 10. massive incentives for solar power.
 11. planned obsolescence is a wastrel. Replace it with quality product and superior engineering.

For starters. You can see that little is required but removing market distortions from the equation. For example, black shingles could be taxed to reflect (sorry) their true cost to the environment, thus removing a market distortion (wealth redistribution from the public to the private citizen).

Capitalism, if actually practiced for a few years, would solve quite a bit of our problem. Don’t forget that Adam Smith was very very keen on the strict rule of law regulating interest rates, advertising, etc. etc. That is my definition of ‘capitalism’, and I think that we should practice it for a change.

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About 800 books for free at 900 N. Franklin — thoughtful reading for rainy season. We have about 800 books, most non fiction stuff on politics, economics and history for free under the awning at 900 N. Franklin Street. They will stay dry for a while there but the general dampness says take em away! All the books outside are free this time. We quit selling books but they do keep coming. I MUCH prefer you take whole boxes rather than pick through and take 1-2 books, as many do when we do this. Give to your friends! Please don't scatter into the wet beyond.

* * *


by Al Krauss

Who, or what, would bear witness to this place within? I am that I am in that place, where gentle movements of water in the tide pool stroke the sea grasses, which respond in unison with the water’s movement, swaying of grasses, embraced by water.

I had been putting together my favorite daily snack, consisting in dry puffed kamut cereal, over which I sprinkle a full tablespoon of cocoa powder, then cinnamon, then crystalline xylitol. After tossing for uniform spread of the goodies, I carefully add milk, not too much, not too little.

This time, early afternoon,I made a hasty decision to multi-task. I had purchased a baggie of exotic dried seaweed, harvested on the coast here in California, about 50 miles West of my home as the seagull flies. The product is hand harvested in tide pools and other places of easy access to people accustomed to shore life, dried in the woods or in sheds, then processed for packaging as finely shattered dried bits of seaweed, in a consistency ranging from almost powder to mini-flakes, all a uniform dark color that probably started out in some shade of deep green or olive.

Well, I was in automatic mode for the chocolate kamut puff treat, and in parallel automatic mode for emptying the baggie into a tiny sea flakes jar I use, perfect for protecting the somewhat fragile ocean delicacy.

Before I could stop, I had begun to empty the sea flakes into my kamut bowl, already set up with its chocolate and other ingredients!

With incredulity, I swore, and stopped the movement of my hand, but not before a goodly half teaspoon or more had dumped onto the kamut! With the urgent movements of someone trying to catch a baby falling off its changing table, I tried scooping back out the visible sea flake powder, disturbing the dry puffs as little as possible, but the inevitable happened - more of the ocean product was sifting down through my chocolate mixture than I was retrieving.

I resolved to make amends, hunker down grimly and proceed. I added the milk, stirred (didn’t look bad), and proceeded to consume my accident, for better or worse. This would NOT be allowed to go down, the otherwise looming waste of good things!


Even after adding more of the xylitol sweetener (speaking of “going down”), there still remained the salty, fishy over-taste, or should I say “under” taste, wildly competing in a flavor war amongst the taste buds and other sensors of my mouth’s “brain”.

Still, my remorse, my willpower, and an obedient swallow reflex all cooperated in my gustatory self flagellation.

Yes, I had ordained (I repeat for emphasis) that this unique, this rare, this unparalleled food would not be wasted! The good sea things, the good organic chocolate, the anti-cavity sweetener, the unique puffed grain, the non-fat organic milk, these would, by gosh, make peace and cooperate in this eating agenda. The negotiation between the flavors would, dammit, reach a tolerable compromise.

But my determination to reclaim virtue reached its limit with the very last little amount in the bowl. I had already consumed a “lion’s” share, and now I simply couldn’t, literally, “stomach” what little remained. Down the drain it went, my duty having been, in the view of my inner jury, fulfilled.

I was relieved that there seemed to be no gastric effect worth noting, just a slightly twisted feeling towards the back of my mouth, where some sort of rebellion persisted against this strange three way battle between fishy ocean salt, chocolate craving, and my remorse.

I mean, chocolate is SO good. And, of course, on morning toast, the sea flakes, in their quite different way, are very good.

I went over to my bed to lie down on my back, something I do several times during any day, as a kind of “pause that refreshes”, or “pause that reflects”, just taking an opportunity to stretch, close my eyes, ruminate, whatever.

And today, above all, to leave the disastrous food scene behind me.

Still, my “mistake”, and the dreaming afterlife of harvested seaweed, had led me through the portal to a mystical experience, the one I began describing when I started this account.

Back in time, ahead in time, in a place with no time.

And as I felt the movement of grasses deep within, the gentle urging of the sea around me, I was also aware of an enormous space beyond the ocean, beyond any horizon.

I can’t tell you this was an “out of body” experience, but I really swam through that opening into the vast mother, the sea, the ultimate mysterium.

How’s that for dreaming? I kid you not, I had a genuine mystical experience, of being the seaweed in a timeless tide pool.

Or was it the sea powder finding in me its oceanic forebears?

Well now, these hours later, and talking to you here in the mundane world of “reality,” it’s “I was that I was.”

And I will not eat that concoction again, even as I thank myself (and my “lucky stars”?) for goofing up.

* * *


A reminder that I will be set up at The Garden Shop in Mendocino tomorrow, Friday the 8th from 10:30 - 1:30, longer if demand requires. Not set up to do saw blades at this time. Ryder and I are in Sacramento where we met with Jan, Chris's mom, who wrote the message for him in 1988. She told me they were camping at Bodega Bay when they threw the bottle in, and showed me photos of her son at the beach that day. The meeting was so sweet, and the story will be on Inside Edition tonight! You can watch videos on Inside Edition and also We will be back in Mendocino for autographs and meet n greets tomorrow. Lol Thanks for all the responses and best wishes friends! We are enjoying every minute!

Love, Heather and Ryder

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WATERTROUGH CHILDREN’S ALLIANCE and the Sonoma Chapter of the Sierra Club present a Special Evening:

ROUND-UP: Updates on the World Health Organization findings and the Californian EPA stance on glyphosate.

Event Moderator: Sarah Glade Gurney, Mayor of Sebastopol

Speaker Highlights:

Jonathan Evan, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Health Legal Director and Senior Attorney

Ella Teevan, Food & Water Watch, Northern California Organizer

Special Dinner catered by SEED on the Go, Includes dinner and presentation

To register, go to:


For further information please contact:

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Dear All,

A workshop is coming up here at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center on January 28th which may be particularly relevant to you since many of you are regularly out in the field – we hope to see you there! “The Ecology, Epidemiology and Prevention of Tick-Borne Disease"

Join Dr. Robert Lane (Medical Entomologist, UC Berkeley) and Dr. Kerry Padgett (Supervising Public Health Biologist, California Department of Public Health) for an introduction to research that has been conducted in Hopland and elsewhere in California since 1974 on Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses including two newly recognized diseases. This event is particularly relevant to individuals employed by local, federal and state agencies who spend much of their time working outdoors, such as biologists, firefighters, foresters, land managers and wardens.

This event will be held at:

UC ANR Hopland Research & Extension Center - The Rod Shippey Building

University Road • Hopland • CA • 95449

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

10 am - 2 pm

More information available at:


Hannah Bird
Community Educator
Hopland Research & Extension Center
4070 University Road
Hopland, CA 95449
707.744.1424 x 105

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THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to the Special Point Arena City Council Meeting on January 12, 2016, at 6 pm



  1. Jim Updegraff January 8, 2016

    President Obama’s gun control executive orders will do nothing to reduce gun violence. Boobus Americanus needs their guns to boost their manhood and womanhood. Only a wacko would want an automatic weapon with extended clips and they look stupid walking around carrying a gun in a holster. If they like shooting guns go join the Marines.

    • LouisBedrock January 8, 2016


      Harvey’s points (below) are germane.

      Nuclear energy is neither green nor economical when you consider the costs in money and energy for mining, milling, enriching the Uranium235, and processing it into pellets and fuel rods.

      Then there are the costs of storing the spent fuel rods and decommissioning and decontaminating the plant. Cesium137 remains radioactive for 600 years, as does Strontium90. Plutonium239 is toxic for close to 500,000 years. So storage is problematic and expensive.

      As you know, so far no permanent storage facilities exist. Much of the deadly radioactive by-product material is stored in temporary (and vulnerable) sites.

      Add the environmental costs of “routine releases” from active plants of Tritium, Iodine131, Carbon14 , as well as Strontium, Cesium, and Plutonium and the no-routine releases of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl—where the death toll may have exceeded 1,000,000,


      and Fukushima, and one has a cogent argument against the “panacea” of nuclear energy.

      Californians should not be eating any fish—tuna and other species are already contaminated by Strontium90 and Cesium137 from the Fukushima fiasco.

      I would highly recommend consulting Dr. Helen Caldicott’s informative book, NUCLEAR POWER IS NOT THE ANSWER.

    • LouisBedrock January 8, 2016

      ¿Cómo se dice “bobo estadounidense” en ingles?

  2. Bill Pilgrim January 8, 2016

    re: Market Plunge. The statement by AP that the US stock market is more connected to the ‘real’ economy than China’s is…is pure establishment propaganda. The Fed has pumped hundreds of billions into the system since 2008 , most of which has simply served to inflate massive asset bubbles in the stock and bond markets. Wall Street has been surfing a huge wave of cash while most Americans have been eating their savings or working two or three low-paying jobs just to make ends meet.
    It’s a big lie…and it’s going to end.

  3. Harvey Reading January 8, 2016


    How much in the way of additional greenhouse gases would be generated by production and application — and re-application of paint? Gotta include ALL the machinery and energy involved in the whole process, from start to never being finished.

  4. Rick Weddle January 8, 2016

    stars and seaweeds…

    the minerals with which we engage those fleeting electromagnetic e-pifn-e’s, seaweed being a prime source, are forged in exploding stars…a little, like ourselves a lot. trans-substantiatin’ up a storm.

  5. Jim Updegraff January 8, 2016

    Hi Lew. I assume you are referring to Harvey’s comments of yesterday which didn’t answer my question.. My question is simple – if fossil fuel supplies are finite then what takes the place of the fossil fuel when the supply is exhausted? Just let me have an answer in plain English.

    As to Boobus Americanus if it was good enough for H. L. Mencken it is good enough for me

    • LouisBedrock January 8, 2016

      Ha, ha.

      In no way was I referring to you.

      I was responding to Ms. de Castro.

      In Spanish, “estadounidense” means a resident of the U.S.–we have no simple word for this– like for example “American”.

      I think her comment was an expression of annoyance voiced by many residents of Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central, and South America that we “Gringos” use the word “American” to refer to ourselves– as if we were the only Americans.

      I actually was referring to Harvey’s comment of today,

      “How much in the way of additional greenhouse gases would be generated by production and application — and re-application of paint? Gotta include ALL the machinery and energy involved in the whole process, from start to never being finished.”

      Nuclear energy is not green nor inexpensive when you compute in all the concomitant costs.


      • LouisBedrock January 8, 2016

        And to your question about replacement of fossil fuels–maybe conservation, solar energy, wind energy, and geothermal energy.

    • Harvey Reading January 8, 2016

      I think he was referring to my earlier comment, today about ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY II, in the current issue.

      As to your question, my best answer is, who knows? At this point, humans will die, in droves, and they’ll do it right here in the land o’ exceptionals as well.

      If, since the early 70s, we’d spent as much money on research into NEW sources of energy as we did on the military we might, some time back, have found an entirely new source of energy, hitherto unknown. Back in the mid 70s, I thought that might actually happen, after the scare of the oil embargo. In fact, if I recall correctly, there was quite a bit of political babbling about doing just that. But here we are, nearly half a century later, still promoting what is essentially 50s technology in the form of windmills and solar panels, not to mention the big loser, nuclear.

      The energy “producers” and the private power “producers” love it. The only new energy sources they want are ones that they can control and sell at a profit, while blabbering to us about all of being one big, happy family.

      The main thing is, I’ll probably be dead long before the shit hits the fan. It’s amazing to me that I made it this far …

      • Harvey Reading January 8, 2016

        Woops, I guess your question about my comment has now been answered twice. Duh, on me.

  6. Alice Chouteau January 9, 2016

    Regarding the tragic Boardman murder:
    Kelci Parks has excellent coverage in the latest Advocate News, that suggests the murder might have been prevented. In a quote from Sgt. Brandon Lee, “there was a clear rise in the number of calls to dispatch generated by the residence over the last month, with neighbors complaining about noise and a high amount of foot trafficgoing in and out of the house. Police are theorizing that while Boardman was being treated by the VA hospital, the people he was allowing to stay with him were possibly bringing in additional squatters.” The question is, why didn’t FBPD respond to complaint calls?
    A. chouteau

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