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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Jan 21, 2016

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TUESDAY'S JOINT MEETING of the Board of Supes and Board of Retirement was well attended but anyone expecting anything new to emerge from the three plus hours of actuarial bafflegab had to be sorely disappointed by the outcome. Retirement system gadfly John Dickerson and his doom and gloom acolytes were there in force to tell the Supes that the only way to fix the system was to declare bankruptcy. County retirees were there in about equal numbers, alarmed by comments by Dickerson and Ted Stephens, Dickerson's only adherent on the Retirement Board, warning about the impending collapse of the retirement system.

THE MEETING WAS DOMINATED by a presentation by Paul Angelo, representing Segal Consulting, the actuarial for the retirement system. The job of the actuary is to assure everyone that the retirement fund, heavily invested in the Wall Street Ponzi, is doing just fine. Stephens wondered how everything could be so rosy based on the plain fact that the unfunded liability of the pension fund has shot up at the same time the Dow Jones has soared to record heights. If the unfunded liability is going up during good times, what will happen when the market crashes, Stephens wanted to know? Mr. Angelo launched into full on verbal actuarial rope-a-dope without ever really answering the question. Stephens also wanted to know if adopting a realistic rate of return for the retirement system, and paying more up front, would save the county money instead of having to make up the unfunded liability, with interest, further on down the road. Angelo was careful to disagree with every characterization of the system made by Stephens, but in the end agreed that paying more up front would save money in the long run.

SUPERVISOR JOHN MCCOWEN, a frequent foil for Dickerson, spoke up to assure the assembled retirees that while there are problems with the retirement system, they would continue to be paid every pension dollar owed to them. Conservative lawyer Jared Carter, a former minor functionary in the Nixon administration, interrupted McCowen from the audience only to have McCowen call him "out of order." McCowen then pointed out that "the gentleman who spoke from the audience recommended in 2009 that the County declare bankruptcy. He is recommending now that the County declare bankruptcy. The County is not bankrupt and this Board of Supervisors will not declare bankruptcy."

HOLLY MADRIGAL, perennial candidate for Third District Supervisor and a member of Dickerson's so-called "Reform Now" coalition, expressed her concern about the unfunded liability and (using everyone's favorite over-used cliché), worried that the Supers and Retirement Board were just kicking the proverbial can down the road. She then chastised the Supes for eliminating retiree health insurance, a benefit that was paid by diverting tens of millions from the retirement fund. Jolly Holly failed to explain how the Supes are supposed to pay for bringing back retiree health insurance when they struggle to pay the pension obligation.

HAVING CONCLUDED the endless and pointless discussion about the current actuarial report, the Supes moved on to the only action item on the agenda, the repeal of a previous resolution that authorized funding retiree health insurance from "excess earnings" — a practice that began in 1974 when everyone thought the Wall Street Ponzi would continue on a perpetual upward trajectory. Diverting money from the retirement fund to pay retiree health insurance seemed like a painless way for the Supes to offer a benefit without having to pay for it out of the County general fund. But the bursting of the bubble near the turn of the century and the post 911 downturn exposed the fallacy of so-called excess earnings and by 2004, County Treasurer and retirement system administrator Tim Knudsen (who still sits on the Retirement Board in an effort to keep the skeletons securely in the closet) began illegally diverting nearly $10 million from the retirement fund to continue paying for retiree health insurance. It wasn't until the global financial collapse of 2008/9 that the excess earnings charade was fully exposed and the practice was ended. And only 40 years after the fraudulent practice began, and several years after it collapsed, the Supes, in an action more symbolic than real, closed the excess earnings loophole.

THE MEETING CONCLUDED with closing remarks from the Supes and Retirement Board on potential action to reduce pension costs to the County. Board of Supervisors Chair Dan Gjerde began by pointing out that County employees with 30 or more years of service are not required to pay into the retirement system although they still accrue benefits. Gjerde said there were 34 County employees with 30 years and it was costing the retirement system $400,000 a year to exempt them from contributing to the retirement system. McCowen brought up Gjerde's earlier proposal, defeated by the Retirement Board, to revise the COLA benchmark to make it more realistic to Mendocino County instead of basing it on the Bay Area rate. Retirement Board member John Sakowicz said he would like to see the retirement fund invest some of the retirement money locally, to help benefit the local economy and possibly get a better return than that offered by the Wall Street Ponzi. Several of the Supes agreed with Sakowicz's suggestion. Supervisor Dan Hamburg said he agreed with many of the comments on all sides, agreeing with many of the points expressed by Stephens and saying investment in the Wall Street Ponzi did not inspire confidence in the system. Supervisor Tom Woodhouse said the meeting was great, the debate was great, and he wants to do it again this year. Supervisor Carre Brown said she appreciated all the public comment, it is a debate, and it is democracy in action.

WITH THE SUPES having run out of platitudes, it was left to Stephens to say he was not surprised that the outcome of the meeting was to agree to do nothing of any substance to address the problem and to instead — are you ready for this? — just keep kicking the can down the road. McCowen took it upon himself to challenge Stephens to produce a "concrete list" of the steps that he thinks should be taken to "fix" the problem. Stephens asked if McCowen wanted the list now. McCowen, citing the lateness of the hour, said it would be fine to submit it to both boards for future consideration. With that, the meeting was adjourned. Needless to say, all the same issues will be revisited endlessly and forever until the final collapse of end-stage capitalism.

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At the joint meeting of the Supervisors and the Retirement Board I said I mistrusted the "casino mentality" of Wall Street. I said I thought both the U.S. and the EU were approaching "end-stage capitalism" and that I didn't think that MCERA should put all of its money into stocks and bonds, which I think are bad investments at this point in time, but that we should, instead, diversify into making local investments, i.e., lending Ross Liberty the $1.6 million to buy the old Masonite property. I further suggested investing in local entrepreneurs who want to start a wool mill or a slaughterhouse or a medical marijuana (cannabinoids) processing plant -- all would be good local investments according to the EDFC. I said MCERA should invest in local people starting local businesses that will create new jobs and generate new taxes. I said that should the county charter government referendum pass, that MCERA should capitalize a county-owned bank. I believe strongly in private public banking. It's imprudent for MCERA should invest 100% of its $445 million in assets in Wall Street's paper securities, but that we should diversify by allocating 5-10% to local investments -- the bricks and mortar of new industry, timber, farmland, water, and infrastructure. It's the right thing to do. When I finished speaking, Supervisors Hamburg and McCowen said they agreed. This could be a breakthrough moment for Mendocino County.

John Sakowicz, member, Mendocino County Employee Retirement Board

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It's remarkable watching the mouth of the Navarro migrate south. The last breach, less than six weeks ago, broke through the sandbar, as it usually does, around Pinnacle Rock, which is in line with the main stem of the river. Since then, persistent rains have helped keep the river's current strong, such that you would expect the mouth to stay put and keep flowing straight out to sea. But the Navarro doesn't do that. Post breach, the mouth tends to creep southward.

It seems like there is a great reservoir of sand, just offshore, which waits for the big storm waves to pitch it back up into the river’s mouth, and this effect is strong enough to force the river's exit to start moving sideways. Why this sand-building effect is so powerful and persistent at the Pinnacle Rock spot, in particular, is a mystery to me, and I'd be curious to hear if anyone has some information or theories on the topic.

My theory is that there is a shelf of solid rock beneath this area, which has prevented the river from digging itself a deep straight channel out to sea. So lots of sand accumulates out there on the shelf, just offshore, and ends up getting thrown back at the river when the tide is high and the winter waves rise up. Perhaps the reason the mouth area, in particular, is so hotly contested is because the river, when it does manage to flow out to sea, is always depositing earthly material, which we see as chocolaty silt this time of year.

The other thing about Navarro Beach is the great amount of woody material that we often see there. Thinking about the terrain that the river travels through helps explain why there is so much log and branch in the mix. When the coastal sandbar rises up and prevents the river flowing out to sea, the waters back up and flood the beach area. All that woody material floats out to the margins and eventually gets marooned when the river breaches and the floodwaters recede. Round and round it goes. The mouth of the Navarro is an exciting place.

Navarro Beach, 19 January 2016
Navarro Beach, 19 January 2016

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MIKE JANI HAS STEPPED DOWN as the President and Chief Forester of HRC/MRC, and John Anderson will be his replacement. Jani indicates that he is staying with the company in an advisory role, in which he will be providing input, but no longer involved in the decision-making.

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Photo of two teenagers narrowly escaping death by sleeper wave on the Mendocino Coast by Mark Scheffer

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(Courtesy, Mendocino SportsPlus)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 20, 2016

Barry, Britton, Cardenas, Hernandez
Barry, Britton, Cardenas, Hernandez

WILLIAM BARRY, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

NICOLE BRITTON, Phone/cable line vandalizization, elder abuse with great bodily harm, protective order violation, probation revocation.

JORGE CARDENAS, Covelo. Failure to appear.


Hruska, Koski, McKenzie
Hruska, Koski, McKenzie

AUDRA HRUSKA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

AARON KOSKI, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

DWAYNE MCKENZIE, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Nieto, Rodgers, Still, Webb
Nieto, Rodgers, Still, Webb

JORGE NIETO JR., Willits. Community supervision violation.

JESSE RODGERS, Ukiah. Dirk-dagger, Parole violation.

AARON STILL, Willits. Probation revocation.

TERRY WEBB JR. Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, court order violation with priors, probation revocation.

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RANDOM REMARKS from the Alaskan Screech Owl as she endorsed the New York Windbag yesterday: “You ready for a commander and chief who will do their job and go kick ISIS ass? … Trump’s candidacy: It has exposed not just the tragic ramifications of that betrayal of the transformation of our country, but too, he has exposed the complicity on both sides of the aisle that has enabled it, OK? … He’s been able to tear the veil off this idea of the system, how the system really works … We need someone new who has the power and is in the position to bust up that establishment … But now what they’re doing is whaling on Trump and his Trumpeters, ‘Well, they’re not conservative enough’—Oh my goodness gracious, what the heck would the establishment know about conservatism? … We are right-winging, bitter-clinging, proud clingers of our guns, our god, and our religions, and our Constitution … Doggone right we’re angry. Justifiably so! … He builds things, he builds big things, things that touch the sky, big infrastructure, things that put people to work.”

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I find the Republican debates to be deplorable, classless, third-rate, and witless spectacles, with Trump boorishly pontificating while the rest of the candidates are too fearful of upsetting a large part of the right wing electorate to contradict his outlandish and odious proposals.

I knew his gestures, facial expressions, and posturing reminded me of someone from history, then it came to me...

Mussolini died 1945; Trump born 1946 - coincidence or reincarnation?

Steve Sparks



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Lake County median household income, 2009-2013: $36,548

State median household income, 2009-2013: $61,094

Poverty rate, 2009-2013: 25.0%

Unemployment, 2013: 11.9%

As in many low-income areas, California's Lake County had a relatively high poverty rate. The county's poverty rate between 2009 and 2013 was 25%, versus a national rate of 15.4%. More than 35% of children were estimated to be living in poverty over that period as well, considerably higher than the national rate of 21.3%.

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Hate Crime: Racist, sexist graffiti attack last night in Santa Rosa

North of Sebastopol Road near the Olive Park neighborhood, hate mongers spray painted extreme racist and virulently sexist graffiti on buildings, fences, and vehicles last night. The target may have been Evelyn Cheatham of "Worth Our Weight" the Culinary Apprenticeship program based on Hahman Drive as the hate filled messages were across the street and slightly offset from her home. We've alerted the Press Democrat and the Bohemian as well as the Anderson Valley Advertiser and will be notifying the Santa Rosa city council members. One of the big concerns is that the Santa Rosa Police Department would not take a report from the complainants - telling them they would have to do it themselves online. One of the property damage victims is a hearing impaired, senior who doesn't have a computer.

Thanks to Big Man and Carole for the use of their phones this morning.

Irv Sutley, Glen Ellen

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THE AV SENIOR CENTER’S ANNUAL MEETING, which includes Board Member elections will be held March 8th, 6p. The board is now accepting applications from anyone interested in a board position. The AV Senior Center Board is an active board, focusing on center oversight and fundraising. If you have interest in supporting our senior population through board service, please contact Gina at the AV Senior Center to obtain an application. 895-3609

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Dear Editor,

Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration working together analyzed heat content changes in the oceans of the world utilizing data going back to 1865. The results of their study was published in Nature Climate Changes.

They determined the oceans are warming at a quicker rate and the past 20 years represented half of the increase of ocean heat content that has occurred since pre-industrial times. Further, ocean water has absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat and nearly 30% of the CO2 generated by human consumption of fossil foods. The study disclosed that 35% of the additional heat is in depths below 700 meters. Peter Gleckler, lead author of the paper, said "When we discuss global warming, the most familiar way we do that is talk about temperature changes on the surface - but it's clear that the oceans are doing the bulk of the work in terms of absorbing the heat in the system. The findings are concerning. It's clear evidence that the oceans are taking the brunt of the greenhouse gasses and are accumulating a lot of heat."

Ocean warming is forcing aquatic species from their traditional ranges. As a result of the increase in absorption of CO2 oceans are 30% more acidic. As a result a global bleaching event is underway, Coral whitens and die off to the extreme heat. An analysis of more than 620 studies last year disclosed food chains of the oceans are at risk of collapse due to climate change, over fishing and localized pollution. All of the above represents one more nail in the coffin of the human race as we now know it.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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Raindrops on a Fort Bragg Pond (Photo by Susie de Castro)
Raindrops on a Fort Bragg Pond (Photo by Susie de Castro)

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I'm writing as a member of the Elk County Water District Board but not in behalf of.

In 2014 the Board passed a Zero-Discharge Ordinance initiated at the request of Kira Brennan, a member of the Comptche community and a few others. In 2015 we entered into discussion with PG&E requesting that they terminate their Vegetation Management policy of using herbicides containing glyphosate - a carcinogen Identified by the State of California. In 2016 we have filed the following Complaint with CalEpa: (continue scrolling down -Page 2 is shown first) When/If appropriate we will file Formal and Informal Complaints with the CPUC.

Norman de Vall, Elk


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Meets every other Saturday, March 26 through June 18.

Orientation: Tuesday, March 15 or 22: 5:30-6:30pm, Gardens Meeting Room

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens presents three months of hands-on, brains-on gardening. Everything you need to know to get your vegetable garden started will be covered in our Sustainable Home Gardening course. Learn about soil preparation, vegetable propagation and garden planning, how to build a raised garden box, how to install drip irrigation, and more! Each class will have a reading and lecture component and a hands-on component; be prepared to get dirty! Physical activity level will be medium to hard. (Classes: 9:30am-1:30pm. Workshops: 9:30am-3:30pm. Details will be provided to course participants.) $200 for members and Master Gardeners | $260 for non-members To learn more, sign up for the course orientation on Tuesday, March 15 or 22, 5:30-6:30pm, by phoning The Garden Store at 707 964-4352 ext. 16.

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TO: The Wall Street Journal, Manager of Subscriber Service

Sir or Madam:

I was annoyed to find a full page advertisement for something called Cosmic Christology and Christian Cosmology on the inside back cover of my February, 2016 issue of Harper’s. I would have thought that the editors of Harper’s had a higher opinion of their readers and wouldn’t demean themselves by peddling us a book about discredited Christian chicanery.

I was more annoyed to reach the penultimate page of an amusingly iconoclastic article about those inbred parasites, the British royal family, and find an envelope from the Australian lowlife Rupert Murdoch inviting me to subscribe to the propaganda organ of the equally parasitic American rentier class.

What was most aggravating is that the envelope was glued onto the page and removal of it caused the destruction of the last two pages of Ms. Tanya Gold’s article.

I hate Rupert Murdoch. He’s bought and ruined several publications that I used to read regularly and turned the Fox network into a sewer of fascist propaganda. I never read The Wall Street Journal. It was already a sewer for fascist propaganda before Mr. Murdoch bought it.

I normally would have thrown anything associated with Mr. Murdoch or The Wall Street Journal in the garbage immediately. However, I was so irritated about the damage to my current issue of Harper’s that I called the magazine to demand another copy of the February issue without any invitation to subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and decided to mail you this letter in the envelope that was provided so that you would have to pay the postage.

Small revenge, but better than nothing.

Louis S. Bedrock

Roselle, New Jersey

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We have some personnel changes going on here at KZYX I want to tell you about. Our long time Program Director, Mary Aigner, is retiring, after 22 years with the station. January 30th is her last day, but she'll be returning for her Thursday night DEAD AIR show. Thank you Mary, for your many years of service.

Also, our Operations Manager, Rich Culbertson, resigned after 8 years with the station. He has done so much for the station's ability to operate under FCC regulations and with redundancy of systems and improvements to our systems. Rich, thank you for your many years of work here at KZYX.

Aigner, Culbertson, DeWitt, Dechter

We have two interim positions we've filled temporarily. Long time staffer and programmer Angela Dewitt from Anderson Valley is our Interim Program Director. And Mark Speer from Butte County, via the Hollywood film industry and commercial and public radio stations across the state, is our new Interim Operations Manager.

We will be revising the job descriptions of the Program Director and the Operations Manager, and will post those jobs in the future casting a wide net. And we'll conduct an open and fair hiring process.

Tune in daily at six minutes after 7pm for station news and needs… Thanks for your support of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, and thanks for listening!

Lorraine Dechter, Station Manager, Philo

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by Ted Rall

The independent senator from Vermont says the economic system is rigged against working-class Americans. He’s right.

The electoral political system is a subsidiary of those who rule the economy. Which is why Bernie Sanders never stood a chance. The political system was rigged against him.

And yet, despite the formidable institutional obstacles stacked against him, Sanders is doing great: largely considered a shoo-in to win New Hampshire, leading in Iowa, closing the gap nationally. Surprised pundits are marveling at his popular momentum, ground organization and fundraising prowess. There is now a credible path to the Democratic nomination and, if he runs against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, to the White House.

Center-right Hillaryworld wants to know: how did this happen?

Leftists wonder: is this cause for hope?

It is an amazing story. Everyone in a position to block Sanders’ campaign did everything they could to sabotage him.

Knowing that coverage is the essential oxygen of politics, the media mostly ignored him. By one measure, corporate media gave Trump 23 times more coverage than Sanders! On the few occasions when they spilled a little ink on Bernie, it was to insult him and his socialist politics. (My personal Exhibit A was a New York Times piece that carried a photo that emphasized his bald spot.)

Marginalization always used to work. Remember John Edwards? His 2008 primary campaign was doomed because TV networks refused to cover him. But the media’s cold shoulder isn’t hurting Bernie.

In the bag for Hillary Clinton and remembering the lesson of 2008 — the more voters hear from her the less they like her — the Democratic National Committee fed her aura of inevitability by refusing to give Bernie the exposure and legitimacy offered by a robust round of debates. Debates, the few of them the manipulative DNC chair and Hillary toady Debbie Wasserman Schultz allowed to take place, were scheduled for the nights known for low television viewership.

That tactic backfired. Hillary did better than Bernie in the first three debates. But no one saw her flex her foreign-affairs muscles.

Bernie got nothing but chicanery from the DNC, to the point that the Sanders camp had to sue to access its own voter data. Which only reinforced his image as a rebel — not easy for a U.S. senator — and further endeared him to his supporters.

Despite everything, Sanders could win.

Moreover, it’s not just Sanders the candidate who is doing well. His “unusual” politics are becoming usual.

Sanders’ self-labeling as a democratic socialist — universally considered political suicide in the United States — is catching on. In one of the most surprising poll results of the 2016 race, a recent survey of likely Iowa caucus-goers finds that more of them call themselves socialist (43%) than capitalist (38%).

Where did Iowa’s socialists come from? They certainly weren’t indoctrinated by the mainstream system. No ideology, not even radical Islam, has come under heavier systemic assault than socialism. From the Palmer Raids of a century ago to McCarthyism to the Tea Party’s (sadly mistaken) insinuations that President Obama is a secret red, socialism has been the bête rouge of mainstream American politics: reviled in ridiculous movies, misrepresented and excluded from acceptable public debate, even on the watered-down liberalism that passes for a “left.” Even in schools, socialism and communism are lied about — if they’re mentioned at all.

My friend the film critic Cole Smithey calls what we’re seeing “the failure of propaganda.”

It’s certainly a notable moment. The ruling elite’s old tricks are indeed failing them. But it’s too early to declare propaganda dead and gone. Propaganda works. That’s why those in power keep using it.

Here’s what I think is really going on: old institutions have been discredited. Sanders’ growing support and Iowa’s surprisingly socialist hordes reflect public contempt for everyone in charge.

Pundits have mostly focused on populist anger on the right, embodied by the wild neofascist-lite pronouncements of Donald Trump. But there is just as much rage on the left excluded from the Democratic Party since George McGovern’s 1972 defeat to Richard Nixon. Divided or not, one thing Americans can agree upon is that they don’t trust government — on the right to leave them alone, and on the left to help them out.

Propaganda is still effective. But when it’s broadcast by elites who are widely despised, its effect is opposite of what’s intended.

Hillary Clinton racks up endorsements from unions and left-leaning organizations like Planned Parenthood. In the past, these would have given her a boost. This year, it reinforces a negative framing of her as bought and paid for by special interests.

In days of yore the endorsement of a young actress starring in a hip TV show would have been a feather in Hillary’s cap. In 2016, it’s hard to imagine how poor Lena Dunham will wash away the stink of Hillary’s hard-edged corporatism.

Hillary has an incredible resume: first lady, senator, secretary of state. This year, she’d be better off as an outsider. Credentials subtract from her credibility. What’s wrong now, voters feel, is partly her fault.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign gets accused of improperly accessing Hillary’s data on DNC servers. In the old days, the smell of an ethical breach might have doomed his candidacy. Now, because Democratic voters are disgusted by the DNC’s brazen attempt to fix the primaries for Hillary, the controversy looks like another sleazy attack on Bernie the outsider.

Because the public distrusts journalists, the media blackout works in Bernie’s favor. Through the lens of this new politics of contempt, if the powers that be want to censor the “wild and crazy” socialist senator, he musn’t be that bad after all.

What Bernie really needs is for Hillary to receive Obama’s endorsement (which she obviously, foolishly, wants.) That would be the end of her.

The same reverse-propaganda paradigm holds true for socialism. As America’s continuously lauded state religion, capitalism takes the blame for all its associated evils: layoffs, stagnant wages, home foreclosures, health insurance companies that don’t pay claims. If socialism is anti-capitalism, an alienated populace has evidently concluded, it doesn’t matter that they don’t know very much about it. Socialism can’t be that bad.

If elected, President Sanders will be ineffective. Either that, or he’ll sell us out. Such is the nature of this system: it chews up and spits out those who don’t go along to get along.

A Sanders victory would nonetheless mark an important prerevolutionary moment. As Che Guevara observed, people will not resort to armed struggle before they exhaust every last opportunity to nonviolently reform the existing system by casting their votes in elections.

A Sanders Administration would be our best, last, 100% doomed shot at fixing a rigged regime.

(Ted Rall, syndicated writer and the cartoonist for, is the author of the book “Snowden,” the biography of the NSA whistleblower. Courtesy,

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Archaeological Commission of Mendocino County (2): Alternate Member,

Native American Representative

Area Agency on Aging - Governing Board (1): At-Large Member

County Commission on Medical Care (1): Public Representative

Hopland Municipal Advisory Council (6): Member (5 seats available), Alternate

Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee (2): Hopland Band of Pomo Indians Representative (2) seats available)

Little River Airport Advisory Committee (1): Non-Pilot

Policy Council on Children and Youth (PCCY) (13): Member #2 - Person Responsible for Management of Children's Services, Member #5 - Person Responsible for Management of Probation, Member #6 - Person Responsible for Management of Public Health Services, Member #7 - Person Responsible for Management of Welfare or Public Social Services, Member #9 - The Superintendent of the County Office of Education, or Designee, Member #11 - Prosecuting Attorney of the County, Member #12 - A Rep of a Private Nonprofit Corp Serving Children and Youth, Member #16 - A Rep of a Local Planning Agency for the Early Intervention

Policy Council on Children and Youth (PCCY) (13): Member #17 - A Rep of the Local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, Member #22, A Rep of the Workforce Investment Board Youth Council, Member #23 - An Additional Representative of a Private Nonprofit, Member #25 - A Member of the Community at Large, Member #28 - A Member of the Community at Large

North Coast Resource Partnership - Technical Review (2): Mendocino Representative (2) seats available): Workforce Investment Board (1): Member #28/Mandatory M-10.

If you are interested in serving on this Board or Commission, contact your District Supervisor, or the Executive Office, at 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010, Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 463-4441



  1. LouisBedrock January 21, 2016

    Re. “nails in the coffin” (comment by Jim Updegraff)

    “Humans will be extinct in 100 years because the planet will be uninhabitable, according to Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner, one of the leaders of the effort to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He blames overcrowding, denuded resources and climate change. Fenner’s prediction is not a sure bet, but he is correct that there is no way emissions reductions will be enough to save us from our trend toward doom. And there doesn’t seem to be any big global rush to reduce emissions, anyway.”

    Guy McPherson is a professor emeritus of evolutionary biology, natural resources and ecology at the University of Arizona, and has been a climate change expert for 30 years. During an interview over the Global Research network, Dr. McPherson predicted that human extinction could occur within less than two years.

    Mounting evidence seems to indicate that we humans, and possibly all living things, on the planet are “irremediablemente” fucked. The worst thing is that we can’t do anything about it.

    I guess if you believe in supernatural creatures you can pray; however the demonstrable results of prayer are not impressive. A better strategy is probably to be grateful for each day and live it the best you can.

  2. Mike January 21, 2016

    Here’s one (of 143) pics in album Valley Fire Restoration; will be revisiting specific spots in various photos to show updated conditions; the pics beginning on page two of this album are just past Cobb, the home sites in late December not yet cleaned up from the debris. The linked pic here is from north end of fire looking south and east from Shenandoah Rd off of Loch Lomond Rd and was taken behind a parcel where the home burned down:

    I just saw some pics (finally) from Harbin after the debris removal effort there just finished days ago. I drove to Harbin in late December. Friendly guard allowed me to take pics at entrance but EPA was onsite dealing with toxic waste.

  3. Bill Pilgrim January 21, 2016

    re: Pension Fund. I agree with Mr. Sakowicz’s recommendations. The Wall Street casino will inevitably collapse. (It’s already starting.) Pay no attention to MSM financial propagandists who insist the ‘fundamentals’ of the current system are ‘sound.’ It’s a rigged game in a corrupt house, rotten to the core; a giant parasite on the real economy. When it crashes this time, there will be no coming back. The Fed and other central banks worldwide have no ammunition left. They shot it all on NIRPs, ZIRPs, & Q.E.s.
    Speculation is a disease of mankind. This coming world financial crash will begin the cure.
    This is the end…beautiful friend.

  4. Trelanie Hill January 21, 2016

    If Mendocino County officials honestly admit that the pension system is broke, insolvent, busted, indebted, destitute, exhausted, and/or bankrupt how many retirement dollars would Supervisor McCowen lose? Of course assuming the officials would do the honorable thing and liquidate.
    It’s hard to make someone understand when their future income is at stake!
    The retirement dollars should be separated from County control and oversight. Put the dollars and assets into a corporation owned and controlled by the retirees. The only obligation the County would have would be a yearly payment. Decisions about where to invest, how much to set aside, and other details could be handled by the shareholders/retirees.
    Take the reelection politics out of retirement financial decisions!
    Make this new retirement system part of the County Charter.

    Just my opinion,
    Jim Hill
    Potter Valley

    • james marmon January 21, 2016

      The BOS are getting their direction from the BOSS (Angelo) and are incapable of having independent rational thoughts on their own. She tells them what they can hear, think, or say on any given subject. Their brains have turned to mush.

      I agree Mr. Hill, the new system should be part of the County Charter.

      Maybe this new public bank could invest in the County Employees as well. Low interest home loans (mortgages) for County Employees so that a they too can become a home owners.

  5. John Sakowicz January 21, 2016

    In mt letter to the editor expressing my hope that MCERA allocate some of its investment portfolio to investing in the local economy, there is a typo. “Private banking” should read “public banking”.

    Thank you for making the correction.

    • Betsy Cawn January 22, 2016

      The substitution of “private” for “public” in the referenced phrase does not constitute what is commonly referred to as a “typo.” The intended term was not used, and the unintended term was — but was not misspelled or otherwise garbled in presentation. Editorially, this kind of error is properly described as a “mistake.” Human error aside, we appreciate Mr. Sakowicz’ work and look forward to more of it.

  6. Whyte Owen January 24, 2016

    For those that imagine that non-participation in elections sends a useful message or has any impact on our lives, here is athoughtful essay with some regional context by Tom Sullivan.

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