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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Jan 31, 2016

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AT&T IS POISED TO PROPOSE a major network upgrade for the northcoast. Some of AT&T’s west coast bigwigs are scheduled to describe the upgrade at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting in Ukiah.

Agenda Item (5c)

Agenda Title: Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff Resulting from a Presentation by AT&T Representatives Regarding AT&T’s December, 2015 Announcement of a Network Upgrade in the North Coast

Previous Board/Board Committee Actions: In response to several service outages caused by fiber line cuts over the last year, AT&T announced in December 2015 that it will be upgrading its North Coast network in 2016 to reduce outage impacts on local communities and businesses. A letter of commitment was transmitted by AT&T’s California Vice President of External Affairs stating that the company has begun the planning of the upgrades, which they estimate will be completed by the end of 2016.

Summary Of Request: As follow up to the December 2015 announcement from AT&T regarding a network upgrade in the North Coast, they have requested the opportunity to make a presentation to the Board of Supervisors. The presenters will include AT&T’s Vice President of External Affairs (California), AT&T’s Director of Technology Planning & Engineering and AT&T’s Area Director of External Affairs North Coast.

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LYRA JUBB, who blames Mendocino County Social Services (along with state adoption staffers) for taking her children away from her, has filed an official claim with the County:



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THE WILD HORSES of 253. A small, ghostly herd of pale white horses has run wild for many years in the wild back country of upper Robinson Creek at the Ukiah end of Highway 253. The horses are very real, but their origins, in local myth, says a 70's era doctor with land at the west end of Robinson Creek Road simply freed several of the herd's forbearers when he sold out and moved on, much as some outlaw pot farmers leave behind their guard dog pit bulls when they move on. Last week, some of the horses were corralled as they grazed near the pumpkin patch on the Ukiah side of the hill. Sonoma County's Equine Rescue is trying to find homes for the captured animals whose brothers and sisters continue to roam free between South Ukiah and the Anderson Valley.

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FAMILY SITTING NEXT TO ME at Illium Cafe in Troy, NY is so disconnected from one another. Not much talking. Father and two daughters have their own phones out. Mom doesn't have one or chooses to leave it put away. She stares out the window, sad and alone in the company of her closest family. Dad looks up every so often to announce some obscure piece of info he found online. Twice he goes on about a large fish that was caught. No one replies. I am saddened by the use of technology for interaction in exchange for not interacting. This has never happened before and I doubt we have scratched the surface of the social impact of this new experience. Mom has her phone out now.

— Eric Pickersgill

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Letter to the Editor:

Bruce Anderson’s Off the Record column is one of my “must reads.” Have always enjoyed his “just the facts, ma’am” posture combined with the occasional tadpole-dropped-in-the-screwdriver-glass kind of party joke. Then any real American appreciates muckrakers. Then in my life I haven’t met many law and order lefties and that makes Bruce Anderson’s writing even more interesting. Yet, to paraphrase the renowned pianist and world famous humanitarian Oscar Levant, to get at the truth of 21st Century Anderson Valley (think Marin Co.’s Mill Valley set down in the bucolic Napa Valley of yesteryear) and the rest of the crewcut Redwood Empire (and the whole country), you’ve got to peel away layer after layer of tinsel before arriving at the inner kernel of tinsel.

Whenever I disagree with Bruce Anderson on some issue it’s nearly always a matter of emphasis and never any big thing. We both see the incompetence and corruption in society at all levels, although Bruce Anderson seems to blame human ineptitude and general all-round laziness while I mostly blame the mob. “The mob” as in an organized crime syndicate, kangaroo courts and lynch mobs (they’re the kind that blessed freedom-loving us with prisons for profit, healthcare for profit, war for profit, patriotism for profit, ad nauseum. I see cities ruled by fortified corporate sky-scrapping castle keeps filled with armored employees ready and willing to do most anything for a cut of the action. A century ago the American economist Thorsten Veblen wrote that “the highest achievement in business is the nearest approach to getting something for nothing,” and if you carefully study your TV programing you’ll see that’s about all the sponsors are offering.

I believe Donald Trump is fully capable of becoming the USA’s Holy Confederation of Sovereign Christian States’ beloved Fuhrer. He’s a multi-billionaire, ain’t he? How much stronger you want your Strong Man? And, if you don’t believe me when it comes to Trump’s qualifications to be America’s wartime Commander in Chief, I suggest you study Charlie Chaplin’s movie The Great Dictator (1940). If Germany’s National Savior could make Germany great again by ridding the ancestral homeland of Communists, Socialists, Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, cripples, morons, floozies, freeloaders, trouble-makers and fellow travelers with any or all of the above, what’s a few million poor Mexicans and native born devil-worshiping abortionists, radical feminists, freeloaders, check-bouncers, hitchhikers, squatters and welfare chiselers? How big is their army? Haw. A shrewd “businessman” like Trump can figure out ways to make these and other negative assets pay for their own liquidation. About 125 years ago one of America’s Robber Barons bragged that he could buy half the working class to kill off the other half, and there’s been nothing in the decades since to prove him wrong. Hitler wasn’t the first or the last clown to offer his loyal followers a clean conscience and a 1000 Year Reich.

The trouble with a word like “fascism” is that it’s so elastic. Like some might think what I just wrote applies only to the German Nazis who were so much worse than, say, our old Fascist partner Generalissimo Franco of Spain, to name just one. It is a lie, of course. All of Europe’s Fascists were mass murderers and butchers. They were not the only butchers, but butchery was their defining characteristic. Then when the absolutely toothless, corrupt and tyrannical empires of China and Russia got Born Again with Communism and repeating rifles, they too became very well accomplished as butchers. They were at least the equals of the Japanese Militarists, the English Imperialists, the American Liberators of the Philippines, etc., etc., etc.

I think the phrase that best describes the USA today is a failed state. Failed as in a blood-splattered totalitarian tyranny wherein “war is peace, slavery is freedom and ignorance is strength.” Totalitarianism as in trapped in what is taken by our masters and believed instinctively by us to be the Best of all Possible Worlds; the devil’s playground mistaken for God’s little acre. Uber-nationalism, exceptionalism, imperialism, militarism, religious fundamentalism, racism, sexism — with power in the hands of the few, you are allowed to pick your poison.

That is the world that was given to you; that’s the world you were made for and that’s what they’re counting on. If only we could find it within ourselves to disappoint them.

Bruce Patterson, Prineville, Oregon

PS. For the first time in a couple of weeks, it snowed here this morning. Lotsa rain. El Nino the vato isn't supposed to affect us much in terms of precipitation, though it has been warmer than average and wetter. I'll take it.

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HEADLINE OF THE DAY from the Ukiah Daily Journal:

School Desk Column: Learning Is The Focus Of Ukiah High School

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MENDO’S RETIREMENT FUND ACTUARIAL REPORT: Retirement Fund Needs $19 Million from County.

Board Agenda Item (4g)

Summary Of Request: Segal Consulting prepared an Actuarial Valuation and Review for the Mendocino County Employee’s Retirement Association (MCERA) as of June 30, 2015 (attached). The study was presented to the Board of Supervisors during the Joint Meeting of the Board of Retirement and the Board of Supervisors on January 19, 2016. The Board of Retirement adopted the recommended rates on December 2, 2015 and forwards a recommendation for the Board of Supervisors (GC Section 31453 (a)) to set the employer and employee contribution rates for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17 as computed and recommended by Segal. Employer and member contribution rates are summarized by tier on page “iv” of the report with further detail provided in Section 2 (pages 15-20). The aggregate recommended employer and employee contribution rates for FY 2016-17 are 32.55% and 9.86%, respectively. The total actuarially determined employer contributions, calculated using an illustrative payroll of $58.1 million, are estimated to be $18,912,000. The decrease in the employer rate and the increase in the employee rates are mainly due to the increase in the employees in the PEPRA (California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act) tiers. Roughly $11.5 million in market gains are deferred (Section 2, page 5) due to the Retirement Board’s practice of smoothing market gains and losses to reduce contribution rate volatility. These market gains will be recognized over the next four years.

Source of Funding: County, Courts, Cemetery District.

Estimated to be $18,912,000 gross cost.

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COAST DISTRICT HOSPITAL will probably attempt a ballot measure to try to get an increase in Coast parcel taxes to pull the hospital out of the red. The hospital's brain trust went public last week with plans to take the historically troubled district to the voters. Won't be ready for the June ballot, but probably ready for the big vote in November.

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A CORRECTIONS DEPUTY named Dean Giese says he was terminated without due process and the County owes him $25k. Local cops who know Giese and the circumstances of his departure say he was in fact given full due process.


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Here’s What’s Being Done About It

by Ryan Burns

People in Humboldt County die from drug poisoning at more than double the national rate, and they’ve been doing so for more than a decade.

On average, 32 of every 100,000 county residents died from drug poisoning annually from 2002 through 2014, whether through suicide or unintentional overdose.

The national average over that same timeframe was less than 12 per 100,000, though it has been rising rapidly, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The boom in drug deaths has reached epidemic levels, and it’s largely being attributed to increased addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers.

The CDC created an interactive map to help people visualize the spread of this epidemic. It shows every county in the United States, color coded to express the age-adjusted drug poisoning death rates — from lavender for counties with the lowest rate (less than two per 100,000) up through blue, green, yellow, orange and finally red for counties with a rate above 20 per 100,000.

In 2002 the country looked mostly lavender, blue and green:


A dozen years later it was overrun with red and orange, and the high rate of deaths cut across urban and rural boundaries:


Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that Humboldt County was deep in the red from the beginning. In other words, the epidemic that’s causing deep concern and widespread media coverage nationwide has been the status quo in Humboldt for a long time. For perspective, consider this: Five hundred sixty-four Humboldt County residents died from drug poisoning in those dozen years, far outpacing the 329 who died in car crashes.

Methamphetamine use has received the lion’s share of public attention here in recent years, but far more people in Humboldt County are addicted to opioids and opiates, including heroin and prescription drugs such as oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). The most common cause of overdose deaths countywide is multi-drug toxicity, or a combination of whatever substances people can get their hands on.

How bad has the opioid epidemic gotten in Humboldt? Well, the local medical community got a wake-up call about five years ago with a series of reports from various agencies. Dr. Mary Meengs, medical director at the Humboldt Independent Practice Association, remembers seeing one report in particular, from the California Department of Justice’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), which monitors prescriptions throughout the state and breaks down the data by county.

The results, Meengs said, showed that Humboldt County residents were consuming prescription opiods at an alarming rate. The standardized unit of measurement for opioid drugs is “morphine equivalents,” and Humboldt’s daily per capita rate was 72. “That means the average human of all ages [in Humboldt County] was taking 14 Vicodin per day,” Meengs said. And that’s if you account for everyone in the county, including “babies and people in comas,” she explained. So if you subtract the non-users you get an idea how much abuse and addiction we have here.

In response to these startling numbers, local health care professionals have embarked on a number of initiatives designed to reduce the deluge of opiods flooding into the community by focusing on increased collaboration, improved education and alternative approaches toward pain management.

One such initiative involves forming an alliance with our neighboring counties in far-northern California — Del Norte, Trinity, Mendocino, Shasta, Siskiyou, Modoc and Lassen — all of which have seen a dramatic rise in overdose deaths.



Before we look at the initiatives underway in the region, it’s worth asking: Why do so many people here OD?

That’s a difficult question to answer, said Michael Goldsby, former director of the Chemical Dependency Treatment Program at Family Recovery Services and an addiction studies instructor at College of the Redwoods since 1987. Goldsby also served as Humboldt County’s alcohol and drug administrator from 1984 to 1988 and recently retired from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health Branch.

“I have never been able to find a single cause for the high rates of drug deaths in Humboldt County,” Goldsby said via email, “except of course for [the] apparent high rates of drug use, abuse and addiction.”

OK, so why do so many people here use drugs? Theories abound, with the most common explanations tending to involve the marijuana industry and its associated culture of permissiveness and experimentation. Goldsby thinks that theory makes sense.

“Risk factors for drug problems include availability of drugs, positive peer attitudes towards drug use [and] community norms that accept drug misuse,” he explained. “Drug and alcohol use is accepted and even encouraged in our community.”

Marijuana plays a role, he believes, even though no one has ever died from overdosing on weed. “[T]he economics and the culture are intertwined and not distinct and separate,” Goldsby said.

Whether or not you buy that theory, the problem is undoubtedly acute, and it has spread across the entire region.

In California, efforts to combat addiction through drug treatment have been undermined in recent years by funding cuts. In 2000 voters overwhelmingly approved Prop. 36, aka the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, which allowed nonviolent adult drug offenders to choose treatment and supervision instead of jail and/or probation.

The state funded the program to the tune of at least $120 million per year for seven straight years. But funding dropped to $108 million in the 2008/2009 fiscal year, and as California’s budget crisis worsened, money for the program was slashed to $63 million the following year and then zeroed out altogether in 2010. And yet the mandate remains: Anyone who’s eligible can still demand treatment over jail, and it’s up to local jurisdictions to figure out how to pay for it.

In Humboldt, drug treatment funding has been scarce and primarily earmarked for either moms or people involved in the criminal justice system.

“Certainly the need outstrips the resources right now,” said Nancy Starck, legislative and policy manager at the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services. On its own, the county lacks the resources to create a system that moves patients through the various stages of drug treatment and recovery.

“Obviously we don’t have a lot of money, and we started to think about how we might do this,” Starck said. Local public health officials started talking to administrators and health directors in other rural northern California counties that are in the same boat. “We thought it may make sense to try to do this regionally, for economies of scale,” Starck explained.

The other eight counties agreed, and together they began negotiating with Partnership HealthPlan of California, the official care provider for all Medi-Cal patients in the region. The goal, Starck said, is to build a more integrated health system “for holistic patient care, so we’re not dealing with separate systems but really looking at substance abuse disorders as the health problem that they are.”

The desired model works like a ladder that includes residential services, withdrawal management, opioid treatment and, critically, reimbursement for case management services to move clients through the system as their needs change. That latter piece has been missing, Starck said, and per state guidelines it requires something called the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System waiver.

“Providing services under the waiver is voluntary — counties can opt in or out,” Starck said. “So in order to opt in — and we recognize we need these services — the county would need to prove it could provide access to every service in the continuum and figure out how to pay for it.”

That can only be achieved through a regional approach, she said, and the constituent counties are now in the process of analyzing the available financing and trying to figure out how to build the system. The state is willing to entertain a proposal as early as this summer, and in the meantime the eight-county alliance is trying to piece together enough local, state and federal dollars to make it viable.

“There are definitely challenges,” Starck said, “but we really would like to make this work because, boy, are these resources needed in this community.”

Dr. Robert Moore is the chief medical officer for Partnership HealthPlan of California, the nonprofit that contracts with the state to administer Medi-Cal benefits locally, and he said Humboldt County has already shown marked improvement in addressing the opioid epidemic.

“Really, the whole community mobilized,” Moore said. Partnership first came to the county in September of 2013, he said, and through collaborations with local health care providers, particularly Open Door Community Health Centers, the organization has helped to cut back on opioid prescriptions, in part through educating providers on best practices for pain management as well as the use of buprenorphine, a methadone alternative used to treat opioid addiction.

Moore predicts that when the overdose death data comes in for 2015, it will show a sharp decline in opioid-related deaths here in Humboldt County.

“The reason I say that is data show a 50 to 60 percent decrease in [prescription opioid use among] the Medi-Cal population,” he said. He attributes that drop to a lot of different efforts going on separately and simultaneously, and to the community’s dedication to addressing the problem.

Partnership recently held a clinicians forum on improving opioid safety at four of its regional offices — Eureka, Redding, Fairfield and Santa Rosa. And despite being the smallest community in that group by a wide margin, Eureka’s office had the largest attendance.

“That really shows the community is thinking this is an important issue,” Moore said. “The major message is this: Everybody is pulling together to work on this.”

A big piece of that has been the Humboldt Independent Practice Association, which began addressing the issue of opioid addiction about two-and-a-half years ago, spurred by the disturbing data in the Humboldt County’s community health assessment.

“Back in November 2013 we did a call to action to look at the data in the assessment and see if there were strategies the local Humboldt County community could take to affect that alarmingly high death rate,” said Rosemary Denouden, Humboldt IPA’s chief operating officer.

The association has helped to build a collaborative effort that includes local hospitals, the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, the United Indian Health Services, the North Coast Clinics Network, Cloney’s Pharmacy and more.

“We keep adding people to our coalition,” Denouden said. “Recently we’ve added law enforcement and ambulance services. … We just find that no one organization or person will be able to turn this ship. We have to collaborate across our silos and professions and really be intentional in how we address this problem.”

Humboldt IPA formed subcommittees to address various aspects of the problem. One looked at disseminating appropriate prescribing guidelines in hopes of cutting back on excessive use.

“There are lots of stories about someone who had a bad accident, maybe they hurt their back, and got hooked on prescription pain meds,” said Dr. Meengs, Humboldt IPA’s medical director.

Going back to the standard unit of measurement for opioids, most organizations use a cutoff of 120 “morphine equivalents” as the line above which the risk of overdose sharply increases, Meengs said. The conversion rate is different for each drug. With oxycodone (aka OxyContin), for example, the cutoff would be 80 milligrams. Hydrocodone (aka Vicodin or Norco) has a one-to-one conversion rate, so the cutoff is 120 milligrams. Dilaudid, morphine and methadone have higher conversion rates.

“What a lot of people do, they’ll take three 20 mg oxys and then they’ll take six Norcos along with it,” Meengs said. Tolerance for these drugs builds quickly, so people wind up taking more and more to get the same effect. And overdose isn’t the only risk. Chronic use of opioids is bad for the heart, it interferes with sleep cycles, can reduce testosterone production and cause constipation, among other side effects.

Humboldt IPA has worked to spread guidelines that suggest avoiding opioid prescriptions for many short-term acute pain patients and limiting prescriptions for chronic pain to 120 morphine equivalents or less. Doctors and pharmacists can check with the state Department of Justice’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) to make sure patients aren’t being prescribed medications from multiple sources.

The coalition is also working to increase the knowledge and availability of a medication called naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, which is used to counter the effects of opioids and can save lives by effectively reversing overdoses. In recent years medical professionals have worked to distribute Narcan not only to emergency responders but also to family members and acquaintances of people at risk of overdosing.

“The goal is to increase greatly the training and distribution of Narcan to increase the number of lives saved, whether by an acquaintance or a first responder,” Meengs said. Some of the highest risk people are addicts who have been discharged from jail. During a long period of non-use while incarcerated, people’s tolerance drops, and so the same dose they took before getting arrested can be fatal following a dry spell.

But it’s not just — or even primarily — street addicts taking opioids. That’s another big aspect of the local health care community’s efforts to address this issue: changing community perceptions. Addicts often get started through genuine attempts to treat chronic pain. “They might be working, they might be on disability, but they’re your neighbors, they’re working right next to you, and they’re at high risk of accidental overdose and death,” Meengs said.

And then there are the people who help themselves to someone else’s supply. “This is how you hear stories about young people having an overdose,” Meengs noted.

Humboldt IPA received a grant in November through the California Health Care Foundation to continue expanding its coalition work. Meengs and Denouden agreed with Dr. Moore’s assessment that prescription opioid use is down in the county.

“We really look for the day when the death data goes down,” Denouden said. “We know many people [addicted to prescription drugs] convert to heroin, but we still have to reduce the amount of prescription opiates that are poured into the community inappropriately.”

With an overdose rate more than double the national average, it may take a while before the local community has enough of an impact to make Humboldt County’s drug poisoning rate acceptable or even average.

“Prevention and treatment are always a good investment, but the payoff is long term, not immediate,” said Goldsby, the addiction studies expert. He supports Humboldt County’s multi-faceted strategy to combat the problem. “Every prevention and treatment approach is valuable. There is not a single approach that will work for everyone.”

Local officials are betting that collaboration across both the county and the larger region will offer the best results with our limited resources.


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ANOTHER BIG POT EVENT has been proposed for May 14-15, 2016 at the Boonville Fairgrounds. Apparently Boonville organizer Chad Rae is worried about Sonoma County hosting (stealing?) the (formerly Mendo-based) Emerald Cup last year and proposes a Mendo version to host up to 2,000 stoners and fellow travelers.

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“A Seed Has Been Planted”

The Mendo Grow Show: Documenting Cannabis in Mendocino County, The Emerald Triangle, and Beyond

The Mendo Grow Show is a cannabis activism internet TV organization dedicated to working with Mendocino and California cannabis industry organizations, workers, advocates and enthusiasts to bring news and information to our community, both here and worldwide. As our inaugural event we are planning the 2016 The Spring Planting Show - an event that will focus on education, information and activism. We are looking for your voice of support as we begin the process of planning this event. 
Many of us in the cannabis industry have been hiding for years due to prohibition of cannabis and we are now just starting to be able to come out into the sun. 

We have a Tentative Date: May 14 and 15, in Picturesque Boonville, California with an Industry welcome party Friday night.

We still have to work on the Details with the Fairgrounds and the County Officials.

So Clear your schedule Now!

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To: All Interested Parties

FROM: Chad Rea, event producer, Mendo Grow Show

RE: Mendo Grow Show Presents - The Spring Planting Show

New Cannabis Event Coming To Mendocino County

The Spring Planting Show is in pre-production. The event will be a showcase and networking opportunity for Mendocino County cannabis farmers, patients, entrepreneurs, artists and enthusiasts, with a tentative rollout for late spring, 2016.


Event producer Chad Rea has been conceptualizing this event for several years. Rea, a long-time Mendocino County resident, cannabis activist, professional video cameraperson and owner/operator of a video production company has been an active participant and a documentarian of countless local, regional and national cannabis events. 

Chad is a multiple-year, top-ten winner in the cannabis division of the Emerald Cup. Because of this and his decades behind the camera, shooting music festivals including Reggae on the River, the Sierra Nevada Music Festival, The Kate Wolf Music Festival and multiple years shooting main stage cannabis events including the Seattle HempFest, Rea has a unique perspective and context for bringing a “home-grown,” locally-focused, locally-produced cannabis event to Mendocino County.


The Emerald Cup - Mendocino County’s original cannabis festival, grew from a small community event for a few hundred participants to a nationally recognized festival that brought 20,000 people to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in 2015. Because of its move south, an event vacuum has been created. Now, county residents are clambering for a local event that honors the spirit and the expertise of Mendocino County cannabis farmers and industry members, who arguably formed the foundation and the inspiration for the wildly successful Emerald Cup of today.

The Spring Planting Show is conceptualized as a vehicle for the community to come together, meet the diverse, intelligent and professional members of the county’s cannabis community, create opportunities for education, political discussion and dialog and enjoy opportunities for networking, showcasing the vast impact our county has had on the cannabis industry - not just locally, but throughout the world.

The atmosphere will be a safe, friendly environment, suitable for master gardeners wishing to exchange plants and growing tips, and first-time medical cannabis users who can access experts and get real-time information on the latest treatment modalities and recommendations.


What “isn’t” the Mendo Grow Show? It is not a wild festival featuring all-night music. The show will be an adult-only event. Though there will be local musicians who perform throughout the weekend, the focus of the Spring Planting Event is community, communication and education. A weekend of camping, hands-on workshops, spirited political discourse, legal roundtables, vending opportunities, beer and wine tasting will offer guests a deep immersion in the cannabis community and enhance our County’s image as an engaged, responsible community, ready to take cannabis “to the next level.”

Event Content

  • Panels and workshops currently being considered include but are not limited to:
  • Legal and Law Enforcement Roundtable
  • Political and Legislative Updates from local and State activists
  • Regulatory issues from a local perspective
  • Cannabis Health Practitioners - treating medical conditions with cannabis, “how - to” workshops, patient discussion group
  • Seed, Clone and Plant Exchanges and Sales
  • Cannabis Cookery Demonstrations
  • Demonstration of Non-volatile Extraction of Cannabis Concentrates
  • Soils, Teas and Nutrients
  • Hemp Industry Representatives
  • Indoor, Outdoor and Light Dep - Professionals from each growing modality
  • Environmental Roundtable - Weed, Water and Waste. How to grow responsibly
  • Testing Cannabis - Lab Testing industry representatives
  • Entrepreneurs Roundtable - The Business of Cannabis
  • Starting your cannabis business - what you need to know
  • All-Organic farming techniques and product recommendations
  • Pesticides- Coping with Critters following local and state regulations

Sixteen years of exemplary cannabis farming, video documentation and activism have given Rea access to the industry’s most respected leaders - a veritable “Who’s Who” of the cannabis industry who have already expressed interest in this event.


Historically, cannabis event coordinators have not prioritized archiving and disseminating lectures and workshops at their festivals. We want this information to be widely available. To that end, the entire event will be filmed in HD, and portions will be live-streamed. Event footage will also be available as video-on-demand at the event’s website.


The event will be coordinated by a professional paid staff consisting of primarily local residents. We are targeting a maximum attendance of approximately 2,000 attendees, with a nominal paid admission fee. Because of the adults-only stipulation, we would like to offer a “215” sampling and purchasing area.

Our goal is to hold this event at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds. To do this, we need your support to encourage the Fair Board of Directors to consider this location. An online letter of support is available at the Mendo Grow Show website. We will be working closely with the Mendocino County Sheriff and other agencies to ensure that this is a great event for everyone.

Rea hopes this will be the first in a series of countywide cannabis-themed events. Our county can take a leadership role in this industry because of our distinction as a cannabis-producing region and the preeminent Mendocino cannabis “brand” which continues to garner acclaim with elite cannabis consumers. We need to show the world who we are, what we do, and assert our leadership role in the cannabis industry.

Additionally, we are seeking sponsorship, food and product vendors, dispensaries, musicians, merchants and lodging industry members who wish to be involved.

For more information, please contact Chad Rea at: (707) 841-7720 or

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 30, 2016

Collicott, Comer, Cope
Collicott, Comer, Cope

CAYTLIN COLLICOTT, Willits. Assault on police officer, controlled substance, drug injection device.

STEVEN COMER, Laytonville. DUI.

DAVID COPE, Fort Bragg. Harboring wanted felon, probation revocation.

Gardner, Maynard, Morris, Ochoa-Medina
Gardner, Maynard, Morris, Ochoa-Medina

JAMES GARDNER III, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

DENA MORRIS, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JORGE OCHOA-MEDINA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, reckless driving, misdemeanor hit&run.

Phillips, Shelton, Wilkin, Woskow
Phillips, Shelton, Wilkin, Woskow

LAURIE PHILLIPS, Willits. Domestic assault.

BRITTANY SHELTON, Chico/Ukiah. Petty theft.

BENJAMIN WILKIN, Oakland. Controlled substance, suspended license.

JESSIE WOSKOW, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

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What's Shakin'?  January 30, 2016

Dear Friends,

"Team Lake County" report, Sunday, January 31, 2016 (2-3 pm), will include an update on the recently completed case management training (provided by the United Methodist Committee on Relief ( at the United Christian Parish in Lakeport, and the nearly completed “unmet needs” survey being conducted by World Renew (

TLC’s Case Management Committee, now chaired by Jacqui Maxman of UCP, will match trained case managers with individuals and families with additional support needed to recover their homes and their lives after the Valley Fire and related calamities of 2015 in Lake County.

“What’s Next?” (same day, 3-4 pm) will discuss the Area Agency on Aging’s “Emergency Action Plan,” adopted by the Agency’s two-county Governing Board (Lake & Mendocino) on January 28, 2016.  The plan can be seen on the Agency’s website (, although the important hyperlinks within the content are not active. [We’ll request that to be fixed, next week.]

Starting on Page 15, the requirements for “contractors” (i.e., senior centers providing Elder Nutrition Programs) include some basic guidance that every non-profit organization (including KPFZ) would find useful for delivering “continuity of services” during a disaster, and for rapid recovery in the post-disaster process.

World Renew will be heading out next week, as will our dearly appreciated FEMA voluntary agency coordinator, John Chavez. Continuing outreach in the community includes “After the Fire” — resource updates provided by the Lake County Recovery Task Force, Tuesday, February 2, 3-7 pm at the Middletown Rancheria event center, followed by the regular Task Force meeting in the same location.  For additional details, see the Calendar page at “” — if time permits, we’ll explain some of the confusion around who has the local authority to produce this “information.”

Give us a call tomorrow and let us know how the recovery process is going in your neighborhood — 263-3435 (studio), while we enjoy the break in the weather.

Betsy Cawn, Lake County

PS. A note on the Friends of Clear Lake:  Over 200 readers receive these intermittent “blurbs” on behalf of the long-term recovery and longer-term disaster preparedness effort under way in Lake County. Our friends and other readers started out as individuals and organizations interested in the previous years’ focus on Quagga Mussel Infestation Prevention, cyanobacteria monitoring and other water quality issues affecting Clear Lake, but since last summer our attention has been riveted on the aftermath of 2015’s massive wildfires.  The effect of these on Clear Lake is barely mentioned, although both Big Valley and Elem Colony environmental staff are doing some monitoring of possibly hazardous runoff into the lake from fire-devastated drainages.  If you have any concerns related to all this, but you can’t call in or — in some cases — can’t even get our signal where you are, do let me know in a reply email.  Over the years, I have come to value the issues that each and every one of you champion in your neighborhoods and communities — thanks for your unwavering support.

* * *


by Sheila Dawn Tracy

Prepared by Interim General Manager, Stuart Campbell, the report noted that the news team of Sherri Quinn and Valerie Kim will continue coverage of daily news stories. Quinn will take on the Morning Edition; Kim, the Evening Edition. They also have plans to do longer investigative pieces throughout the year. Coverage of civic engagement forums titled 'Community Conversations' are also planned. The first one, on cannabis, is scheduled for February 6th at the Little Lake Grange in Willits. Organized by local community members, it will include the diverse voices of legislators, growers, advocates and other stakeholders. A second event on behavioral health services and the collaboration of local agencies and institutions to improve the care of those needing attention will be held in March. The event will be televised and funding for Spanish translators has been provided.


The County Community Benefit grant was not awarded to the station so an upgrade to provide remote access to the station's two broadcast towers will not be possible at this time. The Board of Supervisors instead chose to give smaller grants to numerous community improvement projects.

An application for a grant from the Mendocino Community Foundation was filed by Dechter. The money would be used to upgrade to software provided by Allegiance to improve the capacity of the membership database.

$5000 is still being sought to acquire two new computers and upgrade the software for the station's accounting and bookkeeping needs.


Toby Gleason, formerly of Santa Rosa, will host the 10 am jazz slot on alternate Thursdays as of February 4th. He will alternate with Ron Hoffar. Gleason has previously hosted jazz programs on KRCB (Santa Rosa). His father, Ralph J. Gleason was the long time jazz critic for the S.F. Chronicle who co-founded both the Monterey Jazz Festival and Rolling Stone magazine.

Campbell, free from his obligations as acting GM, will return to host his program, Consider This on alternate Friday mornings.

Bob Bushansky, husband to Board President, Meg Courtney and member of the Community Advisory Board will fill the alternate Friday spot. His show, Politics: A Love Story will present a conservative viewpoint regarding issues and political candidates.

Cal Winslow continues to produce limited series programs which are to be scheduled at a later date.

Reveal, a Peabody Award winning investigative journalism program, will air weekly at 1 pm on Wednesdays. It can not be archived through the station's Jukebox feature. City Arts will move to 7pm on alternate Wednesdays opposite the Point and Click computer program. City Arts can also be heard on Sundays at 5am.

Nina Gerona, currently working in Anderson Valley as an AmeriCorps volunteer, has joined Women's Voices. She has been involved in radio both in high school and college, and can be heard on the second Monday of the month at 7pm.

N.O. show host, Eric Labowitz, will be taking a three month medical leave of absence. His replacement, Kathy Rippey, is familiar with New Orleans and its unique blend of musical roots, having lived there for many years until being forced to relocate after hurricane Katrina.

W Dan Houck returns to The Tree house for Thursday night comedy. He will alternate in mid-February with John McAllister who is currently on honeymoon leave.

In late breaking news, it was announced on air by Bob Bushansky that KZYX&Z's new General Manager, Lorraine Dechter, will begin on-air reports of station activities in the 7:06 am NPR musical interlude time frame. This is a positive step in fulfilling the single recommendation of the 2014 CAB (Community Advisory Board) report which further stipulated that station news announcements be repeated at regular intervals during the day and evening hours to be effective in reaching the broadest spectrum of listeners.


Two auctions are planned for 2016. The first, a station Valentine, is slated for February 11th through the 20th. All donations are being accepted though it has been found that artwork often does not sell. Contact the station or the Board of Directors via phone or website to contribute items.

The second auction, in conjunction with the Western Regional Public Radio Auction and Nevada Public Radio will occur later in the year.

Donations from major donors have totaled almost $26k as of late December. Another $28.5k must still be acquired to meet the budgeted goal of $55k. Major donor 'house parties' were the idea of Director Jane Futcher. It was disclosed by Courtney that a certain amount of money would be needed to host these 'events' though details of how guests were to be chosen, of which houses were to host the prospective large donors or the exact amount to be budgeted was either not forthcoming or in the latter instance, revealed in an undertone so as to make the information inaccessible to the listening public.


Sustaining memberships (monthly installment payments) doubled during the fall pledge drive which exceeded its $80k goal.

The tentative current member count for 2016 is 2285 which is a welcomed rise from the previous year's count of 2118 but well under more successful years of 2013 and 2014 where the member count rose to 2396 and 2372 respectively.

Although the agenda included the topics of Document Demand and Explanation of why the Membership List Cannot be Shared under the heading of: Responding to questions of members (in bold type), Campbell did not address either issue nor was attention brought to it by any Board member.

Public Comment

Jeff Wright questioned why Interim Manager, Campbell refused to accept his offer of $120 as a membership donation at the November meeting. He stated that the November pledge drive had been promoted as being supportive of the News team and expanded news coverage. Wright wanted to know how much of the $80k raised was directed into the news as well as the cost of NPR and PRX programs. He also asked why the reversal of Safe Harbor policy was not on the agenda for public discussion.

My comments followed. I wondered what, if any, community input had been part of the Search (hiring) committee process. I noted that the only sanctioned community member of the committee, Jenness Hartley had been recruited off the Community Advisory Board to serve as newly appointed Board member. The actual committee had been winnowed down to only three members--a programmer, a part time staff person and the chair of the Personnel Committee, Board member, Benj Thomas. Having attended two previous committee meetings, I had requested of the Board to be allowed to represent the voice of the coastal community. I was excluded from process of vetting applicants. The minutes of those meetings are station documents intended to be available for public review. However, the process instead has been shrouded in intrigue and mystery.

I again reiterated CPB requirements that membership information COULD be shared with other members provided that members were told they had a right to sign and were presented with a non disclosure option. I remarked that such information had not been made available to members in the 26 years of the station's existence by either station management or the member's representatives, the KZYX&Z Board of Directors. Both entities in the past two years of requests have steadfastly maintained that they were bound by CPB regulations to protect the privacy of its members. Now we know it just isn't so. A non disclosure privacy statement could be sent out with the next election ballot. Doing so would help eliminate the tension between members who want a means to communicate with other members and station management under former GM, John Coate and Interim GM, Campbell, who consistently denied that right as established in the California Corporation Code.

It should be pointed out that although the Board has a way to communicate privately with other Board members and that same ability to communicate privately is granted to the station's programmers, no such vehicle of station sanctioned communication is available to station members who, incidentally, provide more than half of the station's operating budget.

I also stated that management's insistence that members pay $1500 for the privilege of communicating with each other through the postal service is unnecessary when both the Board and management are permitted by the Bylaws to assist in the calling of the membership's own meetings through free announcements broadcast over the station's airwaves. Why shouldn't member's expect the full cooperation of both the Board and management in this effort especially when the difficulty of getting feedback from listeners has been remonstrated time after time?

In my final comment I pointed out the disconnection of current Board members from the decisions of past Boards due to the lack of a Board historian. It was abundantly clear that the Board had no idea of what specific rules were to be used in running their meetings until my research determined that it was, in fact, Roberta 's Rules of Order by Alice Collier Cochran. (adopted 9/8/2002)

Mike Dunlap of Lake County observed that the Board had not introduced themselves nor provided any means for the audience to identify them. He was critical of the way the meeting was conducted stating that the Board needed a parliamentarian as well as a gavel and a clear set of rules. He commented that in 2012 there were 126 fires in the County and that radio is the only method that works in an emergency. He felt the public was being "short shifted". Dunlap advised the Board to seek out non members and be attentive to their concerns.

In response, the Board quickly amended their error and introduced themselves.

Courtney, in way of an apology, commented that in her four years on the Board, there had been no Board training. She acknowledged the Board owed it to their members and the audience to know their job and how to run the meeting well. She added that she thought the idea of a Board historian was a good one.

Late night programmer Tim Gregory stated that it was a crucial element of public radio to have a time for freedom of expression. Safe Harbor, formerly from 10pm to 6am, by legal precedent had been established to satisfy that intent and he was in favor of its quick return.

Derek Hoyle, also a late night programmer decried the continued lack of action of the Board in supporting programmers like himself in the production of their shows' content without the cloud of censorship obscuring their creative energy. He also asked why it took navigating three pop up menus on the station website to determine the location of that night's meeting. He felt the information should be more accessible by being on the home page.

Tom Melcher stated that the fact that the Board of Supervisors chose to award grants to other social community endeavors did not preclude management from attempting to establish a contract with the County.

Dorothea Dorman advocated for a way listeners could call in to ask for shows that responded to current needs for information citing Lyme's Disease as a topic of community interest. She felt that the Board of Supervisor's meeting on an advisory recommendation to Mendocino Redwood Company's to voluntarily halt its practice of using poison to kill tan oak trees should have been recorded live by the station as had public meetings of importance in the past. She added that greater exposure could have put more pressure on the Board to vote in the public interest. She also favored a call in program with CAB members.

The date of the next Board meeting is Monday, March 7 in Willits.

In response to a request for the compiling of a six month Board calendar with the specific location of meetings predetermined, Courtney stated that an effort was being made toward that objective.  Though the meeting had officially ended, Director Keller, who was noticeably quiet throughout the meeting, made an effort to pacify programmer and videographer, Derek Hoyle about the current lack of a Safe Harbor policy. Keller opined that "it wasn't a big deal." Hoyle vociferously disagreed stating for all to hear, "Some people may not think censorship is a big deal but a lot of other people think it is a very big deal."

* * *


Camille’s take on Hillary doesn’t sound off-the-wall: that Hillary has “daddy” issues, that she was stuck in a Southern culture that she wasn’t at home in, that like a lot of other women she has trouble reconciling between different roles. And she has a lousy horn-dog of a husband. So what else is new.

I’m not so sure that her condescension towards men is what puts men off. After all, ever since time began (or so it seems) women have adopted a pose of moral superiority over men, that men are subject to beastly sexual and predatory drives that need to be curtailed-controlled. And it’s the civilizing effect of comparatively civilized women that have to do this. I won’t be shocking you by telling you that mostly, men just laugh and go about their beastly ways.

So far so boring. Nothing new here. It’s politically incorrect I suppose to point out that if women take a dim view of the male collective, common male attitudes to women aren’t all that complimentary either. You’ve probably heard the short-form from your dad and older male relatives: can’t live with ’em (meaning women), can’t live without ’em. Not sure that younger men express it this way but again, nothing new under the sun here either.

Maybe women feel a sense of solidarity with Hillary over their common victim status, you know, having to clean up after that dirty, rotten, stinkin’, lyin’, irresponsible cheat who never does the damn dishes or picks up his socks. Which is why she has higher levels of support among women. But I think that Hillary has other problems. Which is why she has lower levels of support among men.

An example: when was the last time Hillary answered a question? All I’ve ever seen from her is evasion, non sequitur and telling the interviewer that THIS isn’t the question and then goes on to answer something that wasn’t asked.

From my own perspective, Hillary’s handling of State Department emails is utterly mind-boggling. Hillary was the top foreign affairs official in the US government, arguably the most important official in the US government next to the President. It’s true, there’s dense thickets of laws and rules around handling of government records like emails, but Hillary is a lawyer by education and profession and she would have been surrounded by platoons of career civil servants steeped and marinated in the minutiae. As such her negligence in this can’t be excused by such nonsense as I was confused, I had two devices, I was very busy. Baloney, all of it.

And Bernie’s protestation that everybody’s sick of her damn emails doesn’t help his cause either. Like it or not the U.S has some nasty adversaries, all of which have hackers who are busy hacking away and the Secretary of State has to avail herself of all the electronic protection the US government can provide.

None of it would matter I suppose if Hillary had a natural connection with people like Bill did. She’s just not a natural politician. As George Carlin said, Bill would get up in front of a crowd and say “Hi, I’m Bill Clinton and I’m fulla shit” and people would cheer their asses off. Hillary doesn’t have that knack. It’s a rare gift, not many people do.

* * *


* * *


The New York Times on Saturday announced that its editorial board has endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. "Voters have the chance to choose one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history," the endorsement read. Bernie? The Times wrote, "In the end, though, Mr. Sanders does not have the breadth of experience or policy ideas that Mrs. Clinton offers."

Jim Bourg (Reuters)

* * *


* * *


From Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:


It seems as though I've heard about the seething anger of the electorate before nearly every election in my life. Joe Klein takes a drive through the heartland every few years and reports back about this. But all sorts of polling evidence suggests that Americans aren't really all that unhappy in general and not really all that angry about the government. No more than usual, anyway. Now, maybe this year really is different. Maybe voters are more responsive to angry appeals even if they aren't especially angry in general...

* * *


by Ralph Nader

Before announcing for President in the Democratic Primaries, Bernie Sanders told the people he would not run as an Independent and be like Nader — invoking the politically-bigoted words “being a spoiler.” Well, the spoiled corporate Democrats in Congress and their consultants are mounting a “stop Bernie campaign.” They believe he’ll “spoil” their election prospects.

Sorry Bernie, because anybody who challenges the positions of the corporatist, militaristic, Wall Street-funded Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, in the House and Senate — is by their twisted definition, a “spoiler.” It doesn’t matter how many of Bernie’s positions are representative of what a majority of the American people want for their country.

What comes around goes around. Despite running a clean campaign, funded by small donors averaging $27, with no scandals in his past and with consistency throughout his decades of standing up for the working and unemployed people of this country, Sanders is about to be Hillaried. Her Capitol Hill cronies have dispatched Congressional teams to Iowa.

The shunning of Bernie Sanders is underway. Did you see him standing alone during the crowded State of the Union gathering?

Many of the large unions, that Bernie has championed for decades, have endorsed Hillary, known for her job-destroying support for NAFTA and the World Trade Association and her very late involvement in working toward a minimum wage increase.

National Nurses United, one of the few unions endorsing Bernie, is not fooled by Hillary’s sudden anti-Wall Street rhetoric in Iowa. They view Hillary Clinton, the Wall Street servant (and speechifier at $5000 a minute) with disgust.

Candidate Clinton’s latest preposterous pledge is to “crack down” on the
“greed” of corporations and declare that Wall Street bosses are opposing her because they realize she will “come right after them.”

Because Sanders is not prone to self-congratulation, few people know that he receives the highest Senatorial approval rating and the lowest disapproval rating from his Vermonters than any Senator receives from his or her constituents. This peak support for an avowed “democratic socialist,” comes from a state once known for its rock-ribbed conservative Republican traditions.

Minority House Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi has unleashed her supine followers to start wounding and depreciating Sanders. Pelosi acolyte Adam Schiff (D. California) tells the media he doubts Sanders’s electability and he could have “very significant downstream consequences in House and Senate races.”

Mr. Schiff somehow ignores that the House and Senate Democratic leadership repeatedly could not defend the country from the worst Republican Party in history, whose dozens of anti-human, pro-big business votes should have toppled many GOP candidates. Instead, Nancy Pelosi has led the House Democrats to three straight calamitous losses (2010, 2012, 2014) to the Republicans, for whom public cruelties toward the powerless is a matter of principle.

Pelosi threw her own poisoned darts at Sanders, debunking his far more life-saving, efficient, and comprehensive, full Medicare-for-all plan with free choice of doctor and hospital with the knowingly misleading comment “We’re not running on any platform of raising taxes.” Presumably that includes continuing the Democratic Party’s practice of letting Wall Street, the global companies and the super-wealthy continue to get away with their profitable tax escapes.

Pelosi doesn’t expect the Democrats to make gains in the House of Representatives in 2016. But she has managed to hold on to her post long enough to help elect Hillary Clinton — no matter what Clinton’s record as a committed corporatist toady and a disastrous militarist (e.g., Iraq and the War on Libya) has been over the years.

For Pelosi it’s bring on the ‘old girls club,’ it’s our turn. The plutocracy and the oligarchy running this country into the ground have no worries. The genders of the actors are different, but the monied interests maintain their corporate state and hand out their campaign cash — business as usual.

Bernie Sanders, however, does present a moral risk for the corrupt Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee, which are already turning on one of their own leading candidates. His years in politics so cleanly contrasts with the sordid, scandalized, cashing-in behavior of the Clintons.

Pick up a copy of Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash, previewed early in 2015 by the New York Times. Again and again Schweizer documents the conflicted interest maneuvering of donors to the Clinton Foundation, shady deals involving global corporations and dictators, and huge speaking fees, with the Clinton Foundation and the State department as inventories to benefit the Clintons. The Clintons embody what is sleazy and harmful about their political intrigues.

If and when Bernie Sanders is brought down by the very party he is championing, the millions of Bernie supporters, especially young voters, will have to consider breaking off into a new political party that will make American history. That means dissolving the dictatorial two-party duopoly and its ruinous, unpatriotic, democracy-destroying corporate paymasters.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!

* * *


by Valeria Luiselli

(Translated by Louis S. Bedrock)

When she’s awake, she fills the entire car with the warm air of her puppy breath, her abrupt wild laughter, with her unexpected but on target observations: the trunk of elephants is a nose, not a mouth, mama.

Her small teeth, prominently separated from one another, light up her face when she pronounces new words, difficult words, saguaro, words like sarcasm, not concepts, just words, consequences, Copenhagen, mosquito, jacaranda, scapular.

Then, quite suddenly, she gets tired of being in the world, becomes quiet, and looks out the window without saying anything.

It is here, in these moments when they suddenly turn quiet and look outside of the small family circle that encloses them, when the mystery which will eventually separate us from our children permanently begins to grow.  She looks through the window and yawns.  I don’t know what she’s thinking:  I don’t know whether she sees the same thing that we see.

Outside lies the incredibly beautiful landscape of the south coast of Jalisco, the forest damaged but not destroyed by the recent hurricane, the Phoenix-like country that refuses to disintegrate despite the bludgeoning by man and by Nature.

She blinks, her eyelids heavy, and checks us out from the corner of her eye from who knows what great distance to assure herself that no one will turn around and see her when he puts her thumb in her mouth.

We move forward slowly through the winding curves of the highway.  A fragile silence has settled into the rear seat.  The thumb goes in.  The mouth sucks.  Little by little, she is already very far away, almost erased from us.  The thumb, overcome; the mouth, massaging; the digit, distended.

She closes her eyes and dreams of horses.

* * *


(photo by Annie Kalantarian)
(photo by Annie Kalantarian)

* * *


by David R. Baker

The solar industry scored a major victory Thursday when a divided California Public Utilities Commission voted to keep largely intact the system that compensates solar homeowners for excess electricity that they place on the grid.

The vote extends, with minor changes, California's "net energy metering" system, one of the state's most important incentives for rooftop solar power. California is both headquarters to the U.S. solar industry as well as its largest market, with more than 450,000 homes sporting solar arrays.

The win caps a hard-fought lobbying campaign that pitted solar companies against traditional utilities, which consider the current system a subsidy that increases costs for their non-solar customers.

The utilities wanted the commission to impose new monthly charges that would apply only to solar customers, an idea the commissioners rejected. The solar companies, in turn, accused the utilities of trying to strangle an industry that threatens their long-standing monopolies.

Thursday's vote was close, with President Michael Picker and commissioners Carla Peterman and Liane Randolph voting in favor of the extension, while commissioners Mike Florio and Catherine Sandoval opposed it.

"Our course is not for the rooftop solar industry, or for the utilities," Picker said. "Our decision today is a big step forward toward giving California consumers more choice, more control and more responsibility for their energy choices. It's a big step, but only one of many."

Both Florio and Sandoval objected for the same reason - a last-minute change that exempted solar homeowners from paying a specific charge related to electricity transmission.

That one detail, the commissioners complained, would unfairly shift the burden of paying the transmission charge onto non-solar utility customers. And both insisted that the solar industry doesn't need the extra incentive, particularly after Congress in December unexpectedly renewed a 30 percent tax credit for solar installations.

"Any system which benefits the few at a cost to the many can only be sustained for so long," Florio said. "That is always true."

The decision continues to pay solar homeowners the full retail rate for their excess electricity - about 17 to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers.

New solar customers, however, will have to pay a one-time fee, estimated at $75 to $150, to connect their system to the grid. They also will face increased monthly charges to pay for costs shared by most utility customers, such as subsidizing electricity bills for low-income households and paying off the lingering costs of California's 2000-01 energy crisis. Those increased charges will add about $5 to a typical solar homeowner's monthly bill.

Finally, to pay for the energy they still use from the grid, new solar customers will switch to "time of use" electricity rates, which charge different prices at different times of day.

Homeowners who already have solar arrays won't be affected by the changes - at least not yet. They will continue to be compensated under the old net metering rules for 20 years after the date their panels were connected to the grid.

Each of California's large, investor-owned utilities will begin applying the new net metering rules once rooftop solar power accounts for 5 percent of their peak electricity demand, or July 1, 2017 - whichever comes first. PG&E, which already has 210,000 solar customers, expects to hit the 5 percent level in September.

PG&E expressed disappointment with the vote and said the current net metering system is both antiquated and unsustainable.

"PG&E is committed to working with all parties to find the right balance to support continued growth of solar and evolve regulations that reflect the market dynamics of 25 years ago and to help ensure that rates for all customers are equitable," the company said.

Solar companies welcomed the decision, even if they had reservations about some of the details. Fights over net metering have raged in several states, and a decision late last year in Nevada to cut compensation to solar homeowners prompted several companies to scale back their operations there.

"While today's decision is a compromise that will require the solar industry to adapt, it rejects the utilities' anti-solar proposals and continues California's renewable energy leadership," said Bryan Miller, senior vice president of public policy at San Francisco solar leasing company Sunrun.

The decision does not end California's fight over net metering. Instead, it represents a pause.

The decision calls for the commission to revisit the issue in 2019. By then, commissioners hope to have a better grasp of solar power's costs as well as its benefits to the grid.

"I will be the first to say to say that we really do have a way to go before we have an enduring rooftop strategy," Picker said.

* * *

KMEC RADIO 105.1 FM RETURNS on Monday, February 1, at 1 p.m., Pacific Time, with a special edition show that we're calling, "Sanders and Socialism". Richard Wolff is our guest. John and Sid are our hosts.

Our broadcast is heard at 105.1 FM from the Mendocino Environmental Center in Ukiah, CA. We also stream from the web

Our shows are archived and available as podcasts. Shows may be videotaped and posted to Youtube.

* * *

Adam Johnson in "45 Million Americans Live in Poverty, but You Wouldn’t Know It From Watching 2016 Coverage," notes that: "Of the five Republican debates and of the three Democratic debates, not one moderator has asked a question involving the words 'poverty' or 'poor.'" See: "Sanders Consoles Crying Woman Struggling To Live Off Minimum Wage."

Richard Wolff is visiting professor at the New School University, New York and professor of economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

He said today: "Bernie offers hope and change. Hope for something better than the capitalism we have and its worsening inequality, instability and endless warfare, environmental outrages, and basic injustice. Bernie's "democratic socialism" is a change from all that to another New Deal. No real surprise that after Obama's promise of hope and change proved an illusion, something further left would take up the cry, respond to the need. And here's a thought: if Bernie is denied or blocked from delivering on his promises, movements further left will similarly emerge to respond to the need.

"The World Economic Forum in Davos obsessed, and rightly, over a global capitalism deeply mired in the iceberg of debt used to cope with the 2008 crash. The great fear is that the debt will cut off growth, produce deflation, and thereby increase the burden debt places on the system. Capitalism -- the system -- is in trouble. Of course, socialisms then arise; they always were among the alternatives to consider when people find it urgent to 'do better than capitalism.'"

See Wolff's "Socialism For Dummies" lecture.


  1. Betsy Cawn January 31, 2016

    Thanks for uploading the “Friends of Clear Lake” newsmail about KPFZ’s special Sunday afternoon programs. Readers can email “” or catch our occasional web-linked updates on our Facebook page (Friends of Clear Lake, of course), and keep tabs on the County of Lake’s CLEAN WATER PROGRAM in the same medium (Facebook). Likewise, Facebook hosts news from the Big Valley/Elem environmental management departments on their page called “Clear Lake Water Quality.”

    Because the fires of 2015 dominated the news (and the environment, for that matter), and we didn’t suffer much from “blue-green algae” blooms last year, the attention being given to Clear Lake’s water quality seemed to fade, but continuing interest from the State Water Board and US EPA Region 9 means that we will seek more knowledge of how our famously ancient living water “body” responds to the challenges of Lake County’s “long term recovery” in the coming years.

    KPFZ listeners, supporters, and volunteers were galvanized by the overwhelming need for public information and communication services during the Valley Fire, during the time when official government services were scrambling to organize direct responses to cataclysmic events of September and October 2015. We greatly appreciate the Anderson Valley Advertiser and KZYX contributions to our ongoing travails and triumphs in the face of adversity. Long live the AVA!

  2. Harvey Reading January 31, 2016


    Oh, please. You could have seen something similar in the 60s, at home: old man sitting watching TV with a beer in his hand; wife in the kitchen cleaning up; kids in their bedrooms talking on their (corded) phones. Things are no different now, just different gadgets. I get so sick of people who (mis)remember the “good ol’ daze”. Get a life …

  3. Mike January 31, 2016

    Yes, it’s true that the NY Times have identified the grownup parents who finally came home from vacation to bust the kids partying in the house:

    Mama: Hillary Clinton.

    Daddy: John Kasich

    I don’t think we will be needing Michael Bloomberg’s service as a National Valium Pill. (In the event of Trump or Cruz v Sanders, both folks peddling fiction in their own ways……like Sanders will get anything done without a Congress backing his agenda… stupid does he think we are?!?!?)

    Looking forward to Hillary’s latest hot issue, the BS classification processes and the interagency games on that. Those are some awesome judo moves she’s starting to make on that issue! Suggest people get in the weeds (ie. the actual facts) on this one, it’s highly intriguing.

    Betcha she and John Podesta go hunting for Aliens (from outer space) too!! HRC revisted this issue at a recent NH town hall with a voter who she dealt with before on this matter in 2007 there. She actually went further than most politicians on this and said we may have already been visited. (What till Biff gets on THAT issue, LOL.)

  4. Harvey Reading January 31, 2016


    As I recall, the monster was born to an upper middle class family in the upper Midwest, and did all the things that children of such privilege do, like going to an Ivy League college — and becoming a Goldwater Girl. As well, statistically, it was the middle class that supported the Vietnam atrocity to a much greater extent than did the Working Class, which supplied the cannon fodder. The she-monster’s “suthren” exposure started after she began hanging out with Mr. Monster.

    • Harvey Reading January 31, 2016

      Before her phony “awakening”, she was a Goldwater Girl, and her politics, like those of her husband, have been right-wing from the beginning, no matter how they, or idiot yuppies, lie about it. Just check their right-wing accomplishments, beginning with Mr. Triangulator’s terms as president and hers as his advisor during those years, including her refusal to even consider single payer. And, as a carpetbag senator from New York, she did NOTHING that came close to being progressive.

      The Clintons will say whatever it takes to sucker ill-informed people like you into voting for them. Then, once in office, it’s nothing but service to the wealthy. Of course, given your whining about your dead grandfather and the employee pensions his company was obligated to pay after his death, you may well support the position of the wealthy over that of the Working Class.

      I’ve got a life. Suggest you get one, too, and please quit uploading those ridiculous videos. They take time to download, even if one doesn’t watch the putrid things.

      • Harvey Reading January 31, 2016

        Oh, as to “prominent” member of the peace movement, the name Hillary Rodham doesn’t ring a bell. Jerks like Jerry Rubin and Tom Hayden come to mind, but not Ms. Rodham. They were middle class, too, and figured we of the Working Class needed to be “educated”, by the likes of them of course, so that we could properly oppose the war, which made me despise them then … and now.

        Another “prominent”, for a relatively brief time was John Kerry, who fairly quickly disassociated himself from Vietnam Veterans Against the War, when it became obvious that the association might damage his future political career.

      • Harvey Reading February 1, 2016

        What BS. Even recently the she-monster has stated that single payer is something that won’t ever happen … At the time, during Blow-Job Bill’s administration, she wouldn’t even allow discussion of single payer.

        Campaigning on packs of lies, something that both the Clintons do, does NOT translate into making those lies reality after election. Thank you for making my point. Guess that for the likes of you, what candidates blabber during a campaign matters far more than the reality of their administrations.

        People who support Hillary live in a dream world … and most often are yuppies who are sold out to their wealthy masters.

    • Harvey Reading January 31, 2016


    • Mike January 31, 2016

      Susie, everyone is literally relating to things by creating literary products in their minds concerning all and everything…….The solid negative perceptions of HRC held by many are nothing more or less than that. People with more quiet space in their noggins might have more nuanced and realistic takes on her. Especially those folks not conditioned (and taken in) by the promotions of the scandals: Whitewater, killing Vince Foster, hiding Rose Law firm billing records, plugging the tide of “Bimbo Eruptions” operations (that one is true), covering up sex play with an intern including keeping wife in the dark (that one makes HRC look okay), trying to find the middle ground between left and right forces……

      Vote for Hillary you silly gooses. Let the millennials in 10 to 20 years get the job done (Bernie’s agenda) when the work of getting a like minded Congress has borne fruit.

      • BB Grace January 31, 2016

        When Obama was running in 07, I set out to collect 10 reasons people were voting for Obama. While I’ve forgotten the exact numbers, I could not get 10 reasons. AND I was really looking to see issues like, End War. Here’s what I got:

        1. He’s Cute.
        2. Black
        3. Good speaker
        4. Not a Republican
        5. Not Hillary
        6. Nice family
        7. Studied constitutional law

        Hillary making perfect campaign speach:

      • Harvey Reading February 1, 2016

        I am convinced that you have never had an original thought. The Times is the largest propaganda outfit in the country, if not on the planet. Has been since the 19th Century. It is simply a mouthpiece for our wealthy rulers.

  5. Lazarus January 31, 2016

    ” Local cops who know Giese and the circumstances of his departure say he was in fact given full due process.”

    Last I read Sheriff Allman’s positive rating is well over 50% county wide…good luck with this one Deputy…
    As always,

    • james marmon January 31, 2016

      When I was terminated from the County the State Personnel Board ruled that the County violated my due process rights and ordered them to pay me $50,000.00 in back pay. That was in 2012. It happens Laz.

      Employees are entitled to a pre-termination hearing by an impartial hearing officer. They ruled that Stacy Cryer was not impartial in my case.

  6. james marmon January 31, 2016

    RE: LYRA JUBB Complaint.

    Anyone who is unfortunate enough to get involved in a CPS case needs to file the form Lyra filed as soon as possible. It enables you to sue later on down the line.

    Filing the complaint will cause action from the top and may prevent further corruption and/or the loss of your child or children to the system.

    Spread the news.

  7. Kimberly Ortwein January 31, 2016


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