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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016

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AT&T VP GETS EARFUL (without the use of an AT&T cable)

Here are a couple of public comments from yesterday's (Tues) Board of Supervisors meeting. An AT&T VP listened patiently and said hd take the complaints to the right people in the mammoth monopoly.


Dr. Phyl Speser (pronounced spesser), Comptche: “I run an international company. Foresight Science & Technology, with offices in Singapore, Oxford, England, Santiago, Chile, Boston, and Comptche! We are a 60 person company. When I was in Providence we had a T3, I have a T1 and a patch-land line in Comptche which does not work. I have numerous tickets that had been put in. I've had people like Rosalita Benalis and somebody named Armani from the AT&T sales group say that they cannot get to the technical people to get it fixed. It's been going on almost a year. My top speed on my T1 when it's raining is about 37. That tells you there is a problem. I've been told that it's my problem because somebody might be streaming a movie! On the other hand, the first time a repair man came out he said, I'll tell you what the problem is: the problem is when they put the lines in they didn't— they just put them in without any piping, any conduit, they didn't use a conduit and they are deteriorating. Yesterday I had another repair man from Los Angeles named Greg come out to try and work on the land line because the static is so bad you can't hear on it which is a problem because my wife is a midwife so that means that somebody in labor cannot get to her. I asked him what the problem was and he said, I'll tell you what the problem is: ‘The cable is crap.’ That's a direct quote from one of your employees. The problem is that you guys know that it's crap and you refuse to do anything. I believe that's called willful negligence in the eye of the law. I am at the point now where I have complained to the FCC and I am about to sue you guys. I would not like to do that because it's a pain for me and a pain for you and it's a pain for everybody else. I'll shut up in one second, just a minute. To add insult to injury what happens is when I complain about the only positive thing I've got — they can run a straight fiber right up to your house or ranch. On the other hand you (AT&T) sent me a marketing piece that says if you (Speser) are willing to pay $500 more we (AT&T) will put fiber up. So obviously you have the right-of-way and you can solve these problems, but I guess we in Mendocino are what you call Chump Change. So I would very much like to have an opportunity to talk with one of your technical people. My company does something called commercialization of technology. We work for NASA. We work with the DOE. DOD… Pretty much every federal agency and their equivalents around the world. So I don't think we are unsophisticated about this. The problem is, you don't care about your customers and you are rude to the customers on the phone when you say you do care to them.”

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Susan Knupf: I live in Ukiah, right in the central part of downtown Ukiah. I know this is mostly a discussion about people who don't have any Internet service or if they do it goes down for weeks at a time. I don't have that problem. But I have what they call intermittent service. The problem with intermittent is that it goes out and then it comes back in and the technician comes out and it's working fine so they say everything is fine here, it pings! So I change. I had and it became clear that I thought finally, AT&T is a monopoly. But uses AT&T lines and they are not going to fix them for So I changed back to AT&T and they have attempted to fix the line and I guess service has improved. But it's still intermittent. If I reported an outage then I am guaranteed 45-60 minutes on the phone, AT&T's phone, waiting on hold talking to computer men, wasting the time of my life. Then they say they will send a guy out and you have to reserve four hours in the afternoon and in the past few months I have wasted five afternoons of my increasingly shorter life waiting for these people. Sometimes they never show up. I just want you to be clear that AT&T is not providing an acceptable level of service and it's just — they are bullies! They are behaving like a monopoly! Whatever power you the Board of Supervisors have to improve this situation— Fortunately in Ukiah I do have options. There are other services. I have to sign a year contract, but if they don't keep their end of the contract I can get out of it. But I want you to be clear that — and I said something that I'm having trouble with my phone. Four people within four blocks of me said me too! We've been waiting for AT&T. So it's a big issue and I'm glad you're addressing it.”

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Phyl Speser again: “One final comment on the positive side. I'd like to suggest that what happens with intermittent service is that it rains and the lines go down at night and then the lines work again and then it goes down. The service people come out and they like switch around and keep touching different pairs of copper wires until one works then that one doesn't work and they go back and try another pair and that's the name of the game out here. It seems to me that as a county we need more options. If AT&T is unable to deal with the last mile from the fiber hub— I mean I'm three miles from a fiber hub in Comptche. But if AT&T is unable to deal with that then maybe you need to open it up so that the communities can deal with it on their own. I know in Comptche we have a problem with the — I think we're probably one of the fire stations that was out during the outage. Yes. We were running around crazy! Finally we were able to get calls in at the Comptche Store. I was sitting at the store taking calls. And then sitting outside the department. I know I personally would be willing to provide Internet service to Comptche. I know how to put that together in probably 15 different ways from technologies we've looked at. But we cannot get access to your fiber line to do it. So if you are not going to fix it, not going to fix the problem yourself, please open it up so that other people can fix it. Were the Board of Supervisors to pass an ordinance so that in Mendocino if AT&T is not fixing the line to the house — I forget what it's called; I think it's the last line, the last mile — if you are not doing the last mile then let the communities and the public sector come in and let local companies come in and solve that problem. Or think of creative financing! You know, you pay for the line and you get free service until the line is paid off. We would be lending AT&T money. Because AT&T clearly needs a loan to provide the last mile and have it be reliable.”

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The AT&T Exec said he’d take their phone numbers and check it out and get back to the complainants (via AT&T lines).

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IF ALL THE FOULLY MURDERED buried in the hills of Mendocino County were to rise from their forgotten graves and start walking down 101, there'd be a spectral parade stretching from Piercy to Hopland.

Kerry&FrancineAT SHERIFF ALLMAN'S presser this morning, the Sheriff announced something of a forensics miracle when he revealed the identities of two long unidentified young girls whose remains were found off Highway 20 between Willits and Fort Bragg in July of 1979. Kerry Ann Graham, 15, and Francine Trimble, 14, had set out from their homes in Forestville, West Sonoma County, in December of 1978 for the Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa, and were never heard from again.

THIS VERY COLD CASE had become the focus of national missing persons programs, and even the BBC spent a small fortune trying to discover who the girls were and how they had died. The years of investigative work and the persistence of the Sheriff's office finally paid off in identifying Misses Graham and Trimble.

SHERIFF ALLMAN said the task now is to find the fiend who killed the two girls.

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WHAT TO DO about the County's Animal Shelter might be answered at the Supe's meeting on Tuesday, February 9th. Long-time Shelter boss, Sage Mountainfire, was placed on paid leave three weeks ago, some volunteers have been banned from the Shelter and Petaluma Animal Services wants our Supes to hand the whole Ukiah mess over to them. The expansion-minded Petaluma foundation presently enjoys contracts with Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Petaluma, and Calistoga. The supes seem wary about privatizing a second County function. Their prior adventure in privatization of the County's mental health services has turned into an ongoing disaster. Tuesday's meeting will be, so to speak, a real dog fight.

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BOONVILLE BOYS win two in Mendocino, Girls less fortunate.

Both girls teams lost tonight against Mendo but both our boys teams won.

The JV boys team basically blew out Mendo. The first quarter score was 20-2. Final score was 45-24. High scorer was JT Carlin with 12 points.

Our Varsity boys game was not a blow out, more like a pull your hair out kind of nail biter. AV did not play well in the first half but managed to keep it close with Mendo leading 22-21 at the end of the second quarter. End of the 3rd the Cardinals were up 44-36. But one cannot count out the heart of a Panther, and these boys can battle. With 21 points in the 4th, more importantly, holding Mendocino to 11, the Panthers were able to squeak out a 57-55 win with a blocked shot that would have tied the game with 3 seconds left. A foul by Mendo on the recovery put AV on the line with 1 second left and the clock expired on the missed free throw. Erin Perez had yet another career high of 22 points with five 3's and also blocked the final shot. Cesar Soto had 12 points and Abraham Sanchez had 8.

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I can finally speak out. I got a call from my union today that Safeway will not take me back.

Here is part of my story. I would appreciate it being posted as either a letter to the ed or a story. Soon I will be asking for all your help to get my job back at Safeway.

I was informed today that the union has given in to my cause. On June 23rd Electra, Eros Nelson's daughter (a known shoplifter) married to Noah Beard (a previous employee) walked out with an item she didn't pay for. I knew this as I would have to have entered ID to purchase the item, a fake firework her minor son was holding. I explained the store policy to her and she walked out without paying for it. I waited for her to ring it up at Self Check Out where many thefts occur so I could enter her ID. I waited and then had to go help other customers. She returned to the store to purchase something she forgot.

I nonchalantly walked up to her and said the item didn't ring up and she said yes it did and offered to get her receipt out of her car. In the process she locked her keys in the car. She returned to the store and I offered to let her use the phone to call Noah Beard to get a key to open her car. She said he wanted to talk to me so I spoke with him, and he said she was having a bad day and he would be there in 20 minutes as he lived out Pudding Creek Road. She said she wanted to stay on the phone with him until he arrived.

All the management was at lunch, and when Brian Jimenez and Karmah Mendez returned, they assisted in printing out the receipt which showed the item was not paid for and the video clearly showed the item was not paid for. They both wrote incorrct statements.

Brian is together with Stephanie Mendez and the father of her child and her mother is Karmah. Stephanie doesn't like me as she doesn't like to follow Safeway Policy. Noah worked at Safeway before and has filed a lawsuit against them in the past. He didn't like me and clearly stated that when he arrived. He didn't like being told how to do his job, either.

When he arrived he threatened to have me fired. In the past many shoplifters have walked out with many things. In fact one day police Chief Scott Mayberry saw one and on his day off went and reported it with me to the manager, but she said she couldn't do anything if she didn't see it yet it was on the camera.

So a bit of history here now. Electra Beard drove her car into Tradewinds in Feb of 2012. Anyone remember this? If you go to the City Council Meeting minutes of May 2012 Noah Beard sent a demand notice to the City Council for $500,000 stating To Whom It May Concern: 'Because of the unlawful actions by The Fort Bragg Police and the damage caused because of the unlawful actions by the Fort Bragg police, The City Of Fort Bragg California must pay Noah Beard $500,000 which is to be deliverd to Noah Beard P O BOx 1630 Mendocino, CA 95460 by May 1, 2012. This is a legal demand letter. Noah Beard.'

Noah Beard has sued Safeway in the past, according to Paul Gunter, head of Safeway security.

I totally disagree that the shoplifting does not just affect the profits of the store but also the employees. I have spent over 25 years of my life at Safeway and could have retired in June. Shoplifting affects everyone, as on off duty cop said to a young girl who he saw drink a Starbucks Coffee and walk out without paying and come to me with her to call a manager and said to her your stealing affects everyone who works here.

Safeway will only call the police if a manager or someone trained in the so-called Shoplifting Policy sees it happen. I guesstimate $5000 to $10000 a day walks out of there, and who pays, we the customers. They sould have a greeter like Walmart or like Costco to check your receipt. Safeway says they won't put security at our store.

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A READER WRITES: Bill Maher had a great line several weeks ago regarding the Flint Water Crisis…."The Police Department in Flint is up in arms regarding the current crises…a spokesman for the police said that ‘pumping lead into blacks is our job’….”

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CA DOJ & SHERIFF: Alleged perv jailed on $1 million bail.

"During October of 2015, deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were summoned to a residence located off of East Side Calpella Road regarding pornography left at a bus stop. Deputies learned a subject had left pornographic images for a juvenile female and her juvenile male cousin. Based on the information written in the note it was apparent the suspect was soliciting sexual encounters with the children.

Deputies learned of a similar case occurring on East Side Calpella Road approximately one mile from the initial victim’s residence, in which a female adult had also been receiving pornographic images as well as a letter which had vulgar sexual writing on them.

Deputies compared the letters and found they appeared to be very similar in style and content. There were several hand-drawn images by the suspect which were nearly identical. The suspect also appeared to be soliciting a sexual encounter with this victim.

Deputies retained the letters for trace evidence to include fingerprinting and DNA. Deputies also began an intense covert surveillance campaign as well as high visibility patrols in the areas of the school bus stops, parks, and schools in the Ukiah Valley.

Multiple items were sent to the Department of Justice Crime Labs for forensic testing. Deputies continued with surveillance and patrols hoping to identify or intercept the suspect.

During January of 2016 a third victim contacted the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. This victim was a juvenile male. Deputies learned a letter had been left for this subject alongside his driveway and also contained vulgar sexual requests as well as hand drawn pornography.

During January 2016, the DOJ Forensic Laboratories contacted the Sheriff’s Office and advised they were able to extract DNA from locations on items of evidence which had been taken as evidence. The DNA was uploaded in CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), and a match was located.

Deputies learned the DNA had been matched with that of Jerry Mac Bivin, a 46-year-old male, living in the Ukiah area.


Further investigation revealed Bivin had been investigated and arrested for a similar offenses in the state of Missouri. Deputies received investigative reports from the State of Missouri and found more similarities between the Missouri investigation and the current crimes occurring in Mendocino County.

Upon learning of the suspect’s identity, deputies began surveillance of Bivin and were able to locate Bivin’s residence.

Deputies received a search warrant for the residence of Bivin as well as an arrest warrant charging Bivin with providing harmful materials to a child, solicitation of a minor for sexual acts, stalking and annoying or molesting children.

On Monday, February 1, Deputies served a search warrant at the home of Bivin. Located during the search was evidence that linked Bivin to the listed crimes which included vulgar letters and hand written pornographic images, pornography, writing materials, and more notes about the previous victims. Bivin was arrested on the listed charges (288.2(2) PC - (providing pornography to a minor) 647.6 PC (annoying or molesting children) 313.1(a) PC (providing harmful material to a minor) 646.9 PC (Stalking))and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he is currently held on $1,000,000.00 bail.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who may have further information regarding these crimes or has received any of these types of letters to please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office as soon as possible on the MCSO Tip Line 707-234-2100.

(Sheriff’s Office Press Release)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Feb 2, 2016

Alvarado, Bivin, Browning
Alvarado, Bivin, Browning

ROBERT ALVARADO, Whittier. Misdemeanior hit&run.

JERRY MAC BIVIN, Ukiah. Distribution of lewd material to minor.

JONATHAN BROWNING, Albion. Failure to appear.

Donahe, Faiella, Gibson
Donahe, Faiella, Gibson

MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

IAN FAIELLA, Fort Bragg. Paraphernalia, false ID, probation revocation.

LEON GIBSON, Fort Bragg. Trespassing, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Guerrero, Hawkins, Malugani
Guerrero, Hawkins, Malugani

SHAYLA GUERRERO, Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.

CANDICE HAWKINS, Covelo. Court order violation with priors.

JUSTIN MALUGANI, Ukiah. Petty theft.

Philliber, Rano, Rey, Sanders
Philliber, Rano, Rey, Sanders

CYNTHIA PHILLIBER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JOSHUA RANO, Westport. DUI, failure to appear.

ANDRES REY, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Unlawful display of registration.

THOMAS SANDERS, Willits. Under influence. (Frequent flyer.)

Sevier, Suggs, Valdez-Ceja, Weaver
Sevier, Suggs, Valdez-Ceja, Weaver

JUSTIN SEVIER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

RICHARD SUGGS, Ukiah. Dirk-dagger, contributing.

PALOMO VALDEZ-CEJA, Ukiah. No license.

ASAHEL WEAVER, Willits. Meth possession/sale, paraphernalia.

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The senator’s supporters were generally happy with their candidate’s performance in the caucuses Monday night, but they couldn’t help wondering: Did their guy lose on a technicality?

by Betsy Woodruff

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Sanders campaign is having a weird day.

Monday’s caucus results had something for everyone: a historically teensy margin of victory for Hillary Clinton and an overperformance from Bernie Sanders that has his backers giddy. But confusion, and disorganization at some caucusing locations — coupled with charges of scurrilous activity on the part of Clinton supporters — has made Sanders’s morning after a complicated one.

Here’s the thing: There was a lot of chaos Monday night, and it plausibly leaves room for Sanders’s backers to gain ground. They want to move on, but they don’t totally want to move on.

That’s because there may still be gains to be had. Story County Democratic Party chairwoman Jan Bauer said the results of at least one precinct in Ames will likely be challenged.

College students with minimal training and zero caucusing experience directed voting in several precincts in the city, and that seemed to give their older fellow Democrats a little heartburn. While votes were under way, Bauer said she worried would-be voters were being turned away because precincts ran out of voter registration forms.

And Bauer joked that the presence of paid Clinton staff — who controversially played a role in managing one precinct — could have made things go more smoothly.

“We could have used some staff in that one precinct!” she said with a laugh.

Clinton’s lead over Sanders is so miniscule that every precinct matters. And some precincts descended into near-bedlam. Yahoo News reported that outside observers were temporarily kicked out of a caucus location at Drake University. One longtime Iowa politics reporter described the situation there as “ridiculously crowded.” And voters told Yahoo that turnout there was three times that of 2008.

And high turnout can cause problems. Lewis Rother, volunteer caucus organizer in Ames, told The Daily Beast that some rural precincts near the city had two or three times as many caucus-goers as they did in 2008.

“Most of our precincts in Story County hit or exceeded the turnout from ’08, which is phenomenal,” he said. “To be honest, we weren’t expecting that.”

High turnout, of course, means precinct places are more likely to run out of voter registration forms and kick out outside observers to free up space. And it means that managing a caucus is even trickier than usual — especially for college students who have no firsthand experience directing one of the most complex voting processes in American politics.

“There was supposed to be someone from the Iowa Democratic Party staff who was supposed to come up and hold their hand through the day,” Rother said of one student-run precinct. “But that didn’t materialize.”

And millennials weren’t the only ones feeling the Bern.

“It wasn’t just the student districts,” Rother noted. “We had large turnout throughout the city of Ames, where they ran out of registration forms and had to get more copies.”

The night generated tons of caucus drama, including half a dozen coin-tosses — all won by Clinton — to determine results. The next day, Sanders’s campaign telegraphed veiled frustration. Campaign manager Jeff Weaver told The Washington Post that Team Bernie was “looking into a few other issues” and was doubtful that it would “ever know what the actual result was.”

Some Sanders backers seemed similarly irked.

Winnie Wong, who traveled to Iowa to do pro-Bernie work with National Nurses United, said the coin-flipping didn’t speak well of American politics.

“The fact that you could determine a victory by six coin flips is a flaw — it’s outright weird, you know?” she said. “What does that say to other countries looking at America?”

But she said it hasn’t gotten people too down.

“The perception amongst Bernie supporters is that we have momentum here,” she said. “We do not feel defeated. We are charging ahead in a very organized and focused manner.”

Tyson Manker, who heads Veterans for Bernie, said volunteers may soon be sick of hearing about Iowa’s precincts.

“That’s a heck of a thing for an establishment candidate who started over a year ago 60 points up to win by a coin toss,” he said, adding that there’s minimal appetite to re-litigate Iowa’s results.

“We’re ready to move on,” he said. “I’m entirely satisfied with the results, and I think it would just be a waste of energy. We’ve got a lot of work to do in the battleground states ahead.”

With the New Hampshire primary just a week away, they don’t have much time — certainly not enough to spend arguing about coin flips.

(Courtesy, the Daily Beast)

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How close was the Iowa caucus last night? In several precincts, they had to flip a coin:

In the week leading up to Iowa, I wrote you a lot about how close this election was going to be. I never imagined that we'd be talking about coin flips the day after, but that's how close it was.

New Hampshire votes in its primary just one week from today. We want to come away with a sure victory to give Bernie the momentum he needs to win the White House.

Can you chip in $3 to our campaign to help make sure Bernie wins on Tuesday? Click here to make a contribution now.

The political establishment never thought we would get this far. Let's show them what we're made of this week.

In solidarity,

Jeff Weaver

Campaign Manager, Bernie 2016

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AVLT is hosting a two part series about native bees featuring Sara Leon Guererro, from the Urban Bee Lab at UC Berkeley. The first part in the series, an educational talk, will be hosted at River’s Bend Retreat Center in Philo on Saturday, February 27, 2016, from 2-4 PM. The interpretive walk is scheduled for Saturday, April 23, and more information will follow in the next few weeks.

There is no charge for these events, but reservations are requested. To RSVP or for more information please contact us at (preferred) or call 707-895-3150.

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Caitrin Chappelle, Ellen Hanak

The ongoing public health crisis in Flint, Michigan is a reminder that exposure to dangerous contaminants in drinking water is still a challenge in the US, more than 40 years after the enactment of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act. Flint began drawing water from a new source, the Flint River, in early 2014. It corroded pipes and carried harmful lead to residents’ taps. Although California does not face this specific problem, we are still failing to provide safe drinking water to some of the state’s most vulnerable residents...


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I'm working on letting people know about the Botany/Plant Identification class I'm going to be teaching through the adult school in Boonville. I'm hoping you'll put an announcement about it in the paper. If you want more info than what I pasted in below let me know. thanks, Jade

Basic Botany and Plant ID a beginning class open to all levels

Anderson Valley Adult School, in the Rancheria Classroom (by bus barn) 8 Tuesday evenings from 6-9 pm February 23 - April 12, 2016, plus a Saturday field trip on April 9.

This class will start with some basics of botany and plant classification, then discuss how to identify many native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers, as well as which garden plants are related to each other and to wild plants.

Sliding scale $50 to $100 for all 9 sessions

Teacher Jade Paget-Seekins, taught plant ID labs for 6 semesters as a graduate student at Humboldt State, and this is her third year teaching this class here.

For more information contact her at or 895-3354. From: "Jade Paget-Seekins" <>

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Every time I walk into a 7-11 anymore, almost every morning, I notice that very few customers use cash anymore. I like to keep a couple hundred bucks on me at all times; I’m not sure exactly why, but the whole debit card thing has disturbed me from the start. I mean, when the suit-wearing beemer-driving dude is paying with the same method as the street guy with a shopping cart full of bags and a bandanna on his dog, I feel something fishy might be going on. (What’s the old joke about the stockbroker knowing it’s time to sell all when he’s getting tips from his cabbie?)

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Gentlemen always carry at least a hundred bucks on them because a gentleman does not much think about money. Having enough to meet your needs just about everywhere you go makes you feel you are above financial concerns and your thoughts of money become unconscious. Additionally there is strong pressure to keep the hundred in your wallet or you wont be carrying a hundred bucks around any more. This causes one to be frugal. To be a real gentleman you should actually carry $300 and with inflation perhaps more. Now if you see me walking down the street, I being a dog and not a gentleman should be left alone. No point in mugging me.

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"HE WAS A FATTISH BUT ACTIVE MAN of paralyzing stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasms — one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more even than on the Thought Police, the stability of the Party depended."

— George Orwell, 1984

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Looking for talented and conscientious volunteer board members to lead and strengthen our local Emergency Food and Shelter Program.

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) is a supplemental program authorized under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act designed to support homeless individuals and their access to services. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program is a DHS/FEMA supported program.

In 2015, over $40,000 was awarded to 7 different organizations in Lake County to help support the needs of homeless individuals.

EFSP is governed by a National Board and Local Boards are convened to help select and guide organizations that receive funding. Each year, Local Boards are tasked with assessing needs in an effort to respond to changes in the community.

Our board meets quarterly and on an as-needed basis in Lakeport.

For more information on becoming a board member please contact Lake County Local Board Chair, Traci Boyl or 707.263.4688 ext. 121

To learn more about this program visit

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The US Army Corps of Engineers is allowing the water in Lake Mendocino to rise nearly 6,000 acre-feet as long as there's no flood danger.

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An Interview with Davey D

by Dave Zirin

Dave Zirin: How would you describe the mood in the Bay Area about the Super Bowl? What are you seeing?

Davey D: There’s a lot of anger and a lot of concern over two main things. First, the Super Bowl is coming at a time when massive amounts of people have been displaced. So, it’s added insult to injury to see this pageantry, all this money being spent, record amounts of police, elected officials falling all over themselves, while you have folks who gave this region its soul and its heart who can’t afford to live here anymore. Downtown Oakland used to be a place that a lot of people didn’t go to, then there were folks who are artists who said, “We’ll make this space our home.” So they moved into a lot of those rundown buildings, fixed them up, made it a destination place, and now they’ve been replaced. You go to some of these places downtown and you’ll see a hamburger selling for $15 dollars!

The second thing that’s going on are all the police killings that have been taking place. The most egregious is the killing of Mario Woods, which happened in early December over in the Hunter’s Point area. Here’s a guy who was walking away from the police, he was surrounded by about 12 police officers who claim they felt their life was threatened. They shot him down in a hail of bullets. That comes on the heels of a number of killings. The other notable one was the killing of Alex Nieto which happened a year before. A security guard, who was on his way to work, had a Taser to his side, was in his neighborhood, Bernal Heights, and was eating a burrito. I believe it’s been reported that somebody saw him, didn’t recognize him, so we assume that’s a gentrifier, who called the police and said, “There’s an armed man.” They showed up, and — from a distance of 75 to 100 feet or yards away — shot him. Then of course the texting scandal which followed the Alex Nieto thing, which is that officers were caught sending racist and homophobic text messages, both on and off duty. There was a promise that they would be fired. That hasn’t happened.

Why protest the Super Bowl in connection with these issues?

I’m sure people would say, “Why don’t you petition your government officials, elect people to office, or follow a prescribed path to address your grievances?” And that has happened. People put Kamala Harris into office and Kamala Harris has disappeared. Diane Feinstein said she would do something. And she has disappeared. Ed Lee, the mayor, people were told he has a civil-rights background and he wouldn’t let these things happen on his watch. And he’s disappeared. And the list goes on and on. And when I say they disappeared, I mean they’ve very clearly chosen a side. They’ve chosen the side of the developers, they’ve chosen the side of the techno-archy, and they’ve chosen the side of the police unions. Even though their main support came from people in these respective communities being victimized. People have been going to City Hall and done everything that you’re supposed to do and that’s been ignored. So when that happens, you have to start hitting people where it hurts. You’ve got to let them know that this will not be business as usual. You will understand when you come to the Bay Area that your consciousness will be pierced, that this is not the tourist spot that’s all hunky dory, and that’s playing out.

If you went over to Super Bowl City the other day, you would’ve seen the militarization in full swing, as they were literally escorting elders in the community who were protesting and letting people know and preventing them from walking from one place to another, which they have a legal right to do because they were on the sidewalk. But they were not allowed into Super Bowl City, which is free and open to the public. And these are San Francisco residents.

At the same time that this is happening, you have folks from out of town like a guy I saw from Arkansas who wanted to take a picture with the police loaded up with AR-15s and all sorts of weaponry. So you know it’s a very strange reality to see that San Franciscans are being prevented from going inside Super Bowl City, are being profiled and harassed, while out-of-towners are taking selfies with police who are militarized. That’s what’s going on now in this area.

Describe what a militarized cop in Super Bowl week looks like.

First you’re talking about snipers on the roof of all of the buildings. You also have a very large police presence, so that if you show up in a group, you might have a hundred cops that will line up, from wall to wall, and follow you along the sidewalk. So it’s like a moving barricade. Then you have folks with these enormous automatic assault rifles, all types of gear: helmets, shades, army fatigues, you know something out of a Star Wars movie. And you see them every 20 to 30 feet. And it’s interesting, because if you talk to people from the hood, who have been on the receiving end of the drug wars, they’re like, “Ugh, it looks like East Oakland,” because they see that all the time. That militarization shows up in their community far too often.

Is it fair to say that San Francisco is starting to feel like an elite place that’s for some and not for others?

It’s not starting to feel that way. For the last several years, you’d feel very unwelcome. It’s not the same city. You look around, you don’t see people that you recognize, the flavor’s gone, old businesses have been moved out. And you have a new type of person that comes there that is very hostile to what was. They don’t understand the multiculturalism, they don’t understand the artistic community, they don’t understand the politics. Those in the tech world, who have always wanted a whiter, and more affluent, San Francisco, are seeing their dreams come true. And a lot of that falls on the feet of people like Ed Lee, who have pretty much sold the city out.

Would you describe Bay Area residents as “unwilling hosts”?

There are a lot of people that are football fans. There are a lot of people that are happy to see the NFL Experience and Super Bowl City. So I don’t want to make it seem like everybody is like that. But there’s a sizable population of people that are looking at these contradictions and see that even if they go to Super Bowl City, 99 percent of them will not be going to the Super Bowl because they can’t afford the tickets, even if it’s in their backyard. They won’t be going to the numerous parties that require you to have some sort of Super Bowl credential to see your favorite artists who are now all up in here. You know, many of the DJs aren’t even working. Everyone’s been flown in. But I think it’s been a situation where you have two or three parallel worlds existing at once. So you have an elite that are like drinking champagne and eating caviar like a scene out of Hunger Games, standing right alongside people who have been smashed on economically and socially, who are sitting there trying to make sense out of what has just hit them.

Final thoughts? What do they not know about the Bay that you want them to know?

Oh yes. Fiftieth anniversary of the Black Panthers is this year, in the Bay Area. It’s also Super Bowl 50. Cam Newton, who plays for the Panthers, whose colors are the same as the Black Panthers. So there’s that. And as a die-hard Raider fan, I will tip my hat to the Denver Broncos and thank them profusely for sending Tom Brady home. But with that being said, there will be no celebrating, no toasting; no dancing in the streets and no support whatsoever for the Denver Broncos. That is the Raider Nation in me speaking forthrightly and emphatically. We will put our weight behind Cam Newton as he will bring in the 50th anniversary and celebration of the Black Panthers by winning and symbolize what this year will unfold. So, what do they need to know? This is Raider Nation, still. So, tuck your jerseys in, turn ‘em inside out and respect the soil on which you walk. That’s what people from these other places need to know.

* * *


* * *


There are many different kinds and flavors of socialism, and most of them are very far from communism, which -- I disagree with you, there -- doesn't at all look good on paper, after all. If you think caring about and for the least among us is a slippery slope that leads to gulags and death marches, then, literally, Jesus, man. I was just visiting with a man -- I'll call him Phil -- who thinks Bernie Sanders is the devil because socialism, and if Bernie Sanders "got in" (that's the term the man used: "got in") then the U.S. would be over. Now, Phil lives on social security and a very generous military pension, depends on nearly free fire protection, shops in stores staffed by people who can read and write and make change because of public schools, and he cheers on our military who camp in and stage from hundreds of bases all over the world, using equipment and supplies all paid for with tax money. And also he watches Fox News all day via satellite technology developed and put in orbit by military contractors. I pointed some of this out and said, "Isn't that all socialism? Aren't you even a little bit in favor of everything you depend on to live, and everything you care about?" He said vehemently: "I am not a socialist! I earned everything I ever got! Sanders wants to give everyone free college! And free medical! That'll never work." I said, "You got free college. You get free medical." He said, "It's not the same thing! They didn't -- they don't -- Sanders is a socialist!" This is what Bernie Sanders is up against. And that ridiculous hit piece in the Washington Post, feh. ---

Marco McClean

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"You don't need to be a citizen to canvass, to pass out flyers, to ask citizens to vote." —Dolores Huerta, Co-founder of United Farmworkers

Sunday at the Coast Community Library Presents:

Selma: The Bridge To The Ballot
Special Guest Speaker Professor Herb Kohl
This Sunday, February 7, 2016 At 2pm
Coast Community Library, Point Arena

We will present a short film produced by The Southern Poverty Law Center and Teaching Tolerance documenting the historic struggle for Voting Rights in the South, and the brave and inspiring students, teachers and activists who fought (and some died) a nonviolent battle to bring about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and advance human rights, justice, and equality in our country for us all. Professor Herb Kohl, educator, author, and Civil Rights veteran will discuss the movement for Voting Rights for everyone in our country, which continues today. Herb will speak at 2pm sharp, so please come early to get a good seat! A discussion will follow the film. Everyone is welcome, especially The Youth. Voter Registration will be available, as well as refreshments. This event is free. Information: DJ Sister Yasmin at 707-884-4703

* * *


Swami Sivananda said that this world is like the moon, in that this world is a reflection of the Absolute, without which it could not be seen; likewise, the moon is a beggar also, because it borrows its light from the sun, without which it could not be seen. Second example: Water Moon Guan Yin sits comfortably on a stone ledge, eyes downcast watching the reflection of the moon in the pond. She has a slight smile on her face, to impart confidence to Her devotees. She symbolizes the eternal witness, endlessly watching all mental and physical phenomena dispassionately, having realized its inherent emptiness. Third example: Craig Louis Stehr finishes a four hour session at Kabuki Spa in San Francisco's Japantown, and now sits at a computer at the Western Addition library branch, emailing publisher Bruce Anderson, while simultaneously watching the eternal witness which is dispassionately watching thoughts go by, thereby redefining "multitasking" in postmodern America. Fourth example: Boontling Greeley Sheet's Earth First! Journal Insert

Craig Louis Stehr



  1. Mike February 3, 2016

    Who is it that’s watching the eternal witness watch arising thoughts, etc?!?!?! (Yes, I know this is a “problem” or “question” created solely by language…..)

    • Craig Stehr February 3, 2016

      Thank you for your rational question, and its intellectually satisfying answer. The mental factory is well-oiled (with biofuels, of course).

      • Mike February 3, 2016

        This was interesting, from the biography page of the original Guru of that line.

        “He returned after the pilgrimage, to Rishikesh, and in the year 1936 sowed the seed of The Divine Life Society on the bank of the holy Ganga. He found an old Kutir, dilapidated and disused, which looked like an abandoned cowshed. To him it was more than a palace. It had four ‘rooms’. He cleaned the Kutir, and occupied it. Then, the increasing number of disciples who sought his lotus-feet, undaunted by forbidding conditions of living, necessitated expansion. They found more cowsheds, vacant, but uninhabitably filthy. In one room, an old cowherd was living; the others were full of hay and dung. In about a year or so, the old cowherd also vacated his ‘room’, and the Divine Life army completed the occupation. Thus began the early life of The Divine Life Society.”

        Ramana Maharishi used to live in caves and people, including his mom eventually, just joined him there. He saw this Guru thing starting to develop and tried to escape three times but (alas) not enough forested areas to hide in. Eventually, some wealthy guy just bought some land and gave it to him! At the foot of the mountain (Arunachula) where he had been living in a cave.

        These ashram communities develop modestly except here in the old USA, lol.

        Yeah…..losing the sense of self conscious based “witnessing”, or resting in Consciousness-bare sense of Being and experiencing everything lucidly (and with its inherent jazz more evident), confounds the grammatical entities (pronouns, subject/object) which are inherently empty of actual existence.

        • Mike February 3, 2016

          Apple won’t let me properly spell. Try again, “Ramana Maharshi” no i after the r.

          RM just stayed put because people want to see and be with him. Poor guy was never out of public view except for bathroom breaks. His bed in an open public venue. Life Mag did a big spread on him in May 1949 a year before his death of cancer. Yeah, he died in full view of hundreds walking slowly past him.

          He always thought this devotional display was odd but didn’t fight it except when people complained that some visitors didn’t go through motions in that department.

          Beings like that are so rare, so so rare……like the NY Times wrote when he died.

          Frankly speaking, India today has seriously devolved.

          • Craig Stehr February 3, 2016

            In the summer of 1994 I was at Sivananda Ashram in Muni-ki-Reti, India for Guru Poornima (the day honoring all spiritual teachers). General Secretary of Divine Life Society Swami Krishnananda asked me, “Why have you come?” I answered, “I want to deepen my meditation practice.” He responded, “That’s what I wanted to know!” On the auspicious day, I was taken to the kutir in which Gurudev Swami Sivananda performed 12 years of austerity. Following a laughable effort to get the crowd both-ways through the cattle guard in front, I entered the kutir. Bowing respectfully to the life size cardboard cutout of the swami, I sat down next to a kutir wall, folded my legs, straightened my back, took two breaths, and instantly fell into Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Hours later, returning to ordinary consciousness, the kutir was empty of the crowd. I stood up and went outside, so “consciously altered” that I could not get my sandals on. Three wandering sadhus underneath a nearby tree, snapped my rear end with a towel, and laughed, watching my several attempts to slip on a pair of sandals. I laughed back, picked up the sandals and went out through the cattle guard. Sitting down on a bench along the Ganges River, watching the strong, swollen current rushing by (due to the snow melt at its high mountain source), I again fell into Nirvikalpa Samadhi. A bhakta yogi brought me out of it by tapping me on the shoulder and asking: “Would you like to hear about the Bhagavad Gita for just 25 rupees?” I laughed and said “Not just now”. Walking back across the Lakshman Jula bridge, packed with visiting families, and cows, I returned to the ashram. Standing underneath a tree, I mentioned to one of the swamis how amazing India is, one day stomach upsetness, the next day bliss. He looked at me seriously and said: “Look you, in India, hell makes heaven tasty!” At that instant, all of the monkeys in the tree which I was standing underneath exploded in piercing screams. I calmly walked into the Samadhi Meditation Building, sat down on the jute rope weave flooring, and waited for the tiffin call to afternoon tea. Om Shanthi

            • Mike February 4, 2016

              Great story.

              The snap of the towel……and the intrusion of the commerce oriented bhakti yogi…..guess they were trying to get you to shift gears from the nirvakalpi state to the sahaj samadhi state!

  2. Jim Updegraff February 3, 2016

    On Line Comments of the Day: I’m strictly a cash and carry guy. always have A few hundred dollars in my pocket Don’t even have a debit card. I should tell you I am old Oakland boy; however, I don’t carry a flash roll. I just find it hard to believe when I’m in a place like Starbucks few people pay cash – the younger citizens never use cash. Just another rip off by the banks.

    – – –

    well, Sunday is the last whoopee for the brain damaged gladiators. Monday, we shall see the start of the arrival of the Boys of Spring – the real American sport. As usual, the A’s are going
    through a frenzy of trades trying to bolster their relief staff. Not much action so far by the Giants.

    – – –

    Sanders has to do a much better job of explaining his Democratic Socialism.

  3. Jim Updegraff February 3, 2016

    New York Times reported today Kenny Stabler died of CTE – just a drop in the bucket of NFL players that have and will die from concussions. Any parents encouraging their youngsters to play football are guilty of child abuse.

  4. james marmon February 3, 2016

    New phase created by Supervisor McCowan:

    “Public Abuse” he said that this is why qualified people will not come to work in Mendocino County.

    I looked up “Public Abuse” on the internet and it goes straight to a porn website.

    What in the World is he talking about?

    Look at the BHAB video at 1:25.

    James Marmon MSW.

    • james marmon February 3, 2016

      The above comment actually belonged in yesterday’s comments, sorry folks.

    • BB Grace February 3, 2016

      I don’t know what McCowen is talking about, as it’s out of context, being unable to hear the video.

      “Public abuse of so and so campground has State parks closing so and so campground for repairs”. I can understand “public abuse” like that..

      AVA context.. I’d say you think McCowen is refering to what you (Mike, Randy Burke, professionals) post.

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