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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Mar 2, 2016

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IN THE MIDST of a monster El Nino, February 2016 turned out extremely dry. Yorkville reported a paltry 1.64 inches of rain for the entire month. (Average February rainfall in this region should be about eight inches.) However, the forecast for early March now turns encouragingly wet.

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After a dry February, Sonoma County’s once robust seasonal rainfall totals have fallen behind last year’s, though forecasters say rain is on the way later this week.

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by Nicholas Iovino

A nine-member jury found Monday that state troopers did not intend to discourage a reporter from covering a controversial highway project when they shoved and arrested him in 2013.

Stephen Eberhard, a photographer for The Willits News, sued the California Highway Patrol (CHP), one officer that shoved him, and two that arrested him as he tried to shoot photos at the Willits Bypass Project site in Mendocino County in 2013.

Eberhard's attorney, Duffy Carolan, and state prosecutor Harry "Chip" Gower III delivered their final arguments to the jury Monday morning, ending a five-day trial that started Feb. 22.

After a few hours of deliberation, the jury found CHP Officer Teddy Babcock, who shoved Eberhard, and CHP Officers Kory Reynolds and Christopher Dabbs, who arrested him, did not intend to chill his First Amendment rights.

"I regret that the jury didn't see our side of the truth," Eberhard said in a phone call following the verdict. "It's hard to prove intent."

The trial revealed video evidence of CHP officials saying journalists would be the first people arrested during protests, as well as internal emails calling press coverage "counterproductive" and seeking to restrict media access to the construction site.

In his closing statement, Gower told jurors that the officers took action against Eberhard not because of what he was doing, but rather because of where he was doing it.

"When you look at the evidence, the reason they did these things was not to discourage him from taking photos," Gower said. "Officers Dabbs and Reynolds arrested Mr. Eberhard because he was trespassing. Officer Babcock pushed him because he was in an unsafe area."

Eberhard, who won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists - Northern California for his coverage of the project, said he does not regret reporting on the story, even though he was assaulted and arrested in the process.

"I was the only link in our community to cover this," Eberhard said. "People wanted to know what was happening. I felt obligated, and I fulfilled my obligations."

Eberhard said he is still digesting the verdict and has not decided whether or not he will appeal the outcome.

CHP Director of Communications Fran Clader declined to comment on the verdict Tuesday morning, citing the still-pending nature of the litigation.

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THE SUPES VOTED 3-2 TUESDAY TO Implement the Kemper Report, over the objections of Supervisors McCowen and Hamburg.

OUR INTERPRETATION of the Supe's remarks as they discussed the Kemper Report on what has gone wrong, very wrong, with privatization of County Mental Health is that Supervisors Hamburg and McCowen are equivocating, Supervisors Gjerde, Brown and Woodhouse recognize a disaster when they see one and that action to fix it needs to begin now.

IT SHOULD also be noted that Supervisor Hamburg has benefitted from thousands of dollars in County-paid mental health services from the Ortner Management Group for his son, which would be a legal conflict of interest any place but Mendocino County.

HAMBURG: The next time the CEO or staff comes to us and wants to do a thorough analysis of one of more programs and spend upwards of $100,000 in taxpayer money to do it I'm not going to look at it quite as favorably because what I see the board doing here is, you know, we spent a lot of money, we brought in the best expert in the state, and we are pretty much ignoring his main recommendations. Maybe Mr. Kemper is not a smart as we are. But I know he seems like he knew his business and, you know, I think we are pretty presumptuous to think that we have a better read on the situation than somebody who is an expert and spent three months or so studying our county and talking to, I don't know, maybe 60 or 70 people. There is that. There is the plain recommendation of Kemper that we are basically throwing out and also someone mentioned toward the end of the public input the three audits that have been done in the past several months all of which have shown improvement in the adult system of care. So we are also saying that — kind of throwing that out too. Another thing we're throwing out I think is the experience of our subcontractors who have been working with the Ortner group. I'm sure I'm going to be portrayed as an apologist for the Ortner group. I know there are a lot of problems. I know Sonya [Nesch in the audience] that you think I am, but you have been criticizing the Ortner group since their first day in the County! You didn't even give them a chance to get started before you were criticizing them. I am not an apologist for them. But I do know a lot of people who are in the same position I am who have a family member or someone close to them who has been involved in getting services from this system including people on the Behavioral Health Advisory Board who have been getting a lot of pretty good service. I know in the case of my own family I am very thankful for the service that has been given to one of my loved ones through this adult system of care contract. A lot of people have mentioned turning this all over to RQMC and I have great respect for RQMC, they have a good track record in the county, they already have $10 million of the $20 million we expend on mental health. I have not actually heard how from RQMC that they are ready to step in and take over the adult system of care which is not the same as the children's system of care. I'm sure anybody out there who knows about mental health and most of you probably know a lot more than I do, would tell you that these are two different breeds of cat. It is much easier to deal with a population that is being served voluntarily then one is that is being served involuntarily. Also in the adult system we have people who are much more often much more gravely ill along with not being aware that they even have a mental illness. John Wexler is somebody who brings that up over and over again — that very serious condition of mental illness when you don't know — and it's about 50% of the people who are seriously mentally ill, who don't know they have a mental illness to begin with. So I think the board is acting precipitously. I think they are acting reactively. I don't think this is the right way to go. I do think that we should follow the experts who have studied our county and study the system and told us that we have a foundation in place and now we need to improve on that foundation and that will be much less disruptive to the people we most care about who are the clients and it will allow us to improve this system and move forward and in our back pocket I agree we should have an RFP and then Ortner will know that we are serious about their need to improve and we can begin looking over the hill to the next provider if indeed we cannot get satisfaction with this company.

MCCOWEN (after agreeing mostly with Hamburg) If you had a two-and-a-half year old car and the transmission went out you would probably tow it to the shop and get the transmission fixed. You wouldn't tow it to the junkyard and scrap it. So we are scrapping a solid foundation and I fear plunging the clients into uncertainty and I'm not sure why we would do that based on information in front of us.

GJERDE: But you would dispose of it if that car was a lemon.

WOODHOUSE: I feel a concern for the people who are just not getting the services at this point. I requested some information from our county that took a tremendously long time to get. And I have held my patience. But buried within that was a zip drive full of some facts about what we were actually performing in 2009-10 before privatization, before we did the change. The services we were providing and the number of clients we had. It also had the information about what we were providing in 2014-15. There were a lot of changes between that. But our level of service to the people and the number of those services was down in 14-15. It was just under 73%. We calculated 72.9%. So let's say 75%. That's the closest I have to any facts about where we actually are at this time based on when we said this is unacceptable, we have to outsource this. It's a failure. We are now 25% lower five years later than we were when we made that decision. That's a fact. If anyone here, if anyone can come up with any facts to refute that I would love to sit down with them and show them how I got my numbers. The emotion of the subject and the history of different people involved in this is overwhelming. But we have to go through this process to provide the best service we can to people no matter how difficult it is. It's very difficult. It is going to be hard and I don't like taking a vote when some of our board is not in line with the rest of the board. That's an unhealthy way to start anything. I can assure you this board is not going to vote to approve a contract after we do an RFP with anyone unless it is tightly drawn and acceptable to all of us as it can possibly be. We are not going to just jump into this and do it thoughtlessly. We are going to put everything we have into it. We have a problem in that we cannot discuss this outside this room which is totally insane. So we have to do it here. I don't want to have anybody doubt that I truly respect my fellow board members. They have a lot of history here that I do not have. Last night I spoke to a mental health director from another county who said for the last seven years he has come to his board and spoken every single month and kept them informed of what's going on and not once during that time has there been a difference between the board's approach and the mental health director's approach because they were in constant communication. He educated his board and elevated them to a level like we do with the Roads department. We understand the process and we learn every time we go through that. That's what I want to do with our mental health director at this point from now on. It's about the communications especially during these changes. Without it we are not going to do very well. I didn't appreciate being excluded from the drawing of the contract with the Kemper report which used a three-year time window instead of a five-year time window which is where I got the 72.9% difference. I'm looking at a five year period which tells me more of the facts. … I hope that Ortner does put a proposal in. They have a tremendous advantage. They know our needs. They have gone through the pain of being here and listening to us for years over this. I don't blame anyone but myself and our whole community collectively for where we go with this. It's our responsibility and it's been very difficult and I've been working on this since the day I came here and before. It's a scary place to be but it's exactly where we need to be right now. We are not disrespecting or throwing aside the Kemper report. We wouldn't be here, we wouldn't be this close to doing something this important without that input. I hope that you are thinking of hiring them as a consultant to help us through this process.

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GJERDE AND WOODHOUSE made it clear they wanted to proceed with the previous plan to implement the Kemper recommendations by working on Kemper-recommended contract amendments with Ortner. McCowen and Hamburg were for letting things ride for awhile while an RFP was prepared over the next few months. Carre Brown found herself in the position of swing vote. Brown said that Ortner and County staff had already had plenty of time to improve the situation without success and so Brown wanted to “move forward” with the Kemper recommendations.

SO THE SUPES finally voted, 3-2 (McCowen and Hamburg dissenting) to both implement the Kemper recommendations via modifications to Ortner’s contract whether Ortner liked it or not, and finish the improved RFP to put the County's adult mental health services out to bid as soon as possible. McCowen and Hamburg voted for more of the same.

PUBLIC COMMENT was almost unanimously in favor of dumping Ortner with most of those proposing that the Board simply turn the Adult Mental Health services over to Redwood Quality Management via a contract amendment.

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SONYA NESCH told the Board:

I facilitate NAMI Family Support Group in Fort Bragg and have for 24 years. In our Support Group we talk about the lack of local mental health services for our family members since Ortner came here.

Our family members no longer have Crisis Care in the beginning of a crisis to stop their relapse.

There is no longer a Medical Outpatient office with doctors, nurses, clinicians and a clerical staff who know us and our family member.

There is no longer a retrievable written record of current medications and medical history for our family member, and Ortner sometimes loses whatever records they do have.

Ortner’s unqualified and unlicensed minimum wage, subcontractor employees do not know us or our family member, and know very little about mental illness and should not be providing medical services for Ortner.

Ending Ortner’s contract is not about egos or saving face, it’s about people’s lives and sometimes deaths and attempted deaths. It is about the patient’s children, spouses, parents, friends and neighbors. These are people who deserve to have all that $20+ M spent to provide local Mental Health support and services. The stakes are too high. The risks are too great to keep this Ortner Charade going with the magical thinking that they will change overnight and suddenly fulfill their contract obligations with excellent services.

And, right here in Mendocino County we have the solution to this terrible problem – Redwood Community Services (RCS) has been providing high quality, excellent mental health services for decades with qualified and competent staff. Please give them a Sole-Source Contract NOW with whatever money you can salvage from Ortner. There is also patient money in five different County funds that you can ask staff to give to RCS. The RCS Contract can read: Create a Continuum of Crisis Care Services, Medical Outpatient, a local Psychiatric Health Facility, Intensive Day Treatment for all our communities to support patients as they recover and learn to manage their own symptoms. Redwood knows how to create group homes and how to prepare people for independent living. Redwood does the necessary follow up with medical staff and qualified case managers after a patient is released from the hospital.

Please bring RCS in NOW. Simultaneously, Carmel Angelo, Tom Ortner and their lawyers can meet to figure out how fast this divorce can end. Hopefully, Carmel will be able to salvage some patient money from Ortner for the creation of local Mental Health Services. RCS will create good local jobs for qualified local people who share the “common good” values of RCS.

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EVERY PARENT'S NIGHTMARE. Headline on the front page of the Independent Coast Observer, Gualala: "Bullying leads school to reach out for training."

THE STORY by Chris McManus is replete with the usual obfuscating statements of obviously deficient school staff who had apparently ignored or, worse, hadn't seen the months of abuse suffered by an elementary school girl as she was tormented by a female classmate.

POINT ARENA ELEMENTARY finally took action after the child's tormenter launched an all-out physical attack "in which the victim was beaten to the ground and curled into a fetal position," an episode confirmed by a jubilant video spread up and down the Coast by social media.

THE FOG BELT cretins who put that celebratory video up in cyberspace for anyone and everyone to see are as psychopathic as the violent child they're celebrating. Of course it's not news to anyone that lots of stupid, brutal people are out there raising stupid, brutal children.

BECAUSE both the victim and her assailant are children their names are not revealed, and because the story is only explicit in the description of the child victim's final beatdown, more questions are raised than answers provided. The story does, however, make it clear that the Point Arena schools are run by irresponsible people incapable of providing safe schools for Point Arena children.

INCREDIBLY, the assailant has not been kicked permanently out of school. She was merely suspended and "put on a probationary period."

PA's latest superintendent, a dithering incompetent called Brent Cushenberry, rolled out to announce that the Point Arena Schools have begun a program through a Mendocino County Office of Education-funded grant to train staff in “Positive Behaviors, Intervention and Support.”

HERE'S CUSHENBERRY, as quoted by Ms. McManus: "While there are many components to PBIS a significant one is called ‘restorative justice.’ Simply, restorative justice seeks to repair the harm caused by someone's misbehavior, and also to rehabilitate the offender by reconnecting them (sic) with their community."

TRANSLATION: The child assailant is a victim, too, that she isn't a juvenile psychopath, that she simply made a year's worth of mistakes in an unsupervised and uncaring public school culminating in, well, gee, golly, a dangerous physical attack on another child.

THE VICTIM'S MOTHER: "Every day we put her in the hands of the school, who is supposed to protect her. She has been bullied for over a year. How do we stop it?"

WELL, MOM, if I were you I'd start with a lawsuit against the school district and, in the meantime, home school your daughter. I'd also campaign to recall Point Arena's perennially derelict school board.

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A SECOND CANDIDATE for the Anderson Valley School Board has emerged — Kerri Sanchez, a mom with children in the local schools. A second candidate, although he filed first, is Robert Pinoli, Jr., son of high school principal Robert Pinoli, Sr. The four seated members of the School Board will select their fellow trustee at a special board meeting this Friday, March 4th, 7:45am at the meeting room in the Anderson Valley Health Center.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY supervisors will of course ratify the latest shakedown of a local public agency by master shakedown artist, Jack Silver, and his bogus nonprofit called California River Watch. River Watch consists of a telephone and an unmanned office in West Sonoma County.

THE COUNTY OF MENDOCINO, although it employs a half dozen lawyers in its County Counsel's office, would rather pass out public money than fight this character, which is how Silver has bilked several million dollars out of cities and counties throughout NorCal. The few that have fought him have given up because it's too expensive to continue in court.

SILVER employs a simple strategy. Pay me for alleged water quality violations or I'll sue you until you give up. Defending against Silver, as Fortuna and other HumCo jurisdictions have discovered, can cost thousands of dollars most cash-strapped public entities don't have. (Not that there's ever any shortage of travel and conference money for their elected officials and top bureaucrats.)

THIS PARTICULAR extortion by Silver alleges that violations of the Clean Water Act occurred at the Caspar Waste Transfer Station.

THE COUNTY will pay two-thirds of a $25,000 reimbursement for investigative, and attorney fees and costs to the California River Watch, or approximately $16,600, with the City of Fort Bragg paying the remaining third of about $8,400.

HOLD IT RIGHT HERE. "Investigative"? Silver rifles the files of Water Quality in Santa Rosa to see if paperwork is up to date. That's the investigation. In this case it probably wasn't, so Silver writes to the involved agencies saying, "You're out of compliance. Pay me or I sue." Since River Watch is a phony front of an enviro group, Silver gets all the money. Since he's been pulling this scam for about twenty years now — he began with a board of directors consisting of family members — he's undoubtedly a millionaire.

THE DEAL WITH SILVER will read like this: As the parties responsible for the Caspar Transfer Station, Mendocino County and the City of Fort Bragg, and Caspar's manager, Solid Waste of Willits, "would agree to fully implement, update and keep current, its Storm Water Pollution Plan Best Management Practices, submit existing monitoring reports not already available to the River Watch group and allow one site visit for River Watch officials within one year of the agreement effective date."

SILVER ALLEGED that all of the above “routinely violated the substantive and procedural requirements of its general permit relating to recycling services at the facility, by failing to implement Best Management Practices, or effective pollution control, in its Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan for the facility, resulting in the illegal discharge of pollutants, including chemical oxygen demand, pH, iron and aluminum, from the facility as reported to the California State Resources Control Board in annual reports filed by the defendants for the facility.”

IN FACT, Caspar has done everything humanly possible to prevent runoff, and probably done it successfully as could also probably be established in court. But it's not going to court, and Silver is getting another big payday by simply writing a letter threatening to sue.

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ShirleyKirkpatrickShirley Morehouse Kirkpatrick passed away at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 at Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg, California. Shirley was born on Dec. 17, 1932, in Scotia, California, where her father was a Presbyterian minister. Her childhood was divided between Placerville and Healdsburg.

After high school Shirley attended San Jose State. Shirley and Don, her husband, graduated together and received teaching credentials from UC Berkeley in 1954. She taught kindergarten and third grade for many years in Marin County, Winters and Fort Bragg.

In 1989 she retired and she and Don went to Saudi Arabia where she taught for another three years in the Saudi Arabian International Schools. The Kirkpatricks lived through their experience of a lifetime during Operation Desert Shield, and Desert Storm. She co-wrote with her husband the account of that experience in "Saudi Sojourn, a Dangerous Duty." She also cowrote of her childhood in "The Party Line, Coming of Age in Healdsburg." Shirley retired once again in 1992.

Shirley was a talented musician on the piano and sang in numerous choruses over the years. She taught piano lessons and instilled a love of music in her students.

Shirley and Don were married in Healdsburg in 1953 and they have three grown daughters, four grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter on the way. Shirley was the third of four Morehouse children.

She is survived by her brother, Harold Morehouse, with Suzy Sephapore; her sisters, Margy, with Dick Grable, and Carol with Dick Pierce; her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Vrenios; brother-in-law, Robert Kirkpatrick with Kathleen Kane; and her husband, Don Kirkpatrick.

A service honoring her life will be held at Mendocino Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Food Bank in Fort Bragg.

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COUNTY FOOD FACILITY INSPECTIONS: "Violations observed at a food facility are either critical or noncritical. Each critical violation is identified on the report as a major critical or minor critical. The violations represent conditions found at the time of inspection; the facility's operator may have corrected the violations and present conditions may be different.

This web site provides a generic description for each critical violation observed at a facility with the corresponding status major or minor. Noncritical violations are not listed individually and are reported as the total number found.

Specific information that further describes the critical and noncritical violations observed can be found on the actual inspection report. The food facility operator must have a copy of the most recent inspection report available for review upon request at the facility."

Here's the link - just select the city/town you want to review and/or the name of the establishment:

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Free Tick Testing Now Available

Our goal at Bay Area Lyme Foundation is to provide individuals with free, timely information as to whether they have been bitten by—or collected—an infected or uninfected tick.

Why Are We Offering Free Testing?
Sending us your tick(s) allows our scientific researchers to gather data about ticks from all over North America. Our scientists can broaden their investigations into tick populations and glean information on the current distribution of the major tick vectors and the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens that people encounter in different locations.

How it works
The tick can be dead or alive, but ideally collected less than 72 hours ago. Put your tick in a small Ziploc baggie with a moist cotton ball or piece of wet paper towel. If you have access to a small vial and alcohol, you can use that instead. Download the 2-page PDF, fill it out completely, electronically or print and fill out by hand. Put the baggie and the document in a small padded envelope.

How long will it take before I get my results?
Typically, we will test ticks and have results within 5 business days.

How will I learn the results?
You will receive an email from our laboratory that will detail the species we identified, and the list of positive and negative results.

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If you're anything like me, you are thrilled that progressive Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is seriously challenging the corrupt to the core Democratic Party establishment candidate — former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. But, if also like me, you are not a registered Democrat, you will not be able to vote for Bernie in the upcoming California Democratic Party primary on June 7th unless you re-register to vote as a Democrat. The deadline to re-register is May 23rd and you can get a registration form at a US Post Office or register on-line at

Do it right away just to be sure, Bernie is going to need all of our help to topple the oligarchy.


Jon Spitz, Laytonville

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A READER CLARIFIES: This letter reflects what the Mendo County voter office told him, but the info in it is not quite true.

CA Democratic Party will have an “open” Presidential primary in June, as they have since 2004 (rules changed in 2001 to allow unaffiliated voters to vote in party primaries IF the party decides they want to allow such). And for June 7, 2016 primaries, Democrats (and Libertarians and “American Independent Party”) have opened their party primaries to unaffiliated voters. See info at bottom straight from the CA Secretary of State’s “No Party Preference information” page on the CA SOS website).

My guess is the Mendo voter office answered Jon’s question specifically for him: As a Green Party voter, yes, Jon Spitz would have to re-register to vote for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primary, but he does have the choice of re-registering as an unaffiliated voter not just as a Democrat.

All you need to do – if you’re an unaffiliated voter – is request a Democratic Party primary ballot. Easy enough at the polls, but if you’re in a vote-by-mail district? Presumably you have to call the voter office and request such a ballot, so maybe your best bet in that case IS to re-register as a Democrat after all. Registration deadline for June 7 primaries is May 23, 2016, but I don’t know about a deadline for unaffiliated vote-by-mail voters to request a party ballot. I will try to find out.

I would also note that there are plenty of voters who think they are “independent” who actually are registered as members of the American Independent Party (the “fastest-growing party” in California, and the misleading name is why, not their far right politics), who might have an unpleasant surprise if they plan to ask for a Democratic Party ballot to vote for Bernie Sanders in June.

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You are voting for John Sakowicz for another term as a KZYX Board trustee? Do you support his having written a series of bizarre letters to the Federal Communications Commission, during his current term as trustee, demanding FCC denial of the broadcast license renewal?

Gordon Black, Mendocino

ED NOTE: The bizarre bar, historically considered, couldn't be lower as applied to KZYX, and I know dissent terrifies you, Gordy, but really, a single dissenter on an otherwise lockstep board of directors? Take another swig of Geritol and calm down. The new management team, btw, under Ms. Dechter, seems to be steering Mendo Public Radio in a smart, dare I say, democratic, direction for the first time ever. And here you are wringing your hands over poor old Sako!

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 1, 2016

Brockway, Clark-Wagner, Corder
Brockway, Clark-Wagner, Corder

ROBERT BROCKWAY III, Albion. Failure to appear.

DANIEL CLARK-WAGNER, Red Bluff/Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

HALEY CORDER, McKinleyville/Ukiah. DUI, DUI-suspended license.

Goforth, Guevara, Harbour
Goforth, Guevara, Harbour

JOHNNY GOFORTH, Covelo. Ex-felon with firearm, possession of ammo by prohibited person.

MIGUEL GUEVARA, Ukiah. Leaded cane, billy, blackjack, slungshot, sandclub, sap sandbag, failure to appear, failure to pay, probation revocation.


Heppe, Hopper, Molina
Heppe, Hopper, Molina

PATRICK HEPPE, Covelo. Failure to appear.

JACOB HOPPER, Ukiah. Honey oil extraction.

TYRONE MOLINA, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Parker, Randon, Scarberry, Williamson
Parker, Randon, Scarberry, Williamson

WILLIAM PARKER, Marisville, Washington/Ukiah. Honey oil extraction, pot possession for sale, pot sales.

KEVIN RANDON, Los Angeles/Ukiah. Faillure to appear.

NICHOLAS SCARBERRY, Laytonville. Honey oil extraction, ex-felon with firearm, sawed off shotgun, armed with firearm, possession of drugs for sale while armed.

MICHAEL WILLIAMSON, Ukiah. Honey oil extraction.

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  • Georgia: Trump 39%, Rubio 25%, Cruz 24%. Clinton 71%, Sanders 28%.
  • Vermont: Trump 33%, Kasich 31% Rubio 19%. Sanders 86%, Clinton 14%.
  • Virginia: Trump 35%, Rubio 32%, Cruz 17%. Clinton 64%, Sanders 35%.
  • Alabama: Trump 43%, Cruz 21%, Rubio 19%. Clinton 78%, Sanders 19%.
  • Massachusetts: Trump 49%, Kasich 18% Rubio 18%. Clinton 50%, Sanders 49%..
  • Oklahoma: Cruz 35%, Trump 28%, Rubio 26%. Sanders 52%, Clinton 52%.
  • Tennessee: Trump 39%, Cruz 25%, Rubio 21%. Clinton 66%, Sanders 32%.
  • Alaska: Cruz 34%, Trump 33%, Rubio 17%.
  • Texas: Cruz 44%, Trump 273%, Rubio 18%. Clinton 65%, Sanders 33%.
  • Arkansas: Trump 33%, Cruz 31%, Rubio 25%. Clinton 66%, Sanders 30%.
  • Minnesota: Rubio 37%, Cruz 29%, Trump 21%. Sanders: 62%, Clinton 38%.
  • Colorado: Sanders 59%, Clinton 41%.

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Larry The Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy were at a mostly sold out show in Dodge City last night. During the bit where they solicit questions from the audience, one guy asked their opinion of Trump. To solid clapping and shouts of approval, Larry gave a robust defense of Trump. The interesting part was that his rejection of ‘Ivy leaguers’ included a time frame when the GOP was also in power (and as I recall, GWB received degrees from both Harvard and Yale). They hate Hillary, sure. But there is no particular affection for Republicans either.

The Republicans ignore the Larry the Cable Guy vote at their own peril. The days of giving lip service to cultural totems while electing politicians who subserviently regurgitate the Koch agenda are gone. These people are PISSED and that is why Trump resonates so. People overlook his misstatements, vulgarity, contradictory positions and checquered past because he is a perceived outsider who has tapped into this seething volcano of frustration. Engineer a convention coup to get a more tractable corporate shill atop the ticket and the eruption could be cataclysmic.

And the Dems aren’t much better. Watching the opposition devolve into hissing, spitting factions might provide great amusement, but a similar fate might await them if the Sanders contingent is given short shrift. Hillary bloviates about ‘taking on the banks.’ The only evidence against that is her entire career. I’d feel a lot better about her sincerity if she ponied up transcripts of those Goldman Sachs speeches (you know, the ones she made $250K for 45 minutes of valuable insights). Fat chance of THAT ever happening.

The Demagogue vs. the Grifter. The Republic is now officially on life support.

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DID YOU KNOW that if you are an American under 18 years old and you use your cell phone to send a nude “selfie” of yourself to a friend, you can be convicted of manufacturing and distributing “child pornography” and sent to prison? This is how expansively prosecutors, whose main purpose in life is to ruin as many people as possible, interpret laws passed to protect children from sexual exploitation.

— Paul Craig Roberts

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An Open Letter From Physicians and Medical Students

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by David Downs

Humboldt marijuana is known around the world for its quality — and its illicit origins.

But that is changing as California’s new medical marijuana regulations take effect. Not only have state lawmakers clarified the legality of commercial medical pot in black and white language, they’ve order growers to get both state and local permits.

Up in Humboldt County Friday, the region’s marijuana growers lined up for a first crack at licenses to grow money on trees.

Humboldt County cannabis farmers seek first-ever licenses this week. (Photo courtesy of Berner’s Marijuana Mania)

Garberville resident Myles Moscato, 25, was the first person through the door and became the first grower in the county to begin the application process. With him were his father Mark Switzer, 46, and great aunt Rain on the Earth, 71, who in total represented three generations of cannabis farmers.

“It’s taken 20 years to come up with some rules,” Switzer said. “I think we all know the county really needs them. It’s very nice to have some clarification.”

Humboldt County’s first-ever medical pot farm license applicants Friday represented three generations of farmers (courtesy of Mark Switzee)

About 100 growers were expected to apply Friday for permits — which will allow them to cultivate and manufacture medical cannabis and products and distribute them in the state.

“I believe we are the first county in the state to actually open our doors and actually allow people to apply for these types of permits so it is a historic day. We are pretty proud,” Humboldt official Robert Wall told reporters.

Humboldt County’s first pot arrest occurred in 1960. In the 1970s and 1980s, domestic pot production in the remote California county surged in response to the U.S.-led poisoning of Mexican supplies of cannabis with the herbicide paraquat.

Humboldt, Lake and Trinity County became known as the Emerald Triangle — the national leader in high-grade pot production. The Reagan Administration countered with helicopter raids on the remote farms, leading growers to perfect the high-potency indoor-grown cannabis that now dominates the U.S. market.

In other news, Santa Rosa leaders voted Tuesday to license commercial cannabis farming in the city. Oakland, Sacramento, Adelanto, and several other California cities and counties are racing to license cultivators, assure their share of a limited number of state permits, and thereby corner huge parts of the state’s multi-billion-dollar medical pot market.

Here’s a link to Humboldt County’s historic pot permitting process.

(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)

* * *


by James Kunstler

Hillary’s dumb riposte to Trump’s dumb slogan — make America great again! — was “…America never stopped being great.” I guess she’s been traveling around the strip-mall wastelands of Carolina failing to notice the carnage that lays upon this land like a mortal scrofula. America has been committing suicide by bad choices for decades.

We took the collateral winnings of World War II and poured it into a suburban sprawl alt-universe so depressing that our citizens are the most over-medicated people in the world. That alone might help to explain how Hillary and Trump lumber inevitably toward their respective nominations. The cheering “folks” marshaled out in the Piggly Wiggly parking lots are so buzzed on Klonopin and Zoloft that they can’t tell how these two odious celebrities epitomize the very forces behind their pharmaceutically-masked despair.

A nation sunk in such falsity is sure to suffer life-threatening blowback and it looks like the first thing to go will be the life of the political parties. Both Democrats and Republicans have gone full Whig, riding into the 2016 election on the garbage barge of history. Hillary went on hyper-gloat after last week’s South Carolina primary, where she stuffed her pander-bag with black votes reaped on empty promises to re-boot the Civil Rights era. It was painful to watch that get-me-outa-here smile stretched across her face as she hugged the last selfie-snapper and slouched toward the ordeal of Super-Tuesday.

I don’t care how many primary victories Trump racks up, the GOP poobahs will not support him going into the convention. They will crack the party up into warring factions before they let him hoist the gonfalon of Lincoln and the Gipper. Be warned: plans are already afoot to shove Trump aside, to derail him with some scandal easily excavated from a life spent greasing other pols and playing ball with the mob-riddled construction industry in New York, Jersey, and Nevada. Failing that, they’ll leave him with a gutted shell of the party apparatus and by-hook-or-crook get some other figure to make a well-funded run under a slightly altered banner: Paul Ryan, Bloomberg, Romney, just maybe Kasich. The Koch brothers will organize the money mojo. Failing that, there is always the mysterious magic of the Deep State for winning friends and influencing history.

This is not to endorse the old Republican establishment, just saying that they are increasingly desperate to derail this monster of their own creation, and will go to institutionally suicidal lengths to get it done. It will be more than another election cycle, if ever, before the right-of-center portion of the US political spectrum can realign itself into something resembling a party.

Or perhaps this is America’s true imperial moment, when all party politics surrenders to the pre-tsunami undertow of events. None of the idiot network commentators or Wash-Po or NY Times columnists seem to notice that the global economy is sinking into a coma, and in so doing is igniting cluster-bombs of default through the financial system. That so far insidious destruction should effloresce exactly around the time of the nominating conventions. The tide will have visibly gone miles out just as Hillary mounts the podium like some bad joke of a national mommy and Trump sits fretting in his Cleveland hotel room wondering how his rococo dreams of glory turned into a shit sandwich from room service. Yeats’s widening gyre is upon us. The biggest surprise of all yet-to-come is that television will fail to explain it. The second coming will not be the reappearance of the celebrity known as Jesus Christ, but rather of the event called the American Civil War.

To support Kunstler’s writing go to his Patreon Page:

* * *


Using the term “hits.”—

* * *


The March Public Meeting of the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino will be held this Friday, March 4th, 10:00 - 11:30am at the Community Foundation, 204 S. Oak St., Ukiah. The agenda for the meeting is available online. Join us remotely by calling: 641-715-3341 Access code: 108 1131# A special presentation will be given by Yahel Ben-David, Executive Director of DeNovo Group, developers of Further Reach. His topic will be "Why fixed-wireless is the hope for sustainable rural broadband". Come and join the discussion! Starting this year, we will be holding the public meetings every other month, instead of monthly. Please check our website for the dates.

* * *


Nurse Practitioner Trades Big City for Small Town Charm


After living in the city for 15 years, Kim Silva, a board certified family nurse practitioner was ready for a change. And she found the perfect place in Willits. Having grown up in Humboldt County, the choice to trade the congested city for a small town was easy, shares Ms. Silva. "It was like coming home for me. I didn't realize how much I missed Northern California until I moved back. I miss the beautiful scenery and the smell of the redwoods. The fact that I don't have to be stuck in traffic for two hours to get to work isn't too bad either," she adds.

Ms. Silva will join John Glyer, MD and Bev Draudt, FNP at the Redwood Medical Clinic (RMC) and will be seeing patients starting in March. As a family nurse practitioner, Ms. Silva specializes in caring for the whole family: men, women and children. Ms. Silva evaluates and treats many conditions and offers a wide range of services, including preventative medicine, such as vaccinations and annual physical exams; management of ongoing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension; and treatment of acute medical conditions. She has over 30 years working in psychiatry and has a special interest in women's health.

Ms. Silva is a graduate of Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, CA, earning her master of science degree as a family nurse practitioner while working as a registered nurse in the psychiatric unit at San Francisco General Hospital.

Asked why she chose to specialize in family medicine, Ms. Silva explains, "In coming to a small community my hope would be to get to know and care for the whole family. This is a great opportunity to treat everyone € children and their parents, thus allowing me to see the whole picture and provide better care."

Ms. Silva is excited for the opportunity to provide care in a small town setting, especially with a new hospital and a brand new facility. "Frank Howard Memorial Hospital has such great reputation, with the new hospital and the new clinic that is opening soon, I feel like we are truly providing the best for this community," she shares.

Ms. Silva loves music as much as she loves taking care of patients. She's been playing the drums since grade school and has played in many rock bands in various venues in the Bay Area. She enjoys both playing and listening to different types of music, especially fusion and funk. She also enjoys spending time with family, taking road trips, camping and photography.

Ms. Silva is now accepting new patients at 88 Madrone Street in Willits. To schedule an appointment please call 707.459.6115.

Redwood Medical Clinic and Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital are part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 28,600 includes more than 20,500 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,600 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 220 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. We invite you to visit<> for more information.

Cici Winiger
Community Outreach & Communications Manager
Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital
Phone: 707.456.3591
Cell: 707.972.6387

Please note our new address:
1 Marcela Drive, Willits, CA 95490

* * *


“All qualified citizens interested in serving on the 2016/2017 Mendocino County Grand Jury are invited to submit their applications to the Superior Court for consideration,” announced the Honorable Jeanine B. Nadel, Chair of the Grand Jury Recruitment/Selection Committee. Applications will be accepted until May 6, 2016. The 2016/2017 Grand Jury will be sworn in on June 24, 2016.

The 19 members of the Grand Jury serve for one year and are empowered to investigate the operations of county, city and district governments; provide civil oversight of local government departments and agencies; and respond to citizen complaints.

A Grand Juror must be a United States citizen, 18 years or older, a resident of Mendocino County for at least one year, and sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English. A Grand Juror may not serve on any other governmental board or commission during the term and cannot be presently holding a public office or become personally active in any campaign of a candidate for elective office. Prior to being nominated, each qualifying applicant is interviewed by a Superior Court judge and background investigations are conducted by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department. Since the Grand Jury sets its own agenda and meeting schedule, and because small committees perform much of the work, there is considerable flexibility in the work schedule and meeting locations. Training for Grand Jurors will be provided.

Service on the Civil Grand Jury is an excellent opportunity to learn about the inner workings of government, while providing a valuable service to the community.

Applications and related information are available and can be downloaded on the Internet at: The application may also be obtained in person at the Superior Court, 100 North State Street, Rm. 303, Ukiah or by calling the Grand Jury at (707) 463-4320.

For more information contact:

Kim Weston, Administrative Assistant
Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino
100 N. State Street, Room 303
Ukiah, CA 954825
(707) 467-6437

* * *


by Dan Bacher

The federal government last week released its data on the projections for the upcoming ocean and river salmon seasons in California and Southern Oregon — and it’s not looking good.

Commercial and recreational anglers are bracing for further fishing restrictions this season, based on low abundance estimates for Sacramento River and Klamath River fall-run Chinook salmon, the two drivers of the West Coast fishery.

The Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC), a quasi-governmental body that crafts the seasons and regulations for salmon, groundfish and other fisheries, forecasts an ocean abundance of approximately 300,000 (299,600) Sacramento River adult fall run king salmon off the California and Oregon coast this year. This compares to forecasts above 600,000 the past several years.

“When coupled with poor 2015 Klamath salmon returns and concern for federally protected winter run, the forecast points to a restricted 2016 fishing season,” said John McManus, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA). “The lower than normal forecast is caused by drought conditions and water management decisions that harmed salmon the last four years in the Central Valley. These have greatly decreased survival of wild salmon eggs and juveniles.”

The numbers were released prior to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual Salmon Fishery Information Meeting scheduled for Wednesday March 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Blvd. in Santa Rosa (95403).

McManus pointed out that that relatively low forecast for 2016 salmon comes as two federal bills in Congress “threaten to take even more of the water needed to keep our salmon runs healthy.”

“The projection for 2016 salmon makes clear the damage done by water diversions and drought the last several years," said McManus. “The 2016 salmon number means more protections are needed in the Delta and Central Valley salmon habitat, not less. Any politician proposing more water diversions now from the Delta needs to look at the salmon numbers and stop proposing more harm to salmon and our coastal communities.”

McManus said the PFMC forecast comes as fishery managers begin work on an ocean fishing season in 2016 with adequate protections for low numbers of Sacramento River winter run Chinook salmon, an endangered species under state and federal law, and Klamath salmon.

“A low projected number of adult Klamath River salmon, which is used as a surrogate to protect north coast stocks, could mean further restrictions will occur on salmon fishing north of Point Arena in what’s known as the Fort Bragg cell,” he stated. “This is most likely to affect commercial salmon fishermen who have made the bulk of their catch in this area the last several years.”

North Coast fishermen, like those further south, are bracing for further restrictions this season to allow enough Klamath River salmon to return to the river to spawn. The 2016 Klamath River Fall Chinook potential spawner abundance forecast is 41,211 natural-area adults, according to the PFMC Preseason Report 1. (

“This potential spawner abundance forecast applied to the KRFC control rule results in an allowable exploitation rate of 0.25, which produces, in expectation 30,909 natural-area adult spawners,” according to the PFMC “Therefore, fisheries impacting KRFC must be crafted to achieve, in expectation, a minimum of 30,909 natural-area adult spawners in 2016.”

The 2016 forecast is based on the number of two-year-old Chinook salmon, called “jacks and jills,” that returned to spawn in 2015. McManus said the 2015 forecast of 652,000 salmon “didn’t come near the post season total of less than 300,000 prompting managers to modify the formula used to forecast this year’s number.”

McManus said one semi bright spot in another discouraging outlook is that salmon fishing in 2016 should be a “little bit better” than it was last year due to the extra trucking that occurred in 2014 following a campaign by GGSA to avert drought disaster. “Salmon numbers could creep up a little more in 2017 due to the 100 percent trucking of juvenile hatchery fish at GGSA’s urging in 2015,” he noted.

He said an additional two million hatchery fish produced after a GGSA campaign with state officials and support from the Commercial Salmon Stamp committee will be released in the next several months and are expected to add to the 2018 fishery.

“We’d almost certainly be looking at a fishing closure in 2016 but for the work of GGSA that got more hatchery fish trucked to safe release sites starting in 2014,” said GGSA founder and treasurer Victor Gonella. “The trucking made the difference in survival for many of the fish now out in the ocean. The forecast isn’t great, but it should allow for a responsible fishing season while leaving enough fish to reproduce this year.”

“Commercial salmon fishermen are coming off a very poor 2015 fishing season followed by a shutdown of the crab fishery, which most rely on to make ends meet,” added McManus. “Prospects of another poor commercial salmon season is causing concern in harbors and ports from Morro Bay all the way up into Oregon where 60 percent of the ocean salmon catch are Central Valley salmon.”

California’s salmon industry is currently valued at $1.4 billion in economic activity annually and about half that much in economic activity and jobs again in Oregon

For more information about the Golden Gate Salmon Association, go to:

Tomorrow’s Ocean Salmon Information Meeting in Santa Rosa marks the beginning of a two-month long public process used to establish annual sport and commercial ocean salmon seasons. A list of additional meetings and other opportunities for public comment is available on CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage,

The meeting comes at a critical time for salmon ,crab and other fisheries. Legislators, members of commercial fishing families, fishing group representatives and Brown administration officials testified about the dire situation that the salmon and crab fishery is in during the 43rd Annual Zeke Grader Fisheries Forum of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture held at the State Capitol in Sacramento on February 11.

“This forum works, but the fishermen are not,” said Senator Mike McGuire, Chair of the Committee, in his opening comments. “The salmon and crab fisheries are threatened by a historic crisis. We’re facing a fishery disaster that will impact many families.”

As California’s salmon fisheries are hammered by poor management of Central Valley reservoirs and the continuing export of water from Delta during the drought, Governor Jerry Brown continues to promote his California Water Fix to build the Delta Tunnels. The construction of the tunnels would hasten the extinction of Sacramento winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt and green sturgeon, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Klamath and Trinity rivers.

* * *


The Grace Hudson Museum will truly be the site of a multimedia event this Friday evening, March 4, when noted pianist Elena Casanova will be playing at the Grace Hudson Museum as part of the City of Ukiah's First Friday Art Walk. The event is free and hors d'oeuvres and wine will be served. Casanova, whose classical Cuban piano music graces Ukiah's cultural scene, will perform at the event.

The Museum will be open this Friday at 5:00, when viewers can visit the latest exhibit, In the Construction Zone: Mendocino County Assemblage Art. This new exhibit features diverse and surprising works by seven County residents Spencer Brewer, Larry Fuente, Joan Giannecchini, Susan Spencer, Esther Siegel, Denver Tuttle and Michael Wilson who combine found objects together in improbable ways that suggest new structures and create new stories.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. For more information please call 467-2836 or go to


  1. Craig Stehr March 2, 2016

    Journeyed to a campground outside of the Washington D.C. beltway yesterday, to meet with two friends and their cat. These were my companions on the beltway ritual action performed in September, in which we drove widdershins around the entire beltway, the vehicle covered with rune messages that the driver had attached, which countered the bogus energy emanating from within the belly of the beast, while she chanted pagan magical incantations in the back seat with the cat meowing, plus my own singing of songs from the Atharva Veda. The after ritual feast was at Busboys and Poets. Our reunion yesterday was very satisfying. We agree that the passing of Concepcion Picciotto (co-founder of the anti-nuclear peace vigil across the street from the White House decades ago) marks the end of an era. We’re drawing a line here, putting the radically active past into the pages of history. The future? Fasten your seat belts. Nota bene: The Becks’s Brasserie restaurant across the street from Hostelling International at 11th St. NW and K St. is just fabulous. Am recommending the Belgian IPAs, and the mountain trout for dinner featuring a green peppercorn sauce is delicious. Eat your heart out San Francisco…the district is way ahead of your culinary game. ;-)

  2. BB Grace March 2, 2016

    RE: GJERDE: “But you would dispose of it if that car was a lemon.”

    Kemper Report says OMG is NOT a lemon.

    Some bad apples in the County resigned, Pinizzotto and Cryer, who Kemper Report pointed out, Pinizzotto’s “plan”, was to write the regulations after the program was established.

    Because the County hired Pinizzotto, who was connected with OMG, Hamburg is correct, OMG never had a chance to perform because while OMG TRUSTED and followed the County (Pinizzotto), there were people biased against “privatization” and that reason alone they have taken every opportunity to blame OMG. Pinizzotto and Cryer’s resignation went over their heads their hatred for privatization blinding them to the real problems in mental health services delivery.

    The fact that Hamburg has a son that needed and got mental health help to Hamburg’s credit, as many who need mental health help don’t seek help.

    Hamburg and McCowen sit on Behavioral Health Advisory Board, where they’ve grueled OMG as if it was ALL OMG’s fault the past two years, while OMG has put up with more BS than they ever deserved.

    My bet is Anna and Jim Shaw want to replace OMG and now that they have the Old Coast Hotel (Thanks Gjerde) and all those big city connections, with their heinious homelessness lack of solutions, it appears this is what’s being set up for Mendcocino.

    One would think that the BOS would respect each others committee recommendations and opinions. Apparently the BOS do not respect each others committee work.

    I think Gjerde should take a long working vacation and travel. Go to tourist towns that are thriving and bring home some ideas rather than selling Fort Bragg out to the biggest government bidder.

    • Lazarus March 2, 2016

      Perhaps you need to get out more, every medical pro in the county coupled with the most popular and powerful politician in the county ( Tom Allman) have been calling for change. Sure Hamburg and McCowen were against it, they served as oversight to the fraud…
      As Always,

  3. BB Grace March 2, 2016

    Tom Allman wants the County to get their act together. Tom Allman does not want to open a “jail” for mental health. Tom Allman knows that’s police state mentality and he’s not police state mentality and one reason he’s loved so much.

    If the county can’t get their mental health act together, which they have never done, then Allman will formally propose a TAX INCREASE of 1/2c to build a $20 Million dollar jail for mental health.

    Let me be clear: Sheriff Allman wants the County to get the mental health act together way more than imposing a 1/2c tax to build a jail to house the mentally ill.

    Why do you want to jail the mentally ill Laz?

    • Lazarus March 2, 2016

      You’re either baiting me or stupid, I never said jail the mentals…and for the record, Alllman is going to float a tax increase for a MH facility, on Low Gap, next to the jailhouse. That will happen no matter what your friends at the county do.

  4. james marmon March 2, 2016

    I actually thought McCowan and Hamburg appeared more coherent than the other 3. They realize that this mess is more complex than just giving Ortner a pink slip and handing adult mental health over to the evil empire, RQMC. Without Ortner and the Kemper report I personally would not have been able to convince the board that the amount of money going into that system might be excessive and wasteful.

    While I was attempting to execute my duties pursuant Welfare and Institutions Code 306, I was often forced to remove children from their parents because of either the poor quality or overall lack of adult services in Mendocino.

    We could do all

    • james marmon March 2, 2016

      sorry, My home Internet CONNECTION has been down the last few days here at home so I have been using my cell phone, it has a mind of its own sometimes.

      What I was saying was, we could all do ourselves a favor and shift some of that RQMC money back to the adult system. I also agree with Nancy Sutherland, the current County Mental Program should imediately start providing the adult outpatient services, not OMG or RQMC, and the funding should come from the General Fund to do so, and not from the other struggling HHSA departments.

      • james marmon March 2, 2016

        The Dependency Drug Court serves a purpose to parents after their chidren are removed from their care, but there are no services out there to prevent their the childrens removal in the first place. If you look at the amount of money the County pumped into RCS over the past 20 years, you would be stunned to say the least.

        • james marmon March 2, 2016

          Not only were there no services to prevent removal, there were no services to prevent the abuse or neglect of children from happening in the first place.

  5. chuck dunbar March 2, 2016

    James Marmon notes in a posting today about community services and CPS interventions: “Not only were there no services to prevent removal, there were no services to prevent the abuse or neglect of children from happening in the first place.” I think he’s largely right in asserting this.

    One of the shameful facts about our nation is that support and guidance for struggling (very often poverty-based) families is lacking. There are many factors that contribute to child neglect and abuse in America, including a broad cultural breakdown (seen in Mendocino County, in part, with so many young parents using drugs to excess, becoming addicted, and engaging in acts that endanger their children). Many of us in CPS over the past 20 years, advocated for more voluntary, preventative services for our families. We all hoped to engage families in these more positive ways, before families became so damaged and troubled that removal of children and Juvenile Court involvement were necessary. When things go this far, children have been hurt or damaged; it is pretty late in the game. Yet a dearth of social workers and a dearth of intensive, in-home community services prevented this from happening. There was no clear vision or focus, within CPS or in the community at large, that prevention was a far better answer than after-the-fact intervention. In my last years in CPS (I retired in 2014) we became so overwhelmed by complex and work-intensive Juvenile Court interventions, and by social worker shortages, that voluntary services were further weakened. There is a fine article by Jill Lepore on American Child Welfare Services in the February 1, 2016 New Yorker, that addresses, in part, some of these issues.

  6. Judy Valadao March 2, 2016

    Funny that Hamburg would say “I know Sonya [Nesch in the audience] that you think I am, but you have been criticizing the Ortner group since their first day in the County! You didn’t even give them a chance to get started before you were criticizing them.”

    He on the other has been praising them before seeing what they would actually do/not do. Wonder why that is?

    • BB Grace March 2, 2016

      I don’t hold any greivance against Hamburg, nor am I a fan. I was dissappointed many times when I saw him on the Mental Health Board because I thought he should speak up, instead, he would watch McCowen grill OMG.

      I am not an employee or consumer of OMG and don’t know anyone from OMG outside any Mental Health Board meeting. I am as willing as the next to see bad apples, lemons and coconuts go to the compost heap. If in some way, of everything I have read and witnessed, if I could say once: OMG failed, I would. I don’t see it. Kemper Report didn’t see it. McCowen and Hamburg who have been willing to blame OMG to spare Pinizzotto and Cryer (County) would happily point out OMGs faults, but there isn’t any.

      There isn’t any.

      Cryer and Pinizzotto took responsibility and resigned. That was the right thing to do.

      So why is OMG, which put up with Pinizzotto and Cryer for years out of respect to the County, and State and Federal laws being wrongly and unjustly accused of crimes they have not committed?

      Where’s the Citizens of Fort Bragg Adult Social Services that can replace Ortner? Anna Shaw?


      The County and OMG are working out contracts, and even that contract will end soon. Who’s stopping concerned citizens of Mendocino County Social Services from forming an ASO and competing against OMG? That wouldbe the constructive path. Instead, this hysteria against OMG is in my unprofessional opinion damaging to people under OMG care, as what confidence can they have with what they services they do get, when no matter that the truth is -> OMG has done nothing wrong, they are constantly attacked.

  7. james marmon March 2, 2016

    You can’t blame Hamburg for doing anything he could to get his son some help. I have been exactly where he was.

  8. Randy Burke March 2, 2016

    Boy oh boy, what a crazy, mixed up world. Perhaps Kuntzler is right after all. We got nothing but time for it all to appear real. Stay tuned, but not to Fox.

  9. Randy Burke March 2, 2016

    Misspelled….Kunstler….now correctomundo

  10. BB Grace March 2, 2016

    Allman knows that mental HEALTH should be a HEALTH issue and not a LAW and ORDER issue, which is has been by County HHSA default.

    There are solutions besides taxing and establishing another lock up facility for those who need mental health help.

    The US is already the biggest prison population in the world. CA is deeply invested in the prison industrial complex because ultimately the only solution when it comes time to put the cards on the table is the Sheriff.

    The issue is how does the County deliver adult mental health services?

    You’re all for taxing everyone for the Sheriff to build a lock up for the mentally ill (poor folks who have a hard time being poor for way too long and others) and deny that it’s a lock up?

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