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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Mar 12, 2016

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THE COUNTY’S Environmental Health Branch (part of the Health and Human Services Agency HHSA) staff issued a health warning for downtown Boonville water on Friday after reviewing the results of the water tests conducted under the auspices of the Community Services District which we reported on a few days ago. (Of course, the HHSA warning/press release was not sent directly to the local Boonville paper because the poor babies at HHSA do not like being criticized, so we had to obtain the health warning via a third party, which doesn’t say much for the well-paid HHSA staffers who are supposed to be above such petty considerations, especially regarding public health. But then again we noticed that Supervisor Hamburg’s name is prominently mentioned in the press release, so maybe explains it. If the Fifth District Supervisor’s goal is “…to assist the residents of Boonville by providing information and education on safe water,” you might think he’d make a point of notifying the local newspaper. But…)

PS. Dr. Connie Caldwell was quietly appointed to position of County Public Health Officer last year without so much as a press release to anyone.

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Water Quality Concerns For Boonville

(Press Release from Mendocino County Environmental Health)

The Anderson Valley Community Services District recently tested twenty-three private water wells around the Boonville area. The results of their testing has shown twenty-one of the samples have some issues of contamination. Coliform bacteria, E. coli and an indicator of fecal contamination were indicated.

Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Connie Caldwell states that, “Coliform bacteria are found in soil, on plants, and in water. These bacteria typically do not make you sick but may indicate the presence of other more harmful germs. Fecal coliform bacteria, such as E. coli, are a specific kind of bacteria. These are also usually harmless, but may mean that feces and harmful germs have found their way into your water system and can cause diarrhea.”

Dr. Caldwell also explains that “The presence of nitrates in groundwater is generally associated with septic system and fertilizer use. Nitrates pose the greatest risk to infants. Although boiling water before consumption can mitigate the threat of bacteria, it often increases the concentration of nitrates. Families with young children should avoid making infant formula with water that contains high levels of nitrates or bacteria.”

Those concerned about the quality of their well water may wish to have their water tested independently. This test can be done by Alpha Analytical Laboratories of Ukiah. Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) have made available sampling kits and instructions from Alpha Labs at the Boonville Fire Department for residents to access. The water samples must be taken to Alpha Laboratories in Ukiah at 208 Mason Street on the same day they are collected. Alpha Lab’s cost to test for bacteria is $37.00 and for nitrates is $35.00 and is payable to them. If you are unable to transport your completed water sample to Ukiah, HHSA may be able to help you. Please contact [Environmental Health Director] Dave Jensen at 707-234-6625.

Water quality at restaurants, hotels and other commercial venues that serve the public are routinely tested during the County’s regular inspection of those facilities.

Dan Hamburg, Supervisor of the Fifth District, has actively been working with County staff upon hearing the results of the Boonville water tests. The goal of Supervisor Hamburg and the County is to assist the residents of Boonville by providing information and education on safe water.

Information packets, including fact sheets, water system disinfection instructions and ways to protect your private water system are available at the Boonville Fire Department and can also be requested from HHSA Environmental Health by calling 707-234-6625 (Ukiah) or 707-961-2714 (Fort Bragg) or by visiting

The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board in Santa Rosa is also a resource of information for local residents. They can be reached at 707-576-2220.

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CHP UPDATE, March 11, 7:50pm: "HWY 1 mile marker 82.19 between Rockport and Westport is continuing to be closed due to large land slide.  Cal Trans advising that the roadway may have 1 way traffic control by the morning."

At 4:21 am, CHP received word of a slide near mile marker 82.19 north of Westport. At first there was one lane traffic control, but at 6:44am CHP reported "the entire hillside came down" and while crews are on the scene, the entire roadway was closed with an unknown time for reopening.

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Heavy rains and high winds in Northern California have closed schools and roads Friday, including a portion of state Highway 1 where overnight slides nearly toppled a Caltrans dump truck with an employee inside.

Crews were responding to an initial slide around 3 a.m. north of Westport in Mendocino County when a second slide came down, nearly pushing the dump truck over the edge of the highway, Caltrans public information officer Phil Frisbie Jr. said.

The truck ended up at a 45-degree angle, stopped by a guardrail. The employee was uninjured, and the road will stay closed indefinitely, Frisbie said.

Meanwhile, flood watches and warnings blanketed Northern California as the latest in a series of storms moved in, adding more moisture to an already wet March that has made up for a mostly bone-dry February in the drought-stricken state.

A Pacific storm system also is expected to move down through the Central Coast and into Southern California, bringing rain, possible thunderstorms and mountain snow lowering to 5,000-foot elevations.

Elsewhere in Mendocino County, a two-lane portion of U.S. 101 was down to one lane Friday morning after an overnight slide of rocks and trees closed the highway completely for several hours north of Leggett.

“If motorists come across a slide before Highway Patrol or Caltrans is there, they need to make sure they stay far back or there could be secondary slides,” Frisbie said.

Flood warnings were in effect for the Napa River near St. Helena and the Russian River near Guerneville, the National Weather Service’s San Francisco Bay Area office said. Winter storm warnings for heavy snow were also issued for the Sierra Nevada, with some expected to remain in effect until Monday.

The rain is welcome in California, which is entering its fifth year of drought.

Nearly all the state’s major reservoirs hold far less water than average for this time of year, the Department of Water Resources said.

Water experts have said that one wet year won’t be enough to end the drought, given the deficit from the driest four-year period on record.

The Sierra snowpack, which normally stores about 30 percent of California’s water supply, was only 83 percent of the March 1 average.

(Courtesy, The Associated Press)


Wow — Now That’s What We Call A Slide!

MSP viewer Joy Schlecht posted his photo to our page today from the “landslide” on North Highway 1 near mile marker 82.19 (north of Westport).

CalTrans was dispatched to the report of a slide @ 4:21 am today and while working to clear the slide, the CHP incident page reported (6:44 am) "the entire hillside came down" with crews on the scene. The entire roadway is/was closed with an unknown time for reopening.

These photos add some more perspective to the precarious situation our Equipment Operator was in on State Route 1 in Mendocino County. 
The Fort Bragg Maintenance crew was responding to another slide on State Route 1 north of Westport when a second, completely separate slide hit the crew's 10-yard dump truck as it was being repositioned to better access the initial slide. 
Please *never* attempt to go around slides like this prior to road maintenance crews arriving. Landslides can destabilize quickly and take anyone by surprise.

A Report From MSP Viewer--We received this @ 8:20 am: "Huge landslide north of Westport, mile marker 82. A cal trans truck was working on the road when it happened and the truck is actually pinned by pretty much the entire mountain. Cal trans says highway 1 will be closed for at least a day most likely days."

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Caltrans: Slides can be unpredictable, and our Fort Bragg crew was caught in a slide early this morning. At about 3AM they were responding to a slide about five miles north of Westport, setting up traffic control and lights to be able to monitor the slide in the dark. While an employee sat in a ten-yard dump truck near the first slide a second slide came down. Thankfully the truck was not pushed over the edge of the highway, it was stopped by a guardrail, and the employee was not injured, only shaken up.

We would urge the public to be very careful if they come across a slide before Caltrans. Move your vehicle FAR BACK from the slide; do not get close for photos! Stay safe.

(With input from AP, MendocinoSportsPlus and Caltrans)

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PAUL McCARTHY of MSP fleshes out the Thursday night massacre...

Bloody Thursday at Mendocino High School.

Three experienced teachers lost their jobs last night, all three delivering quite touching appeals to the Mendo School Board to keep their jobs. Why in the middle of the school year? Why at all? is what a lot of Mendo parents want to know. It seemed cruel as hell, and even more arbitrary, as you can see for yourself on the essential MendocinoSportsPlus Facebook page.

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More Coverage On 'Thursday Night Massacre'

Although obligations take MSP away from the computer this afternoon - we will be returning to address what transpired Thursday night at the Mendocino Unified Trustees meeting where not one, not two - but THREE educators were given a choice - resign or you'll be fired! 
And they were let go despite appeals from members of the public and colleagues of the teachers - something possible because they were in "probationary" status and could be let go with or without cause. 
And these weren't "newbies" just out of college - they were experienced educators. 
We like Superintendent Jason Morse, don't get us wrong, but he missed a LOT in his report to media outlets when he sent out a summation of the meeting - a release dutifully read word-for-word by the KOZT news desk this morning - thus proving once again you should BE THERE rather than just report the "handout" sent from sources. There's a difference between "newscaster" and "news reader." 
Here's the summation sent out from Superintendent Morse to media outlets. It completely ignores the one hour of discussion of the firings and any mention of the results of the 1.5 hour "closed session" when the decision was made to let the teachers go: 
"The Mendocino Unified School District Board of Trustees met on March 10th, 2016 for a regular Board Meeting. 
1. The board heard a report on the school garden from cook Diane Price and 6th grade teacher Alex Fosse 
2. The board approved the second interim budget report as presented by MUSD business manager, Cynthia Brown
 3. K-8 Principal Kim Humrichouse gave a report on K-2 assessments and events at the K-8 School." 
Yes, there was "a little" left out from the meeting in that release...

Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus

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(Not Podva again?)

Only 1 candidate has filed to run against the three BOS incumbents, Montana Podva against Carre Brown. No opposition for McCowen or Gjerde.


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BURNED AGAIN. By Mick LaSalle, the Chron's impaired movie critic. Here's what Mick said about Triple 9, starring a bunch of people setting new on-screen records for how many times they can say motherfucker. “Triple 9” is no routine crime film. It has a meticulous Swiss watch of a script, written by newcomer Matt Cook, and it’s directed by John Hillcoat (“Lawless,” “The Proposition”), whose films are soulful, serious and marked by strong performances. Hillcoat is drawn to stories involving grim challenges and awful choices, and he gets to grapple with both in “Triple 9.”

I'M PRETTY SURE I saw the same movie. The script was like a bunch of sixth graders saying to each other, "Hey, then we can throw a bunch of severed ears in the trunk of a car where two people are tied up and all bloody. And when the guy throws the ears in, another guy throws in a bag of teeth like the dentist just pulled them, and says, ‘Here ya go, muthafuggas’."

THERE WAS A CRUDE outline of a plot, I guess, and here it is: Russian scumbags want to break their chief scumbag out of prison somewhere. To do it, the Russian scumbags enlist American scumbags, some of whom are cop scumbags. The scumbaggery, aka the plot and the imbecilic script, includes violent encounters with numerous other scumbags, all of whom shoot big guns and blow stuff up. It's the kind of cretinous film that you wish every single person in it would kill each other in the first five minutes so you could trade in your ticket for some month-old popcorn out in the lobby.

I LASTED ABOUT 45 minutes before I remembered that I was an elderly male with limited time left who belatedly wondered why he wasn't outside in the windy, sun-streaked rain of a splendid March day instead of watching celebrations of scumbaggery on a big screen with surround-sound muthafuggas.

SO, SPECIFICALLY? Woody Harrelson is in a bar with some other slob, a younger special ed case Harrelson has taken under his wing to impart some slob advice. At no visible provocation in an otherwise sedate scene of an older man giving a younger man errant tips on how to achieve perfect slob-ism, Harrelson, supposedly a cop, produces a gun, jumps up and yells, "Any of you motherfuckers got a gun?" Then he sits back down and resumes mumbling to the younger slob.

THATS THE KIND of movie it is. Made by morons for cretins. Like me and Mick LaSalle.

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Medical Call — 03/05/2016 2:13 AM. Park Presidio & Cabrillo

Officers responded to a 911 call regarding a man covered in blood walking in traffic. They found the shirtless, disoriented and confused victim on the street. He had a number of lacerations and puncture wounds on his body and was bleeding profusely. He told officers that he had taken “acid” (LSD) and did not know how he had been injured. Officers went to his nearby home where they found a blood trail leading to the broken window of a room where his girlfriend was sleeping soundly. She also had no explanation for what had happened. It appears likely that the victim crashed through his own window causing his injuries.

Captain’s Note: Shel Silverstein said, “When the light turns green, you go. When the light turns red, you stop. But what do you do when the light turns blue with orange and lavender spots?”

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Mental Health Case, 03/06/2016 5:08 PM. Fulton & 18th Ave.

A woman called 911 saying that she was suicidal and about to cut her head open to get rid of the bad spirit that had entered her mind. Officers took her to the hospital.

Captain’s Note: Regular readers may recognize that this is the same person who has been taken to the hospital by officers (and then quickly released by the hospital) under similar circumstances a number of times. For those keeping score at home, this was incident number 55 since 2012.

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THE AUTHOR of these interesting and witty police reports, Captain Silverman of the SFPD, announces: “Change of Command: All good things must come to an end and Friday March 11 is my last day at Richmond Station. I am transferring to the Field Operations Bureau where I will be one of the captains supervising citywide patrol operations during the overnight hours. I am very grateful for all of the community support that made my time here a wonderful experience.”

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Salmon Creek Farm

(photo by Andres Gonzales, New York Times)
(photo by Andres Gonzales, New York Times)

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Supervisors March 15 Agenda Item 5(c).

Agenda Title: Discussion and Possible Action Regarding the Kemper Consulting Group Mental Health Services Review and Updates Associated with the County Request for Proposal (RFP) Process and Related ASO Contracts for Mental Health Services

Previous Board/Board Committee Actions: In August of 2105 the Executive Office contracted with the Kemper Consulting Group to perform a review of Mendocino County’s mental health services, particularly the delivery of services by the Administrative Service Organizations (ASO), Redwood Quality Management Company and Ortner Management Group. The Executive Office received the Report on February 5, 2016, and upon receipt provided it to the Board of Supervisors. The Report was made available to the public through a press release and the County website on February 8, 2016. On February 16, 2016, the Board of Supervisors received the report, including associated recommendations by the Kemper Consulting Group. On March 1, 2016, the Board of Supervisors discussed the Summary of Recommendations Implementation Plan associated with the Kemper Consulting Group mental health services review and the County’s proposed RFP process and timelines.

Summary Of Request: On March 1, 2016, the Board of Supervisors discussed the Kemper Consulting Group analysis of the current ASO model to deliver mental health services to adults and children in Mendocino County. Along with the analysis, the Board reviewed and accepted the implementation plan and timelines associated with the recommendations within the analysis. During the Board’s discussion on the information presented, the following direction was provided to the Executive Office: To proceed with implementing the recommendations of the Kemper Report with County staff and any consultants necessary; to return to the Board on March 15, 2016, with a refined timeline for the RFP process for adult mental health services based upon the draft RFP process and timelines presented, and provide an update on identifying a consultant to assist with the mental health services competitive process.

On March 2, 2016, Ortner Management Group (OMG) provided the County with a verbal notice to terminate their contract with the County regarding the provision of Adult ASO Mental Health Services, effective June 30, 2016. On March 9, 2016, the OMG sent a termination letter to the County. With that, the County’s number one mental health services priority is to transition adult mental health services to an interim provider without service interrupted to the clients.

Subsequent to the March 1, 2016, Board of Supervisors meeting, the Executive Office has the following updates for the Board associated with the County’s mental health services: • The Executive Office has contracted with Lee Kemper Consulting Group to assist with the adult mental health services competitive RFP process and to assist with the development and implementation of a transition plan for the delivery of adult mental health services in Mendocino County. In light of the recent notice to terminate services received by OMG, the Executive Office is recommending that the RFP process target a contract start date no earlier than July 1, 2017. This will provide more time and resources to dedicate toward the transition of adult mental health services, as well as the ability to gather the necessary technical details to include in the RFP. More importantly, a delay in the RFP release will help to stabilize the mental health system of care.

After meeting with the Executive Office to discuss various transition options, Redwood Community Services (RCS) has agreed to provide needed adult mental health services (in addition to their current service contract pertaining to children’s mental health) during the transition period between Ortner’s termination, the issuance of the RFP, and the execution of a new contract for Adult Mental Health Services. RCS has indicated their desire to provide the transition services in phases: Phase I (immediately - June 30, 2016) and Phase II (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017). This transition approach is supported by County staff as it offers a more stable and consistent service delivery model during the transition process (i.e. RCS may be able to negotiate contracts with existing service locations held by OMG, etc.), allows for the County to work with OMG and RCS during the initial transition phase to determine service delivery mandates, fiscal impacts, and client needs, and will provide the opportunity for staff to develop cohesive technical criteria to include in the RFP. • Since March 2, 2016, County staff met several times to review and discuss the issues related to the transition of mental health services, several of which included representatives from OMG and RCS. The County has developed a preliminary collaborative transition plan that includes specific services being transferred back to the County, the phased-in approach as recommended by RCS, and a target transition completion date by July 1, 2016. In order for the County to resume certain services in house, an increase in staffing resources will need to be considered in order to support the existing service levels and to maintain our mandates. Please refer to the attached service matrix that illustrates the proposed service transition and phases and draft Mental Health System Adult Services Transition Plan that includes tasks, timeframes and responsibilities.

Next steps: In light of the recent developments associated with mental health services, the Executive Office is recommending that we proceed with finalizing a contract with RCS for the provision of transitional adult mental health services based upon the proposed timelines and phases presented, staff returns to the Board with a final contract with RCS for review and consideration at the next available Board meeting. Further, staff will proceed with Lee Kemper Consulting on the various elements associated with developing the adult mental health services transition plan and the RFP process for adult mental health services, with a target implementation of a new contract for adult mental health services by July 1, 2017.


Further information:

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From The Mendocino County Courthouse Website:

New Ukiah Courthouse — Senate Bill 1407 is funding a new courthouse to replace the aged and overcrowded Ukiah Courthouse.

And from the California Judicial Council website:

Current Status: This project is in site acquisition. The current expected completion date is 3Q 2020.

Vital Statistics

  • Courtrooms: 8
  • Square footage: 90,206
  • Current authorized project budget: $95,378,000

(Math conscious readers will already have noted that that’s $1057 per square foot. For comparison, according to

a three story 90,000 square foot hospital built in the Sacramento area to high hospital medical standards with overhead and profit and bonding included should cost about $400 per square foot or $36 million. But here, a courthouse for just eight [sic, should be nine] judges and their admin staffs costs well over two times as much as a comparably sized HOSPITAL!)

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Continuing From the Judicial Council Website:

Who approves the budgets?

“Each California courthouse project receives extensive oversight from within the judicial branch and from both the executive and legislative branches. The Judicial Council oversees the capital program, and its Court Facilities Advisory Committee provides ongoing review of Judicial Council staff work and makes recommendations to the council about project prioritization and cost reductions.

“Each project budget undergoes numerous other reviews by the executive branch and the legislature as the project proceeds through site acquisition, design, and construction. All changes in project scope and budget must be approved by the executive branch, and some must also be approved by the Legislature.

“Also, because of the state’s budget crisis, $1.5 billion in court construction funds have been borrowed, swept to the General Fund, or redirected to court operations. As a result, numerous courthouse projects have had to be delayed. To keep the program moving forward on much-reduced funding, all planned courthouse projects are undergoing construction budget reductions directed by the Judicial Council."

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On Friday, the State Public Works Board rubberstamped the construction project on their consent calendar:

Notice Of Meeting
State Public Works Board
Friday, March 11, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. in
Room 113, State Capitol, Sacramento, California
Consent Item— 1
Judicial Council Of California (0250)
New Ukiah Courthouse, Railroad Depot Site, Mendocino County

Authority: Sections 15853 and 70371.7 of the Government Code Chapters 21 and 29, Statutes of 2012, Item 0250-301-3138 (10), as reappropriated by the Budget Act of 2015 Chapter 25, Statutes of 2014, Item 0250-301-3138 (6), as reappropriated by the Budget Act of 2015 Chapters 10 and 11, Statutes of 2015, Item 0250-301-3138 (1) — Consider authorizing acquisition

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The official reason given on the Judicial Council website for the need for a new Ukiah Courthouse:

“The Mendocino Courthouse in Ukiah deals with all case types and houses court support functions. The facility includes two poorly integrated structures: the main building, constructed in the 1950s, which houses the courtrooms and most clerical and administrative offices, and an older section in the rear, which dates to the 1920s and is used mainly for storage, county offices, and jury assembly. This seven-courtroom facility is overcrowded and has significant security deficiencies as well as severe functional deficiencies as well as problems with access under the Americans With Disabilities Act. For example, in-custody defendants use the same hallways as court visitors and staff and, because the building lacks a secure sally port, in-custody defendants line up on a public sidewalk to enter the building.”

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See, since we're in a "budget crisis" we need to spend about $95 million — way over the cost of a comparably sized hospital — to deal with self-alleged minor problems that could be dealt with for much less at the existing site. The judges acknowledge their own "clerical and administrative offices," but pretend that the other offices and facilities in the building — mostly the District Attorney and a probation satellite office — are not their problem. So much for "extensive oversight from within the judicial branch."

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THE BIG ONE: Closer than we thought.

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The California First District Court of Appeal on Thursday unanimously affirmed a Mendocino County civil judgment against a Santa Cruz man for a marijuana trespass grow in Covelo. Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Jeanine Nadel's judgment awarded Maria and Ernesto Salazar $262,987 in damages against Ross Matejcek for trespassing on their Covelo property by taking land, water, and 225 trees to facilitate his marijuana grow. Matejcek was also ordered to remove a gate, fencing and irrigation lines, and restore an excavated hillside to its natural grade. The Court of Appeal also upheld Nadel's award of treble damages for timber trespass. The Salazars first discovered the damage to their property in 2010 and later filed their civil suit in 2012 after paying for a survey. The Salazars have owned their ten acre parcel improved with a cabin in the Chicken Ridge area of Covelo since 1982, which they used as a vacation spot for their family. "We are happy that the Court of Appeal took this case as seriously as the trial court did and that most of the opinion will be published and become binding legal precedent" said the Salazars' attorney, Brian Momsen of the Ukiah law firm of Carter Momsen PC. "Trespass marijuana grows and the damage the growers cause to neighbors is a common problem in our community. Unfortunately, law enforcement usually can't provide a remedy and someone like the Salazars, whose property was bulldozed and their water taken for years, often have to hire a surveyor and a lawyer in order to get relief."

— Brian S. Momsen of Carter Momsen, Ukiah

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Mendocino County Deputy-In-Training Program

by PSB Program Manager Arlene Peterson

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is currently recruiting for our Deputy-In-Training program. Sheriff Thomas Allman is hoping to attract local citizens from our communities to fill vacant positions along the Mendocino Coast, Willits, and Ukiah. The expectation is by hiring individuals that are already vested in the County, these candidates will complete a long and honorable law enforcement career with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. Too often, deputies trained in Mendocino County are lured to other, higher paying counties. Sheriff Allman has stated, "Hiring and training local citizens makes sense all of the way around. Using local tax dollars to hire local people who will help make our County safer is a goal." Once the candidates have been selected and have passed a thorough background investigation, they will be hired on as extra-help Deputy-In-Training. The Sheriff's Office will pay for them to attend the police academy. Once they have successfully graduated, they will move into the field training program, which is approximately 4 months long. For more information, including job description and salary, or to submit your application online, please go to no later than March 23, 2016. For other related questions, contact Arlene Peterson in the Sheriff's Office Professional Standards Bureau by calling 707-463-4411.

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At approximately 10pm on March 7th, 2016 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office began to receive reports of shattered windows at homes and businesses in the Laytonville area. That night and into the next morning Deputies attempted to locate the perpetrator(s) as they traveled on foot between locations, shattering windows by throwing large rocks through them. The Laytonville Elementary School, Wheels Cafe, Tie Dye 2, Mendo Sun Market and Post Office were among the buildings vandalized. Multiple unattended automobile windshields were also vandalized. The total number of damaged buildings and vehicles was approximately 12 to 14. Early estimates of the dollar value of these vandalisms are between $9,000.00 and $11,000.00 at this time. Deputies located a person of interest in these crimes but they were arrested on unrelated charges and booked into the Mendocino County Jail. This person’s name is not being released at this time as this investigation is ongoing. We request that any person with information helpful to this investigation email the Sheriff’s Office at or by calling the tip-line at 707-234-2100.

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2016 03 16 Meeting Agenda

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Eileen Broderick Writes:

I found this ad at a recent workshop:

Fully Operational Row Crop Farm Available for purchase or lease. The farm is fully set up including machinery and greenhouse equipment plus marketing supplies. It is approximately 4 acres located just outside of Lakeport on prime agricultural land with abundant water. The owner is retiring. The farm has a solid reputation in the area for producing very high quality hot season crops. The fields are planted with cover crops and ready to go for spring. For more information contact the owner, Sky Hoyt at 707 279 0859 or He is one of the fabulous farmers at our local summer market in Fort Bragg.

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To Editor,

I am writing as a concerned citizen and member of this community. I have been involved in animal rescue, specifically GSD (German Shepherd Dog) since 1992. I have been involved in providing foster care, training, and placing dogs in adoptive homes. I have done this in Louisiana, California and Mexico where dogs are brought to the states for safe adoptions. I have also done animal assisted therapy with children at HSIM up until 2012.

I have been dismayed by the ongoing issues at the Ukiah Animal Shelter for some time. But the recent events have been the most troubling when I heard of firing volunteers for alerting the public to health concerns and protocols there and rejection of a much needed involvement of a successful organization like Petaluma Animal Services Foundation (PASF). This organization could get the Ukiah Animal Shelter on the road to being a truly humane and highly functioning service for helpless animals in our area.

I have avoided involving myself with Ukiah Animal Shelter because of the lack of professional adoption policies and conditions of the facility for cats and dogs at times I have visited. Back in August when I was looking to adopt, I did decide to give this facility a chance however. I was treated rudely and unprofessionally a supervisor by the name of Amy. She was very excited initially when I came in to interview a GSD up for adoption. I told her my personal protocol of meeting the dog, bringing my dog in for a meet and greet, testing for cat safety and of course having my husband meet the dog. She asked me to fill out paper work to hold the dog and so I did. When my husband came by the next day to meet the dog, Amy denied ever saying any of these things and promised the dog to a man from out of the county over the phone that was coming to pick up the dog the next day. I called and confronted her; she again blatantly denied ever asking me to fill out paper work and blamed it on her volunteers. I redirected her back to the facts and she stated that it must have been a misunderstanding. Through this experience I knew not only that the Ukiah Animal Shelter does not make sure people have the means to provide for a large breed dog, there is no expectation that an adoptee have any knowledge of a breed, or that the dog will match to other animals that might be living there, not to mention children in the home. These are huge safety and community issues.

As steps in the right direction I would ask that you allow the volunteers who were dismissed to return and that an objective outside audit be conducted on how the money is spent to insure that tax payer money is being allocated for the appropriate care of the animals and all tax payer money is accounted for as I also have heard that theere has been cash handling problems. In addition, I am in full support of Petaluma Animal Services Foundation to take over management of the Ukiah Animal Shelter given their history of success with other city facilities for animal care services and sheltering. I am sure that we all have the best interest of the animals at heart and these would be the necessary steps to insure Ukiah and surrounding areas have a humane and successful facility that is up to speed on appropriate containment and adoption policies.

Thank You,

C.F., Redwood Valley

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 11, 2016

Harding, Hernandez, Logan, Morehead
Harding, Hernandez, Logan, Morehead

JOHNNY RAY HARDING, Boonville. Under influence.


JOHN LOGAN, Carjacking, elder abuse, false imprisonment, witness intimidation, failure to appear.

TYLER MOREHEAD, Fort Bragg. Annoy/molest child under 18, metal knuckles.

Moses, Ritchie, Saenz, Smith
Moses, Ritchie, Saenz, Smith

STEVEN MOSES, Ukiah. Under influence, probation revocation.

ALAN RITCHIE, Petaluma/Hopland. DUI.

LOENEL SAENZ, Merced/Ukiah. Unspecified offense.

DUSTIN SMITH, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

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Transcript of the Democratic Presidential Debate in Miami


Hillary Clinton: But let me say this. Senator Sanders has talked about free college for everybody. He’s talked about universal, single payer health care for everybody. And yet, when you ask questions, as many of us have and more importantly, independent experts, it’s very hard to get answers.

And a lot of the answers say that this is going to be much more expensive than anything Senator Sanders is admitting to. This is going to increase the federal government dramatically. And, you know, my dad used to say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Bernie Sanders: All right. Let me respond to this.


Clinton: And we deserve answers about how these programs will actually work and how they would be paid for.

Sanders: I want you all to think. What Secretary Clinton is saying is that the United States should continue to be the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all of our people.


Sanders: I think if the rest of the world can do it, we can. And by the way, not only are we being ripped off by the drug companies, we are spending far, far more per capita on health care than any other major country on earth.

You may not think the American people are prepared to stand up to the insurance companies or the drug companies. I think they are. And I think we can pass...

Ramos: Thank you senator.(Crosstalk)


Clinton: This is a very important point in this debate, because I do believe in universal coverage. Remember, I fought for it 25 years ago. I believe in it. And I know that thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are now 90 percent of universal coverage. I will build on the Affordable Care Act. I will take it further. I will reduce the cost.

But I just respectfully disagree. Between the Republicans trying to repeal the first chance we’ve ever had to get to universal health care, and Senator Sanders wanting to throw us into a contentious debate over single-payer, I think the smart approach is build on and protect the Affordable Care Act. Make it work. Reduce the cost.


Sanders: I’m on the committee, I know a little bit about this, I’m on the committee, Health, Education, Labor Committee that helped write the Affordable Care Act. And it has done a number of good things. But when Secretary Clinton says, well, 90 percent of the people have insurance, yes, not really.

Many of you may have insurance, but you have outrageously high deductibles and co-payments. One out of five Americans cannot afford the prescription drugs their doctors prescribe. Elderly people are cutting their pills in half.

I do believe that we should do what every other major country on earth does, and I think when the American people stand up and fight back, yes, we can have it, a Medicare for all health care system.


* * *

SINGLE-PAYER MEANS that most of the funds used to pay for medical care are public, that is, they are paid with taxes. The government, through a public authority, is the most important payer for medical care services and uses this power to influence the organization of health care. The overwhelming majority of developed countries have one form or another of a single-payer system. The US is the only country that does not have a single-payer system.

* * *


* * *

IN PERSON, you can't miss it: The same way Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, Donald on the stump can see his future. The pundits don't want to admit it, but it's sitting there in plain view, 12 moves ahead, like a chess game already won:

President Donald Trump.

A thousand ridiculous accidents needed to happen in the unlikeliest of sequences for it to be possible, but absent a dramatic turn of events – an early primary catastrophe, Mike Bloomberg ego-crashing the race, etc. – this boorish, monosyllabic TV tyrant with the attention span of an Xbox-playing 11-year-old really is set to lay waste to the most impenetrable oligarchy the Western world ever devised.

It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

And Trump is no half-bright con man, either. He's way better than average.

It's been well-documented that Trump surged last summer when he openly embraced the ugly race politics that, according to the Beltway custom of 50-plus years, is supposed to stay at the dog-whistle level. No doubt, that's been a huge factor in his rise. But racism isn't the only ugly thing he's dragged out into the open.

Trump is no intellectual. He's not bringing Middlemarch to the toilet. If he had to jail with Stephen Hawking for a year, he wouldn't learn a thing about physics. Hawking would come out on Day 365 talking about models and football.

But, in an insane twist of fate, this bloated billionaire scion has hobbies that have given him insight into the presidential electoral process. He likes women, which got him into beauty pageants. And he likes being famous, which got him into reality TV. He knows show business.

That put him in position to understand that the presidential election campaign is really just a badly acted, billion-dollar TV show whose production costs ludicrously include the political disenfranchisement of its audience. Trump is making a mockery of the show, and the Wolf Blitzers and Anderson Coopers of the world seem appalled. How dare he demean the presidency with his antics?

But they've all got it backward. The presidency is serious. The presidential electoral process, however, is a sick joke, in which everyone loses except the people behind the rope line. And every time some pundit or party spokesman tries to deny it, Trump picks up another vote.

— Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

* * *

WAR SPENDING since 2003, estimated at $8 trillion, could have built eight million additional housing units, could have hired some 15 million additional public school teachers for one year; could have paid for 120 million children to attend a year of Head Start; or insured 530 million children for healthcare for one year; or provided 43 million students with four-year scholarships at public universities. Now multiply those numbers by three.

— Joseph Stiglitz

* * *



* * *


Read the world class ass kissing these stooges send.

* * *


Dear Editor:

In California 46% of the population in California are prediabetic.

A new study county by county just released by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy showed high percentage of people in California are prediabetic. It needs to be understood the study is about diabetes 2 which is preventable. Diabetes i which is typically genetic and is not preventable accounts for 5% of all diabetes and is controlled by insulin. If untreated diabetes 2 can result in leg amputations, blindness, liver disease, kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes. The study showed 46% of Californians are prediabetic and 33% of people age 18 to 39 are prediabetic. 55% of all Californians are estimated to be either diabetic or pre prediabetic. Prediabetic Californians 'go hand in hand' with increasing rates of obesity said Dr. Susan Babey, co-author of the study, "it goes back to sedentary kids. We're less active than we should be or use to be. Our diets are not as good as they should be. We don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. we eat too much sugar." If untreated up to 30% of those with prediabetes will develop diabetes within 5 years and 70% will develop the disease in their lifetime.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


* * *



Courtesy, the Daily Beast

* * *


The California Special Districts Association (CSDA) and Mendocino Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) are partnering to provide opportunities for district board members/trustees, staff, and others who interact with special districts on a regular basis to participate in a series of free workshops being offered through June. The first workshop, "Understanding Special District Laws", will be held on March 23 from 9-4:00 p.m. at the Mendocino County Administration Center, Conference Room C, 501 Low Gap Road in Ukiah. The March 23rd workshop will offer a primer on laws affecting special districts, including:

  • Public contracting and prevailing wage
  • Revenue and finance
  • Vacancies and elections
  • Special district principal acts and where to find them
  • LAFCo laws related to special districts
  • General ethics laws
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • The Brown Act
  • The Public Records Act

This session meets AB1234 Ethics Training Requirement. The series of workshops will be offered at no charge to special district staff and elected officials in Mendocino County through this partnership. Advanced registration is required. For more information, please contact LAFCo at 707-463-4470 or CSDA at 877-924-2732.


  1. Jim Updegraff March 12, 2016

    Follow to my letter:

    ps: If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 30 you are obese. To stay healthy you need to get your BMI under 30. Plus you need to eat healthy and have an exercise program. Lots of fruit and veggies. No fast food, easy on processed food including bacon and dairy products particularly cheese. Skip white bread and eat whole wheat and rye. Red meat no more often than once a week. Walk 2 – 5 miles every day depending upon your age and health. Then a good session of exercises and you are on your way to avoiding Diabetes 2.

  2. Nate Collins March 12, 2016

    I love you Chicago!!!!!

  3. Nate Collins March 12, 2016

    My six year old just heard me say “vote for Trump you get jumped”, and he said dad that is mean and wrong. So I said son let me explain something to you. So I figured I would explain the same thing for the next person online with the inquisitive brain and real world experience of a six year old.
    “When a bully comes to hurt people and rally the racists the only way to repel them is by force. You HAVE TO stand up to bullies, no excuses.”
    Trump may not be a fascist himself, but the fascists are with him.
    There will be blood.

    • Harvey Reading March 12, 2016

      You mean a bully like Hillary?

    • Mike March 12, 2016

      Well, I’m with what Van Jones noted last night……Ethos, etc had good intent and things really didn’t get all that radical last night but not too smart to shut someone down even though the media gives that person all the O2.

      I got some ideas…..taking shape, and will put them “out there” (even if perceived as “out there” ideas, LOL):

  4. james marmon March 12, 2016

    MONTANA PODVA, Country Lawyer,(Potter Valley) has my endorsement in her run for District 1 supervisor, against the old “stab ya in the back” Carre Brown.

    • james marmon March 12, 2016

      It’s time to break up that mess in District 1, that seat has been handed down to the same group for many many years. Even before Jim Eddie, Delbar and Brown. Time for a cool change.

      • Lazarus March 12, 2016

        Do you know this guy? Montana P. was a very strange Willits resident for a relatively short period of time. I think he’s a lawyer, or claimed he was.
        I always thought he was one toke over the line, it you get my drift…Ms. Brown on the other hand is in the tank for the CEO, so I get it.
        As always,

        • james marmon March 12, 2016

          Just looking for change, this person is definitely not in with the Potter Valley Schraeder/Brown cartel, I would endorse Mickey Mouse over those two.

          • james marmon March 12, 2016

            In the public cartel a government is involved to enforce the cartel agreement, and the government’s sovereignty shields such cartels from legal actions.


    • james marmon March 12, 2016

      Mr. Owen, I am really impressed with your technology, how do you create you hyperlink like that.

  5. Whyte Owen March 12, 2016

    I wrote a script (Mac OS), run with an icon on my task bar, that puts this HTML code on the clipboard:

    Your text here

    except that the “x” needs to be replaced with an “a” as this reply would otherwise be gobbledigook; html would interpret it as a link.

    I then paste it in the comment box where I want it. Windows probably has a comparable app, but otherwise simply store the code on a sticky note and copy and paste from there whenever you need it. Important: the URL MUST BE IN QUOTES, otherwise no link. Then replace “your text here” (no quotes) with whatever you want. In my comment above it looked like this:

    A previous article on the next really big one.

    Again a, not x in the actual code. There may be simpler ways to generate a hyperlink, perhaps the AVA webmaster might weigh in. And, if you use the Applescript editor, be aware that it will not let you include the quotes (or at least I have not learned how to make it do so), so I have to add them after the paste.

    Aviso: the first few times you try it, be prepared for an error; a single character missing or out of place and it tanks. And it only works where html (hypertext markup language) is supported. If this seems a little intricate, it gets a lot easier after a few goes, even for a geezer like I.

    An alternative for pasting long URL’s.

  6. Whyte Owen March 12, 2016

    Well, the code put gobbledygook in anyway. Let me try again:

    a href=URL here>Your text here</a

    except that it must begin with after the last a (no space). Now let’s see if it goes

  7. Whyte Owen March 12, 2016

    Good, now the instructions should make sense, just remember to add in the

    See what I mean by errors? I’ll try again on my comment syntax:

    A a href=””>previous article</a on the big one.

    except I left out the brackets at the beginning and end of the code.

    • james marmon March 12, 2016

      He and I are alumni. California State University-Sacramento

  8. Craig Stehr March 12, 2016

    Ah politics…here in Washington D.C. there is no visible interest in the primaries, because those who actually live here year around, found out a long time ago that having the Federal Govt. seated here does absolutely nothing for the District of Columbia. I’ll be at the HI-D.C. travel hostel for two more nights, and then long time green anarchist friends are picking me up for extended car camping outside of the beltway, changing campgrounds every two weeks. There are upcoming Beyond Extreme Energy actions planned soon, and particularly rolling actions in May, which you may learn about by checking the Breaking Free webpage, (i.e. breaking free of fossil fuels). I gotta get off of this hostel guest computer, and make it over to Kramer’s Books at Dupont Circle for the happy hour! The rockfish is plentiful hereabout, stuffed with crab meat of course. “Living well is still the best revenge”; which is a main district wisdom teaching, now that nobody here gives a Potomac River rat’s crap about politics anymore.

    • james marmon March 12, 2016

      The action is out west, Mr. Stehr.

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