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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Mar 19, 2016

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Deputy Del Fiorentino
Deputy Del Fiorentino

WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING TOMORROW, take a moment to remember that it was two years ago Saturday that Deputy Sheriff Ricky Del Fiorentino was shot and killed by a rampaging Oregon tweaker.

DEL FIORENTINO'S killer was himself soon shot and killed by Lt. John Naulty of the Fort Bragg Police Department, backed up by Fort Bragg's then-police chief, Scott Mayberry. These two men, without regard for their own safety, walked into an unknown and fluid situation to confront a man, or maybe more than one man for all they knew, who had just shot and killed Deputy Del Fiorentino.

A CONSENSUS good guy, Del Fiorentino, was lost to his family and friends and the people of the Mendocino Coast. Incredibly, the City of Fort Bragg also soon lost Naulty and Mayberry to the petty desire of the town's management to install yes-people at its power levers.

Scott Mayberry & John Naulty
Scott Mayberry & John Naulty

NAULTY was denied the chief's position he'd earned not only from years of unblemished police work but for his heroism in stopping a mad dog killer on the outskirts of town. Mayberry, the second native son humiliated by Fort Bragg's city government, was also driven from his job for no stated reason at all, probably because management knew if they even tried to explain themselves their petty vindictiveness would be revealed for all to see.

THE NAULTY-MAYBERRY AFFAIR is just one of many arrogant, costly, arbitrary moves by Fort Bragg that has estranged a large part of the town's population. Deputy Del Fiorentino, a man without a petty bone in his body, would not approve.

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DOUG GHERKIN is “Chief Financial Officer” for Mendo’s Health and Human Services Agency. Until recently, before Stacey Cryer announced her resignation as HHSA Director, Ms. Cryer dealt with Supervisors' questions about HHSA finances — albeit with a heavy dose of obfuscation, buzzwords and ill-defined terms that carefully avoided committing her Department to anything. The Supervisors, usually just as lame as Ms. Cryer, typically asked similarly vague questions which Ms. Cryer blathered in response to and then everything went back to non-business as usual.

AT THIS POINT it’s necessary to repeat our nearly monthly call for regular departmental reporting. As we’ve suggested time and time again, the Board could easily avoid such vague questions and answers by simply requiring each department to provide a monthly status report on staffing, budgets, projects, cost drivers and problems — i.e., actually operate and manage like every other large organization in the civilized world. But they don’t. So things always muddle along and nobody’s accountable for anything and the Board is often surprised by thing that they should have been tracking all along.

ANYWAY, back to Doug Gherkin.

Last week (Monday, March 14) during the Board’s budget review Supervisors John McCowen and Dan Gjerde tried to clarify the Mental Health budget numbers. Gjerde simply asked how many employees are in Mental Health. Alan ‘The Kid’ Flora, Mendo’s budget maven, didn’t know so he suggested “someone from the agency” answer that question. Since there was no Ms. Cryer, up came Doug Gherkin.

Gherkin: “We had so many changes. Unlike the general fund, our general fund budget units, we get — we start our budget process in April, but we don't get our information until after July, so we always have to make adjustments. In order to, in order to do the detail you guys need to make your decisions and to stay with the CEOs push for transparency, we put it all out there. We are — we are going to work with the CEO's office to bring — to bring down the level of details so we don't drive you guys crazy with details — yet give you the information you need. So that's what a cut — so that's what makes out all these adjustments. Any more questions?”

McCowen: “I will accept the answer. [Everybody laughed nervously at McCowen's generous acceptance of Gherkin’s obviously non-responsive answer.] I do have on 33, I just want to highlight a couple of things and maybe confirm my understanding. So page 33, mental health and also the mental-health services act, because we always hear, you know, mental health costs $20 million. Well, not exactly. So I think if we look at the mental-health budget, if I am understanding it correctly, within mental health the total outlay is about $27.3 million.”

Gherkin: “No, that's still not $27.3 million. I don't see where you are seeing that.”

McCowen: “The $20.6 million, plus the $6.6 million?”

Gherkin: “Are you adding budget unit 451 into that?”

McCowen: “I'm adding the revenue estimate and then the $6.6 million that's shown at the bottom. I — you know, correct me — I'm sure I'm wrong. But I'm willing to be wrong. What's the total cost counting revenue that we receive from other sources and our required maintenance of effort?”

Gherkin: “The way the sheet works out, that is a little misleading. There's no way, I assure you, no mental health budget unit is going to go over $20 million.”

McCowen: “So I'm asking, what is the total mental health budget, all revenue sources including net county costs combined?”

Gherkin: “Well, there's no net county cost in there, so I'm going to say it's at $20 million.” [Turns around and looks to people behind him.]

Flora: “Actually, I'm not sure that it has to be $6.6 million, that's not right, there must be an error in the calculation there. What's adopted in the budget is a total appropriation of $22.3 million. And that leaves a $1.6 million fund balance contribution or deficit which would be covered with the fund balance which exists in the mental health fund budget.”

McCowen: “But the $22.3 million then would be a combination of, you know, revenue, reimbursements and our maintenance of effort that is required?”

Flora: “There is no general fund maintenance of effort.”

McCowen: “There is none?”

Flora: “For mental health.”

Supervisor Dan Hamburg: “But it does include reserves?”

Flora: “That does not include reserves.”

Hamburg: “The $22.3 million does not include reserves?”

Flora: “No.”

McCowen: “And then of the $22.3 million, what portion of that cost is for the adult and children's mental health services contractors? In the range of $17 million?”

Flora: “Just over $17 million.”

McCowen: “And then the other approximate $5 million is for out of county placements and also contracts with in-county providers of services?”

Gherkin: “I'm sorry, no. After the $17 million for the — that includes out of county placements and everything. The other $3 or $4 million, or $4 or $5 million, that does two functions for that money. One is the Katie A program that works for foster children and the other is, the rest of the money is saved for future audits and for — there's a gap on the 100%, there is time for it to go down to 95% and then you'd be able to cover that in the future. And then there's a short loyal three [sic — ?] coming that we save for that, we will be out of billing for four or five months when that is taken care of at the state and we will be able to have our cash flow covered and that's what that remaining $4 million is for.”

Flora: “And it counts for county staff.”

Gherkin: “And county staff. Yes. Administration and the Katie A staff.”

McCowen: “I've just shown the wisdom of you should ask your questions ahead of time.”

Gherkin: “Absolutely. But it's better if it's done that way.”

McCowen: “So the budget going forward, then we get to the mental health services act and then, What's the total amount of funds that are expended there?”

Gherkin: “For that I am going to bring my pro up for that, she's got the stuff, Mary Alice, from HHSA, so I will defer to her.”

Flora: “Total appropriations that are in the adopted budget is $4.8 million.”

McCowen: “I was actually fairly close on that one. And if you add the two together than we do get $27 million?

Mary Alice Willeford, HHSA staff: “You're asking… Could you repeat the question please?”

McCowen: “The total expenditures under the mental health services act portion of the budget — Assistant CEO Flora says it's about $4.8 million.”

Willeford: “Correct.”

McCowen: “Thank you.”

Gjerde: “I'm not sure who would answer this question. So there are roughly 10 positions in the Katie A program and then the county has other county employees who are still employed in mental health. As the county is looking at a new RFP for adult services I think it's worth a revisit of this and some explanation about what the county is doing with the money that it is still spending on county employees. To make sure that that money is actually being spent effectively and hopefully actually reaching the clients. And so — I've never really gotten a clear understanding of what the county is doing with its own employees. I was told prior to contracting out that the county would have 13 employees and then 10 more with Katie A. And then I've been told in a public meeting several times, Oh, the county has 43 authorized positions, so I don't know where the other 20 people are, or whether there are 20 unfilled positions, authorized, and if so why are they still on the books as authorized? And it seems like as we look at this from afresh there should be an analysis of how we are spending the money on county employees, if we are, and why is it still in the budget?”

Gherkin: “Absolutely. The Katie A program is changing but the idea of having a mental health commission for potential foster kids and foster kids and their families is still important so that will continue under some other, maybe a different program. Katie A is going away, and if Katie A doesn't go away it just opens the base to cover everybody is what it did and to get all foster kids clinical mental health services and their families, so those programs will still continue and those are not communities, those are kids that we identify early in the foster care system to try to prevent them from getting into the foster care system. The community is going to cover the people once they are through that system and in the community so what I'm getting at here is that pot of money for Katie A will not be serving community kids, if that makes sense, they will just be serving kids we are trying to stop from hitting into the community services, if that makes sense.”

Gjerde: “So that's ten authorized positions?”

Gherkin: “That's ten of them. Ten or something. And the other kids — the other — kids! Sorry. The other employees in the system, there is still work that the county has to do even though if we contract out as much as possible, the accountability and oversight stays with the county so there will be some auditing, some auditing positions, some accounting positions that will stay in the mental health department and also too, to run bills and get the billing in and things, that still has to be vetted before we can send and pass the bills in to the state.”

Gjerde: “So roughly how many positions is that?”

Gherkin: “Eight or nine.”

Gjerde: “Eight or nine?”

Gherkin: “Not counting the director, the mental health director and the staff that goes with her, or him, I'm talking about just the pure accounting staff, there's probably about eight of them left, down from I think 12 or 13 back in the day.”

Gjerde: “So that's eight or nine, plus the ten in Katie A, so that's—?”

Gherkin: “And then a director. And her support staff.”

Gjerde: “So that's 19 and then three more people? Maybe 22?”

Gherkin: “Right in there, yes.”

Gjerde: “So how — But I've been told we have 43 authorized? So how do we go from 22 or 23 to 43?”

Gherkin: “We might have 43 authorized but I don't think we have 43 employment.”

Gjerde: “Yes. So that is what I'm saying. If we don't have 43 and we have 43 authorized, but we only really employ 22 or 23 people why do we still have another 20 positions on the books?

Gherkin: “We could remove those. Definitely. We want to have a little cushion there because again we want to make sure we offer accountability and oversight which the county is supposed to be doing but after that, yes, those could go because I don't expect to fill them back.”

Flora: “We can work with the board or work with the agency to provide a breakdown of those positions that are funded and bring that back to your board.”

Woodhouse: “Before we delete any positions I would like to get a list for the whole HHSA of all the employees who have part of their salary paid by the state or federal government so we don't eliminate positions where we could be reimbursed for part of their money without knowing what we are doing. But I want to get that list of both the filled and the unfilled positions to see we are maximizing the dollars that we spend then we could hire and get part of their pay covered by other people and it would impact our retirement and I know there are other costs to it but I think we need to staff up — all the grand jury criticisms and all the challenges we have had are due to understaffing and I think we need to look at the real cost of hiring the positions broken down to what it would really cost us, so I would appreciate — and I don't know who that would come from.”

Flora: “Almost every position within the agency is funded by state and federal funds with the exception of the animal shelter. There is a general fund maintenance of effort requirement that goes into some of those budget units but really the federal funds cover the cost of those employees. As far as filled and unfilled, I mean we have that information, of course it fluctuates daily. But a report could be prepared at any time that showed the most recent information on that.”

Woodhouse: “I want that.”

Flora: “I want to stress that the reason we have unfilled positions is not because there isn't an extreme amount of effort being put into filling those positions.”

Woodhouse: “I disagree. We have a lot of unfilled positions and we are not trying equally to fill all of them and that's a follow-up question for human resources. I understand — like I asked a question before to the new mental health director, how many employees do we have in quality assurance? Those are the people as I understand it who review and run programs and see if we are going to have to pay back money and they save us money. The answer was, I believe, six. But really the follow-up question is that is — and I forget the name of the report where you ask somebody what percentage of your job goes into this, this, and this — I want the exact breakdown of those six people, what percentage of their time goes into quality assurance because I don't think the number will come to six. I think a lot of them are doing other things. So in that example it would be cost effective to look at exactly what we have now and what we used to have and what would we save by getting another employee in there who's partly paid by somebody else, I think you could easily prove that it would save more money if there were more effective employees, so that's what I want to work on and that's the reason for the request.”

Hamburg: “It looks to me when I look at the transition away from Ortner and that it looks like the numbers of county employees doing mental health services is on the way back up. So as we talk about eliminating positions, you know (laughs), until we get this thing settled and we know who is going to be doing what, I don't think we should be eliminating positions.”

Angelo: “The… there… We have been — and this is for discussion tomorrow, but when Mr. Ortner called and gave notice on March 2 we immediately started working not only with the staff but also with Redwood thinking that they would be our transition agency. So what you will hear tomorrow is yes, there are some positions that the county will be taking back and that has been a discussion, an ongoing discussion between the county and Redwood and it's what's more appropriate or really who would be best suited and what you are seeing with the county is we're looking at medication management and we are also looking at placements for Public Guardian and yes we will need additional staff for part of the — not only for the transition, but whether we continue to do that in the future. So there is no plan right now to eliminate any mental health positions and we have kept the transition separate unfortunately because everything has happened so quickly from March 2 and Assistant CEO Flora, his activities today around the budget have been kept separate from the transition because we were still in that learning process as to what the cost is going to be and how many positions. But I assure you we are not looking at eliminating any positions right now. Further discussion right now, and tomorrow (Tuesday) we will take input from this board.”

Gjerde: “Not to get too deep into it but doing prescriptions and giving shots to people who have schizophrenia or whatever, I met with a parent on the coast recently and her son gets shots and she has had real difficulty because of Ortner's contractor providing the shots and not always showing up on the coast and these are people who cannot get to an appointment on their own and so when you only have one day out of the week, maybe every two weeks, where this person is supposed to show up from Ukiah, it's a big inconvenience when that person from Ukiah doesn't show up in Fort Bragg. So one thing I think should be looked at is maybe a different model. Maybe the clinics. We have five of them throughout the county. Maybe the clinics are the ones who should provide the shots. They are open mostly I think five days a week, they give shots to people for other things. Maybe they can take up that task and be more customer friendly to the people who need the service.”

Angelo: “That's a question or a comment that may be discussed further on Tuesday. I know that there are meetings occurring. I can't really speak for Camille [Schrader of Redwood Community Services]. And I don't want to speak for our behavioral health director either. But we can certainly discuss that tomorrow if you'd like.”

McCowen: “The goal is to find the most efficient and effective way to deliver the services and I think that's part of the discussion during the transition and probably explains why the county is taking some services back.”

Angelo: “We have been contacted by one of the clinic directors, so I know that there is an interest for some of our community partners to work closely with us. I think the future is bright going forward and certainly more discussion tomorrow.”

McCowen: “In the budget discussion of mental health there is a statement that we anticipate that the transition of adult mental health services will result in increased cost and we probably don't know exactly what those will be or where they will be, but I think we are pretty certain there will be increased cost related to the transition itself, not necessarily the provision of specific services, but just the process of having to transfer over from one contractor to another, sorting out who's on first, in effect.”

Angelo: “Our hope is that we would actually have two providers at one time so that there is a smoother transition and no clients fall through the cracks, rather than having even a day of a gap without a provider so that will cost more money. Yes. Absolutely, yes. And we have asked the department and I'm not going to put anyone in the department on the spot right now because we don't have that information in our hands today, but we have asked for best case scenario and worst-case scenario regarding the dollars with the transition and the department is absolutely working on that so we don't have that information today but we will have it in the future.”

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None of the questions the Supervisors asked where written down for future reply (other than here, and we will be watching). None of the questions any of them asked will be answered. Woodhouse will never get a breakdown of the hours of the "quality assurance" staff. Nobody will contact the local clinics to see if they can become part of the service delivery (because if that were true it would have been done years ago). No one asked where the extra money (however much it turns out to be) for the transition and overlap of service will come from.

Notice also that when answers were ridiculous, nobody ever gets upset, instead they all giggle at how stupid or ill-informed the responsible party is. Even though regular departmental reporting — especially for mental health — is obviously essential to any kind of management of that service, no one even thought to ask — except when Woodhouse said, "I want that" in reference to a report on staffing, which will never be provided.

PS. The next day, the Board spent more time talking about the transition from Ortner to Redwood Community Services. And staff simply assured the Board that RCS will take care of everything, except for the things it won't. And the subject which again requires close management during yet another critical period that will remain off the radar screen of the Board until the next surprise or crisis, since they still have not asked for regular reporting on this or anything else.

In short: Another day of self-congratulatory blather about an important subject with minimal management or follow-up.

PPS. And Gherkin’s reference to “accountability and oversight,” is the biggest laugher: that’s exactly what the Kemper Report said wasn’t happening because Ortner wasn’t reporting and nobody was asking for reporting.

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The bench warrant reported in local media as having been ordered last Friday for superintendent Warren Galletti's arrest was recalled this morning by the Mendocino County Superior Court.

The District Attorney, along with Mr. Galletti’s defense attorney, appeared Friday morning before a visiting judge and stipulated there was no need for the issuance of a warrant, especially since the warrant had yet to be prepared. While the District Attorney’s Office had not sought the arrest of Mr. Galletti, as had been reported, a bench warrant was nevertheless ordered partially due to a calendaring glitch. It is clear to the District Attorney that Mr. Galletti has not attempted to avoid or otherwise sidestep his court obligations and the District Attorney’s Office remains aware of his whereabouts. Likewise, Mr. Galletti is aware of his court obligations and it is expected that he will be making all necessary court appearances, as required by law.

Mr. Galletti’s arraignment is now scheduled for April 8, 2016 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department H. Because the matter is a misdemeanor, Mr. Galletti has the option of appearing in person or through retained counsel.

(District Attorney Press Release)

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Bargaining bulletin #6

Guild negotiators and Press Democrat management traded a flurry of proposals Thursday during a marathon session of contract bargaining in Rohnert Park. But the two sides ended the long day without reaching a tentative agreement on an overall deal. Management came off its initial paltry offer of giving employees a 1% wage increase annually over three years, as well as its insistence that Guild employees convert to healthcare costs borne by non-union employees.

But the company’s proposals still fell short of reasonable expectations. Management continues to make the case that uncertainty in the news industry, rising healthcare costs and other factors limit what it can offer employees. Guild negotiators, also cognizant of these realities, sought reasonable pay increases in the 3 to 5% range and to limit increases in escalating healthcare costs for employees. But management balked at the offer. The two sides are set to return to the bargaining table March 24.

In the interim, the Guild will be seeking feedback from its members. Representing the company were Troy Niday, Sam Caddle, Ted Appel and Emily DeBacker. Representing the Guild were Carl Hall, Kat Anderson, Derek Moore, Lori Carter and Chris Chung. Pacific Media Workers Guild.

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.

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RED TAIL FLIGHT? The Indian tycoon who owns the Mendocino Brewing Company says he didn’t leave India in a big secret hurry to avoid his creditors, who he's in hock to to the tune of $1.3 billion. Vijay Mallya took over his father’s beer conglomerate in 1983 and co-owns a Formula One race car team. He's often called India’s Richard Branson. His Kingfisher Airlines went bankrupt, running up most of that debt before it crashed, so to speak. Mallya says he didn’t leave India for any other reason than travel.

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THE MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFF posted this on their Facebook page:


 The suspect in this investigation was taken into custody tonight (3/17/16) on the Nevada County warrant and the child was taken into protective custody and ultimately released to his father. 
Thank you to everyone that shared this post. We appreciate having such an active and caring community."


There was no no information on where she was apprehended or whether the reward was paid.

MSP Received the following return email from the sheriff department when we asked for additional information on the arrest:

 Based upon information developed by Deputies the missing child (Wilder Brown) was located with Donna French at a residence located in the 45000 block of Seaside School Road in Gualala at approximately 1:00 am this morning.
 French was arrested on the Nevada County Warrant and the missing child was released to local CPS and subsequently into the custody of the father."

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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THE TWO Mendocino County supervisors — Gjerde and Hamburg — looking into fire and emergency medical services as an ad hoc committee of two, has found County fire protection services should be eligible for Proposition 172 funding. The full board will consider fair distribution of 172 (public safety) money on April 5th.

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HUNTING WILD PIGS: Tracking the wily wildlife above Lake Sonoma takes skill, patience and a little luck.

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THREE PROPOSALS for this year’s commercial salmon season assume a smaller Chinook salmon run in two areas. Two fishery managers have put together a shortened season with several gaps, mostly in the Fort Bragg region, where the fishery may be partially closed in June and completely in July. Congressman Jared Huffman of San Rafael and other Bay-Delta representatives say those gaps would mean about a 20 percent overall cutback for fisherman and as much as 45 percent along an area from Point Arena to Horse Mountain, north of Shelter Cove in Humboldt County.

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ALTHOUGH ADDICTION is forever on the rise here there and everywhere, government keeps doling out money on the false assumption that American Society is not itself crazy-making. The Mendocino Community Health Clinic, Ukiah, of course has received federal awards for local substance abuse programs to the tune of $325,000 of $12.6 million distributed to clinics throughout the state.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 18, 2016

Adams, Aguado, Colsen
Adams, Aguado, Colsen

KELLI ADAMS, Boonville. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

ABEL AGUADO, Ukiah. Petty theft, probation revocation.

RONALD COLSEN, Upper Lake/Ukiah. DUI.

Cornwall, Dow, Farris
Cornwall, Dow, Farris

TINA CORNWALL, Ukiah. Under influence, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

LORI DOW, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

RANDALL FARRIS, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

French, Fuentes, Garcia
French, Fuentes, Garcia

DONNA FRENCH, Gualala. Child abduction, child custody order violation.

OSCAR FUENTES IV, Willits. Meth possession, under influence, community supervision violation, probation revocation.

CENOBIO GARCIA, Ukiah. Domestic assault, child endangerment.

Gerber, Johnson, Konopasek, Ladd
Gerber, Johnson, Konopasek, Ladd

ANNIE GERBER, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

ALEXANDER JOHNSON, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

CLIFFORD KONOPASEK, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, battery, resisting, conspiracy, probation revocation.

CODY LADD, Willits. Parole violation.

Mahan, Saucedo, Whitley
Mahan, Saucedo, Whitley

SARA MAHAN, Ukiah. Grand theft, vehicle theft, burglary, vehicle tampering, receipt of stolen property.

JUAN SAUCEDO, Philo. Under influence, suspended license, failure to appear.

CHRSTOPHER WHITLEY, Corona/Willits. Meth, meth for sale, paraphernalia, pot sales.

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The recent Illinois Green Party's online primary voting gave the winner, Jill Stein 86.9 percent of all the online votes cast. Coming in very last position was Darryl Cherney with 0 votes for 0 percent. Four or five other candidates split the remaining ballots.

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Everyone down here is sleepwalking and they kind of blink when these fuckers come trolling.

All the sleepers are cruisin for a bruisin, people are just so out of touch with reality that it is bound to come smashing into their somnambulant lives. I had to personally chase the prowlers off of my block 10 years ago when we moved hear, everyone had just tolerated them. People are fuckin pussies in Berkeley. The cops are always surprised when they see anyone besides a yuppie against crime or a kook who's against them. The cops obviously do the tightest policing in the most affluent areas, so us working class people have to put in work if we want to protect our spaces.

Major gentrification push happening in Berkeley now. The funny precursor is the increasing prevalence of millenials in skinny jeans on fixed bikes with their devices. The one thing I could say about their generation/culture is that they seem to be including all races and makes. Equal opportunity douchebagggery if you ask me. The only time you wrap your nuts that tight is for serious cycling and even that can be borderline babylonian. I grew up in the eighties when rap culture was downright amazing and transcendent. Makes all this consumer crap look like a bad cargo cult. If I was a kid today I would be downright pissed. I think that's why they're all being distracted with the technology. Big Brother better find a way to subdue the anger that's coming. If you thought the Moslems were mad, hell hath no fury like a sold out generation.

–Nate Collins

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On Thu, 3/17/16, Councilmember Linda Maio < wrote:
Subject: Child Abduction Attempt, We Need to be Alert
Date: Thursday, March 17, 2016, 5:18 PM

A student from Malcolm X elementary school reported that two men in a green van followed her to school on Monday, March 14, and one tried to grab her, prompting her to run away. The description of the van is similar to the description of a vehicle used in one of the five child abduction incidents in the fall. The Berkeley Police Department is investigating. According to Principal Hunt, the young student left her home near the school around 8am to walk to Malcolm X on Prince Street near Ashby Avenue. “The student reported that a green van pulled into a driveway in front of her, with two men in the vehicle,” Hunt said in the email. “They waved her ahead/told her to go ahead. The passenger allegedly got out and was walking behind her. The child said she felt him getting closer and reach for her, and she started to run to school.”

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PET OXYGEN MASKS were presented to the Sheriff's K-9 unit and to the six volunteer fire departments on the Coast: Westport, Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Comptche, Albion/Little River and Elk Fire Departments. Oxygen mask kits received by the fire departments contain 3 masks sized to accommodate dogs, cats, birds and other household pets. The Sheriff’s K-9 unit received large masks for their K-9’s.


Unlike humans, pets tend to hide when faced with fire or toxic fumes, rather than to run. By the time fire personnel get a pet to safety, it is most often in respiratory distress. According to an October 12, 2015 KZYX interview with veterinarians involved in the Lake County fire rescue, most animals who lost their lives died from smoke inhalation.


FIV Cat Rescue and SOS-Networking for Mendocino Coast Companion Animals joined forces to raise funds for the purchase of the oxygen masks. Thanks to the generosity of local merchants and veterinarians who allowed us to station donation boxes in their places of business, to our beautiful community members, and visitors to the Coast who stuffed those boxes with donations, the Coast is now equipped to save lives of our beloved pets.

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HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY! Female IRA fighter, West Belfast, 1970.


(Photo by Colman Doyle)

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The “Super Tuesday 3” elections went well for the Clinton juggernaut and for Donald Trump. The gods must be angry. Or maybe the explanation is just that corporate media’s malign neglect of the Bernie Sanders campaign is paying off for Hillary. FAIR and other organizations that monitor the press have established beyond a reasonable doubt that The Washington Post and The New York Times might as well be Team Hillary’s Ministry of Propaganda. And, as anyone who can bear to watch MSNBC and CNN can attest, “liberal” cable news outlets are no better. National Public Radio may be the worst of all. Remember that at pledge time!

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On May 27, 1959, a mysterious, bespectacled man in a suit appeared on The Today Show. After briskly introducing himself, he turned to the camera and told America of his mission: to “clothe naked animals for the sake of decency.”


The man went by the name of G. Clifford Prout, and he claimed to be the president of an organization called The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals (S.I.N.A.). Naked animals, he harped, were “destroying the moral integrity of our great nation” — and the only solution was to cover them up with pants and dresses.

Prout’s impassioned speech did not fall on deaf ears: within days, S.I.N.A. attracted more than 50,000 members. For the next four years, the organization and its leader topped news headlines, made the rounds on talk shows, and spurred heated debates among pundits.

But S.I.N.A. was not real: it was the invention of Alan Abel, history’s greatest media hoaxster.

Over his 60-year “career” as a professional hoaxster, Abel orchestrated more than 30 high-profile stunts — from faking his own death to convincing the press he had the world’s smallest penis. He tricked top New York Times reporters, trolled Walter Cronkite, and weaseled his way into tens of thousands of print publications and talk shows.

His hoaxes attempted to make some kind of political commentary — on censorship, backwards moral standards, or the vapidity of daytime television. But often, they would be taken literally, riling up supporters and revealing ugly truths about America. He preyed on the media’s hunger for juicy stories, and ultimately revealed its gullibility.

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YOU ARE INVITED to the City Council meeting to be held Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 6 pm.

The meeting includes an important presentation by our CalRecycle Representative from Sacramento, Barbara Heinsch.

File "Agenda CC 3-22-16 (2).pdf"

Click on the link below to view and download the file


  1. BB Grace March 19, 2016

    From yesterday: Alice Chouteau, I wanted to share Anna Shaw’s latest email. I have no idea how I got on her mailing list. I was unable to post the letter, seemed to have gone into virtual ether. Maybe limited to 5 posts a day, the one that went to the ether would have been my sixth post of the day. Anyways.. I just read your post on the Tam Quandry, and appreciate how you said about needing to hear nature.. etal.. ME TOO!

    RE: Wonderful letter by Carol Lillis yesterday, and today, “WOW!” My hat is off to Carol Lillis and the outstanding, compassionate, work providing gas masks and kitty rescue bags to the first responders for beloved pets. I’m grateful and remain impressed with Lillis’ work for over a decade. GREAT photos!!!!

    RE: “PPS. And Gherkin’s reference to “accountability and oversight,” is the biggest laugher: that’s exactly what the Kemper Report said wasn’t happening because Ortner wasn’t reporting and nobody was asking for reporting.”

    Kemper Report said “accountability and oversight” were not happening because Cryer and Pinizzotto (County) had placed themselves in the position of regulators and had not issued any regulations for the providers to follow.

    IOWs Cryer and Pinizzotto (County) decided to let the ASOs set up mental health, and then they intended to write the regulations.

    The way I see what happened was Pinizzotto having been employed with OMG, knew all the services OMG could provide, which is a huge range including private facilities which, many people prefer private services. Most folks would prefer to rehab at Betty Ford than Double Duces, and OMG has the ability to provide both. Whatever the county wanted. The County wanted it ALL and the only way the County could get it ALL was to not define what services they wanted, or write regulations, because Cryer trusted Pinizzotto, and Pinizzotto, who really wanted the County job over the OMG job, was trying to see how far he could tap into his old company for extra services to improve his personal situation, the County obliged by promoting (improving) Pinizzotto.

    I suspect Pinizzotto tried to get services from OMG that were above and beyond what OMG thought they had contracted with the County, OMG would respond that they need to hear from someone higher up. Pinizzotto would be promoted.

    OMG will not be out of the picture until the County contracts with another “OMG” or rasies taxes to build a jail for the mentally ill.

    RQMG changed their legal statis from LLC to Inc to avoid any conflict with the County, understanding, the County was not leading, as they should. So now the County is going to take it’s lead from RQMG because the County has not found the right department head for HHSA. Really, that’s the biggest problem: the County has not found a director who can direct, who can lead, who can take Health Services back from the Sheriff.

    I’ll take privatized health care over “police state” (even by Sheriff Tom Allman), health care anyday, as it appears at this point, the only thing anti-privatizers have to replace privatized health services is the Sheriff.

    • james marmon March 19, 2016

      Ms. BB Grace, the County needs to take back its responsibility, only this time do it right. Bring in the right people. RQMC don’t hire real social workers, all their MSWs are after licensure and want to be therapists. Why anyone would want to do that type of so called work is beyond me.

      Social Workers in their employ and/or the County’s employ who advocate for proper change, are quickly shown the door, and told, “we don’t want your kind here.”

      • BB Grace March 19, 2016

        Mr. Marmon,

        We agree that the County should assume it’s responsibility and bring in the right people. Kemper Report suggested a contract writer. Anti-privatizers want County responsibility through additional taxes to build a jail for the mentally ill and force medications through courts/ Laura’s Law.

        I’d simply like the County to find a Human Health Services Director who is as compentent as Kemper and Sheriff Allman, who can enable the County to return mental health to medical facilities rather than law and order, which I’d like to see the Stepping Up Inniative (Courts) take the lead in ending the Mendocino frequent flyer program.

        “We don’t want your kind here”. Maybe that should be the title of your book or PhDSW thesis?

  2. Jim Armstrong March 19, 2016

    Re: Donna French
    “Caution! She can be very charming and manipulative.”
    How in the world can one protect against that?

  3. Bill Pilgrim March 19, 2016

    re: Alan Abel. Nothing pisses people off more than being hoisted on their own petards. The question is: do we learn from it or merely dive deeper into our illusions?
    The Yes Men can probably be considered Abel’s capable successors.

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