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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Mar 27, 2016

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BirdieSanders"Bernie wins by a landslide of 82% in Alaska, claims Washington AND is poised to take Hawaii from Hillary in much-needed caucus boost" –

Saturday's Primary Results:

Alaska: Sanders 82%, Clinton: 18%.

Washington State: Sanders 73%, Clinton: 27%.

Hawaii: Sanders 70%, Clinton: 30%.

Pledged Delegate count as of March 27: Clinton: 1,243, Sanders: 975. (2,383 needed to win).

Video of the Birdie Sanders moment.

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LOUISE MARIANA, a long-time senior nurse at Coast Hospital, updates us on the status of the Hospital’s about-to-be proposed Parcel Tax.


Monday's meeting with CEO Bob Edwards was for employees only — to get us on board and all on the same page regarding the proposed parcel text for the Coast Hospital.

And there will be public meetings in the near future.

Nothing is fixed in stone yet. We will be doing phone surveys to see how much people are willing to pay for a parcel tax.

Right now the board thinks $150 for everybody is fair. But is it?

The poor elderly in an alley house and the rich who own 4000 square-foot mansions on the headlands — they pay the same?

Certainly a two- or three-tier system would be more equitable.

There are 12,000 parcels in the Coast Hospital District.

40% are owned by people who live out of the district, out of the county and out of the state!

Stay tuned -- more to come.

Louise Mariana



Potential Parcel Tax: Frequently Asked Questions

What has Coast Hospital already done to get its house in order?

People: We have added talent to our senior leadership team and recruited a diagnostic imaging director, an engineering director and an orthopedic doctor. Additionally we have a strong partnership with our labor union resulting in zero wage increases for this year.

Finance: we have cut costs, improving our budget. Also we have improved reimbursements from third-party payers for MediCal and we created a capital budget to plan for facility improvements. As a result of these successes (and many others) we have exceeded our "break even" budget goal.

Services: We grew the rural health clinic, added pain management services and our case managers are now calling discharged in-patients.

Processes: Never post Events on our quality scorecard? Leader Rounding/Nurse Rounding is now done on patients and all departments. Performance check ins are now regularly completed by leader employees. Our medical staff "quality scorecard" allows us to evaluate our performance with every patient and Joint Commission readiness resulted in no direct patient deficiencies.

Promotions: Now we regularly advertise for services, providers and publicize our accomplishments.

Has Coast Hospital asked to become affiliated with other health services? What were the results?

Yes — but no one was interested because of our debt, our unions, the age of the facility, our market share, and the average age of our physicians. However, without affiliation, the community retains local control.

What problems would a parcel tax solve?

Other departments currently subsidize many of the emergency room's operating losses. The parcel tax would fund critical emergency-room expenses also allowing departments currently supporting emergency services to use more of their own revenues to further improve their own services — as well as Coast Hospital to increase the overall focus on quality, aiming to establish the hospital as a "best in class" facility.

Would the parcel tax make the Hospital profitable?

While community support or critical services could be a very important part of our efforts to transition the hospital to a "best in class" facility, at this time the parcel tax alone would likely not be enough. Parcel tax revenues would be relatively small — estimated at 1% — and to be truly profitable we also need to control expenses and develop other new revenue streams. Coast Hospital also anticipates large expenditures for deferred repairs and building maintenance.

What is a parcel tax?

Parcel taxes are the most frequently used term for a range of possible "qualified special taxes" on local parcels which can be sought by healthcare districts and other public districts. Proceeds can be used for many purposes although they typically fund specific programs supported by the community. There is no legal limit on the tax rate that can be requested nor is there necessarily a limit on the term of the tax. However, a recent court ruling reaffirmed that the tax rate must be an equal on each parcel.

How much is the hospital considering asking for?

In addition to continuing to work on our own budget and continuing to improve profitability, the board is considering a $150-$250 per parcel tax — but your input will shape what request is made, if any.

Who can vote in the election?

All of the voters within the Coast Hospital District would be able to vote on a potential parcel tax but, before the board decides to call an election, we want to hear what everyone thinks so we will be reaching out to the community in a variety of ways. If support for the Hospital is strong the board will call an election. If not, the board won't.


THE HOSPITAL’S ARGUMENT that “We have added talent to our senior leadership team,” and hired a bunch of new, expensive specialists, is not exactly a great selling point for a $150-$250 per parcel tax. Nor is the claim that $150-$250 per parcel, which is a lot of money for many people on the coast, might only cover about 1% of the Hospital’s budget, too much of which goes to “our senior leadership team” and high-paid medicos. (PS. Why isn’t the Hospital Foundation, which takes in huge sums from the coast’s most well-off citizens each year specifically to cover high cost capital expenses, mentioned?)

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TWO WEEKS AGO, the Mendocino School District brutally fired three teachers at a meeting of their school board, axing the trio without stating why they were being fired. Fort Bragg Unified did the same thing at their board meeting this week, although FB did their dirty work in closed session. Four teachers and a classified employee got their walking papers. The FB meeting had its poignant moments when a delegation of middle schoolers appeared to speak to the board on behalf of their teachers. Why are these dismissals being done in the middle of the school year? Did the school administrators and their captive school boards hire unsuitable people?

I'VE SEEN lots of school staffers offed over the years. But I've seen a lot more nepotistic hires of people who never should have been hired in the first place but they were tight with their school boards and administrators.

MOST OF THE PEOPLE fired go quietly, but a few exercise their right to have the reasons for their dismissals read out in open session. Fired teachers! Pull the house down with you. Tell the truth, make it public, about why you are being dismissed. Let us know the true state of education at your school. Don't just shuffle off. Do good on your way out the door.

LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS are dominated by "liberals"  — in my vast experience anyway, and liberals are dependably the cruelest and most arbitrary because, well, I dunno, a lack of soul, I'd say, an inability to empathize arising out of their own personal security all their lives. In Mendocino County, the libs are everywhere at the power levers, and everywhere they themselves are public policy's first priority.

EXAMPLE: Ukiah is teeming with well-to-do libs — Ukiah pays its city manager an annual pay package worth a quarter mil — but there's a woman with a bunch of kids — little kids — who will be camping out with her brood at Lake Mendocino, Ukiah's alternative to closing its "emergency winter shelter." One would think in-town shelter could be found for her, especially since her children are all enrolled in elementary schools.

BUT THE LIBS will say, with a rueful shake of their fifty dollar haircuts, "Well, gosh, rents are so high, there's just no space, and this woman has all these kids and who rents to kids and hasn't she heard of birth control?"

IF THE COUNTY, and its incorporated towns, invested their retirement funds in local low cost housing instead of the stock market ponzi, retiree pensions would be a lot safer  and we'd have a dependable housing stock that paid a smallish but safe return on investment. The County is already broke, of course, and headed inexorably for bankruptcy when retirees will be lucky to get a dime on the dollar.

THE POINT IS, for all the lib-progressive keening about how "proactive" and generally politically cool they are, Mendocino County is a comprehensively retro place.

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A COUNTY CORONER in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, Charles Kiessling Jr., has begun ruling heroin overdose deaths as homicides, meaning that the persons providing the drug can be tried for murder. "If you chose to sell heroin, you're killing people and you're murdering people. You're just as dead from a shot of heroin as if someone puts a bullet in you," Kiessling says.

MEANWHILE, a writer for Harper's magazine makes a strong case for the legalization of all drugs, arguing that lots of people function ok under the influence of one thing or another.

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THE MENDO GRAND JURY has found that County departments comply with California Public Records Act requests. Their report is called, "For the Record: Records Management in Mendocino County Government."

Full Report:

Jurors, without identifying themselves, visited nearly a dozen County offices where they got what they asked for.

THE GJ EXPERIENCE coincides with our experience at the AVA. We haven't had any trouble lately getting the material we've asked for. But info hasn't always been so forthcoming. Compliance has much to do with who's sitting as supervisors, who the DA and Sheriff are. If they're stonewallers, the rest of department heads will be, too. At the mo, info is forthcoming.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 26, 2016

Burleigh, Maldonado, Marek, McKee
Burleigh, Maldonado, Marek, McKee

MARK BURLEIGH, Ukiah. Loitering.

VALERIA MALDONADO, Ukiah. Domestic assault

SYLVESTER MAREK, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

MARIETTA MCKEE, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

Pena, Sanders, Thompson, Vasquez
Pena, Sanders, Thompson, Vasquez

HECTOR PENA, Ukiah. Under influence, resisting.

THOMAS SANDERS, Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

JOSEPH THOMPSON, Covelo. DUI-drugs, under influence, receiving stolen property.

ANGEL VASQUEZ, Hopland. Failure to appear.

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SPRING TIME IN CLEARLAKE: The 911 calls came one after the other around midnight two nights ago. The first call was from someone in the house who said Troy Burnett was going nuts. The people Troy was going nuts on needed police to do something about him. A few minutes later someone called to say Troy had concluded his freak out by setting the house on fire.

TURNED OUT that Troy had attacked his father and stepmother with a shovel, then torched his home with himself, his sister, his elderly father and step mom inside. Everyone but Troy had to be hospitalized. Troy has been charged with attempted homicide and arson of an inhabited structure.

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AN AP POLL says 62% of Americans assume that one kind of substance abuse or another was a serious problem in their communities. (Troy's attempt at family immolation has tweek written all over it. Substance abuse is certainly prevalent in Mendo where booze and crank run neck and neck for abused substance of choice. Hard to say about heroin although it's here and, drug people tell me, easily available in one form or another. And prescription drug abuse is everywhere. My theory, boiled down, is that life for so many people has become so unhappy that they zone out of their realities on one thing or another — soma, Huxley called stuff that cooled you out to a malleable passivity, although drunks and tweekers don't tend to passivity.

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AS MANY OF US are aware, lots of dope gets shipped outta here via UPS, the Post Office, FedEx and whatever other delivery services get stuff where it's supposed to go. Just last week cops were called to Ukiah's UPS facility on Cherry Street where they found more than two pounds of Mendo Mellow wrapped up and ready to go. The person who dispatched the dope probably isn't traceable, but we know a lot more leaves the County this way than is intercepted.

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A MAN was blissfully driving along the highway, when he saw the
 Easter Bunny hopping across the middle of the road. He swerved to avoid 
hitting the Bunny, but unfortunately the rabbit jumped in front of his car
 and was hit. The basket of eggs went flying all over the place. Candy, too.

The driver, being a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulled
 over to the side of the road, and got out to see what had become of 
the Bunny carrying the basket. Much to his dismay, the colorful Bunny was dead.

The driver felt guilty and began to cry.

A woman driving down the same highway saw the man crying on the side
 of the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked the 
man what was wrong.

"I feel terrible," he explained, "I accidentally hit the Easter Bunny
 and killed it. What should I do?"

The woman told the man not to worry. She knew exactly what to do. She
 went to her car trunk, and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to
 the limp, dead Bunny, and sprayed the entire contents of the can 
onto the little furry animal.

Miraculously the Easter Bunny came to back life, jumped up, picked up 
the spilled eggs and candy, waved its paw at the two humans and 
hopped on down the road. 50 yards away the Easter Bunny stopped, turned
 around, waved and hopped on down the road another 50 yards, turned, waved,
 hopped another 50 yards and waved again!


The man was astonished. He said to the woman, "What in heaven's name 
is in your spray can?"

The woman turned the can around so that the man could read the label. It said:

"Hair Spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave."

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WHICH MEANS they might also shoot each other: Nearly 20,000 people have signed a petition calling for the open carry of guns at the Republican National Convention, which is slated to take place in Cleveland in July. According to the Akron Beacon-Journal, the group Americans For Responsible Open Carry started the petition on on Monday with a goal of 5,000 signatures.

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CALFIRE ANNOUNCES SURGE IN HIRING ahead of California's Fire Season

Hundreds of seasonal firefighters have already been hired, the agency reports.

by Renee Schiavone

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced this week what it's calling a "surge" in the hiring of firefighters, specially trained to handle the upcoming fire season.

Officials said in a news release that some 400 seasonal firefighters have already been brought on by the agency. They will focus on things like fire prevention, fuel reduction and defensible space programs.

Though we're emerging from an El Nino year, with rains that are a "welcome sight," crews are not letting their guard down, and are training for a potentially busy fire season, CalFire said.

“While the winter rain has helped decrease the fire risk in some areas, it has not been enough to end the drought,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CalFire. “The rain is welcome, but it will not revive the millions of trees that have already died due to drought and bark beetle. Our firefighters are taking advantage of the weather and ensuring that we are doing everything we can to prevent the types of wildfires we experienced last year.”

CalFire said the bulk of the work the additional firefighters handle will be fire prevention-based.

"The projects the crews are working on range from removing dead trees, creating and maintaining fire breaks, removing dense brush, performing prescribed burning, and assisting homeowners with education on Defensible Space."

The seasonal firefighting positions for 2016 have already been filled, according to CalFire. However, keep checking their website here for information as to when the next hiring window will open.

CalFire reports 240 fires have already occurred since Jan. 1.

For more information on how to create Defensible Space and prepare for fire season, visit


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PROTECT MEDICINE LAKE RALLY - April 19 in Sacramento

Please help protect the Medicine Lake Highlands in Northern California, sacred to five distinct Indigenous Nations, from power plants, drilling and fracking.

Come to a rally and court hearing on April 19, 2016 at the US District Courthouse at 501 I Street #4, 200, Sacramento, California.

People will gather at 12:00 noon in front of the Courthouse. The hearing begins at 1:30 pm in Courtroom 6. Please bring ID to enter the Courthouse.

The Medicine Lake Highlands continue to be threatened by Calpine Energy Corporation’s destructive plans for geothermal power development, according to Morning Star Gali of the Pit River Tribe.

In March of 2015, a 9th Circuit Court ruling affirmed the right of the Pit River Tribe and allies to challenge geothermal power production leases issued by the Bureau of Land Management.

On April 19, Judge Mendez will hear the suit brought by the Tribe and allies for violations of the Geothermal Steam Act and failure to conduct environmental, cultural, and tribal reviews before renewing Calpine Corporation’s expired leases.

For more information, go to:

530-335-5421 ext. 1205

Email for a printable PDF of the rally poster

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MELINDA VAN HORNE pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, to depredation against the property of the United States, announced Acting United States Attorney Brian Stretch and Nathan Mendes, Bureau of Land Management Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge.

In pleading guilty, Van Horne admitted to causing over $100,000 in environmental damage to federal lands in the King Range National Conservation Area through her marijuana cultivation operation.

As described in the factual basis for the plea agreement, in October 2007, Van Horne purchased a house next to Paradise Ridge in Humboldt County, California. Paradise Ridge is part of a congressionally designated National Conservation Area administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Commercial activity and development are prohibited on the land, which is to be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. In 2008, Van Horne proposed to trade portions of her private property for the federal conservation land, but the Bureau of Land Management rejected the trade based on the national conservation status of the land. Van Horne nonetheless decided to proceed with her marijuana cultivation operation. Van Horne admitted that, with her consent and knowledge, and later at her direction, vegetation was stripped from portions of the federally managed conservation area, land was excavated and graded, and eleven greenhouses and other structures were constructed on federal lands. The work was done in order to grow marijuana plants for sale.

Van Horne also used facilities that diverted water from the nearby Bridge Creek to water the marijuana plants. Van Horne further admitted that, in September 2013, when law enforcement executed a search on the property, agents found 1,654 marijuana plants that she had been growing on federal land and in the adjoining garage in the house. Van Horne admitted that she was continuing to use the land although it had been foreclosed upon by the bank.

Agents also executed a search warrant at Van Horne’s residence, where she had moved after the foreclosure, and found over 17 kilograms of marijuana at that location.

Van Horne further admitted that the bulldozing and excavation of federal land she orchestrated caused that land to become unstable and to erode into two rivers that provide crucial spawning and rearing habitats for threatened and federally protected salmon and steelhead. Bureau of Land Management engineers estimate the cost to repair the damage at $107,754.01, which Van Horne has agreed to pay as restitution in connection with her guilty plea.

Van Horne, 43, of Whitethorn, Calif., was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on November 17, 2015. She was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Section 846; possession with intent to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Section 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(vii); possession with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Section 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C); maintaining a place for manufacturing marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Section 856(a); and depredation against property of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1361.

Under the plea agreement, Van Horne pleaded guilty to the depredation against property of the United States. Van Horne is currently released on bond. Bail was set at $130,000. Van Horne’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 29, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., before The Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Court Judge, in San Francisco. The maximum statutory penalty for depredation against property of the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1361 is ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss generated from the operation, plus restitution if appropriate.

However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. Section 3553. Rita F. Lin is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Theresa Benitez, Rawaty Yim, and Marina Ponomarchuk. The prosecution is the result of a two year investigation by the Bureau of Land Management and Drug Enforcement Administration.

US Attorney’s Office Press Release

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Senator Diane Feinstein is a perfect example of why Democrats are fed up with the Democratic Party. Rightly so. Rep. Jerry McNerny and the feds realize that proposals by Sen. Feinstein to take water from the fisheries are a nail in the coffin for our state's fish. Once again, Sen. Feinstein follows the big ag corporate donors' orders, selling fish down the river so these giant Southern California monoculture farms in the desert can hoard more water than they'll ever need. The tunnels idea is losing steam, so now they are attacking water allocations.

As Congressman McNerney points out, the farmers are fine, but this Republican/Feinstein water grab will surely kill what's left of our fisheries after the El Nino rains have stopped. Small farmers know it's in their best interests to have a diverse environment that includes the fisheries. Feinstein is functioning from a 1950s technological point of view, back when monoculture farming, hideous pesticides and dumping chemical fertilizers by the ton were considered ok.

Paulette Kenyon, Pleasanton

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It's a hard hard time now : good man can't get no dough

All I do for my baby : don't satisfy her no more

I ain't got no job : now you going to put me down

You going to quit me baby : for a hard‑working clown

Time is so hard now : maybe things will change some day

And when I get a job : maybe you will change your way

Don't quit me baby : because I can't find no work to do

Because all the dirt you done for me : it's coming back home to you

I used to be a joker : now I'm going to make a change

I'm going to get me a job : keep coal in your cold kitchen range

— Blind Blake, 1928

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WHEN ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER became governor after Gray Davis was recalled in 2003, Schwarzenegger was the rare elected official who believed with some reason that he had nothing to lose and behaved accordingly. When presented with the chance to pursue an agenda that violated his own narrow political self-interest for the sake of the public interest, he tended to leap at it. "There were a lot of times when we said, "You just can't do that," said his former chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, a lifelong Democrat, whose hiring was one of those things a Republican governor was not supposed to do. "He was always like, 'I don't care.' 90% of the time it was a good thing."

Two years into his tenure in mid-2005 he had tried everything he could think of to persuade individual California State legislators to vote against the short-term desires of their constituents for the greater long-term good of all. "To me there were shocking moments," he said. "Having sped past the Do Not Enter sign we were now flying through intersections without pausing. I can't help but notice that if we weren't breaking the law by going the wrong way down a one-way street we would be breaking the law by running stop signs. You want to do pension reform for the prison guards and all of a sudden the Republicans are all lined up against you. It was really incredible and it happened over and over: people would say to me, 'Yes, this is the best idea! I would love to vote for it! But if I vote for it some interest group is going to be angry with me so I won't do it.' I couldn't believe people could actually say that. You had soldiers dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and they didn't want to risk their political lives by doing the right thing."

Schwarzenegger came into office with boundless faith in the American people — after all, they had elected him — and he figured he could always appeal directly to them. That was his trump card and he played it. In November 2005 he called a special election that sought votes on four reforms: limiting state spending, putting an end to the gerrymandering of legislative districts, limiting public employee union spending on elections, and lengthening the time it took for public school teachers to get tenure. All four propositions addressed directly or indirectly the state's large and growing financial mess. All four were defeated. The votes weren't even close. From then until the end of his time in office he was effectively gelded: the legislators now knew that the people who had elected them to behave exactly the way they were already behaving were not going to undermine them when appealed to directly. The people of California might be irresponsible, but at least they were consistent.

A compelling book called "California Crackup" describes this problem more generally. It's written by a pair of journalists and non-partisan think tank scholars, Joe Mathews and Mark Paul, and they explain among other things why Arnold Schwarzenegger's experience as governor was going to be unlike any other experience in his career: he was never going to win. California has organized itself, not accidentally, into highly partisan legislative districts. It elected highly partisan people to office and then required those people to reach a two thirds majority to enact any new tax or meddle with big spending decisions. On the off chance that they found some common ground, it could be pulled out from under them by voters through the initiative process. Throw in term limits — no elected official now serves in California government long enough to fully understand it — and you have a recipe for generating maximum contempt for election officials. Politicians are elected to get things done and are prevented by the system from doing it, leading the people to grow even more disgusted with them. "The vicious cycle of contempt," as Mark Paul calls it. California state government was designed mainly to maximize the likelihood that voters will continue to despise the people they elect.

But when you look below the surface, Mark Paul adds, the system is actually very good at giving Californians what they want. "What all the polls show," says Paul, "is that people want services and not have to pay for them. And that's exactly what they have now."

As much as they claim to despise their government, the citizens of California share its defining trait: the need for debt. The average Californian in 2011 had debts of $78,000 against an income of $43,000. The behavior was unsustainable but in its way, for the people, it worked brilliantly. For their leaders, even in the short term, it works less well. They ride into office on great false hopes and quickly discover they can do nothing to justify those hopes.

In Paul's view Arnold Schwarzenegger had been the best test to date of the notion that the problem with California politics was personal. That all the system needed to fix itself was an independent minded leader willing to rise above petty politics and exert the will of the people. "The recall was, in and of itself, an effort by the people to say that a new governor — a different person — could solve the problem," says Paul. But, "He tried every way of dealing with the crisis in services. He tried to act like a Republican. He tried to act like a Democrat. He tried making nice with the Legislature. When that didn't work he called them girlie men. When that didn't work he went directly to the people. And the people voted against his proposals."

— Michael Lewis, "Boomerang"

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by Dan Bacher

The Bechtel Foundation-funded Public Policy Institute Of California (PPIC), a long-time supporter of Governor Jerry Brown's Delta Tunnels Plan, has released a rigged poll concluding that 54% of those surveyed believe the California Water Fix is "very important" to the future of the state.

According to a PPIC press release, "The governor has proposed building tunnels in the Delta to improve the reliability of water supplies. About half of adults (54%) and 45 percent of likely voters say building the tunnels is very important to the future of California. Residents in Los Angeles (61%) and the Inland Empire (61%) are the most likely to say this is very important, followed by the Central Valley (51%), San Francisco Bay Area (49%), and Orange/San Diego (47%)."

The wording of the question was worded cleverly to produce the pre-determined result, support for the tunnels. Check out the question:

  1. The governor has proposed to improve the reliability of water supplies by building tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. How important is this proposal for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?

54% very important

26% somewhat important

6% not too important

7% not at all important

Of course people are going to respond favorably to this false and misleading question! This question is based on the Big Lie that the tunnels proposed under the California Water Fix will "improve the reliability" of water supplies when there is no evidence that the project will do this.

In addition, there is no mention of the enormous costs of the plan to the ratepayers. taxpayers and people of California - nor of the devastating environmental consequences of the project, as documented by U.S. EPA scientists and numerous scientific panels.

Of course, the question doesn't mention the tremendous threat the tunnels pose to the culture and livelihood of California Indian Tribes - nor of the huge economic impact that the collapse of salmon and other fisheries spurred by the tunnels' construction would cause to recreational, tribal and commercial fishing families.

The construction of the tunnels would hasten the extinction of Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt and other species, along with imperiling the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

The complete press release and survey can be found here:

The Bechtel Family has been a major contributor to the PPIC, with the Bechtel Conference Center at PPIC funded by a "gift" from the Stephen Bechtel Fund.

"The Bechtel Conference Center is designed to serve as both a meeting place and a learning center for nonprofit organizations, highlighting the value that PPIC places on civic engagement, consensus-building, and respect for different perspectives," according to the PPIC website. "The center was made possible by a gift from the Stephen Bechtel Fund and opened in spring 2011. In its design and operation, the center reflects the values that PPIC and the Bechtel family place on environmental and technological innovation (

For my latest article on the Delta Tunnels fiasco, go to: For more information and action alerts, go to:

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The Charter Project of Mendocino County is hosting a series of Town Hall meetings around the county to introduce people to Charter Commission candidates for the June 7th election, and also to canvass the public about what they would like to see in a county charter.

What is a charter, anyway? What does home rule mean to Mendocino County? Get answers at… The 5th Town Hall meeting will be held on Monday, April 12, 2016 at the Long Valley Garden Club, 375 Harwood Road in Laytonville from 4pm to 6pm.

The Measure W question will be in the ballot in the June election, "Shall a Charter Commission be elected to propose a Mendocino County Charter?"

There will also be candidates running for the post of Charter Commissioner. You will be able to vote for 15 of them in June.

Meet 2 Charter Commission candidates: · Mikeal Burgess - retired Spacecraft Electronics Engineer. Mike currently cares for 300 young fruit & nut trees and their drip irrigation system on the off-grid farm he and his wife moved to near Willits in 2012. He is also an officer of the Little Lake Grange (Willits) and volunteers cooking skills in the kitchen for the monthly pancake breakfasts (4th Sundays).

Michael brings attention to detail, and "getting the job done right. He wants to see the prospective Charter be solid, addressing the weak points of the existing system and enhancing the quality of life for all County citizens.

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We are delighted to feature famed Community Rights advocate Paul Cienfuegos, longtime activist and community organizer. In 1994, POCLAD helped Paul realize the insidious impact of corporate rule. In 1995, he co-founded Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County, which began works to dismantle corporate political power. Paul now leads Democracy workshops and talks across the nation. He will speak about Community Rights and how the charter can secure our rights.

Free admission. Refreshments by donation. Raffle fundraiser. Help us pay for these 9 Town Hall meetings with your financial support. All registered voters are welcome! More information is available on our website: You can also take the opportunity to donate money online there. We welcome all idea contributions for a county charter at our WindTunneling page: . Create a login & password, and choose Project Code: MendoCountyCharter.

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What happened in Arizona should be considered a national disgrace. People waited five hours to vote in Arizona. Five hours.

We don’t know how many thousands of people didn’t get to cast their ballots in Arizona because they couldn’t afford to wait that long. Scenes on cable news showed hundreds of people in line at 11:30pm in Phoenix – more than four hours after polls closed. Voting should not be this difficult.

One reason it is so hard to vote in Arizona is because the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. There were 70 percent fewer polling places this year than in 2012 in Phoenix’s county. They wouldn’t have been allowed to cut those polling places if the Voting Rights Act was still in tact.

These cuts meant that, in a county with more than 4 million residents, there were just 60 polling places. This is unacceptable, but it’s also not an isolated incident.

We need to make it easier to vote, not more difficult. One way we can do that is by reaffirming our support for the Voting Rights Act.

We cannot continue to see democracy undermined in the United States of America. Enough is enough.

Make no mistake: the billionaire class does not want Americans to vote. Billions of dollars are being funneled into our elections in a form of legalized bribery, even as American voters — especially minority voters — are being discouraged from voting. It is no wonder that government no longer works for ordinary Americans.

Above all, we need to remember the price that was paid for the right to vote. The Voting Rights Act was one of the great victories of the civil rights movement. Now, as then, change comes when the people demand it — in the voting booth, and on the streets in peaceful demonstrations. We must remind ourselves of what’s been achieved in the past, and resolve to do equally great things in the future. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

It is my sincere hope that the states that vote in the coming weeks and months do better than what we saw this week in Arizona. Too much is at stake.

Voting matters. They do not want you to vote… because they fear the power of voting. Anyone who says voting does not matter is on the side of TPTB.

* * *


Saturday, April 23rd 2-4 pm

Ukiah Library is screening two video clips, “Black Hole Destroying a Star” and “Death by Black Hole,” followed by a facilitated discussion on Saturday, April 23rd  from 2-4 pm. After the discussion, teens will create “tasty” active galaxies with black holes to take home.   This event is sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library and is part of Ukiah Library’s Explore Space, Our Solar System and Beyond exhibit. Explore Space, Our Solar System and Beyond, a traveling exhibition for libraries, is part of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. Exhibit partners include the American Library Association, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and Afterschool Alliance. Explore Earth is supported through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Melissa Eleftherion Carr
Teen & Adult Services Librarian
Ukiah Library
105 N. Main Street, Ukiah CA 95482
(707) 467-6434

* * *


The recording of last night's (2016-03-25) 107.7fm KNYO Memo of the Air:

Good Night Radio show is available to download and keep or just listen

to via

Also at you'll find links to many other interesting things to see and hear and learn about, such as:

Places in Studio Ghibli films.

A comedy education.

Six and a half magic hours.

All the Mythbusters' results in one place. A literal crash course in the real world.

And the winners and runners-up in the Smithsonian photo contest.

Marco McClean


  1. Dave Smith March 27, 2016

    Hawaii: Bernie 70%, Hillary 30%…

  2. Bill Pilgrim March 27, 2016

    re: Open Carry at the Repub. convention. It might make sense…a colossal circular firing squad. Ready! Fire! Aim!

    • Harvey Reading March 27, 2016

      And, if the dems would just follow suit …

      • Lazarus March 27, 2016

        Not a chance, they’ll have a pillow fight…

  3. LouisBedrock March 27, 2016

    That’s new and funny.
    I heard the one about the Zen student who asked the hot dog vender:

    —Make me one with everything.

  4. Rick Weddle March 27, 2016

    re: the Open Carry rule at the Big Conventions…

    Witness the vernal equinox, the flowering of fresh ideas, new approaches to unRealpolitik…Holey Cheeses, what a bitchen suggestion! Letting both wings of the NRA reach their respective and predicted conclusions… Naaahh…

    Getting these creeps out of my misery is something of a household priority. I’ve been at it for years, and thought I was pretty good at it. Now, I’m thinkin’ perform the arrests/trials/sentences-to-Real-Time, all with Due Process and fully Public, so that there’s no more mess to clean up, minimum requirement. Fraudulent gasbags, almost to a one. Try the Democratic way. I doubt it’d be worse than the current supersonic tailspin.

  5. BB Grace March 27, 2016

    Passed by the crew waving peace flags across from Caspar and thought of Mr. Updegraff, as that seems like something he would enjoy doing today.

    Got Easter Eggs?

    You know what’s so great about Egg Salad? Egg Salad is the ultimate gourmet food when made by scratch.

    First you make a mayonnaise.

    Raw egg yolk whipped with a nice oil, season to your taste with lemon/vinegar (so many to experiment with), cayenne, pinch salt for your nice fluffy mayo and add a hard cooked egg, riced!, chopped, diced, med, large depending on what texture you like. Wow. It’s eggs, oil and what you can add is only limited by your imagination, capers, chopped celery/ onion, olives..pine nuts and basil, ham, tuna, white bread or crudites.. just don’t forget the paprika garnish.

    Corporate business lesson of the day: “Just do it”

    There are no records showing any decision that chocolate companies stopped using the word “Easter”. It just happened. They, Cadbery, Hershey, Nestle, Mars, have come up with cleaver ways and use “Egg” in lettering to psychologically allow a consumer to “see” Easter, think “Easter”, but the word has been removed, and now if your candy must have the word “Easter”, it will be sold by Christian chocolate companies that promote the holiday.

    If Fort Bragg became a plastic surgery destination, the tourist patrons would afford better and less expensive healthcare for everyone in Mendo. There is no insurance for plastic surgury. It’s a cash business and worth hundreds of billions. Why not Fort Bragg? If you really want good medical you have to have CAPITAL investors. Parcel tax is just robbing everyone, who uses MCDH for a helicopter landing pad and does not use any medical services on the coast.

  6. david ellison March 27, 2016

    Aware of the N.D.A.A.?

    A person, U.S. citizen, can be held without trial indefinitely if the administration wants it that way for whatever reason,say you’re critical of government and have a large following.

    Section 1021 of the NDAA bill of 2012 allowed for the “indefinite detention of American citizens without due process at the discretion of the President.” Section 1021 has been challenged as a violation of constitutional principles and the United States Bill of Rights. The indefinite detention clause has been broadly denounced nationally and internationally. It may very well be the only thing that has true bi-partisan support. The Act was strongly opposed by the ACLU, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, and The Center for Constitutional Rights, the Cato Institute, Reason Magazine and The Council on American-Islamic Relations. It was criticized in editorials published in The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, and The Guardian.

    Guns legally owned, stored, and used properly by law abiding citizens are one of the few things that are keeping the feds from locking up prominent dissenters, per NDAA

    Anybody care about the constitution anymore?

  7. david ellison March 27, 2016

    I’m sure my previous comment will make some of you lib lab folks
    hot under the collar.

    Please don’t disappoint with responses.

    • heilig March 28, 2016

      Don’t flatter yourself. Nobody cares what delusional paranoics say about the big bad government coming to take your guns. If they really wanted you, you’d be toast, no matter what kind of weaponry you waste your money on.

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