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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Apr 7, 2016

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RECORD & NEAR-RECORD TEMPS SCORCH NORTH BAY AREA. A high-pressure system over Nevada brought record and near-record high temperatures to the San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday, High temperatures into the low 90s were experienced in the North Bay valleys, coast and mountains, the San Francisco shoreline and Peninsula coast, in Monterey Bay and Big Sur, as well as the East Bay valleys and hills, Santa Cruz mountains and Santa Clara valley, including San Jose. Wednesday was Eureka’s hottest April 6th on record with a high of 76 degrees, breaking the previous record of 70 degrees set in 2009. Boonville reached 92 degrees. Temps were expected to drop back to near normal on Thursday, followed by a chance of rain over the weekend.


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by Justine Frederiksen

The Ukiah City Council was expected to vote on whether to pay a consultant to study the feasibility of an upscale hotel downtown on Wednesday.

Last month, the council voted 4-1, with Council member Maureen Mulheren dissenting, to have staff draft a Request for Proposals that would outline what the city would like to be investigated.

The study is expected to cost $30,000, and Visit Ukiah has already committed $10,000 of the city’s Transient Occupancy Tax for it, and requested that the Mendocino County Tourism Commission, funded by Mendocino County’s share of local TOT dollars, also contribute $10,000.

It is unclear yet if Visit Mendocino will contribute, and if it ultimately does not, the city could pay up to $20,000 from its General Fund for the study.

Senior Management Analyst Shannon Riley said an “anchor” business has been needed downtown for quite some time, and will be even more crucial when the county courthouse moves to the planned site near the Ukiah Valley Medical Center.

According to the staff report prepared for the April 6 meeting, having a hotel downtown could help achieve many goals related to economic development, as it would “simultaneously attract new businesses and support existing businesses.

“A hotel is a particularly effective anchor tenant due to the fact that it would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” the report continues. “It would retain customers in the evenings, thereby benefitting the restaurants in the downtown” and the Ukiah Valley Conference Center.

The study might also “provide valuable economic data for possible investors” who might be interested in becoming involved in the future of the Palace Hotel, which staff describes as a “persevering privately-owned blight.”

Staff recommends the scope of work for the study as:

  • Analysis of the (potential) sites
  • Market area review, including evaluation of current lodging demand and facilities
  • Demand growth estimates
  • Market share estimates
  • Statements of estimated annual operating results

“There are countless people and businesses who would benefit from a new hotel in the downtown,” staff concludes, adding that such a business would potentially increase important sources of revenue for the city, both the sales tax and the TOT, and “support existing businesses and contribute to the vitality of the downtown.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal

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ONE WOULD THINK that all the fancy money Ukiah pays for its city government, that that government wouldn't have to pay a consultant to decide if a hotel would be good for what's left of the city center.

UKIAH pays it manager about a half-mil a year in total pay and bennies, and pays a raft of other managers to do what? Put a video camera on them and play the feed for the public and then ask the public if this apparatus is (1) worth the money they're getting and (2) how it is that Ms. Mulheren seems to be the only city councilman looking after the public's true interests?

OF COURSE this same Ukiah apparat has signed off on a new County Courthouse wayyyyyyy down the street that will seriously harm the town's existing businesses and further blight lower Perkins. This looming fiasco moves ahead without (natch) a vote on its desirability and outside all local planning processes although its the most destructive scheme conceivable since our local judges shoved a new courthouse down Willits' maw, a courthouse soon abandoned, a courthouse now a-moulderin' forever in the center of town.

AN EMPTY COUNTY COURTHOUSE and the empty Palace Hotel, plus empty store fronts when the County Courthouse moves wayyyyyy down the street. Why would even Motel 6 consider downtown Ukiah a viable business proposition?

THE SUPERVISORS are also complicit in the new County Courthouse scam. There has been near-zero discussion of the scheme at the County level although a County Courthouse "serves" the entire County, not just Ukiah.

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A few years ago, when Mendocino County was trying to balance its books in the wake of the 2008-2009 "great recession," lead by Supervisor John Pinches, they did a major review of County-owned properties with an eye to selling off buildings were not needed, moving out of leased space, and consolidating where possible, most prominently moving out of the Dominic Affinito-owned Social Services building on South Franklin Street in Fort Bragg and into the more cramped, but much cheaper Avila Center up the street. General Services Administration Director Kristin McMenomey compiled a comprehensive list of facilities tasks under the close scrutiny of Supervisor Pinches who led the charge to save hundreds of thousands worth of facilities expenditures. Ms. McMenomey’s list set a high bar for how to manage and track Mendocino projects, so high that nothing since has come even close, but proving that the County can indeed do it.

A couple of years later when the County was privatizing about $16 million worth of in-house mental health services, there was no McMenomey-style plan and the “transition” to Ortner was badly botched, as documented in detail three years later by the Kemper Report (which only scratched the surface of the botch). The County’s Health and Human Services agency did nothing like that, even though such a major change was not only much bigger and more complicated than the facilities project, but Mendocino County was the first county in California to even try to privatize mental health services. Staff well-documented failures have never been mentioned by the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Hamburg, for example, called the whole mess “a rookie mistake.”

Predictably, the privatization process collapsed into a morass of complaints which finally came to an unavoidable boil when most of inland Mendocino’s physicians and the Sheriff broke ranks and forced the County to conduct a review of the Ortner mess. The Kemper review identified a number of problems which should have been foreseen by county administration and the supervisors at the time (many of which we pointed out here to no avail). But even if the County had prepared a McMenomey style list, turning millions over to Ortner for anything other than expensive, residential out-of-county psych treatment was an idea which only Ortner and Ortner's former executive Tom Pinizzotto would like.

Now, here we are five years later, after three years of minimal service from Ortner, and the County is finally getting around to putting together a task list for turning the "services" Ortner didn’t provide over to Redwood Quality Management Service of Ukiah. The board gave direction to staff to start the transition on March 1. One month later all they have to show for it is a task list of things that are, except for one task, still not complete. The list would certainly embarrass Ms. McMenomey if she had had anything to do with it.

In fact, the only item on the list which is "completed," is the one called "perceptions of conflict of interest." The status of this “task” is: "Defer to the Mendocino County Grand Jury on the question of a conflict of interest for the former Director. County executive to direct staff provide continued oversight of [Ortner] authorized by and periodically report publicly on them." This “task” — “deferring to the Grand Jury” — is the responsibility of a newly created entity called the "quality improvement committee."

As you can see (if you bother looking at the useless thing) the list looks like it could have been assembled by the First Grade Class at the Ukiah Waldorf School. It is replete with subjective and ill-defined terms like "in progress," "working on," "being added," "initiate conversations," "consulting with," "discussions in progress," "language added," "discussion started," etc.

Many of the tasks themselves are squishy too: “propose definitions," “review," "begin a process of community consensus building," "discuss ideas and options going forward," "work with," "initiate," etc.

One of the tasks —"county financing, budgeting and financial accounting for mental health services," is supposed to be completed by April 1, 2016 the day the task list was prepared. But of course the status is not “completed” but: "in progress." No date is given when the progress will stop. (This is the one that we bet $50 yesterday will never happen; so far no takers. So it's not surprising that the April Fools' Day completion date was not met.)

Will CEO Carmel Angelo and whoever the new Health And Human Services Agency Director will be present this task list to the Board again? Probably not. Most of the items are so difficult to put a time frame on that there wouldn’t be much point. And failure to meet the completion dates has no meaning because nobody really cares if they meet the dates, most of which are July 1, 2016 — an arbitrarily imposed date which happens to be the beginning of the next fiscal year when the “discussions” and “reviews” will be declared complete by fiat no matter what the status. The only thing we know for sure now is that Ortner probably won't get much more money for mental health services after June 30 and Redwood Quality will get another $7 million in 12 monthly increments from July 1 to June 30, 2017.

Conspicuously missing from the task list is anything having to do with staffing at Redwood Quality Management Service which is expected to provide several dozen qualified professional staff (by July 1). Also missing from the task list is a task such as “negotiate new rates for services and administration."

The task list is certainly better than nothing, but not much, because it is primarily eyewash meant to postpone any real oversight of the transition activity until July at the earliest when things will start to crumble.

In fact, a close reading of the task list indicates that it is mostly the same pointless and ill-defined gibberish which we've seen from HHSA managers and in mental health documentation and discussions time and again in the past.

But the obvious shortcomings of this silly plan didn’t stop the Board of Supervisors from lavishing praise on staff again on Tuesday as one Supervisor after the next declared how “proud” they were of the staff work described above. Either they didn’t read it at all or they think that a list of gibberish formatted in rows and columns is about the best anyone in Mendo can do.

Prediction: it will take at least a year of muddle and more service gaps before any of this produces any chance of providing the desired results. And the former critics of Ortner, conspicuously the inland medical staffers and the Sheriff, will remain silent to give the new mess a chance.

The task entitled, “Establish a renewed era of openness and transparency” drew our biggest guffaw. First, there was never an “old” era of openness and transparency. And second, transparency about a meaningless task list is not something to be proud of.

Unless this task list is made much more specific with real dates and definable, objective tasks ala McMenomey, the result will be a version of the last time they did it when they had no plan at all.

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CONTRAST the above gibberish with Sheriff Allman’s about-to-be-proposed half-cent sales tax measure. Grilled on Tuesday by speaker phone at the Supervisors meeting about nitpicky details, Sheriff Allman told the Supervisors that he simply wants to use five years worth of sales taxes to develop a local mental health facility which will 1. Provide a Psychiatric 72 hour hold capability, 2. Provide a 30 day transition and rehab facililty, 3. Provide outpatient treatment and drug rehab to walk-ins, and 4. Provide a place where the County’s far-flung emergency responders can learn how to handle psycho-breaks. The facility will be staffed by existing staffers, whatever they may be and however much they now cost — no more. It’s simple, clear, objective. As one of Allman’s co-drafters Kate Gaston pointed out to the Board on Tuesday: “I’ve visited the jail several times. Mental illness leads to jail if a person is not officially declared 5150. And when they are, we have no facility in town. We send people to out of county treatment that we pay dearly for. We need to be reimbursed for in-county services and lower cost services. All this involves lost lives, lost time and there are no services in jail. This proposal answers multiple levels of needs. And it’s all reimburseable with an admin fee. We also need the post-trauma services to reduce the return rates. I understand the request for particulars — our [Allman’s] team can work on that. But I support having it on ballot. We have to stop filling the emergency rooms and jail for months, stop sending people out of county. We need local, earlier walk-in and outpatient treatment so that fewer people are stuck out of county.”

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Vote NO on MEASURE W – Forming a Charter Commission

The Employers Council of Mendocino County has reviewed the most recent draft language for the proposed Charter, attended multiple Town Hall meetings and researched the potential pros and cons of forming a Charter County. It is the position of the Employers Council to not only decline support of this movement, but to actively oppose it.

As you are most likely aware, there is a small group called the “Charter Project of Mendocino County” that has been very active campaigning to change Mendocino County from a General Law to a Charter County. They were successful in collecting enough signatures to qualify this item to be placed on the June ballot for the public to vote on.

It is clear the group’s main motivation behind forming a Charter County is to start a public bank, utilizing County treasury funds to finance the start-up of the bank and invest in low interest loans that will purportedly benefit the citizens of Mendocino County. It is illegal to use county treasury funds in the manner in which the Charter Project of Mendocino County has illustrated.

The group also claims to stop “illegal foreclosures” by writing language in the Charter that requires proof the lender is the “Holder in Due Course” before our county records and publishes the foreclosure notice.   This places an undue burden on county staff and it’s simply not the county’s responsibility, nor would it be legal. There is no evidence found that proves homes were illegally foreclosed upon to homeowners who were current on their mortgages. Our County Recorder’s office has to follow the state constitution and no language in the charter can override the California Constitution.

Perhaps the most important reason to not support developing a Charter Commission and forming a Charter County, is the cost. The county’s General Fund would have to pay for all costs associated with forming and managing a Charter Commission. Also, once language is adopted in the Charter, the only method to amend the language is to have an election, instead of simple Board approval that can be done in one meeting, as it is now. The costs associated with having a special election in Mendocino County far exceed $100,000 per election. The county can in no way afford paying, or budget for, possible future elections.

The Employers Council of Mendocino County has established a solid history of advocating for fiscal responsibility, reasonable regulation and overall sensible government. Had the Employers Council discovered any evidence that forming a Charter County would benefit our county, we would have considered it going forward.   Please vote NO on Measure W and save the county from additional expenses that we simply can’t afford.

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Sheriff Tom Allman recently posted this picture on his Facebook page.


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from: Paul Hobbs & Ken Wilson: Wine Country’s Clearcutting Crooks, by Will Parrish, June 2, 2011...

Kenneth C. Wilson, real estate capitalist and winemaker with headquarters in Healdsburg, is not the first person wine industry observers would typically associate with Hobbs. Whereas Hobbs is widely regarded for his winemaking artistry, as a veritable winemaker's winemaker, Wilson is better known as an opportunistic investor. The latter has built his own “mini wine empire” — to quote Wines and Vines magazine —- across northern Sonoma and southern Mendocino counties in recent years, largely on the strength, it seems, of superior access to wealth. Yet, the two men's activities are closely linked, if only by a single factor: their zeal for deforestation. The practice of clear-cutting is common to vineyard development across the Central Coast, North Bay, and North Coast regions of California. The land clearances Hobbs and Wilson have conducted stand out, however, largely owing to an impressive feat: Each man ran afoul of the law, in spite of the preferential treatment the state and county regulatory apparatus has for so long bestowed on the wine industry.

Ken Wilson, for his part, is no stranger to action by the DA in connection with his vineyard development schemes. He has the distinction of being the only such developer in Sonoma County ever sentenced to a jail term stemming from environmental damage he caused in the process of installing grapes. Wilson clear-cut forested land and removed the trees' root systems across roughly 50 acres off Scagg Springs Rd., 13 miles west of Healdsburg, in 1997. The result was a mind-boggling 18,000 cubic foot landslide into House Creek, a tributary of the Gualala River, in early 1998. That figure comes courtesy of the Department of Fish and Game.

“It was an act of God coming in, the mountain slides down the hill and suddenly he is in the middle of a criminal case,” Wilson's attorney, Chris Andrian, said at the time, referencing the run-off prompted by heavy winter rains.

Wilson served a 90-day suspended sentence for failing to perform erosion control on the site, also paying the largest fine ever in such a case — $50,000. But the penalties scarcely curbed his appetite for vineyard development, nor for deforestation. Three years later, Wilson was dubbed Farmer of the Year at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Across the last five years, in particular, his winery holdings have rapidly expanded — in spite of the sluggishness of the industry as a whole. In 2009, Wilson applied to build a 20,000 case winery — a very large facility, in other words — and new tasting room in the Alexander Valley, on a parcel that he has already deforested large portions of, installing terraced vineyard blocks. The parcel is located at 19,583 Geyserville Ave., across from the River Rock Casino. In coming weeks, the proposed new buildings will come up for review at a meeting by the Sonoma County Permit and Resources Management Department's Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA). Nearly all such proposals are subject to little more than a rubber stamp by the BZA, members of which are appointed by the county's perennially wine-friendly supervisors.

As one of Wilson's neighbors wrote in an e-mail circulated in mid-May, “They've already cut down several 100+ foot coastal redwoods while clearing for a terraced vineyard. The parcel contains many thousands of mature large redwoods, firs, oaks and madrones. In order to squeeze in such a large facility, our concern is that they will cut many more trees.”

Ken & Diane Wilson
Ken & Diane Wilson

Strangely, the Wilsons received a $10 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration's stimulus bill, aka the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to help fund their various vineyard and winery expansions — including the one currently slated to occur in the Alexander Valley. Specifically, the investment came courtesy of the US Department of Agriculture, which doled out a portion of the Stimulus Act funds. It was the second largest loan guarantee the USDA issued as part of that particular round of stimulus funding, with only an agribusiness outfit in American Samoa receiving more.

According to the USDA press release in connection with the loan, “The funds are targeted to create and retain quality jobs and serve difficult-to-reach populations and areas hardest hit by the economic downturn,” a classification which hardly seems to apply to Wilson's vineyards.

The May 2009 edition of the lifestyle magazine Wines & Vines said thus of the Wilsons' budding vineyard and winery portfolio: “Their collection of wine properties brings to mind Jess Jackson's penchant for acquiring family-owned and boutique wineries.”

Wilson is not only a major investor in the wine industry. He also owns a famous building at Pt. Reyes, in the coastal town of Inverness, West Marin County, called the Grandi Building. Wilson is controversial around West Marin for attempting to develop the mixed-use, brick building — a historic landmark — into a trendy, even more upscale hotel. According to a source who has had close contact with Wilson, his fortune derives from the Wilson Sporting Goods family, which also ran one of the largest Chicago meatpacking operations around the turn of the 19th century into the 20th century.

Wilson not only owns five vineyard and winery parcels across Sonoma County, but also one of the most prominent winery and vineyard estate in the Ukiah Valley: Jaxon Keys, located right off of Highway 101 north of Hopland. It is one of those Wine Country properties that closely reflects the ties between the wine industry and other extravagant financial interests. The property was first developed by Georgia banking mogul Robert S. Jepson in 1985. Jepson was bought out by the investment group Dbon Mendocino, LLC, in 2005, the latter being backed by the enormous New York City investment firm Fortress Investment Group — one of the most controversial firms on Wall St., which has roughly $42 billion currently under management.

The hedge fund moguls at Fortress purchased the property with the intention both of renovating the winery and developing a series of subdivisions across several hundred of the roughly 1,000 acres, essentially as part of a bid to convert Hopland into a popular homebase for the sorts of people whose ideal homebase is a hyper-gentrified portion of rural Wine Country. Fortress lost patience with this plan in the wake of the real estate market collapse in 2008, however, selling the parcel to Wilson. Mendonesians, be forewarned: if the Wilsons' record is any indication, they may soon develop the remaining acres on this site, deforesting as they go — ironically, it seems, enabled by funding from Barack Obama's famous stimulus bill. The fact that Obama administration would bestow so much largess on one of Sonoma County's foremost scofflaw vinters is telling.  Destructive vineyard developers are rarely held accountable for the destruction they cause.  In many cases, they are only rewarded.  The most destructive companies, whether they be part of the wine industry or any other field of extractive enterprise, are also most often the wealthiest and best connected.  It is one of the present economic system's fatal flaws that it systematically rewards sociopathic behavior.

On a smaller scale, this permissive culture surrounding anything the wine industry does is precisely why Paul Hobbs took a gamble with his unauthorized clear-cut.  He knows the odds are he will never be penalized.  Unfortunately, the North Coast wine industry, as I've described in over a dozen articles across recent months, did not grow so huge, nor has it caused so much ecological and human wreckage, because the regulatory system is designed to limit its activities in any significant way.

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ANDERSON VALLEY: America’s most discovered valley.

Anderson Valley blends great wine, food, scenery

by Paul Hodgins

State Route 128 has to be one of the most picturesque stretches of two-lane blacktop in California, especially the part that winds from Cloverdale to the mouth of the Navarro River on the Pacific coast.

Heading northwest from Highway 101, you climb quickly on hair-raising switchbacks out of the Russian River watershed into the Yorkville Highlands. A relatively flat, straight midsection takes you through apple orchards, emerald fields dotted with grazing sheep, and scattered vineyards in the Navarro River Valley around Boonville and Philo.

Then you meet the giants. The road starts to wind again when you enter Navarro River Redwoods State Park, and the atmosphere grows shady and moody even on sunny days because a forest of mighty Coast Redwood trees blocks out the light.

As you near the coast and descend, the small Navarro River grows suddenly wider and slower, its silt-y green surface dotted with islands and a few small boats.

The 128 joins Highway 1 at a bridge across the river, and it’s a few short miles from there to the coast – a rugged, spray-filled tussle between land and sea that tells you this is Northern California, a more raw and elemental place than our part of the state with its genteel beaches.

This postcard-perfect spot is known as the Anderson Valley, one of California’s most overlooked and undervalued wine regions.

I spent two days exploring the offerings at some of the area’s more well-regarded tasting rooms, and was impressed by three wines that come from this beguiling and cool climate: beautifully balanced pinot noir, lightly oaked chardonnay, and sparklers with backbone and personality. Many are reasonably priced, although the pinots, like all California examples of that trendy varietal, are pushing toward the $50-per-bottle mark.

Because it’s northern California, the birthplace of the farm-to-table movement, there’s no shortage of worthwhile restaurants in the area. If you stay in Mendocino, a picturesque little coastal town just a few miles north of the western terminus of highway 128, you’ll be within walking distance of several wonderful restaurants, all of which feature local fare, which means fantastic seafood and fresh greens.

If you want to eat in wine country, then you don’t want to miss the valley’s newest gastronomic attraction, The Bewildered Pig. This rustic-looking roadside diner in Philo was, until recently, a French restaurant that had seen better days. Renowned Napa chef Janelle Weaver works her magic with locally sourced food such as the Emerald Earth Rabbit Pot Pie. It was a crusty, hearty masterpiece, and like everything we tried it was prepared artfully but without pretension.

Here are some tasting notes from my tour.

Navarro Vineyards

The 2014 Gewürztraminer ($19.50), Navarro’s flagship wine, is balanced and pleasantly dry, with hints of rose petal, lychee and tropical fruit, and it was graced by a clean finish. The 2015 Rosé ($17.50) is 80 percent granache and 20 percent carignan, with classic rosé qualities of minerality and dry berry fruit. Skip the bland entry-level pinot noir ($32) for the 2013 Deep End Blend ($55), which is mushroom-y, earthy and funky – a pinot for old school fans. The 2013 Syrah ($27) is good but not exceptional, with a strong note of cherry and a bit of chocolate. 5601 Highway 128, Philo, 707-895-3686,

Roederer Estate

The multi-vintage Brut ($22) was light but possessed excellent acidity; the magnum ($48) was richer: almond-y, rounded, with a tiny hint of toast. The Brut Rosé ($29) has a big fruit nose – plum and raspberry – and a dry finish. The pride of their bubbly line-up, 2007 L’Ermitage ($48), is golden straw in color. It’s yeasty, toasty and honeyed. A 2014 Chardonnay ($19), very lightly oaked, has notes of tropical citrus. The 2013 Pinot Noir ($25) is light, bright and full of tart cherry – very Burgundian. 4501 Highway 128, Philo, 707-895-2288,

Scharffenberger Cellars

Best known for its sparklers, Scharffenberger makes a full range from off-dry to brut. The Brut Excellence Non Vintage ($19.99) showcases its chardonnay (60 percent) but includes pinot (40 percent) which adds to its toasty, hint-of-caramel complexity. Its counterpart, Brut Excellence Rosé Non Vintage ($22.99), has a slightly higher percentage of pinot noir (51 percent) which results in a salmon-colored sparkler with a raspberry/strawberry bouquet and a longer finish. 8501 Highway 128, Philo, 707-895-2957;

Toulouse Vineyards

Chatty owner-winemaker Vern Boltz knows his terroir, and it shows in a stellar line-up. The 2014 Pinot Gris ($24) starts flinty but opens up to a bold and zesty citrus finish with grapefruit, pepper, ginger and lemon. The 2014 Gewürztraminer ($24) is heavy on the lime zest, with great acidity, which gives way to Indian spices and white pepper. Boltz’s three pinot noirs ($42-$50) are elegant and restrained, more like an Oregon pinot than a fruity and concentrated Santa Rita Hills style. 8001 Highway 128, Philo, 707-895-2828,

(Courtesy, Orange County Register)

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Gabriel Hernandez is wanted on a $60,000 felony warrant for possession of a firearm on school grounds, possession of a short barrel firearm, firearms prohibition, street terrorism and participation in a crime.
Height: 5' 9"
Age: 25 years old
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Weight: 185 lbs
If you have any information regarding this individual's location, please call MCSO Dispatch at (707) 463-4086.

Two facebook readers commented:

One: That's messed up charging him for something that wasn't even his. What do they expect him to ask everyone he rides with do you have anything illegal in the car. He's a nice guy. People need to quit judging him. — Ronda Barela

Two: Can't believe they are charging him for something that was IN HIS FRIENDS CAR! but u stuck up snatches will judge him for it.... when they realize it's not his will the sheriff's department apologize for putting him out there like that?? Seems that no matter what u do to better ur life around here people still judge u on ur past. — Stephanie Green

(Update: Hernandez was booked the same day the Sheriff posted the above warrant. See below.)

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1ST QUARTER 2016 NON-MEDICINAL MARIJUANA PROSECUTION STATS: Fifty-five (55) individuals charged in Mendocino County with illegal marijuana-related primary offenses had their case resolved during the 1st quarter of the 2016 calendar year. The resulting conviction rate for the quarter was 85%.

Of the 55 people charged, eight (8) individuals had all charges dismissed against them. Two defendants were convicted of non-marijuana misdemeanors. Twenty-nine (29) defendants were convicted of a marijuana-related misdemeanor. Sixteen (16) individuals were convicted of a marijuana-related felony. Four (4) of the 16 felons received prison sentences, with one of that four being sentenced to state prison and the other three receiving local prison sentences.

The 31 misdemeanants and 12 of the 16 felons are now on either supervised (formal) or summary (informal) probation. All 43 are subject to warrantless search and seizure on demand of peace officers, as well as being subject to other terms and conditions. As one term of their probation, 32 of the probationers must perform a collective 4,370 hours of community service, with monitoring of their enrollment and completion of hours by the staff of Mendo-Lake Alternative Service, Inc. (MLAS).

DA’s Press Release

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 6, 2016

Cook, Ferguson, Foley
Cook, Ferguson, Foley

CHRISTINE COOK, Willits. Petty theft.


JARED FOLEY, Markleeville, CA/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Gillespie, Hanover, Hernandez, Simmons
Gillespie, Hanover, Hernandez, Simmons

KYLE GILLESPIE, Ukiah. DUI-drugs, under influence, controlled substance w/o prescription, paraphernalia.

GORDON HANOVER, Ukiah. Meth for sale, failure to appear, probation revocation.

GABRIEL HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Participation in criminal street gang.

TIMOTHY SIMMONS, Ukiah. Obtaining/using someone else’s ID without permission.

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Radio Curious: Attorney Barry Vogel, Host and Producer

In our Current Program, Radio Curious revisits a conversation with Joan Dalton, founder and executive director of Project Pooch, a nationally-recognized non-profit dog adoption program where incarcerated youths train shelter dogs and find them homes. Please visit our website to download the program at I once had the good fortune of seeing “If Animals Could Talk,” a movie made by Jane Goodall.  A segment was about The MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon. The boys incarcerated there have committed serious criminal offenses; some of them are given an opportunity to train dogs, develop relationships with the dogs and in doing so learn responsibility, patience and respect for other living creatures. There is a zero recidivism rate among the juvenile inmates who spend time training dogs at MacLaren. Joan Dalton is the founder and executive director of Project Pooch, a non-profit corporation linked with MacLaren, where incarcerated youths train shelter dogs and find them homes. We visited by phone from her home near Portland, Oregon on February 15, 2010 and began our conversation when I asked her to tell us how Project Pooch came about and then about Project Pooch itself. The books that Joan Dalton recommends are “Children And Animals: Exploring The Roots Of Kindness And Cruelty,” by Frank R. Ascione and “Rescue Ink: How Ten Guys Saved Countless Dogs and Cats, Twelve Horses, Five Pigs, One Duck,and a Few Turtles,” by Rescue Ink and Denise Flaim. You may visit the Project Pooch website at Radio Curious is a half-hour, weekly, long-form interview program, now in it's 26th year. We interview people on a curiously wide variety of topics about life and ideas. Our website is If your station airs Radio Curious please let us know, we will add you to our list of syndicate stations. We also welcome questions, feedback and program ideas.

Radio Curious 280 N. Oak St. Ukiah, Ca 95482. (707) 462-6541.

Radio Curious is also available on Audioport and locally on:


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(photo by Susie de Castro)

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The unprecedented year-long journalistic effort involved more than 370 reporters from 100 media organizations, coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The primary sources were leaks from Mossack Fonseca, Panamanian law firm with more than 35 offices around the world. Journalists sifted through transactions involving 214,488 off-shore corporations covering 40 years of activity.

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Go Iceland!

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Is it possible to love America but hate the USG–United States Government? I love my home. I love America the place. I love a lot of the people, although as you imply, a lot of them aren’t very loveable. And it is frustrating, as you say, that so many of them are really clueless. I don’t know–just asking.

Besides, where would we want to go to start over? And who would go with us? If I wanted to be a hermit, there are still plenty of places to do that here. And unlike a lot of countries, I can take my guns and gold with me. And even if they change that, why roll over?

So many places are also just as screwed up. If I were young, Iceland and New Zealand look like places I would want to check out. What about you?

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Anyone interested in wood shingles for kindling in the area of Mendocino please contact us by e-mail only at and include your name, address and a phone number where you can be reached.  Priority will be given to those willing to take a full dump truck load and proximity to the work site.   Please have a truck accessible area marked out for us to drop it off.


Dakota Murray, General Manager
Redwood Roofers, Contractor's License# 957548 Postal Box 361. Mendocino, CA 95460
707.937.1700 (P). 707.937.4345 (F) |
43 Years Roofing The Mendocino Coast

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On Wednesday, April 6th, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) will speak at the signing of the Historic Klamath Agreement along with US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Interior Deputy Secretary Michael Connor will join Governor of California Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Governor of Oregon Kate Brown.

“Today’s signing of this new agreement to tear out the Klamath River’s aging hydropower dams is truly a reflection of all the hard work done by tribal, fishing and environmental communities, who have fought tirelessly to tear down these dams and bring the Klamath River, along with it once famous salmon runs, back to life. Tearing out the four dams on the Klamath will be a huge leap forward for the river. It will open up hundreds of miles of salmon spawning habitat, get rid of shallow reservoirs that trap warm water and cause algae blooms, and help finally repair a long stream of injustices to the tribes and communities along the river. I am thrilled I could be part of this historic event towards rebuilding the Klamath River.”

(Press Release from Huff’s congressional office.)

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"THE FIRST THING I remember knowing

Was a lonesome whistle blowing

And a young'un's dream of growing up to ride

On a freight train leaving town

Not knowing where I'm bound

And no one could change my mind... but Mama tried"

— Merle Haggard, ‘Mama Tried’


  1. Jim Updegraff April 7, 2016

    A charter county proposal so the dreamers can have a ‘public bank? Ain’t going to happen. Go read the California Financial Code as to how to start a new state chartered bank. Also, a new bank has to be insured by the FDIC – good luck on that one. I think these dreamers have been over indulging in the main agricultural crop in Mendo County.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  2. Helen Michael April 7, 2016

    As a private citizen representing no one else’s view but my own, I would like to know when Carmel Angelo’s feet will be held to the fire in regards to the complete mismanagement of the Mental Health department. Nothing in this county gets done without her oversight and approval and one would think the “buck” would stop with her. I’m thinking perhaps Stacey Cryer, however deservedly as she was, was given up as a sacrificial lamb to the entire debacle when ultimately Carmel should be held accountable as well and yet her contract goes on. This is not the first occassion of such mismanagement, but the most costly it seems, and still she gathers up her direct control over more and more county departments rather than hiring replacements to oversee them. She is CEO, Clerk of the Board, head of the water agency and took over for Kristen McNemony (sp) when she fell from Carmel’s graces. What is it going to take for the BOS to realize Carmel is the worst mistake in leadership this county has seen in 10 years.

  3. Bruce McEwen April 7, 2016

    Re: The Panama Papers, check out the last three Daily Cartoons at The Independent

    (page down to Daily Cartoon)

  4. LouisBedrock April 7, 2016


    Death comes by in long black cars
    Shiny as shoes, then the lesser cars,
    lights blazing in the gauzy afternoon.

    I know this formality well
    that makes us wait on corners as it passes,
    the processional faces of mourners,
    some hermetic as glaciers,
    some full of grief or greed;
    yes, I have ascended
    behind weaving motorcycle cops
    to some cemetery with a view,
    I have ridden in the black car
    behind my father—
    that makes a father, an uncle, two aunts,
    and three dear friends…

    I set down my packages
    and rock on the soles of my feet.
    This is only the death
    that makes the traffic pause.
    I can feel the sidewalk through the holes in my shoes
    as I think, there is the other,
    the other.

    (By Stanley Radhuber, a friend and a colleague)

    • Bruce McEwen April 7, 2016

      Call me a superstitious imbecile but I still grab a button when a hearse passes: and, just for good measure, grab one as I read this poem!

  5. Bruce McEwen April 7, 2016

    Re: Online comment of the day.

    New Zealand, really?

    But aren’t you a little late?

    I mean, the white-assed honkey good old boys emigrated there back in the Sixties, didn’t they, you eejit. And considering it had long been a bastion of white Anglo-Saxon pretentions to race superiority, ever since Lt. Jms. Cook made landfall there.

    Reports of cannibalism — a crew from Cook’s sister ship was eaten by the Maori natives. They found the Brits, especially the plumper officers, rather tasty, it seems. But even a skinny midshipman or a stringy old able-bodied seaman rotting from syphlis, wasn’t too bad if properly barbecued.

    A report in Cook’s journal has several locals coming aboard HMS Resolution and carving off steaks from a a head brought aboard (the cheeks) and broiling them in the ship’s galley to entertain the Captain and his scholarly supernumeries.

    The British colonizers later found this incident ample reason to exterminate and subject the people of New Zealand.

    So yes-yes: Fly off to N’Zellin, you silly ass, If you imagine there is really some place left that hasn’t been despoiled, by the powers you hope to escape, you pitiful fool. And when you get there send us back a report on the Utopian Society you’ve found.

    By all means.

      • Bruce McEwen April 7, 2016

        Do you honestly expect, or even care, if anyone answers such an rhetorical question?

        • BB Grace April 7, 2016

          Never know where my treasure hunting and pirate friends will show up next; Why not the AVA? I know they LOVE New Zealand which has an amazing history of sunk ships, as in acts of war.. of course not New Zealand.. their like an enabler.

          Wonder if they get paid for enabling ships to be sunk in their waters?

          • Bruce McEwen April 7, 2016

            I must say, Boo-Boo Grace, that is easily the silliest sentence, making the least sense from the biggest waste of words that, I, personally, have ever, in my whole life, ever had to stop and read; and, therefore presumably, it deserves some kind of an award? Is stupidity you point? My dog, long dead and buried could have said as much, and enunciated it much more eloquently. Here’s a suggestion: Get a life; get off the internet; go and donate your money and time — which obviously have too much of both — to some deserving charity, like ?!

            • BB Grace April 8, 2016

              My point: New Zealand is global ground zero for treasure salvors/hunters/pirates, which is part of my life, and maybe other treasure slavors besides me read the AVA. I run into past crew members everywhere and know few in New Zealand.

              As for your suggestions: Another part of my life is volunteering and making contributions.

              I suggest that your suggestion is a message to yourself, afterall you are the AVA poster champ.

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