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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017

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SNEAKER-WAVE WEDNESDAY: "There is a potential for sneaker waves Wednesday afternoon and evening. The greatest threat appears to be during the early evening. Do not let the ocean fool you. Long period waves can generate lulls of wave activity making the ocean look deceivingly calm and draw people closer to the water. These lulls end with a large set of breaking waves that will wash much farther up beaches, possibly knocking you down. Plan on keeping a safe distance from the surf on Wednesday. The swell will continue to build Wednesday night resulting in breaker heights of 22 to 25 feet by early Thursday morning. High surf conditions are expected to continue through the day on Thursday. Beachgoers and mariners are urged to exercise extra caution." (National Weather Service)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I've been singing that Beatles song all day. 'Here Comes The Sun.' Hey, isn't it almost time for pitchers and catchers to report?"

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AGREE COMPLETELY with Sheriff Allman, whose request to the Supervisors today (Tuesday) for a $35,000 (roughly) used Snow Cat was nitpicked all the way to formal budget hearings i.e., death. The snow-track-tractor would be paid for mostly out of asset forfeiture funds, with some of the purchase price coming from other agencies. None of the purchase would come from the County's general fund.

WE EXPECT the Sheriff's Department to be prepared for all eventualities, and those eventualities include cold weather emergencies. The Sheriff quite convincingly described his frantic efforts two weeks ago to replace a borrowed a Snow Cat for a sudden rescue effort above the North County snow line after another borrowed one broke down (or ran out of gas, we’re not sure). None were available.

NEIGHBORING counties did not have a functioning Snow Cat. Although the three stranded persons in the emergency described by the Sheriff were successfully extracted, there are many areas of the County where that extraction, without a Snow Cat, might not be successful. Allman also explained that the Snow Cat would allow the County to do winter repairs at the remote mountain tops where the County’s microwave repeaters are positioned. It just seems like commonsense to enlarge the Sheriff's emergency capacity to include a Snow Cat given our mountainous and occasionally snowy terrain.

I DON'T KNOW if there's some kind of residual Blue Meanie hostility for cops at work among the Supes — Supervisor Carre Brown voted Yes, McCowen, Gjerde and Hamburg voted No (i.e., postponement to a later date during budget preparations) — but if the Supes applied the same intense fiscal scrutiny to all the County's other departments that they inevitably haul out for Sheriff Allman, the County's budget would be a lot healthier than it is.

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A DELEGATION of Anderson Valley residents appeared before the Supervisors Tuesday morning to urge the Supes that the speed limit through Philo not be raised, left at 30mph. A number of locals spoke, including Anderson Valley resident Sheriff's deputy Craig Walker. Several persons noted that the first they'd heard of CalTrans plans to increase the speed limit was when the AVA, on short notice, reported it as “a rumor.” Which at the time, it was. (CalTrans' notice did appear in the Ukiah Daily Journal, which is not widely read in the Anderson Valley.) We soon learned the particulars by searching them out. We never did get the CalTrans presser on their plans for Philo, a fact I brought to the attention of the Supervisors via the following e-mail, with a c-c to Phil Frisbie of CalTrans:

To the Supervisors: You should know that CalTrans, years ago, removed us from their media contact roster. They said we'd made fun of them (!) We received notice about the proposed Philo speed limit increase from Howard Dashiell's report to the Supes, and we saw it there only because we had read Howard's report and were surprised to see notice of CalTrans' plans. We have certainly given the proposal much notice since and, by now, everyone in the Anderson Valley is aware of it and unanimously opposed to any change in the speed limit through Philo.

FRISBIE of Caltrans soon responded:


You certainly HAVE made fun of Caltrans and myself in the past. And don’t get me started on your giving Will Parrish free reign [sic] to roast me personally over the Willits Bypass! However, since the time you were removed from our mail lists our former PIO Chief and former District Director have both left, so how about we start off fresh? I DO appreciate good satire. Not that I often see it in the AVA, but I do appreciate it when I do.) Please give me a list of email addresses you would like added to our news release list and as the Interim Chief of Pubic Information I will personally add them.


Phil Frisbie, Jr.
Interim Chief of Public Information
Public Information Officer for Lake and Mendocino Counties Caltrans District 1

IN THE END, the Supervisors agreed with the Anderson Valley delegation. The Supes said they are writing to CalTrans to formally request that traffic through Philo continue to be slowed, at least in signage. We'll have more on this subject soon, but preliminarily, Bob Vaughn of Philo neatly summarized community feeling:

"The reason that people do not observe the 30 mph speed limit is by benign neglect.... This is something they will not admit, but I have heard from two CHP officers who I have talked to there at the gas station that nobody likes to come to Anderson Valley. The time that you need somebody there is between five and seven in the morning and three and six in the afternoon. If the CHP had been there when Caltrans did their survey, the numbers would change dramatically. That's the way it is. People know that there is nobody there. They laugh at the speed limit and the police. I live on Rays Road. I have been almost rear ended twice now by people coming down wanting to make a right. Oftentimes I have to go down to Lemons', turn into the Lemons' parking lot, go around the rotten fruit juice emporium, and then make a left hand turn into Ray's Road. And talking about people going into Scharffenberger, the idea of reducing the speed limits on both sides to 45 mph is a good idea. That would make a big difference. This morning, it was foggy and I was watching kids run across the street dodging cars who were going well over 35 mph. You have Blackbird Farm now picking up people and going down Rays Road and it is flat-out dangerous. It's due to benign neglect. If the CHP was there things would be a lot better. It's not fair to Craig Walker who does a great job as our resident deputy. It's not fair to put that burden on him considering that it is a STATE highway. It's a STATE highway. California Highway Patrol should take care of STATE highways. That's a big one. If they did, maybe we could get a few of those wine-drinking speeders off the road and pull in a little extra revenue. I know that's unpopular because the grapevine industry is a sacred cow in this County. But maybe it's time to start reeling it back in a little bit. I would like to be able to ride my bike to the store. I would like to be able to walk to the store. I would like to be able to walk with my neighbors to the store. I see that my time is up, thank you.”

INCIDENTALLY, as of 2014, Frisbie made $65k per year plus $29k in bennies which, it seems, entitles him to decide which media get CalTrans press releases and even to make literary distinctions.

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by Mark Scaramella (Blast From The Past)

After getting Caltrans’ routine waiver of his possible conflict of interest because the judge sits on the AV Health Center Board with Mrs. Anderson, Judge Eric Labowitz called the case of Anderson v. Caltrans at Anderson Valley Justice Court last Friday morning. The plaintiff was represented by AVA editor and publisher, Mr. B. Anderson. Representing defendant Caltrans were a perturbed-looking looking senior staffer, Mrs. Sonya McClary, a Caltrans Claims Officer from Sacramento, and the beguiling Ms. Debbie Ginn, Caltrans District 1’s pr person out of the Eureka office.

Anderson’s claim says that Caltrans owes him $141.38 for an ad Caltrans placed in outside corporate papers instead of with his local, legally adjudicated paper.

Anderson presented the court with a copy of the November 29th, 1997 edition of the Ukiah Daily Journal containing a paid Caltrans Notice of a Public Meeting in Yorkville. Anderson said that the Journal has no stand sales and no subscribers in Yorkville, and that the meeting was therefore not properly noticed. Anderson added that the ad also appeared in the “New York Times-owned Santa Rosa Press Democrat” which has approximately the same circulation in the Yorkville area as his paper, the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Anderson said that the Journal ad cost about $330 and the PD’s ad around $414. “The AVA, a great bargain for the taxpayers whose interests are always paramount or should be when the largest public bureaucracy in the world doles out business,” declared Anderson with an impressive righteousness that brought a smile to the judge and snickers from his supporters, “would,” he thundered on, “charge a mere $141.38 for that ad, and we are the newspaper legally adjudicated for Anderson Valley.”

Anderson presented some copies of legal documents citing public agencies being required to give preference to small businesses and citations which warned of sanctions for restraint of trade when small businesses were slighted in favor of corporate interests.

“Public money should not be allowed to be spent in a retaliatory fashion,” Anderson argued, before reading from a letter to him from Ms. Ginn which stated that the ad was not sent to the AVA because, according to Ms. Ginn’s letter, “several news releases, intended to inform the public, were altered and information was distorted in a way to discredit Caltrans and its personnel. While we do not dispute the right of any newspaper to prepare editorials which may be critical of Caltrans activities, we do not believe it is appropriate to editorialize within the published article relating to a Caltrans news release.”

Anderson said that Caltrans’ “transparently false” explanation that their ad placement had been made with the daily papers to ensure widest circulation was invalid because the ads only appeared once or twice, “buried in columns of fine print legal gibberish.” Anderson added that there was no evidence that the ad or a comparable press release was aired on local radio or tv, indicating a cavalier attitude on the part of Caltrans when it came to “seriously” getting the word out about pending projects in the Anderson Valley.

Anderson disputed Caltrans’ claims of alteration of press releases, explaining that the only reference to Caltrans press releases in the AVA were “obvious exercises in humor and satire. They were not altered press releases. They were creative explorations.” He alleged that Caltrans press releases were “uniformly fatuous” and “begged satirical treatment.” As Ms. Ginn stared nonplussed at the editor, he laughed that “One press release we received even announced that it was raining,” adding, “If you can’t make fun of a public agency we’re running directly into First Amendment territory. Also, we’re not talking about Caltrans’ idiotic press releases here, we are talking about a paid legal ad. Why would we deny ourselves income by playing games with a paid ad? They have conflated their legal ads with our joke press releases. There’s a difference.”

Anderson gestured to Ms. Ginn and said, “Poor Ms. Ginn here was sent all the way to Boonville by some anonymous bureaucrat in Eureka or Sacramento because they didn’t like the AVA making fun of Caltrans.”

Judge Labowitz asked Anderson to clarify his argument concerning whether his claim was primarily on First Amendment grounds or on Caltrans failure to carry out their statutory duty.

Anderson replied that his primary argument was Caltrans’ statutory duty but their petty vindictiveness in denying him ad revenues because of joke press releases was obviously a violation of his right to free speech.

Caltrans’ Ms. McClary, who stared open mouthed at The Editor throughout his presentation, didn’t actually defend Caltrans, but responded by saying that Anderson, not known as a great respecter of process, had not followed proper procedures. “Under Government Code, claims must be filed prior to lawsuits. No such claim was made, or it hasn’t filtered down to me,” said McClary. “He can’t sue without a prior claim,” she declared, referring vaguely to a Caltrans “board of control” which is supposed to get all claims against the Orange Juggernaut.

Anderson replied that he was not aware of any such requirement and that he had filed the claim with the court and sent a copy to Caltrans as required by justice court small claims procedures.

“You have to start with the Board of Control,” replied the school marm-ish McClary. “I am not aware that we have broken any law. We use guidelines in selecting newspapers for advertising. We have rules that are part of Government Code.”

McClary then made matters worse, fiscally speaking, by pointing out that Caltrans had actually run the ad four times — twice in the Journal (11/23 and 12/5) and twice in the PD (11/25 and 12/6). “We also ran it on the internet,” she added. (Of course, everyone in Yorkville is cyber-linked.)

Since Ms. McClary didn’t dispute Anderson’s UDJ/PD cost estimates, it works out that Caltrans paid $1488 for the four ads, as compared to $282 for two comparable ads placed in the AVA.

Judge Labowitz asked Anderson if he’d settle for a Caltrans promise to put ads in the AVA in the future.

“They seem to have spent around $1500 to avoid my paper,” replied Anderson, nodding in semi-agreement, “but I’m always open to negotiation.”

“We made our decision based on broad public readership,” McClary replied, “We studied this on our own; we advertise in the best places based on our analysis; decisions are not dictated by management,” adding that a Mr. Mitchell Hega had placed this particular ad series. “He’d be a better person to talk to,” said McClary. “We did try to get the information out.”

Labowitz continued to ask about a Caltrans stipulation to promise to advertise future Valley road work in the AVA.

But Anderson insisted that, “they obviously made the decision to avoid the AVA because we made fun of them. They made that very clear in Debbie’s letter. They felt insulted.”

Ms. Ginn, an attractive blonde of the Barbie and Ken school, finally jumped in to correct the pronunciation of her name, which had been pronounced as 'Gin,' as in gin fizzes.

“It’s Ginn with a hard G”, she said, adding an in-your-face lie about Caltrans efforts at publicity.

Anderson, sotto voce to his claque of supporters, muttered, “Funny, she doesn’t look Chinese.”

“We try,” Ms. Ginn said in the pious tones of the True Believer, “to reach all users of the roadway with accurate and timely information. I don’t know what people think when they read those things. They have my name on it.”

Labowitz asked, “Do you understand that you are referring to press releases, not ads?”

McClary came to the rescue of Her Sister In Day-Glo Orange. “We try for the widest possible audience. There is no other reason for putting ads where we do.”

Labowitz said, “If I agree with the plaintiff, I don’t know how this would be resolved if they (the AVA) would have charged $141. This may go beyond small claims, it may be a broader question than just the $141.”

Anderson replied, “Well, their argument about wide dissemination might be believable if it wasn’t for their letter to the paper making it clear they were retaliating against my modest satirical exercises. Deb’s letter let the cat out of the bag.”

Labowitz asked if Anderson had spoken to Caltrans before filing the court action.

“Caltrans won’t talk,” replied Anderson. “Who else am I supposed to talk to? I have obeyed all the legal procedures of the court. Caltrans acted unfairly in denying me the $141. I know it’s hearsay, but Colin Wilson, the Valley’s Fire Chief who many locals think of as ‘Mr. Yorkville’ also said that the meeting was very poorly noticed.”

Ginn replied, “We checked with people in the Valley and asked them what paper has the best readership. But we haven’t done a study.”

McClary added, “There is no reason for us to be here. Mr. Anderson has not followed the law. We have not failed to follow any law. If there was a better way to get the word out we would do so.”

Labowitz asked, “Did you ask a few people on the street?”

Ginn replied, “Yes, people we know here.”

In fact, the Advertiser, according to the experts, enjoys "total market penetration in the Anderson Valley or one paper sold for each mailbox.

McClary replied, “We try for the best coverage. We have no predisposition for where to place ads. We try to reach a diverse audience. There is no reason why we wouldn’t. We’re doing the best job we can.”

Labowitz said, “Well, this letter has an unfortunate juxtaposition of news releases and paid advertisements which does not explain why you’d advertise in the Journal and the Press Democrat.”

“As does he,” replied McClary, in an unclear reference to earlier statements Anderson made about Caltrans press releases and ads.

“I’ll take the matter as submitted to the court,” declared Labowitz after hearing no further arguments, and the hearing was ended.

On the way out, Joyce Stoller, an occasional AVA contributor and a member of Anderson’s support group attending the hearing, confronted the judge, “Isn’t it your job to uphold the law?” Labowitz looked non-plussed. The rest of the small support group hustled Ms. Stoller out the door. A slightly stunned Judge Labowitz asked Anderson, “Who’s that?”

“A communist friend of mine from San Francisco,” replied Anderson.

Labowitz said he would issue a decision in much less than the 90 days allowed by law.

(Ed note: Judge Labowitz later ruled that Caltrans probably had indeed wrongly retaliated against Anderson and his paper, but there was no provision in the law that forced Caltrans to place their ads in a specific paper and that Anderson had indeed failed to file a claim with Caltrans prior to filing his lawsuit.)

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Bear Lincoln was arrested at a large grow — 9,000 plants — on and around his property in Covelo in August of 2016. The big trouble for Bear may be the two loaded weapons also found there. Of course finding weapons and assigning ownership are two different things. But Bear is a convicted felon, and you can be sure the cops will try to pin the guns on the guy they've been after ever since the famous shoot out that led to the deaths of Deputy Bob Davis and Bear's cousin, Leonard Peters (for which Lincoln was acquitted).

LINCOLN'S PRELIM has been delayed ever since, but again rolled into court Monday. But not without a glitch. Defense attorney Brian Gregory, claimed the hearing would have to be postponed again because, well….

“I know why, Mr. Gregory. having read your brief,” Judge Ann Moorman said. “The daughter of the witness was injured in an explosion, and is not expected to, well, uhmmm… [blinking rapidly] the daughter is not expected to survive… So I get it.”

District Attorney David Eyster expressed scant sympathy for the crisis detaining the defense witness. This witness was supposed to say something to contradict the testimony of Fish and Wildlife Warden Don Power; a particularly scrupulous environmentalist, and a credit to the most environmental county in the contiguous United States, a source of pride for most of us.

Judge Moorman denied the motion. For two reasons.

One: The testimony of the unavailable witness could always be heard later.

Two: It has dragged on long enough.

DEPUTY JEFF ANDRADE: “Bear Lincoln? I always refer to the gentleman as Mr. Eugene Lincoln.”

GREGORY: “But you’ve heard of him?”

DA EYSTER: “Objection.”

JUDGE: “What do you mean?”

GREGORY: “I mean, has he heard that my client was accused of shooting Deputy Davis, in 1995?”

MOORMAN: “You can answer -- if you know.”

ANDRADE: “I was 12 years old. But yes, I remember.”

(Bruce McEwen)

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From the Press Democrat: "4-story hotel coming to Rohnert Park"

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CRIME: Vandalism $400.00 or more in damage, Hate Crime Enhancement, Violation of Probation

Victim: Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, Redwood Liquors, CV Starr Center, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, AmeriGas

On January 23, 2017, at approximately 6:45 p.m., Fort Bragg Police Officers were dispatched to a report of vandalism in the 100 block of N. Franklin Street.


Upon arrival Officers conducted an investigation which resulted in the identification of Joseph Little, 27, Transient in Fort Bragg, as a potential suspect in the case. A check of the area was conducted but Little could not be located.

At approximately 8:08 p.m., Officers were dispatched to the 300 block of N. Main Street for a report of a male creating a disturbance. Upon arrival Officers contacted and detained Little.

Little was subsequently questioned regarding his involvement in the earlier vandalism; as well as several other recent vandalisms that had occurred within the City limits. Little confessed, not only to the most recent vandalism, but several others.

Little was arrested, booked and transported to the Mendocino County Jail. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707) 964-0200 or on our anonymous Crime Tip Hotline at (707) 961- 3049.

— FBPD Sergeant Jonathan McLaughlin

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In The Beginning There Was George

by Rex Gressett

The insider's club is on the march.

The recent election was really about City Manager Linda Ruffing. The people of the City thought that they were voting to end Ruffing's reign of deception. The good and honest people of Fort Bragg, after decades of patience, had become tired of her schemes to create policy by means that if not exactly illegal were so close to illegal that the two Councilmen most deeply implicated in her schemes quit the council before the last election and headed for the deep woods.

The City Council, new members and old, may not want to face the expectation of the people, but the electorate had every reason to think that the first thing they would do was to fire Linda Ruffing. The Council now has the majority that the people gave them. They can fire her if they want to. We shall see.

At least we can agree that the new Council explicitly told the people that they were men of integrity and courage. They made brave declarations that they were out to slay dragons. However, to slay dragons you have be able to tell who the dragons are. One (of the few) nice things about being a dragon slayer, is that you can often sit down and the dragons will often come to you. That is what is happening presently.

One important dragon is smiling George Reinhardt.

It must be said that the newly elected City Council has been hard at it trying to figure out what the heck is going on. From what I hear they have both been repeatedly to City Hall asking for documents and digging for the truth.

That in itself is a hell of a lot more than the old City Council ever did. A couple of months ago there was a sweeping (but faltering) consensus that the job of the Council properly consisted of being a rubberstamp and doing it with a smile. That is over. The City Manager is in hiding and the second string (tonight George Reinhardt) is working the ropes.

Who is this George Reinhardt?

In the days of old, 2011 and before, there was universal happiness and nobody even ran for the City Council (possibly out of disgust) or perhaps because the self-appointing Council wistfully reflected, because things were just so damn good in Fort Bragg that nobody needed to raise any issues at all.

Even then there was George.

Of course in those days we had the same 58% of the City living under the minimum income it takes for the city to qualify for CBDG grants. But we were happy then.

George likes to go to City Council meetings, and has always gone to meetings even when he is the only one there. This was mostly the case for a long time. Gradually, there began to be two of us, but my presence is regarded at best as an annoyance and implicitly a threat. But this is not true of George. George is here to help! He's a smiler for one thing. George is never out of sorts or disagreeable. He is in favor of whatever the City is doing.

George may not be as selfless as he may appear. (Or wants you to think.) Many folks have to work for a living or once did, or struggle, or swim upstream. George seems to harbor a distaste for those who have to engage in the grubby business of making a living.

George got his money the only way that a gentleman can honorably get it. He inherited it. He shows a strong preference for folks who understand the patrician status of hand me down money. Scott Menzies, a great favorite of George, is also in the easy money club. That gives old Scott the opportunity to operate a business without ever actually being there, without anyone being there. Candidate Menzies' sole income appeared to be from a meal ticket gig from the poverty pimps who run our civic homeless program (which he defended with vigor) and teaching tai chi to George Reinhard. If Menzies had other clients I would be interested to know it.

Scott Menzies just wanted to sit in the Council chair and bask in the strokes that come with high office. In Fort Bragg, a small town. He is a simple man.

George Reinhardt is a bit more complicated. He has been at the business of public deception a lot longer.

Let us remember how we got to this City Council meeting that is going to occur tonight, which will forever affect the fate of the old Georgia-Pacific millsite, although they don't want you to know that and George has gone to lengths to hide that important truth behind one red herring and his burnished credibility.

In the high and far off times, the people of Fort Bragg thought that they should get together and push the City Council to develop the millsite. For anyone who does not know and there might possibly be someone, the millsite is a vast (420 acre) piece of heavily polluted land that sits between the City of Fort Bragg and the ocean.

By any measure it is a world class property. Here exploding waves pound the Mendocino coast and sea lions bask on the rocks. The beauty is stunning, no other word for it.

And so in the long ago, people came forward, and in city-sponsored meetings poured out their visions for the use of this spectacular site.

Doug Hammerstrom, who made an art form out of subverting the Brown Act, got his start as a kind of wide-eyed and charmingly disingenuous Boy Scout at those meetings. He rode that perception on to the City Council and stayed there unopposed for a long time.

The proposals of the people for the envisioned Millsite were brilliant and, predictably, were never considered, never read, never even looked at. All public proposals went immediately into the trash. But a plan for the development of the site and access to the ocean was hacked out. It was very different than anything anyone wanted. This was “The Specific Plan.”

George had a big part in it. The Plan cost $2.5 million. Georgia Pacific (that is the Koch brothers) paid for it. The Specific Plan was the responsibility of the Fort Bragg development director, Marie Jones. Marie did the plan and Dan Gjerde who, without opposition (almost), thereafter ascended to the County Board of Supervisors worked right along with her.

George provided cover and pamphlets. Together this team went to many meetings with the Coastal Commission and held quite a few meetings with the people of Fort Bragg. George Reinhardt opened an actual office and loyally carried water for the City in many glossy publications and handouts.

All together they did such a bad job of designing the Specific Plan that two things happened. The first was that the Coastal Commission required 830 amendments to the plan.

That is like missing 830 questions on multiple choice.

The City Council and the City got their plan for the development of the millsite but Marie Jones had botched it so bad that rather than deal with 830 separate blunders the Council just had to shrug it off and go on to simpler matters. The whole thing died.

The second thing that came out of it besides nothing, was that Marie Jones (undeterred) leveraged her failure into a new plan (the coastal trail) which allowed the public access to the ocean by going around the mess that she had made in the Specific Plan. That new project required an EIR which she did (although it was a couple of years late) but finally the bruising inertia and incompetence of the Development Director shamed the Coastal Commission into giving her “The Trail” and thereby taking from the people access to the rest of the property. This is the great achievement of the City which they celebrate at every opportunity.

In all of this George Reinhard played a key role. His little super well funded outfit nudged this “achievement” into existence. He did maps and proposals and evaluations with glossy covers and in-depth analysis, all of them supporting in clear terms with great graphics the crazy and unworkable Specific Plan of the Development Director. It was all bull. But it had the effect of giving cover to City as they floated the unworkable specific plan. And ultimately of keeping the whole development on a back burner. This was what they wanted.

George, who has rarely missed a meeting, is back to screw you again on behalf of his loyalties to those in power, who oppose in their very genes the welfare of the City.

He wants you to give up $750k in grant money that has been allocated to connect the two halves of the trail that Marie Jones got with so much blundering and that people love so much. George wants the Council instead to agree that instead of just connecting the trails we hold off in favor of a big loop that encloses a couple of acres including the most polluted parts of the mill site. But if people stay on the trail they will not be put in danger.

He claims that this is because George doesn't want us to agree to any deal until the pollution is cleaned up. But his proposal does nothing to ensure that any cleanup will ever occur. He is floating a red herring. What he wants has nothing to do with what he says. It is very simple. George wants the city to own a chunk of the millsite. The center chunk. That will have the same effect as the botched Specific Plan and the trail. It will take the pressure off to develop the whole site and keep most of it out of our hands. I know it is hard to believe but that is what they want.

I understand that such an assertion cannot stand alone. I frankly had a hard time believing it myself. But that is what they want. They do not want prosperity; they do not want a development of any kind; they do not want a park that will bring people to the City; they do not want the millsite developed or used because that will lead to prosperity and they don't want that. I know that these assertions must be supported and in the coming weeks I will support them and prove them.

Tonight's meeting is a land grab. George has been setting it up for weeks with the Mayor in secret talks. It gives them a city-owned corridor to the ocean and it makes tackling the whole site a lot harder. Stay tuned.

* * *


by Glenda Anderson

Erika Tyler was in fear of the massive valley oak tree before she moved into the adjacent house in east Ukiah with her boyfriend and children in June

Erika Tyler

Sometime between 4 and 5 a.m. Saturday, her fears were realized when the tree came crashing down, fatally crushing the 35-year-old mother of two. Her boyfriend, sleeping next to her, was able to escape, along with his 3-year old son. Tyler’s sons, 11 and 17, were not home at the time.

Tyler had asked their landlord to remove the tree, which had steel cables supporting some of its larger branches, but he told her it was too expensive, according to her mother, Connie Tyler, of Ukiah. With housing difficult to find in Ukiah, they moved in anyway, but the tree weighed heavily on her mind.

“They were scared of that tree all the time,” Connie Tyler said. She said her daughter mentioned the tree to her at least a dozen times.

Connie Tyler said her family plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the property owners on behalf of Erika Tyler’s sons. She said she’s been told the tree had prior problems with branches falling, leading to the support cables being installed.

According to county records, the owners are Randy and Kristen Looney, of Redwood Valley. They were not available by phone Monday.

When the tree fell into the house on El Rio Street, Tyler’s boyfriend, Kyle Jones, an assistant manager at Walmart, thought it was an earthquake.

“Then it continued to get larger,” he said. “All of a sudden, the whole roof is falling down on top of us.”

He said it took about a minute to realize it was the tree, but it already was too late for Tyler. She was trapped under both the roof and huge tree branches. All he could see were her feet and legs.

She called out for him to free her, but he could not. She also told him she was all right.

After grabbing his son from the next room and escaping the home, Jones grabbed a chainsaw from the garage and began trying to cut the tree, but emergency responders stopped him, telling him he could make the situation worse if he cut the wrong branch.

It took a crane to lift the tree and debris from Tyler’s body. Emergency responders declared her dead at 5:40 a.m., according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Her body was freed from the debris about 10:30 a.m.

Tyler was born in Illinois and was moved as a foster care infant to Oklahoma, where she was adopted by the Tyler family at the age of 21 months.

The family later moved from Oklahoma to Tennessee, then to California when Erika was about 10, her mother said.

They lived in Lake County, where Erika Tyler mostly grew up. She attended high school in Kelseyville where she was outgoing, had lots of friends and was a cheerleader, Connie Tyler said.

“Her teachers all said, ‘If they had a class in social, she would have gotten straight A’s,’” Tyler said.

“Erika loved everybody. When she met you and got to know you, you were no longer a friend. You were family.”

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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Dear Editor,

Having run past the three minute speakers limit twice at the January 23, 2017 Fort Bragg City Council meeting, some members of the audience requested that I be allowed to continue. Fort Bragg Mayor Lindsey Peters kindly requested I bring my issue to his Monday Mayor's Meeting January 30th 11am, which I am looking forward to attending so that I may share with Mayor Peters the information I have collected that prompted my speaking at the Fort Bragg City Council Meeting. Below are the issue I was reading for the record and was stopped before I explained that the Guest House Master Plan states the City needs to invest $287,000,00 for maintenance to the Guest House.

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RE: City of Fort Bragg Put on Notice to Cease Demolition of Guest House by Neglect.

City of Fort Bragg owns The Guest House, built 1892, gifted to the City in 1985, from Georgia Pacific under Resolution B47-85.

City of Fort Bragg accepted a Community Development and Economic Development PTA Award in 2011 of $70,000 for: 2013 “Guest House Master Plan; City-wide Economic Development Plan”.

City Council of Fort Bragg approved of the GHMP 09 December 2012.

City of Fort Bragg made a Lease Agreement December 2012 with Mark Ruedrich of Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Historical Society at $1.00 per year, for 5 years. FB-MCHS pays CoFB $24K annually for archive space. The City of Fort Bragg and FB-MCHS agreed to follow Strategic Plan I.

GHMP States City is responsible for building and grounds. Planning engineers estimated on page 3, $287,000.00 were needed for site maintenance immediately. New Construction for an archive was listed at $275,000.00.

The GHMP Guides the City on Pg. 4 that “Until a strong Board of Directors is established, the Museum will lose funding opportunities”. The FB-MCHS lacks Core Document and Strategic Plan.

The City of Fort Bragg renewed the Lease Agreement with Mark Ruedrich of FB-MCHS, December 2016 without following GHMP that states, if the FB-MCHS does not achieve the goals set on page 57, Guest House Operating Performance, The City is advised to immediately begin repairs to the foundation of the building and begin following Strategic Plan 2 by hiring an Executive Director.

This year the Guest House is 125 years old. She is a gift to the people of Fort Bragg, to the heirs of the Redwood Empire that sustained this area for over 100 years. There is no building like the Guest House in the world, constructed of premium old growth redwood, the building is priceless to the natives and residents who tonight put the City on Notice to Cease Demolition of Guest House by neglect by City Council follow the GHMP and begin following Strategic Plan 2.

I will be handing the “Notice to Cease Demolition by Neglect to the Guest House” to Mayor Peters at the Monday Mayor's Meeting as I have several solutions I found within the Guest House Master Plan and hope the Guest House, which is 125 years old this year, gets the love she deserves.

B.B. Grace

Fort Bragg

* * *


Subject: Unmet Transit Needs at MTA Board Meeting

Public is invited to attend the MTA Board Meetings. This month Unmet Transit Needs for Fort Bragg is on the Agenda. For the full agenda and to read the Board Packet, please visit the mendocino transit authority website.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 1:30 P.M., Fort Bragg

Diana Stuart, Fort Bragg Division

190 East Spruce Fort Bragg
Conference Room
Video Conferenced with Ukiah Valley Conference Center
200 South School Street Ukiah, Riesling Room


  1. Call to Order

consent calendar

Public Comment: Anyone is welcome to attend MTA Board Meetings to address items on the agenda or to bring other transit related matters to the attention of the Board. The time limit is 3 minutes per speaker.

Consent Calendar

  1. Minutes of December 7, 2016 Board Meetings
  2. Service Performance Report (not available to be presented in February)
  3. Financial Report: November 2016
  4. Board Meeting Dates and Locations

6 Capital Program: Update/Progress Report

  1. Unmet Needs- Fort Bragg

ACTION: Solicit Public Input<<<<<

  1. Application for 5310 Grant Funds for Mobility Management

ACTION: Approve Respolion 2017-01

  1. Review and approve the MTA Electronic Communications Policy

ACTION: Approve Resolution 2017-02

Closed Session

  1. General Manager Contract and salary

Action: Resolution 2017-03

  1. Management Reports
  2. Matters from Directors.

Adjourn Anticipated Adjournemnt is 3:30 p.m.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, January 24, 2017

Acosta, Bradford, Cranford

ALBERTO ACOSTA, Talmage. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

JOSHUA BRADFORD, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

SHAYLA CRANFORD, Willits. Probation revocation.

Duman, Espinosa, Hake

ROCKY DUMAN, Ukiah. Parole resentencing.

ASHELY ESPINOSA, Ukiah. Dirk-dagger, court order violation.

CHAD HAKE, Willits. Probation revocation, resisting.

Hennessey, Kaaihue, Little

MICHAEL HENNESSY, Willits. Failure to appear.

JANIE KAAIHUE, Ukiah. Under influence, probation revocation.

JOSEPH LITTLE, Fort Bragg. Vandalism, county parole violation.

Lockwood, Perry, Reed

BRIAN LOCKWOOD, Clearlake/Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

BENJAMIN PERRY, Lakeport/Ukiah. Fialure to appear, probation revocation.

IAN REED, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Rodgers, Romano-Garcia, Stillwell, Thomas

JESSE RODGERS, Ukiah. Possession of tear gas.

ISRAEL ROMANO-GARCIA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

GERALD STILLWELL, Fort Bragg. DUI-drugs causing great bodily injury.

CHRISTOPHER THOMAS, Ukiah. Dirk-dagger.

* * *



Happy Birthday Granny D

Today is the birthday of Doris Hadock, better known as "Granny D."

Especially as an octogenarian myself soon-to-be, I have deeply admired her since her walk across the country IN WINTER at age EIGHTY trying to raise awareness for campaign finance reform. And at the Alternative Convention in Los Angeles in 2000, I had the good fortune to tell her so and to pin to her vest a Gandhi button as my personal Medal of Honor.

Her's was a damn radical thing to do but Congress responded with a bill to reform money that has ruled the nation since the time of the "founding fathers" who were all the wealthiest men in the new nation. But Congress--true to its corrupt nature--watered down the bill giving even more power to the corporate dictatorship that has ruled the country since at least 22 November 1963. Remember that right-wing coup d'etat? Of course not, you were too young or not born yet or like Napoleon once said, "It is not necessary to bury the truth. It is sufficient merely to delay it until nobody cares."

It is not God's doing that we are now being ruled by a billionaire misogynist. We allowed a greedy, grasping woman with no real accomplishments for the good of the country to steal the Democratic Party nomination from a Senator with perfect credentials to be head of state. "I don't vote with my vagina," said Susan Sarandon who knew Hillary Clinton better than most of us.

I'm sorry to break the news to you, but voting and even marching don't cut it. They--the Establishment laugh at us. But they are not laughing at the RADICAL "water protectors" at Standing Rock. We need to take over the Democratic Party at the grass roots. If this is too RADICAL for you, then learn the brainstorming technique taught on line by the Bay Area Women's Brain Exchange and come up with a better idea.

We are not in a hot tub. We are in a pan of water and BIG MONEY keeps turning up the heat on us until we will all be boiled to death. BIG MONEY is so greedy it doesn't care that it is killing the proverbial goose that laid the GOLDEN EGG. Greed is the drug of choice of America's ruling elite.

Pardon this rant of a radical old Hippy who has to live in self-exile for his pursuit of happiness.

Happy B-Day Granny. I love you.

Tom Cahill

Cluny, France

* * *


Re: Memo Of The Week — “For example, our Public Works crew recently removed one of the downtown benches to discourage the congregation of homeless individuals at the corner of Redwood and Franklin streets. Please come to the Public Safety Committee meeting and share your ideas.”

It should have said “…removed YET ANOTHER one of the downtown benches…” since the city has been removing benches all along rather than dealing with the real problems. It’s an ineffective response to loitering, drinking, littering cigarettes (how can they afford them?!?) and food packaging, and filling the sidewalks with so many things that it’s hard to navigate past them. Removing benches leaves people who need a spot to rest nowhere to sit. It shows a lack of consideration for our elders who are in physical need of a bench downtown. I’d like to know who keeps ordering that benches be removed when it’s proven that it’s not a solution to the behavioral problem. The city wants the transients to move out of sight from the visitors, so watch that area by the kiddy park again.

The Hospitality Center and Hospitality House should demand better behavior from the transient troublemakers who get fed, showered, and their clothes laundered and asked for nothing in return. MCHC knows who is looking for help and who is looking for a free ride. They give the troublemakers services but won’t refer to them as their clients. The board and staff of the MCHC and the city council members should each take a group of these people, without being particular about who they take, home and let them hang out on their property for a week or two without a break. They will get a sense of the behavior that they’re sending to the benches, parks and library and what the residents and business owners in Fort Bragg are living with daily.

As long as the city continues to rely on grant money as income, and that money goes to the same organization, the number of problems will continue to rise and Fort Bragg’s standard of living will continue to fall.

* * *


by Ted Rall

Solidarity marches across the nation drew hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million, more.

The turnout was impressive. It vexed the new president. But what did the Women’s March mean?

Despite what pundits said, the Women’s March was not a movement. Nor was it the beginning of a movement.

It was a moment: a show of hands: “I’m against Trump,” these women (and men) told the world. Question was, who/what do they want to replace him?

As Occupy Wall Street instigator Micah White pointed out, Women’s Marchers didn’t issue any demands, much less posit a desire to achieve political power. “Without a clear path from march to power, the protest is destined to be an ineffective feel-good spectacle adorned with pink pussy hats,” he warned. Like other protests of the last few decades, the Women’s March was a spasm, a spontaneous expression of disgust and outrage doomed to lead nowhere.

If you don’t demand anything, how will you get it?

If you don’t pose a threat to the establishment, why should they feel scared?

Even so, at the risk of both mansplaining and leftsplaining, a show of hands does matter. Events like the Women’s March are significant because American politics is centered (pun intended) around the fiction that leftist political movements taken for granted in other nations — communism, socialism and left anarchism — have no presence at the ballot box or in the news media in the U.S. because American voters aren’t interested.

Moments like Saturday prove that’s a lie.

The New Left was the last organized left-wing mass movement in American history. Since the organized Left collapsed in the early 1970s, we’ve seen other moments like Saturday, indications that there are Americans, tens of millions of them, whose politics fall to the left of the fake-left Democratic party and the lockstep center-right corporate media apparatus that props up it and its “rival” Republican brand. Signs that this Left-in-waiting really exists belie the party line that there’s no market for hammers-and-sickles in the good ol’ U.S.A.

Even during the somnolent 1980s, hundreds of thousands showed up to protest Reagan at demonstrations like Solidarity Day. There were violent, effective eco-terrorist attacks and anti-globalization/WTO protests like the Battle of Seattle in the 1990s. Millions marchedagainst the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This decade brought us Occupy Wall Street and Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly popular presidential primary challenge, and polls that find that 37% of Americans would get rid of capitalism — the economic system we’re constantly being told is more sacred and popular than Jesus, mom and apple frappuccino.

These political impulses — opposition to war and militarism, fighting job-exporting free-trade agreements and suspicion of unfettered capitalism — have no place in the Democratic or Republican parties. To the contrary: war, free trade and letting business run wild are nastily bipartisan.

So more than a third of Americans find nothing of interest to buy in the American marketplace of political ideas. That’s a vast untapped pool of potential “customers. These people — I’d say voters, but many of them don’t bother to vote because they hate both parties — represent an inefficiency in the market. Moments like Occupy, Bernie and the Women’s March remind us of the existence of this Left-in-waiting. Someday, obviously, someone or someones will build an organization that attracts America’s long-ignored leftists and channels their energies into something powerful enough to achieve power and smart enough to govern.

Until then, the real left will be coopted by the Democrats.

Which is what happened to the Women’s March.

To be sure, many Women’s Marchers were Hillary Clinton Democrats. The “Love Trumps Hate” signs, hand-lettered rather than printed by the DNC as they were during the fall campaign, and the Hillary buttons, evidenced that. Yet many more of the demonstrators were Bernie Sanders progressives, socialists and communists who want to see radical change in society and the economy — and these good leftists (a third of the country, most of the left overall) allowed themselves to go unrepresented.

A good indication that the Women’s March got coopted into a Democratic boo-hoo Hillary/Cory Booker-in-2020 pep rally was that the speakers were limited to celebrity millionaire liberal Democrats like Michael Moore, Ashley Judd and Gloria Steinem and defanged ex-radicals like Angela Davis. Had this been a militant action (i.e., one that might frighten Trump and the GOP), or a coalition of liberals who welcomed and respected their leftist allies rather than merely wanting to vampirize their righteous anger and energy into midterm votes, the roster of speakers would have included people calling for revolutionary change and action outside of the existing system. There would also have been some radical activists you’d never heard of who do important work.

Celebrity liberalism and pleas to vote Democratic are where the Left goes to die.

No wonder the Women’s March was doomed to join the list of fruitless liberal marches! Because they’re Democrats, none of the speakers suggested scrapping the whole sick system of systemized poverty, industrialized prisons, war and slave labor altogether. Instead marchers got a washed-up documentary filmmaker urging them to memorize a phone number they could use to call Congress because, yeah, that’s going to do so much good, especially these days with Republicans in charge of everything.

Still, despite the Democratic BS, those huge crowds were glorious. They showed up, they were heard, they hint at the better country we could have.

(Ted Rall, syndicated writer and the cartoonist for, is the author of the book “Snowden,” the biography of the NSA whistleblower.)

* * *

BUT IT IS NOT only in the Middle East that divisions are deepening. Whatever happens in Britain because of the Brexit vote or in the US because of the election of Trump as president, both countries will be more divided and therefore weaker than before. Political divisions in the US are probably greater now than at any time since the American Civil War 150 years ago. Repeated calls for unity in both countries betray a deepening disunity and alarm as people sense that they are moving in the dark and old norms and landmarks are no longer visible and may no longer exist. The mainline mass media is finding it difficult to make sense of a new world order which may or may not be emerging. Journalists are generally more rooted in the established order of things than they pretend and are shocked by radical change. Only two big newspapers – the Florida Times-Union and the Las Vegas Review-Journalendorsed Trump before the election and few of the American commentariat expected him to win, though this has not dented their confidence in their own judgement. Criticism of Trump in the media has lost all regard for truth and falsehood with the publication of patently concocted reports of his antics in Russia, but there is also genuine uncertainty about whether he will be a real force for change, be it good or ill.

(— Patrick Cockburn)

* * *


Well I may only be a small town Committeeman in a rural West Jersey Township, but from what I have personally seen and experienced and continue to do today I can assure you that government in America simply cannot and will not change. Oh, it will decay and erode as I have seen from the inside over the last 20 years, but the very nature of the greed and dishonesty has such a firm death grip on the buttons of power that nothing, absolutely NOTHING is ever going to get better, only worse. If there are 10 levels of government, 9 of them are corrupt beyond repair and that statement comes directly from an acquaintance who works to uncover and bring such cases to “justice”. Those who pursue such careers are “allowed: to only go after those criminals that the criminals at the top allow, and hands off of the power people. The bulk of the run of the mill government workers may very well be honest and decent but 9 out of 10 at the top of EVERY institution, every department, every particular division are complete and utter sellouts and political hacks. Sorry people, delude yourselves if you need to in order to maintain sanity, but no swamp will ever be drained and corruption, graft and pay for play will only stop when and if the whole damned system simply crashes and burns.

* * *


by Andrew Scully

AVA Special Correspondent

Laytonville Warriors vs. Mendocino Cardinals

Laytonville, January 20

Boys Game

Representing a school with a student body of about 170, the athletes at Mendocino High School are used to being the team from the “little school”. But on this bitterly cold and wet Friday night, in front a packed home-court gymnasium, the Laytonville High School (student body 100) Warriors played the David to Mendocino's Goliath, as the Warrior's edged the visiting Cardinals by a score of 52-49 . It was a pitched battle that was just too much basketball for the 32 minutes allotted in regulation time, and thus was forced into an overtime period, where the outcome was in the balance until the final seconds.

Laytonville coach Josh Firks joked before the game that he had “a team of guards. My tallest guy is 6'1”.

“In heels”.

As his team warmed up it became apparent that Firks wasn't kidding. Average height of the Laytonville varsity squad: probably 5'11”. These boys looked like a band of brothers with a a 6'1” dad and a Mom that is 5'9”.

Actually, the Cardinal squad is not that much taller, as Coach Jim Young was quick to point out. But the Cardinals do have a center - Cody Call - that is probably 6'6”, and a couple of other players in the 6'4” range.

And it was Cody Call that got the first points up on the board with a nice turn-around jumper early in the first. Nakai Baker followed with a trey for Mendo before Nathen Luna hit the first of several baskets for Laytonville that he hit on his way to 16 points.

If the game had a narrative, it was the ability of the Warrior's to stay in the type of game that Firk's had said that he wanted to play: basically running up and down the court with his team of guards all night.

A transitional game of fast breaks would offset Mendocino's relative height advantage and keep the taller visitors off balance.

The strategy worked. Call was able to convert for points or assists the relatively few times that Mendo posted the ball into him. Mostly it was the transitional game, led by Warrior point guards Luna and Manish Khatri, a Nepalese-American who did not play basketball for the fist time until he emigrated to the US when he was 12. Khatri led his team with 18 points.

Call was strong for the Cardinals, but Mendo did not seem able to get unhinged offensively. Nakai Baker canned some crucial shots for the Cardinals but his point guard partner Evan Cole had trouble finding the range. It was Baker with a three pointer that tied the score at 20 going into half time.

The second half opened with Khatri hitting a nice trey, followed by another three by Laytonville's Jacob Rosenthal, a real fireplug at guard. Mendocino's passing was sharp but many shots were not dropping.

The game was even going onto the fourth quarter, and with the very vocal Mendocino minority crowd in the rafters making a lot of noise, it was hard to tell which team had the home-court advantage going into the stretch. Evan Cole clocked in with a devastating trey for Mendocino to put the Cards ahead 35 34. It was Laytonville up 39-36 when Baker hit a clutch three-pointer for Mendocino to tie the game at 39.

Going into the final stretch of regulation Luna had two layup's that he could not convert for Laytonville before Mendocino was finally able to get a pass to Call, who scored to put the Cards up 41-39. Luna converted a field goal for the Warriors after a time-out late in the 4th. Baker then nailed down another trey, a debilitating blow to the Warriors that made it 44-41 Mendo with one minute left in regulation.

Manish Khatri electrified the hometown crowd with a clutch three-pointer from the top of the key that tied the game at 44 and sent it into overtime. The four minute OT began with a technical foul called on Mendocino which netted a point for the Warriors. Cody Call had a decisive rejection at one end and then scored with a layup at the other to put the Cardinals up 46-45. Luna then hit a clutch shot inside to put Laytonville up, and they stayed up for good.

Sean Symonds played well for the Cardinals and his maturity made a difference in the closing seconds as he hammered down a three pointer for the Cards but it was not enough, as the underdog, hometown Warriors hung on for a 52-49 victory.

Girls Game

The girls game began with tentative offensive play on both sides. Almost two minutes passed before the first points were scored by Mendocino, and Laytonville had to wait another two minutes, till halfway into the quarter before Hannah James hit a basket for Laytonville. James was the dominant player for the Warriors throughout, quarterbacking the team at point guard. Warriors Coach Corey James needs that steady hand since his team has four freshmen on the eight-person squad.

Emily Symonds led the Cardinals, playing like a warrior herself, hustling and diving at both ends of the court, and making a nice block at the end of the first quarter.

The first half was a real foul-fest, with 18 penalties called in the first two quarters. There probably should have been 19.

Mendocino broke it open in the second half, pulling away to a 45-29 victory. Yet strange though it may sound, the game was closer than the lopsided final score suggests. The difference is that Laytonville was unable to connect on most of their shots.

Eye on the ball: Every eye on the court in on the ball, high above the rim.

Warrior Manish Khatri goes up for a jumper.

(Photo and captions credit: Andrew Scully)

* * *


by Paul Modic

I sat in my dad’s house, empty except for a chair and the phone. It had taken me weeks to sort it out, clear it out, give a lot away, ship books, letters, photos, and throw the rest out. Most of the time I languished at the Firefly coffee shop nearby trying to get organized latte by latte. At one point I recruited a 19 year old bisexual nymphomaniac with chlamydia from the Firefly to help. She was ultimately just there for immoral support: after watching me pack for awhile we sat on the futon burning one while we looked at my dad’s old Playboys.

Angie had finished the housecleaning and left with Pop’s wooden sailing canoe. The plan was for me to leave immediately after cleaning, for even 15 more minutes of my presence in the house would reduce the pristine condition requested by the real estate agent. I finished my last calls and headed out of town to catch the train 25 miles away in the morning.

I fired up my dad’s ‘78’ Impala after sweeping four inches of snow off of it and nudged it up Interstate 69 for its last ride. The old beast, a good match for the broken-down old man, drove smoothly and even the heater worked. (The only station I could get on the AM radio was Christian music so I rocked with Jesus through the snow.) On that last night in Indiana whenever I came back to my room at the motel in Auburn, seven miles from the Waterloo train station, my eyes fixed upon the green rust covered machine which I would never see again.

The power went out that night attracting a group of us lodgers around the fire in the lobby, a Midwest redneck mix dominated by a couple of itinerant West Virginia roughnecks incessantly talking about deer hunting, squirrel hunting, and other good-old-boy yammering. When the lights went out the Quickie Mart next door was immediately robbed, later there was a knock on my door--the cops took one look at me and went on to other suspects as the robber was clean-shaven.

In the morning power was restored, I found that the train was running its usual two to three hours late so I sucked down newspapers and watched TV. When the time came to drive to the station I stupidly started the car and took off instead of coaxing it with an adequate amount of warm-up time. Oops I flooded it, it was stuck half way out into the motel drive, I waited another five minutes but it wouldn’t start again. There were no taxis or other public transportation from Auburn to Waterloo. I excitedly told the motel host my dilemma but she couldn’t help. I called AAA which was a joke as the time was ticking away and the train was due in 15 minutes.

In desperation I ran over to the previously robbed Quickie Mart where a new Ford Explorer was the lone car parked in the lot. The customer, a very rotund individual, was just waddling to the exit with a six pack of Sprite. He was my only chance to make the connecting train to Chicago that day.

“My car broke down and I need a ride to the train station!” I blurted out. He hesitated for a second then said okay. He drove me back to the motel, helped me push the flooded Impala back into the parking spot, and lent me his cell phone to call St. Vincent's to tell them to pick up the car at the Country Hearth Inn in Auburn instead of the train station in Waterloo. I grabbed my bags, ran back into the lobby, and told the lady that the car would be picked up in a day or so.

Steve drove me very methodically the back way into Waterloo as I sweated it out--we made it with seven minutes to spare, and I had another story to tell. In Chicago I hooked up with my connection to Texas which turned out to be another nightmare Amtrak trip 13 hours late into Austin, but I had a sleeping car so I just enjoyed looking out the window at the Arkansas ice storm.

* * *


by Dave Zirin

On Friday, I spent roughly nine hours — from 6 am to 3 pm — on the streets of drizzling Washington, DC, inside and outside the Secret Service checkpoints at Donald Trump’s inauguration. I have been to every inauguration since 1997, gauging the size and enthusiasm of the crowds. It’s fun and a perk of living in DC.

I wasn’t planning to write about what I saw on Friday until I saw White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer say on Saturday, “This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.” Then, as his voice shook and his face became mottled, he shouted, “These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.” The next day, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said that Spicer was merely stating “alternative facts.”

These are not “alternative facts.” These are lies. This is an attempt at “gaslighting”: manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their sanity. It’s unconscionable behavior for an anonymous Internet troll, let alone the press secretary of the president of the United States.

It’s one thing for a campaign to say things that are demonstrably untrue. That’s been the reality for as long as we’ve had campaigns. But it is chilling when people who hold the levers of power will look straight at a bank of cameras and lie.

So here’s the straight truth from someone who walked every inch of the inaugural ground on Friday. This was the smallest inauguration I’ve ever seen. I was tweeting that and saying it on camera to Democracy Now! during the day on Friday before I heard those observations justified by both aerial shots and Metro rider statistics. I said it because I saw the empty stands that were supposed to be filled with throngs of Trump supporters. I said it because I saw how easy it was to ride public transportation and drive into downtown. I said it because of the surprisingly sparse smatterings of red baseball caps as well as my conversations with local souvenir salespeople who were overloaded with “Make America Great Again” merchandise that wasn’t moving. It was obvious. The people just weren’t there.

I can understand why Sean Spicer was ordered to lie (though I can’t explain why he didn’t have the courage to refuse). It’s not just because of Trump’s obsession with insisting that things in his life that are small — his hands, his net worth — are actually huge. The motivation for these reckless and easily provable lies are found in the second part of Spicer’s statement, “These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”

The fear of waning enthusiasm among the Trump faithful is real and well-founded. Not only does he enter office with the lowest approval ratings in the history of recorded numbers for an incoming president; not only does a significant majority dislike the way he has handled the transition; but his base supporters are looking at his appointment of billionaires, Goldman Sachs parasites, and DC swamp-dwellers and already wondering if they were sold a false bill of goods. I spent a good part of Friday looking for people in red #MAGA caps and speaking to them. I cannot say loudly enough how different their mood was from the 2001 and 2005 people with whom I spoke at the Bush/Cheney inaugurations. The Bush supporters were confident, ready to argue and even fight. The famously pugnacious Trump supporters were unsure, confused by the small turnout, and disoriented about how to respond to being on security-checkpoint lines and finding themselves outnumbered by chanting protesters.

Walter, a Trump supporter from Virginia, said to me, “This isn’t what I thought it would be. I thought this was going to be like our version of Woodstock. Instead I’m just cold.” Susan from West Virginia said to me, “On the plus side, I guess it can’t get worse. And I’m still glad we’re going to get the Supreme Court. But today — this is sad.” Raymond from West Virginia shrugged his shoulders and said, “I thought it would be like one of his rallies. Instead, it’s this.” (Raymond then asked if I was Jewish. I said yes and he said “Just checking.” I said, “C’mon Raymond! Even your anti-Semitism sounds demoralized.” He looked down, sadly.)

In addition, the Secret Service and TSA personnel in charge of the checkpoints, both groups maligned by this administration, were cracking jokes about the president-elect as we were going through the metal detectors. One TSA agent even took a button from me that said, “Solidarity Trumps Hate.” He wasn’t confiscating the button. He took it to wear (“later,” he told me). If it wasn’t for the thousands of protesters who came out for both permitted and non-permitted demonstrations, the day would’ve had no life at all.

I know many are making jokes about Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, and their embrace of “alternative facts.” On one level, you laugh to keep from losing your mind. But jokes alone are not going to cut it right now. It would’ve been so easy for Sean Spicer to say, “It was a rainy Friday. The crowds were small. Time to get to work making America great again.” The fact that they can’t admit something so small raises the terrifying prospect of what they will say when the question is not about crowd sizes but whether or not to go to war. The great journalist I.F. Stone once said, “All governments lie.” And that’s true. But I don’t think there’s ever been a group of people willing to set the bar so low. Unlike the Bush people, they’re not even bothering to construct false evidence for their lies. They’re just betting a majority of the country won’t care. We have to be better than that. We have to be better than them. The future depends upon it.

(Dave Zirin is the sports editor at The Nation Magazine. Email him at

* * *



Wikipedia says windmills' peak use in Europe before our industrial 'revolution' saw some 200,000 of the big dutch-style fans (mostly) doing the big work where water flow didn't. This was in combination with some 500,000 water-wheels where there were sufficient streams. This was how the power was applied before steam (and coal, petroleum, and cut timber boiler-fuels), and just before America's Least Civil War. It occurs to me that 'primitive' arrangement, then, was sufficient to boost millions of Humans and their dollars right into the military maw of our machine awakening. So, present alternatives, when taken in aggregate, could well be far more than sufficient to run a more peaceful, productive, and industrious bunch of livelihoods, on this planet, today. We can re-tool and retrofit a little and do away with coal/petro/nuke energies which cause so much destruction...Way. Petroleum, in particular, has been like the National Date-Rape Drug. Give 'em a healthy, cheap dose, they swoon right across the barrel, where you can have your way and run your 'elections' on 'em...having 'em lining up, signing up for more, calling it 'Love Affair With The Automobile,' seriously.

Rick Weddle

* * *


The Mendocino County Executive Office is accepting applications for anticipated vacancies on the following Board or Commissions:

Civil Service Commission -- 1st District Representative

Community Development Commission -- 4th District Representative

Laytonville Municipal Advisory Council -- Alternate

Mendocino County Fish and Game Commission -- 1st District Representative

-- At Large Representative (Coastal)-- Museum Advisory Board

-- City of Willits Representative

Russian River Cemetery District --Trustee--

Please note:

Anticipated vacancies include expiring terms: the incumbent of the expiring term may apply for reappointment and/or may continue to serve in their capacity until replaced. California Government Code requires public noticing for all expiring terms regardless of the incumbent’s intention to apply for reappointment.

If you are interested in serving on this Board or Commission, contact your District Supervisor, or the Executive Office, at 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010, Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 463-4441. LAST DATE FOR FILING: February 1, 2017, or until filled. CARMEL J. ANGELO Clerk of the Board of Supervisors

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by Dan Bacher

California Governor Jerry Brown today delivered his State of the State Address, portraying his administration as the “Resistance” to the policies of Donald Trump while at the same time praising the President for his plan to spend $1 trillion in infrastructure funding.

The mainstream media, some NGOs and many California politicians immediately gushed over the speech — apparently after not having heard or read the entire address.

On the one hand, the Governor vowed to "defend everybody - every man, woman and child - who has come here...and has contributed to the well-being of our state" and committed to protecting the state's gains on immigration, health care and climate change, guided by the principles that make California "the Great Exception" - truth, civility and perseverance.”

Brown cited the English poet John Donne, who said, "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main...And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

“When California does well, America does well. And when California hurts, America hurts,” said Brown.

Brown also warned Californians that, “While no one knows what the new leaders will actually do, there are signs that are disturbing…We must prepare for very uncertain times.”

However, Brown then switched directions and praised President Trump’s plan for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending.

He quoted Trump from his inaugural address, “We will build new roads, and highways, and bridged and airport, and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation.”

Brown proclaimed, “And in this, we can all work together - here in Sacramento and in Washington as well. We have roads and tunnels and railroads and even a dam that the President could help us with. And that will create good-paying American jobs.”

Departing from his prepared remarks, Brown then stated, “I say, ‘Amen to that, Brother!’” in reference to Trump’s focus on new infrastructure.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta (RTD), responded to Brown’s address in a statement, questioning whether Brown sees “an ally in President Trump.”

“After declaring that California will lead the resistance against the Trump administration, he went on to praise Trump’s proposed infrastructure spending plan. Does Governor Brown see an ally in President Trump? Is he waiting for Federal approval of permits for this destructive project?” she asked.

“It seems that Governor Brown plans to compromise the health and safety of Delta residents for a project that will leave the Delta with water that will fail to meet Clean Water Act standards,” she stated.

She then outlined the damage that the Delta Tunnels would cause to West Coat fisheries, environmental justice communities, family farms and the people of California.

“The proposed Delta Tunnels received low marks once again from the EPA in October of 2015,” she said. “It will leave hundreds of thousands of people in the Delta, who are part of the California environmental justice communities, with degraded water quality, and will decimate California's fisheries, and historic Delta farms. The project fails to meet the economic, social, and environmental justice standards that the Brown Administration claims to champion. Plus, before construction overruns, the project will cost with interest and operation fees around $60 billion. Brown is counting on Southern California ratepayers and property taxpayers to foot the bill.”

“Governor Brown wants to use Northern California water to create even more wealth for richer urban areas and the top 1% of growers on the westside of the San Joaquin Valley, at the expense of economically distressed Delta cities like Stockton. He wants President Trump to help him. This isn't resistance,” concluded Barrigan-Parrilla.

Background: the dark side of Brown’s environmental “legacy” exposed

Many mainstream reporters and editors have apparently done very little research into the actual environmental policies of the Brown administration, preferring to often act as virtual stenographers and press release writers for the Governor. Although I have written about Brown’s environmental policies in many articles published in an array of media outlets, it’s a good idea to review them once again.

The Governor’s “legacy project,” the Delta Tunnels/California WaterFix, poses a huge threat to the ecosystems of the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Klamath and Trinity river systems, in contrast to Brown’s claims that the project “could help native fish rebound from the edge of extinction.” The project is based on the untenable premise that taking more water out of a river before it reaches the estuary will somehow “restore” the San Francisco Bay Delta and its precious fish and wildlife species. 

Unfortunately, the California WaterFix is not the only environmentally devastating policy promoted by Governor Jerry Brown. Brown is promoting the expansion of fracking and extreme oil extraction methods in California and is overseeing water policies that are driving winter run-Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other species closer and closer to extinction. 

As if those examples of Brown’s tainted environmental legacy weren’t bad enough, Brown has promoted carbon trading and REDD policies that pose an enormous threat to Indigenous Peoples around the globe; has done nothing to stop clear cutting of forests by Sierra-Pacific and other timber companies; presided over record water exports from the Delta in 2011; and oversaw massive fish kills of Sacramento splittail and other species in 2011. 

Jerry Brown also oversaw the “completion” of so-called “marine protected areas” under the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, overseen by a Big Oil lobbyist and other corporate interests, in December 2012. These faux “Yosemites of the Sea” fail to protect the ocean from oil drilling, fracking, pollution, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

Governor Brown’s anti-environmental policies, particularly his fervent support of fracking in spite of his cynical eco-babble about "green energy” and “defending science,” are the result of the millions of dollars that Brown has received from Big Oil, Big Ag and other corporate interests in recent years.

Consumer Watchdog’s report, “Brown’s Dirty Hands,” documents donations totaling $9.8 million dollars to Jerry Brown’s campaigns, causes, and initiatives, and to the California Democratic Party since he ran for Governor from 26 energy companies with business before the state. The companies included the state’s three major investor-owned utilities, as well as Occidental, Chevron, and NRG. 

The report alleges that energy companies donated $4.4 million to the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party gave $4.7 million to Brown’s re-election between 2011 and 2014. Consumer Watchdog submitted its report to the FPPC as a sworn complaint. 

Brown spouts “green” rhetoric when he flies off to climate conferences and issues proclamations about John Muir Day and Earth Day, but his actions and policies regarding fish, water and the environment should be challenged by all of those who care about the future of California and the West Coast.

To read Brown’s Dirty Hands, go here:

For more information about the real environmental record of Governor JerryBrown, go to:… 

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President Donald Trump campaigned on the promise to "Make America Great Again". His message was that he philosophically supported industry and manufacturing that originated in the United States, and that created jobs for American citizens, and increased America's greatness. Today, he signed executive orders that supported the previously disallowed Keystone XL pipeline. This contradicts his espoused philosophy. The Keystone XL pipeline must emanate from the source of Canadian mining, and ought to be constructed from that source to a processing center in Vancouver, thereby creating jobs for Canadians and wealth for Canada (assuming that it is a goodly project overall, which is being debated). The important point is that President Donald Trump is not being consistent in terms of the philosophy which he is espousing. To be philosophically consistent, he would be against having the Keystone XL pipeline on American soil, and strongly support it being solely on Canadian soil.

Craig Louis Stehr




  1. james marmon January 25, 2017

    I’ve known Bear for almost 30 years, I used to go up to his house in the foothills outside of Covelo. In 1999 I met with him at the Blue Lakes Lodge near the Mendocino County line and attempted to talk him into staying in Lake County. The hate and resentment that resonates from Sheriff Tom Allman towards Bear is real and has spread throughout the ranks. It is one of the reasons Covelo remains up in arms.

    My stepson’s were raised in Covelo until they were 10 and 12. Their grandparents owned the laundermat there in 1995 but decided to sale it along with their home and move the boys to Oklahoma. I hope they’re all doing well.

    When I was transferred to the Willits Child Welfare Services office in 2010 I was assigned the North County Beat and Covelo was part of it. I know that community well, and it isn’t going to ever heal without Allman’s hate getting out of the way. Bear has his family there, Allman has triangulated with other families in the community who were involved in the original dispute. Sheriff Tom Allman needs to get over it.

    James Marmon MSW
    Personal Growth Consultant

    “don’t just go through it, grow through it”

  2. BB Grace January 25, 2017

    Welcome to the matrix Ms. de Castro as your words have been a meme I’ve lived for over a decade as online participation is not counted, been outright censored, and now called “fake” by those who told us Iraq had WMD, and today ABC just came out with a new rule: More censorship for those of us who enjoy and share electric media.

    I watched parts of the inauguration does that mean I support Trump less than you? Thank you for the virtual reality check.

  3. Annemarie Weibel January 25, 2017

    Thank you B. B. Grace for posting the article SAVE THE GUEST HOUSE, speaking at the Fort Bragg City Council, for having been a docent for the last 10 years (volunteering) and for continuing to advocate for the Guest House.
    Annemarie Weibel

    • BB Grace January 25, 2017

      Thank you Ms. Weibel for the recognition and AVA for publishing my letter concerning my public comment.

      It means a lot to me Ms. Weibel for the truth is, I love Fort Bragg, the people, my community and have been proud to serve as a volunteer, which became hard because I had to put aside my personal issues with the City and strive to provide our visitors with history and assisting them find their bliss. I wanted for each visitor to fall in love with Fort Bragg as I did, and to find what they hoped to find. I wanted our visitors to happily spend all their money and return to spend more because Fort Bragg was worth it. But as the Guest House decayed to the level where I feared for our visitors safety and I had thoughts of stopping at a hardware store and wrapping parts of the building with red tape, I began to feel that I was enabling an accident. I don’t want that for our visitors or Fort Bragg. Since the only answer I could get for three years was, “The City owns the building”, all I felt I could do is resign, and that’s what I intended to do last September at the FB-MC Historical Society Board meeting, but I saw a flash or a spark on C.R. Johnson’s picture and it took me to a dream state and C.R. had a talk with me and he told me that he still loves Fort Bragg and the people of Fort Bragg and he believes in the people because he knows the people who begot them, and he loved those people because those people were real people, real strong, real determined, real hard workers and really good souls who he respected and while Fort Bragg can forget who he was, he isn’t asking for a Wikipedia page, but he did ask that the heirs of the people who worked for him, who invested their blood, sweat and tears, who had children and lost loved ones, C. R. wants the Guest House to stand tall for them as he knows they are a capable generation being taken by people who are ashamed of Fort Bragg’s past and want to forget the Redwood Empire existed.

      No one wanted to hear that Ms. Weibel. I know it might sound crazy, because it does, but then every time I tried to forget the Guest House, that flash or spark would HIT me, like C. R. was kicking my butt to get off it and go to it. I had also contacted Supervisor Gjerde, I forgot to say that. I never heard back from him either.

      I am camera shy and I had no idea that when I was not at the mic I could be heard. When I watched the City video I felt embarrassed to be heard shouting off mic, “You have no idea how bad they are ripping you off!”. Well it’s true. I was all riled up and the only relief was knowing I had not called anyone a name.

      I’m looking forward to the Mayor’s Monday meeting because the 2013 Guest House Master Plan – City Wide Development Plan picks up where the 1987 Fort Bragg Town Plan leaves off. Very little of the wonderful 1987 Town Plan was accomplished. Nothing from the Guest House Master Plan was accomplished.

      If you can, please come to the FB Mayor’s meeting, where I hope to discuss solutions as I intend to go to the Mayor’s meeting about 10:30am. Your support is appreciated as this isn’t about me, it is about ceasing FB City’s demolition of the Guest House by neglect and getting Fort Bragg on the Master Plan which was made by the people of Fort Bragg, with some good help; And if you read it, you’ll say to yourself as I did, “Why aren’t we doing this? Let’s make this happen!” It will benefit Mendocino County as it truly makes Fort Bragg the tourist town we all know it could be if the City would just follow the plan they approved.

      Yes, a decade of being a docent and none of them know me.

      With much appreciation

  4. Bruce McEwen January 25, 2017

    Here’s a Catallus poem,
    Translated by yr.’s truly

    Two Deplorables walk in to a DC bar.
    Barkeeper says, “What’ll it be?”
    Bubba Deplorable says, “Two shots of Wild Turkey.”
    The other brother says, “And two cans of Colorado Cool-Aide.”
    “At Happy Hour prices, that’ll be $175. You guys just getting off work? – No offense, but you’ll have to go home and clean up if you want another round; just a hint, fellas, the suits and skirts are due any time, and while there’s not really a dress code… Where you guys working, by the way?”
    “Dude, we’re draining the swamp… duh?”
    “Do you mean literally?”
    “Dude, only liberals think literally means figuratively.”
    As the Deplorable bros drank their shots and beers they struck up a chorus of:

    Both yr. wattles hang low,
    Wench they waddle to and fro,
    Ye can tie ‘em in a knot,
    Thou ye may tie ‘em in a bow;
    Ye can throw ‘em o’er yr. shoulder,
    Like a Continental soldier,
    Doth yr. what-alls hang – low?

    “Okay, that’s it; and a big if…”

  5. Judy Valadao January 26, 2017

    For those who did not hear BB speak at the Council meeting please listen. She had so much information with so little time to be heard. The Guest House is a very important part of Fort Bragg and something needs to be done while it is still standing. Thank you BB for speaking up.

    • BB Grace January 26, 2017

      Thank you Ms. Valadao!
      Thank you for supplying the link to the City Council meeting video. My comment starts at 42 minutes. I only had a couple of hours to prepare to, “Put the City of Fort Bragg on Notice to Cease Demolition by Neglect to the Guest House”. It was surreal experience for my first time publically speaking to the City Council and I was very nervous and why your expression of support for my comment means a lot to me as you’ve had experience and make a good presentation. It’s been a lonely journey of knocking on the doors of officials and authorities, all wishing me good luck, but none would do anything on the record. Off the record Ms. Valadao, I found the people of the Coast and Fort Bragg hearts filled with love and hope shinning iridescently under skins that have grown somewhat thick after years of broken promises and smashed dreams. I have gone out of County to find an attorney following Kamela Harris letter of advice, CA Department of Justice. I have no doubt that Fort Bragg will get her Guest House Master Plan which will provide for those of us who appreciate what C. R. Johnson and the people who built Fort Bragg established.
      Thank you for being a friend.


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