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Mendocino County Today: Friday, May 19, 2017

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THE ANDERSON VALLEY Unified School District isn't so unified lately. Bad feeling among the district's administrators has upset the staff and is beginning to seep into the community. The turmoil at the top began earlier in the year when first-year high school principal Keri St. Jeor was informed his contract would not be renewed. Lengthy closed sessions of the school board followed, but no public explanation has yet been offered as to why the Superintendent and the school board are unhappy with him. The school board itself has recently lost one of its trustees, Eric Arbanovella, to resignation. His letter concluded with this rather despairing sentence: "I can't do this anymore."

AND everything got worse. Wednesday's Sheriff's Log contained this item: "Assault, 5/17/2017. 12:18pm. 12300 AV Way. Boonville. RP [reporting party] held against her will in Office of Superintendent."

DEPUTIES had been summoned to Anderson Valley Unified's district office where Elementary School principal, Katherine Reddick, said she had been held against her will in Superintendent Michelle Hutchins' office by Ms. Hutchins.

NO ARRESTS were made, although the episode was noted by the responding deputy and, as police protocols dictate, the report will be forwarded the District Attorney to decide if the complaint warrants further action.

SUPERINTENDENT HUTCHINS wrote to the AVA Thursday morning: "No violence. I wanted to talk with her. She was refusing. I stood at my door and asked her to stay and talk. She interpreted it as I was blocking her way out. I moved out of the way to allow her to leave."

ON HER PART, Ms. Reddick has offered the following version of events:

"The incident took place around 11:15 AM on Wednesday, May 17. We had just ended a leadership meeting and I was asked to stay behind. I had already stood to leave but waited behind until everyone had exited and the door was closed.

"Immediately, Michelle [Superintendent Hutchins] began yelling. I said I wasn't going to remain while she verbally attacked me. Because of previous issues, I asked that all her angry communications are done in writing. She yelled and pointed, 'Sit your butt in that chair.' I told her I felt unsafe and needed to leave. She yelled again,'I'm your boss and I demand you sit in that chair. 'I'm ordering you.'

"I began walking towards the door but remained on the opposite side of the conference table as it gave me a safe distance from her increasingly aggressive mannerisms. She ran for the door and spread both her arms and legs, blocking the doorway and making it impossible for me to exit. I yelled for help and asked her to get out of my way. She refused.

"I saw the door knob behind her and reached across her waist and pushed it until the door opened. I yelled 'Is anyone seeing this?' Her arms remained spread across the top of the doorway. I was able to maneuver around her once the door was open.

"There were several other staff members in the office who can confirm either seeing or at least hearing the incident as it occurred.

"This has not been the first time I experienced her verbal aggression and threatening mannerisms; but it was the first time I experienced an actual physical attack or been imprisoned by her against my will.

"As a result, I left briefly to recuperate as much as possible before continuing my work day. I filed a police report and believe no school district employee should have to experience such violence in their workplace.

"Today [Thursday], I haven't heard from any school board member, so maybe she hasn't quite represented the incident accurately to them. Ms Hutchins emailed me twice today and I replied both times, copying the board members. I later discovered those emails were deleted. Apparently, board members never received the communications between us today or they certainly would have called to ask for more information.

"Either way, I don't understand their silence over such a significant incident. "

Katherine Reddick, PhD

AVES, Principal, Boonville

ED NOTE: Ms. Reddick said Friday morning that AV Unified's trustees had received her e-mail account, but had not acknowledged it Thursday.

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Diane Curry

INTERIM AG COMMISSIONER DIANE CURRY appears to be on the way out following a performance review on Monday. Rumors say she got a bad review and when she was asked to take a demotion and a pay cut she walked out instead. Another version agrees that she got a bad review but says she walked out on her own. Either way, she does not seem to be on duty at the Ag Department. And as usual, no one from the County is willing to say anything on the record.

WHAT IS KNOWN is the Ag Commissioner position was on the agenda for review Monday and Tuesday. Monday's report out of closed session was the usual "direction was given to staff." On Tuesday, when the Supes adjourned to closed session in late morning, Chair John McCowen announced that closed session would not include review of the Ag Commissioner because it had been completed. When the Supes reconvened for the afternoon, the first item up was an update on the new pot cultivation ordinance. Instead of Interim Ag Commissioner Curry, her assistant, Arif Kever was sitting at the staff table alongside Chief Planner Mary Lynn Hunt.

KEVER REPORTED that 152 applications had been accepted by the Ag Department starting May 4 when the ordinance took effect, through Monday, May 15, but noted that none of the applications were for indoor growing operations. Indoor growers are more likely to think they can keep flying below the radar. And many indoor grow ops, if not most, are in strucures that were constructed or converted without permits which is another reason for the growers reluctance to apply for permits. The Mendo program will accept applications through the end of this year but has a way to go to match Humboldt County, which received over 2,000 permit applications before it stopped accepting them at the end of last year.

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Scott Peterson: KZYX programmer Dan Roberts broadcasts Russian propaganda every Sunday via Sputnik Radio on his 'Shortwave Report'. And then has the nerve to hit KZYX listeners up for a donation to support it through a PayPal account. WTF?

Jim Heid: KZYX isn't the only station that Short Wave Radio Report airs on. Dan produces the show himself, in an off-the-grid cabin, not at KZYX facilities. Each show is posted online and freely available for rebroadcast. It isn't a KZYX show any more than Democracy Now is, not to mention all the other externally produced shows that solicit support from their listeners.

Marco McClean: Over the years I've been waiting for someone, anyone, at KZYX to schedule my excellent, time-proven show there, I've been lied to more times than I can count. Mary Aigner told me that it's against the law for an airperson to read a calendar item about an event he has a connection to —  meaning that if I make sound effects for a Mendocino Theater Company play I wouldn't be allowed to talk about plays on my show! That's crap. Lorraine Dechter told me it's against the law for KZYX to run a show that's also on a low-power radio station somewhere else. That's also crap; KZYX does it all the time. Dan Roberts' show, for example, or Barry Vogel's, or David Packman, or Amy Goodman, and on and on. Lorraine told me she couldn't put me on the air, that would be up to the program director, so I should email him. The program director after Raul fled told me that everything I ever sent the station was just going directly into the trash, but that a committee of people evaluates a program proposal according to an official process, and then I heard nothing for another several months, wrote again and copied it to the AVA, and she wrote to say the result of the process was that they all decided there's no place for my show on KZYX, and then, at the board meeting before last, when I noted that Stuart Campbell, the treasurer (after being board president and then manager, and after appointing the hiring committee chair who threw away my application to be manager and then lied that I'd never applied, and after refusing to place letters to the station in the public access file because, as he put it, "We have no provision for that"), was also listed on the KZYX website as the chairman of the Programming Committee, the president of the board told a roomful of people, television cameras and tape recorders that that's a mistake, there isn't any programming committee, and that the manager just decides who's on the air and who's not. Someone said, "Or the program director?" (some whispering between boardmembers, then) "Oh, that's right, it's the manager and the, uh, program director."

However you feel about Donald Trump and the system that put him in power, that's how I feel about the tangled hierarchy at KZYX, and with good reason. KZYX pisses into the aether $500,000 to $600,000 a year. That's fifty times what it costs to run KNYO. Without the CPB grant, KZYX would have failed every year of its existence; MCPB spends other people's money like water, and on all the wrong things and people. But MCPB keeps getting the grant because it has the high-power license. And it doesn't deserve to have it.

In early 2012, over five years ago, I was told to write up an application to the programming committee. I did that, but of course there was no way to find out who the committee was, so when I went to see Mary Aigner I printed out my application and brought it with me. Mary waved it away, sneering, and I quote, "Nobody's gonna read that." She also mentioned Sean Donovan. I said, "Are you in contact with Sean?" She said she just talked to him last week on the phone. Sean Donovan banned me from KZYX in 1989. Jim, look closely at what you're defending when you defend Mendocino County Public Broadcasting Corporation. Behind the curtain it's a snake pit. The snakes are never going to let anyone's show on the air on an equal footing with them until people like you stand up to them. But will you do it? So far no-one on the inside has. You could be the first.

My experience has been: at real public access radio and teevee stations, you contact them, they adjust the schedule and put your show on the air either right now or this week. They don't dick you around for decades lying to you and pretending their hands are tied by how very busy they all are running fundraisers and how heavy the weight is of their responsibilities. A person who has time to answer the phone has time to open the schedule in Excel or WordPress. Or to get up out of the comfy chair and move a few pieces of felt around on the felt-board.

I don't give a shit whether Dan Roberts asks for money for his project or not. He wouldn't have to ask on KZYX if the airpeople were paid to do their shows. And as long as the manager is paying himself $60,000 a year (that's all the money the upcoming June pledge drive will bring; it all goes to him, that's a fact) just to show up five days a week and say hi, airpeople should be paid to do the work the radio station is there for in the first place: to do creative, educational radio in the nonprofit educational band, and to choose those shows without considering whether listeners or underwriters will pay or not. That's the law. That's why the noncommercial band, the channels below 92 on the FM dial, was set aside. That's what noncommercial radio is. Dan's show is Dan's show, not KZYX's but on KZYX, you're right about that. He mentions KZYX in his show. Your show should be your show, Jim, wherever you do it from.

You know as well as I do that simple computer automation manages the shows from Boston and L.A. and Minnesota and Colorado and etc. Those things switch on and off of KZYX without any operator required; they only need to be scheduled once and they play themselves. You know as well as I do that local airpeople show up on time and do their shows, and that it doesn't cost any more to have 100 people take turns using a transmitter than if it's just one schmuck playing Windows solitaire while the money rolls in. And you know how cheap radio really is to do, and how easy to manage and operate it is. I use a portable satellite studio that I built for under $200 to do my show on KNYO and KMEC, and it sets up in five minutes wherever I am, and I plug it in and turn it on and click one click and I'm on the air. There's no excuse for KZYX being the fabulously expensive closed club that it is, where the only people allowed to do shows there are people who will tape the corners of their mouth back in a permanent smile and pretend to like the system. Or people stupid or naturally subservient enough to actually like being lorded over by people who know next to nothing about public access, radio or otherwise. Historically and to the present day KZYX managers chosen for the job took the reins knowing zero about radio and, with few exceptions, didn't even want to do radio themselves. John Coate hated radio, he hated and feared radio people; he had no desire nor any idea how to do a show on any subject. Even going into a room with a microphone in it freaked him out. And, you'll recall, his first act in office was to dismantle what at the time was a pass-fair news team and keep it dismantled so the board could give him a ridiculous pay raise, a raise that's still in effect for managers long after he fled. (There's a lot of fleeing, isn't there. There've been five managers and three program directors in just the last two or three years.) (Technically Lorraine didn't flee. She was forcibly resigned, largely because she actually knew a thing or two about radio and was trying  — weakly, and belatedly, but trying —  to improve things there.) There are some people pretending to do news now, reading press releases for ten minutes a day, neither comforting the afflicted nor afflicting the comfortable, but I guess that's something, anyway. Their mouths are moving, the recorder is running, and there's the word news in the title. I've tried to get their attention and interest them in investigating the ongoing management fiasco at KZYX from the inside, with predictable results, meaning no results.

My show is better and more to the point of public radio than any regular show currently or ever on KZYX, and you know it. I've been doing it for decades on other stations, and it's been good for those stations and still is. I put more than 20 hours of concentrated prep into every one of my weekly 6-to-8-hour shows, and I've never missed an airdate, and I've never caused even the least bit of legal or FCC trouble for any of those stations, and my show has always paid off for them. It even paid off for KMFB, a commercial station, that got no government grant but the right to use the main and translator frequencies, and KMFB paid all the airpeople for all our shows, plus a cut of the underwriting money we brought in, and paid the manager and the owners, and reached the same county KZYX reaches but cost well less than half as much to operate as KZYX does, and KMFB was as transparent in its outer and inner workings as a pane of glass, and everyone on the air there had greater autonomy and freedom than anyone at KZYX ever has.

If you, or anyone at KZYX, within the snakepit or guarding the edges of the curtain around it, had wanted time on my variety teevee show, you would have got it just by showing up, and also you would have got a free spaghetti dinner. If you wanted a regular column in my paper, all you would have had to do was get your writing in under the deadline. If you want to participate in my current show on KNYO and KMEC, email me your story or, if it's a week when I'm doing the show from in town and not by remote (this Friday isn't; Friday the 26th will be), just walk into the radio station, 325 N. Franklin, next to the Tip Top, head for the lighted room at the back, get my attention away from whatever it looks like I'm doing, and sit at the guest mic. If you want your own show, I will make that happen; I will help you or anyone, on your meds or off. I have always been all about letting people in and lifting them up to whatever level of power and access that I have and as far above that as I can reach to push them up higher. And KZYX has never been and there's very little chance it will ever be. And that's down to the snakes in charge of it and the people who carry their water, Jim.

I feel a little bad about calling Jeffrey Parker, the current manager, a pimp. It's inaccurate. He's not technically a pimp. He hoovers up for himself and his gang lieutenants all the money the workers produce, whereas a pimp gives a little something back once in awhile so the workers can buy a bra or a sandwich or something. There is a clear difference. My bad.

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On 05-03-2017 at approximately 3:10 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a vandalism in progress on the back of the Grace Hudson Elementary School in Ukiah. A witness to the vandalism indicated that a person had spray painted a X4 in black spray paint and was seen leaving the area. The witness was able to photograph the person and gave a description of the person along with the people associated with the person and direction of travel. A short time later Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies located the person and four other people in the area of Laws Avenue and South Dora Street. The suspect was identified as being Estaban Jose Cardenas, 18, of Ukiah, and Deputies observed him to have black spray paint on his hands.


Cardenas was placed under arrest after Deputies discovered information that he had spray painted the X4 on the back of the school and was a member of a criminal street gang which was consistent with the red clothing that he was wearing. Cardenas was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for vandalism/defacement or destruction of property and participation in a criminal street gang activity. Cardenas was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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On 05-11-2017 at approximately 10:10 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a disturbance in the area of 175 Laws Avenue in Ukiah. When Deputies arrived on scene they located a group of male subjects standing at the entrance of the apartment complex at 175 Laws Avenue. When Deputies attempted to make contact with the subjects, one of the male subjects, Dreven Valencia, 20, of Ukiah, turned his back and reached into his waistband.


Valencia pulled out a large caliber handgun, and discarded the weapon under a vehicle he was standing beside. Deputies were able to see the handgun being discarded and they quickly attempted to detain him. Valencia initially complied with verbal commands, however became combative when being detained by the Deputies.


Donovan Partridge, 21, of Ukiah, was also detained at that time due to his presence with Valencia.  During a search of Partridge's backpack, several live cartridges were found that matched the caliber of handgun Valencia had discarded. Also in the backpack were several prescription medication pills that appeared to be packaged for sales. During the investigation Deputies learned Valencia was a reported criminal street gang member. Both Valencia and Partridge were later booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of Carrying Concealed Firearm, Brandishing firearm in presence of peace Officer, Resisting Officers by threat or force, actively participating in criminal street gang, unlawful possession of controlled substances for sale and violation of probation. Valencia was to be held in lieu of $75,000 bail and Partridge was to be held in lieu of $55,000 bail.

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On 05-12-2017 at about 11:57 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office were dispatched to a reported drive by shooting in the area of the Buck Horn Bar in Covelo. When Deputies arrived they learned that some sort of altercation occurred between several adult males inside of the bar which then moved to the middle of the street. A witness reported subjects driving up in a brown color pickup truck and firing several rounds possibly into the air. As Deputies were checking the area for evidence of the shooting they noticed a Hispanic male adult walking east towards Highway 162 from Howard Street The Deputies observed the subject appeared to be carrying a rifle wrapped in a jacket. The subject was then ordered at gunpoint to put the weapon on the ground and to step away from it. The subject complied placing the weapon on the ground and was then ordered to lay prone on the ground until another Deputy could arrive to assist. Another Deputy arrived and the subject was handcuffed and detained without further incident. The Deputies removed the jacket and found that the subject was in fact carrying a rifle.


The subject was eventually identified as Luis Chavez, 32, of Covelo. Chavez was checked for warrants and probation and the Deputies learned Chavez was an ex-felon who is not allowed to possess a firearm. Upon further investigation, Deputies learned Chavez also had a felony warrant out of Mendocino County for assault with a firearm and another misdemeanor warrant for DUI also out of Mendocino County. Chavez was placed under arrest for Felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm concealed on a person, giving a false name to peace officer and the two open warrants. Chavez was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail and was held in lieu of $385,000 bail.

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On 05-07-2017 at about 7:45 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a domestic violence incident in the 24000 block of Wattenburg Road in Covelo. Upon contact Deputies learned an adult male and his wife, Priscilla Flores-Lozano, 26, of Covelo, got into a verbal argument resulting in him being physically assaulted.


During the altercation Flores-Lozano started slapping and scratching the adult male on the face with her hands causing pain and injury. Deputies learned of another incident that occurred the day before where the adult male was scratched on his neck and stomach by Flores-Lozano. Deputies observed injuries to the adult male's face, neck and stomach. Deputies contacted Flores-Lozano and placed her under arrest for Felony Domestic Violence Battery. Flores-Lozano was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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Esteemed Editor:

I am thinking that one morning shortly after the inevitable root beer schnapps drinking jag you will feel the urge to give the AVA masthead a makeover.

For your earnest consideration: "America is at last newspaper.” Retool the second line into "Peace to the Cottage Industries" and finally the sorely needed, "Fanning the flames of disenchantment."

Remember if you're not going forward you are going backward.

Since you are fanning some sort of flames, could you please explain why "flammable" and "inflammable" have the same meaning? A divided nation turns its lonely eyes to you  —  woo woo woo.

As I tip on out it could be noted that any poetry in "Ukiah" is more easily seen if read in reverse. So here's my 17 syllables in the required 5-7-5 beat:

Hiya Ukiah!

Haiku bass ackwards. Be you

Grape or a raison?

Your fan,

Russell Haber


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Dearest Editor:

My name is Eric Lincoln. I have come across a very important and dire issue that seriously needs to be addressed. A friend of mine who is also an elder in the Indian community brought to my attention during a recent conversation a seemingly biased choice concerning him. The choice had been made by the Covelo Indian housing authority here in Covelo.

Of course my friend was deeply offended by the Housing Board’s total disregard and overlooking of his and his family's needs.

The outcome of the way the Indian Housing Board chose to deal with my good friend, an elder? It strengthens the views which people have to say about the Covelo Indian Housing Authority.

There seems to be some truth in this. Because it has also come to my knowledge that a view of the Housing Board members are and have always been selective about who they think deserves assistance and who doesn't deserve the Housing Authority's assistance.

This sounds like a [bleep]ing "dictatorship"!

I mean, give me a god damn break! Any idiot and their dog should realize that special needs are a priority and must always come first — even before a family member or even a relative to anyone on the Housing Board who doesn't make it a [bleep]ing priority. But instead of the person who had come before the board with an honest heart, looking for some kind of help for himself and his family, getting help, it just gets refused and turned away while the friend, relative, family member of someone in charge gets all the assistance that he or she asked for.

Choices made in that manner are not only purely unprofessional but completely biased and totally immoral.

It is these kinds of cases which have to be checked into more thoroughly! For any and all of the sneaky under the table [bleep].

I'm glad my friend asked if I would write a letter about this scandalous stuff that people here in Covelo don't need to take. Stand up!

Eric Lincoln


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Dear AVA,

I consider you one of the standard bearers of the language in an age of near illiteracy and imogees. It bears mentioning however that a fixed price meal (for example at the Bewildered Pig) comes directly from the French (prix fixe or price fixed) and is pronounced pre-fix or pre-fixay, not to be confused with prefix. It makes some sense that you would assume prefix means fixed in advance, but it don't. I am an avid reader but I don't want you to have my name. Thanks for the otherwise excellent work!

Name withheld


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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “The boss calls it ‘moron music,’ but I kinda like the simple thump-thump of moron music, and I'm no moron. You ought to hear the window-shattering screechings of the so-called ‘opera’ these guys listen to. Give me a moron tune any day!”

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To the Editor:

Tick flagging to prevent lyme.

This morning I went looking for ticks on the south end of Shakota trail at Lake Mendocino, and gathered 36 ticks in about an hour, along the trail. Last week I flagged for a bit at the north end and gathered about 32, between Pomo A and C.

During the worst of my years with Lyme disease, I lost the ability to walk, went blind, and could not spell my own name. You don’t want this, and especially you don’t want it for your children.

Tick flagging is a way to clear an area of the waiting ticks. I use a 3’ stick with a 2’ square of white flannel taped onto it, and brush it against the top of the grasses as I walk along, stopping frequently to remove the ticks with a piece of masking tape. And I found lots, mostly on the higher side of the trail. I think I could have gathered more except I was wearing tick repellent. Not willing to do this job without it!

I use permethrin spray, (ordered from Walmart, sometimes they have it in stock. Coleman Insect Treatment, blue can). Spray it on the clothing you plan to wear, let it dry for a couple days, and it protects you for months. Don’t spray it on your skin. I spray a few pair of pants early every spring, once a year. It lasts through 4 or 5 washings. When I hike with others who aren’t wearing sprayed clothes, they come home with tick on them, and I don’t.

We are at the peak of the tick season now. If you do get bit, be alert for any strange symptoms. A common one is coming home from the store and putting your shoes in the fridge and your groceries in the closet. Lyme really messes with your brain. Left untreated the lyme germs go inside the cells of your brain where antibiotics can’t easily reach. Some people get a bull’s eye rash, several days after getting infected. A rash that comes immediately after a bite however just means your body doesn’t like tick bites.

After being out in pretty places, shake your clothes over the tub before you shower, and put them where any ticks can’t crawl off and come looking for you.

Have a safe and beautiful spring!

Marigold Klein


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To the Editor:

That which is scarce becomes dear. The Ukiah Valley is reaping what we have sown (or failed to sow) for the last several decades. For years we have made it clear that developers and their developments are not wanted ‘round these parts. As a community we have put ever more burdensome regulations and fees on new construction so little gets built and only the well heeled can afford to buy.

Available housing accommodations are actually negative if you count those folks forced to live in circumstances not of their choosing, i.e. the 30-somethings living with their parents because they can’t find any other place to live.

You know the situation is dire when the hospital struggles to recruit doctors because they can’t find a place they can afford. Think what it must be like for welders, teachers and hairdressers!

Barring some mass exodus, the only solution to the local housing shortage is an increase in supply but years of no production housing construction has left us short of folks that know how to build production housing units. We lack the developers and trades people that can make such a project happen.

Vineyard Crossing (proposed development on Lovers Lane) is such a project and Guillon Construction is such a developer. As a community we should welcome the developer and the development with open arms. That is the quickest and best path to breaking the housing log jamb we’ve spent decades creating.

Ross Liberty, Factory Pipe LLC


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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 18, 2017

Bean, Collins, Cooper

LEONARD BEAN, Point Arena. Ammo possession by prohibited person, probation revocation.

PETER COLLINS, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

TREVOR COOPER, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery, battery with serious injury, stalking, kidnapping.

Ewing, Long, Lopez

JESSICA EWING, Ukiah. Court order disobeyance, failure to appear.

WILLIAM LONG, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

JUAN LOPEZ, Ukiah. Community Supervision violation, probation revocation.

Louwaert, Marfil, McDonald, Moon

MICHAEL LOUWAERT, Point Arena. County parole violation.

MARIA MARFIL, Willits. Failure to appear.

JEFFERSEN MCDONALD, Willits. DUI with priors, fourth or more violation, suspended license, probation revocation.

JAMISON MOON, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

Ruiz, Svendsen, Taylor

MARGARITO RUIZ, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

ASHLEY SVENDSEN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

HUBERT TAYLOR III, El Sobrante/Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

VanHorn, Willis, Wright

HOLLAND VANHORN, Willits. Refusing to leave, polluting state waters, probation revocation.

SCOTTY WILLIS, Ukiah. Alms solicitation in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

ANDREA WRIGHT, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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Far be it from me to stand in the way of “progress” but what has this key driving force of the post-industrial era actually created?

In the field of information technology we have twitter, snapchat, instagram, youtube, skype, to name a few. Sometimes convenient, sometimes informative for sure, but mostly frivolity and fluffery, you know, cute cat videos from Japan, or guilty dogs, you’ve seen them, cowering German Shepherds that tore up the shower curtains or ate the steak. Bad dog, but we love you anyway. And internet porn.

What innovations have they brought in the field of education? Kids that don’t know their multiplication tables, that can’t spell, that can’t do cursive, that can’t read and process and distill information from a book because their analytic abilities dried up in the face of wikipedia.

And snowflake ninnies curled up in “safe-spaces” demanding recognition for their “pain” from endlessly solicitous colleges.

What has this “creative class” brought in the field of finance? A multitude of mini-Madoffs at bank branches, a flood of fraud in the real estate business, a plague of economy choking derivatives. And electronics so prone to identity and cybertheft that the oft-repeated claim that crime is at historic lows is what it seems, a blatant out-and-out lie.

And this “creative class” gave us so much innovation in the economic sphere: airbnb and uberization and taskrabbiting, glorified taxi-driving and room-letting and handymanning, the last resort for people desperate for money. End of the road capitalism, as one of the other commenters called these.

Not reading is not good. Not knowing your times tables is not progress. I don’t care how many mothers insist otherwise, who give testimonials about their wonderful daughters with degrees in actuarial science but who don’t know nine times eight. They say it doesn’t matter. I say it does.

You don’t know nine times eight? And you know actuarial science? I’m sorry, you don’t even qualify as cashier, not in any sane society. Yeah, rote learning’s a drag, but bite the bullet and get out the flash cards because the kiddies need to know their times tables. And they need to be able to affix their signature on a document. Like an apartment rental.

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by Ralph Nader

All over America, school children are completing another academic year before their summer vacation. This invites the questions, what did they learn and what did they do with what they learned?

I’m not talking about their test scores, nor the latest fads in rebranding education, like the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum that de-emphasizes the first two thirds of the old mantra – reading, writing and arithmetic. Rather, I am questioning what they learned about their real-world surroundings, about preparing themselves for life as citizens, workers, consumers, taxpayers, voters and members of various communities.

Not very much, sad to say. The same is true of my generation. Instead of receiving an enriching and well-rounded education, we were fed myths. All societies perpetuate lavish myths that enable the few to rule over the many, repress critical thinking and camouflage the grim realities. Our country was, and remains, no exception.

In school we learned that our country was number one, the greatest in the world. We sang “Onward Christian Soldiers” in music class. Being the “greatest” was neither defined nor questioned. We simply had a vague sense that “great” meant militarily and economically “big.”

In practice, however, “great” was associated with kneejerk patriotism and served as a barrier to thinking critically about what we were told to take for granted. For were we to parse the deeper meaning of the word “great,” we might have had to make specific comparisons of the United States in concrete ways with other countries such as Canada and those in Europe. And we might have discovered that we weren’t first in many areas of human and environmental well-being.

Early in elementary school we were told that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America and what followed was the arrival of the pioneers of “civilization.” This myth served to justify the white man’s domination over “inferior races,” whether native or brought in as slaves from Africa. In truth, as my father taught me, Columbus invaded America in search of gold and, with his soldiers, slaughtered Caribbean tribes that long preceded Columbus’s arrival in their lands.

Along the way in school we were told that, unlike other “evil” countries, American soldiers did not intentionally kill civilians, as did our cruel enemies. Somehow General Sherman’s march to the sea during the Civil War escaped our attention; as did later mass slaughter of human beings in the Philippines and the deliberate targeting and incineration of entire residential, civilian areas in World War I and World War II – to, in the language of the official strategies, “terrorize the populations.”

The myth of an America without imperial intentions camouflaged the purposes of several wars and many imperial assaults and overthrows. Who were we to question? Other countries were Empires; America was guided by “manifest destiny.”

Then there was the fictional character, Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack from American folklore who was hijacked and commercialized by the timber industry to propagandize the minds of millions of children. With his huge blue ox, Babe, Bunyan conquered and cut down forests. One of the Paul Bunyan stories ended with our hero leaving Montana for Alaska’s vast wilderness. Bunyan and Babe, we were assured, would persevere “until the last tree was down.” Progress, the myth instructed, was the exploitation of the natural world, not the preservation of nature in sustainable ways.

The most pervasive myth, which persists to this day, is that the free market provides the supreme pathway to economic prosperity. Never mind, monopolies, business crimes and deceptions, government subsidies, bailouts and taxpayer giveaways, patent monopolies, fine-print contract servitude and the abuse of our air, water and soil as toxic corporate sewers. The free market myth teaches that government regulation is inherently bad, suing businesses in court harms the economy and that unions and consumer cooperatives are un-American, even communistic. This dogma has no room for the honest assertion that the market can “make a good servant, but a bad master,” in the words of Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute.

With the exceptions of some marvelous teachers, our many hours in class teach us to believe, not to think, to obey, not to challenge. For too many of our school years, the process was, and is, memorization and regurgitation. At the most, we are given some cursory training, but not educated in any deep or productive sense.

It is not surprising that such mythical conditioning does not give us the training to fight back, decade after decade, against forces that impoverish, gouge, unemploy, harm, exclude, disrespect and continue the three afflictions of corporatism, militarism and racism.

Just look at today’s headlines and ponder the joint partnership of plutocracy and oligarchy – often called the corporate state. No wonder “we the people” are not working to resist and overcome these destructive forces of greed and power.

A meaningful answer starts with replacing our years of schooling, punctuated by years of being commercially entertained and distracted, with acquiring the civic motivations and skills necessary to build a society that can move us toward “liberty and justice for all.” As Thomas Jefferson observed at our nation’s conception, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

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Don't miss your chance to see the show that everyone is talking about! Liz Duffy Adams' witty, neo-Restoration comedy "Or," plays just two more weekends on the Mendocino Theatre Company stage.

Here's what they're saying:

"Do not miss this show!!! Outstanding performances by three terrific actors. Nancy and I had a wonderful fast-paced evening. Kudos to Niki, Kerel, and Pamela, and especially to director Betty Abramson. Great theater!"  — Bob Cohen

"I was utterly amazed and taken. The entire performance was outstanding in terms of the story, the words, the acting and the set."  — Bill Tandler

"Another unqualified HIT! Great acting, set, costumes. Timing of the costumes changes so funny. Everyone had a great time. So important in this day and age."  — Ruby Bell Sherpa

"Or," plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. For tickets and information, call the box office, 707-937-4477 or go to

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Promotora Training at the Manchester Community Center - June 14

The workshop will be a promotora training. If you are unfamiliar with that, it is a member of the community who receives specialized training to provide basic health education in the Hispanic/Latino community without being a professional health care worker. It is something that other counties have done previously to aide in helping people with limited access to care or limited availability to health care; I believe this will be the first time it will be offered in Mendocino County. Though it is typically a 4 day training, it is being condense into one day due to time constraints, but is should really be an interesting training. IF you would like a little more information on Promotoras, you can read about them here:

Contact: Dustin Thompson, Supervising Staff Assistant, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency, 707-472-2319

(A promotora is a lay Hispanic/Latino community member who receives specialized training to provide basic health education in the community without being a professional health care worker.)

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Wednesday, May 24, 5:30-7:30pm

Join us for "Under Our Skin: The Untold Story of Lyme Disease," a chilling tale of microbes, medicine and money. This Oscar shortlisted film has changed the landscape of the Lyme epidemic, bringing unprecedented awareness in an engaging and accessible way. A discussion follows with the Mendocino County Lyme Support Group.

For more info, email

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From the NY Times Book Review:

When Buckley assigned a review of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” to Whittaker Chambers [Big Sister is Watching You], a Communist turned fervent anti-Communist and devout Christian, he must have known the sparks would fly. To call the review an evisceration is to understate its severity. For Chambers, Rand’s novel was morally obscene, a shrill and dogmatic exercise in political propaganda that promoted a form of inverted Marxism in which a coterie of capitalist supermen do battle with and justly triumph over throngs of resentful, parasitic “looters.” Buckley himself would criticize Rand in similar terms on many occasions over the years, including in a decidedly mixed appreciation written on the occasion of her death in 1982 (William F. Buckley and the Odyssey of Conservatism).

That the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, is an admirer of "Atlas Shrugged" says something unflattering about the intellectual caliber of the country's political leadership. No one assumes that political leaders have to be intellectuals, but Ayn Rand is sinking very low.

NY Times Magazine story last March quoted Steve Bannon:

"What's that Dostoyevsky line: Happy families are all the same, but unhappy families are unhappy in their own unique ways?" (He meant Tolstoy.) "I think the Democrats are fundamentally afflicted with the inability to discuss and have an adult conversation about economics and jobs, because they're too consumed by identity politics."


The Tolstoy quotation Bannon was attributing to Dostoyevsky: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Bannon got the gist of the quote right, but mixing up Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky — two very different writers — suggests that he hasn't read them, that he's a phony and a pseudo-intellectual.

(— Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

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KID POETRY at the Ukiah Library

Join us for a reading with Michael Riedell, Poet Laureate of Ukiah & his awesome Creative Writing students from Ukiah High School! Open mic follows. Teens & adults are invited to share poems in any form or style.

Cats in the Library! We are teaming up once more with the Mendocino County Animal Shelter and are inviting kitties on display in our Children's Room from 1-3 pm. This event will include kitty videos, crafts, snacks, adoptions and more!

Our coding classes for kids continue this Saturday! Students will use the computer to play musical notes, create a music video, and build an interactive music display.

Our Sunday Movie Screenings @ 2pm at the Ukiah Library continue with The New York Philharmonic Opening Gala With Lang Lang —  Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. We will be back with another movie on Sunday, June 4th @ 2pm with "The Genius of Marian."



  1. Eric Arbanovella May 19, 2017

    Two things –

    First, I wrote “I won’t do this anymore” in my resignation letter, not “can’t.” There’s a big difference.

    Second, regarding Dr. Reddick’s concern about the school board being silent about all this, school board members are forbidden by law from publicly discussing personnel matters.

    • Bruce Anderson May 19, 2017

      The school district’s third-rate, tax-paid, unelected-to- anything lawyers don’t prohibit you from explaining what you “won’t do” anymore and why you won’t do it.

  2. BB Grace May 19, 2017

    Ayn Rand melts snowflakes.

    • Bruce Anderson May 19, 2017

      Ayn Rand is the worst novelist in the history of English lit, and a fascist into the non-bargain.

      • LouisBedrock May 19, 2017

        Rand has no idea about how the horizontal and vertical assets of civilization contribute to the inventions and discovery of even the most brilliant individuals: this is her major flaw—she has many. She is a terrible writer.

        By horizontal assets, I mean a viable language, libraries, journals, colleagues, and other infrastructure that even Steve Jobs and Bill Gates needed to make their ideas into real things—a trained work force, a common language, factories, machines, and educated consumers who could use computers.

        By vertical assets, I mean the work of people who lived before them: mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and electricians—among others, who laid the intellectual foundations that Gates and Jobs built on.

        In “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, Eliot observes,

         “No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead. I mean this as a principle of aesthetic, not merely historical, criticism. The necessity that he shall conform, that he shall cohere, is not one-sided; what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it.”

        I couldn’t agree more strongly. And although Eliot is talking about writers, the same truths apply to scientists, mathematicians, painters, and sculptors.

        That’s why I think the Nobel Prize and its ilk are bogus—especially for scientists and inventors. Often the work of the prize winner is only the top layer of work done by many others.

        • Harvey Reading May 19, 2017

          Agree, though I enjoyed The Fountainhead. Roark made an agreement, which the other party broke, so more power to him. Atlas Shrugged was pure garbage, the work of a diseased mind.

      • BB Grace May 19, 2017

        Ayn Rand claims the only difference between communism and fascism are that fascists believe in God being a collective within strong religious communities, Catholic, WASP, Jewish, Islam dictates the human values for the foundation of the “us vs them” collective. She claimed religion was her greatest enemy and if US democracy failed to where the choice was between fascism or communism, she would go communist.

        I would recommend Rand’s books for philosophy and women’s history, not Eng Lit., afterall she’s a Russian and honorary Kekistani.

  3. james marmon May 19, 2017

    RE: The Elephant in the middle of the room.

    Here’s the story, there is no housing shortage in Ukiah. I would venture to guess that at least half the rentals in Ukiah are occupied by illegal immigrants, and are subsidized by government funding.

    Its amazing how many original Ukiah residents I meet over here in Lake County. We all have the same story, we can’t afford to live over there anymore.

    If you are from Ukiah and want to know whatever happened to so and so, just drive over here to Lake County and look around. There’s a good bet you will run across them either at the Dollar Tree or Grocery Outlet.

    James Marmon
    Clearlake Resident.

    • Bruce Anderson May 19, 2017

      While I’m bashing ava readers this morning, Mr. Marmon, here’s an opinion for you and your fellow exiles to mull over: The problem with America’s white working class is not illegals — it’s their own lack of class consciousness. In most countries of the world, Europe certainly, people who sell their labor to live band with other people who sell their labor to live to defend themselves. Here? The big cry babies line up with billionaires like Dumpf and whine about illegals, or whatever else Fox News tells them to wah, wah, wah about. The very next time I hear some cranked-out, tattooed oaf blame his own sloth and lack of discipline on Mexicans…..

      • james marmon May 19, 2017

        “The big cry babies line up with billionaires like Dumpf and whine about illegals, or whatever else Fox News tells them to wah, way, way about.”

        “Money talks, bullshit walks” Mr. Anderson

        I force myself to watch CNN one hour a day, at noon, when Shepard Smith is on FOX.


      • Eric Sunswheat May 19, 2017

        It’s not legal to have white working class in this country, that’s called racial discrimination. What we have in the U.S. are certain workers organized unions, to represent in collective bargaining. What we don’t have here in the Last Newspaper in America, is a Fourth Estate that isn’t capitulating to Big Pharma allopathic vaccine industry. You see the weak knee local press pushing the unreliable antibiotics vantage point, and promotion of the film on disease spreading failed Lymes vaccine, under your skin, with a morbid theme, that research development on a second vaccine on similar theoretical model has ended. The Lymes letter above is pathetic. No word on fence post or rock pile western tree lizard habitat. Nothing on naturopathy nutrition, lifestyle practice, alcohol abstinence, degenerative food substance avoidance, herbology, collodial minerals, and early results in advanced Western European clinical research in Stevia. It’s all about paying homage tribute with poor health insurance, to the working class doctors hospital combine, crushing the less informed or ignorant tick patients, destroying their ability to work and enjoy comforts, thus freeing up Ukiah Valley housing for the vegan allopathic medical professionals, by in effect casting their failing patients off to Lake County cheap rents for the disabled, as their finances collapse, no longer able to wallow at price fixed stuffed pig offerings.

    • Mike May 24, 2017

      James, Clearlake is not an option. I don’t need to elaborate on that.

      Closest settings that have good inventory of good living rental spaces are Yuba City, Marysville, Red Bluff, and Redding. Gonna scout out Yuba City, Marysville soon.

      The plus there is you can access the rivers there unlike in Ukiah where the grapes that make you stupid rule.

      Of course i dont care to live around a bunch of these nationalistic rah rah crybabies and checking for percent of vote for trump is a must in my consideration.

      In the end, the affordability and culture factors may best be found in Eugene OR…as far as my research seems ti show

  4. Jim Updegraff May 19, 2017

    Saying for El Trumpo, the village idiot: “O, what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive” – Walter Scott

  5. Jim Updegraff May 19, 2017

    Giants had the day off. The A’s finally unloaded their bats and took Boston 8-3 Sonny Gray pitched a good win and the bull pen finally got the job down without a run. A’s had 3 home runs.

    • Stephen Rosenthal May 19, 2017

      A’s bullpen got the job done because neither of their gas cans – Dull or Casilla – pitched.

      I think this 6 game road trip (Cardinals and Cubs) will define the rest of the season for the Giants. Somewhat encouraging if they manage a winning record, time to rebuild (despite their inherent resistance) if they get slaughtered.

  6. Harvey Reading May 19, 2017


    Maybe, and if true, so much the better, but for sure he’s incompetent. Which means he is incapable, practically, of doing much in the way of serious, lasting bad, like the more savvy servant of wealth, Hillary, would have accomplished by now. For me, that means he’s far better than the alternative, Pence (or, highly unlikely, Ryan, though one never knows).

    Pence, like either Clinton, seems to have a degree of competence, which makes him dangerous, at least to those of us sick of wars based on lies, more tax breaks for the wealthy and their corporate interests, privatization of public lands, and final cancellation of what little remains of New Deal programs–all naturally with “tearful” support from the democwapic party–that benefit common people, as well as being opposed to formalized slavery for us commoners.

    I’m continuing to thoroughly enjoy the meltdown of both right wings of the ruling party, as well as that of the disgusting, propagandist, lying nooze media. It’s quite entertaining. I imagine Vladimir Putin having difficulty suppressing a huge belly laugh every time he thinks of his “peer” in the “city on a hill”, “land o’ exceptionals”–

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