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Mendocino County Today: Friday, June 9, 2017

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Adult Protective Services censured as well, but without actual penalty.

So Much For Human Dignity

by Bruce McEwen


Lori Fiorentino was sentenced to three years in the California State Prison this morning, June 8th in Superior court by Judge Ann Moorman for the neglect of Arlene Potts who had by all indications been allowed to starve to death in her own filth under Ms. Fiorentino’s care, a paid position assigned to her by Mendocino County’s Adult Protective Services.

The judge also censured Adult Protective Services despite Deputy DA Kevin Davenport’s attempts to excuse the agency, and focus blame entirely on Ms. Fiorentino.

Judge Moorman said that the preliminary hearing, which had been submitted as a factual basis, was not all that helpful — the apartment on Cypress Street in Fort Bragg was jammed full of shopping carts from Safeway and Rite-Aid but apparently none of the food made it to Arlene Potts, only a few bottles of drinking water.

Judge Moorman said she didn’t want to get caught up in the gruesomeness of the scene, however this proved unavoidable, as Ms. Potts had been deceased for about a month and her corpse was covered in feces and urine.

Deputy DA Davenport said, “Ms. Fiorentino had a duty to seek assistance in spite of the fact that Ms. Potts was difficult to deal with and had refused medical treatment after falling in an alley and breaking her hip. The body showed severe neglect, not only in the layers of dirty adult diapers, but in the form of bed sores, which showed there had been no attempt to change her position or her diapers; and that the defendant continued to use her [Arlene Potts’s] money after she was deceased.”

The People were not focusing on the financial aspect of the case, however, Davenport noted, “Probation doesn’t make any sense in this case. The defendant needs to be held accountable and the disturbing behavior deserves a harsh punishment. The fecal matter encrusted all over her body indicates this happened during Ms. Potts’ lifetime. And the behavior of the defendant after Arlene Potts died is also disturbing. As a caregiver, she wasn’t going to do anything for the person under her care while she was alive or after her death; she was hired as a care-giver, and she gave no care. As you can see from the courtroom, there was no one to care for Ms. Potts…”

There was no one in the courtroom besides the people directly involved.

Davenport: “I can anticipate what Defense is going to say: Alcohol and drugs will be blamed. Not only that but the victim will be blamed. Counsel will say that Ms. Potts was a difficult person to deal with; that Potts was given an option to either go into a facility or go home with a caregiver, and when she chose the latter, Adult Protective Services appointed the defendant, but never trained her. But all she had to do was pick up a phone. Then Spence [Ed note: not sure who “Spence” is.] will say that Ms. Potts wanted to die. But that doesn’t matter. None of that matters. She was only 66, with a broken hip. Maybe she was in despair. Perhaps she did want to die. But letting her die like that, that’s unacceptable. Not even animals do this to their dead or dying, and it’s appalling.”

Davenport paused for effect, then resumed in a softer tone: “In a case where you are hired to give help and the person you are hired to help says they want to die — in that case you are obliged to call for help. Even if she’d failed to call for help, but the decedent had been found clean and comfortable, then things would be different.”

Public Defender Frank McGowan: “The state of the body reflects that Ms. Potts had been deceased for some time but the only thing Ms. Fiorentino is guilty of is not seeking help and she most clearly is the type who is most eligible for probation, a law-abiding, productive citizen…”

Sorry, this reporter dropped his pencil — or was it my jaw — on the floor, at hearing the epitome of Sloth being called a productive citizen.

McGowan: “…with poor decision-making capabilities, according to Dr. [Kevin] Kelly, whose tendencies are to shut down when confronted with difficulties. We have here some gruesome pictures, but there is no malice. Also, Dr. Kelly was of the opinion that my client had not had the proper training and experience to deal with the situation she found herself in. Ms. Fiorentino only has a GED. Now, as to the first year or so, Ms. Fiorentino appears to have provided the care required of her, and if she’d have had the supervision this case screams for, we wouldn’t be here today.”

McGowan paused, perhaps to invoke an image of The Scream by Edvard Munch, then resumed.

“There were many, a great many, water bottles found around the body of Ms. Potts so my client was trying to keep her hydrated, at least… What this case comes down to is Ms. Fiorentino not reaching out for help. My client has a submissive personality and Ms. Potts is — was — a domineering person — loud and boisterous — and that compounded her [Fiorentino’s] difficulty in making the correct decision, to call for help; in fact, Dr. Kelly thinks she could now be suffering from PTSD!”

Really? She’s losing sleep? Bummer.

McGowan: “A lot of people failed Ms. Potts and are getting off scot-free, but my client — the one left holding the bag — is now looking at getting a stiff sentence and I would ask the court for probation as she’s a productive citizen — though she should never be a caregiver again, as she’s obviously not suited to that profession…”

Moorman: “Submitted?”

McGowan: “Submitted.”

Davenport: “Submitted.”

Moorman: “Does Probation have anything to add?”

Probation Officer Timothy King: “No, judge.”

Moorman: “Well, frankly, I agree with everything you both have said — although not with either of your conclusions. Adult Protective Services has made an assignment that was not only wrong but egregiously wrong, and I’ll take a minute or two here to chastise that agency…”

Davenport: “But judge, they tried and…”

Moorman: “Yes, it seems like things went well for a year or two, then something went wrong. The lack of nutrition was evident in the wasting away of the extremities, and this occurred around the time Adult Protective Services stopped coming around, which resulted in Ms. Potts death. So Adult Protective Services is clearly at fault. But the buck doesn’t stop with them. The circumstances in which the body was found was untenable, the apartment cluttered mostly with Ms. Fiorentino’s things, and this state of disrepair was prior to Ms. Potts’ death — the feces, the urine, the sores, the lesions — and lemme just say that one of the most common and paramount concerns of a caregiver to elderly persons is preventing this — but this is not a situation that occurred in a day. The failure to draw attention to this appalling situation — which is the same before as after death — is attributable to neglect. And the reason no one was notified is she, the defendant, was extremely fearful of being found out. I agree there was no malice. So the core of the crime is neglect. No matter how untrained and unsupervised she may have been, that doesn’t justify allowing Ms. Potts to lay in her own waste and bed sores. The water bottles were within reach, and perhaps you’re right Mr. McGowan to state that was helpful, but it was not helpful enough. This is an archetypical case of what the statute was meant to address and Ms. Potts did not receive the help from Adult Protective Services she deserved. She may have been allowed to starve to death, but what is certain is that it was in an extraordinarily filthy condition, and she died in disgrace.”

The judge took a dramatic pause, then resumed:

“Now, as to the probation report. I’m going to strike some of these. I know it’s easy to get carried away, and I think the Probation Officer got carried away in this case. This is not a Crime of Sophistication, so I’m going to strike that. Nor did the defendant Take Advantage of a Position of Trust — it’s a case of neglect, not malice. The victim was vulnerable, yes, but for the Probation Officer to say she was unable to defend herself doesn’t apply, because she wasn’t under attack. So I’ll strike that. Also, this is not a place to opine, so I’ll strike the comments as well. Now, Ms. Fiorentino, I am not going to place you on probation because whatever your lack of training, it was no excuse, nor was the difficulty of the decedent’s personality — she did not deserve to die in this manner, so I’m gonna sentence you to the mid-term of three years in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.”

There were less than $1500 in fines and fees, and Lori Fiorentino was advised of her right to appeal.

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BOONVILLE RESIDENT GUY KEPHART helps rescue abandoned children near Ocean Beach in San Francisco:

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A READER WRITES: I was Judge Keith Faulder’s traffic court recently after I was ticketed by the CHP while driving out of a garden supply store on the coast. Somehow a bag of perlite in the back of my pickup flew out, landed on a CHP Patrol vehicle’s window and exploded. The courteous officer gave me a ticket for littering and I spent several embarassed minutes cleaning it up.

Soon after the perlite explosion I was heading up Mountain View Road toward Boonville I came across a traffic jam caused by a Mexican truck driver who spoke only Spanish driving an oversized flatbed which had high centered on a rough spot while trying to take a steep curve. As several of us who were stopped in blocked vehicles got out to help, I realized that since I spoke Spanish I could translate for the man who spoke no English. He told us that he took Mountain View Road after using Google maps, not knowing that the road would be a problem for his oversized truck and trailer. We finally got him loose. While we were doing that the same CHP officer whose window my perlite exploded on came up and complimented me and the other good Samaritans for doing a good thing but that he couldn't withdraw the ticket. When I showed up in Judge Keith Faulder’s traffic court this week, he was very gracious and told me that I had to plead guilty with explanation. So I did and after the explanation he dismissed the case without a fine or penalty. I’m glad I voted for him.

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by Mike A’Dair

Longtime Third District Planning Commissioner Jim Little is turning in his binder, after 18 years on the Mendocino County Planning Commission.


Little became planning commissioner in 1999, during Tom Lucier’s term as Third District supervisor (1999-2002). He served as Third District planning commissioner during the terms of Lucier, Hal Wagenet (2003-2006), John Pinches (2007 through 2014) and for the beginning of Tom Woodhouse’s term as supervisor (2015-2016). Little was planning commissioner during the four months and five days in 2017 that the Third District did not have a supervisor, and he will have served briefly during the term of the recently appointed Georgeanne Croskey. He recently notified the county’s executive office that the June 15, 2017 meeting of the planning commission will be his last meeting.

Contacted by Willits Weekly, Little said the greatest achievement of the planning commission during his time there was the cordial way in which it operated. “In all those years, with all those different commissioners, I can’t think of a single commissioner who did not do an outstanding job of representing their constituents,” Little said.  “In this county, where we have such a diverse community, to have somebody from the Fifth District be able to sit down with somebody from the Third District and be able to discuss an issue and reach some kind of understanding about it, I think that’s remarkable. Yes, we didn’t always agree on every issue. But when we disagreed, we voted on it, and then we moved on."

Asked what was the greatest liability or failure of the commission, Little said it was housing. “I would like to have seen us be a little more proactive on housing. Affordable, decent, adequate housing is an issue all across this county. Now, it may not have been within our purview as a planning commission, but I would like to have had us do more in this regard,” Little said.

According to Little, the county’s greatest asset, from a planning perspective, is its environment.  “It’s the setting: the weather, the landscape, the resources. There’s so much here that can be utilized without abusing, if we plan appropriately.  There’s so much potential to have a diversified economy, while protecting the environment, which is why most people are here,” Little said.

He added that one of the most important of the pending tasks facing the government of the county, including the planning commission, is to rewrite the county’s general plan. “I would hope that, because of the changes that we’ve seen over the past 10 years, and because of the changes that we are expecting to see over the next 10 years, that we should throw out the old general plan. We should start from scratch.

“We need to look at the assets that the county has, and we need to ask ourselves, how we can use those assets to reach the goals that we want to reach in the future. And the next general plan needs to have a minimum of boilerplate language. That ‘boilerplate’ stuff really used to drive me up the wall.”

Asked for his view on what is the greatest challenge or liability facing the county, Little said it was cannabis. “I see cannabis cultivation as a continuing problem,” he said. “I don’t support the cannabis industry, but the reality of the situation is, it’s here and it’s a big part of peoples’ lives in our community. Now, 80 or 90 percent of the people who are cultivating now can in no way conform to these regulations. I just don’t think that small-scale growers can follow the regulations and stay in business.

“If the regulations fail, or if the marijuana industry transfers to large corporate farms, it’s gonna have a devastating impact on our community. I think the county really needs to look at the potential outcomes of legalization, and not wait until the industry goes one way or the other.

“If it’s successful, it will take care of itself,” Little said. “If it fails, I don’t think we’re ready for that.”

Asked if he consulted with the district supervisor on how to vote on certain issues, Little said that, in the 18 years that he was on the commission, that had not happened.  “I never spoke to a supervisor about an issue that was before the commission,” he said. “I never had a supervisor come to me and tell me how to vote, and I never went to a supervisor to ask him how I should vote.  Obviously, it could have happened somewhere, but in my experience, I never knew a time when that happened with anyone on any of the planning commissions that I was on. It just didn’t happen.”

Little added that he and his wife have decided to move out of the county. “It was a tough decision,” Little said. He did not elaborate. “I think the county has a great future. They just need to plan for it,” he said.

The County of Mendocino has announced that it is now accepting applications for the position of Third District planning commissioner. Applicants should live in the Third District (Willits/Laytonville/Covelo). The next Third District planning commissioner will be appointed by the board of supervisors, based on the  recommendation of Third District Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey.

Those interested in serving on the planning commission, the county press release announcing the vacancy said, should contact Croskey or the Mendocino County Executive Office at 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010 in Ukiah or 463-4441.

(Courtesy, Willits Weekly)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “A few weeks ago, someone snuck onto our place and planted three marijuana plants right next to the road in plain view. None of these people smoke, at least that's what they claim, but they left the plants right where they were placed! And they keep watering them! And they blame me for the plants being there! And the boss says, ‘Relax, LD. It's an experiment to see how long before someone rips them off’."

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by Katy Tahja

As a historian I’ve always been fascinated by shipwrecks, but not in the conventional manner. Yes, there is drama in the ship crashing on the rocks and the exciting rescue of the crew and passengers, but what I like to read about is what washed up on shore.

Frolic ({Photo Courtesy Kelley House Museum)

The story of the Mendocino Coast and its settlement starts with a shipwreck. The trade vessel “Frolic,” loaded with merchandise destined for San Francisco during the Gold Rush, in the early 1850’s crashed on the rocks in a cove near where the Point Cabrillo Light Station now stands. While the crew survived, and in a small boat made it to Bodega and on to San Francisco, they had to tell the owners the ship went down.

Salvage is the process of sending examiners to a wreck site to see if the ship’s contents are retrievable and if the ship can be refloated or repaired. This salvage crew for the “Frolic” arrived to find Pomo natives wrapped in silks eating candied ginger on china plates. The ship and contents were unsalvageable but the salvage crew saw timber growing to the shoreline and went back to San Francisco suggesting someone ought to establish a sawmill up there as lumber was in high demand. A sawmill back east was taken apart, the pieces sailed around South America, and reassembled in what would become Mendocino City. Our modern history starts there, thanks to a shipwreck.

In an interesting “pre-history” note archaeologist Thomas Layton was investigating a Pomo village site west of Willits on Three Chop Ridge and found Chinese pottery shards. His curiosity about how natives came to possess these lead him to author three books including “Voyage of the Frolic” and “Treasures of the Celestial Kingdom” and an excellent video “Impact of the Frolic” that can be seen at on the internet.

Settlers along the coastlines looked at shipwrecks as a gigantic “Free Box”.  Once locals had done the proper thing and rescued anyone still alive they made sure that anything that was useful had vanished by the time the salvage crew showed up. Along the north coast settlers went to help at a shipwreck with a horse and wagon. Lumber schooners in rough weather frequently lost their loads of boards piled on the deck and the timbers floated on shore. Many a coastal ranch had a construction boom after “free” wood floated up on a beach and was hauled off.

What turned up on the beach other than lumber? Often tons of stuff if it floated ashore. The sacks of soggy U.S. Mail were returned to the postal service. Sacks of grain tainted by seawater could be ground into animal feed. Wells Fargo Express packages might be sent on. The Ukiah Republican Press newspaper in 1938 reported a wrecked steamer at the mouth of the Gualala River had “enough coffee to last the residents of Mendocino County for some time to come…” as coffee in two, four and 14 pound cans, 20 tons of it, that was salvaged and resold to general stores. Other shipwrecks resulted in cases of hundreds of cans of condensed milk, or canned Monterey sardines, washing ashore.

So say a coastal rancher has a shipwreck on his shoreline. What’s worth climbing down the bluff, braving the surf, and trying to save? Masts, spars and rigging rope? Dishes, cutlery, glassware pots and pans, wine and whiskey? How about the ship’s bell? Was it hauling canned goods in its cargo? Could you use the deck planking? Fabric, toys, rugs, nail kegs? Look at the door knobs and ax handles intended for a general store littering the shore! Did you know potatoes can float?

Some rough weather incidents were spectacular. In 1912 a ship was carrying a pedigreed stallion worth $2,000 that Union Lumber Company had purchased for a stock farm east of Fort Bragg. It succumbed to seasickness and was buried at sea. A cargo of Peruvian sheep washed off a ship’s deck in 1920 but swam to shore and escaped into the hills.

The worst shipwreck in north coast history happened up by Crescent City in 1865 was the “Brother Jonathan.” Of 244 people on board only 19 survived and lost were two camels, a Newfoundland dog and five million dollars (today’s value) in gold coins. It took treasure hunters 130 years to retrieve the gold and the Point Saint George Lighthouse was built at the site of the wreck.

Two books that can give an interesting look at shipwrecks that I enjoyed were “Tractors, Trains &  Shipwrecks” by Donald R. Richardson and “Shipwrecks of the California Coast” by Michael D. White. The first is set at Stewart’s Point and I found it on the Mendocino County Bookmobile. The chapter “Wreck of the Steamer Klamath” recounts how every object of value, from the 4” thick red velvet cushions from the ship’s lounge to the sinks in the staterooms, were retrieved. White’s book looks at famous and infamous disasters and is available in independent bookstores.

In closing I’d like to imagine I’m a little kid on a coastal ranch a hundred years ago, watching the clean up of a shipwreck. I’m coming home dragging a gunny sack of coconuts behind me and asking my Mom “What are we going to do with these?”

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To the Editor:

I am writing after experiencing a recent, local child endangerment that should be a serious lesson to young parents. I had just parked next to a new Toyota SUV, when I looked up and saw a beautiful, sleepy baby, approximately 10 months old sitting in his car seat, right next to an open window. The other windows were all open, the motor was going and, I assumed, the air conditioning was going.

The sleepy child was so cute that when I walked past the car, I looked and realized that there was no one else in the car except the child. I called a nearby lady to come over and witness what I was seeing, as I wanted to be sure I was not missing a sleeping adult, or... We both agreed that the child was alone, and the absent driver/parent must be inside the hardware store.

The lady stayed and guarded the child and I went into the store to have them call “911.” There were two managers who came over, and we agreed to call the authorities. Just then, a woman ran out the other door holding two bags of bread, saying “I’m coming!” The four of us called to her and said we had called the authorities for leaving the child and that it was illegal for her to leave a baby alone.

What really prompted this letter was the casual, haughty reply that “I was only gone for 53 seconds!” She sped off. We agreed that she would probably do this again if she needed to “just do a quick purchase!” Thank Heaven we guarded her child; it could have been another “Pier 39 type” child snatching. We have all read about not letting our animals stay in a hot car; but this was beyond belief!

Anna Stephens, Ukiah

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The Honorable John Behnke says to David “Shyster,” “This man has rights like you and I.” But I never go before Honorable John Behnke again. I get the Mendo shakedown by Mayfield and Mormon and now Reimenschneider. I have been unlawfully detained for 1700 days. My kids have been taken, separated, and one has been prescribed psychotropic drugs against my wishes because he keeps going AWOL trying to go home. Now he's hospitalized and begging for a gun to end his life because he feels that he's been orphaned. Way to go fearless leaders with authority.

No warrant, trespassing, no Miranda rights read, unlawful agreement to contract — all allegations in conclusive. My children's mother was suffering from a mental illness which we are now treating. I asked for help from the community and I got my life destroyed, my rights completely and blatantly violated purposefully — just brutally stepped all over.

I’m in custody at the Low Gap jail. Child Protective Services is mailing my court papers to my home address. I have a June 1 court hearing. The CPS report claims that I'm in jail for selling and using drugs and my children, Michael and William, are upset because they are told by caseworker Joan Ross that dad is in jail again. Well, if you can tell my kids this stuff then you know where I'm at. Why not send my court paperwork to me so I can respond? Even worse, why not transport me to the damn court hearing? This is how CPS is conducting itself. This is not legal and Mr. Eyster finds it funny. Well, it's not funny, Dave. It's unlawful and it's bullshit. How will you feel if my son commits suicide because he's doped up in order to cover your lies.

It's time for the Mendo shakedown to end, David Eyster.

Let's do the right thing. It's time for a judicial shakedown in Mendocino County. People have rights too. Especially little kids.

I have been advised to seek a civil attorney from out of town. Is there an attorney in Mendocino County who will fight for a man's rights and his children's rights? If so, I can be reached at the following address:

Paul Dan Hannah
951 Low Gap Road
Ukiah, CA 95482 (until August 1, 2017).

Or, Paul Dan Hannah
6852 Floyd Way
Nice CA 95464

It's time to be accountable Mr. Eyster.

Paul Hannah


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PHIL'S BOAT. Back in the middle seventies when Warrior's tickets were affordable — under $20 —  two or three times a season we'd drive from Boonville to the Coliseum and then drive back. One night a young guy we were dropping off in Oakland asked us to stop first on the frontage road parallel to I-80. He said his father lived on a boat in the nearby Berkeley Marina. The kid led us through the roadside brush to a surplus PT boat still painted Navy gray and berthed among the sparkling white leisure craft, as they're called, owned by weekend sailors. A tall Rastafarian emerged smiling from the boat. He introduced himself as "Phil." He said he'd like to take us out for a cruise on the Bay but his "vessel," as he called it, was "under repair." He was soft-spoken and gentle, a "sweet man," as ultra-amiable men are sometimes described. Phil invited us into his "guest house," and told us we were welcome to stay as long as we liked and proceeded to show us through the roadside brush where carefully hand-lettered cardboard signs hung from various bushes. A large bush was designated "Master Bedroom and bath," another bush "kitchen" and a tiny bit of scrub was the "laundry room." Phil said it was a standard suburban three-bed, two-bath place. He was a genial host and quite proud of his accommodations. I asked him if he entertained much. "Oh, I have lots of guests in the summer months." We thanked Phil for his offer of hospitality and said we had to get down the road to the ball game. I read somewhere a few months later that the marina was having a difficult time evicting Phil, who was considerably arrears in his berth fees. The other sailors said Phil's boat was an eyesore and had to go. It eventually went, and  Phil became a landlubber, I suppose.

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Brooks, Carter, Clearwater

LYLE BROOKS, Portland, Oregon/Leggett. Drunk in public, vandalism, resisting.

JON CARTER, Mendocino. Ex-felon with firearm, possesion of drugs while armed, paraphernalia.

SAMAYA CLEARWATER, Willits. Probation revocation.

Delancey, Dowds, Frederickson

JOSEPH DELANCEY JR., Crescent City/Leggett. DUI-alcohol&drugs, pot possession for sale, pot sales, proceeds from drug transaction, controlled substance.

DONALD DOWDS, Tuscola, CA/Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

ERIC FREDERICKSON, Tacoma, Washington/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Hernandez, Hicks, Hoaglin

JAIME HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance.

HARMON HICKS, Mendocino. Renting to distribute controlled substances, maintaining a place for selling, giving or using drugs, prohibited person with ammo, tear gas sales, paraphernalia, evidence destruction, meth possession for sale, conspiracy.

GEORGE HOAGLIN SR., Ukiah. Touching of intimate parts of another who is medically incapacitated or institutionalized, competency status.

McCloud, Patereau, Reyes-Campos

MOLLY MCCLOUD, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse, assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

RICKEY PATEREAU, Willits. Drunk in public.

LATOYA REYES-CAMPOS, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.

Sanchez, Stanton, Wood

ALISON SANCHEZ, Willits. Drunk in public.

KELLY STANTON, Ukiah. Interfering with police communications.

DUSTIN WOOD, Ukiah. Petty theft.

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DURING MY LAST BICYCLE VACATION in Florida, I took a break after reaching Gulf Junction Trail Head—the northern end of the Withlacoochee Bike Trail. I was nibbling my snack of assorted nuts and slices of granny apple under the shade of a gazebo when I was joined by another cyclist.

We talked about the great weather, the beautiful trail, and how nice it was to be warm in Florida instead of freezing our asses off in New Jersey or Michigan. However, the conversation drifted to why Florida—and the South, was great to visit, but we wouldn’t want to live there.

He was an electrician and talked about the appalling wages for skilled workers in the South and the union busting tactic of “open shops” prevalent in the southern states. I mentioned the salary I earned as a teacher in NYC public schools and the coolie wages non-union teachers are paid in states like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina.

My companion observed,

—I read an article that called the South the only remaining bastion of feudalism.

—I’d call it “fascism” —I replied. ...

Doug Henwood, publisher of The Left Business Observer, has a show on KPFA called Behind The News. On a recent program, his guest was James Q. Whitman, author of Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law. It was a fascinating program. For anyone interested, here is the link:

One review of Whitman’s book notes,

“In Hitler's American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.

As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler's Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and anti-miscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws—the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh.”

Another review observes that,

“In the 1930s, Nazi Germany and the American South had the look, in the words of two southern historians, of a “mirror image”: These were two unapologetically racist regimes, unmatched in their pitilessness. In the early 1930s the Jews of Germany were hounded, beaten, and sometimes murdered, by mobs and by the state alike. In the same years the blacks of the American South were hounded, beaten, and sometimes murdered as well.”

I must confess that the Confederate flag gives me the creeps. When I see it on a bumper or on the rear window of a pick up truck, I want to stay as far away from the driver as possible. He or she is not my friend.

I feel the same revulsion that the Swastika inspires. At least one reviewer of the Whitman book agrees:

“Hitler drew a similar, more sinister comparison in “Mein Kampf.” He describes the United States as “the one state” that had made headway toward what he regarded as a healthy and utterly necessary racist regime. Historians have long sought to minimize the importance of that passage. But in recent years, archival research in Germany has shown that the Nazis were keenly focused on Jim Crow segregation laws, on statutes that criminalized interracial marriage and on other policies that created second- class citizenship in the United States.”

“Nazism and the tradition of American white supremacy that is memorialized in monuments throughout the South are the fruit of the same poisonous tree. In this light, the Confederate flag can legitimately be seen as an alternate version of the Nazi emblem.”

I confess that I’m not much of a Jew. I hate Israel, I don’t believe Jews are God’s chosen people, I don’t believe in Jehovah, the stupid vindictive Jewish God, and I dislike Kosher food. The Kosher business is a grift.

However, I despise people who deny the Holocaust. The Nazis murdered people they considered “untermenschen”—Poles, Russians, Gypsies, queers, and Jews. Lots of Jews. Millions of Jews. Anyone who denies this is not only an imbecile, but probably a Jew hater and a Nazi sympathizer.

Slavery was a Holocaust too. If you deny this, you are a fool and a racist. The Middle Passage was a nightmare beyond my comprehension. And if you take time to read books like Sven Beckert's Empire of Cotton: A Global History, you understand that slavery in the cotton fields of Mississippi was as brutal as slavery in a German concentration camp:

“By the end of the eighteenth century, the main way to increase plantation productivity was to torture slaves into working harder and faster. Systematic whipping and beating became the cornerstone of this first modern “speed up,” a dynamic closely analyzed by Edward Baptist. Perhaps more important, the first labor accounting methods were also developed for the plantation. Standardizing the output per slave “hand,” calculating slave depreciation, and setting picking requirements based on previous years’ harvest are some examples, set out by historian Caitlin Rosenthal. As Beckert says, “The all encompassing control of workers—a core characteristic of capitalism—experienced its first great successes on the cotton plantation of the American south”

Although slavery no longer exists in its original form, prison labor is still used to harvest sugar cane or pick cotton. Open shop laws impede workers from organizing in order to earn higher wages or salaries. In Florida, workers from Mexico are imported and recruited—often only quasi-legally—to harvest citrus, strawberries, peanuts and other crops. They’re paid a miserable wage with no benefits and are obliged to leave when the harvest is finished.

The Clintons’ friends and allies in Arkansas, the Waltons and the Tysons are virulent union busters, but so are most businesses in the South. That’s why they’re in the South.

Southerners continue to resist the demolition of statues of criminals like Stonewall Johnson and Robert E. Lee. And they continue to proudly display their disgusting flag—The Stars and Bars. Often they display the Swastika alongside of it. A good match.

— Louis Bedrock

* * *


Oh yeah! Get those [marijuana] permits, people! Sign up and pay your fees and taxes right here….and then we will put you on our route for visits and inspections and if you change anything at all from what you signed your name to then you are immediately illegal and we will definitely fine and penalize you!! Sign up and ‘Step into the Light” you stupid cowards!! Do it quick- before it becomes totally clear that you are getting plowed under anyway by the huge corporate grows in the Central Valley! Yay for “legalization” and handing this industry over to mega-corps and regulators!! Feeling safe enough yet?

* * *


If the Memorial Day op-ed in the NY Times is any indication, Ken Burns's documentary on the Vietnam War will try to satisfy everyone---or at least not anger anyone:

If we can unpack this enormously complicated event, immerse ourselves in it and see it with fresh eyes, we might come to terms with one of the most consequential, and most misunderstood, events in our history and perhaps inoculate ourselves against the further spread of the virulent disunion that afflicts us. Nothing will ever make the tragedy of the Vietnam War all right. But if we are to begin the process of healing, we must first honor the courage, heroism and sacrifice of those who served and those who died, not just as we do today, on Memorial Day, but every day.

The "healing" treacle is particularly annoying. No one who has had a relative or loved one killed in Vietnam can ever really "heal" from that wound. The same can be said of any war or, for that matter, a terrorist attack. This is Teddy Bear psychology, as if what America needs is some kind of national group-hug.

"The courage, heroism, and sacrifice" of the Americans who fought in Vietnam was wasted in a bad cause. The same has to be said about Confederate troops in the Civil War---fighting in defense of slavery---and German and Japanese troops in World War 2.

More teddy bears from Burns:

There is no simple or single truth to be extracted from the Vietnam War. Many questions remain unanswerable. But if, with open minds and open hearts, we can consider this complex event from many perspectives and recognize more than one truth, perhaps we can stop fighting over how the war should be remembered and focus instead on what it can teach us about courage, patriotism, resilience, forgiveness and, ultimately, reconciliation.

As I pointed out the other day, the simple truth of the Vietnam War is that it was essentially a colonial war that the US adopted and re-branded as an anti-Communist war after France failed to regain control of its colony in Indochina.

Rob Anderson (Courtesy, District5Diary)

* * *


by Dan Bacher

AquAlliance, a Chico-based environment group, has filed a lawsuit with Judge Timothy M. Frawley in Sacramento Superior Court alleging the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has broken state law by failing to release records regarding the Oroville Dam spillway crisis.

The litigation takes place as construction crews hired by DWR’s prime contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Company continue work on the spillways. In the past two weeks, Kiewit has focused on removing the lower 2,000 feet, or lower chute, of the gated flood control spillway, also known as the main spillway, according to DWR. Kiewit is using excavators and controlled blasting to demolish the concrete slabs and walls of the lower chute.

On April 19 , 2017, the group filed a Public Records Act (PRA) request to DWR to release records that explicitly pertained to asbestos, a known carcinogen. The asbestos was uncovered by the break in the main spillway and then further eroded by the massive releases of water from the spillway, made necessary by the near-failure of the emergency spillway, according to Barbara Vlamis, AquAlliance’s Executive Director.

Asbestos is the name for a group of minerals with thin fibers, known for their heat and fire-resistance properties, that are found naturally in rock and soil. Asbestos has been used in products, such as insulation for pipes, floor tiles, building materials, and in vehicle brakes and clutches. It can cause mesothelioma cancer and is banned by more than 50 countries.

Vlamis said AquAlliance has been concerned about the extent of the asbestos material and how it did or will impact workers, Oroville residents, and aquatic species, including the Feather River’s salmon and steelhead runs.

In response to the request, DWR released nine documents, but none of these included any pertinent emails, according to Vlamis. When questioned further, DWR claimed that there are no more responsive records and that all responsive e-mails are protected under attorney-client privilege.

AquAlliance, represented by Paul Nicholas Boylan, Esq., disagrees with DWR and is asking the court to enforce the PRA and release the records.

“DWR’s culture is bound by secrecy to protect its image and its very slanted focus, which is to maximize water exports to its contractors,” stated Vlamis. “AquAlliance strongly believes that the public’s right to know is essential in a democracy and legally enforceable, something we are happy to take on.”

The complaint states: “Respondent has denied and continues to deny Petitioner’s request for access to and copies of the records at issue, thereby violating Petitioner’s constitutional, statutory, regulatory and common law rights to examine the records Respondent is withholding. In response, Petitioner now seeks a writ of mandate, declaratory and injunctive relief.”

“This is not a one shot deal for us,” added Vlamis. “We’re in court now for Public Records Act request from 2015 over water transfers. This lawsuit will most likely help us in that case also.”

In a press release in March, DWR first revealed that naturally-occurring asbestos had been found in rock formations and the air near the main spillway. Agency officials claimed the asbestos posed minimal risk to workers and the local community — and increased dust control operations at the site.

California Natural Resources Agency officials declined to comment on AquAlliance’s suit.

The Oroville Dam and Spillway disaster drew national and international media attention beginning in February after the Department of Water Resources and other authorities ordered the evacuation of over 188,000 residents of Butte, Yuba and Sutter counties after officials feared the imminent failure of the auxiliary spillway.

Environmentalists and public trust advocates believe the crisis was completely avoidable. State officials and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ignored a previous warning in 2005 by Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba River Citizens League that the emergency spillway is not armored (concrete reinforced) and extensive erosion would take place if the emergency spillway was used. (

Many have criticized Governor Jerry Brown and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for focusing their energy and money on promoting the controversial water bond and Delta Tunnels, rather than repairing and fixing existing infrastructure such as the Oroville Dam spillway, at the behest of corporate agribusiness interests and the Metropolitan Water District.

The latest refusal by DWR to release documents occurs within the larger context of the penchant for secrecy in government by both the Schwarzenegger and Brown administrations. This lack of transparency has characterized the Delta Vision, Bay Delta Conservation Plan and California WaterFix plans to build the Delta Tunnels, as well as the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create so-called “marine protected areas” in California. For more information, go to:

* * *


Workshop: Gardening for a Thriving Ecosystem

Saturday, June 17, 10:00am to 3:30pm

(Lecture 10:00am—1:00pm; hands-on 1:30pm-3:30pm)

at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Some of the tiniest critters have the largest populations and play the most significant roles in keeping the garden in balance. This class will provide you with a basic knowledge of plant and insect relationships in the vegetable garden and how they affect the vitality of the entire garden ecosystem. We will discuss companion planting and pest management. Instructor, MCBG Lead Gardener Jaime Jensen teaches the essential skills to develop a strong vegetable garden for years to come in this hands-on, brains-on training.  Cost is $35 per class (includes Gardens admission for the day). Payment is due upon sign-up. Please note, all workshop fees are non-refundable unless the workshop has been canceled or rescheduled by the Gardens. Please reserve space for one or more of the classes by phoning 707-964-4352 ext. 16 or you can stop by The Garden Store at MCBG to save your spot.

Roxanne Perkins
(Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens)

* * *


Most of the Swingin' Boonville Big Band's gigs are at night.  If this leaves you feeling left out then mark your calendar.  We are playing an afternoon gig on July 1st.  Come hear us at the Mendocino Art Center on Saturday the 1st starting at 1PM!  Concessions available.

* * *


Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office K9 Chase to get body armor

Vested Interest in K9s Donation - Additional Award

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office K9 Chase will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Chase’s vest is sponsored by an Anonymous Donor and will be embroidered with the sentiment “Born to love - Trained to serve - Loyal Always”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.  Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,400 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 2.1 million dollars.  The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.  The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795-$2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at ( or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.  Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Kirk Mason who oversees the Sheriff's Office K9 Unit stated, "The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office program has been in existence for over 20 years.  During this time our canine partners have evolved from being strictly protection partners to person trackers, evidence seekers and tactical partners.  As a result we have seen a marked increase in deployments and an increased awareness of our canine partners capabilities by both sworn personnel and community members.  The donation of these vests will allow our canine partners to safely work side by side, with their handler, in day to day situations which tend to increase in both numbers and complexity.  Our handlers will now have the peace of mind in knowing that their canine partner will be deployed in all situations, knowing that their canine partner has the highest level of affordable protection currently being offered."

* * *


Coast Life Support District will offer a free class in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Saturday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. at the Bill Platt Training Center on Ocean Drive in Gualala.

Certified instructor Steve McLaughlin will teach the latest American Heart Association-endorsed techniques, including optional hands-only CPR and use of an Automated External Defibrillator. AEDs are in many public locations.

The instruction is free, but there is a $20 administrative charge for an optional AHA Heartsaver certification card, valid for two years.

To reserve space in the class, call 707-884-1829 x 31 or email The class will be canceled unless at four or more people preregister by noon on the Thursday before the class.

J. Stephen McLaughlin" <>

* * *


Dear Interested Parties,

The Planning Commission Cancellation Agenda for June 15, 2017, is posted on the department website at:

Please contact staff with any questions.

Victoria Davis
Commission Services Supervisor

* * *


The Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) is currently enrolling students in two of its vocational programs: the Medical Assisting Program and the Dental Assisting Program. Applications are available online at or in person at 2240 Old River Road in Ukiah, and are due Friday, July 14.

Medical assistants work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as health clinics and assisted living centers. Their duties generally include administrative and clinical responsibilities, including updating medical charts and scheduling appointments, as well as preparing patients for a doctor’s examination and collecting laboratory samples, among many other duties. Medical assisting is a fast-growing occupation, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it can be an entry point for those interested in becoming nurses.

Like medical assistants, dental assistants are also in high demand and they also perform both administrative and clinical duties. Dental assistants often work in dental clinics or dental offices. They prepare patients for treatments and teeth cleanings, process x-rays, and work with patients on billing issues, among other duties. Becoming a dental assistant is the first step in becoming a registered dental assistant, and additional specialty certificates are available after that.

In Ukiah, the Medical Assisting Program runs from August 14 through May 3. Classes are held Monday through Thursday from 12:00 - 4:00 PM. The program requires 460 classroom hours and a 180-hour externship, which includes 80 administrative hours and 100 clinical hours. The program is limited to 20 students and it costs $3500.00, which can be paid in two installments.

The Dental Assisting program runs from August 21 through December 21. Classes are Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM. The 18-week course prepares students for front and back office dental assisting, including chairside and Dentrix software training. At the conclusion of the classroom training, students must complete a 120-hour externship with a dental practice. The program is limited to 8 students and it costs $3200.00, which can be paid in two installments.

Successful applicants in this competitive process will have high school diplomas or the equivalent, pass a basic skill exam and be able to type a minimum of 25 words per minute. MCOE offers the basic skill exam and typing test free of charge. Medical assisting students must undergo a medical screening, a background check and a drug test. Dental assisting students must also undergo a medical screening.

Once they have completed the program, medical assisting students will be prepared for state certification testing with the California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants.

For more information about MCOE’s workforce development programs, contact Tami Mee at (707) 467-5133 or via email at

MCHC Health Centers Nursing Director Jasmin Pintane addresses Medical Assisting students during a tour of Hillside Health Center.

* * *


Wine, Dine and Learn with Physicist Lynda Williams! Tuesday June 13, 2017 6 pm Dinner and drinks 7 pm Presentation and Discussion Silver’s At The Wharf, overlooking the Golden Rule 32260 N Harbor Drive, Ft Bragg, 95437

In 1958 four Quaker peace activists sailed the Golden Rule toward the Marshall Islands to interfere with US nuclear bomb testing. This bold nonviolent direct action inspired a worldwide movement leading to the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963.

This spring the UN negotiations for a Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons are energizing the movement for nuclear disarmament, as is public concern about the very real possibility of nuclear war.

Lynda Williams is a physicist, antinuclear activist, performance artist and physics professor at Santa Rosa Junior College. Her expertise is in nuclear power, weapons and missile defense. She is a board member of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and an ally to Veterans For Peace. Lynda will give a brief overview of the nuclear state of the world and how a UN Ban on Nuclear Weapons can save the planet from an atomic catastrophe. Q&A follows.

Walk to The Wharf dock for a tour and get your picture taken on the Golden Rule. For more information, call Richard Karch 707-937-0334 or Helen Jaccard, 206-992-6364

The Golden Rule is a National Project of Veterans For Peace, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Facebook: Golden Rule Peace Boat Donations: VFP Golden Rule Project, PO Box 87, Samoa, CA 95564

Sponsored by: Silver’s At The Wharf

* * *


Join us to experience a simple form of meditation that helps the planet and builds a stronger connection with your own spiritual nature.

Transmission Meditation is a non-denominational group meditation that does not conflict with other meditations or spiritual practices, but can actually enhance them. Transmission Meditation is a potent form of world service that anyone, even those with busy lives, can easily do. It can be a mode of service for life, if you so choose. Do you want to help the world and strengthen the connection to your Higher Self? Transmission Meditation is the simplest way to do both.

Friday, June 9, 7:00 PM at Center for Spiritual Living Gathering Place
Fort Bragg Company Store
Main & Redwood Streets,
Fort Bragg
Information: 877-1800, or 895-3134
Nancy MacLeod, Bill Allen

* * *


L&J Belna wrote (MCN Listserve):

Greetings, I am following up about looking for a space to have an art show in the future. Ideas for venues include coffee shops, cafés, galleries, Farms, Wineries, Eateries and other community spaces that host artists. Much Thanks :) Any ideas, suggestions or recommendations?  Happy June!

Hi, L&J, Marco here.

KNYO, at 325 N. Franklin (next to the Tip Top bar), right in the heart of Fort Bragg, practically surrounded by symbiotic gallery places, has a storefront performance space that's perfect for an art show in that there are white walls with track lights pointed at them, lots of electric outlets, a video projector, etc. And if your show has music or poetry or interviewing or a presentation involved you can do it live on local radio. Contact Bob Young and arrange your event.

In related news, I'll be doing Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio by live  remote from Juanita's apartment tomorrow night (Friday, June 9) and not  from the storefront in town, so if you were planning to come in and  show-and-tell, or emit music, or talk about your project, or invent a  new thing to even do on the radio, then make that Friday, June 16).  When I'm in, just invade unannounced, head for the lighted room at the  back and get my attention and I'll turn on a microphone for you. It's  that easy. (Also easy and fun: get your own regular or irregular show on  KNYO, and you'll be letting yourself in and out whatever days and times  you're comfy committing to.)

Memo of the Air is 9pm to around 4am every Friday night on 107.7fm  KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, including midnight to 3am on 105.1 KMEC-LP Ukiah.  Also live on and, with the recording  of each show available to download by the next night via in case you'd rather listen in the  daytime.


Marco McClean

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Please welcome Troy Bass, owner of the new Cloverdale Grocery Outlet​ ! In his words:

"My name is Troy Bass and I'm the owner/operator of your Cloverdale Grocery Outlet. I have lived in Sonoma County for 5 years and believe this is such a special place to be. In the past, I managed two Grocery Outlet stores, was a vineyard manager, a large beverage store manager, co-a owner of a design and print business, in professional camera sales, and I was in the National Guard.

Cloverdale now has a brand-new store to shop in and find great beer/wines, organics, and groceries at a tremendous savings. I'm very excited to be a part of this beautiful place and to be able to provide great customer service, along with a clean store and quality groceries at an amazing savings to you.

In the future, I plan on getting involved with the Kiwanis Club, Boys and Girls club, Goodwill, and Salvation Army, along with local churches. In my free time, I enjoy all water activities, and auto racing! I love the outdoors and nature and try to garden whenever possible!

If you ever have any questions or need any help, don't hesitate to ask! Our mission is to help our customers save money!"



  1. LouisBedrock June 9, 2017

    “As I pointed out the other day, the simple truth of the Vietnam War is that it was essentially a colonial war that the US adopted and re-branded as an anti-Communist war after France failed to regain control of its colony in Indochina.”

    Well spoken.

    • George Hollister June 9, 2017

      Promoting colonialism, how so? The British were the last large colonialist power, and mercantilism as the key component. I believe France had the same economic strategy. The USA does not. In fact the USA has the exact opposite strategy, that results in large US trade deficits, and the claim of the loss of US jobs.

      Promoting democracy to create stability has been the center of US foreign policy since the Marshal Plan, on the face of it, and in fact. Without a military to support this strategy, the strategy means absolutely nothing.

      • LouisBedrock June 9, 2017

        “Promoting democracy to create stability has been the center of US foreign policy since the Marshal Plan, …”

        Of course it has, George.
        Ask anyone in Iran, Guatemala, El Salvador, or Nicaragua.

      • Harvey Reading June 9, 2017

        Doncha remember, George, that it was U.S troop ships that ferried French military members back to Vietnam after the war ended, and that the U.S. contributed billions of dollars to the unsuccessful French attempt to recolonize the country? The U.S. has NEVER promoted democracy, except in terms of propaganda. How could it? We have never had democracy here at home, though we are brainwashed from birth to believe that we do. That is what the founders intended.

        The Marshall plan was more about keeping our European “allies” under control and preventing them from making a democratic choice that could easily have resulted in the “monster” of socialism being chosen freely by the people of Europe.

        Tell me, George, did you ever work as a propagandist? You’d have been good at it.

        • George Hollister June 9, 2017

          What we have seen, maybe up until now, are idealists occupying the White House. Idealists that have promoted their world view. That world view is what is seen in foreign policy. Of course, with idealism comes disillusionment.

          The US since WW2 through GWB has promoted democracy, by pressuring non- aggressive countries to accept it, and by imposing it on aggressive ones. Pretty consistent. This philosophy is fundamental to “neo-conservatism”. Jimmy Carter was a big promoter of “human rights”, and pressured countries on it. Up until recently, Carter would involve himself in certifying the credibility of elections. The end of the road came in Iraq. Obama did not promote democracy, and neither does Trump. I doubt any president will, for a while anyway.

          A lot can be read into it foreign policy that is not there. Lots of conspiracy theories. Profit motive is the most popular. There are those who profit from our foreign policy, and the military, just like the hogs that are at the trough of every single other government program that comes out of Washington. There are no exceptions, with the single possible exception being Social Security.

          To me this whole thing about the American Empire, and American colonialism is something dreamed up to fit an anti-American narrative, and nothing more. What it says, is we can successfully dream up all kinds of things to fit a narrative. The lesson from Iraq applies to Latin America. There are people who do not want to be free, we need to get over it.

          • Harvey Reading June 9, 2017

            Sorry, George, but what you wrote is utter nonsense and wishful thinking. If you really believe what you write you are living in a total dream world. “Idealists”? C’mon now George, that is a real conspiracy theory.

            The U.S. NEVER promoted democracy, except in words. It was fairly good at toppling popularly elected governments and replacing them with dictatorships friendly to our wealthy rulers. You seem to simply be memorizing right-wing think-tank tales and then presenting them as your own original thought. I thought for a while that you were better than that, but your last paragraph ended that line of thought for good. Live and learn, I guess. I do believe that I’ll refer to you as Pollyan(n)a henceforth. Better than referring to you as a goddam liar.

            • George Hollister June 9, 2017

              First of all, what we freely call democracy is actually elected republican government. I think we agree there. In reality, real democracy is only found locally. It is never going to be found in a central government, particularly a large central government. So we agree there?

              In America, there is no democracy within our central government agencies. They are insulated from the electorate, by design. Money can be influential, there is no question about that. But more importantly, the faith narrative of the agency and it’s supporters(there always are) is what is most relevant, and most influential. If we are in line with the faith narrative of the agency, we are good with it. If not, we are not good with it. The big fights are never over money, but over faith. Always.

              It is a joke to think our central government will or can be truly democratic. Our local school board is democratic, so is our board of supervisors. The further we get away from local, the less democratic government is. It is the way it is. If we want to maintain real democracy, keep government local, and that includes local funding. If it is not locally funded, then the local democracy is hollow. Money from somewhere else always has strings. Always.

              But that does not get away from the American narrative on freedom. We have pushed for elected government vs. dictatorial as a push for freedom and democracy. That is what America has done since WW2, up until Obama.

              • Harvey Reading June 9, 2017

                In response to your 06/09 comment at 1629:

                Well then, democracy or democratic are not words that describe what we have here in the land o’ exceptionals is it? So why do we hear the word bandied about constantly, from the press to our politicians to our clergy to our intellectuals to our rather (at the direction of our wealthy rulers) ignorant masses? You tell me, because I sense that you believe, deep down, that we do in fact have a democratic system. Either that or you are very wealthy and would like to see the status-quo pre-Trump preserved for you personal benefit. In fact though, the selection of our leaders is not democratic at all is it? Simply choosing between two names, or sometimes more than two come election time does NOT a democratic system make. And, given the “top” choices we were offered last November, your last paragraph becomes completely null and void, just gasbagging from a right-winger who is displeased with the clown prince. Perhaps you would have preferred Paul Ryan? Or the she-monster? I am confident that you would not be able to abide a Jill Stein.

                When I was in grammar school, what we have was called by our teachers a democratic republic. That was, and is, a lie. The senate is NOT democratically apportioned and in fact is an example of minority rule–85 percent of the population get 50 senators; the remaining 15 percent get 50 senators. Similar could be said for the house owing to nonrandom choices of district boundaries, called gerrymandering, and election fraud in terms of limiting who can vote. Under a democratic system, representatives would be selected through at-large voting by statewide electorates, that is, each state would be a house district as well, and apportionment would continue to be determined by the number of people resident in each state.

                Local government is just as nondemocratic as any other level. The more local the control, the more the local thugs control. Since I’m guessing you’re a Mendo local, tell me just how democratic and responsive to the majority your local elected officials are. Judging from what I read in AVA, not very. Perhaps you are among the wealthy, and actually can influence your elected officials? It would not surprise me at all.

                Returning once more to your last paragraph, just who was this “we” who “pushed” for “elected” (note that you did not include the descriptive “democratically” before the word elected, now did you?) government versus what you term dictatorship? It surely wasn’t us commoners, because we couldn’t even vote. Wasn’t the slaves. Wasn’t the native peoples. So, that leaves the wealthy. They wanted to elect a government for themselves and have it run for their benefit exclusively, and they sold it as democratic. Hence, a nondemocratic system of government that served them. There was never a “push for freedom and democracy, from the start – except for theirs. To make statements like yours is to be a Pollyanna, to live in a dream world. Or perhaps, as I suggested in another comment, you like to peddle propaganda to make others believe in a system that benefits primarily the wealthy.

                Sweet dreams, dear Pollyanna.

          • Bruce McEwen Post author | June 9, 2017

            Truer words have never been spoken, George. “There are people who do not want to be free.” I couldn’t agree more virulently with that sentiment.

            Why just lookit the Indins, George. Them dumb savages simply refused democracy, did all they could to avoid it, had to be dragged into it, in the end, by the hair of their heads — those few whose scalps didn’t come loose, the ones who survived the invite.

            And look at ’em now: Still not happy, after we done fer ’em! Yer right, George, like yer namesake Georgie Porgie, you have to pretty much ram democracy down these poor, stupid, rinky-dink fool’s throats — doncha, George.

            Like we did in The Nam, George — “liberate ’em!”

            • George Hollister June 9, 2017

              Indians were enslaved in the purest sense. There was/is no chance for freedom except to escape the plantation(reservation). Freedom means taking responsibility for yourself. That is something Indians were denied, and now too often tempted away from doing.

          • Bruce McEwen Post author | June 9, 2017

            What’s even more pathetic, George, is all those people who don’t even want to be rich — let alone free!

            Ever heard of ’em?

            Honest to God, George, there are such witless wights in the world, and it’s a sobering demographic to contemplate…tut tut tut… makes me thirsty just thinking about it — so, even though I agree with you and would like to stick around and lend you some aid in dealing with Reading and Bedrock, I’ve really got to go to the bar — besides, you’ve got these guys overwhelmingly bamboozled with your plain speaking and stolid grip on reality, you crafty old dog, you!

            • George Hollister June 9, 2017

              The advocates of socialism are advocates for slavery. They want someone else to take responsibility for them. They want someone else to pay and make decision for them. Lots of people like that. The on going fantasy of socialist advocates is that they will have a say. This say is called it democracy. Sorry, that is not the way it ever works.

              • Harvey Reading June 9, 2017

                Just more right-wing gasbagging, George. You must be a very wealthy man to equate socialism with slavery. The only ones who would be penalized under a socialist system are the very wealthy, who wouldn’t be nearly so wealthy had they not profited grossly off the labor of their underpaid and poorly treated workers.

  2. Kathy June 9, 2017

    Thank you for your service to the community and County Jim Little. Your wisdom and historical knowledge will be missed on the Planning Commission.

  3. LouisBedrock June 9, 2017

    In an article that documents the Clintons’ use of prisoners as slaves at the Arkansas governor’s mansion in the 1980s, Nathan J. Robinson notes,

    “Contrary to popular understanding, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution did not prohibit slavery. The text makes it clear:

    ‘Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.’

    The nifty little loophole of that word “except” means that slavery isn’t actually banned outright; someone simply has to be convicted of a crime in order to be enslaved. This gave Southern states a welcome free hand in re-establishing forced servitude for African Americans in the years after Reconstruction collapsed; as Douglas Blackmon documents in Slavery By Another Name, the Jim Crow era was in many places characterized by a mass re-enslavement process, whereby criminal laws were devised that allowed states and municipalities to put black people in chains again. Today, forced labor among African Americans persists; in Louisiana, for example, felons are sentenced to “hard labor” as well as prison time, and inmates at the infamous Angola prison still pick cotton at gunpoint.”

    • George Hollister June 9, 2017

      Prisoners are slaves. That is the reality of it. Slaves are those in society others take responsibility for.

      That means children, too. That is why all child labor is in fact slave labor.

      Women used to fit in this category as well. Women were not deemed capable of being financially independent, or being capable of taking responsibility. Two hundred years ago, in the US, this was largely the case. The industrial revolution, and birth control changed this.

      Of course none of these people had the right to vote. Two of the three I mentioned, still don’t, and shouldn’t.

      • LouisBedrock June 9, 2017

        This comment is so mind-boggling stupid that I don’t know how to respond.

        • Harvey Reading June 9, 2017

          I agree. The response is overboard even for George, which says a lot. He twists and molds any fact he doesn’t like into its exact, or near-exact opposite. By the way, Louis, excellent essay on our suthren “brethren”, though similar could be said for the rest of the country, just to a slightly lesser degree.

          • Harvey Reading June 9, 2017

            Incidentally, I would rather have children voting in preference to some of the so-called “adults” I have encountered.

          • LouisBedrock June 9, 2017


            Thank you!
            You are the calvary riding in for the rescue.
            “Propagandist” is one word that comes to mind.
            “Sophist” and “apologist” are others.

            I used to believe that Hollister was smart enough not to believe what he writes. But I am starting to wonder if he’s not merely a slightly more eloquent Grace.

        • George Hollister June 9, 2017

          What I am saying is mind-boggling because you’re brain dead. That is OK, it is a standard state for liberal intellectuals. You have lots of company in high places, that make lots of money consuming, rearranging, and extruding nonsense.

          • Harvey Reading June 9, 2017

            How do you define brain-dead, George? Mainly as someone (or whole, large groups of people) who disagrees with you, I suspect. Got nooze for ya, a lot of people do disagree with you, myself included.

  4. Jim Updegraff June 9, 2017

    MLB: Giants bounces back from blown save – Giants 9 Brewers 5 Giants scored 4 runs in the 10th inning. Cueto went 5 innings – 106 pitches – gave up 3 runs – 2 earned. Melancon blew the save (3-13) with 2 ER but also won the game (1-1). The giants just are going no where with their lousy pitching.

    A’s had a bye.

    El Trumpo the village idiot stuck his nose into the Qatar Iran situation and with his stupid comment made the situation worse. I doubt if he knew we have an AF base there with 10,000 soldiers. The Turks are making a very significant increase in the troops they have there and the Iranians will not sit still while the Saudi’s blockade Qatar. He has a knack for making bad situations worse.

    • George Hollister June 9, 2017

      Everything about Trump has to start with his ignorance.

      • Harvey Reading June 9, 2017

        And not only Trump …

  5. Jim Updegraff June 9, 2017

    When you talk about slavery remember there is also human trafficking – Sacramento as it turns out is a center of human trafficking and there is a large force of FBI, local law enforcement and nonprofits working together to put a stop to it.

  6. mr. wendal June 9, 2017


    So what changes/improvements are Adult Protective Services and In Home Supportive Services going to make so the public can feel that this won’t happen again? Whoever heads those services should make public statements about where they failed and what they’ll do to improve.

    Where is the sense of responsibility in the County government? These are our most vulnerable people whose care they’re charged with. How did things go so wrong that this was allowed to happen after they were notified that there was a problem? Why weren’t charges filed against them, too? Is job security more important than a person’s life? It’s a sad commentary on the culture of the health and human services department. Grand Jury members – are you paying attention to this incident?

    Not that it lets Ms. Delfiorentino off the hook but APS had the opportunity to step in and chose not to do so. And IHSS workers are contractors, not county employees so the county can hire people with questionable backgrounds and sidestep responsibility for their actions. They know that some of their contractors should not be taking care of another being. Maybe a county employee or two will speak up and speak out.

    • Betsy Cawn June 10, 2017

      Adult “Protective” Services are shielded from scrutiny — much like medical services and behavioral health — for which there is no public accountability for performance to standards, or oversight of outcomes and spending, injuries and losses, and human lives wasted or saved.

      Implementing the Older Americans Act of 1965, for the prevention of such losses and injuries, would go a long way to reducing catastrophic medical costs, law enforcement and incarceration expenses, and the silent suffering of frail elderly.

      Lake & Mendocino Counties “Area Agency on Aging” pledges only to provide “minimum” requirements of the OAA, and most of the preventive “nutrition” programs require levels of civic participation and social generosity (free labor, donated or discounted materials, high-risk operational practices, and toleration of “abusive” management).

      We can do better, but not with the standards perpetuated by the current program management. We also have new management, in both Lake County Department of Social Services and the Area Agency on Aging’s “Planning & Service Area No. 26 – Lake and Mendocino.”

      With our shared counties’ cooperative systems long-established, Lake County publicans and dependent citizens watch carefully as Mendocino’s agencies evolve new responses to handle social ills and civic aberrations as reported by the ever-vigilant AVA. On this side of Cow Mountain, we wait with bated breath to see how our very constrained Public Health and Mental/Behavioral Health departments will be benefitted by the new DSS regime — under an ever silent County Administrative Office (run by the former DSS Director).

      Be assured, everyone, that the County’s attention is nowhere upon these fundaments of public administration — we are saved by wealthy Chinese land barons, who will build in South Lake County a new edifice to extravagance after buying their own permitting staff (another Lake County done deal, shortchanging public infrastructure, the labor market, and the deliver of public services in our “severely disadvantaged” communities).

      Half of this county is glued together with IHSS workers who are not abusers, family members caring for life-long disabled members, and hard-working service providers. Add the hundreds of volunteers, thousands of low-paid government agency staff, and a die-hard breed of communitarians, and you have a wonderful place to live and work — just don’t get old and if you’re already poor, forgeddaboutit.

      • Betsy Cawn June 10, 2017

        You can see the reported cases of Elder Abuse in Mendo and Lake Counties on Page 24 of the Area Agency on Aging 2016-2020 (PSA 26) Area Plan, at Mental disabilities are discussed on Page 25, and Suicide on Page 26. Data on suicides is from 2008 (before or after “the crash,” one wonders — and the loss of Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa as a major private enterprise.

        “Top 10 Problems” listed on Page 29 do not include homelessness, oddly enough, but the 2015 and 2016 Lake County wildfires impacted hundreds of residents, caregivers, and service providers — and 72 individuals identified their “homelessness” as a result of the fires, in this year’s field survey.

  7. sohumlily June 9, 2017



    Spellcheck is wreaking havoc…

    • Harvey Reading June 9, 2017

      You can turn it off. To do so, right-click on the “misspelled” word and uncheck the “Check Spelling” option. Or, you can add the word to the dictionary by clicking that choice. Ever use the horror called “Grammatik” (“k” is correct) in WordPerfect (at least as of the early 2000s)? I would blow up every time I tried it. Often its suggested usage would be even worse than mine.

      • sohumlily June 9, 2017

        Bruce McE seems to have a habit of this gross error
        in his recent posts/article. :)

        I don’t know much about a lot of things, but I do know the difference between lose and loose. I see it all the time online alongside with other sad spelling lazyness.

        Spell check is fraught with peril…

        • Bruce McEwen Post author | June 9, 2017


        • John Fremont June 9, 2017

          It’s spelled laziness.

          • sohumlily June 10, 2017


            OK and woopsie…

            I’ll go back under my rock and leave you to it.

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