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Mendocino County Today: Friday, July 21, 2017

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AN ELK GROVE man, missing since Sunday, July 9, was found dead in his silver 2000 Ford Mustang near mile marker 4 on Highway 128 not far from Highway One. He is described as a 57-year-old African-American. An autopsy did not reveal cause of death, but the Sheriff's Department said the death does not seem suspicious. A Fort Bragg woman who'd stopped nearby discovered the man and called the Sheriff.

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Starting out from the office: the historical memory of Mendocino County. When we’re gone, it’s gone.

Little Dog kicking back.

The Church of Christ. “No book but the Bible.”

Mi Esperanza, a muy cool Mexican store, central Boonville.

Front gate, Haehl St., Boonville.

Yard Art, Boonville

My inspiration.

Our brilliant metal worker, Steve Rhoades, Boonville.

Former home of the Albanian bandits, Philo.

Highway 128. By Doug Johnson. A Valley landmark, Navarro.

The Navarro Post Office, 2017.

The Old Navarro Post Office, 1990.

(Photos not being an AVA strength, the point of these two Navarro Post Office pictures is to illustrate one of many local subtractions of community. The old Navarro Post Office was a wooden kiosk fastened on to the Navarro Store. It was manned by a real person with whom local residents could linger to discuss the news of the day. The real person as post office was arbitrarily replaced by anonymous post office drones in favor of stark plastic boxes with no regard for the people who live in the area and even less regard for the village aesthetic of the town.)

The Old Navarro Hotel.

Navarro’s Town Rooster.

David Dart, Luthier, Navarro.

America’s Greatest Rock Collection, right here at the Rock Stop, Navarro.

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by Malcolm Macdonald

The electronic medical records of Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) were the subject of a computer cyber attack in June. Apparently the hospital's administrative leadership has made little or no effort to inform the public about this problem.

MCDH's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bob Edwards, should have known about the cyber attack no later than June 29th, given that the American Hospital Association (AHA) circulated the following bulletin on June 28th: “An evolving cyberattack using a variant of Ransomware has hit businesses worldwide, with particular impacts in transportation and health care. According to press reports, Nuance Communications, a provider of voice and language solutions including transcription services, is among those impacted in the health care sector. Nuance has taken measures to contain the incident, including temporarily taking certain customer-facing solutions offline.”

As of late June, Nuance Communications was the provider of transcription services for MCDH. The AHA bulletin goes on, “The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is advising vigilance and following general cyber hygiene practices, such as ensuring that all your systems patches and anti-virus definitions are up to date and educating users on common Phishing tactics...”
While this hospital observer was aware of the problem, it appeared that most Mendocino Coast Hospital District residents had no knowledge, even those who may have suffered through delays in obtaining medical records. I went to the MCDH Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon, July 18th, fully expecting CEO Edwards to make some sort of announcement about the cyber attack at or near the beginning of the meeting chaired by Dr. Kevin Miller.

On the other hand Edwards has hardly been a leader imbued of true public transparency, so I also came prepared with several questions to ask on the subject of the cyber attack. One would think that the CEO of a publicly owned hospital district would want that public to know about something as potentially serious as a cyber attack on the hospital's medical records. Edwards gave no opening statement and the meeting went blithely on its way through the agenda, which included a final item entitled, “Request Parcel Tax for November 2017 Election.”

Keep in mind that CEO Edwards and the committee chair create the meeting agenda. Either Edwards or Dr. Miller believed that a parcel tax could be placed on the November ballot, an election one hundred ten days away. Ballot measures must be approved by the County eighty-eight days ahead of any election. With that math in mind, the parcel tax item would have to be ramrodded through a MCDH Board meeting on July 27th. Another footnote to the law, such a ballot measure would require a public hearing, presumably the same July 28th MCDH Board of Directors meeting. Consider how little notice that would have actually given the public.

By the time Michael Reimenschneider, of Eastshore Consulting, went through a powerpoint overview on potential parcel tax or bond measures, Edwards realized that a November, 2017, parcel tax vote was an impossibility. One wonders why he didn't do the basic math before authoring the preposterous agenda item. You can pretty much bet the farm the parcel tax item was an Edwards creation rather than a notion of committee chair Miller, though second thought says, not so fast with your farm wager. After all, it was Dr. Miller who demanded an up or down vote on the future of the Obstetrics (OB) Department be placed on the MCDH Board agenda a month ago.

Onward to some of the questions I put to Edwards near the end of the July 18th Planning Committee meeting.

  • How much medical record dictation was lost?  Edwards did not answer.
  • How many internal [MCDH] medical records were delayed by this cyber attack?  Edwards did not give a response.
  • Did MCDH have a backup plan in place to deal with potential computer hacks/cyber attacks? If not, what plans are being made to rectify the situation?  Edwards had nothing to say about this.
  • When did MCDH inform other hospitals or clinics about the medical record problem?  Edwards gave no date.
  • When did MCDH begin informing patients about the extent of the medical record problem?  Edwards did not respond.
  • Did MCDH put out any kind of public statement acknowledging the problem with its medical record system? If so, where and when?  Edwards made no response to this inquiry.
  • How many MCDH medical records are still affected by this problem?  No answer from Edwards.
  • Is MCDH still contracting with Nuance? If not, what new provider has taken the place of Nuance?  No response from Edwards.
  • In a somewhat related manner, how does the CEO expect MCDH to function properly, let alone in a crisis such as a cyber attack, with so many interim managers?  Edwards failed to respond.
  • Can the CEO explain to this committee and the public the reasons why so many managers have departed MCDH since he took over the Chief Executive Officer position [in April, 2015]?  Apparently not, because Edwards did not respond.
  • In relation to strategic planning, one of this CEO's key points in his own strategic plan for the hospital was producing quarterly “Quality Reports.” There have been no such Quality Reports in the 2017 calendar year. Can the CEO explain this significant hole in his own concept of strategic planning for MCDH?  Like all the other questions, Edwards chose not to respond to this.

Bob Edwards, MCDH's CEO had a printed copy of these questions in front of him, yet he chose to sit silent and continue to keep the public in the dark about basic information concerning whether or not the problem was still ongoing, whether or not the hospital has had or is planning for future contingency plans regarding cyber attacks, or simply giving a basic statement about when the problem first came to the hospital's attention and what types of record keeping it impacted.

The last three questions, regarding the departures of so many management level employees from MCDH in the last year or two and Edwards's inability to follow through on his own strategic plans, demonstrate his overall inability to successfully manage the hospital staff and meet even his own expectations.

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IF MENDOCINO COUNTY got cut off from the rest of Trumplandia tomorrow, our survival chances would be pretty good, what with our numerous small farms, our plethora of citizens with practical skills, olive orchards and, best of all, more quality booze per capita than any place in the world including Scotland.

An exciting new addition to Noyo Harbor in 2018, Schnaubelt Distillery will be located in the historic building formerly known as the Noyo Ice House. I remember John Schnaubelt and his dad brainstorming the idea back in 2012 when we were just opening our shop in the harbor. We look forward to the dream becoming a reality in 2018!


Anderson Valley Brewing, Boonville

Germaine-Robin, Ukiah

Frey Vineyards, Ukiah.

Handley Cellars, Philo (Now managed by Lulu McClellan and her sister Megan Handley Warren)

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You've heard about Margie

Heard about Dana

Heard about Suzie

But Lulu, Lulu

I gotta get my old tuxedo pressed

Gotta sew a button on my vest

'Cause tonight I've gotta look my best!

Lulu's back in town

Gotta get a half a buck somewhere

Gotta shine my shoes and slick my hair

Gotta get myself a boutonniere

Lulu's back in town

You can tell all my pets

All my blondes and brunettes

Mister Otis regrets

That he won't be aroun'

You can tell the mailman not to call

I ain't comin' home until the fall

And I might not get back home at all

Lulu's back in town

Lulu, Lulu, Lulu, Lulu, Lulu's back in town!

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In August of 2015, I was assigned by my company, Medstar Ambulance of Mendocino, as a Paramedic to provide advanced life support coverage on Saturdays to the Anderson Valley community. This was a joint venture in response to grant funding provided to the Anderson Valley Ambulance to provide enhanced medical service to the community. When I accepted the assignment for this venture, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was working in a unique position on a quick response vehicle (QRV) as a solo paramedic that would cooperate with the BLS (basic life support) crews at the scenes of medical incidents to provide the most effective and efficient medical care and transport of patients in Anderson Valley. This was going to be the first time that Advanced Life Support (ALS) coverage was stationed in Anderson Valley in the history of the medical service of the area. The duties would also include working closely with the Volunteers of both the ambulance and fire department and providing high quality medical trainings during my shift to assist in the advancement of the EMTs’ knowledge, skills, and abilities in the medical field. I happily accepted the assignment with little to no understanding of just how close I would become both personally and professionally to these fine people and I feel that they deserve some recognition.

Over the course of these last couple years, I worked a 24 hour shift in Anderson Valley on Saturdays in addition to the 48 hour shifts that I work for the Mendocino Coast District Hospital Ambulance. Every Saturday became an adventure of some sort. Whether it was a medical call that would come in that would challenge both my medical knowledge and improvisation skills, or a training put on at the request of some volunteer EMTs that would challenge my abilities to teach in an effective manner, or being an active participant in the medical response of large events in the community like the Sierra Music Festival, my shift here in Anderson Valley was always busy and interesting. What I am walking away with the most from this experience is a huge appreciation for the dedication of the members of the AVAS and AVFD. These are community members who dedicate enormous hours of labor to help enhance their community for almost no financial reimbursement. I would always see these folks working tirelessly on trainings, community organizations or emergency calls and they would do it with smiles and positive attitudes. These folks are always striving to better themselves and are always willing and asking for constructive critiquing and training before and after calls to help learn from and improve on the quality of care that they provide. On top of this, these responders welcomed me and the changes in the medical care system that I brought with me with open arms and made me feel like a part of this community right away.

My first shift here in Anderson Valley, I was a little nervous about what to expect. I was coming into an area that had a very well established and close knit group of responders that had an effective way of providing service that has been tried and true for more than fifty years and I was a little apprehensive at how well the changes that I was bringing with me were going to be received. My apprehensions were immediately proven completely illegitimate. My first contacts were with Clay Eubank and Aaron Martin with the AVAS and immediately struck up positive relationships with both. They filled me in on how the response plans worked here in the Valley, introduced me to all the folks I would be working with, and basically became my liaisons helping me integrate fluidly into the community. From there, I was introduced to the Fire Chief Andres Avila who gave me excellent insight and advice on how to effectively serve the needs of his personnel and interact with them in the most effective and positive ways. As I began working regularly here and running medical calls, I also got to know the regular crews that were staffing the ambulance on Saturdays. Martha Hyde, Mike Mannix, Tom Melcher, and Antoinette VonGrone were my usual coworkers and I am proud to say that I grew to know these individuals on a personal level as well and I was very thankful to have such a positive and hard working group of people working with me. There are many other people that I was closely involved with and I enjoyed my time working and interacting with each and every one of them.

Attending the annual holiday department appreciation dinners the last two Decembers have also helped solidify my love and admiration for the AVFD and AVAS. Being able to participate in an annual celebration of the dedication and commitment these individuals undertake and seeing the love and joy expressed by everyone shows me just how wonderful these people are and just how underappreciated they can be at times. The sheer amount of commitment and logistics that goes on behind the scenes to keep volunteer organizations afloat is astounding and these individuals not only meet the challenge head on, but they do it with smiles on their faces every time. There is no amount of thanks in the entire world that would come close to expressing the gratitude these individuals deserve.

So, while my time in the Valley is coming to an end, I want to extend an enormous thanks to everyone. Chief Andres Avila and Battalion Chief Clay Eubank of the Anderson Valley Fire Department, Theresa Gowan, Leonard Winter, and Lea Bergem of Medstar Ambulance, Dave Diggs and Mike Fonsen and Kevin Fenske and Ben Nicholls of CalFire, Mike, Martha, Antoinette, Tom, Regine, Tamera, Aaron, Moy and everyone else who I’ve worked with on Anderson Valley Ambulance and Fire Department: thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this more than just a job for me; for accepting me into your community, for providing me an opportunity to make a difference and to learn and grow from everyone, and for just being you. While I am excited to finally be pursuing my dream of being a firefighter/paramedic for a major metropolitan fire department, I leave bitter sweetly as it is hard to walk away from such a wonderful experience and group of individuals. I hope the community recognizes just how lucky they are to have such wonderful members working so diligently behind the scenes to keep them safe and well.

Tylor Rial, Paramedic,

Formerly of Medstar Ambulance of Mendocino and the Mendocino Coast District Hospital

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag's a friend now, so I had to tell him that a lot of people want him neutered. What's neutered? he asked. They want to cut your nuts off, I explained. Skrag said, Why? Are they crazy? You mean they’ve been feeding me and saying Nice Kitty just so they can de-ball me? I'm outta here, Little Dog, and thank you, buddy, for the heads up. I thought there was something fishy about these people.”

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MENTAL HEALTH'S ANNE MOLGAARD'S weepy defense of her department as "really, really, really hardworking" is three reallys and a hardworking too many. That whole show needs a serious audit, not the usual in-house hurry-up job with government donuts and a big group hug at the end of it.

WE RECALL the time Molgaard claimed, "I was threatened by a big man with a gun," a reference to an encounter with Sheriff Allman in the hallway of the Supe's chambers. The Sheriff, even if he were armed with a ground-to-air missile is not a menacing figure. BTW, question to the house: Have you ever heard a person who truly works hard say he or she is?

SHERIFF ALLMAN'S MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE, if you've come in late, was approved for the November ballot on a 5-0 vote by the Supes 5-0 at Tuesday's BOS meeting. But not before it was almost stalled by Anne Molgaard, HHSA COO (Chief Operating Officer — whatever that means — but it sounds important) who is one of the people working on the measure with Allman. Board of Supes Chair John McCowen, who is also working on the ballot measure, gave some of the background leading up to the new version. Supervisor Hamburg, who openly opposed Allman's original proposal, which got 66.22% of the vote but fell just short of the two-thirds vote that was needed for passage, then talked about how much more inclusive the process had been this year. Meaning he was included.

SHERIFF ALLMAN then made the argument, compelling as always, for the necessity of developing mental health facilities so that people suffering from mental illness are not kept locked in jail where they inevitably deteriorate further. County Counsel then passed out a revised ordinance with new language requiring an audit and a Citizen's Oversight Committee. McCowen said information had been received late Monday that the language about the audit and the oversight committee needed to be included, hence the last minute change. Allman is known to be in touch with high profile political consultants who no doubt suggested the changes.

ANNE MOLGAARD came to the mic and started giving McCowen the third degree about the audit. McCowen offered that it was an independent financial audit to assure the public that the money would be spent for the intended purpose. Molgaard wasn't satisfied. She wanted to know who would do the audit? Was it different from the audit the County does now? Who would pay for it? Molgaard clearly was not satisfied with McCowen's bland assurances and McCowen was clearly frustrated with Molgaard's insistence on continuing a line of questioning that was going nowhere fast. Molgaard suggested action ought to be deferred to give everyone a chance to understand the meaning of the new language.

MCCOWEN SAID he circulated the changes overnight to everyone working on the initiative so he could get feedback before the meeting, asking at one point, "Don't you check your email when you come to work in the morning?" At this point, Ms. Molgaard became visibly emotional, clearly feeling she was under attack. She is the former Executive Director of First Five, and seems to have a history of overreacting to mild provocation. Some years ago she had that spirited verbal exchange with Sheriff Allman in the hallway outside the Board of Supes chambers. The encounter caused her such angst that she sent an email to her board of directors saying she was threatened by a big man with a gun, meaning Sheriff Allman. This is typical Mendo Lib where a raised eyebrow is taken as a threat of imminent violence.

SHERIFF ALLMAN, who has lots of experience calming down visibly deranged individuals, came forward to assure everyone that Auditor Lloyd Weir, who would be on the Citizen Oversight Committee, would be tracking all the revenue received from the initiative and all the revenue expended to assure that all the funds would be properly spent and accounted for. Which echoed McCowen's original response. Hamburg said he agreed with what the Sheriff said. McCowen said he agreed with Allman and Hamburg.

AUDITOR/CONTROLLER Weir, apparently following the meeting from his office across the hall, came forward to say the audit for the mental health initiative would be part of the independent audit that is done every year, that all the funds would be put into a separate account, that all the revenue and expenditures would be separately tracked and accounted for. It only took an extra hour to confirm that an independent audit is an independent audit. With the tempest in a Mendo teapot under control, members of the public, including Dr. Ace Barash, of Willits, came forward to remind everyone that vastly improved mental health services and treatment are desperately needed in Mendocino County and that Sheriff Allman's initiative is the way to make it happen.

THE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD (BHAB), meeting in Gualala on Wednesday, voted unanimously to endorse the Sheriff's mental health initiative. Last year a couple of members of the BHAB (previously known as the Mental Health Board), including the Chair, publicly opposed Allman's initiative. With Hamburg and a unanimous BHAB already on board, it looks like Sheriff Allman's mental health initiative has a solid chance of getting the necessary two-thirds vote this time around.

BACKGROUND (AVA, Feb. 15, 2012)

ANNE MOLGAARD, a non-practicing attorney, has castigated the Board of Supervisors for cutting their already "ridiculously low" salary from $68,000 to $62,000 a year. She pulls down upwards of $90,000 as Executive Director of First Five, a Ukiah-based, grant-gobbling non-profit through whose sticky administrative fingers little in the way of useful services reach the children First Five allegedly serves. Recently elected to the Ukiah School Board, Molgaard thinks the Supes aren't paid enough. She is said to have her sights set on a Board of Supervisors seat herself, but not if it means taking a pay cut. The argument that qualified people won't run for local office unless the salary supports their lattes and cream cheese bagels is another way of saying that anyone currently making less than $68,000 is really not qualified for local elected office.

MOLGAARD HAS CONSISTENTLY called for cuts to the Sheriff's budget to free up more money for social services, i.e., less money for the Blue Meanies, more money for people like her. That stance led to a heated exchange last year in the hallway outside the Supes chambers with Molgaard claiming that Sheriff Allman, "a big man with a gun" had threatened her. (In Mendoland's Princess-and-the-Pea sectors, a raised eyebrow can be the equivalent of an all-out machete attack.) No one but Molgaard thinks she was threatened, but she sent an email to her Board of Directors and others to "document" the episode. Molgaard is currently in Scotland (!) attending a conference for First Five, and you can be sure she didn't pay her own way. First Five must have a travel budget that would make Kendall Smith envious.

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SEEMS TO ME, people are overlooking OJ's true crime — the Kardashians. It was OJ who unleashed them on an unsuspecting world, via Robert Kardashian, a friend of OJ's and then one of his lawyers. The K's have since reproduced, and they're clearly going to be with us to the end which, if you consider them as one more unmistakeable sign that the End Times are upon us, can't be far off.

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SITTING HERE IN THE AVA'S Boonville Bunker watching the film of Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors, we were startled out of our mumbling despair at the proceedings by the presentation of Planning & Building Administrative Services Manager Adrienne Thompson, a rare (certainly rare by Mendo standards) combination of brains and stunning good looks. Articulate and right to the point, too. How did Ms. Thompson slip past Mendo personnel? Let's hope she isn't slumming, merely in town to study civic dysfunction before moving on to a position where her considerable abilities are rewarded by appointment to the Boss Chair.

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I read in the Ukiah Daily Journal that the empty Savings Bank building at the corner of Low Gap and State Street is being considered as a cannabis dispensary. What a great location for the kids to walk by when the high school, Pomalita Middle School, and Frank Zeek Grammar School get out. This is a good reason why there should not be any of these stores within the city limits.

Sherice Vinson, Ukiah

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Heard on the corner by the Ukiah Courthouse during the Friday Night Peace Vigil:

A nicely dressed senior citizen looked at my sign: "No US war on Syria," and shook his head: "If we don't stop them there we will have to fight them over here!"

"That will not happen," I said. He moved on.

I tried to imagine the devastated nation of Syria attacking the American homeland. This specious notion first used by George W. Bush to justify our destruction of much of Iraq 15 years ago is still imprinted in the minds of our people. Good heavens!

Jim Houle, Ukiah

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To the editor:

A recent grand jury report titled "Formula Businesses Restriction -- NIMBY overreaction" is revealing. The "over reaction" assessment depends on which formula business one is talking about. There was no major outcry, for instance, about about Chipotle or In-N-Out Burger (starting hourly wage of about $12.50) locating in established shopping centers in Ukiah. There was an outcry from 1700 Redwood Valley residents when a Dollar General (minimum wage by law in California $10 per hour) was permitted to locate next to a fifth generation sheep and goat farm in Redwood Valley.

Anybody been to "downtown" Redwood Valley lately? It is clearly a very small village with an excellent food market that stocks local vendor products, post office, bank, fire department, gas station, small industrial area, historical bar, outdoor coffee bar, and a Mexican Café. That group of locally owned businesses is well supported by this small community  and is, by the way, exactly why we Redwood Valley types live here. It would have been fortunate had the grand jury interviewed any member of the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council to learn that the Redwood Valley community is dedicated to the investment and encouragement of locally owned small businesses. The recent Sonoma Mendocino Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy supports this strategy and points to a regional economic development advantage and builds on local assets such as organic food production and green technologies. Those businesses keep and recycle their profits back into the community. That is what community is about. And that is what can happen when small communities invest in themselves.

Sheilah Rogers, Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council

Redwood Valley

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Dear AVA,

My name is Marc Hunter. I am in the beautiful Delano state prison! Where the weather is hot and the punks are pretty ugly.

In your last issue I read that you were upset that none of us inmates sent you a postcard once they got out of the big house. What is the real issue? That you don't hear from them or the broken promises of some these homies when they get out? I will send you money. I myself have been in prison for 10 years and have more than once sent stamps and they were returned by you. You should ask these guys in jail or prison to send you stamps for a subscription to your newspaper. A book of 20 stamps sounds fair for an indigent inmate to pay for a six month subscription to America's Last Newspaper. At least that would help cover the shipping. But not printing costs. Nobody rides for free. My subscription is just about over and I was wondering if you could extend my subscription for another six months. I sure would appreciate it. And think about the stamp thing.


Marc Hunter

Somewhere in Delano

ED NOTE: Thanks for writing Marc. We don't need your stamps. You need them more than we do. But we appreciate the gesture.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 20, 2017

Elkin, Ellworth, Flick

BILLY ELKIN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

KATHERINE ELLSWORTH, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, controlled substance.


Harbour, Hoaglen, Juarez

COLE HARBOUR, Fort Bragg. Suspended license, failure to appear, probation revocation.

ALFONZO HOAGLEN, Covelo. Second degree burglary, petty theft.

JOEL JUAREZ, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, kidnapping, parphernalia, probation revocation.

Lopes, Moore, Perez

ANTHONY LOPES SR., Willits. Probation revocation.

JOSHUA MOORE, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

NOE PEREZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Randall, Sherman, Sisson

JOSHUA RANDALL, Hopland. Prohibited person with ammo, stun gun, pot possession for sale, pot cultivation.

ASHLEY SHERMAN, San Francisco/Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.


Smith, Vancleave, White

RICKY SMITH, Ukiah. Suspenced license.

STEVEN VANCLEAVE, Point Arena. Protective order violation.

STEVEN WHITE, Potter Valley. Under influence.

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NEED TO KNOW: SOLAR NET METERING Customers Encouraged to Learn About Changes with New Energy Provider

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

Mid-summer greetings from your local solar energy company: Mendocino Solar Service.

A few months back, we shared about the arrival of Sonoma Clean Power to Mendocino County.

As of June 2017, residents in unincorporated areas of Mendocino County, as well as people who live in the Cities of Fort Bragg, Willits and Point Arena, have a new electricity provider: Sonoma Clean Power.

Before June, residents of those areas were being served solely by Pacific Gas & Electric. But last month, approximately 30,000 PG&E customers were to be switched to SCP, unless they chose to opt-out and continue with PG&E as their electricity provider.

Over the last few months since the news of this recent change was announced, we have been encouraging solar energy customers with grid-tied systems to learn about the differences between how PG&E and SCP manage net metering. And now there is another opportunity, just around the corner: Tuesday, July 25th at 6pm at the CV Starr Community Center in Fort Bragg.

For more information on this event, please contact Sonoma Clean Power at 855-202-2139.

For more information about solar energy, and the benefits of grid-tied net metering, we invite you to call Mendocino Solar Service at 707-937-1701.

Kind regards,

Bruce Erickson & Maggie Watson

Co-owners, Mendocino Solar Service

* * *


For a long time now, I’ve written the names of friends who’ve died in a special book I call The Book of the Dead. I leaf through it from time to time, one name beside the other, in alphabetical order. There are red crosses next to the surrealists, whose most fatal year was 1977-78 when Man Ray, Calder, Max Ernst and Prevert all died within a few months of one another.

Some of my friends are upset about this book – dreading, no doubt, the day they will be in it. I try to tell them if helps me remember certain people who’d otherwise cease to exist.

The thought of death has been familiar to me for a long time. From the time that skeletons were carried through the streets of Calanda during Holy Week procession, death had been an integral part of my life. I’ve never wished to forget or deny it, but there’s not much to say about it when you’re an atheist. When all is said and done, there’s nothing, nothing but decay and the sweetish smell of eternity. (Perhaps I’ll be cremated so I can skip all that) Yet I can’t help wonder how death will come, when it does.

..Sometimes I think, the quicker, the better – like the death of my friend Max Aub, who died all of a sudden during a card game. But most of the time I prefer a slower death, one that’s expected, that will let me revisit my life for a last goodbye. Whenever I leave a place now, a place where I’ve lived and worked, which has become a part of me – I stop for a moment to say adieu. I say aloud. "I’ve had so many happy moments here, and without you my life would’ve been so different. Now I’m going away and I’ll never see you again, but you’ll go on without me." I say goodbye to everything – to the mountains, the streams, the trees, even the frogs. And, of course, irony would have it that I often return to a place I’ve already bid goodbye, but it doesn’t matter. When I leave, I just say goodbye once again.

I’d like to die knowing that this time I’m not going to come back. When people ask me why I don’t travel more, I tell them: Because I’m afraid of death. Of course, they all hasten to assure me that there’s no more chance of my dying abroad then at home, so I explain that it’s not a fear of death in general. Dying itself doesn’t matter to me, but not while I’m on the road. I don’t want to die in a hotel room with my bags open and papers lying all over the place.

On the other hand, an even more horrible death is one that’s kept at bay by the miracles of modern medicine, a death that never ends. In the name of Hippocrates, doctors have invented the most exquisite form of torture ever known to man: survival. If they would only let us die when the moments comes, and help us to go more easily! Respect for human life becomes absurd when it leads to unlimited suffering, not only for the one who’s dying but for those he leaves behind.

— Luis Buñuel, From his autobiography, My Last Breath

* * *

Ed Note: Seems a shame to leave out the leggings...

* * *

WHEN I WRITE FILM REVIEWS, I try to apply the dictum of my late father who used to say, “If you can’t say something good about a person, say nothing at all.” I made an exception last week for “The Quiet American,” which I regarded as a disappointment both in terms as an adaptation of Greene’s novel and the novel itself.

Now I turn to an all-out disaster, although like “The Quiet American” it received rather favorable reviews when it came out. “Frida” is a really stupid biopic based on the life of Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist and feminist icon who was married to Diego Rivera, the famed muralist. Since it touches on modern art and includes Leon Trotsky as a character, two subjects close to my heart, it is necessary for me to address the profound injustice done to them and to the rather interesting personality of Kahlo herself, who is reduced in this film to a cursing, drinking and brawling eccentric whose motivations seem driven more by her sexual/reproductive organs than her brain.

— Clancy Sigal

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Have you been to Canada? There is no there there. There is something off. It is cloyingly antiseptic. Life breeds in the dirty crevices, but in Canada it’s all scrubbed benign. No charisma, no charm. No culinary legacy outside of Montreal, a place that, notably, wants nothing to do with Canada. Christ, at least the US has junk like cholupas and cronuts. They have Timbits. Yes, Timbits. It sounds either weak or vaguely gay, which is very much like Canada. Then there is the sycophantic anglophilia. Coins and highways and buildings worshiping the current crown wearer. They were the loyal son, but the bastard living south still gets more clout and more love. That cuts, like a knife.

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A reminder from Woodlands Wildlife that we are tracking mountain lion sightings so in a few months, we'll be able to tell residents when and where to be on the alert.  If you've had a sighting this week, send it to  Include the date, time of day, and location (1 mile up a ridge, 0.1 miles down Z road, mile markers) and town, and any details you want to talk about or not.  You don't have to send your name or other personal info.

This information will only be shared locally with residents and only if we have enough to show the approximate areas and times a particular lion is going to be around.   They have huge territories, and spend their time patrolling it all, making a complete circuit about every 3-4 weeks depending on how the hunting goes and how big their territory is. Females will create a den and stay in place while their cubs are growing up.  This time of year, the female may have her cubs with her as she teaches them how to hunt for the first two years of their lives.

Ronnie James, Mendocino

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EPISODE THREE of Najib Aminy’s attempt to cover Anderson Valley and the Wine industry:

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YUM-YUM! Whitesboro Grange Pancake B'fast Sunday

A traditional pancake breakfast will be served at the Whitesboro Grange on Sunday, July 30th. Breakfast includes orange juice, pancakes with maple and homemade berry syrups, ham, eggs your way, and coffee, tea or hot cocoa. The public and visitors are invited to join neighbors and community for a hearty pancake breakfast. Adults $8, ages 6-12 half price, children under 6 eat FREE. Breakfast is served from 8 to 11:30 a.m. THANKS to your appetites, the Grange is able to support local families in need, the Albion-Little River Fire Department, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Coast Senior Center, 4-H, Hospitality House, Veterans, food banks and other community service organizations. Whitesboro Grange is located 1.5 miles east on Navarro Ridge Road. Watch for signs just south of the Albion Bridge.

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Dear Editor:

June 2017: Third-hottest June on Record Puts 2017 on Track to make Hat-trick of Hottest Years

The Guardian has an article reporting that new figures from the National Oceanic and Administration (Noaa), showed June 2017 was the third-hottest June on record, beaten only by the two preceding Junes in 2015 and 2016. The Noaa data shows combined land and sea-surface temperatures for June 2017, 0.82C above the 20th century average, making a string of 41 consecutive Junes above that average. The warming trend is almost certainly caused by greenhouse gas emissions, mostly the result of burning fossil fuels with many studies showing such warm years would be almost impossible without that effect. For example, Michael Mann from Pennsylvania State University in a paper and a follow up article commented "In short, we can only explain the onslaught of record warm years by accounting for human-caused warning of the planet". Andy Pittman from the University of New South Wales commented the ongoing trend was "entirely inconsistent" with the target of keeping warming at just 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures. Current trends suggest the 1.5 barrier would be breached in the 2040s with some studies suggesting it might happen much sooner. Unfortunately, President Trump and his supporters believe climate change is a hoax and they continue to support the burning of fossil fuel. That stupidity will have extreme consequences for our grandchildren. Trump and his supporters will be playing their fiddles while the earth is burning up from climate change.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff, Sacramento

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Head to the Redwood Empire Fair for four nights of hair-raising, down-and-dirty motorized fun!

This year’s fair takes place from August 3rd to August 6th, and the raceway will be the perfect place to cool down and cheer on your favorite drivers.

On Thursday, motorcycles, side-by-sides and ATV’s will open up the raceway. Watch the dirt fly on Friday night, with Mudd Bogg racing, one of the country’s most popular form of off-road racing. Saturday night’s Truck and Tractor Pulls are considered by many to be the world’s most powerful motorsport, wowing attendees with amazing feats of high-horsepower strength. On Sunday, the Dirt Nationals, Jalopies and the ever-popular Boat Races are a great way to finish off a memorable Fair weekend.

Thursday and Friday’s events begin at 6:30, and Saturday and Sunday’s events start at 6:00. For more information visit or phone (707) 462-3884.



  1. Judy Valadao July 21, 2017

    Thank you once again for the MCDH report.
    I’m sure there are many in the District who would love to hear Mr. Edwards answer your questions.
    It sounds as though MCDH’s Chief Executive Officer
    (CEO), Bob Edwards should take some lessons from Little Dog in transparency.

  2. Gary Smith July 21, 2017

    Yes, Sherice Vinson! Also, let’s close all the bars and ban liquor sales, and get the porn off the internet. Somebody should open up a good old fashioned soda fountain in that building for those kids.

  3. Bill Pilgrim July 21, 2017

    re: Trump-Louis portrait.

    “Apres moi le deluge!”

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