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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017

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by Malcolm Macdonald


The result of a closed session meeting of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital Board of Directors on November 14th: Wade Sturgeon has resigned his post as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the hospital, effective December 1st.

The November 14th multi-hour closed session was a continuation of a gathering the previous Thursday, November 9th. Sturgeon had gained approval of the MCDH Board just last June despite workplace harassment complaints from multiple employees. However, a federal lawsuit filed in late September by the hospital's former chief human resources officer may have served as a harbinger of a reversal of fortune for the CFO. That federal suit named Sturgeon, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Edwards, Board President Steve Lund, and MCDH as defendants in a filing that cited the False Claims Act. (See the October 25th edition of the AVA for more details about this case and what the False Claims Act entails.)

Sturgeon's dismissal means that at least two MCDH Board members have shifted their thinking away from an all out defense of the hospital's top two administrators. At the end of the November 9th closed session, Dr. Peter Glusker, who had previously stood out as the only board member questioning hospital administration, called for the termination of CEO Edwards as well. In addition, Glusker asked citizens who have concerns about Mr. Edwards' performance to send emails to all members of the board.

The November 14th meeting was also noteworthy for the defensive nature of public comments by three doctors on the MCDH staff. One of them, Dr. John Kermen, stated that the medical staff was fully in support of both Edwards and Sturgeon. Kermen also said that all the physicians at MCDH were supportive of the OB (obstetrics) Department. Of course, those words fly in the face of the fact that Dr. Kevin Miller, a board member, has publicly called for closing OB.

Equally disturbing were the words of Will Lee, director of medical staff services and Fort Bragg's Vice Mayor. Lee stated, “The misinformation that's spreading around this town that this hospital is suffering under this administration is just flat wrong. There's no distress in this hospital…”

Contrasted with Lee's description there are multiple MCDH employees out on stress leave, stress directly attributable to the behavior of Edwards and Sturgeon. In addition, a simple glance at recent board agendas discloses other employees filing complaints. The November 8th AVA piece by Cindy Richards, who worked under Sturgeon's direction, concludes with these words about the hospital's top two administrators, “These corrupt, contemptuous men are strutting around like saints begging for taxpayer subsidies claiming they’re necessary for the betterment of our community, while harassing, threatening, terminating and covering up unconscionable behavior.”

In her article Ms. Richards mentions attempting to schedule a meeting with Edwards last spring regarding some of her concerns, but never getting a response. In just the last few days at least two other employees have spoken to this writer about the same difficulty of pinning down Edwards.

Multiple employees have confirmed that Edwards has told groups of employees not to respond to the public or press when asked questions about the hospital. Some employees described meetings with Edwards as utterly lacking in collegiality or sharing of professional ideas about what's best for MCDH. To the contrary, these meetings were described as “Talked to” sessions: Only Edwards talks, everyone else is expected to listen to the gospel according to the CEO.

In addition to the federal case filed by the former HR Chief, another employee is planning to file a separate federal lawsuit against Edwards. The exact basis for such a suit is unknown at this time.

In other matters, multiple employees from the manager level on down have recounted anecdotal evidence about Edwards placing so much pressure on some managers that their behavior changed from pleasant to intimidating and harassing toward subordinates.

Then there is the case of the relatively new plant services manager at MCDH. This man had been in charge of getting several major maintenance projects on the track toward completion. As far as could be seen he approached such projects as the central sterile system, HVAC (heating ventilation, and air conditioning), and ATS (automatic transfer switch) in a gung ho and transparent manner. He had regained the trust of OSHPD (Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development) officials, a trust that had been lost by MCDH for several years.

It is unclear what the exact reasons were, but the plant services manager was recently sacked, more or less without warning. One evening he was presenting to the board in his usual efficient manner, the next day he was out. At that point Edwards apparently took away the man's right to use the same hospital car he'd driven to work that morning, so that he had to call friends to help transport his personal belongings.

The ramifications of Sturgeon's departure on the federal lawsuit that is already in the judicial pipeline remains to be seen. The most logical conclusion is that severing ties with the CFO, while one step in the right direction, is also something of an admission of guilt.

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COMMENTING ON THE RECENT HUNG-JURY MISTRIAL of Caleb Silver who was charged with murdering Fort Bragg/Boonville resident Dennis Boardman, in response to our suggestion that “the Commodore” and his apparent anti-cop leanings may have influenced some of the jurors, juror Brandon Juntz wrote on MendocinoSportsPlus: “The ‘Commodore’ was not the problem in the trial. Many of us felt that Caleb probably did it, but with the evidence provided in court did not prove the case to the point they needed to. They will be reconvening late this month, I think, and should try again.”

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Navarro River Sandbar Refuses To Breach - Can Flooding Of Hwy 128 Be Far Off?

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by Tim Stelloh, May 6, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, an odd story ran in the Fort Bragg Advocate about the unsolved death of 22-year old Katlyn Long — the coast girl who died suspiciously nearly a year ago.

Quoting County detective Sgt. Greg VanPatten, the article provided a thoroughly perplexing explanation about why the case has remained static.

"Investigators are still trying to get statements from a key person in the case. However, that person's attorneys are making it tough..." the article reported. "'The attorneys want more time,'" said Sgt. VanPatten, "'I have pretty much said it's now or never'."

Then, another round of gobbledygook for the journalism textbooks: "He said that as of last week, attorneys have not recontacted the Sheriff's Office and he has not crossed paths with them."

Right. Who is this "key person," and why is he not being named? Is that the Advocate's decision or VanPatten's? And why are the cops sitting on their butts, waiting "to cross paths" with the attorney of this "key person?"

According to VanPatten, the person is Long's ex-boyfriend (he said he told the Advocate that as well.) "He's not a suspect, or a person of interest," VanPatten said. "We just want to find out what he observed."

Long & Matson

As the AVA reported last year [2008], the ex-boyfriend is Garrett Matson, son of Jerry Matson, owner of Matson Construction and a former member of the Fort Bragg Planning Commission. The younger Matson was with Long when she stopped breathing on May 29. He was with her the last 12 hours of her life, and so far he's given VanPatten squat about Long's final hours. But according to the detective, it's not for lack of trying.

"We've had constant conversations with him. It's been a negotiation with the ex-boyfriend and the attorney, and he's given us nothing so far," he said. "He's a big piece of the puzzle, and he's dictating where the case will go from here on out."

VanPatten was perfectly willing to say "the key person" is the ex-boyfriend; he wouldn't cross that line because the sheriff's department doesn't want to strain its negotiations with Matson and his attorney, he said. Since the ex was the only one with Long before she died, VanPatten said, getting him to talk is crucial to solving the case — yet there's nothing the police can do to force him to give the statement.

Regardless of Matson's decision, VanPatten said he expects to release detailed information this week describing the circumstances of Long's death — information like the results of a toxicology report. If Matson's silence continues, detectives will hand the case off, he said.

"If he doesn't talk to us this week, we'll present the info we have to the district attorney," he said. "Basically, we'll have to look at the puzzle without his piece included."

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Sheriff’s Press Release

On 05-29-2008 at 0647 hours Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg, California.

Upon arrival Deputies were notified Katlyn Long had been found at her parent’s Fort Bragg area residence at approximately 0500 hours absent breathing and a pulse.

An ambulance was summoned to the residence where thereafter Katlyn Long was transported to the hospital where live-saving techniques were unsuccessful.

The initial responding Deputies learned Katlyn Long had no known health problems and had been in the company of her ex-boyfriend, Garett Matson, at the time she was found to have no breathing or pulse.

Upon a visual inspection of Katlyn Long’s body the responding Deputies noticed suspicious marks on her neck, which prompted response from the Sheriff’s Office Detective Unit.

Detectives contacted Garett Matson in an attempt to obtain information surrounding the circumstances of Katlyn Long’s death but he refused to be questioned.

Detectives obtained search warrants for the parent’s residence and Garett Matson’s residence/vehicle. The search warrants were subsequently served and items of potential importance were identified/collected.

Detectives conducted several investigations as of this date and have learned the following information.

In the beginning of May 2008 Katlyn Long terminated her approximately 5-year relationship with Garett Matson. Immediately after the termination of this relationship, Katlyn Long started a new romantic relationship with a male whom was residing out of state.

On 05-23-2008 Katlyn Long returned to Fort Bragg after having visited her new boyfriend for a short time. Katlyn Long planned on returning to stay with her new boyfriend and was to return to his home on 06-01-2008.

Upon Katlyn Long’s return to Fort Bragg, she had contacts with Garett Matson on a variety of occasions over a six-day period. The majority of the contacts was made by text messaging and telephone calls.

It appeared during the six-day period Garett Matson made attempts to reconcile with Katlyn Long to no avail. Instead it appeared Katlyn Long and Garett Matson engaged in friendship types of activities.

It appears on 05-28-2008 during the early afternoon hours some form of argument ensued between Katlyn Long and Garett Matson at the residence of Long’s parents. It has been alleged that Garett Matson vandalized Katlyn Long’s truck during this argument.

It appears on 05-28-2008 at approximately 1810 hours Garett Matson returned to the Long family residence. Garett Matson stayed overnight with Katlyn Long in her basement style bedroom.

During this time Katlyn Long and Garett Matson were contacted by Long’s parents with the last contact being during the late evening hours.

On 05-29-2008 at 0500 hours Garett Matson contacted Katlyn Long’s parents and advised them of her unresponsive state. An ambulance was shortly thereafter summoned for medical assistance.

On 05-30-2008 a forensic autopsy was performed on Katlyn Long at the Napa County Sheriff’s Office. The preliminary results of the autopsy showed no obvious cause of death and a toxicology analysis of Katlyn Long's blood was requested.

On 07-30-2008 the toxicology exam results were disclosed to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The results showed Katlyn Long had a lethal amount of Methadone in her blood stream.

Detectives noted no obvious signs of narcotics inside of Katlyn Long’s bedroom after her death. Detectives also determined that Katlyn Long was not a prescription Methadone user or known recreational user of the drug.

Since the time of Katlyn Long’s death Detectives have tried several different times to interview Garett Matson as an eyewitness but he has refused.

On 05-18-2009 the Mendocino County Chief Deputy Coroner determined Katlyn Long’s cause of death to be the result of a Methadone Overdose with the classification of her death as being Undetermined.

As a result of the investigations conducted into Katlyn Long’s death, investigative reports were forwarded to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office for review.

On or about 05-19-2009 the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office received a written statement from the law office of Richard Petersen on behalf of Garett Matson. The statement provided information surrounding the death of Katlyn Long, which is currently being investigated by Detectives.

The case has been classified as an undetermined cause of death and the investigation remains open at this time. No suspect has been charged. Based on the investigation to date the case will continue to be investigated by the Sheriff's Detective Division.

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by Tim Stelloh

June 10, 2009

The last few months of Katlyn Long’s abbreviated life unfolded much like anyone transitioning between relationships: Unhappy with her long-term, 31-year-old boyfriend, Long broke things off. The 22-year-old Fort Bragg girl had met someone else—someone who, friends say, seemed to make her happy.

She left California with her new boyfriend early last year, but work obligations brought her back home for what was to be a brief visit. That fateful trip back would be her last: In the early morning of May 29, after spending the night with her ex-boyfriend, she was hauled to Mendocino Coast Hospital in an ambulance without a pulse—the victim of a methadone overdose.

Yet it wasn’t until last week that police revealed her cause of death. No charges have been filed.

The way detectives explain it, the one eyewitness in the case has exercised his right to remain silent since Long’s death. That eyewitness, of course, is Long’s ex, Garett Matson, son of ex-Fort Bragg planning commissioner and businessman Jerry Matson. Police say that over the course of that year they were negotiating with Matson’s attorney, Richard Petersen, in an attempt to get a statement. To maintain the apparently delicate balance of those negotiations, investigators commenced the media chess game: They withheld the results of a toxicology report completed last July that examined Long’s blood and found that she had overdosed. They kept a lid on all but the most public details of the girl’s death--namely, that she had died “suspiciously.” And they told the media the eyewitness was Long’s ex-boyfriend--but they declined to name the ex.

Petersen, of course, tells it differently. He says he’s offered to answer written questions from the police--but he wouldn’t subject Matson to a prosecutorial-style inquiry because he’s “suffering terrible emotional problems.”

“We can't open him up because he feels very threatened and weak right now,” Petersen said, summarizing what he says are a doctor's orders. “What people say about him breaks his heart.” In the unlikely event detectives share the forensic evidence they’ve collected on Matson, Petersen said he’d change his tune.

“I’d turn my client over,” he said.

In the meantime, Petersen sent a seven page statement to the DA’s office last month—a statement he described as a “timed list” of the days leading up to Long’s death. (Neither he nor the Sheriff’s office would share specifics of the statement.) And last week, detectives released an outline of what happened, along with the results of the toxicology report.

Yet it’s still unclear how—or why—that lethal dose of methadone ended up in Long’s blood.

The synthetic opiate, long thought of as a drug for junkies kicking their heroin habit, has taken on a different role in recent years as a cheap, non-narcotic prescription pain killer. As methadone prescriptions have spiked, so has the number of methadone overdoses: The drug can be lethal when combined, say, with alcohol, or when taken in too great a quantity, as its effects are far shorter than the time it stays in the body.

Sheriff’s Lt. Rusty Noe said Long didn’t have a prescription for methadone, nor did detectives find any evidence that she was using it as a pain killer. Friends say she was the last person they would expect to use such drugs recreationally. “She was like apple pie,” said Jeanne Huckins, who shared Long’s affinity for horses and rode with her often. “One time she came to the stable and she was babbling on and on and on, and I said, ‘Katlyn, what are you on?’ and she said ‘Red Bull.’ … She was very sensitive to that kind of stuff.”

Matson, on the other hand, has a history of prior drug charges. A several year old letter from neighbors in Matson’s court file even described his home as a well known crank house that police visited often: “For two years Matson has terrorized the neighborhood with shootings, loud fights and low-life people coming and going at all hours, though mostly in the middle of the night,” the letter said. It went on to describe how he “unleashed” a vicious dog on a neighbor, sending the senior citizen to the hospital twice.

Those cases — which include discharging a firearm while under the influence of a controlled substance — were dismissed when Matson agreed to drug court. (Petersen said a person’s past is only “circumstantial evidence of what the future holds.”)

Huckins described the couple’s relationship as a troubled one—a relationship where Long felt suffocated by her ex and which she ended shortly before she died. She described how, in the months before her overdose, Long had started seeing a new boyfriend — a man named William Housley — who Huckins said had brightened Long’s mood considerably. They traveled together to Washington State to visit Housley’s parents. “She was having a wonderful time,” she said. “I noticed a real shift when she started hanging out with William. She was a happy person—instead of a person who was always crying and blaming herself, who would cut herself.”

Long returned to Fort Bragg last May, Huckins said, because she worked at the stable where she kept her horses and the owners were leaving town. While home, Matson tried to rekindle their relationship. But Long wasn’t interested. The afternoon before she died the two had an argument at Long’s parents house--an argument caused by Matson thinking the two were close to reuniting, Petersen said. Matson allegedly bashed in her car and left, but returned later that afternoon.

By 5 am the next morning she was dead.

Sheriff’s deputies, who had been summoned with the ambulance, noticed “suspicious” marks on her neck, so detectives were dispatched to investigate. The marks turned out to be unrelated to the cause of her death, and the rest is history.

Some of Long’s friends and supporters theorize that she was murdered. Petersen disagrees. “If she overdosed, he didn't do it. It was either accidental, or intentional on her part,” he said. “I don't know of any one who would have wanted to kill her--including Garett. But nobody wants to believe she committed suicide either.”

For now, no suspects have been named and the DA kicked the case back to the sheriff’s office, which says it’s an open investigation — though District Attorney Meredith Lintott said her investigators are still involved, as they are with most big murder cases. If the case does go to court, Lintott said, there’s no statute of limitations on murder, nor with manslaughter in most situations. It can be a different story with other, less serious charges, however.

“It’s very tricky. People go to court to litigate statute of limitations,” she said. “The whole case can be thrown out.”

So far, Long’s family has been mum on the matter--Katlyn’s mother, Linda Long, said in an e-mail that she didn’t want to compromise the case--as are several friends.

But that hasn’t stopped an online petition,, from being circulated; as of publication [June 2009], the petition has nearly met its 1,000 signature goal. Once completed, the site says, it will be sent to the DA’s office because “…we want to show them that there are lots of citizens that will not rest until justice is served, and who will be watching this case.” Nor has it stopped thousands of posts from appearing on a forum attached to the Ukiah Daily Journal’s website. Unlike most message boards associated with controversial stories—where participants seem to revel in vulgar anonymity—this one is relatively benign: family and friends post poems; they give updates on the case; they talk about their freshly inked Katlyn tattoos.

Still, the site—like most message boards—has the air of judge, jury and executioner. And it ain’t a pretty verdict for Garett Matson.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I asked Skrag, a known serial sexual offender, what he thought about all these sex allegations in the news. ‘A gentleman doesn't talk about these kinds of things, Little Dog. Only a tabloid-brain like you keeps track’."


Democratic candidate for Ohio governor is blasted by politicians of BOTH sides and his campaign manager resigns after “disturbing” boast that he had bedded 50 (Blind?) women

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THE LATE ROANNE WITHERS worked in the County's Mental Health apparatus. One winter, she was tasked with getting the Coast's homeless population sheltered for the rainy, cold months. Roanne rented a large tent and set it up off South Franklin, as I recall, complete with an outdoor shower. I think the tent housed 30-40 persons, with a separating curtain chastely between the men and the few women. Cots were neatly arrayed on a gravel floor. You weren't allowed to spend the night if you were under the influence, which radically reduced the number of persons who the tent was aimed at getting in out of the rain, suicidal drunks then comprising the bulk of the Coast's homeless population. The one time I visited to have a look at the tent program, most of the people waiting to enter were young men, and some young women, who were in Fort Bragg to take advantage of its renowned woodworking program. It was the most wholesome homeless crowd I'd ever seen. Then as now, rents were prohibitive. And Roanne ran a tight ship. Everyone had to be up and out in the morning, and no one was permitted to spend the daylight hours hanging around inside enjoying serial naps. The tent program didn't cost the County much. With some modifications it could be re-implemented simply enough, both on the Coast and in Ukiah. I'd erect two tents on each site — one for the drunks, one for the sobers, with a forceful male presence to keep order. A large, forceful woman herself, Roanne didn't need male back-up. Investing many thousands of public dollars in private property owned by opportunistic landlords, as Ukiah has done, to house the homeless is unfair to taxpayers and unnecessary into the non-bargain. I don't know what Fort Bragg will do this winter now that Hospitality House has bowed out of providing cold weather sanctuary. Maybe the city can re-visit Roanne's tent plan which, by the sad way, ended one gale-force windy night when the tent blew down on the sleeping woodworking students and a few backpacking Europeans. If Fort Bragg goes to a tent, somebody will have to make sure it's double deep-staked.

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(Fort Bragg Police Press Release)


Michael Lawson (aka Michael Trapper), 33, male, 6-4, 210, hazel eyes, brown hair, light complexion, recently registered with the Fort Bragg Police Department as a new registered sex offender moving into the area. After reviewing Lawson's criminal history, the circumstances surrounding his original registrant conviction, and other applicable factors, the Fort Bragg Police Department has determined that Lawson represents an increased risk to the community.

Lawson is 6'04" and last had an approximately shoulder-length long ponytail when he last registered. Lawson is registered as a transient with no permanent address.

Lawson's out-of-state convictions from Illinois requiring that he register under Section 290 of the California Penal Code include:

Two counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse Against Children described in Section 720 Article 12C of the Illinois Complied Statutes.

This flier is not an arrest warrant or notice of criminal investigation. This flier is issued for informational purposes only and is meant to notify the public of a high-risk sex offender moving into the community. Any questions regarding this flier can be directed to the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707) 961-2800.

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PERV STATS, local division. It takes some digging to find out the specifics, the police reports on the crimes committed by registered sex offenders. Since there are so many of them in our porn-drenched, decadent country, it may be time to consider a kind of reservation for them to permanently separate the worst of the them from us normal, non-criminal pervs.  On the perv rez they'd all at least have a fixed address, from which they couldn't stray. There's a big difference between, say, a weenie wagger and a cho mo. The exhibitionist should of course be suppressed, but all he's doing is presenting an unappetizing visual. The rapist, the cho mo, and the rest of the assaultive types should never get out. But here we are with all these on-line perv rosters that prevent the theoretically "cured" from maintaining a permanent address. Nobody wants him in the neighborhood. So he wanders around as a transient unregistered anywhere unless the cops, as they have in the case of the dead-eyed cho mo who has recently appeared in Fort Bragg, happens to learn of of them. Then he's driven back out on the road. I'm told there are presently 36 certified sex offenders in Fort Bragg alone, 16 of them with no fixed address.

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THE SUPERVISORS are a'changin'. Not fast enough, but Hamburg is out, we hear that Carre Brown intends to pack it in, and Ms. Croskey is heading off some place east of I-5. Gjerde and McCowen would be the holdovers. Ukiah business guy, Ross Liberty, is said to be mulling over a go for the 5th District seat vacated by Hamburg, and a Willits educator has declared he intends to vie for Croskey's seat. The Democratic Party machine will, as always, try to install one of their ciphers in all three seats despite the abysmal parade of hustlers and incompetents they've saddled the County with in the 5th District. It's almost as if the rest of the County says, "OK. The 5th District is already a kind of open air asylum. We'll give the nuts the 5th, but we'll contest everywhere else."

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 18, 2017

Ahuja, Alvarez, Austin

RINKAL AHUJA, Hayward/Calpella. Unspecified vehicle code violation.

JESUS ALVAREZ JR., Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JACK AUSTIN, Anchorage, Alaska/Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Fernandez, Guevara, Johnson


JOSHUA GUEVARA, Ukiah. Resisting, probation revocation.


Lovato, McArthur, Nelson

RICHARD LOVATO, Ukiah. Battery, parole violation.

CALEB MCARTHUR, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOSEPH NELSON, Redwood Valley. DUI.

Nunez, A.Ruiz, B.Ruiz

JESUS NUNEZ JR., Willits. Assault, disorderly conduct-alcohol.

AGUSTIN RUIZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

BARAQUEL RUIZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, county parole violation.

Ruoff, Valencia, Wiltse

JARROD RUOFF, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

JORGE VALENCIA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

DON WILTSE JR., Willits. Probation revocation.

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When Harvey Weinstein was accused of being a sexual predator, it seems to have opened the floodgates for so many others to have the courage to come forward and disclose recent or long ago events. Most of the participants seem to be ashamed of what they had done. Donald Trump bragged about his behavior on tape, giving proof positive of his proclivities. At least 15 women have made damaging statements. Yet he gets a pass. He dismisses it all as media bias, conspiracies or “fake news.” I don’t understand it.

Someone please explain.

D.M. McCurdy

Santa Rosa

Ed note: It's really very simple. If Hillary had gotten elected, pervery would still be riding high.

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by Peter Fimrite

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It’s becoming more obvious, daily, that our entire political structure, and corporate structure, is nearly 100% infested with perverts of the lowest order. From Clinton, through all the “pro-family” Republican-politician gay pedophiles (too numerous to mention).

Orlov’s last book made the point that the only people capable of reaching the highest levels of all these institutions are psychopaths, completely devoid of empathy, or any human-ness at all. The best can fake it enough to get elected. And the same goes for the leaders of the “official” churches, mosques, and synagogues.

You know, a guy like Icke has been saying this exact thing for nearly 20 years, along with documenting the fakery of our financial system. He attributes it to “demons” ruling people’s souls, and that may not be too far from the truth.

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Pencil drawing by William Allen

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Sunday at 2pm.

Enjoy a Sunday matinee performance of the Mendocino Theatre Company's current production, John Patrick Shanley's winsome comedy OUTSIDE MULLINGAR. OUTSIDE MULLINGAR tells the story of two middle-aged Irish farmers, Anthony and Rosemary, who must overcome a land feud and their own clumsiness to find happiness.  The show, which features Seamus Keighran, Dwight Branscombe, Nancy Nelson, and Summer Makovkin, plays weekends through December 3rd. Tickets are available at online <> or by phoning the box office, 707-937-4477.

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“THESE EVENTS have all recently happened in a certain town in the Middle East:

Its mayor, when asked if the town included any gay people, said, ‘We have no such thing. If you mean what I think you mean, then no. Thank God, this city is holy and pure.’

An eight year old girl was spat upon and called a ‘whore’ by an outraged crowd of local men while she was simply trying to walk to school.

A woman on a bus, who was sitting with her children, was told to move to the back of the bus in order to maintain segregation of the sexes. This led to rioting by local supporters of segregation who smashed the windows of several busses full of passengers.

If you guessed that you were hearing about Islam again, don’t be hard on yourself. The media in the West has provided an endless series of examples of this type of affront to human decency linked either with Islamic regimes or Islamo-fascist political / military groups operating within states with weak central governments.

This disturbing series of events took place in Beit Shemesh, a town in Central Israel that happens to be mentioned in the Bible. But the example of Beit-Shemesh, which is under the local influence of ultra-Orthodox Jews, is a reminder that the three Abrahamic religions differ only in circumstance, not in essential character. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all elevate scriptural authority over human judgment. All seek to control women and define their permissible roles, they all commonly recommend mistreating children, and they all constantly seek to expand their authority and control beyond the temple and private home into public life, politics, and civil society, even where they are formally forbidden from doing so. In other words, they impose their insalubrious beliefs upon everyone else around them.”

Lee Phillips, PhD

American Atheist, 3rd Quarter, 2014

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by Dan Bacher

For many years after Camanche Dam was built, the Mokelumne River, a major tributary of the San Joaquin River and the Delta, hosted small runs of Chinook salmon.

The historic runs of steelhead after the construction of the dam averaged only 100 fish and no steelhead returned to spawn many years.

But both steelhead and salmon runs have rebounded in recent years, due to a number of factors. In welcome good news for Central Valley salmon populations, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) report record fall spawning returns of Chinook salmon and steelhead to the Mokelumne River, a tributary of the San Joaquin River.

Over a three-hour period Thursday, staff at the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery in Clements spawned and processed over 1400 fall-run Chinook salmon as school children toured the hatchery and photographers and TV cameramen from a variety of media outlets captured the activities.

The hatchery has received 13,799 adult salmon to date—compared to 4,129 at this point last year—and is expected to break the record return of 18,000 in 2011.

The salmon season is at its peak now — and the hatchery will continue to spawn fish as they move into the facility.

For the second year in a row, the hatchery has also counted a record number of steelhead, with more than 350 steelhead having already entered the hatchery in 2017. This follows last year’s record return of 759 steelhead to the facility.

No steelhead came back to the hatchery, located on the river right below Camanche Dam, for 10 years from 1976 through 1986. Again in 1998-1999, no adult steelhead returned to the facility.

”There’s a long list of factors responsible for the rebound of salmon and steelhead,” said Will Smith, hatchery manager. “These include good ocean conditions, a change in our juvenile salmon release strategies, a special barging program of salmon downriver, and closing  the Delta Cross Channel gates on weekdays to prevent straying of both Sacramento and Mokelumne River salmon.”

Another major factor behind the boom in numbers of steelhead is the management of the river as a steelhead fishery. Before the listing of the Central Valley steelhead under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Mokelumne was managed as a catchable trout fishery, rather than as a wild steelhead or trout river.

The CDFW used to regularly stock the river with catchable size steelhead in the 10 to 15 inch range, hatched from steelhead eggs obtained from the Mokelumne and Nimbus Fish hatcheries.

Impressive fall returns result from a combination of efforts 

EBMUD officials confirmed the factors mentioned by Smith to explain the record salmon and steelhead runs.

“The impressive fall returns are a result of combined efforts that have focused on water operations, including managing cold water in Camanche and Pardee reservoirs to attract salmon, releasing pulse flows, Delta Cross Channel gate closures, and using tagging data to evaluate hatchery release strategies,” reported Tracie Morales of EBMUD in a statement.  “Additional innovative measures include transporting juvenile salmon by barge and feeding a specialized diet to assist the freshwater-to-seawater transfer.”

The agency said these fish returns “indicate a healthier river system that supplies water to 1.4 million East Bay customers.”

The partnership between CDFW and EBMUD is part of a 1998 agreement between the East Bay utility and federal and state agencies to promote healthier conditions and water flows in the Mokelumne River, an agreement that couldn’t have happened without pressure by the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) and other fishing groups.

“As a water agency that is a vital partner on the Mokelumne River, we’re thrilled to see continuously strong returns,” said EBMUD Manager of Fishery and Wildlife Jose Setka. “For EBMUD, the health of natural ecosystems is critical to our watersheds and a vital part of our mission. This river partnership has enabled management decisions that have improved the survival of salmon and steelhead. By improving habitat, updating hatchery practices, better coordinating Delta operations and continuing scientific studies, the Mokelumne River fish population will be model for recovery.”

Besides hatchery improvements, the construction of new fish passage facilities on the new Woodbridge Dam in the summer of 2006 and the completion of the FERC relicensing process for Camanche Dam in 1999 that provides for increased river flows are responsible for the upswing in the salmon and steelhead turns.

The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and Save the Mokelumne River Association played a key role in securing more water for the river from EBMUD, increasing the allotment from only 13,000 acre feet of water in wet years to 85,000 acre feet of water.

The “Speece Cone” operated by EBUD at Lake Camanche, a device that distributes oxygen to the lower lake waters at the dam, has also boosted the river’s steelhead and resident rainbow fishery. The device, constructed to improve the quality of water released into the fish hatchery and river in order to stop the fish kills that periodically plagued the river, usually operates from August until mid-to-late October.

Feather River fall salmon numbers soar, but spring run reaches record low

The Mokelumne River is not the only Central Valley river seeing improved runs of salmon and steelhead. CDFW staff at the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville are also seeing a big fall Chinook run this fall.

“We got a whole bunch of fall Chinook salmon this season,” said Anna Kastener, hatchery manager “We’re almost done spawning for the year.”

The hatchery count is 13,800 adults and 7,200 jacks to date this year to date. “We’ve taken over 15,000,000 eggs, including 2,000,000 fish above the mitigation goal that the NorCal Sportsmen’s Association requested,” said Kastener.

The Feather River Fish Hatchery has released 510 steelhead back into the river since November 1, according to Kastener. The staff won’t begin spawning the steelies until December.

“By contrast, we saw only 74 steelhead the whole season two years ago,” she noted.

While the fall run Chinook and steelhead returns to date are very encouraging on both the Mokelumne and Feather rivers, runs of spring run and winter run Chinooks reached record lows this season.

Only 500 spring run Chinook salmon returned to the Feather River Fish Hatchery to spawn this year, “The previous low number was 989 fish in 2010,” said Kastener. “We only have a quarter of the fish eggs that we normally take from the spring run.”

Sacramento River winter Chinook run is in deep  trouble

Only 1,123 adult winter Chinook salmon, once one of the biggest runs of salmon on the Sacramento River and its tributaries, returned to the Sacramento Valley in 2017, according to a report sent to the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

This is the second lowest number of returning adult winter run salmon since modern counting techniques were implemented in 2003, undercut only by the 824 fish that returned in 2011.

John McManus, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA), pointed out that in 2014 and 2015, the years these fish were born, state and federal fish agencies reported losses of 95 percent of this and other groups of salmon.

“The losses were caused by water management choices by the federal Bureau of Reclamation during the drought which failed to retain enough cold water for release from Lake Shasta for successful spawning,” said McManus. “Barely adequate cold water supplies existed early in 2014 and again in 2015 when GGSA and others warned the Bureau of Reclamation of the peril facing winter run salmon. The warnings fell on deaf ears. Elevated river temperatures killed most of the salmon eggs incubating in the river.”

“If we don’t want extinction on our watch, state and federal leaders need to support stronger protections for salmon in the rivers of the Central Valley where most California salmon come from, The low number of winter run salmon that survived the drought to return this year makes crystal clear the need for NMFS to greatly increase temperature protections for these fish in the upper Sacramento Valley where they reproduce,” he concluded.

To read the full report, go here:

Groups say Delta Tunnels will kill and harm winter and spring salmon

As spring and winter Chinook populations continue to decline, the state and federal governments continue to forge ahead with the plan to build the Delta Tunnels, considered by opponents to be the most environmentally destructive public works project in California history.

Four environmental groups on Friday, September 22, filed a lawsuit challenging the Brown administration’s permit to kill endangered salmon and smelt in the proposed Delta Tunnels project. The Center for Biological Diversity, Bay Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council and San Francisco Baykeeper filed the suit in California Superior Court in Sacramento,  represented by the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice.

On July 28, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), issued an “incidental take permit” for the construction and operation of California WaterFix as required under Section 2081(b) of the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

Representatives of the groups said the agency “improperly authorized” the California Department Water Resources to “kill and harm” state-protected fish species, including Sacramento River winter-run and spring-run chinook salmon, longfin smelt and Delta smelt.

Summary of factors behind record salmon and steelhead runs at Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery

The strategies for improved returns included:

Stronger Pulses - Pulse flows reached higher magnitudes compared to recent years thanks to flood control waters released from Camanche Reservoir. These pulses provide cues for salmon to move up into the river. Additional pulses provided by reoperating Woodbridge Irrigation District Dam extended the period of pulses into November.

Gate Closures – To prevent straying of Sacramento and Mokelumne River salmon, CDFW coordinated closures of the Delta Cross Channel Gates on weekdays and reopened for weekend recreation beginning in September.

Tagging Data – Using Coded Wire Tag data from returning fish, the agencies measured the effectiveness of releasing fish on outgoing tides and limiting releases to no more than two consecutive days from the same location to increase juvenile salmon survival.

Barging - The agencies have transported juvenile salmon from the Mokelumne River by barge and released them in the San Francisco Bay. Barging improves fish survival through the Delta and may also help with imprinting for juvenile salmon to re-trace their way to natal waters.

Transfer Diet – Juvenile salmon undergo an incredible physiological change when moving from freshwater to saltwater. To ease the initial stress, a specialized feed containing higher salt levels is fed to the juveniles in the weeks before the release.

Habitat Improvement – EBMUD and DFW have spent nearly two decades developing and implementing a plan to improve spawning and rearing habitat in the river below Camanche Dam.

* * *


Alabama Governor Kay Ivey accidentally gave away the Religious right’s secret yesterday when she was answering questions about fellow Republican Roy Moore.

She said of his accusers, “I certainly have no reason to disbelieve any of them.” She added: “There’s never an excuse for or rationale for sexual misconduct or sexual abuse.”

Then, when asked if she was voting for Moore, she made a shocking revelation:

“I’m going to cast my ballot on December the 12th, and I do believe the nominee of the party is the one I’ll vote for,” Ivey said. “I believe in the Republican Party, what we stand for, and most important, we need to have a Republican in the United States Senate to vote on things like the Supreme Court justices, other appointments the Senate has to confirm and make major decisions. So that’s what I plan to do, vote for Republican nominee Roy Moore.”

By her own admission, then, she would rather have a Republican child molester representing her state in the Senate than an intelligent, squeaky-clean Democrat.

Usually, conservatives don’t admit that. They’ll waffle over believing the accusers. They’ll say something like, “The Roy Moore I know would never do such a thing.” They won’t answer the question about who they’re voting for, hoping that people will eventually just stop asking them…

To Kay Ivey, even a child molester with an “R” after his name is worth voting for as long as it stops a reasonable Democrat from taking the seat…

* * *


"He won! He beat you at your own game!"

"So he did."

"He’ll save me! I  know he will!"

"Never. No-one has ever survived the Seven Curses of  Lodak! That was only the first."

"Oh, you!"

The recording of last night's (2017-11-17) KNYO and KMEC Memo of the  Air: Good Night Radio show is available to download and enjoy via

Acting teacher, pianist and playwright Dan Kozloff came by at the  beginning of the show to get the video of his and his students' new play  that I shot on Wednesday, and he was persuaded to stick around to talk  for a few minutes. And I had contact last week with Charles Cornelius  Tyler, lead singer of the old Community School band DADA (early  1980s), so there's some rather newer Charles Tyler music in the show for  a break or two. It's a seven-hour show; many things happen in it, and  almost all of them surprising, educational and wonderfully good for you.  Wow.

This show ran on KNYO fine, but a little before 1am Jerry told me that  KMEC was still playing reggae music. It turned out to be a simple  technical glitch. Sid Cooperider emailed me today and explained what  went wrong. So that’s solved. This coming week, at midnight Friday  night, the annual Memo of the Air: Thorgellen show will be picked up in  progress as usual, as will the show the week after that, and so on.  Thanks be to Sid. May Sid be with you. And also with you.

Anyway, also at you'll find directions  to many not necessarily radio-useful though worthwhile goods that I set  aside for you while putting the show together, such as, for example:

The ring cycle.

Smoke, sea salt, dust. Look for the Oregon and California fires. (Smoke  is shown in white.)

A popular tree.

And an interesting night. All that from a cough drop!

— Marco McClean



  1. George Hollister November 19, 2017


    This is step one, and a small one. Who will replace sturgeon? There is a worker shortage in the US right now, and Mendocino County is the last place people with talent, looking to build a career, want to go. Money won’t solve this problem, either, even if the MCDH had any. So let’s say Edwards is out, too. Who comes in to replace him?

    A couple of things that would make the situation better: 1)Management needs to recognize that a positive work environment for talent needs to exist. Talent will not stick around if there is a jerk in charge. They don’t need to. A negative work environment is not fixed by paying more money, either 2)Fort Bragg needs to fix it’s housing shortage. Talent needs somewhere to live.

    Oh, yeah, when the new candidates are interviewed, run from anyone who says they are coming to Fort Bragg because the “love Mendocino County”.

      • George Hollister November 19, 2017

        I was thinking the same. But who? Not a doctor, or anyone else who is professionally delivering health services. It has to be someone who has knowledge of the details of hospital management, or someone who can learn really fast. A management background is required. Leave the BS at the door.

        • Mark Scaramella November 19, 2017

          Actually CFO is more of a glorified accountant job. I don’t know who’s on staff today, but in the past they’ve had some very good women in the financial department but never CFO. If the right person was CEO, they shouldn’t have that much trouble bringing one of them back in. If the billing department is working right — it’s been spotty over the years because the bills have to conform to insurance and government standards — the rest of the accounting is pretty standard. There are very good professional billing services out there such as Whitman (which our local ambulance services uses) and they can go a long way to improve receipts. The Hospital has paid big bucks in years past for billing software and staffers which always seems like a troublesome version of re-inventing the wheel. While I’m suspicious of various kinds of privatization, in the case of medical/insurance billing, it’s a very good option. PS. Have you seen the financial reports that Sturgeon generated? If they’re anything like the ones I poured over with Tom Birdsell years ago during the Ballard era, they’ve got nowhere to go but up. PPS. Have you noticed that the current board has designated a doctor as “Treasurer”?

        • George Hollister November 19, 2017

          In my small world, doctors make poor managers. Doctors are task oriented people who are used to being the sole source of wisdom and knowledge. Not the qualities one wants as a manager. Are there good doctor-managers out there? I am sure they are, but they can not do both, and be any good at either job.

          A good manager delegates, provides oversight, and takes responsibility for the outcomes. A good manager is detail oriented. A good manager is always thinking about how outside influences impact what he/she does, and what he/she does influences what others do. I don’t know any doctor, regardless of how intelligent, that is capable of the job. I don’t know Goldyn.

          I tend to agree on with MS on the CFO position. But there are many would be CFOs running around the county, too.

        • Eric Sunswheat November 19, 2017

          RE: Why The Best Hospitals Are Managed by Doctors

          A good doctor candidate hospital manager could be Dr. William Courtney. He and his family are island hurricane house wrecked in the Carribean, have strong roots to Mendocino Coast, and probably want to scratch up another grub stake at making life real again, perhaps with a 3 year stint by bringing fresh perspective for breathing life into this hospital district on the skids.

  2. Harvey Reading November 19, 2017


    No nooze here, folks. It’s always been that way. It’s just that sometimes the nooze media publicize it more than at other times.

    Re: “THESE EVENTS have all recently happened in a certain town in the Middle East:…”

    Glad this was published. The religious tyrants, from all religions, need to be exposed regularly.


    The working of the conservative mind is not a pretty thing to behold, and, conservatives hide behind pomposity in an attempt to make it difficult for people to recognize them for what they really are.

    • Harvey Reading November 19, 2017

      All excellent information, and duly noted.

      • Harvey Reading November 20, 2017

        What a very “cute” remark, especially from a Catholic girl.

  3. Harvey Reading November 19, 2017

    I find Israel intolerant, and intolerable.

  4. BB Grace November 19, 2017

    I’d like to see a hybrid VA – Medicare facility that takes private insurance. I’d like to see the VA take the hospital open it to Medicaid/ Medicare/ MediCAL (I don’t know if I have the names correct), but social security which many disabled Vets have as it seems the only way there will ever be straight with the Federal and State government schedules. Why not have the VA do the administration?

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