Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017

* * *

BOONVILLE was a balmy 75 Tuesday, with another warm day predicted for Wednesday. Light showers for Thanksgiving, winter temps and more showers over the weekend.

* * *

128 STILL CLOSED (Tuesday afternoon)

UPDATE (CHP Dispatch, Wednesday, 7:41 am): "Roadway is now open; Hwy 128 from Hwy 1 to mm 11; Navarro River."

* * *


Jim Heid wrote:

It’s an annual tradition! :-) Here are some great details from a State Parks scientist about why the sandbar shouldn’t be breached by anything other than Mother Nature. I post this every year when sandbar-related flooding questions arise.

* * *

Renee Pasquinelli of State Parks wrote:

I appreciate being brought in to the discussion; as you have stated, State Parks is responsible for management of the Navarro property.  We too have received questions regarding the closure of the river mouth.  This situation has existed for decades; the difference is the previous tenant of the Mill Keepers house artificially breached the mouth (sometimes in the middle of the night) to protect his chemical shed.  Below is a recent response that I wrote to Superintendent Loren Rex regarding the Navarro breaching question:

River breaching is subject to regulation by the Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, State Lands Commission, and CA Department of Fish and Wildlife.  State Parks does not have the authority to simply breach the mouth.

Also, past studies have concluded that artificial breaching without adequate rainfall can be lethal to estuary species.  Estuaries contain salt and fresh water; the heavier salt water sinks to the bottom forming a highly saline lens beneath a somewhat freshwater upper layer.  Breaching siphons off the top freshwater layer, leaving the highly saline layer beneath.  Organisms that were able to escape the toxic saline layer prior to breaching have been trapped at the bottom and killed by the saline “brine.”  I have literally seen thousands of dead fish, crabs, and other organisms at the Navarro after an illegal breaching incident several years ago.

Unfortunately, the Navarro discussions escalate only when people see the closed river mouth and want access to the beach.  This stimulates a perception that something has to be done now.  Ideally, we need a long term management plan for the Navarro estuary.  As I recall from my past work in the Russian River area, Sonoma County Water Agency ultimately worked with Army Corps, the public, and the other regulatory agencies to develop a river mouth plan that included breaching — but the work was justified to prevent flooding of private residences on the lower Russian River.  Also, as I recall, the compromise was that the river had to be monitored such that breaching could only occur when certain ecological conditions existed.

I would welcome the opportunity to work with CDFW and the other regulatory agencies to pursue funding for a long term plan.  For now, there is little threat to the Navarro facilities from the high water level (the Inn was raised a few years ago), and as I understand, there is a great potential for die off of sensitive species if illegal breaching occurs.

Please do keep me in the loop on the Navarro subject and I’ll also continue to send you information that I receive from State Parks.


Renee Pasquinelli
Senior Environmental Scientist California State Parks, Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District
12301 North Highway 1 - Box 1 Mendocino, CA  95460
(707) 937-5721

* * *

Zo Zomala wrote:

Thank you for this info, but.... water is taken out of the Navarro every year and has been for decades!!  Of course breaching should only be done at the correct time, i.e. when there is plenty of water, which there is now, the flooding is the false situation because the shape of the beach has been defined by drought and low river water because of human intervention in use of river water. Complex yes, but not entirely a question of  preservation of natural conditions. scientific and common sense maybe useful here, closing the road because the river is so full, so ready to flow into the ocean, not sensible. And, earlier simply moving some sand would have been the fix. Don't even touch the river! Just move the mounds of sand that were displaced during the drought to help the river not spread out quite so much. state parks has not been so terrific about preserving natural conditions. Yes, some human frustration here.

* * *


CalFire reps told County staff on Monday that areas burned by the October Fires may be prone to short-notice floods and slides (aka “debris flows”) due to loss of surface vegetation, erosion, structure impacts and flat slopes. Particularly in heavy rains. So people in the burn area are advised to keep an eye on National Weather Service Flood Advisory Notices over the winter. The National Weather Service says they are keeping a close watch on heavy rain and flood potential and will try to tailor their warnings as much as possible for the burn area as necessary.

* * *


(Earlier results confirmed, no surprises)


* * *

A FRIEND WRITES: "Did hear an interesting tidbit the other day from my old friend who lives near Willits. He has a part-time local helper (one of the many to cobble together half a dozen low-wage jobs to keep food on the table and the lights on) who has a friend who works at Wal-Mart in Ukiah. His supervisor told him recently that he would be fired if he even applied to Costco (with its living wage and great benefits). This sort of thing isn't as illegal as it should be, in my humble opinion, but there you have it. He's understandably worried about losing his job. But thought it might be a good future thought as Costco takes shape."

* * *

THE 1973 WILLITS GANG RAPE and murder of 18-year-old Barbara Stroud is beyond sad. The only daughter of a Willits couple, the Willits police and Mendo sheriffs knew within days who the scumdogs were who did it. Unfortunately for justice, the Sheriff's Department deployed, of all things, sodium pentathol, or "truth serum," to help elicit the confession of Phillip Wood, who gave up the identities of his fellow creeps. Confessions obtained under the influence of truth serum had been disallowed, and the case against Wood and his co-defendants was thrown out, and that's where it all stood and still stands, despite latter day efforts by the Sheriff's Department to re-test clothing for dna using the latest identifying techniques. The guilty included Wood; Larry Eldon Phillips; Milton Leroy Phillips; Harold 'Puff' Harrington; Randy Russell Rowan; Dennis Lee Weeks. Most, if not all these sub-men are dead. They moved out of state after their crime and, from what we know of them, continued to live lives of dedicated scumbaggery. The Sheriff told me recently detectives thought they were close to a deathbed confession from Harrington but he died with no signs of contrition, let alone confession.

* * *

THE WILLITS NEWS is gone. Well, not all the way gone but there is no longer a Willits News office in Willits. The paper's remaining staffers now produce the venerable north county publication out of the Ukiah Daily Journal's headquarters on South State Street, Ukiah.

DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA, commonly referred to by its doomed employees as "Dumb F@@k Media," owns what's left of The Willits News, the remnant combined Coast papers in the Beacon-Advocate and, their Mendocino County mothership, the Ukiah Daily Journal.

A TRUE CRIME associated with the demise of The Willits News is the refusal by the County Museum to accept the paper's old negatives and related historic items on the grounds the Museum has no curator. It does have lots of storage space, and newspaper archives are crucial to the history of Mendocino County. One would think someone in the County would be alert enough to ensure The Willits News archive was not lost.

* * *

CHARLIE ROSE, JOURNALIST? Please. This pathetic old crocodile is a journalist in no known sense of the term. An army of staffers prepare his cretinous copy and he reads it. Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, to name two of comparable tv ubiquity to the repulsive Rose, often wrote their own copy, and also often reported from areas where the bullets were flying. BTW, because some old fool grabs your ass, that particular unpleasantness isn't exactly "male terrorism," as I heard one hysteric describe the recent harassment revelations. There are millions of women in the world, and everywhere in this deteriorated country, who endure far worse. And none of these male creeps would have been outed if Hillary had been elected. Trump has done three great services to America — he's destroyed both political parties, and he has triggered revelations (to the naive) that powerful men tend to behave like powerless men — badly.

* * *

RAMON SOTO, 28, is in the Mendocino County Jail on charges unrelated to the death of Nicole Smith, but he's also the one and only suspect in Sunday's early morning shooting on the Manchester rez that caused Smith's death and a minor injury to a 15-year-old girl. The gunman fired randomly into the home from the street outside. Soto is a neighbor of the dead woman with whom he was allegedly unhappy.


Nicole Smith was shot to death 5:43 a.m. Sunday when a gunman sprayed her house with bullets from the outside, Sheriff’s Lieutenant Shannon Barney said. A 15-year-old relative was also wounded, but was later treated and released from Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Investigators heard from community members there may have been a past dispute between Soto and Smith, Barney said.

Officers found a small amount of marijuana at Soto’s house on the reservation, Barney said, which triggered a warrant for violating his parole. Soto was later arrested in Ukiah.

While in custody, Soto got into a fight with another inmate, Barney said, which is likely to result in another criminal complaint.

The sheriff’s office asks anyone with information on the crime to call 707-463-4086.

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Ya know, I always thought Charlie Rose was really Barbara Walters, and a pretty creepy dude, too. No surprise he's a perv, a raincoat flasher type for sure. You won't catch my man Wolf Blitzer molesting ladies in the Situation Room. Wolf is too busy staying on the case!”

* * *


On October 31, 2017 the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors adopted an urgency ordinance that allows residents affected by the Redwood Complex Fire to apply for an administrative permit for the installation, use and temporary occupancy of trailer coaches (which includes recreational vehicles and mobile homes) on properties destroyed or damaged and made uninhabitable by the Redwood Complex fire. Temporary trailers can also be located on a separate property and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Residents will not be required to pay any fees to file the administrative permit authorized by this urgency ordinance. Effected residents may apply for an administrative permit at no cost by filling out the permit form at Planning and Building Services located at 860 N. Bush St in Ukiah or at To be eligible for this program, temporary trailer placement must meet the requirements for health and safety and will be subject to inspections by Planning and Building and Environmental Health.

For additional information about the Travel Trailer Occupancy Program please visit the County’s website at or contact Planning and Building at (707) 234-6650.

* * *


To the Editor,

My name is Christofer Ryan McNeill. I'm 21 years of age and currently incarcerated at the Mendocino County Jail. I've been incarcerated for a little over eight months. During my incarceration I have seen correctional deputies use excessive force and daily abuse their power position.

I'm currently housed in the isolation #2 part of the jail. Isolation is usually used for inmates with little or no mental capacity at all. The isolation module in the main jail of the facility can house or hold up to a maximum of five inmates. Although I am completely competent and have no mental issues, I am housed in isolation because of lack of professionalism on the classification officers CND deputy Siderrakis and Deputy Grant. Iso inmates are subject to 23 hour lockdown at all times, 30 minutes in a heavily gated and secured prison yard and 15-30 minutes in the shower and that is what I am currently so privileged to receive every day. We do not get yard if it is damp or raining outside whatsoever.

Other than that I am living in a 7 x 12 cell with two high definition cameras 23 hours a day. Yes, I admit to the fullest capacity possible I am guilty of the crime I committed on the circumstances. Furthermore, even as an inmate I have legal human rights.

This brings me to the issue at hand. On the early morning of November 15, 2017 at about 1:05 AM I was asked by deputies if I would like to take a shower. I said yes and was transported to the shower room. After I ended my daily shower I was escorted back to my cell. While I was in the shower Deputy Shaw used that time to investigate and search my cell for contraband which is normal. I was not at all surprised that I was raided and investigated thoroughly. After I touched back down to my cell and the guards left I was putting everything back in order meticulously and neatly as I always have things. I noticed my Christian cross panflit brochure that my great-grandparents send me every Friday from Sunrise Church in Washington was confiscated by Deputy Shaw. Deputy Shaw deliberately gets off on ruining inmates days and is completely juiced up already to deface inmates personal mail, property and all. My brochure which is maybe 3 inches wide and 5 inches long was placed above my head for a little peace of mind before I go to bed. Due to it being displayed, the deputy RoboCop Shaw confiscated my mail. To have incoming and outgoing mail is my right as an inmate. To confiscate and throw it away is breaking my rights as an inmate. I then tried to be cool and average about the situation and bring it to the deputy’s attention in a professional manner. The deputies that I addressed were Deput Nicole Sielinger.. They basically told me I was burnt. Although I do admit that Deputy Sielinger was at least respectful about the situation.

Anyway, all the deputies chose to ignore my request of trying to obtain my mail back that was confiscated because of it being placed on the wall and displayed. This is not a right deputies have to confiscate mail coming from a postal office to Christofer Ryan McNeil. So I didn't let it boil over. I needed my mail back and I wasn't giving up. I tried to be cool calm and collected but it didn't work! I needed to speak to the Sergeant regarding this issue and deputies chose to ignore that request also.

Robocop Shaw came to my cell, isolation number two, to address me unprofessionally. "You are burnt, you are not getting any shit back, it's gone, keep your shit up and I'm going to put you in safety." Safety is a padded cell with a camera where combative, hostile and suicidal inmates will go if they act out. I didn't care. I was getting my mail. The only way I knew to get a sergeant’s attention was to cover my two cameras that I have in my cell. So I did.

Oh, what do you know? Here comes Sergeant Johnston from the county jail known as Mendocino-Alabama due to their rude, racist and unjust tendencies. Sgt. Johnston told me to cuff up and put my hands through the small slot of the door. I asked him, What if I don't? Are you going to shoot me? Sgt. Johnston stated, "You don't want to come to that point."

So whatever, I cuffed up even though I didn't want to. As soon as I did they opened my isolation door and grabbed me with force and huddled all around me like the San Francisco 49ers will do before they make a play call. In addition deputy Shaw chicken-winged me and in that instant I heard something crack. My wrist was broken or sprained. On top of all this I now have absolutely no feeling in my whole entire left arm and wrist. This was another act of a small situation getting blown out of proportion because deputies in Mendocino County Jail love for their blood and adrenaline to get pumped up. I was placed in safety where fecal matter coated the walls which is also illegal. I was subject to various unknown airborne viruses and could have become very sick. Another unlawful act by Deputy Shaw and Sgt. Johnston of Mendocino County jail was denying the medical attention in regards to my wrist. I was seen at my cell by a doctor or physician who stated, "I definitely need (days later) x-rays done."

Mendocino County Jail has deliberately abused their power not only in my situation but many others. Deputy Anderson, badge number 2797, had a camcorder on during my incident. My family is seeking additional help through higher authority and officials to investigate more of the malicious situations in his correctional facility. I'm sure you've all known someone who has been to jail or prison. So don't turn a blind eye because deputies have authority. Take action. Know that Mendocino County Jail is crooked and abusing their power. I will not succumb to their level and let them grind my nose against the cement. I have four months left. I get out on March 22, 2018.

Feel free to write about any questions you may have. My address is 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah 95482. My name is Christofer Ryan McNeill A#39264. I would love to hear from you. A special shout out to the Laviletta, Allegaert and McNeill family. Rest in peace, Jakeob, you are forever loved. I'll see you one day.

Yours Truly, Christofer Ryan McNeil A#39264

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

* * *


by Jeff Costello

Lots of Manson publicity since he died, and it's notable how many people had some sort of connection to Charlie. Musician friend of mine showed me a pair of moccasins Manson gave him, when his band was living at a place adjacent to the Spahn "movie" ranch where the Manson "family" was based.

I was in Salisbury Beach, Mass., summer of 1966, playing with my band at a Mafia-owned club (lots of that in the greater Boston/North Shore area back then). Salisbury Beach was a bunch of bars trying to look like an amusement park, a few cheesy rides here or there. Hot dog and ice cream stands. We chanced to meet a beach bum named Bob Kasabian, who apparently had no shoes, wandering around the sand. He spoke in a north-shore accent, a more severe version of what you hear on recordings of the Kennedys, about halfway between that and the down-east twang of southern Maine. He seemed kind of lost and we gave him a job schlepping our band equipment, and he traveled with the band, having nothing better to do.

Bob traveled with band around New England until we wound up living in apartments on Beacon Hill in Boston, where he kind drifted away. But not before he visited me and my pregnant girlfriend, and presented her with a drawing he had made, of a pregnant woman hanging from a gallows with a sword stuck in her belly. Thanks, Bob.

In 1970 I went to Los Angeles to meet up with my musician friend Bruce, in hopes of finding some kind of success in the music business, or least something that paid. He was living in the Valley, a world away from Hollywood, but he knew people there, all trying to make it big, to become the "next big thing." We did manage to get a gig touring with the Platters, the hit singing group from the 50s. None of the original singers were there anymore, but the Platters name was owned by one man and he kept the thing going, booking the current version into various venues around the south.

One day, I picked up the Los Angeles Times and there on the front page was a photo of Bob, walking into a courtroom where his wife, Linda Kasabian, was testifying as witness for the prosecution in the Manson murder trial. She had been a member of the "family," and drove the getaway car while the other members were killing people in their houses, and had been granted immunity to tell the gory details. She had told Manson, "I'm not you, Charlie, I can't kill people." Her testimony was directly responsible for the guilty verdict that sent the other girls and Charlie to prison. And there was Bob in the newspaper, the same Bob who had given the creepy drawing to my girlfriend. A least his wife was not one of the killers.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, November 21, 2017

Barajas, Casey, Miller

JOSE BARAJAS, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

SHANKARA CASEY, Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

JACK MATHIS*, Ukiah. Possession of assault weapon. (Booking photo not posted.)

LORAINE MILLER, Fort Bragg. Harboring a wanted felon.

Norbury, Porter-Walker, Richardson, Walker

AUDIE NORBURY*, Ukiah. Possession of assault weapon.

DWAN PORTER-WALKER, Oakland/Willits. Assault with firearm, burglary, kidnapping for ranson or extortion, armed with firearm in commission of felony, conspiracy.

JAMES RICHARDSON, Discovery Bay/Willits. Kidnapping for robbery/rape, conspiracy, suspended license.

JOHNNY WALKER III, Oakland/Willits. Kidnapping for robbery/rape, harboring a wanted felon, conspiracy, parole violation.

* The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two former Ukiah Gun Club board members in connection with the suspected embezzlement of club funds.

Law enforcement served a search warrant March 31 on a property where the board’s former president, Audie Norbury, and his girlfriend, former board treasurer Penny Mathis, reside. Mathis’ ex-husband also lives on the property and was subjected to the search.

“I have been informed by law enforcement that it seized office equipment, tools, reloading supplies, firearms, ammunition, documents and many other items of property during the execution of the search warrant,” current club President Mike Whetzel wrote in a recent email sent to the club’s 1,200 members. A source close to the investigation confirmed search warrants were served in connection with suspected embezzlement.

A spokesman for the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office said the investigation is continuing and nothing has been sent to the office for review.

The search warrant is the latest twist in a nearly three-year battle within the organization, whose members include many from Sonoma County. The club’s membership has grown as other clubs around the state and country have closed because of the lead contamination they caused and neighborhood opposition to gunfire.

Neither Norbury, Mathis nor her ex-husband would comment. But in a Dec. 16 email to members, Norbury denied any wrongdoing.

“I am completely devastated and angry about these allegations,” he wrote. “I love the gun club and put many hours into making the gun club a better place for all its members.”

But a group was formed to confront irregularities that members thought put the gun club at risk of losing its nonprofit status and its property lease from the city of Ukiah.

The gun club strife began quietly about three years ago with a few members demanding that meeting rules — including requirements to post agendas — be followed and financial documents released.

Concern with the club’s management grew, and by last year, the dissident group called the Ukiah Gun Club Committee for Change had expanded to about 100 members, said John Mayfield, a local businessman and 30-plus year club member.

The rift has included a court battle over membership lists, allegations of financial impropriety and a rancorous election ending with a majority of the former board being ousted in January.

Norbury claimed in his December email he donated hundreds of additional hours of work to the club and the work he was paid for was approved by the board.

“I am an honest man that has done the best he can for the gun club and its members,” he stated.

All parties say they want the club to get past the controversy, thrive and continue providing a place for law enforcement to practice firing weapons, and for the public and children to learn gun safety. The facility also has coin-operated trap machines and hosts events featuring antique guns.

Some members say the strife is the result of growing pains. Founded in 1945, the club has tripled in size to 1,200 in a little more than a decade, said Rod Island, who recently resigned from the board.

“I just hate to see all the turmoil out there,” he said. “I look forward to just being a member and going out to shoot.”

(Glenda Anderson, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, April 14, 2017)

Jack and Penny Mathis

* * *


Opening weekend of the “gun” part of deer hunting season here is very informative. You see actual men and cartoon men.

Actual men: rusty old truck, well-worn but well-cared-for rifle or shotgun that may have belonged to dad, mismatched but carefully chosen clothing, a mix of blaze orange, surplus, and a bit of hunter-type camo. Stanley thermos with some coffee and a lot of scratches. Quiet, joking a bit, downplaying any venison they’ve culled.

Cartoon men: giant lifted new truck with tons of stickers for products + Salt Life stupid sticker, $2000 rifle with $1000 scope, treebark-pattern camos just gotten from Cabela’s. Yeti cooler with all the matching goodies. Full of loud stories that are all fake.

You cannot buy maleness. But a lot of men try. FWIW, with high winds the deer were nowhere to be seen, but I enjoyed some time sitting alone in a tree.

* * *


Notes on After the Storms (Seven Weeks Later)

From a distance, especially from the height of a plane flying into Puerto Rico, there is little indication that a disaster has occurred. Greenery has returned to the island after the hurricanes stripped all trees bare and laid waste to crops. From this height there is an appearance of a lush tropical land. The roads are jammed with cars and trucks, so it looks like business and commerce is once again flowing freely. At this distance buildings are standing with roofs and glass intact. At night most of the San Juan area is lit up.

Close to the ground there is a different reality. The new plant growth is barely hiding the hideous effects that 150 mph winds have had on fauna, man-made structures and on human beings themselves. Many trees have had their tops snapped and are sporting new coiffeurs that seem to belong on smaller plants. The ground is covered with broken things; concrete debris, glass shards, plastic sheets and bags, pieces of tin roofs, plaster, old clothes, car bumpers, chunks of concrete with rebar sticking out. Buildings are scarred with their paint peeling, boarded up windows, blue tarps where parts of roofs flew away. Potholed streets, and low lying wires are precariously swinging free. Old San Juan is still without electric power and so is 60% of the rest of the island. Where power has been restored there are frequent outages, sometimes lasting a few hours, or a whole day, even several days. When this happens thousands of generators are turned on to keep businesses operating, keeping elevators working in high-rise buildings, or allowing a home owner to keep a refrigerator running and perhaps a fan and a light. These machines create quite a roar along busy streets as well as a good deal of air quality issues resulting from increased fumes from Diesel engines. Now that gas is generally available it seems everyone is out driving their cars going to work or in search of food and water. One can also guess that a good deal of the traffic is providing people with air conditioning and is allowing them to charge their cell phones. Going anywhere with purpose involves coping with hours of extra time due to increased volume and the lack of functioning traffic lights.

Everyone we talk to struggles to describe the terror the storms brought down on the island, first with Irma that effectively shut down the electrical system and whose winds and flooding brushed the eastern end of Puerto Rico. A week later came Maria as a category 4 or 5 and whose immense eye covered most of the island and produced a number of baby tornadoes. For 12 hours or so people huddled inside their bathrooms or hallways listening to the fierce howling of the winds and the crashes of heavy objects crashing into the sides of houses. Afterwards they looked outside and saw the world totally transformed. Streets became rivers. Forests became gnarled broken masses of destruction. Houses lost their roofs, even their ironwork grills that provide security and give them a birdcage like effect. Our friends and relatives go on to describe the weeks of struggle to find food, water, gas and basic supplies. And then the slow agonizing process of clearing the destruction and trying to make basic repairs. They were left to depend on their own resources and the help of neighbors. Relatives in the States and relief agencies began to send supplies, but it took a long time for deliveries to be made.Most feel that the United States and even their own island government had abandoned them.

Much of Puerto Rico’s population live in parts of the island that are hard to reach and isolated in normal times. After the hurricanes they were completely incommunicado for weeks. Iris has a 90 year old aunt who lives on a winding mountain road about 10 miles outside the town of Corozal. She has been without electricity since Irma. Iris sent her and her son, who takes care of  her, a small generator (2000 Watts) which at least keeps her refrigerator running for up to 12 hours as well as a fan and a light. Around her house it is covered with fallen trees and brown dried branches. Countless dogs and cats roam freely both inside and outside the house along with dozens of chickens. Many houses along this mountain road have blue tarps covering damaged or missing roofs. People out here have one important resource to get them through these times - that is each other. Neighbor helping neighbor has been vital in clearing debris, opening roads and driveways, making home repairs, bringing supplies to the sick and elderly, and providing news from the outside. Where no other form of entertainment exists having the opportunity to get together is vital. Most of the little country stores and restaurants are gone, but those that manage to stay open are doing a thriving business, providing drinks and food cooked on outdoor grills. These are like community centers where the accumulated stresses of past weeks can find relief and consolation.

Similarly the public venues in the city are jammed. Restaurants, bars and shopping areas are filled with people seeking each other’s company and telling their tales of terror, woe and heroism. Puerto Rican flags fly everywhere, from rooftops, draped over plywood sheets covering broken windows, from cars and motorcycles. They now have a message printed on them that we’ve also seen on cans of Coke: “Puerto Rico se levanta.”

How can we help? Sure, make contributions and send assistance wherever and whenever we can. It will surely help, but we also have to find ways to reassure Puerto Rican’s that they have not been abandoned. They want family and friends to be close. Therefore I think that we who live away from the island need to resolve to come back to Puerto Rico, bring back tourist dollars and help keep businesses viable. But more importantly come to be with the people, listen to their stories, share their griefs and joys and let them know that they have not been forgotten and abandoned.

(Forwarded to the AVA unbylined by Louis Bedrock.)

* * *


* * *


Coming soon to a city near you: the misguided movement to force you out of your car and onto a bike or trolley.

L.A. Is Creating Traffic Jams to Push Commuters to Ride Bikes and Rail

by Alexis Garcia

In July of 2017, Los Angeles imposed a "road diet" in the quiet beach community of Playa del Rey, replacing car lanes with bike lanes and parking spaces. The roads were suddenly jammed with traffic. The community was livid.

"Most of Playa Del Rey didn't know this was happening," says John Russo, a local resident and co-founder of Keep L.A. Moving, a community group formed to fight back against the city's unilateral decision to reconfigure the streets. "It really created havoc for us because we have no other roads to take."

Road diets are part of a strategy known as Vision Zero, in which Los Angeles aims to eliminate all traffic-related fatalities by 2025. It's an idea borrowed from Sweden, which in the '90s started experimenting with reconfiguring the roads to encourage more commuters to bike or take mass transit to work.

"In order to achieve zero deaths, public officials have been doing some odd things," says Baruch Feigenbaum, the assistant director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, the 501(c)(3) that publishes this website. Road diets aren't "based on science" or any "empirical findings."

"After the road diets were put in, we actually saw traffic accidents go through the roof," says Russo. "We had an average of 11.6 accidents per year on these roads in Playa Del Rey. We've had 52 accidents in the last four months."

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 American Community Survey, about one percent of Los Angeles' commuters bike to work. Sixty-seven percent drive.

"You're taking something from a whole bunch of people just to benefit a few people," says Feigenbaum. "That's not a good cost-benefit analysis."

City planners also want to incentivize residents to move closer to their jobs. Or, if they do have to commute, to ride the city's public transit system. Los Angeles has the third largest transit network in the country, yet only 10 percent of commuters use it to get to work.

"In Los Angeles, a majority of the folks simply cannot get from their homes to their jobs in a short period of time using transit," Feigenbaum explains. "Trying to force people into one type of behavior doesn't tend to work and it's why, even in Los Angeles, the vast majority of people are still commuting by automobile."

In October, the Los Angeles City Council reversed itself in Playa del Rey after community members filed two lawsuits against the city and launched a recall election of local Councilman Mike Bonin (D), who had backed the plan.

But the city is still planning to implement over 40 road diet projects in other areas of Los Angeles, and major cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, and Atlanta are pursuing similar policies.

"In the 1960s we were building interstate highways, freeways through downtown areas, which was definitely the wrong approach," says Feigenbaum. "Now we don't want to build any roads at all. We just want to build bike paths. We want to narrow lanes. We're saying that transit is going to solve everybody's needs. Neither extreme is what we need."

"It's not about cyclists versus drivers," says Russo. "These are all of our roads and they should be safe for all users. And the road diet didn't make our roads safer and they're not making it better for the cyclists."

* * *

“It’s a deal—we overlook the allegations against you, and you vote for the tax bill.”

* * *


When you go online you have certain expectations. You expect to be connected to whatever website you want. You expect that your cable or phone company isn’t messing with the data and is connecting you to all websites, applications and content you choose. You expect to be in control of your internet experience.

When you use the internet you expect Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked.

In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open — allowing you to share and access information of your choosing without interference.

But right now this win is in jeopardy: Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to destroy Net Neutrality. In May, the FCC voted to let Pai’s internet-killing plan move forward. By the end of the summer, the agency was flooded with more than 20 million comments. The vast majority of people commenting urged the FCC to preserve the existing Net Neutrality rules.

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online.

Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks — and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t interfere with the content you view or post online.

Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open internet.

What would happen if we lost Net Neutrality?

The internet without Net Neutrality isn’t really the internet. Unlike the open internet that has paved the way for so much innovation and given a platform to people who have historically been shut out, it would become a closed-down network where cable and phone companies call the shots and decide which websites, content or applications succeed.

This would have an enormous impact. Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to decide who is heard and who isn’t. They’d be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings.

The consequences would be particularly devastating for marginalized communities media outlets have misrepresented or failed to serve. People of color, the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples and religious minorities in the United States rely on the open internet to organize, access economic and educational opportunities, and fight back against systemic discrimination.

Without Net Neutrality, how would activists be able to fight oppression? What would happen to social movements like the Movement for Black Lives? How would the next disruptive technology, business or company emerge if internet service providers only let incumbents succeed?

Didn't we already win strong Net Neutrality rules?

Yes. After a decade-long battle over the future of the internet, the FCC adopted strong Net Neutrality rules based on Title II of the Communications Act, giving internet users the strongest protections possible.

But ever since then opponents have done everything they can to destroy Net Neutrality. And Chairman Pai — a former Verizon lawyer — is moving fast to destroy the open internet. He must be stopped.

Why is Title II so important?

Courts rejected two earlier FCC attempts to craft Net Neutrality rules and told the agency that if it wanted to adopt such protections it needed to use the proper legal foundation: Title II. ​In February 2015, the FCC did just that, ​giving ​internet users the strongest possible Net Neutrality rules when it reclassified broadband providers as common carriers under Title II. Title II gives the FCC the authority it needs to ensure that companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon can’t block, throttle or otherwise interfere with web traffic. Title II preserves the internet’s level playing field, allowing people to share and access information of their choosing. These rules have ushered in a historic era of online innovation and investment — and have withstood two court challenges from industry.

But Chairman Pai wants to ditch Title II and return the FCC to a “light touch” Title I approach. Translation: Pai wants to give control of the internet to the very companies that violated Net Neutrality for years before the FCC adopted its current rules in 2015. Title I would do nothing to protect internet users like you.

Who’s attacking Net Neutrality?

Big phone and cable companies and their lobbyists filed suit almost as soon as the Net Neutrality rules were adopted. Free Press jumped in and helped argue the case defending the FCC — and on June 14, 2016, a federal appeals court upheld the open-internet protections in all respects. However, the ISPS are still trying to challenge these rules in court.

Meanwhile, industry-funded Net Neutrality opponents in Congress have done everything they can to dismantle or undermine the rules. Legislators have introduced numerous deceptive bills and attached damaging riders to must-pass government-funding bills.

The millions of people who spoke out in support of Net Neutrality are fired up and ready to fight back — and you can join them here.

Why is Net Neutrality crucial for communities of color?

The open internet allows people of color to tell their own stories and organize for racial and social justice. When activists are able to turn out thousands of people in the streets at a moment’s notice, it’s because ISPs aren’t allowed to block their messages or websites.

The mainstream media have long misrepresented, ignored and harmed people of color. And thanks to systemic racism, economic inequality and runaway media consolidation, people of color own just a handful of broadcast stations. The lack of diverse ownership is a primary reason why the media have gotten away with criminalizing and otherwise stereotyping communities of color.

The open internet allows people of color and other vulnerable communities to bypass traditional media gatekeepers. Without Net Neutrality, ISPs could block speech and prevent dissident voices from speaking freely online. Without Net Neutrality, people of color would lose a vital platform.

And without Net Neutrality, millions of small businesses owned by people of color wouldn’t be able to compete against larger corporations online, which would deepen economic disparities.

Why is Net Neutrality important for businesses?

Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open internet to launch their businesses, create markets, advertise their products and services, and reach customers. We need the open internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation.

Net Neutrality lowers the barriers of entry by preserving the internet’s fair and level playing field. It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online.

No company should be allowed to interfere with this open marketplace. ISPs are the internet’s gatekeepers, and without Net Neutrality, they would seize every possible opportunity to profit from that gatekeeper position.

Without Net Neutrality, the next Google or Facebook would never get off the ground.

What can we do now?

Chairman Pai wants to replace the agency’s strong rules with “voluntary” conditions that no ISP would ever comply with. Pai unveiled his plan in a closed-door meeting with industry lobbyists in April 2017 and officially kicked off a proceeding on May 18, 2017, when the FCC voted along party lines to move this proposal​ forward. Since then the agency has been swamped by comments from internet users who want to keep the protections in place.

The Trump administration is doing everything in its power to clamp down on dissent. If we lose Net Neutrality, it will have succeeded.

Millions have already taken a stand to defend our rights to connect and communicate. Take action now and join the fight.


* * *


Press Release: DHS OIG Completes Its Review of Implementation of the Travel Ban; Awaits Decision by DHS Regarding Whether It Will Invoke Privilege

From U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General, who is not pleased by the Department leadership’s apparent deep-sixing of the OIG’s report on “implementation of Executive Order 13769, regarding the travel into the United States of individuals from seven countries.”  The referenced report itself “focuses on the experience of DHS and affected travelers arriving in the United States, from the signing of the EO on January 27, 2017 through February 3, 2017 when, in Washington v. Trump, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) that halted the government’s enforcement of the EO nationwide.”  The letter describes appropriate actions taken by Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBPOs) that were widely besmirched in mainstream and social media, according to the IG’s “findings” (Page 4).  Unless the OIG’s report is released to Congress, the Department of Homeland Security will not be held accountable for its practices — or exonerated of unsubstantiated charges made in non-governmental “media” outlets.  Either way, the paying public has a right to know.

* * *


The “Redneck Revolt” Is Showing Up at Gun Shows & KKK Rallies to End White Supremacy

This rural White organization put out a call for working-class Whites to “reject the idea of whiteness.”

by Zenobia Jeffries, Racial Justice Editor, Yes! Magazine

Last year, following the presidential election, I wrote a column suggesting that people who identify as White consider working in their own families and communities to address the racism and bigotry that helped to put Donald Trump in office. I asked what if the well-intentioned White allies who have moved to urban centers to “help” communities of color had instead remained in their own communities—however racially regressive and intolerable—and worked to make them better at engaging in race relations.

I later discussed two communities doing this kind of work. In Maine, a Truth & Reconciliation Commission investigated how generations of Native children had been taken from their homes, against the wishes of their families, and placed in foster care with White families. From that process came the organization Maine Wabanaki REACH, a cross-cultural group that worked to implement suggestions that came out of the commission to help heal that community. And the Truth-Telling Project, founded in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police-killing of Michael Brown, is not only working within its community to address police violence enacted on the mostly Black community, but also with White communities in other states. The TTP is helping them with their approach to truth-telling in their local areas, and unlearning racism.

My thinking is this: Our best hope for changing deep-rooted attitudes that perpetuate racism and White supremacy is for people from similar backgrounds to work together toward that end. Conversations between people with shared life experiences could perhaps more effectively change minds and, ultimately, behaviors. This is a strategy of Redneck Revolt.

The self-described anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-fascist group was founded in the summer of 2016 to challenge working-class White people to stand against White supremacy.

In an open letter called “To Other Working Americans,” Redneck Revolt put out a call for its fellow working-class rural White people to “reject the idea of whiteness.” That is, they wrote, “to reject the idea that our allegiance is somehow determined by what skin we have, even when our real living situations are so different.”

Media and some progressives want to lay blame for the Trump presidency at the feet of working-class White people, yet it is this demographic that makes up Redneck Revolt. The organization recruits working-class and poor Whites in rural areas—the target of far-right and White nationalist groups.

This is intentional.

They are rural White people challenging other rural White people to connect to their local communities so that they can build the kind of relationships that defend each other against the divisions caused by right-wing politics. They do this by sharing the history of struggle experienced by all working-class Americans and immigrants: people of color, White people, and LGBTQ communities.

“Race affects us all differently,” co-founder Tyler said in a Redneck Revolt podcast, “but what unites us is our shared struggle to survive—the working-class folks, poor folks.

“And there are people who systematically benefit from our struggle.”

To be clear, that’s the wealthy.

With about 40 chapters nationwide, Redneck Revolt members can be found “counter recruiting” at gun shows, country music concerts, and White nationalist/Ku Klux Klan demonstrations around the country.

Modeled after the Rainbow Coalition, the group builds alliances with non-White organizations. It’s not uncommon to see them show up at a Black Lives Matter protest in support of that movement’s efforts.

Redneck Revolt’s immediate work is organizing White working-class people to attend to the needs of their local communities. This includes food programs, community gardens, clothing programs, and needle exchanges (in addition to their armed self-defense programs, which comes from the organization’s roots in the John Brown Gun Club). All this organizing is done as a coalition with organizations of color.

This is what it looks like when White folks exercise self-determination in their own communities—naming for themselves who are their allies, what is their real enemy, what needs to be done to heal and build community on all sides of the color line.

Getting more serious about that sort of work is Scalawag Magazine, which on Nov. 2 announced an in-depth reporting initiative on how Southerners are challenging White supremacy. In a recent New York Times article, Alysia Nicole Harris, the editor of Scalawag, said: “Ultimately, we believe that the South is going to be the voice that emerges to lead this conversation about trauma and healing, because here is where the trauma was the thickest.”

This is hopeful news. For decades, Whites have worked alongside communities of color for civil rights. It is reassuring to know there are White allies bold enough to hold their own people accountable to disrupt racism and White supremacy.

(Yes! Magazine)

* * *



I am a registered Democrat and a woman. I liked Sen. Al Franken before the allegations against him became public, and I still like him.

To compare his behavior (which I certainly don’t condone and am truly dismayed by) to that of Roy Moore and the current occupant of the Oval Office is ludicrous, especially in light of the fact that he had the intestinal fortitude to apologize with a hand-written letter to his accuser and to call for the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate his actions.

Moreover, women who have worked with and for him in Washington have vouched for his hard work and dedication to his position, with no hint of inappropriate behavior. I hope that the people of Minnesota will take into account all the pros and cons with open minds and come to recognize that he is a valuable member of the Senate and that he deserves a chance to redeem himself.

Cynthia Florenzen


* * *


There are vacancies on the following Board(s) and/or Commission(s):

  • Mendocino County Tourism Commission  (4)
  • Gualala Municipal Advisory Council  (2)
  • Mendocino County Employees’ Retirement Association Board  (1) 5th Member.
  • Mendocino County Historical Review Board  (1)
  • Member -- Potter Valley Cemetery District. (1) Trustee

Please note:

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

If you are interested in serving on this Board, contact your Supervisor, or the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, at 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010, Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 463-4441. LAST DATE FOR FILING: November 30, 2017 or until filled. CARMEL J. ANGELO Clerk of the Board of Supervisors

* * *

Matthew Roberts

EXCLUSIVE: 'My father never killed anyone!' Charles Manson's estranged 'son' says the cult leader was 'inspiring like Gandhi' and he says he plans to stake a claim to his 'father's' estate which 'could be worth millions'

Matthew Roberts, 49, of Los Angeles, believes he is the rightful heir to Charles Manson's estate and has hired an attorney to take control of the evil cult leader's assets.

* * *


* * *


On January 5 - 7, 2018, the 26th Annual Professional Pianist Concert will commence once again with three concerts featuring 10 different pianists. Performers this year are Spencer Brewer, Elena Casanova, Wendy deWitt, Frankie J, Tom Ganoung, Chris James, Elizabeth MacDougall, Ed Reinhart, Charlie Seltzer and Sam Ocampo. The music ranges from classical to jazz, boogie-woogie to Cuban, Broadway to ragtime.....each performance will be different!

The series features seven pianists on stage each evening in a living room environment throughout the event trading stories and songs with two pianos on stage to accommodate impromptu collaborations. This popular event is an annual sellout because of the diversity, quality of a multitude of styles of music and humor that takes place throughout the evening. A special art show benefitting Redwood Complex fire survivors by Spencer Brewer and Esther Siegel will also be on display at the Mendocino College Art Gallery throughout the weekend…not to be missed!

Friday, January 5th at 7:00pm will feature Spencer Brewer, Elena Casanova, Wendy DeWitt, Chris James, Elizabeth MacDougall, Ed Reinhart and Charlie Seltzer.

Saturday, January 6th’s 7:00pm performance will feature Spencer Brewer, Elena Casanova, Wendy DeWitt, Tom Ganoung, Chris James, Elizabeth MacDougall and Sam Ocampo.

Sunday afternoon’s 2:00pm performance will feature Spencer Brewer, Elena Casanova, Tom Ganoung, Frankie J, Elizabeth MacDougall, Ed Reinhart and Charlie Seltzer. No two concerts will be the same, so if you love piano and piano music, enjoy more than one performance.

Tickets will be on sale at Mendocino Book Co. and dig Music! in Ukiah, Mazahar in Willits and Watershed Books in Lakeport. Tickets are $15 general admission and $25 "I ‘Wanna’ See the Hands" limited seating. For more information call 707-472-7640.

The concert benefits the Mendocino College Recording Arts & Technology Program, Allegro Scholarship Program, Mendocino County Youth Project and Ukiah Community Concerts. Sponsors are Sparetime Supply, Ken Fowler Auto, Savings Bank of Mendocino, Mendocino College Recording Arts, Willits Furniture Center, Waterman Plants, K-WINE/MAX, KOZT-The Coast and KZYX/Z. There will be autographed CD's by the artists for sale in lobby. Refreshments will be provided by Ukiah Community Concert Association.

Styles Of Music

Spencer Brewer- Contemporary Classical & Original Compositions

Elena Casanova- Cuban Classical & Jazz, Classical

Wendy deWitt- Boogie Woogie & Blues

Tom Ganoung- Originals, Rock, Classical

Frankie J- R & B, Soul, Gospel

Chris James- Traditional & Swing Era Jazz

Elizabeth MacDougall- Classical

Sam Ocampo- Jazz Pop

Ed Reinhart- Boogie-Woogie & Blues

Charlie Seltzer- Broadway & Show tunes

* * *


Saturday, November 25th, 3 - 4 pm

Teens are invited to join the library’s Teen Leadership Council (TLC). Teen leaders can volunteer & apply for credit toward community service hours while building their résumés. Teens will have a chance to be heard & make a difference in the community.

District Teens Leaders will gain valued skills & experience:

  • Collaborating to design our new teen space
  • Planning & organizing events
  • Recommending books & other materials for library purchase
  • Developing leadership & conflict-resolution skills
  • Contributing to the Ukiah community by expanding teen resources

Come and find out if this is the group for you!

Pizza will be provided.

For more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434



  1. MarshallNewman November 22, 2017

    Based on the sudden drop in the Navarro River level recorded around midnight last night on the USGS website, it appears the sandbar at the mouth of the river may have breached. Or the gauge broke.

    • Bruce Anderson November 22, 2017

      It broke.

  2. Harvey Reading November 22, 2017


    Truly hopeful news. Sounds more like the Working Class in which I grew up rather than the dimwitted, ignorant reactionaries portrayed by corporate media.

    • Harvey Reading November 22, 2017

      Some proof for what you say, please.

  3. Lazarus November 22, 2017

    The Willits News situation is unfortunate for several reasons. The over a hundred year old publication was sold in the early 90’s by a local cabal of big shots who built it up just enough to off it to the highest bidder. Local offers were submitted but none were acceptable. So the paper sold to a nation wide corporate owner, Mead Publications. They eventually stripped it down and sold it again to Dean Singleton, a nationwide owner. It should be noted he owned the Coast papers, the UDJ and the Lake County pubs. Singleton got sick and Media News took over. They changed the name several times but in essence the players were and are the same.
    Then several years ago two former Willits News employees bolted and started the Willits Weekly. 4 years ago TWN’s Publisher retired, from there it was pretty much down hill…The new editor was law and order with little emphasis on local color, which by the way is the WW’s strength.
    It seems to have a come down to the bottom-line, like everything ultimately does. They quietly gave notice, sold or gave away the furnishing, dumped the history and moved to Ukiah….
    As a local I hope the WW is up to it, they have no office, I have no idea about who gets paid, and what their ultimate goal is. One of the owners is older, and the other is a silver spooner, something goes wrong and they could be gone too.
    RIP The Willits News, just another empty, gutted building in Willits that was once a vibrant work place…
    As always,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *