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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Dec. 1, 2017

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FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY officials will provide up to 70 recreational vehicles at Lake Mendocino for people displaced by October’s wildfires, officials said Thursday.

The RVs will be installed in phases beginning in early December on about 75 acres at the north end of the lake in the Kyen campground, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

The location near Highway 20 is close to many of the 545 homes destroyed in the Redwood Valley fire, which burned more than 36,500 acres and killed eight people.

Lake Mendocino will remain open and operating normally while the temporary housing is in place.

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Boonville High School, student population 150, lost by one point last night to Fort Bragg High School, student population 539. As previously stated, and no insult intended, Boonville can't shoot, but boy o boy o can Boonville play D. Boonville plays a tenacious, man-to-man, full-court, old school defense via which the Boonville boys drive bigger, much more skilled teams absolutely nuts. Imagine a giant squid in your puss from the time you in-bound the ball. That's the Boonville basketball experience. Fort Bragg squeaked out a 37-36 victory, and they were very lucky to drive back into the fog with a win.

USUAL MISMATCHES. Two perennial powerhouses romped two teams of roughly freshman hoops caliber on Wednesday: Cloverdale 102, Valley Christian 64 -- and Branson 65, Tomales 12.

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A Missive From Mammon

by Rex Gressett

On a brisk and wintery Fort Bragg Monday morning November 27, walking down to city hall for the Mayor’s open meeting I had the whimsical notion of how odd it was that the little town looked so quiet after the departure of the tourists, and yet contained behind those closed doors was a vigorous hammering out of strategy and fearsome construction of plots. It seemed ominous and inexplicable that the city functionaries have kept so much from the press and the people.

To say that the mill site is in play is wild understatement. When I arrived at City Hall I got a little glimpse into some furiously top-secret negotiations. Behind the scenes GP/Koch Bros. arm-twisting was leaked to the public by George Reinhardt, our tireless citizen activist who rocked the small informal group and the Mayor himself with an explosive letter from Georgia Pacific to Mayor Lindy Peters.

When Mr. Reinhardt gave Lindy Peters a copy of his own letter there was mayoral eye rolling, and apparent mild dissimilation. But inexplicably Peters seemed reasonable and patient. The letter was a huge shocker, but he was not disturbed. Later in the day, just before the meeting, I found out why.

Taylor Champion (his real name) is a GP pressure person. He managed to perfectly capture the inimitable spirit of the Koch Brothers by rebuking, threatening, insulting, and lying to our mayor in an excess of threatening diatribe that departed from the facts entirely in deference to enthusiasm for forceful ultimatum.

The GP spokesman “reminded” Mayor Peters that the city had agreed to share liability in the cleanup of Mill Pond 8. Shock, disbelief, and incredulity went ricocheting through the room. If the City Council knew and the mayor knew that the city shared liability for the cleanup of Pond 8 it was certain that neither the mayor or the council had ever gotten around to mentioning it. As an omission, it was appallingly sinister.

After the meeting, I did a fast public information request for the settlement agreement. Legally it can take 10 days but I asked for a favor. Actually, the “settlement” was a stipulation of Plaintiff Georgia Pacific LLC and Defendant the City of Fort Bragg For Mutual Dismissal With Prejudice of Claims Asserted Against Each Other.

When corporate giants battle at law little cities can only tremble. By the terms of the celebrated settlement/stipulation, Fort Bragg was famously relieved of the “enormous” cost of possible litigation. The mill site owner Big Boys settled up and worked out who owned what. The City Council was thrilled that they had managed to keep the city out of it, and took elaborate credit for years. Was there a secret price? The letter stated with simplicity that there had been. The city had made a deal to split the cost of the clean up of Pond 8 with GP, and never disclosed the agreement to the public.

The letter ranted on. The dioxins are Fort Bragg’s fault. Georgia Pacific aggressively asserted, because there are more dioxins flowing down from the city stormwater than there are in the pond.

This macabre twist may be true. Apparently, it is an explicit reference to a mysterious study that came out of the OfficeMax lawsuit. Before the 2012 stipulation, it was not known that there even were dioxins in the mill ponds. Previous DTSC studies had somehow not disclosed their presence.

The GP letter to the mayor specifically referenced a toxicity study that I have heard discussed before by members of the council but who somehow do not seem to have access to it anymore. In the mystery report, dioxin contamination was found to be greater the further upstream toward the city you go from the millpond. The tons of dioxin-laden “fly ash” (aka the toxic gunk at the bottom of a mill burner fueled by such things as trash and used motor oil) that the mill dumped in the gardens and playing fields of the city would seem to be an obvious explanation. GP feels it is clearly the fault of the people that have lived and died in the contamination. Evidently, GP has the only copy of the study. DTSC says they don’t know to what I refer. Maybe the information is secreted in the sealed discovery files that have never been released to the public from the 2012 settlement.

By Monday evening, just in time for the meeting, our superb city clerk June Lemos had pulled the settlement agreement stipulation demonstrating once more an inspiring exemplary dispatch and her invariable courtesy. Not a word about any shared liability in the stipulation.

It was all bull. The leaked GP letter was just a peek at the bullying tactics directed at the city council. The public generally does not know it, but the little Fort Bragg City Council takes big heat from one of the world’s largest holding companies, an outfit with $800 billion in assets. How much impact does it have? At the evening’s meeting, we were about to find out. The Mayor's letter was an outrageous example of open arm-twisting on a comical scale, but it is surely not the first time that various members of the city council have indicated to me that they also have felt acute pressure from the corporate giant. They just don't mention it in public.

Regular meetings of the city council at Town Hall meetings full of locals trying to understand or provide input to the millsite situation, were actually show-biz, orchestrated in advance with pre-negotiated positions that elbows to the kidney and thumbs in the eye had suggested to them.

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by Jonah Raskin

Over the last several decades, Mendocino County has given birth to thousands of marijuana growers, dealers and activists, as well as tons of marijuana that has traveled from Ukiah, Little River, Willits, Covelo and from remote hillsides and valleys to Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and all the way to Amsterdam. Cross-generational families have provided the backbone of the business, and, while that’s changing rapidly with the rise of the corporate cannabis, fathers and mothers, their daughters and sons still do much of the planting, cultivating, harvesting and marketing.

Probably no father-daughter team does more and does it better in the northern California cannabis world than Tim Blake, 60, and Taylor Blake, 33.

Taylor, Tim Blake

“She’s my daughter,” Tim Blake says. Taylor adds, “He’s my dad.” They definitely belong to the same family tree; they've planted seeds together, watched seeds sprout and then watched plants soar toward the sun.

Fourteen years ago—not long after the passage of Prop 215 that ushered in the era of medical marijuana—Tim launched the Emerald Cup in his own living room in Laytonville, near the heart of the infamous “Emerald Triangle.” Taylor was nineteen, but already worldly-wise in the ways of weed.

This year for the first time—now that women are playing a more decisive role than ever before in the industry—Taylor has assumed greater responsibilities than ever before. Tim isn’t ready to retire, but he sees the handwriting on the wall and he knows that a sea change is coming quickly. That means big shifts all around. Taylor has, with help from friends, selected speakers, put together panels, and hand-picked judges who will smoke, taste, eat and ingest a wide variety of cannabis products and then rate them at this year’s Cup (December 9 & 10) that will probably draw bigger crowds than ever before. It will be the last of its kind. Next year (2018), adult use of marijuana will be legal, which means a medical marijuana recommendation won't be necessary for consumers.

“It’s hard to select good judges,” Taylor told me. “They have to have expertise and a high tolerance for consuming a lot of weed in a short amount of time. We pick people who smoke regularly, know a lot about different marijuana strains and who can go though many rounds without dropping out.”

Taylor added, “This year we are giving the judges more time with each entry, which will help those who have to eat three edibles a day.”

In the Emerald Cup’s first year (2003), which felt like an intimate family get-together, there were only thirteen entries in the competition for best cannabis. In 2011, it looked like the Cup might not survive the cops who raided pot farms all across Mendocino County and arrested dozens of growers, some of them friends and neighbors of the Tim and Taylor.

Tim held the event that year in Laytonville to help boost local pride and let the authorities know that he wasn’t running scared, and wasn’t going to close shop and run away. Then, in 2012, to beat the heat from law enforcement, he led the Cup to Humboldt. In 2013, he took a leap of faith and went south to the Sonoma County Fair Grounds in Santa Rosa, now a major center for the cannabis manufacturing industry.

The Cup has been held in Santa Rosa ever since then and has grown dramatically. In 2015, there were 900 entries and 20,000 attendees. Last year, there were 1,205 entries and 25,000 attendees. The family get-together has turned into a mega-event that’s part marijuana country fair, part industry confab and part live music festival.

A few years ago, Rolling Stone magazine called it the “Academy Awards of the cannabis industry.”

The Emerald Cup now has 48 sponsors, some of them, such as Absolute Xtracts, “partnerships sponsors,” and others, such as The International Cannabis Farmers Association, “Presenting Sponsors.”

Tim says that corporate sponsorship is now the way to go, and that the future of the cannabis industry belongs to the big companies, and perhaps also to some boutique growers who can find a niche for themselves.

“The black market is coming to an end,” Tim told me. “Growers without permits will be issued cease and desist orders and forced out. The price will drop drastically—down to $700 a pound—and medical marijuana patients will pay less than they have been paying.”

Tim and Taylor share a love for the marijuana plant and for both the woods and the coastline of California. Tim cut his eyeteeth in and around Capitola, where he went to high school, sold real estate and became a marijuana dealer. His grandfather and his father were both lawyers. His father was also a member of the American Civil Liberties Union. Tim has always known about civil rights and civil liberties.

“I was the Irish kid who worked for the older Italian and Jewish families who moved marijuana,” he told me. “In those days, tons of Thai weed arrived by boat. One guy told me that the day of the smuggler was ending. ‘We’ll all be growing indoors under lights,’ he said. I told him, ‘You’re crazy.’”

In the late 1970s, Tim bought property in Mendocino and began to grow marijuana outdoors in the sun, without pesticides and herbicides. He’s a big fan of organic, sustainable farming.

“I never made a lot of money,” he has told me on more than one occasion. He certainly doesn’t live extravagantly, or look like a highroller.

Taylor Blake grew up in the wilds of Mendocino, went away to college and studied psychology at UC Santa Cruz.

“For years, I ping ponged back and forth from pot fields to college classrooms,” Taylor told me. “There are marijuana people in both places, but in Mendo it’s harder to find someone who is not involved in the industry. Santa Cruz has more of a culture of surfers than the North Coast.”

Taylor has seen steady changes ever since the 1980s, when the Reagan administration declared war on marijuana and First Lady, Nancy, urged Americans to “Just Say No.” Taylor remembers the days when conversations were mostly about sinsemilla. Later, they focused on sativa and indica, followed by THC and CBD. Now, they’re often about the trichomes and the terpenes—the organic hydrocarbons that provide much of the flavor.

For the moment, flowers and joints are out and dabs, rigs, rosin, wax and more are in.

“Growing up, I helped my father with his outdoor projects,” Taylor told me. “Now, I have my own projects. My dad taught me that cultivation is a labor of love. I made a conscious choice to get involved in the industry. These days there are a lot more career options in the cannabis world than ever before.”

Growing marijuana hasn’t always been fun and games for the Blakes.

“For years, I watched friends go to jail,” Tim said. “I also saw growers trash the environment. It’s time to move on.”

Taylor points out that there are still battles to be fought.

“Even in Mendo, people are against marijuana and there’s a big push back,” she said. “The war isn’t over yet.”

To those who are eager to join the "Green Rush," Taylor suggests small steps.

“Join a growers’ group,” she said. “Find a mentor, go to a job fair and come to the Emerald Cup.”

Tim echoed his daughter’s sentiments.

“We have the best people at the Cup,” he said. “Everyone comes: the mountain folks and the city people, indoor and outdoor growers, medical marijuana patients, stoners, heads, doctors, lawyers, dispensary owners, the seed bank botanists and horticulturists, the glass blowers, the musicians, the cooks, the chefs and the men and women who deliver the goods. It’s the whole cannabis family.”

It might be the last hurrah for Tim and Taylor Blake. If there is a future for the Emerald Cup it’s likely to be corporate, with more brand names, and with a CEO in charge and with the aim of turning a profit for shareholders, not medicine for patients.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War.)

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April 3rd, 1952 - November 13th, 2017

Peter Keegan passed away peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by loving family and friends, on November 13th, 2017. Born April 3rd, 1952 in New York, Peter is remembered for his faith in Christ, generous heart, strong sense of integrity, and his contributions to the Ukiah community.

In his 35 years as a family practice doctor, Peter worked caring for patients at his Ukiah office, at the Potter Valley Health Clinic, and as the Medical Director of the Round Valley Indian Health Service Center in Covelo. Peter graduated in the top of his class at Lakeland High School in Mahopac, NY as a nationally ranked debater, and later went on to attend Harvard University as a National Merit Scholar. Upon graduation, he went to medical school at UCSF, completing his degree in 1978 and residency at Saint Mary’s Medical Center in 1981. Peter moved to Ukiah in 1981 to work in the community hospital along with his beloved wife Susan, and to raise his two sons.

A private person by nature, Peter enjoyed tending to his prolific garden, playing his banjo, dancing, and playing chess. He was a voracious reader, capable of consuming numerous newspapers and keeping up with world & community events. As an early supporter of medical marijuana, he showed he was not afraid to stand up for his beliefs. In the face of terminal bladder cancer, Peter showed incredible strength and dignity, setting an enduring example of faith in Jesus to his friends and family.

Peter is survived by his two sons Simon & Luke, three beautiful grandchildren Senna, Rowen, and Maia, as well as his second wife Elizabeth (Libby) Crawford.

There will be a service honoring his memory at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 2nd at the Ukiah Methodist Church. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate that donations be made to the Alex Rorabaugh Recreation Center of Ukiah, such that Peter’s spirit continues to support the youth of Ukiah. Donations may be made online at

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Jesse Slotte was released from further proceedings in his child endangerment and domestic abuse cases this morning (November 30th) by Judge Leonard La Casse, in order that he might enter a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment program in Menlo Park, the Men's Trauma Recovery Unit, one of the best in the country, according to Veteran's Administration Court Representative Lee Van Zant. Deputy DA Elizabeth Norman would not relent in the child endangerment charges against Mr. Slotte even though the felony assault with a deadly weapon charges were not pursued after the recent preliminary hearing that showed no more evidence than the victim's word for it that Slotte had held a knife to her throat, threatened her life, thrown her to the ground and kicked her in the ribs. The evidence also indicated that the older child was trying to get away from his enraged mother, and that the baby was safe and sound asleep in the car seat when Slotte was pulled over in Lake County. Judge La Casse said he found unusual circumstances in postponing Mr. Slotte's trial on the child endangerment charges, until May 21st, 2018, when Slotte will have completed the treatment program arranged by the Veteran's Administration.

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JAMES MARMON with the identification:

The body they found in the Potter Valley RV fire was Jerry Aragon, a very well known custon car and motorcycle painter.

RIP Jerry

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Your Tax Dollar At Work — for next week’s 12/5/2017 Board of Supervisors meeting.

(All items beginning with “4” are consent calendar items and the Five Zupervisorial Sombies will vote for them, no questions asked.)

ANNE MOLGAARD, Assistant/Acting Director of Health and Human Services has asked the Board of Supervisors to provide a generous Auto Allowance like other department heads to two newly hired high-paid female officials:

4n) Approval of Automobile Allowance for Health and Human Services Agency Assistant Directors of Public Health and Administrative Services

Barbara Howe, recently hired as the Director of Public Health. Howe began her new role last month after serving as the Deputy Director of Public Health with the New Mexico Department of Health. Previously, Howe was the Public Health Administrator in Humboldt County.

(Caption from website: “Mendocino County Public Health Director Barbara Howe transformed into the PHAB Fairy for Halloween this week, granting domain-approval dreams to her staff. Howe’s costume was quite the talk of the department, and Mendocino County Public Health staff appreciated the Halloween visit from the fairy.”)


And Darcie Antle, newly hired Director of Administrative Services and former friend and associate of Molgaard’s when Molgaard ran First-5 and Antle was Director of the Ukiah Valley Rural Health Center/the Adventists who got a nice chunk of First-5’s annual million bucks.

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(SILLY US: We thought this “retroactive” expenditure approval problem was solved with the pre-emptive firing of former Assistant CEO Alan Flora…)

4o) Approval of Retroactive Agreement with Redwood Community Services, dba Redwood Community Crisis Center, in the Amount of $70,511 to Provide 24/7 Crisis Response and Outreach and Engagement Services for Children, Youth, and Young Adults for the Term of July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018

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Air Quality Management District

7a) Discussion and Possible Approval of Retroactive Amendment to Legal Services Agreement Number 17-022 with Derek Cole for the Term of May 16, 2017, through June 30, 2018, Increasing the Amount of the Agreement by $50,000 for a New Total of $100,000 for Legal Representation of Matters Related to the Appeal of Permits Issued by the District, in Addition to other Legal Actions Related to Enforcement; and Approval of Transfer of Funds from the District’s Budget Unit 0327 Fund Balance in the Amount of $50,000 to Budget Unit 0327, Object Code 862183, to Cover Unanticipated Expenses Related to the Amendment to the Agreement (Sponsor: Air Quality Management District)

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4q) Approval of a One-Time Amendment to County Policy Number 29, County Wellness Participation, Adding 2 (Two) Hours of Wellness Leave to be Used by June 30, 2018, for Emergency Preparedness to Allow Mendocino County Employees Time to Perform a Home Inventory of Personal Belongings

Home Inventory Preparedness

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THE AGENDA ENDS WITH: “Thank you for your interest in the proceedings of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.”

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KC Meadows of the paper's mothership at the Ukiah Daily Journal: "Please, just FYI, there is no ‘demise’ of the Willits News. We are moving the business office to share the Ukiah offices, and save on the $2,000 monthy rent for a huge space which housed three people, but Ariel still lives and works up there and we are hiring another Willits reporter. The Willits News is still an ongoing twice weekly newspaper.”

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I told Skrag I was sorry he got beat up. He says, ‘I don't need any sympathy from you, dawg. Us cats aren't cry babies like you canines’.”

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This is written in response to the recent meeting regarding the Boonville Farmers' Market's future. We would like to define the terms and requirements which may have left some in the meeting confused. Remember that "certification" has nothing to do with "McFarm". Certification comes from the county and/or state. McFarm is only an umbrella organization which trains managers, allows vendors to accept EBT, food stamps, etc, and is able to do broader marketing.

Our three choices are quite simple, although there could be gradations between these choices.

1) The market can be sponsored by the Mendocino County Farmers' Market Association ("McFarm") and run by a market manager who takes care of paperwork, publicizes the market and makes sure the vendors have the requisite county/state certifications from the health department. What McFarm brings to our success is wider marketing, credibility, EBT processing and a liability umbrella.

2) The market can be disconnected from McFarm and run by a market manager who, as in number (1), takes care of paperwork, publicizes the market and makes sure the vendors have the requisite county/state certifications from the health department with the added duty of finding a vending spot with liability insurance.

3) The market can become a so-called "renegade" market where anyone can bring anything for sale or give away. Our preference is to call this a "flea market" or "garage sale" since government rules or regs are not generally followed. All liability is on the vendors and the locale in which the market takes place, and this liability could be significant.

If we want to change to a (2) or (3) type market, Amanda did point out at the meeting that switching requires a vote of the vendors who sold at the Boonville Farmers' Market.

For those of you interested, state law requires that market vendors be divided by "Ag" (all the produce must be grown/raised by the vendor on his/her farm) and "non-Ag" (produce or products not grown by the vendor or crafts including for eg. chocolate coating almonds that you bought in a store). The market is divided geographically and if you do both things you are required to have two separate tables and two separate vendors in two separate sections of the market.

To the point that certification is onerous - it is paperwork. It is somewhat time consuming. But it's one of the things needed to run a business. And it provides a degree of protection.

In all events, in our opinion, finding a manager should be the first task.

— Nikki/Steve, Petit Teton Farm

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The Boonville Winter Market will take place Saturday from 9:30-noon, in front of Seebass, across from the Boonville Hotel.

From our vendors...

Mendocino Heritage Pork Co. will be at the Boonville Winter Market this week, weather permitting. We are in full swing for our fall /winter harvest season and will have an array of all things Pork! Stop by for some of our great locally grown artisan bacon and sausage.

Petit Teton Farm may be at the Winter Market this Saturday, weather permitting.

The Yorkville Olive Ranch will be at Saturday's market if it does not rain. We will have both the 375 ml and 750 ml bottles of the 2016 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tuscan Field Blend. We will also have 375 ml bottles of "Olio Nuovo" 2017 harvest for sale. "Olio Nuovo" will only be available until December 15th.

Come Pick Olives!

WildeAcre Farm at 13461 Airport Rd in Boonville has four small olive trees which still have olives free for the picking - first come, first served. They are right by the road and need to be harvested before we get a heavy frost. You can email with questions.

Community Open House at Blackbird Farm

Please join us at Blackbird Farm for our Winter Festival, Tuesday December 5th from 4pm to 6pm. There will be raffle prizes, delicious finger foods, soap making demonstrations, interactive games and free hay ride tours! Rain or shine! All are welcome!

18601 Van Zandt Resort Road Philo, CA 95466.

Please enter on Van Zandt Resort Road and exit via Greenwood Philo Road. If you have any questions, please contact

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2017 Grange And Foodshed Sponsored Community Holiday Dinner At The Philo Grange Sunday December 10th

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by Ariel Carmona, Jr.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County has collected more than 400 responses to its comprehensive telecommunications outage internet survey, but members said they are looking for more participation in Mendocino County before closing the survey to the public.

Alliance Executive Committee Chairwoman Trish Steel said 475 responses representing 25 out of 28 zip codes in the county had been received.

The survey is open to anyone in the three-county area (Napa, Mendocino and Sonoma) whether they lost telecommunications or didn’t lose services, and will be extended to the end of the first week in December in order to track data and to document the scope of areas affected by recent outages in the wake of the Northern California fires.

“To state that the past two months have been difficult would be the understatement of the year,” Steel said via email. “For those who lost homes, the re-building will take years and I am so sorry for your loss. It’s encouraging however, to see the community pulling together to support fire victims, and as we move forward it’s important to understand what happened, and how to address the issues that arose.”

The 41-question survey takes an average of 10 minutes to complete and seeks to document the extent of outages, and what services were lost in tandem with the fires.

Results of the survey will be shared with the Board of Supervisors, the Office of Emergency Services, the sheriff, and other elected officials, in addition to the California Public Utilities Commission.

Steel said Congressman Jared Huffman’s office has already asked for preliminary results. She added this information is important for various reasons, including providing a “big picture” perspective on the state of services and infrastructure in the three counties – data which is lacking or not otherwise available – and it provides critical documentation in the alliance’s ongoing efforts to require reliable, diverse and redundant telecommunications and services and infrastructure for the region.

According to the Alliance, this is the third time the organization has conducted such a survey to collect data. Similar documentation efforts occurred during the “sunny day” outages of 2014 and 2015 in order to better understand how residents were affected.

Survey data was combined with other reports (county public safety, AT&T, etc.) into a comprehensive outage report which brought together the “big picture” of what happened.

The link to the survey can be found at

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 30, 2017

Bernal-Jimenez, Betts, Caradine

GENERO BERNAL-JIMENEZ, Ukiah, Domestic battery.

KEVIN BETTS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

DARRELL CARADINE, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, controlled substance, probation revocation.

Ewing, Holtz, Lincoln

JESSICA EWING, Ukiah. Controlled substance, under influence, placement of pollutant near state waters, probation revocation.

EDWARD HOLTZ III, Willits. Probation revocation.

LOREN LINCOLN, Covelo. Vehicle theft, suspended license, probation revocation.

Taylor, Venturi, Whipple

PATRICK TAYLOR, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JOSEPH VENTURI, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.

DOUGLAS WHIPPLE III, Covelo. Controlled substance, under influence, county parole violation.

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The Inland Mendocino Democratic Club will hold our next meeting Thursday, December 14 at 5pm in the meeting room Jensen’s Restaurant, 1550 N. Lovers Lane, Ukiah. Let’s all join together to make our county an oasis of Justice and Peace. Together, in coalition, we can take progressive action and protect our county from the incoming Conservative nightmare. Come lend a hand. All are welcome. See us on Facebook and at

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Drought was likely the biggest contributing factor in generating parched fuel for last month’s wildfires. But sudden oak death presents another longterm danger, a UC Berkeley scientist said.

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In the weeks following the fires, many of us expressed extravagant gratitude to the government representatives who came to the aid of countless citizens during these emergencies. It is clear that their work averted a disaster that would otherwise have been much more destructive, and even though these people had to be paid with public money to do their jobs, we feel lucky that they were there.

But now that all that is behind us, we are back to griping about having to pay for public services. It is a salient weakness of the philosophy of democracy that many citizens will vote for representatives who promise to save them money without remembering that every community needs services that can only be performed by its government. Talk is cheap. Starving the public sector is social suicide.

Stephen Hawkes


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Over the past two generations a consensus took root among the rich and powerful that American workers made too much money. And so, to remedy what was seen as an unjust division of wealth and income, a initiative was developed to send overseas and to Mexico the backbone of American industrial might. In short, in a non-emergency the High and the Mighty – those being the relative handful that control the Fortune 500, Wall Street institutions, people that go to Davos as well as their academic and bureaucratic enablers – threw American workers and a great swathe of the American interior under the bus. I mention the High and the Mighty and who they are because there are people that apparently don’t see that dread thing – conspiracy – even when it’s carried out in full light of day and with full public discussion. I hate to belabor the obvious but sometimes it must be belabored. Cash needs no externalities, like a byzantine web of facilities and technology with multiple built-in failure points. We should all keep a stash.

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The fundamental problem is that people with big hearts cannot fathom that others don't have big hearts and would abuse kindness to hurt themselves and others.

If a friend sat by while someone fell into drug abuse, helped them find clean needles, gave them a place to stay and let them keep shooting up, and supported them financially without pushing them to go clean and support themselves, they wouldn't be viewed as nice... they'd be called an ENABLER. It is not kind to help people kill themselves and encourage criminal drug trafficking of hard drugs. If these people have mental issues, they need professional mental help, whether they want it or not. If they're just addicts... they need some tough love to get them clean.

I'm all in favor of investing in shelters so that those who have issues, whether mental, or simply unluckiness, don't have to sleep on the street in the rain. I'm all for alternatives to simply throwing them in a jail cell (especially since they can clearly still get drugs in the jail). But we cannot simply throw kindness at people forever. A parent who never criticizes their child when they do something wrong is not a good parent. We need to actually HELP people, not just make them feel nice.

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Kevin Drum in Mother Jones:

“Net neutrality” is a simple thing: it mandates that ISPs (internet service providers, usually your cable or mobile phone company) provide the same level of service to all comers—from mighty Disney to modest Breitbart to tiny little startups. Without it, internet providers can sign exclusive deals with big companies so that their sites are nice and fast, while the also-rans are sluggish and unreliable.

But would internet providers do this? One of the arguments against net neutrality is that it addresses a problem that might happen in the future, not a problem that actually exists.

This argument doesn’t do much for me, since I think the probability that internet providers will sign lucrative deals like this is pretty close to 100 percent. Hell, some internet providers have already come pretty close.

Netflix pays Comcast for fast service on its lines. In the past, T-Mobile has “zero rated” certain sites so they don’t count against your data limit. These should be viewed as opening salvos, not full-blown non-neutrality, but they’re certainly a sign that monopoly internet providers know they have a very valuable commodity that they can auction off to the highest bidders if they’re allowed to...

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EBL Basketball season 2018 season intake.


We are Donar Basketball Club Netherlands. We are looking for Point guard, Shooting guard, Small forward, Power forward and Center for 2018 season with small to mid sized contracts. Interested players should forward game highlight or film to We are interested to hear from any players who can add to the strength of our Men and Women. The Netherlands Basketball office will be pleased to assist players and parents with the complexities.


Mr. Anthony Amanda

For Donar Basketball Club

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by Dan Bacher

Governor Jerry Brown and columnist Thomas L. Friedman today will discuss California’s “climate leadership” in San Francisco at the New York Times ClimateTECH summit — just after climate and anti-fracking activists hold a protest against Brown’s support of fracking and pollution trading.

According to a news advisory from Brown’s Office, the summit “brings together policymakers and leaders from key industries to examine the technology, innovation and financing needed to help keep the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius.”

Brown will speak at approximately 7:30 p.m. today, November 29, at the City View at Metreon, 135 4th St., San Francisco, CA 94103

The Governor’s Office said the event “is open to registered guests and credentialed media only.”

Before he speaks, climate justice activists will hold their protest against Brown from 4:30 - 6 pm at the Mission Street entrance to the Metreon. Daniel Gustavo Ilario, a member of Idle No More SF Bay, an indigenous women-led climate justice organization that confronted Brown on his false climate policies in Bonn, will speak at the demonstration.

While in Bonn, Germany for the United Nations climate talks, Brown was challenged by indigenous and frontline community advocates to keep fossil fuels in the ground, to which he responded, “Let’s put you in the ground.”

“In Bonn, as a part of an indigenous delegation, we stood up and demanded that Governor Jerry Brown stop fracking in California and stop refinery expansions which cause significant negative health effects such as respiratory problems, birth defects, leukemia and cancers,” said Illario. “Governor Brown is no climate hero. He takes millions from the oil industry and then allows fossil fuel lobbyists to write legislation.”

“ We do not have time for half measures and false solutions like California’s Cap and Trade program. We stand in solidarity today because it is our responsibility to provide a livable future for generations to come. Instead of allowing the oil and gas industry to create policy that kicks the can down the road, we need brave leaders and legislation that implement a just transition from a destructive, extractive economy to a regenerative one that respects the sacred system of life,” said Illario.

"Governor Jerry Brown cares more about the fossil fuel industry's contributions to his Party than the people being impacted by the toxins they release in our communities,” said Pennie Opal Plant of Idle No More SF Bay, “while he panders to big oil money we suffer. He has lost his heart for the people he is supposed to represent."

Catherine Garoupa White, coalition coordinator for Californians Against Fracking, noted that protesters in Bonn pointed to California’s failure to address fossil fuel production as the “glaring weakness” in the state’s climate action plan.

She said “the science is clear” that the majority of fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground to stave off “devastating climate change.” She pointed out that the state is currently the third-largest oil-producing state, producing millions of barrels per year of some of the most carbon-intensive crude in the world.

“The idea that climate progress can be proclaimed and lauded without dealing aggressively with the core mechanism of climate change is reckless,” said Garoupa White. “By starting with tackling the most harmfulpractices of the oil and gas industry, California would provide a model and inspiration for otherstates and countries to follow. Protesters on Wednesday will be there to remind Governor Brownthat real climate leaders keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

While Brown speaks often at climate conferences around the globes, he has in fact been a big advocate for expanding fracking and oil drilling in California. Brown received over $9.8 million in contributions from oil, gas and utility companies, often within days of winning big political favors, according to Consumer Watchdog's "Brown's Dirty Hands" report released in August 2016.

“The timing of energy industry donations around important legislation and key pro-industry amendments, as well as key regulatory decisions in which Brown personally intervened, raises troubling questions about whether quid pro quos are routine for this administration,” said consumer advocate Liza Tucker, report author. “While Brown paints himself as a foe of fossil fuels, his Administration promoted reckless oil drilling, burning dirty natural gas to make electricity, and used old hands from industry and government, placed in key regulatory positions, to protect the fossil fuel-reliant energy industry.”

The report claims that twenty-six energy companies including the state’s three major investor-owned utilities, Occidental, Chevron, and NRG—all with business before the state—donated $9.8 million to Jerry Brown’s campaigns, causes, and initiatives, and to the California Democratic Party since he ran for Governor. You can download the report here:

Background: Big Oil is California’s biggest corporate lobby.

 The oil industry in the single largest corporate lobby in Sacramento — and dominates spending on lobbying every legislative session. Every bill opposed by the oil industry with the exception of one has failed to pass out of the Legislature over the past three years, due to the gusher of Big Oil lobbying money.

The oil industry spent more on lobbying in California, $16,360,618, in the first six months of 2017 than was spent by the industry in all of 2016, $16.0 million.

This translates to an average of $2.7 million per month – $90,000 per day – since Jan. 1, 2017, according to a report compiled and written by William Barrett of the Lung Association in California. Over the past ten years, oil lobbying in California has topped $150 million.

Chevron ranks #1 among all lobbyist spenders in the current session with $7.1 million spent in first six months of 2017, compared to $3 million total in 2016.

Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), normally the largest spender of all lobbying organizations, was the 2nd overall spender in the first two quarters of 2017 with $3.9 million spent. 

For more information, go to:

Media/Press Contacts:

David Braun, (917) 514-0700,

Catherine Garoupa White, (559) 232-1698,

* * *


(Photo by Susie de Castro)

* * *


The Good Farm Fund is pleased to announce its Fourth Annual Good Farm Fund Winter Feast at Barra Winery (7051 N State St) next Tuesday, December 5th from 5-9 pm. This always-popular event includes a family-style farm-to-table dinner with locally raised meat, fruits, vegetables, wild mushrooms, artisan cheeses and grains; local beer and wine available for purchase; a silent auction perfect for holiday shopping; and live music from the Back Porch Project.

This year's event will also feature the announcement of the Good Farm Fund grant award selections for 2017. Come help the winners celebrate!

Tickets to the Winter Feast are $30 in advance, $40 at the door, $15 for kids 15 and under. This event always sells out. Tickets are available on line at, at the Westside Renaissance Market, the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op, and J.D. Redhouse.

The Good Farm Fund, fiscally sponsored by North Coast Opportunities, Inc., is run entirely by volunteers who care about supporting local food & agriculture. Founded in 2015, the Good Farm Fund provides direct support to small farmers in Mendocino and Lake Counties in the form of small, capacity-building grants. This is the third year the Good Farm Fund is awarding grants. In 2015, $7,000 was given; in 2016, the amount grew to $20,000; this year, grants will total $30,000. The grants are made possible by farm-to-table dinners like this one, as well as from the generous support of this year’s foundation sponsors: Ukiah Natural Foods, Frey Winery and Ukiah Adventist Health.

“These grants have a real, tangible impact for local farms,” says Good Farm Fund Co-Founder Caroline Radice, a farmer herself. “As a kid, I used to go berry-picking with my mom and then she’d come home and make jam, which is how I learned how to can. My parents would stop at the farmers market or a roadside farm stand to pick up fresh green beans or corn for dinner. So many of us have wonderful memories like that, and the Good Farm Fund is about honoring and continuing those traditions, about creating a community with economic opportunities for small farmers, with thriving farmers markets, and lots of delicious, nutritious food easily available to people who live here.”

One grant recipient is Carson Elmer of Carson and Bees, a Ukiah-based honey producer who received $1,500 in 2016. The joyful addition of a new baby to his family meant that there weren’t finances available to continue expanding his honey business. A Good Farm Fund Grant purchased new hives, allowing the business to stay on track, which means more honeybees pollinating fruits and flowers at local farms where Carson keeps his hives and more honey available for local customers. “I was looking at my five-year business plan thinking, ‘this isn’t going to work,’ and then the grant came through,” explains Elmer. “Thanks to the Good Farm Fund, we’re right on schedule.”

Proceeds will support the Good Farm Fund’s Fire Recovery Fund and Farm Grant Program. The event is sponsored by North Coast Opportunities, Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op, Adventist Health, Frey Winery, Thompson’s Party Rentals, the MendoLake Food Hub, First Five, Cold Creek Compost, Flow Kana, North Coast Brewing, Community First Credit Union, The Savings Bank of Mendocino County and Black Dog Farm & Catering.

Through fundraising events like the Winter Feast, the Good Farm Fund and everyone who supports it can continue to help local farms thrive.

For more information, visit



  1. Kathy December 1, 2017

    Did anyone ever report on the causes of the demise of the poor soul who was discovered in his car trunk on 128 earlier this year?

    • Harvey Reading December 1, 2017

      As I recall, it was reported here at least that the cause of death was an overdose of NSAIDs. I forget which brand. The office of the County Coroner might be a good source with which to check.

      • Harvey Reading December 1, 2017

        …”here” being the comments section…for what that’s worth.

      • Jeff Costello December 1, 2017

        A friend’s son tried suicide by overdose of tylenol. He lived but severely damaged his liver

    • Bruce Anderson December 1, 2017

      We had the final story, and not on the comment line. It was ruled a suicide. They poor man gobbled a handful of meds, climbed into his trunk and closed the door after him. I’ll ask The Major to re=post it here.

  2. Jim Updegraff December 1, 2017

    This morning it was announced Michael Flynn will plead guilty to three charges of lying to the FBI. Obviously has cut a deal with the FBI re his contacts with the Russians. Mueller is making the first of what will be no doubt several indictments which will lead to impeachment of of El Trumpo the Village Idiot.

    • james marmon December 1, 2017

      Lame attempt by the “Deep State” to derail today’s senate vote on Tax Reform, its not working, we have enough votes. Stock Market took a hit for a few hours but is quickly rebounding.

      James Marmon

      • BB Grace December 1, 2017

        I got a taste of “Net Neutrality” this morning when YouTube informed me that a video I selected was deemed “offensive to some people” and to “click on the link” to watch. Of course I clicked on the link to watch Paul Watson talk about how Britain was accusing young women claiming to be groomed and raped as anti-Islamic racists. Paul Watson is not a US citizen and the UK does not have the Bill of Rights and protected speech so my guess is the warning on Watson was issued by the UK. This is what our elected want for us apparently. Not good.

        Seems Net Neutrality means the net is going to main stream eliminating the long time little guys many of us have enjoyed for over a decade while firing TV hosts for sexual offensives, when really, they don’t have the numbers to sustain as most folks go to the net for news today. If you didn’t know about the long time YouTube broadcasters you would never find them as I have to write in each name every time as it is.

  3. Harvey Reading December 1, 2017


    Why would a liberal care anything about a meeting of the democwaps? They are nearly as far gone as the wepubicans in terms of wishing for a return to the Dark Ages.

    • BB Grace December 1, 2017

      What is your ideal government Mr. Reading?

      • Harvey Reading December 1, 2017

        Why do you ask, Ms. BB? And how is the question relevant to my comment?

        • james marmon December 1, 2017

          Ms. BB Grace nails it again!!

        • BB Grace December 1, 2017

          I ask because I don’t know Mr. Reading.

          I think my question is relevant if I understand correctly that you witness both major parties as working on political ideas that were relevant centuries ago and I can accept that, but what I don’t understand is what you want to replace them with. Maybe you can explain? Maybe not.

          • james marmon December 1, 2017

            Anarchy, he’s Antifa, same as Bedrock, don’t waste your time with them.

            When Trump finishing draining the swamp on both dems and pubs and the media we will have a functional government again.

          • Harvey Reading December 1, 2017

            Perhaps a new, progressive party, perhaps the Greens if they totally separate from the democwaps; hopefully a new constitution that actually, among many other things–including no mention at all of firearms as a “right”–gives us a democratic form of government. It would forbid campaign donations of any kind and candidate spending on campaigning would be limited to $100 per candidate. Campaigns would be limited to a 6-week period in which all media, print or electronic, as a condition of their required licenses to operate, would be required to provide free and equal time to ALL candidates ( much of this is better stated in Vidal’s writing), in which case, parties would become irrelevant. Secession would be added to the already stated criteria for treason. There would be no electoral college.

            What we have now is NOT democratic. It is a sneaky form of rule by the wealthy that the wealthy founders developed to ensure that their kind would rule so long as the Constitution they put in place remains in effect. If a minority of 25 percent plus 1 of the states, not people, oppose amendments, the amendments fail.

            A whole new document is needed, with no approval allowed at the state level. Rather, it would be approved by a nationwide popular election. If a majority of those voting approve it, the new document would become effective. Same for amendments.

            No supermajorities would be allowed. They are only camouflage for minority rule. The new document would provide for the processes of initiative, recall, and referendum.

            The senate would be apportioned on population, not by state. The number of senators would be fixed permanently at 100. Senate regions would be determined by population, meaning that with the current population, there would be one senator for each roughly 3.3 million people. States with less than the minimum number of residents would be combined into regions for senate apportionment purposes, until the minimum number of people required per senator is required. Current apportionment of the senate is a disgrace, with 85 percent of the population getting 50 senators, and the remaining 15 percent the other 50 senators.

            Now, ma’am, I have stated most of this in the past here in the comments section. In the future, if you make such a request, I will respond by telling you to do a search of the comments, something I should have done this time.

            • BB Grace December 1, 2017

              Thank you for taking the time to explain and not making me dig through the AVA to try to figure out your political bent Mr. Reading. To sum it up in a few words you’re a: “Meany Greeny”

              • Harvey Reading December 1, 2017

                That’s your opinion, ma’am, and you’re welcome to it. I’ll withhold my opinion of you for the moment. Let’s just say that you far more often hit your thumb than you hit the nail on the head.

  4. Lazarus December 1, 2017

    “TWN LIVES!”…?

    I like the part about the 2k a month to keep an office. Within Willits today I’m sure there is office space suitable for a skeleton staff. Just more spin in the demise of a once proud franchise…RIP TWN…
    And then there are the shameless haters of anything TWN on Facebook…what a bunch of horrible people; just wait Willits Weekly till you screw up a big story, or start charging for subscriptions, or raise your ad rates.
    Willits is known to eat it own…
    As always,

  5. Jim Updegraff December 1, 2017

    Interesting news on the Flynn testimony. Looks like Kusner may be next on Mueller’s list. The acorn doesn’t fall from the tree. His father was a slumlord that would not rent to African Americans and did jail time. Trump’s son-in-law was over his head in an investment in a Manhattan rise and was bailed out by Russian investors. Also Junior may also be on Mueller’s hit list.

  6. Alice Chouteau December 1, 2017

    Rex–GP may be bullying the City gov, but at the time the fly ash was created, the City gov was permitting ‘industrial wood’, an innocent term for pressure treated wood. This waste was illegal to burn in other more enviromentally aware counties and known to produce extremely toxic fly ash. , so it was trucked here, while the CC looked the other way. The CC allowed it to be dumped all around and in the town. Most citizens were unaware of the health hazard imposed on them and their kids. That smoke from the mill blowing over town–“that’s the smell of money, folks!”
    Keeping the agreement with the Koch bros to share costs to clean up the mess in Pond 8, a secret is sinister, on the part of the current CC. Were Turner and Ruffing present at the original agreement? I hope you can give us some answers.

  7. Lazarus December 1, 2017

    I’m amazed no one has sounded off on the Kate Steinle trial. I did predict no murder one, but never suspected Jose Ines Garcia Zarate would be found not guilty on the major charges.
    San Francisco justice, or very poor prosecution, perhaps a little of both, I feel for her family.
    The feds did get additional charges on the shooter today, I suspect his life will be worth very little once he gets to the joint.
    As always,

    • BB Grace December 1, 2017

      California is a sanctuary state. Mr. Jose Ines Garcia has more rights, not constitutional rights, rather he enjoys the CA courts left wing utopia made rights, thus Zarate will be protected and enjoy the life of a hero because he is a hero to those who believe the US Constitution is a piece of paper. We’ve heard the California Democrats claim the problem with guns are that they kill people. We say, “No, people kill people. Guns are just one tool in the murder’s arsenal.” They insist that guns kill, so it was expected that San Francisco would blame the gun and find a way to protect Zarate in hopes more Zarates will not live in fear but rather enjoy life to the fullest knowing CA courts are with them, not the US citizens in California.

      • BB Grace December 1, 2017

        Senator Feinstein is losing it. I’ve been writing her for months (years really); Anyways, I received a letter from her yesterday claiming to be answering one of my letters to her about “gun rights”. I call it Second Amendment and it’s not one of my top issues so I don’t write her about it. I thought it was interesting that she wrote me about guns. Well I just got another email from Senator Feinstein:

        “Thank you for contacting me about your concerns with President Trump. I appreciate the time you took to write and sincerely apologize for the delay in my response.

        I understand you support removing President Trump from office through the impeachment process.”

        I have no idea where Senator Feinstein got the idea that I want President Trump impeached. He’s the best president of my life. I think she must have me confused with someone else. We had gotten into an email battle a few months ago as someone in her staff thought they would pile it on me, but I was prepared and never heard from Senator Feinstein until now. LOL. Well, I guess I’ll write her an email to correct her on where I’m at with President Trump. I think he’s great. I think she, Pelosi, Waters, Brown, Huffman, Woods can’t leave office fast enough.

        • Harvey Reading December 1, 2017

          Wait a minute. Only a few days ago you were not quite so sold on Trump. But then, before that, you were sold on him.


          • BB Grace December 1, 2017

            President Trump is the best president of my life. That is not to say he’s flawless and I don’t have concerns. Fortunately for me, I have Judicial Watch and other watchdogs groups that are filing FOIAs and suits with multible daily updates some which name President Trump with every intention of holding him accountable.

        • james marmon December 1, 2017

          Feinstein ignores my emails, probably thinking about a restraining order.

    • George Hollister December 1, 2017

      The question is, how do we keep people like Jose Ines Garcia Zarate out of our country? He is a past felon, deported five times. It might also be that prison life in the US is better than common living in Mexico. Prisons are clean, the food is relatively good, etc., and it is all free. My thought is there needs to be a way to tag these repeated offenders and deportees so they are easily recognized when they appear in public on US soil. The Wall won’t keep them out. Prison time might not be a deterrent, either. While people like Zarate are a small part of the illegal population, they can be a big problem that we should not have to tolerate.

      • Harvey Reading December 1, 2017

        I’ve lived in this country for nearly 68 years, 52 of them in California. I have NEVER had a problem people here illegally, but I have had plenty of problems with white, right-wing bullies during that time, and they were all good “code a ethics” citizens.

        • Dan Raymann December 2, 2017

          I’ve lived here for 67 1/2 years and I have never had a problem by getting killed by a drunk driver!

  8. james marmon December 1, 2017

    Now, the rest of the story

    With his good time calculated Zarate has already served 5 1/2 years of a sentence and could be released soon. That’s more than enough for time for his current guilty charge. AG Sessions the Department of Justice are already moving forward and has issued a federal warrant for him for a probation violation in Texas and a felon in procession of a firearm charge, the gun charge alone is worth 10 years. Sessions is also considering other charges.

    -James Marmon

    good day

  9. Jim Updegraff December 1, 2017

    The question I would ask how many undocumented people do you know and how many are working individuals. Also, most of the chatter is about Mexicans but more undocumented overstay on visas. Question, do you know how many undocumented Irish there are in the Boston area? I know a number of undocumented Hispanics and they have a much better work ethics than many Americans.

    • Lazarus December 1, 2017

      I think the question is why’s the system in SF and elsewhere is allowing criminals from other counties to hang out. Old news, the guys been deported 5 or 6 times, he has a history of weapon violations, 7 time felon…
      I don’t care what heritage he is, or color he is, he’s dangerous, he’s messed up, and he should have never been in this country…and the most pathetic part is, I suspect he’s just one of many.
      If I had done what he did, that same jury would have got me on at least Man 1, maybe 2nd degree…
      Reverse racism, SF justice, or a lousy DA? Take your pick.
      As always,

  10. Harvey Reading December 1, 2017

    How nice. Double coverage. Thank you, ma’am, especially considering it’s all over your head.

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