- Sharon Sullivan
- Owens Pleads Guilty
- Rain Coming
- Pot Bust Review
- Bridge Dedication
- Tallman Sarahs
- Ed Desk
- County Bureaucracy
- Little Dog
- The SuperRisers
- Sako Statement
- Yesterday's Catch
- General Shittiness
- Retail Closures
- Bennett Diary
- MTA Hours
- Reservoir Sunset
EVERYONE who knew her will be shocked and saddened to learn that Sharon Sullivan has died. A long-time resident of the Holmes Ranch and, for years, the gracious hostess at the Roederer Winery, Sharon will be missed by all of us.
RICKY OWENS of Boonville has pled guilty to felony child endangerment causing great bodily harm. He will be sentenced in February. Like many local people, I have written to the court urging leniency because, having known Ricky since he was a toddler, this event was totally out of character for him. A video recording by a Ukiah hotel camera, showed Owens holding a young boy's head underwater, apparently unaware the child was drowning. The boy has fully recovered after a brief hospitalization and has since been placed in foster care.
RAIN WILL GRADUALLY SPREAD north across the region today and then persist through Friday. Otherwise, temperatures will continue to remain mild for the work week, followed by slightly cooler conditions during the weekend. (National Weather Service)
MENDOCINO COUNTY SUPERVISORS VOW TO REVIEW POT BUST
Mendocino County supervisors Tuesday vowed to look into a conflict with its cannabis business regulations that arose when law enforcement seized 1,875 pounds of marijuana from a Ukiah company licensed by the county to deliver it.
WHO’S THE TEN MILE BRIDGE DEDICATED TO?
Ready for Trivia Tuesday? When the Ten Mile River Bridge was replaced in 2009, a bronze plaque was removed from the old bridge and remounted to the new bridge. The inscription (less the name of the person) reads:
“Farmer, lumberman, boatbuilder, fish processor, land developer and active citizen who contributed substantially to the commercial, recreational and transportation developments of the Mendocino coastal area.
A member of the Fort Bragg Chamber of Commerce, serving as its president in 1953; the Mendocino County Chamber of Commerce, serving as its director; the Paul Bunyan Association; the Fort Bragg Rural Fire District; the Mendocino County Historical Society; the Noyo Harbor Commission; the Highway 20 Association; the Shoreline Highway Association and the Advisory Board in the planning and construction of the Mendocino County Hospital.”
Who was this bridge dedicated to? The plaque was remounted on the south end of the new bridge and can be safely viewed from the pedestrian sidewalk.
(Caltrans Press Release)
THE REAL SARAHS PERFORM ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 28
The annual winter concert series at the Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake opens it’s 2018 season on Sunday January 28 at 3 PM in Riffe’s Meeting House next to the Hotel. The performers will be the delightful Anderson Valley harmonic trio The Real Sarahs consisting of Sarah Ryan, Sarah Rose McMahon and Sarah “Songbird” Larkin.
“We really enjoy these concerts,” says Tallman owner Bernie Butcher. “We pick great musicians in a variety of genres and give them a chance to express themselves musically and verbally in front of a friendly, receptive audience.”
With harmonies that uplift the spirit, The Real Sarahs share their special gift of vocal synergy. Embracing many genres of music, the audience will hear threads of folk, blues, and country running through their songs. Singing from the stories of their own life journeys and experiences, their original music is honest, evocative and heartfelt.
As if by fate, Sarah 'Songbird' Larkin and Sarah Ryan were introduced in 2011 and quickly discovered a mutual love for harmony, singing and songwriting. Almost immediately, they began writing and performing together. Honing their trademark harmonic vocal style and original compositions, they recorded their first CD together in 2013 and The Real Sarahs was born. As neighbors in the tight knit Anderson Valley musical community, it was inevitable that Sarah Rose would find her way to The Real Sarahs. The duo initially brought her in to record cello tracks on their forthcoming album, and after months of flirting with collaborations and learning each other’s tunes, 'Rosie' officially joined the group in January of 2017.
Rosie’s strengths as a singer/songwriter, harmony singer and cellist made her a natural fit. In May 2017, The Real Sarahs released their first full length album, Afternoon with the Dirty Birds, featuring Sarah Rose on cello, and they have spent the year since sharing it and their new repertoire with audiences from Santa Cruz to Shelter Cove.
Just in the past year, the group has emerged as a featured act at major local festivals including the Railroad Square Music Festival in Santa Rosa, the Kate Wolf Festival in Laytonville and the Sundays in the Park concert series in Ukiah. They recently participated in Nat Keefe's Concert Carnival in San Francisco which was broadcast live on KPFA. They have enjoyed playing at venues large and small, all the while growing their regional and international fanbase.
In May 2017, the trio played for the first time at The Tallman Hotel and Blue Wing Restaurant. “We really enjoyed the friendly, appreciative audience, amazing staff and beautiful setting,” says Sarah Larkin. “We’re looking forward to the opportunity to connect even more deeply in the intimate, 'listening room' setting of the Concerts with Conversation series. Upper Lake is a charming town and we’re impressed with the musical scene that is being cultivated there.”
“This will be a great Sunday afternoon opportunity for people in Lake County to see and hear these wonderful musicians up close and personal,” says Butcher.
More information on the group can be obtained on their web site www.therealsarahs.com.
Tickets at $25 + tax are available by calling the Tallman Hotel at (707) 275-2244 ext. 0. Coffee and cookies are served to guests. The Hotel is also offering a 10% discount on hotel bookings for Sunday January 28 for people purchasing tickets to the concert.
A CALLER makes a correction to Mike Koepf's excellent account of the Supervisor's unwarranted pay raise: Supervisor McCowen's hippie name during the Redwood Summer period was “River,” not “Raven.” We hope he'll allow us to call him “Riv” for short. Hell, we've known the guy for years now.
RE THAT UNWARRANTED pay raise, elected people at all levels learned long ago to bury their acquisitiveness in piles of bafflegab. If the Supervisors had put it to a vote, they'd never have gotten their forty percent raise. Or any raise at all. Who the hell in Mendocino County gets a forty percent raise? Natch they all claimed to put in many, many hours of work a month. Hamburg even went so far as to say he was "on call" round the clock!
WE HAD TO LAUGH when Old Faithful, aka Ann Molgaard, strode to the podium this morning to support the pay raise, not mentioning she'd previously been one of the administrative "excellents" who'd herself gotten a fat pay raise untethered to performance reality. "Gee, I wonder what OF's going to recommend?" Sure 'nuff. In a previous life the old girl had to have been lady-in-waiting to a minor princess. A natural born serf if there ever was one, and not the only serf who made garbled pitches in support of the raise this morning with variations on the preposterous theme that more money "attracts better people."
ALL THE WAY on task this morning was, of all people, Sherry Glaser, who rightly denounced the raise in irrefutable, succinct terms. Sher made the news for her previous appearance before the Supes when, during a discussion of pot policy, she shouted "Boobs not busts," dramatically exposing her famous breasts. (We'll have a transcription of Ms. G's remarks coming up this week.)
LOTS of comment about the legalization of recreational pot that breaks down pro and con along predictable lines, with lots of stoners jubilant that they no longer have to bother with the medical pretext to get the drug, and non-drug people lamenting pot's ever-growing prevalence. The lamenters say stuff like, "Hell, let's go all the way with this and bring back opium dens, brothels in every town, get the cocaine back in the Coca Cola recipe."
WHICH, in the County whose economy is pegged to intoxicants, and in the country rhetorically devoted to free enterprise, combo pleasure palaces in enterprise-needy places like Ukiah and Willits would certainly be consistent with Mendocino County's economic direction, not to mention the County's vibe.
ME DEAR OLD MUM grew up in a little town in Southern Illinois called Hillsboro. She remembers as a child, circa 1920, several townspeople popping in and out of the town's soda fountain all day long for a Coke which, in those days, contained the magic pick-me-up. And we should also recall that Coleridge wrote Kubla Khan while he was totally stoned on laudanum. And the goddess only knows how many great novels were hammered out under the influence of amphetamine. Here in Mendo, brothels thrived in Ukiah, Fort Bragg and Point Arena up through the Depression years. There's even a plaque commemorating Ukiah's apparently unforgettable palais de la joie called "Madge's," patronized by the County's leading male citizens. These days, in line with contemporary kinks, brothels would be required to considerably diversify to satisfy the new multiplicity of sexual tastes, but nothing beyond the entrepreneurial genius of Mendocino County.
RARELY DOES a book blurb prove true, but the one on Swan Song — A Collective Diary of the Last Days of the Third Reich — lives up to its promise to provide, "An emotionally immediate and multi-faceted perspective....difficult to put down." I didn't put it down for the day it took me to read it. Walter Kempowski is a German writer born in 1929, meaning when the Reich fell he was old enough to retain vivid memories of those last days. He has assembled a collection of contemporaneous accounts from victims and predators alike of first hand experience of Germany in April of 1945. I've never read anything like it. There are accounts from Mussolini, hanged from a telephone pole a short time later; Hitler poised to commit suicide; German army privates hoping to surrender to Americans rather than Germans; German women writing about their savage rapes by the Russian forces; ordinary Germans surviving however they could; American soldiers reporting on what they found in Germany; concentration camp survivors; Danish Red Cross workers beneath Allied bombs in Berlin itself. Americans might not be so bellicose if they'd experienced first hand the true horror of WW Two as relayed here. An amazing book that conveys that horror like none other I've read.
TURNS OUT KEMPOWSKI is indeed fortunate to have survived the war. From Wikipedia: "As a teenager Kempowski, who was unathletic and had acquired a taste for American jazz and swing music through his older brother, chafed under compulsory service in the Hitler Youth, and was transferred into a penalty unit (Strafeinheit) of the organization. In early 1945 he was drafted into the Flakhelfer, the youth auxiliary of the Luftwaffe, serving in a special unit that performed courier functions. Kempowski's father, who had volunteered for military service at the beginning of the war, only to be turned away because of his membership in the Freemasons, was accepted for service in summer 1940, and died in combat on 26 April 1945."
FREEMASONS? Hard to believe that a gang of cranks and thugs like the Nazis could take power and do the global harm that they did. Ditto for the Japanese fascists. Ditto for our fascists, it occurs to me, but they're riding high at the moment.
A READER NOTES: "What all the hullabaloo about legalization fails to mention is that prices have gone up significantly 'before' the legalization. As a user for medicinal reasons (cancer treatment,) we who really need it are being priced out and forced to shop around for competitive prices. Those of us who have the medical ID should be given not only priority, but a discount, and not have to pay the increases."
THERE'S POT all over Mendocino County available for $500 a pound, even less. The black market will continue to thrive because it will be able to undercut storefront dope. Law enforcement will also continue to profit by busting the black market people.
GET BACK TO BASICS, MENDO
The idea, put forth by KC Meadows in Off the Record, that cannabis growers should not complain while they are regulated out of business by a bungling county government doesn’t make sense. The many citizens that have been making their living growing marijuana under prohibition all these years are now being told that in order to stay in business they must comply with so many rules, regulations, inspections, and taxations that it makes your head spin. They will also need to obtain costly studies, permits, and insurance in order to be legal. Cannabis needs to be regulated and taxed at the point of sale, like all other plants and products. At the point of production, or on the farm, the restrictions should be no more onerous then growing grapes, tobacco, or hops. The complex regulatory framework that is being set up, will cost a lot to administer, be unenforceable, and be most beneficial to large scale agriculture.
As a building contractor, I’m not glad to see my neighbors saddled by the same type of state and county bureaucracies that plague the construction industry. In my business it has gotten to the point where, compared to the paperwork, actually building the house is the easy part. When government tries to micromanage things like housing, farming, timber, and tourism, it doesn’t bring wealth and economic benefit to our community. Mendocino County needs to focus its resources on basic stuff, like fixing roads, caring for the mentally ill, providing courts, schools, and libraries, and generally trying to make sure that the population is housed and well fed.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “See that wolf moon last night? Named after a distant relative of mine, Uncle Wolfie. It'll be back on the 31st, and us dogs will be a-howlin'.”
PREDICTABLY, the Board of Supervisors made the giant 40% pay raise they gave themselves official Tuesday morning. Albion’s Sherry “Boobs Not Busts” Glaser made the only decent statement of outrage, the remainder of the remarks were ho-hum. Supervisor Dan Gjerde voted against the raise saying it shouldn’t be any higher than what other department heads got. We’ve argued against these self-awarded raises a lot in the past and there’s no point in complaining about it any more here, except to note that three of the Supervisors who voted for the raise are lame ducks who have already announced they’re not running next term. (Only Gjerde and McCowen will remain in office to face voters on this terrible decision, and Gjerde voted against it, kind of.) Also, the Supervisors have now tied their pay and benefits to the department heads’ pay, meaning that when they give their already overpaid department heads another raise they are also giving themselves a raise, creating not only a mutually beneficial double conflict of interest, but a level of cloying sycophancy that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else, even KZYX.
IN TYPICAL STUMBLING, POINTLESSLY NITPICKY FASHION, the newly overpaid Supes and their embarassingly overpaid staff couldn’t even pull off the wording of the new salary ordinance without proving, yet again, that all the bullshit about being great decision-makers and attracting Mendo’s Best & Brightest, is a very dead letter.
AFTER CONFIRMING that the ordinance would connect future Supervisors pay raises to both elected and appointed Department heads with Human Resources Department Head Heidi Dunham:
Supervisor John McCowen: I think that the phrase, and I'm looking at the actual ordinance section 30471b, the phrase, In the salary provisions agreed upon, is pretty vague in my mind so I have some alternate language if the board is willing to consider it.
Board Chair Dan Hamburg: And again, this is under b? Were you saying? I'm sorry.
McCowen: Section b of Section 30471b.
Hamburg: (Reading) The Board of Supervisors compensation shall be [unintelligible, mumbling], as provided for [mumbling]…
Board Clerk: Would you speak louder please?
Hamburg: I'm just looking at section 30407b which was referred to by Supervisor McCowen which reads, The Board of Supervisors compensation for services shall be increased or decreased as provided for in a salary provision agreed upon in any future department heads association memorandum of of understanding. Supervisor McCowen, if you could, would you suggest the wording change that you prefer?
McCowen: Yes. And I would strike out the phrase, In the salary provisions agreed upon, and for discussion I would suggest inserting after compensation for services shall be increased or decreased, and then I would suggest new language, Commensurate with the applicable terms and conditions as provided for, because it's more than just the base salary statement, I believe.
Hamburg: And I just want to ask Director Dunham, can you copy that? I mean, did you get that?
Dunham: I did not prepare the ordinance.
Dunham: County Counsel…
Hamburg: County Counsel, I'm sorry. County Counsel?
County Counsel Kit Elliott: So if you could just repeat where it says, In the salary provision, so we are taking out, In the salary provision?
Hamburg: We're not taking out, we are just suggesting.
McCowen: Just a suggestion. And then the new language, if we, after we say, compensation for service shall be increased or decreased, the suggestion is, commensurate with the applicable terms and conditions as provided for in any future department heads association memorandum of understanding. And I would also strike the apostrophe because I don't think that's part of the title of the MOU.
Elliott: So yes, I've got that.
McCowen: So between the —
Hamburg: Yes, go ahead, repeat it back. If you would. How would 30471 now read in its entirety?
Elliott: So — I'm looking at section b. The Board of Supervisors, without the apostrophe, compensation for services shall be increased or decreased, um, as provided for —
McCowen: Commensurate with the applicable terms and conditions…
Elliott: Sorry. Commensurate with the applicable terms and conditions as provided for in the salary provisions agreed on — No? I'm sorry. I can't do changes on this machine. So if you want to read it back.
CEO Carmel Angelo: Yeah, I think I can do it, I can take a stab at this. I have paper in front of me which our chief counsel does not, so that's a little bit of a difference. The Board of Supervisors compensation for services shall be increased or decreased commensurate with the applicable terms and conditions as provided for in any future department head association memorandum of understanding. Did I capture that?
McCowen: Very well.
OH YEAH. Well worth their high pay. All of ’em. No question. All the way. Mendo’s finest at their finest! As Hamburg and Elliott said five times: Sorry. (— ms)
SUPES VOTE THEMSELVES A BIG PAY RAISE — TUESDAY, JANUARY 2, 2018
On Tuesday, January 2, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors voted to give themselves a big 30% pay raise. The vote was 4:1, with Supervisor Dan Gjerde dissenting. The vote followed two (2) hours of public comment, much of it by county workers and cannabis farmers, followed by discussion by the Sups themselves. The Sups majority said they were voting for the big pay raise, so as "...to attract qualified candidates to run for the Board in the future."
What does this imply for the current Board?
Were they not qualified?
Gjerde is refusing the raise. He sent a memo to county payroll. This signals strong solidarity with underpaid, overworked, rank-and-file, Mendocino County workers...three cheers for Dan Gjerde!
According to a recent post at the Anderson Valley Advertiser "Mendocino County Today", the BOS raises are nearly as large as what the average Mendocino County wage worker earns in a year.
I'm making this outrageous — and unjustified — pay raise a key campaign issue. I announced my candidacy for Carrie Brown's District 1 seat two weeks ago. If elected, I would claw back those raises.
BOS pay raises — and CEO raises — as a percent, should be directly linked to rank-and-file county worker pay raises. And BOS pay should be linked to performance. County poverty statistics are appalling...absolutely appalling!
Nearly one in two county residents are eligible for Food Stamps. Nearly one in three county residents are eligible for Medi Cal.
Mendocino County has no jobs growth. No economic growth. And the best game in town is either county or city executive jobs. County CEO Carmel Angelo's compensation package tops out at $300,000 annually. Ukiah City Manager Sage Sangiacomo gets a package topping out at $275,000.
What's wrong with this picture?
We can't even protect our small, family farmers who grow cannabis. We should have a county bank that allows these cannabis farmers to do their banking legally.
Our leadership has failed us.
For the record, I endorse the pay raises that the Sheriff and District Attorney recently received. By statute, the Sheriff and District Attorney, along with the BOS, are the only county executives that we are required to have by law. Are we required to have the County CEO? Hell, no! And how about all these highly paid, executive department heads and their superfluous deputies? Again, no!
I'm also in favor of taking a second look at making Mendocino County a charter county.
Charter counties have a limited degree of "home rule" authority that may provide for the following: 1.) the election, compensation, terms, removal, and salary of the governing board; 2.) the election or appointment (except the sheriff, district attorney, and assessor who must be elected), and the compensation, terms, removal of all county officers; 3.) the powers and duties of all officers; and 4.) the consolidation and segregation of county offices.
Charter Counties do not give county officials extra authority over local regulations, revenue-raising abilities, budgetary decisions, or intergovernmental relations.
California's Charter Counties include the following: Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Tehama
Two Types of California Counties - What are They?
General Law is one type of California county. The other type is Charter. There are currently 45 general law counties and 13 charter counties. A county may adopt, amend, or repeal a charter with majority vote approval. A new charter or the amendment or repeal of an existing charter may be proposed by the Board of Supervisors, a charter commission, or an initiative petition. The provisions of a charter are the law of the state and have the force and effect of legislative enactments.
For Tourism and Travel Purposes, the State of California is also divided into 12 regions that conveniently represent geographic bounds of either counties or natural features such as deserts, mountains and bays.
So let's do it, people. Take back your county government. Vote for change.
Candidate for Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 2, 2018
EASTON BASSETT, Ukiah. Trespassing, paraphernalia.
JENNIFER COLBERT, Ukiah. DUI, 4th Conviction within 10 years, suspended license, no license.
MICHAEL FREEMAN JR., Covelo. Burglary, vandalism, probation revocation.
DOMINIK IDICA, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
RYAN JACKSON, Ukiah. Burglary of inhabited dwelling.
KENNETH LAWSON, Willits. Willits. Receiving stolen property.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
It sure seems as though the the financial house of cards is poised to crater in 2018, but it has felt that way for a decade or so and they somehow keep the rackets running. Of course, I see more and more homeless people begging at street corners each month. I can’t imagine what it’s going to look like this summer at the major intersections as the beggars crowd each other for the prime spots. Their long emergency is already underway.
Looking beyond the financial realm, 2018 looks to usher in an era of less civility across the spectrum. Less courtesy. Less decency. More “in your face” uninformed opinions being expressed. More across the board doubling down on stupid, even when confronted with contrary facts, which used to be the exclusive domain of whack-a-loon conservatives. It’ll move to the mainstream. More proud ignorance. More hope trampled. More general shittiness across the board. So, while we may see other aspects of life lean down, there will be an abundance of shit to fill the void. Just my guesses. The months ahead will tell the story.
A TSUNAMI OF STORE CLOSINGS IS ABOUT TO HIT THE US — AND IT'S EXPECTED TO ECLIPSE THE RETAIL CARNAGE OF 2017
"LIKE A RAT UP A DRAINPIPE"
"People say that life is the thing; but I prefer reading." (— Logan Pearsall Smith)
In his annual Diary entries in the London Review of Books, Alan Bennett sorts his books as he gets ready to move out of the house he lived in for 50 years. As an old bibliophile myself, I sympathize with this:
...Once upon a time I would have saved books because I planned to read them in the future or use them in something I might write, but now one can’t avoid the realization that there is no time: no time to read them, no time to write about or around them…
I'm not quite as old as Bennett, but I share the running-out-of-time sensation about my books.
I like this ruthlessly honest entry about AIDS and Princess Diana:
Angels in America opens at the National. When I saw the original production at the Cottesloe in 1992 I found I was sitting behind Derek Jarman. I knew Derek slightly since he had been in the adaptation of Orton’s Prick Up Your Ears, and I knew, too, that he had been diagnosed with HIV.
On my way to the theatre I had grazed my hand slightly as I came down the stairs from Waterloo Bridge, and I found myself desperate lest Jarman turn round and shake hands. So I shamefully kept mum until the interval, when I rushed upstairs to the NT office where I got some sticking plaster, then came back and made myself known, though whether he shook hands or not I can’t remember. I tell the story only as a reminder of the hysteria of that time, to which I was not immune. I have mixed feelings about Princess Diana, but when nowadays her concern for and embracing of Aids sufferers is disparaged as being of no particular consequence. I very much disagree. It was a kind of courage of which I would have been incapable.
And there's this entry that contains a remarkable and unflattering metaphor for sex that was new to me:
I sit in the kitchen all this hot afternoon, idly watching a 1940s film about Caribbean pirates with Tyrone Power. As a boy I adored Tyrone Power and thought him the handsomest man I’d ever seen, and when in later life I worked with Coral Browne and found out (it wasn’t something she boasted about) that she and Tyrone Power had had an affair it hugely augmented her glamour. That he was also gay came out around the same time, Coral often taking on such ambiguous figures, with Cecil Beaton another example. When I said to Coral that I’d thought Beaton was gay she remarked, ‘Not when he was with me, darling. Like a rat up a drainpipe.’
(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)
MTA EXTENDS CUSTOMER SERVICE HOURS
Mendocino Transit Authority has extended the weekday hours that its dispatch center is open for calls about schedules and routes. The dispatch center is now open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m., the same hours that bus service is available in Mendocino County. On Saturday, dispatch hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday the office is closed.
“This especially helps customers plan bus trips on cold days and after dark,” said MTA General Manager Carla Meyer. “Riders can call ahead and find out when the bus is expected at their stop.”
MTA hired a new dispatcher to operate an extra shift at the Ukiah center.
“Frankly, this benefits our drivers just as much as our customers,” said Meyer. “They know they have dispatch office support behind them no matter what happens during their shift, and that ultimately translates to a better experience for both riders and drivers.”
Customers can call dispatch at (707) 462-1422 or 1 (800) 696-468, extension 2.
Mendocino Transit Authority provides safe, low-cost and convenient public bus service throughout Mendocino County. Check routes, schedules and service updates online at mendocinotransit.org.
"SUNSET, COTTONWOOD CREEK ARM, Boysen Res."
(Photo by Harvey Reading)