Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018

* * *


It is with great sadness that the family of Michael Dean Hibbeln announces his passing on Friday, December 29th 2017, at the age of 60 years. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by family. Michael will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 38 years, Carolyn, his daughter Heather (Tim), son Chris (Brett), his sister Donna (Doug), his brothers Curtis (Twila) and Randy (Ronda), nieces and nephews, and extended family and dear friends.

Born January 23rd 1957 in La Grande, Oregon, the family relocated to Northern California shortly after. He graduated from Anderson Valley High school in 1975, where he was very active in sports. He married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn, in 1979, and his 2 children were born within 6 years of their union. A saw filer by trade, he loved hunting, camping and fishing almost as much as he loved spending time with his friends and family. He and his family relocated to Idaho in 1993, where they made lifelong friends. Upon their return to California, they moved to Placerville, where they spent the last 21 years. Mike continued to hunt and fish in the area surrounding their beautiful mountain home, where he also discovered his passion for gold panning. Mike would spend his days spoiling his dogs, Katie and Angie, and spending time with his family.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Gene and Alta Hibbeln, his grandparents Lawrence and Iris Hibbeln, and William and Ethel Rose. A celebration of life will be held on January 13th, 2018 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, CA, at 1:00 pm.

* * *


State regulators have released previously withheld details in reports filed by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. revealing the exact location of damaged transmission equipment found near the ignition points of the wildfires that ravaged Sonoma and Napa counties in October.

* * *


(Updated from yesterday)

  • Steven Hulbert
  • Roger Hanes
  • Briana Burns
  • Grace Gertrude Williams Pinoli
  • Verney Gillespie Ornbaun (Jr.)
  • Linn Bottorf
  • Helen E. Dain
  • Michael Lawrence Shapiro
  • Donald R Schmitt
  • Bernadine Ruth
  • Thoreson Turner
  • Dorothy Marie Cagle
  • Charles Henry Martin
  • Dr. Jack Power
  • Candelaria Galindo
  • David Lee Lampert
  • James Jarvis "JJ" Nuttall
  • Yvonne Maurer
  • Bobbie Lee Tucker
  • Jim Cooley
  • Dan Tower
  • Graciela Torres
  • Robert Mandel
  • Gloria Ross
  • George F. Lee, MD
  • Bob Kirkpatrick
  • Helen Bernice Clow
  • Robin Lenore Lindsey
  • Barry Wood
  • Jim Colling
  • Jean Anderson
  • Mary Cesario Weaver
  • Sandra Pronsolino
  • Vicki Geneva (Crawford) Flaherty
  • Raymond Ennocente ‘Ray’ Pinoli
  • Judy Waggoner-Isbell
  • Carl Shapiro
  • Ross Murray
  • Kay Clark
  • Don Bissattini
  • Luis Miguel “Mikey” Ferreyra
  • Larry Smith
  • Robert Nimmons
  • Sharon Sullivan
  • Michael Hibbeln

* * *


The Eureka Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing person. Twenty-six-year-old Patrick Cody McCracken of Nevada was reported as missing on January 2, 2018 by family members.

McCracken was last seen on January 2, 2018 around 7:00 a.m. at a motel on the 1900 block of Broadway in Eureka. It is possible McCracken is near the waterfront in Eureka.

McCracken is described as a white male, 6’ tall, 200 pounds, brown hair, and has heavily tattooed arms. McCracken is possibly wearing a Kansas City Chiefs baseball hat, red t-shirt, and gray jacket.

Anyone with information on McCracken’s location is asked to call the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4044. Case #18-000033.

Eureka Police Department

* * *


On 12-29-2017 at approximately 3:45 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies received a radio call for service for a burglary in progress with gunshots fired at a property in the 27000 block of Albion Ridge Road in Albion. While responding, Deputies received updated information via radio that a structure was on fire and the suspect was an adult white male still at the location. On arrival, Deputies performed a protective sweep of the property. During that sweep, Deputies observed a structure engulfed by fire and were contacted by a resident who alerted Deputies to the location of an injured person. With assistance of California State Parks Rangers, Deputies contacted a 73 year-old injured male inside a residence near to the fire and carried him to safety, where he received immediate medical attention. The 73 year-old male was later transported by air ambulance for further medical treatment. Mendocino and Albion Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the scene and extinguished the structure fire. Deputies initiated an investigation into the incident and would learn the 73 year-old male sustained major injury to his head as a result of being struck with a blunt object. Deputies located the suspect, Abel Sommer, 37, of Albioin, within another residence on the property and took him into custody.


Deputies determined Sommer was responsible for setting fire to the structure and causing other damage to resident's vehicles on the property and had his 14 year-old and 4 year-old children present in his custody during the commission of those crimes. After transporting Sommer to the Mendocino Coast Hospital for medical related reasons, he broke free from his restraints and fled in an attempt to escape. With the assistance of the Fort Bragg Police Department, Deputies located the Sommer minutes later after he broke out a window in an attempt to leave the hospital. Sommer, who was also on active summary probation, was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for Assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury, Battery resulting in serious bodily injury,Child endangerment, Elder abuse with great bodily injury, Arson, Escape from custody, Violation of probation and was to be held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

* * *


Mike Fitch Is Wanted For Failure To Register As A Sex Offender X2, Strike Prior Felony, Prison Prior X4, $95,000 Bail

  • Age: 79 years old
  • Weight: 160 lbs
  • Heights: 6' 1"
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Hair: Gray
  • Last known town/city: Ukiah, CA

If you recognize this individual or have information which could lead to their arrest, please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at (707) 463-4086

* * *

UKIAH, Tuesday, Jan. 2. - As a start to the New Year, a home invasion marijuana robber was convicted by plea this morning in Department H of the Mendocino County Superior Court.

Defendant Michael DeAngelo Taylor, age 24, of Muncie, Indiana, accepted the District Attorney's "take it or leave it" early plea settlement offer in order to avoid the potential of greater punishment down the road. Defendant Taylor plead guilty to robbery of an inhabited dwelling in concert with others, a felony. He also admitted personally using a firearm during the commission of the robbery, as a sentencing enhancement.

As part of the overall negotiated disposition, the defendant was required to stipulate to the imposition of a state prison sentence of 12 years. Under current law, he will be required to serve at least 85% of that sentence.

Also as required by law, the defendant's case was referred to the Adult Probation Department for a social study and sentencing report. This report will be relied on by the prison authorities at the San Quentin reception center when they are eventually required to undertake intake classification and facility housing decisions for this defendant.

Taylor is scheduled to be back in court on February 13, 2018 at 9 o'clock in the morning in Department H for formal imposition of the agreed-upon 12 years. Any person interested in this matter is welcome to attend that sentencing hearing.

The prosecutor handling the case against Taylor is District Attorney David Eyster. The law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating the underlying crimes were the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the Willits Police Department. The sentencing judge on February 13th will be Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke.


Background (Sheriff’s Press Release Oct. 27, 2017)

On October 27th at 1:24 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were summoned to a residence in the 23600 block of Primrose Drive (Brooktrails) Willits, for a report of an armed robbery. The victims — Sally Ann Gurule, 64, of Willits, Van Slagle, 39 of Willits, and Justin Slagle, 44 of Willits — reported that three African American male adults, driving a "Burnt Orange" Jeep SUV had robbed them at gunpoint, forced them at gunpoint into a closet, and stole marijuana from them. As Deputies were responding, they passed a similar vehicle as it was coming onto Sherwood Road traveling towards the City of Willits. Police officers from the Willits Police Department located the vehicle, and attempted to stop it. The vehicle fled and a vehicle pursuit ensued. Several suspects exited and fled from the vehicle on Center Valley Road near Bray Road, and the vehicle continued on to where it stopped in the area of South Lenore and Creekside Court in Willits, where the two additional suspects fled on foot. One suspect, Diontae Wright, 24, of Split Rock Indiana, was apprehended in the area of the end of the pursuit, hiding in a backyard shortly after the pursuit by Willits Police Officers and Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies. A second suspect, Michael Taylor also of Split Rock, was apprehended in the 1000 block of Center Valley Road by a Willits Police Officer. The vehicle was searched and one firearm, as well as evidence of another firearm was located, along with approximately 20 pounds of bud marijuana. While the investigation was ongoing, a Willits Police officer located a third suspect near Walker Road on Highway 101. This suspect provided a false name, and was ultimately identified as 24 year old Christopher Bradford of Indianapolis, Indiana. After further investigation, all three suspects were arrested and booked in the Mendocino County Jail. All three were charged with kidnapping, robbery, and being armed with a firearm while committing a felony. Bradford was found to have a felony warrant from Indiana for possessing a stolen firearm. The Indiana arrest warrant identified Bradford as "Armed and Dangerous." Their bail is set at $275,000. A fourth suspect, Hugo Mercado, was identified as being involved, and he has yet to be located. Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives will be seeking an arrest warrant for Mercado. Any persons with knowledge of this case, are asked to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Communications Center at 707-463-4086 or call the Tip Line at 707-234-2100.

* * *


Chris Skyhawk writes: Many affordable housing advocates are decrying the proposed changes to our Class K housing code. There is still time to make your options known to our Board of Supervisors

* * *

From Stephanie Gold: Class K Ordinance Update: The subcommittee of Dan Hamburg and John McCowen have turned their recommendations over to the full Board, which will be meeting on it in early February (TBD). That's the meeting for everyone who's interested in this to come to! For now, they are waiting for their County Counsel to render an opinion on "the Ability of Mendocino County to Exempt Limited Density Rural Dwellings (Class K) from Otherwise Required California Building Code Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) and Fire Sprinkler Standards". They're expecting that opinion on January 9 and they voted at their recent meeting Dec. 19 to make that opinion public as soon as they get it. If you want to make your opinions known to the full Board, here are all their contacts:

  • Georgeanne Croskey: 707-463-4441,
  • Dan Gjerde: call 707-463-4441;
  • Dan Hamburg: 707-234-6047;
  • John McCowen: 707-463-4441;
  • Carre Brown: 707-463-4441;

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Big excitement here yesterday. Navarro was on Channel 7's weather map. I couldn't believe my rheumy old eyes. Navarro! And Drew Tuma, the weather guy with the shiny black hair and big white teeth almost pointed at it! Wow!”

* * *


"DEAR EDITOR: I miss Todd Walton. SKD, Willits."

AS THE PARADIGM shifts to ether-based publications, we were forced to reduce our paper-paper to 8 pages. The readers of paper-papers are passing on. They young don't read papers. We now publish what is the equivalent of a daily Mendo paper on-line. I don't like reading on-line myself, but saw no option but to cut back the paper-paper, and lots of good writers went with the cut. If you google Todd you'll find him on-line.

DURING TUESDAY MORNING'S bullshit blizzard at the Board of Supervisors. several speakers, most notably Anne Molgaard, head of what's left of the non-privatized sectors of the Welfare Department (euphemized for years now as Health and Human Services,) declared that pegging the Supes annual salary at better than 80 thou would "diversify the candidate pool," that a mere 65 was too low to attract Mendo's heavy hitters.

BUT EVEN BEFORE the Supervisors had "courageously" upped their pay, "courage" being the term County CEO Carmel Angelo had applied to the vote for the raise, four persons had signed up to run for 5th District Supervisor: Allan Rodier of Ukiah; Arthur Juhl of Gualala; Ted Williams of Mendocino; and Chris Skyhawk of Albion. We know of another South Coast resident who's thinking of running. Of course by Molgaard's likely standard, four white boys running for office, unless at least one of them is a transexual, is not diversity, but none of the 5th District candidates seem to have been deterred by the prospect of $60k for a part-time job with a full range of fringe benefits, an annual salary twice that of the average working Mendo person.

DURING THE BLIZZARD, "excellence" was the sub-theme on the day, the reasoning being that money attracts "excellent" candidates, and with the people in office invoking "excellence" as the standard, and being "excellent" themselves, because if they weren't "excellent" how could they possibly recognize other "excellencies"? Mendocino County is poised to become "excellent."

I DON'T SEE IT, excellence I mean. I guess it's kinda like some kind of freemasonry, secret handshakes among the already excellent. I don't think the Supervisors are excellent. What am I not seeing? I've turned local government upside down looking for it and I'll be darned if I can find it. What I do find is lots of modest, capable people doing their jobs the way the work is supposed to be done.

THE BIG RAISES were justified on the basis of vague interpretations of the County Code, whose stipulations are interpreted by the County Counsel's Office much as Ouija Boards were interpreted by Madam Blavatsky and her baboon — always with a view to pleasing the boss.

WHENEVER the County's top bureaucrats and Supervisors want more money they also invoke the Slavin Study, commissioned in 2000 by the then Board of Supervisors to justify a big raise for their excellencies, and invoked ever since to justify more and more money. It said other counties paid more, and Mendo just had to catch up.

SO THE PAY RAISE JUSTIFICATION monologue from CEO Angelo went something like, "Section 647f of the County Code refers to Board Resolution 5150, circa July of 1998, and subsequently amended then mandated by adoption of the Slavin Study of 2000 that we can raise our pay to a million dollars a day if we want and you saps? Hah! Gitchee gitchee goo. Try and stop us."

INTERESTING COMMENT by Ed Denson via Redheaded Black Belt about his home area's reputation for mayhem:

"Before we all go nuts about the Alderpoint Road let’s remember that it is about 50 miles long. The gunshot victim and the burning car are some 25-30 miles apart. More importantly, they are on parts of the road used by different communities. Alderpoint is at about mile 18, measured from Garberville. People in Alderpoint seldom go north of Casterlin school, say mile 28. People from Blocksburg tend to go north to route 36 rather than south to Garberville. People burning cars should probably face aiding and abetting grand theft auto charges, as well as arson. Both are serious felonies. How hard could it be to set out a decoy, set up the cameras, and find out who is burning the cars? It seems like the powers that be just don’t see this car burning problem as one of destroying thousands of dollars worth of vehicles, and assisting thieves in covering their tracks by destroying evidence (fingerprints, DNA, etc. in the vehicles). Instead the great silence by the sheriff and the CHP suggest they think these arsons are harmless pranks. Still, the murders are a more worrying problem. Thanks to the long running war on pot, there is still a culture of silence about crimes, even major crimes like murders, in the rural parts of the county. Don’t think that “legalization” is going to change either the attacks on pot growers by the government or the widespread black market growing anytime soon. For all the excitement about “legalization” it appears to be a failure as far as cutting down on black market weed. The county has gotten greedy, thinking they can fix 50 years of neglect and poor policies with a couple of years of taxes on “rich growers.” But the market is in collapse due to overproduction. The “rich growers” who are going legal are seeing their riches drain away into the regulatory swamp. We are not seeing more effective law enforcement. Last murder we had in Alderpoint, the murderer was still driving around town 24 hours later. This one, I don’t think the name of the murderer is widely known. I haven’t even heard any decent speculation about who did it. I did see a CHP car in town this evening. Should I expect an arrest? A grower in another area had his crop ripped off by a trimmer. Law enforcement just yawned when told who did it and took no steps to find and arrest the ripoff. Think there will be more murders? Anyway, back to the main point. The Alderpoint road is long, it serves a number of communities, and aggregating everything that happens on those 50 miles as if they happened in 5, simply is lazy thinking."

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, January 3, 2018

Bluford, Budar-Morales, Flora

SHAVONA BLUFORD, Sacramento/Ukiah. Parole violation.

ANTHONY BUDAR-MORALES, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

SHARREEN FLORA, Ukiah. County parole violation.

Folger, Hamilton, Hubbard

SUMALEE FOLGER, Ukiah. Under influence.

JERRY HAMILTON III, Willits. Parole violation.

VAN HUBBARD, Ukiah. Grand theft, DUI-drugs, elder abuse, saps or similar weapons, paraphernalia, more than an ounce of pot.

Justice, Lamoureux, McCallum

JUSTIN JUSTICE, Lakeport/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear, probation revocation.

LEVI LAMOUREUX, Laytonville. Vandalism, addict with firearm, failure to appear, resisting, probation revocation.

CHAD MCCALLUM, Ukiah. Domestic battery, controlled substance.

Monte, Nash, Odell

TIMOTHY MONTE, Lucerne/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

ISHMAEL NASH, Ukiah. First degree robbery.

TYLOR ODELL, Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg. Concealed weapon w/prior, under influence w/concealed weapon, controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, probation revocation.

Reeves, Sanchez, Schafer

CECELIA REEVES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

RAYMOND SANCHEZ, Fort Bragg. Suspended license, failure to appear.

BELINDA SCHAFER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, battery on peace officer.

Vasco, Vickers, Wilson

FAITH VASCO, Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

JESSE VICKERS, Ukiah. Maintenance of drug house, probation revocation.

MALACHI WILSON, Ukiah. Resisting.

* * *



Instead of trying to find a way to build permanent buildings for a transient homeless population, why not “build” a permanent affordable campground residence arrangement? It could include pavilion-type roofs with solar collectors to provide each campsite with some power, a residents-only entrance with security and bathroom facilities.

So many people are camping out off and on, and they keep getting camping supplies that end up in the garbage.

In Sebastopol, one of the last trailer/campground sites soon to be taken over for some building.

People receiving the $990 monthly disability check or other income could chip in a percentage. Those with no income could get a voucher or, if capable, do some minor maintenance in exchange for a campsite.

There could be another camp — or one integrated with tents — for those who are living in vehicles.

Trying to make insurable, approved up-to-code habitats for even one family — ask those trying to rebuild in Coffey Park or Fountaingrove — is big money.

Think about it. Keep pushing campers down the road and cleaning up their trash and belongings, or have a campground for legitimate occupancy.

Weedy Tuhtanjoseph


* * *


I served in the time of the citizen-soldier when new draftees were paid $134/month. Many were college grads with a hatred of the Vietnam War. And the draft eventually caused massive street protests, which forced Nixon to end it. The all-volunteer military was the master stroke of The Empire. Does anyone think that the Afghan War would have gone on for 16 long years and counting if it was still in place? And that’s not to mention the other military debacles which have happened since 9/11. Without their sons being drafted to fight and die, the middle classes go to sleep.

* * *


It's the city's most sensible, cost-effective homeless program, but it gets little respect. A mention buried in a front page Chronicle story last month is typical:

More than 13,000 homeless people were moved off the streets or sent voluntarily back home under Lee, more than 1,800 units of supportive housing were created, and another 1,000 homeless people got rent subsidies. The nation’s first counseling team devoted solely to clearing away street camps has dismantled 21 encampments, with most of those people going into shelters (emphasis added).

A 2016 Examiner story provided some background on the program, as did SF Public Press last year.

Even though Homeward Bound is an important part of City Hall's homeless policy, when you go to the city's new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, you find nothing about it. Seems like the city is embarrassed about the program, though it's not clear why it should be.

Instead, you have to go to this site, which seems to be at least partly supported by the city.

The Examiner had to invoke the Freedom of Information Act to get this from City Hall:

Since February 2005, The City has provided nearly 10,000 homeless residents Greyhound bus tickets — also a $10 per travel day allowance for food — to cities across the United States under Homeward Bound, the bus ticket home program, according to data compiled by the San Francisco Examiner through the Freedom of Information Act. The total number bused fluctuates each year from a low of 815 to a high of 942. That amounts to an average of more than two homeless people every day that San Francisco ships out via Greyhound. The numbers are expected to increase. The Human Services Agency, which oversees the program, has recently hired more case managers in an attempt to boost participation.

So why hasn't the city's homeless problem been solved by now? After processing more than 20,000 of the homeless and spending nearly $2 billion over ten years, the number of homeless in the city is pretty much the same. The answer: Because homeless people--and the marginal and soon-to-be homeless--keep arriving in the city.

All the city can do is try to cope with the problem humanely, which it's been trying to do for more than ten years.

Since Homeward Bound is an important part of that coping strategy, why is City Hall so shamefaced about acknowledging it?

At least one city official isn't shy about defending the program:

Trent Rhorer, director of the Human Services Agency, defended the program. “There are a lot of ways to leave the street,” he said. “One of those is to go back to your family. Critics can call it ‘Greyhound therapy.’ They can call it whatever the hell they want to call it,” Rhorer continued. “It ain’t. We’re contacting the receiver who is agreeing to take them in.” Rhorer said the program addresses the reality of housing supply, calling it “unrealistic” to house the thousands using the program.

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

* * *


by Ken Hannaford-Ricardi

It is a dream come true being back among friends in Kabul! Streams of dented Toyotas (They are all Toyotas!) with windscreens cracked like bolts of lightning still jockey for position on roads where traffic lights and common sense hold little sway. Carts of vegetables drawn by donkeys or dragged by men without dreams continue clotting the already stuttering traffic, forcing it almost to a standstill. Stucco houses remain stapled to mountainsides, one tripping over the other as they race to the top. And smog, as thick and foul-smelling as only winter in Kabul can conjure up. It felt wonderful being home!

As a team-building exercise, three of us chose this afternoon to clean the chimney of one of our wood stoves. Four lengths of sooty pipe and two elbow joints later, the stove was ready to refire and all three of us needed a good bath. We laughed (mostly young ones) and swore (mostly me) in almost equal proportions.

As we got ready for bed last night, we heard a sustained series of what most of us thought was gunfire. The wail of a siren followed shortly thereafter and caused us to wonder if we should head to the basement for a bit. We waited it out on the second floor. We were brave, or not.

This morning brought rumors of three explosions nearby. We scrambled for information, but little was forthcoming. Later, we were forwarded an email from a friend working near us. The attack, it appeared, had centered on a Shia mosque. “It is more than sad,” our friend said. “Latest update showed 45 people killed and 85 wounded. Going to the scene, there is nothing more than blood, flesh, meat, dust, and fear. We again see Afghans die for nothing and families lose their loved ones because of ongoing US-backed war.” My young co-workers are physically okay.

Tonight, after dinner, I had the chance to talk with a young Afghan friend about his family. Married for just a brief period, his wife conceived. They were happy. Their families rejoiced. One night during their son’s fourth month, he woke up sick enough to be taken to the doctor’s. After an examination, the doctor gave the boy a number of injections, and the family was sent home. Later that same evening, the child’s condition worsened, and the parents took him to a hospital, where he died. My friend and his wife still do not know what claimed their son’s life.

Welcome to Kabul.

(Ken Hannaford-Ricardi is in Kabul representing Voices for Creative Nonviolence. While there, he is a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers.)

* * *

1ST DISTRICT SUPE'S candidate, John Sakowicz, warns: "If these pay raises for county executives is illegal pension spiking, in disguise, then I will file an injunction in court to stop the raises.”

* * *

"ENOUGH ALREADY" as some people are prone to say... It's a New Year, the excessive ‘partying’/eating is over, and it's time to show that you are actually quite bright by attending the General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz at Lauren's Restaurant in Boonville… We will remain on the current schedule of the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month. As a result there will not be a Quiz tomorrow, and the first one of 2018 will be on Thursday, January 11th. The fun, banter, teasing, and mental gymnastics begin at 7pm; hope to see you there.

Cheers, The Quiz Master / Steve Sparks, Boonville

* * *

* * *


You reproach me, Aulus,

for not visiting you;

if I had enough strength to

hate you, I would.

But Clodia destroyed me

when she crushed with her plow

the passion we had sown;

her happiness is to go to bed

with half of Rome.

Don’t think that I have not wanted

to burn out my eyes

in order not to see her.

But I know, once I were blind,

her image would be

even more resplendent.

– by José Ioskyn, translated by Louis S. Bedrock

* * *


Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said Sonoma County's immigration policy led to the death of a Santa Rosa woman allegedly at the hands of her undocumented boyfriend.

* * *


“Worst-case scenario: he’s compensating for the size of his brain.”

* * *


To the Editor:

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA-2) is in the pocket of the nation’s beet and cane sugar cartels! Huffman continually votes to maintain the U.S. Sugar Program. Why? It is really quite simple, Congressman Huffman received well over $22,000 in political donations from the sugar cartels since coming to Washington in 2013.

Thanks to Rep. Huffman and others, the U.S. Sugar Program continues. The Sugar Program is a Soviet style command and control scheme that restricts planting and imports. This inflates the price of sugar in the United States to almost double the world price. So, when you go to the store to buy a snack cake or anything sweetened, you pay more! According to the Congressional Budget Office, the program means Americans pay $3.5 billion every year in increased grocery costs, which breaks down to of upwards of $50 per family.

In Rep. Huffman’s 4 years in office, he repeatedly voted against sugar reform costing each New York family an additional $200 for groceries. You have to ask yourself, is my Congressman really fighting to make life better, or is he just another politician in it for the campaign contributions? It’s time for Congressman Huffman to step up and end this costly government giveaway to the cartels!

The Independent Bakers’ Association is an international trade association that fights to protect the interests of mostly family owned wholesale bakers and allied trades. For more information about IBA and sugar program corruption, visit

Nicholas A. Pyle,

President Independent Bakers’ Association

Washington DC

* * *


To the Editor:

The Trump administration has ruled that animals raised for food under the “USDA Organic” label need not be treated any less cruelly than those in conventional farming. The decision reverses years of U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which held that the “organic” label should impose minimal ethical, health, and environmental standards. For the animals, this included adequate space, light, and access to the outdoors.

Under the Trump administration, this will no longer be the case. “Organic” farm operations will be allowed to cram laying hens five to a small wire cage that tears out their feathers and to grind or suffocate millions of male chicks at birth because they don’t lay eggs. Mother pigs will spend their miserable lives in tight metal crates, as their babies are torn from them and mutilated with no anesthesia. And dairy cows will continue to cry for their babies torn from them at birth, so we can drink their milk.

Caring consumers opting for “organic” animal products, to reduce their role in subsidizing these abuses, will now have no choice but to switch to plant-based foods, including the widely available nut- and grain-based meats, milks, cheeses, and ice creams.

Lawson Jenkins, Ukiah

* * *


Glass artists present illustrated talks on their work

by Roberta Werdinger

On Saturday, January 6th, from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Grace Hudson Museum Public Room, glass artists Erika Kohr Island and Yorgen Kvinsland will present illustrated talks about their work. The event is free with Museum admission, and includes entry to its current exhibit, "Mastering the Molten: Mendocino County Art Glass," featuring a sampling of ten of the county's most original glass artists and including work by the presenting speakers.

Erika Kohr Island creates small, harmoniously proportioned sculptures which on closer examination are not as whimsical as they appear, breaking down the human body into components in order to frankly meditate on the mystery of embodiment. Under the artist's hand, the body actively interacts with, and sometimes is even interrupted by, the natural as well as built environment--including being divided into top and bottom halves, strewn with cloud images, or displaying a red and visible heart. Kohr Island first came to glass in a workshop in Portland; soon, she relates, "I found myself developing a deeply satisfying relationship with the material," which allowed her to develop and express "themes of nature, gender and intimacy." Following a thriving career working for production studios throughout the Pacific Northwest and teaching at the influential Pilchuck Glass School outside of Seattle, Kohr Island and her husband relocated to the Mendocino coast, where she continues to make art in her home studio and exhibit nationally and internationally.

Jorgen & Erika

Yorgen Kvinsland also benefited from the natural beauty and artistic ferment of the Pacific Northwest, where watching his parents fire objects in a kiln sparked his creative imagination. After immersing himself in the art glass movement flourishing in Seattle in the 1990s, Kvinsland embarked on a career emphasizing formal and often bold experimentation that is aided by technology yet guided by instinct. His glass sculptures combine simplicity and sensitivity in a manner reflective of his emphasis on craftsmanship, such as "A Fragile Beauty," included in the exhibit, in which cloudlike forms drift across a blue orb which may or may not be our planet. He states, "The process of making art for me is guided by a fluid and malleable motivation," inspiring him to change the forms and materials of his work "depending on what the creative expression or crafted object concept is." In his Mendocino studio, he currently focuses on designing and producing artistically unique front doors for residential houses.

Both of these artists possess rigorous training in the glass arts and an original vision which makes the art their own, using particular techniques to achieve their ends. Kohr Island employs the common method of heating glass prior to shaping it, but she does so in a freeform way, without the use of a mold. She then sandblasts the cooled sculpture in order to transform the texture, giving her work a matte, rather than shiny, aspect. Kvinsland explores the point where art and craft meet via the use of new technologies: he recently acquired a robotic cutter, which enables him to design new furniture, as well as a flat bed glass kiln that will allow him to extend the creative range of his glass sculptures. Visitors to this Saturday's lively illustrated talks will be able to learn more about these artists’ methods, training and creations.

"Mastering the Molten: Mendocino County Art Glass" will be on display until January 28, 2018. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please go to or call (707) 467-2836.

* * *

IMPROVING LAMB MARKETING, QUALITY, & PROFITABILITY: Options for California Producers Workshops

January 18, 2018

Don’t forget to register, deadline is Monday, January 8th.

California Wool Growers Association (CWGA) is hosting four interactive workshops focusing on improving lamb marketing and quality as well as producer profitability by applying innovative management practices and technologies. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Genetic Selection to Improve Lamb Quality and Ewe Productivity
  • Increasing Lamb Production Efficiency with Accelerated Lambing
  • Effective Nutrition Management Practices – Proper Forage Analysis & Mineral Supplementation
  • Management Tools for Herd Optimization and Production Efficiency
  • Best Management Practices for Sheep Operations
  • Lamb Feeding and Management Practices

Interactive demonstrations will focus on utilizing ultrasound technology to identify unproductive ewes, utilizing “teaser” rams, ewe culling practices, electronic animal identification, record-keeping, body condition scoring, pasture lambing, FAMACHA scoring, predator management, and much more.


Thursday, January 18 ∼ UC Hopland Research & Extension Center (4070 University Road, Hopland, CA 95449)

Registration Information:

Workshop Cost ∼ $25.00 for CWGA members, $35.00 non-members

Registration Deadline January 8th.

To register contact the CWGA office at or (916) 444-8122 or UCCE Mendocino 707-463-4495

* * *


Art Center Ukiah (201 S. State St.) invited local artists to share their works. Paintings, photography, drawings, fabric arts, and sculpture represented. Hours: Tues - Sun, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. The show runs from Jan. 1 through Jan. 31 with a reception on Jan. 5. Live Harp music by Sunni. Refreshments, wine and appetizers. For further information call 707.462.1400.

* * *


Ukiah Symphony plays broad-based array of concertos

by Roberta Werdinger

On Saturday, January 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, January 28 at 3 p.m., the Ukiah Symphony under the direction of Les Pfutzenreuter and in collaboration with Mendocino College will present "Concerto, Concerto!" Featuring the debut of an original composition by Joe Nemeth with Elizabeth MacDougall on piano; Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto for 2 Horns and Strings with Randy Masselink and John Lounsbery on French horns; Alexander Arutunian's Trumpet Concerto in A-flat Major with Landon Gray on trumpet; and concluding with a sampling of certified "scary music," this broad-based array of concertos and other symphonic pieces highlights the expressive possibilities of the classical tradition as it continues to this day.

Early days of the concerto

A concerto is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as "a musical composition for instruments in which a solo instrument is set off against an orchestral ensemble." Originating in Italy in the late 16th century, it encouraged virtuosity of playing in the solo instrument featured, which could be violin, cello, a woodwind, or almost any instrument in the orchestra. The word originates from the Italian word concertare, meaning "harmonize," yet it also relates to the Latin word contendere, "to contend." In a sense, a concerto unites both of those meanings, demonstrating how a solo player may divide off from the group to make a singular statement--to contend, if you will--while then joining back with the group "in concert."

One of the most important composers to develop the concerto form was Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741). The Venice native was ordained as a priest as a young man, but his heart was with music. (With his distinctive red hair, he was nicknamed "The Red Priest.") He soon switched to composing and teaching the violin. Prolific and successful, he composed many concertos including The Four Seasons, becoming a key cultural figure of the Baroque era and influencing other major musicians, including his contemporary Johann Sebastian Bach. In spite of his considerable achievements his reputation declined in his later life and he died in poverty.

Vivaldi wrote some 460 concertos, more than 300 of which are for solo or twinned instruments. Most of these are for violin, his own instrument; the Vivaldi concerto on the program is one of only two written for dual horns. Randy Masselink, who with friend and fellow musician John Lounsbery will be playing the horn solos, describes the piece as "a non-complicated, unpretentious 'shower' of color, due certainly in part to the technical limitations of the hand horn, but also, given those limitations, a tribute to a real master composer." (The hand horn is the predecessor of the modern horn, without valves and thus requiring the player to alter the pitch of certain notes by varying the hand position inside the bell of the horn.)

20th-century developments

As the concerto form made its way through time, it crossed continents and was adapted into many cultures. The Armenian-Russian composer Alexander Arutunian, who lived from 1920 to 2012, helped bring the concerto into the 20th century with his own unique flourish. Born and raised in Armenia, a culturally distinct and now independent republic on the western edge of the Asian continent, he was educated in Moscow and returned to Armenia to teach and compose while it was under the auspices of the Soviet republic. His 1950 Trumpet Concerto in A-flat Major is his most well-known work. Consisting of five movements, the concerto reflects Arutunian's roots in Armenian folk music. As the featured instrument, the trumpet is heard both on its own and in concert with the orchestra as the concerto travels through almost every facet of the instrument, from bold and declarative to subdued and reflective.

To play the concerto, orchestra director Les Pfutzenreuter invited a young trumpet player he had heard in Santa Rosa, Landon Gray, to come up north to play with the Ukiah Symphony. Gray is a Santa Rosa native now based in the state of New York. He has traveled and performed widely for his trumpet performances, moving easily between jazz, musical theatre, and classical music. Of the Arutunian piece, he comments, "I love playing this concerto because it crosses such a variety of musical styles and has so much for a listener to enjoy. The dramatic opera-like opening is so full and demanding of attention, yet soon the music turns to a more playful route. The variety of colors and melodies explored is truly delightful."

A contemporary concerto

The program will also feature the debut performance of Joseph Nemeth's Piano Concerto in F Minor, with Elizabeth MacDougall in the featured piano role. Nemeth is a recent arrival in Ukiah, where he works as a software developer. The Rocky Mountains native began writing the concerto during a dark period in his life in 1986, finally completing it in 2003. "Writing it, dreaming it, listening to it, was like the balloon that held me up," Nemeth says of the piece, adding that in spite of its dark circumstances, "I think it's a very joyful piece." Alternating between the full orchestral ensemble and highlighting various instruments, with the piano present throughout, the concerto flows through a remarkable range of emotions, from sober melancholy to infectious joy.

MacDougall herself is no stranger to Ukiah audiences, being a fixture and an important asset in the local music scene. The Ukiah native has been playing with the orchestra for well over twenty years; she now teaches privately and at Mendocino College, and performs regularly. She credits her musical family with helping her get started: her great-grandfather was an orchestra director, and she started playing piano at the age of seven. After rehearsing the Nemeth piece for almost a year, she reflects that "It's like a late Romantic concerto: some of it is very danceable, some of it sounds like a Chopin etude."

…and finally, scary tone poems

The second part of the program features pieces by four 19th-century composers, described by conductor Pfutzenreuter as "scary tone poems." For any listener who has doubted whether music could change their mood or even raise their pulse, this is a good chance to find out. Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is a textbook case in how to use accelerating tempo, plucked violins and staccato rhythms to create suspense. Camille Saint-Saens's "Danse Macabre" features musical phrases which creep up on the listener like an ambush, as well as dark, intense swells of sound punctuated by drumrolls. Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" is a rousing, anthemic piece making full and florid use of horns, cymbals, and swirling violins; taken from one of Wagner's operas, it is meant to capture the sound of mythical warrior maidens returning from battle. Modest Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" creates a narrative effect as various orchestral sections play against each other, with phrases suggesting anger, fear, doubt and triumph in turn and then all at once. The Russian composer originally wrote the composition in 1867 to depict a witches' sabbath; it was later featured in the classic 1940 Walt Disney animated film "Fantasia."

Altogether, this abundant and varied program will be the perfect formula to chase the winter blues away. Joe Nemeth comments, "There are three components to a successful piece of music: composer, performer, and audience. All three are putting in equal amounts of energy," pointing to an interaction that is often not thought about when attention goes to the music or the musicians alone. The concerto form is still winding its way through history, and is waiting for new pairs of ears in a new audience to make it complete.

"Concerto, Concerto!" will be held at the Mendocino College Theatre on January 27 at 8 p.m. and January 28 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 adults, $20 seniors 65 and up, and free for youth under 18 and students with ASB cards. Tickets may be purchased at the Mendocino Book Company, 102 S. School Street in Ukiah; Mail Center, Etc., 207-A N. Cloverdale Blvd. in Cloverdale; and online at Anyone who has lost their home, business or family members in the recent October fires will be admitted for free at the door.

The concert is sponsored by Robert Axt, Rich and Jean Craig, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, Jaye Alison Moscariello and Bill Taylor. For more information, call the Ukiah Symphony at 707 462-0236.


    • james marmon January 4, 2018

      Marijuana stocks are getting slammed after reports that Jeff Sessions plans to roll back legal pot rules

      “Marijuana stocks slumped after the Associated Press reported Thursday that US Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to roll back Obama-era federal policies that paved the way for states to legalize marijuana, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. He is expected to announce the policy shift later Thursday.”

    • Harvey Reading January 4, 2018

      Oh, thank the heavens above, James. Now we are all saved. Please give me a break.

    • George Hollister January 4, 2018

      My guess is, we won’t notice anything any different than what is going on today. The feds will not be coming folks.

      But if one is exporting a bunch, out of state, to unfriendly environments, one should take extra precautions.

  1. Jim Updegraff January 4, 2018

    Is anyone surprised by Session’s actions? He is doing what he said he would do. I really don’t care whether or not the junkies get their fix.

  2. Harvey Reading January 4, 2018

    An approval rating of 37.7 percent is nothing to laugh at. It’s just 12.4 percent shy of a majority (yes, it takes more than 12.3 to get above 50). Trump is good at conning his “true believers”, and his “opposition” offers nothing better. Until someone or some group does offer something better and on a large scale, things will continue downhill. The Greens are simply squandering the opportunity of a lifetime to make something of themselves rather than just being tag-alongs to the putrid democwaps.

    • james marmon January 4, 2018

      Cabin Fever setting in, huh?

      • Harvey Reading January 4, 2018

        Hardly. Do you know how much time it takes to cut and haul wood from far away? And then get home only to realize that you don’t have a fireplace or wood stove? It’s a hard life here on the high plains, especially for a drifter.

  3. Eric Sunswheat January 4, 2018

    “1ST DISTRICT SUPE’S candidate, John Sakowicz, warns: “If these pay raises for county executives is illegal pension spiking, in disguise, then I will file an injunction in court to stop the raises.””

    If a pool of County registered voters are inclined to believe that the Supervisors’ salary increase, and thus if qualified for the County pension increase (5 years of County employment, for which now Sakowicz is vested from work in the Jail) compensation is not politically justified, then within 30 days of the final Board approval, a signed application request to Clerk Recorder Registrar of Voters from a set number of these citizens, with payment of fee may be necessary to circulate a petition drive to put a ballot initiative to a vote of the people, forestalling codification and implementation of the salary and pension increase until ballot election conclusion.

    Candidate John Sakowicz is examining the fine line between legality and ethics. His legal review, short of court interdiction, may help provide the statement of reason necessary for the public to overturn the Supervisor pay increase.

    Important is enlist to restore a sense of normalcy to the role of government, in an era of pending climatic disruption migration and the sixth great mass extinction on the planet, as the Arctic sea ice completely melts in the next two years forecast, and lost is its capacity to air condition the weather of the planet against now increasing extreme abnormality.

    Boardroom participants need not to forget about resolving proposed daylighting of the second framed out ceiling skylight area, in the public viewing seating area, of the County of Mendocino Board of Supervisors meeting chambers.

    Critical is better learning comprehension and resolution making, on a more level playing field not hamstrung by adverse design against volunteer public participation, now benefitting career bureaucrats and deep pockets that rogue elected representatives are beholden to.

  4. james marmon January 4, 2018

    Here it is

    Sessions ends policy that allowed legal pot, disrupting state markets

    “It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” Sessions said in a statement. “Therefore, today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”

    • Harvey Reading January 4, 2018

      A failed mission, and for a long, long time. How many trillions have been wasted on Nixon’s drug war, including the cost of imprisoning people for minor violations? Prohibition don’t work. Get over it. And Sessions is an idiot.

      • Lazarus January 4, 2018

        Sessions if successful will reinstate the police powers to shake down the growers, dealers, etc. They been doing it for years, they hold up a bag of cash in one hand, a bag of dope in another…”how’s this gonna go”…? they ask with a grin.
        Law and order right or wrong, discriminatory states rights…, “Trumps base” dance’n in the streets…hell that’s right where they want it.
        Meanwhile the legit grows have given up names, addresses, SS#’s, the works, easy pick’n if Sessions can get it done…Business as usual!
        As always,

        • james marmon January 4, 2018

          Eyster and Allman will have to be watched closely. The Deputy AG of the Northern California District is quite aware of the “Mendocino Shakedown”.

  5. Jim Updegraff January 4, 2018

    Hi Bruce: a little late getting back to you as she who must be obeyed dumped a couple of chores on me. GAAP is an acronym for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. GAAP is set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (AICPA). The main FASB pronouncements are known as SFAS’s and the AICPA pronouncements are known as SOP’s. Under GAAP, the FASB pronouncements are the top level guidance and take precedence over the AICPA pronouncements. GAAP does apply to non-profit organizations.
    I would assume (or hope) that the directors in the exercise of their responsibilities to the donors have this understanding of GAAP Also,I assume the board has an audit committee which receives reports from their accounting firm and discusses its findings with the whole board.
    When you get a response from KZYX I should have a better understanding of their operations and I may offer further comments.

  6. Craig Stehr January 4, 2018

    I just returned from an afternoon at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu…craft beers at Cheeseburger Paradise, followed by more beer and scotch and a cowboy ribeye steak at the Hard Rock Café, and then the gourmet cheesecake and coffee at Cheesecake Factory. Dropped into Lono to buy a $500 silver cuff featuring ocean waves (to replace the one, plus the silver hook-pendant, that I gave to my friend’s daughter as a gift). Am back at The Plumeria Alternative Hostel on Piikoi Street for the evening. The “scent of Polynesia” wafts over from the Hookahookah Club across the street. And so I wonder, what is the big problem with marijuana on the mainland?? Seriously, I’ve just established residency in Hawaii, and I tell you that you can smoke anything that you like here…nobody could care less! Why would they? Peaceout. P.S. If you’re ready to relocate, email me at: and I will gladly assist with the details. ~Mahalo~

Leave a Reply

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