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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018

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HARDIN v MCDH et al.

by Malcom Macdonald

The paperwork detailing the charges in the case of Hardin v. Mendocino Coast District Hospital, Bob Edwards, Wade Sturgeon, and Steve Lund is now public. Ellen Hardin was the Human Resources Chief Officer at Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) until placed on administrative leave in December, 2016 by Edwards, the hospital's Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Sturgeon is now the former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at MCDH and at the time Hardin was placed on leave Lund was the brand new president of the hospital's board of directors. Hardin's complaint in federal court cites violations of the labor code, the federal false claims act, violation of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, defamation, discrimination, negligent supervision, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, as well as harassment claims. The hospital itself is a defendant based on the alleged acts of Edwards, Sturgeon, and Lund, its chief administrators and chief elected official.

Hardin, who is represented by attorney Twila White of Los Angeles, lays out the chronology of events that necessitated her lawsuit. Hardin was hired at MCDH in September, 2015, at the same time Sturgeon came on board the floundering S.S. MCDH as its chief financial officer.

Hardin claims that in late August, 2016, she learned of several complaints of alleged fraudulent billing from two long-time account billers who worked in the business office. They complained to the Human Resources (HR) Chief, Hardin, about possible fraudulent billing of government insurance programs (Medicare/Medical/Medicaid), and complained of harassment and retaliation associated with reporting this to management.

On September 6, 2016, Hardin told CFO Sturgeon about the complaints from the two long time account billers as well as harassment and retaliation allegations associated with them reporting this to management through a billing office manager. Both the billing office manager and Sturgeon were advised by Hardin to cease and desist from any activity that could lead to further allegations while an investigation was conducted.

On September 26, 2016, Hardin met with CEO Edwards, noting that she continued to deal with issues involving the CFO and the investigations related to the allegations of fraud. Edwards allegedly asked Hardin if she 'had had enough yet' and if she was ready to 'give Plant Services back to Wade [Sturgeon].'  As well as HR Chief Hardin had been in charge of Plant Services, which included overseeing plant maintenance, housekeeping, security, and biomedical engineering.

Hardin's lawsuit claims that from that September 26, 2016 meeting onward she was the target of discrimination, harassment and retaliation in various ways, including unwarranted discipline, criticism, stripping of her responsibilities, demotion, denying requests for time off, making false claims about her job performance, suspension, leaking confidential information to the news media, defamation, and ultimately termination.

The former HR Chief states that she had no choice but to report the fraudulent billing issues since they have serious legal implications. It would be a violation of federal and state laws for MCDH to engage in fraudulent billing, which is why she went to the CFO and CEO and reported the issues in the first place.

Hardin's lawsuit cites numerous other complaints regarding Edwards and Sturgeon's handling of hiring and billing matters including a December 2016 meeting with a patient account manager, who had found major problems in the coding and billing done by the hospital’s new emergency room provider, EmCare. These billing errors could have resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in MediCare Periodic Interim Payments (PIP) for the hospital, all of which was detailed to CFO Sturgeon in a November email authored by the patient account manager. The patient account manager apparently noted the problem concerning EmCare’s billing to Sturgeon in person, with a comment along the lines that if Medicare found out MCDH’s administration was sitting on potential billing fraud for months, they (Medicare) would come in and take over the hospital’s administration. Sturgeon did not take kindly to such a remark. He responded that if anything like that happened, then the employee and all of her co-workers would lose their jobs.

The EmCare billing issue has been discussed in a number of earlier AVA articles throughout 2017. A heretofore unknown allegation arises in Hardin's lawsuit filing. In early November, 2016, Edwards summoned Hardin to a meeting that also included Sturgeon. The topic was a Hispanic employee receiving a promotion to lead a department. A standard pay increase, dictated by contract and practices, accompanied the promotion. However, Edwards and Sturgeon did not want the employee to receive the increase in salary. According to Hardin, CFO Sturgeon even instructed a payroll specialist to manually override the salary increase.

According to Hardin's filing, in the first week of January, 2017, MCDH Board President Steve Lund informed Hardin that she would remain on paid administrative leave pending investigation into complaints. However, Hardin's complaint goes on to state that on March 13, 2017, she was notified by Steve Lund that 'MCDH is willing to offer you [Hardin] severance pay in exchange for a standard separation and general release agreement. Regardless of whether you accept MCDH’s severance pay offer, your employment with MCDH will end on March 25, 2017...'

At the end of a March 16, 2017 MCDH Board closed session meeting regarding CFO Sturgeon's job performance review, Lund stated that the board would be conducting further interviews with MCDH staff before rendering any decision on the CFO's performance. There were no further interviews with MCDH staff. In addition, much of the CFO's performance review was predicated on the charges made against the CFO by Hardin. If Hardin's allegation regarding Lund telling her three days before, on March 13th, that she was being terminated, is true then not only was the March 16th closed session job performance review a foregone conclusion (read: farce) it also demonstrates that Lund's statement to the public about conducting further interviews was nothing less than utterly misleading. In essence Lund doubled-down on public misinformation.

In a followup on the recent story about Transparent California not being able to get MCDH officials to supply salary information for the years 2014, 2015, and 2016 (coinciding with Edwards' tenure): If readers check Transparent California's website they can now find the MCDH salary information for 2015. However, as of the end of the first week in January the same info for 2014 and 2016 is not forthcoming.

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CALTRANS (in their unique syntax) announced Friday afternoon: HWY 128 BETWEEN MM 00.00 TO MM 11.00 IS CLOSED DUE TO FLOODING. UNKN ETA FOR RE-OPENING”

(photo courtesy MendocinoSportsPlus)

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A 23-year veteran of the Point Arena Schools, who was summarily fired and barred from the campus by then-superintendent Brent Cushenbery on March 24, 2017, following the publication of a critical news report concerning sexual harassment of students and the filing of federal Title IX complaint with the Department of Education, has herself chosen to sue the District and its Board of Trustees.

In an 11-page civil complaint filed in the Ten Mile Superior Court on January 2, 2018, plaintiff Holly Rawlins alleges that the superintendent — who was later forced out by the school board — failed to comply with rudimentary requirements for handling reports from 11 students that a teacher was improperly touching female students and making inappropriate comments containing sexual overtones. After taking note of Cushenbery’s ineffective investigation and non-compliance with Title IX guidelines, and that others in the District seemed cowed and intimidated by Cushenbery, Rawlins seized the initiative and contacted the Office of Civil Rights for the Education Department. It has since conducted its preliminary investigation and advised in writing that the factual allegations merited investigation and began doing so in early May of 2017.

Describing what Rawlins calls a “toxic atmosphere” at the Arena Schools District, she wrote a lengthy letter to the Board of Trustees seeking corrective action. The board “did nothing,” said Rawlins, and “never bothered responding to my initial or follow-up letter.” Rawlins’ asserts that the environment in Point Arena is “filled with confusion, worry and fear” by staff and others, such that no one wanted to speak publicly about Cushenbery’s behavior for fear of retribution.

Rawlins also takes to task the Independent Coast Observer for its approach to investigating and reporting on the situation. She was told by an ICO reporter who has since left the paper that her letter to the board was automatically considered “public” and could be disclosed. Believing what the reporter said, she agreed to provide the reporter a copy of her letter, despite the fact that it contained some personnel information that would normally be confidential. She withheld disclosure for many days, waiting in vain for a response from the District Board.

Rawlins has since come to believe that this representation by the reporter was grossly incorrect and she was essentially duped into disclosing. Once a summary of her letter appeared in the ICO, the paper printed a lengthy verbatim response by Cushenbery that repeatedly claimed Rawlins was lying. Rawlins asserts that such “republication” of Cushenbery’s libelous claims opened the ICO to liability for damaging her reputation in the community.

Both the District and the ICO paper were served with the lawsuit by certified mail in the first few days of 2018 and the defendants must reply within 30 days of being served.

(Press Release by Rawlins attorney Rod Jones of Mendocino)

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Applications for the Measure B Mental Health Facilities Oversight Committee:

Jed Diamond, Ukiah — I've worked in the mental health field for more than 40 years. I have a Ph.D. in International Health (with a specialty in mental health) a Master's degree ins Social Work and have personal and professional experience working with mentally ill people in Mendocino County. I've also worked for 17 years for the County Public Guardian's office doing evaluations on people who need evaluation and in-depth services. I know who the clients are that have been sent out of county, which is both expensive and not helpful to the people or their families. Finally, I've had a family member with mental health problems, so I know the issue from that perspective as well. — Jed Diamond, Ph.D., Mendocino County Health-Care Provider.

Dr. Ace Barash, MD, Ukiah — I serve as chief medical officer at Howard Memorial Hospital and work in close liaison with our local mental health system. I have a special interest in participating in overall improvement of medical care, including mental health and substance abuse, as this has traditionally been the weak link in our ability to effectively care for our patients, both in the hospital and in the outpatient clinics.

Dr. Kianna Zielesch, PhD, Fort Bragg. Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, please let me take this opportunity to express my interest in applying for a position on the Mental Health Treatment Act Citizen Oversight Committee. As a licensed Psychologist, Certified Substance Use Disorder Counselor II, and Certified Forgiveness Coach, I have provided mental health services throughout Mendocino County for more than 20 years. In 1986, I originally moved to Mendocino County as an employee of CalFire (CDF), including assignments as a Fire Captain at Parlin Fork and Chamberlain Creek Camps. CalFire offered me an opportunity to work in various locations within Mendocino County and provide services to many of remote communities. Currently, I reside between my two homes--Fort Bragg and Covelo Rd/Willits--and work full time in Fort Bragg. As part of my vision, I am interested in the implementation of a Wellness Center for treatment of people with mental health and/or substance use disorders, by providing care through the use of contemporary and traditional healing. While there are agencies working to meet the needs of individuals with severe mental health diagnoses--services that also need expansion--very little treatment is available for individuals and families with mild to moderate of treatment needs. It is exciting to think of the opportunities that can emerge as a result of Measure B. Thank you in advance for the pleasure of assisting with the expansion of mental health services in Mendocino County and working collaboratively with other members of the committee. Respectfully Submitted, Dr. Zielesch.

Rich Michelle, Senior Program Officer, Community Foundation of Mendocino County, Ukiah. I am particularly interested in mental service availability for children and families and the long term impact of adverse childhood experience on community health outcomes. My son was adopted from foster care and continues to receive behavioral health services. Additionally, my mother is seriously mentally ill, so I have experienced first hand the affects this has on a family.

Joel Soinila, Ukiah. Mental Health Financial Analyst (Victor Community School), Ukiah Valley Street Medicine Program Manager (current), Budget/Financial work exp. (8 years), Business Owner (Veikko Properties LLC), Mendocino County Resident 30 years/Family has been in Mendo for over a century.

Carla Kinion, Ukiah. I have worked for Mendocino County Mental Health for the past 33 years. I have done several positions in our community working with the severely mentally ill.

Ross Liberty, Owner/President, Factory Pipe, Ukiah. My locally visible accomplishments would be growing Factory Pipe, LLC to be a significant employer bringing 60+ or so basic industry jobs to our community and, of course, buying the old Masonite site, rehabilitating the buildings and developing an Industrial Park there encouraging further job creation by others. Factory Pipe successfully competes against companies in low cost countries (Malaysia, China, Mexico) while providing top of market compensation packages for our employees. It is my goal to grow Factory Pipe in the next few years to 3 times our current size and head count and the move to the old Masonite site is part of that plan.

Shannon Riley, Senior Management Analyst to the City Manager and other positions within the Economic Development Department, City of Ukiah. Local Business Owner (Shoefly and Sox). Resident of Ukiah and concerned citizen. Representative of the City of Ukiah to the Public and various community, business and special stakeholder groups; identifies, troubleshoots, and mediates issues within these groups.

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by James Kunstler

It’s told that Richard Nixon, during the endgame weeks of Watergate, wandered the west wing hallways in the wee hours, fueled on scotch whiskey, conversing with portraits of notable Americans, including many of his predecessors. “Whaddaya say, Millard? Should I stay or should I go?” He was a trapped animal, after a long, grueling hunt, and he knew the hounds were closing in. Perhaps he took some consolation in hearing that old Abe Lincoln was even more depressed in the final, victorious days of the civil war than he, Nixon, was at the sheer cruelty of history. In the end, he marshaled the remaining shreds of his dignity, and mounted the helicopter to — his pursuers hoped — an oblivion more fathomless than the mystery of the grave.

And now here is Mr. Nixon’s latest successor, the Golden Golem of Greatness, Donald J. Trump, haunting those hallways with the political equivalent of a sucking chest wound, Big Mac in one hand, Big Gulp in the other, wondering who all the people in those oil paintings are… and what are they looking at, anyway, as he storms back to his lonely private quarters for a few last tweets of anguish.

It’s beginning to look like the last round-up at the OK corral for this somewhat accidental president, product of a decrepitating polity that otherwise grudges up a leadership of fretful, craven, corporate catamites and call-girls. Michael Wolff’s juicy book, “Fire and Fury,” would be a career-ender for any self-respecting politician, but the narcissism of Trump is altogether a different mental state. Speaking of which, it sounds like some of the amateur psychologists in congress are taking a deep Talmudic dive into the 25th Amendment, to see if they can pound the square peg of Trump’s head through that particular round hole in the Constitution.

Is he fit for office? This question hangs in the air of the DC swamp like a necrotic odor that can’t be seen while it can’t be ignored. In a way, the very legitimacy of the republic comes into question — if Trump is the best we can do, maybe the system itself isn’t what it was cracked up to be. And then why would we think that removing him from office would make things better? How’s that for an existential quandary?

We’re informed in The New York Times Friday that “Everyone in Trumpworld Knows He’s an Idiot,” though “moron” (Rex Tillerson) and “dope” (General H.R. McMaster) figure in there as well. Imagine all the energy it must take for everyone in, say, the cabinet room to pretend that the chief executive belongs in his chair at the center. It reminds me of that old poker game, “Indian,” where each player holds a hole card pressed outward from his forehead for all to see but him.

Ill winds are blowing and dire forces are converging. Do you think that it’s a wonderful thing that the Dow Jones Industrial Average just bashed through the 25,000 gate? The President obviously thinks so. And, of course, he’s egged on by all the fawning economic viziers selling stories about a booming economy of waiters, bartenders, and espresso jockeys. But, I tell you as sure as there is a yesterday, today, and tomorrow, those stock indexes, grand as they seem, are teetering on the brink of something awesomely sickening. And when they go over that no-bid Niagara cascade into the maelstrom, Mr. Trump’s boat will be going over the falls with them.

It’s an unappetizing spectacle to watch such a tragic arc play out. After all, these are the lives of fragile, lonely, human creatures trying hard to fathom their fate. You have to feel a little sorry for them as you would feel sorry even for a sad little peccary going down one of those quicksand holes in the Okeefenokee Swamp. Surely, many feel that these are simply evil times in which goodness and mercy are AWOL. I’m not sure exactly how this story ends, but it is beginning to look like a choice between a bang and a whimper.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page:

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IN HIS first interview about his bombshell exposé about the White House, journalist Michael Wolff stood by his reporting and said President Trump’s behavior in the wake of three explosive excerpts is “proving the point of the book.” Wolff wrote that Trump is increasingly repeating stories, cannot recognize old friends, and is viewed by his closest allies as “incapable of functioning in his job.”

Trump and his team responded by tearing down former top strategist Steve Bannon and sending a cease-and-desist letter to Wolff and his publisher. “Not only is he helping me sell books, but he’s proving the point of the book,” Wolff said on NBC’s Today on Friday. “This man does not read. Does not listen. He’s like a pinball, just shooting off the sides.” He added, “They all say he is like a child.” (ABC)

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by Michael Wolff

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THE MENDOCINO BOOK COMPANY, UKIAH, had 14 copies of Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire & Fury’ all of which were sold in thirty minutes Friday morning.

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(January 21, 2017)

“I know a lot about West Point, I’m a person who very strongly believes in academics. Every time I say I had an uncle who was a great professor at MIT for 35 years, who did a fantastic job in so many ways academically—he was an academic genius—and then they say, Is Donald Trump an intellectual? Trust me, I’m like a smart person.”

Which was all somehow by way of praise for the new, soon-to-be-confirmed CIA director, Mike Pompeo, who had attended West Point and who Trump had brought with him to stand in the crowd—and who now found himself as bewildered as everyone else.

“You know when I was young. Of course I feel young—I feel like I was 30… 35… 39… Somebody said, Are you young? I said, I think I’m young. I was stopping in the final months of the campaign, four stops, five stops, seven stops—speeches, speeches in front of twenty-five, thirty thousand people… fifteen, nineteen thousand. I feel young—I think we’re all so young. When I was young we were always winning things in this country. We’d win with trade, we’d win with wars—at a certain age I remembering hearing from one of my instructors, the United States has never lost a war. And then, after that, it’s like we haven’t won anything. You know the old expression, to the victor belongs the spoils? You remember I always say, keep the oil.”

Who should keep the oil?” asked a bewildered CIA employee, leaning over to a colleague in the back of the room.

“I wasn’t a fan of Iraq, I didn’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you when we were in we got out wrong and I always said in addition to that keep the oil. Now I said it for economic reasons, but if you think about it, Mike”— he called out across the room, addressing the soon-to-be director—“if we kept the oil we wouldn’t have ISIS because that’s where they made their money in the first place, so that’s why we should have kept the oil. But okay—maybe you’ll have another chance—but the fact is we should have kept the oil.”

The president paused and smiled with evident satisfaction.

“The reason you are my first stop, as you know I have a running war with the media, they are among the most dishonest human beings on earth, and they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community and I just want to let you know the reason you’re the number one stop is exactly the opposite, exactly, and they understand that. I was explaining about the numbers. We did, we did a thing yesterday at the speech. Did everybody like the speech? You had to like it. But we had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field and I say, Wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out—the field was—it looked like a million, million and half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there. And they said Donald Trump did not draw well and I said it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and said we’re not going to let it rain on your speech and in fact when I first started I said, Oooh no, first line I got hit by a couple of drops, and I said, Oh this is too bad, but we’ll go right through it, the truth is it stopped immediately.…”

“No, it didn’t,” one of the staffers traveling with him said reflexively, then catching herself and, with a worried look, glancing around to see if she had been overheard.

“… and then it became really sunny and I walked off and it poured right after I left. It poured but we have something amazing because—honestly it looked like a million, million and a half people, whatever it was it was, but it went all the way back to the Washington Monument and by mistake I get this network and it showed an empty field and it said we drew two hundred fifty thousand people. Now that’s not bad, but it’s a lie.… And we had another one yesterday which was interesting. In the Oval Office there’s a beautiful statue of Dr. Martin Luther King and I also happen to like Churchill—Winston Churchill—I think most of us like Churchill, doesn’t come from our country but had a lot to do with it, helped us, real ally, and as you know the Churchill statue was taken out.… So a reporter for Time magazine and I have been on the cover like fourteen or fifteen times. I think I have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine. Like if Tom Brady is on the cover it’s one time because he won the Super Bowl or something. I’ve been on fifteen times this year. I don’t think, Mike, that’s a record that can ever be broken, do you agree with that… What do you think?”

“No,” said Pompeo in a stricken voice.

“But I will say that they said it was very interesting that ‘Donald Trump took down the bust, the statue, of Dr. Martin Luther King,’ and it was right there, there was a cameraman that was in front of it. So Zeke… Zeke… from Time magazine… writes a story that I took it down. I would never do that. I have great respect for Dr. Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is. Now big story, but the retraction was like this”—he indicated ever-so-small with his fingers. “Is it a line or do they even bother putting it in? I only like to say I love honesty, I like honest reporting. I will tell you, final time, although I will say it when you let in your thousands of other people who have been trying to come in, because I am coming back, we may have to get you a larger room, we may have to get you a larger room and maybe, maybe, it will be built by somebody that knows how to build and we won’t have columns. You understand that? We get rid of the columns, but you know I just wanted to say that I love you, I respect you, there’s nobody I respect more. You do a fantastic job and we’re going to start winning again, and you’re going to be leading the charge, so thank you all very much.”


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Trying To Respect Jerry Philbrick.

Jerry Philbrick failed to notice the deeper meaning of his Kim Jung Un poll. His poll confirms for me that our society at large is brainwashed by celebrity culture distraction and propaganda. This poll shows what happens when education fails and the TV takes over.

America created the nuclear nightmare we all now live with when it dropped plutonium and uranium bombs on Japan.

Tens of thousands of people were incinerated including several thousand US citizens and POWs. There was no morally justifiable reason for dropping those bombs, let alone a military one. Then there’s the more than 700 nuclear tests conducted in and under North America releasing radioactive clouds that went off on the winds to end up in everything and everybody.

America is a rogue state. America’s hysterical and morbid fear of Communism, Socialism, and Nationalism has created a madhouse of over 700 US military bases around the world. America has also flooded the world with military hardware creating very unstable conditions around the globe.

Let’s take another poll. How many of you good citizens know that for the most part the Cold War had nothing to do with Soviet global ambitions and everything to do with American Imperialism and world domination? Most of the intelligence being sent from the Soviet Union was lies, fabrication, and plain old incompetence. The OSS and then the CIA were littered with hubris, ignorance and ideological blindness.

If history, political science, and civics were actually taught in this land the world would be a much more peaceful place. Instead we have endless enemies in order to maintain the Pentagon system which runs our country. Instead we get to be #1 in mental, physical, and social illness. Instead we have bastard plutocrats running the ship of state straight for the icebergs.

A few unpopular facts. America created the Arms Chase with Russia, in no small part to destroy its economy. America flooded Afghanistan with weapons in order to put the last nails in the Soviet coffin. America created the heavily armed mujahideen which led to 911 and the war on terror. America fueled Bin Laden's hatred by stupidly leaving troops in Saudi Arabia. America created North Korea, and the Viet Kong, and the Sandinistas. America created Narco Terrorism to fund its illegal, insane, and immoral “wars” against revolutionary movements in Italy, Indonesia, IndoChina, South and Central America, and Mexico.

To say nothing of the government’s war on our inner cities and poor people of every color when tons of cocaine and heroin were brought in by the CIA and its unsavory friends while the DEA turned a blind eye.

Goddamn President Trump and all his fans, who just like him live in fact-proof bubbles!

Happy New Year,

Ross Dendy


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“I wanted you to know that I am in the race” — Chris Skyhawk

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DINO BLACKBEAR LINCOLN, 30, Covelo, has been arrested and booked into the County Jail on charges of murder, assault with deadly weapon and criminal threats.


No further details have been made available.

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To the Editor:

I’m appalled that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors propose to give themselves a 39.7% pay increase (and five 22% raises to five other county elected officials) while the majority of county workers still have not recouped the 10% pay cut they sustained in 2011.

The result is the county suffers. We can’t keep sheriff deputies who train in Mendocino County. They soon go elsewhere to work for sustainable wages, leaving the department with staff shortages and skyrocketing work injuries due to mandatory overtime. The Department of Health and Human Services has been cited by the Grand Jury for not being able to staff their departments adequately, leaving citizens with untimely waits for services. The county can’t attract enough skilled people who will work for the wages we offer.

The Board of Supervisors deserve salaries that are comparable to neighboring counties, but other county workers do too!

If you agree, call or email the Board at 463-4221 or

Robin Goldner


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A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned to the courtroom after only one hour of deliberations to announce that they had unanimously reached guilty verdicts on twenty-two (22) separate misdemeanor charges this afternoon.

Charged with separate offenses on separate days spanning eight months, all consolidated into one accusatory pleading, Cherri Briana Roberts, age 41, of Ukiah, was found guilty by jury of one count of resisting arrest, one count of unlawful fire setting, one count of unlawful possession of a stolen shopping cart, two counts of remaining in a city park after closing hours, and seventeen counts of unlawful camping within the city limits of Ukiah.


The defendant was ordered taken into custody after the jury was discharged. A sentencing hearing is now scheduled for Monday, January 8th at 1:30 o'clock in the afternoon in Department A of the Ukiah courthouse. Any individual interested in this matter is welcome to attend that sentencing hearing.

The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence and argued the case to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Houston Porter. The investigating law enforcement agency on all counts was the Ukiah Police Department. Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the three-day trial, and will be the sentencing judge on the 8th.

(District Attorney Press Release)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 5, 2018

Barden, Billy, Caster, Blackbear-Lincoln

SHANNON BARDEN, Willits. Mandatory supervision sentencing, probation revocation.

ANTHONY BILLY, Hopland. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

DINO BLACKBEAR-LINCOLN, Covelo. Murder, assault with deadly weapon, criminal threats.

EVAN CASTER, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, paraphernalia, court order violation.

Delaquadra, Diaz-Avalos, Donovan

ANNE DELAQUADRA, Willits. Cruelty to animal, battery on peace officer, resisting.

ARTURO DIAZ-AVALOS, Covelo. Pot sales, pot possession for sale, false ID, paraphernalia, no license.

ANNETTE DONOVAN, Gualala. Domestic abuse, controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.

Johnson, McArthur, Mota

JOSHUA JOHNSON, Lodi/Hopland. DUI alcohol-drugs.

HALYN MCARTHUR, Windsor/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

AUGUSTINE MOTA JR., Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Renteria, Roberts, Schmidt

ALEXANDER RENTERIA, Willits. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment, damage of communications device.

CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

HEATHER SCHMIDT, Ukiah. Lower Lake/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

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A READER WRITES: Something athletes & musicians have known for a long time. Marijuana is literally saving lives in Colorado. The study found that after Colorado implemented their new recreational marijuana law, opioid-related deaths fell by 6.5% in the following two years.

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LCO (Lost Coast Outpost) Commenter:

Last year in 2016, There were almost exactly 600 reported missing persons in Humboldt County, out of those 600 cases, 500 were runaway juveniles, 50 were children abducted by their own family members, 1 was classified as suspicious circumstances, and the other 50 or so were unexplained. Now, if even 25% of those 50 missing people were murdered (and I would bet the farm it’s more than that) that would put our homicide rate at 32.5 persons. You can do the math, that would put our homicide rate at 23.945 per 100,000 residents. That’s IF only 12.5 of those missing people who actually got reported as missing were murdered. Many missing persons never get reported missing because they were estranged from any friends of family in the first place. In conclusion, I must assert that I’m sorry to break the news to all of you but statistically speaking we are very very likely living in the most violent place in the United States, per capita.

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People with good intentions aren't necessarily making the homeless problem better. In fact they may be making it worse by in effect enabling the homeless to remain homeless.

That's one of the primary reasons for passing Gavin Newsom's Care Not Cash by city voters in 2002. Before that the city was giving the homeless $300 a month in cash. After Care Not Cash went into effect, 1,000 people dropped off the list of those receiving the payments. Turns out they just wanted cash, not care. The cash wasn't spent on housing but for drugs and alcohol.

Of course the city's leftist leaders immediately claimed that Care Not Cash was an "attack" on the homeless, who were simply poor people who couldn't pay the rent in pricey San Francisco, a half-truth at best. Anybody with eyes could see that many of the most visible homeless had mental health and alcohol/drug issues.

I posted about the good intentions issue two years ago: "Helping" the homeless---to remain homeless?

Not surprising to learn that other counties in the state are struggling with the same issue, like Orange County: As West Coast Fights Homelessness, Kindness Is Contentious.

People with good intentions are now giving the homeless tents, which is one reason we now have tent cities in San Francisco.

But the point is to get the homeless off our streets, not to make it more comfortable for them to be homeless.

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

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On January 20, 2018, cities across California and the United States will unite to reaffirm our commitment to building a positive and just future for all, and to celebrate the spirit of resistance efforts over the past year. This day of action is designed to engage and empower all people to support women’s rights, human rights, social and environmental justice, and to encourage participation in 2018 midterm elections. HEAR OUR VOTE!

We will be marching concurrently with the student-led March for Our Future. Everyone is welcome at these marches.

Route: Gather at Fort Bragg Town Hall and march through downtown, with a rally and program at Bainbridge Park, rain or shine. Start time is 11:00 am.

Hosted by Christie Olson Day and Vicki Conrad:

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(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

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Lake County’s Grand Jury studied the multiple 2015 emergency management mishaps — which included the absence of a functioning Office of Emergency Services (at the time, under direction of the County Administration) — and the County’s elected Board of Supervisors (responsible for OES functionality, under the direction of the County Administration), in their 2015-2016 Final Report:

The Board of Supervisors, in their published response, blandly agreed with Recommendations #1-11 and #13, disagreeing with #12 and #14. Recommendations #12 states: “Update and maintain the 2014 OES Strategic Plan”; the referenced Recommendation #14 does not exist in either the published final report or the list replicated in the BoS’ reply:

Unfortunately, the 2012-2013 Grand Jury missed the main action — following the 2012 “Wye” and “Walker” fires, for which CalFIRE became the Incident Commander in lieu of a functional local OES — whereby the Board of Supervisors took the responsibility for re-creating the County’s accreditated Disaster Council (under state regulations) and transferred its operational direction to the County administration, as recommended by CalFIRE in their after-action report.

The County administration’s OES management — clearly “in charge” of emergency services beginning in 2013 — was unable, for whatever reason, to take the required steps to organize and operate an Emergency Operations Center, but did produce the “Strategic Plan” in 2014. The 20-year-old Emergency Operations Plan was amended by a one-page “minute order” reflecting the appointment of the Board of Supervisors’ chair (at the time — who seems to hold the position in perpetua) to chair the Disaster Council. The Disaster Council holds responsibility for development and maintenance of the county’s Emergency Operations Plan, implemented by the local OES.

The Lake County Office of Emergency Services was transferred back to the dominion of the Sheriff’s Department on November 3, 2015, following the “Rocky” and “Valley” fire catastrophes, also managed by the state in the absence of local OES capacity.

And in December, 2017, the barely civil Lake County Disaster Council approved the “update” of our 1996 Emergency Operations Plan — which is implemented through “annexes” and “standard operating procedures” that do not require approval by the Board of Supervisors and are not subject to public scrutiny (let alone coordination with non-County governmental entities). But CalFIRE has not yet released an after-action report on the “Valley” fire — reputed to be closely guarded by the agency’s legal department. Federal, state, and local government (County) departments conducted an all-day “discovery” meeting in mid-2017, for which a report is anticipated in early 2018. The impacts on Lake County governance capacities, following the 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2017 wildfires, include the cancellation of $12.5 million dollars in reserves, in the final county budget for 2016-2017, for one-time “emergency response” expenses — implying (at least to this reader) the notion that 2015 wildfire response costs will not be reimbursed by FEMA, after all, because the County failed to meet the requirements of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.

There is a lot more missing here than sirens.

Betsy Cawn, Lake County

* * *


by Sonya Salamon & Katherine Mactavish

“Trailer trash” remains one of the last unquestioned relics of political incorrectness in our nation. This slur rests on fundamental cultural assumptions about people who live in trailer parks: that they are simple-minded, lawless, reckless with fertility, and indifferent to the very behaviors that mark as them worthy of ridicule. As a toxic slur, the “trailer trash” brand works to stigmatize an entire category of people marginalizing them from mainstream society.

During the late 1990s, the two of us spent considerable time at the kitchen tables of parents raising children in rural trailer parks. Virtually all of these parents worked full time in manufacturing and service jobs in which wages have been stagnant for decades. They embarked on mobile home ownership just as financial giants like Countrywide opened a gateway to homeownership for low income households by offering high-interest loans with no down payment. Trailer park residency was not a lifestyle choice but the consequence of financial realities and a dream that homeownership might offer their children a kind of stability, security, and respect they lacked in their own adverse childhoods. Today, some 12 million Americans live in one of our nation’s 45,000 rural trailer parks.

In our decade of field research in rural Illinois, New Mexico and North Carolina, we documented how the ‘trailer-trash’ slur undermined the self-worth and identity of working-poor families living in trailer parks, as homeowners. As one mother explained to us, “I never tell anyone where I live… I’ll do almost anything to avoid saying I live in [a trailer park]- I’m too embarrassed about it.” Her perception of the need to manage stigma by protecting one’s address was a belief uniformly shared by white families, in particular, as we found ‘trailer trash’ seems to be a variant of the ‘white trash’ put down commonly used toward the rural poor.

We found little evidence for the stereotypical notions of slovenly lives embodied in this slur. The 40 trailer park families we came to know well were employed, limited their family size, and the mobile home they owned and the rented lot it sat on were neat and well maintained. Unlike media representations, they were not the poorest of the poor, nor were their neighborhood conditions typified by crime, noise, litter, deteriorated housing, or poor social services. They wanted good schools for their children and to be respected as proud homeowners in the wider rural communities where they lived.

Buying a home, even one with wheels beneath, was for the families we studied, a major accomplishment. Many were the first in their family to mount the initial rung on what they hoped was a ladder leading to conventional homeownership on owned land. But for most families, realizing the benefits of their hard-won status as homeowners is compromised by our national contempt for trailer parks and those who call them home. That contempt, which inaccurately portrays rural trailer park life, bore real social and economic consequences for the families we studied. It is time we put this outdated and inaccurate slur to rest and instead honor the accomplishments of these rural families as pioneers settling a tarnished housing form that with wider national acceptance, and adjustment of the structural and financial challenges homeowners face, holds the potential for addressing our national affordable housing crisis.

(Sonya Salamon, an anthropologist and Professor Emerita of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Katherine MacTavish an Associate Professor at Oregon State University are authors of the recent book: Singlewide: Chasing the American Dream in a Rural Trailer Park.)

* * *


The Divine Comedy has been sitting on my night stand for at least 3 years. I just went and checked and found that the ribbon is between pages 162 and 163. The book is big and thick at 791 pages. My intention initially was to read every word of my 100 Greatest Books collection but now it is becoming obvious I’m not going to make it. The misnamed ‘Comedy’ is a repulsive torture manual. As an atheist I don’t believe there are any rewards or punishments awaiting us… Thank God! Similarly I am stalled out at roughly halfway through the Holy Bible. Why should I force myself to read a lot of repetitive mythological BS that I am not enjoying. I see many reasons to be forgiving of my fellow man’s failures.

* * *



At the age of 62, I found myself in a position to retire from a job I no longer enjoyed. Social Security and a small state pension pay for the necessities of my life and even a little more for some limited fun. The Veterans Administration and Medicare cover my medical costs. I don’t need to lift a finger if I don’t want to.

Guess what. Now that I no longer feel coerced into working, I want a job. My attitude changed completely. I enjoy working. And I know that if the boss gives me any unwelcome abuse, I can quit. But I won’t. It’s now easier for me to take a more understanding position vis-a-vis the boss’ pressures. I am no longer completely subordinate and helpless. So in spite of my subordinate position within the organization where I work, which I can understand as justified by the boss’ expertise and life experience, I can see the boss as an equal and as a fully human being. Instead of resentment, I can feel compassion and a fuller appreciation for the leadership of management personnel.

The universal basic income and universal single-payer health care would put everybody in the position I’m in. I am now convinced that these things are excellent ideas.

Edward Meisse

Santa Rosa

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by Dave Zirin

The National Football League holds itself up as the ultimate meritocracy. It’s one of the core values of “the shield.” If you can play, you are “the next man up.” This is both a central part of their branding and a handy justification when signing players who have been convicted of violent crimes, particularly against women. Again, it’s their corporate catechism: If you have the ability, there is always a second chance waiting for you on an NFL field.

That is why the sports story of 2017 was how many NFL teams chose to flush their seasons, screw their fan bases, and gut the local economies that had lavished them with taxpayer dollars rather than sign free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In 2016, Kaepernick threw for 16 touchdowns and had only four interceptions for a terrible 49ers team while leading the NFL in yards per carry. He also was given his team’s courage award after fully embracing community service, local organizing, and the tactics of political resistance, famously protesting police violence during the anthem. His coaches loved him. His teammates loved him.

NFL owners and executives, as well as the guy they bankrolled in the Oval Office to cut their taxes? Not so much.

At the start of the season when Kaepernick was unsigned, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said it was just a matter of time before he found a home. He commented in September, “When teams have a need and teams feel like they can get better by a particular individual, whether they know the system, or whether they have more talent, or whatever it may be, that’s what they do. And I’m still convinced that he’ll get that opportunity when the right opportunity comes along. That’s what our league’s all about.”

No, it’s not, and the lost season of Kaepernick’s prime—as well as the abandoned seasons of several hopeful franchises—has proven this in brutal fashion.

Despite a desperate need for his services, these multibillion dollar corporate entities made the decision to tank rather than sign him to a contract. People have already lost their jobs as head coaches and general managers because they chose—or were ordered—to put awful or unprepared quarterbacks under center rather than field the best possible team.

The Houston Texans were 3—4, still in the hunt with a terrific defense and top skill players, but then they lost brilliant rookie dual-threat quarterback Deshaun Watson to a torn ACL on November 2. This would have been a prime landing spot for Kaepernick. The team instead chose to put in the overmatched Tom Savage and some other assorted backups and went 1—8 after Watson’s injury. Savage had a 71 quarterback rating. Last year, Kaepernick’s rating was 91.

The most news that the Texans made this year was when team owner and right-wing billionaire Bob McNair described protesting players as “inmates running the prison.” That’s their chosen legacy for 2017.

The Green Bay Packers were 4—1 when star quarterback Aaron Rodgers was smashed into the turf by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr, effectively ending his season. Kaepernick was someone who could have come onto that team and kept them competitive. Instead, they finished the year 3—8, a record which included being shut out twice. One of their wins was in overtime against the 0—16 Cleveland Browns. The Packers chose to lose with a painfully overmatched Brett Hundley at quarterback rather than sign Kaepernick. Their general manager and several assistant coaches have now been fired. Also, the head coaches of the Texans and Packers, Bill O’Brien and Mike McCarthy, are now going to be deposed in Kaepernick’s collusion lawsuit against the NFL.

But it wasn’t just these teams that took a pass on winning in 2017 rather than bringing Kaepernick in for even a damn tryout.

The Miami Dolphins lost their starter Ryan Tannehill for the season so they brought in 34-year-old retired cigarette aficionado Jay Cutler out of retirement to play QB. They ended the year 6—10. The Arizona Cardinals were 3—3 when their QB, Carson Palmer, went down, and chose to go with Blaine Gabbert, a player Kaepernick beat out in San Francisco the previous year, and then Drew Stanton. They finished 8—8. Their quarterbacks averaged a 68 rating, and now their head coach, Bruce Arians, is retiring.

Most egregious were the Denver Broncos, who chose to have three people named Trevor Siemien, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch play quarterback, wasting a year of star defensive player Von Miller’s prime. Two years and 100 political lifetimes ago, team president John Elway wanted to sign Kaepernick. But this year he went with the three quarterbacks with an average QB rating of roughly 72. They went 5—11, just two years removed from winning it all. Also in 2017, Elway wrote a letter on team stationary in support of Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Sports and politics were fine for Elway, but not for his quarterback: I could go on, other teams and other moments, where NFL owners chose to put an inferior product on the field and spit in the faces of their fans rather than sign someone who could have done something he had done in the past: take a team to the Super Bowl.

This matters not only because it reveals the moral rot of a league that would sign abusers of women before people who have given time and money to organizations that empower women, or a league that lives in fear of the tweets of a racist autocrat with a 32 percent approval rating. It matters because so many of the above cited teams have stadiums at least partially built on the public dime. Whether you are a sports fan or not, you are subsidizing these organizations. By fielding an inferior product, that means fewer fans in the seats, fewer people in the bars and restaurants, fewer rooms filled at the hotels. It means that the always exaggerated bang-for-your-buck that comes from subsidizing a stadium was muted just so NFL owners could send a shot across the bow to other players that political talk would not be tolerated. Of course, all they did was spur more resistance.

Kaepernick’s current collusion lawsuit against the NFL should not be complicated. It should be as basic as showing videotape from the 2017 season and asking the question, “Why would multiple NFL teams with playoff hopes willingly choose to tank rather than sign me? Why was Tom Savage put under center only to be concussed?” To even ask the question is to answer it: The Bob McNairs and John Elways of the world hate the idea of a freethinking, openly anti-racist player more than they love the idea of winning a Super Bowl. That damns this league as much as hiding concussion data and ignoring instances of violence against women. It’s more evidence that the league’s moral compass points in one direction: It’s not toward money and it’s not toward winning. It’s toward remaking this country in their political image: An image where billionaires make the decisions and the rest of us just shut up, work, and salute on demand.

[Dave Zirin is the sports editor at The Nation Magazine. To receive his columns, email]

* * *


The deadline to email your writing to be read on MOTA is always about 5 or 6pm the night of the show, no matter where I'm doing the show from. So you have plenty of time to get that together for tonight, and even more time regarding next week and the months and years after that, barring alien invasion, nuclear racial suicide, or the Yosemite supervolcano liquefying the contiguous United States. Meaning, just paste it into a reply email and press send.

But if you want to talk about your project or read aloud your writing in person, or bring your instrument(s) and/or fellow instrumentalists and play a short set, or invent an entirely new thing to do with radio that no-one has ever thought of before --which is entirely possible; the medium is hardly exhausted-- you can drop by 325 N. Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar, after 9pm and just wade in. Head for the lighted room at the back and clear your throat or clap your hands or something.

The Sherry Glaser might be there, she says. So that's good. Anyway, I always bring enough material to read all night whether anybody shows up or calls or not. There is no pressure on you. Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to about 4am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via or if that doesn't work for you try and look up KNYO-LP.

And p.s., as though all that weren't sufficient, you can have your own whole show on KNYO if you want to. Contact Bob Young: and introduce yourself; you'll be on the schedule so fast you'll get dizzy from the rush. Cripes! That was so fast! you'll say. Why are all the radio stations not like this? you'll ponder to yourself as you happily conceive of show after show to spring from your soul, such as it is, like Athena from the brow of Zeus.

Marco McClean

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

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From our vendors — JD Varietals If the rain quits on Friday, I'll be at the Winter Market on Saturday, providing 128 is open. Petit Teton Farm will be there, weather-permitting.

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Local Beef for Sale — Grass Fed Murray Grey/Angus cross Beef, 1/4’s For December-January delivery.

4 Bar K Ranch in Boonville, CA is offering premium grass fed beef for sale. This is local grass fed beef, raised in rural Anderson Valley, in Mendocino County, with no shots or hormones, just excellent, lean, grass finished beef. We raise our beef free range, organically, in a humane, safe, and stress free way. This insures your beef is the best quality and safest meat, that is raised and sold in the right way.

Please contact me and I will send our information flyer in a PDF format. It should answer most of your questions, but feel free to call me anytime if you're interested.

If interested please contact Dave Kooyers at (707) 895-2325.Annual Wildflower Show & Goat Fest

The annual Wildflower Show at the fairgrounds in Boonville will be Sat Apr 21 and Sun Apr 22. The past two years AV Foodshed has produced the AV Goat Festival on the Saturday of the Wildflower Show. This year some of the folks who had been instrumental in the past will not be taking lead roles.

Those who are interested in helping to produce Goat Fest 2018 are encouraged to email If there is enough interest there will be an initial meeting to discuss how to make Goat Fest happen this year. We need to have this meeting soon (within the next two weeks) so that the Unity Cub will know how to proceed with their promotion of the Wildflower Show.

Please email ASAP with comments or questions.

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California, Oregon and Washington Governors blast Trump plan to expand offshore oil and gas drilling

by Dan Bacher

California Governor Jerry Brown today joined Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee in condemning Trump's plan to expand oil and gas drilling in federal waters - at the same time that California regulators under Brown have expanded offshore oil drilling by 17 percent in state waters.

“This political decision to open the magnificent and beautiful Pacific Coast waters to oil and gas drilling flies in the face of decades of strong opposition on the part of Oregon, Washington and California — from Republicans and Democrats alike," the governors proclaimed in a joint statement.

“They’ve chosen to forget the utter devastation of past offshore oil spills to wildlife and to the fishing, recreation and tourism industries in our states. They’ve chosen to ignore the science that tells us our climate is changing and we must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. But we won’t forget history or ignore science," they said.

“For more than 30 years, our shared coastline has been protected from further federal drilling and we’ll do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action," they concluded.

Brown also issued a personal statement blasting Trump, pledging "resistance" to Trump's plan to expand offshore oil drilling.

"Donald Trump has absolutely chosen the wrong course. He's wrong on the facts. America's economy is boosted by following the Paris Agreement. He's wrong on the science. Totally wrong. California will resist this misguided and insane course of action. Trump is AWOL but California is on the field, ready for battle," Brown claimed.

Those are nice words condemning Trump's plan to open new offshore oil drilling leases on both coasts. However, what the Governor's Office press release and most media neglected to mention is that Brown’s oil and gas regulators approved permits for 238 new offshore wells between 2012 and 2016 in existing leases within three nautical miles of shore, according to Liza Tucker, consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog.

Consumer advocates pointed out the hyprocrisy of Brown blasting Trump for expanding offshore drilling in federal waters while the Governor has already expanded offshore drilling in state waters. Brown, who portrays himself as a "climate leader" in frequent appearances at climate conferences across the globe, in fact promotes the expansion of fracking, Big Oil-supported cap-and-trade policies, the irrigation of crops with oil wastewater, the exemption of Big Oil from the Safe Drinking Water Act in Kern County oilfields and the environmentally destruction Delta Tunnels project.

"How do you square this excellent statement by Governor Brown with the actions of Brown's regulators who have expanded offshore oil drilling in state waters?" asked Tucker.

In late 2016, Brown asked former President Barack Obama to permanently ban any new oil and gas leasing in federal waters off of California’s coast to match California’s long-standing ban on new drilling in state waters.

“It is time for Governor Brown to draw a bright green line between California and the Trump Administration by keeping oil in the ground, which is the only way to avoid the worst effects of global warming,” Tucker said.

“We urge the Governor to demonstrate his leadership by making his actions match his rhetoric on the need to stop burning fossil fuels to avoid an existential threat. Brown’s record on oil drilling offshore and on shore is one of expansion. That is no longer acceptable. Brown should ban all drilling activity offshore, cut off any planned new oil and gas drilling on shore, and ban fracking outright," Tucker said.

According to Department of Conservation data provided last year, offshore oil production continues in existing state leases up to three nautical miles offshore in 1,366 active wells.

"New drilling permits were issued for 238 wells since 2012, up 17 percent, for existing leases in waters off of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, according to analysis by the nonprofit FracTracker Alliance. Roughly 171 of them were active as of a year ago," noted Tucker.

"Onshore, the number of active oil and gas wells has jumped 23 percent from 53,825 in 2009, the year before Brown was elected Governor, to 66,516 onshore wells at the end of 2016, according to Department of Conservation data. On Brown’s watch, the number of wells drilled and completed in 2014 jumped by 67 percent over 2011 to 6,896 from 4,636, according to the Department of Conservation," she pointed out.

The oil industry has been pleased with Brown's expansion of offshore drilling in state waters - and was equally pleased with the Trump administration plan to expand offshore drilling in federal waters.

“Our members produce energy in the most environmentally safe and sound way under the most stringent regulatory environment in the world,” said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, in a statement. “This announcement could help California increase our domestic energy production.”

The reason for the expansion of offshore and onshore oil drilling, including fracking, under the Brown administration is the enormous power that WSPA and the oil industry wields over the Governor's Office, the Legislature and the states's regulatory agencies. Big Oil is 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. The 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. To read the full report, go to:

The California Oil Lobby was the biggest spender in the 2015-16 legislative session, spending an amazing $36.1 million on lobbying over the two-year period. Big Oil spending last session amounted to $1.5 million per month — nearly $50,000 per day.

The $36.1 million surpassed the $34 million spent in the prior session, according to an earlier American Lung Association report. To read the complete report, go to:

In addition, Jerry Brown has received over $9.8 million from oil companies, gas companies and utilities since he ran for his third term as governor, according to Consumer Watchdog. For more information on Governor Brown and his so-called "green" policies, see:



  1. james marmon January 6, 2018

    Donald J. Trump Verified Account
    1 hour ago

    Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence…..

    ….Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star…..

    ….to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!

    • james marmon January 6, 2018

      Twitter Public Policy Verified Account
      16 hours ago

      “Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”

      • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

        James, are you trying to make the case for, or against, your hero?

        • james marmon January 6, 2018

          I’m on his side, they played the same cards on me in Mendocino (mental stability and intelligence), big mistake, a couple of grand jury reports and lawsuits (Child Welfare) proved otherwise. More proof to come, especially on mental health, drug addiction, and homelessness.

          James Marmon MSW
          Personal Growth Consultant

          ‘don’t just go through it, grow through it’

          • james marmon January 6, 2018

            Oh! I forgot the UC Davis Study last summer Chuck Dunbar. Social Workers and their Supervisors shooting from the hip, not using federally mandated assessment tools. The first thing I started complaining about in 2007, no one would listen. “What 2003 redesign? We never heard of it.”

            • james marmon January 6, 2018

              I know that a lot of social workers and their supervisors were just erring on the side of caution, but that too can have unintended consequences, baby emerald.

  2. chuck dunbar January 6, 2018

    The very odd–and not funny at all–thing about the Trump twitter comment posted early today by James Marmon (“Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proved to be a total hoax…”)is that one can’t really tell if this is a real Trump statement, or a take-down of Trump by some comedian. Bizarre stuff.

  3. George Hollister January 6, 2018

    Getting beyond the narcissistic tweets, and the ignorance, Trump is the most transformative US president since FDR. And he has only been in office for one year. Pretty amazing, really.

    • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

      What is it that he has transformed? The tax fiasco is something that congress did and has wanted to do for a long time, though the supporters of it had always lacked the majority with which to do it. And the democwaps are not going to save us by repealing it. His lackeys appointed to various departments are doing nothing more than continuing Obama policies, particularly with regard to endangered species and public land management biased toward livestock farmers. Sally Jewell was atrocious. His minor efforts so far do not meet my expectations for use of the word, transformative. Perhaps you will clarify?

      • George Hollister January 6, 2018

        What is going on in Congress is minor, though pretty important. Tax reform is big, and all Trump really cares about. But we might actually see immigration reform legislation. Did Trump plan this, hardly. But his presence has driven it, like in so many other things. The reversal of Obama executive orders, in themselves, have forced the hand of Congress. “Build a wall” in exchange for DACA and hopefully a guest worker program. Looks like this will happen, in spite of bipartisan opposition to immigration reform.

        What Trump has changed in America, and internationally is huge. In America, a big change in the way federal agencies are run, “drain the swamp”. The EPA is being forced to be scientific. Trump has changed American energy policy. The DOW is up because of Trump. Trump ushered in a change in discourse between the sexes in the workplace. Also a decline of viewership for the NFL. The list is long.

        Internationally, policy on NATO, N Korea, ISIS, Russia, Israel, China, Iran, Pakistan, the UN, etc. The US is no longer “money bags”. If Russia wants Syria, let them have it. Same for China and Pakistan. If Trump can off load Afghanistan to the Russia, or China, he will likely do it. China might be eyeing their mineral assets.

        I never believed what I am seeing would be possible. And it is being done as a result of someone who “gets my information from the shows, like everyone else does.”

        • George Hollister January 6, 2018

          Remember, this is after only one year in office. Jerry Philbrick is more right than he knows.

          • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

            Are you impugning his power of perception?

        • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

          So, George, where’s the transformation? All Trump has done is continue the policies of his predecessors.

          “..minor, though pretty important…” sounds like an oxymoron to me.

          Agencies have generally gotten new patrons to run them whenever a new president takes office. Trump’s are no worse, or better, than what past administrations from Reagan on have given us. All of them were terrible. Nothing transformative there. By the way, EPA is being forced to abandon science, and it has from beginning been driven more by economic clout than by science.

          Don’t bet on the wall, a holdover from Bush II, not anything transformative. And, for all his bluster, foreign policy is still a continuation of the past, not anything new or transformative.

          Face it George, the clown prince is a total bust, no matter what wardrobe you choose to put on him.

          • George Hollister January 6, 2018

            I agree with Trump continuing policies of predecessors, mostly. There was the extraction of the US from the climate accord, though. No one other than Trump would have done that.

            The tax bill was minor compared to the other things Trump has done, but it certainly is important.

            Foreign, and domestic policy under Trump have been made more clear. There is no reading between the lines with the clown prince. The world learned under Obama, the US could no longer be relied on. Trump has affirmed this, plus the US is not paying for things that do not pay, anymore. It did not go unnoticed when the Italian President suggested to Trump that the US help in Libya,and was met with a terse, no. On the other hand, Defense Secretary Mattis is one foreign foes pay attention to. He means what he says, and don’t screw with him.

            Trump was not the choice of the Republican Party establishment. He was the choice of the Republican voter, though. There were lots of choices, too. Clinton was the choice of the Democratic Party establishment. It was her party. They successfully did what they could to ensure her nomination, and the winning of the popular vote. No other Republican would have beaten Clinton. But that is all gone now. Twenty + years of Clinton control, gone. Trump did that.

            • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

              And still, Georgie pooh, where’s the transformation? Lotta words, but no transformation anywhere among them.

              People always seem to forget that this is not a democratic system we live under. If it was, Clinton would be prez, since she beat the clown prince alone by nearly 3 million votes. But clown boy is prez, since we have minority rule here. Not that we would be any better off with her, in fact, we’d probably be worse off.

  4. Betsy Cawn January 6, 2018

    On December 19, 2017, the County of Lake Administration issued a press release announcing five “community visioning forums” (one for each of the Supervisorial districts), “to seek public input on Core County Government services and finances.”

    “Lake County is facing some very difficult budgetary decisions ahead, and we are asking for residents’ help in prioritizing our County services and financial needs,” said County Administrative Officer Carol Huchingson.

    “This is an important opportunity for residents to share their ideas, voice their questions and shape the future of our County government,” continued Huchingson. “Each of our Community Visioning Forums will be held in the evening to ensure those who work during the day have the opportunity to participate.”

    On January 5, 2018, the same source distributed a “Summary of Agenda” with timed entries including 20-25 minutes for the Chief Administrative Officer (and staff) to present whatever it is the public is going to be told is the matter at hand — there have been no reports or explanations (even to the Board of Supervisors) that would allow us to study the subject beforehand — followed by “60-65 minutes” for “Public Input & Questions on County Finances/Services.”

    Efforts made over the recent decade, by knowledgeable concerned citizens, to curb the County’s addiction to wishful thinking programs (funding unproductive marketing schemes) and real estate kingdoms (for which we are all now the payees for unrecoverable investments) have not affected the County’s administrative orchestration of manufactured consent, no matter how hard the public tries to provide rational decision-making considerations (like meeting the health and safety standards for drinking water, land use, mental and medical health priorities, and so forth) in the extremely limited opportunities to “comment” during legal Board of Supervisors hearings.

    In the late 1990s, the County embarked on an ambitious “Economic Development Plan” (2000-2020) and diverted property tax revenues to “Redevelopment” schemes aimed at eliminating “blight” — at the most superficial level — and attracting investors for growth of private and public enterprise. Real estate purchases made by the Board of Supervisors, inclusive of the multi-million-dollar loser “hotel” in Lucerne, an unusable shoreline “marina” in Nice, 15 acres of theoretically prime real estate adjacent to the Walmart in Clearlake (long vacant), old school facilities needing millions of dollars in upgrades, et cetera, and the collapsing Lakeside Heights subdivision (for which we are now in $4.5M in debt to pay the court-ordered law suit settlement), but all of a sudden the “public” is invited to witness the Administration’s hand-wringing and faux apologia in lieu of bringing the statements of fact before the Board of Supervisors and allowing legal public comment to respond.

    Also beginning in the ’90s, cuts to public health and safety functions* willfully neglected the County’s responsibility to “recover the beneficial uses” of Clear Lake (deemed a key to overall economic survival, but almost completely blown off by the County leadership) and to implement adopted hazard mitigation programs for prevention of catastrophic losses such as the ones experienced in the last three years.

    One thing is certain, when the County Administration puts its “services and finances” show on the road, the public is not likely to be entertained under the big top.

    *See the Lake County Grand Jury’s 2016-2017 Final Report, for example, describing the unrelieved shortfalls in staffing local Behavioral Health Department services and mismanaged real estate investments, despite a “Gross Domestic Product” of “approximately $2.6 billion” and an adopted 2017 County Budget of around $225 million.”

    • james marmon January 6, 2018

      Betsy, they’re running Lake County Behavioral Health into the ground on purpose so Camille Schraeder can take over and save us all, you know that, we’ve talked about that before. Its the same thing they did in Mendo, they manufactured a crisis and created the heroin Schraeder. She’s already providing services to most of our children caught up in the system here anyway, its just a matter of time now, just like Mendo.

      James Marmon MSW

      • james marmon January 6, 2018

        Programs for Foster Children and Families

        We strive to provide permanency, safety and well-being for Lake, Mendocino & Sonoma County’s children and families.

  5. Jeff Costello January 6, 2018

    Philbrick and Hollister must be “stable geniuses” too, like Trump. Maybe they’ll start in with “how smart I am.” And get their hair done.

    • George Hollister January 6, 2018


      • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

        Do stable geniuses live in barns?

    • james marmon January 6, 2018

      A lot of people don’t like him because of his hair, but that’s no reason to ignore his accomplishments. Kinda petty if you ask me. Even a “Never Trumper” like George is can see what’s going on, and even admit to it.

      God Bless Donald J. Trump

      • Jeff Costello January 6, 2018

        Trump accomplishments: name one.

        • james marmon January 6, 2018

          Rasmussen Reports: Trump’s First Year Accomplishments Compiled In Shockingly Long List

          1. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
          2. Repealed Individual Mandate
          3. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
          4. Justice Neil Gorsuch
          5. Set Record for First-Year Judicial Appointments to Federal Appellate Courts
          6. Historic Reduction in Illegal Immigration
          7. Crushing ISIS Caliphate
          8. Resurgence of U.S. Economy — the American Spirit
          9. Stock Market Records, Wealth Creation
          10. Deregulation: Rolling Back the Militant Administrative State
          11. Reviving the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
          12. VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act (VA Reforms)
          13. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Reforms
          14. 81 Signed Legislative Accomplishments

          Dial 911 if this shocks you too much.

          Oh they forgot this one

          15. Trump Gives Back Millions Of Acres of Public Lands To Utah

          • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

            Most of those are, or should be, capital crimes, rather than accomplishments. And the perpetrators include every living former president and the current babbling fool.

            By the way, most of those Utah lands are still federal property, just not recognized as national monuments.

  6. james marmon January 6, 2018

    NOW THIS !!!

    California Department of Fish and Wildlife responds to waterfowl die-off

    “LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – A common disease has been confirmed as the killer of thousands of waterfowl along Clear Lake’s Northshore.

    Over the last few weeks, dead ducks and other waterfowl have been found on Clear Lake’s shoreline in the Lucerne area, as Lake County News has reported.

    “It is avian cholera,” Kyle Orr, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, confirmed to Lake County News.

    As many as 3,500 waterfowl are estimated to have been affected by this latest avian cholera case, Orr said.

    Orr said that on Wednesday, the agency picked up 2,600 dead or dying waterfowl on Clear Lake.

    He said the impacted species include, but are not limited to, ruddy ducks, northern pintails and mallards.”

    My uncle Pat is not going to be happy.

    Volunteer group saves duck eggs from tractors

    Every year duck eggs are abandoned or smashed during the harvest season. It’s of no fault of the farmer, but a group of do-gooders are giving the ducklings a fighting chance.

    Pat Marmon is founder of D10 Wild Duck Egg Salvage. He has a growing network of farmers that bring him abandoned eggs.

    “We have been going for 24 years and banded over 36,000 birds,” Marmon said.

    • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

      “…no fault of the farmer…”? You mean those people who get taxpayer subsidized water to irrigate their (killing) fields, then get to drain it, filled with poisons, back to the river?

  7. George Hollister January 6, 2018

    Look at what Trump has done to the GOP, and the Democratic Party. The party of Bush is gone, as is the party of Clinton. It is now the party of Trump, and the party of Sanders. Obama, who is he? Who would have ever imagined?

    Trump and Sanders have much in common. Just like Bush and Clinton did. Trump and Sanders are speaking to the same constituency. Their messages are certainly different. One is big government, the other is big business. No elitism with either one. And neither one is for sale, either. Trump and Sanders have had a history of going their own way, separate from their respective parties. And their respective parties have distanced themselves from them, as well.

    History will take note, more to what is changing, than to the mindless tweets.

    • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

      The “parties” did it to themselves, George, not Trump. Both support the wealthy to the detriment of common people, and always have, excepting for a fairly brief period from the Great Depression through passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, when the dems abandoned their historical Jim Crow attitude, thus losing the southern part of the country. Now, they are united once again is support of the very rich. Sanders pretty much goes along with them, except on a very few issues, for all his bluster to the contrary. That is to say, it’s back to biddness as usual.

      Have you recently started taking some new psychoactive prescription medication?

  8. Harvey Reading January 6, 2018


    Agree, generally, but goddamn Hillary Clinton and the democwapic party, too! They’re just as bad, if slightly more articulate. All the wealth servers have the same agenda: domination.


    Praise Allah!


    If that “works” for you so be it. It doesn’t for me, since I do not consider hobbies, reading, and independence to be work, yet they keep me busy, and happy. The thought of taking orders from a boss literally sickens me.

  9. Jim Updegraff January 6, 2018

    Harv: you and I must be wrong about El Trumpo the Village Idiot. Today on TV he said I am “really smart” and I am a “genius’.Surely we must be wrong about his intellectual ability and Marmon and Philbrick in their love affair with the fat slob are right.

    • George Hollister January 6, 2018

      In the story of the emperor with no clothes, it was an unsophisticated child who pointed out what would should have been obvious to the intellectual class. Trump is that child. So don’t spend too much time invoking intellect. There is a lot revealed here. A big part of the American intellectual class is clueless. No better place to see this than on any American college campus.

      So you are right about intellect, but wrong about intellectuals. Most are dumber than Trump, and they don’t know it.

      • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

        George, the more you write, the funnier it reads. That has got to be about the dumbest comment I have ever read. Do tell us what, “…is a lot revealed here…” amounts to. Certainly nothing is revealed by your babble except your addled perception of reality.

        • james marmon January 6, 2018

          Now you’re mentally ill George.

  10. Jim Updegraff January 6, 2018

    Harv: please answer for me George’s asinine comment.

    • George Hollister January 6, 2018

      OK, most intellectuals are a lot dumber than Trump. Their total buy in, to the entire “climate change” narrative is symptomatic of a herd of sheep, not free thinking intellectuals. “When everyone is saying the same thing, no one is thinking.”

      • Harvey Reading January 6, 2018

        And your comments are suggestive of an ignoramus on psychoactive drugs. Would your last, cleverly not attributed, quote apply to a group of people watching the rising of the single ocean that blankets a goodly portion of the earth be unthinking if they stated in unison, “The waters are rising.”? A suggestion: quit trying to be an intellectual. I’ve met a few, and you aint one. Live with that. It isn’t hard at all, as I know from a lifetime of experience.

  11. Randy Burke January 6, 2018

    Damn, seems like I missed out on all of today’s fun. But just gotta say “look out for Sudden Oak Death” rampant in our area according to Rizzo of UC Davis (sorry no link). And then there is sudden supervisor passing ( as if anyone is noticing) of a sort. We need a good guy for district 5, as well as 3 and 1. Can we come to expect in our aging empire that someone will finally come to the plate to hit a HOME RUN ( double or triple would be acceptable)? Taxes are not a complaint thus far, but I would really like to see a legacy of respect for our folks, respect for the local economies of the County, respect for our budget, and (sorry to say) a sustainable form of actions that send us forward. Not too hard to request? I could give a hoot for Venezuela, or financial board raises, but the line workers who I understand are catching up are what we need on an operational daily basis. The wine industry needs to take a back seat (follow the $$$$$) and water rights and protections need to ensure that the rivers flow as before; Watersheds need preservation). All concerns of the citizenry need consideration when it comes to basic services that relate to the urban folks, but us out here in the rural atmosphere really need what our taxes pay for—-True representation, and thus the money folks and wineries should take a back seat. The planning commission should weigh in for the small guy just as they weigh in for MRC, or ? It is time to be human again, but as we know the “devil is in the details” and that is where a GOOD SUPERVISOR can make the difference. We need on every notification of such a supervisor, a personal phone number on speed dial. That is the only way we can make Mendocino great again (since Joe Scaramella). Any comments?

  12. Randy Burke January 6, 2018

    Post Script: If any candidate has the above quality of provisional government, then I’ll vote and campaign for ya. Remember your district in # 5 goes all the way to Hopland, so, this in not a Coastal Rant. Be good

  13. Randy Burke January 6, 2018

    One last thing Y’all, the dinosaurs/war horses are vanishing quickly. So, praise the ones who are before you and the ones are seemingly going as before. The new folks to replace us are not only “on their own” but are without the necessary sugar substitutes that will be healthy for them, and they will definitely miss the training on how to walk in the forest…..beware, Bigfoot has not been found yet! But I and several old time loggers know he is there.

    Hey Mike Kalantarian, thanks for hosting this site. Nice Job!

    • Harvey Reading January 7, 2018

      How come no one can get a sharp picture of him? Everything is autofocus these days, but his pictures still remain fuzzy as ever.

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