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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018

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Born May 30, 1925 in Oakland, California. Died January 25th, 2018 in Boonville.

Son of John J. Cox and Loretta D. Coakley of Oakland, loving brother of the late Gee Gee Donnelly, Tisha Gallagher and Johnny Cox. Brother of James Cox, Loretta Caulfield, Jane O’Connor. Loving husband of Kathleen Snyder, father of Rebekah Rocha, Mary Anne Cox, Grandfather of Gerald Cox Rocha, GiGi Rocha, Mercy Rocha, Cadence, Milo Doble.

Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1950, served at St. Mary’s Church, West Oakland. Master’s Degree in Social Work from Catholic University. Assistant Director of Catholic Social Service for San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. Assistant Director of Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma. Chancellor of the Dioceses of Santa Rosa where he became active in Spanish Speaking communities. Co-founder California Human Development Corporation, United Latins of Sonoma County, Mexican American Youth Organization, the Concilio Catolico in Ukiah. Founding pastor of Resurrection Church, Santa Rosa. Retired from the active priestly ministry in 1973.

In 1983, the family moved to Anderson Valley, Mendocino County. Director of Indian Creek Ranch, a teen-age drug and alcohol residential center. Executive Director of Nuestra Casa, Ukiah. Bi-lingual Counselor for the Anderson Valley School District. Board Member Anderson Valley Health Center, Anderson Valley Housing Association. Founder of Sueno Latino.

Author of two books, The Radical Peasant and Shamrocks and Salsa, his personal memoir.

Funeral Mass to be held on Friday, February 2nd, 11am at Resurrection Parish in Santa Rosa. A Celebration of Life

Donations: Latinos Unidos of Sonoma County: Gerald F. Cox Scholarship Fund.

Celebration of Life
Acompañenos a celebrar
la vida de
Gerald (Jerry) Cox
May 30, 1925-January 25, 2018

Funeral Mass/Misa - Resurrection Church: 303 Stony Pont Road, Santa Rosa. Friday/Viernes Feb. 2nd at 11am. Party (Irish Wake) to follow at the Church Hall.

Celebration of Life - Sunday/Domingo, Feb. 4th at 2pm
Anderson Valley Grange, 9800 Hwy. 128, Philo, CA
Please bring your favorite side dish or desert to share.
Favor de traer un plato de comida o postre para compartir con todos.

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THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT is looking for Robert 'Rocket' Vargas Jr. It is alleged that on Friday night (26 January), at the Company Ranch east of Fort Bragg, Vargas assaulted a young woman and her father, both of whom were seriously injured. Apart from assaulting the father, an older man recovering from shoulder surgery, Vargas also tried to run over the man and then deliberately rammed the father's truck more than once. Vargas has two previous convictions for domestic assault. The attacks on father and daughter so alarmed law enforcement that they received a midnight protective order prohibiting Vargas from contacting either father or daughter.

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by Rex Gressett

The last time DTSC (California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control) came to Fort Bragg to tell us how things were getting on, they hinted ominously that a no-further-action letter could be made public at their spring meeting. The blue ribbon oversight agency that has overseen the clean up of the former Georgia Pacific mill site for almost 20 years just might end the clean up without compelling G-P to clean up the toxic pond.

The common cry was, Get all the dioxins in the mill pond out first. DTSC said they'd think about it and give us the bottom line in the spring when they present the Feasibility Study. The Feasibility Study will tell us what DTSC says GP must cleanup and what GP will be allowed to leave.

While the people of Fort Bragg waited for the Feasibility Study, miserably pondering a toxic future with areas of the wetlands fenced off by proscribed protective covenants and hung with danger signs, Taylor Champion, an executive for the Koch brothers, subsidiary Georgia Pacific, enlivened our wait and improved the conversation by writing a zinger of a letter to the Mayor.

Champion laid it out plainly. GP is done with clean up. The mill ponds can remain the way they are. Champion informed the Mayor that if there is any remediation at the mill pond the City will have to pay half the cost. GP has a contract!

Mayor Lindy Peters scoffed at the bravado and paid it scant attention. He knows (or at least honestly believes) the GP reference to the stipulation agreement sticking the City with half the liability for pond clean up costs is a fabrication.

Somehow the letter leaked.

When he was busted, Peters spoke to the City reassuringly but somehow did not seem to understand the significance of that "GP is out of here” part.

Once the cat was out of the bag, the larger City Council engaging seriously with public sentiment passed a hopeful but toothless City Resolution wishing for comprehensive remediation. Take out the dam, dismantle the ponds and get all of the dioxins out.

Everybody was certain of the best intentions of the City Council, and in the absence of information from City Hall, locals sat at home rooting for the home-team.

Then, just last November, in the dreary lull that precedes the greater Christmas Lull at City Hall, business had almost ground to a halt. Upstairs in the bunker we imagine the soon to depart City Manager taking stock. The legacy of leaving the city a permanently contaminated mill pond hung with danger signs must have seemed as bad to her as to any of us, but contrasted favorably in her no doubt melancholy imaginings with the legacy of leaving the City in a fight to the death (which we would almost certainly lose) with the $800 billion behemoth, Koch Industries.

Time was winding down for Linda Ruffing. She could read her own postmortem tea leaves. Therefore in the midst of apparent official nothing, with no public notice whatsoever, Linda Ruffing, the City Manager, and Marie Jones the Development Director — the retiring general and her Executive Officer — drove down to Santa Rosa to confer with bigwigs, including every state agency having any voice at all in the future of the mill site.

When the General and her adjutant arrived, the fix was already in. The dioxins are staying right where they are. Linda Ruffing and Marie Jones attended two meetings where the whole messy business got ironed out.

In her January 18 City Notes, Ruffing recounts the misadventures of the first Santa Rosa meeting in November and the grim conclusion, as though the information were comprehensive. Careful observers will note that there has been a second meeting in January which she has not recounted. What we do know, alas, is that the first meeting appears to be conclusive. The dioxins stay in the pond.

When the General and her Adjutant showed up at the Regional Water Quality Control Board offices, every agency that had to be present to get an uncontested consensus was in attendance. The public was not invited. The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the Division of Safety of Dams (DOSOD), The Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) all had a seat at the table.

The meeting began with our Development Director’s presentation. Ms. Jones took credit for the thriving Coast Trail, and this time, with the addition of the GP favorable LCP (Local Coastal Amendment) that City Hall has contrived to represent it as some sort of public preference.

After the upbeat intro they got down to brass tacks. This was the big time. It was a given that the negotiation would be elegant and efficient. These were the top people from the top agencies. They identified the key issue quickly, swept the puny self-advocacy by the City of Fort Bragg quickly under the bus and got everyone energetically on board for G-P's agenda.

The key to the deal all these bigwigs had worked out for us was The Dam.

At the very bottom of the wetlands along the ocean there is an aging, leaking, half gone dam that keeps the mill ponds, the wetlands and the dioxins where they are. Now.

The dam has not been much discussed.

Most people who had come in the past to listen to DTSC were concerned to identify the level of toxicity in the mill ponds. We were getting grim information about how we could not expect to have safe continuous exposure to various areas of the mill site.

It was reluctantly explained that the dioxins constituting the contamination are among the most carcinogenic chemicals known to man. We discovered that there is no safe level. In the areas most heavily effected no human contact with the environment would be permitted. In others it would be limited.

Everybody was so bummed out they hardly noticed that the discussion barely touched on the leaking, fragile dam that is supposed to keep the toxins "contained."

Only very recently, and only because of the continuing vigilance of George Reinhardt's scrutiny of mill site negotiations, has the alarming condition of the dam been brought to public attention. George noted that if the dam were to break we really would have a toxic stew steaming off the drying mud.

The dam is a problem, but it was also Georgia Pacific's key to a good bargain. It worked like this: GP has been working industriously with filings and proposals deep within agency bureaucracies to remove Pond 8 from the jurisdiction of the Department of Safety of Dams (DSDO) altogether. GP believes that the California Water Code permits them to get out from under DSOD by reducing the amount of water stored behind the dam.

If GP gets out from under regulations, they can’t be told what to do about The Dam. Worst case scenarios about earthquakes or tsunamis stirring up the deadly dioxins become more worrisome. Delay, at which GP has been shown to excel, suddenly looks increasingly threatening, especially to the regulating agencies. The prevention of worst case situations is what DTSC and all the other regulatory agencies' principle reason for existing.

DSDO (the Department of Safety of Dams) told GP and everyone at the meeting that they would provisionally accept GP's plan to lower the water and get out of close regulation.

Pond 8 must only be divided by a barrier wall, and there must be rock slope protection on the embankment abutting the ocean.

Easy Peezy.

They agreed that DSOD would send GP's plans to DTSC, the City of Fort Bragg and the Coastal Commission. Once they had it ironed out the key fact was that the dam was going to stay.

"DTSC will not require the removal of the mill pond dam under any clean up alternative," was the way City Manager Ruffing soft sold it in the Jan.18 City Notes. She is letting us know that the City Resolution asking DTSC to dismantle the ponds by removing the dam was out.

Actually what DTSC said was, "if the toxins contaminants are left in place in mill pond, DTSC would consider the dam to be a containment structure for contamination."

Therefore, long-term Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of the dam would be overseen by DTSC and their associates at the DSOD Department of Safety of Dams. The new dam will not cost Fort Bragg a dime in construction or maintenance, but it will leave the contaminants in the mill pond, exactly what Taylor Champion had told the Mayor was going to happen. They are going to give Fort Bragg a not new but a free dam and the dioxins permanently at no extra cost. They are counting on the element of surprise and hoping that we don't revolt violently.

What has happened is that the cost of the mill pond clean up has been shifted from one of the nation’s largest private companies which profited from the mill site operation for decades to public agencies. Perhaps it is a sign of the Trumpian times, certainly it is our misfortune as a city.

GP will pay for a small part of it. The larger cost will be borne by DTSC. The City of Fort Bragg is only on the hook for the impression we give visitors with our wetlands behind chain links and toxic contamination signs decorating the fence. It should make the walk past the sewage treatment plant memorable. The decomposing Skunk Train will be a backdrop.

Then of course the City eats it in another way since we have no scientific data but we do have a strong community suspicion that Fort Bragg and our region constitute a major cancer cluster. Our hospital has never conducted a study. Whole families associated with some jobs at the mill have died.

City Manager Ruffing made the announcement making the dioxins permanent as quietly as possible, burying it her City Notes.

The main takeaway of the big November Santa Rosa meeting as Ms. Ruffing puts it is "If contaminated sediments are to remain in place in the mill pond, DTSC will rely on DSOD to help identify long-term operations and maintenance requirements to ensure that the dam will adequately contain the sediments."

What she means is that the dioxins stay where they are.

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Like Petey from "Our Gang," this dog is sweet and wiggly. Petey is a big lug nut...just the kind of canine staff and volunteers love! Pete is a 1 year old, neutered male, mixed breed dog who currently weighs 63 pounds. Pete knows sit, he enjoys playing with toys, and he is an all around great dog. We totally enjoy his company.

Dexter is a 3 year old neutered male black and white short hair cat. Dexter is very friendly and will be a great addition to his new family. He is definitely a "people-person" kitty, looking for someone to love and adore, and play with. Wherever you are, that's where he'll be!

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday till 6:30 pm. To view photos and bios of our adoptable dogs and cats, please us visit online at or visit the shelter. Join us the second Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for some exercise! For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

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NOW THAT THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS has given themselves their big raise they’ve gone back to scheduling meetings every other week. Hey! No hair shirts for us! The next Board meeting is not until February 6, 2018. Then three weeks after that on February 27. Then March 13, then March 27, April 10, etc.

For example, on January 9 the Supes “proclaimed” January 15 as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Mendocino County.

That big task complete, on January 23 the Board listened to a report from the Behavioral Health (formerly Mental Health) Advisory Board (BHAB). Among the interesting items buried in that report were the recent addition of Margie Handley to that Board. The timing of Handley's appointment is interesting in light of the possibility that the old Howard Hospital (or parts of it) are under consideration for being included in the Measure B Mental Health Facilities program. The old hospital, the Handley forces insist, would be perfect for the County's new mental health facility. Ms. Handley is on the Howard Hospital Foundation board. Freshly added to the BHAB is former Superior Court Judge candidate Patrick Pekin in a board seat reserved for “family members.”

Deeper in the BHAB’s “report,” under a heading called “Accompishments” we see: “Housing: Goal met.”

What goal did they meet? Was anybody housed? Was anyone in need of housing identified? Was any housing even discussed?


“Housing Committee members regularly attended the CHIP Housing Action Team which includes agency representatives and community members around Mendocino County advocating for affordable housing. Our BHAB members also attended the first meeting of the No Place Like Home State Advisory Committee which is using MHSA funds to grant money for housing mentally ill citizens. Mendocino County has applied for these funds.”

Other “accomplishments” included visiting Hospitality House/Center, Ukiah Access Center, Round Valley (unclarified, but we assume the board isn't suggesting that the entire valley is a mental health site), and Manzanita Services in Willits. Conclusions or observations from those visits? None. Declaration: “Goal met.”


A couple of years ago the Supes voted to spend $150k on it. It was supposed to “step up” and reduce mentally ill people going to jail. Mendo never really had any idea how to spend the money after it was handed over other than to talk about how to spend the money. They ended up deciding to spend it on training local deputies on something having to do with mental illness. (Probably the plan was $50k for a consultant and $100k on overtime for deputies.) That was the PLAN back then. The January 2018 report, however, says that “The California Summit for this national effort was held in January. Several county staff attended as well as BHAB Chair [Jan] McGourty. You can be sure they didn't attend at their expense. “However, subsequent efforts to take action were dropped because of County personnel issues. BHAB members have not, however, lost sight of the objective, which is to prevent mentally-ill people from being incarcerated, and have pushed to keep it current.”

Status: “Keeping it alive.”

The “Advisory Board” then made some recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

  1. Housing: Establish a credit clearing site through social services for rental applications. One of the hardships that poorer people endure is the cost of applying for a place to live. Each property management company requires a credit search fee with the application for each residence, and sometimes for each individual to be living in that residence. These fees are not refundable, do not guarantee acceptance, and quickly add up and impose upon people’s limited income.
  2. Crisis: Install prefabricated units for 5150 holds in coordination with the hospitals. With the passage of Measure B, funds will be available for a permanent mental health facility, but this will take significant time for implementation. Smaller temporary units such as those utilized by Grass Valley could be installed in Fort Bragg, Willits and Ukiah with less funding and would provide immediate care while the long-term solution is being implemented. An added benefit would be that each of the three major population centers with hospitals would see emergency room relief and the County would have the opportunity to experience the stresses and needs of a longer-term facility in terms of staffing and usage.
  3. Crisis: Create and clarify a process for individuals returning from a 5150 hold at an out-of-county psychiatric facility that will be followed up by receiving staff. There is often confusion when an individual returns from a psychiatric facility regarding transportation, medications, and case management. Sometimes people will be dropped off on street corners with no medication and no contact with mental health professionals regarding follow-up care. All patients should be released with documentation, medication, and a destination with waiting mental health care.

At the January 23 Supes meeting Jan McGourty then went further.

“The third recommendation has to do with people returning from hospital placement. We have accumulated stories from people who return from a stay in a psychiatric unit which of course are all out of county and lots of times they release them on Friday nights and they just drop them off on a corner I guess or a gas station or something and there's no follow-up. So there really needs to be tight follow-up with med control and contact with the services here. It's kind of iffy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Our concern is that it should always work and there should allows be followed through, right?”

Speaking for the entire Board, Board Chair Dan Hamburg replied to the recommendations as follows:


There was no other response until later in the meeting when Supervisor Carre Brown suddenly but belatedly picked up on one point.

Brown: “You mentioned that some of our people who come back are just left on a street corner. Don't we have in our agreements with the facilities that there needs to be contact? I know and I've heard the State of Nevada, people come out of their psychiatric facilities, they give them a ticket to Sacramento and send them with enough medicine to get them there. You know, they uncovered that. For facilities that we pay that are keeping our people as patients and then bringing them back and just dropping them on the corner — Isn't there some way that we could mandate contact ahead of time and not a weekend? I don't know, it really concerns me. In the agreement itself, I mean."

Mental Health Director Jenine Miller explained:

“The regulations for the psych hospitals is that there has to be an exit or a discharge plan. Every individual who leaves a psych facility has to have a discharge plan put in place. Depending on their type of insurance, the discharge plan can be very different. [emphasis added.] But they do have to have at least a follow-up appointment in place prior to discharging. The thing that happens with our services is that every client is offered a ride home. Every client is offered an exit interview, usually the day of or the day after. We have to remember that these clients, once they're no longer on a hold, have a right to say I don't want to. I don’t want a ride. I want to be dropped off at the gas station. Or I want to be dropped off here. That's not our first choice. I know there is a lot of encouragement to do the exit interview and get connected to services. But there are times when you are going to have an individual who does not want to connect to services. When they are in a psych facility, if they don't have Medi-Cal or they are not what we would say uninsured which is to say what the psych facilities call indigent, the facilities don't have to talk to the county because of a HIPPA (the federal privacy law). So once they go in, if they’ve got Medicare or private insurance, Kaiser, VA, we don't always know what's happening because after they go in, we placed them, and then all communications cease because there is no longer a right for them to talk to us unless the client signs a release of information. So clients who are on Medi-Cal or are uninsured, we may not know if they are discharging or how long they have been in the hospital because we don't have a right to that information. That doesn't mean that we don't sometimes try to follow and track those, but we don't have a right to that information. The psych facilities generally do not want to keep anyone any longer than what they call acute days.…”

(And here, it would be useful to consider former County Social Worker James Marmon’s helpful explanation of the levels of care for mental health patients):

Five Levels of Care – Locked and Unlocked Psych Facilities

  1. Acute Inpatient Psych – This is the highest level of care. When a patient is put on a 5150 for danger to others, danger to self, or gravely disabled, they are taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment. Depending on their mental state, they may be there for more than 72 hours to ensure stabilization. Once they are stabilized, they are discharged to a lower level of care.
  2. Sub-Acute – A sub-acute level of care is a locked facility. It is one step below an acute setting. These individuals are on a conservatorship where someone else is calling the shots, which can be the Public Guardian (PG) or a family member. Their length of stay depends on their behavior. They must be med compliant, participate in group, and not require solitary confinement, or be a problem on the unit.
  3. An Institute for the Mentally Ill (IMD) – An IMD is also a locked facility for patients that are higher functioning than a sub-acute level, but still require a locked setting. Again, the PG (Parent, Guardian) or family member acts as the conservator, and the patient’s length of stay is determined by their mental stability and improvement.
  4. Enriched Board and Care – This is an open setting. Similar to a board and care, an enriched board and care is not locked. Patients have more liberties, and are not necessarily conserved. An enriched board and care is for higher functioning individuals that don’t require an IMD, but still need more intense treatment than a regular board and care.
  5. Regular Board and Care – This is an open setting. The patient is higher functioning than a patient at an enriched board and care, has more freedom and less intense treatment.

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Back to Ms. Miller:

“Once an individual on Medi-Cal no longer meets acute days then Medi-Cal will no longer pay for that individual so if they can't write a note in their medical file that shows that the client still needs that high level of care, they can not get paid for that day so they are dependent on the county to pay straight out of realignment dollars to keep the individual longer than they actually got service. So that gives you a picture of that stuff.”


“I really appreciate hearing that. And HIPPA law didn’t enter my mind, understand that as well. Thank you.”

No response to or discussion of the credit check idea.

No response to or discussion of temporary crisis facilities at hospitals.

And, apparently, nothing can be done about people being left on corners or at gas stations once their insurance runs out — to protect their privacy, you see.

Hamburg concluded with, "Thank you all, appreciate the report."

And the Mental Health Board reps and staff departed with smiles on their faces, having been congratulated for their “accomplishments” by $85 grand a year Supervisors, knowing it will be another year before they report on another set of annual accomplishments.

If that qualifies as “accomplishments,” we’d sure hate to see failure. Or maybe we did, as “accomplishments.” Language is infinitely elastic in Mendocino County. (ms)

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IT BEGAN with a press release from the US Marshall Service that said Ms. Koty had run off with her children. All we knew was that she was arrested in Fort Bragg, but we wondered at the rest of the story. There had to be one. There always is.


JUST THIS MORNING, we received this partial explanation from Ms. Koty, and we've asked her to fill in the questions raised by her partial account. Who is she, how does Puerto Rico figure in?

Koty Hawthorne here. Saw the article about me in your tabloid claiming I was "nabbed." Just to clarify, I was actually arrested while at the Fort Bragg courthouse after filing to see a judge to arrange protection for my children (almost 15 and 12) while I turned myself in to Puerto Rico. My children had asked me to remove them from a harmful situation in PR, and so I did what a good mother must do. They begged to not return to their father and instead to stay with my parents (their grandparents) when I finally turned myself in (with hopes to finally get peace and fair resolution to our family trauma), and so I asked to see a judge, but I was instead arrested. I spent 5 weeks in the Ukiah jail waiting to be extradited. They did not come for me. Instead, my family bought my ticket to PR and we (my lawyer) convinced the authorities to release me so I could turn myself in as planned. Upon arrival, I was again arrested and spent a few days in the jail in Puerto Rico before being released on bail. I am awaiting my day in court. My children's well being has been my only agenda and priority. Again, to clarify, I had been trying to get back to Puerto Rico (our home we love) to clear charges since we left. I worked tirelessly towards finding a way to return without putting my children's safety and happiness in jeopardy. I had been in regular contact with an array of agencies and authorities to let our intentions be known and try to get help for my children who had been suffering a situation of domestic violence that evolved into legal abuse. The system failed to protect us. I did what I had to do to protect my children and I am disappointed at how impossible it was to get the legal help we needed. I would however like to thank the individuals who provided us with support and sanctuary throughout our struggle for justice. I will not give up on my children's right to health and happiness and I pray that finally, now, we can get the help we need to live in peace.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “The deadbeat cat is trying to psyche me out. He just sits there staring at me, grinning like they do. I've been hassled by much more formidable animals than that nut — try bobcats. One came running up at me out of the creek one day, and just as I squared off with him he took off. Skrag was nowhere to be seen, by the way.”

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To the Editor:

A short history first, before there was Plowshares or for that matter the Food Bank, Community Center or Ford Street Programs, as well as other non profits in Ukiah, there was EAT. The Seventh Day Adventist Church also operated a clothes closet and continue to this day.

EAT was started by six Ukiah church pastors and their members (United Methodist, First Baptist, Grace Lutheran, First Presbyterian, Evangelical Free (now New Life) and St Mary’s). We joined together to collect non perishable food items and utilized the Methodist Church as they had an empty room and was more or less centrally located, We passed out bag(s) of groceries to those who had a need. We asked that the people sign up and indicate the number of persons in their household. This program was put together and run by ALL volunteers.

Eventually some folks decided to start non profit entities in support of various causes. Thus began the race to get exclusive supporters for each non profit. We now have about two non profits for each business in inland Mendocino county vying for donations that will keep them afloat for another year.

In a short period of time it was discovered that the citizens of Ukiah Valley were more than generous in their giving and continue to do so. This paper spearheads a monetary fund drive on behalf of the food bank for years and this year alone reported over $94K+ in one month alone. At the same time Plowshares had their annual drive with their web site reporting over $65K+ in one month, these figures do NOT reflect the monies collected throughout the year for either entity nor reflects in-kind donations (food stuffs). Nor does this reflect the successful ‘Bowl of Soup” drive earlier in the year that Plowshares holds. In addition, citizens of Mendocino County have also stepped up and donated cash, as I understand it, in excess of $100K plus clothing, food, household goods and more for the fire victims this year. Yes, we are a very generous and compassionate community.

As regards to Plowshares resource problems, changes have to be made. Following are a few suggestions their board should consider,

  • If the board is not an active working board on the daily operations of Plowshares, they should be in some capacity.
  • Perhaps it is past time to cut back on the paid staff and /or salary’s and paid benefits for all employees.
  • There is an ancient Greek word, ‘attakoi,” loosely translated, means if you don’t work you don’t eat. Have ‘guests’ participate in some volunteer capacity such as washing tables, sweeping/mopping floors, de-fingerprinting walls, cleaning bathrooms, food prep or office work. That gives them back some of their dignity and self respect.
  • Stop services not pertaining to feeding people. I refer to animals. If a destitute person cannot afford to house or feed themselves how do they afford to have a pet or pay for rabies shots and tags. Some may say they are therapy dogs, if so the dog will have gone through extensive training by a certified trainer and owner will have paper proof of certification and the animal will have a ‘blanket’ similar to guide dogs for blind persons.
  • At Christmas time, Plowshares used to collect toys to give to the kids with the proviso that they ate first, however that food went into the garbage can as the kids were more interested in choosing a gift. This duplicates the Ukiah Christmas Effort that provides gifts for kids along with food boxes.
  • Stop serving a four or five course meal and change menu to one of a hearty soup with slice or two of a substantial whole grain bread. After all many soup kitchens serve only soup and bread and are successful in what they do. Or cut back on quantity served to help avoid food going into trash can.
  • Have guests sign in.
  • Encourage homeless persons to be out looking for work or be able to show you proof that they applied or are in training or a school.
  • Limit the number of times a transient can utilize a free meal (perhaps two times weekly only). Recognize that these folks name themselves as travelers and go where they get free stuff then move on when it is no longer available.
  • Cut back permanently to one mid day meal.
  • Board should work to eliminate duplication of services with other non profits and/or individuals. I have even seen a former CEO of Plowshare taking meals to homeless encampments and low income seniors as well as Ford Street also preparing and delivering holiday type meals to low income seniors. This is separate from the ‘meals on wheels’ program.

I realize that many of these suggestions are controversial, however, hard choices and decisions must be made and implemented if Plowshares is to keep the doors open.

Patricia Boesel


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by Melia Robinson

Marijuana tourism is on the horizon for California's famed wine country.

A craft cannabis brand called Flow Kana is building a marijuana processing and manufacturing hub on the site of a former winery in Mendocino County. The company purchased the 80-acre parcel once owned by the founding family of Fetzer Vineyards for $3.6 million in 2017.

Much like a winery that hosts tours and tastings, the Flow Cannabis Institute will build experiences around the operation. Visitors will eventually tour the facilities where small farmers test, dry, cure, trim, process, and package marijuana for distribution; learn about the plant in seminars and pairing dinners; take a yoga class; and stay at an on-site, pot-friendly bed and breakfast.

Flow Kana was founded as a boutique delivery service in 2014 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company only sources from farms that grow outdoors without pesticides.

The Flow Cannabis Institute is the first of its kind in California, and it enables small and independent farmers to scale and compete with Big Marijuana brands. But is also offers an opportunity for the company to educate new consumers in the long-stigmatized industry.

This Wonka Factory for weed comes with one major caveat: Flow Kana has no plans to grow or sell cannabis on the property, though a future "tasting room" will give away marijuana for free to adults over the age of 21. California law allows up to an ounce of marijuana to be gifted.

On January 1, recreational marijuana became fully legal in the Golden State, where medical use has been legal since 1996.

We spoke with Amanda Reiman, head of community relations at Flow Kana, about what we can expect from the Flow Cannabis Institute.

Reiman, a former professor at UC Berkeley who taught classes on substance abuse and drug policy, recalls taking college students on field trips to marijuana dispensaries.

Some went into the experience with preconceived notions about what a pot shop is like. They imagined shopping for marijuana like going to a house party where people passed around joints — instead of the highly-regulated and increasingly boutique retail experience that it is today.

"Seeing with your own eyes is sometimes the only antidote to what you see in the media," Reiman said.


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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 27, 2018

Barrasles-Gonzalez, Brown, Delgado

FERMIN BARRALES-GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

HEATHER BROWN, Cookeville, Tennessee/Calpella. Resisting.

JOHNY DELGADO, Fort Bragg. Community supervision violation, resisting.

Ersland, Leite, Myers, Shaw

DREW ERSLAND, Willits. Failure to appear.

LEINA LEITE, Ukiah. Parole violation, resisting.

SHIREE MYERS, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.

KEVIN SHAW, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

* * *



In Thursday’s Sonoma Outdoors section of the Press Democrat, the huge front-page article concerned increased bicycle ridership in the Santa Rosa/Sonoma County area. This is great news. As a biker myself, however, I was appalled that the half-page photograph accompanying the article showed nine bicyclists riding on a two-lane road and taking up the entire lane. This isn’t safe bicycling for either riders or automobiles driving in either direction. They weren’t riding single-file; they weren’t being cautious or courteous. I drive a car, and I ride my bike. This type of behavior is infuriating to drivers and gives bicyclists a bad image. “Sharing the road” doesn’t mean “owning the road” just because you’re wearing Lycra and a helmet.

Sheila Lichirie

Santa Rosa

* * *


I’ve read comments from what nowadays passes for Left-wing intelligentsia saying that the white picket fence 1950s never existed. So therefore, if it never existed, the gripe about the prosperity that once was and is no more cannot be valid if the prosperity never was in the first place. The unfortunate part for the historical revisionist is that guys like me remember what it was like. Dad had a job (an hourly wage earner job no less) and mom stayed home and took care of everyone. People like us were the forerunners of the much despised deplorables, the clingers to guns and religion, the folk, whose aspirations to some kind of work that enables a guy to support a family without the prospect of imminent homelessness, that are now seen by the oligarchs and their clerisy in terms of “who the fuck do these people think they are?”

* * *


by Jonah Raskin

American writers have almost always felt the sting of political censorship and social conformity, but they also have been resilient and have found ways to express their creativity despite repression. One of the best examples of creativity in the face of repression can be found in film noir, the Hollywood movies that were first made in the 1930s and 1940s and that exposed the dark, corrupt, murderous ways of the society.

For the most part, American directors, producers, writers and actors made the pictures, though some German exiles from fascism like Fritz Lang, lent their European styles to the Hollywood productions. French critics gave the pictures the name “noir” meaning black. They also attached a theory to the genre that sprung up in the wake of World War II when the U.S. was supposed to be the world’s superpower and in which fathers were thought to know best, mothers practiced good housekeeping and kids were like Dick and Jane and later like those teenagers named Ricky and Dave Nelson.

Film noir came about just as televisions were invading homes and apartments. They were “B” movies, often made on low budgets, and not expected to be box office hits. But John Houston’s The Maltese Falcon (1941), based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel (1929) of the same name, and Howard Hawks’ The Big Sleep (1946), based on Raymond Chandler’s novel (1939) of the same name, showed audiences and critics that film noir could be made both artistically and commercially successful and that they could create and sustain cults. Hammett, who belonged to the American Communist Party, viewed the society from the left. Chandler viewed it from a conservative, though no less trenchant, perspective.

Movies that belong to the film noir genre have been worshipped the world over ever since the 1940s. It’s fitting that San Francisco, which gave birth to the modern noir novel, often hosts noir film festivals. The latest one, titled “Noir City,” takes place at the Castro Theater in the Castro District and runs from late January until February 4th. Then, the program moves to Seattle, Denver, Hollywood, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.

The films include JealousyThe Blue Dahlia, and Night Editor as well as This Gun for Hire (1942), based on a Graham Greene novel, that’s set in San Francisco and in which the hunter is also the hunted.

For those who can’t make it to a theater to see any of the above movies, they can be found in libraries and on DVDs nearly everywhere including online. Indeed, noir which was one limited to a cinematic territory all its own, is now literally everywhere.

Over the past sixty years directors have reinvented noir clichés and remade the femme fatales, the fall guys and the gangsters that appear in movies such as Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat (1955) and Robert Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly (1955). Then, there’s Roman Polanski’s Chinatown that was made at the time of Watergate, but set in the 1930s and that took on the politics of water in the Golden State and that didn’t let the detective, played by Jack Nicholson, walk down L.A.’s mean streets as the proverbial knight in shining armor, and with a six gun not a sword.

In an essay titled “The Simple Art of Murder,” Chandler insisted that the detective had to rise above the world of nastiness in which he moves, but in his novels, the detective becomes just as nasty as the suspects he investigates. He recognizes it, too.

The world is rotten in film noir, but there are no organizers, no radicals or revolutionaries who seek social change, and, while film noir shows how venal capitalism can be it doesn’t offer alternatives.

I first watched film noir like Lady in the Lake on late-night TV. Later, I saw pictures such as Citizen Kane in movie theaters in Paris and New York. Yes, Citizen Kane has all the elements of noir, including a reporter who acts as a detective, a mystery, a set of clues, and a dead body. For decades, I taught film noir at Sonoma State University. Last year, I published a noir novel called Dark Land, Dark Mirror, which features a woman private investigator, a newspaper reporter, a femme fatale, and a gangster who appears to be a gentleman. It’s set in California today.

For those not familiar with film noir I recommend: The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Lady from Shanghai, The Big Heat, Pick Up on South Street and Kiss Me Deadly that has perhaps the quintessential noir ending: the world itself blows up and takes the detective, Mike Hammer with it.

Noir City. Castro Theater, San Francisco, January 26 to Feb. 4; Seattle, February 16 to Feb. 22 and Denver March 23-25. For more information go to

(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and The Making of the Beat Generation.

* * *


In his book On Television, Pierre Bourdieu warns against the twin temptations of historical analysis: everything is totally changed and unlike anything that went before, and nothing has changed over the last thousand years.

Nowhere are those temptations as visible as in Trump studies. You’ve got a large set of critics screaming that he’s our Hitler (or, for the Russophobes, Stalin), a violator of all the ethical norms of high office. And there’s a hearty band of Facebook ultras, less numerous than the alarmists, who assure us that Trump is little different from Obama (the deportation numbers are down, though there are technicalities involved). Is it too distressingly moderate to say that there’s more continuity in Trump than the screamers say, but that he does mark a turn for the worse?

People who talk about the dignity of the presidency mustn’t think much about Richard Nixon, a far more interestingly twisted character than the one-dimensional Trump. He ran a private spying operation and bombed Cambodia in total secrecy. His drunken ravings caused a frightened Henry Kissinger (co-architect of those secret bombings) and Alexander Haig to hide the nuclear football from him. It’s likely that Kelly, McMaster, and Mattis have a similar arrangement to control Trump.

Trump’s horrendous xenophobia, shocking by recent standards, has a lot in common with the nativism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. His authoritarian longings are in tune with the country that brought you the Palmer Raids and McCarthyism, though Trump has fallen well short of those models so far. And no one is shooting strikers now, though that may be because there are so few strikers.

But everything does feel worse. Policy aside, there’s no question that Trump is a bare expression of the American political id. He’s encouraged the worst people — Nazis, white supremacists, clash of civilization types — to be far more open and even violent. ICE’s war on immigrants — and the targeted roundup of immigrant leaders — is vicious and terrifying. Nuclear war has become something people talk about. Millions will lose health care, national monuments will give way to uranium mines, and the climate will go to hell at an accelerating rate. Trump himself is ignorant and aimless, but there are enough right-wing thugs around him to do a lot of damage. It’s only accelerating a long-term downtrend in the quality of American life, but an acceleration it is.

In the face of this, the Left, whose prospects seemed good in the first days of the Trump regime, now looks confused and divided against itself. Leaving aside the Russophobes, who can’t be taken seriously, we’ve got one set of people blaming identitarians for everything, and another set blaming brocialists. It’s like the 2016 campaign not only didn’t go away, but became a chronic disease. I wish I had a cure, because it’s debilitating, and the times are miserable.

* * *


San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen's muddled op-ed in the Chronicle yesterday must be shocking to those who haven't been following San Francisco politics.

The first paragraphs announce her radicalism:

I’ve put off making an endorsement in the mayor’s race because I believe we need to turn this city upside down. Behind the last mayoral administration and the one before that, there were the same handful of tech moguls and real estate billionaires who make this a city where the middle class is no longer welcome. The policies these powerful men champion are the ones that have decimated the African American community and are doing the same to the Latino community. LGBTQ people are being pushed out in alarming numbers, and I believe Asian Americans are next.

The notion that black people, Latinos, LGBTQs, and Asian-Americans are uniquely suffering from the relentless gentrification of the city is simply false, since white working class and middle class people are also being priced out of the city.

Since her op-ed is all about identity politics, Ronen is obligated to throw a bouquet to Supervisor Breed:

So far, the dominant narrative about our vote for interim mayor has centered on the identity of London Breed — that an African American woman who has overcome tremendous adversity should be chosen as interim. I’m also moved tremendously by Breed’s accomplishments and by how much the African American community has spoken up to support her.

Yes, Breed came from poverty to be elected District 5 Supervisor, but she was elected with a minority of the vote under the city's radically flawed Ranked Choice Voting system. That's an achievement of sorts but not exactly a "tremendous accomplishment." Besides, she's been an awful supervisor:

But I have to be honest: The same rich white men who steered the policies that have created the mess we are in today are firmly behind the candidacy of Breed. They have been bullying people to support the board president’s run for mayor, including threatening people’s careers if they don’t support her. The majority of your elected representatives, on both sides of the aisle, felt that we couldn’t stay silent and allow these men to continue to buy our elections.

Yes, rich white man Ron Conway supports African-American London Breed, like he did in 2012. As a twice-elected supervisor in District 5, Breed is also presumably complicit for "the mess we're in." And I'd like to hear some specifics about the alleged "bullying" and threats by Conway and/or others.

Ronen finally gets to the heart of her argument:

I take identity and representation very seriously and think they are tremendously important in this mayoral race. At this point, when the African American community has been largely displaced from San Francisco, when incarceration rates for African Americans continue to be incredibly disproportionate both locally and nationally, when our president described white supremacists as “good people,” I hear loud and clear the community members who are calling for an African American mayor to represent San Francisco.

Surely Ronen knows San Francisco has already had an African American mayor. (Willie Brown was elected mayor to two terms.) Besides, if being African American is the most important qualification, why doesn't London Breed qualify? Ronen goes on to make the same argument for electing a LBGT and an Asian American mayor. We just had the latter with Ed Lee, and his administration presided over a radical gentrification of the city:

And my heart also goes out to the Asian Americans who just tragically lost the first Asian American mayor of a city that was founded and built on the backs of the Asian community. After 100 years of deeply racist laws, brutal attacks in Chinatown, and the rounding up of our Japanese residents into internment camps, to lose a mayor who worked so hard to correct decades of political disenfranchisement is truly heartbreaking. The Asian community has to be heard and acknowledged when it calls for an Asian American mayor.

Is the Asian American community really "calling for an Asian American mayor"? If being Asian American is the main qualification, why not support Jane Kim? And if being a member of the LBGT community is the main qualification, why not support Mark Leno? But instead of being closely identified with one community, shouldn't whoever is elected be mayor for all the people of San Francisco?

Ronen's op-ed doesn't discuss a single political/policy issue, since for her it's all about identity politics.

That's also because there are very few political differences between Breed, Kim, Leno---and Ronen herself, for that matter---to discuss.

After all that nonsense---and voting for a white man involved in the tech industry---Ronen ends up dithering:

As a straight white woman, my privilege means I’m in no way qualified to decide which of the mayoral candidates’ backgrounds makes them more deserving of the huge advantage of running while having the entire apparatus of the mayor’s office at their disposal...So I am going to do what I always do when I don’t know the answer to an important question: I’m going to listen to the people. In this particular instance, listening means letting the people vote.

Has anyone proposed not letting "the people" vote?

What really disqualifies Ronen: she's a dim bulb who happens to be "a straight white woman" who's not exactly a credit to her gender, her ethnic "background," or her sexual orientation.

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

* * *


by Michael R. Blood

Like many pot shops in California, the Urbn Leaf in San Diego bulked up its inventory before legal sales began on Jan. 1, stockpiling enough marijuana to last for months because no one knew what the era of legal pot would bring.

The shop, along with others involved in the state's fledgling cannabis economy, are now concerned that too few operators have been licensed to support a pot pipeline of state-approved growers, distributors and retailers.

In some cases, they say, bottlenecks have already slowed the supply chain from fields to storefronts.

"They are going to have to come online with more producers in the next 12 months to keep up with the demand," said Will Senn, the founder of Urbn Leaf who operates three dispensaries and plans to open three more, including one in Los Angeles.

"The black market will balloon if we can't get legal, licensed producers to step into the industry. That's the biggest risk," he said.

Nearly a month after legal sales began for adults in the nation's most populous state, the longstanding medicinal and illegal marijuana markets are still transitioning to a multibillion-dollar regulated system, estimated to eventually reach $7 billion in value.

Questions about the supply chain represent just one example of early obstacles that range from complaints about hefty taxes to the refusal of most banks to do business with pot companies because the drug remains illegal on the federal level.

In one way, the arrival of legal sales has been a story about borrowed time.

Most of the pot now being legally sold in California comes from plants that were harvested last year, and those reserves can be sold until July 1, provided they have required labeling.

Lori Ajax, the state's top pot regulator, said officials are aware that those initial supplies will eventually dry up but it's too early to tell how the legal supply chain will work.

"We legalized cannabis — you want to have that product available," she said. "We don't want people going to the black market because they can't get product from the legal market."

In Santa Cruz County, TreeHouse dispensary CEO Bryce Berryessa is already having trouble keeping some popular brands on his shelves.

The problem, he says, is smaller producers haven't been able to obtain licenses, either because they are in an area where growing is banned by local government or they haven't been able to obtain a license from their hometown government.

Operators are required to have state and local licenses to conduct business, but must get the local one first.

Without money to relocate to a pot-friendly community, "they are going to be unable to find a pathway to legally sell their products," said Berryessa, who sits on the board of the California Cannabis Industry Association.

"I think this affects a large portion of California cannabis businesses throughout the state," he said.

For now, legal sales for adults appear to be robust in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

But the patchwork of local regulations — some cities and counties have banned all commercial activity — has erected barriers to getting pot from place to place.

Some longtime growers are marooned in counties that don't allow pot or have imposed regulations so tight it's tantamount to prohibition. In some cases, investors are backing away.

For example, in previously pot-friendly Calaveras County, officials reversed course and banned commercial marijuana farms, leaving growers in a bind.

Without a local license, "it doesn't matter how incredible their products are," Berryessa said.

Indeed, the once-shadowy business of pot distribution is no longer about sending a text message to a friend. Regulators have come with complex procedures to keep a tight leash on the market, though some say it's bringing more confusion than efficiency.

In general, a retailer who needs to stock shelves must contact a distributor, who in turn picks up cannabis from a grower.

The marijuana is then sent to a warehouse, where a testing company picks up a sample and analyzes it for pesticides and other contaminants, as well as potency. It cannot be sent to the retailer for sale until it clears that check. The distributor can also do packaging, with taxes assessed along the way.

Pot that fails testing goes back to the grower. If the problem can't be fixed, it must be destroyed, further tightening supplies.

So far, one of the biggest challenges is having enough growers and distributors to do the job.

In total, the state has issued about 1,900 licenses in all categories so far. By comparison, there are an estimated 15,000 illegal marijuana farms in Humboldt County alone.

Only about 20 licenses have been issued for testing statewide.

Berryessa said what once could be done with a phone call could now takes days or weeks as pot moves through the supply chain, each step with added costs that will inevitably drive up prices.

And when a product isn't on his shelves, business suffers.

"The time from production ... to market is going to increase significantly," he said.

(Associated Press)

* * *


A large hepatitis A outbreak is ongoing in California. The majority of patients in this outbreak report experiencing homelessness and/or using illicit drugs in settings of limited sanitation. The outbreak is being spread person-to-person and through contact with a fecally contaminated environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that person-to-person transmission through close contact is the primary way people get hepatitis A in the United States.

* * *


Due to circumstances beyond my control, this is the third time a change has been made to this press release. It will be Fort Bragg High School instead of Mendocino High School exhibiting their art. Please accept my apologies.

–Margaret Paul, Edgewater Publicist

Event: First Friday Fort Bragg High School Art Opening at Edgewater Gallery

Where: 356 N. Main Street, Fort Bragg

When: Friday, February 2, 5-8pm

Exhibiting high school students' art at Edgewater Gallery has become an annual tradition. The students' art encompasses a wide range of media. The unbounded creativity of the students is always a joy to behold. The show will continue through the month of February. Light refreshments served.

* * *


New Youtube Video, Hedrick Smith, Kmec Radio, Mendocino Environmental Center, Original Air Date: January 8, 2018

Use the above link to listen to Heroes and Patriots with featured guest, Hedrick Smith. Hosted by John Good Iron and Mary Massey, the program originally aired on Monday, January 8, 2018.

Heroes and Patriots is a program about national security, intelligence and foreign policy. The show is streamed live each Monday, 1 p.m., P.S.T. on Like us on Facebook and YouTube at Heroes and Patriots, KMEC Radio, Mendocino Environmental Center.

Follow on: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @heroesandpatri2

* * *


"BLACKS! Are on this planet! HERE! In-a New Jersey! Coming to destroy us! We must act! ESCAPE, or DIE! We must-a work faster, to-a finish the Great Vehicle itself, so that we can-a enter the 8th Dimension, and FREE our trapped comrades, so we can return home, and-a seize power once again! History is-a made at night! Character is what you are in the dark! We must WORK, while the clock, she’s-a ticking! We hide, they seek! Where are we going! [PLANET 10!] When-a do we leave? [REAL SOON!]"

The recording of last night's (2018-01-26) KNYO and KMEC Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download for free and enjoy at any time of the day or night, via

*You don't have to even go there, though, if you don't want to. Thanks to Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost you can listen to the show with one click:

But besides that, as usual also at you'll find a fresh batch of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while putting the show together. Such as:

"Ram those balls down the hose, boys! Ram 'em down the hose!" Prior art in patent law.

Girls on the verge.

Spitting on cakes.

There's a lesson here. A lesson to stay to the end.

And a musical warning, involving roller-skating dancers who are remarkably fit, about being careful not to hit a deer nor roll your car avoiding one. Just keep it under the speed limit and you'll never hit a deer.

–Marco McClean



  1. George Hollister January 28, 2018

    Jonah Raskin:

    “The world is rotten in film noir, but there are no organizers, no radicals or revolutionaries who seek social change, and, while film noir shows how venial capitalism can be, it doesn’t offer alternatives.”

    The two best westerns made, “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly”, and “Once Upon A Time In The West” fit the mold.

    • Harvey Reading January 28, 2018

      Well, George, I happen to think that Tombstone was the best western made, followed by Lonesome Dove, though the latter was more of a short serial, made for TV. And Val Kilmer was, without a doubt, the very, very best Doc Holliday ever. Your favorites surely had their place, I’ll grant.

      • Jeff Costello January 28, 2018

        Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns are most notable for Ennio Morricone’s soundtracks. What they lack otherwise is, for me, compensated by the music, which stands up by itself. Those movies would be lost without it.

        • George Hollister January 28, 2018

          What Sergio Leone lacked in production quality, he more than made up for with writing, setting, and, yes the music. What I took note of a long time ago, was the Good in TGTBATU was not really good. He was a sometimes honorable greedy crook. There were no traditional western heroes in that movie.

          Look at the main characters in “Once Upon A Time In The West”: a man out for blood, an outlaw gang leader, a prostitute, a hired gun, and a greedy capitalist. In this movie, Sergio Leone wrote some really good lines. Can’t beat the story line, either.

          There is no redemption for anyone, in either movie. So when I read what Raskins wrote, I immediately thought of Sergio Leone.

          • Harvey Reading January 28, 2018

            Seeing the spaghetti westerns during my high school years caused me to feel more of a sense freedom than I had ever felt before. I mean, here were movies about people pretty much doing as they pleased, and killing anyone who got in their way. Quite a relief from the experience of the fascist Mr. X, our high-school assistant principal at the time (some of the Trump-voter types “back home” still love him and revere his memory).

            The movies, based on my experience, came out at the perfect time, which is probably why they came out when they did. Movies are made to make money. I knew the window was closing with the release of Patton. I agree that the Leone westerns had little in the way of redemptive valuse (a lot like values, but I misplaced my eraser).

  2. james marmon January 28, 2018


    “Once an individual on Medi-Cal no longer meets acute days then Medi-Cal will no longer pay for that individual so if they can’t write a note in their medical file that shows that the client still needs that high level of care, they can not get paid for that day so they are dependent on the county to pay straight out of realignment dollars to keep the individual longer than they actually got service. So that gives you a picture of that stuff.”

    In Mendocino County, because we have the for-profit ASO Model, that means Camille Schraeder has to spend, straight out of her pocket, some of her gifted realignment dollars she receives from the County on individuals on Medi-Cal who no longer meet acute days. So does that give you a better picture?

    Its a big word game too. Whenever the County speaks of saving the county some dollars, they are really talking about saving Camille some dollars.

    • james marmon January 28, 2018

      If Camille Schraeder can’t find or doesn’t want to find and pay for a lower level of care, they get released. When we had Ortner, at least he had the lower level of care facilities needed, Sequoia Psychiatric Center and Willow Glen.

      “Sequoia Psychiatric Treatment Center (SPTC) a 16-bed Mental Health Rehabilitation Center. The Center provides a client-driven, clinician supervised rehabilitation program model that will assist the client in identifying, practicing and implementing those skills necessary to reduce the number of inpatient hospital days and maximize their opportunity to succeed in community-based living arrangements The goal of Sequoia Psychiatric Treatment Center is to assist mental health clients to stabilize their mental health condition, optimize their functioning, and return to a less restrictive level of care.”

      “Willow Glen Care Center has several locations throughout Northern California designed to serve multiple levels of care and behavioral health programming for adults and the elderly mentally ill. In addition to providing transitional, short and long term levels of residential care, the Yuba City location is located adjacent to acute psychiatric inpatient services. Willow Glen Care Center and it’s associated programs are designed to coordinate care with county mental health agencies to facilitate referrals, care and treatment, discharge planning and placement.”

      • james marmon January 28, 2018

        Ortner also had North Valley Behavioral Health (NVBH)

        NVBH works within the county health mental continuum of care to provide coordinated acute care, sub acute care, and specialized programs in a safe and supportive environment for adults with severe and persistent mental health and co – occurring disorders.

        • james marmon January 28, 2018

          When Ortner served the County, the County did not have to pay a dime for the above services, it all came out of Ortner’s pocket via the ASO contract. Because Carmel Angelo had gutted the County’s Mental Mealth infrastructure he had no where to transition our clients back into the community. He put together the same mental health system the Schraeders are using today and was working on leasing the old Howard Memorial Hospital. He must have done something right.

          Tom Ortner and Mr. P did all the heavy lifting for Camille Schraeder and that’s that. Sad!

  3. Lazarus January 28, 2018

    “The timing of Handley’s appointment is interesting in light of the possibility that the old Howard Hospital (or parts of it) are under consideration for being included in the Measure B Mental Health Facilities program.”

    Interesting to say the least. I guess conflict of interest doesn’t count or really never did in the Mendo with the likes of Marge Handley.
    The Howard Foundation claims a non profit status but, they must being paying taxes and insurance on the old Howard Memorial Hospital. Or does the Howard Foundation have unlimited supplies of money to keep the lights on, etc.?
    Tear it down folks, it’s a piece of shit building, the estimators even say 11 mil to fix it…another “lipstick on a pig” situation that will pad the pockets of county elites…
    As always,

    • james marmon January 28, 2018

      “The old hospital, the Handley forces insist, would be perfect for the County’s new mental health facility”

      That would be everyone on the Measure B Oversight Committee, including the good sheriff, as long as he gets enough of it to adequately staff his new Mental Health Jail, which is going to be astronomical, he’ll go along with any old corruption.

      Don’t take my word for it, do some research, the fix is in.


      • Lazarus January 28, 2018

        Keep it coming James, the more recent and accurate the better. I understand there are citizens gathering a “War Chest”…
        As always,

  4. james marmon January 28, 2018

    I can’t believe how much more mentally stable Lake County residents are compared to those of Mental-cino, we don’t have a mental health crisis here, and we don’t treat criminals here like they are victims suffering from depression or anxiety.

    Unlike Mental-cino, we returned our grant for our Mental Health Jail.

    Supervisors vote to return $20 million jail expansion grant to the state

    “Huchingson explained that in early 2014 the county received the $20 million grant from the Board of State and Community Corrections to expand and upgrade the Hill Road Correctional Facility. The grant requires a 5-percent match from the county.”

    “The jail expansion was expected to require 18 additional staffers, which Huchingson said was going to cost at least $1.2 million and possibly as much as $2 million more a year.”

    When we have a real problem, we use Ortner in Yuba City. From Clearlake to Yuba city its not that much longer of a drive than it is from here to Ukiah or Willits.

    James Marmon MSW
    Master of Social Work

    • Betsy Cawn January 29, 2018

      Dear Mr. Marmon, Please explain your assertion that Lake County residents are “much more mentally stable” . . . “compared to those of Mental-cino, we don’t have a mental health crisis here, and we don’t treat criminals here like they are victims suffering from depression or anxiety.”

      The Lake County Mental Health Advisory Board has not produced an annual report for the Board of Supervisors (and State Department of “Health Care Services”) for many or several years — it is impossible to tell which, because no one has been able to produce internal records of the MHAB activities between 2000 and 2015. Up to around 2011, the Board of Supervisors received reports from the head of the department, Kristy Kelly, but after that the MHAB’s functionality seems to have disappeared — at least on the record.

      Throughout the business year, the Board of Supervisors approve contracts and renewals and upgrades of same for institutional services funded by the Lake County Behavioral Health Department, usually on their Consent Agenda. Reports required by the State DHCS, promised to be available on their website, are not available. Oversight by the Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission does not occur.

      The Lake County Board of Supervisors itself does not properly identify vacancies on the MHAB for participation by stakeholders, as required by the enabling ordinance (and revisions thereto) and the Maddy Act. Lack of participation by the assigned Supervisor, to address missing Board of Supervisors responsibilities for the MHAB compliance with California Welfare & Institutions Code Sections 5604 et sequentia, as well as missing Board of Supervisors oversight of its budgetary responsibilities for departmental operations — in this case, for the Behavioral Health Department — and lack of comprehension of its own Bylaws, local enabling ordinances, and state regulatory requirements by the de facto “leadership” of the MHAB (no recorded election in available minutes from 2015, 2016, and 2017 meetings) render this responsible body as inarticulate and ineffectual as a boulder.

      So, I would be most appreciative of your explanation as to the status you claim on behalf of Lake County’s “consumers” of Behavioral Health and Mental Health services, the unvoiced needs of family members, and absent planning for development of improved services to reduce the extreme costs (and possible ineffectiveness) of “5150” treatment programs. Your knowledge of the programs, contracted services providers (Shraeder does have a couple of local contracts here, and we have not heard anything negative about the quality of the services provided), and how our local BHD/MHD operations are working would be most helpful to those attempting to address Lake County’s service limitations and needs.

      • james marmon January 29, 2018

        Schraeder has always had programs here, I worked for her out of her Lakeport Office in 2001. She provides Adoption, Foster Care, and Counseling Services for children and their families, she and Carol Hutchinson have had a loving relationship for years, from the beginning. I hear rumors that she will soon contract out all adult mental health programs to Camille, our’s is in shambles right now, they’re using the Carmel Angelo model (destroy and conquer) to promote the privatization scheme. Your old friends “mendo matters” are behind the currents pulling the strings.

        Lake County also has a contract with St. Helena Hospital: Mental Health Unit, just 44 miles away from my house. When I worked for Lake County Mental Health St. Helena was the first facility I would call when I 5150ied someone. Yuba City was second.

        I’m going to end it here for right now, I did sign a written agreement with Lake County in 2001, and I do have to live here.

        • james marmon January 29, 2018

          Maybe you should use your media platform to move this forward quicker, manufacture a crisis that doesn’t or shouldn’t really exist, get everyone all riled up like they did here in Mendo, and privatize. We won’t be dependent on St. Helena or Ortner ever again. Camille Schraeder will make sure of that.

        • james marmon January 29, 2018

          I guess there is another group now who uses the Mendo Matters name, but you know who I’m talking about Betsy, you and I had that conversation.

        • james marmon January 29, 2018

          I need to apologize to “mendo matters” I meant to say “mendo futures,” Susan Era’s bunch.

          Good Grief.

          Mental Health

          MendoFutures has designed a process to help local service providers redesign Mental Health services in Mendocino County.

          Through this process the Coalition for Mental Health Planning was created as a group of providers dedicated to creating a new vision for mental health services. The group began meeting in February of 2012…..”

          • james marmon January 29, 2018

            Good ole Susan, Without Susan’s help Camille would have never been able to do what’s she’s doing today. I came back to Mendocino County in 2007, right before she retired and the Carmel Angelo era began. Susan created Camille.

            “Susan recently retired, after 26 years, from the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency where she worked, primarily in Social Services, as a social worker, supervisor, manager and director. Earlier in her career she worked for non-profit mental health agencies in the Bay Area as a counselor and program coordinator. She has an MA in Counseling and a BA in Psychology and now has her own consulting business. She also has been teaching in the Human Services Program at Mendocino College for the past 7 years, where she particularly enjoys cultivating student interest in the field of human services.”


            Thanks for shaking up the old brain cells Betsy, my recall isn’t what it used to be, drugs?

            • james marmon January 29, 2018

              County to privatize mental health

              “Under the direction of consultant Steve Zuieback, Mendo-Futures established the Mental Health Coalition, which included many of the major players in the mental health services landscape in Mendocino County.”

              “According to Mendocino County Assistant Director for the Health and Human Services Agency Tom Pinnizotto, 49 stakeholders took part in deliberations that occurred over an 18-month period.”


              • james marmon January 29, 2018

                The last time I spoke with Susan Era was at the Ann Mahoney’s celebration of life services held at Plowshares in Ukiah. I was getting on my Harley after the services and she came up to me and asked me my name.

                Plowshares has been extremely beneficial to Mendofutures’ vision for Mendocino County. It has created hundreds of jobs throughout the helping community.

                Plowshares going back to only serving lunch is going to have a real negative impact.


  5. Harvey Reading January 28, 2018

    Was it you, Little Dog, who gave Skrag an awful beating that left his nose all bloody?

    • Mark Scaramella January 28, 2018

      Skrag told me that he’d been out drinking the night before and had a little accident. I guess he didn’t want to rat out Little Dog.

      • Jeff Costello January 28, 2018

        Maybe the cat got a mouse and didn’t wipe his mouth after ripping it apart.

  6. Harvey Reading January 28, 2018


    Reads as though once again, the public will be funding any cleanup of a mess left by the timber tycoons. Maybe Fort Bragg could advertise it to tourists as a “legacy” site in honor of the timber magnates and greedy, incompetent local controllers. They could call it “Local Control in Action” and hire some local homeless people as tour guides.

  7. Harvey Reading January 28, 2018


    My favorite quote from the “pairing” link in the article:

    “An untrained nose might think all marijuana smells like roadkill.”

    No wonder we got the Hillary monster as a “choice” in 2016. Upper middle class insanity.

    • Randy Burke January 28, 2018

      Want to experience true terroir? Want to experience true Mendo history? Wanting to venture into the outdoors to commune with air, birds, flowers and passersby? Well do we have an idea for you. The new tourist rage is “graves and breakfast” . Imagine visiting an old style setting with a pork rib/bacon/egg soufflé being cooked on a portable pellet smoker. Seasoned with alder, and apple shavings on the grill. Add to all of this a nice mimosa or champagne cocktail. Tourism has never been at it highest in Mendo. So if you want to get off the beaten path of boring cannabis, and wine tours, go for the gold and sign up now for the self guided tour of a lifetime. We’ll even visit Jay Baker’s burial site in Gualala, and Hamburg’s spousal site too (may not gain entrance, but heck at least you know where these personages now reside). For further information contact Carmel Angelo, Mendocino County CEO who has stated that this type of event is tax free as the bed tax has already been covered by those in the crypted settings.

      • Randy Burke January 28, 2018

        Oh, by the way, Montana, and Wyoming are my favorite states, but I gotta be by the Sea. Thank you for your photos and excellent input into the AVA gyroscope of life. Really think it is great!!!!

        • Harvey Reading January 28, 2018

          I understand your affection for the sea. I guess the last time I saw the ocean was around ’99 or 2000. I liked looking at it, but feared its power, plus I always got seasick on party boats. Thanks for your kind comments, Randy.

  8. Harvey Reading January 28, 2018


    Back then they earned a living wage, and benefits, often including retirement. No more. I can understand why they voted for Trump. Their continuing support for him, though, strikes me as insane.

    • Jeff Costello January 28, 2018

      The hair and makeup should have done it, not even to mention the insane bragging and outrageous bullshitting. Those who accept all this are the real Americans? I give up.

  9. james marmon January 28, 2018

    If we had 3 crisis stabilization units as the Behavioral Health Advisory Board is recommending, why would we want to spend 11 million dollars restoring the Old Howard Memorial for a locked facility? Would that be cost effective and/or humane, or would Measure B funding be better spent on keeping clients from going into crisis in the first place.

    “23-Hour Crisis Stabilization/Observation Beds 23-hour crisis observation or stabilization is a direct service that provides individuals in severe distress with up to 23 consecutive hours of supervised care to assist with deescalating the severity of their crisis and/or need for urgent care. The primary objectives of this level of care are prompt assessments, stabilization, and/or a determination of the appropriate level of care. The main outcome of 23-hour observation beds is the avoidance of unnecessary hospitalizations for persons whose crisis may resolve with time and observation (SAMHSA, 2012).

    Two studies have evaluated the effectiveness of 23-hour crisis stabilization/observation beds. A quasi experimental study by Gillig and colleagues (1989) compared two psychiatric emergency services and found that the service with the emergency evaluation unit had a significantly lower rate of hospital admissions (36 percent) compared to the one without the unit (52
    percent). Clinicians in the program reported that 65 of the 134 patients admitted to the observation unit would have been admitted to the hospital if the unit had not been available.”

    • Harvey Reading January 28, 2018

      Just curious, but why 23 hours? Something of a legal nature?

  10. Eric Sunswheat January 28, 2018

    Daniel Ellsberg spoke in SF to the Commonwealth Club, podcast recently on KZYX, about the Doomsday Machine book, and the Nuclear Papers he stole and lost. No time in recorded history were two leaders, each with a hand on the Nuclear warheads, threatening the other to push the button. Not delved deeply into, was that Trump, Korea, and 10 year Nuclear Winter, would reduce human population by 99% before outdoor crop production warms up again, to supplant current 60 days world food supply. In most scenarios, even without Nuclear Winter, with rising oceans and climatic disruption, melting tundra will not be enough offset, with climate reliability uncertain, sustained food production, although LEDS grow lights may provide a meager yield, but last sentence left unsaid.

  11. james marmon January 28, 2018

    The Original Measure B Conspirators.

    OPINION: A letter in support of Supervisor Woodhouse from Sonya Nesch

    “Without Supervisor Woodhouse, Mendocino County Mental Health would still be wallowing in their cesspool with Ortner, and pouring much of the annual $27M down a rat hole. He has courageously provided leadership and hope to move forward. I am grateful that he speaks out publicly with the truth about the CEOs role in the demise of County Mental Health as in his Mendo Voice Interview”

    Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman and Sonya Nesch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


    I have to laugh at the video, Nesch and Alman keep confusing RQMC with RCS and visa versa.

  12. February 21, 2018

    I would welcome an AVA visit to the BHAB. They can sit right next to me and they won’t need a seat reserved for “family members,” whatever that means. Still, if it makes you more comfortable, I’ll refer to you as a “family member” for the duration of the meeting.

    Thanks for staying abreast of things gentlemen.

    Patrick Pekin

    • BB Grace February 21, 2018

      You’re on the BHAB and you invite the AVA to sit right next to you because you need them to sit next to you or you think they wouldn’t come if they didn’t sit next to you? You don’t know what a “family member” is on your own board but you offer to refer the AVA as a family member?

      Do you know how nuts you sound?

      Gee whiz; God help Mendocino!

  13. Patrick Pekin February 22, 2018

    It’s an open meeting BB and the “family member” comment referred to the article. Glad to read your enthusiasm though.

    Patrick Pekin

    • BB Grace February 22, 2018

      Thank you Mr. Pekin.

      I get and read the BHAB Agendas.. Next meeting is Covelo isn’t it? I’ve been all around the county (on my own dime, unlike those who claim their gas and miles), to find out what this mental health development in Mendocino was since Bassler. It’s a group of people who come to meetings that don’t read their agenda so they ask questions that if they had read their agendas, they would have known. Maybe it’s the unhealthy snacks, (though I sincerely appreciate those who heard me and brought fresh fruit and kind food made with love). I watched some really good board members get put on the shelf until they fell off and others who just seems to show up because it’s a nice social event, kinda like Toastmasters. I really appreciated the Kempler Report. I don’t think prop 64 funds are wisely spent. I hate to think Sheriff Allman’s jail is the ultimate solution being the Stepping Up Inniative and it’s outstanding programs, especially in the Justice Center and their amazing judges. SUI had $29 Billion available last year. A few of the judges I could say are heroes to me because they made the connections and found the resources to reduce the numbers of people with mental diagnosis from jail (frequent fliers).

      It crushes me when I see photographs of frequent fliers such as Mr. Hensley. I volunteered at Our Lady Good Council Parish Hall for three years at Gleaners providing good, healthy wholesome lunches, home made cakes, toiletries, clothing, jackets, baby items, and respite, a safe place, and out of the streets. All volunteer. All free. Mendocino government called us NIMBY’s and fought to get the Old Coast Hotel, and honestly, Fort Bragg in the past decade has become a shit hole, mostly because of mental health mis management. Mental Health took what should have been a major tax paying property and turned it into a sucker. Now we’re planning on building a jail. It’s a God damned shame.

      The children of Mendocino are not the only ones afraid. I went to Harvest Market the other day and open my car door to see the guy parked next to me is shooting up drugs. Noyo Bridge is becoming a suicide bridge. And the homeless are getting harder.

      When I was a docent at the Guest House Museum I had a young man come in begging me for help. Hospitality Center wasn’t open. Police referred me to Fire Department, and Fire Department would send an ambulance, other than that…… I sent the young man to Our Lady of Good Council knowing he could get help, and if he could not make it, how to get to MCDH, not sure if he would get help. He was a nice young man, though he had been robbed, was dehydrated, tired, vulnerable, and scared.

      It was great to get a Mina Burger when in Covelo. I read they’re closed now. Too bad. They were awesome. “Family member” used to be one of categories of board members. It was a good idea but when you play rotating seats, well, everyone being just a member works I guess. I LOVE what President Trump is doing FOR mental health. Mendocino sure could use the help.

  14. Patrick Pekin February 23, 2018

    Hey, I’ve never requested mileage as a Board member or whenever I’ve been appointed to cases involving the mentally ill; like Thessalonian Love. Board members aren’t paid, they’re all volunteer. This is much like the fire department where I’m also a member, and shattered my knee two months ago. But hey, I still make meetings.

    It’s amazing how much of this county depends on people working for free isn’t it? I get that it’s not always done perfectly, people do what they can while having jobs and families. When I lost my election, I still wanted to be involved in mental health. It was, after all, a campaign promise. I won’t be able to do it forever, but I will as long as I have time and a wife who will let me.

    I like what you guys do too, by the way. We need people asking questions and poking the odd deserving target in the eye. The next meeting is in Fort Bragg but there is a video conference option if you’re in Ukiah. I posted the schedule on my Facebook and you can friend me if you like. That might not make us “family” but maybe it’s good enough.

    • james marmon February 23, 2018

      Mr. Pekin

      I see that a Stepping Up Program presentation by Chief Probation Officer Robert Ochs was scheduled for the 2/21/18 meeting, did that presentation happen, or was it tabled because of the recent announcement that out-of-towner Mr. Ochs would be replaced by homegrown Izen Locatelli as the new Chief Probation Officer?

      What are the plans moving forward while we wait for Allman’s mental health jail to open in November of 2022? Is it open up the old Howard Memorial Hospital for the mentally ill, with its very conveniently close proximity to Baechtel Grove Middle School?

      Tell me more Mr. Pekin

      • james marmon February 23, 2018

        So much for school safety.

      • BB Grace February 23, 2018

        Mr. Marmon,

        Three organizations started SUI, Justice Center (These are judges Stepping Up, which Mendocino IMO should have spent the $150K sending a judge/ attorney for the courts to get them in the network as they are the brains and have the most ability to make drastic changes); National Association of Counties (this is the network, the communications, and this would have also been a good choice, but Mendocino is far too dependent on privatization), and finally The American Psychiatric Association (which, without a county hired psychiatrist, there was no one). The SUI had the wisdom to understand many counties are running full steam ahead with broken masts in stormy seas and why they provided opportunity for training to first responders, such as our sheriff. It must be interesting for the Sheriff to send his team for training to a conference that aims to reduce the people with mental diagnosis from jail while his goal is to build one.

        • james marmon February 23, 2018

          I know Ms. Grace, the same thing with Laura’s Law, why would Camille Schraeder provide outpatient treatment that aims to reduce people with mental health diagnosis from hospitalizations when her goal is to build one.

          Where’s the money Camille?

          Both Allman and Schraeder should be the first ones placed in their new facilities.

          • james marmon February 23, 2018

            God Bless Jim Bassler.

    • George Hollister February 23, 2018

      Volunteerism is an essential part of American culture. Too often, government funded programs get in the way.

      • February 23, 2018

        Hi James, yes, Stepping Up was discussed by current Chief Probation Officer Ochs with future Chief Probation Officer Locatelli. I was impressed with Ochs and I’ve known and been impressed by Izen for years. As it was described, it is proposed as a diversion program from the jail. So the idea is to get non-violent persons out of the jail, the informational document is here:

        Thanks George, I think it’s rewarding too, and frankly, not possible in larger counties. The culture of volunteerism is on of my favorite aspects of Mendocino.

        • james marmon February 23, 2018

          I’m sure Izen brings a wealth of outside knowledge and experience to our community, don’t expect too many changes.

          James Marmon MSW

          • james marmon February 23, 2018

            “It is always exciting to see a dedicated, long-term County employee move up through the ranks. I am proud of Mr. Locatelli and I am sure he will continue to be an asset to the Probation Department and to the County.”

            -Heidi Dunham
            Human Resources Director

    • BB Grace February 23, 2018

      Thank you; Mr. Pekin.

      There’s a big difference between organic grass roots volunteers, and appointed volunteers that are offered perks, gas and mileage, travel and hotel to conferences and conventions, business cards and name plaques, seats at the table and a voice of authority representing the people to our elected and their corporates handlers, and ultimately having no responsibility but the AVA, as there is a big difference when a “volunteer” is doing community service, just doing their time. Volunteer has become a word that lost it’s value when government became calling their appointed and referred as “volunteers”.

      What’s amazing to me Mr. Pekin is the amounts of money this government takes and what it has to show for it which the frequent fliers are the face. I haven’t been to a BHAB since Kempler Report. Is there security now? I ask because now that Mendocino and cities have security, it’s hard to feel like we’re family anymore. It’s like government knows it’s ripping us off and is using our armed resources to protect and serve itself, not us, not we the people of Mendocino who are reduced to twinkling our fingers and find talking to elected don’t listen with a heart, but rather subjectively, seeking information for their agendas. If it fits their agenda, great. If it doesn’t, whatever. Who cares? I care; And honestly I think you and your wife, which I appreciate your esteeming your wife publically; I believe that is a quality of a good man, and a good woman, and such a couple that cares is a blessing to a community, so thank you Mr. and Mrs. Pekin for making your efforts to make Mendocino a better community because you know, there are not many human volunteer resources available and if you don’t, who will, especially when it comes to justice? Showing up is half of it. Thank you for doing that.

  15. February 23, 2018

    Thanks BB. I do hope to see you around. We’re regulars at the Fair.

  16. BB Grace February 23, 2018

    BINGO! Well said Ms. de Castro. I have no authority, simply a neighbor, but from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate your efforts and I am sorry for the abuse and pain you feel by those sharing your joint effort, as they are only doing their jobs while you are doing the work. May God bless you and keep you safe on our streets, rewarding you in ways that those in your joint effort do not.

  17. Eric Sunswheat February 23, 2018

    Robert Reich on radio interview talks about the missing ‘common good’ in America under Trump, and predicts that we all will lose in one way or another because of it. His new book is available.

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