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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018

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HAIL, COLD, SNOW: Showers will spread south across the region Thursday morning and afternoon. Accumulating snow will be likely for elevations above 1000 feet. In addition, showers and isolated thunderstorms may produce accumulating small hail along the coast. Otherwise, clearing skies Thursday night will favor very cold temperatures by Friday morning. Additional showers and mountain snow will be possible this weekend into early next week. (National Weather Service)

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by Pebbles Trippett

Sketches of the heartland — the Emerald Triangle — require that we go back to the beginning. Class K Code housing started with the back to the land movement in the early 1970s when city life was deteriorating, the Vietnam War was escalating and a whole generation of owner-builders was coming of age, seeking the peace of country life, living off the land in tune with Mother Nature, growing their own food and medicine.

The hippies from the cities moved to Mendocino County and made quite a name for themselves as owner-builders who staked their claims in the backwoods of the county and built their homes from trees on their own lands without expensive insulation or elaborate septic systems, which they claimed were unaffordable and unnecessary since they had outhouses.

The county responded by red-tagging large numbers of residents with extravagant requirements and fix-it notices that would have spelled the death of the owner-builders on their own land. So together, as a movement with human rights and property rights, they showed they were a hardy band of Anonforestlanders determined to stay. They launched United We Stand, raised their own funds at hoe-downs, hired a lawyer and went to jury trial with a unified community on board. Barry Vogel argued in court that 5 US Presidents lived with outhouses without hassle, were not red tagged for inconsequentials and went on to be President of the United States. What's the problem here?

A tuned in Mendo jury acquitted them: there was no crime, no civil violation, no wrongdoing. Owner builders were 'grandfathered in' and accepted as equal citizens. The question then becomes does the grandfathering end with that generation or does it extend implicitly to this day, roughly 40 years later? The Class K Code Housing exemption should remain as is, without fancy amendments in the name of public health and safety.

If there is any amendment it should clearly state that in keeping with affordable housing goals of the County's General Plan and the greater social good alongside health and safety, a Class K exemption remains in effect — (or whatever).

The visionary nature of the original owner-builders made the Emerald Triangle world renown due to their pioneering accomplishment of living off the land, growing their own food and medicine — cannabis was a staple — and defending their collective right to survive. Their spirit still lives among us, and the effects are factual. If Class K Code Housing is smothered by short sighted legislation with stringent requirements that wipe out an entire generation and class of people, most of us living here now will no longer be welcome.

Any legislation that dishonors and smothers the iconic owner-builders from the modern Mendo landscape puts the BOS on the wrong side of history, is doomed to fail and will follow you into the future. If Class K Code Housing ends with fatal legislation the Mendo BOS will never be forgiven for forcing out icons and treasured homes with outdated mean spirited discriminatory building codes.

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MOON OVER MENDO by Annie Kalantarian

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NASH GONZALES of the County's Planning and Building Department is shepherding the proposed sub-division at Lovers Lane just north of Ukiah. The EIR process is about to kick off. The project would rest on 24 acres and include 123 single family homes priced in the $350k-plus range.

PLANNING AND BUILDING is requiring the developer to provide a new project description with more detail plus an Inclusionary Housing Plan that meets the intent of the County ordinance.

THE DEVELOPERS of Lovers Lane, Guillon, Inc., are in negotiations to purchase the 45-acre Gardens Gate proposal the County approved years ago at the south end of Ukiah then delayed it into extinction. Guillon may be about to excavate it.

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On Friday, February 23, 2018, at 11:30 am, the Honorable Ann C. Moorman will swear in Izen Locatelli as Chief Probation Officer for the County of Mendocino at the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Chambers at 501 Low Gap Road in Ukiah, California.

Locatelli (Facebook

Mr. Locatelli began his career with the County of Mendocino in 2007 as a Juvenile Corrections Deputy and has worked his way up through the ranks in the County’s Probation department to the top slot of Chief Probation Officer. Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Locatelli chose to quote the immortal words of Teddy Roosevelt, “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” Mr. Locatelli hopes to bring a fresh outlook to Mendocino County Probation, and to uphold his duties with the upmost caution and care.

Presiding Judge Moorman commented, “The Court was unanimous in selecting Izen as the County’s next Chief Probation Officer and we are thrilled he accepted. He knows the department from the ground up. He is trusted by the rank and file as well as by management and government leaders across the county. He understands the importance the Probation Department plays in our community and he will bring fresh energy and vision to the department. He is a man of integrity, who believes in hard work and fairness. He will be a quality leader for many years to come.” 

Human Resources director Heidi Dunham remarked, “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.” 

For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.

Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer

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A driver who crashed Tuesday on Highway 116, suffering serious injuries and closing the highway in Forestville for 12 hours, was identified Wednesday by the CHP as a Ukiah woman. Anitza Urquiza, 31, was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

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EVERYTHING THE SUPERVISORS have touched lately they've managed to hopelessly confuse, whether it's marijuana policy or the Class K Housing guidelines. The next botch job is merging the library, the County Museum and our County parks into one big pot of funding. It's not a good idea because it concentrates another pot of dough with the County CEO, a person with, ahem, unpredictably autocratic instincts who would be sorely tempted to use the one big pot of money as one more hammer with which to threaten County employees who incur her easily incurred wrath. THE LIBRARY IS, at last, more than adequately funded; its money should not be shifted around to subsidize other areas of local government. People voted for the library tax, not a museum or parks tax. The Museum could fund itself with some intelligent energy, which may have arrived with the recently appointed young woman now functioning as curator. Several of the County parks are so remote they don't need much but an occasional clean-up.

OR, as one of our readers puts it: "The biggest danger of this [proposed merger] will be the loss of the ability of interested people to assure that the dedicated funding of the library system (property tax and sales tax) is being properly spent. This is particularly important re pro rata share of property tax, which the county recognizes but chooses to account for as input from its General Fund—“operating transfers in.”

THE COUNTY AUDITOR responded to the Grand Jury's 2013-14 Report recommendation for an accounting system that differentiated between the General Fund and the Library’s dedicated tax revenues:  “The ability for departments [not the unwashed public] to track their own transactions at different levels already exists within the County’s finance system. The Library can choose to track their funds separately through the use of “programs” or “projects."

A MERGER means that all revenue and expenditures will be lumped together in the published budget. The General Fund support of the Museum and Parks will be indistinguishable from the library’s property tax share. What about sales tax that is only for specific library purposes? How will they be able to track those expenditures?

COUNTY PARKS is already controlled by the CEO’s office. Folding the library into a department increases the CEO’s authority. The law governing the County Free Library system provides that “Each claim against the County Free library Fund shall be authorized and approved by the county librarian, or in his absence from the county, by his assistant. It shall be then acted upon in the same manner as other claims against the county.”

THE PROPOSED MERGER would not be good for the library system, which, by the way, unlike most county departments, includes the cities as well as the unincorporated areas of the County.

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THE SIMPLEST THING throws the Ukiah City Council into a furrowed-brow tiz. Three years ago, the Council, after hours of Talmudic-quality discussion, decided not to pass a shopping cart ordinance. The "thinking" was, Heck, if we just ask nicely the shambling wretches will voluntarily return the carts to their proper retail venues. Apparently freshly aware that there are more people than ever shuffling up and down State Street with their belongings in retail store carts, Ukiah's hard-hitting government is again mulling over an ordinance to get them off the streets — the carts, not the people who steal them.

QUOTING some dithering City drone or other, the Ukiah Daily Journal wrote,“Staff worked with businesses on this voluntary compliance program, (but) cart theft has persisted and abandoned carts have accumulated in particular parts of town, causing visual blight."

BY THEMSELVES, shopping carts are merely one more addition to Ukiah's prevalent visual blight. At least they can be wheeled outta sight, unlike, say, Taco Bell. Moreover, overflowing with groceries, shopping carts can be considered mobile signs of abundance, pushed by happy consumers headed for their couches with family bags of potato chips. And even heaped high with the final belongings of a failed, ragged consumer the carts can have a certain poignant charm, like those oil paintings of weeping clowns.

THE JOURNAL CONTINUES: "And although an ad-hoc committee (consisting of Vice-Mayor Maureen Mulheren and Council member Jim Brown) created to discuss solutions to the shopping cart issue had been disbanded, city staff note that Mulheren and Brown have continued to discuss the problem as part of the city’s Homelessness Working Group."

HOMELESS WORKING GROUP! (Jesus Prayer optional here.) "Well, Brownie, how's it going with shopping cart control?" "Gosh, Maureen, I saw a couple down on South State. We better get an in-service going to look for new paradigms, doncha think?"

HERE'S WHAT UKIAH may do, not that they're about to rush into anything without another hundred hours of intense working group discussion:

  • Require business owners to have their name and contact information on each cart.
  • Require business owners to notify the public that removal of the cart from store property is not allowed under any circumstances and that unauthorized possession of a shopping cart is a violation of state law.
  • Require business owners to submit a “shopping cart plan” that details how they will comply ordinance, including “how a business will prevent removal of shopping carts from its premises, how any shopping carts that are removed will be retrieved and how the plan will be modified if these measures do not prove effective.”

NOTE HERE that it's all on the business owners, not the people who steal the carts. Ukiah might consider expanding this strategy to include other classes of crime victims. Maybe car theft could become the owner's fault for possessing a vehicle, the liquor store clerk automatically guilty of public drunkenness, domestic violence sufferers responsible for provoking their attackers. The beauty of making victims responsible for their victimization is that they have fixed addresses. They can easily be located and fined.

I HAVE A COUPLE of ideas here that might be helpful. How about Ukiah-issued shopping carts, each with the name of a city councilman on it? "There goes a Scalmanini!" Or, "This cart sponsored by Jim Brown and the Democratic Central Committee of Mendocino County."

IF YOU LOOK carefully at the shopping carts already appropriated by the walking wounded, you will see some wonderfully innovative re-designs — third wheels, decorative pennants, upscale silk flowers. Ukiah could not only issue their own carts, sponsored by local luminaries, the town could award cash prizes to the best decorated cart! Hell, the City could even sponsor a shopping cart parade, thus putting some teeth in the 'far out' part of the town slogan, "Far out, nearby." (A consultant charged Ukiah twenty thou for that one. I was available for five.)

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(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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"They were caught short. And they...weren’t as prepared as they needed to be,” California’s top emergency official said Tuesday of Sonoma County’s response to the firestorm.

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  • $500,000 Bail
  • PC 187(A) MURDER (from 2002)
  • Age: 37 years old
  • Weight: 150 lbs
  • Heights: 5' 7"
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Hair: Black
  • Last known town/city: Jacksonville, SC

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

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A question that needs an answer! Lee Howard

TO: Carmel Angelo CEO County of Mendocino

Is the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers complicit with the prime contractors and sub-contractors in recover/cleanup with the hauling of waste debris? It is common practice for the trucks hauling debris away from the burn areas to be over loaded. The incentive to over load the debris trucks to the utmost is totally financial motivated and would stopped immediately if the Corp would only pay for the legal load. This would make our streets safer, less damage to the road surfaces and complies with the law.

Lee Howard


PS. To Robert C. Rodriguez: I have received No response to the Calif Public Records Request below! As you see it was sent 2/7/2018.

California Public Records Request

Cal OES, Jodi Traversaro, Region Administrator, Coastal Region, 1340 Treat Blvd Set. #270, Walnut Creek  Ca. 94597,

February 7, 2018

Dear *Custodian of records*:

Under the *California Public Records Act § 6250* *et seq.*, I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of public records that I believe your office maintains, List of all contractors that have worked on  Fire Debris cleanup and removal with respect to the Cleanup and Removal on the Redwood Valley Complex Fire in Redwood Valley and Potter Valley Calif, Under Governor  Brown Emergency Declaration and a Declaration of Health Emergency by Mendocino County. (Both still in effect)

If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $100.00.  However, I would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the impact to the public from events associated with the records being requested. This information is not being sought for commercial purposes.

The California Public Records Act requires a response within ten business days. If access to the records I am requesting will take longer, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records.

If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law.   Thank you for considering my request.


Lee Howard

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Spot's gotta get himself reconstructive surgery. Lost most of his nose in the balloon crash. Heck, what's a dog without a nose? "A real dumb dog," Skrag says, but who asked him?”

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To the Editor:

Mendocino County’s K-12 education system is in trouble. Despite some excellent schools in the County, overall Mendocino County’s student achievement falls substantially below the average performance of students in California — 10-15 percent below California’s already low results.

Who is ultimately responsible for this? Well, finally we are all responsible.

However, the Mendocino County Board of Education, who has been elected by all of us and receives public benefits for its services must provide the leadership to fix this problem.

Are they serving our interests? Recently, in response to an exceptional performing school’s application for a County-wide charter, the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) has recommended that its board resist approval on the grounds that the charter, located in Fort Bragg, does not benefit the entire county. It seems that MCOE, and its board, need to reconsider exactly what constitutes a ‘County-wide Benefit’.

The school in question, Montessori Del Mar, has an outstanding record of performance — as measured by State tests — and currently serves students from two school districts. Yet, the school is struggling to gain a ‘County-wide Charter’ because MCOE seems unable to appreciate that all residents of Mendocino County benefit from our students performing at high levels.

We live in a rural county that occupies one of the largest geographies in the state. This means wide distances between population centers. It is short-sighted to suggest that a charter only be granted to a school that can somehow be geographically accessible to all residents in the County. Who can meet such a standard given the vast distances?

Yet, Montessori del Mar which has until now operated through the Mattole Unified School District is already serving a County population beyond its immediate location. It serves students from two school districts and can serve homeschoolers from all over the County with plans to serve expelled students in the County via independent study. It is far from an ‘elite’ school but accepts all students — as state law mandates — based upon a lottery system. It does not ‘cherry-pick’ top performers. In fact, it serves students with learning disabilities and other educational challenges. Yet, its student performance is still exemplary, and frankly should be championed.

How is it that all Mendocino County citizens do not benefit from these students doing so well? In fact, MCOE should be considering additional charters in an effort to bolster additional support for our children. While Montessori’s specific approach may not be right for every student, offering a variety of educational choices for our families makes perfect sense for our county. It is well understood that an area’s prosperity is in large part dependent upon the achievement of students in its education system.

It is true that Mendocino is a small, poor, rural county. Can we afford to use this as an excuse to continue the cycle of poor student achievement?

In his 2018-19 proposed budget, Gov. Brown has marked $55 million for county offices of education to better help school districts identify and help low-performing student groups. Brown stated “…Local empowerment. That’s what it’s all about. The age of micromanagement from Washington or Sacramento is over as far as I am concerned.” MCOE should follow the Governor’s directive to its logical conclusion and empower our parents—the most local level of all. Furthermore, California State’s reimbursements to this school should come to Mendocino County, not Mattole.

Let us provide our families with viable and successful educational options to ensure that all our students are well supported and cared for. Promoting programs such as Montessori del Mar will improve educational success and ultimately economic outcomes in our County.

Lisa Garza-Hillman and Rev. Paul Garza, Jr.,

Fort Bragg

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 21, 2018

Blake, David, Dominguez, Isenhart

NICHOLAS BLAKE, Ukiah. Sexual acts with child of 14-15 years and perpetrator is at least ten years older, continuous sexual abuse of child, lewd and lascivious with child under 14 with force, etc.

CHRISTIAN DAVID, Lake Charles, Louisiana/Ukiah. DUI.

MAURICIO DOMINGUEZ, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

JIMMIE ISENHART JR., Disorderly conduct-alcohol, indecent exposure.

Larson, McNamara, Mertle, Rivera

ALAN LARSON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

KYLE MCNAMARA, Fort Bragg. Convicted of certain misdemeanors within ten yeas of owning, possessing or receiving certain items, probation revocation.

MICHAEL MERTLE, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

STEVEN RIVERA, San Marcos/Willits. DUI.

Silva, Sutherland, Vanwormer

MANUEL SILVA, Willits. Domestic battery.

HENRY SUTHERLAND, Leggett. Domestic battery.

ELEA VANWORMER, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

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I’m a huge law enforcement supporter. I’m sure that everyone knows that the FBI was tipped off not once, but they were again contacted Jan. 5. Both tips gave the FBI the killer’s name and his own words about planning a school shooting. Local law enforcement people had been to his house 30 times regarding violence issues. So much for “If you see something, say something.” How pathetic.

The FBI seems to be more worried about politics and spying on American citizens via bogus Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants. So the FBI admits that it dropped the ball. But the political part of this sad event is that, on Friday, the Justice Department held a press conference bragging about indicting a dozen Russians who don’t even live in this country.

How obvious is it that this big announcement was orchestrated to divert America’s attention from the real issue: the FBI is responsible for the deaths of 17 young people as well as the destruction to their families and the other students who will live forever with the memories of the horrible event.

Only in America can politicians and elite law enforcement make these types of mistakes and not be punished. America, the land of zero consequences.

Marshall Brant

Santa Rosa

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Now, as to the gun culture. Estimates vary as to how many guns there are in the United States, but in terms of households, as few as one-third have any guns in them. What’s more, the ownership is extremely lopsided. Estimates are that more than half of all guns are in the hands of just 3% of Americans — ‘super owners’ — who own an average of 17 guns apiece.

But this small and unrepresentative sample of Americans are very loud, very paranoid, and very fond of their pet theories. They see their hobby of collecting and shooting guns as necessary to the safety and functioning of society. Like any delusion, this false belief is held not only without evidence, but in spite of copious evidence to the contrary. The U.S. is an extreme outlier among developed nations in the number of suicides, homicides and mass shootings committed with guns. The simple equation, more guns equals more deaths, eludes them. Rather, like techno-narcissists who insist that problems caused by technology can only be solved by more technology, gun narcissists insist that problems caused by guns can only ever be solved with more guns. Hence, magical thinking.

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Note asking price on old VW van. (Spotted in...the Haight!)

(Submitted by Steve Heilig)

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WANTED, A REAL MAN (from the MCN chat line)

(1) "...I wanted to clarify one more thing. When I was referring to not being into guru types and preferring masculine men, I meant that as the type of man I would like to date. Maybe they are all taken."

(2) "Hello. I may be opening up a huge can of worms but I would like to know where people my age can find friends that don't drink or do drugs. I am 57 and have been in Fort Bragg for over a year. I am from Mn and am old school. I am not really into the spiritual guru types. I miss the days when men were more masculine. I find it hard to find female friends who are like sisters and don't judge or gossip. I might be a dreamer...but am I the only one?  Hoping to open this up for discussion but please be kind."

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“This next suit’s strength will surprise you — it draws incredible power from the impassioned voices of teen-agers seizing control of the gun debate in their country.”

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Whale Festival March 3rd, 4th, 17th and 18th, 2018.

MENDOCINO, Calif. — For one of the best spots for whale watching along the Mendocino Coast travel to Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park. The Lighthouse was built on a point of land extending westward into the Pacific Ocean to enable the light to be most visible to ships passing by. This extension makes Point Cabrillo a brilliant location from which to watch the migration of the Gray Whales between the lagoons of Baja Mexico and their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic Ocean.

Fun for all ages will happen March 3 and 4, and March 17 and 18, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Docents will be on hand with binoculars to help visitors find the whales swimming past. The curious may discover tidepool organisms without getting their feet wet by visiting the 250 gallon salt water aquarium at the Marine Science Education exhibit in the restored Blacksmith shop. Displays and trained docents at the Lighthouse and First Assistant Lightkeeper’s House will help illuminate what life was like for people living on or visiting the Point.

On this special occasion, PCLK volunteers and members of The Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer tours of the tower including the beautifully restored 3rd Order Fresnel lens for a donation of $5 per person. Children must be 42 inches tall to participate.

Come try your talent at assembling a life-size gray whale jigsaw puzzle. Discover how marine mammal rescue volunteers help stranded seal and sea lions along the coast. Explore local birds with The Mendocino Coast Audubon Society by joining their beginning bird identification walks starting at 9am from the upper parking lot at Point Cabrillo Light Station SHP each day of Whale Festival.

Weather permitting, Docents will lead walks to nearby Frolic Cove and relate the story of the Boston Owned Clipper Brig “Frolic”, wrecked off the cove in July 1850, bound from China to San Francisco with a valuable cargo of Chinese merchandise for the Gold Rush miners and their families.

The Lighthouse Gift Shop is the perfect place to find original artwork, fascinating books, and unique gifts.

About Gray Whales

Every spring, Gray Whales journey with their newborn calves from the protected lagoons of western Baja to their feeding grounds in the waters of the Bering, Chukchi and Arctic Seas. The whales migrating past Point Cabrillo belong to the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale population of roughly 20,000 to 25,000 individuals. These figures represent a strong recovery of the population since attempts to ban hunting of the Grays were initiated by international treaty in 1937. Most members of the Eastern Pacific Gray whales pass by Point Cabrillo twice; once on their southward journey from November to March, and with some returning north as early as February and others traveling through May. Newly pregnant females lead the northward migration, followed by males, and the last to leave Baja are usually females with new-born calves.

Directions To The Light Station

The Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park is two miles north of Mendocino and six miles south of Fort Bragg. Take the Point Cabrillo Drive exit from Hwy 1 and follow the signs. Festival activities are an easy half-mile walk from the parking area.  Handicapped parking is available. A $5 per vehicle donation will be requested to support the PCLK’s educational programs.  Bring warm, windproof clothing. We have binoculars to share. The Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park is a unit of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The Light Station is managed by the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association under a concession contract with State Parks.

For additional information, please visit, or call the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce at 800 726-2780 or 707 961-6300.

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"FEED MYSELF?  You Gotta Be Kidding!"

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

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by Dan Bacher

The California Fish and Game Commission on February 7 ordered a five-year suspension of the license of Pacific Star Sportfishing, Inc., a recreational sportfishing vessel operator, for fishing in the “marine protected area” network created under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative and other violations.

They made the decision following oral arguments heard at the Commission meeting in Sacramento.

In an undercover operation and subsequent boarding by officers in 2013, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) wildlife officers observed 18 violations including poaching within California’s marine protected area (MPA) network, exceeding the possession limits of several fish species, using illegal methods to take fish and failing to report accurate counts on logbooks.

Based on these violations, CDFW filed an accusation with the Commission against Pacific Star requesting that the Commission suspend this commercial passenger fishing vessel license, according to Jordan Traverso of the CDFW in a news release.

“Illegal take of our marine resources, especially in MPAs, undermines the tireless work of law enforcement, scientists, the public and fishermen in California,” said Commission President Eric Sklar. “The Commission took ample time to review the department’s accusation and we hope this serves as a message that we do not take lightly these sorts of violations and will ensure those who are responsible receive the appropriate penalty.”

“The Commission’s decision today follows a two-day hearing in 2017 conducted by an administrative law judge on behalf of the Commission with CDFW and Pacific Star both participating. The judge ultimately proposed that the Commission suspend the license for two years, with only the first 90 days of the suspension taking effect so long as Pacific Star complied with certain terms of probation.  The Commission rejected that proposal as inadequate and gave CDFW and Pacific Star each 15 minutes today to argue their positions, resulting in today’s suspension,” Traverso said.

I completely agree with the CDFW and Commission that poachers should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for fishing in the "marine protected area" network and other violations. However, they still fail to address the six “inconvenient truths” about the so-called “marine protected areas” created under the MLPA Initiative.

First, the marine protected areas created under the MLPA Initiative still fail to protect the ocean from pollution, fracking, oil drilling, oil spills, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

In 2014, I called Zeke Grader, the long time executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations who passed away in September 2015, about a bill sponsored by Senator Hannah Beth Jackson to defend the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve from oil drilling, due to loopholes in both the California Coastal Sanctuary Act and the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. Grader, who supported the bill, pointed out how the very need for the bill “highlights what a failure the MLPA Initiative was.”

“If these are true marine protected areas, they why are we allowing drilling and other insults to the ocean in them?” asked Grader. “The whole MLPA Initiative was a phony process that provided an opportunity for Big Green and government bureaucrats to write press releases claiming these were ‘protected areas’ when in reality the fishermen and Tribes got screwed. We should have bans on oil drilling in all of the marine protected areas.” More information:

Second, the CDFW made no mention of the fact that Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and the head  lobbyist for the expansion of fracking and other oil drilling in California, chaired the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called  “marine protected areas” in Southern California. It’s no surprise that this “marine guardian” and her organization opposed Senator Jackson’s bill to protect from offshore drilling the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve that Reheis-Boyd helped to create.

In an apparent conflict of interest, Reheis-Boyd also served on the task forces to create so-called “marine protected areas” on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. More information:

Third, the terminally flawed science and false assumptions of the process have never been addressed. Nor has a long-needed investigation of the role of a convicted embezzler, Ron LeValley, in creating the initiative’s “science” ever been conducted.

LeValley, who a judge sentenced to a 10 months in prison for conspiracy to embezzle over $852,000 from the Yurok Tribe, co-chaired the MLPA Initiative “Science” Advisory Team for the North Coast. More information:

Fourth, the state failed to appoint any Tribal scientists to the Science Advisory Team that oversaw the Initiative’s “science,” even though the Yurok Tribe said it could produce a panel of Native American PHDs to challenge the “terminally flawed science.”

Fifth, state officials, who had originally pledged to conduct a regional review of the so-called “marine protected areas” created under the MLPA Initiative every five years, reversed course and now are doing the reviews only once every 10 years, under their MPA Master Plan adopted in August of 2016. More information:

Sixth, to make things worse for fish, sea mammals and the marine ecosystem both inside and outside “marine protected areas,” Governor Jerry Brown expanded offshore drilling in state waters under existing leases by 17 percent between 2012 and 2016, according to an analysis by the nonprofit FracTracker Alliance. That’s right — Brown’s gas and oil regulators approved over 200 new offshore wells in Los Angeles and Ventura counties while Brown flew around the world to pose as a “climate leader” at international climate conferences.

According to the Fracktracker Alliance:

"FracTracker Alliance reviewed the data published by DOGGR on permitted offshore wells. (DOGGR refers to the Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources, which regulates drilling in CA). Using API identification numbers as a timeline, we actually find that it is likely that 238 wells have been drilled offshore since the start of 2012. The DOGGR database only lists “spud” (drilling) and completion dates for 71 – a mere 1.3% of the 5,435 total offshore wells. DOGGR reports that 1,366 offshore wells are currently active production wells. It must be noted that these numbers are only estimations, since operators have a 2-year window to drill wells after receiving a permit and API number.

Using these methods of deduction, we find that since the beginning of 2012 the majority of offshore wells have been drilled offshore of Los Angeles County in the Wilmington Oil Field (204 in total); followed by 25 offshore in the Huntington Beach field; 7 in the West Montalvo field offshore of Ventura County, and 1 in the Belmont field, also offshore of Ventura County. Additionally, the Center for Biological Diversity reports that at least 200 of the wells off California’s coast have been hydraulically fractured."  

The FracTacker Alliance report is available here:

The CDFW and California Fish and Game Commission won’t be able to truly implement the Marine Life Protection Act of 1999 until they finally address these outstanding issues that taint what passes for “marine protection” in California.

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by Dave Zirin

This week I've got a podcast and an article for you. First, the Pod.

This week, we talk all things NFL — plus a new twist on the Lebron-Jordan debate — with Andrew Brandt, columnist for The MMQB and The Athletic and the host of "Business of Sports" podcast. Brandt details his time as an executive with the Green Bay Packers and dishes on whether or not the NFL is blackballing Colin Kaepernick.

Dave has some Choice Words for how LeBron James has, once again, flipped the script in terms of what we expect from our superstars. Our Just Stand Up Award goes to Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, for being far more presidential than the current person residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Our Just Sit Down Award goes to the racist fans who thought it was a good idea to yell at Washington Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly. As we move on from the football season — and further away to when Colin Kaepernick last played — we urge you not to forget the man who started this revolution of athlete-activists!



    • Harvey Reading February 22, 2018

      REAL MEN don’t use fbook, James.

    • james marmon February 22, 2018

      P.S. I’m close to your age and I don’t drink or use drugs.

  1. George Hollister February 22, 2018

    “Who is ultimately responsible for this? Well, finally we are all responsible.”

    If we are all responsible, no one is responsible. That’s the problem.

  2. Harvey Reading February 22, 2018


    I like that and am envious of the artist for her talent, one that goes far beyond pressing a shutter button on some computer gizmo called a camera.

  3. james marmon February 22, 2018


    For the past 7 years I’v been keeping my fingers crossed that there wouldn’t be a mass school shooting in Willits. I had a case that involved a 13 year old boy who stabbed his mother and stepfather, the mother accidentally.

    Man, woman stabbed in Covelo

    The boy was taken away from the mother because Bryan Lowery believed the mother would reunify with the stepfather. Another reason was that the boy’s biological father belonged to a local tribe and the tribe screamed ICWA. The bio dad was currently incarcerated and had a history of being in and out prison for several very violent crimes, so Lowery made me place with the bio grandmother.

    While the boy was living at bio grandma’s house he was allowed to play violent video games and was continuously in trouble at school, I was called to several meetings at the school to discuss his erratic behavior. Eventually the bio dad was released from prison and married another one of my clients which was also on my caseload and trying to get her children back. I had informed Lowery that the boy’s bio mother had informed me that the boy was infatuated by the Columbine School Shooters and was a danger, she was very concerned. Lowery always knew better than I, so it was ignored.

    Just weeks before I went insane and scared Lowery and his sidekick AJ Barrett halfway to death, Lowery ordered me to place all children with bio dad and his new bride. I’m not privy to what happened after my exile from CPS but about 3 years later I wasn’t surprised to see the boy’s new stepmother in the news again.

    Willits woman arrested in arson investigation

    Ross was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide, arson, burglary, vandalism, brandishing a weapon and obstructing firefighters. She was booked into the Mendocino County jail.

    The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office booking logs indicate Ross has been arrested for numerous incidents in the past, including a suspected petty theft and vandalism charge on Oct. 26.

    I say news again because the reason I was involved in her case in the first place was because I had removed her children from her after she threw one of them off the second floor balcony at a Ukiah Motel several years earlier.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Social Worker V
    Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services.

    • Bruce Anderson February 22, 2018

      I think the entire foster system would be much better for the kid if the child were placed in the custody of a stable family member, and that family member was financially subsidized at a reasonable rate to provide for her (typically) and the kid. Placing screwed up young people with random strangers is not helping the kid, and certainly not helping what’s left of society. But these are the children of the underclass, so what you have is a whole bunch of well-paid middleclass people living off America’s victims, hence the resistance to all reform.

      I’m glad you write about this issue from your insider knowledge, James. Myself, I’d never let my kids or grandchildren anywhere near this parasitic, failed apparatus.

      • George Hollister February 22, 2018

        “But these are the children of the underclass, so what you have is a whole bunch of well-paid middleclass people living off America’s victims, hence the resistance to all reform.”

        Bruce, you know as well as anyone. Parenting should never be done because there is money in it. Children in bad situations are usually born into these situations, and where possible, should be removed from these situations ASAP.

        I don’t think being underclass has anything to do with it. Since government has taken over this responsibility, it is not on anyone’s radar. This did not used to be the case, and what we used to do for orphans was better.

      • Lazarus February 22, 2018

        Yesterday at Willits High School a student made threats that were considered by students and authorities serious. He then allegedly left the campus. The student is said to be troubled and is widely known by the school authorities.
        Last night a warning e-mail went out to teachers from the administration in connection with this incident. As imagined the e-mail spread to WHS parents rapidly.
        Apparently many parents kept their children home today, even though the police had picked up the troubled student yesterday, according to WPD reports.
        Bottom line appears to be, this is really a growing issue, the parental fear, the students fear, it’s right here, in the Mendo…
        Sure, maybe some took advantage of the situation to skip school…whatever… but the fact remains, there is a kid who threaten the school to the place that the police picked him up and sent him to juvy, where he supposedly sits today, “Strange Days” indeed…
        As always,

        • BB Grace February 22, 2018

          They are hunted Ms. de Castro. Drug dealers, gang members, pedophiles, human traffickers hunt for kids, low hanging fruit.

          • james marmon February 22, 2018

            Where’s the money Camille?

    • james marmon February 22, 2018

      I hope someone, particularly law enforcement, realizes who I am talking about and checks in on him. Remember, “see something, say something”

      Mass Killings Inspire Copycats, Study Finds

      “Police have said so for years and now scientists have measured the effect: Mass shootings and school attacks do inspire copycats.

      As many as 20 to 30 percent of attacks are set off by other attacks, according to researchers at Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University. The effect lasts about 13 days, they write in the report published Thursday in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.

      And mass killings — such as the 2012 attack on small children at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, the 1999 Columbine massacre, and last month’s shooting of nine people at a prayer meeting in Charleston — are becoming alarmingly common in the United States.”

  4. Jim Updegraff February 22, 2018

    It was apparent yesterday that Trump’s proposal that school teachers should be armed as will schools having armed ex-marines as security guards in school demonstrated how stupid is Trump. .

    • Stephen Rosenthal February 22, 2018

      Yes, and when meeting with the students he even needed a hand-written cue, er “note”, card to remind him of talking point #5, to wit, “I hear you.” Maybe this tragedy will invigorate and empower the next generation to remake our political process and dump the pay-to-play method we have to currently endure.

    • BB Grace February 22, 2018

      Fake News Mr. Updegraff.

      Yesterday at the WH, Frank Aft, a father of a survivor introduces himself when he passes the mic so Trump can hear the children @ 12:0+. Frank Aft took the mic and was first to offer a solution to President Trump @ 44:0+, “arming administration and teachers”. President Trump responds that what Frank Aft is suggesting is Concealed Weapons, and he’s not so hot about that idea. Many people in the room protested Frank Aft’s suggestion when it was their turn, with ample reasons why they don’t want armed teachers.

      The meeting was 1:10:10 long.

  5. George Dorner February 22, 2018

    A firefight waged by untrained teachers with school shooters will somehow increase student safety?

    Overlooked news: There was an armed security guard at Columbine. He made no difference.

    • james marmon February 22, 2018

      Yes, Columbine Had Armed Guards—And They Saved Lives

      “Yes, there was, and it was the guard’s presence and the resistance he and others offered that kept the carnage less than it might have been.

      On April 20, 1999, Neil Gardner, an armed sheriff’s deputy who had been policing the school for almost two years, was eating lunch when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold arrived at Columbine with their deadly arsenal and deadlier intentions.

      Gardner said he got a call from a custodian that he was needed in the school’s back parking lot. A few minutes later, he encountered Harris, and the two exchanged gunfire. The exchange with Harris lasted for an extended period of time, during which Harris’ gun jammed.

      The deputy and the backup he immediately called for exchanged fire with the shooters a second time and helped begin the evacuation of students, all before SWAT teams arrived, and before Harris and Klebold eventually killed themselves in the library.

      Harris and Klebold also carried improvised explosive devices, some that detonated, others that didn’t. One thing is certain — the armed resistance of Gardner and his backup bought time and saved lives.”

      • BB Grace February 22, 2018

        Cruz also had smoke bombs.

        FBI knew Nikolas Cruz was stockpiling weapons in Florida …

        FBI director must resign: Florida governor demands Fed head step down after Bureau reveals it did not investigate Nikolas Cruz despite being warned of stockpiled guns and desire to kill SIX Weeks before massacre

        That individual stated that Nikolas Cruz had … This marks at least the third mass shooting in the past two years that was carried out by an individual the …

    • BB Grace February 22, 2018

      Show me the link that proves the NRA awarded HIM.

        • james marmon February 22, 2018

          These liberals will drive you crazy Ms. Grace, they’re incapable of rational thought. They’ll spin anything to match their cause.


        • BB Grace February 22, 2018

          Mendocino County NRA also gives grants.

          Fact is NRA had NOTHING to do with Nikolas Cruz pre meditating and murdering 17 people.

          • BB Grace February 22, 2018

            That’s right Ms de Castro. The NRA and the ROTC for the matter, had NOTHING to do with Nikolas Cruz pre-meditated murder of 17 people.

  6. james marmon February 22, 2018

    VoteVets thinks that they represent veterans

    “There’s an article at Stars & Stripes today about mainly two competing Veteran political action groups, Concerned Veterans for America and VoteVets. I don’t think that anyone here would argue that they’re not both partisan, but VoteVets is more connected to Big Liberal money.”

    “Vote Vets is beholden to environmental groups and is wholly-owned by those drooling morons at MoveOn – wherever Soltz can find some cash to keep that organization alive for his own enrichment and aggrandizement.”

    Where’s the money Wes?

  7. james marmon February 22, 2018

    My daughter Rachel is a school teacher in Georgia, she is also a United States Air Force Intelligence Veteran. She is married to a Jar head (marine) and is a member of the National Rifleman’s Association (NRA). Put a gun in her hands and your children will be safe, not that her students aren’t safe with her anyway. She could kill you with her bare hands if she needed to.

    Rachel Finch aka Rachel Marmon

  8. George Hollister February 22, 2018

    The likely outcome from having trained armed staff on campus is no shooters. Shooters prefer gun free venues.

    The alternative is to have schools as security zones, as is seen in airports. That is not likely.

  9. George Hollister February 22, 2018

    How many school shooters have these Orange County teachers had?

  10. BB Grace February 22, 2018

    Maybe it should be the subject since so many kids are hunted, caught and trapped by drug dealers, human traffickers, gang members all known for using guns with a smile?

    Chances of a kid being destroyed by a drug dealer or a gang member is apparent with our booming jail population.

    Making this into a political issue, are you suggesting that these kids are more afraid of Republicans with NRA memberships? Is that who Nikolas Cruz represents? Are you projecting your political bigotry fearmongering to students, as if you cared about them?

    The fact you don’t think drug dealers, human traffickers and gang members who are known to hunt children and possess guns illegally isn’t a big deal to you, because maybe you use kids as political pawns?

    I don’t think kids are stupid by a long shot. I believe they seek truth more than political bigotry based on lies and fearmongering. It’s why the left is plunging into the abyss.

  11. BB Grace February 22, 2018

    Did you watch our President Trump’s conference today with the administration, first responders, Mayor of Broward County and hear their concerns and solutions, Ms. de Castro?

    Did you hear what our President Trump said about California?

    • BB Grace February 22, 2018

      Have you ever been on a cruise ship or visited a gated resort? That’s how the schools of the future are going to be. Very secure but you won’t even feel like there’s 1000s of eyes on you, and no worries about armed stowaways or gate crashers. Children will be safer at school than at home.

      • BB Grace February 22, 2018

        “My mother always makes me conscious of the privilege it is to live in a secure nation, the USA.”

        God bless your Mother Ms. de Castro.

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