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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, March 4, 2018

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LANDMARK ALBION RIVER BRIDGE PRESENTATION Sunday March 4 from 12:15pm to 1:30pm at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Fort Bragg

On Sunday March 4 members of Albion Bridge Stewards will be giving a presentation about the history of the landmark Albion River Bridge at the Mendocino County Historical Society (MCHS) general meeting. The public is invited to join MCHS members at 12:15pm. The VFW building is located across from the Fort Bragg Library on the corner of Laurel and Harrison Street. During the one hour presentation MCHS members and the public have a chance to learn about the history of the last wooden trestle bridge on California’s scenic Highway 1.

There used to be hundreds of wooden trestle bridges up and down the California coast, carrying logs on railroad trestle bridges, and wagons and later cars, on roadway trestle bridges. Populating the north coast would not have been possible without these wooden trestle bridges. But where are they today? Alas, only one survives. The Albion River Bridge is the last wooden trestle bridge on the California coast. We owe it to our history, and future generations, to preserve this final remaining wooden trestle bridge. It is truly worthy of its recent placement on The National Register of Historic Places and on The California Register of Historical Resources. Historic assets like this bridge, the Skunk Train and Mendocino village support thousands of us on the coast dependent on tourism, as well as our county’s coffers.

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Measure B Oversight Committee Meeting, Wednesday, 2/28/2018

by Mark Scaramella


Margie Handley, Chairperson of the Howard Hospital Foundation, opened the meeting by telling the Measure B (Mental Health Facilties and Treatment) Advisory Board that the Old Howard Hospital is “a viable option.” She said some state staffers had looked at the facility (evaluation cost covered by the Hospital Foundation) and it is a feasible mental health facility option. They concluded that it would cost between $11-$14 million to remodel facility to medical standards, depending on which option was chosen. (Apparently, they didn’t consider using only part of the facility.)

A good sized chunk of the two-hour meeting was a presentation by County Mental Health Director Dr. Jenine Miller. It’s depressing listening to her presentations because she always points out that the bottom line for mental health treatment is the bottom line — whether the “patient” can generate reimburseable revenue for the system by either qualifying under strict government or private insurance standards or paying out of pocket. She noted that only “seriously” mental ill people qualify for Medi-Cal reimbursements — if you’re not certified as seriously mentally ill, there’s no money for the system to treat you, much less help you — which in the Measure B context means that the non-centralized, lower-security facilities which the County “needs” would typically not house reimburseable patients — so for your typical low-income patient those facilities have to survive financially on the patient’s Social Security benefits.

Committee Chair Sheriff Tom Allman repeated his call for a “needs assessment” several times during the meeting, hoping that a committee member other than himself would make such a motion. Several members thought that before a consultant is hired, the County should first assemble what data it has; others said that before a consultant RFP is written, the committee members should submit the kinds of questions they’d like a consultant to address. After several faltering attempts at proper wording of a motion, County CEO Carmel Angelo (a committee member) moved to simply ask the Board of Supervisors to authorize the needs assessment without specifics and have County staff write the RFP. Board member Mike Mertle suggested that members prepare questions they’d like answers to in parallel with the RFP process so they can have them ready before the RFP is released.

The continuing preference for an outside (“independent”) needs assessment and the level of resistance to asking County staff and/or their well-financed service provider (Redwood Quality Management Company) to assess their own needs, shows that Mendo doesn’t really know much about its Mental Health Services, who they serve, what they do or don’t do, or how effective it is. That’s no surprise; based on Ms. Miller’s presentation, “need” has nothing to do with what they do: it’s all based on whether the mental health service is reimburseable. (The state won’t reimburse the County for services that don’t qualify, creating pressure to either upgrade the seriousness of the patient’s problem, or turn them down for service out of fear of not being reimbursed.)

Willits physician Dr. Ace Barash pointed out that the primary objective of any new facilities should be to keep mentally ill people out of jail and out of emergency rooms. But the funding has nothing to do with that. It’s true that some of the Measure B funds (25%) are supposed to go to “services,” but unless that funding is clearly earmarked as a “need” for the walking wounded now going to the jail or emergency rooms (but usually not to costly out-of-county facilities) — an unlikely outcome — the new Measure B facilities won’t make much of a dent in the more overt — but not immediate 5150 — candidates for treatment: developmentally disabled, chronic substance abusers, and the famously difficult “dual diagnosis” patients suffering from drug-related mental illness. If the “needs” are only defined as addressing facilities for the currently “served” (i.e., reimburseable) population, Measure B won’t help much.

Two AVA readers, one who calls himself “Lazarus” from Willits, and the always insightful Betsy Cawn of Lake County, offered their own assessments of the Measure B meetings:

Lazarus: “I watched some the meeting over coffee, besides Marge Handley hawking her crumbling HMH facility to the tune of $11 to $14 mil, it seems these experts had trouble coming up with a basic mission statement, If they can’t even do that, how in world can they agree on how to spend the people’s tax money on this crazy house? I had to quit, it’s to painful to listen. As always, Laz”

(Note: They already have a mission statement, it’s right there in the Measure’s voter-approved language.)

Cawn: “I watched a chunk of the first meeting; excruciatingly incompetent, orchestrated by Carmel Angelo’s assistant, endured by Sheriff Allman (who successfully campaigned for the measure on the grounds of having a feasible approach, if not a “plan”) — and attempted to parse the online information published by the Mendocino County Behavioral Health Advisory Board — all of which appears to serve as an effective buffer zone shielding half-hearted administrative services. It seems likely that the Sheriff’s Office would have the most specific current “data” about the individuals needing “mental health” services, some of which could be medically ameliorated, some of which cannot. Proposition 63 (2004) funding, under the Mental Health Services Act, is administered by multiple layers of quasi-professional associations and councils whose business is conducted elsewhere (Sacramento, LA, Redding?) but whose hustle and bustle result in little actual knowledge that can be applied to local planning. A lot of tax dollars go into these bureaucratic regimes, leaving the actual delivery of services to those on the ground — cops and docs — with little supporting “data” to analyze for project design purposes. Meanwhile, figure-heads and self-certified experts in the delivery of minimal assistance (aka, “treatment”) perpetuate the public service myth that licensed family therapists and counselors are effective at alleviating the conditions fundamental to mental illness — while white-coated administrators in ‘clinical settings’ are remunerated for so-called professional services under government contracts, with no performance measures or functional audits. At the state level, the Press Democrat reported a few years back that the California Mental Health Planning Commission (and the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission) could not explain what had been done with nearly $11 BILLION in revenues achieved from Prop. 63; and this is the spending authority that is supposed to ensure local effectiveness of Mental Health Services Act funding. Throw in a few million dollars of local sales tax revenues, give the county Administration the oversight and management, and hand the design process to local wannabe civic masterminds — and here we are “waiting for Godot” as usual.”

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Attention Weiner Dog lovers! Jake is a cute, short-legged little dog who is sweet and happy. He is a 3 year old, neutered male weighing in at 21 pounds. We would like any children in Jake's new home to be over 10 years old, because Jake can get nippy when he's excited--and he gets very happy when he sees his people and tennis balls! Jake is an active and playful bundle of fun!

Tiffany is the cutest, most cuddly cat at the shelter! She is such a love. Tiffany is a 1 year old, spayed female cat with snowshoe markings. She will be perfect for someone looking for a companion to hang out with. Tiffany would love an indoor-only home and plenty of time to spend with her new family.

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 at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah. Join us the 2nd 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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AVA News Service


John Pinches walked into our office Thursday morning. He was carrying the County Budget, or should I say “lugging,” the three pound document. He's bookmarked and annotated it, occasionally opening to a page to make a rueful comment. He probably knows more about Mendocino County's money than anybody currently employed in the County CEO's office.

The North County rancher has twice been elected 3rd District Supervisor. If he's elected again, he'll have set a County record for repeat stays in office. He had to take a break after his second term to recover his health. He looks strong and he definitely wants another shot at the job.

Pinches is totally focused on Mendocino County, which he pronounces the way old timers say it: “Mendacina County.” He's also a kind of living history, illustrating his political points with anecdotes from his nearly 70 years of life in a place he's clearly devoted to.

AVA: Top priority if you're re-elected?

PINCHES: Number one, housing, real low cost housing. We haven't built a mobile home park in Mendocino County in many years. Some people look down on trailer parks, but I know from my mom's place in Willits it was pretty darn comfortable and they are affordable. Most people can't go out and buy a piece of property and build a small wooden house on it anymore. Too expensive. You can buy a $40,000 mobile home or a $240,000 mobile home but you need a place to put it. Look how big this county is, and all of a sudden we don't have room? I have four grandkids. In a decade, they're going to need a place to live. I don't want them living under a blue tarp somewhere.

It's got to be easier to build on smaller parcels for second units. There are lots of things we can do at the County level to get homes for people. The biggest cost is land cost. We need to find a way to place second and third units on existing parcels. The way we're headed everybody's going to be living under a blue tarp. One place where there's plenty of room for high density housing is just north of Willits where all that dirt was moved around for the Bypass, but there are places all around the County we could put people in small houses or trailers. We don't even have any place for tourists to stay in the North County, no campgrounds until up around Leggett.

AVA: Where else can we build housing?

PINCHES: There are lots of buildable lots in Brooktrails, but the way they're set up, the necessary infrastructure is unlikely to be developed. The people who own lots there like to have vacant lots next door. I think Brooktrails has plenty of water now. If we could get back to building a couple dozen houses a year in Brooktrails it would be good for the economy out there. Outfitting and equipping houses is good for local business.

AVA: Are mom and pop marijuana businesses finished? 

PINCHES: The tanking of the pot industry is negatively affecting the whole County. I think it is all moving to the Central Valley, and all that money that used to circulate in this county is going, going gone. I was always for the small growers. For example, business in Covelo is off about 40 percent. It would help Covelo economically if the road over the hill — Highway 162 — was paved over to I-5, but that's not in the cards. We're surrounded by millions of people but our National Forest? No one knows about it. Covelo would be helped a lot if the National Forest became more of a destination.

AVA: The more money spent locally on mental health seems to result in more mentally ill people wandering around the streets, although hard drugs and alcohol are responsible for many of the walking wounded. Try as we might, we can't begin to gage the effectiveness of the annual millions spend by the County on mental health.

PINCHES: The mental health budget is $25 million. What it does do, though, is give the same level of service to all the communities of the County our people are going out there. I think we're doing a pretty good job on mental health. I worry, though, that with the passage of Measure B all the money and services will be centralized in the new facility wherever it's located. People forget that Ronald Reagan made sure that mental health services got a percentage of the sales tax and the recent tax on big incomes also is dedicated to mental health. There's a lot of money there. And how do you gage how effective they are? I think Reagan did a good thing closing the mental hospitals. Just because people are a little fetched doesn't mean they should be locked away forever. I'm pretty conservative financially, but I think money spent on helping people is always justified. I voted against knocking back general assistance help when I was supervisor and I'd do it again.

I'm worried that the new mental health facility will be over centralized and draw all the services into the cities. The most effective mental health service we can provide is the outreach program that goes and helps people in their homes. It's hard to know how to judge the success of that, but I think the outreach service is a good program.

AVA: What do you think of the County Budget overall? Is the money mostly being spent how it should?

PINCHES: When I was supervisor in 1995, the Budget was $102 million a year. We had two resident deputies in Covelo and a road maintenance facility in Laytonville. The budget now is $278 million and there is no resident deputy in Covelo and no road department in Laytonville. I think every district, all five districts, should each be getting $60 million in services, but I don't see that happening. I'm opposed to all the money being spent on consultants and outside studies. I think supervisors should know the County well enough not to have to job out basic information. Hell, look at the pot rules. I could write the rules on the back of a bar napkin, and now look what's happened. It's so complicated nobody can figure out what the hell. The small growers are being driven out and the whole business is going to big interests.

AVA: You've got what? Five opponents in the Third District race?

PINCHES: Funny thing, I don't know any of them except Pam [Elizondo]. She's lived in Laytonville for many years. I've never campaigned on criticism of my opponents. I try to stick to the issues. Whether people love me or hate me I've got pretty good name recognition. You've not only got to know your district, but you have to know the whole County as a supervisor. It's a full time job. People would call me every day needing help with one thing or another. I'd get home finally and there'd be another stack of calls. By the way, one thing I'm proud of getting done when I was supervisor was the trail in downtown Laytonville that runs west. People don't have to walk along the highway anymore. Road and bridge projects are great for the County. The feds pay over 90 percent of the cost of our new bridges and the work pays good. A lot of money circulates if we plan them, and you have to plan way in advance because all these projects are deep in CEQA and are about ten years out. Gotta get 'em plugged in early. I want to say that if I can't support my position on one thing or another, I'll change my position.

AVA: You see the timber industry coming back?

PINCHES: Just before I got here, I drove down to Philo to look at the mill site. There are a lot of logs going out of here still, and now there's no downside because we're past the wave of preserving it all. I think we should be doing more salvage logging, but I know of one problem right now is that there are no young log truck drivers. A lot of the drivers are guys in their seventies. I wish the schools would talk up jobs like this because the jobs are out there for young people, including women drivers.

AVA: Were you ready to run during the Big Fires? 

PINCHES: Yes. You've been to my place so you know it takes a while to get in and out. I can walk into Trinity County from the ranch in about ten minutes. That night, my wife and I were out on the deck when the winds started to pick up, and I got worried. Still, though, I really don't see how PG&E can be blamed for 80-mile-an-hour winds. That fire jumped the freeway in Santa Rosa! How far across is that? If that's not defensible space, what the hell is? I see where Mendocino County has joined Lake and Sonoma in suing PG&E. I guess we see a pot of gold at the end of the suit, but it will just eat a lot of money with maybe no return. What a lot of people seem to forget is that PG&E has always been helpful in emergencies — their snow-cat, their helicopters. I thought it was a little unfair for the County to list them in the County Budget as the County's number one taxpayer. They've got about ten listings there for the top taxpayers. I don't think it's anybody's business how much people pay in taxes.

By the way, Mendocino County has now decided to participate in the lawsuit against PG&E. They're going to give 18% of whatever they win to the lawyers. But the timing is bad. We want PG&E to continue operating the Potter Valley Project and relicense it under favorable conditions for Mendocino County, yet we are suing them? I don't think it's a great idea to make an enemy of PG&E right now during the relicensing process.

Water and infrastructure are my primary issues, and I don't hear the other candidates talking about that much. I don't think they are trivial.

AVA: We remember and supported your idea to run the Willits Bypass down the old railroad tracks, but you were an early supporter of the CalTrans Bypass, which is now a fact.

PINCHES: I think it's a good thing the way it came out. People say to me, "I didn't know how big and how beautiful Little Lake Valley was until I got up on the Bypass. Was business hurt in Willits? Business is off a little, but Mendo Mill has expanded and I see Help Wanted signs all over town. No, they're not the best paying jobs, but young people have to start somewhere and the fact that business owners are looking for help is a good sign that the economy is doing ok. I see the rail people have finally said that the railroad might roll as far as Willits again some day, and that would be a great thing for our economy, but that's a ways off.

AVA: The recent raises the supervisors gave themselves? Three of the people who voted for it are out the door, retiring. It all looked real bad, and a couple of those supervisors are lazy as hell, just showing up for meetings and that's all.

PINCHES: State law says the supervisors have to vote their own raises. I think if they'd just given themselves two percent a year there wouldn't have been the shock there was when they got the raise in a big hunk like that that made a lot of people mad. I know when I was a supervisor I think I earned my pay. A lot of the stuff I got done wasn't in the board room, wasn't even on the agenda. I tried to represent everyone whether or not they supported me for election. I always tried to see the other side of things, tried to be available to everyone. I want to give it another go.

AVA: More examples of getting it done?

PINCHES: When I was supervisor I got some tobacco tax settlement money allocated to lights for the Laytonville rodeo grounds, but they turned them down. So the money was used for lights in Harwood Park. I also got the Covelo rodeo grounds lit up and they can now do rodeos at night when it's cooler. These are small things in the big picture but important to a lot of people in the County's small communities.

AVA: That crazy Highway 20 transfer station seems to be on hold.

I'm not so sure. I was the only one who pointed out that Empire Waste said they could do it at their existing facility on Pudding Creek, no problem. But everybody voted to move forward except me. I couldn't believe it. Very frustrating. I spent two or three years getting the County out of the freaking garbage business and rates are better and everything. We are saving millions of dollars a year by not subsidizing the transfer stations and the service is better. And then we want to get back into it, and for this small volume? Remember I fought Shoemaker on the North Fork transportation station? That was a boondoggle. In Fort Bragg we are talking about two loads of trash per day. Two loads a day! The way you get in good financial shape is to make good financial decisions. You don't make a series of bad financial decisions and then wake up and say you are in good shape. It doesn't work like that.

AVA: The County Retirement Fund?

PINCHES: The retirement system is doing very well now with the stock market the way it is, way up. I reminded Carmel Angelo [County CEO] the other day that we need to keep the County employment numbers at around 900 people. That's what we need to do to keep retirement payouts at a solvent level. With all the new hires they’ve brought it up to around 1200 people. That puts a big burden on the pension system. The economy in this County cannot afford more than 900 people on the County payroll. And we still don't have a resident deputy in Willits. The Laytonville Road yard is basically closed. Where is the money going? And of course Covelo hasn't had a resident deputy for years. And the County is hiring more and more consultants. I asked how much that cannabis consultant is costing and Angelo didn't know. Nobody seemed to know. Basically, the guy said that for him to go further he needed more money. He's a consultant! Of course that's what he would say! The first meeting they get the contract, the second meeting they come back and say they need more money. Pretty standard. People forget that when I was on the board we took out the retiree health-care provision from the pension fund. We put most of them on Medicare. We had to fund a gap for a few people that were not eligible for Medicare. But now that's gone. That saved the pension system almost 50% of the liability. Nobody even noticed it. That was a huge deal. But we are still paying $7 million a year on the pension obligation bonds and we don't want to go through anything like that again. Our population, our economy, it has not grown, so how come County staff is growing this much? When I was a supervisor the last time, we had a full crew road crew in Laytonville and two resident deputies in Covelo. Now that's gone. But the County budget has gone up. How is that possible?

AVA: You think the new County Courthouse has been killed?

PINCHES: Have you ever seen the government kill anything?

AVA: Getting back to the pot ordinance…

PINCHES: It’s 38 pages! Have you seen this? [Waves a copy of it.] All these rules and staff and there's no road yard in Laytonville and they say they can't hire County employees to staff it. But here's their last ad. Have you noticed that their help wanted ads do not advertise for road workers? There you go. [Pinches opens another article from a Sacramento Capitol Hill columnist]. Quote: "The California Department of food and agriculture is going to inspect annually every cannabis cultivator in the state." Can you believe that? From the state? Impossible. I don't understand why they'd even say something like that.

The pot business has contracted a lot in the last couple of years. It's hard to sell and the prices are down. You don't see those big truck loads of soil going out into the hills anymore. My brother’s septic tank pumping business is off. He goes all over the County. This will affect everyone. Nobody knows where the bottom will be. People are still going to use pot of course and they will make other stuff with it. But I don't think Mendocino County is going to be the hub that they say it will be. I don't think cannabis tourism is going to amount to much. We need to keep the County economically diversified.

AVA: You are the only candidate I've ever seen who carries around his own copy of the budget.

PINCHES: [Flips pages] Look at this chip seal chart. This [2013] is what they were doing when I was on the board. And this [2018] is what they are doing now. (About 10% of 2013.) And look at this. Look at the road and bridge replacement chart. This [2013] is when I was on the board and that's [2018] what they're doing now. [Also about 10% of 2013]. I would be ashamed to put this out in a public document. Why? Because there's nobody there to push it. Now there’s the SB-1 tax infrastructure money. It just went into effect. I guess the law required them to say what they are going to do with the money, the projects. But look when they are planning to do it. 2022! No projects for 2018. Nothing. That means they are going to collect $4.5 million a year for five years and just sit on it! Roads have always been my issue. This should not need pointing out, it's right there in the budget book. If that's not thumbing their nose at the taxpayers, I don't know what is. And people wonder why I'm running for supervisor? There you go. It's just not acceptable to me. I put 12 years of my life into trying to get this County moving straight and it's not there yet. My health is better now and I'm not ready to see things go downhill. I hope the other candidates are paying attention to this kind of thing. Roads are the foundation of economic activity.

AVA: Other needs?

PINCHES: We need resident deputies in Covelo. Sheriff Allman says he has nobody who wants to do it. I wouldn't hire a guy unless he said he would work in Covelo. There is a $5000 a year incentive for that job. But I do give credit to the tribal police in Covelo. They seem to be pretty doing pretty well. I'm looking forward to the public and other candidates to come forward with issues and solutions. That's the good thing about campaigning. We can get into these things. Bring the level of involvement up. I think people need to bring very specific ideas to their campaigns.

I shouldn't say this, but I think Carre Brown is the most ineffective supervisor we've had in a long time. She thinks going to meetings is her primary function. She's very nice. It will be interesting to see who comes out to replace her after she retires in two years. Maybe there will be some good candidates. Marvin Trotter's wife comes to mind. She called and asked me about things already. Devon Jones is a smart gal, and if she lives in the First District she could be a good candidate. She would be a lot better than Carre Brown is.

The Board of Supervisors never really questions Howard Deshield [Director of Transportation]. They really don't know what he's doing. They don't pay attention. So how can they question him? I had hoped that Dan Gjerde would pick up the transportation ball, but so far not much. Sometimes you have to be more vocal and really come out strong to get attention paid to things.

Most of these problems stem from poor management. Who do you blame? Do you blame the CEO? Do you blame the board? Ultimately it does come down to the Board of Supervisors. It's so popular nowadays in politics to sit on your butt and keep your mouth shut. It's only when you try to do something that you get the criticism. So it's easier to do nothing. But things need to be done.

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On 02-28-18 at approximately 7:20 P.M., a Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputy was on uniformed patrol and parked in the area of the Round Valley High School in Covelo. The Deputy observed a vehicle drive past his location and noticed the vehicle had an inoperable headlight and lighting issues with the rear tail lights. The Deputy followed the vehicle and attempted to initiate a traffic stop in the area of Foothill Boulevard and Crawford Road. The vehicle continued driving westbound and ultimately accelerated instead of yielding to the emergency lighting and siren of the patrol vehicle. The vehicle turned north onto Hatchet Mountain Boulevard and drove on the wrong side of the road multiple times, while still failing to stop for the Deputy. The vehicle eventually stopped at a residence in the 300 block of Mountain Lion Boulevard. Additional law enforcement personnel were summoned and the driver of the vehicle and two occupants were detained without further incident. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Kandi Jo Delapena, 61, of Covelo, who was found to be on summary probation. Delapena was advised and placed under arrest for Felony Evading of a Peace Officer, Felony Evading, wrong way driver, and Violation of Probation. The Deputies identified one of the occupants of the vehicle as Manuel Frease, 59, of Covelo, who was determined to be on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) in Mendocino County. Sheriff's Office dispatch advised Frease had an order for his arrest for violating the terms of his PRCS. Frease was advised and placed under arrest for Violation of PRCS.

Delapena, Frease, Durazo

The other occupant of the vehicle was identified as Monalisa Durazo, 47, of Covelo, who Sheriff's Office dispatch determined to have two felony warrants for her arrest issued in Mendocino County. Durazo was advised and placed under arrest for her two felony warrants, issued for Probation Revoked. Delapena was subsequently booked at the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held on $35,000 bail. Frease and Durazo were both booked at the Mendocino County Jail to be held on a no-bail status.

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Subject: Details about Monday's KZYX board candidates' forum


Date: Fri, March 2, 2018 5:56 pm

Dear KZYX board candidate,

Following are the questions you will be asked at the candidate forum on Monday at the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, room 5340, at Mendocino College Ukiah campus. They will not necessarily be in the order listed below. Attached you will also find an outline of the event with instructions and time allotments. Because of the number of candidates and the time available for the event, these have been given to you beforehand so that you may be able to consider them and prepare your answers.

1) Given that the Board’s job is to set policy and ensure the financial stability of the organization, how would you work to keep the station healthy?

Answer: Transparent budget, which has never existed; combine the GM and Program Director positions for a single $40k job. An end to station secrecy generally. Advertise the $25 memberships.

2) The Board has no direct control over programming and day-to-day station operations, yet one of its objectives is to increase the station's community base. How will you help to do this?

Answer: The gm ought to be out there beating the drums for the station, but he's invisible. The quickest way to expand the listener base is a daily news program focused entirely on local events. As is, there's no specific reason to tune in.

3) What's your vision for the station going forward and how do you feel you can contribute to that end?

Answer: To make KZYX a truly public radio station there's got to be a reason for the wider public to listen, hence the absolute necessity for local news and discussion. I would advertise any movement in the direction of local news.

4) Over recent years there has been misinformation and at times downright lies published in media and posted in online blogs about KZYX. What do you feel is the best way to handle this problem? Why?

Answer: Any self-respecting organization that won't defend itself deserves all the abuse it gets. I wonder if anybody at the station knows the diff between a lie, an opinion, a simple error? This question is typical of the whining we get from the ruling claque at KZYX. How's that Lawrence poem go? "I can't stand Willy Wet Leg. You hit him once he lets you hit him twice." (Something like that...)

Thank you for your interest in running for a board seat and your participation in this forum.

Ed Keller/Election Coordinator

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Gotta laugh. One of these guys is all happy. ‘Hey, LD. Look at my koi pond!’ I didn't want to discourage him, but a tin box with WalMart gold fish? Kinda sad, really.”

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March 1, 2018

As we transition to a new City Manager, Staff is busy with a multitude of ongoing projects and initiatives.

Finance is preparing the Mid-Year Budget Workshop – an opportunity for Council and the public to hear where we are in terms of this year’s fiscal budget. This update is not only about dollars and cents, but also about the planned Capital Improvement Projects and other slated expenditures approved last June. C.V. Starr will present its Mid-Year Budget to the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District Board and as well as City Council. Both workshops are scheduled for Wednesday, March 7th beginning at 9 a.m. at Town Hall. The C. V. Starr presentation will begin at 1:30 p.m. The workshops will be live-streamed on the City’s website and shown on the PEG (Comcast, Channel 3).

Shortly after presenting the Mid-Year Budget Workshop, the Finance Department, in collaboration with all other City departments, will start on the FY 2018/2019 Budget. This is a 2-3 month process where each department works within the Council’s goals and priorities as well as other Council direction to prepare departmental work plans and budgets which fit within the scope of available funds and resources. All Staff work diligently to accomplish as much as possible with the available funding and must work within the limitations of where and how funds can be spent.

For example, funds received through the Enterprise Funds (Water, Wastewater, C. V. Starr, etc.) may only be spent on projects and activities within each of those areas. This is the same for special tax measures (Measure AA, Street Sales Tax, etc.). The General Fund, with most of the money coming from Sales Tax and Transient Occupancy Tax, can be spent on any area of the City’s budget. These funds are quite limited and Staff must figure out how to keep, or even improve, the current level of service while dealing with increased costs in all areas of the budget.

A budget and work plan will be drafted by May 22nd when the Budget Workshop is scheduled with City Council (9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Town Hall). At the workshop each department, with Finance taking the lead, will present its plan of work and related budgets to the Council for review and direction. Traditionally, departments have worked well together complementing each other’s needs and missions while working within the proposed budget limitations. 2018/2019 will be no different.

Both the Mid-Year and Budget Workshops are great opportunities to dive into the City’s finances and work plans, and learn how your tax dollars are working for you. Providing input to Council before and/or during these workshops is an ideal avenue for sharing your ideas, concerns and goals for Fort Bragg. The reports and other relevant information will be available several days prior to each workshop. If you do not already receive email or text alerts for when the City publishes Council packets, please visit our website to sign up.

In other areas of the City:

Aside from the exciting news of our new City Manager beginning work on March 5th, you may have noticed a new smiling face in the Finance Department. Janet Ferraiolo has joined our City Team from a local accounting firm bringing with her extensive experience in many areas of finance. Make sure to stop by and say hi the next time you are in City Hall.

The Fort Bragg Police Department welcomed the newest member of its department, a Community Service Officer, who began on February 25th. Katelynn Holloway is a graduate from Fort Bragg High School, and will be in training for a few months before setting out on her own. Katelynn will fill the vacancy created when CSO McLaughlin left to work for Mendocino County’s Children and Family Services.

In other news from the Police Department, three Cadets received their Cadet badges at the February 26th City Council Meeting during an impressive presentation, and were assigned their Call Signs for the first time. Maria Ramirez, Matt Lizarraga and Analiese Keaton have put in over 250 hours of training and patrol activities and have earned this special honor for their efforts. Congratulations to our new Cadets!

The final piece of the financing puzzle for the Waste Water Treatment Upgrade Project was put into place at the City Council meeting on February 26th with their authorization of up to $5M for a loan from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Total financing of approximately $15,500,000 is available for construction, inspection and other related work. The project will start advertising for bids March 1st with bids opening on April 16th. Construction is expected to begin later in the spring and will take two construction seasons with the goal of the plant going online in the fall of 2019.

A new 1.5 million gallon water storage tank is under construction across the street from the City’s corporation yard at the east end of Cedar Street. The site work is mostly done and the hole for the foundation has been dug. Tank construction is expected to happen during the month of April and will be ready for use in June. This new tank will give the City new water security in providing reliable water service to the community and make maintenance of the existing water tanks much easier.

Join us! Tabatha Miller will join the City’s Team as our new City Manager on Monday, March 5th. Join us prior to the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m., Monday, March 12th at Town Hall to meet Tabatha and celebrate her arrival. Cake and refreshments will be served.

If you have questions regarding this column or any matter of City business, please feel free to contact Interim City Manager Scott Schneider at or (707) 961-2843.

(Fort Bragg City Press Release)

* * *


Gregory Patrick Beck, now 55 years of age, appeared at a parole board hearing last Tuesday at Corcoran State Prison for his fifth attempt to gain release from prison since his horrific 2001 attack on then-32-year-old Sherry Carlton. On behalf of the DA, Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Norman attended what turned out to be a six-hour parole hearing, accompanied and supported by the victim's father, mother, and cousin. Supporting DDA Norman's forceful arguments opposing Beck's release, the family presented the commissioners over 52,000 online signatures, along with hard-copy petitions signed by over 150 individuals, all opposed to Beck's parole.

After deliberating on their decision, the parole board denied Beck's renewed application for another five years. Beck was told that his current denial was based on his continuing evasiveness, his minimization of what he did, and his "need to come to terms with the truth." A Mendocino County jury decided Beck's guilt at trial in April 2002. After hearing the evidence that Beck poured lighter fluid on Ms. Carlton and lit her fire (because she was trying to leave him), the jury convicted Beck of torture, assault with caustic chemicals, and domestic infliction of a traumatic injury.

During that trial, prosecutor Rick Martin presented the part of his evidence the chilling 9-1-1 call for help made by Ms. Carlton. In an anguished voice, Sherry is heard telling the dispatcher "I'm burned ... I'm burned ... He's sprayed lighter fluid all over me." Sherry tells the dispatcher, "His name is Greg Beck, you gotta arrest him ... he tried to murder me." She repeats that Beck tried to murder her near the end of the tape before her voice becomes mostly inaudible as she gasps in pain. "Oh god it hurts so ... oh my god, I'm sorry, I hurt so bad."

The last voice on the tape is that of the dispatcher trying to keep Sherry talking. "Hello? Hello? Hello?" the dispatcher kept saying, but received no further response.

Beck, Carlton

District Attorney Eyster applauded the decision of the parole board, as well as the good fight fought by DDA Norman and the family. "While Sherry passed away in 2016 after 15 hard years of bed-ridden care in a convalescent home," Eyster said, "Beck has not seen the last of us. That time comes to keep this monster right where he belongs."

(District Attorney Press Release)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, Mar. 3, 2018

Davis, Ellison, Garton, Gensaw

ERAINA DAVIS, Covelo. Vandalism, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

TERRY ELLISON, Willits. Alteration of vehicle registration, probation revocation.

SHANNON GARTON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

RANDALL GENSAW, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Hensley, Jones, Sanchez

CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

ERNEST JONES, Lucerne/Ukiah. DUI.

GRECIA SANCHEZ, Caspar. Domestic abuse.

Schnabel, Spiller, Yadon

CHRISTOPHER SCHNABEL, Willits. Suspended license, failure to appear.

SHAWN SPILLER, Fort Bragg. DUI, controlled substance.

DAVID YADON, Willits. Failure to appear.

* * *



The following statement from Jerome Powell, our new Federal Reserve chairman, gave me pause:

“Alone among all kinds of debt, we don’t allow student loan debt to be discharged in bankruptcy,” Powell told the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. “I’d be at a loss to explain why that should be the case.”

Student loans are low-interest, unsecured debt. Loans for things like homes and cars are considered secured debt and typically carry a low interest rate. During the 1970s, to make education more affordable, Congress passed a series of laws allowing lenders to give out low-interest unsecured education loans with the covenant that they couldn’t be discharged. If education debt could be discharged, it would be like credit card debt with an undesirably high interest rate.

Powell’s statement demonstrates a naive understanding of debt that doesn’t instill confidence in his ability as chairman of our central bank. Asking about the nature of debt is akin to a pilot asking why flaps are necessary.

James Miller

Santa Rosa

* * *


If you listen to the Great Thinkers along the coasts, the talking point is that the Deplorables declined to elect Hillary out of misogyny and racism. The Great Thinkers never tell you that hundreds of counties twice voted for Obama before they voted for Trump. This is because the Great Thinkers will never concede any legitimacy to the Deplorable vote. The Deplorable vote was not legitimate because it was racist and misogynist. End of discussion. Hence Trump is an illegitimate President.

To concede legitimacy to the Deplorable vote would throw into doubt the basis for the economic re-arrangements of the past two generations that greatly enriched the top tiers of American society and greatly impoverished the bottom.

Given the time and money and effort it took to put in place treaty and trade arrangements and to physically move US factories overseas, we simply cannot have this presidential interloper fucking it all up.

The long and the short of it is that Trump has to go. Trump’s tariffs started the time-bomb ticking.

My bet is they’re all sharpening their knives because Mueller is taking too damn long. One way or another, maybe with Pence being the front-man, Trump will get a visit. There will be a delegation telling him time’s up, take a permanent vacation, bye-bye.

* * *


meets every 3rd Tuesday of the month at 4pm:

  • March 20th
  • April 17th
  • May 15th
  • June 19th
  • July 17th
  • Sept. 18th
  • Oct. 16th
  • Nov. 20th
  • Dec. 18th

The Ukiah Branch Library has partnered with Tapestry Family Services and Project Sanctuary to create a new book club for teens: Bibliotherapy Book Club! Starting in January, the Bibliotherapy Book Club for Teens (12-18) will meet monthly & focus on a variety of "tough topics" including anxiety, depression, grief, sexual abuse & rape, racism, bullying, suicide, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia, & issues surrounding gender identity - to name a few. Some titles we will read include:

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky (trauma, grief)
  • Hyberbole and a Half, Allie Brosh (depression)
  • Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher (suicide)
  • Say What You Will, Cammie McGovern (OCD)
  • Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell (sexual & physical abuse)
  • Speak, Laurie Halse Andersen (rape)

Teens will be able to discuss tough topics in a safe environment with trusted librarians and counselors from Tapestry & Project Sanctuary, as well as receive assistance for service referrals if requested.

Advance registration is required. If you are interested in the program or want to find out more about the Bibliotherapy Book Club, please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or This book club is free and open to all interested teens.

* * *

AT THE VERY LEAST we need to ask why it took the fall of Harvey Weinstein to turn the sexual harassment of women into front page news, and whether the endless photo spreads of his female targets weren’t so much designed to provoke outrage or a cry for justice as to grant the voyeur his pleasure. That of course is a pleasure on which the cinema industry thrives and which made these women vulnerable in the first place. Pictures from the archive of Weinstein with one smiling actress after another, his arm proprietorially around various parts of their bodies, deepened the offence – and undermined scattered accounts of resistance to his behaviour, since everyone looked as if they were having such a good time. More institutions and public figures were to follow – from news anchors and comedians to MPs, publishers, schoolteachers and Benedictine monks – but they had less screen potential. I couldn’t help feeling that the actresses were once again being asked to audition for their part. Or being paraded across the red carpet on Oscar night.

This is just one reason why celebrations of the present moment as a historic breakthrough should be met with caution. Remember the images of Angelina Jolie walking across the stage, hand outstretched to greet William Hague at their ‘summit’ on rape as a war crime in London in 2014? It struck me then that she was being offered as a trade-off or collateral damage in the effort to bring such violence to an end. The initiative is now seen as a costly failure; the number of rapes recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on which their attention was focused, rose in the following year and hasn’t significantly decreased since. It is just one facet of this ugly reality – one more thing to contend with – that while attention to violence against women may be sparked by anger and a desire for redress, it might also be feeding vicariously off the forms of perversion that fuel the violence in the first place.

As feminists have long insisted, sexual harassment occurs whenever women find themselves in the vicinity of men in positions of power. It also takes place on the street. Vanessa Grigoriadis, a writer at the New York Times Magazine, had often been whistled at and cat-called as she walked through the city, but when researching her book on sexual harassment on campus in 2016, she noticed that men seemed to be stopping and harassing her even more than usual. Her father was dying at the time. It wasn’t exactly that men could read her thoughts, but certainly she felt that they were picking up on her vulnerability, seizing their moment to probe an open wound. They were excited by her distress (one target of Weinstein’s advances said he was clearly roused by her fear). The aim of harassment, this suggests, isn’t just to control women’s bodies but also to invade their minds. Grigoriadis’s experience is telling. However scarred the modern city, it can be a place of relative freedom where a woman can muse and fantasise. Harassment is always a sexual demand, but it also carries a more sinister and pathetic injunction: ‘You will think about me.’ Harassment brings mental life to a standstill. It destroys the mind’s capacity for reverie.

As far back as 1984, in their pamphlet Sexual Harassment at Work, the National Council for Civil Liberties – the antecedent of Liberty – described harassment as an ‘intentional assault on an individual’s innermost privacy’. Ironically, in the light of recent developments, it also noted that a ‘moral complaints bureau’ had been set up by the Screen Actors’ Guild to deal with ‘casting couch complaints’. We must hope the newly proposed Hollywood-led US Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, to be chaired by Anita Hill (who brought charges of harassment against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991), is more effective.

— Jacqueline Rose

* * *


(The true beginnings of Oakland)


It is enlightening to find Patrick McGuinness treating Nancy Cunard as a serious modernist poet rather than an upper-crust dilettante with a garish life that parallels, and may have inspired, an episode of Downton Abbey (London Review of Books, Jan. 25, 2018). It was through that life, with ‘plenty to distract from the work’, as McGuinness notes, that I first learned of Cunard’s existence. In particular I was struck by her obscure but direct connection with the founding of California’s most raffish city, Oakland.

Nancy’s mother, Lady Emerald Cunard, was born Maud Alice Burke in San Francisco. At the age of 18 she became the ward of a wealthy lawyer and land speculator named Horace Carpentier. He had once been keen on Maud’s mother, a divorcée and socialite; and when she remarried, he offered to look after Maud in his household in New York. Fresh out of Columbia College, Carpentier had joined the Gold Rush in 1849. Like most of the tycoons who emerged from that moment, he prospered far from the motherlode by squatting on a muddy spit of land on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay until he could ‘negotiate’ a sale with the reluctant owner, Don Vicente Peralta. The debts Peralta had incurred defending his Mexican title to a vast rancho that covered most of the East Bay soon forced his hand. With two neighbouring squatters, Carpentier laid out streets and lots, and as the new state took shape, by various machinations got himself elected to the legislature. He won incorporation of the town – previously known as Contra Costa or Encinal – as a city, which he renamed Oakland, wangled a deed to the whole of the city’s waterfront and was elected its first mayor.

He went on to become president of the Overland Telegraph Company, which outmoded the Pony Express. He was a director of the Central Pacific Railroad and a figure in the ‘China trade’. And in 1890 he dutifully whisked his new protegée, Maud, to Europe in search of a noble suitor. She landed a prince: André Poniatowski, a French-born descendant of Polish kings.

Their engagement was announced and Poniatowski travelled to San Francisco, where he invested profitably in gold mines, railroads and electric utilities – but promptly fell for another California heiress, a member of the Crocker banking and railroad clan. Maud rebounded with aplomb. In 1895, aged 23, she married Sir Bache Cunard, the mustachioed, 43-year-old fox-hunting heir to a British steamship fortune. In London, as Lady Cunard, she became known as an unconventional and effervescent hostess of country weekends for a musico-literary crowd. She had a daughter. She became the foremost patron of the Royal Opera. She took Sir Thomas Beecham as her longtime lover. She solicited enough donations from her circle to keep James Joyce writing through the 1920s. And she promoted the liaison between her American friend Wallis Simpson and the future King Edward VIII.

Horace Carpentier, meanwhile, pursued a life of bookish seclusion. He served on Columbia’s board, and he made several significant gifts to the university, among them endowing a chair in Chinese. Maud and Nancy visited him once, in 1906, at his country home in upstate New York. He was 82 and Nancy, who was ten, was not impressed. He included neither of them in his will. Instead, he gave $1 million each (when that really meant something) to Columbia and its women’s college, Barnard, with a scholarship ‘for deserving girls, not excluding Chinese’. He left $100,000 to the University of California to purchase books and research materials on ‘the five great areas of Asiatic civilisation: China, Japan, India, Arabia and Babylonia’. He financed a home for the poor and gave a significant amount to the Tuskegee Institute in memory of its founder, Booker T. Washington. All this at a time of heightened Oriental exclusion and Jim Crow fervour – with passing bows to environmental protection, animal welfare and women’s education.

So maybe Nancy Cunard’s iconoclastic commitment to avant-garde writers, her love of jazz, her social conscience, her leftist politics and her public relationship with a black man (‘Do you mean to say that my daughter actually knows a Negro?’ sniffed Lady Emerald, severing her allowance), skipped a generation but owes something to her mother’s benefactor. It certainly bears the Oakland stripe.

All that and an estimable poet too.

David Ollier Weber

Placerville, California

(ED NOTE: Formerly of Comptche, David Ollier Weber is the author of the fine novel “Catch/Release” set in the Emerald Triangle.)

* * *


by Dan Bacher

Sacramento– While Jerry Brown has been a genius at manipulating the media to portray him as a “green governor” and the state as the nation’s “green leader,” the regulators have in fact been captured by the regulated in California. This is particularly true when it comes to water and environmental policies.

In the latest example of regulatory capture, employment records obtained from a recent Public Records Act request reveal that Karla Nemeth, Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial choice to head the Department of Water Resources (DWR), “may have a conflict of interest that compromises her ability to objectively lead an agency tasked with managing the state’s massive water infrastructure on behalf of all Californians,” according to a news release from Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay).

The documents suggest Nemeth was being paid by DWR and the Natural Resources Agency earlier in the decade while an employee of the Metropolitan Water District of California of Southern California (MWD) to shape water policy in favor of building the controversial tunnels project that threatens to destroy the Delta’s ecosystems. “MWD has been the leading proponent for building the tunnels,” according to Frazier.

“As co-chair of the Legislature’s Delta Caucus and as a member and past chair of the Assembly Accountability & Administrative Review Committee, I am deeply concerned that the newly appointed director may have received compensation from MWD to work on promoting the Bay Delta Conservation Plan while also working for the Natural Resources Agency and DWR,” said Assemblymember Frazier, who represents the 11thDistrict, encompassing much of the Delta region.

“For nearly a decade, Ms. Nemeth’s career focus has been on the past variants of the disastrous tunnel plans. This raises a huge red flag about her ability to prioritize the more pressing aspects of her role at DWR outside of her tunnel vision.

“Management of an agency tasked with protecting and maintaining the state’s vast water resources, storage and delivery infrastructure is too important to be controlled by a director whose sole focus and career has been about ramming the catastrophic tunnels through the regulatory process on behalf of the governor and MWD,” Frazier added. “Delta residents deserve better. It does not serve California to have a DWR director who is indebted to the same water contractors she must hold financially accountable for repairs and maintenance to prevent catastrophic infrastructure failures like the collapse of the Oroville Dam Spillway. Lives are at stake.

“I am working with my colleagues in the Delta Caucus and the Assembly and Senate to identify what action we can take in the Legislature.”

Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, including the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.

Documents acquired by Restore the Delta (RTD) from a recent Public Records Act request to MWD confirm that the newly appointed Nemeth was a MWD employee from 2009 to 2014, earning over $900,000 in total compensation.

During her MWD tenure, she was contracted to work for Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) planning under the CalFed program, and then by the California Department of Water Resources.

All PRA documents sent by MWD to Restore the Delta can be read here. The RTD press release can be read here:

In December 2016, I broke the story of the staff shake up at MWD that culminated in the recent appointment of Nemeth, the fourth director appointed in a year. At the time, internal emails, confirmed by a California Natural Resources Agency spokesperson, revealed that Mark Cowin, then Director of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), and Carl Torgersen, the DWR Chief Deputy Director, would retire from their positions at the embattled agency at the end of 2016.

The chaos within the DWR leadership began months before the Oroville Dam spillway fiasco:…

Meanwhile, proponents of Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels project continue their campaign to build the new two phase version of the California WaterFix, despite the fact that the project makes no scientific, financial or economic sense, according to critics.

In the latest effort by Brown to fast-track the planning of the process before he leaves office, General Manager Jeff Kightlinger and Assistant General Manager Roger Patterson on February 27 revealed that the Governor, the State Water Contractors, and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) have been engaging in discussions to forge ahead with the first tunnel of the new two phase CA WaterFix project. They are doing this “while keeping quiet about specifics of a potential second tunnel,” according to an analysis from Restore the Delta (RTD).

For more information, go to:

* * *


Randal O'Toole on the high-speed rail project:

...The authority recently admitted that the first section of the project, which was supposed to cost $6 billion, is now expected to cost $10.6 billion. That’s the cheapest segment of the line because it is flat Central Valley of the state. Getting from there over the mountains to Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area will require expensive tunneling at both ends, including a 13.5-mile tunnel that is expected to cost anywhere from $5.6 billion to $14.4 billion.

The total cost of a truly high-speed line all the way from L.A. to San Francisco is almost certainly going to be more than $100 billion, and it won’t be complete until sometime in the 2030s at the earliest. A representative of the airline industry pointed out that, for just $2 billion and eighteen months, the state could start a high-capacity airline service between the two cities — and sell the planes if it doesn’t work out. Though rail proponents say that downtown-to-downtown train times will be comparable to flying, the Los Angeles area has five airports and Bay Area has four...

All this is irrelevant, however, in the eyes of one of California’s leading rail nuts, Rod Diridon, Sr. He’s the one who thinks that “mass transit is the only answer to gridlock” when in fact mass transit has failed in Silicon Valley, where he headed the region’s transit agency, and in general it is the cities that are spending the most on transit that are closest to gridlock.

In Diridon’s latest opinion piece, he argues that high-speed rail’s objective is “to efficiently bring employees to work and clear roads to move products to market.” In Diridon’s fantasy world, people who work in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley are going to live in the “affordable” Central Valley and commute to work by high-speed train.

“Only a small fraction of those daily Central Valley trips need to ride the train for profitable operation,” claims Diridon. Of course! That must be why the Altamont Commuter Express, which takes commuters from homes in Stockton in the Central Valley to jobs in San Jose, is so profitable. In 2017 it collected $26.6 million in fares against $8.6 in operations and maintenance costs.

Whoops! Got that backwards. It collected $8.6 million in fares but spent $26.6 million on operations and maintenance...

* * *



Trump's parade. I was a sailor in 1967 and was discharged at Treasure Island. The war was very unpopular and we were advised to wear civies going home to avoid conflict. I liked the Navy, it got me ready for the demands University of California required.

The only time I truly felt proud was at a Fourth of July parade with a band leading and people on both sides of the street cheering. I will never forget that moment, even though it was over 50 years ago.

I would like to see Trump’s parade be military people. We don't need tanks and armored vehicles and flyovers. The whole world knows about that. How about a parade that doesn't show off, but says, Thanks for your service?

No $50 million spent, just some bands and soldiers and they certainly don't need much security. How about at every state capitol on Fourth of July where Democrats and Republicans can wave and cheer and say thanks?

Michael Smith


* * *



One day at Mr. Colombini’s ranch I asked him for a loan of $40. He replied, "Ramiro, I will lend you the money but before I do, what you need it for, if you don't mind me asking?" I honestly responded as to why I needed the loan and he understood my situation. Mr. Colombini went into his house and came back and handed me $60 which was more than what was needed. I thanked him. (Mr. Colombini, if you are reading this, sir, you will receive what is owed. Thank you and forgive me for being a knucklehead, sir.)

My last day at the Colombini ranch is a day I will never forget. God sent an angel. As I was pulling out dead rose bushes I noticed a beautiful woman walking down the street with a pit bill on a leash in one hand and a glass of drink in the other. I continued to shovel out the rose bushes by the roots while I noticed her walking. Soon I noticed her walking back up the street and I decided to make a move. I said, "Hi, that's a beautiful pit bull you have there." She replied, Thank you, and approached me.

We spoke for a few minutes and exchanged names and said our see you laters.

A month slid by and I found myself fishing with a few friends at the dams early one morning. A female friend wanted to try her luck at the Hopland casino. I was heading home that way anyway so I said, "Why not?" When I stopped giving the machine more money, on the way out I noticed the same angel I had met a month earlier at my work site. I waved and got her attention. She got in her vehicle and drove up to me. I walked up to the passenger side and said, Hi, remember me? I soon became the passenger and was helping a beautiful woman on her route home. On the way we grabbed a sixpack and I went over to a friend’s house. As the afternoon progressed she asked if she could kiss me. I responded, yes!

In 2014 I enrolled in Mendocino College. I was aiming for engineering. But I some advice because math wasn't my best subject. Finding a foundation is the key, so I started off in English and basic math.

Outside of school I had an altercation with this beautiful woman and I was arrested. I was released within a few hours. I had class the next day. An assignment was due. We had to write about a personal experience and use logic versus emotion. So I wrote about what I'd done that got me in jail. Mrs. Bucchelli gave me a low grade on my assignment. She wrote on my paper, "Romero, you could have come to me before you wrote this." Things took a turn. I was looked at differently when I tried reaching out to my teachers who looked at me as if I was nuts. So I stopped talking and began to switch gears and listen. Because of this incident I took a month off. When I returned from my mini-vacation Mrs. Bucchelli received me with a hug. She was happy to see me return, especially for finals.

Then I found myself in jail again when I turned myself in for open warrants and as I was being booked I was told that I had hit my mother and that's why I was arrested. I'm not going to say much about this because there are real people who care and want to see me succeed and there are jealous lying individuals who want to see me fail.

This quote from our true example of this world tells us human beings how we are meant to be: "For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother and a daughter against her mother-in-law. … And the man's enemies will be those of his own household.” — Matthew 10:35-36. Now this is self-explanatory. Thank you Jesus for the words of wisdom.

Back to my story. I was ordered to stop by the Probation and check-in. My probation officer, Amanda Carly, was nice enough to get me into the Ford Street project for a few days. I showed her my form the Victory Outreach had sent me. After my stay at Ford Street Project I walked up the street to my aunt Betty's house, my mother’s sister. That morning she gave me a ride to the Victory Outreach on Luce Street. After my intake on July 16, 2015 five months into the program I took off still leaning on my own understanding. For three months I had to return not because of anyone telling or saying anything about returning to the program. It was meant for me to return.

On March 15, 2016 I was in where it all began. Now I must dedicate myself 100% to the one-year commitment and sure enough I did and my day of graduation I received my diploma. But to me it was just a piece of paper. Inside I felt like just ripping it in half just to send a message to the congregation in Santa Rosa. Two other brothers and a sister and I had the chance to say something on stage. Once my name was called I asked for the pulpit. The pastor and another brother helped put it up on stage. Then I heard the pastor, Jose Guaderama, say, We got a preacher in the house? Come on somebody!"?

This is what God placed in my heart meaning my brain: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." For you see your calling brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many are noble are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. " 1-Corinthians 1:19-26,27. God was and is working that day because when Pastor Jose was at the pulpit he gave the same scripture to the congregation. "Wow!, I said to myself. God is good all the time.

To be continued,

Ramiro Gonzalez


* * *


"I guess we all learned something here today: Ya can't make a silk ear out of a sow's purse, babydoll.” —Chuck Frank, Private Op

The recording of last night's (2018-03-02) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available at by several methods, at least one of which will jump to serve you, Your Majesty.

IN OTHER NEWS, also at you'll find a fresh batch of links to educational activities and amusements and sources of wonderment and delight, such as:

An impressive multi-layer zoetropic pastry pile. Make sure your sound is on.

Twenty minutes to understand the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

Man as industrial palace.

End-of-life care.

And This Wild Darkness by Moby.

— Marco McClean




  1. Eric Sunswheat March 4, 2018

    If Measure B mission statement and ballot measure implementation legal authority, has miscast the true problem and situational solution, for mental health and climate shift homeless community resolution, now that we know, thanks to Tom Allman’s effort of valor, that the Mendocino sales tax money is flowing into a 5 year burgeoning capital reserve, it may not be out of the question to return to the ballot box, for refinement and redirection by the voters, if the Willits centralized facility is an implausible solution to the overarching problem at hand, as limited in the text of current Measure B. It’s up to the gate keepers of the mass media public thought process, and of course, the opinion leaders.

  2. james marmon March 4, 2018


    “The state won’t reimburse the County for services that don’t qualify (Medi-Cal), creating pressure to either upgrade the seriousness of the patient’s problem, or turn them down for service out of fear of not being reimbursed.”

    It was a pleasant surprise this morning to see that the AVA staff, at least one of them anyway, are back on their meds.

    Where’s the freaking money Camille?

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Mental Health Specialist
    Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties.

    • james marmon March 4, 2018

      She’s most likely going to say that she is treating “the walking dead” out of the kindness of her heart and therefore at great cost to her profit margin. Most likely she will say that she is actually losing money and needs Measure B’s support in order to survive and maintain the quality of services she already provides.

      Lets see some real numbers lady, and I really mean “real”.

      Where’s the money Camille?

      James Marmon MSW
      Former Mental Health Specialist
      Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties.

    • james marmon March 4, 2018

      “the California Mental Health Planning Commission (and the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission) could not explain what had been done with nearly $11 BILLION in revenues achieved from Prop. 63; and this is the spending authority that is supposed to ensure local effectiveness of Mental Health Services Act funding.”

      -Betsy Cawn

      Mental-Cinoians know where their share of the Prop. 63 funds are going, they just give it to Camille Schraeder’s “for-profit” shell company “Redwood Quality Management Company” (RQMC), end of story, no questions asked. Check out the Mental-cino Mental Health Plan for yourself if you don’t believe me.

      Where’s the money Camille?

      James Marmon MSW
      Former Mental Health Specialist
      Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties.

  3. james marmon March 4, 2018


    “The most effective mental health service we can provide is the outreach program that goes and helps people in their homes. It’s hard to know how to judge the success of that, but I think the outreach service is a good program.”

    Dear “Cowboy John”, did you know that the County provides the outreach program’s, not our privatized ASO?

    “CONTRACTOR shall provide the following services:

    I. Provision of Service

    A. CONTRACTOR shall arrange and pay for medically necessary covered Specialty Mental Health Services to beneficiaries t to beneficiaries twenty-five (25) years and older, as defined for the purpose of this contract.

    B. COUNTY shall provide and pay for the following mental health services to clients twenty-five (25) years and older:

    1. Medication Support Services
    2. Access Line Coverage
    3. Lanterman-Petris-Short Conservatorship oversight and placement
    4. Mobile Outreach and Prevention Services (County Mobile Outreach teams to North County, South County, and Anderson Valley)
    5. Probation Mental Health Services (AB109)
    6. CalWorks Mental Health Services
    7. 1370 Competency Restoration”

    Since the signing of the above contract the Schraeders have taken over medication support, but none of the rest.

    Mendocino County’s medication management services to be handled by RQMC next year

    “Effective Jan. 1, Mendocino County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services will be transitioning all medication management services to Redwood Quality Management Company.”

    “Redwood Quality Management Company is committed to making the transition as easy and seamless as possible for clients and their families. Toward this end, Dr. Garratt and Dr. Segal, who had been working with Mendocino County BHRS will continue to provide medication management services through Redwood Quality Management Company.”

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Mental Health Specialist
    Outreach Team Worker
    Sacramento Ca.

    • james marmon March 4, 2018

      I hope “Cowboy John” isn’t drawing his conclusion from just the knowledge of the Outreach Team’s two of three visits to poor Supervisor Woodhouse’s house before they locked him away in the loony bin for a while. Good thing his wife and lawyer stepped in or Public Guardian Bryan Lowery would have taken control all his finances and financial holdings, not everyone was that lucky.

      Where’s Bryan Lowery?

  4. chuck dunbar March 4, 2018

    Good interview with candidate John Pinches. Lots of knowledge about county needs and processes, lots of reason and common sense and straight talk. I hope the voters put him back on the BOS. He’s the real deal.

    • Lazarus March 4, 2018

      Yea, I’m going to vote for Johnny P also. The rest are just that…Pinches knows the drill, and they players. There will be little getting up to speed for him if elected. He also has a working understanding of that CEO…or whatever she is…

      “one who calls himself “Lazarus” from Willits”.
      As always,

      • james marmon March 4, 2018

        Laz, you can bet that the Needs Assessment that Angelo so graciously put to motion will not include a financial audit of the ASO Shraeder operation. She made sure it wasn’t included in the Kemper Report, even though he indicated that one should be done.

        “Overall, we recommend then best approach for assuring effective mental health service delivery, irrespective of whether services are delivered by county staff, or through contracting with a for profit company or a not for-profit organization, is public accountability. Such accountability can be achieved through a stronger ASO Contract; clear oversight and accountability mechanisms and management by BHRS/MH; and, transparency in ASO system design and structure, financing and financial accounting, and reporting of service delivery outcomes.”

        -Lee Kemper

        • james marmon March 4, 2018

          “The review was not intended or designed to be a formal “program audit” or a “fiscal audit” of either ASO or BHRS/MH. Rather, it was an overall management review of the current effectiveness of the BHRS/MH contracted service delivery approach.”

          -Kemper Report
          Page 6

          Where’s the God damned money Camille?

          • Lazarus March 4, 2018

            James, my hope is that eventually the people who need the help will be the recipient of the Measure B money. That said, from what I’m reading, hearing, and observing…I have serious doubts.
            I see Charles is again in the “Catch”.

            “one who calls himself “Lazarus” from Willits”.
            As always,

            • james marmon March 4, 2018

              Laz, you can bet the Measure B money is going to go towards housing and treating “the walking dead” that don’t meet medical necessity, and therefore not Medi-Cal reimbursable, in that order. Unfortunately I am willing to bet that the Administration costs are going to be astronomical, out of this world.

              Where’s the money Camille?

              • james marmon March 4, 2018

                If they don’t use it for that, we will not see a reduction of “the walking dead” on our city streets. We would just be relocating the severely mentally ill who are already locked up somewhere to one of our Measure B facilities, and it may not even be closer to their home and/or family as the AVA suggests, because a large number of them are not even from here. They’re from everywhere.

                Mind you, unless a person is conserved, mental health services and housing are voluntary only, not mandatory. The only way around that is court ordered outpatient services, Laura’s Law.

                • james marmon March 4, 2018

                  St. Helena is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Lake County’s largest city, Clearlake. Ortner facilities in Yuba City are almost the same distance to us as Willits, and a much better road too.

                  Clearlake to Willits
                  1 h 18 min (62.6 mi) via State Hwy 20 W

                  Clearlake to Yuba City
                  1 h 25 min (73.4 mi) via State Hwy 20 E

                  • Betsy Cawn March 5, 2018

                    Amid all the clamor and din surrounding the questions of accountability for “mental health services” in Mendocino County — described in AVA commentary or popular press iterations of “official” options — I have not seen any reference to the state regulatory requirements of Welfare & Institutions Code Division 5 (Community Mental Health Services), or the purported oversight of county contracts with the State Department of Health Care Services.


                    The fact that Mendocino’s community activists and “licensed service providers” (including the County Sheriff, whose jail operations are most clearly impacted by the lack of assistance for impaired citizens) have attempted to develop locally-administered solutions is inspiring to us in Lake County, where our equivalent operations are mostly invisible to the public — except for the frequently reported incidents requiring law enforcement intervention, mentioned on a number of Facebook pages whose readers and sponsors follow the radio traffic on official frequencies (a.k.a., “scanners”).

                    The absence of accountability for “data” that should be readily available to prepare the Measure B “needs assessment” — summarized in your cri de coeur, “where’s the money Camille?” — is all the more mysterious in light of the clear instructions for its production and public availability (for example, W&I Code Section 5751(a)(3): “That the county shall comply with all requirements necessary for Medi-Cal reimbursement for mental health treatment services and case management programs provided to Medi-Cal eligible individuals, including, but not limited to, the provisions set forth in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 5700), and that the county shall submit cost reports and other data to the department in the form and manner determined by the State Department of Health Care Services.”).

                    The continuous befuddlement of this issue and apparently deliberate obfuscation of the facts should be of paramount concern to the County’s Mental Health Advisory Board,* which has responsibilities defined in Welfare & Institutions Code Section 5604.2(a)(2): “Review any county agreements entered into pursuant to Section 5650.” and Section 5604.2(a)(7): “Review and comment on the county’s performance outcome data and communicate its findings to the California Behavioral Health Planning Council.”

                    Would it be of any use to file a non-compliance report (which may, according to the County’s website, be done anonymously) to the MH Compliance Program (email: The explanation found on the Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services webpage states: “IF YOU WITNESS A VIOLATION of federal or state standards, you can report this by telephone, e-mail [how quaint] or letter to the Mendocino County Mental Health Plan [a locution in which the term “plan” serves as the embodiment of the agency delivering services] which has a policy prohibiting retaliation against a person reporting non-compliance.”

                    Mendocino County’s webpages providing public access to its “Behavioral Health Services” ( includes, in “Additional Contacts,” this resource: “Hospital Information (Treatment Authorizations): Redwood Quality Management Company (707) 472-0350, (707) 462-0358 (fax).” Surely the contract with RQMC is subject to the scrutiny defined in the state Welfare & Institutions Code sections, and accessible by the Mental Health Advisory Board? If the MHAB doesn’t do its statutorily-defined job, then the State Department of Health Care Services has the responsibility to take corrective action, as I understand it.

                    I’m always looking for opportunities to support public involvement in administration of our publicly-funded services, and — given the knowledge that you provide in your commentaries — encourage you to help the rest of us to understand how the system does and does not work. Surely there are more options than giving Camille Schraeder a hard time in the Anderson Valley Advertiser?

                    *Lake County’s equivalent advisory body is not even functioning as a “rubber stamp” for County department and administration accountability, let alone a political front for insider dealing such as you allude to, but Camille Schraeder’s organization is a local contractor providing services for AODS and Transition-Aged Youth programs. It certainly appears that the two counties have taken a similar approach to administration of the mental health service programs, but Mendocino at least has a functional Mental Health Advisory Board.

                  • james marmon March 5, 2018

                    Nancy Sutherland, former MHAB Chair, who unfriended me after the Trump victory, tried to hold the Schraeder’s feet to the fire and got nowhere. She eventually became frustrated with the County and relocated somewhere down south.

                    If you look at the last two pages of 2017-18 BHAB Report to the Board of Supervisors the kiss ass BHAB members just brushed on the expenditures, no specifics. For example they just list the Programs as Adult and Children Service, no breakdown from there.


                    I can’t do everything, I have restraining orders against me. I can’t even contact the BHAB, and since Nancy left me over politics I have no inside connections on the board anymore. So “Miss Smarty Pants” help me out, or you will be singing the same sorry song here in Lake County.

                    “Where’s the money Camille”

                    James Marmon MSW

                    P.S. You will need to rotate the charts so you can read them, just right click on them and drop to rotate.

                  • james marmon March 5, 2018

                    Sorry again, the PDF Cloud I use won’t allow you to rotate, you will have to go the BOS 1/23/18 Agenda and download the report from there, then you can rotate. I don’t know why they made it unreadable in the first place, my guess is to avoid scrutiny.

                    The report makes it look like they only spend 1.6 million on administration cost, but it does not include Schraeder admin. costs

  5. Jim Updegraff March 4, 2018

    KZYX: In regard to the 4th question management seems to be suffering from a bad case of paranoia.

  6. james marmon March 4, 2018

    According to the contract, it is no sweat off Camille’s balls if someone is hospitalized and/or conserved or not, the County is left with the bill.

    I would like to know just how effective the County’s Mobile Outreach Mental Health Team really is. That could be measured by hospitalizations and LPS Conservatorships, are they going up or down?

    Furthermore, according to the contract, the County would be the responsible party for not implementing Laura’s Law, not the the ASO Schraeder (RQMC) like I first thought.

    An rational mind would most determine that if we spent more money up front, we wouldn’t need all these “Mortar and Brick” facilities.

    We should also consider how many “walking dead” should we allow in the County knowing that they are not Medi-Cal reimbursable.

    If you really look at what the ASO Schraeder provides for 18 million dollars, Mendo is not getting the best bang for their buck.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Mental Health Specialist
    LPS Conservatorship Case Manager
    Lake County Mental Health

  7. Jim Updegraff March 4, 2018

    Happiness is when you find your glasses soon enough to remember what you wanted them for.

  8. chuck dunbar March 4, 2018

    Here is further graphic reason—the terrible, deadly harm inflicted on victims–why AR-15’s and similar weapons of war should be greatly restricted from the civilian population: Heather Sher is a Florida radiologist who was involved in the treatment of some of the child victims in this mass shooting. She writes in part:

    Heather Sher, “What I Saw Treating Parkland Victims,” The Atlantic, Feb. 22, 2018

    “I was looking at a CT scan of one of the mass-shooting victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who had been brought to the trauma center during my call shift. The organ looked like an overripe melon smashed by a sledgehammer, and was bleeding extensively. How could a gunshot wound have caused this much damage?”
    “The reaction in the emergency room was the same. One of the trauma surgeons opened a young victim in the operating room, and found only shreds of the organ that had been hit by a bullet from an AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle that delivers a devastatingly lethal, high-velocity bullet to the victim. Nothing was left to repair—and utterly, devastatingly, nothing could be done to fix the problem. The injury was fatal.”
    “Routine handgun injuries leave entry and exit wounds and linear tracks through the victim’s body that are roughly the size of the bullet. If the bullet does not directly hit something crucial like the heart or the aorta, and the victim does not bleed to death before being transported to our care at the trauma center, chances are that we can save him. The bullets fired by an AR-15 are different: They travel at a higher velocity and are far more lethal than routine bullets fired from a handgun. The damage they cause is a function of the energy they impart as they pass through the body. A typical AR-15 bullet leaves the barrel traveling almost three times faster than—and imparting more than three times the energy of—a typical 9mm bullet from a handgun. An AR-15 rifle outfitted with a magazine with 50 rounds allows many more lethal bullets to be delivered quickly without reloading.”

    “I have seen a handful of AR-15 injuries in my career. Years ago I saw one from a man shot in the back by a SWAT team. The injury along the path of the bullet from an AR-15 is vastly different from a low-velocity handgun injury. The bullet from an AR-15 passes through the body like a cigarette boat traveling at maximum speed through a tiny canal. The tissue next to the bullet is elastic—moving away from the bullet like waves of water displaced by the boat—and then returns and settles back. This process is called cavitation; it leaves the displaced tissue damaged or killed. The high-velocity bullet causes a swath of tissue damage that extends several inches from its path. It does not have to actually hit an artery to damage it and cause catastrophic bleeding. Exit wounds can be the size of an orange.”
    “With an AR-15, the shooter does not have to be particularly accurate. The victim does not have to be unlucky. If a victim takes a direct hit to the liver from an AR-15, the damage is far graver than that of a simple handgun-shot injury. Handgun injuries to the liver are generally survivable unless the bullet hits the main blood supply to the liver. An AR-15 bullet wound to the middle of the liver would cause so much bleeding that the patient would likely never make it to the trauma center to receive our care.”

  9. Jim Updegraff March 5, 2018

    The Supreme Court upheld the ban by Maryland of AR-15s. Hopefully, California will also ban AR-15s.

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