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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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A STORM SYSTEM will move across the area late this afternoon and evening, resulting in a period of rain and gusty south winds. Rain chances will continue Thursday into Saturday, followed by drier conditions on Sunday. A strong storm system may impact northwest California by the middle of next week. (National Weather Service)

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Dollar General will not be built in Redwood Valley!

The Chehada Brothers, owners of the Redwood Valley Market, announced today (March 5, 2018) that they have just closed escrow on the purchase of the lot that had been designated for the Dollar General store — so there WILL NOT BE A DOLLAR GENERAL BUILT ON THAT SITE! Perhaps the loss of so many homes in the October fires, and the continued protest by dozens of RV residents against an alcohol permit for the DG, became a factor in DG thinking, uh, maybe they aren't welcome in Redwood Valley?!

In any case, this is good news for so many of us who dreaded the big yellow sign in our little community. We can thank Alex and Anthony Chehada for pursuing legal remedies against DG, and for investing in the future of our community by buying the lot. Since Mendocino County now has a "Formula Business Ordinance" (enacted by the Board of Supervisors last year), which places additional public review and other "speed bumps" into approval of chain businesses in the rural areas of the County (including RV), we will have much more input into any future proposals for a formula store or restaurant in RV. Continue to support our local businesses like the Redwood Valley Market, local farmers, vineyards, etc. Let's keep Redwood Valley strong and independent!

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by Pete Gregson, Advance Power Inc., Calpella

We have known for almost two years that there is something afoot, a push to change the legal definition of what C-46 (solar contractors) are legally able to do. The push is to make it illegal for C-46 contractors, solar contractors, to install batteries and energy storage systems. We have always thought, this must be total nonsense. Who in their right mind would even contemplate such an insane idea? Since, obviously us solar contractors invented battery, energy storage systems. N. California is a perfect example. This delusional, hypocrisy did, ultimately, get to the CSLB (Contractors State License Board) for the specific intent of making it illegal for C-46 to install batteries and battery systems. Once we (C-46) were made aware of this, we showed up at the CSLB committee meeting where this was scheduled as an item on the agenda. Most of us figured this was just another attempt by C-10 (electrical contractors) to steal some of our over 40 year history and documented technology for the sole purpose of locking us out, so they could have total control. They and roofing contractors have tried this in the past…and we stopped them!

When we arrived at the meeting we were surprised (but not really) that there was a table with many, many letters (all addressed to the same committee member). Rules dictate that letters, to the committee members are made public. But up to this time no letters or grievances were made public by anyone pushing for this change in the C-46 license. And all of a sudden, on the day of the meeting, all these letters show up? So who is behind all this nonsense? There were letters from ALL the for profit utility companies in California, stating that C-46 should not be allowed to install batteries/energy storage. There were letters from fire departments, from consortium of battery manufacturers and other. But the common thread was they were all UNIONS. All the major utility companies, C-10, etc. are unionized…..C-46 is not. Once we saw this we realized this was a setup. A scam.

The first uttering’s of the first nut job (the committee member whose name was on all the letters) was “So you guys are the ones who spend 4 years on a roof and then got your contractors license”. Not a good way to start with a group of people who are notorious for bucking the system, fighting the “normal” and sticking it to whomever tries to stop us. Even after many rebukes, the number on nut job did not retract his statement, did not adjust it, did not apologize. So this statement, is statement of fact, for the record and will ultimately be a bases for a law suit should the board be swayed by these totally biased and uninformed incompetent committee members. The second nut job starts talking and he cannot even say the word photovoltaic. After many tries he finally gives up and just says or whatever…. He then makes a motion that is so incoherent we were all scratching our heads wondering what the hell was that…? After that, another committee member asks him what did you say and what was your motion? Nut job #2 response was I don’t know what I said. We, at this point, were looking at each other wondering where do they find these idiots???? So then nut job #3 starts in on us. The icing on the cakes. He comes right out and says C-46 can install systems, systems, kept saying we can install systems……and then he says but we should not be allowed to install batteries… WTF?

(To be continued…)

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(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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by Eric Enriquez (2011)

My maternal Great-Grandparents, Arthur and Elsie Allen lived at the top of the hill on the southeast point of Pinoleville Rancheria for many decades. I am told that the house was originally a one-room affair somewhere lower and to the west before it was lifted and moved up the hill. By the mid-1970s, they had added a porch, kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms — one for each old person.

Arthur's bedroom was a pretty staid affair. He had a few portraits of old popes hanging on the walls and a framed 'Christ in Gethsemane' print above the door. He spent a great part of each morning clearing his throat in a loud way. You could honestly hear him at the bottom of the hill, where we lived with my Grandparents.

He dressed in thermal underwear, Pendleton shirts (always tucked) and chinos. He was of the Fedora gen­eration. Like Elsie, he, of course, wore horn-rimmed glasses, which were de rigueur. The Allens preferred Ford LTDs.

Arthur was a man of very few words and I don't recall many conversations with him at all. On the days that I was visiting with them, we would generally just read. They kept a collection of National Geographics and Reader's Digests. I would sit on the checkered tile floor or the green convertible sofa near both of them and read my little heart out. (I learned to read at age three along with my beloved older cousin Sherine, who was learning at school.) By that time, Arthur was a fixture in visor-style reading glasses under the pole lamp with tweed shades.

Once, he did tell me a disturbing story about a fascist parade. I was young, likely too young for such a tale, but his very-serious message got through and stays with me. Do not be a fascist. Do not support fascism.

Elsie called Arthur “ta'a-face.” “Ta'a” is pomo for ass. It was a term of endearment. These were very fun people.

Elsie. What can be said about Elsie?

Elsie Allen was a legendary character, Pomo sage and master basketweaver whose life story is a near-perfect summation of the Native American experience. You can check her wikipedia entry for a general summary and she has been described in these pages.

To my unending gratitude, she was my Great-Grandmother.

Elsie was a muumuu and wool sweater kind of a lady. Her feet were big and I remember her cutting the front canvas out of a pair of Keds to afford her toes some liberty.

She was quite the raconteur and someone interesting was always knocking at her door. Sisters from St. Mary's Church were frequent visitors although Elsie had put aside Catholicism by that time. Millie Gillespie was a dear friend of hers also.

Elsie traveled to New York City and to Israel, among many other places. Many was the time that we would show up to visit and find her pulling out of the garage on her way to Santa Rosa or San Francisco. She brought back animals carved from olive wood when she returned from the Holy Land. She told me that '70s NYC had garbage piled too high in the streets and it was not to her liking.

She was always in some stage of a few basket projects. Either she was ruminating on a pattern that had appeared in a dream or she was checking on the progress of some willow loops that were drying out on the porch. Daily, though, there was weaving.

Her bedroom was set up with a bed on one side and her weaving area on the other. There was a long folding table covered with the components that would become her work.

She taught me the differences between the various materials and the awls. I sat on the canvas dropcloth at her feet and stripped bark from the redbud or, more importantly, cleaned and trimmed willow. I would rip old dresses to make the fabric with which she tied her willow rounds.

I learned a lot from these masters. I learned to enjoy silence and exciting stories. I heard of world wars and the ugly truth of colonization. I was told about the ways to be and those which were taboo. I gained a respect for time and patience, knowledge and craft. I developed a taste for travel and a decided tolerance for different cultures.

They lived out the wish of Elsie's mother Annie Ramon-Burke, which was that Elsie should follow the baskets around and show people that Pomo Indians weren't stupid.

Elsie and Arthur passed on while I was in my teens. Rarely a day goes by that I don't reflect on their deep presence in my life.

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Back in the early 2000s, I was a party to a couple of short-lived and ill-conceived lawsuits brought by Leona Williams' Pinoleville Tribal Council.

Both of these were related to my election to the Interim Council by the General Membership after a vote of no-confidence in the Williams Council.

The first of these suits was brought, ridiculously enough, in the County of Mendocino. In case it isn't obvious, one of the cardinal rules of operating a Nation is to never give authority to a judge representing a County or State Court of another Nation. In any event, I was one of the John Does accused of interfering in a business deal between Pinoleville and some party that was attempting to sell a bunch of outdated satellite equipment.

I did interfere. I made some phone calls in an attempt to determine the nature of this deal. The problem with the lawsuit was that at the time I made these calls, the Interim Council was recognized by the then-acting Deputy, now Regional Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Pacific Regional office.

Amy Dutschke was filling in at the time for Ronald Jaeger. As soon as Jaeger returned, he overruled this recognition of our Election. This is likely very important as we believe that we did everything by the book regarding that Interim Council. The record shows that the BIA reps missed several key deadlines established in the Code of Federal Regulations during the process, many of which should have ended the ordeal, supporting our Interim Council.

This brings me to the second of the two suits. I was served by a non-Indian woman whom I later learned was the wife of Leona's attorney, Sam Goodhope. She smiled as she served me my papers for a RICO case in Federal Court. Goodhope was accusing me and the other members of the Interim Council of Mail Fraud and Impersonating a Government Official. This was based on our completely appropriate and entirely official letter to the membership documenting the results of the very-legal Special Meeting.

I quickly educated myself on the reality of facing RICO charges in Federal Court. I have to admit that it was somewhat stressful.

It seems that the real key to a racketeering charge is the existence of an “enterprise” that participates in the pattern of illegality.

It was during these years, around 2002/2003 that I first came across the name of Michael Canales. His name may have come up around the strange antique satellite deal. If I recall correctly, he is a contractor out of La Jolla or Escondido. He is not an Indian person. I am curious to know the story of how he ended up on the Island of Misfit Toys that is the Williams version of the former Pinoleville Indian Community.

I also find it interesting that Canales is the owner of “Caught,” the hapless nightclub across North State Street from the proposed casino site. The online minutes of the October 2009 minutes of the Ukiah Valley Democratic Club indicate that Canales had plans to help local Native youth to avoid drug and alcohol issues by opening a nightclub/hofbrau. Sounds brilliant, right? Apparently, the Dems are cool with the plan as he has invited them to hold their meetings at “Caught.”

My sense of irony is bursting on this one folks.

I don't know who makes me more sick at this point — Canales, Williams, the BIA and my Ex are currently in a four-way tie for last.

Both lawsuits were subsequently cancelled by Leona's representation. They were only nuisance suits in the first place. File under: harassment of political opponents and misuse of the courts.

Back in April of 2004, when Canales was still relatively new on the scene and Tribal Attorney Goodhope's black little heart had recently exploded, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, led by Nor-Cal's premier Hoopa-Oompa-Loompa Dale Risling, Jr held a Kafkaesque Membership Meeting that pounded the final crooked nails into the coffin of my tribal membership.

It's never been made clear to me who truly funded this 2004 farce. All I know is that somebody with deep pockets paid to fly to Ukiah anybody with a pulse who might have standing in Pinoleville and could be convinced to run off other members of long-standing. They were put up at the Hampton Inn and offered a rehearsal of the next day's meeting in order to work out the inevitable kinks of a kangaroo court.

Despite all of this planning, the minutes of the meeting show these fools “seconding emotions” and participating in a circus that finally removed many from the membership while adding a few corpses and out-of-state Indians for good measure. Risling signed off on this.

So, is it an enterprise?

Government staffers, tribal council-members, developers and law firms (hello Monteau $ Peebles!) apparently conspiring to corrupt the eligibility require­ments of a tribe for the purposes of a casino project sounds pretty fishy to me. Frivolous lawsuits, death threats to myself, and the inevitable mismanagement and mingling of funds in the pursuit of these activities seem to merit an investigation.

I believe that there was an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General. I wonder what they ultimately didn't find.

All I want for Crowleymas is a forensic audit of the last 12 years of the Pinoleville Indian Community aka The Pinoleville Nation of Pomo Indians aka Canales-Williamsville aka Caught!: The Casino.

Careful observers will note that Canales has a problem keeping the bar open at all, in addition to some lapses in paying property taxes. I guess the nightclub/sushi/hofbrau/teen center concept wasn't such a winner. No biggie, it's all a ruse to keep a liquor license available for Leona.

So, who has the pockets deep enough to turn loose the forces of justice on this crew of jokers?

All we need is a former US Attorney to roll the clock back a decade and check the BIA’s performance supporting Leona Williams' Scheme Team.

(2018: Stay tuned…)

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To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Tai Abreu and I am currently incarcerated in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the offense of PC187(a)17(a), being a special circumstance murder charge with a special allegation of murder in the course of a robbery. I was convicted under the faulty Felony Murder rule at age 19 in Mendocino County, California. There were initially two codefendants in my case, but we were separated at preliminary hearings and charged individually. Of the three individuals involved in my arrest, I am the only one to take the case to trial where I was found guilty and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole (LWOP). One of the other individuals received a plea bargain for second-degree murder and received 15-to-life as part of a plea bargain, while the third individual received 19 years and eight months at 85% for charges including voluntary manslaughter (also a plea bargain).

Abreu with his Grandmother Esther Nelson

I was represented by the County's Public Defender's Office and Linda Thompson was assigned to my case. On her advice, I rejected all plea deals that were offered and took the case to trial. The trial lasted approximately eight hours from commencement to conviction (including jury deliberations). Once the prosecution presented its case (led by then Deputy District Attorney Kevin Davenport), Ms. Thompson was asked to call her first witness. Her response was to stand and state, "The defense rests." She presented no evidence on my behalf, called exactly zero witnesses, and stated privately to me that she felt the prosecution failed to present an adequate case and that the jury would have to find me not guilty. Her closing statement essentially acted as a scathing indictment of my character, admitting that I had done "some terrible things" but was clearly not involved in this heinous act. She didn't even address the video confession that was the sole evidence against me. During preliminaries it was challenged as having been unconstitutionally obtained in the absence of my request for the presence of counsel. During a 995 motion Judge Nelson essentially agreed with our argument (that the confession was illegally obtained), but stated that it wasn't his job to tell another judge what to do.

It is my belief that Linda Thompson not only failed to represent me, but the actions she did take constituted a "second prosecution" based on the evidence present in the transcripts of the trial.

I, along with Bruce Anderson, am seeking any individual or group willing to review the facts of my case and determine what courses of action can be taken to rectify the gross miscarriage of justice perpetrated by the Government of the State of California and the officials of Mendocino County. Please contact either myself (at the address below) or Mr. Anderson who has the authority to act on my behalf in all of these matters.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Tai Abreu, CDCR# T-61118

High Desert State Prison/PO Box 3030

Facility A5-215/Susanville, CA 96127

ED NOTE: I think the most effective way we can get this atrocity somehow reversed is by a committee dedicated to getting the Abreu matter back into the Mendocino County Superior Court. I hope interested persons — especially people with legal know-how — will join me to at last get justice for Mr. Abreu. Incidentally, the characterization of him as a bad person by his own defense attorney is not borne out by the facts of his life in Fort Bragg, brief as that young life was. Please contact me via the AVA and we'll meet to get rolling.

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The swearing in of our new City Manager, Tabatha Miller.

A ceremonial Oath of Office will take place at the next City Council meeting.

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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by Mike Koepf

Let’s party!

501 Low Gap Road, March 13th, 2018—early evening. A black, stretch limo speeds west on Low Gap Road, careens into the Mendocino County government complex, and comes to an abrupt stop. Severa laughing figures rush from the building with bottles of Dom Perignon. They pile into the limo. The door remains open with the engine idling. The passengers are waiting for Dilly-Dally Sue (Susan Ranochak, Assessor and County Clerk—including benefits, estimated at $150,000.00 annual, take home pay.) But, Dilly-Dally Sue is late again, still counting votes from the last election.

The door slams. The limo screeches away.

Inside the party vehicle, Big Money (Carmel Angelo, CEO of Mendocino County—$300,000.00 annual take) pops a cork and makes a speech. She’s a Rubenesque lady with a beautiful, Tuscan face. Unelected, but some believe she’s the puppet master behind the scenes, yanking the strings of the often clueless Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. Big Money’s a clever gal.

“Buckle up, kids, it’s time to party.” Big Money says with a smile. She looks at Taxi Shari (Shari Schhapmire, the county tax collector—$133,000.00 annual take) “Taxi Shari, what’s the take this year?”

Taxi Shari, beams. Peachy checks, shoulder-length, auburn hair. Taxi Shari could be a cousin of Susan Sarandon from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Every year she increases taxes. Taxpayers get a pittance in return in Mendocino County’s version of their financial horror show. “Big Money,” Taxi Shari responds, “We took in every buck we could—squeezed their wallets and bank accounts until every dime dropped out. Millions! County taxes were due on Saturday. It’s Tuesday. If they haven’t been paid by now, delinquency fees apply. That’s more money for us!”

Cheers resound from the leather seats.

“All right!” Big Money shouts, shimmying her shoulders for affect. Let’s party all night long!” With that, she pours herself a glass of bubbling champagne.

Delighted that the money’s in, Doctor Kitty (Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey—$80,000.00 take) beams like a Cheshire cat. She has a perky, youthful face. Governor Jerry Brown mysteriously appointed her to the board. There’s speculation that Doctor Kitty was the veterinarian who operated on the Jerry’s dog before poor Sutter passed away. Jerry’s notoriously cheap. Was she appointed in lieu of her fee?

Baby Face (Supervisor Dan Gjerde—$123,000.00 total take) twinkle-fingers with his hands. He’s forty plus years of age, but his face looks like seventeen.

Handsome Dan (Supervisor Hamburg—$80,000.00 take) languidly pumps his fist. With his service dog on his lap, he lights his medicine up. “Activist” is the name of his dog. Long ago, Dan Hamburg was a congressman. People Magazine proclaimed that Dan was a “face to watch.” If they could only see him now with furrowed frowns upon his forehead and the beginnings of a chicken neck. Dan often looks depressed, out of touch with his once quixotic, progressive inner core as he roamed the planet to save the world. Mendo-liberals all adore him, but they might be jiving him, too.

Taxi Shari extends her plastic glass.

Big Money pours a drink; turns to Happy Hayride (supervisor Carre Brown—$128,000.00 take) offering to fill her glass. Happy Hayride is a ranch gal, and she has a ranch gal’s face—plain and pleasant and unadorned with hair the color of hay.

“Not for me, Big Money,” Happy Hayride refuses the pour. “On the ranch we call that puppy lap.” Happy Hayride reaches into her cowhide purse, pulls out a silver flask and downs a shot of Jack.

“Hold on,” River interrupts the fun. (Supervisor John McCowen—$113,000.00 take) River was John McCowen’s nom de guerre when he ran around with the radicals of Earth First, before trading militancy for a suit and tie. River seldom smiles. His face is sharp and sardonic. His ears appear to fly away with his skinny head. “What about those cheats from AirB&B?” River asks, annoyed. “Have they coughed their occupancy taxes up? Have we put them out of business with our onerous Use Permit?”

“River, not to worry. We’re close to wiping them out,” Taxi Shari reassures. “We’ve hired snitches from out of town. They’re…”

“River, lighten up,” Big Money interrupts. “Have some bubbly, pal. Try to enjoy the ride. Taxi Shari’s on the job. The county’s in wonderful shape…that is, if you stay off the county roads. We have fourteen hundred employees. We’re the biggest business around. Many of our retirees rake in over one hundred grand a year, and that’s before benefits, which we hide from everyone else. River, one hundred thousand bucks is three times the average pay of an average worker in the Mendocino market place before we skim the county tax if they own a home of their own.”

River begins to loosen up.

Handsome Dan offers River a medicine hit.

“No thanks,” River responds, as Big Money fills his glass. “Tom Allman may have bugged this car.”

“Who cares?” Handsome Dan relies. “I’ve blown smoke in his face before. Buried the wife in the backyard, shook off the hook with my crop. Besides, the medicine’s legal now. But, River, where’s your heart? Don’t you have some pity for those little folks who rented out a room on behalf of AirB&B to make an extra buck to help pay their county tax?”

“Absolutely not! Pity’s not a word a politician should ever use,” River answers harshly, before downing a gulp of champagne.

“Absolutely not!” Baby Face echoes Rivers words. “Affordable housing is the goal. The people of Mendocino must learn to share their homes. To hell with property rights; we choose the renters who live in their rooms. Cheaply paid workers that toil in the wineries and tourist trade need a place to live. It’s called learning to live with diversity with our south-of-the-border slaves.”

“Hey…knock it off, you guys,” Big Money intervenes. “This is a tax party. No politics tonight. Everybody…have another drink. There’s an extra case in the trunk. Enjoy the ride. Be happy. The taxpayers work for us. ”

“By the way, where are we going?” Doctor Kitty asks.

“Well, that’s a big surprise,” Big Mama responds with a cunning smile. “Handsome Dan has booked the place. Out of county is all I’ll say. It’s a legitimate travel expense.”

All eyes turn to Handsome Dan. Dark memories begin to intrude. Happy Hayride, Taxi Shari, and Doctor Kitty are looking vexed.

“Hell no!” Happy Hayride barks. “I ain’t going to no place like that. The Mountain of Attention…no way! That naked, hot springs resort over in Lake County where Handsome Dan hung out with that creepy guru Adi-Da? Mister Brown owns a shot gun, Handsome Dan.”

“And my husband is a cop,” Doctor Kitty adds.

Handsome Dan shakes his head. “Take it easy ladies. The Avatar sleeps in the clouds. We’re going someplace else.”

“Where?” Happy Hayride insists.

“Off to a big resort. Big Money’s got it right—travel, food and lodging, on the county tab.”

Again, cheers erupt in the limo. But the driver of the car shuts the glass partition to the party sounds. Turns out, he’s a bummy, aging writer, who writes for the A-V-A. His brow resembles a Neanderthal’s, and his face is flushed like an Irish Drunk’s, and he’s overweight from eating rice and beans because he has no county pension, and the Supes wiped out his rental listed with AirB&B. He drives limo to make ends meet. There’s a party in the back seats, but there’s something else up front.

Later that night—much later that night—we’re at the hotel and spa of the Auberge du Elite. ($800.00 take per room) The inn overlooks the Napa Valley beneath the stars. There’s accent lighting amidst exotic plants and scrubs. After three figure meals, most of the guests are asleep in their cozy, expensive rooms between luxurious, Egyptian sheets. But, outside in the soaking spa, beneath a crescent moon, empty champagne bottles occasionally make a clink as they float around in the heated pool. Above in the open-air pagoda room, music can be heard. That’s where we find our leaders who make Mendocino County great.

All are dressed in ivory, terry cloth robes, compliments of the upscale spa. There are scented candles here and there, as Big Money and the politicians dance around the room to an old time tune—Johnny Mercer’s Fools Rush In. The ladies have towels on their heads. Big Money and Handsome Dan are dancing cheek to cheek. Looking like mother and son, Happy Hayride waltzes with Baby Face. Taxi Shari and Doctor Kitty dance together, respectively at arms length. River dances alone, but the music is winding down.

As the music stops, Big Money raises her arms. “Kids, isn’t this the best tax party we’ve ever had?”

Cheers resound in the night, waking other guests up.

“Let’s take a little break. There’s something we need to discuss.”

All sit down in a circle, circa Mendocino, 1976.

Big Money has the floor. “As you know, three of you will be absent from this party next year—Handsome Dan, Happy Hayride, and Doctor Kitty. From my heart, I will miss every one of you. Thank you for your service and obeying all I said, although I did it with hints and cajoling to make you believe you did it on your own. You’ll be moving on to better things. Happy Hayride to your ranch, Doctor Kitty, seeking sanctuary from our sanctuary state, and you too, Handsome Dan, moving on to Sonoma Clean Power to help the environmentalists capture the national, power grid. Others will take your place, seeking guidance from me.”

“I wonder who they’ll be?” River ruminates.

The circle grows pensive for a moment. What’s swirling in their heads as they ponder the hopeful candidates? Will they run on the same old things—protecting the ocean, global melting, building community—which means all must toe the line and think alike—and more money for the homeless bums so that they can purchase meth? Or will the candidates just be opportunists, trying to bag some cash, now that the supervisors voted themselves a $20,000 dollar raise?

Happy Hayride, speculates. “One things for certain—they’ll all promise to fix the county roads. “

Loud laughter resonates.

“But, Big Money, what’s this something we need to discuss?” Doctor Kitty asks.

Big Money looks at Taxi Shari. Taxi Shari’s lowers her head. Big Money looks distressed.

“What?” River asks.

“What? Baby Face asks.

There’s trepidation in Big Money’s eyes, but, somehow, she summons the courage to speak. Big Money’s a gutsy gal. “Well…recently, I was trolling the internet looking at spring fashions for bureaucrats. Accidently, I happened across a website— Astonishingly, it was about the county where we live. What I learned was this: Mendocino County with 88,000 people, is scheduled to fork out $450 million over the next twenty years to eliminate our unfunded pension dept. $450 million! That’s two-thirds of a billion bucks! That’s $450 million dollars that won’t be going to mental health or other county services including county roads. In the next five years we’ll have to fork out $100 million to fund the debt. Got it? Every woman, man and child who continues to breath our county air owes about $7,500 smackeroos! A baby born tomorrow is already in the hole.”

There’s shocked silence in the pagoda room.

“But why?” Doctor Kitty breaks the silence to ask. “I just arrived. How could this happen to us?”

“According to the website, it happened long ago, during the Colfax reign. An off the agenda item significantly increased county pensions, which began to balloon the county debt. It was kept from public view. The supervisors unanimously voted to increase pensions—including their own! The horse was out of the barn. County debt was running loose. The county’s unfunded, pension debt is 87% of our assets now. Of the twenty-one counties in California, along with Fresno, Mendocino County is at the bottom of the barrel.”

“What will happen to me,” Baby Face asks alarmed. I’m young. I need my county check. Without it, I’ll be working in Fort Bragg folding tacos at Taco Bell.”

“Take it easy, Baby Face,” River interjects. “I’ve looked at that website. It’s full of fake and misleading statements—lies, lies, lies.”

“River, numbers do not lie,” Big Money replies. “Check the books. Add it up for yourself. Something has to be done.”

Handsome Dan clears his throat. He takes his medicine out and lights another one up. All wait. They know Dan’s about to speak. Handsome Dan has something in mind. “Nikolai Chernyshesky,” Handsome Dan finally says. “His 19th century novel transformed Vladimir Lenin’s life. It was called What Is To Be Done. Yes, what is to be done, I say?”

Silence. The circle waits for something more—something to be done.

“Tell us, Handsome Dan…please,” pleads Taxi Shari.

“Tell you what?” Handsome Dan replies. “I’m out of here. It’s not my problem now.”

“Lenin—Colfax? Which one was the communist?” Happy Hayride asks. "No sense worrying over spilt milk. I’m out of here too. If the pension fund goes bust; if there’s no more money for the cops and schools, on the ranch, we can survive off the land. Hey, back to the old time ways.”

“But, something must be done,” Baby Face states with alarm. “I can’t live off the land. What can really be done?”

Big Money raises her hands for calm. “I have a proposal for what’s to be done, but you must keep it to yourselves. Raise your hands, and swear to keep the secret of what’s to be done.”

All raise their hands and swear.

Big Money stands and straightens her robe. “Now, this is only a suggestion. My job is evaluation. I’m simply offering input on what’s to be done. Since you’re the leaders, what’s to be done is up to you. I do what’s necessary to keep the finances looking good. Understand? Looking good is what’s to be done. Keep the lid on tight. Beat around the numbers bush. Do whatever you can, but above all—pretend that everything’s cool, and that nothing needs to be done. There are no dark clouds in the sky raining county, financial ruin. Handsome Dan is right—forget about it. Kick the can down the road. Keep the numbers and truth to yourselves. Lose the facts in bureaucratic babble that puts everyone fast to sleep. River can help you out with that. Does every one understand—not to understand?”

“We do,” all announce with a unified voice.

“Good. Then it’s back to party time! Bring on more champagne.” As Big Money speaks, the music comes up again—Money For Nothing by Dire Straights. “Let’s tax party to the sun comes up! For breakfast, there’s caviar and toast, and we’ve got a late checkout for two o’clock.”

“What about the limo driver?” Doctor Kitty asks. “He’s been waiting all night long.”

“Forget about that clown,” River scoffs. “He’s making minimum wage. What more can he possibly want?”

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Of course I heard the gunshots Saturday night, and I'd have fired back but these people refuse to buy me a gun! ‘You're a dog, LD.’ they tell me. ‘Don't get ahead of yourself. We might get you some that pig hunting protective gear, though’."

* * *


Art Juhl, who lives here on the Coast, will be speaking at the Manchester Community Center/Garcia Guild this Thursday night, March 8, at 6 pm. The talk will last no more than an hour. The presentation of part of the Center's candidates forum series. Art is one of four announced candidates for the Mendocino Board of Supervisors here in our district. The incumbent, Dan Hamburg, is not running for reelection. The Manchester Community Center/Garcia Guild is on Crispin Road, just East of Highway 1 in Manchester.

* * *


“Senior-living firm: Residents suing over wildfire evacuation didn’t take ‘adequate precautions’”

This is as grubby as it gets.

It’s also a perfect example of the impossibility of meeting the criteria for disaster preparedness espoused by the federal, state, and local agencies: that it is entirely “up to us” to be able to either “shelter in place” or evacuate the premises under the orders of government-authorized disaster service workers (presumably local law enforcement). Of course, the response of those attorneys is nearly a perversion of that instruction, in defense of unprepared and perhaps mentally impaired — oh, sorry, “traumatized” — staff at the facility described.

I really can’t imagine those slimebag lawyers getting away with the argument that the dependent residents should have been prepared to handle the situation — but we are all, more or less, unprepared in the “outer counties” and rural wildlands.

The keys to managing our own survival are twofold: mobility and access to information in a timely manner. What is the problem, where is it, how is it affecting the area, how long is the condition anticipated to last; IF I NEED HELP, WHERE DO I GO? As we learned in Lake County, in 2012 (for a day) and 2015 (for a few weeks), our local community radio station* became the only accessible source of information during those wildfire events, for Lake County evacuees and volunteer service providers.

Our Offices of Emergency Services, with attendant high technology and authority, are largely disengaged from the civilian population they are intended to serve. The workforces that face the destructive elements of a given disaster — landslide, flood, fire, cyclones (“heavy wind events”) — are coordinated by OES “incident command” operations, and these agencies all have communication systems for talking to each other. HAM operators are prohibited from “broadcasting” on public airwaves, but have occasionally been instrumental in distributing reliable information behind the scenes. [In 2012, our Public Health Officer, a HAM operator, was able to communicate with residents beyond the reach of downed telephone lines in Spring Valley, and get regional HAM operator support for the prompt evacuation of that community.]

What we (the people) do have, or should have — besides our amazing HAM operators, and Facebook (if the phone lines are working) — is the Emergency Alert System, regulated (as a strictly voluntary public service) by the Federal Communications Commission:

In Mendocino and Lake Counties, several radio broadcast stations are designated to provide emergency broadcast services, specified by the OES or its designated public information provider, within the State Emergency Alert System structure. Here is a link to the local system:

And, in theory, there is a mechanism in place in the Mendocino County SO/OES that can trigger the issuance of an “emergency alert”; the Lake County Sheriff assured us about a month ago that the Lake SO/OES also has the capacity to do the same thing. Whether they do or not, the EAS was not deployed during the 2015 wildfires in Lake County and likewise did not function last autumn.

A more complicated problem associated with the use of the EAS is how to develop meaningful content to the listeners and viewers, once they are aware of the immediate problem. It’s been dismaying to watch official (and officially dumbed down) agencies struggle with how to word their “Nixle” messages — especially during a period of extreme distress, like an evacuation. It’s more than dismaying to discover that there is no responsible party in the Lake County OES or cooperating agencies with the assigned task of producing that meaningful content in a timely manner, and then distributing it effectively.

The revelations out of Sonoma County, added to the observations of the last few years in Mendocino County — which has been inching slowly (but numbingly) toward creation of a coherent dispatch service and a coordinated communication structure — compound the sense of obliviousness on the part of our county elected officials regarding their primary “duties of care.” Public Health, Environmental Health, and Emergency Services seem to have been neglected to the point of near extinction by our county governments. It will be, if we are willing, our job to bridge those gaps in communications to meet our own local needs.

We, the people who live here, will have to be engaged in a process that does not yet exist — communication with the public — and we’ll have to take a long, hard look at the preparedness of facilities that serve disabled persons in our towns and our neighborhoods, as well as likely places where disaster relief services might be delivered. (In Lake County, for example, we still do not have a survey of facilities that could provide disaster services, or agreements between those facility operators and the County of Lake to allow them to be reimbursed for the cost of their emergency operations. I say “still” because we’ve been asking since 2013; the most current survey available then was dated 2000; operational agreements between school districts — whose facilities are likeliest to be used — and the County Public Health Department or Office of Emergency Services do not exist.)

The reason I started with the article about the experience of disabled residents in a licensed facility in Santa Rosa is because that operation was one of the “high-end” (i.e., expensive) residential care complexes in a relatively “wealthy” county. Our rural poor populations hardly sustain even moderately expensive standards of residential care; most of them are minimally commodious — but all of them are required to have emergency evacuation plans with trained staff to carry them out.

Last year we saw the tragedies develop in Texas and Florida, during the massive hurricanes, which left nursing home occupants floating in their own feces or dying of heat prostration in buildings with no air conditioning. I’m sure no one expected a nursing home in the heart of Santa Rosa to be unable to care for their disabled residents, but by now we ought to be fully alerted to the possibilities, and use our hard-won new knowledge to prevent tragedies like these from happening close to home.

Betsy Cawn, Upper Lake, CA

*KPFZ (88.1 fm) provides a weekly roundup of disaster preparedness and long-term recovery activities in the County of Lake, from 2-4 pm on Sundays; streamed live from; the program has covered the 2015 Valley Fire, 2016 Clayton Fire, and 2017 Sulphur (Mendo-Lake Complex) Fire, as well as all state and federal agency responses to local disasters, since November 8, 2015.

* * *


A new study of long-term snow monitoring sites in the western United States found declines in snowpack at more than 90 percent of those sites -- and one-third of the declines were deemed significant.

* * *

* * *

IN JUNE of 2016, a pleasant, smart, energetic, recently-hired woman named Lorraine Dechter left her job as general manager at KZYX, Mendocino County's public radio station. Prior to Ms. Dechter's sudden departure, an experienced radio guy, Raoul Van Hall, also abruptly left his new position as program director, citing a "toxic work environment." Dechter and Van Hall wouldn't elaborate, but I wouldn't have argued with their characterization of the enterprise.

LAST NIGHT (Monday), the dozen or so candidates for KZYX trustee gathered at Mendo College to talk up their bona fides and explain their reasons for wanting to clamber aboard the shady station's board of directors. When I arrived, the candidates were already arrayed around their microphones. W Dan, an amiable Boonville guy, was host. A tall, gray man with an unhealthy, seldom-seen-the-sun pallor seemed to be in overall charge. As the candidates earnestly answered questions, this gray specter often passed W Dan notes. It became clear that the specter was in charge of the evening.

I'D MET the present station manager, Jeffrey Parker, and the gray ghost wasn't him. Parker, incidentally, is also a phantom figure straight out of Catch-22 — he's in when he's out, out when he's in. What exactly he does to earn his approximately $60,000 annual salary isn't clear. Nothing about the station's finances is clear, and Parker and his lock-step trustees regard questions about the station's budget as impertinances. Or insults. Parker wrote me a couple of weeks ago that station's salaries are "confidential." Which they aren't because KZYX is tax supported and tax exempt.

Bob Bushansky declared: “THIS, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what’s WRONG with Mendocino County!”

ALL THE CANDIDATES save two struck me as honest and sincere, Candidates Bushansky and Vinyard, however, have been put up by the station's present apparatus, which, as was made clear last night, is tightly controlled by the death's head who, I tardily deduced, must be Stuart Campbell, a person I still haven't met.


Ms. Vinyard is a simple soul who seems to mean well. She's a perfect fit for The Specter's board of directors. Bushansky, who looks like Oliver Cromwell with the disapprovingly dour, pursed-lip countenance to match, seemed perplexed that anyone could possibly think that anything was awry with the station. He said the annual budget was posted on the station's website, implying that it was the very model of fiscal transparency. If, say, a peanut butter sandwich marked “KZYX BUDGET” was posted on the website, Bushansky would undoubtedly point to it and say, "There it is. The budget. Nobody's hiding anything."

IN OBVIOUS FACT, the budget hides everything.


NEAR THE END of this joyless event, I asked if Campbell would identify himself and tell us his function at the station. He stared back mute. W Dan reminded me that this was a candidate's night, and Campbell was not part of it. I asked Campbell if it were true he enjoyed, in the bold words of resigned trustee, Larry Minson, "a constant tab on a line of credit that costs the station $11,000 in interest every year?" Campbell stared at me. W Dan repeated that Campbell was not involved in the evening's proceedings. I tried to make the point that Campbell's draw on station resources was way outta line, and that I hoped the new trustees would somehow restore reputability. Campbell's performance must have given them pause.

LARRY MINSON had done a brave and good thing for Public Radio Mendocino County. He wrote a detailed public letter, linked below, explaining that Campbell et al had tried to compel him to endorse illegality. Rather than compromise himself, he resigned. Minson's fellow trustees have never needed compelling. As generations of KZYX trustees before them, they simply say yes to whatever Campbell or any number of his predecessors hand them, including Campbell's hire of his girl friend as a station reporter.

BUSHANSKY AND VINYARD will be elected to the board. It will be interesting to see how long the other candidates last as Campbell's surrogates. One candidate has a financial background. I'd love to see his analysis of the present budget. Like Minson, he'll be asked to sign off on the unethical and the illegal.

OVER THE LONG years that KZYX has functioned as an insider's game, it's been a bumbling, marginally competent operation, but since the advent of this Campbell character KZYX has gone full-on creepy bordering on sinister. Definite cult vibe with Campbell.

JOHN SAKOWICZ, a former trustee, was steadily vilified — and is still condemned — when, as not only a station trustee but the board's treasurer, he demanded to see the books. He was denied access and un-elected. The station, under a Campbell crony and clone called Coate, also a furtive cooker of the books like his pal Campbell, claimed that Sako cost them $16,000 in legal fees, which would not have been incurred by simply allowing the board treasurer to honor his fiduciary responsibility.

I THINK KZYX is in trouble. Membership has been flat for years. Salaries are inflated beyond what the station can afford. Given the ever more intense media competition and demand on the fragged attentions of our distracted population, KZYX isn't competing. There's little enthusiasm for a radio station that shuts out most people, vilifies many, is startlingly nasty to lots more, cooks its books, puts the fear in the automatons who comprise its core people.

Hello, KZYX trustees and GM Parker:

A few questions:

1. Is Stuart Campbell a paid member of staff?

2. Is he authorized to withdraw station money?

3. Does he owe the station money?

4. Does he have hiring authority?

5. What exactly is his function at the station?

6. I want to speak with the GM in person. What days and hours is he available at Philo?

Stand by for the answers, but don't count on getting any.

* * *

Minson’s Letter: "Suspicions Confirmed"

* * *


Dear Mr. Bruce Anderson:

I am writing to applaud you, when, as a candidate participating during the KZYX Candidates Forum on March 5, asked the forum's moderator, W Dan Houck, who the man skulking around the stage was. You had raised the issue of this man repeatedly whispering to the moderator and pro-management candidates, and passing them secret notes during the two hours of the forum.

In other words, that person was trying his best to manipulate and control the forum. This interference is outrageous for a station that purports to be public radio.

The mystery man was, of course, Stuart "Stewie" Campbell. You had correctly identified him on-air during the forum. You asked and answered your own question with no help from Houck.

Since Campbell joined KZYX as an unpopular radio show host years ago, who, I may add, never had his show's small audience meet his show's pledge drive goals, Stewie Campbell has been embedded in the station as a reliable and loyal supporter of the station's corrupt management ...first as a host, then as a member of the Board of Directors, next as Interim General Manager, and finally again as a member of the Board and as Board Treasurer

As treasurer, Campbell did his best to cook the books, obfuscate finances, and file misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete tax returns...all according to Board member Larry Minson, who resigned the Board in protest earlier this year. Campbell also had KZYX bypass EEOC laws to get his girlfriend, Sarah Reith, hired at the KZYX news department.

Mr. Minson's January 24, 2018 letter to the Anderson Valley Advertiser is found at this link:

I was a member of KZYX's Board of Directors from 2013-2016, and Board Treasurer from 2013-2014, and I served while Campbell was also on the Board. I can confirm all of Mr. Minson's assertions, many of which you have correctly raised during your candidacy.

Adding insult to injury during last night's forum, Mr. Houck was extremely reluctant to identify Campbell when you pointedly raised the issue of unfair interference during the forum. You asked Houck three times who Campbell was before Houck concurred with your correct identification of Campbell. Houck did not volunteer Campbell's name.

Campbell and Houck are the ultimate insiders at KZYX. They and others at KZYX, who have made for a bunker mentality and insiders club, are the reason the station is falling. The station only raised $55,000 of its goal of $75,000 during its last Pledge Drive. This is the third pledge drive in a row that has fallen far short of its goal. Both revenues and membership continue to decline at KZYX.

I am forwarding this letter and Minson's letter to the FCC and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) asking them to invalidate this year's Board election results as a result of Campbell's interference and Houck's acquiescence of Campbell's interference. I will further request that the FCC investigate whether any FCC regulations were violated last night, and I will ask the CPB to supervise new elections.

I am finally requesting that KZYX General Manager, Jeffrey Parker, preserve the recording of last night's forum that may aid the FCC and the CPB in any inquiry of the improprieties at KZYX Candidates Forum.

Thank you for your integrity.

John Sakowicz
KZYX Board of Directors, 2013-2016, Board Treasurer, 2013-2014
Host and producer, "All About Money, on KZYX, 2008-2015
Ukiah, CA

PS. To: "Jeffrey Parker" <>

Dear Mr. Parker:

I am requesting that MCPB preserve the recording of last night's forum that may aid the FCC and the CPB in any inquiry of the improprieties during the KZYX Candidates Forum.

John Sakowicz
KZYX Board of Directors, 2013-2016, Board Treasurer, 2013-2014
Host and producer, "All About Money,” on KZYX, 2008-2015
Ukiah, CA

* * *


On 3/4/2018 around 8:10 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a report of two elderly persons found deceased inside a vehicle in the 24000 Block of Highway 20 in Fort Bragg, CA. Deputies later identified the couple as Wolfgang and Linda Bayer (husband and wife), from Burlingame, CA. Deputies confirmed that both persons were deceased from gunshot wounds. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Detective Unit was called to the scene to investigate the deaths. Detectives did not observe anything at the scene that indicated there was a different party involved in the incident aside from the two deceased persons. Subsequent investigation revealed the couple had forwarded a letter to a relative, prior to them coming to Mendocino County, outlining they had extensive medical problems as well as being in financial difficulties. Based upon the scene investigation as well as additional information learned from relatives the case appears to have been a suicide pact between husband and wife and there are no indications of foul play or evidence any other party was involved in the incident.

(Coroner’s Office Press Release)

* * *


(Tales from Covelo)

by Zeek Hopkins

Like most kids, I wanted a horse. All the cowboys and Indians and yes some girls I knew about all had a horse of their own and boy-howdy I wanted one too. One day that dream came true when my father traded some lumber milling work for a horse. Not just any kind of horse either. He was a Percheron Belgian cross. A lovely, good natured creature, most of the time. It was a chore and a half to get him bridled, but once he had the bit in his mouth he was as calm as a glass of water on a granite counter. Hook him up to the road drag-blade and he would pull like no tomorrow, until… It was always the “until” with him. Maybe he saw a blade of grass through the gap in the bushes along the road that was just wide enough for him to squeeze through, but not the drag. That was fun backing out of. “Back!” I would call his name and keep repeating, “Back, Buster, back!” Finely he was out of the trail and back on the road and we were able to continue with our work. With a work horse you have to keep in mind that there is always a bit of pressure on the lines as they are quite long and the horse can feel you talking with the line or reins.

There is a fine line here as too much pressure tells the horse to back up and not enough will tell the horse he can just wonder where ever he jolly well pleases. Now when you are used to loose rein on a riding horse and try that with a working horse the results are less than satisfactory. Anytime I chose to ride Buster as a riding horse he was always backing up. I couldn’t get him to stop. I would pull up on the reins and he would slow I would release the rein and he would take off again. So I would pull and he would slow and I would pull harder and he would throw it into revers and start backing up. Release the reins again and he would take off. There was no sitting around for him if I was on his back. He was no fun to ride as I was always and forever having to walk home if I rode him. Now if I were to be working him he only wanted to go home. There was no happy medium with him.

One night the neighbor’s dog came for a visit and scared him off. He ran for the hills we weren’t in and we didn’t see him for several months. One day my parents came to us kids and said, “I don’t think we are ever going to see Buster again”. My brothers and I prayed for old Buster and about 3 am my dad waked me up. We can hear Buster down in the meadow ½ mile way talking. I leap out of bed and grab his grain bucket and head off down the road by moon light calling his name. I grabbed his halter and headed off home. He spent the next few weeks in the small corral at night after that.

A few weeks later Buster was out to pasture and that neighbor’s dog came for a visit. I had buster on a lead rope, but he took off when the dog started to bark at him. Humper started to chase Buster around the pasture and soon Buster had enough and broke through the fence and took off to the hills again. This time I was ready! I called my mom to ask if I could take the truck to go look for him. She said no as it was out of gas. I couldn’t ride my al-terrain 1-speed bike because I would have to walk home. Off I ran after the poor fellow. I would stop every ¼ mile or so and yell. “Buster! Buster!” Then I would hold stock still and listen, slowly turning my head to catch even the faintest sounds, nothing. I would race on and repeat the whole process over again. Tracking him down the dirt and then gravel roads. Every now and again he would step on the lead rope and make a stumbling track. After about 4 miles of tracking I found the lead rope finally ripped out of the snap. A few more miles down the road and he headed across the stream and away to Buck Mountain. That was not encouraging as there was a lot of wilderness out there and it may become harder to track him with all the other range animals. Soon the trail went onto a cow trail. The trail went into a small meadow and his tracks went straight across it and then did a turn. I was excited and ran to where the tracks turned. He was headed back towards me! Wait, then where was he? He hadn’t been on the trail to the meadow. I continued to follow the tracks. He was with some cows on another trail that lead south not long after that his tracks disappeared under the cow tracks. The little trail wondered around and soon came out into a small clearing. There were the cows, but where was the horse? I backed down the trailed and couldn’t seem to locate where the horse had left the trail. It was now time to think like a horse. It the months he had been gone I had seem his tracks in these hills, but never fresh ones. So I knew he liked the area. There was a large meadow up the hill about a ¼ mile from where I had lost his tracks and found the cows so I headed to the big meadow. The hills were steep and corrugated like a brick tile roof. Trying to locate the horse outside of yelling till I was nearly horse myself was not going well. I couldn’t see out of the gullies and once on the ridges could only see the other ridge tops. I continued to call out. “Buster!” A third higher and I’d sing out again, “Buster!”

The wind was blowing and I couldn’t hear anything out in the open so even if Buster were answering me I wouldn’t be able to hear. I found a rock under a large loan oak and sat down. “Well G-d, I guess I need some help here”, I though. I had been reading about Gideon and his requests for a sign that what he was doing was right so I asked for a sign of three... I didn’t know what to choose so left that part blank. The trouble with being so vague with a request like this is that you don’t know when to start counting. Three clouds… nope, not enough. Three rattle snakes? None found good. Three eagles! No, but there was a loan Red tailed hawk gliding around the meadow. This might take a while so I headed back down the mountain. I needed to get back home and finish my chores for the day. I headed directly home, no meandering trails this time. About every 200 feet I would call for Buster. As I was coming starting up the side of one of the gullies I looked up and saw a crow flying low. “One”, I thought. About a yard behind it there was a second one. “Two”, I thought. “Maybe there is a third?” I wondered. My hopes were rising and there behind the second crow was third crow! I kept looking so see if there was a forth or that was it. And there where the fourth crow would have been was buster coming up over the rise. “Buster!” I shouted, “Come here”. I grabbed his halter and we headed home. Not long after that Buster went back to his former owner. I hope they were nice to him.

* * *


A suspected carjacker eluded law enforcement officers in Mendocino County Tuesday evening after abandoning a stolen truck in the Hopland area near the Pieta Creek drainage off Highway 101.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, March 6, 2018

Angenete, Fitch, Johnson

JOSEPH ANGENETE, Willits. Controlled substance transportation, for sale.

FREDRICK FITCH, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

GEORGE JOHNSON III, Ukiah. Domestic battery, no license, failure to appear.

Jones, Moon, Reyna

JEDIDIAH JONES, Willits. DUI with priors, no proof of insurance, license suspended for refusing chem test, failure to appear, probation revocation.


ANGELO REYNA, Torrance//Willits. Hit&Run with property damage.

* * *


Soil Building 101 this Saturday, March 10, 2018 with MCBG Lead Gardener Jaime Jensen from 10:00AM to 12:00PM in the Gardens Meeting Room

Build a better garden from the ground up... Soil Building 101 will explore the complexities of a gardener’s most precious resource, soil! You will gain the tools you need to identify and work with the soil in your own back yard, and learn to build soil fertility that will sustain your garden for years to come.

Class cost is $20 for members of the Gardens and Master Gardeners; $30 for non-members (Includes Gardens admission for the day! Learn then stay and play!). Payment is due upon sign-up. Please note, all workshop fees are non-refundable unless the workshop has been canceled or rescheduled by the Gardens. Sign up by phoning 707-964-4352 ext. 16 or stop by The Garden Store at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

* * *

AUDITIONS for Gloriana Musical Theatre's Fun Home are April 7th!

FUN HOME Directed by Jenni Windsor. Book by Lisa Kron. Music by Jeanine Tesori.

“A rare beauty, extraordinary and heart-gripping." -Ben Brantley, The New York Times

THE STORY: Fun Home weaves together a family's story into a heart-wrenching, innovative and charmingly honest musical sure to relate to every person in the audience. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.

Please note that this show contains adult themes including sexuality, suicide, and language

HOW TO SIGN UP: Please fill out a form at:

AUDITIONS: Auditions will be held on April 7th from 10am – 2pm. You will be assigned a 15 minute audition slot when you sign up. You may choose a preferred time, but they will be given on a first come, first serve basis.If you are out of town, away at college or can otherwise not attend auditions on this date please let us know and we can arrange a Skype or video audition, or an alternate date and time.

SEEKING: Males and Females, age 8-50+; all ethnicities.

AUDITION LOCATION: Eagles Hall, 210 N Corry, Fort Bragg, CA

PERFORMANCES: July 26 – August 12. Thursday – Saturday evenings at 7:30 and Sunday matinees at 3:00. 12 performances.

MORE INFO and character breakdown at

* * *


The One and Only Spiritual Advisement that Anybody Will Ever Need: "Do Not Be Attached To Anything At All!"


Craig Louis Stehr

* * *


There is a company called Anderson Windows in Wisconsin that is the largest manufacturer of windows in the US. They pay the best wages around, and every year the employees get profit sharing based on their years of service. There are some workers there who get bonuses of over $30,000.00. It’s a non union plant, but then it doesn’t have to be union does it? You can’t get a job there to save your life. One is tempted to ask why other companies don’t follow that example. Anderson is the largest, most profitable window manufacturer in the country, & all it took was for the Anderson family not to be greedy and to spread the joy around a little.

* * *


WILLOWS, Calif. — District Ranger Frank Aebly announced today that although the Covelo Ranger District office remains temporarily closed to the public, all possible hiring alternatives are being pursued to reopen the office as quickly as possible. Aebly explained, “We understand the impact to the community that even a temporary closure can bring. Hiring challenges across the region have led to a lack of sufficient staff capacity at many individual units, including Covelo.” Aebly added, “We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this staffing issue in Covelo.”

The public will be notified as soon as the customer service position is filled and the office is reopened. If you have any questions, please contact District Ranger Aebly at 707-275-1401.

* * *


"The End Of March Madness?"

Michael Bennett's memoir/manifesto "Things That Make White People Uncomfortable" - which I co-wrote - is out on April 3rd!!!! In this book Michael goes through: 1) Why he protested racial inequality during the anthem for 16 weeks; 2) What really happened when police put a weapon to his head in Las Vegas; 3) Why the NFL is actually NOT integrated; 4) Why he believes in intersectionality; 5) Why he stands with the Black Lives Matter movement and fights for food justice.

The book has already been praised by people from Cornel West to Naomi Klein to Bernie Sanders.

It's a very special book. PLEASE consider pre-ordering it. The more pre-orders, the more booksellers will take it seriously.

Here is the link at amazon

Here is the link at barnes and noble

Please consider a purchase and hey.... if you let me know you bought it, I'll shout you out on the podcast. Dare to dream!

The End Of March Madness?

This week the show is the dopeness. We talk to sportswriter and friend of the program Patrick Hruby in-depth about the political economy of revenue sports and it’s racialized superstructure, why athletes deserve a piece of the income pie, and the FBI investigation into professional agents and their relationship with schools and collegiate athletes.

We also have some Choice Words about the courage and perseverance of gymnast Aly Raisman in seeking justice for assault victims, and a Just Stand Up & Just Sit Down award for a WNBA coach and a national politician. All that and much more!

In struggle and sports

Dave Zirin

* * *


So many people are leaving the Bay Area, a U-Haul shortage is jacking up prices.

Rent a moving truck from Las Vegas to San Jose and you'll pay about $100. In the opposite direction, the same truck will cost you 16 times that, or nearly $2,000.

* * *


(Cancer Resource Center)

"Vaping" describes inhaling aerosolized nicotine vapor and other chemicals into the lungs through the use of an "e-cig," or electronic cigarette. A new device that is being aggressively marketed not only looks like a computer thumb drive, but recharges in a computer's USB port. By eliminating the ashy mess of old-fashioned cigarettes and promoting the unsubstantiated notion that vaping is less harmful than smoking, e-cig manufacturers are making strides to addict both youth and adults and taking the profit to the bank. Vaping fluids in candy and fruit flavors appeal to children. Young people are vaping in higher numbers than adults, and e-cigs are the nicotine delivery method of choice for the age group 18-24, according to Tobacco Free CA.

Many of us Gen-X-ers grew up bouncing around loose in the backseat of the car, playing in the sandbox with no sunscreen, and breathing in second-hand smoke. Now that we know better, we can protect our own children from these hazards. The evidence is impossible to ignore: smoking causes cancer and is a preventable cause of death from lung disease. "Vaping" should not be given the benefit of the doubt, even if it comes in bubble gum flavor. You can read my full blog post on this subject at

— Karen Oslund, Executive Director

CRC's monthly cancer prevention messages are brought to you with the support of the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency, Cancer Prevention and Awareness Program.

* * *

Big River Walk and Paddle Registration is Open!

Save the date, May 19, for the annual Big River Walk and Paddle Fundraiser at Big River State Park. Get your friends together and form a team, gather pledges, and walk (or, paddle!). It is outdoors, it is fun, and it raises money for a great cause. Sponsorships are still available. Register and download pledge sheets online.

For more information, call our Coast office at 937-3833.

* * *

Goldeneye Winemaker Dinner — New Date: June 16

The 14th Annual Goldeneye Winemaker Dinner will be June 16, 2018, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Goldeneye Winery in Philo. Tickets are now available on our website.

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Manuel Pérez-Rocha, (240) 838-6623,, @ManuelPerezIPS

Pérez-Rocha is associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. He was just quoted extensively in "Here's What You Need to Know about Trump's Trade War" in Fortune magazine.

He recently wrote the piece "Five Reasons Mexican Workers Would Cheer the Demise of NAFTA" for In These Times magazine, which states: "Mexicans have plenty not to like about Donald Trump: his racism, his wall, his tirades against immigrants. But if there's a disruption provoked by Trump we should actually embrace, it's the renegotiation of NAFTA — or even the trade pact's possible end.

"Along with Mexico’s upcoming presidential elections on July 1 — in which center-left candidate Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador (AMLO, as he is popularly known) is the clear front runner — the possible unraveling of NAFTA has the country's business elite and political establishment freaking out. ... During its 24 years, NAFTA has helped to widen inequalities in Mexico, Canada and the United States alike — and to play workers in the three countries against each other."

Pérez-Rocha's five reasons: "1. NAFTA has been a net job destroyer in Mexico. ... 2. Multinational companies have used NAFTA to devastate Mexico's environment. ... 3. NAFTA has destroyed the livelihoods of millions in the Mexican countryside. ... 4. Corporations are using NAFTA to roll back legitimate government measures aimed at protecting health and the environment. ... 5. NAFTA made Mexico the most obese country in Latin America."


  1. George Hollister March 7, 2018

    I was speaking with a former Berkeley college room mate of mine about a visit to his long time San Francisco apartment home. He suggested we meet at the Golden Gate bridge and talk. There are so many homeless everywhere, SF really is not a good place to visit. It is so bad, even the home grown indigent population is looking for other venues.

  2. chuck dunbar March 7, 2018

    A major part of due process as to Second Amendment rights flows from the Supreme Court’s District of Columbia v. Heller ruling. Some important parts of that ruling that establish limitations on the right to own and carry weapons follow:

    (This repeats some of a previous post, but I’m doing so as most gun advocates seem not to know or acknowledge these limitations.)

        “…Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited…” It is ‘”…not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose…”

    “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms…”

      “…We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller (an earlier case) said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those ‘in common use at the time. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’…”  

  3. Lazarus March 7, 2018

    John Pinches, candidate for 3rd District Supervisor, seems confused or something… I just read todays The Willits News article with him. He mentioned the old Howard Memorial Hospital would only need 4 to 8 mil to bring it up to spec, This is interesting because Marge Handley of the Howard Foundation who owns the thing says, 11 to 14 mil…?
    I could see being off a mere million bucks here or there, but, this is a significant error for a Supervisorial candidate to make publicly…a little long in the tooth perhaps…?
    As always,

    • james marmon March 7, 2018

      Pinches has been in bed with Handley for years, remember her old “Hot Rocks” operation, the portable asphalt plant she owned. That thing caused havoc all over the County, John McCowan and his bunch just about had a cow. The last I heard it was last seen somewhere in Sonoma County.

      She made a killing on the 4 lane 101 project (the Willits Grade) in the late 80’s early 90’s She set up that plant off to the right hand side of 101 just below the Harris Quarry, another one of Handley businesses at the time. My brother hauled rock from the quarry to the portable plant while I worked for Ghilotti Construction spreading the shit.

      The old Howard Memorial Hospital is a done deal Laz, get over it.

      James Marmon MSW
      Personal Growth Consultant

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

    • Eric Sunswheat March 7, 2018

      Get out the knives, Laz. John Pinches did an admirable insightful analysis recently of complex County budget, involving many millions of intrinsics, and you want to throw him under the bus, for using old restoration cost figures with a derelict private hospital hulk, and not the latest greatest word, spin out of the air from Margie Handley. I think I see where you are coming from. Is it his long in the tooth, or your shortness in breadth.

      • Lazarus March 7, 2018

        Calm down Sir, you gonna have an attack. This Measure B business is potentially a huge expenditure for the County. Pinches needs to be up to speed on what the latest greatest is, especially if he going to be saying it in public, folks gonna think he’s out of touch.
        If you read me at all, which I assume you do…I just said the other day I would likely vote for John Pinches, I have several times before… He’s so far the best of this very crowded gaggle looking for that big salary fix.
        Maybe I used a poor vernacular, but so did you, my apology… if it offended.
        As always,

    • Mark Scaramella March 7, 2018

      My understanding is that they are not talking about remodeling the entire facility, which might explain Pinches’ number. So it depends on how much of the facility they might end up “needing” when the needs assessment (which is itself unlikely to pick up all the “needs”) is done. Personally, I wouldn’t support making the entire facility into a PHF or equivalent. It would just mean there would be that many more paying customers. And it remains to be seen what other buildings in the pipeline will overlap with any kind of PHF and who gets to decide which people are where: The jail addition, the Orchard Street project, …?

      • james marmon March 8, 2018

        You’re probably right about about that Mr. Scaramella, those other two “non” Measure B facilities will mitigate the “Brick and Mortar” needs immensely. (mental health jail and Orchard Street)

        You also have the 38 unit “housing first” apartment complex for the seriously mentally ill going in on Gobbi Street in Ukiah , and it is voluntary. You sure wouldn’t want to put someone fresh out of a locked facility in there, not with all the alcohol and drugs that will be in that complex, I wouldn’t think so anyway.

        The last I heard was that Mendocino only had an average of 70 people at a time on LPS conservatorships. All the rest are free to wander the streets and getting them to enter voluntarily into one of the Measure B facilities and receive treatment will be like herding cats unless you cut off all the freebies in the free world and tie them to services only. Mr. Marbut will be explaining how that works in a few days.

        James Marmon MSW

  4. Brian Wood March 7, 2018

    “The One and Only Spiritual Advisement that Anybody Will Ever Need: Do Not Be Attached To Anything At All!”

    -Silly drivel, though if you followed it yourself you would spare us your spiritual self-aggrandizements.

  5. Jim Updegraff March 7, 2018

    Dear Bruce: Quite a fiasco at your KZYX meeting. It certainly adds fuel for your complaint to the Registry of Charitable Trusts.

  6. james marmon March 7, 2018

    Cowboy John’s first rodeo

    November 9, 1994

    Pinches, Peterson win in their county districts By GLENDA ANDERSON The Daily Journal

    Despite heavy financial opposition from the timber industry and a last-minute smear campaign against him, Charles Peterson won the 5th District supervisor race, beating his timber-supported rival, George Hoilister by 378 votes, 3,709 to 3,331. “I have definite proof you can beat a negative campaign with a positive one,” Peterson said this morning. Hollister could not be reached this morning for comment. In the 3rd District, the timber industry’s choice, John Pinches, beat environmental activist Ellen Drell 3,746 votes to 2,217 votes. Pinches had been considered the favorite in that race well before Louisiana- Pacific and the Campaign for Mendocino’s Future started an independent campaign promoting him and Hollister. The independent campaign raised more than S80.000 to promote the two candidates, making the races two of the county’s most expensive. The Pinches-Peterson win means the Board of Supervisors will continue with its 3-2 liberal-leaning majority. It also means that the board will continue to support local timber rules. Peterson said that, if anything, L-P’s support for Hollister helped his campaign. “I expected to win with less than 1 percent,” he said. “I personally feel the other percent or two was bought for me by Louisiana-Pacific, I can almost name the 200 voters who said they voted for me because they were sickened” by Hollister’s smear campaign and L-P’s money, Peterson said. Pinches, who criticized L-P’s support, said this morning he doesn’t think the timber industry contributions made a difference in his campaign and should not affect how people view his actions on the board. In fact, he claimed earlier that L-P’s support would hurt him. Drell agreed L-P’s money probably had little effect on the results of the 3rd District race. However, she said L-P’s interference took the emphasis off the issues. “The L-P money poisoned our campaign,” Drell said. Drell said her loss to Pinches had more to do with voters’ desire to go back to the past rather man look to new options for the future. She said the majority of voters are acting like children looking for a quick fix rather than dealing with reality and taking responsibility for their lives. Pinches noted that the 3rd District campaigns were run without mudslinging, unlike in the 5th District. “We tried to stick to the issues,” Pinches said this morning. Louisiana-Pacific and other timber interests spent more than $72,000 to promote Pinches and Hollister. In their own campaigns, Hollister raised around $47,000, Peterson $38,170, Pinches $9,873 and Drell $30,000.

    • George Hollister March 7, 2018

      From my view point, it was good Charles Peterson won. What I had in mind to try to form a “consensus” was pie in the sky, and was never going to happen. Charles tried to do the same, and got the boot. I have to give him credit for trying, though.

      Somethings I learned from that experience were: money is not everything in politics; political activists are not the type of people you invite to your house; the power of political narratives is much bigger than the power of common sense; and black market pot was a primary political driver in Mendocino County.

      I met good people. Like Harry Bistrin, who asked, “why are you doing this?” And interesting people, too, like Bruce Anderson who was running as well, and said all kinds of bad things about me. There were others who remain enigmatic, to this day.

      But the intensity of political narratives of yesteryear are going away, as is the black market. Mendocino County is changing, and maybe faster than we know.

  7. chuck dunbar March 7, 2018

    “Do Not Be Attached To Anything At All.”

    Here’s yet another view. Years ago I attended a meeting held by a well-known spiritual leader. A woman in the audience asked this “guru” about attachment, stating she had recently adopted a young child, whom she loved, but wanted to avoid “attachment” to the child. The spiritual leader, with not a second’s hesitation said (and this is close to a direct quote):”Oh no, attach to your child with all your heart, don’t hold back anything. Just know that at some point you will lose your child–that’s how life works.”

    I loved that answer–won’t ever forget it.

  8. Jim Updegraff March 7, 2018

    Chuck: the gun crazies stick their heads in the sand whenever someone mentions District of Columbia vs Heller. It is not a question of if but when will California ban AR-15s and similar type military weapons
    I was talking the other day to a friend who
    who is on the staff of the Legislature – his impression is that legislation to ban military type weapons such as AR-15s is going to be very soon.

  9. Brian Wood March 7, 2018

    I tried to listen to the KZYX candidates meeting on their “jukebox” site and the sound was terrible. It drifted away completely for you, Bruce. Then it came back up for a bit and was gone again. From someone who’s been there I am appalled the technical problems continue unabated after all these years. My focus 25 years ago was on what came through your radio. I would attend board meetings (as operations manager/program director) and lobby for funds for upgrading equipment that was always failing. Staff didn’t get paid much in those days. The budget is much bigger now. I don’t know where all the money goes but the first place it should go is to maintain a reliable signal.

  10. mr. wendal March 7, 2018

    re: KZYX

    I listened to the KZYX Candidates Forum on their jukebox archive. At the end of the recording, Mr. Bushansky said, “As far as asking the community what it is they want…every ballot has a question or two on the back and during the fund drives there are questions on the bottom of the forms” and that’s where the archive ended. Those two examples are questions for current supportersonly, not the community in general, and will do nothing to expand membership. Did he continue by including their process for asking what members of the community who are not currently supporting the station would like the hear?

    • Brian Wood March 7, 2018

      Good point. The station exists to serve the public, not just the members.

    • Dina Polkinghorne March 8, 2018

      Mr. Wendal – I believe Mr. Bushansky was responding to a recommendation I made earlier in the discussion about conducting informal surveys. If memory serves, it was in response to a question about growing the membership. After he responded in the way you note above, my rebuttal clarified that like you, my interest is in surveying the community at large, not just the members. I really hope we can make that happen. As I said the other night, we might find the results surprising – either a validation of current programming, or discovering opportunities that can help grow the membership. Dina P

  11. chuck dunbar March 7, 2018

    Two brief responses to recent posts:

    1. Jim: Thanks for that encouraging info, Jim. Wouldn’t a ban on assault rifles by California lawmakers be great. It’s past time for us to do the sane, sensible thing. California still serves as a leader for the nation in many ways.

    2. James: My impression as to Trump’s changing views on gun issues is that the NRA guys keep gently reminding him of where the money is–not much else matters to them or to Trump. By the way, as to your thought last evening: “He (Trump) realized that the taking of guns away from Americans without due process, the fourteenth amendment, would also violate their second amendment and would most likely lead to a civil war and the possible death of thousands if not millions of children who would be caught up in the middle of that conflict.” The latter part of that is far, far out there, pretty bizarre, really. Referring to the “possible death(s) of thousands if not millions of children” has the stink of a terrible threat about it. Is that really what you gun rights folks want to argue? Reminds me of Trump’s crazy threat to N. Korea: “Fire and fury.”

  12. Jim Updegraff March 7, 2018

    Civil war? Death of thousands and millions of children? James has a screw loose.

  13. John Sakowicz March 7, 2018

    I may have misidentified KZYX reporter, Sarah Reith, as the “girlfriend” of longtime KZYX puppeteer, Stuart “Stewie” Campbell. Reith and Campbell, may be, in fact, married.

    Regardless — married or not — Campbell got KZYX to bypass EEOC hiring guidelines for publicly-funded radio stations, like KZYX, to hire Reith.

    Reith got hired at KZYX without KZYX ever posting the job on the station’s website, a newspaper, a trade publication, or anywhere else.

    No other candidates, besides Reith, were formally interviewed.

    Bottom line? Insiders hire other insiders.

    Where, one may ask, was KZYX General Manager, Jeffrey Parker, during this obvious EEOC violation?

    Well, Parker was nowhere.

    Parker is generally nowhere…no regular office hours.

    And worse than being nowhere, Parker is generally silent…silent even about even KZYX’s most controversial issues, like falling revenues and membership at the station, or possible FCC and CPB violations, or failing equipment and technology at the station, and dead air and fuzzy broadcasts, or Stewie Campbell’s abuse of KZYX’s significant line of credit at the Savings Bank of Mendocino County.

    I’ve got a theory.

    A puppeteer is a person who manipulates an inanimate object that might be shaped like a human, animal or mythical creature, or another object to create the illusion that the puppet is “alive”.

    Sounds like Parker.

    An inanimate object that is made by puppeteer, Stewie Campbell, to create the illusion that the puppet is “alive”.

    The only evidence we have that Jeffrey Parker actually exists is that he cashs his payroll checks of $60,000 a year.

  14. Jim Updegraff March 7, 2018

    I wonder if the loan officer at Savings Bank of Mendocino Country ever worries about the quality of their loan.

    John: you can always going to the County Recorders and check on the collateral securing this loan.

  15. John Sakowicz March 8, 2018

    Good suggestion, Jim Updegraff: Go to the County Recorders and check on the collateral securing KZYX’s loan.

    Thank you. I may also drop a note to the loan officer.

  16. Jim Updegraff March 8, 2018

    John: the collateral would be secured by a recorded security agreement.

    Ask the loan officer if his/her loan has been reviewed and approved by the Directors’ Loan Committee..

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