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Mendocino County Today: Friday, March 9, 2018

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MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR AUTUMN JOHNSON To Be Held Noon Sunday At Caspar Community Center.

The following obituary was posted at the Chapel by the Sea in Fort Bragg:

"Autumn Renee Smith Johnson of Fort Bragg died tragically on February 4, 2018. Born on October 23, 1995 in Sacramento to Daniel and Kristy Johnson, she was 22.

Autumn grew up in Sacramento and Fort Bragg, graduating from Noyo High School. She was a hostess at Ledford House and also worked at Starbucks.

She loved eating junk food and listening to music — especially Justin Bieber, spending time with her son, Aiden was also important to her. Graduating from high school and the birth of her beautiful son were two of her proudest accomplishments.

Autumn was such a bright beacon of light. She could light up a room with just her smile. No matter how difficult life got, she just kept smiling. Autumn was beautiful, funny and quirky with a whole lot of sass. She will be forever missed by the thousands of hearts she touched.

Autumn is survived by her son, Aiden Crowningshield; her sisters, Lily Johnson and Amanda Johnson. Also surviving are her great-grandfather, Richard; grandfather, Kenneth Smith; grandmothers, Linda Smith and Peggy Johnson; mother,

Kristy Johnson; father, Dan Johnson; aunts, Kim, Jen and Moo; uncle, Kenneth; cousins, Justin, Arthur and Austin; and many friends.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 11, 2018, at Caspar Community Center with a potluck at 12 p.m. followed by services at 1 p.m.

A GoFundMe page has been set up at

The family would like to thank the entire community for their overwhelming love and support. A special thank you to Lamanda Walker for Meal Train and Omie Behrns for hospitality services.

Arrangements were handled by Chapel by the Sea."

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The Boonville Farmers’ Market still needs a permanent manager. Though Trout was voted in as the Interim Market Manager, the goal has always been to find a permanent manager for the market if it is to continue this year. Please let us know if you are interested in becoming the Boonville Farmers’ Market Manager. Trout has valuable market and vendor information he can pass along to anyone interested in taking on this role, and Amanda, our former market manager, would be happy to answer any questions about what being a market manager entails.

Please let us know if you are interested in taking on this crucial role in our community! The AV Foodshed will also be discussing this at our next meeting on Monday, March 12th, at 10:30 am, at the Boonville General Store. Please join us if you are able and interested in being a part of this conversation.

Trout can be reached at, and Amanda can be reached at

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TRAIL AT SOUTH NOYO (photo by Susie de Castro)

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THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to attend a City Council Reception in honor of incoming City Manager Tabatha Miller on Monday, March 12. Read the press release:

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A carjacking occurred in the parking lot of Retech Systems at 1:30 pm Wednesday afternoon, in which a Ford F-250 pickup was taken. The owner of the vehicle, who had jumped on the running board of the truck to try to stop the thief, was thrown from the vehicle but not injured. The vehicle was located traveling through Hopland by CHP units, and it fled south to Cloverdale, where pursuing units lost sight of the vehicle.

The vehicle was later located by Mendocino County Sheriff deputies, again near Hopland, and the vehicle again fled south on U.S. 101. The subject drove the vehicle into wooded terrain, and fled the area on foot. Despite an area search by CHP and MCSO personnel, as well as CHP aircraft, the suspect was not located. A second vehicle, a grey Chevy Camaro which was driven by an accomplice, was located in Hopland. The driver of the Camaro, Margarita Sobalvarro, was located by MCSO personnel in the town of Hopland, and subsequently arrested by the CHP. She was booked into Mendocino County jail on multiple felony charges.

Inside the Camaro CHP officers located two loaded handguns, one of which has been reported stolen. The stolen pickup was returned to the carjacking victim. Anyone with knowledge of the identity or wherabouts of the carjacking suspect is asked to call Ukiah CHP.


Monday, April 18, 2016Police arrested Margarita Sobalvarro, 24, on suspicion of vehicle theft at about 8:45 a.m. Also arrested in connection with the same case, Dean Delucchi, although the time and date of his arrest were not available. Both remain in custody. Sobalvarro is being held without bail and was scheduled for a hearing to be appointed an attorney Thursday. Delucchi is being held with a bail of $160,000 and is scheduled for arraignment May 17, according to sheriff’s department records. (

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On Monday evening April 9th there will be a 5th District Supervisor Candidates’ Night at the Grange. All four candidates will attend.

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  • Pc 459/460 Burglary
  • Pc 245(A)(1) Assault W/Deadly
  • Pc 245(A)(4) Assault W/ Deadly
  • Pc 243 (D) Battery W/Bodily Injury
  • Pc 273.5(A) Corp Inj To Spouse
  • $50,000 Bail

Age: 29 years old

Weight: 250 lbs

Heights: 5' 10"

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Black

Last known town/city: Santa Rosa, CA

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

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Before Jim Roatch could rebuild his Fountaingrove home, the semi-retired contractor needed to prove his hillside property was clean…

(Lee Howard notes: "Going on in Mendocino and the County doesn't care.”)

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UKIAH, Wednesday, March 7. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations today with a guilty verdict against a defendant charged with three misdemeanors.

Defendant Lacy Marie Grisham, age 37, of Willits, was found guilty by jury of unlawfully driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor. Split 10 to 2, the jury was unable to unanimously decide an alternative charge asking whether the defendant had also driven a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater. Split 6 to 6, the jury also could not unanimously decide whether the defendant — having backed into a parked vehicle while leaving the bar to drive the one block home — had knowingly committed a hit-and-run by not reporting the collision to the vehicle owner or law enforcement.


Given that the DA's focus was on convicting the defendant of one or both of the impaired driver counts, that goal was achieved with the guilty verdict and the two additional "hung" counts were dismissed.

Unfortunately this defendant has a history of alcohol-impaired driving. The Willits Police Department arrested defendant Grisham in January 2004 for impaired driving and later that same year in April she was convicted of driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater, a misdemeanor.

While on court probation from that first DUI offense, defendant was arrested by the California Highway Patrol in August 2005 of impaired driving causing injury. Defendant Grisham was later convicted that same year in December of driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater causing injury, a felony.

The prosecutor who presented the evidence to the jury this week was Deputy District Attorney Melissa Weems. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Willits Police Department and the California Department of Justice forensic crime laboratory in Eureka. Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield presided over the three-day trial.

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LITTLE DOG, in fairness to other species, is giving this space to our cat today for a response: “Skrag here. So the mutt snitched me off, huh? Yeah, I smoke a little, so what? That little yapper would be a lot calmer if he fired one up once in a while. Thing is, I'm surrounded by boozers here, and boozers always look down on us groovies.”

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THIS LADY MIGHT BE HELPFUL to KZYX people who fear they're drifting cult-ward. Colleen Russell, LMFT, CGP "since 2003." Ms. Russell specializes in deconstructing "unethical, manipulative methods" which "coercively influence" the weak-minded, e.g., the KZYX board of directors. She can be reached at 415-785 3513.

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JUST as the annual roadside grass greens, Caltrans, sworn enemy of natural beauty, breaks out the Round-Up, tons of it, streaking Sonoma County's highway margins a deader than dead brown, creating great collateral damage to wild things, not to mention running poison on into waterways. Mendo, to the eternal credit of the people who got it done, passed a ballot measure some years ago prohibiting the promiscuous application of herbicides by road crews, but you still see these hideous dead zones in vineyards at this time of year, and if they don't reduce your 99.1 Pinot a point or two, what will?

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SUPES CANDIATE JOHN PINCHES told us last week that one of the saddest sights he'd seen recently was a magnificent but lethargic buck at a watering hole near his ranch deep in the Eel River canyon. For several succeeding afternoons, Pinches returned to check on the buck, which each afternoon was even more lethargic, so weak it didn't run at Pinches' approach. "I knew he'd been poisoned, probably by something he ate in a marijuana garden." Pinches concluded.

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I TRY to be a polite driver. I routinely pull over for vehicles moving faster than me. The other day, driving over the hill to Ukiah, I was tailgated three times, twice dangerously, I mean, on my bumper. Maybe there was a meth sale in the County seat, at least that's what I suspected in one guy's case whose car I recognized. The only reason he'd be speeding was, well, speed. The trip over the hill from Boonville is about 25 minutes. Driving like a lunatic you can do it in twenty.

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IN ANSWER TO JIM ARMSTRONG questioning where the View from Pudding Creek photo was taken, hope this helps.

(click to enlarge)

This is a photo taken of the view before I zoomed in to be able to see the snow. As you can clearly see (I hope) the photo was taken from the south end of the Pudding Creek Trestle. Because I was using a digital zoom I was resting my camera on a post.

Hope this clears up your confusion.

Judy Valadao

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 8, 2018

Donatone, Jarvis, Ortega, Riker


HEATH JARVIS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JOSHUA ORTEGA, Clearlake/Ukiah. Shoplifting, controlled substance, paraphernalia, conspiracy.

TESSA RIKER, Clearlake/Ukiah. Paraphernalia, conspiracy.

Ryan, Shillings, Sobalvarro

WILLIAM RYAN, Ukiah. Unauthorized entry into dwelling without owner’s consent, probation revocation.

DAYNICE SHILLINGS, Ukiah. Unauthorized entry into dwelling without owner’s consent, probation revocation.

MARGARITA SOBALVARRO, Antioch/Hopland. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, armed in commission of felony, concealed weapon in vehicle, felon with firearm, possession of ammo by prohibited person, receiving stolen property, conspiracy.

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There’s been a lot of speculation, blame and woulda, shoulda, coulda for the lack of warning alerts for the recent firestorm. My cellphone is off when I am home, as I have a landline. Therefore, some kind of communal outside alert system might be helpful, at least to rouse people to any potential threat. There are schools and firehouses in almost every neighborhood. Why not go back to the air raid sirens? Have them on schools and firehouses.

The siren in Mendocino is heard throughout town to gather the volunteer firefighters. I have heard it on three occasions, and never has it been for a fire. It has been for rescues. However, the point is the same. It was heard, and people responded.

Perhaps a siren of that sort would alert people to either turn on their phones, call a neighbor or turn on the news. Old school, but sometimes we can learn from the past.

Connie Haun

Santa Rosa

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My father was born in Russia and came over here when he was 7 years old. I know a lot of Russians personally who emigrated here. I find Russians are very dark emotionally, not optimistic as a rule, and have a tendency to paranoia. They are also some of the toughest people I know. They really are like a bear; leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone. But if they feel threatened, watch out. They don’t wimp out, crying and sucking their thumbs like Americans now do.

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by Ukiah Police Chief Chris Dewey

Fifteen years ago today, Ukiah Police Sergeant Marcus Young almost lost his life in the line of duty.

Officer Young

I think anniversaries like this are important to commemorate, to recognize and remember the significant contributions that Sergeant Young and so many other law enforcement officers make every single day.

Sergeant Young’s ordeal began when he was called to the local Wal-Mart to arrest an 18-year-old female shoplifter. He was accompanied by Julian Covella, then 17, a high school student and police cadet. During the arrest, Young was approached by the shoplifter’s boyfriend, Neal Beckman, 35, a violent felon. When Young told him to take his hands from his pockets, Beckman pulled a knife.

Young seized the felon’s arm and twisted it toward his back. Beckman then drew a .38 Smith & Wesson from his jacket, reached across his body and shot Young five times. Bullets pierced Young’s cheek, back and upper arm. His body armor stopped bullets to his chest and back, saving his life.

Even though Beckman’s gun was empty, he still had a knife when Brett Schott, the store’s unarmed security guard, jumped on his back and knocked him away from Young. Beckman stabbed Schott in the upper chest and ran toward the patrol car, where Young kept his rifle and shotgun.

“I was on my knees in a parking space,” Young recalled. “My right arm was paralyzed, my left hand had a two-inch tear between the index and middle fingers, and I could not draw my gun. I was bleeding profusely.”

Young remained calm and called Covella—who had just radioed for backup—to his side and asked the cadet to unholster his pistol and place it in his left hand. Young then fired four rounds, stopping Beckman before he could grab a firearm from the patrol car and start shooting again.

If you ask Young about the incident now, he says that Covella and Schott were the real heroes in this situation. “They risked their lives to help me, to help an officer out.”

Young, one of the most courageous and noble people I have ever known, often reminds me of the countless law enforcement professionals just like him who spend their time protecting us from extremely dangerous people each and every day.

We agree that it’s important to recognize the dangers these dedicated law enforcement professionals face, and to remember that sometimes those dangers lead to heartbreaking losses, as they did when we lost sheriff deputies Ricky Del Fiorentino and Bob Davis. Our communities still feel their absence.

Even in the face of injuries and loss, Marcus Young would tell you there is no better career than a career of service. The acts of helping people, protecting them, and keeping them safe are highly rewarding. For some, the first time they put the safety of someone else above their own is a truly life-changing endeavor. They realize they’ve found their calling.

If serving our community interests you, maybe you should consider becoming a law enforcement professional.

Law enforcement leaders in Mendocino County like myself are committed to recruiting and developing local candidates–people like you–who have grown up in our communities. We want to hire people who have made the choice to live and work here, people who are invested in keeping our neighborhoods and business districts safe.

We think finding local, community-minded men and women is essential to creating great organizations.

If you’d like to learn more, a great first step is to schedule a ride-along with us. This gives you a front row seat, so you can find out what we do and how you might fit into our organization. Learn more by visiting our websites, Facebook pages, or even giving us a call.

We’d love to hear from you if you’re considering a career in law enforcement.

As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website:

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by Bruce Anderson (April 2003)

He was Clyde, but she was no Bonnie.

Monica Winnie was 18 when she met Neal Beckman. A Willits boy, Beckman was 35, an outlaw, just home from the state pen.

"He always stood up for me, and he was always nice to me," Monica would say. "And he was exciting."

No one will ever say Neal Beckman wasn’t exciting. Excitement and an old fashioned gallantry toward young, nubile women seem to have been his sole virtues.

Monica knew her new boyfriend had been to prison, and she'd heard him say he wasn't going back, although she knew he was doing things likely to get him sent back.

But there he was, and there was something about Neal that drew Monica to him. He'd be there for her, which was more than she could say for her previous boyfriend, the "All-American Mr. Clean" who'd dumped her when he thought she was pregnant.

Jeff and Patty Winnie, Monica's unwitting parents, didn't know what to make of their daughter's new boyfriend, but they soon learned that their little girl had brought home a two-strike felon with a history of violent crimes all the way back to his early teens.

Monica Winnie is pretty; she's intelligent; she's conventionally ambitious; and she's blessed with a kind of effervescent good humor that draws people to her. The incongruity of her and the late Mr. Beckman as a couple is as startling as, say, Patty Hearst's youthful interlude as a revolutionary.

"He was a little guy, shorter than me even," Monica remembers. “He looked the same age as me, but he was real strong. He could pick me up, and everyone was afraid of him. I'd known him before when I had another boyfriend. Back then, when I was 17, Neal was kind of stalking me and threatening to kill me and stuff if I didn’t go with him. Then my other boyfriend suddenly just left me when I really needed him and there was Neal."

Whose Cro-Magnon courtship tactics won him the girl he wanted, and chalk up another one for love's mysterious ways.

Monica briefly tears up when she thinks back. She's still beguiled by the guy.

"You know," a veteran prosecutor explains, "there are a lot of women who go for guys like Beckman. Or versions of Beckman. I don't get it, but it's common. These babes you see on the back of Harleys? If you polled them probably half are lawyers and college professors.”

The cops had been watching Monica because they were watching Beckman. Anybody seen with Beckman became a bad person by association. The cops were sure that Monica was shoplifting and doing other things for Beckman that would eventually land her in jail.

"Beckman was a very scary guy," a long-time Sheriff's Department deputy said recently. "We were always very much aware of Mr. Beckman. I'm not surprised he did what he did."

Monica was surprised, though. Very surprised. So were her parents.

Mr. and Mrs. Winnie had been persuaded to let Beckman stay with them at their comfortable home in the hills southwest of town until he found a place of his own, but after just twenty-four hours with their houseguest the Winnies wanted Neal to find another place to live.


“He had those devil horn tattoos on his forehead, and he just looked at us when we tried to talk to him,” Monica’s dad Jeff Winnie recalls. “I wanted him out of the house.”

Beckman finally agreed to go on the last Saturday night of his life.

As they headed to the Ukiah motel Beckman said was his new home, Mrs. Winnie and Monica stopped at WalMart. Mrs. Winnie wanted do a quick round of shopping before off-loading the true love of her daughter’s life.

"Neal had everything he owned in a duffel bag," Mrs. Winnie recalls. "I wanted to get a few things at WalMart and so did he."

It was about 9pm when Patty Winnie, Monica and Beckman arrived at the Ukiah WalMart. Out of the hearing of Mrs. Winnie, Beckman had instructed Monica to take the receipt from his prior purchase of WalMart duffel bags, snag a package of identical bags from their shelf inside the store and exchange the ones off the shelf for the $29 shown on his old receipt. Mrs. Winnie had assumed Neal and Monica were going to wait in her car.

As soon as Mrs. Winnie was out of sight, Monica jumped out of her mom's car and entered the store through its garden section door. Beckman walked into the store through the front door, where he soon met Monica at the duffel bag shelf to commence their $29 scam. Beckman handed Monica a package of bags identical to his previous purchase and told her to go up front and exchange them for cash.

Beckman had explained to Monica that he needed a few more bucks for his motel room rent. He'd spent most of the Social Security Insurance check he received every month for having been declared an "anti-social personality type" — too mean to work, apparently. Beckman had persuaded one of Mendocino County's uniquely gullible shrinks to qualify him as permanently disabled. He spent most of his monthly government support checks on methamphetamine.

A WalMart security guard instantly knew that Neal and Monica were attempting to run a scam often seen in Ukiah's retail stores. Monica was detained as she walked out of the store with the 29 bucks. WalMart called the Ukiah Police to come and get her.

A popular Ukiah cop by the name of Marcus Young soon appeared. Sgt. Young was accompanied by a 17-year-old student cadet named Julian Covella.

Monica takes it from here.

"Neal handed me the bags off the shelf. I took them and the receipt up to the return counter where they gave me the money. I was almost outside when Carolyn Schott, a WalMart security guard, stopped me. I didn't know it then but her husband is also a security guard at the store. He was the man who Neal stabbed. Anyway, Carolyn Schott and some other WalMart people took me into the back of the store to wait for the Ukiah police. Marcus Young showed up. He took some notes, read me my rights, put me in handcuffs. He was very nice to me. All the cops were nice to me that night. I didn't know where Neal was. He disappeared after he got me the bags off the shelf.

"So Marcus Young put me in the backseat of his car, which was right next to my mom's car, right in front of the store. I was sitting there handcuffed behind my back when Neal came walking up. He sat down on the hood of my mom's car, right next to where I sat in the cop car. Officer Young told Neal to get off the car and come over to him because another security guard had pointed Neal out as being in on the thing with me. They knew Neal was with me.

"Neal started right off asking Young, 'What did I do? What did I do?' I could hear them talking, face-to-face — that close. Young asked Neal if he had any weapons. Neal said, 'Yeah. I have a knife.' Neal stuck his hand into his jacket and Young grabbed his arm. Next thing I knew Neal had a gun and was shooting it straight at Officer Young, and then they all fell down on the pavement and were wrestling around. The security guard and Young were trying to get Neal's arms, but it looked like Neal was too strong for them. Officer Young kept saying, 'Watch out for the knife. Get the knife!'

"Neal had already shot Marcus Young. Then Neal started stabbing the security guard (Schott). I didn't see the stabbing, but the security guard went down, too. Neal got up and ran to the police car. He didn't say anything to me until he got shot, then he said, 'I got shot in the head, babe. I'm dead.' He kept saying that. His body was shaking.

"I ducked down after Neal got shot, and he kind of slumped over in the front seat. I thought he was just ducking down, too, when Officer Young started shooting at him. I didn't know Neal had been shot until he told me he'd been shot."

Sgt. Young had been hit in his right shoulder, thus paralyzing his shooting hand. His protective vest had saved him certain death from Beckman's point-blank fire.

When Beckman had emptied his gun at the cop, knocking him to the pavement, Beckman then began a savage, repeated stabbing of WalMart security man, Schott. As Schott sank to the pavement, Beckman leaped into the front seat of Sgt. Young's patrol car where he struggled to free the shotgun secured to the rear of the front seat.

Young, struggling to regain his feet, his right side disabled by the bullet to his shoulder, couldn't get his gun out of his holster. The police cadet, 17-year-old Covella, freed Young's pistol from its holster, handed it to the dazed officer who then emptied it at Beckman, hitting Beckman in the head with one of the first rounds. Sgt. Young then collapsed onto the pavement.

Monica, gunfire exploding all around her, lay terrified only inches from the dying Beckman.

"Neal," Monica continued, "was in the police car for a long time, shaking. He was about a foot from me. He was still shaking after they pulled him out of the police car. They really jerked him out of there. It looked like they dislocated his arm, they jerked him so hard. They put him face down and put handcuffs on him, and he was still shaking. Convulsing. There was blood everywhere, but he wasn't dead. Officer Young was looking straight up at me while the paramedics worked on him. They moved me to another squad car. I watched them give Neal resuscitation, but I think he died on the way to the hospital."

Monica's dad, Jeff Winnie, was asleep when the phone rang and he learned the news that would keep him wide awake for what seemed like the rest of the week.

“I couldn’t believe it, but when I thought about it for a while I really wasn’t surprised. He was a mean, crazy little bastard. One night when we all went out to dinner, the guy acted like a complete punk. He tried to start a fight with some guy he said was looking at Monica, and all he talked about was how much he liked drugs. This guy was going to be our son-in-law? He had to go."

Beckman went, alright, but the Winnies hadn’t heard the last of him. The diminutive psycho was dead, but when the police discovered five "explosive devices" in the Winnie family car, the police thought they might have have a whole family of bomb throwers.

A task force soon appeared at the Winnie home, and Monica and her dad were both booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges related to possession of bomb making materials. Dad soon bailed out, and all charges against him were dropped. The bomb materials belonged to Beckman.

Charges against Monica were not dropped. They included a bomb charge, and two burglaries. Despite her repeated denials that she had no idea that Neal Beckman had either a gun or five unarmed pipe bombs, Neal was dead and Monica was alive. And Neal had shot a cop. Monica had been with the man who shot the cop, so…

So, at a minimum, she needed to be scared straight.

"Needless to say," begins Monica's beset mother, "the night it all happened, well, it was like a nightmare. I still can't believe it. Monica has no criminal history. She's a nice kid. She's still in school, she has goals, she has hopes. I was just about to drop this guy off at a motel after we stopped at WalMart. Monica and I were headed home to Willits — we thought. It all happened very fast. I was just coming out of the store. I'd already been told Monica had been arrested for shoplifting, and I was very unhappy about that. I figured Neal was involved somehow, and was looking forward to getting him away from all of us. So, I'm walking towards my car with Mike, a WalMart guy, when it all happens right in front of me.

"I couldn't see Neal's face, but he seemed nice and calm and cool. He had on black pants, jacket, and cap. He was walking towards Officer Young in that chicken walk that the hood guys use. He was walking like a hoodlum, a cocky guy. I wondered what the heck he was doing. He walked right up to Officer Young and Officer Young says, 'I need to speak to you.' Neal starts in, 'What'd I do?' Both hands were in his pockets. Officer Young didn't say anything derogatory to him. All he said was, 'Sir, please remove your hands from your pockets.' Neal said, 'What do you want me for? What'd I do?'

"I blinked, and next thing I knew Officer Young had his left hand up in front of him. I didn't actually see the gun. I saw the muzzle flash. I saw Officer Young get hit in the stomach. The next shot looked like it hit him square in the face. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I started dialing 911. I heard a couple more shots. I thought Officer Young was dead right there! Officer Young had hold of Neal's arm. Then Officer Young fell on him or pushed him up on the hood of my car. He was on top of him when Neal fired the second shot that looked like it hit Young right in the face.

"I really felt like the 911 operator was stupid. She asked a lot of stupid questions, although I'd made it clear that a policeman had just been shot. I was trying to tell her an officer was dead and she hung up on me! Maybe a minute later, I started hearing all kinds of sirens.

"The paramedics worked on Young and Schott, the WalMart security guy, for 30-45 minutes.”

"Neal was in the police car where he'd been shot, shaking. Not actually dead. He was laying on the seat and twitching. Two officers came up to him while he was still twitching, pulled him out of the car, slammed him down on the pavement and handcuffed him. He laid there for 5-10 minutes until an EMT came over to Neal to work on him. They put him in the ambulance and took him away.

"That Friday night all I'd done was stop at WalMart, and the next thing I know my daughter's boyfriend is shooting a cop on top of my car! And a week later my daughter is being talked about by John Walsh on America's Most Wanted! These three men said on national television that Neal Beckman made no attempt to free Monica. That he just climbed in the front seat of the police car with my daughter in the back seat to get more guns. If they were this Bonnie and Clyde team, why didn't Neal open the back door and let Monica go so she could help him shoot people? Instead, he climbed in the police car to get more guns where Officer Young, God bless him, did what he did. But as Bonnie and Clyde? No way. It's a miracle she wasn't hit with all the bullets flying around. But if Neal had got hold of that automatic weapon in the police car... God!"

Monica says her lethal adventure at WalMart has cured her of exciting guys. She says she wants to finish school and pursue a career working with autistic children, a goal she adopted after spending long hours with the autistic child of a relative. She hopes her plans have only been temporarily derailed.

The DA's skepticism about the degree of Monica's knowledge of her boyfriend's weapons is understandable. From law enforcement's perspective Monica had been hanging out with crooks for more than a year and had to have been aware that Beckman was involved in criminal activity. Her arrest, even if it's based on extremely tenuous particulars, is probably the best thing that could have happened to her.

Monica seems to agree.

"I don't want to go to prison. I don't like jail. And I think everything that happened that night was horrible. It's not me."

Monica got time served in the Mendocino County Jail plus five years of felony probation.

Beckman was gone. His brother appears occasionally in the daily booking log. A Willits teacher called to say, "Beckman wasn't even the scariest kid in my special ed class, and he scared hell outta me even as a kid."

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by Ralph Nader

The Heritage Foundation, with an annual budget nearing $90 million a year (including over $1 million for the salary of its president), calls itself conservative, but more often than not it practices the kind of corporatism dear to the impulses of President Trump. The Washington-based “think tank/lobbying firm” has quite a score card with the failed gambling czar who lost the popular vote but won the vestigial Electoral College tally to become head of state. In fact, they’ve given him a checklist, and he seems to be obediently implementing the Heritage Foundation’s agenda.

Immediately after his Electoral College selection, Trump’s transition team was swarmed with Heritage personnel—the 334 “unique policy recommendations” comprising its massive “Mandate for Leadership.” Indeed, seventy former Heritage employees now work for the Trump Administration.

According to Heritage’s Thomas Binion, the Trumpsters have adopted or implemented “64 percent of the 334 policy prescriptions.” This success rate, Heritage says, exceeds even President Ronald Reagan’s first year in office when his administration adopted 49 percent of Heritage’s policy recommendations.

Heritage’s boldness and energy levels tower over its counterpart institutions on the alleged left-of-center political spectrum. It helps that big corporate money bolsters Heritage’s various projects, including one recently created initiative “Heritage Action,” which dives directly into electoral politics. In its 45 years of operation, Heritage has fed off demanding oil tycoon heirs such as Richard Mellon Scaife and Shelby Cullom Davis, the relentless Koch brothers and, recently, the Trump-backing Mercer financial interests.

Mr. Binion proudly lists some of his organization’s successes with Trump, and more “adopted” recommendations can be found in the full list. Here is a small selection for your perusal:

–Leaving the Paris Climate Accord and cutting funding for research on climate disruption

–Shrinking the public lands

–Greatly increasing military spending

–Making the needy work for government assistance

–Opening up the federal lands to off-shore drilling and coal leasing

–Withdrawing from UNESCO—a move strongly urged by the Israeli government

–Eliminating Environmental Justice Programs

–Ending Renewable Energy Mandates in DOD

–Eliminating Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for children

–Eliminating the Labor Department’s Women’s Bureau

–Eliminating Tribal Housing

–Reducing funding for the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights by 50%

–Cutting budgets for all kinds of help to the poor, the disabled and other deprived Americans such as impoverished patients seeking health care

Hand it to Heritage, it deals with both abstract conservative principles and concrete policies.

The problem is that the principles don’t match what Heritage is pressing for in the avaricious arena of Republican corporate politics.

Here are its principles: “free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”

Let’s compare Heritage’s walk to its talk. “Free enterprise?” Rhetoric aside, Heritage is inactive on old and new monopolies, and indeed anything to do with massive corporate welfare for the favored big companies and big money in politics which tilt the playing field and shaft taxpayers.

“Limited government?” What about—to invoke President Eisenhower’s warning words—the big government of the bloated “Military-Industrial Complex?” What about the massive outsourcing of public functions to corporations that consider overcharging taxpayers to be a business strategy? What about the system of “criminal injustice,” in which people can be arrested without being charged with a crime? What about prosecutorial abuses and illegal prison abuses? What about DOJ-promoted for-profit prisons that benefit from social systems that continually perpetuate cycles of incarceration and arrest? Do these qualify as “limited government?”

“Individual freedom?” What about the massive invasion of individual privacy by corporations or the destruction of the freedom of contracts—consumer servitude under unilateral fine print contracts not subject to competition? What about the FCC’s elimination of net neutrality, allowing internet and cable providers to infiltrate, control and monetize every aspect of the internet “commons?”

“Traditional American values?” What about equal protection of the laws in the form of strong enforcement actions against the corporate crime wave that has been documented regularly by the Wall Street Journal and Business Week? Heritage is silent on this obvious, deep American value.

What about compassion values for the poor and preservation of the air, water and soil? Heritage has hooked its reputation onto two of the cruelest of Trump’s henchmen: Scott Pruitt, dismantling the EPA, contrary to his oath of office, and the mad dog of mad dogs—Michael Mulvaney, who heads both the Office of Management and Budget and the Wall Street watchdog, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which he is running through the Wall Street corporate meat grinder.

“A strong national defense?” A wasteful defense is a weak defense and military power in the service of Empire only increases hatred, war and civilian adversaries against the invaders and backers of dictatorships abroad. Heritage is silent on such lessons of history and has sided too often with the neo-con war mongers. The libertarian Cato institute, at least, opposes criminal wars of aggression (as in Iraq) and imperialism.

There are people inside Heritage troubled about this conflict between true conservatives and corporatists masquerading as conservatives. They know that the rhetoric about being against crony capitalism or statism (the corporate state) is not part of Heritage’s muscle on Capitol Hill or at Trump’s White House. But they know where their bread is buttered.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

* * *

"THREATENING the whole planet and forcing it to use the US dollar in international trade (and destroying countries, such as Iraq and Libya, when they refuse); running huge trade deficits with virtually the entire world and forcing reserve banks around the world to buy up US government debt; leveraging that debt to run up colossal budget deficits (now around a trillion dollars a year); and robbing the entire planet by printing money and spending it on various corrupt schemes — that, my friends, has been America’s business plan since around the 1970s. And it is unraveling before our eyes."

- Dmitry Orlov

* * *

* * *


by Dan Bacher

There is no doubt there will be ocean and inland recreational fishing seasons targeting Sacramento and Klamath River fall Chinook salmon this season, but the exact length and scope of those seasons will be determined in upcoming meetings at the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and California Fish and Game Commission. Increased restrictions on some fisheries are likely.

Recreational and commercial anglers attending the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Salmon Information Meeting in Santa Rosa on March 1 received mixed news regarding the status of Sacramento River fall Chinook and Klamath River fall Chinook stocks, the drivers of the California and Southern Oregon ocean salmon fisheries.

The adult returns of both stocks were well below minimum escapement goals in 2017, while the projected abundance for both stocks is modest compared to historic averages. The data released on March 1 will help to craft the ocean and in river salmon seasons developed by the federal and state governments this year.

The 2017 adult spawning escapement of Sacramento River fall run Chinooks was only 44,574 adults in 2017, reported Vanessa Gusman, CDFW environmental scientist. This is well below the conservation goal range of 122,000 to 180,000 fish. The fish included 27,039 hatchery fish and 17,535 natural origin fish.

This is the second lowest return ever. In 2009, when the fishing industry was shut down, the return was 40,873.

The 2017 Klamath Basin fall Chinook run was the 5th lowest in 39 years of records and 43 percent of the 39-year average. All recreational ocean and in river fishing for Klamath and Trinity River Fall Chinooks was closed last year, due to the projected low return.

The adult Chinook returns to the basin were 173 percent of the projected forecast — 18,410 versus 31,838 post.

“The adult fall Chinook natural escapement conservation threshold of 40,700 was not managed for or met this season,” said Wade Sinnen, CDFW environmental scientist. “The geometric mean of natural escapement for the past three years is 19,358, below the minimum stocks size threshold of 30,525.

The stock is now considered to be in an “overfished” state, meaning that a Conservation Plan must be developed to recover the fishery.

On the positive side, the state and federal fishery scientists reported an increase in the number of jacks (two-year-old Chinook) that returned to spawn in 2017 in both the Sacramento and Klamath-Trinity river systems.

“Higher jack returns, as seen in 2017, can indicate the potential for increased abundance of adult (three years old or older) Chinook for 2018 fisheries,” said Harry Morse, CDFW information officer.

The 2017 Sacramento River jack counts were well above normal. A total of 24,375 jacks returned to the Upper Sacramento, Feather River and American River Basins in 201.

Likewise, the number of 2-year-old grilse (also called jacks and jills) in the Klamath is 21,903, above the long term average and a precursor for age three abundance, said Sinnen.

The jack counts are employed to model the ocean abundance forecasts for the year. Forecasts by Michael O’Farrell of NOAA Fisheries presented at the meeting suggest there are 229,400 Sacramento River fall Chinook adults and 359,200 Klamath River fall Chinook adults in the ocean this year.

The Sacramento River fall Chinook forecast is comparable to last year (down slightly) but there are greater numbers of Klamath River fall Chinook projected to be swimming in the ocean this year. Fall Chinook from these runs typically comprise the majority of salmon taken in California’s ocean and inland fisheries.

“The Sacramento Index forecast is nearly identical to the 2017 forecast,” said Dr. O’Farrell of the National Marine Fisheries Servic e. “2018 management must target an escapement of at least 122,000, a 46.8 percent exploitation rate.”

If the 2017 regulations were in place now, it would provide for a preliminary escapement prediction of 134,900. “This stock is likely to constrain 2018 fisheries,” said O’Farrell.

In addition to being subject to the Sacramento Index, fishing for Sacramento River stocks is also constrained by the status winter run Chinook salmon, a species listed under both the federal and state Endangered Species Acts.

O’Farrell said there is a new “control rule” for 2018. The abundance forecast is 1,594 and the maximum allowable age 3 impact is 14.4%. With the 2017 regulations in place, there would be a preliminary prediction of 12.6%.

As in previous years, this is likely to constrain 2018 fisheries south of Point Arena on the Mendocino Coast. O’Farrell stated.

The Klamath ocean abundance is an estimated 333,049 age 3 fish, 28,415 age 4 and 767 age 5.

“The 2018 potential spawner abundance forecast is 59,733,” said O’Farrell. “The 2018 season must target at escapement of at least 40,700.”

This could constrain 2018 fisheries south of Cape Falcon, Oregon.

Why the low numbers in 2017? Morse said the effects of the recent drought are still impacting California’s salmon populations. “Outbound juvenile Chinook suffered unusually high mortality because of low flows and high water temperatures in both the Sacramento and Klamath watersheds in 2014 and 2015,” said Morse.

In addition, representatives of fishing and environmental groups and Tribes cited the mismanagement of the storage reservoirs and river releases and massive water exports to corporate agribusiness and Southern California water agencies as key factors in the salmon declines.

The outlook for salmon fishing this season depends on who you talk to.

“If I were a commercial troller, the information released at yesterday’s meeting would be good news, since the commercial season was severely constrained by the Klamath River runs last season,” said Marc Gorelnik, a member of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) representing recreational anglers. “This won’t be the case this year. The commercial trollers should have more time on the water.”

“However, this means that the recreational fisherman will be going to have to share the fish more with the commercials,” said Gorelnik. “It was a pretty good season for the sport anglers last year. That is probably not going to happen again this year with the increased fishing pressure. I would expect a less generous season for sport fishermen as the commercials get to spend more time on the water.”

There would be 108,000 Sacramento fish available for harvest by both recreational and commercial fishermen if the spawning escapement goal is set at 122,000. However, if the target is raised by NOAA Fisheries up to around 180,000, there would only be only 50,000 or so fish available for harvest, said Gorelnik.

“I would not expect a complete closure, but I would expect the state and federal governments to be less generous,” he said.

The inland fishing seasons on the Sacramento, Feather and American Rivers could face cutbacks in order to allow more salmon to return to fish hatcheries and natural spawning areas this season, but that is yet to be determined.

“The inland season on the Sacramento River could be a huge problem, with 60,000 fish estimated contacted last year, way more than expected,” Gorelnik added.

Dick Pool, the Secretary of GGSA and President of Pro-Troll said, “The low 2017 adult return figures we heard at the meeting were very disturbing. Some of them are all time record lows. Even under the best of circumstances, salmon fishing this year is going to be curtailed again.”

“It is not the fault of the fishermen,” Pool emphasized. “The problems are the low survival of the juveniles in the rivers and in the Delta. There are solutions and the State and Federal Governments need to step up and fix them while it is still possible.”

Over the next two months, the PFMC will use the 2018 fall Chinook ocean abundance forecasts, in addition to information on the status of endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook, to set ocean sport and commercial fishing season dates, commercial quotas and size and bag limits, according to the CDFW. A range of three alternatives will be proposed, from which one will be chosen at the April PFMC meeting.

Concurrently, fishery managers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be working to develop a suite of recommendations for the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) to consider on 2018 fishing seasons, size limits and bag limits for Chinook salmon river fishing in the Klamath/Trinity and Sacramento River basins. For more information, please visit the FGC Sport Fishing Regulations website.

For more information on the process for setting the California ocean salmon season or for general information about ocean salmon fishing, please visit the Ocean Salmon Project website. For the latest ocean salmon season regulations, please call the CDFW ocean salmon hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service salmon fishing hotline at (800) 662-9825.

For the latest inland salmon season regulations in the Klamath/Trinity basin, call (800) 564-6479, and in the Central Valley, please visit the CDFW Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations website.

* * *

“Just woke up—anything bad happen yet?”

* * *


Broadband Alliance meeting on Friday, 3/9/17 in Ukiah

Hi everyone,

One topic is a discussion of the PUC new's broadband adoption program which I think has potential for our county. Eligible applicants include schools, libraries, and non-profits so I'd really like to find a good match for some type of project. The rules for the program are being developed as we speak and the PUC wants input, so I want to provide them with suggestions that would help match the grant program to a project that we want funded. That's where I need ideas on potential projects and your input on rules for the program.

Here's a short summary of the new program

Here's the longer staff proposals for the program

(Remember, much of these rules are /not/ set in stone and these staff suggestions are subject to change)

Thanks, and hope to see you Friday.

Trish Steel <> 707-354-3224

* * *


Fort Bragg, CA — March 8, 2018 — One of the most important objectives at Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) is to provide patients with the highest quality of care and best possible outcomes when undergoing surgery. Recently, MCDH invested in the 1588 AIM Platform made by Stryker, a connected surgical video system used in our minimally invasive surgeries. This system reduces risk to patients by helping surgeons see and safeguard critical anatomy.

The 1588 AIM integrates five unique advanced imaging modalities for use across six surgical specialties: laparoscopy, arthroscopy, urology, gynecology, ear/nose/throat, and gastrointestinal surgeries. These five imaging modalities enhance visualization of anatomy intra-operatively, thereby reducing risk to the patient during surgery:

* IRIS. Infrared Illumination System. IRIS is a visualization technology designed to reduce the risk of ureteral damage.

* ENV. Endoscopic Near Infrared Visualization. ENV is designed to reduce the risk of common bile duct injury during laparoscopic cholecystectomies by safeguarding critical anatomy and help reduce the risk of gastric, colorectal, and esophageal anastomotic leaks.

* Clarity. Clarity is a real-time video enhancement device designed to improve visualization of anatomy by enhancing tissue level detail and intra-body structures. This technology helps surgeons see through smoke and murky fluid, thereby improving image quality.

* DRE. Dynamic Range Enhancement. DRE is designed to improve visualization in the surgical field by creating a brighter image in dark and posterior compartments.

* Desaturation. Desaturation decreases the saturation of color in the image, which is a preference that varies by surgeon and specialty.

"The 1588 AIM Platform has made noticeable improvements to our minimally invasive surgeries here at MCDH. The new system allows me to see better, cuts down on fogging, and gives me more control," commented Linda K. James, MD, one of the surgeons at MCDH. "This system is more efficient so it cuts down on the time that a patient is under anesthesia."

The new system will provide patients with advanced care through this new state-of-the-art technology. Please visit to learn more about the 1588 AIM Platform and the benefits it will bring to patients at MCDH.


  1. Jim Armstrong March 9, 2018

    Judy: Thanks.
    I was thinking it was an eastward view toward Mount Sanhedrin where snow can often be seen, not toward the north where it is rare.
    Nice pic.

    • Judy March 9, 2018

      It is rare for snow to be in that area that is why I took the photo. Thank you for your comment.

  2. John Sakowicz March 9, 2018

    After many years of being a senior instructor in the FBI’s LEOKA program, I think Sgt. Young is now working at the MCSO doing background checks. He’s a heck of a guy!

    Nice to have you home, Marcus!

    — John Sakowicz

  3. james marmon March 9, 2018

    Lake County Sheriff’s Office

    “On March 8th, 2018 the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit along with the assistance of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife served a search warrant in the 2700 block of Holdenreid Road in Kelseyville. The search warrant was related to a large scale illegal marijuana operation. Detectives arrested three male adults at the location. They were identified as Mario Santiago Santos, 35, of Sacramento, Carlos Reyna, 46, of Lodi and Miguel Cruz, 35, of Fresno. Detectives located and eradicated 1,643 marijuana plants growing within a set of eight 100 foot long hoop style greenhouses. In addition, the cultivation activity was occurring along Hill Creek with a large amount of garbage and grow site debris in and along the creek. The suspects were booked into custody at the Lake County Jail for violations of Health and Safety Code sections 11358(d)(3)(C)- Cultivation of Marijuana While Discharging Substance or Material Deleterious to Fish, Plant Life, Mammals, or Bird Life, 11366.5- Maintaining Place for the Purposes of Unlawfully Storing or Distributing Controlled Substance for Sale, and 11359- Possession of Marijuana for Sale.

    Detectives continued to investigate the male subjects and were able to identify a second location located in the 4600 block of Clark Drive in Kelseyville, which was associated with Santos. On March 9th, 2018 the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit along with the assistance of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife served a second search warrant at the Clark Drive location. No suspects were located at this location. Detectives found the property contained a total of nine additional large greenhouse structures and a sophisticated drying and processing station within a barn. Detectives located and eradicated a total of 5,554 marijuana plants and seized 760 pounds of processed marijuana. The processed marijuana had a street value of over 1 million dollars.”

    See Photos:

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