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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, March 18, 2018

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VOLUNTEER DAY TO ERADICATE INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES 3/25

Thank you to those who came last time, hope to see you again! We had so much fun last month we are doing it again!

Volunteers Needed For Invasive Plant Removal at Hendy Woods State Park

Sunday, March 25, 11am to 1pm (rain cancels)

  • Meet at the Hendy Woods State Park Day Use Picnic Area
  • Enjoy FREE Park entrance for the day
  • Bring some gardening gloves, hand trowels/loppers & a picnic lunch
  • Meet new people &/or catch up with old friends
  • Ages 5 & up

The Hendy Woods Community

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MR. BONES'S GUNS

by Bruce McEwen

Mr. Bones, aka Jonathan James Wisbey, is a Youtube video producer at Mr. 420 Wholesalers. He has posted a series of videos entitled Diary of a Domestic Terrorist featuring a masked sleuth called Mr. Bones, whose adventures include everything from his encounter with police in Santa Rosa to his “detective work” in trying to get drugs from a pharmacy in Eugene. (Bones says they lost his prescription.).

Then, apparently working his way south, he’s on to a Safeway in Coos Bay where he detects Fukushima fallout in the cheese.

Next stop is a head-shop in Garberville where he’s trying to raffle off a far out dragon table hookah/combination chess set.

Then he hits Mendocino County where he's promptly arrested for being a felon with a firearm while making videos about how to make a citizen’s arrest.

Mr. Bones appears in the video wearing a chain-mail hood over his head, a black ski mask and wraparound sunglasses while posing with a gun. He was later making the “Citizen’s Arrest” video at a cemetery mausoleum where he was holding the “suspect” down as his girlfriend was holding the gun to some poor devil’s head that these two lunatics had captured and were torturing.

The fun couple was in court last week facing an array of charges.

The woman, Mary Ann (last name unknown), was going to testify that she had full control of the gun — despite the pictures of Wisbey posing with it — but after she spoke with a court-appointed lawyer, Doug Rhoades of the Office of the Alternate Public Defender, on the ramifications of waiving her Fifth Amendment rights, she changed her mind and left Mr. Bones hanging.

Wisbey claimed the gun in the pictures was an Air-Soft BB gun, but it looks real enough and has no bright orange tip, which comes with Air-Soft guns to help keep kids and the grownup fools who play with these “toys” in public places from getting shot dead by cops.

Air-Soft guns are such convincing replicas of real firearms that if you break off the orange tip coming out of the muzzle, there’s no way to know, just by looking, whether it’s real or not. So if you have a real pistol and a plastic replica of it, whose to say which is which in a photo? Perhaps we can call on one of our many resident pseudo-psychologists from the AVA’s comment section to explain this widespread desire to pose with guns in Youtube videos and on Facebook.

The clincher: Mr. Wisbey had a key to the strongbox the gun was kept in pinned to his costume. The strongbox also contained handcuffs and lots of .40 cal. ammunition for the pistol, a cheaper version of a Glock. This was a damning piece of evidence, this key, as having access to a firearm is all that needs to be established. So Wisbey was held to answer on the charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

Then there was a charge of operating a vehicle — the crazy couple travels around Ecotopia in a motor-home — while being an addict, a violation of the Vehicle Code.

Mr. Bones-Wisbey’s lawyer, Heidi Larson said, “My client’s bizarre behavior can be explained by other things, besides his addiction, your honor, but for the present we won’t be offering any defense to the charge.”

Judge John Behnke summed up, “There’s sufficient evidence that the defendant was personally driving at the time and that he was addicted, suffering withdrawal symptoms from being deprived of the drug, which he appeared to be emotionally as well as physically dependent on, as the arresting officer observed that the defendant was sweating profusely, unable to sit still and trembling uncontrollably. It will be difficult to prove at trial, but for purposes of a preliminary hearing, I find the evidence sufficient.”

Wisbey

The couple were later seen walking back to the motor-home, and it appeared Mr. Bones was berating Mary Ann for not taking the stand on his behalf. A new video will no doubt result, wherein Mr. Bones will explain everything to his own advantage, just as soon as he gets some more meds and settles down.

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RAVEN OVER NOYO

(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Dick Whetstone)

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4AM AT THE POINT ARENA PIER

On March 16, 2018 at approximately 4:35 a.m., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to an assault with a deadly weapon in the 70 block of Mill Street in Point Arena. Upon their arrival, Deputies contacted a 61 year-old male who was receiving medical treatment at the scene for multiple stab wound type injuries. During that contact Deputies obtained initial information that the adult male and his spouse were traveling in their vehicle along the Mendocino Coast. The couple had allegedly stopped to sleep at an unknown location when an unknown subject approached their vehicle and repeatedly stabbed the adult male. The couple then left the location in their vehicle to seek medical care and ultimately called 9-1-1 after reaching Point Arena. Deputies continued their investigation following the adult male's transport to the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. During the course of that investigation, Deputies developed further information that was contrary to what was initially reported. Deputies ultimately determined the adult male and his spouse Sandra Tsai, 31, of San Francisco were parked in their vehicle in the area of the Point Arena Pier at approximately 4:00 a.m.

Tsai

Around that time Tsai began to repeatedly stab the adult male with an object while he was asleep in the vehicle and at some point during the attack the adult male was able to disarm Tsai. Both the adult male and Tsai then left the location in their vehicle and subsequently called 9-1-1 for medical assistance after arriving in the area of the 70 block of Mill Street. After establishing probable cause to arrest Tsai, Deputies contacted and arrested her at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital on charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Infliction of Corporal Injury on Spouse. Tsai was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where she was booked and to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

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CLARIFICATION

Yesterday we wrote: “…although Williams, Skyhawk and Roderick are known by their work as firefighters to the county-wide firefighting companies…”

Ted Williams notes: “Roderick is a director on the board of Hopland Fire District. Skyhawk was appointed to the board of Albion-Little River Fire Protection District. He has never volunteered as a firefighter. Williams and Juhl have volunteered in the sense of training and responding to emergencies. Juhl’s time was short, about nine months, but given his age and the arduous nature of firefighting, I have respect for the guy.”

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PETS 'O THE WEEK

This adorable Guinea Pig was found running around loose on a rainy day! She was brought to the shelter and is now ready to find her new home. Tyler is a young female with a big personality. She if friendly and loves to eat her vegetables! Look at that cute face!

Like Petey from OUR GANG, our Pete is sweet and wiggly. Petey is a big lug nut...just the kind of canine shelter staff and volunteers love! During his photo shoot, Petey was very easy to leash up and walk, and he has lovely kennel manners. Pete has a very soft mouth—he takes treats with a gentle touch. Pete knows sit, he enjoys playing with toys, and he is an all around great dog to be around. This guy is a people-pleaser with a million dollar smile. The Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday till 6:30 pm. To view photos and bios of our adoptable dogs and cats, and the shelter's programs, events and services, please us visit online at mendoanimalshelter.com.

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OVERTON OVEREXPOSED? Newly hired Mendocino County Cannabis Program Manager — aka. "Pot Czar" — Kelly Overton has made quite a splash in the wake of his presentation to the Supervisors on Tuesday.

An oversized picture of a proud Mr. Overton adorned the front page of Friday’s Press Democrat and the accompanying article informs us that Overton was formerly a "consultant from Southern California," where he previously "helped start a small animal welfare nonprofit, Mojave Animal Protection." This “experience” was magically leveraged into a $98,000 a year Program Management job in Mendocino to preside over a convoluted process that has baffled everyone who has taken it on so far.

The Press Democrat also says that Mendocino "officials have given him a directive: Give more applicants permission to grow."

According to the Press Democrat, Overton also has "experience including working on a contract basis for government agencies or organizations seeking to improve internal processes, including a stint helping Habitat For Humanity retool its model to respond to the unprecedented housing needs created by arcane Katrina which brought New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005."

Overton told the Supervisors he “will initiate improvements to the way the county engages with the public on cannabis topics." Nowhere in the lengthy PD article are any "improvements" specified.

Adding to the coverage, in Friday’s Ukiah Daily Journal, reporter Ariel Carmona quoted Overton in yet another long article saying that he intends to improve processing and communications.

In Thursday’s Willits Weekly, reporter Mike A’Dair’s long report said that Overton "has asked county staff to prioritize permit applications."

"We are going to be able to expedite the permit process," Overton insisted. "We are going to be able to prioritize the permit process and this will not slow anyone down. It's kind of a simple process: good customer service." Overton also said he plans to "improve work habits, use technology better and communicate internally better.”

Overton hasn't had any actual marijuana program experience like the months of experience racked up by former Interim Ag Commissioner Diane Curry. Readers may recall that in her final report to the Board last month she described some very specific difficulties that Mr. Overton either doesn’t appreciate or is unaware of:

Curry: "If our cultivators cannot get a state license they don't have a local license. And in order to get a state license you need a Lake and Streambed Alteration permit from Fish and Wildlife or a statement that you don't need one. We have been instrumental in pushing our cultivators to get those documents because without them there is no state license. There is no state license without already going through the State Water Board to get the water right and your discharge permit. Again, we have been instrumental in pushing those cultivators to get those licenses. No state license, no local license.”

But “pushing” many small pot growers unaccostomed to (expensive) paperwork hasn’t worked well so far and no amount of process improvements will fix that.

Former Commissioner Curry also described problems in the Planning Department and the State Department of Fish and Wildlife:

“We only have a total of maybe 150 approvals from Planning and Building. So still, those people are not going to get a permit yet. The annual inspection is tied to the issuance of a permit. We have a year. And the annual inspection also says that we will plan that inspection when we actually have plants in the ground, which we don't. We want to time those inspections so that we have mature plants so we can do the canopy survey. So we can actually get something that's accurate. … I don't have any control over Fish and Wildlife and when they are going to determine, when they submit, or when they are going to issue their Lake and Streambed Alteration permit. According to my staff and Fish and Wildlife if a cultivator ever submits that paperwork there is still a lot of back-and-forth with those agencies because they don't have enough information. So again, if we go back to our ordinance — it also said we wouldn't accept an application until cultivators had all of that. … I have reached out to Senator McGuire telling him some of these issues. But in Mendocino County, because of the geography here, I would say that 90% or our applicants are going to need that.”

The glibly confident Overton seems to think that for $98,000 a year with a fancy title and a few well-chosen buzzwords he can somehow improve processes and communications without addressing any of the fundamental obstacles that Commissioner Curry described. (And she only noted a few of them.) We wonder how long it will take Overton to realize that he may be overplaying his hand and creating unrealistic expectations for applicants and the Supes. The problem is not with the permit processing and communications, the problem is the process itself.

(Mark Scaramella)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “’Another thing, my yappy little friend,’ Skrag says to me, ‘modulate your bark. It should come from your diaphragm, not through your nose. Ever hear us cats purr? That's the sound you want.’ Now he's a voice coach! The arrogance of this deadbeat is unbelievable.”

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WITH ALL THE TIME and attention County officials are giving to marijuana one might think that marijuana is the County’s biggest problem. But as Sheriff Allman likes to say, "This is not the County of Marijuana, this is the County of Mendocino."

Probably the biggest problem Mendo has right now is housing. Not only because there is a shortage, and what there is costs too much, but a large part of County tax revenues are dependent on the housing stock and the assessed value of that stock and on people’s ability to pay those taxes.

Clearly, there is no single solution to the housing problem. It has to be approached by nibbling away in every possible area from lots of angles. To do this, Mendo does not need a "pot czar," we need a Housing Czar.

In the wake of the tragic Redwood Valley Complex fires last October, the County appointed Tammy Moss Chandler to coordinate and oversee all of the various efforts of the fire disaster recovery program. And it’s paid off. Progress has been made. She was impressively focused and pulled things together nicely.

A similar effort needs to be made for housing. "The market" is clearly incapable of producing anything resembling affordable housing.

For example, last Tuesday Doug Guillon, of Guillon Inc. whose company proposes to build around 200 housing units at the Lovers Lane property north of Ukiah, described the cost of his “non-subsidized market rate entry-level housing in Ukiah.” (Repeat “entry level.”)

“We just completed building 200 homes in Chico. I would like to describe what it costs to build 200 entry-level homes there and compare that to the same costs in Ukiah. The cost components that make up the cost of a home in a community are local application fees, which are similar between Chico and Ukiah with the exception that in Chico these are about $1700. I put in $500 more here reserved for lawsuits. We had to provide for that. You have to put money in your budget to protect yourself against lawsuits. Unfortunately. Not only do lawsuits add to the cost of a home but they increase the time it takes to bring them online. Which again increases your cost, such as holding costs and interest rates. Land development and the direct cost of building a house in Chico is $241,000; in Ukiah its $285,000. That's the pure cost of developing the home. It is projected to be higher in Ukiah because you have a lack of subcontractors and a lack of active developers and a lack of laborers in the market, and with the fires that situation has only gotten worse. We have impact fees of $17,000 in Chico and about $20,000 in Mendocino County. Then there are indirect costs, financing costs, and so on, plus developer profit. Sales and escrow fees and taxes are another $29,000 in Chico and $35,000 in Ukiah. So we can build a home in Ukiah for $345,000 if our projections are accurate. If you extrapolate that over time and look at a mortgage payment plan, the housing price starts at $345,000. At a 5% down payment of $17,000, the mortgage would be $325,000. With principal and interest and taxes and insurance it ends up to a mortgage of $2052 a month. The median income for a family of four is $71,000. 30% of that is about $25,000. So that's what it costs to build a house and buy it in Ukiah.”

Mr. Guillon’s estimate of “median income for a family of four” is much higher than anything we’ve seen for Mendocino County. Even so, we have no doubt he can sell his 200 Lovers Lane homes when they’re built.

But that high-end market housing won’t solve many housing problems in Mendocino County.

There are plenty of ideas out there which a Housing Czar could oversee and promote if the program was given high priority by the Board of Supervisors.

For example Coast Contractor Ishvi Aum offered a few very practical specific ideas in a letter to the AVA last month:

“Allow higher density on parcels larger than one acre. The current restriction of two dwelling units per parcel regardless of size severely limits the available land for development.

Do not attempt to tax new structures and improvements as they are built. Land is assessed when it is purchased. Allow the purchaser to pay the same tax rate as long as they own the property. When they sell, any improvements will be added into the value of the property and the tax rate will go up for the next owner. This will make it less costly to own houses thereby lowering rents. It will also make people more inclined to pull building permits and lessen the workload for county staff at the assessor's office.

Allow large parcels of flat developable land to be subdivided into smaller parcels.

Reduce the permit fees on all new homes with a footprint of less than 1400 squre feet to a flat fee of $500.

On the Mendocino Coast, remove all acreage from the coastal zone that is not bluff top or restricting ocean access. This would not only save the citizens money it would reduce the workload on county staff and save tax dollars.

Have the building department provide some pre-approved plan sets for modest energy-efficient single-family residences. This could save the cost of design and engineering for many people. Maintain the Class K permit option as an alternative to the Uniform Building Code which seems to get more expensive to follow every year.”

As Mr. Aum noted, “These changes cannot be implemented by department heads or staff without clear direction from the Supervisors. The elected officials in this county must take responsibility for the housing crisis by creating policies that make it easier for their constituents to house themselves.”

We asked Supervisor Dan Gjerde about the possibility of the Supes appointing a Housing Czar.

Gjerde replied:

"I agree, this would be a good project for Steve Dunnicliff. Steve is already working on some parts of this project, but housing is only part of his job as a Deputy CEO. I like the idea of elevating housing as a more prominent part of Steve's job. I do know he already is part of a staff-level recovery team that includes Tammy Moss Chandler, plus staff from planning and building, and likely other departments. The board is interested in pre-approved house plans. After hearing from residents and contractors speak during the Class K discussions, though, I am now thinking it could be even more helpful for members of the public if the County could hire an engineer to provide the County and the public with engineered specifications that would comply with the current California Building Code, but allow for greater freedom to design a home. For example, today's California Building Code requires a four foot sheer wall at the corners and for every 25 feet of a building. When designing a small home, a four foot sheer wall can severely restrict the size and placement of windows and doors. Through an engineer, the County could provide property owners with a design that specifies affordable metal bracing to provide the same sheer strength on a smaller sheer wall, and the engineer's stamp would satisfy the California Building Code. Experienced home builders and contractors could advise the County on design elements, like the sheer wall example, that would be most commonly helpful for homebuilders on a budget."

We also asked Gjerde about giving more attention to modest trailer parks as suggested by former Supervisor John Pinches.

“On trailer parks,” Gjerde replied, “it would be helpful to hear from owners of existing trailer parks why they are not proposing to build new trailer parks. Are the parcels with the proper zoning too small, and they need to work with larger parcels to build a financially viable trailer park? Or something else deterring their building new trailer parks. Why have none of the housing non-profits built a trailer park?”

In conclusion, Gjerde agreed: “I would like to see more focus on housing.”

Will it happen?

Stay tuned.

(Mark Scaramella)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 17, 2018

Cannon-Sears, Fielden, Gottsimmons, Martinez

TRACY CANNON-SEARS, San Jose/Ukiah. DUI.

ROBERT FIELDEN, Clearlake/Mendocino. Criminal threats.*

CHADLEY GOTTSIMMONS, Redwood Valley. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, brandishing, vandalism.

NANCY MARTINEZ, Covelo. Felon with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person.

McCarthy, Simpson, Toner, Tsai

BRIAN MCCARTHY, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, public nuisance, interfering with business, probation revocation.

GERALD SIMPSON, Willits. Under influence, paraphernalia, county parole violation.

MELISA TONER, Alderpoint/Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, under influence, transportation of controlled substance, false ID, disobeying court order.

SANDRA TSAI, San Francisco/Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic abuse.

*www.theava.com/archives/80331#15

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

If current levels of consumption in the west spread to Asia and Africa and population growth continues at current pace then the world will be an unlivable polluted garbage dump with greatly impoverished ecosphere in the not too distant future.

The human population needs to be pruned back significantly in its footprint. Events are moving in this direction and nobody is really in control.

We believe that we are the crown of creation, that no force greater than ourselves exists, that we are the masters of our fate. But we will be proven wrong. A force, alien, spiritual or simply of merciless logic and larger than each of us or all of us together (if such a state existed) seems to be moving us to the end which we deserve.

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PG&E RESPONDS TO LAWSUITS OVER DAMAGE FROM OCTOBER WILDFIRES

In its first response to a bevy of lawsuits by survivors of the October wildfires, PG&E on Friday challenged the legal basis for the claims and asserted multiple defenses while acknowledging that the cause of the wildfires has not been determined.

pressdemocrat.com/news/8122680-181/pge-responds-to-lawsuits-over

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PG&E CULPABILITY? On-line comments:

“B17”: Said this before, and same goes here. If anyone thinks that PG&E does not have "Force Majeure" and/or "Acts of God" clause in their liability policies is sorely mistaken. Wind would be classified as such, just as would flooding if the lines were underground.

This is not as simple as the gas main issue, which clearly fell on PG&E as liable.

This will be presented as a tort to the court. A tort has four elements that need to exist, and all four need to be proven in court:

A duty of care.

A breach of that duty of care.

Causation which results in suffering (only the breach of the duty of care can be the causation — nothing else qualifies) Damage or Injury.

If any one of these four elements cannot be proven, there is no tort, thus no liability. And PG&E can only be tried once for the specific tort claim, otherwise it is double jeopardy.

It will come down to fighting over the second element — did PG&E breach their duty of care? High winds are not a breach, nor are trees encroaching on power lines on private property. I have a below ground power vault in my front yard on an easement along my property line. It is very clear in the disclosures for my property that I am responsible to keep shrubs, tree roots, etc. from interfering with the vault and surrounding easement.

Good luck to all that lost — I mean that in earnest. But this will not be a simple "gimme" case. It will be a hard fought uphill battle for the claimants.

Burden of proof is on the claimants in this case.

KilgoreCarp: The wind broke a 10 inch diameter branch off our 40 inch diameter oak tree before the fire destroyed my house. It was probably 100 years old.

I don't see how PG&E could possibly be responsible for that. Those lawyers are money grubbing ladies of the night.

Anon: Every time I watch a video on my computer or turn on the tv I have to sit through a warm a fuzzy ad from PG&E telling me how wonderful they are. Lately they have been capitalizing on the Sonoma/Napa fires, which they may have caused, by equating their workers to first responders. Why do they spend hundreds of millions of dollars of ratepayers money on these ads when they have a monopoly on electricity delivery? They spend a fortune on state of the art shiny new colorfully painted rolling stock, which they can depreciate, to bolster their image but they don't use them to do certain non-emergency work like burying or upgrading existing and new infrastructure like they should have been doing for the last 40 years as that expense would adversely affect their short term balance sheet. It boils down to more money for executives to pay themselves and to placate the stockholders and unions in order to secure their jobs.

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JIM BEGAN TO SNORE — soft and blubbery at first, then a long rasp, then a stronger one, then a half a dozen horrible ones, like the last water sucking down the plug-hole of a bath-tub, then the same with more power to it, and some big coughs and snorts flung in, the way a cow does that is choking to death; and when the person has got to that point he is at his level best, and can wake up a man that is in the next block with a dipperful of loddanum in him, but can't wake himself up although all that awful noise of his'n ain't but three inches from his own ears. And that is the curiousest thing in the world, seems to me. But you rake a match to light the candle, and that little bit of noise will fetch him. I wish I knowed what was the reason of that, but there don't seem to be no way to find out.

— Mark Twain, 1892; from "Tom Sawyer Abroad"

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FLASHING FISH & BUZZING BEES:

Family Friendly Films at Wildlife Film Fest

The International Wildlife Film Festival’s post-festival tour culminates this Friday, March 23, with a short celebration of RVOEP’s 20th birthday, the lively folk music of Steve Hahm and Sid Bishop, and an evening of films that will be enjoyed by adults and older children. Taking place at the Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Avenue, doors open at 6:15 with snacks, cake and music. Films will begin at 7 p.m.

The feature film, “Deep Ocean: Lights in the Abyss” (52 min.), follows the NHK (Japanese broadcasting) team on a deep-sea adventure. The destination is an illuminated “twilight zone” in a huge submarine canyon in Monterey Bay. Equipped with a 4K camera system designed specifically for deep-sea filming on state-of-the-art submarines, the crew encounters a world of countless exotic creatures including sparkling jellyfish and flash-emitting fish. This is the world’s first quest to film bioluminescent creatures in their natural environment in the deepest fathoms of our oceans.

Three short films will also screen. “My Haggan Dream” (8 min.), set on the island of Saipan, portrays a young girl’s adventure to find sea turtles.

“Tagging Bumblebees” (6 min.) sets out to answer the questions: Are some habitats better for bumblebees than others? Does it depend on the number or type of flowers that are available, or some other factor? To answer these questions, a graduate student attached radio frequency identification tags to several bumblebees in a colony and then set up an array of detectors in their nest to record the bees' comings and goings.

“Thinking Like a Scientist: Boundaries” (7 min.) explores human-constructed boundaries and how they affect other creatures. We meet a photographer who has spent the last seven years documenting the environmental effects of the U.S./Mexico border wall and a biologist who studies how man-made barriers influence the movement of wildlife.

Tickets are available at Mendocino Book Company or at the door for a $10 suggested donation for adults and $5 for children.

Proceeds from the film festival will benefit the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project. The RVOEP is a special program of the Ukiah Unified School District that provides outdoor environmental education programs to over 2,000 students each year on a 45-acre woodland in Redwood Valley.

For more information visit the RVOEP website at http://rvoep.org. For further inquiries contact Maureen Taylor, RVOEP Education Coordinator, at 707-489-0227.

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CLOVERDALE POT HOME-INVASION SIMILAR TO EARLIER SONOMA COUNTY CRIMES

Armed men looking for marijuana, cash and guns broke into a Cloverdale home earlier this year, a violent intrusion with striking similarities to a series of other violent and deadly home-invasion robberies in Sonoma County. Detectives are looking into whether the cases involve some of the same suspects.

pressdemocrat.com/news/8118759-181/cloverdale-pot-home-invasion-similar-to

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CALIFORNIA’S ‘OUTLAW’ MARIJUANA CULTURE FACES A HARSH RECKONING: LEGAL WEED

Humboldt County, known for decades as a haven of great dope in northern California, cashed in on an illicit economy. Can it make it under the state’s new regulatory scheme…

washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2018/03/16/feature/californias-outlaw-marijuana-culture-faces-a-harsh-reckoning-legal-weed/

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LIBRARY EVENTS

Book-to-Action Event Series

Community Reading & Conversation —

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Sunday, March 25th 2-5 pm

Pick up your copy at the front desk of the Ukiah Library

Beginning Feb. 16th at 10 am

The Mendocino County Library has been awarded a Book-to-Action grant through the California State Library for a multi-part program around engaging our community in meaningful conversations about race, racism, racial micro-aggressions, white privilege, and structural inequality.

The community is invited to the Ukiah branch of the Mendocino County Library’s Book-to-Action series of events, featuring the book Citizen by Claudia Rankine, to be held during February-March 2018 at the Ukiah Library.

Claudia Rankine's book Citizen: An American Lyric is an innovative work of poetry, prose, and visual images that addresses racism in America. Rankine introduces the concept of micro-aggressions, or small instances of racism in everyday encounters. Some of these are slights, seemingly slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in public and private life, in sports, online, on TV, everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive, and Rankine's work puts you into this space. The book has won many awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, the Forward Prize for Best Collection (UK), the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry, and the PEN Open Book Award. It has sold over 180,000 copies since its October 2014 publication.

The Ukiah Library will be providing community-members with a free, brand-new copy of the book. Interested community members may pick up their copy at the front desk of the Ukiah Library beginning Feb. 16th at 10 am.

The Book-to-Action program is a variation on the traditional library book group—it offers participants not only the opportunity to collectively read and discuss a book, but also to put their newfound knowledge into action by engaging in a community service project or activity related to the book's topic. Book-to-Action is a project of the California State Library in partnership with the California Center for the Book, and it is being implemented in libraries throughout the State. The project was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

If you are interested in the program or want to find out more about the community reading of Citizen, please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or carrm@mendocinocounty.org This book discussion is free and open to the public.

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Monthly Teen Writers’ Workshop

Tuesday, March 27, 2018: 4:15-5:30 pm

New teen writing group offers feedback, inspiration, suggestions, and support

Ukiah’s budding novelists, playwrights, and short story writers will have a chance to share their work with their literary peers and discuss it in depth at the Ukiah Library on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at 4:15pm.

Workshop moderator Sarah Neilson holds a Masters in Children’s and Young Adult Literature from Hollins University and a BA in English from the University of Iowa. A published playwright and essayist, she’s been active in writing workshops for almost 20 years.

“Reading is usually a solitary experience,” Neilson says, “and writing definitely is. But workshops allow you to actually watch what happens when someone else reads your work. You also get to hear your work read out loud, which can change the way you see your own ideas.”

Teen writers will share what they like about each other’s work, ask questions, and offer suggestions to those who are unsure about where to go next.

Anyone aged 14-18 with a piece of writing to share, however finished or unfinished, whatever genre or form, is welcome to bring it to the workshop.

“Bring several pages, or just bring a sentence or even an idea,” Neilson says. “It’s all up for discussion.” She also emphasizes that writers need readers, and encourages teens who don’t have writing to share to show up anyway.

“Anyone can offer feedback and support,” Neilson says. “You never know how your perspective might help someone. Even something as simple as, ‘wait, I’m confused,’ can help a writer clarify what it is they’re trying to say.”

No sign-up or registration is necessary, but questions can be directed to Melissa Carr, Teen and Adult Services Librarian, carrm@mendocinocounty.org.

Contact: Sarah Neilson

Phone: (773) 682-0544

Email: sarahmarieneilson@gmail.com

* * *

Special LOBA Reading Series

featuring Renee Macalino Rutledge!

(Open Mic follows)

Saturday, March 31st      3 pm

Join us for a reading with Renee Macalino Rutledge, novelist & author of The Hour of Daydreams! Open mic follows. Teens & adults are invited to share poems or fiction in any form or style.

Renee lives with her husband and two daughters in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she works as a journalist and book editor. Her debut novel, The Hour of Daydreams, has been dubbed “essential reading” by Literary Mama, a book to get excited for by The Oregonian, and a “captivating story of love and loss unlike any other” by Foreword Reviews. Renee's work has also been published in The Margins, ColorLines, Mutha Magazine, Ford City Anthology, Literary Hub, Red Earth Review, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Necessary Fiction, Tayo Literary Magazine, The Tishman Review, and others. She is currently working on her second novel.

Light refreshments will be served. For more information — please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or carrm@co.mendocino.ca.us

A feminist epic by Diane di Prima, LOBA is a visionary epic quest for the reintegration of the feminine, hailed by many as the great female counterpart to Allen Ginsberg's Howl when the first half appeared in 1978. Loba, "she-wolf" in Spanish explores the wilderness at the heart of experience, through the archetype of the wolf goddess, elemental symbol of complete self-acceptance.

* * *

PROB SOLVED

Editor:

Florida has solved the gun issue. Trusted teachers must meet strict standards before they can carry a gun: 144 hours of training, undergo a psychological evaluation, pass drug tests and successfully complete annual training. Let’s cross out teachers and write in everyone. Problem solved.

Alfred White

Ukiah

* * *

(Mary Moore notes: By now you’ve probably heard that out of pure spite, Trump fired McCabe just one day short of him being eligible for a pension. In 82 years on this planet I never thought I’d give a shit about an FBI director being treated unfairly, but this whole “Russia got Trump elected” thing has me concerned about the Intel folks who have always been the bad guys and now are “martyrs”! Can’t believe there are still those lefties who actually side with Trump about all this! And if it does turn out to be Stormy Daniels who finally takes him down then irony truly is alive and well. Her lawyer just claimed on MSNBC that “someone” threatened her with physical harm if she talked and apparently that’s worse than just plain old adultery. But I digress….back to Andrew McCabe who just got fired and won’t be getting his pension. Perhaps there just aren’t any “good guys” in this saga.)

STATEMENT: FIRED FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR ANDREW MCCABE

by Andrew McCabe

I have been an FBI Special Agent for over 21 years. I spent half of that time investigating Russian Organized Crime as a street agent and Supervisor in New York City. I have spent the second half of my career focusing on national security issues and protecting this country from terrorism. I served in some of the most challenging, demanding investigative and leadership roles in the FBI. And I was privileged to serve as Deputy Director during a particularly tough time.

For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country. Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us. The president’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing. He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service. And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about it.

No more.

The investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has to be understood in the context of the attacks on my credibility. The investigation flows from my attempt to explain the FBI’s involvement and my supervision of investigations involving Hillary Clinton. I was being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan, accused of closing down investigations under political pressure. The FBI was portrayed as caving under that pressure, and making decisions for political rather than law enforcement purposes. Nothing was further from the truth. In fact, this entire investigation stems from my efforts, fully authorized under FBI rules, to set the record straight on behalf of the Bureau and to make it clear that we were continuing an investigation that people in DOJ opposed.

The OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter. It was the same type of exchange with the media that the Deputy Director oversees several times per week. In fact it was the same type of work that I continued to do under Director Wray, at his request. The investigation subsequently focused on who I talked to, when I talked to them, and so forth. During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me. And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.

But looking at that in isolation completely misses the big picture. The big picture is a tale of what can happen when law enforcement is politicized, public servants are attacked, and people who are supposed to cherish and protect our institutions become instruments for damaging those institutions and people.

Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey. The release of this report was accelerated only after my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President. The OIG’s focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn. The accelerated release of the report, and the punitive actions taken in response, make sense only when viewed through this lens. Thursday’s comments from the White House are just the latest example of this.

This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.

I have always prided myself on serving my country with distinction and integrity, and I have always encouraged those around me to do the same. Just ask them. To have my career end in this way, and to be accused of lacking candor when at worst I was distracted in the misty fo chaotic events, is incredibly disappointing and unfair. But it will not erase the important work I was prevailed to be a part of, the results of which will in the end be revealed for the country to see.

I have unfailing faith in the men and women of the FBI and I am confident that their efforts to seek justice will not be deterred.

* * *

YOU FOOLS! I SHALL DESTROY YOU ALL! (ASK ME HOW.)

"Maybe my mom was right all those years ago. Maybe I won't be happy until somebody loses an eye. Maybe that’s what's been missing." -Addie

Marco here. As usual, thanks to Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost, the recording of last night's (2018-03-16) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:

https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0272

This show begins with a 50-minute prerecorded interview with Merlin Tinker (aka Barry Weiss) on the occasion of his retirement from decades of fixing sewing machines, and it ends eight hours later with Chandu the Magician! That's right. You heard right. Chandu the Magician! It'll be Chandu the Magician on and off until Thanksgiving, at least. It will take that long to finally collar the evil megalomaniac Roxor, whose accent, like with the actress who played Alia in Children of Dune, will be wandering all over the map, from Dracula to David Niven to Lord John Whorfin and back, and not because they couldn't keep the same performer but because they let him have fun with it. Go nuts, they said to him in 1949, and he was up to the task and also probably drunk the whole time.

Also something happened over at KMEC so the show was only on KNYO and not also in Ukiah, but things break and it ain’t a big deal. There’s a whole week to solve it before next Friday; some very smart people are even now peering at the problem and harrumphing professionally, young lady, so don't you worry your pretty little head about that.

In Other News, as usual at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of links to educational activities and amusements and sources of wonderment, such as:

Something to simply make you feel good about people, and about our world and, of course, the moon.

https://boingboing.net/2018/03/15/watch-people-react-to-lookin.html

Bird says, "Make me look hot." Okay.

https://mymodernmet.com/endangered-animals-bird-species-joel-sartore/

Locomocion Capilar, by Remedios Varo Uranga. (Mentioned in the Merlin Tinker interview.) https://imgur.com/gallery/Vzg50eW

And Sony’s latest photo competition winners. Hundreds of amazing pictures. I'm sure you remember Sony. They used to make attractive miniature transistor radios that weighed no more than a loaf of bread, in cases of leatherette cardboard with a snap that opened so you could replace the two differently-sized Mallory batteries. And ride on your grandfather's soft sweaty shoulders with baseball playing from that radio hanging around his neck from a lanyard, yammering away along with it like a woodpecker while he push-mowed a tiny Burbank front lawn in milky gray sandy air. I understand they've branched out since then. Tape recorders. Typewriters. String.’https://tinyurl.com/SonyPhotoCompWinners

Marco McClean

* * *

AVAILABLE

Spiritual Direct Action

Sitting here in my room in Honolulu, enjoying the gentle cool evening breeze coming in through the window. I am available for spiritually based direct action beginning April 1st. How appropriate, don't you think? April Fool's Day! Indeed, I am willing to make my way to the east coast on the mainland, and be part of the necessary intervention in history, particularly in view of the deranged reactionary political administration headquartered inside of the White House. I mean, let's be honest. This is the most profound stupidity possible, and that's without adding the environmental insanity aspect to it. But perhaps we ought to add that, since that is even more important than anything else. We need spiritually based direct action! We need more than just rituals of course, but effective rituals would be an improvement over the strictly mundane approach which has predominated until now. We need the entire spiritually based approach, beginning with enlightened ritualistic groundwork followed by even more enlightened direct action and that followed by an unending meditative awareness followed by non-interference of the spiritual flow of energy through these body-mind instruments. Okay? That is what is necessary. I need to be in Honolulu until my last appointment at Kaiser Permanente (a routine follow-up to the minor surgery of this week) on March 22nd. After that, I am free to leave Hawaii. If this interests ya'll on the east coast, and you share my view that a fully spiritually enlightened approach is the only worthwhile response now, to the madness emanating from Washington D.C., then go ahead and assist me in getting set up there. I may be reached by telephone at (808)783-4063, or you may email me at craiglouisstehr@gmail.com, or you may send me enough money to show up in the Washington D.C. area and buy a house, in which case my mailing address is: P.O. Box 235670, Honolulu, HI 96823-3511. I never did have any sane housing situation to work out of in the district. Maybe it's time I got that! And, I've got a friend who is camping around the beltway who comes in to fight Nazis on the Mall who no doubt would like to be based in a spiritually based house too, and maybe there are others. Feel free to send this message through the various far left of center political networks. Hey, I'm getting serious. Tell Catholic Worker that they owe me one for the crazy housing at the Olive Branch, from which I served the masses five times in D.C. I mean, no shit, a fucking crack house filled with rats, and they bragged that they succeeded in turning it over to the homeless before moving up to more comfortable housing on Rock Creek Church Road. What part of TOTAL BULLSHIT isn't being understood here? Hey, I'm getting serious.

Craig Louis Stehr

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

10 Comments

  1. Craig Stehr March 18, 2018

    Please know that I have been offered “car camping around the beltway in Washington D.C.” and have accepted this opportunity in order to get set up in the region; will be leaving Honolulu prior to April 1st. Will continue filing eyewitness accounts with Little Dog, whom I assume will then pass them on to Skrag for the final chewing.

  2. George Hollister March 18, 2018

    Yes, housing in Mendocino County is a problem. I see many potential rental properties that are vacant. How many are there in the county? 100? 500? 1,000? Many of these properties need work. Seems to me there could be incentives to get these properties into the rental market. No expensive fees, or changes in zoning required.

  3. james marmon March 18, 2018

    Why I love newspapers.

    I liked Diane Curry’s question she asked the Board on her last appearance “What part of the process do you want me to skip?” “again, I ask you, what part of the process do you want me to skip?” Diane was just too blunt and to the point I guess, John McCowen looked like she was talking a foreign language or something, and now Overton is somehow the great communicator that’s going to solve all this with kind words and a new website.

    The whole Overton media blitz is meant to convince the greater population into believing that Diane Curry was the bottleneck and is to blame for everything that’s gone wrong and Carmel Angelo and the Board have no culpability in the fiasco. Maybe the whole thought is that because Overton is an Animal Rights Activist he will be able to build better rapport with Fish and Wildlife and speed up Lake and Stream Bed approvals, who knows, maybe between Overton and John McCowen (aka River) they can get it done? but I doubt it. Those private Certified Hydrologists’ cost some big bucks and that is what it’s going to take to get those F&W’s Stream and Lake Bed approvals. The State’s goal is to reduce growing in watersheds, most of Mendocino County is consider watersheds, Diane said 90 percent of Mendo’s geography is considered a watershed.

    James

    • Lazarus March 18, 2018

      Ever hear of the “Overton Window”? Classic example…
      As always,
      Laz

    • james marmon March 18, 2018

      Taking money from folks knowing that they will never get through the State’s requirements and issued a permanent license is criminal in my mind, and most likely in Diane’s mind as well. The first thing anyone should do who is planning to apply for a permit is to hire a Hydrogeologist , save your money, why give the county all that money when you will still need a Hydrogeologist to get through the process at the end.

      • james marmon March 18, 2018

        The Board of Supervisors want you to apply for a permit knowing you will never get through the process just so that they can get on your property and nail you for all the Building and Planning violations.

        money, money, money

        • james marmon March 18, 2018

          Why you should hire a Hydrogeologist before wasting your money on County Permit fees.

          In addition to requiring some kind of water right, your diversion of water potentially requires a separate permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) known as a Lake/ Streambed Alteration (LSA) Agreement. These agreements are issued under Section 1602 of the Fish and Game Code, which authorizes CDFW to place conditions to protect fish and wildlife on any “substantial” diversion of any stream. Note that this includes many diversions from springs and wells.

          Although an LSA Agreement is technically not a water right, it can be very similar to one in some ways. For example, it may contain terms limiting the season in which you are allowed to divert water, as well as the rate and quantity of diversion. One of the most common LSA terms is a forbearance period in which no diversion is allowed for several months during the late summer and early fall, when streamflow is naturally the lowest.

          http://calsalmon.org/programs/navigating-compliance/fish-and-game-section-1602

  4. Bill Pilgrim March 18, 2018

    “Any government that blindly follows market forces is leading its nation to destruction.”

    – Maitreya, the World Teacher.

  5. George Hollister March 18, 2018

    The flip side of this coin is the liberal narrative that money taken from others can solve our social problems. If our social problems are moral ones, how does that work? It doesn’t. In fact it makes matters worse.

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