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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

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Crime/Incident: Coroner's Investigation, Continuing Search and Rescue Efforts

Location: California State Highway 1 at Mendocino County Road 430,
Westport CA 95448

Date of Incident: 03/26/2018

Time: 3:38 PM

Victim(s): Confirmed Deceased:

Jennifer Jean Hart, 38 years of age, Woodland, Washington
Sarah Margaret Hart, 38 years of age, Woodland Washington
Markis Hart, 19 years of age, Woodland Washington
Jeremiah Hart, 14 years of age, Woodland Washington
Abigail Hart, 14 years of age, Woodland Washington

Missing Persons:

Devonte Hart, 15 years of age, Woodland Washington
Hannah Hart, 16 years of age, Woodland Washington
Sierra Hart, 12 years of age, Woodland Washington

(Click to enlarge)

Suspect(s): N/A

Written By: Lieutenant Shannon Barney

Synopsis: On 3/26/2018 around 4:16 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched the area of Highway 1 at County Road 430, also called Juan Creek, in Westport regarding a traffic accident involving multiple fatalities. The incident had been reported to fire officials and the California Highway Patrol around 3:38 PM, after a passerby used a pullout along the road and observed the vehicle off the embankment, upside down on the rocky shoreline.

While the Sheriff's Office was enroute to the call it was learned there were possibly two adult females, two juvenile males, and one juvenile female deceased at the scene. The Sheriff's Office initiated a Coroner's Investigation. First responders continued recovery efforts until well after midnight. On 3/27/2018 around 0800 hours the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office confirmed the identity of the two adult females as Jennifer and Sarah Hart, a married couple who had previously resided in West Linn Oregon. It was later learned the decedent's had 6 adopted children.

After learning of three additional children who were unaccounted for, the Sheriff's Office, the California Highway Patrol, and the United States Coast Guard out of Fort Bragg CA immediately initiated a second search and rescue effort in the Ocean waters where the accident occurred. The California Highway patrol launched a fixed wing airplane and a helicopter, the Coast Guard launched a rescue boat in the area, while the Mendocino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue responded to search the beach areas along the Highway.

One of the unaccounted for children was Devonte Hart, who drew wide media attention in 2014, after having been photographed hugging a Portland Oregon Police Sergeant during a demonstration related to the events related to the unrest in Ferguson Missouri. The Sheriff's Office reached out to the Portland Oregon Police Department and learned the family, due to intense media coverage, may have moved from Oregon. The family was tracked to a Woodland Washington address where, with assistance from the Clark County Washington Sheriff's Office, the family home was checked and the three outstanding children were not located. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was advised by the Clark County Sheriff's Office it appeared the family may have left for a temporary trip as there were many family belongings still in the home as well as a pet and some chickens.

On 3/28/2018 the three younger decedent's have been positively identified with the help of family members. They are Markis Hart 19 years of age, Jeremiah Hart 14 years of age, and Abigail Hart 14 years of age. The three children who are still missing are Devonte Hart 15 years of age, Hannah Hart 16 years of age, and Sierra Hart 12 years of age. At this time it is unknown if the missing children accompanied their parents on the trip to Mendocino County or if they might be staying with friends.

On 3/28/2018 the Alameda County Sheriff's Office responded to assist the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office by sending 6 Deputies trained in the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), used for search and rescue incidents, to assist with combing the coastline in an effort to locate the three missing children. So far the ocean conditions have not allowed the use of rescue/recovery divers in the search efforts. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team has diver's on standby if the ocean conditions improve.

The cause of this accident is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Ukiah Office. All media inquiries related to the accident are being directed to the CHP at 707-467-4420. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is conducting the Coroner's Investigation, on going search and rescue operations, and the investigation related to the three children who are unaccounted for. Questions related to this can be directed to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at 707-463-4086.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the California Highway Patrol, the Portland Oregon Police Department, the Clark County Washington Sheriff's Office, the Grant County South Dakota Sheriff's Office, the Huron City South Dakota Police Department, the Cowlitz County Department of Social Services, and the Alameda County California Sheriff's Office for their assistance in this case.

(Mendocino County Sheriff's Office press release)

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DESPITE NEAR UNANIMOUS PUBLIC OPPOSITION at Tuesday’s Board meeting on the proposed creation of a “Cultural Services Agency,” the Supes unanimously asked staff to pursue the idea and bring back a more fleshed out proposal.

Besides CEO Angelo and the five supervisors, the only other person who supported the idea was County Library Director Karen Horner. She said it would help streamline administration of the three “departments” involved: The Library, the County Museum and whatever’s left of Parks and Recreation.

Two people from the Museum Advisory Board opposed the idea because they continue to think that the Museum needs a dedicated “Director."

Several Library supporters suggested that the proposed consolidation would somehow threaten the Library, implying that CEO Carmel Angelo was trying to siphon off Library funds to help prop up the troubled County Museum and the minimal Parks department.

A Ukiah woman bluntly stated that because the Ukiah Branch Library is an eyesore in the middle of town that needs significant spiffing up with outside painting, new ceiling and new carpets; she thinks the Library needs more funding, not less. (CEO Angelo later said that such improvements were in the works.)

The most intriguing comment was from Monique Ramirez of Willits who suggested that it would be better to combine the County’s Museum with the County’s non-profit museums, than combine such disparate functions as Library, Museum and Parks. Ms. Ramirez, referring to the Supervisors and the CEO’s insistence that it would be illegal to use Library funds for non-library purposes, also wondered how the consolidation would help the Museum if there was no new money in it for the Museum.

Neil Davis, director of the volunteeer Ukiah Valley Trail Group, was the only person to speak on the Parks/Rec/trails issue and, since this important but neglected subject seldom comes up his remarks are worth quoting at length:


“I think we should consider doing something. Some people have said that we should consider doing nothing. Our department of parks and beaches was lost about 50 years ago I believe. In 2004 we formed the Ukiah Valley Trail Group because our trails were in such bad shape that we cannot use them. We have been doing the volunteer work to keep some of the trails open here inland. Last year I worked on a grant application to find some funding to work on our local trails. But I was unable to get all the materials together. One of the big issues we have had over the years is that there has not been anyone consistent for us to speak to at the county level. Frequently when I come in I’m directed to somebody new because there is simply nobody in charge of parks and trails. We usually end up speaking to someone who has in their job description something like "other duties to be assigned later." And we are the duties to be assigned later. We speak to them and it's like a surprise to them that they are in charge of it. We would like to get out of this the ability to better partner with volunteer agencies and other groups who want to do this and you have had trouble interfacing with the county because we simply don't have anyone to interface with. The Ukiah Valley Trail Group will help in any way we can to help educate staff to help better manage parks and trails. We are ready to step forward and perhaps create an advisory committee to prepare recommendations for what we should be doing for parks and trails. Our current condition is not good. I would love to have a 100% director for the museum as a museumgoer. And as someone who checked out a library book last week I would like to have a library director 100%. And I would like a 100% director for our parks and trails and recreation. But if we don't have the money to do that then we need to talk about how we can best manage all of those vital services. Maybe it's a consolidated cultural services agency or maybe it's something else but I think we need to at least talk about it. There are many volunteer groups among our parks and trail users who are ready to help and we would welcome the opportunity to do that. Thank you.”

After listening to the public opposition, the Board repeated that there was no intention to take any funds from the library.

Supervisor Carre Brown waved a poster that she’d seen around town which she complained contained “misinformation,” presumably containing claims that the Library was under threat.

Supervisor McCowen said that the only reason there was a perception of siphoning off money or lack of trust was because certain members of the public were fostering that false impression.

Supervisor Gjerde said that the County’s 18 Department heads are too many and he’s interested in ways to consolidate which would reduce that number.

Supervisor Croskey said she needed more info on the proposal before she could seriously consider it.

In the end, the Board agreed to ask CEO Angelo and her staff to develop the Cultural Services Agency idea and come back to the Board with a more specific proposal.

(Mark Scaramella)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag strolls up today and says, "Hi, Ig. What's happening?" Ig? ‘Yeah. Ig for Igloo man.’ Every day a new insult from that deadbeat.”

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Clyde Lucas Killed By Landmine 49 Years Ago

by Paul McCarthy, MendocinoSportsPlus

It was 49 years ago today that war took the life of Mendocino resident Clyde Austin “Poogy” Lucas. Lucas, a 1966 graduate of Mendocino High School, was killed by an explosive device on March 26, 1969 in Phu Yen Province in Viet Nam. He was only 21 years old.

This hero, and his ultimate sacrifice for his country and this community, remain largely unknown except by his classmates.

Several years ago MSP had to lead a three-year, one-man effort to get his name BACK on the Mendocino High School football scoreboard after it had been removed when the new one was erected. The old scoreboard was dedicated in his memory, but when the new one went up this sign was just cast aside.

Try as you might, you wouldn't have been able to find anything around the high school, or in town, commemorating his sacrifice until 2014 when the MUSD finally put his name back on the scoreboard. If there is something else dedicated to his sacrifice in Mendocino, it’s well hidden.

Someone said a little triangle patch of ground at Main & Lansing Streets might be dedicated to him - but it turned out to be dedicated to the memory of 15-year-old Michael James Hill (May 9, 1951 - Jan. 16, 1966) who drowned in Mendocino Bay and whose body was never recovered - and now someone has stolen HIS marker from triangle.

As far as I can tell, the only acknowledgement of Lucas existence can be found five places:

1. The small plot of land he occupies in the Hillcrest Cemetery, close by the high school he graduated from.

2. By a flag pole (on a plaque) in the Noyo Harbor Mooring Basin that acknowledges his ultimate sacrifice and that of John Hollister, age 20 and another MHS grad, who made the ultimate sacrifice (plane crash) for his country in Viet Nam on June 27, 1970.

3. On Panel 28 W, Line 049 on the Viet Nam Veterans Wall in Washington, DC.

4. The Veterans Hall in Fort Bragg.

5. The Mendocino County Fallen Vietnam War Veterans Memorial next to the County Museum in Willits.

From all accounts, Lucas was a great guy and a fine athlete. He lived on Ukiah Street with his father and sister. Many classmates commented about him on a Mendocino High School Reunion page. Mary (Rodrigues) Miller wrote two years ago: "‘Poogy’ was my classmate from first grade through twelfth. I will never forget the crazy Halloween water balloon fights in front of his house. I always went home soaking wet with eggs smashed on my head. You were one of the good ones - we lost you way too young."

Carolyn (Simpson) Schaller wrote: “You were more like a big brother to me than our next door neighbor when we were growing up on Ukiah Street. You have been missed so much over the years.”

Clyde Lucas was a Specialist 5, a construction surveyor, with the U S Army, A Company, 84th Engineering Brigade, 937th Engineering Group. The province he died in, Phu Yen, is remarkably similar to this coast - although approximately 7,850 miles due west of Mendo. The description: rural coastline leading to winding, twisting roads through coastal hills covered at times in mist & fog.

And, as it turned out, a perfect place to plant landmines, which the Viet Cong did with regularity on the few roads in the province. The Viet Cong controlled the majority of the rice crop in the province, and, after the US imported 600 tons of rice to the inhabitants in 1969, then started an operation to guard the rice crop, the Viet Cong retaliated with series after series of landmines - which don’t distinguish between combatants & non-combatants

In one incident, the Viet Cong blew a bridge in the province, and when a civilian bus went to turn around, it hit another mine which resulted in 54 deaths (4 children) and 18 wounded. The crater was nine feet wide.

Clyde Lucas was a “ground casualty” who was killed by “hostile action, died outright” from an “explosive device.”

Walt Jackson wrote (about Lucas) on April 8th, 2010: “It has been a long time since SFC Donovan sent us to Oakland during Spring Break in 1966 to take our exams and physicals for the Army. I was lucky and now have grandchildren and have a good life for which I am grateful...”

Benay Nielson wrote on July 11th, 2010: “Clyde was a nice guy who left us much too soon. We were lucky to have him for our classmate."

And as long as MSP is around, we will honor his memory every year and never forget his sacrifice.

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THE COUNTY'S helping pros packed the Ukiah Convention Center last week to talk down the author of the Marbut Report, Marbut himself. Marbut had been paid a cool fifty grand by the County to suggest ways to more effectively deal with the County's growing population of persons unable or unwilling to care for themselves. Few of these people are homeless in the old sense of accumulated misfortune. They are crazy or live to drink or drug.

MARBUT suggested a consolidation of services and a triage approach to long-term access to government-subsidized charity, with a focus on help for people with Mendo roots while moving the professional transients on down the road after a free meal or two.

THE HELPING PROS, most of them self-interested because the walking wounded provide them with funding, seem to think that it's humane to continue present strategies, which aren't strategies at all but merely more of the same, as if it's humane to allow disturbed persons to live unsheltered, uncared for in any purposeful way.

I DON'T know where Mr. Hensley lives in between overnight stays in the County Jail, but the helping pros certainly haven't extended an effective helping hand to him. And everyone else out there is a version of Hensley.

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THAT TERRIBLE accident (presumably) yesterday afternoon near Juan Creek north of Fort Bragg, raises an old question: Why aren't there at least log barriers at the pullouts overlooking the ocean? An entire family of five from West Linn, Oregon, somehow managed to drive over the side for a hundred-foot plunge to their deaths.

(click to enlarge)

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DEPARTMENT of sodden thoughts: What if a tsunami strikes during Wednesday's drill?

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BEST NEWS IN A LONG TIME — KZYX audit. KZYX's primary funder, the federal government, is sending an auditor to Philo for a close look at the station's books and, by extension, station management. Even without an audit, and looking at Mendo Public Radio from a distance, which is the only way management allows even its membership to look, it's clear fiscal chicanery is afoot, not to mention insider hiring, nepotism, a general manager who is permanently unavailable, and the positively weird and comprehensively baleful grip a former EST cult partisan presently has on station ops. This guy, Stuart Campbell, has direct access to the station's depleted purse and has recently hired his girlfriend as a station reporter.


FOR YEARS, KZYX limped along with a series of wacky-to-incompetent managers, but then an extremely unpleasant fellow named John Coate assumed the reins about ten years ago, and the station's ramshackle hippie-dippo management style went to secretive and, where women were concerned, cruel. One of Coate's first acts was to fire the capable reporter Christina Aanestad, and doing it with no notice on a Friday morning when Ms. Aanestad arrived for work, replacing her with a stone nutcase who soon claimed that verified charges revealed in the ava (where else?) that he'd tried to forge a winning lottery ticket was the work of vengeful Oregon "bulldykes" who were stalking him. Coate brought in the creepy EST guy, and here we are with staff taking nearly half the station's annual revenue, and membership declining.

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THE WHITE-HAIRED MAN on the left is named John Couthren, 67, of Ukiah. He was arrested and charged with rape on March 24th. If anybody out there knows him, and the circumstances of his arrest, we'd like to hear from you.

Couthren 2018, 2017

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AN ARCHEOLOGIST picking through San Francisco's ruins in the year 2520 might find: thieves holding guns to the heads of grocery-store proprietors, prostitutes leaving grimy hotel rooms bearing the wallets of drunken clients, policemen in uniform clutching envelopes filled with cash in the hallways of ghetto drug dens. We see sex slaves in leather harnesses cowering in expensively appointed dungeons, clergymen of high rank sharing drugs with naked schoolchildren in the crypts of great churches, fresh corpses rolled up in carpets in the trunks of limousines arrested in flight on the peripheral roadways. Everywhere we dig, it seems, we find exchanges of money, sex, drugs, and death.

— Luc Sante

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On Monday, March 26th at approximately 4:28 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a reported gunshot victim who had been transported to the Redwood Coast Medical Services facility located in Gualala.

Responding deputies learned that there had been an altercation between neighbors in the 38000 block of South Highway 1 in Anchor Bay, which resulted in one subject being shot by the other. As the investigation continued, it was learned that during a dispute the two persons, Paul Palestrini 62 years of age, and Harry Miller 69 years of age were in a physical altercation, during which, Miller shot Palestrini in the torso and Palestrini struck Miller with a shovel. The dispute was apparently over an easement on a shared driveway.

Both subjects received significant injuries and both were subsequently transported, via air ambulances, to a Sonoma County hospital where they are listed in stable condition. At this time the investigation is ongoing and it has not been determined if there was a primary aggressor of the incident.

Any persons with information about this incident are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center at 707-463-4086 or call the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 707-234-2100.

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Dear AVA:

I only just now thought of becoming a member of KZYX to vote for you in the election. As a program direction for a station much more like KMUD, I think some of your ideas could be great for bringing in energy and fresh perspectives — more community radio and less public radio! Two things: combining the Program Director and the Station Manager job is a terrible idea. Programming needs to be independent of money concerns. The Station Manager is looking at the big picture, raising the money, coming up with ideas for community engagement, fundraising, and listening to all the people. (Reminder to the staff of KZYX that you can learn a lot from those who disagree with you and think you're full of shit, but still care enough to be involved.) As a program director, your primary job is to work with on air staff and volunteers. If KZYX is going to have a robust and exciting team of volunteers for music, public affairs, and news programming, volunteers need to be trained, and given consistent feedback. Program evaluations take a very long time. It also builds relationships. There is also recruiting new volunteers and constant outreach to increase the kinds of voices that are on the public airwaves — volunteers, guests, etc. Especially if you are interested in programmer term limits. The jobs require different skills, and should be done by different people.

Best of luck –

Erin Yanke, Portland, Oregon

PS. Jerry Philbrick is so reminiscent of Ed Anger from the Weekly World News that I wonder — how many people get together once a week to write these letters as an exercise in xenophobic satire?

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I lived at 234 N.McPherson St., a rental which was owned at the time by Calamity (Elizabeth) Paul, a beautiful Craftsman home.

My car was an old maroon Honda, little 4 door, if I remember right. It was my uncle's car since brand new; he bought himself a truck, but was still very attached to his little car. When he let it go, he sold it to me because I was in great need of a car. My kids and I had been gratefully taking MTA, but with my 3 jobs and full college schedule, taking the bus was increasingly difficult. I took the Greyhound to San Jose to purchase it and drove it back to Fort Bragg.

I only had the car since January that year.

Pretty sure it happened May 19, 1999 as it had been CR's graduation night. (I graduated the following year).

Bernillo's Pizza was one victim but I cannot recall details of their arson. Purity was also victimized. I recently spoke with Marsha there, who recalls just having enough insurance coverage to handle the arson of the store's dumpster which in turn ignited part of the building.

My poor little Honda....Suddenly, late that night, the bedroom was lit up. My b/f at the time jumped up and yells, "fire!" I looked out the window and there were fire trucks out in the street, extinguishing a fire. It was the car. It was set from inside. Paper items were apparently pulled from its glove box to help advance the flames.

I had to pay to have my car towed away! I was advised to do it quickly so as not to upset people in the morning, especially children on their way to school. Which of course, I did. I was unable to be reimbursed for anything other than part of the tow. I was carless, again.

After reading your books, I was reminded of that night and the disruption of my and my kids' lives. I am familiar with someone you mention in the stories, and still know her. Being older and a tiny bit less naiive, I am shocked at what I know now.

Anyway, just curious.

Lynda Banks


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(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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UKIAH, Tuesday, March 27 - A commercial marijuana operation investigated in June 2017 in the Hopland area has resulted in the felony conviction of a man responsible for cultivating over 3,200 plants off Feliz Creek Road.

Seng Boungnavath, age 52, of Hopland and Ukiah, plead no contest Monday to the illegal cultivation of marijuana while committing environmental violations of law, a felony; possession of marijuana for sale, a misdemeanor; and the unlawful burning of trash, a misdemeanor. A no contest plea on a felony matter is the same as a guilty plea for all purposes.

Law enforcement's investigation continues as to others who participated in these crimes. Any individual with information regarding others involved in these Feliz Creek Road crimes should contact the Sheriff's Office.

While looking into an illegal burn, investigators located a substantial marijuana operation. Water was being illegally pumped from a creek into two 20,000-gallon bladders for distribution to the many plants being cultivated in greenhouses. Potting soil was also piled along the creekside, a violation of the 150-foot setback required of materials deleterious to fish life. Finally, the defendant was allowing trash and other refuse to accumulate in and about the stream, also a violation of the 150-foot setback requirements.

The prosecutor handling this and other environmental cases involving marijuana is District Attorney David Eyster. The investigating law enforcement agencies responsible for putting together the evidence against this defendant were Cal Fire, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. The judge who accepted the defendant's change of plea and who will preside over the sentencing hearing is Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield. The defendant will be sentenced on May 1st at 9 o'clock in the morning in Department B at the Ukiah courthouse.

"Those who ignore warnings and continue to violate environmental laws while cultivating marijuana should be aware that law enforcement is coming and we're very serious about environmental enforcement," said DA Eyster.

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Background: "The New Face of Pot Enforcement"

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On Saturday, April 7, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. representatives from the Mendocino Coast Recreation & Park District will be hosting a public meeting at the Caspar Community Center located at 15051 Caspar Rd. in Caspar.

The purpose of the meeting is to receive public feedback in regard to public recreation needs for the next ten years as part of the District’s current strategic planning process.

The meeting scheduled in Caspar for April 7 is one of a series of community meetings planned by the Mendocino Coast Recreation & Park District. Information gathered will help the District to establish future goals and identify the necessary resources to achieve these goals.

Please feel free to contact the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District at (707) 964-9446 if you would like additional information about the strategic planning process and schedule.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 27, 2018

Affinito, Avelino, Dicello

NICHOLAS AFFINITO, Fort Bragg. DUI, third DUI within ten years, DUI with priors, failure to appear, probation revocation.

CHRISTOPHER AVELINO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ALAN DICELLO, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, under influence, resisting.

Giusti, Rodriguez, Molina-Perez, Nelson-Dean

DAVID GIUSTI, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)


MIGUEL MOLINA-PEREZ, Ukiah. Under influence.

JOSHUA NELSON-DEAN, Ukiah. Battery, under influence parole violation, failure to appear, resisting.

Nunez, Sloan, Taylor

JORDAN NUNEZ, Ukiah. Parole violation.

IVAN SLOAN, Laytonville. Assault with firearm, use of firearm, felon/addict with firearm.

THERON TAYLOR, San Francisco/Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, parole violation.

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*On September 9, 2012, Manuel Rodriguez was suspected of being involved in the homicide of a 45-year-old male, Duane Wesley Johnson. Johnson was discovered near the sidewalk of 329 N. Main Street, Ukiah, beaten and unresponsive. Johnson was transported to UVMC where he succumbed to his injuries.

A lengthy investigation led to identifying Manuel Rodriguez as the prime suspect in this case. Rodriguez fled to Mexico in order to avoid prosecution.

A no-bail felony murder warrant was issued for his arrest at that time.

Since then, Rodriguez has been successfully avoiding capture.


In 2018, information was developed that Rodriguez was living in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

The Ukiah Police Department worked in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals Service International Investigative Branch (IIB) to locate and capture Rodriguez.

On Saturday, March 24th 2018, U.S. Marshals assigned to the Guadalajara Foreign Field Office along with Mexican Authorities were able to locate and detain Rodriguez at a McDonald’s restaurant in the outskirts of Guadalajara.

Rodriguez was then transported to Mexican Immigration and formally deported from the Republic of Mexico back to the United States.

On Sunday, March 25th, 2018, UPD Detectives transported Rodriguez back to Mendocino County and booked him into the county jail for his outstanding felony warrant along with three outstanding felony warrants from Sonoma County.

If anybody has any further information about this investigation please contact Ukiah Police Detectives at 707-463-6262.

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I want to remind everyone that this Playboy culture has trapped many power motivated men into salacious activity. Does anyone think that a fifty percent divorce rate is for irreconcilable differences? Just think about Hollywood where folks act out the testosterone dreams of these overgrown teenagers. That they get the press time they get is disgusting to me. How about the TV show Playboy after Dark or the exposes of the Playboy mansion in the 70’s-80’s? Both just plain glorified this behavior pattern. And their contributors were just as much female as male. Hollywood does not want to acknowledge how many of the elite posed for Playboy or otherwise joined Hefner’s group to get ahead. It really shows how low we as a society have descended to consider this bedroom behavior acceptable family entertainment on Sunday night. I think that Walt Disney was much better entertainment.

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by Patrick Cockburn

Many people who hate and fear Donald Trump feel that only political black magic or some form of trickery can explain his election as US President. They convince themselves that we are the victims of a dark conspiracy rather than that the world we live in is changing, and changing for the worse.

Cambridge Analytica has now joined Russia at the top of a list of conspirators who may have helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. This is satisfactory for Democrats as it shows that they ought to have won, and delegitimises Trump’s mandate.

In the Russian and Cambridge Analytica scandals, dodgy characters abound who claim to have a direct line to Putin or Trump, or to have secret information about political opponents or a unique method of swaying the voting intentions of millions of Americans. The most doubtful evidence is treated as credible.

The dossier by the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, about Trump’s romps in Moscow, struck me when I first read it as hilarious but entirely unbelievable. The US media thought the same when this document was first being hawked around Washington before the election, and refused to publish it. It was only after Trump was elected that that they and the US security agencies claimed to find it in any way credible.

Much of what Cambridge Analytica claimed to be able to do for its clients has an exaggerated ring to it. As with the Steele dossier, several of the Cambridge Analytica documents are unintentionally funny, such as a letter from Aleksandr Kogan, the Russian-American academic researcher, suggesting that finding out if people used crossbows or believed in paganism would be useful traits on which to focus.

We are told that Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users have been “harvested” (a good menacing word in this context, suggesting that the poor old users are being chopped off at the ankles), and that information so garnered could be fed into the Trump campaign to put him over the top on election day. In reality, information gathered from such a large number of people is too generalised or too obvious to be of much use.

What is lacking in these scandals is much real evidence that Russian “meddling” or Cambridge Analytica “harvesting” – supposing all these tales are true – really did much to determine the outcome of the US election. Keep in mind that many very astute and experienced American politicians, backed by billions of dollars, regularly try and fail to decide who will hold political office in the US.

It simply is not very likely that the Kremlin – having shown extraordinary foresight in seeing that Trump stood a chance when nobody else did – was able to exercise significant influence on the US polls. Likewise, for all its bombastic sales pitch, Cambridge Analytica was really a very small player in the e-campaign.

The Russian “meddling” story (again, note the careful choice of words, because “meddling” avoids any claim that the Russian actions had any impact) and the Cambridge Analytica saga are essentially conspiracy theories. They may damage those targeted such as Trump, but they also do harm to his opponents because it means that they do not look deeply enough into the real reasons for their defeat in 2016, or do enough to prevent it happening again.

Since Clinton lost the election by less than 1 per cent of the vote in the crucial swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, almost anything that happened in the campaign can be portrayed as decisive. But there are plenty of common-sense reasons for her defeat which are now being submerged and forgotten, as the Democrats and a largely sympathetic media look to Russian plots and such like to show that Trump won the election unfairly.

It is worth looking again at Hillary Clinton’s run-for-office in 2016 to take a more rational view of why she unexpectedly lost. A good place to start is Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, by the journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, which was published a year ago and is based on interviews with senior campaign staffers.

Ironically, the Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook based his approach on a similar sort of analysis of vast quantities of data about voters that Cambridge Analytica claimed it could use to great effect.

Mook’s conviction that this data was a sure guide to where to invest the Democrats’ best efforts had disastrous consequences, even though Clinton outspent Trump by 2 to 1. For instance, she did not campaign in Wisconsin after winning the nomination, because her election team thought she was bound to win there. She put too little effort into campaigning in Michigan, though her weakness there was underlined there in March when she lost the primary to Bernie Sanders.

Traditional tools of electioneering such as polls and door-to-door canvassing were discounted by Mook, who was absorbed by his own analytical model of how the election was going. In major swing states, the book says that “he declined to use pollsters to track voter preferences in the final three weeks of the campaign”.

Clinton carried a lot of political baggage because she had been demonised by the Republicans for 25 years. She had bad luck, such the decision of the FBI director, James Comey, to send a letter to Congress about her emails two weeks before the election – but Trump somehow managed to survive even worse disasters, such as boasting of how he groped women.

Opponents of Trump tend to underestimate him because they are convinced that his faults are so evident that he will implode when the electorate find him out. Somehow they never do, or at least not those parts of the electorate which votes for him.

The very scandals that Trump’s critics believe will sink him have enabled him dominate the news agenda in a way no American politician has ever done before. The New York Times and CNN may detest him, but they devote an extraordinary proportion of their news output to covering his every action.

The accusation that the Kremlin and companies like Cambridge Analytica put Trump in the White House may do him damage. But I suspect that the damage will mostly be among people who never liked him and would never vote for him.

Perhaps the one thing would have lost Trump the election is if his campaign had truly relied on Cambridge Analytica’s data about the political proclivities of pagan crossbow enthusiasts.

(Patrick Cockburn is the author of The Rise of the Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution. Courtesy,

* * *


Subject: Re: [MCN-Announce]- Tom Tetzlaff, Monsanto's champion

From: "Frank Hartzell" <>

To: "John Redding" <>

I quit the discussion group as it seemed to be an advertising board for mega-ag, monsanto and GMOS, thanks to Tom and a non existent guy named Paul.

* * *

On Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 12:52 PM, John Redding wrote:

If you have to resort to name calling to defend your position, maybe you just bite you tongue instead. Why sow distrust in the community by calling Tom a shill for Monsanto because he holds a different opinion than you?

BTW, as long as people post controversial topics on the Announce List, there will be those who will post counter-arguments.

Regards, John

* * *


A Bolton From The Blue

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to “normalize” this appointment or suggest that it shouldn’t concern you. Rather, I’m suggesting that if you are worried about Bolton, you should ask yourself the following question: What sort of political system allows someone with his views to serve in high office, where he helps talk the country into a disastrous war, never expresses a moment’s regret for his errors, continues to advocate for more of the same for the next decade, and then gets a second chance to make the same mistakes again? So by all means worry. But the real problem isn’t Bolton — it’s a system that permits people like him to screw up and move up again and again.

–Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

* * *


Sunday, April 1st

Lots of fun activities including, an egg hunt, games, arts and crafts, face painting and the Easter Bunny.

Doors open at noon

Location: Manchester Community Center at S. Highway 1 and Crispin Road, Manchester

Free to all children who bring an adult

For more information contact 707-489-2704

Gary Levenson-Palmer

* * *


by Bruce Anderson

Sean Hammon’s mother says her son is no good, “never has been.” She says she is certain that Sean murdered his brother, Bryan Hammon, by running over him. Mom says Sean has promised to kill her, too.

Sean & Bryan Hammon

Bryan probably died on a Friday afternoon in August of 2016 when only the two brothers were on the Willits property where they grew marijuana. A Mexican national was also employed at the site but, police concluded, was not present when the brothers apparently fought, and Bryan lost his life.

The presumed fratricide was not reported until Bryan's girlfriend showed up at the brothers’ Walker Lake Road pot farm three days later where she found Bryan lying dead in the driveway about a hundred yards from the house on the property.

Bryan had been dead for several days.

A pathologist would testify that Bryan’s injuries were “consistent” with having been run over.

The DA, two weeks after Bryan’s murder, filed criminal charges against Sean Hammon for felony hit and run causing death.

Sean Hammon, 56, was located a month after the murder holed up at the Talmage home of his 69-year-old girl friend. The aged girlfriend had called police to complain that Hammon was beating her.

After a lengthy stand-off Hammon, a self-reputed tough guy with alleged ties to the Hells Angels, surrendered, and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on numerous charges that included the murder of his brother.

The brothers’ long-suffering mother, who lives out of state, complains that she wasn’t kept informed of developments in the case. “I want Sean locked up for the rest of his life,” she said, expressing the consensus opinion of everyone who knows him. "I never could learn the dates of the hearings. I thought Sean was being prosecuted for murder, but...."

But the murder case against Hammon was dropped.

Defended by Public Defender Linda Thompson, perhaps the least formidable public defender in the country, the DA’s office, after charging Hammon with the murder he clearly committed, tardily concluded that they didn’t have a case. They didn’t have eyewitnesses, didn’t have hard evidence, didn’t have a video of the crime, didn’t have a confession and, gee, golly, certainly wouldn’t have been able to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Sean Hammon, a career criminal, deliberately ran over his brother and killed him, although Hammon, changing his story at least four times, described a fierce struggle between the two of them as Sean attempted to leave the Willits property on his last day of life.

There was a fight between two brothers, one died, one lived. The brother who lived drove off and left his brother dead in the hills west of Willits.

Bryan Hammon didn’t run over himself.

With everyone who knows Sean Hammon, including his mother, hoping that Sean would at last be locked up for good, Assistant DA Barry Shapiro worked out a plea deal with Public Defender Thompson that got Sean put away for four years. He did less than two.

Because he's a career criminal charged with murder, the DA had no trouble getting Sean to agree to another stay in state prison for a mere four years, which saved the DA the effort of prosecuting a man who presents a clear and present danger to the entire public all the way up to and including his mother.

Hammon is now out.

His frantic mother says her surviving son will make killing her his first priority.

Here’s who we’re talking about, as described by Bruce McEwen in July of 2011: Sean Bradley Hammon was arraigned on July 7th. Visiting Judge William Lamb refused to set bail on a charge of driving under the influence. Hammon's lawyer, public defender Eric Rennert, was still trying last Thursday, a week later, to get Judge Henderson to set bail so Hammon could get out of jail and, as they say, get on with his life.

Judge Henderson turned to the prosecutor, Deputy DA Matt Hubley, to see if there was any justification for keeping Hammon locked up.

Hubley opened the file and started reading Hammon’s rap sheet. “There are three DUIs in California, and a 1989 conviction for grand theft. He went to prison in ’89, and when he got out he was on probation for a DUI when he was arrested for grand larceny and DUI in Nevada. In ’91 he got a DUI in Texas. He was arrested for grand larceny in Texas in ’93… Hmmmm… Let’s see here, a felony theft in El Paso in ’95, five years confinement… In ’98 another felony theft in Texas, some jail time, a DUI in El Paso follows that in 2000, an assault charge in ’04 in El Paso, a DUI in Texas… A DUI out of Utah in ’05, as well as a felony theft for receiving stolen property… Currently on bail in Nevada pending trial for a prison term… Let’s see, the three outstanding DUIs in California… That’s about it, judge.”

Public Defender Rennert tried to soften Hammon's impressive legal history. “He has family here locally, your honor, and he’d be willing to abstain from alcohol while on bail.”

Judge Henderson is not your basic Mendo handholder, not a kumbaya kind of guy. He seemed incredulous. The judge stared at Rennert as if he were about to lock Rennert up, too.

“I’ll set bail in the amount of $450,000” Judge Henderson said.

Somebody in the courtroom exhaled a low whistle of amazement at such a high bail for a DUI.

Judge Henderson smiled and said, “I think his extensive convictions demonstrate he’s a substantial threat to public safety” — and who could argue?


MRS. YVONNE HAMMON WRITES: Just to clarify, Sean did not threaten to kill me, I have had little or no communication with him in many years. I tried for years to help him bail. (I put up my house,) I paid attorneys, I took in his daughter as a baby and adopted her last year, certainly with no help from him. I never withheld my love for him. Bryan was different. He took care of himself, he was kind, trusting and caring. These are all the same reason he died. There is nothing he would not do for you, if he could, he was very giving to us. I knew my son Bryan loved me, he showed it in hand written notes, spending time with us and on and on, I am very aware that he also had problems, big ones, I never condoned his work and he kept it from me for a very long time. Regardless, he was a human being that was killed and there was no justice.


  1. Eric Sunswheat March 28, 2018

    Conventional health authorities claim getting a flu shot each year is the best way to ward off influenza. But where’s the actual science backing up that claim?

    If you’ve repeatedly fallen for this annual propaganda campaign, you may be surprised to find the medical literature suggests vitamin D may actually be a FAR more effective strategy, and the evidence for this goes back at least a decade.

    Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, was one of the first to introduce the idea that vitamin D deficiency may actually be an underlying CAUSE of influenza.

    His hypothesis [1] was initially published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006. [2] It was subsequently followed up with another study published in the Virology Journal in 2008. [3]

    The following year, the largest nationally representative study [4] of its kind to date discovered that people with the lowest vitamin D levels indeed reported having significantly more colds or cases of the flu. In conclusion, lead author Dr. Adit Ginde stated:

  2. Arthur Juhl March 28, 2018

    As a resident of Gualala, for thoes that don’t know is in the 5th district. About a two and one half hour drive from Ukiah. We have a medical facility called RCMS, maybe some of used have used it! We have a helicopter pad there for at least 30 years and I was a passenger as many others whose life depended on it. Now the so called planning commission is requesting a permit. The cost is $8000.00 plus! The BOS was politely asked to waive the fee, as Gualala gets little support from the county. And the county is suppose to support Medical facilities. The board said “no”. They can not afford to start a give away program! There was also a request by the Rotary Club of Mendocino to waive a fee of $7000, for a park they created out of a drug dump. Again the answer was “no”.
    As a candidate for the 5th district I will find the funds to make sure that projects like these will be funded. I have spent weeks studying the county budget and as a forensic accountant. I found out answers that make no sense! I am looking for answers and will find them! To make the county balance the budget it will take a person like me who can understand “money”. My program is”Times up for wasteful county spending”.
    Arthur E. Juhl, candidate for the 5th district Supervisor.

  3. james marmon March 28, 2018


    All this talk about merging the Libraries, Parks and Trails, and the Museums into one agency got me thinking about the creation of Mendocino County’s Super Agency, Health and Human Services (aka HHSA). I went to work for the Agency on February 2, 2007, right in the middle of the transition. It was about the same time that Interim HHSA Director Anna Mahoney brought in her soul mate and future live in partner Carmel Angelo from San Diego to oversee the transition. While their personal relationship union developed smoothly, the consolidation of HHSA was quite rocky, anything but smooth.


    “It’s been six months since Mendocino County’s Mental Health, Public Health and Social Services Departments were merged to create the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), and on Monday, agency staff and members of the Board of Supervisors weighed in on the integration process. At a half-day board workshop held at the Willits Integrated Services Center which was “not a coincidence,” according to Assistant Chief Executive Officer Alison Glassey, for the center represents where many departments have already successfully come together to offer a number of services -Interim HHSA Director Ana Mahoney led an audience of about 50 through an overview of the agency’s various functions and a discussion on pros and cons of its formation. According to Mahoney, the HHSA has 700 staff members, which represents 53 percent of the entire work force for Mendocino County. In one year, the agency provides services to 27 percent of the county’s citizens. And while the purpose of the merger of the three departments was to improve client services, the reaction from staff has been mixed. At a meeting of 40 senior managers- from the three departments held earlier this month, Mahoney said everyone agreed that integration should be pursued, but to what degree was argued. “Twenty-eight percent fully supported- the agency approach. Another 38 percent supported it, but had some questions. Twelve percent were neutral, and 22 percent do not support the (merged) agency unless relevant questions can be answered.” Of concerns mentioned were lack of communication and direction from leadership, to which Supervisor Michael Delbar and Chairman of the Board David Colfax admitted they felt at fault. “Part of the problem is, Mahoney there’hasn’t been clear direction from the top,” Delbar said. “There was in the CEO’s office. There was not good direction from us (the board).” “We have a lesson to be learned here, and that is how this project got to this point,” Colfax said. “What is the problem here is the leadership from those at the top — and I include myself in that — where in fact, 1 feel in some ways, some bad things have happened here with our Health and Human Services departments over the last six months.” Dan Taylor, branch director for Public Health operations within the agency, presented a plan for an internal, county employee Web site, which he called InterestNET, to help in creating dialogue and improving county-wide communication. “Lack of direct, reliable and timely information creates discontent, anxiety, rumor mills and stress, all resulting in low morale, decreased productivity and the potential loss of our customers’ confidence,” Taylor said. “Based on our experiences with change in our county, we feel that we need to recognize the critical role that effective communication plays in the change process.” Mahoney said that InterestNET is crucial to the county, whether the board decides to continue with the HHSA integration process or not. And should the board decide to keep moving forward with the HHSA, certain demands also need to be taken. “Without Ml and enthusiastic commitment by the leadership team, organizational changes, service integration and possible streamlining and consolidations are destined to fail. The energy just isn’t there,” Mahoney said. “For my recommendation, we either have to immediately dismantle the agency and reinstate the departments … or, we can keep the agency going and slow down and concentrate on stabilizing this new baby organization, even though it’s a big baby.” Though the agency has received scrutiny since the integration process began in March, many voiced their approval of the merger at the meeting. “I feel like I’ve been.wait- ing 10 years for this moment. I’m thrilled about the integration that’s happening, the super agency that’s happening,” Karen Wandrei, director of the Mendocino County Youth Project said. “You do need to go forward with this model,” Cyndee Logan of the Willits Action Group said. “Rather than pulling back, you need to stabilize and make people who are working for the county not bail.” Supervisor Jim Wattenburger said the advantages in moving forward outweigh the disadvantages “I think this is a good concept, it’s going to have a few bumps on the road, it’s going to push some peoples’ personal perspectives, their comfort zones – that’s what change does ~ but change is not bad … and until you move through the evaluation process, you’re never going to know.” Interim Chief Executive Officer Albert Beltrami said unless the board should indicate otherwise, he would direct Mahoney to continue to work to bring the three departments together. “The county has committed t six months of effort and I* think we should proceed at a slower pace but towards the same goal in mind, which is the best integrated service we can provide to our clientele,” Beltrami said. The board requested that discussion on the issue be put on the agenda for a regular meeting so that a. vote could be taken to give clear direction to the agency’s future. The discussion will likely, be put off until November or later due to already full October agendas, according to Clerk’ of the Board Kristi Furman. Katie Mintz can be reached at”

  4. Bill Pilgrim March 28, 2018

    RE: Parks/Recs/Trails issue.

    If the Supes had any foresight or broader vision they might see the economic benefits in creating, maintaining and advertising pristine hiking trails, even off road bike trails, through various parts of the county – inland and coastal.

    For example, with the exception of the small circles in Hendy Woods, there’s not a single woodlands public hiking trail in all of Anderson Valley.

    Such trails could be a magnet for economic growth.

    5th District Supervisorial candidate Ted Williams thinks it’s worth developing.

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