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Mendocino County Today: Friday, May 11, 2018

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There wasn’t much James Carlin didn’t do in his years at Anderson Valley, in sports and elsewhere. He played football, basketball and baseball all four years, earning all-league recognition in each of those sports. Away from athletics, he was the Anderson Valley student body president and has been the class president each of his four years in high school. He has worked on the school newspaper and school yearbook, served as vice president of the Leadership Council as a junior and president as a senior, and created for his senior project a graduation video for all the seniors. The 10-minute video, for which he collected footage through the school year, will be shown at the graduation ceremony.

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THE WASHBURNE REPORT: AVA contributor Flynn Washburne is out of prison after serving almost seven years for bank and bookstore (!) robbery. Word trickling into the AVA has it that he made the trip back from his SoCal prison cell last weekend and was supposed to be enrolled in a drug rehab program in Ukiah, but due to some kind of bureaucratic mix-up they had never heard of him. So Flynn spent a few days with an old friend in Fort Bragg. After arranging for travel back to Ukiah, he made another attempt to enter the drug rehab program and this time he made it — if that’s what entry could be called. But no sooner had he entered than they put him on “30 day blackout” restriction, which apparently means no contact with the outside world for a month. We now expect to hear from him some time in early June. Stay tuned. Washburne in Mendo, The Reboot: He’s Back and This Time He’s Not Armed.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Add chicken killer to Skrag's long list of sins. He was just about to pounce on a baby chick this morning, all crouched and tensed up in phony show biz pounce mode, when I did an intervention. ‘She's just a baby, you monster,’ I screamed at him just in time, and natch he sauntered off like he was innocent of all wrong doing. A real psycho, that one.”

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On 05-09-2018 at approximately 7:15 PM a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy was dispatched to the area of North Highway 1 and Hardy Creek in Westport, California. Upon arrival the Deputy learned a local resident had found a pair of jean pants with a shoe entangled inside one of the pant legs on the ocean beach near the mouth of Hardy Creek. This area is approximately 1 mile north of the Hart Family crash site.  The jeans were a girl's size 10 regular and the shoe appeared to be a 3.5 US big kid size and/or 5.5 women's US size.  Upon inspection, it was determined skeletal remains of what appeared to be a human foot was inside of the shoe. The shoe with the skeletal remains were released to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division.  The California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services Richmond DNA laboratory is being asked to identity the remains through DNA analysis.  On 05-10-2018 a group of Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue members were being deployed to the area where the skeletal remains were located to conduct a search during tow tide conditions. An assessment of the ocean and terrain will also be conducted for the planning of a future search operation.  The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division to date have received analysis reports on all of the Hart Family members who have been recovered and identified.  The toxicology analysis showed three of the children had a positive toxicology finding in their blood for Diphenhydramine (an active ingredient in Benadryl), while one child had no toxicology finding.  At this time the Coroner's Division is not releasing the names of the children associated with these toxicology findings.  Future press releases will only be disseminated when significant developments occur or when large scale Search & Rescue Operations are scheduled. The daily press release is still being discontinued at this time.  Ongoing updates/photos will also be posted on the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office  facebook page as information becomes available.


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Letter to the editor,

I have been an inmate at the Mendocino County jail since April 26, 2018. While in holding for 12 hours waiting to be booked on a violation of probation I was allowed to use my own personal asthma inhaler for my respiratory problems. Asthma, COPD, and emphysema medications cost about $75 for one.

Once booked and housed in C-module on the floor in a shitty plastic bed after requesting a bottom bunk due to nine orthopedic surgeries, I was no longer allowed to use an inhaler at all, not even my own. I have only received two breathing treatments every 24 hours, $11 each. I have not been given my knee brace, also my own. Not a very good solution to either chronic medical problem.


I was then taken to court on May 1, 2018 in full restraints for violation of probation. Upon returning to jail badly bruised and nearly bleeding because I was issued no socks when booked because the jail is very overpopulated.

This correctional facility can afford a table for almost every inmate in custody, but not socks? I myself and others here find it ridiculous that a County correctional facility can afford this wonderful technology but not to clothe or feed the inmates at the jail. Only one hot meal a day must save them a pretty penny. It seems the priority is making dollars, not the welfare of the inmates.

James Bray


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Dear Editor

Thank you for printing my last letter.

Maybe I was not clear with what happened since my trip from New Jersey back to California over this complicated case (the murder of Laytonville pot grower Jeffrey Settler by up to six hired trimmer). I had forgotten to admit a sad fact about myself since childhood. I grew up with a brain disorder and a string of mental health issues. This month I am required to see a neurologist. But yes, I had unfortunately pled guilty while I was in hysterics during a very long interview. Maybe some of the readers can relate. I told the detectives or cops many times that I did not do it. Not only was I crying and in hysterics but I don't even remember doing this. You see, in my history I have been to five or six mental hospitals. Also, when I was being interrogated I was not on my medication. I suffer from seizures. They can last anywhere from two seconds to one minute. I have lost a lot of family members due to mental illness, just recently my little sister included. Yes, it is a genetic disorder and I wish there was a cure. Now that I am back on my medication I am going to bring justice to Jeffrey Settler and his family. I understand what it's like to lose a sibling and it was very hard on Jeffrey's father to lose a child.

I also want to make sure they do not release the wrong person back into society. Yes, this is going to be very difficult because my stupid is getting in my way once again. Anyone who knows me knows that I would give the clothes off my back if needed.

I only have one other issue I will have to get over for this trial. I'm scared of courts, cops and needles and hospitals. Why?, you might ask. Well, when I first moved to San Francisco I was drunk and walking home. Cops pulled be over, knocked me down and hogtied me and took my friend's dog. They threw me into a cell and kicked me in the face. Later, I woke up in a pool of blood. They let me go saying, "It was mistaken identity." In Costa Rica I was delivering coffee when the policia pulled me over on my bike and in horrible English put gun to my head, threatening to kill me because I'm a gringo! There are many more such incidents. But that would be too much writing.

In Humboldt County I also pled guilty against my attorney's advice because I did not want to put my ex-girlfriend in jail for constantly beating the crap out of me. She always told me she would stop. Finally with help from family I left and I still have my daughter.


The other reason for me to write is this maybe it is not my place to give names to the court. But dude, I'm scared. I don't trust courts. Humans make mistakes with people lives and futures. I read many times about how courts make huge mistakes. Just recently there was a man who after 30 years was found innocent. Oh my god, put yourself in his shoes. They even gave him $2 million for that mistake and in his words he states, "It was not worth it." Poor guy. He probably lost family during his stay. I can relate because I lost my little sister and my grandmother when I was fighting a case in Humboldt County. It's the worst way to grieve. Think about it: you are in tears on the edge surrounded by a bunch of rotating door criminals who usually don't have any empathy.

I hope they come out with a charge for stupidity because I definitely deserve that. I just wonder should it be felony or misdemeanor stupidity?

I will help the courts get to the bottom of this. I may have issues, but I also have a brain and I am looking at all the other statements. I only need half my brain to solve this.

Gary ‘Forrest Gump’ Blank


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ARTHUR JUHL, commenting recently on the AVA’s website, wrote::

“…I see that someone writes about accountibilty. To make it effective one has to have penalties or rewards. If the job is not accomplished you replace that person. As a county employee. they would be demoted. In my humble opinion there would be quite a few!”

THAT’S TRUE, I guess, Mr. Juhl. But replacing and demoting people feels too much like “Ready, Fire, Aim.” The real problem is the County’s lack of management reporting. They can’t even get the departments to provide monthly status reports on budgets, staffing, key cost drivers, current projects and problems. Without these basic management reports, you can’t make a case for demotion, much less replacement, because you don’t have a record to base it on. With reporting (and feedback and regular pressure to improve from management) you also build a file over time that either demonstrates good performance or justifies personnel action. Within reason, management should be dictating the kinds of reports they get, what they contain, how often, how detailed, etc. The approach that CEO Angelo has taken with her “leadership teams” is obviously designed to put off reporting as long as possible and allow staff to decide what “metrics” should be used to measure themselves. No, never. Management should tell staff how they will be measured and what the targets should be, not the other way around. But of course, they don’t even try.

I still don’t understand why past boards, the current board and all the current candidates don’t understand this reporting process, the most basic management tool. You’ll hear an occasional and ignorant reference to “metrics,” “accountability,” and “transparency” — usually from people who have no experience or idea what they’re talking about — but none of them clearly call for proper management reporting.

And without it, none of the ideas being proposed or discussed in the campaign will go anywhere.

Let’s pick a department at random, say County Counsel's office. How many cases are they handling at the moment, by category? What is the status? How much exposure? How much time is taken on each one? How much outside consulting is being used? How many last month? The month before that? How many open unfilled positions? They don’t need a “leadership team” to ask for this. But will it happen? No.

Or take Probation? How many people on probation? How many probation officers by grade? How many unfilled positions? How many on leave, disability, etc.? How many in juvenile hall? And last month, and the month before, etc.?

Every month, our small local fire department goes over the budget and staffing status, the list of tasks and projects underway or due, the record of what is scheduled and whether it’s done, and how to improve the reporting process. (And I’ll take a little credit for getting it going, ahem.) Nobody complains about it because it helps keep things in the black and on task. If they can do it — without a “leadership team”! — why can’t Official Mendo?

(Mark Scaramella)

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Dear Editor

Ted Williams is the best person to be county supervisor from the 5th District.

He is a modest, humble and successful business owner in software and hardware development. Living in a fire prone part of our county Ted has volunteered as firefighter for over 10 years and as a local Fire Chief for 7 years.

Having grown up in a rural (Class K) home built by his parents, Ted inherently understands the need for, and has the skills to effectively help our county to provide safe low-cost housing. He believes the right to shelter is a fundamental human right.

Ted, and many other voters, worked relentlessly to achieve success for Measure V to end the dangerous hack and squirt practice of poisoning the hardwood trees in our forests.

As someone who’s regularly followed the actions and inertia of our Board of Supervisors since 1975, and has known Ted since 2003, I find him to be a careful and respectful listener. He does not avoid questions, nor reply with unrelated points. He will respectfully respond directly to what he is asked. If further information would help clarify or advance the issue Ted will locate it and share it.

Given that leadership is about getting results and a vote for Ted Williams is a vote for meaningful leadership here in Mendocino County.

Barry Vogel, Attorney, Counselor and Mediator

Radio Curious Host and Producer.


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FORT BRAGG, Thurs., May 10. A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned during the noon hour today from its deliberations to announce its guilty verdict and a special finding against a DUI defendant.


After approximately 90 minutes of deliberations, the jury found Charles Wendell Holmes, age 49, of Fort Bragg, guilty of unlawfully driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury to another, a felony. The available evidence was the defendant was driving under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana.

The jury also found true a special allegation that more than one person was injured during the defendant's unlawful driving. After the jury was thanked and excused the court found true a separate special allegation that the defendant had previously served a prior prison term and had not stayed free of custody and conviction for more than five years.

Formal sentencing will take place this coming Monday, May 14th, at 9:30 in the morning in the Ten Mile division of the Superior Court. Any person interested in this case and/or this defendant is welcome to attend that sentencing hearing.

The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at trial to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Tom Geddes. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice forensic toxicology laboratory. Retired Superior Court Judge Richard P. Kalustian was called into to ably serve as the trial judge.

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Dear Neighbors:

There are rural hospitals which are doing extremely well. It is a red herring to blame the fate of rural hospitals or the entire health care system (which is indeed a mess). We must simply make certain our local hospital is in the upper 10% of all rural hospitals and then we shall thrive.

Steve Lund, Chairman of the MCDH hospital Board recently acknowledged, at a public meeting, that the hospital will not fail if the parcel tax fails to pass. He said it 3 times. The parcel tax is another red herring which distracts we the public from the most important issue which is administrative mismanagement presently, and unfortunately, being allowed by the Board with the exception of Dr Glusker who stands alone in attempting rational oversight.

Yes we can pass the parcel tax but if we do so without taking a new course of action MCDH will not change. Throwing money at a broken system does not repair it simply postpones.

We need Board members who have the experience to oversee a $50,000,000 business with over 300 employees. Such people are rare, or non existent, in our small community and the people with the necessary experience obviously rarely run for the volunteer MCDH Board. We have been looking for such people for decades. They simply are seldom here. The only Board member I can name, in the past 40 years, who had the know how to over see a business of this magnitude was Mike Dell'Ara and during the four years of his service the hospital headed in a positive direction.

One option is to begin paying the Board. Possibly this will entice highly experienced people to serve. Another option is to hire a professional team to guide us in hiring, as well as then supervising, a competent CEO and CFO. Then we will be in the upper 10% of all rural hospitals.

Perhaps the best option is to hire a hospital management consulting firm and say to them: This is our history and this is where we are now....what shall we do to succeed and be in the upper 10% of all rural hospitals?

Let us take NEW action and no longer continue to so the same thing while expecting different results.

Your neighbor,

Richard Louis Miller, M.A., Ph.D.

Fort Bragg

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Since the Absentee Ballots are out, time is of the essence to make a well-grounded decision as to Measure C, the Hospital parcel tax increment. It sounds great to put revenue from Measure C in a separate bank account, utilize taxpayer oversight and carefully specify the budget categories in which the annual $1.7M will be spent. ON THE SURFACE. My simple question is this: WHERE WILL THE $330K SALARY of Bob Edwards come from? You guessed it, from the various budget categories covered by Measure C. It's the old "Robbing Peter to pay Paul" trick. CEO Bob Edwards' compensation is equal in amount to 20% of the estimated annual revenues to be acquired if Measure C passes. That is not to say the money will go directly from the special account to Edwards' pocket. NO, NO, NO. It will circuitously get there by robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Another factor underlying the financial instability of MCDH is the absurdly high compensation paid to companies providing temporary staffing, i.e. $150/hour to Trustaff for supplying a radiology technician (exceeding Bob Edwards' pay if computed annually). These temporary personnel can be found in nearly all departments of the hospital.

I was disheartened when I read the voter pamphlet and found no argument against Measure C and felt it my civic duty to increase awareness of what is actually going on. One list serve member keeps asking for specifics that demonstrate mismanagement of funds. I hope the above information will be found helpful. No one wants a well-run hospital here on the coast more than I do. Unfortunately, Measure C is not the solution. Major changes must be in place for the hospital to survive and I see no real movement in that direction with the inept current CEO and Board (with the exception of Dr. Glusker). It's a shame that the newly elected board members will find themselves saddled to the CEO who definitely contributed to the hospital's current short falls and disfunctionality.

Margaret Paul


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Dear Eel-Russian River Commissioners:

During my February 23, 2018 presentation to the Eel-Russian River Commission, I informed you that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) was evaluating several options for the Potter Valley Hydroelectric Project. I’m writing to let you know that after very careful consideration, PG&E has decided to put the project up for auction this fall.

This decision to begin the auction process ultimately reflects that continuing to operate the facility is not in the long-term best interests of PG&E’s electric customers. However, PG&E fully realizes that the project has key environmental attributes and provides important regional benefits including recreation opportunities and a significant contribution to the Russian River water supply.

With this in mind, as we prepare for the auction PG&E is open to exploring with local, county and/or state governmental entities that have an interest in the continued operation of the project the possibility of transferring it to a local or regional entity as an alternative to the auction. PG&E will assess the progress of such transfer negotiations as they proceed, and based on meaningful progress, will either continue direct negotiations or proceed with the auction.

Participation in the auction will be open to any qualified entity. Qualifications will include being able to meet the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) requirements for a hydroelectric project licensee. We anticipate interest in acquiring the project by electric power interests, water supply interests, potential combinations of these two groups and possibly by others. Transfer of the project will require approval of both the FERC and the California Public Utilities Commission. The entire process could take one-and-a-half to two years to complete.

PG&E plans to continue the ongoing FERC relicensing proceeding throughout the auction process with the expectation that the new project owner will “step into PG&E’s shoes” relative to the relicensing once regulatory approval of project transfer has been obtained.

Due to its relatively small electric generation capacity, divesting the Potter Valley Project will not impact PG&E’s delivery of safe, clean, affordable and reliable electricity to our customers. The divesture is expected to have a negligible impact on PG&E’s overall portfolio of renewable power.

Throughout the divestiture process, PG&E will continue to operate the Potter Valley Project as a hydroelectric facility in full compliance with our FERC license and all applicable environmental laws and regulations.

Best regards,

David Moller

Director, Power Generation

Scott Dam, part of the Potter Valley Project.

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Dear Editor:

In her candidate statement for Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools, Michelle Hutchins touts her experience as superintendent of two rural school districts. She neglects to mention that she received votes of no confidence from BOTH of them! In May of 2013 the teachers, classified staff, and the school board in Hayfork, CA cast her out with a vote of no confidence. This year the Anderson Valley Teachers Association and the Classified School Employee Association rewarded her “experience” with a 90% vote of no confidence. Contrary to your assertion in last week’s AVA that she has “personality differences with the key ladies” at the elementary school, Ms Hutchins has managed to offend virtually the whole staff including teachers of both genders, teachers’ aides, custodians, and more. She has also offended parents.

In her April 25th letter to the AVA, Ms Hutchins states her number one priority is “to create a trustful, respectful and collaborative working environment for every employee.” Nice words! However, in her three years as superintendent of the AVUSD, she has failed miserably.

Ms Hutchins claims the complaints against her filed with the school board are “vague”. Careful reading of the letter to the school board shows it loaded with specifics: the doubling of administrative costs during her tenure, hiring outside services to perform superintendent duties, lack of “people skills”, permanently damaged relationships with various staff members, a dramatic change of school climate (low morale), disregarding input after it is sought, turmoil in the Special Education Department, unsafe situations for students, poor judgment, and the loss of valuable staff and staffed positions.

More specific complaints against Ms Hutchins can be found in an Anderson Valley parents’ petition on social media: 1) Using expensive outside consultants and little or no parental input, she replaced the freshly cooked meals of the food program with packaged foods. 2) Parents invited to a “Town Hall Meeting” to discuss their school related concerns were greeted by paid consultants. 3) Concerns presented to her by parents were routinely ignored. 4) Ms Hutchins’ alleged altercation with the former elementary principal in the district office was embarrassing (and costly to the district in terms of money and the loss of her services). 6) She communicated poorly with parents concerning a gun on campus. 7) She blames staff for problems. 8) Now, on social media she questions the honesty of the two union presidents.

Does Ms Hutchins REALLY want the intricate details of each complaint made public? She says she faces her errors so she can “learn and grow”. Her three years in Anderson Valley prove otherwise.

Voters, don’t be fooled! Fine words and intentions are not enough. Being a woman is not enough. Local Democrats erred by endorsing her before learning the facts. Her performance shows she is NOT qualified to be County Superintendent of Schools!

Valerie Smith

Retired Anderson Valley Teacher


Ed Reply: Mrs. Hutchins may not want "the intricate details of each complaint made public," but I do. Of the complaints you've listed here Ms. Smith, and nothing personal intended old pal back forty years or so, the only specifically valid beef you've cited is the food service debacle, for which Mrs. Hutchins has apologized over and over again. If you and the rest of the lynch mob hauled your case over the hill to DA Eyster and demanded prosecution, Eyster would laugh you out of his office. There's nothing here except personal animosity for Mrs. Hutchins, whose professional life, thanks to the pure viciousness of the howling claque we saw in action Wednesday night, thanks to FaceBook, this personality-based animosity will follow Mrs. Hutchins around forever. I think it's all terribly sad, and very, very unfair to the entire community, such as it is anymore. PS. Please name a single elected County Superintendent of Schools over the past fifty years who was not either a laughable dunce or a stone crook. The election of Mrs. Hutchins would be a major step forward for this office and for the educationally captive children of Mendocino County.

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MADAME DeFARGE LIVES! Ugly school board meeting here in Boonville Wednesday night. A portion of the school district's female staff are very unhappy with the superintendent of the local schools, also a female. The unhappy ladies say their unhappiness is widely shared at both school sites. A half-dozen of the unhappiest of the women read from prepared statements, which added up, it seemed to me, to a severe personality clash between them and Superintendent Hutchins. (Note to angry ones: "Feelings" aren't facts. You'd be laughed out of private employment if you got up at a meeting and began with, "I feel…")

ONE PERSON, high school English teacher, Kim Campbell, talking facts not feelings, braved the wrath of the mob to speak in favor of Mrs. Hutchins. Ms. Campbell listed the many helpful program innovations Mrs. Hutchins has brought to the high school.

THE SEETHING unhappiness with the superintendent boiled over Wednesday night because the school board, the district's reigning authority, consists of three new people, who looked on rather aghast like they'd just happened on the scene of a bloody accident. Which they had, but for which they bear no responsibility. When the new trio of trustees is fully acclimated, I think the rest of us can expect a reinstatement of adult leadership for the Boonville schools.

ALL OF THIS female in-fighting could have, should have been amicably settled months ago when it first surfaced. But instead of sorting it out at the outset, which the old school board should have done last year, here we are. That show last night reflected badly on AV Unified. If I were the parent of a little kid I'd wonder about the maturity and emotional stability of some of the persons supposedly in charge of educating him.

CONSIDERING that she had to just sit there as a tsunami of personal hatred washed over her, Mrs. Hutchins was the very model of gracious aplomb.

THE WILLITS NEIGHBORS of the psych ward proposed for the old Willits Hospital seem poised to oppose the idea of converting the old building, presently bogged down in Consultantville. It will stay there for some time as the Measure B tax money rolls into County coffers (and perhaps quickly disappear in the Stock Market Ponzi where most Mendo money is gambled). Anyway, I think the old Willits Hospital is the local place for it if, for no other reason than the preservation of that fine old structure in an area lamentably short of fine old structures. And it doesn't have to be surrounded by unsightly fascist fencing of the chain-link type. Or, if the nervous nells demand it, the old hospital can be enclosed by a redwood fence, the world's finest from right here in Redwood Country!

BUT NEIGHBORS envision squads of escaped lunatics rampaging through their homes, kicking their household pets, setting fire to their barca-loungers. The modern mental patient is medicated into perfect docility, zombo-ized via the new chemicals. A colony of narcotized nabes next door should be preferred as neighbors, especially given most neighbors and neighborhoods in Mendocino County. The dangerously mentally ill, aka the criminally insane, are confined at the County Jail and, because there are more and more of the latter, the County Jail is being expanded to house them.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 10, 2018

Cunnan, Davis, Donahe, Evans

JOHN CUNNAN, Covelo. Probation revocation.

DARLENE DAVIS, Covelo. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, suspended license, probation revocation.

MICHAEL DONAHE SR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

ROGER EVANS, Ukiah. Cruelty to animals, paraphernalia, offenses while on bail.

Garcia, Rodea

JAVIER GARCIA, Willits. Domestic abuse, protective order violation.

JUAN RODEA, Ukiah. Parole violation.

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May 16 event

From: Dharma Realm Buddhist University

CARE: Compassion for Animals, Respect for the Earth

Unlocking the Cage, screening and discussion

Wednesday, May 16, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Sudhana Center, 225 South Hope St. Ukiah

Refreshments will be provided.

Dharma Realm Buddhist University Symposium and CARE: Compassion for Animals, Respect for the Earth will host a free public screening of the highly-acclaimed documentary Unlocking the Cage, on Wednesday, May 16, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Sudhana Center, 225 S. Hope Street in Ukiah. The film follows the Nonhuman Rights Project's legal team through their unprecedented court challenge to break down the legal wall that separates humans from other species. It offers an inside look at the NhRP's novel mission and work to transform nonhuman animals from legal "things" with no rights to "persons" with fundamental rights, beginning with four captive chimpanzees in New York. From roadside zoos to courtroom battles, it is an intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man's lifelong quest to protect nonhuman animals. Unlocking the Cage was directed by Academy Award nominated directors Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker, best known for their films Don't Look Back and The War Room. It first premiered in 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival, and on HBO in February 2017, and has been shown at dozens of film festivals around the globe. The event will include a full screening, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. Special guest panelists include Jan Allegretti, D.Vet.Hom; Bhikshuni Heng Yin; and Ron Epstein, Ph.D. Jan has been following this ongoing legal case and will provide a brief update on its current status.

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On April 30 and May 1, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issued citations for more than 50 violations at four unregulated cannabis cultivation sites after executing search warrants in Humboldt County.

CDFW, which works collaboratively with local law enforcement and others to investigate and enforce environmental damage related to cannabis cultivation, inspected the sites and found violations of the state Fish and Game Code, including impacts to watersheds critical to three federally listed salmonid species. The violations included streambed alteration, illegal water diversion and water pollution.

In addition, law enforcement officers found violations related to illegal cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, and conspiring to commit a crime.

“The department’s law enforcement efforts focus on protection of our natural resources,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “Each of these non-permitted cannabis cultivation sites was in gross violation of several laws in place to protect the State of California’s fish, wildlife and their habitats.”

None of the four sites inspected had permits, and all were operating outside of the local and state permitting process. The California Department of Food and Agriculture permits cannabis cultivation sites in the state. Humboldt County permits cultivation sites in the county.

The first site searched was in the Miller Creek area, a watershed that is deemed a priority for three federally listed salmonid species (including coho, which is also state listed). One property had eight structures growing marijuana plants without claim of medical or paperwork for legal commercial cannabis operation.

CDFW inspected the property and discovered several violations relating to the growing operation. Staff found 20 violations of Fish and Game Code related to detrimental environmental impacts to fish, wildlife and habitat, and additional Health and Safety Code and Penal Code violations related to the illegal cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, and conspiring to commit a crime.

The inspection teams eradicated 1,714 plants, and destroyed more than 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana. During the search, more than $3 million in cash was discovered and seized for asset forfeiture.


Jesus Olea Vielma, 31, of Fortuna was taken into custody and booked into jail.

At the second site in the China Creek area, one property was found with eight plastic covered buildings growing marijuana plants inside without claim of medical or paperwork for legal commercial cannabis operation. CDFW inspected the property and found six violations of Fish and Game Code, and the same Health and Safety code and Penal code violations listed above. Inspection teams eradicated 5,177 plants and destroyed approximately 43 pounds of processed marijuana.

Alejandro Navarro Ruvalcaba, 43, of Garberville was booked into jail.


The third site searched is in the Blue Slide Creek area, a high priority due to the watershed containing coho and Chinook salmon, and steelhead trout. Records show the property began the permit process in 2016 with Humboldt County but never completed the application. Inspection teams found five grow houses with marijuana plants. No medical or legal commercial cannabis paperwork was on site. CDFW found six violations of Fish and Game Code, and the same Health and Safety code and Penal code violations. These growers were using a direct water diversion from Blue Slide Creek. Teams destroyed 1,276 marijuana plants and 100 pounds of processed marijuana.

William Bert Paulsin, 59, of Hemet was booked into jail.


At the final site, also on Blue Slide Creek, one large structure had marijuana plants growing inside. No medical or legal commercial cannabis paperwork was on site. CDFW found 22 violations of Fish and Game Code, and the same Health and Safety code and Penal code violations. The growers had constructed several large ponds onsite. Teams destroyed 301 marijuana plants and 203 pounds of processed marijuana.

State and local efforts to eliminate illegal and environmentally harmful operations like these helps legal cannabis cultivators thrive in this newly regulated industry. CDFW will continue working with Humboldt County and other local entities to address non-permitted grow sites.

The affected creeks are heavily impacted by cannabis cultivation and their watersheds are very important to salmonid recovery efforts. Californians have made investments through the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program to restore salmon and steelhead populations in these watersheds.

(California Department of Fish and Wildlife)

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Many people aren’t concerned with climate change, even though that threat is real and dangerous to our children and grandchildren. So I ask those people to consider the financial benefits of going green.

Contrary to the old adage, a penny saved is a penny earned, you will likely get a lot more from saving than earning. Why? The government doesn’t tax the money you save. So if you install solar panels to power efficient appliances and an electric car, the $3,000 or $4,000 a year you save on utilities and gasoline could be the equivalent of $5,000 or even more per year in earnings.

If solar panels on your house cost $15,000 to install, the payback on your investment can be fantastic. Also, there’s a high likelihood that fossil fuels will be taxed more in the future, making your solar investment even more attractive. Self-interest alone should compel people to install solar panels, and the sooner the better.

Andy Ferguson


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If it was only the news business that’s gone bat-shit that would be one thing but it’s not just them, the whole panoply of the American power structure appears to have lost its marbles with the election of 2016. This is the only way to see it IMO. They seemingly can’t conceive of the many roadways to hell with these paving stones of – cough – good intentions they’re laying down in their attempts to get rid of Trump.

Is Trump a buffoon? Yeah, sure, that much is self-evident. But let’s not pretend that the intelligentsia pre-Trump hadn’t made itself a laughing stock with multiple disastrous failures of domestic policy and diplomacy and war-making leaving major areas of the globe in chaos, including and especially the United States.

Is Trump a legitimate president? You bet he is. Trump came to power duly elected, with a base of power, with promises made to that electoral base. And, against all odds he appears to be making good on some of those promises ie shit-canning the Iran nuclear deal, and appears to be giving the others the old college try.

If the powers-that-be cannot abide Trump, they should try what they haven’t yet tried, to reflect on the sins of their own making that made Trump possible.

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CONSTELLATIONS have always been troublesome things to name. If you give one of them a fanciful name, it will always refuse to live up to it; it will always persist in not resembling the thing it has been named for. Ultimately, to satisfy the public, the fanciful name has to be discarded for a common-sense one, a manifestly descriptive one. Ursa Major, the Great Bear, remained the Great Bear — and unrecognizable as such — for thousands of years; and people complained about it all the time, and quite properly; but as soon as it became the property of the United States, Congress changed it to The Big Dipper, and now everybody is satisfied, and there is no more talk about riots.

—Mark Twain

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The Boonville Farmers' Market will take place Saturday from 9:30-12:00 in the Boonville Hotel parking lot.

Petit Teton will be at market with veggies including rhubarb and baby artichoke, meats, including pork, beef and squab, and canned goods from soups to jams. It's predicted to be a hot day so we'll also bring popsicles. We will also bring gift packs of jam - great for a Mother's Day present.

Natural Products of Boonville will be there with vegetable starts. Maybe some mushrooms if we do not sell out on Friday in the Mendocino Farmers' Market.

Yorkville Olive Ranch will be at the Boonville Farmers Market on Saturday with both the 2016 and 2017 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tuscan Field Blend in the 375 ml and 750 ml bottles. The Meyer lemon infused Tuscan olive oil will also be available but only in the 375 ml bottles.

If you love good olive oil and use a lot of it, consider buying in bulk, a gallon or more, You would need to provide your own container, preferably dark green or brown glass or a stainless steel container or fusti. You would need to come to the ranch house to pick up the oil at 23401 Hwy 128 in Yorkville or mile marker 38.29. Call ahead to be sure someone will be at the house instead of out in the field at 894-0530. Leave a message with your name and telephone number, but please speak slowly and distinctly so that I can call you back. If a gallon seems like too much oil, join with a neighbor or friend and share the gallon and share the savings.

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“You know my motto—slow and selling access to the President wins the race.”

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Hello broadband advocates,

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful spring weather.

Many of you participated in our consortium survey after the terrible fires in 2017. In fact, we received over 3,700 responses in the 3-county region including thousands of personal stories of resident's experiences, and comments that people want to make to the California Public Utilities Commission. Working with the 3 counties, we analyzed results, made graphs, charts, maps, footnotes, appendices, and produced a comprehensive report from all the data. We conclude with recommendations to state agencies, local governments, and residents to help minimize future telecommunications impacts. You'll also notice that we also did research on federal issues for comparison as well. The report is now, finally, published and public. Since the Report and Appendix are both large files, I am only providing a link to them in this email. I encourage you to take a look at the report and share with with other interested parties (such as your city councilmembers, supervisor candidates, etc)

2017 Firestorm Outage Report

2017 Firestorm Outage Report Appendix


Trish Steel,, 707-354-3224

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by Warren Hinckle (2009)

(Marilyn Chambers, who died last week at 56, is an icon to generations of San Franciscans. The former Ivory Snow (“99 & 44/100% Pure”) soapbox cover girl starred in San Francisco’s the Mitchell Brothers mega-porn hit movie “Beyond The Green Door.” Hinckle was arrested for walking his dog without a leash after he wrote columns in the Chronicle pillarying the SFPD for sending some 30 cops to drag Ms. Chambers naked from the O’Farrell in 1985 when Dianne Feinstein was Mayor of San Francisco.)

“The Ivory Snow Girl arrested for prostitution in San Francisco in San Francisco. It’s awesome.” — Jim Mitchell, after Marilyn Chambers arrest at his O’Farrell Street Theater.

When the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Street Theater began presenting live acts on multiple stages — one set was built as a giant shower room — the Savonarola inside Mayor Diane Feinstein was awakened. Now the senior US Senator from California, as Mayor the convent-bred Feinstein was about as hang loose as an Easter Island statue. Her mayoralty was firm on primness — women working in the mayor’s office were expected to wear dresses, no pants; formerly as a city Supervisor she had tinkered with ordinances attempting to regulate the commerce of sex in the famous sea port city, even unto suggesting that all the city’s sex emporiums be relocated into a single Red Light combat zone in the largely black Bayview District; she was actually taken aback when the residents didn’t cozy up to her idea. If Dianne hadn’t fallen into an upwardly mobile career in politics — she became Mayor when her predecessor as Mayor, George Moscone, was assassinated with Harvey Milk at City Hall — she would have had an excellent future as a disinfector of public telephones.

Feinstein empowered the vice squad of the SFPD as a sort of screwball comedy Papal Swiss Guard with the sworn duty of putting the Mitchell Brothers out of business.

The O’Farrell, which Hunter S. Thompson called “the Carnegie Hall of sex in America,” was raided the way the Allies bombed Dresden. Every one of the Mitchell Brothers prostitution busts — there were hundreds in the 70s and 80s — was thrown out of court, a reality but that did not deter Feinstein’s finest from continuing to hit on the O’Farrell with metronomic regularity. Led by vice lieutenant Dennis Martel who paid proud to the flashlight prowess of the SFPD — he was frequently spied crawling about the O’Farrell’s back stairwells carrying a long black flashlight, and once sent 12 officers throughout the premises with flashlights in search of Marilyn Chambers’ W-2 form. Flashlight-carrying cops invaded the darkened Kopenhagen Lounge, which already had a surfeit of flashlights — customers sat on overstuffed sofas while undressed ladies cavorted about in the altogether carrying red flashlights which they used to illuminate their endearing young charms.

The trials became so frequent that sometimes there were two in one week. The ending was always the same, with dismissal of the “prostitution” charges against the O’Farrell. These repeat legal performances left Feinstein open to the quip that defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The proceedings jammed the city’s criminal courtrooms and became a real ass-pain to the judges. Many of the dancers occupied their daytime hours by coming to the courtroom in solidarity and just a bit curious to witness why what they had did at night was criminal by day. The judges grew anxious to clear their calendars of these Feinstein-ordered absurdities and, to streamline the processing to save judicial downtime, wanted the size of the courtroom crowds diminished to curtail the circus atmosphere; some spectators thought the whole thing such a hoot they brought their lunches into the courtroom.

Word of this cool-it-out approach apparently did not reach Hunter S. Thompson, the Mitchell Brothers’ Night Manager. One day he was passing the corridor outside the closed courtroom door dressed in his usual garb of tee shirt and Bermudas, hands occupied with two giant tumblers of Wild Turkey on the rocks, when curiosity got the best of him and he charged through the courtroom double doors to deliver a spontaneous speech demanding a motherfucking speedy trial for his friends the Brothers. Artie Mitchell begged him to please stay away from the courthouse.

The star of the Brothers legal team was prominent New York attorney Michael Kennedy, who cut his attorney-client teeth in San Francisco in the 1970s defending the Brothers. (Kennedy also defended Jim Mitchell in the over-charged Marin County murder trial of Mitchell for the death of his brother Artie in 2001. The DA said it was first-degree murder, when the shooting was the result of an intervention gone tragically awry.) The Mitchell lawyers in the 1980s acquired stiff necks from fighting off copyright VCR infringements of Beyond The Green Door by the mafia, and the never-on-Sundays constant SFPD vice squad sexual assaults on the O’Farrell. The puss came to the pimple with the Marilyn Chambers bust in 1985 when she was dragged as naked as Venus exiting from her tub off the O’Farrell stage by a phalanx of police during a valedictory one-woman show; a total of eleven cops escorted her to her dressing room to ascertain that she didn’t conceal a weapon in some bodily orifice and more than 30 offers were eventually on the scene when backup was called because her bodyguard had a gun.

“One of those cops had the nerve to ask me, ‘You don’t wear any underwear?’' she said when she was released from the Hall of Justice at 3 a.m.

Jim Mitchell had rousted me from the sleep of the just and said you better get down here, this is really a scene — here being his white Mercedes 500 SEL. which was parked in an alley across from the Bastille. Rocky Davidson of Antioch, a cousin of the Brothers and an indispensable man in the O’Farrell operation, was pawing through the Gucci briefcase of the muscleman from Vegas who was Ms. Chambers’s bodyguard. “There’s nothing in here but cash,” he said disappointedly. The cops were holding her bodyguard for lacking a gun permit and Marilyn — who had already suffered an overlong detention in the lockup because cops and sheriff deputies were lined up to have their own private Polaroid taken with her — had refused to leave without him.

“Wait a minute,” said Rocky, “I think I found it.” He pulled a little blue card out of the briefcase like a plum from a pudding. Leaves of cash fluttered all over the Mercedes back seat. Rocky took the card and went across the alley to Barrish Bail Bonds where the permit, which would give the bodyguard egress from jail, was eagerly awaited.

Marilyn came out wearing about twenty blue foxes which had been glued together into a full length coat and the bodyguard, one Bobby D’Apice, followed her wearing a designer Italian dark suit and enough gold to start a pawn shop. “They kill her, they have to kill me too,” he said, explaining his role. Jim Mitchell was sitting at the wheel of the Mercedes scratching his head underneath his Irish hunting cap. Deep into the historicity of the moment, he sighed, “The Ivory Snow Girl arrested for prostitution in San Francisco in San Francisco. It’s awesome.”

Before taking a career step up to porn movies, Ms. Chambers had been a model and the upper class-white-girl-next-door. The beautiful innocence of her face had landed her on gazillion boxes of Ivory Snow (“99 and 44/100 per cent pure”) as the face of purity. When her night job was revealed Ivory Snow hastened to pull millions of boxes off supermarket shelves and destroy them.

Yes. The Ivory Snow Girl had indeed been arrested for prostitution in San Francisco; the gravamen of the charge was that she had bounced her boobs, free, against the head of some bald guy in the audience. That charge, after all the fuss, was quietly dismissed in court.

The Brothers proved civic-minded chaps, always good for a go at the Comstocks of the San Francisco political establishment — they went to war against legislation to black out the neon nipples in Carol Doda’s big topless sign on Broadway. Ms. Feinstein did not get through her Blitz of the O’Farrell without taking incoming. The O’Farrell marquee blazed: “Want A Good Time? Call Dianne” followed by the mayor’s unlisted home telephone number. (The Brothers had friends inside PacBell who were favored with free passes to the O’Farrell.) Each time the sign went up she changed her number, and the next day a new sign would go up with the new number. Tit for tat.

(Excerpted from Warren Hinckle’s 2009 book, “Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson” published by Last Gasp of San Francisco.)


    • Randy Burke May 11, 2018

      Nice comment Betsy; good tune, good welcoming back to F.W., and great thoughts.

  1. George Hollister May 11, 2018

    Dave Roderick is clearly the most qualified candidate running for supervisor, but I like what Mark Scaramella is saying. He goes to supervisor meetings, sees the dysfunction, and has a pretty clear idea of how to make things better. So Mark, why don’t you run next time? If Dave Roderick isn’t running, I would vote for you, in spite of your seriously demented political views. Any candidate capable and willing to focus on reducing local government dysfunction gets my vote. It all starts at the top.

  2. Eric Sunswheat May 11, 2018

    REGARDING: “I still don’t understand why past boards, the current board and all the current candidates don’t understand this reporting process, the most basic management tool. You’ll hear an occasional and ignorant reference to “metrics,” “accountability,” and “transparency” — usually from people who have no experience or idea what they’re talking about — but none of them clearly call for proper management reporting.

    And without it, none of the ideas being proposed or discussed in the campaign will go anywhere.”

    —-> Why, why, WHY? Start a list, a parade of reasons, that being deep pockets political puppetry, behavioral response to long lists of meetings and decision making work tasks for each supervisors while sitting countless hours.

    Also look at environmental health, occupational stress, daylight deprived myoptic group think, that is beyond the dictatorial executive elephant in the room, with coverup for extreme executive salary compensation, at expense of frontline workers and ordinary taxpayers.

    That’s all the time I have today for the conundrum.

    • George Hollister May 11, 2018

      Maybe candidates and board members don’t know what the job of a board member is. The job is making policy, and providing oversight. Much of what gets done by the county is not based on policy, and there is little to no oversight. Lack of oversight is the biggest problem. There is a difference between micromanaging and providing oversight, too. The county government is currently on autopilot.

      We elect candidates based on their political narrative, and not on their ability to be effective board members. People run based on their desire to implement a political narrative, as well. Thus the dysfunction. If Dave Roderick was not running, Art Juhl would be my choice. Neither of these two candidates is running on a political narrative, both want to see a functional county government, and neither need the money. All good. Dave is clearly the best choice of the two.

  3. John Sakowicz May 11, 2018

    I read with interest the piece about Marilyn Chambers.

    If the story of Marilyn Chambers, former Ivory Soap Girl, and star of “Behind the Green Door”, is interesting, than the story of Elisa Florez, also known as Missy Manners, is even more interesting. She was the star of “Behind the Green Door: The Sequel”.

    I knew Missy back when I lived in Colorado.

    “Behind the Green Door: The Sequel” was the first safe-sex film. Its star, Missy Manners, had a resume that was weird even for a Mitchell starlet: Georgetown police science major, U.S. Senate page, intern and receptionist for Utah’s Orrin Hatch, Republican National Committee staffer, and Ronald Reagan campaigner. (Her stage name became Missy when Washington Post columnist Judith “Miss Manners” Martin obtained a cease-and-desist order.)

    Like the first “Green Door,” the sequel became better known for its star than for anything else. Which was just as well, since the 1986 movie — a smorgasbord of latex and lubricants — proved to be just as unsexy as the concept sounds. But, it could be argued, the brothers finally lived up to a boast Artie Mitchell, producer, made at a public hearing 15 years earlier:

    “Our films are socially redeeming,” Artie said.


    Missy now lives in Mills Valley, CA. She still wears mini skirts, even though her thighs are now chubby. She drives around town like a maniac in a pickup truck.

    She is also a great historian to all things related to the O’Farrell Theater and the Mitchell brothers. Back in the day, Missy dated Artie.

    Missy is now married to a guy who has Art Garfunkel hair…a Jew Fro.

  4. james marmon May 11, 2018

    Crappie die off on Clear Lake

    “Once again fishermen are seeing large numbers of dead crappie all around the lake. Yup, dead fish on Clear Lake again? I know that there are those that feel that fish die offs are just a normal thing that occurs on Clear Lake. Biologists say that it has nothing to do with pollution, the most common cause is a parasite or virus. Usually, there will be another fish die off in Aug., when oxygen depletions are the common cause. I don’t know if I am totally buying the idea that a fish die offs that occur 1 – 3 times a year is a “normal” thing.

    Here is my thought. What makes Clear Lake unique? Well, it is the largest natural lake in California. But, most of the 100 miles of shoreline is developed.

    With that, pesticides to control lawn and garden insects can enter a lake during heavy rains and cause a fish kill. The use of any type of chemical pesticide should be done with extreme caution around all water bodies. I’m just not buying that fish annually dying in a lake is “normal”. All the waterways Teresa and I fish Clear Lake is the only lake that has so many annual fish die offs. It’s just not “normal.”

    How about all the recent explosion of massive Grape vineyards that have sprung up around the lake, could they be contributing to the poisoning of our fish?

    • Eric Sunswheat May 11, 2018

      Over the last hundred years Clear Lake lost most of its original wetlands as a result of conversion to agricultural production. We are getting some of them back, slowly. Still, Clear Lake continues to have an inflow of nutrients (it is a eutrophic lake; rich in dissolved nutrients) of mostly phosphates from sediment run-off during the rains. Because the lake is eutrophic and shallow (20-24 feet average) it lacks oxygen. That phosphorous and oxygen lack promotes the Algae/CB growth.

      In 1944, the mercury-laden tailings were bulldozed into the lake for disposal. Underground springs, uncovered during the mining, remain to send water and mercury into Clear Lake during the rainy season. As a direct result Clear Lake has received and is receiving one of the highest loadings of inorganic mercury of any site worldwide.

      The Mercury (Hg) in the fish, when eaten, is absorbed across the gut, enters the bloodstream, and is rapidly transported to all tissues and organs. It crosses blood-brain and placental barriers. Extremely neurotoxic, the mercury poisoning effects the adult and developing brain.

  5. chuck dunbar May 11, 2018

    You are dead-on right, Mark S., about the County’s ongoing lack of “proper management reporting” by County leaders and managers. It’s really just a matter of common sense, requiring only a reasonable thought process regarding each division’s/department’s actual work tasks, per your clear examples. I saw the same lack, an astonishing thing, really, when I worked at CPS for 18 years.

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