- Parker Resigns
- Surfer Dies
- Dragons Win
- Crusty Porthole
- Shelter DOA
- Supes Notes
- Silt Consideration
- Vacant Buildings
- SMART Boondoggle
- Charging Stations
- Yesterday's Catch
- Nautical Jailbreak
- Wagon Queen
- AMLO Inauguration
- Roscoe Reindeer
- Fragile Democracy
- Waitress Tip
- Climate Presentation
- Oil Derrick
- Atheist Citizens
- Southbound Water
- Humane Benefit
- Wine Tasting
- Mind Watching
KZYX GENERAL MANAGER JEFF PARKER TO RESIGN IN JANUARY
Station Board of Directors names Tom Dow to serve as interim GM
December 3, 2018, For immediate release
Contact: Tom Dow, 707-895-2324
KZYX general manager Jeffrey Parker offered his resignation to the KZYX Board of Directors at the Board’s November 28th meeting. Parker has served as the public radio station’s general manager for two years.
KZYX Board President John Azzaro commented that the station and Parker have parted ways, but remain on amicable terms. "We wish to offer Jeff our sincere thanks for his passion and dedication to KZYX and community radio during his time here. We are especially grateful for his commitment to helping us over the coming weeks as we transition into the next chapter of the grand KZYX adventure.”
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have served as General Manager of KZYX for two years,” Parker said, “and I believe more than ever in the crucial roles being served by public broadcasting in Mendocino County. We’ve made a lot of progress during the time I’ve been here, strengthening KZYX’s visibility and adding to our stature as an on-air service provider. That said, I feel that now is an appropriate time for a change of leadership for the station and a change of direction professionally for me.”
During his tenure at KZYX, Parker has overseen significant improvements in the station’s ability to serve the Mendocino County community. He helped create a partnership with Fort Bragg wireless provider, Further Reach, that increased the station’s bandwidth and made wireless internet available to a significant population in Anderson Valley. He developed a mutually beneficial, ongoing training and production relationship with Mendocino Community College in Ukiah, and established a new satellite broadcast studio in the Fort Bragg Senior Center. Additionally, Parker worked extensively to forge crucial partnerships with Mendocino County firefighters and law enforcement agencies to enhance the station’s already substantial emergency broadcast capabilities.
Now coming up on its 30th anniversary, listener supported KZYX broadcasts music, news, sports and public affairs programming across the length and breadth of Mendocino County, northern Sonoma County and into Lake County. The region’s primary NPR affiliate, KZYX is preparing for a festive year, celebrating that milestone anniversary with a series of events beginning in the spring. The station recently made news with the inauguration of the weekly series, Promise of Paradise: Back to the Land Oral Histories of Mendocino County. A much anticipated expanded news staff is also in the works.
Parker’s resignation will be effective January 1, 2019. Tom Dow, KZYX Board Member, has agreed to serve as Interim General Manager, without compensation, while the KZYX Board conducts a search for a new permanent General Manager. Parker will stay to offer Dow his experience and expertise during this period of transition.
Dow has been on the KZYX Board since April. In addition to his leadership role at KZYX, he is active in the Community Foundation of Mendocino County and is on the Mendocino College Foundation Board. He serves on the steering committee for Rural Health Rocks, a fund-raising project which works to bring family medicine residents to our county. He has also served as President and board member of the Alaska Visitors Association and on the boards of the Alaska Native Tourism Association and the Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation.
SURFER DIES, ANOTHER RESCUED IN ROUGH CONDITIONS ON MENDOCINO COAST
An outing off the Mendocino Coast intended as a chance for three Northern California men to teach an East Coast buddy how to surf instead turned tragic Thursday afternoon amid rough conditions outside the mouth of Big River.
GOT THE TREE!
STUART HALL HIGH SCHOOL, a private Catholic School in San Francisco which always does well in their Boonville appearances, easily ran the table at the 2018 Redwood Classic with high-scoring, one-sided victories over every team they played against. Stuart Hall easily beat a decent high school team from the tiny town of Jackson (Amador County, northeast of Stockton in the Sierra foothills) called “Argonaut” 77-48 in the Saturday night finals to coast to the Redwood Classic championship.
UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK
Calling all Siamese lovers! Thomas is a young, 6 month old, neutered male, lilac point Siamese. In addition to his handsome markings, Thomas is super friendly and playful. This outgoing kitten is curious about everything and loves to explore. Thomas will be a wonderful family cat and if true to his breed, he will probably be a fine mouser as well.
Frankie is a stunning, uber-handsome dog. He enjoys playing with tennis balls and he's easy to leash and walk. He is well mannered, smart, and a joy to be around. Frankie is a year old and weighs 69 pounds. There’s lots more information about Frankie on his webpage: http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com/dogblog/frankie
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, please visit us online at: http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
A PORTHOLE FROM THE SAN JUAN
(Photo by Dick Whetstone)
FORT BRAGG WINTER SHELTER DOA, DECEMBER 2018
by Rex Gressett
The Fort Bragg City Council met Monday night November 26, in a sparsely attended hall. The usual suspects were back in their big padded seats grinning broadly. The quiet little city was tucked into bed watching on the internet. The few citizens in attendance came for the show whatever it was to be, and theater is what they got. Mayor Lindy Peters was particularly gratified perhaps even a little surprised in a good way, to have escaped mortal electoral censure. Everyone up on the dais was in jolly post-election good spirits.
Of the new Council, only Jessica Morell Hayes was in attendance. When the new Council takes their seats in January, Fort Bragg will rejoice in the novelty of two women on our five person City Council. One has to wonder if Tess Albin Smith, an extremely rare presence at City Council meetings, will actually show up.
The main event in Monday evening's entertainment was a proposal in the curious form of a modification of the Hospitality Center use permit to put a stake through the heart of the traditional Fort Bragg Emergency Winter Shelter program. The language of treason was crafted by Marie Jones our esteemed Development Director.
Monday night the Council skillfully murdered the traditional winter shelter, in a discursive wide-ranging discussion that tried and almost succeeded in burying the substance of their wicked intention in a torrent of congeniality and mutual appreciation. They did not put it quite this way but they effectively ended a decade-long humanitarian tradition. No more extreme winter shelter.
A pathetic token program was retained. It took them all night to do it quietly. This year our rainy season is off to a welcome and vigorous start but except under carefully delineated circumstance, an average homeless person will be provided just one night (per year) of completely free shelter in a participating local church.
The Fort Bragg churches themselves are more than willing, vocally willing to provide shelter to anyone who needs it all winter. But Marie Jones has decreed otherwise.
Monday night the City Council vividly demonstrated their carefully choreographed behind the scenes coordination in flagrant contravention of the spirit if not the letter of the Brown Act. One by one the Councilmen punched their time cards and got on board the Jones program.
The electorally vindicated Mayor led the evening in ducking the facts and underlining irrelevancies like he was explaining a cliff to the lemmings.
Ultimately the Council wielded their famous rubber stamp and ended the decade-long life-saving tradition.
It’s true that not everyone gets only one night. Homeless people who can provide evidence of long residence in the city, or who actually have or have had a job here in the last six months, or went to high school in Fort Bragg will get five nights. Homeless people willing to formally sell their souls to the Homeless cartel's opioid dispensing dependency machine will (might) be given exceptional treatment.
It was a tricky night for the comedian/politicians. Good thing they had the shills from the Hospitality Center homeless services conglomerate (lead by Lynell Johnson) in the audience working with them to keep the discussion off the dangerous rocks of human rights, suffering, decency and constitutional legality.
Instead, the discussion focused intensely on keeping the county money, a pittance, ending the shelter program and avoiding public outcry. It required a focused and coordinated performance from all the actors.
Marie Jones unavoidably had to take the heat for actually writing the language. The Council was just a little too supportive to avoid the strong impression of having worked it all out in advance. When Marie Jones admitted she was the actual author of the terminating language, Councilman Dave Turner aggressively jumped in with the very kind suggestion that only Jones must have made that difficult decision because the County required it in conformity with the Marbut report.
That was it, confessed the Development Director, Marbut done it.
The Marbut report requires nothing of the kind and only suggests that in general localities help locals first. There is no relevance to life-saving emergency shelter. But of course, Marie Jones took Councilman Turner’s graciously proffered lifeline without quibbling.
The key to a successful snow job turned on keeping the discussion away from the city’s fundamental humanitarian inclination. There is a long tragic list of homeless people in Fort Bragg, most of the names perhaps forgotten except by their loved ones, who have died of exposure in bad weather. A few are remembered. I think that the whole town remembers Sundance.
But indeed there have been many fatalities, and for over a decade the real possibility and observed actuality of death by exposure was a powerful local motivator to provide an emergency winter shelter when the weather is really bad. The Emergency Winter Shelter was always our declaration that the people of Fort Bragg do actually care. The city's churches have always been avid to provide access to the physical buildings at no cost to anyone.
But in the Lindy Peters directed crackdown on homeless rights, the Development Department now requires that social workers from the Hospitality Center be present in a ratio of 1 for every 12 homeless people sheltered.
Squeezing the county for money to pay the professionals from the Hospitality Center has always been the only problem. This year and last the Hospitality Center board of directors wrestled with it for months. Getting that money became their obsession. Providing shelter? Not so much.
Thankfully as we learned just in time for Christmas this year that the social workers will still get paid. The impartially negotiated deal turns out to be that the homeless will get one day.
The stink of that heartless corpse of a limitation rose to heaven but there was not one word of opposition by any member of the City Council. The fix was in.
Some few citizens in the know might have reflected on where the excluded will go in heavy weather. One thing is certain the illegal encampments that dot the perimeter of our city, under the trees and in the bushes just out of sight, will swell and misery in them will be amplified.
Ms. Jones herself was aware of this annoying consequence. In a sort of addendum and follow-up for the evening after torpedoing the Emergency Winter Shelter closure, Jones was careful to explain that the illegal homeless camps that dot the perimeter of our care are also under massive and systematic assault.
It is quite a task to bust up a camp, she explained. Dumpsters of trash come out of the woods where the homeless have sometimes been living for years. The cops, of course, must be present in force, a diversity of agencies must be present, and landowners must be forced to put up fences in order to prevent a return of the community of the wretched (which happens anyway, sometimes in a matter of hours).
Jones didn’t mention it, but suffering, death, overdose and routine rape, characterize the homeless encampments. She did point out that trash is piled up in mountains. It takes up a lot of staff time, Ms. Jones lamented. The cold-blooded elimination of the winter-shelter will swell the camps and cause new ones to emerge but under the city's comprehensive and meticulous management Ms. Marie Jones will personally see to the destruction of camps as she has personally crafted the policy that has caused their occurrence.
It was all necessary to get the $35,000 from the county, or that was the totally irrational conclusion anyway. The Council nodded sagely in the pretense that the Marbut report was a foundational document of governance, something like the Declaration of Independence, but local.
Actually, it's just an excuse.
by Mark Scaramella
THERE’S VERY LITTLE of interest on the Supervisors agenda for next Tuesday. It seems that the more we pay them, the less they meet, the dumber the agenda, although their production is the same meeting or no meeting.
There are several minor but conspicuous errors on the announced agenda which leads us to conclude that nobody’s paying much attention to what the Board is doing.
For example the long delayed 2017 Crop report cover sheet still says “Department of Agriculture, Diane Curry, Assistant Agricultural Commissioner /Assistant Sealer of Weights & Measures.”
Ms. Curry may have had something to do with the report since it supposedly covers 2017, but she was summarily fired in March of 2018 despite her many years of service. Her mortal sin seems to have been her candid account of the County's preposterously difficult marijuana licensing process. But Ms. Curry's contribution should be explained to the extent it exists. The Crop Report’s cover letter is signed by the current Ag Commissioner, Harindar Grewal, so his name should be on the title page. Minor discrepancy? Perhaps, but certainly one more indication of lax oversight.
The Crop Report again this year has no mention of the cannabis program even though pot is now semi-legal and the permit program is underway, sort of, and assigned to the Ag Department. The Crop Report’s cover sheet even lists “Chevon Holmes,” the Cannabis Program coordinator, but nothing about pot can be found among the other crop volume and economic info. And no explanation about why the pot stats are again excluded.
The Crop Report also lists “Ray Hall” as a “seasonal inspector.” Hall is Mendo’s retired Planning Director, back again at the public trough with a nice little post-retirement make-work bump up for his retirement. Ray Hall’s long-time tenure as Planning Director was synonymous with gross incompetence, in one indicative episode managing to lose the entire Anderson Valley General Plan amendment input in his seldom visited in-basket.
As we noted in 2016:
"From 2014 court depositions of planning staffers submitted by Legal Services attorney Lisa Hillegas the deposition of Ray Hall’s lead planner Pam Townsend: “[Hall] didn't review code amendments in a timely manner because I'd written code amendments after the 1993 Housing element was adopted and they never got out of his 'in' box even though I asked him a couple of times.
"Hall’s in-box must be the size of Anton Stadium to accommodate all the un-acted upon County business in it. Maybe that’s where Anderson Valley’s “community input” to the General Plan disappeared.
"Townsend said many of her proposed code amendments 'never went anywhere' because of Hall's failure to review it. “Ray wasn't always good with wanting to do a lot of inter division and department coordination,” the diplomatic Townsend said.
"Asked why she thought Hall didn't review her work, Townsend explained, 'I think it was, I guess, you know, not a high priority… Maybe it was too overwhelming to him…'"
Maybe Hall didn’t care because he was unexamined by the Supervisors for so many years his only priority for all the years he’d occupied the office has been to get out with his pension intact.
* * *
ALSO OF MINOR NEGATIVE INTEREST is the Ag Department’s “Commissioner’s Report.”
The Commissioner’s “update” says, “The Cannabis Unit had its last scheduled satellite office for the month of November. November 20: Covelo, Public Library Community Room, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.”
The “update” reads like it was translated from Bulgarian. The Cannabis Unit says they “had its last scheduled office” in Covelo in November, as if that constitutes information of any kind. Nothing about what happened while they had the schediuled office.
THE AG COMMISSIONER includes this depressing chart about Cannabis permits:
The numbers, of course, make very little sense. The column entitled “past” isn’t dated so we don’t know what period is covered. Apparently, a few more suckers have paid the giant permit fees to qualify to be counted in the “in queue” or “under review” numbers. Somehow the “approved” permits went down by 4 and the total “issued + approved” went up by 1.
In previous Supes meetings Board members have asked several times for explanations about what the primary permit hold up is with no response. Supervisor McCowen has asked several times whether the problem is with the applicants, the state or the County (McCowen obviously hoped that the County would escape blame — maybe the numbers don’t support that); Ag Commissioner Grewal has replied several times that he’s working on getting that information. But here we are in December of 2018 and we still don’t have the slightest idea why so few permits have made it through to glory.
TUESDAY’S AGENDA included the proposed update of the County’s Master Fee Schedule which the Supes will blandly rubberstamp even though it has nothing about permit fees for fire victims.
And so it doesn't go.
BRUCE MCEWEN WRITES (re: new methods of storm forecasting): What these clever blokes have failed to consider is the potential silt from the Mendo-Complex fires, an unprecedented amount of silt, that is likely to come with the runoff, something they have no way of calculating with their awesome computer models; and if it’s true, as I’ve heard said, that the silt level in the lake is already extreme, then all I can say is I hereby requisition a life boat for the AVA’s Ukiah Bureau, just in case all that water goes over the top and erodes the earthen dam — like happened at Quail Creek Reservoir when I worked for a daily newspaper in southern Utah — it goes really fast!
WHAT NOW FOR UKIAH’S PALACE HOTEL?
Now that the receiver for the Palace Hotel has denied the owner an extension on the almost $1 million lien on the property and put it up for a foreclosure sale, the question is, what happens next?
When the building was for sale for $1 million during the past months no one wanted it.
In a foreclosure sale presumably there’s some floor the bids must meet, but everything up to around $600,000 is going straight to the receiver who has first legal dibs on any sale revenue.
The receiver says the building has potential for tax savings for a new owner in the form of historic and new market tax credits.
Nonetheless, the building comes with lots of expenses and its potential remains questionable.
There are a lot of lessons to be learned in the Palace Hotel story. First, the city should have acted years ago to put the building in receivership. The latest city council, elected in part on promises to deal with the hotel, finally did the right thing. And it still took another three years to get to this moment.
What we worry about now, is that someone will come along with a lowball bid, get ownership of the building and let it sit another 20 years. (Heaven help us if it’s someone representing the current owner.)
We think this experience should motivate a conversation in the city about empty commercial buildings. The city has an ordinance which deals with blighted buildings, but as long as an owner keeps an empty building in reasonable condition, the owner can leave a building vacant indefinitely. We would argue that the Palace has not been in anything like a reasonable condition for 20 years, and previous city councils kept threatening to “do something” about it and never did.
We like the avenue that the City of Willits has taken on empty commercial spaces. Beyond the same kinds of ordinances about health and safety and preventing blight, Willits has added a required registration of all buildings that have been empty for 90 days or more. The owners must register the building and pay an annual fee to the city for the costs of building inspectors and other city staff who have to make sure the empty property isn’t becoming blighted or unsafe. Out of town owners of empty buildings must have a local agent who the city can deal with. (The old Ukiah post office is a good example of another Palace Hotel coming down the road with out of town owners who don’t seem to care.)
It doesn’t necessarily mean the city’s commercial properties are always occupied, but it gives the owners a reason to try to find renters rather than let the building sit. If it begins to cost money to keep a vacant building, more owners might either make more effort to find renters, or sell the property to someone who wants to use it.
And a registration system would mean the city is always on top of which commercial properties are empty and who owns them. That would also give the city’s economic development team something to do – help commercial property owners find tenants and make sure the city is always on top of the comings and goings of local businesses.
(K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
* * *
OAKLAND VOTERS TO DECIDE ON TAXING OWNERS OF VACANT PROPERTIES
by Farida Romero (KQED, Sep. 1, 2018)
Oakland voters could approve the state’s first tax on privately-owned vacant properties in November. The city estimates the tax could raise as much as $10 million annually for homeless services, blight remediation and to stem illegal dumping. Tax revenue would also go toward new affordable housing.
Owners of properties in use fewer than 50 days per year would be taxed as much as $6,000 per parcel annually, if two-thirds of voters approve the measure in November.
Two weeks after the Oakland City Council voted 6-2 to place the tax on the ballot, officials in the neighboring city of Richmond greenlighted a similar proposal.
Owners of vacant properties would pay the same amount of additional tax, regardless of the size or worth of their property. Under California law, cities cannot legally tie a parcel tax to market values.
Critics worry the tax could disproportionately hurt small landowners, pushing some to sell their property to investors that can pay Oakland’s skyrocketing market values. But proponents praise the tax as a creative incentive to transform thousands of vacant lots and buildings into homes or businesses, and at the same time decrease blight.
“We are looking not only to get rid of the trash, the weeds, the types of problems you might see, but also to encourage people to do something that would be of benefit to the community,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who authored the measure.
In just two years, the city’s homeless population increased by 25 percent to nearly 2,800 people, according to the most recent survey of Alameda County. But some homeless advocates say that’s a severe undercount because many people who are couch surfing or sleeping in cars were not included.
Property Owner Sees Benefits, but Objects to Tax
Oakland resident Francisco Acosta agrees with the goal of encouraging more productive uses for vacant properties.
The father of three said an empty parcel next to his home attracts trash and drug use. A gunfight in the lot once sent a stray bullet through a bedroom in his house, he said.
But Acosta, who also owns a lot labeled as vacant by the county assessor’s office, doubted the tax would encourage him to build the duplex he previously planned for his land. He was dismayed after learning city permits would cost about $35,000 and take a year to process.
“It doesn't make sense to just try to penalize people with taxes for not having something built on their lot when they are making it difficult for everybody to build something,” said Acosta, who is growing potatoes, bell peppers and other vegetables on the plot instead.
He might not be subject to the tax if the city defines gardening as an active use of property. But Acosta contemplated that if he is faced with a new $6,000 tax assessment each year, he would likely sell.
“It’d be too much money to pay,” he said. “The tax will pressure people into selling or building, but most likely selling for those who don’t have time, money and energy to deal with the tax.”
Building new housing in Oakland is an expensive proposition. While construction costs can vary significantly based on the size and amenities of a project, the city estimates 1,000 square feet of new construction costs about $200,000.
Permitting fees for a three-bedroom home can total more than $25,000, according to Oakland’s planning and building department.
Councilwoman Kaplan said she understands small property owners face barriers to build housing the city desperately needs. Her tax measure would give them financial assistance to design and construct affordable units.
Nonprofits and low-income owners would be exempt from the tax, as well as others who can prove financial hardship.
Kaplan suspects the majority of vacant properties are being held by owners as a speculative investment in Oakland’s hot real estate market.
“People who may not have the connection and the motivation to do something with them, and especially a lot of big corporate speculators,” Kaplan said. “And so the vacant property tax will help us keep track of who owns them, what they're doing with them.”
Measure Lacks Clarity, Critics Say
About 4,400 bare lots could be subject to the tax plus an unknown number of vacant residential, commercial and industrial buildings, according to a report by Katano Kasaine, Oakland’s finance director.
Critics decried that lack of clarity, arguing it’s unfair to ask voters to decide on the tax in November.
“It’d be great to have a list first before you went about taxing people on it,” said Kiran Shenoy, government affairs director for the Oakland Berkeley Association of Realtors. “We don’t know whether or not this is going to end up disenfranchising a lot of small Oakland property owners.”
He stressed that although the measure has several exemptions, it will be up to the landowners to prove they qualify.
A recent study by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley found most vacant parcels in the city are small, fit for a single family house or duplex.
Author Hayley Raetz dug through county data that suggests 57 percent of vacant land owners in the city only hold one parcel. But she cautions that percentage is likely overblown in part because owners can create individual LLCs or limited liability companies for each property they buy.
“That's where it gets tricky unfortunately. Sometimes you see lots that have owners with different first names and the same last name. But it's hard to tell if that's a family or if it's just a common last name,” Raetz said.
Implementing Tax Measure Will Be Key
Land use experts and others following the debate said that while they support the concept of the tax, much of the proposal’s effectiveness depends on how the city would put it into action.
“We do have some concerns about how it will be implemented, starting with the definition of what constitutes vacancy,” said Sarah Karlinsky, senior policy adviser at SPUR, a think tank focused on urban planning in the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization sent a letter to city leaders recommending they clarify that definition.
A parcel that hosts a farmers market once a week would be considered active, said Councilwoman Kaplan. But Karlinsky said enforcement even in that scenario could prove difficult.
“Monitoring that from the public sector side is really tough,” she said. “Like, are they going to send people out every week to make sure Joe had his farmers market?”
Proponents for the tax point to other cities that have tried taxing empty homes and blighted properties, such as Vancouver, British Columbia and Washington, D.C. as examples of efforts to make land more productive while funding city services.
“I think this vacant property tax is brilliant,” said Paula Hawthorn, adding that she is tired of walking by abandoned-looking storefronts near her Oakland home. “It’s a good way to stop people from holding on to their property for speculation.”
For James Vann, a retired architect who pushed for the tax, the exemptions in Oakland’s measure, and the city’s promise to work out the details, are enough to move forward.
The tax would be in place no sooner than 2020, giving the city time to ramp up the effort and create a registry of properties.
Vann believes the measure, which would expire in 20 years, represents an opportunity to fund homeless services the city is struggling to afford.
“There’s just no money there in the budget,” said Vann, a member of the Homeless Advocacy Working Group. “The homelessness problem is one that we are facing now, that is critical. We can’t wait.”
* * *
ED NOTE: Measure W passed with about 70% of the vote.
THE SMART BOONDOGGLE
Finally, someone willing to speak out against the politically correct notion that the SMART train is a sound transportation investment for Sonoma County taxpayers.
Rarely has there been a light-rail system in recent memory that has been financially self-sustaining and, despite The Press Democrat’s continual pandering to the environmental elites who support these financial boondoggles, SMART is proving itself no different.
It is absolutely galling to sit at a crossing and watch one of those 34 daily runs lumber by with most of the seats empty. No wonder the per-train ridership is such a closely guarded secret. To publicize how empty most of these trains are would be political suicide for SMART.
SMART will be a financial boat anchor for taxpayers for the foreseeable future. Wake up, Sonoma County, and stop voting for these feel-good public transit rip-offs.
INSTALL THEM NOW
Nearly two years ago, the City of Ukiah entered into an agreement with Tesla for the installation of eight charging stations. After lengthy discussion, it was agreed that Tesla would supply the City with universal charging stations for the City to install at their own expense. As yet, even though a couple of budget years have passed, the City hasn’t funded installing these charging stations.
There are an ever increasing number of EV or EV/HV vehicles on the road and it is time for the City to take that into account. They have passed a resolution to re-install parking meters downtown, and I understand these are going to be electronic so that you can bill the parking to your debit/credit card. With the installation of these, it is time for the City to install the long overdue charging stations.
It would be beneficial if both sides of each block where the new parking meters are being installed were to get two spaces dedicated to EV charging, being paid for the same way, as is done at the Santa Rosa airport. With fast chargers, cars would be fully charged by the time the parking time limit runs out.
The City wants people to come down town to shop. This would be a benefit to draw the ever increasing EV crowd down town.
Robert C. Kiggins
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 2, 2018
ORIN ALFORD, Yreka/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
WILLIAM BARRY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
VADE BRADLEY, Little River. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
MICHAEL CROFT III, Philo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
DANIEL DICKEY, Palos Verdes/Albion. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
KENNETH EATON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, bicycle riding under the influence (RUI).
BRYAN FLINT, Fort Bragg. Community supervision violation.
JOSHUA GUEVARA, Talmage. Probation revocation.
JERRY HAMILTON III, Willits. Toluene, parole violation.
ANTHONY MCCOY, Ukiah. DUI, no license, suspended license (for DUI).
ADRIAN MCWHINNEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SHANE MILLER JR., Ukiah. Probation revocation, resisting.
JERRY MOYLES, Manchester. DUI, resisting.
RHONDA OCEGUERA, Redwood Valley. DUI.
ALFREDO PACHECO-COLON, Santa Rosa/Willits. DUI.
TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
CONSTANCE PRICKETT, Calpella. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
CLIFTON THOMPSON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ANDREA WRIGHT, Ukiah. Disobeying court order, failure to appear.
MADE FOR HOLLYWOOD — ‘Rub-a-dub-dub, Marin Yacht Club’
by Edmond McGill
Forrest Tucker, the principal character in what Robert Redford has announced is his final film, “The Old Man & the Gun,” was a reluctant resident of Marin County almost 40 years ago.
Tucker, unlike so many of us in this beautiful county, was not happy to be here. He didn’t like his small cell at San Quentin State Prison, so he and two other convicts made a plan to relocate. The three convicts pilfered materials from the warehouse next to the bayside loading dock at San Quentin and, from a design made by Tucker, fabricated parts for a boat. At the end of each prison work day, the convicts hid the finished boat parts in the warehouse until, at last, all of the parts were complete.
It was 1979. The day was chosen and the boat’s prefabricated parts were hastily but skillfully assembled by the convicts. All that remained was to christen the craft before launching. A stencil was made, some paint was found and emblazoned on the craft’s bow were the words, “Rub-a-dub-dub, Marin Yacht Club.”
With great stealth, the boat was carried from the warehouse and launched into the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay. Frantic rowing brought the boat within view of Guard Tower No. 3, where an officer considered calling the Coast Guard to render aid to a pleasure craft that appeared to be in trouble.
As the convict sailors maneuvered toward the shore, other correctional officers offered aid. “Thanks,” called out convict John Waller, who was in the water pulling the boat toward the shore. Looking at his bare wrist, Waller shouted to the helpful officers, “It’s OK, my Timex is still ticking.”
The convict sailors beached the boat, scattered to the winds and, when the evening inmate count was made at “Bastille by the Bay,” the number was down by three. Before long, the boat, the stencil, the cans of spray paint were all found. The helpful correctional officers who hailed the craft from the shoreline and from Tower No. 3 were interviewed. Later there would be stern reviews concerning the supervision of convicts working at the warehouse.
In the years just before the Rub-a-dub-dub Escape, as it came to be known, Marin County had experienced bloody San Quentin escape attempts that left correctional officers, convicts and even a respected Marin County judge dead. But here was something different; not a bloody attempt, but rather a non-violent, ingenious and, to all but the warden, hilarious successful escape.
After some time at liberty, Waller and inmate William McGirk, but not Tucker, were captured and brought to trial in Marin Superior Court for the crime of prison escape, a crime, for which it is said, there is no defense.
Those called to jury service were unusually eager to serve and, after the case was presented to 12 good citizens of our county, the jury just could not reach a verdict. The jurors could not unanimously decide that Waller and McGirk had really escaped from the prison. The case was tried a second time, and for a second time 12 citizens could not reach a verdict. Once again, it was a hung jury, a mistrial.
The district attorney decided not to try the case a third time. The case was dismissed and the convicts returned to San Quentin to finish their original sentences.
Reasonable minds might wonder how the Rub-a-dub-dub sailors escaped conviction of a crime for which there is no defense. Reflecting on this might tell us a bit about ourselves and about the wonders of a system of justice that is not so inflexible to be without a good sense of humor.
There ought to be a movie.
(Edmond McGill, of Novato, is an attorney who has practiced law in Marin County for more than 40 years. He represented convict sailor John Waller in the two prison escape trials.)
AT LAST HOPE FOR MEXICO: AMLO
Mexico's First Leftist President In Seven Decades Vows To See Off 'Rapacious' Elite As He Is Sworn In At Inauguration Ceremony In Front Of Tens Of Thousands
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, 65, vowed to profoundly transform Latin America's second-biggest economy and to end corruption in the government at the ceremony in Mexico City.
'The government will no longer be a committee at the service of a rapacious minority,' said the new president. Nor would the government be a 'simple facilitator of pillaging, as it has been.'
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
When Trump began his campaign, I didn’t know much about him. After watching him campaign for the nomination, and listening to his crude and demeaning remarks about the other Republicans, I began thinking he was a no class guy. As time went by, and he became president, I saw that he never pretended to be anything else. I thought “W” was an embarrassment for the country, but I’ve never seen anything like Trump in my life. The fact that a man like this was able to become president absolutely floors me. I agree that the government is hopelessly corrupted, but that doesn’t mean that Trump isn’t as well. I swear that he could get caught buried to the hilt in the backside of a sheep, and there would still be people who would defend him. Like I said, I had nothing against him when this all began, but just seeing his behavior and listening to what he says and does, scares the hell out of me. I have to agree about the prospects for the collapse of this country, and like I’ve said before, I fear for the future. Democracy is more fragile than people think. There has been a lot more totalitarianism throughout history than there have been Democracies. Just because because we have lived in a period of history where there have been more of them, doesn’t mean that they or we will endure.
THE CLIMATE REALITY SLIDE SHOW
Doug Nunn will present his Climate Reality Slide Show, which graphically illustrates why and how our environment is heating up and what we can do about it, at the Albion School on Thursday, December 13th, at 6:30pm. The public is invited to this free, one-hour presentation which will be followed by questions from the audience.
The Nobel Peace Prize 2007 was awarded jointly to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." Part of Gore’s work led him to found the Climate Reality Project, an organization which has trained more than 17,000 presenter/educators, all with the goal of educating the public about the dangers of human caused climate change and the measures we need to take to overcome it.
In late August Albion resident Doug Nunn joined over 2200 Climate Reality trainees at the Los Angeles Convention Center where Al Gore and a group of educators, scientists, and political figures worked to pass on their knowledge, scientific training and passion. Nunn is now working to educate citizen groups on the realities of Climate Change and the work we need to do to begin the process of overcoming the damage being done. This December 13th presentation is a part of Doug’s effort to address community groups, school classrooms, and interested citizens over the next many months.
The main questions Gore posits in The Climate Reality Project slide show are “Must we change?”, “Can we change?”, and “Will we change?” Initially the presentation explains how the atmosphere works, how we have polluted it since the Industrial Revolution and the resultant rapid changes in climate during the past 40 years. Evidence of increasing climactic disruptions like weather fluctuations, floods, droughts and wildfires are explored. In the “can we change?” portion of the slide show, market increases in solar and wind power and decreases in the percentage of fossil fuels used are presented. Climate Change denial and its preponderance in the US is explored as are political solutions. We also discuss things citizens can do to influence the future of this debate.
Doug Nunn is a comic/improviser and recently retired teacher who has been an activist/environmentalist since his time at UC Berkeley in the early 1970s. Nunn has worked as a cook, truck driver, construction worker, warehouseman, actor/improviser and school teacher. He co-taught the inspiring Eco-Literacy class of Mendocino’s SONAR (School of Natural Resources) from 2008-17, as well as Drama, History, and Continuation School at Mendocino High School from 2001-17. (Nunn also coaches the Improv Club.) Doug has been doing improv theatre since 1980 and has coached improvisational theatre since the late ’80s. He has worked with actors and drama students in the western US and Europe, most extensively in Germany and Britain. Nunn has produced improv and comedy shows from Mendocino to LA to London and has worked in cartoons as an animator on the “Simpsons” film (2007) and as a scriptwriter; his cartoon “Copzilla” was an award-winner in the 1998 World Animation Festival. He has been a member of Hit and Run Theater since 1979 and worked as one half of the comedy team, Burns (Tracy) and Nunn from 1985-92. Along with Marshall Brown and Ken Krauss, Doug recently launched the podcast “SnapSessions!”, dedicated to interviews with artists as well as political and cultural commentaries. He is delighted to be involved with the Climate Reality Project.
WHERE WAS GEO. H.W., BUSH on November 22, 1963?
“He was in Dallas. From Family of Secrets by Russ Baker:
George H. W. Bush may be one of the few Americans of his generation who cannot recall exactly where he was when John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
At times he has said that he was “somewhere in Texas.” Bush was indeed “somewhere” in Texas. And he had every reason to remember. At the time Bush was the thirty-nine-year-old chairman of the Harris County (Houston) Republican Party and an outspoken critic of the president. He was also actively campaigning for a seat in the U.S. Senate at exactly the time Kennedy was assassinated right in Bush’s own state.
The story behind Bush’s apparent evasiveness is complicated. Yet it is crucial to an understanding not just of the Bush family, but also of a tragic chapter in the nation’s history...”
Rob Anderson's comment:
Of course Bush remembered where he was that day. He was in Dallas. Why lie about it? Because he would then have to explain exactly what he was doing there, which is the subject of Baker's book.
SACRAMENTO DELTA WATER AND FISH SOLD OUT BY SENATOR FEINSTEIN, GOV. BROWN
by Bob Morris
California’s biggest water problem has always been too many people, too much agriculture, and too little water to supply everyone. Ground Zero for this is the Sacramento Delta. Send too much water south and fish and fishing in the Delta suffer. Send too little water and Central Valley agriculture and southern California may have water shortages. There is no easy answer here. Allocating water for one area means other areas gets less water.
The big news is Sen. Feinstein, House Majority Speaker McCarthy, and outgoing Governor Brown are supporting extension of a federal law to send more water south. The extension would need to be passed this month and is designed, at least in part, to block the State Water Resources Control Board from keeping more water in the Delta.
Yes, it’s convoluted. And environmentalists oppose it.
The WIIN Act also gives the federal government’s Central Valley Project and the State Water Project more operational flexibility to increase water deliveries at certain times of year to the south state through the massive pumps in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, leaving less water in the system for Chinook salmon and other endangered species.
The ability to pump more water has become a key demand of local water agencies that are in the midst of trying to negotiate a water flow agreement for the lower San Joaquin River watershed.
Doug Obegi, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the outgoing Democratic governor is cooperating with the Republicans in an effort to keep the Trump administration from backing away from his controversial Delta tunnels proposal. “This appears to be a quid pro quo where the governor trades away our salmon and thousands of fishing jobs for his stupid Delta tunnels,” Obegi said.
Mendocino Coast Humane Society
at the Mendocino Hotel
Thursday, December 13th 6pm thru 9pm
15% of sales will be donated (helping our furry four-legged friends)
Stop by or call our Front Desk for reservations!
ON-LINE WINE EXCHANGE
P: Image: Fat rednecks at the zoo feeding salted buttered popcorn to the gorillas.
E: Night Train.
Where’s it found?
All around town.
How’s it sold?
Good and cold.
What’s the price?
A dollar twice!
C: Because Night Train doesn’t come from a winery.
P: “The industry’s stereotype, Faustin said, is one of status and racial homogeneity. Photographs in wine publications feature expensive tasting rooms and white families touting well-bred pedigrees. But more African Americans and other minorities are increasingly making and drinking fine wine, and wine-tasting clubs for African Americans have proliferated. Experts say the shift comes with its challenges.”
E: How come you will never see Bill Cosby wine tasting at a winery ?
P: How come you never see a gang of Hell’s Angels wine tasting at a winery?
E: How come you never see Bedouins, or escaped prison convicts on the run, wine tasting at a winery?
P: How come you never see black people, or Native Americans, wine tasting at a winery?
MIND WATCHING ON OAHU
Warmest spiritual greetings to everyone, We have just concluded the Saturday evening BBQ at the Plumeria alternative hostel in Honolulu, with winter visitors arriving steadily, plus tonight's comfortably cool Pacific trade winds. Over at Waikiki Beach there are hula dancers performing on a stage next to a huge decorated Christmas tree with a crown of native flowers at the top, ukulele players at the base, and an international crowd singing the choruses in Hawaiian.
I am in my room with my onyx beads watching the mind. I am sitting on the bed watching thoughts arise and dissipate. And that's all!
Please know that I will no longer be sending out networking emails, for the purpose of getting a situation for more peace and justice and radical environmental activist participation. I mean, I am receiving nothing in the way of offers. There is apparently no group housing in the Washington, D.C. region available to me. There is nothing for me to do anywhere right now. And it feels strange to continue sending out networking messages which do not result in anything at all. So, in spite of the fact that I feel that I ought to be doing something of a radical nature somewhere, (and in spite of a rising sense of bafflement about all of this), I am going to stop being attached to the contemporary socio-political spectacle altogether, because detachment will eliminate the greater misery of being associated with it absurdly.
I will henceforth exclusively watch the mind, witnessing thoughts as they arise and dissipate. Thank you very much for your kind attention.
Craig Louis Stehr