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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

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Since I spent a good portion of my life correcting math papers I can't let your error pass. In the Valley People section of the December 12th paper, while engaged in your usual rant about KZYX, you pointed out that the general manager's salary is around $60,000 a year and "there's one sixth of the annual $600,000 budget." Please stand corrected that it is one tenth of the annual budget. A hundred grand would be one sixth.

I also read with interest the idea of a "local Village" and elderly people joining forces to support each other. This seems like a wonderful idea and is already being done in our local churches. I also thought it might be interesting to share how a foreign country deals with their elderly. My wife is German and lost her father a couple of years ago. The focus of the German approach is to keep elderly people in their homes. They are evaluated and placed in levels of need that determines how much assistance they get from trained health professionals that visit them in their homes to assist them with their daily chores. The elderly get to stay at home and this is much less expensive than residential or hospital treatment. The German single payer system covers everyone at half the cost per person.

In addition, I would like to recommend reading the Blue Zone books by Dan Buetner. National Geographic paid for Buetner's research in finding and studying five different communities around the world whose citizens live longer and more active lives. Not only do they live an average of ten years longer than we do, but they are active into their old age much longer. Instead of a slow decline in health and physical mobility, they maintain their normal lives to an older age, and then pass quickly. In general, their lifestyles provide them with about 20 more years of quality living. The cross-cultural study has isolated nine components that are shared by the communities and play a role in their longevity. A greater awareness of these nine components will enhance a person's life.

Don Cruser

Little River

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(Photos by Judy Valadao)

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by David Wilson

This one is for the firefighters of California. Often risking their lives to save the lives and property of others, they have always been some of the truest of heroes. In these new times of reduced precipitation and increased fuel, their jobs are becoming more and more difficult and dangerous. They are on my mind as we close out the worst fire year in California’s history.

On the news we see the mega fires and the large-scale efforts to contain them. It’s easy to forget the numerous small-time volunteer fire companies that dot the rural landscape, but in many cases they serve as the first line of defense against forest fires. Their vigilance often stops a fire before it can spread to wider areas.

In honor of the firefighters, this week’s Night Light falls upon an old fire truck still in the service of one of the many rural volunteer fire companies out in our hills. She has certainly seen a sight of times, I thought as she stood in patient silence while I photographed her that night.

(To see previous entries of “Night Light of the North Coast,” click on my name above the article. If you’d like to keep abreast of my most current photography or peer into its past, you can follow me on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx . I update my website less frequently, but you can contact me there.)

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Ending 2018 on a High Note?

Was the year 2018 a good one for Mendocino County cannabis cultivators? Will 2019 bring positive outcomes for cultivators, producers and the county’s economy? One upcoming change Cannabis Hour host Jane Futcher will announce is that in February 2019 she’s turning the show over to permitted cultivator Jenn Procacci of Covelo. Cannabis activist Corinne Powell of Ukiah will join Jane and Jenn for the year-end review and 2019 forecast. That’s Thursday, December 27 at 11 a.m. on KZYX.

L to R: Corinne Powell, Jenn Procacci, Jane Futcher

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WORD OF MOUTH is a nicely produced quarterly by Holly Madrigal of Willits and Torrey Douglas of Boonville that celebrates all aspects of Mendocino County’s food, from eating out to farm production. Issue 10 is available free at many food and drink venues around the county. I picked up mine at Boont Berry Farm, and found much of interest in it, from a feature story on Schat’s Bakery to Dick’s Place, “Mendocino’s Oldest Watering Place.”

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IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A HOLIDAY GIFT, the Yorkville Market has a wide selection of local handmade products, one item of which I bought for its uniqueness for a family member. I’m probably not alone in doing all my Christmas shopping right here in Boonville, Mendocino County’s most happening community.

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(Photos by Dick Whetstone)

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THE JURY COMMISSIONER – and it’s hard to believe most AVA readers have not already met her, professionally, shall we say, having been summoned to jury duty, you report directly to her — is Kim Walker. And while she’s new – only a year or so, if I’m not mistaken, on the job – she’s so adroit at it in such a short time, and you can hardly grasp the scope of what she has to do to entertain – there’s no other word for it – huge crowds of disgruntled voters, summoned out of their private lives to do “the public good” they grumble, grumble, grumble, “for some damn fool knucklehead that needs to get a life.” I say entertaining is what Ms. Walker does because any other approach to such recalcitrant audiences could lead to revolt, riot and mutiny. She must have obtained her training at Lucifer’s Own Complaint Department, because she answers the most poisonous insinuations with the sweetest anecdotes, neutralizes acidic remarks with polished manners, and far from having an I’ve-heard-it-all attitude, she listens carefully as each would-be truant finds fault with the system, blames her either openly or privately for the inconvenience, and recites a novel need to be excused – then Ms. Walker snaps her lion tamer’s whip and sits all the big snarling cats up to wait, with a promise they can tell it to the judge, all in good time. In the meantime (sometimes as long as a few days) Ms. Walker has to keep them entertained: And so ladies and gentlemen of the jury pool, we hereby present Ms. Walker with this full-bust Lion Trophy, an alpha male specimen, just back from the taxidermist, suitable for display on a styrofoam pedestal in the foyer of this remarkable woman’s office.

— Bruce McEwen

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Photo by Harvey Reading

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BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS claim that ATMs increase "customer convenience," but in reality they cut costs for banks. By placing ATM's allover the place, especially in tourist-oriented gastro-ghettos like the neo-Healdsburgian Anderson Valley, ATM networks help banks reduce human employees by replacing them with technology. Because almost all their traditional bank services can be done by these machines, banks view ATM's as both a cost cutter and a way to expand themselves via their ATM customers who are charged mightily for each transaction. Viewed as an amenity for tourists, a selling point negated by the fact that most tourists arrive armed with credit cards, ATM's are fast being made obsolete by cell phone tech. Most of us, I daresay, can do just fine without them.

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HARVEY READING DISAGREES: “I have used ATMs since the early 80s when I got my first one, and I like them. I hardly ever go inside the bank. I always hated bank teller lines. And I have NEVER been charged a fee for any ATM transaction that I have made.

The assertion that banks save money with ATMs is probably true. So what? I save time and gain convenience with them, counter to the argument made in the short piece.

As to the assertion that ATMs serve only a few, I disagree. Where I live, the ATM at my bank is used constantly. Not everyone has a smart phone, and, just how does one make a deposit with a radiotelephonecameracomputer anyway?

My only real complaint (other than difficulty seeing the LCD screen in bright light) with the ATM at the local bank branch is that it is a drive-up affair, and the device sits at monster-truck height. If I drive up in my old Probe, I have to park just short of the device, get out, and make my transaction while standing, which isn’t a that much of a problem for me.

The last time I entered the local branch of the bank I use was a couple of months ago to get a document notarized. There were no lines of customers awaiting tellers, none at all.

ATMs have been, and are, great for me.”

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THIS SENTENCE from the Press Democrat: "A customer halted a holdup at a Subway sandwich shop in Ukiah on Wednesday night, shooting a man accused of attempting to rob the restaurant at gunpoint, authorities said."

THE "AUTHORITIES" might have said that, but what exactly happened is still being sorted out. Another version says the armed customer, still unnamed, shot the unnamed robber three times in the buttocks as the robber fled. The bandit, age 20 according to the Ukiah PD, carried a replica handgun. He was helicoptered outtahere for treatment. His wounds were described as serious but not life-threatening.

THE SHOOTER, who we understand is a firefighter, has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, which lots of County residents possess, although most counties issue concealed carries only to people regularly carrying large sums of money or otherwise have a valid reason to go about their business armed.

THE MIGHTY AVA AGREES with Chuck Dunbar, who wrote: "That Ukiah Subway robbery where an armed citizen shot the robber…. This one nags at me so I’ll say this:

"Maybe there is more to be revealed about this event that would make me see things differently, but with the details given, I hope the shooter is charged with a serious crime. This is the very circumstance that makes me cringe about folks carrying guns around in public, many of whom lack the sense, judgment and training to safely intervene in such events. Was this a safe or necessary intervention? Doesn’t seem so, with the given facts. The burglar’s got his money, he’s leaving the premises with his gun that turns out to be a BB gun that looks like the real thing. The guy with the concealed carry permit shoots him 3 times in the butt. Self defense, protecting others? Doesn’t sound like it. Did the dumbass burglar deserve to be arrested and jailed? Sure. Did he deserve to be shot and seriously injured, at risk for being disabled or killed? No way. Protect us all from such interventions. Once in awhile they may go well, but the risk of harm to bystanders or even the criminals themselves is very high. There are way too many guns out there, way too many folks who use them stupidly, as this guy did."

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MEANWHILE, in the great world beyond the treeless desolation of the Pear Tree Shopping Center, the number of gun deaths in the U.S. in 2017 climbed to almost 40,000 people. The numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 39,773 people lost their lives after being shot or shooting themselves in 2017. That represents a total of 12 deaths per 100,000 people — up from 10.1 in 2010 and the highest rate of gun deaths since 1996. According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that compares with rates of 0.2 gun deaths per 100,000 people in Japan, 0.3 in the U.K., 0.9 in Germany, and 2.1 in Canada. Suicide is by far the greatest killer, accounting for about 60 percent of all gun deaths. Almost 24,000 people, or 6.9 per 100,000, killed themselves with a gun in 2014 — that's up from 6.1 in 2010 and 5.9 in 2000.

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THE SUPES will “honor” Clerk-Recorder-Assessor, Sue Ranochak at their Tuesday meeting this week:

“Proclamation Of The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors Honoring Susan Ranochak For Her Years Of Service As Assessor/Clerk-Recorder For The County Of Mendocino.”

The only comment to be made here is that the claim that “under Sue’s guidance, Mendocino County improved the ballot counting process, including improvements associated with posting results on the Assessor/Clerk- Recorder Department's website within moments…” flies in the face of anyone who follows local elections. Ranochak’s steadfast refusal to take even modest steps to speed up the vote counting or to re-institute at least some of the precinct polling stations after they were forcibly closed by former Clerk Marsha Wharff was an embarrassment to the County, with final results always dragging out for weeks after the election, sometimes leading to unnecessarily annoying reversals in initial outcomes. All other neighboring counties do a much better job at counting and posting election results. We know that Supervisors Gjerde and McCowen have publicly complained about Ranochak’s sludge-like vote counting even after their attempts to offer more money to hire some temps to speed up the count. Will they sign off on a proclamation that directly contradicts their experience?

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NATCH, HAMBURG’S DISAPPEARANCE will not prevent his colleagues from honoring him with one of their fantasy proclamations: “Proclamation Of The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors Honoring Supervisor DanHamburg For His Years Of Service On The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors And His Service To The County Of Mendocino.” Which is standing Hamburg’s opportunistic record exactly on its head.

TO TAKE ONE OF THE HAMBURG WHEREAS’s, “in 1992, Dan was elected to the US House of Representatives as California’s First Congressional District Representative; and while in Congress, authorized the Headwaters Forest Act, a bill that passed the House overwhelmingly; worked for single-payer health care, cuts in military spending equal rights for the GBLT community, rail transportation, and salmon restoration….”

IN FACT, Senator Feinstein steered about three quarters of a billion public dollars to Charles Hurwitz, the owner of Pacific Lumber. Hurwitz is a friend and occasional business partner of Feinstein’s husband. Hamburg, other than expressing what a swell deal it was, was a non-factor in the negotiations, and was not a participant in any of the environmental struggles of the 80s and 90s. Single payer remains in the distant future, gay rights was achieved by others, rail transportation, like the salmon, has disappeared.

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THE SUPERVISORS might be taken a little more seriously if they only issued proclamations to people and organizations who deserve special recognition. Supervisor Hamburg is the most egregiously undeserving public official in recent County history, and if true accountability still existed, he would be stripped of his pension and given a quick boot in the arse as he departs public employment. But he'll get a rosy send off, count on it. Anyway, supervisory "honors" only exist in theory; in reality, at any one meeting, and on a well-attended day, maybe 30 people will tune them in. Because the supervisors operate mostly unobserved (except for the ava) only ava readers have any idea of how pathetically dysfunctional they've been lately. Will Ted Williams and John Haschak help restore credibility? Hard to say. Haschak seems stuck in Platitude Land and almost comically earnest. We'll soon find out how earnest he is. Williams hasn't said much that's relevant to his new position, but the new blood might unfreeze Gjerde from his cryonic state and embolden McCowen to again make the supervisors independent of the apparatus they allegedly supervise.

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MSP received a press release on the new DMV laws for 2019 Monday - and it sent us scrambling to Google to find out the definition of "nonbinary" that can appear on drivers licenses. Simply put, "A non-binary person is someone who does not identify as exclusively a man or a woman. Someone who is non-binary might feel like a mix of genders, or like they have no gender at all."


Anyway, here are the new laws for 2019 you should be aware of:

"Sacramento – With the New Year just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to inform the public about several new laws or changes to existing law that, unless otherwise noted, take effect January 1, 2019.

Temporary License Plate Program (AB 516, Mullin): This law requires licensed California dealers, of new and used vehicles to attach temporary paper license plates on a vehicle at the point of sale if that vehicle does not display license plates previously issued by the DMV. The temporary license plates contain a unique number and expiration date. No vehicle can be driven off the dealership lot without the temporary license plate affixed to it unless it already has issued plates. The intent of this new law is to reduce the number of toll violators and improve safety for law enforcement.

Gender Identity Female, Male, or Nonbinary (SB 179, Atkins): This law allows individuals applying for a California driver license or identification card to self-certify their chosen gender category of male, female or nonbinary in the application. Applicants who select nonbinary will receive a card with an 'X' in the gender category.

Driving Under the Influence – Ignition Interlock Device (SB 1046, Hill): From January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2026, this law mandates repeat offenders for driving under the influence (DUI) and first DUI offenders whose violations resulted in injury, to install an ignition interlock device (IID) for a period ranging from 12 to 48 months. This law also allows those who receive a suspension under the Administrative Per Se law to obtain an IID-restricted driving privilege, and receive credit toward their required IID restriction period if they are later convicted of a DUI. These provisions apply to DUI violations that involve alcohol or the combined use of alcohol and drugs. They do not apply to drug-only violations. Additionally, courts have the discretion to order a non-injury first DUI offender to install an IID for a period of up to 6 months. If the court does not order IID installation, a non-injury first offender may apply for a driver license for IID restrictions or restrictions that allow them to drive to, from, and during their employment and to and from a DUI treatment program for 12 months. Previously, an IID pilot program was only in effect in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties.

Smog Check Changes and New Abatement Fees (AB 1274, O’Donnell): This law expands the existing smog check exemption to vehicles that are up to eight model years old, up from the current exemption of six model years. During the additional two years of exemption, these vehicles will pay an annual $25 smog abatement fee. The current annual $20 smog abatement fee for the first six years of exemption remains unchanged.

Driving Privilege for Minors (AB 2685, Lackey): This law repeals a juvenile court’s authority to suspend, restrict or delay the issuance of a driver license of a habitual truant or ward of the state for up to one year. The law clarifies that any suspensions or delays reported prior to January 1, 2019, remain in effect.

Motorized Scooters, (AB 2989, Flora): Bicycle helmets are no longer required for riders of motorized scooters who are age 18 or older. It also amends existing law to prohibit a person from operating a motorized scooter on a highway with a speed limit greater than 25 miles per hour, unless it is within a Class IV bikeway as well as a Class II bikeway. However, it permits local authorities to authorize the operation of motorized scooters on roads with speed limits up to 35 miles per hour outside of a Class II or Class IV bikeway.

Unsafe, unsecured loads on vehicles (AB 1925, Choi): This law requires the DMV to include at least one question addressing laws pertaining to driving with an unsafe, unsecured load in at least 20 percent of the knowledge tests administered to driver license applicants. Unsecured loads, such as ladders, buckets and loose items in the back of pickup trucks, can be dangerous for motorists when they fall onto the road. Therefore, all vehicle loads must be covered or secured.


Green and White Clean Air Vehicle Valid Until January 1, 2019

High-Occupancy Vehicle Lanes(AB 544, Bloom): As previously announced, AB 544 created a new program to grantlow-emission vehicles and transitional zero-emission vehicles access to high-occupancyvehicle (HOV) lanes for an approximate four-year period, regardless of the vehicleoccupancy level. A green or white decal is valid until January 1, 2019 and vehiclesdisplaying these decals no longer have access to HOV lanes. Vehicles that were issueda green or white decal between January 1, 2017 and March 1, 2018 are eligible toapply for a red decal that grants them access to HOV lanes until January 1, 2022.The DMV notified these customers of their eligibility by mail. The DMV will issue light purple decals in 2019 that will grant access to HOV lanes until January 1, 2023. Decals are available to applicants who have not applied for or received aconsumer rebate pursuant to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, unless they meet annualincome requirements. For more information or to apply, visit DMV’s Clean Air VehicleDecals webpage. Visit the California Air Resources Board website for additional information on vehicle eligibility."

(via MendocinoSportsPlus)

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Suspicious Death, UPDATE

On November 28th a forensic odontologist was able to make a positive identification of the decedent in this case. The decedent was identified as the registered owner of the vehicle, 58 year old Edward Pinckney, of Eureka CA.  Family members, of the decedent, related that Edward had been exhibiting what was described as signs of mental health problems in the last few weeks of his life.  Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives re-interviewed an original witness.  It was previously thought that a suspect was "seen fleeing from the scene"  onto a private logging road.  The Detectives since clarified with the witness that no one was seen running down a logging road and the man, who's leg was on fire, was last seen behind the van where the witness lost sight of him.   Investigators now believe this man was actually the decedent and that he re-entered the van prior to his death.  The decedent's cause of death is still under investigation as there are forensics tests being completed, the results of which are not yet known.  However, investigators now believe homicide is no longer a likely scenario in this case.  Investigators do not believe the witness mislead investigators and has been cooperating fully in this investigation.


On November 24, 2018 around 1:13 PM a citizen reported a vehicle fire at mile marker 100 on North Highway 1, just south of the Town of Leggett.  The citizen reportedly saw an adult male, possibly in his 50's, wearing a white jump suit and heavy logging style boots fleeing the scene.  The witness indicated the man's legs appear to be on fire as he was last seen running onto a private gated logging road to the southeast of Highway 1.  Personnel from the California Highway Patrol, Leggett Valley Fire Department and Cal Fire personnel responded to the scene to extinguish the fire and discovered a deceased male inside the vehicle.  Emergency personnel saw what appeared to be numerous bullet holes in the side of the van and a gun was located on the ground nearby.  The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office initiated a criminal investigation into a possible homicide based upon witness statements and evidence located at the scene. The Mendocino County Inter-agency SWAT Team was requested to assist with a search of the nearby logging roads where the suspect was last seen.  A search of the area was conducted but the suspect was not located.  The suspect was described as a white male, in his 50's, approximately 6'00" tall, weighing approximately 180 pounds.  The suspect may have suffered burns to his legs, hands, and may have singed hair.  The burned vehicle, a 2004 White Ford Econoline Van (California Lic. #8Y79772), was registered to 58 year old Frank Pinckney, out of Eureka CA.  The vehicle is further described as being a utility van with a lift gate on the rear and a large mirror attached to the back door.  At this time Frank Pinckney is missing and family members are concerned for his well being.  A vehicle similar to the involved van is pictured below.  The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's assistance.  Anyone with information related to the suspect or anyone who might have seen Frank Pinckney or his vehicle in the past several days is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office Communications Center at 707-463-4086 or the Sheriff's Tip Line at 707-234-2100. 

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Frank Edward Pinckney

11/11/60 - 11/24/18 "Our memories will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone" Frank Pinckney, of Eureka, California, was taken from his family unexpectedly on November 24th, 2018. Frank was born on Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, on November 11th, 1960 and was raised in the United Kingdom (probably where all of his wicked British humor came from). At the age of 17 Frank moved to Fort Bragg, California, and was a longtime resident before moving to Eureka where he started his business "Fix It Frank". He was known as a "brilliant carpenter" and was a friend to many in the Humboldt community. Frank had many joys in life, he loved to travel, and to tell stories. Frank loved the Mendocino Coast and the warm waters of the Hawaiian Islands. He was always up for an adventure, and he was a dedicated friend to so many. In 2016 he took his "Jazzy and Booboo Bear" down to Los Angeles to watch his beloved granddaughter Jayla compete in a Karate event; he couldn't have been more proud! Frank also volunteered in her class and took much pride in being her Papa. He loved his children and grandchildren fiercely, always dedicating himself to the role of Dad and Papa. Frank is survived by his two children, Jasmine Barreto and Carl Stover Jr; his grandchildren, Jayla Pederson, Kira Barreto, and Noah Stover; along with his siblings Sylviann Hall, Leigh Halls, Stephen Pinckney and his nephews, James Halls, Kyle Pinckney, Thomas Pinckney, and Travis Pinckney. Frank was a dear friend and considered to be a "rock for many of us." He was most proud to be known as Papa Frank and Uncle Frank and he will be missed so deeply. A memorial will be held on Saturday, December 29th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Eagles Hall, 210 N. Corry St., Fort Bragg, CA. A GoFundMe account has been set up under "Honoring Frank Pinckney" to help cover expenses for the family. In the words of Frank, "Love and Light."

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If you’ve noticed
a bit of a whirring sound emanating from the northwest corner of the first floor of the Humboldt County Courthouse recently, it’s not your imagination. The county tax collector’s office has had several cash counting machines on its front counters recently and they’ve been busy.

County Tax Collector John Bartholomew reports that the county sent out roughly $17.7 million in cannabis excise tax bills for 2018, and as of the Nov. 30 deadline, had received about $10.3 million in payments, roughly half of which were made in cash. (To put that number in perspective, the county spends about $9.4 million from its general fund on the sheriff’s office operations budget and roughly $3.9 million to fund the entirety of the district attorney’s office.)

For those keeping score at home, the county took in roughly $4.6 million in payments last year, about 84% of what was billed. This year, the county has only received payments thus far on 58% of what it’s billed. (It saw about 78% of what it billed in the first 2018 cycle paid but the number dropped to roughly 50% for second installments and then 55% for bills sent out in October to operations that received licenses this year.)

— Northcoast Journal

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Donald Lee Kirkpatrick passed away peacefully at 87 on Nov. 19, 2018, in his home in Mendocino, California.

Don was raised in Healdsburg, California, where he met and wed his childhood sweetheart, Shirley Morehouse, to whom he was married for more than 60 years.

After receiving his degrees from U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State and University of Michigan, he pursued his life-long passion as an educator, serving as principal of schools in Corcoran and Davis, and as District Superintendent in Mendocino. During his 14-year tenure, he was responsible for many projects including the building of the Mendocino Middle School and the founding of the Community School which won state honors as one of the major innovative programs in the state.

After retiring, both Don and his wife, Shirley, moved to Saudi Arabia where they lived and worked during the Gulf War. They co-authored "Saudi Sojourn," chronicling their experiences there.

He is survived by his three children, Lynne Kirkpatrick Morehouse, Teya Lee, Bonnie Kirkpatrick; his sister, Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Vrenios; grandchildren, Laura Silva Kirkpatrick, Daniel Silva Kirkpatrick, Anna Brinckmann, Kaleeya Lee; and great-grandchild, Emma Robleño Silva.

A memorial service will be held at the Mendocino Presbyterian Church in Mendocino at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. Donations in his name can be made to the Lift Every Voice Fund at the Mendocino Presbyterian Church.

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On December 15, 2018 around 7:58 hours Fire Personnel from Laytonville Volunteer Fire Department and Cal Fire were notified of a structure fire in the 48000 block of North Highway 101 in Laytonville.  Upon their arrival they found a fully involved residential structure fire.  Fire personnel were able to contain and cool down the fire but it was not until 11:37 PM when the fire was cooled enough to look to see if anyone was inside the structure where the remains of one decedent was located.  Fire Authorities contacted the Sheriff's Office to initiate a Coroner's Investigation into the death.  Sheriff's Detectives also responded to conduct an investigation.  A Fire Investigator, employed by CalFire, also responded to assist with determining the cause and origin of the fire.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  The owner/current occupant of the home is known and the Sheriff's Office is in contact with family members.  DNA samples have been obtained from family for comparison.  DNA testing process can take months to get a return due to laboratories having large case loads to process.  The cause of death is not yet known. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday 12/18/2018.   

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec. 17, 2018

Costa, Crist, Davila-Esquivel

GARY COSTA, Lewiston, Idaho/Willits. DUI, cruelty to child with possible injury or death.

SCOTT CRIST, Hopland. DUI, no license.

JUAN DAVILA-ESQUIVEL, Covelo. Disorderly conduct-drugs, controlled substance.


Gonzalez, Guevara, Hernandez

ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.

JOSHUA GUEVARA, Talmage. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

VINCENT HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Felon with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, controlled substance, manufacture of short-barreled rifle.


Lopez, Losak, Rhoades

PHILLIP LOPEZ JR., Ukiah. Parole violation.


NICOLAS RHOADES, Boonville. Under influence, paraphernalia, smuggling controlled substance or liquor into jail.

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by James Kunstler

Last Friday morning, we adjourned our blog, Clusterfuck Nation, in anticipation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller handing over certain FBI documents in the General Flynn matter demanded by DC District Federal Judge Emmett G. Sullivan no later than 3:00 p.m. that day. Guess what? Mr. Mueller’s errand boys did not hand over the required documents — original FBI 302 interrogation reports. Instead, they proffered a half-assed “interview” with one of the two agents who conducted the Flynn interrogation, Peter Strzok, attempting to recollect the 302 half a year after it was written. Of course, Mr. Strzok was notoriously fired from the Bureau in August for bouts of wild political fury on-the-job as FBI counter-intel chief during and after the 2016 election. (This was the second time he was fired; the first was when Robert Mueller discarded him from the SC team in 2017 as a legal liability.)

So, 3:00 p.m. Friday came and went. It appears that the FBI 302 docs have come and gone, too. Actually, we have reason to believe that nothing ever created on a computer connected to the internet can actually disappear entirely. Rather, the data gets sucked into the bottomless well of the NSA server-farm out in Utah. Most likely, the original 302s exist and Mr. Mueller is pretending he can’t find them. In effect, it appears that Mr. Mueller has responded by gently whispering “fuck you” to Judge Sullivan.

Interestingly, TheNew York Times didn’t even report the story (nor The WashPo, nor CNN, nor MSNBC). Since their “Russia Collusion” narrative is foundering, they can’t tolerate any suggestion that their Avenging Angel of Impeachment, Mr. Mueller, is less than the sanctified plain dealer he affects to be.

Judge Sullivan kept his own counsel all weekend. The next scheduled chapter in the story is Gen. Flynn’s sentencing this Tuesday. It would be a surprise if the Judge does not observe that Mr. Mueller has acted in contempt of court. Ditto if the charge against Gen. Flynn is not thrown out. After all, the main articles of evidence against him apparently don’t exist.

And if it turns out that Mr. Mueller and his team are disgraced by their apparent bad faith behavior in the Flynn case, what then of all the other cases connected to Mueller one way or another: Manafort, Cohen, Papadopoulos? And the other matters still in question, such as the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian “Magnitsky” lawyer and Golden Golem Junior, the porn star payoffs… really everything he has touched. What if it all falls apart?

In theory, this punch-drunk country could take a turn back to the genuine rule-of-law instead of the medieval-cum-Bolshevik practices of Deep State style justice. This would entail the prosecution of the prosecutors themselves. Far from an historical aberration, this is often the outcome when authorities overstep the boundaries of common decency. Which is what has happened in the setting-up of General Flynn.

Readers may wonder: why am I so concerned with these shenanigans among the FBI, the DOJ and Intel Community when there is that other elephant in the room, viz: Mr. Trump, the Golden Golem of Greatness, the awkward, embarrassing, childish fellow dishonoring the Oval Office?

Because the actions of his antagonists are much more dangerous to the public interest than the oafish president. Elected officials come and go, but when America chucks the rule of law on the old garbage barge, this will cease to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. It will be a land of cringing cravens waiting in terror for the iron fist to smack them down like bugs.

Tomorrow, Tuesday Dec 18, some of the questions raised here will be answered, and I’ll add an addendum afterward. But there are many other forces in play right now on a world scene that is each day becoming more fraught with intimations of upsetting the current order of things. The West is enduring paroxysms of political uproar and disenchantment. China is more opaque politically, but its financial disorder is plain to see. And finally, there is the question of markets and banking, with their entwined fates heading in a bad direction. Of his many blunders, the worst for his own political survival was Mr. Trump taking ownership of the “greatest economy ever.” Stocks, bonds, and commodities are all wobbling at once, and approaching the event horizon where there is no floor under the price of anything. That will not make America great in the Trumpian sense, but it will be another opening for the long-awaited return of reality to a society where, for a long time, now, anything goes and nothing matters.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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Wisps of marijuana smoke lingered in the air, backlit by orange, red and yellow lights that decorated the cavernous indoor main stage at the Emerald Cup, where awards were handed out Sunday afternoon to fan favorites and top scorers.

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Responding to the comments made by retiring Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott that government officials should consider banning home construction in California’s vulnerable fire areas, I think this is rather unrealistic.

To do this would require a massive taxpayer infusion to buy the lots and land as just compensation to the owners. A better solution is to build fire-proof homes and structures. The technology exists and is starting to gain traction as wildfires become more prevalent because of climate change.

One such system, called Energy Mass Walls (, has been developed by Berkeley-based Integrated Structures. The additional cost to build using this technology, which would also include metal studs, steel shutters and a fireproof roof membrane, adds only about 10 percent to the cost of a conventional stick-built home.

This is the future of home construction, not property confiscation.

Michael Haran

Santa Rosa

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Speaking of the Clintons, last weekend the regal couple was spotted in Mumbai, India, at a marriage celebration joining two billionaire families, the wealthiest in the country. Some of the richest people in the world were in attendance.… and I read when Harry Truman left the presidency he used drive himself around Independence, Mo, in an old Chevy sedan, picking up his mail at the post office and groceries at the market. Democrats have come a long way since those days.

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There is also an assumption that the 98% of Americans who can’t or won’t pay to read the New York Times actually yearn to read it: the possibility that free access to the Times might be a kind of reality dose, a cure for the sickness of fake news with which previously healthy Americans have become infected. It would be comforting to believe in the invasion-of-the-bodysnatchers theory that people have actually changed since news migrated to the internet, but I suspect the truth is people are the same as they ever were, with the same latent tendencies. Rather the internet has brought these tendencies to the surface in new ways. “We took it for granted,” Rusbridger writes, “that facts were reasonably easy to obtain.” Perhaps some of us did. Many would put it differently: “We took it for granted that we didn’t really know, or weren’t really being told, what was going on.” Some have always privileged the simple, secret explanation over the complex, open explanation; have always struggled to separate their own notions from “common sense”; have always parsed their powerlessness as a conspiracy by the powerful to keep them in the dark; have always been tempted to believe whatever story confirmed their prejudices; have, in fact, resisted the very definition of ‘news’ by preferring repeated variations on ancient stories of thieves, killers, champions, heroes, monsters, lunatics, knaves, kings and harlots.

—James Meeks (London Review of Books)

(Ed Note: Rusbridger is the retired editor of the Guardian.)

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Dance in 2019 with your friends and neighbors at the Gualala Hotel.  DJ Sister Yasmin will rock the house with your favorite dance music, all styles, from 9pm - 2am.  Enjoy drink and appetizer specials!

The Events Tent will be rockin' all night long.  Come early for dinner and then stay for a dance-filled celebration heralding The New Year.

No cover charge. 21 & over.

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NANCY WILSON: Truly excellent, award-winning song stylist Ms. Nancy Wilson died on December 18, 2018 at 81 years old. She was born on February 20, 1937. She could sing anything, and did it with grace and style. What a loss to the world. She was/is wonderful. Check out her obit at the NY Times and elsewhere, and check out her miraculous voice and music. My favorite album is hers with Cannonball Adderly from April 1962, Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley.

I will play this on NYE at The Gualala Hotel.

Rest In Peace Dear Nancy Wilson! We will miss you.

(Sister Yasmin Solomon)

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 [1] So….this is it huh? This is the state of the “leadership” in the most exceptional country ever, huh? And, we still have people wondering when collapse/decline is going to happen. Looks like all of the opioid, alcohol, porn, TeeVee and sports addictions/distractions coupled with shitty, meaningless wage slavery have created a whole nobody gives a shit anymore environment. The fact that the distracted, overly propagandized patriots of freedom in this country consider the military one of their most trustworthy institutions while they can’t pass an audit and always need more money even though having an open checkbook under the current idiot in office is one more sign of major decline. In my younger days it never occurred to me that this country could kill itself off due to pure stupidity, but here we are. It’s those things you don’t even expect that get you.

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 [2] Subsequent to a spacewalk, a Space Shuttle astronaut said that seeing the stars below his feet as well as overhead was consciousness expanding. Unfortunately, here on the secure, hardened crust of Earth humanity loses its sense of wonderment about the beautiful planet we are fortunate enough to living on. Instead, with the utilization of our miraculous, reverse entropic three-pound blood soaked sponge of a human brain, “a dog’s breakfast” (Vonnegut), we develop nuclear weapons, intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarines, biological toxins, etc. in order to kill each other and everything else on the planet. On top of that a few of the brighter dog’s breakfasts have figured out a system that entitles them to the world’s riches at the expense of the others. Unfortunately, upon acquisition of these riches they become bored and tired looking for new thrills like power. The Dog’s Breakfast is insatiable!

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The defense lawyer of ‘Making a Murderer’ convict Steven Avery has announced that a world-renowned DNA expert is willing to test remains that will prove her client's innocence in the grisly murder case. 

The popular Netflix program details the allegedly wrongful convictions of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey in the 2005 murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. 

On Monday, Avery's lawyer Kathleen Zellner, 61, announced on Twitter that one of the world's leading DNA experts, Dr Richard Selden, is willing to test bones to prove that Halbach's remains were planted.  

'Dr. Richard Selden is willing to test the bones in the Manitowoc County Gravel Pit with new Rapid DNA ID. If this testing is allowed, we believe the bones will be Ms. Halbach's,' Zellner wrote.

'This will prove the murder and mutilation occurred in the Manitowoc County Gravel Pit and the bones were planted in Mr. Avery's burn pit to frame him,' she added.

The announcement comes as Zellner is days away from filing a 22,000-page document to the appellate court by December 20, which she says contains all the proof of why Avery should be freed. 

Zellner said last month that there's much more to the story and points towards Dassey's brother Bobby as a new murder suspect.

'You must, if you can, create reasonable doubt by having an alternative theory that matches the evidence,' Zellner told told OK! Magazine. 'That's when you're most likely to win a murder case.'

'Just this week we got a tip that was just jaw-dropping. Like, woah, somebody actually knows this. We're getting close,' she added 

Last month, she dropped a bombshell evidence in a 20-tweet thread saying: 'Making a Murderer watchers, listen up. I'm going to walk you through what I've learned through my investigation that you didn't see in the show.'

In her thread she said that victim Halbach, a photographer for Auto Trader, called the Dassey landline to ask for directions to the Avery Salvage Yard (ASY) on October 31, 2005.

She said the suspect then contacted Halbach to give her the Dassey address and followed her after she left the salvage yard in her RAV4 vehicle and got her to pull over. This transpired as Avery was in his trailer at the salvage yard.

'She opened the car's rear cargo door to retrieve her camera, was knocked to the ground and struck with an object. [Halbach] was put in the rear cargo area of the RAV4 and driven back to ASY,' Zellner said.

She claimed the car was later seen leaving the salvage yard and Halbach's body was burned in a burn barrel. A burn barrel at the Dassey residence was found with human bones.

Zellner added the Dassey garage was never luminoled or DNA tested.

The evidence from her tweets is expected to be included in her fillings along with more details from her investigation.

Zellner told OK!: 'My goal is to not just to find the constitutional violation to get Steven Avery a new trial, because many people are convicted again in their second trial. I am trying to get the evidence to what I believe is the truth of what happened, so that there won't BE another trial.

Steven Avery was jailed after his blood was found in Halbach's car, linking him to the murder. He and Brendan Dassey were convicted of Halbach's death and are currently serving life sentences.

Zellner said the suspect knew Avery's finger was bleeding 'because he observed it' and had access to his trailer to remove blood from the sink and plant it in Halbach's car.

She added the suspect planted the human bones and electronics in Avery's burn barrel.

'In conclusion, the killer is the person who had the access and opportunity to plant Steven Avery's fresh blood in Teresa Halbach's car,' she said in her tweets, opening up a Q&A session with fans. 

Replying to fans' questions, she refused to 'rule out' Brendan's brother Bobby as a suspect.

'Do you think it was Bobby [Dassey]?' one fan asked.

Zellner cooly replied: 'We cannot rule him out' adding that his garage is being searched for DNA and blood.

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  1. Eric Sunswheat December 18, 2018

    RE: …having been summoned to jury duty, you report directly to her — is Kim Walker. And while she’s new –only a year or so, if I’m not mistaken, on the job –she’s so adroit at it in sucha short time, and you can hardly grasp the scope of what she has to do… (Bruce McEwen)

    —->. Ms. Walker, I believe, freely admits that the Jury Summons form, is an error strewn archaic document, which hasn’t been revised because they still have copies to mail out to prospective jurors.

    If you read the mailer fine print, nothing indicates that you don’t need to show in time at the jury room, to submit the waiver to jury duty.

    I don’t recall the particulars, but the timeline fits like a well worn glove, for a court jester heaving his drink.

    DA Eyster, by not cooperating in automatically reducing felony cannabis convictions, in line with current criminal law for non environmental violations, is in effect, deliberately tainting the jury pool process, so defendants have reduced opportunity to have a jury of one’s peers.

    DA is no fool and persists. I’m not making this stuff up, and have remarked to the AVA previously about the situation. Eyster has tried to change the topic online, claiming not fair to discuss.

  2. Marshall Newman December 18, 2018

    +l on Yorkville Market. Nice selection of handcrafted goods and wines.

  3. Marco McClean December 18, 2018

    Re: Don Cruser’s math correction.

    The previous post on the subject by the editor lumped the salaries of KZYX’s so-called manager and so-called program director together as exceeding $100,000. I assumed, when he said 1/6, that was what he was referring to. In any case, the handful of people in the office, including manager and program director, suck out of the station for themselves a total of $300,000 a year, and that’s 1/2 of $600,000, which is an insane amount of money to operate a machine that costs a dollar an hour to pump electricity through, especially as KZYX management and board, whenever asked, claim there’s no money to pay any of the real workers, the local airpeople who show up week after week, month after month, year after year to do what the radio station is there for in the first place. Reliable cheap automation plays all the canned and distant shows that the CPB grant way more than pays for. Local airpeople do their own local shows. If the manager and program director both just decided to take a couple of months off to lie on a beach and sip mai-tais who would even notice they were missing? Maybe the cat would notice. Maybe one of them feeds the cat. As I said to the MCPB board in a hostile room at last summer’s AV board meeting at the high school, they’re paying all the wrong people and always have been.

    The manager on his way out is taking with him $120,000 for his two years of pretense, enough money to entirely house and fund and maintain and operate and improve everything having to do with KNYO-LP Fort Bragg for /ten years/, and the main difference in real expense between KZYX and KNYO is less than a dollar an hour of electricity. So.

    Marco McClean

  4. James Marmon MSW December 18, 2018


    OMG, the midnight rambler, rides again. I wonder if they found any weed and a gun on this bust.

    James Marmon MSW

    • Lazarus December 18, 2018

      I remember that, County guy…something about a gun and something else…weed, another person? Humm… details…?
      As always,

      • james marmon December 18, 2018

        Policing Mendocino County

        In this interview, Deputy Orell Massey, Mendocino County’s first and only black deputy, looks back…

        Midnight Rambler Incident

        By the way, Massey wasn’t Mendo’s first and only black deputy. There was Mr. White who we as kids always referred to as “snowball”. He worked at the drive=in and walk in theaters for years before going to work at the Jail.

  5. James Marmon MSW December 18, 2018


    With all the craziness around Measure B (aka “the allman tax) the sheriff doesn’t need another unsolved murder. He’s already preparing for his 2022 re-election. I believe Mental-cino County needs a lawman as sheriff, not a politician. Unfortunately DA Eyster the Shyster, will have his back on this one too.

    James Marmon MSW

  6. James Marmon MSW December 18, 2018

    You would have seen the same problem if the Grand Jury would have investigated the RQMC/County Appearance of Conflict of Interest. Bryan Lowery who was Acting HHSA Director at the time and a former Employee and a former Co-worker of Camille Schraeder worked along side of Tom P. to make sure that both their people were awarded million dollar contracts and was able to walk away unscathed.

    Bryan Lowery graded both AS0 (RFP) Proposals, Losak signed off on both of them.

    James Marmon MSW

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