#childabductors | Sunday, July 19, 2020 – Anderson Valley Advertiser

HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS will persist in inland areas
for much of the next week. Cool conditions will persist along the
coast, with a deepening marine layer and increasing clouds expected
tonight through at least the first half of the week. Isolated
thunderstorms will be possible in northern Trinity County late
Tuesday afternoon. (NWS)

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(photo by Arete Gagnon)

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Arson has not been ruled out. Landline service is down and not expected to be restored until Monday at the earliest; accordingly Sheriff increases patrol because many Covelo residents lack 9-1-1 service.


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July 18, 2020, 6pm

Mendocino County has seen a rise in COVID-19 outbreaks during the last couple of weeks. As of today, we have 194 cases of COVID-19, 11 of whom are currently hospitalized, including 1 who was transferred to Napa County for higher level of care. 

Per Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, 2 cases of COVID-19 in a workplace constitutes an outbreak. Mendocino County Public Health is working closely with all known locations who have COVID-19 positive employees to contain the spread, including giving orders to isolate cases, and quarantine close contacts (defined as being closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes regardless of facial covering use) for 14 days from last contact with a known case. All locations have been cooperative in containment and investigation efforts. Please see the identified locations below for situational awareness.

Sherwood Oaks Health Center in Fort Bragg has had 7 residents test positive for COVID-19, 2 of whom have been hospitalized, and 1 of whom has passed away. 5 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. If you have been in close contact with a Sherwood Oaks resident or staff member, please self-quarantine, and participate in the outbreak testing event, performed by Mendocino Coast Clinics tomorrow, Sunday, July 19, 2020 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 530 Maple Street in Fort Bragg. There will be 300 tests available. First come, first serve. If you have or develop flu-like symptoms, please contact your primary care physician. 

Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op has had 2 employees test positive for COVID-19. Further testing of Co-Op employees is being facilitated by Public Health. “We are following the guidance as recommended by the Public Health Officer, Dr. Doohan, and are shutting down while working on the case investigation and contact tracing by Public Health,” said Co-Op Manager, Lori Rosenberg. “Our impacted staff are quarantined, and we have hired a professional deep cleaning service to clean the entire store. We are taking staff temperatures, and ensuring enhanced efforts for social distancing and disinfecting all surfaces. Our concern at this time is for the health of staff, shoppers and the community.”

The Fort Bragg Center for Laser & Cosmetic Dentistry has had one employee test positive for COVID 19. “The employee has been isolating since July 9th and no other employees or patients have reported experiencing any symptoms,” as stated by Dr. Alan Limbird. Dr. Limbird is working closely with public health to ensure a safe reopening for employees and patients. Mendocino County Public Health is providing outbreak testing for any patients who may have been exposed between June 22nd and July 13th. Outbreak testing for this event will be performed by Mendocino Coast Clinics tomorrow, Sunday, July 19, 2020 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 530 Maple Street in Fort Bragg. There will be 300 tests available. First come, first serve. 

Ardzrooni Vineyard in Anderson Valley has had four employees test positive for COVID-19. Isolation and quarantine housing has been arranged for those affected by this outbreak. Outbreak testing will be offered early next week. Press Release with more information on this testing to follow soon.

Indication of uncontrolled community spread, which has already been seen in Sonoma and Marin counties, includes outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities and grocery stores. The COVID-19 surge has now hit Mendocino County, and will likely worsen until Labor Day, given state modeling data. “We urge you, follow the Health Officer orders, and remember to wear your mask,” said Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan. “They have been created to save lives.”

Mendocino County Blanket Quarantine and Isolation Orders: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/home/showdocument?id=36667

Orden De Cuarentena De Mendocino: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/home/showdocument?id=33740

CDC Guidance on Workplace COVID-19 Outbreaks: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

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CLOSED AGAIN! Ukiah Co-Op is again closed due to a second covid case among staffers.

We are closed again! Unfortunately, a 2nd COVID case was discovered among the Co-op staff late yesterday. The second case was already isolating due contact tracing conducted during the first case. The store will remain closed for a few days in order for Public Health to complete additional contact tracing. Our general manager is working with the public health department and local officials and they will issue a joint press release later today. The Co-op will remain closed for the next few days. Please check the Co-op website here or our social media pages for updates. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support. (Ukiah Co-op Presser)

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(photo by Larry Wagner)

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California will authorize schools to open in counties that have been off the state monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. Schools will be subject to new requirements for masks, physical distancing and contact tracing. Schools that don’t meet monitoring list requirement must begin the school year through distancing learning. All school staff and students in 3rd grade and above must wear masks. At least a six foot distance must be maintained. Handwashing stations will be required. The school day will start with temperature checks. A cohort of staff will be tested regularly.

The current trend in Mendocino County puts us on a trajectory for inclusion on the state monitoring list. Collective behavior will determine whether our local school boards are afforded the latitude to consider in-person and hybrid models. Our adherence to infection mitigation measures today will impact cases in early August. I’m hopeful Mendocino County schools will focus resources on providing the best distance programs.

Governor’s press conference re School Guidance with CDPH guidance attached:

• Safe in person school based on local health data

Using health data, (e.g., community spread of the virus) schools can physically open when its county has been OFF the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days

Schools that don’t meet this requirement must begin the year distance learning

• Mask requirements

All school staff and students in 3rd grade and above MUST wear masks

Students in 2nd grade and below are encouraged to wear masks or face shields

• Physical distancing and other adaptations

Staff must maintain 6 feet b/w each other and with students

Symptom checks

Hand washing stations

Sanitation and disinfection

Quarantine protocols

Regular testing and dedicated contact tracing

Requirement to test staff regularly (a cohort of staff, Dr. Galley will discuss further)

State contact tracing workforce will prioritize schools

• Rigorous distance learning

Access to devices and connectivity for all kids

Daily live interaction with teachers and other students

Challenging assignments equivalent to in-person classes

Adapted lesson for English language learners and special education students

• The State has invested $5.3 Billion in add’l funding with priority on equity to deal with learning loss associated with closures due to COVID and very focused towards special needs

When should in person learning close?

• Schools should consult with a PH officer FIRST if a classroom cohort has to go home b/c of confirmed case.

• A classroom cohort goes home when there is a confirmed case

• A school goes home when multiple cohorts have cases or more than 5% of school is positive

• A district goes home if 25% of their schools are closed within a 14 day period

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REBECCA JARRETT WRITES (Mendocino Fifth District facebook page):

So, so, tired of people from out of the area screaming at me that they will not wear a mask or sanitize their hands. Just had a tourist couple with a woman who refused to wear her mask correctly and her husband who straight up wouldn’t wear one at all, yell and scream all the way back to their car. “What are you protecting people from, the flu is worse!” I proceeded to let them know in my best Chamber of Commerce voice that we were under orders from not only the State of California but our county public health officer. Pointed to all the signage in the window and said that now there was a fine of up to $500. Fell on deaf ears…They are driving a blue kia sedan, please, make their stay unbearable if they cross your path. Better yet, call the sheriff. — feeling exhausted.


(photo by Kathy Wylie)

MASKING UP: A random collection of on-line comments from Mendocino Sports Plus:

OMG, Do you really expect people to stay locked up in their house for several months? I think camping is a great alternative, get outside and enjoy some fresh air. So may people have had to cancel their vacations. Just let them be!

Like Brigham Young said, “This is the PLACE!” He also had little social distancing skill vis-a-vis the many wives as evidenced by the dozens of offspring. Maybe we all died but didn’t know it and we’re looking at a picture of how the survivors succeeded by taking a vacation.

Lake county looks the same. Boats for days cases going up. Cant get restaurant employees to wear masks.

Oh grow up. Seriously?? We’re allowed to travel, just not far. Campgrounds are allowed to be open. If you want to stay in complete lockdown, do so.

Happy they are having fun

dam looks full, always wanted to camp there

Gotta say for most emergencies we get a call on our phones stating what’s going on. Air sirens, TV notifications. For the Pandemic nothing. People don’t take it serious because we have to get our info from the news media or Facebook and we’ll you know how folks think of that in the current political climate. On top of that each place says different things. Law enforcement says different things then the city or county. People wonder why nobody is on the same page with anything ? Baffling !

This is so wrong! Close tourism!

What SIP? We have to but the tourists don’t, and our essential workers are stuck serving and cleaning up after them and they get the risk of being exposed. If we need to SIP, the then tourists shouldn’t be here.

Good luck keeping any of the businesses afloat without the tourists.

Those dirty little tourists and their nasty bugs.

Aren’t they replacing that bridge? Then obviously they’re bridge builders.

wtf?!!!?? now how many license plates are from over 50 miles away?? where is code enforcement?

Where is all the law and order in all this – ohh wait we defunded them

Many of these dummies zipped through Boonville yesterday on their way to the coast.

Looks pretty open air to me

When economy is more important than your fellow man, the $ is your master.

Great to see Americans be american. Enjoy yourself campers….

for real we are still in phase whatever which means we can go places and be around a certain amount of people. We will soon be back to the beginning of the SIP.

some people need to live an let live. These people aren’t hurting no one

I agree. I want to go camping on the coast, but I’m stuck in the desert. Out monsoon season started, so it rains every evening between 5 and 7, so no camping for me…

MSP NOTE: We received a message from a viewer from the Sacramento area saying, “I read comments from the locals voicing concern about vacationers in their areas. Several times a week I receive posts or emails from your area businesses inviting me to visit. Maybe the locals should have conversations with the local lodging businesses and restaurants…”)

Here’s the post to coast social media: “What the actual F*ck is going on today? Belligerent, self-entitled non-masked argumentive tourists all over Mendo today. It’s awful and I don’t feel safe operating my business in this mess: (The town feels under siege, carload after carload. I have been open for two weeks and have not experienced this level of weirdness, but it’s not good, people!”

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Our Pet of the Week is a sweet, charming Shepherd mix. Beautiful Serenity is 2 years old and weighs 50 pounds. Serenity enjoys belly rubs and being close to people. We would love to see Serenity gain a bit of confidence, so a home where she will get out and about and be exposed to different environments and experiences would be ideal for this young girl. Serenity is pretty mellow and easy to walk on leash. She was excited to meet Fetch, a fellow shelter guest, during her evaluation, and she had a little crush on him. Fetch was adopted, so Serenity is looking for a new canine friend….perhaps one in your home?

You can find more about Serenity and all of the shelter’s dog and cat guests at mendoanimalshelter.com While you’re there, read about our services, programs, events, and updates regarding covid-19 and the shelters in Ukiah and Ft. Bragg. Visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/ For information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453. 

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Chinese woman with daguerreotype, circa 1850

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At a time when we are seeing record high temperatures, record low rainfall, worsening dead zones off our coastline and killer toxic algae in our rivers, a proposal is afoot to expand cannabis cultivation into our rangelands. This will demand a lot of water that we can’t spare, and it will deposit a lot more fertilizer into our rivers and streams that we don’t need. This is exactly the wrong proposal at this time of worsening droughts. It will likely sabotage decades of restoration efforts which we’ve already invested in to save our struggling salmon fisheries from being pushed into extinction. We must not let our rich heritage of salmon fisheries be jeopardized by the lure of short term profits.

Some Supervisors are proposing abandoning our cannabis ordinance, which has strict requirements and limitations, replacing it with the Use Permits process which will give the Planning and Building staff a lot more “flexibility.” Replacing our ordinance with Use Permits, which are at the “discretion” of the planning staff, will also provide few, if any, remedies for complaints from the public. This is a bad deal.

You may have noticed recently the proliferation of large clusters of 14 or more white plastic hoop houses. This has occurred because the 10,000 sq. ft. of cannabis canopy allowed in the ordinance was then changed to 10,000 sq. ft. of white plastic eyesore at the “discretion” of the Planning and Building Dept. Surprises like this that destroy our views and devalue our properties are exactly what we don’t want. We should, instead, abide by the promises made in the ordinance and work to make it even better.

Instead of the proposal to expand cannabis into our last remaining open space, our rangelands, we could, instead, expand into our industrial and commercial zones where infrastructure and water resources are already developed. Cannabis growers truck in much of their soil and even at times their water, so having these activities in an industrial setting would be a much better fit than in our neighborhoods, or in our open spaces, and it would help reduce their carbon footprint. Electricity instead of generators would also greatly reduce the risk of fire.

Lured by the promise of big money, Ted Williams and John McCowen are working hand in hand with the cannabis industry to promote this expansion plan into our rangeland, largely for the benefit of the corporate grower.

The small grower is not likely to afford these bigger parcels and all the permits and infrastructure that will be needed, so this will likely benefit the better capitalized crew that is flooding in from out of the area.

We’ve already seen so much plundering and pillaging and now this proposal for bigger grows on steep, highly erodible land, will deliver just more of the same — a lot more fish choking sediment in our rivers, water diversions, garbage, code enforcement complaints, crime and threat of fire.

Code Enforcement complaints are up by 31%, with only 2 officers on the cannibis beat. Policing is stretched thin, too, and the Covelo cartel problem is spreading. Why expand cannabis to our rangelands where enforcement is much more difficult?

Measure AF [a cannabis industry proposal] went down to defeat by a large margin in every district in 2016 because it proposed cannabis for every zone. We’ve already voted this idea down, but they are determined to ignore the wishes of the public.

If we hope to have a future on this fragile earth, protecting our fisheries, our wildlife and wild lands, enforcing the laws already on the books should matter to all of us.

If you don’t wish to see our cannabis ordinance abandoned, or are sick of non-enforcement, then let your Supervisors know by mail or by phone.

Their upcoming meeting is the 4th of August. Urge them to take a cautionary approach by staying with our existing cannabis ordinance and our existing cannabis zones. I urge you to write or call to make sure that your voice is heard.

Sheila Jenkins



“Lured by the promise of big money, Ted Williams and John McCowen are working hand in hand with the cannabis industry to promote this expansion plan into our rangeland, largely for the benefit of the corporate grower.”

Where can I learn more about the promise of big money? Does the big money have a name? All outdoor cultivators in Mendocino County are operating on “provisional” licenses from the state. The provisionals sunset in 2022. By this time, cultivators must hold “annual” licenses in order to continue cultivating. The existing ordinance has not been successful in enabling cultivators to transition to annual state licenses. The existing ordinance, authored primarily by Supervisor McCowen, is based on a ministerial model. Our ministerial permits cannot be conditioned. Further, our ministerial permits do not meet site specific requirement of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). California Department of Food and Agriculture has worked with county staff on a concept known as “Appendix G” for over a year. This appendix would provide checkbox style site specifics. 

For example, one of the checkbox represents approval of a Sensitive Species Review by California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Because the ministerial permit cannot be conditioned, CDFW would have the option to either approve or deny. It’s foreseeable that many of the 700 legacy cultivation provisional licenses would not be approved for continuation under the annual license. 

That is, if state agencies even complete the process. Ministerial permits do not have a finite timeline. 

Contrast this with use permits. Under discretionary use permits, agencies have 30 days to provide comment. No comment is treated as approval by default. Further, use permits meet the site specific requirement of CEQA.

Many other counties have implemented cannabis under the use permit model. That said, it’s not a panacea. Humbolt has far more staffing in their cannabis program and still only approves approximately 70 cannabis cultivation use permits per year. If we were to staff up to Humboldt’s level, we’d be looking at a decade to transition. My goal is not to swap our ordinance for a use permit model, but rather, ensure we transition our legacy cultivators to annual licenses, whatever it takes. 

Some cultivators have argued to keep the current process in place. When I ask what they’ll do in 2022 when all regulated outdoor cultivation in Mendocino County ceases, I often get deer-in-headlights. Selling out to big corporations is a fiction. Corporate cannabis is focusing on places like Santa Barbara, where licensing is a breeze, farmland is plentiful and production is in close proximity to the enormous southern California consumer market. 

If Mendocino County cultivators survive the botched framework, their market will be in “county of origin” high quality flower, not biomass for extraction. Biomass requires flat farmland, cheap labor and scale, none of which fit the characteristics or culture of Mendocino County. 

Sheila Jenkins raises important points about protecting our environment. I share the concern about agricultural impact on water and I’d prefer see plants in ground without plastics. These concerns exist whether we continue with the potentially dead-end ministerial ordinance or we rebase on discretionary use permits. 

The issue at hand is structural and technical in nature. Change “largely for the benefit of the corporate grower” is a rural legend. Keeping seven hundred farms from becoming outlaws overnight is the primary motivation for considering a shift of approach. Addressing the shortcomings of the model is our path to maintaining regulation. Regulation is what protects the environment and reduces crime. 

Although Supervisor McCowen often refers to himself as my secretary in reference to finishing my half baked ideas, we have not been working on this together. I see Supervisor McCowen capitulating in recognition of staff’s continued frankness about the ordinance being fundamentally flawed. If I deserve any credit, it’s in provoking staff to admit the pipeline is clogged, perhaps indefinitely. 

Whether the ordinance can be adequately patched to meet state requirements remains to be seen, but I do have respect for McCowen’s willingness to look objectively at his creation and consider the best next steps. Brave cultivators who entered our embarrassing program have been the brunt of laughter from illicit market counterparts who recognized what an endless pit of hoops the program would be. Fixing the model is about upholding our county’s end of the deal.

Ted Williams

MARK SCARAMELLA ADDS: Where did Ms. Jenkins get the impression that the reform proposal would somehow eliminate “our existing cannabis zones”? I have not heard or seen anything about the reform proposal that would fundamentally change any existing zoning, which is exactly where the County should have focused in the first place.

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