- Warm Days
- Yorkville Market
- Navarro Bar
- Farmers' Market
- Predator Cats
- B Ideas
- Handy Alfred
- Hopland Hazards
- Bad Deal
- Rothko 47
- Ed Notes
- LA Derricks
- Invasion Tempting
- Clueless Journalists
- Pill Pushers
- Food Distribution
- Revitalizing Forests
- Pep Boys
- White-Collar Joe
- Joe Coup
- Mr Hernandez
- Not Feasible
WARM AND DRY interior conditions will continue today, with typical cool conditions along the coast. Most areas will remain generally warm and dry for the foreseeable future, but isolated showers and perhaps a few thunderstorms will be possible across the mountains of eastern Trinity and Mendocino counties over the weekend, especially on Sunday. (National Weather Service)
SEAL PHOTOS by Judy Valadao (click to enlarge)
May 2019 Calendar
Friday May 3rd - First Friday Dinner featuring a Cinco de Mayo celebration! Homemade Ceviche, Chicken Mole, and Tres Leches Cake with fresh fruit. Happy Hour @5:30, Dinner @6:00pm-
Friday May 10th – Pizza and Game night! Happy Hour @5:30, Dinner @6:00pm-
Sunday May 12th – CLOSED
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!
Friday May 17th – Fiesta Night with live music from local Cloverdale Band, Open Heart Trio, @5:30, Dinner @ 6:00pm-
Friday May 24th – Meet the Artist, local Yorkvillian Sterling Hoffmann and see his amazing work displayed at the Market. Opening begins @4:00pm, BBQ Dinner served at 6:00pm.
For more details on these events please contact the Market at (707) 894-9456
NAVARRO AT THE SEA on Thursday afternoon
(photos by Kathy Bailey, click to enlarge)
THIS FRIDAY FROM 4-7PM FOR THE BOONVILLE FARMERS' MARKET!
We have quite the line-up: Jeremy James Mayer will be bringing the tunes while you sip wine and shop for produce from Renee and Cinnamon Bear Farm. The Bucket Ranch is bringing the first strawberries of the season (!) and Inland Ranch will have lamb and pork and pastured eggs. The Forest People will have oyster mushrooms, Natural Products of Boonville will have plant starts and a few Lion's mane mushrooms and the Emerald Kitchen is baking up some yummy treats to top it all off. We'll also have Angel's Innovations with natural body care (think mother's day gifts) and Native plants from Michelle.
This is all happening in the parking lot of the new Disco Ranch (where Aquarelle used to be: 14025 HWY 128, Boonville). See you there!
Boonville Market Manager
PS: I've been diligently working to have EBT (foodstamps) at the market, but it is still being processed so will not be available this week (it's the governments fault!).
SAVE THE BIRDS: PEN THE CATS
The trap-neuter release people have it all wrong. They should be practicing trap neuter-enclose. Cats are first and foremost predators. They are efficient. They don't discriminate. Birds, insects, amphibians, rabbits and rodents all succumb to their wily, instinctive predation.
The TNR people think they are performing a great service by neutering and vaccinating the feral cats they trap and release. But vaccinations require a second and third dose and cats need repeated worming and flea control treatments. Do volunteers have the time and energy to round up hundreds of feral cats a second and third time?
Any number of reports will tell you that almost every species of bird is on a precipitous decline. Free roaming cats are one of the main reasons we are losing songbirds at an alarming rate. TNR unwittingly perpetuates this war on wildlife, the only war we seem to be winning.
In order to save feral cats’ lives and protect other species as well, I propose the following:
After neutering and vaccinating, take the cats directly to a large, enclosed area — call it a cat sanctuary. An acre or two would be ideal. There the cats can be monitored by volunteers but still feel "free." This plan has worked well in places as divergent as Hawaii and Long Island.
Do I hate cats? Hardly! I think they are the most beautiful animal on the planet — except for the ones that man has manipulated and mutilated — those cats with pushed in, distorted faces and ears. I've shared my entire life with cats until two years ago when my last "Sweetie" died. They were indoor-outdoor cats. I always felt a sharp pang of guilt when I would find a dead junco or baby rabbit in the yard. I knew my cats were responsible and myself by extension. Were I to acquire another cat, it would surely be an indoors-only feline and I would provide an enclosed area outside.
My consciousness has been raised. I hope the TNR groups will be too.
A PLAN FOR MEASURE B-PART 2
Letter to the Editor
If Adventist Health would create a PHF (Ukiah or Willits) and staff it with their compassionate medical teams, then Measure B money would not have to build a PHF. Measure B money could build the first of three Crisis Residential Treatment Centers (CRTC) on Orchard Street with program and staff. The CRTC could begin earlier in any appropriate available space and later move into their building when completed.
As more Measure B money becomes available, a second CRTC could be built on land in Fort Bragg (maybe Coast Hospital land). This CRTC could also operate elsewhere until construction was completed. Then with more Measure B money available, a third CRTC could be built on South Coast, also starting earlier elsewhere.
If there is enough money, an Addiction Recovery Center could begin on the same land as one of the CRTCs.
Sonya Nesch, Teacher
THE GHOSTS OF GARDEN’S GATE
by Mark Scaramella
We had to laugh Thursday when Mendocino County Planning and Building Director Brent Schultz told the Planning Commission that one of the checklist items holding up the Lover’s Lane housing development proposal north of Ukiah is a traffic study.
But before we get into that, Schultz introduced several of his new staffers. One of them escaped from Health and Human Services (for a nice raise) and another escaped the pot permit program (also probably for a nice raise). A third new staffer came from the Assessor's office just a few weeks after the new Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Katrina Bartolome was elected. Surely, the timing was entirely coincidental.
"We are doing well, I think," said Schultz, rather tentatively. "There are always things we can do better. But I really like the team that has come together. I think things are jelling. We intend to do a lot better work in the future, not that we haven't done a lot of work, but we are going to improve."
Schultz then explained his team hadn't seen any major project applications lately. But, he added, there will be seven “new” items to consider at the May 16 meeting of the Commission.
After pointing out that the cannabis program inspectors are now all crammed into a newly remodeled file room in the Planning and Building building, Schultz contradicted the County’s party-line that Mendo has very little to do with the stalled and failed cannabis permit program. "It's a brand-new ordinance,” said Schultz, failing to mention that most of it was developed three years ago. “There are lots of questions on how it's implemented. It's amazing how much time we spend on ‘What did they mean?’ This is all new to me. So we are figuring it out with the help of County Counsel."
Schultz also addressed the recently approved increased building and planning and pot permit fees. "Those will go into effect July 1. I am watching those closely. People ask me what I think of the fees. We have some new modules in ‘Track It’ [Mendo’s fancy new project tracking software system] and we will have a better idea after I track it [sic] for years of progress [sic] to see if some of those fees should be lowered, or some increased? [Guess which.] I reviewed all the fee increases and I concurred with them. But that doesn't mean it stops right there. We can't collect more money than it costs to do this. My job is just to collect the fees for the cost of the service and I am endeavoring to do that. Our operation has a $2.5 million to $2.7 million net county cost — the county is putting more money into it than we bring in in revenue. It's difficult with planning and building services. A lot of things we do on the phone or at the counter with people you can't charge for [much as they’d like to]. And our codes are pretty complex. Especially in the coastal zone. We spend a lot of time there going over it with people."
One of the planning commissioners asked about the Vineyard Crossing (formerly Lovers Lane) and (now defunct) Garden’s Gate projects.
Schultz reported that the developer is still working on the EIR (Environmental Impact Report). "They don't have it all done yet,” said Schultz. "They are trying to complete a traffic study, a drainage study.”
A traffic study? Here’s where the ghosts came in.
“They just submitted ‘will serve’ letters on sewer,” Schultz continued. I don't yet have one for water. They are working on that, all their consultants and staff are working on that. We don't have it all together yet. It's not in any form where we are ready to bring it forward for consideration by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. We are still working on all the elements of it. We have worked out some things on housing and how to deal with housing [it’s a “housing development,” after all] on it but those are just draft frameworks and it has not all been pulled together in the final EIR. Being from an urban planning environment, this is quite difficult. There are no — it's really easy sitting there with a big water system or sewer system. I walk down the hall, or the developer does, and they go, Hey, do you have water? And they say, Yup we do. And they tell them how much it costs to hook up to the water and sewer system. And they pay the fee and they go, OUCH! But they pay the fee and the only issue is running a water or sewer line a little farther or running a road down. Here it's a whole different process. Plus the resource agencies we have to deal with on things especially on the coast. It's not an easy process. It's a difficult site. Somebody told me the other day that all the easy sites have been done, now it's the hard sites. You have to work really hard on them. We will see what happens. We are still working on it.”
Chico developer Mr. Guillon is also working on it. And, no doubt, bleeding money for consultants, and fees, and time, and taxes…
Long-time Planning Commissioner Molly Warner who has a bit of memory about Mendo’s planning activities, asked about the old Garden’s Gate project, as if anyone remembered it much.
"I don't have any status on Garden’s Gate,” replied Schultz. “Nothing has come in to us of any significance so I don't have anything to update. There have been no requests of us on it."
Commissioner Warner wistfully commented, “I was just discussing it. It's kind of water under the bridge, I guess. We already approved that project and then it kind of quit. And here we are with the water issue again. We were discussing the water issue this morning. Maybe it's a little late. [Laughs.] But…”
The Garden’s Gate project, a 200-unit housing proposal on a few acres of vineyard south of Ukiah, did indeed have water questions (which the County papered over, but never addressed). But the real reason the project “kind of quit” was that the County killed it.
Fire-up the wayback machine!
(From our coverage of Garden’s Gate developer Chris Stone’s appearance at the Supervisors back in June of 2008):
Last week, developer Chris Stone told the Supes that he’s already sunk more than $200,000 in the permit application and EIR process, and he still hasn’t received an approved EIR. “I’m pretty angry,” Stone said, managing not to sound angry.
The County’s lead planner, Frank Lynch, lamely explained that the delay had to do with the traffic study section of the EIR. “The traffic model took way too long to become available,” said Lynch. “Only in the last month and a half was a traffic engineer available. We needed the best traffic information available. The timeframes in the planning process are not binding, just goals. We opted to wait for the traffic study. If we hadn’t, there could have been competing traffic studies.”
Competing traffic studies?!
Supervisor Colfax said he hadn’t seen Stone’s complaint until the day of the meeting (June 10), but that “the delay seems almost indefensible.” Colfax also noted that the Ukiah Valley Area Plan took too long, too. “I understand the concern,” said Colfax, feeling Stone’s pain. “Mr. Stone brought forward a plan, and the County should take this very seriously. I will take this to the CEO and get some things sorted out. This should be a pretty strong commitment on the part of the County. This is costing him money. He made a good faith effort. If other bodies don't get their work done, the applicant shouldn't have to wait another six months or a year.”
Supervisor Pinches agreed. “We're nine months past the state-mandated time-line,” said Pinches. “This delay is not defensible.”
Planning and Building Director Ray Hall, he of the infamous in-box into which entire projects have disappeared, tried to defend the indefensible: “Frank [Lynch] has been the project coordinator on this,” said Hall. “We had difficulty with the traffic study. The traffic model had problems. There was no reason to go forward with the Ukiah Valley Area Plan model because there would have been no consistency. It took a lot longer than it should have. Mr. Stone never demanded a different traffic process. [It’s Mr. Stone’s fault?] My apologies. … It’s ironic that we are now talking about a problem that has since been resolved.”
Apparently the traffic study is now underway, 18 months after the application and nine months after the state-mandated deadline for completion had passed.
The developer, still managing to restrain himself, replied to Hall:
“Mr. Hall and Mr. Lynch are missing one slight thing. When we made our application we did every single study required and we used the traffic model in the UVAP. It was the best available traffic information, not the flawed model from the City of Ukiah. The County was supposed to use our model. It took care of all the supposed significant impacts. We addressed all potential impacts. But they threw them all out including the traffic impacts thus adding another $200,000 to the project. From day one we said we don't need an EIR. We could go forward with a mitigated negative declaration because [the site] has been planned for urban residential development for 25 years. Our plan is less of a build-out than the housing element in the General Plan anticipated. The traffic model which is now being used is based on less traffic than what we used. So we've over-mitigated our impacts based on future projections of growth. So there's no excuse by Planning for making the decisions they made.”
Board Chair Jim Wattenburger told Stone, “You can rest assured that this Board was looking toward an expedited process. I’m going to direct that the man to my right [Colfax] work with the CEO [Tom Mitchell at the time who never got around to anything, much less real projects] to resolve this situation in the most expeditious fashion possible.”
Of course, none of that happened. A year later in 2009 there was still no approved final traffic study. Then the Great Recession hit and the housing market collapsed and Mr. Stone gave up and moved to South America. And Garden’s Gate, whatever anyone thought of it, was dead.
Thanks to Ms. Warner’s question about Garden’s Gate last week, we got Mr. Schultz’s confirmation that it was still dead.
And now here comes poor Mr. Guillon of Chico, naively thinking that he can get a hundred or so mid-range homes built on a former vineyard north of Ukiah in an unincorporated area of Mendocino County.
Besides the complicated and onerous EIR process and all the studies that must be paid for and processed and reviewed and approved, Schultz made it clear that it’s now even harder to get projects going than it was back in 2009 when Mendo killed Garden’s Gate:
"Another difficulty developers have getting projects done here is the ag easement,” said Schultz. “That's adding [offset ag] acres there. So they have to go find an equivalent 23.59 acre site, similar soil, similar land, in Vineyard — not so easy. Everybody wants an ag easement on their vineyard. But they don't want it restricted. So how do you find that? We're working on that too. There are just a whole bunch of things they have to knock down before they can get to you [the Planning Commission] with their draft EIR and try to get your support for that project.”
In other words, according to Schultz, grape growers want tax breaks but they don’t want to offer anything in return, so it’s hard to find existing vineyard that’s not already in ag exemption status to offset the loss of vineyard (i.e., “ag”) involved in the Vineyard Crossing proposal.
"And then we are looking at affordable housing," said Warner.
"Yes, we will have affordable housing if they can ever bring it forward it will have affordable housing in it. And it will require a zoning change. And a general plan amendment. Talking about housing — we don't have water, we don't have a sewer system, we are concerned about our ag lands. The state expects you to get your housing element done. That will come forward soon. You'll start seeing drafts of that and be a part of that process to develop that. We have to do 1349 units in the unincorporated area. And the state threatens to take away your transportation funds if you don't make progress towards these objectives. They are getting more and more strident when cities or counties don't do anything to build housing. They are ratcheting down and forcing you to do things like accessory dwelling units. They're putting unfunded mandates on us. The housing elements will be harder and harder to get approved. It used to be you could just come up with some sites and it didn't need general plan or zoning; they just approved it. But now it has to be zoned, the general plan has to be in place. It will be interesting to see how we deal with this process. It's a new world. And no funding to subsidize these processes. They took that all away.”
Good luck, Mr. Guillon. With a lot of luck you might get your housing project approved before the next recession hits. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself moving to South America with Mr. Stone.
A HANDY GUY TO HAVE AROUND
Hoping to find another place to live…
Hoping for a opportunity to be of help to someone that can use my help. I can pay rent $400 a-month or a trade off my help from time to time for my stay. I have tools and a motorhome and trucks. I can dispose of my sewage in a container and travel it in the back of my truck to the chevron gas station dump station which I’ve done before. I'm a skilled worker and my work is good and real. I have references to back me on that. Some of the work I know how to do and I have the tools and the know how to do it: carpentry, sheetrock tape and mud, framing out new window installations, doors and flooring of sort, mechanic of sort and small engine repair or overhaul, fencing wood or wire cemented posts or pounding of T-posts, deck building, plumbing, painting interior exterior cutting edges detailing, basic electrical-lights appliances and switches, roofing, metal galvanized or plastic rain gutter installations and down spouts, cabinet and vanity and toilet installations, repairs of dry rotted floors and walls, wood metal plastic fabrications, sandblasting and painting of crafts and things, welding of metal and cracked plastic, tile setting, professional weed whacking and grass cutting, climbing of trees with spikes cutting unwanted branches or topping of the tree, falling of tree and log splitting into firewood, brush clearing, dump runs, and much more. I survive myself providing handyman work for those that need my help in and around Fort Bragg area, and all I haved worked for appreciate my work because I'm real about it. I'm a quiet person when not working or doing my hobby restoring at home base. I'm not into drinking alcohol or into doing heavy drugs , i like eating healthy and trying to take care of myself to the best of my knowledge. If you give me a chance at a great opportunity you will be pleased about having me as your helper and friend :-)
Alfred Nunez, firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to commend Janet Greene for sharing her own experience with measles. She had a serious complication back in 1963 that she, fortunately, recovered from.
I recall from my own childhood standing in line at my elementary school to receive the first polio vaccine, a liquid that was put in a sugar cube. I also remember the relief my parents felt that something so miraculous had been developed, something that could save so many children from painful suffering, even death.
It can be difficult for parents today to fully grasp the history of such diseases, as we have done such a good job of eradicating them. Sadly, it may take experiencing real negative consequences once again (as we are beginning to see around the country) for this generation of young parents to fully appreciate the impact of vaccines and to realize why scientists worked so hard to develop them for our benefit in the first place.
HOPLAND'S 101 HAZARDS
To the Editor:
Too many crashes: time to improve 101 in the Hopland area
On average I drive down 101 to points south of the Mendocino/Sonoma line about three times a month. My dog has gotten annoyed with me from her place in the back many a time as we round the bend just south of the Hopland CDF Station. She doesn’t like the sound made by the tires rolling over the ridges under the road edge’s white line.
I try not to do that but it still happens. I have never forgotten being stuck in traffic on one of those south bound trips, over 10 years ago I think, maybe even 15. There had been a head on crash right on that bend. I guess I like to imagine, as perhaps you do, that if I saw someone coming at me over the double yellow line I could dodge them, and I get a little over enthusiastic with my preparations. No harm done.
But there is harm done by the state of 101 between just north of McNab Ranch Road and just south of the Hopland Bridge where the terrible accident took place recently. Given the traffic increase on 101 in recent years, and I have certainly seen it since 2001 when my current circulation pattern began, this stretch of Highway 101 cries out for improvement. In particular from the end of the passing lane just north of the the Hopland CDF Station and on south through Hopland until it widens to four lanes just beyond the bridge. I’ve seen myself and read in the UDJ about more terrible accidents than the one described above in this stretch, with its blind bends and dangerous intersections, particularly the one at La Franchi Road that combines with the blind hilltop and bend combo just north of the Russian River bridge.
It is time to start working on a fix. When I first moved up here there was still some talk about a Hopland bypass. As a 60 year old life long resident of this part of the state I’ve seen Novato bypassed, as well as Geyserville and Cloverdale. I’ve seen 101 realigned across the Russian River north of Cloverdale. I have a very vague early childhood memory of State Street in Ukiah that suggests to me that it may have been before the freeway here was open. Generally speaking I’d say every one of those projects was for the better. And in the long run I’d say we need to do the same for Hopland. Besides the increase in safety and efficiency of transport I think it would give a real boost to the first Mendocino town that many visitors see and that has the potential to be a much nicer place for residents and visitors alike if it didn’t have the steady flow of traffic it does now.
But a bypass is not going to be happening anytime soon. At 60 you’d like to see something done that you might get some benefit from for a good number of years. With that in mind, I do believe that significant improvements to this stretch of highway can happen. Here are my thoughts on that.
I’ll start from the south, though that end is probably the hardest nut to crack. That means you’d have to completely rebuild what I’d guess is about a one mile stretch from just south of the junction with Eastside Road and 101 until you get aways past the bottom of the hill just north of La Franchi Road. This would require building a new bridge to get a 4 lane width and then doing something to lessen the blind spot and bend at the hilltop. Any improvements should allow for the possibility of an eventual integration into a future bypass of Hopland unless you say that is just never going to be done.
Besides being wider a new bridge should be much higher and have a long shallow grade on the south side. After the railroad over crossing to the north of the bridge moving the highway just a tad to the east of its current route at the top of the hill could ease the bend there. Unfortunately the railroad tracks prevent doing much realignment but even a little bit could help. The higher bridge would get us half way to getting rid of the blind hilltop and unless a future bypass included a totally different location for the bridge and highway north east of its current location it could be integrated into future improvements. My thinking on this is inspired by the realignment, bridge and highway raising that is underway on 101 at the Marin/Sonoma county line area. The new bridge and changed road way there eliminates the sporadic flooding, makes the curves less acute and greatly increases the visibility as the highway descends to the new bridge and then goes over the hilltop to its north.
Getting rid of the hilltop blind spot we need to have fixed on its north side would require a much longer and more gentle rise rather than the abrupt change from flat to slope to brief and bending flat we see now. I haven’t mentioned it to this point but unless the railroad right of way was abandoned, and I don’t think it should be, that hilltop is not going to be losing any elevation. because of the need for the over-crossing. Therefore the road bed would have to be raised with fill to create that better approach from the north. The intersection with La Franchi Road would need to be redone. Getting rid of the left turn possibility for north bound 101 traffic onto La Franchi and for vehicles coming out of La Franchi heading north would make this a much safer intersection at a small cost in inconvenience. An alternative would be to provide a center turn lane through this stretch, which could also serve the Milone Winery.
If the the new bridge I described was built, it should be wide enough to accommodate an eventual four lane highway, including a center divider but the highway would remain two lanes, with perhaps a center turn lane, south of Hopland for the foreseeable future, meaning until the construction of a bypass. The current location where the highway widens to four lanes south of the junction with Eastside Road is a good one because it is in a straight section. Raising the road bed would require a complete redo of the intersection with Eastside Road. That redo could be done in with an underpass, assuming the bridge approach is raised, to get cars across as required and allow for a much better system of merges and exits compared to what we have now.
Next, what about north of Hopland? My suggestion would be widening to allow for the current turn lane in the center to continue to just past Hewlitt Sturtevant Road and then transitioning north of there to four lanes until it joined with the existing four lane stretch near the CDF fire house. But I would like to suggest lowering the speed limit in the southbound direction beginning at around the fire house to 50 and then 40 and then 30 through Hopland. This would help get people’s speed down for a transition from 4 lanes to two closer to Hopland and the 30 mph through town would make Hopland a nicer place. If I recall correctly from long ago the speed limit in pre-bypass Cloverdale was just 25 in the center of town, so it can be done. As to the north bound direction that would need to be 30 in that same stretch but otherwise it could transition to fifty five as soon as the highway widened to four lanes north of town. An alternative would be to continue the turn lane all the way through to the firehouse. This would allow for safer entrances and exits to the Jeriko and Saracina wineries while adding a buffer zone between oncoming lanes of traffic. Should a bypass be built then it could got to the full four lanes.
I would like to see the widening to four lanes happen in the next two stretches as you head on towards Ukiah. The increasing traffic justifies it. But these two stretches of 101 to the south and north of Hopland are the ones that I believe should be improved first. Doing so will improve the safety on our most heavily traveled road in the county in one of its busiest and most dangerous stretches. If carefully planned they could set the stage for an eventual bypass of Hopland. Until a bypass happens, even slight a lowering of the speed limit through the town that first welcomes many of our visitors would be a plus. There may be better ideas out there than mine, but this section of 101 begs for some basic improvement and upgrading. Leaders and Caltrans, lets make it happen!
Michael Toivonen, Ukiah
TWO TEXAS MEN who said they drove to Ukiah with cash to buy marijuana reported being attacked Sunday, the Ukiah Police Department reported.
According to the UPD, officers responded to a home on Mendocino Avenue around 4:15 p.m. April 28 when a man reported that he had been robbed and hit on the head.
When officers spoke with the victim, he reported that the caller and another man had driven to Ukiah from Texas “with an undisclosed amount of cash with the intent of purchasing marijuana.”
When they arrived at a home on Gardens Avenue for the purchase, the victims said that one of them was “confronted by three male subjects, one of which was wearing a mask and armed with an assault rifle.”
The first victim was struck with an unknown object, and the second victim fled on foot after being confronted.
During the assault, the suspects also reportedly took the cash the victims had before fleeing the scene in two vehicles.
The victim with the head injury was taken to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, then treated and released that evening. The second victim was uninjured.
Officers collected evidence at the scene and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Ukiah Police Department at 707-463-6262.
TIME OF CALL: 4:16 PM
LOCATION/VICTIM: Gardens Ave.
CRIME: 211 PC/Robbery-Felony, 243(d) PC/Battery w/ great bodily injury-Felony, 182(a)(1) PC/ Conspiracy-Felony, 245(a)(4) PC-Assault with a deadly weapon-Felony
SUSPECT: Unknown-3 Male subjects
On 04/28/19, at approx. 4:16 PM, Ukiah Police Dept. Officers were dispatched to a residence on Mendocino Ave., for a report of a male subject who had a head injury and was claiming he had been robbed. Arriving Officers located a male subject who had sustained a major injury to his head. Ukiah Police Officers began an investigation and learned that the incident had occurred at a residence on Gardens Ave. During the initial investigation, Officers learned of a second victim who was located in the area. Ukiah Police Detectives, a member of the Ukiah Police Dept. Special Enforcement Team as well as an Agent from the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force were called to assist with the investigation.
It was learned that the two victims had driven to Ukiah from Texas with an undisclosed amount of cash with the intent of purchasing marijuana. When they arrived at the residence on Gardens Ave., one of the victims was confronted by three male subjects, one of which was wearing a mask and armed with an assault rifle. The victim was struck with an unknown object, causing the injury to his head. The second victim was then confronted and fled on foot. During the assault the suspect(s) took the cash from one of the victims, then fled the scene in two vehicles.
The victim who had sustained the injury was transported to UVMC, where he was treated and released that evening. The second victim was uninjured.
Evidence was recovered at the scene that indicated an assault had taken place and that a firearm had been present during the assault. Ukiah Police Department Detectives are conducting follow up investigations and the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with any additional information is urged to contact Ukiah PD at 707-463-6262.
MARK ROTHKO, Yellow, Cherry, Orange, 1947
FROST FANS got Boonville, especially South Boonville, off to a roaring 4am start Thursday morning, another in a series of reminders to Anderson Valley that what the wine industry wants, the wine industry gets. Or, as Philo wine mogul Ted Bennett bluntly put it to a room of local objectors, "My grapes are more important than your sleep."
THE FIRST OF THREE fire safe meetings held Tuesday late afternoon in Boonville was well-attended, which is understandable given the numbers of fire-vulnerable hill people in the Anderson Valley. At last count there are 22 local neighborhood and road association groups meeting to plan for the inevitable, and group-hoping the inevitable doesn't happen.
NOT THAT wildfires can't imperil all of us living on the valley floor. Two anecdotes you've probably heard from me before prove the point, the first probably thirty years old. That one broke out in the field across the road from the Boonville high school but, driven by the dependable afternoon summer winds, quickly burned through the field and into the tree line at Lambert Lane where our valiant volunteers beat it down and out. If it had not been stopped just as it got into the trees, homes along Lambert and the Boonville Hotel might have been lost. The second memorable fire with origins on the valley floor occurred on Anderson Valley Way not far from the elementary school. Despite the best efforts of Marv Dutra, a retired fire fighter who happened to be passing by just as the spark from a passing vehicle ignited roadside grasses, the summer afternoon winds instantly propelled the flames across the road and up into the Peachland hills. CalFire's aerial chem-drops arrested the blaze just east of the neighborhood at the foot of Peachland. Then-fire chief Jim Trubia and his volunteers saved at least one home as the fire swept past them as they worked. Fires that start on the valley floor can be just as menacing to the hill people as the fires that break out in the forests surrounding them.
AV Fire Chief Avila deserves high praise for organizing the fire safe meetings and inspiring the formation of neighborhood mutual protection societies. Kudos also to retired Chief Wilson who has volunteered much time advising locals on how to prepare and defend against fire emergencies.
AS A CHILD, May Day celebrations were important primary school events, with all us boys and girls in white shirts and blouses clutching streamers as we skipped around a pole hauled onto the playground for the occasion. I can't remember being told why we set aside an entire afternoon for the ceremony but I do recall enjoying the spectacle. Arbor Day was also formally acknowledged, with each of us receiving a packet of seeds to take home for planting. Years later, I learned the phallic implications of the Maypole ceremony from the great mythologist, Joseph Campbell, a revelation that certainly would have shocked the female teachers of the early 1950s who organized the Maypole celebrations.
"FIND YOUR HAPPY" Have I misplaced it? Nope, a radio reminder for Pinot Weekend heard by a startled listener as he drove through Fort Bragg in pursuit of his happy. The slogan seems to be another work product of our tax-funded Promotional Alliance, the same wizards who came up with "Nearby, Far Out" to lure visitors to Mendocino County, where you can get loaded every which way in America's intoxicant's capitol.
VALLEY PEOPLE should know that the enterprising Dawn Ballantine now offers photocopying at her cozy little HedgeHog book store at the train station, central Boonville.
SEEMS more than a fair price that a local guy offers who will do brush clearing for 25 bucks an hour and, for another 10, he'll take out your poison oak, too. 707/287-5779
ONE BIG REASON a lot of people are on the street is the disappearance of tenement hotels, even a few in Ukiah right on State Street, and all of them in San Francisco. Even the few remaining are a coupla hundred a week and occupied by working people who can afford them but nothing grander. As a starving student Before The Fall back in '62, I lived in one at 5th and Brannan in San Francisco. I was the youngest person, by far, in the place. paying about $25 a week for a comfortable, high ceiling room overlooking Brannan, a street then absolutely deserted after 5pm when all the industrial businesses in the area closed. The bathroom tended heavily to fetid, consisting of a commode, toxic basin and tub, and was down the hall, which I forewent whenever possible in favor of the facilities in the campus gym. My fellow tenants were old men, some of them heavy drinkers, some of them crazy but not crazy enough to get a state hospital berth. Once a week, the silent shell-shocked veteran in charge of the place passed out clean bedding. There were probably fifty of us in the leaning old structure of three floors of single rooms. Passing some of the old guys out on the street, we would tilt slightly at each other in solidarity and homage to our home, the leaning fleabag of 5th and Brannan. A girl friend wanted to see my room, but no sooner had we climbed the first floor stairs when she started to cry, blurting, "This is the most depressing place I've ever seen!" Later that summer we went to see a MacBeth at the Geary Theater. The cheap seats in the farther reaches of the balcony were all I could afford. This time girl friend suddenly screamed, "Vertigo! I can't, I can't…" And collapsed in the aisle. I wanted to heave her over the side but could only manage, "I'll meet you in the lobby," and I walked as fast as I could to my SRO where I knew she wouldn't, couldn't follow without risking two emotional collapses in one day. That romance soon ended. It was way too exciting for me.
ON TOP of every other catastrophe brought to us by Orange Man… Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced that American military intervention in Venezuela is “possible” following this week’s violent protests in the country. “The president has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent. Military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do,” Pompeo said on Fox Business Network. “We’re trying to do everything we can to avoid violence. We’ve asked all the parties involved not to engage in the kind of activity. We’d prefer a peaceful transition of government there, where Maduro leaves and a new election is held. But the president has made clear, in the event that there comes a moment—and we’ll all have to make decisions about when that moment is—and the president will have to ultimately make that decision. He is prepared to do that if that’s what’s required.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 2, 2019
(Unavailable due to computer glitches, will return/catch up tomorrow.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I was a farmer for quite some time. I gave it up due to the impossibly long hours and inability to support myself beyond basic subsistence. People are more willing to pay insane amounts of money on a per/pound basis for french fries or chips but balk at paying a local organic farmer a decent price for potatoes. I couldn’t compete with buy 1, get 2 free blueberry specials at the chain grocery. Those were generally “loss leaders” to get the customers in who then bought soda and snacks which is where the store made their money.
REACTION of people watching Psycho for the first time at a cinema in New York City in 1960. Photographer unknown. [Psycho, 1960, cinematography by John L. Russell, directed by Alfred Hitchcock].
WHY SO MANY JOURNALISTS ARE CLUELESS ABOUT THE BERNIE 2020 CAMPAIGN
by Norman Solomon
The elite-oriented atmosphere of media aversion to his campaign is in sync with media disregard for the power of community-based activism that could result in a Sanders presidency.
They don’t get it.
Mainstream journalists routinely ignore the essential core of the Bernie 2020 campaign. As far as they’re concerned, when Bernie Sanders talks about the crucial importance of grassroots organizing, he might as well be speaking in tongues.
Frequently using the word “unprecedented”—in phrases like “our unprecedented grassroots effort to take on the powerful special interests and billionaire class”—Sanders emphasizes the vast extent of organizing necessary for him to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency next year. For an extraordinary campaign, that could be attainable. For mainline media, it’s virtually inconceivable.
The conformist political reporters are akin to inept topside oceanographers who stay away from the depths while scrutinizing the surface and speculating on future waves. Time and again, the sea changes that come from below take them by surprise.
Four years ago, the media wisdom was that the 2016 Sanders campaign would scarcely get out of single digits. Media savants dismissed him—and the political program that he championed—as fringe. In timeworn fashion, when reporters and pundits made reference to any policy issues, the context was usually horseracing, which is what most campaign coverage boils down to.
Yet policy issues—and the passions they tap into—are central to what propels the Sanders 2020 campaign, along with the powerful fuel of wide recognition that Bernie Sanders has not bent to the winds of expediency. That goes a long way toward explaining the strength of his current campaign.
Sanders has retained the enthusiastic support of a big majority of his delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Last winter, when more than 400 of those delegates participated in a vote on whether to revive the independent Bernie Delegates Network, 95 percent said yes. (I’m a coordinator of the relaunched network.)
Unlike his “evolving” rivals who have blown hither and yon with political gusts, Sanders is not a wind sock. During 38 years as an elected official, he has remained part of progressive social movements to change the direction of prevailing winds. That orientation continues to inform his approach to elections.
“At the end of the day,” Sanders told a New York Times reporter in late April, “I believe now—and I’ve always believed—that grassroots activism is more important and more effective than 30-second television ads.” Such an outlook has been a perplexing concept for many political reporters, who routinely see the bottom-up activism of social movements as distinctly minor compared to the top-down mechanisms and poll-driven strategies that can boost a campaign to victory.
Right now, the conventional media wisdom is gaga over Joe Biden’s big lift in national polls since he announced for president a week ago. The former vice president was barely ahead of Sanders in polling before he formally threw his hat in the ring on April 25. The normal upward spike after a major candidate’s formal announcement rollout was made spikier by the lavish and largely reverential coverage from the many journalists who seem quite fond of him.
Retrospective looks at his treatment of Anita Hill during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas that he chaired in 1991 caused Biden some bad media moments during the last week. But—surprise!—he got little corporate media flak for his high-dollar campaign kickoff fundraiser hosted by top executives at Comcast and Blue Cross, which epitomized his flagrant embrace of corporate power throughout a long political career.
“It is not remarkable in the least for Joe Biden to come right out of the gate by filling his coffers with money from telecom and health insurance executives,” Hamilton Nolan wrote for the Guardian. “Who is going to tell him that he shouldn’t? The lobbyists advising his campaign? The zillionaire media executives feting him in a Hollywood mansion? The superstructure of Obama administration functionaries who see him as the most established of the establishment brand names? For the people who matter, Joe Biden is doing just what he is expected to do.”
As he tries to gain support from liberal voters, Biden is benefiting from the ties that bind him to corporate power. So, he can be grateful that—as the media watch group FAIR has reported—the Comcast-owned MSNBC quickly showed itself to be “in the tank for Joe Biden’s presidential run.”
It’s likely that the Biden balloon will lose altitude as the burst of hot-air publicity fades—and as more information about his actual record comes to wider light. Biden vs. Bernie offers a huge contrast between a corporatist whose biggest constituencies can be found on Wall Street and in corporate media vs. a progressive populist whose biggest constituencies can be found among those being ripped off by Wall Street and discounted by corporate media.
While there’s a journalistic spirit of tolerance toward Biden on such matters as his vileSenate record of pandering to racism and his more recent indications of openness toward cutting Social Security and Medicare, corporate media are overall far more negative toward what Bernie Sanders has done and continues to advocate.
For instance, this sentence from the speech that Sanders gave for the launch of his campaign a few weeks ago at Brooklyn College conveys a bit of what is antithetical to the assumptions of many in mainstream media: “Today, we say to the military-industrial-complex that we will not continue to spend $700 billion a year on the military—more than the next 10 nations combined. We’re going to invest in affordable housing, we’re going to invest in public education, we’re going to invest in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure—not more nuclear weapons and never-ending wars.”
And Sanders’ next words also went against the grain of mainstream political assumptions. “Brothers and sisters: We’re going to win this election not because we have a super PAC funded by billionaires. We’re going to win this election because we will put together the strongest grassroots coalition in the history of American politics.”
A notable step toward the “unprecedented” goal came last Saturday, when about 5,000 house parties and other gatherings watched a video that featured talks from Sanders and campaign leaders who were both inspirational and practical, encouraging supporters to do methodical outreach in local communities. The process is now being aided by the campaign’s just-unveiled organizing app called Bern.
The elite-oriented atmosphere of media aversion to Sanders is in sync with media disregard for the power of community-based activism that could result in a Sanders presidency. For the establishment press corps, the idea of grassroots progressive populism as a pathway to the White House is very strange. But for people who want genuine progressive change, it’s the only path.
THIS WORLD IS DIVIDED roughly into three kinds of nations: those that spend lots of money to keep their weight down; those whose people eat to live; and those whose people don't know where their next meal is coming from.
--David S. Landes, 1998; from "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations"
THE FOREST RECIPROCITY GROUP (FRG) will give a presentation on Revitalizing Forests to Revitalize Communities. Saturday, May 18 from 3-5 pm at the Willits Library, 390 E. Commercial St.
The Forest Reciprocity Group seeks to work collaboratively to unburden forestlands of overcapacity fire fuel load small diameter poles. This burden can become our solution. When we tend our forests for regenerative health, we are reciprocated with an abundance of valuable raw material that can provide economic incentives to revitalize local economies. Small diameter poles are a practical choice for framing fire-safe, earthen encased affordable housing and a plethora of other uses. Come to the presentation and learn more.
Also, FRG in collaboration with Polecraft Solutions https://www.polecraftsolutions.com/ will present a Pole Frame Cabin Raising Demonstration on Saturday, May 25 from 10 am to 10 pm. 44450 US Hwy 101, Laytonville (just north of the Chief) Pole Furniture Building Workshop, Food, Drinks and Music. Forest Activist Groups who would like to table should contact Jen 380-5059 See attached flyer.
FRG is an initiative of Cloud Forest Institute. visit http://www.forestreciprocity.org
DON'T BE FOOLED: JOE BIDEN IS NO FRIEND OF UNIONS
At no point in his career has Biden proven willing to take the slightest political risk on behalf of workers. His appearances in union halls occur when he needs something from labor. On the other hand, when Biden went to vacation in the Hamptons during the 2011 Verizon strike, workers in the area sought him out “just to possibly get a show of support, a thumb’s-up, a head nod, anything” – to no avail. That same year in Wisconsin, labor leaders specifically asked Biden to come to rally their resistance to the brutal, ultimately successful attack by Scott Walker; Biden declined.
Biden Sides With Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo in Backing Coup Effort in Venezuela
Democratic frontrunner characterizes effort to overthrow elected goverment of President Nicolas Maduro at gunpoint just another benign effort to "restore democracy" in Latin America.
Mr. Hernandez, across the hall
In number 12, was 84 — a former
electrician — just the other day he told me
Not to hesitate to knock if
We should need any help with the wiring
He was having some trouble remembering
And though the winter left him frail
I figured I might ask him still, until last night
When the medics arrived
And carried him out, on a board
Down four flights, and into the bus —
as his daughter, on the steps, wept
Just outside our door.
So long, Mr. Hernandez
I hope no loudmouths take your place
And you’ll no longer have to worry
About all the fascists.
KIERKEGAARD ON TROLLS:
There is a form of envy of which I frequently have seen examples, in which an individual tries to obtain something by bullying. If, for instance, I enter a place where many are gathered, it often happens that one or another right away takes up arms against me by beginning to laugh; presumably he feels that he is being a tool of public opinion. But lo and behold, if I then make a casual remark to him, that same person becomes infinitely pliable and obliging. Essentially it shows that he regards me as something great, maybe even greater than I am: but if he can’t be admitted as a participant in my greatness, at least he will laugh at me. But as soon as he becomes a participant, as it were, he brags about my greatness. That is what comes of living in a petty community.
FRED DID IT AND THEN REUNDIDDIDDIDDIDIT. AGAIN.
Doc's appointment noonish today. As usual the visit was as swift and efficient as a similar scene on a beach in Belize. We all perused the numbers. We discussed chemicals and courses of action. And the dire consequences of I just let the bottles empty until I had none available to me to take. Shortly later, some anonymous person, clad, probably, in a hazmat suit is washing blood from the carpeting.
Sooner or later, this will be our most likely end. Oh yeah, that guy over there was a city bus diver. That guy sold Chevys for a while. Then he went back to his pre-med major and is now getting close to his Golden Years, replete with a thousand dollar yearly stipend for this probity, this ability to say his lines with the kind of authority that God would probably make manifest when being on the wall and banging on the wall yelling Be Quiet In There!
All seems as well as it has seemed for the past three months of so. Doc took no notice of a rash that was fully visible the past time we had an appointment, had completely disappeared, to the point that my directing him to look right. There seems to cause him to reconsider his previous goal of holding the lifelong Chair in Pediatrics. It's easier.
Facts only, as clearly as I can put them:
Everyone who sees me living my life seems to think I am sicker than I think I am. I think that I have attained some stage of satori. I feel like I KNOW. I also suspect that when most good people look like they're listening, they're just waiting for another chance to explain. And explain and explain. And you could look it up, by god. And if that don't convince 'em . . .