- Coast Cooler
- Head Injury
- ATV Accident
- Green Butte
- Lake Tragedy
- Cougar Sighting
- Legal Bill
- Cognitive Dissonance
- Vet Visits
- Cartoons Scary
- Califas Plate
- Air Attack
- DA Critique
- McAlister Guilty
- Cloud DUI
- Quiz Cancelled
- Ed Notes
- Vaccine Decision
- You Matter
- Suds & Buds
- Yesterday's Catch
- Noctilucent Clouds
- Musical Storytime
- Klamath Dams
- Dummy Math
- Glyphosate Snacks
- Dear Dems
- Oriental Cookery
- New Words
- Global Garbage
- Corporate Totalitarianism
- Hank Williams
- Only A Lad
- Pretentious Pizza
- Oligarch 10
MARINE INFLUENCE will be seen along the coast today with a return of much cooler temperatures and low clouds. Isolated thunderstorms will be possible across the interior again today. Otherwise, dry weather with above normal temperatures will continue for inland northwest California. (National Weather Service)
FEMALE 'HEAD INJURY' AT BOONVILLE ELEMENTARY
MSP's scanner said (11:05 am) the Anderson Valley Fire Department, ground ambulance, as well as air ambulance CalStar 4, were dispatched to the Anderson Valley Elementary School for the report of a "29-year-old female, head injury." The patient is located in the school library. CalStar 4 accepted the assignment and said @ 11:10 am they could be on the scene in 12 minutes. At 11:19 am, the patient was being transported to the Boonville Airport landing zone to await the air ambulance. The ambulance said they should be at the airport @ 11:31 am. (via MendocinoSportsPlus)
Saturday, June 29 at 9 p.m. BoonFire will be playing at La Cantina! No cover! 21+ only.
A BOONVILLE MAN driving an All-Terrain Vehicle pulling a trailer somehow got pulled down a 40-foot embankment Wednesday afternoon when the trailer slipped off the road surface and pulled the man and his ATV down with him. First responders, recently having upgraded their rescue training and equipment, arrived on scene and used block and tackle and backboards to bring the man up the slope, package him and turn him over to a Ukiah ambulance, which took him to the Boonville Airport where he was air-evac'd to Santa Rosa Memorial with non-life-threatening, but "traumatic" injuries.
"BRIEFLY GREEN, UNLESS …"
LAKE MENDOCINO TRAGEDY
Missing Boater-Coroner's Investigation on Lake Mendocino
Victim(s): Deceased- Soto, Carlos- Native American adult male, 62 years of age, resident of Laytonville CA.
Missing-Soto, Vincent- Native American adult male, 40 years of age, resident of Laytonville CA.
On June 11, 2019 around 6:10 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was contacted about a deceased person found floating in the water at the south east end of Lake Mendocino. It was also reported that a boat, without any persons aboard was also located in the immediate area. The reporting party indicated he'd observed the boat unattended, with no one aboard, so he went to investigate and observed the body in the water.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded to the area and with the assistance of personnel from the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, located and recovered the body of a deceased male adult approximately 50 yards away from the boat. Identification in the boat was used to identify the decedent as Carlos Soto, 62 years of age, out of Laytonville. The cause of death in this case has not been determined but there were no obvious signs of foul play being involved. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday June 13, 2019.
During this investigation a second wallet with identification and cellular telephone were also located inside the boat. The wallet and phone belonged to Vincent Soto, a 40 year old adult male, also out of Laytonville.
Deputies were able to contact family members of the decedent where they learned the decedent, Carlos Soto, and his son, Vincent Soto had gone fishing on Lake Mendocino and should still be together. Deputies also located the missing persons vehicle with a boat trailer at the North Boat Ramp of Lake Mendocino. With the the two men having planned a day out together on the lake, a missing persons investigation was initiation related to Vincent Soto. An initial search of the lake showed no signs of where Vincent might be.
Sheriff's Deputies contacted the Mendocino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team who initiated a search by boat and by ground using divers and a side scan sonar system used to search under water. Search Teams will also be searching the shoreline of the lake.
Vincent Soto is described as being 40 years old, 5'09" tall, weighing approximately 190 pounds, with "salt and pepper" colored hair that is cut short. He is clean shaven and when last contacted by relatives, around 1300 hours on June 12, was shirtless and thought to be wearing blue denim cargo type shorts and possibly red (low top) style tennis shoes, possibly made by Nike. Family members said he has three tattoos; "One Love" on his chest that is multicolored, an English Mastiff on his left shoulder and a Native American with feathers on his right shoulder.
Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086.
WEDNESDAY ALBION MOUNTAIN LION SIGHTING
Neighbor at the 4.68 mile marker on Navarro Ridge Road (near Albion) reports a mama cougar and 2 teen cubs walking through their front yard. Likely on the run from the active THP next door, lots of machines, noise, falling trees. Wednesday morning June 12, 10 am.
THE COW IN THE DRIVEWAY
by Ron Morita
Rancho Navarro is a subdivision of 135 ten-acre lots nestled in the woods northwest of the Navarro General Store. Most properties lack permanent dwellings, giving the steep terrain a parklike atmosphere. Hidden behind hills and tall fences are cannabis grows, some a few plants and others in giant greenhouses. For years residents resented the generator noise and truck traffic but rarely challenged what might belong to the shadowy underworld. The legalization of cannabis in 2016 drew new owners. Some, like my neighbors--a tall bearded dreamboat with an Irish brogue and a bright mile-a-minute talker from the Tennessee hills who “couldn’t get rid of my accent no matter how I tried”--were young couples looking to go back to the land. Cultivating openly, they became a lightning rod for long-standing grievances. A letter to The Advertiser and another to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors denounced the growers as a menace to the community. Members of the seven-person Rancho Navarro Association Board of Directors, which controls a large budget devoted primarily to maintenance of the paved roads, met with attorneys in an attempt to modify the Association’s rules (CC&Rs) to curb cannabis cultivation. They produced an 11-page document outlining a cumbersome business permit procedure and a schedule of penalties that included a $7700 fine for cutting down a tree. The legal bill for this endeavor was $16,065. Uncomfortable with granting broad powers to the unpaid Board, RNA members on both sides of the cannabis issue signed a veto petition forcing the proposal’s withdrawal.
Feelings ran high before this July’s election for three open seats on the Board. Along with the mailed ballots, the Board enclosed four pages defending its actions, which included: “The cannabis culture is worrisome for parents raising young children here.” “Property owners feel afraid. There are strangers on the Ranch and some behave badly.” “Many owners believe that the concentration of growers in this community reduces the value of individual properties and creates a negative reputation for Rancho Navarro.”
Although I’ve never been a grower, I ran for the Board advocating mediation rather than the hiring of lawyers. In an emailed rebuttal to the Board’s electioneering, I included the following vignette:
I’m the sort of nerdy engineer who carries multiple pens and a spiral bound notepad in his breast pocket, habitually forgets to wear a belt, and has intractable cowlick. I have never been in a law school class. More years ago than I care to admit, a developer proposed squeezing three lots on a common driveway in the Short Street cul-de-sac around the corner from my house. The neighbors were outraged, and one of them hired an attorney to speak before the Planning Board. Lawyers charge an unconscionable amount of money to pay for their wood-paneled office, sexy secretary, and video game playing between cases, so they rarely spend their three-figure-an-hour time exploring the intricacies of local zoning laws. Being in only two figures, I did.
The Planning Board consisted of two men and a woman, middle aged, casually dressed, and apparently arriving from a white collar day job. Our attorney, a young man with swept-back hair and a brown pin-striped suit, threw legal jargon at the Board, which didn’t appear particularly enchanted.
After he finished, I stood. “Suppose a cow wandered down Short Street, laid down in the middle of the common driveway, and died. Who would remove the cow? Should they cut it in half?” [laughter]…
I understood that the weakness of the developer’s plans lay in the easement over the common driveway that each owner possessed, something our attorney never emphasized. After we won the case, half a dozen of my neighbors walked up to me and shook my hand. No one approached that lawyer.
I’m three-and-one in traffic court. My only defeat came in Wyoming, with whose legal system I was unfamiliar, before a judge in black robes on an enclosed bench in a chamber with seats for over a hundred. Although I was in over my head, the prosecutor, an attractive young woman who had just handled a burglary case in the same courtroom, granted me a plea bargain, probably for having the courage to argue before the proud silver-haired trial judge. Because the RNA Board is unpaid, it can have my legal services for $300 an hour less than what their other attorneys charged.
MENDOCINO ANIMAL HOSPITAL at Anderson Valley Farm Supply
Dr. Burns from Mendocino Animal Hospital will be at the Anderson Valley Farm Supply seeing patients twice in July.
Thursday, July 11th AND Thursday, July 25th
She's there between 2:00 and 4:00 pm. People can always check our Facebook page in the events section for more information - it's always posted when we're going to be there.
Mendocino Animal Hospital
JESSICA AND NINA
On June 11, 2019 Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported shooting in the area of the 4300 block of Old River Road in Talmage. Deputies were familiar with the area based on previous calls for service regarding trespassing and controlled substance use. Upon arrival, two adult females were observed in the area near a vehicle parked in a driveway. Jessica Norton, 27 of Ukiah, was contacted and it was determined she was on searchable probation.
A probation search of her vehicle revealed suspected methamphetamine and she was subsequently arrested. Nina Goodson, 35, of Lucerne, was also contacted and during a pat search of her person, a concealed fixed bladed knife was discovered on her person and she was subsequently arrested.
Both individuals were booked into the Mendocino County Jail. Norton was to held in lieu of $5,000.00 bail for charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Violation of Probation. Goodson, who was initially booked into the Mendocino County Jail under a falsely provided name, was discovered to have provided the true name of another person. An additional charge of falsely impersonating another person was added to her booking charges. Goodson was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
FAKE LICENSE PLATE on Big Rig Leads to DUI Arrest in Moorpark
KATHY WYLIE WRITES: You may have heard the the Air attack base will be moved to Sonoma, because Ukiah Airport runway needs resurfacing in order to make it safe for these big planes. When I asked what would be needed in order to make Little River Airport an adequate base, Someone (seemingly in the know) said that “There is a lot of equipment used to make the fire retardant. Concentrated material is mixed with water in batches and then when the S-2 comes in they load it up quickly with specialized equipment that is hard mounted. Fuel storage and the truck/staff to load it is another major operational constraint. Ukiah has 13,000 gallons of Jet A between the tank and the truck and Cal-Fire can burn than in a day or two. My question: what is the status of fueling accommodations at Little River Airport? Should we be trying to make this local airport accommodate/act as an air attack base for future wildfire suppression?
DA DAVID EYSTER WRITES:
Please allow some corrections to the article “Susan Miller’s Crime” in the Wednesday edition:
First, defendant Susan Miller was NOT sentenced to prison last week, as reported in the first paragraph. Instead, based on the factors mentioned in the opening paragraph of the reporter’s article, the Court decided to place the defendant on supervised probation, the terms of which will be imposed this coming Thursday (June 13th). One term already known is that the defendant will be required to serve 10 months in the Low Gap facility, meaning 5 months actual time.
Second, the DA did NOT argue for a state prison commitment. The prosecution argued for a local prison commitment, said commitment split one year in jail and two years of supervision through the Adult Probation Department. The sentence imposed by the judge works out to be a more onerous sentence for the defendant than that sought by the People.
Third, contrary to the article’s second paragraph, neither Mr. Palestrini nor Mrs. Palestrini asked the Court to impose a maximum sentence on the defendant. One asked that “some jail time” be imposed and the other simply asked that “justice” be imposed without saying what justice should be.
Overall, the article is internally inconsistent. At the beginning it reports one thing; it later contradicts itself. I could continue but, instead, I will end with a quote from Charles Lindbergh: “Accuracy means something to me. It’s vital to my sense of values. I’ve learned not to trust people who are inaccurate. Every aviator knows that if mechanics are inaccurate, aircraft crash.”
BRUCE MCEWEN REPLIES:
I was under the impression 1170 h referred to local prison, prison for non-violent prisoners, but prison all the same.
The Pallistrinis certainly gave the impression that the max would be fine with them.
As for Lindbergh’s “sense of values” keep in mind that he was a Nazi sympathizer.
“The culture of US journalism mandates that reporters avoid any declarative statements and incorporate government assertions into their reporting, treating them with respect no matter how frivolous they are. They use middle-of-the-road-ese never saying anything definitive but instead vesting with equal credence the government’s defenses and the actual facts.” — Glenn Greenwald.
I’ve always tried to get away from the awful mandates of some Nazi’s ideas of what accuracy is or should be. And my assignment is and always has been To Report My Impressions, for you know as well as I do that one lawyer’s “facts” are generally diametrically opposed to any other lawyer’s “facts.”
UKIAH, Wed., June 12. -- A Mendocino County jury returned from its deliberation just before 5 o'clock Wednesday afternoon with a guilty verdict against the accused.
Defendant Violet Michelle McAlister, age 57, of Ukiah, was found guilty of grand theft of property having a value greater than $950, a felony.
The defendant stole clothing and other property belonging to an out-of-county family spending the night in Ukiah on their way to the Bay Area to go on vacation. Trying to salvage the situation, the family went to a local store to replace what had been stolen and saw the defendant with a shopping cart full of their property. They immediately called for police assistance.
After the jury was excused, the defendant's matter was referred to the Mendocino County Adult Probation Department for a background study and sentencing recommendation. The defendant was ordered back to court on July 12th at 9 o'clock in the morning for judgment and sentencing. Anyone interested in this case or this defendant is welcome to attend that sentencing hearing.
The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Jamie Pearl. It should be noted that this was DDA Pearl's first felony jury trial.
The law enforcement agency that investigated and gathered the evidence to support today's conviction was the Ukiah Police Department.
Mendocino County Judge John Behnke presided over the three-day trial. He will also sit as the sentencing judge on the 12th.
UKIAH, Wed., June 12. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations Wednesday afternoon with guilty verdicts against the accused.
Defendant Deborah Lynn Cloud, age 60, of Ukiah, was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood alcohol of .08 or greater, and driving under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, all three counts as a misdemeanor.
The evidence presented to the jury included that the defendant's blood alcohol was .079 ninety minutes after the motorcycle collision. Using an EtOH elimination rate of .018 per hour, it was scientifically asserted that the defendant's blood alcohol would have been about .109 at the time of her driving. Forensic testing further revealed that the defendant also had methamphetamine, diazepam (Valium), and Tramadol, an opiate, in her bloodstream at the time of driving.
The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Houston Porter. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Ukiah Police Department and the California Department of Justice forensic crime laboratories in Eureka and Sacramento.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Jeanine Nadel presided over the three-day trial.
NO QUIZ TONIGHT/THIS WEEK
Due to a proper Graduation (High School) taking place tomorrow evening, Thursday 13th June, along with the Warriors playing in Game 6 of the NBA finals, we have canceled The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz originally planned for the 2nd Thursday, as always. We shall return on the 4th Thursday, June 27th, providing there is not a graduation ceremony for those kids staying off screens and playing outside during the school holidays — although maybe there should be one.
Cheers, Steve Sparks / The Quiz Master
OUR PHONE SERVICE was restored Wednesday morning after two full days out of service. I called AT&T's service line first thing Wednesday morning, 35-minutes out of the only life I'll live, as I again listened to "menus" and robotic voices assuring me, "We value your call" as I waited for the next disembodied voice to tell me what to do. Finally, after minutes of elevator music, and as I moved to other tasks as I waited, my hand fell asleep around my cell phone, one of those big numeral jobs designed for slo-mo old people. Finally, a human female voice suddenly identified herself as "Justine," and I launched into my old guy woe about no land line and me elderly alone in a sea of rural wickedness and lurking predators. Then I started to cough, possibly a karmic punishment for laying so much bullshit on the poor lady when Justine, and bless her all her days, said, "Take your time, Mr. Anderson. If you need some water I can wait." Sounding totally slobbery senile, I told Justine she was "a very good person," and "in a just world, Justine, you would be in charge of your awful corporation." She laughed. "We will have someone out there before five," which is what 'Karen' had told me the day before. But darned if a harried young man didn't appear at 10:30am and straight away found the prob — a defunct wire. He apologized to me "for not getting here sooner, but I cover a big area and…." These conglomerates squeeze their line people, ruthlessly exploit them by giving them more to do for less pay. This kid, climbing telephone poles all day in hundred degree heat for one of the worst corporations in the country, had nothing to apologize for.
DIMMICK STATE PARK is open again after an 8-year hiatus. Also known as Navarro Redwoods State Park, Dimmick's 12 acres of redwoods is located on the banks of the Navarro around mile marker 8 just off Highway 128, and is named after Paul Dimmick, a long ago mill superintendent for the Albion Lumber Company. I always associate the park with what used to be called Iron Bridge, a swimming hole a little farther west and not associated with Dimmick. And I make both associations because of a weird incident reported to me years ago by an Elk woman. She said she and several other young mothers were at the swimming hole with their children when a naked man with an eye-slitted paper bag over his head charged out of the bushes and sprinted past them before disappearing back into the brush and on out to his vehicle on 128. The moms chased the perv out to the road and were able to get his license plate number. He turned out to be a guy from Fort Bragg who was duly slapped on the wrist by Ten Miles' notoriously indulgent court (Judge Heeb?) and…. probably did it again.
IF BOONVILLE is a harbinger of what's to come for high school football, the sport may be doomed. Coach John Toohey, himself an accomplished athlete who played the game at the college level, posted this forlorn message today: "Due to a lack of interest and insufficient numbers, the AV Panther Cubs will not be fielding football teams this upcoming season." Not that long ago the game thrived in the Anderson Valley.
"DEAR MR. ANDERSON: I saw you last night in the gym. Did you notice that at last night's high school awards that the school staff awarded the Mexican kids lots of scholarships but the white people giving scholarships awarded scholarships to white kids? Please don't print my name. I'm just asking."
SEEMED like a color blind event to me. I'm a sort of pinkish white myself, tending to floridity, and I can say the scholarships I distributed were granted without ethnic consideration. I couldn't help noticing, however, the great preponderance of female award winners over males which, as I dimly recall, was true in 1957 when I graduated from high school by the skin of my pearly whites, having no interest in what I was theoretically being taught. I did the bare minimum to stay eligible for sports, and all that was in my future was a tour with the Marines, an experience that focused my attentions for sure. Nothing in the classroom, though, seemed to correspond with the reality I experienced away from school. I wonder every year — fear actually — for the Boonville high school matriculators stepping confidently into a world far less predictable than the serene 1950s, but even then beatniks were cavorting in North Beach, and even my dumb ass was beginning to wake up as I absorbed reality-confirming novels like On The Road, Catcher in the Rye, Black Boy, and even a premature go round with the USA Trilogy, which I had to read again a few years later to fully "get." If I were creating a high school curriculum today I'd focus it on How To Be Poor And Still Have A Good Time, with regular lectures from old people who managed it. I sure as hell wouldn't encourage anybody to go to college unless they were determined to be, and had the talent for, sciences or engineering/architecture. Liberal Arts diplomas are a waste of a kid's time, money and effort. Borrowing to get one is completely nuts.
THE GYM was stuffy but not all that uncomfortable given the blast furnace outside.
SHERIFF ALLMAN said Tuesday when he stopped by for a chat, that his deputies are seeing more and more fentanyl out there in bucolic Mendocino County. "All our deputies carry Narcan," Allman said. "And so does County Jail staff." The Sheriff is fully aware that death rates from suicide, alcohol abuse, and drug overdoses—the “deaths of despair”—aren't limited to redwood country. They've reached an all-time high in the United States, a finding confirmed by the Commonwealth Fund. Some states have been hit far worse than others, and California, according to the CF report, isn't as bad as the mid-Atlantic states — West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania — where drug-overdose deaths occur at the greatest per capita rate in the country. After West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Delaware, and New Hampshire had the next highest drug-overdose death rates in the country, the report found.
CHILDREN SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT to tell doctors to vaccinate them if parents have 'flawed' anti-vaxx beliefs, rules American Medical Association as US measles cases hit 17-year high
The AMA, the US's largest doctors' union, said today anti-vaccination sentiment was acknowledged to be behind rising cases of measles in the country and said children should be able to protect themselves against their dangerously ignorant parents
MARIJUANA MOVING INTO MENDOCINO BREWING Company building
Emerald Sun processing facility given permit for site on Airport Road
CATCH OF THE DAY, JUNE 12, 2019
LUIS AYALA-ORTIZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery, trespassing, probation revocation.
PRUDENCE DAVIS, Ukiah. Dumping in commercial quantities, polluting state waters, refusing to leave, probation revocation.
THOMAS GALINDO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting. (Frequent flyer.)
NEEMAN HAMMER, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Battery on peace officer.
ROBERT JAMES SR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
NICHOLAS LANZIT, Ukiah. Dumping in commercial quantities, polluting state waters, refusing to leave, probation revocation.
MARK LEDBETTER, Ukiah. Under influence, resisting, probation revocation.
MIRANDA MULLINS, Willits. Failure to appear, resisting, probation revocation.
JESSICA NORTON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
DANIEL ORTIZ, Ukiah. Unspecified offense.
OLIVIA RIOS-FABER, Point Arena. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
GERONIMO SALAZAR-ARPARICIO, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI), failure to appear.
JAY SERPAS, San Francisco/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JOSHUA WILSON, Cloverdale. DUI, suspended license.
EUREKA METEOROLOGIST FEATURED in Washington Post After Snapping Photos of Rare, Shiny Clouds Possibly Linked to Climate Change
MUSICAL STORYTIME With Richard Jeske, and Reading With Roberta Werdinger
A FIGHT BETWEEN HUMBOLDT STAKEHOLDERS Over the Klamath Dams is Impacting Environmental Protections Across the Country
by Ryan Burns
The Klamath River past the J.C. Boyle Dam, one of four Klamath hydroelectric dams owned by PacifiCorp, along with Iron Gate, Copco I and Copco II. | Wikimedia Commons.
The past 15 years have seen a lot of complex negotiating, arguing and legal wrangling over the Klamath River Hydroelectric Project. For the most part these disputes have been limited to the fate of the four PacifiCorp-owned hydroelectric dams on that waterway.
Not to minimize the stakes there: If the decommissioning goes through as planned (the latest timetable aims for a drawdown sometime in 2021) it will be the largest dam removal project in U.S. history, with major implications for environmental restoration, the salmon fishery, agriculture and local tribes.
But a recent Federal Appeals Court decision is having repercussions that extend far beyond the Klamath River Basin. It’s the result of a legal fight between the Hoopa Valley Tribe and partners in the landmark Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA).
Both sides in this dispute want the dams to come down, but they have long disagreed on the best methods to achieve that end. Hoopa wants to fight PacifiCorp; the others want to work with the dam owner.
Hoopa says the recent court ruling did away with an illegal loophole that was allowing states to hold federal proceedings hostage for years on end. Opponents say the verdict has thrown a wrench into state and tribal efforts to protect the environment, and could have devastating repercussions across the country.
The D.C. Circuit panel’s ruling, issued this past January and upheld under appeal in April, concerns the environmental oversight authority states have under the Clean Water Act.
Critics of the decision, including California, Oregon and more than a dozen other states, plus major environmental groups and several tribes, believe it was deeply misguided. They argue that it not only threatens the prospect of dam removal on the Klamath but also strikes a blow to states’ environmental oversight authority on federally permitted dam and pipeline projects.
In effect, they say, this decision means that license-holders for dozens of dams affecting hundreds of miles of rivers may no longer have to comply with state water laws. The three environmental groups that appealed the January ruling — American Rivers, Trout Unlimited and California Trout — must now decide whether to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, an attorney for the Hoopa Valley Tribe, which filed the suit against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), among other defendants, says this ruling brought an end to an “egregious” and illegal bureaucratic stalling tactic that long stood in the way of the tribe’s own dam removal efforts.
The case revolves around Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which says a federal agency can’t issue a permit or license for any project that might result in discharge into U.S. waters — projects such as hydroelectric dams and pipelines — until the states or authorized tribes where that water will be discharged get a chance to review the water quality impacts.
The statute gives states and tribes “a reasonable period of time (which shall not exceed one year)” to either issue or deny a water quality certification. In practice, however, states often take much longer.
For example, as part of the 2010 Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA), the signatories, including PacifiCorp, the state of California, the state of Oregon, the Karuk, Klamath and Yurok Tribes, plus various counties, irrigation districts and nonprofit groups, repeatedly asked FERC to defer that one-year statutory limit. The parties were buying time to negotiate details of the agreement and, they hoped, convince Congress to pass legislation implementing it.
To achieve this delay the parties asked FERC to allow PacifiCorp to periodically withdraw and resubmit their 401 water quality permit application before the California State Water Resources Control Board. Each time they did this it reset the clock on that one-year deadline, giving the parties another year to work with.
Environmental groups, FERC and others say this tactic of withdraw-and-resubmit is exceedingly common.
“For simple projects with complete applications, one year is ample time to make a decision,” reads a statement from the Hydropower Reform Coalition issued earlier this year. “However, in circumstances where the project is complex or the application is incomplete, additional time is often required by a certifying agency to develop the record.”
The environmental protections at the state level, particularly those in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), often require more extensive mitigation measures than those imposed by FERC.
The Hoopa Valley Tribe disapproved of this approach, as they’ve done before on Klamath dam matters. The tribe was not a signatory to the KHSA or the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA). They felt the terms of the deal wouldn’t provide sufficient water in the lower Klamath to support fish populations, and they doubted that Congress would ever pass legislation to implement the agreement.
The latter doubt, at least, proved justified. The KBRA expired in 2015 due to inaction in the U.S. Congress.
“Hoopa was always opposed to something that would delay dam removal, such as the original KBRA,” the tribe’s attorney, Tom Schlosser, told the Outpost. Instead, he said, the tribe wanted FERC to proceed with relicensing the dams because they believed any new license would require PacifiCorp to provide volitional fish passage, per the Federal Power Act, and the only way to achieve that would be dam removal.
From Hoopa’s perspective, the withdraw-and-resubmit tactic stood in the way of bringing down the dams. So in 2012, Hoopa asked FERC to declare that by failing to act within the one-year timeframe spelled out in Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, California and Oregon had effectively waived their authority, relinquishing their right to impose water quality standards.
FERC denied the request, and so in 2014 Hoopa filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Appeals. The case of Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC, et al.wended its way through the court system, eventually resulting in January’s Circuit Court ruling in Hoopa’s favor.
The three-judge panel found that California and Oregon were, in essence, holding federal licensing of the Klamath dams hostage. “By shelving water quality certifications, the states usurp FERC’s control over whether and when a federal license will issue,” the ruling says.
The court found that the “coordinated withdrawal-and-resubmission scheme,” as the decision called it, has no legal basis. “Accordingly, we conclude that California and Oregon have waived their Section 401 authority with regard to the Project.”
Schlosser said the ruling was a vindication for the Hoopa Valley Tribe. “By showing that the withdraw-resubmit process was illegal we removed an obstacle to dam removal,” he said.
Others don’t see it that way. Steve Rothert, California director with American Rivers, said the premise underlying Hoopa’s lawsuit — that FERC will be forced to order dam removal — is fundamentally flawed.
“FERC, in its history of issuing hydropower licenses, has never once required a dam owner to remove a dam against its will,” he said.
Rothert thinks it’s more likely that the decision will backfire, causing PacifiCorp to reconsider dam removal altogether. The company’s duty, he said, is to its shareholders alone.
“By forcing this case, [Schlosser] has removed one of the most important economic levers in PacifiCorp’s business decision [to remove the dams], which is, ‘How will the cost of complying with California and Oregon water quality conditions … affect the bottom line of this project?’” Rothert said.
To date PacifiCorp has not indicated that it plans to back out of the dam-removal agreement. Indeed, last month the company entered into an agreement with Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. giving the firm site access to conduct initial surveying and other work for the planned removal of those four dams.
Regardless, the larger implications of the ruling may lie elsewhere.
Schlosser believed the decision would be interpreted narrowly, in part because the parties in the Klamath alliance had a formal, written agreement regarding the withdraw-and-resubmit routine, whereas most other projects utilize the tactic without such documentation. But the case is being treated as precedent, a means by which project applicants can get out from under state environmental review on dam and pipeline projects scattered across the U.S.
It’s being called the “Hoopa exemption,” and licensees across the country are asking for it. Thus far, FERC has been amenable to granting it.
In February, for example, the Placer County Water Agency cited the Hoopa Valley decision as it asked FERC to declare that the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) had waived its certification authority for relicensing of the Middle Fork American River Project.
Placer County had been utilizing the withdraw-and-resubmit technique, at the direction of the water board, since 2012. On April 18, FERC granted the request, using the Hoopa decision as justification. “The Hoopa Valley court did not in any way indicate that its ruling was limited solely to the case before it,” FERC wrote.
Another project: The Nevada Irrigation District, in California’s Nevada County, cites the Hoopa Valley decision in asking FERC to waive the state’s 401 certification for the Yuba-Bear Hydroelectric Project in the northern Sierra Nevada. That decision remains pending.
Last month, PG&E also cited the Hoopa Valley decision in asking FERC to declare that California had waived its 401 authority over the Killarc-Cow Creek Hydroelectric Project in Shasta County. PG&E wants to proceed with decommissioning that project without having to comply with conditions from the state.
Elsewhere, Fortune 100 energy corporation Exelon is trying to get out from under the State of Maryland’s 401 authority over its Conowingo Dam Projects. According to a post in the National Law Review, Maryland’s 401 certification, issued on April 27, 2018, “imposes significant requirements for Exelon to remove itself or pay to have removed the phosphorus and nitrogen that flow from upstream on the Susquehanna River, at a cost of up to $7 billion over the term of the new FERC license.”
Exelon has asked FERC to declare that Maryland waived its 401 authority, per the Hoopa Valley decision, by directing it to withdraw and resubmit its application. That petition also remains pending before FERC.
And in April, FERC relied on the Hoopa Valley case in refusing to overturn its own prior decision that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation had waived its 401 authority for a gas pipeline project in Pennsylvania and New York.
As noted on the Law360 blog, “FERC acknowledged that it had previously allowed a Section 401 permit applicant to withdraw and resubmit its application, but it said the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Hoopa Valley Tribe casts doubt on whether withdrawal-and-resubmission arrangements are still viable.”
Environmentalists are keeping tabs as more and more licensees cite the Hoopa Valley case in an effort to sidestep state oversight.
Ron Stork, senior policy advocate with Friends of the River, called the circuit court decision “the nightmare we all predicted — except Hoopa. It threatens the whole underpinning of the states’ ability to meaningfully participate in relicensing of FERC jurisdictional hydroelectric projects.”
Stork said FERC “absolutely hates” that states and some tribes have a meaningful role in the relicensing process, and so the agency will seize every opportunity to undermine that oversight.
“Essentially FERC views its job as being an advocate for licensees,” he said.
Stork said this decision couldn’t have come at a worse time, given the influence of the Trump administration.
Here’s why: States and tribes aren’t the only environmental watchdogs on pipeline and hydroelectric dam projects. Federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service also have significant input on the relicensing process.
“So we’ve historically had a state team working with federal agencies to improve the project conditions for recreation or fisheries, and FERC and the licensee on the other side trying to minimize cost and maximize profits,” Stork said.
But under the Trump administration, he said, the federal natural resource agencies have more or less switched sides; they’re working as advocates for the licensees rather than environmental protectors. “So the only player that has a meaningful ability to affect FERC are the states,” he said. “That is exclusively and only through their ability under the federal Clean Water Act to issue or deny or set conditions on water quality certifications.”
When courts find that states have waived their authority it means there may be no state-level environmental review until the project is up for relicensing, which could be as long as 50 years.
‘This is a huge deal gone terribly, terribly wrong, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.’ —Ron Stork
“So you’re taking the state out of the game for perhaps half a century,” Stork said. “This is a huge deal gone terribly, terribly wrong, and it couldn’t come at a worse time.”
Other environmental leaders are equally appalled. “The implications are as great as we had feared,” said Chris Shutes, FERC projects director for the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. He said that Hoopa’s approach in this case, challenging a common if perhaps rule-bending method of operating, should serve as a cautionary tale.
“To open the door to wholesale change to how business is done and to legal interpretation, that’s a very dangerous way to do business,” Shutes said. “Because once you throw it out there you don’t have control.”
Schlosser said this interpretation is incorrect.
“It’s absolutely wrong that this [decision] prevents the states from exercising their authority to protect water,” he said. “Section 401 requires states to approve or deny within a year. We’ve said all along, and we still say: all states have to do is deny the application.”
That’s exactly what’s happening now.
“California has begun to routinely deny 401 applications in hydropower licensings without prejudice even as to applications it has previously deemed complete, in order to attempt to extend the one-year process,” attorneys from the firm Van Ness Feldman, LLP, noted on The National Law Review.
Rothert, with the nonprofit American Rivers, said that may be fine for projects moving forward, but there are “dozens and dozens” of hydropower dam and pipeline projects that utilized the withdraw-and-resubmit tactic.
“This was the standard practice agencies used,” he said. And leaving all the authority to protect water quality in the hands of FERC would be dangerous.
“We do not consider FERC adequately committed to protecting the environment,” Rothert said. “Their job is to license hydropower projects. Their perspective not one of river protection or enhancing tribal welfare.”
Schlosser said the parties in the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement should have thought about that sooner.
“It’s not as though they did this [withdraw-and-resubmit tactic] without regard to possibilities of its effect elsewhere,” he said. “They chose to block the Klamath proceedings on an illegal basis, and the fact that they jeopardized some deal made elsewhere … is not my concern.”
The three appellants in the Hoopa Valley case, including American Rivers, have until late July to decide whether to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. Rothert said they’ve been approached by a coalition of more than 20 states asking them to consider doing so, and at least five tribes are organizing for the cause as well.
NEW TESTING REVEALED Popular Kids Cereals Contaminated With Weedkiller Roundup. A new analysis reveals Wednesday that over 20 popular children's cereals and snacks are contaminated with glyphosate—the main ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup. The testing was commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)—the third round of such testing it's undertaken—and looked at popular General Mills-made products, including several Cheerios varieties and various kinds of Nature Valley granola bars.
ANOTHER CLASS, Oriental Cookery, as I believe it was then called, was pretty funny. The instructor, a capable Chinese guy, was responsible for teaching us the fundamentals of both Chinese and Japanese cooking. The Chinese portion of the class was terrific. When it came time to fill us in on the tastes of Japan, however, our teacher was more interested in giving us an extended lecture on the Rape of Nanking. His loathing of the Japanese was consuming. In between describing the bayoneting of women, children and babies in World War II, he'd point at a poster of a sushi/sashimi presentation on the wall, and say in his broken, heavily accented English, "That a raw a fish. You wanna eat that? Hah! Japanese shit!" Then he'd go back into his dissertation on forced labor, mass executions, enslavement, hinting darkly that Japan would pay, sooner or later, for what it had done to his country.
THE WASHINGTON POST'S MENSA INVITATIONAL once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Here are the winners:
- Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
- Ignoranus : A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
- Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
- Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
- Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
- Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
- Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
- Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
- Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
- Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
- Karmageddon : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
- Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
- Glibido : All talk and no action.
- Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
- Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
- Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
- Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.
The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:
- Coffee, n.. The person upon whom one coughs.
- Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
- Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
- Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.
- Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.
- Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
- Lymph , v.. To walk with a lisp.
- Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.
- Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.
- Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.
- Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.
- Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
- Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.
- Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
- Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
- Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
THE THOUGHT POLICE ARE COMING
His arrest eviscerates all pretense of the rule of law and the rights of a free press. The illegalities carried by the Ecuadorian, British and U.S. governments in the seizure of Julian two months ago from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London are ominous. They presage a world where the internal workings, abuses, corruption, lies and crimes, especially war crimes, carried out by the global ruling elite will be masked from the public. They presage a world where those with the courage and integrity to expose the misuse of power, no matter what their nationality, will be hunted down around the globe and seized, tortured, subjected to sham trials and given lifetime prison terms. They presage an Orwellian dystopia where journalism is outlawed and replaced with propaganda, trivia, entertainment and indoctrination to make us hate those demonized by the state as our enemies. The arrest of Julian marks the official beginning of the corporate totalitarianism and constant state surveillance, now far advanced in China, that will soon define our lives. The destruction of all protection of the rule of law, which is what we are witnessing, is essential to establishing an authoritarian or totalitarian state.
JUNE 11, 1949: HANK WILLIAMS makes his debut on the Grand Ole Opry, performing "Lovesick Blues" and "Mind Your Own Business." In the audience is Porter Wagoner, attending his first Opry show.
The dollar store has thermometers. Like everything in the dollar store, and more and more things everywhere else, they're shoddy, but you can look at all 20 of them on the rack, buy the ones that more or less agree with each other, and put them in and around your house, in the shade, in the sun, in the car, in your cupboard, and you will always know what the temperature is RIGHT NOW.
And then you can report. "The temperature outside my house up [Something] Road is [whatever]." "The temperature in my laundry room is [whatever]." "The temperature in my car is [broken thermometer]." They work in the bathtub, the photography chemicals, etc.
For ten or twenty times the money, the hardware store has big mechanical (bimetal-coil) thermometers that you can read from forty feet away, and they have electronic thermometers too that communicate by radio, if you like to buy lots of batteries and fall off a ladder. Use an oven thermometer for the car.
Learn about how they used to make thermometers in Britain, in a mostly by-hand operation, "The handiest weapon in the fight for health." https://theawesomer.com/making-mercury-thermometers/528011/
Speaking of which, I recall an early thermometer experience. I was three or four, and baffled/outraged/puzzled, and then just bemused when we left the doctor's office and they gave me a lollipop. I think you know what I'm talking about, here, the odd smiles and the thing to put in your mouth right after they put something in the other end --was there a connection? The sense of /weirdness/ of the world. At school they explained vaccination and we lined up to get our jabs or shots, and I could see it coming from down the hall, and I understood the need for it. There were people all around in those days who'd had polio, and those were the lucky ones who lived, and who weren't stuck in an iron lung. One of my teachers, Mrs. Hatch, had a dead arm that was like a thin piece of rope with twisted fingers on the end of it that she used to hang her keys on, and when she walked or turned around it swung loosely this way and that and bumped to a stop. /That's from polio/. But whoever came up with shoving a thermometer up a child's butt and then sold the idea to the world, tch. I'm imagining the guy's lightbulb moment, like when Steve Martin was eating cornflakes and he thought up /Cruel Shoes/, or Woody Allen thought of /Kidnapping/, or Kids In The Hall came up with /I'm crushing your head! Crush! Crush!/ It's a young doctor typing up his lines for the next day, and suddenly: "Oh, my God! Honey, come in here! I got the greatest idea! Listen." And he tells his wife, gesticulating and acting it out as he speaks, and he waits to see if she gets the joke, and she thinks it through and looks over what she's seen painted in the air, and she grins this twisted grin with one eye squinched shut and the other eye wide open and she starts laughing, and he's laughing, and they're both laughing their heads off, they love each other so much, and it's so good to be young and on top of the world. He says, "Come on, I'm buyin' you a pizza." And they could smoke in the restaurant in those days.
Here's a thermometer joke for you: Question: How do you tell an oral thermometer from a rectal thermometer? Answer: The taste.
ONLY A LAD
Johnny was bad, even as a child
Everybody could tell
Everyone said, "If you don't get straight, you'll surely go to hell"
But Johnny didn't care
He was an outlaw by the time that he was ten years old
He didn't wanna do what he was told
Just a prankster, a juvenile gangster
His teachers didn't understand
They kicked him out of school
At a tender early age
Just because he didn't want to learn things
Had other interests
He liked to burn things
The lady down the block
She had a radio that Johnny wanted, oh, so bad
So he took it the first chance he had
And then he shot her in the leg
But this is what she said:
Only a lad
You really can't blame him
Only a lad
Society made him
Only a lad
He's our responsibility
Oh, oh, oh oh oh
Only a lad
He really couldn't help it
Only a lad
He didn't want to do it
Only a lad
He's underprivileged and abused
Perhaps a little bit confused
Oh, oh, oh, oh oh oh
Whoa whoa whoa
Oh, whoa whoa whoa
His parents gave up
They couldn't influence his attitude
Nobody could help
The little man had no gratitude
And when he stole the car
Nobody dreamed that he would
Try to take it so far
He didn't mean to hit the poor man
Who had to go and die
It made the judge cry
Only a lad
You really can't blame him
Only a lad
Society made him
Only a lad
He's our responsibility
Oh, oh, oh oh oh
Only a lad
He really couldn't help it
Only a lad
He didn't want to do it
Only a lad
He's underprivileged and abused
Perhaps a little bit confused
Oh, oh, oh, oh oh oh
It's not his fault that he can't behave
Society's made him go astray
Perhaps if we're nice, he'll go away
Perhaps he'll go away
He'll go away
Only a lad
You really can't blame him
Only a lad
Society made him
Only a lad
He's our responsibility
Hey there, Johnny, you really don't fool me
You get away with murder
And you think it's funny
You don't give a damn if we live or if we die
Oh, oh, oh, oh oh oh
Hey there, Johnny boy
I hope you fry!
— Danny Elfman
Carole brought a friend she drums with, and they brought a large Pegasus pizza. Known locally as of a type with the rather pretentious identifier as artisional pizza. Pizza with academic pretentions. Perfect for early summer Eugene.
The perils of aging manifested again today. I managed to lose my vape pipe. Where, I (of course) haven't the faintest trace of an idea. Carol picked up a new one as she made her way here to grandfather's house. It has no button. One simply sucks, and voila! one is immediately oh very, very stoned. And now in possession of a couple more pieces of leftover pizza along with a new pipe and yet more memories. Not only that, but the memory of humming 'Getting to Know You' while rinsing off three dishes. This life: I love my life. Eh?
KNOW YOUR OLIGARCHS (#10)