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MCT: Thursday, July 4, 2019

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AFTERNOON HIGHS across the interior will be on the increase today and continue through Saturday, while coastal stratus may be a bit more persistent than the last few days. Temperatures are expected to cool slightly across the interior on Sunday and Monday. (National Weather Service)

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by Mark Scaramella

NEXT TUESDAY at 1:30pm a Timed Agenda Item is entitled: “Discussion and Possible Action Including Acceptance of Presentation by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Regarding the New Safety Initiative, Public Safety Power Shutoff Program and an Update Regarding the County’s Associated Preparation.”


What if the Board doesn’t like it? What if they prefer “Rejection”?

OUR HIGH-HANDED ‘LOCAL’ UTILITY COMPANY has unilaterally notified northern California that because they haven’t done what the law requires in keeping their lines clear and their equipment updated and maintained, they now have an unsafe transmission system which has to be powered down when it’s windy and hot. For several days at a time.

IS MENDO prepared to simply roll-over and “accept” that? Doesn’t PG&E have an obligation to do whatever they can to minimize these PG&E-created “public safety” shutdowns? Shouldn’t this be a two-way street? If PG&E wants Mendo to “accept” their plans for periodic shutdowns, shouldn’t Mendo get something in return (not to mention the rest of us)?

SO DOES PG&E offer anything in exchange? Loans of equipment, perhaps? Help with “high risk” fire hazard mitigation in Mendo when crews aren’t too busy? Identification and assessment of critical power needs and line locations? Direct real-time powered communications between Mendo’s Emergency Operations Center and PG&E with real-time reporting on who’s out and when the power will come back on? Reimbursements for out of pocket costs directly related to their shutdowns?

LET’S TAKE A LOOK at PG&E’s Presentation.

OH! HERE WE GO: “Working with communities to develop new resilience zones to provide electricity to central community resources during a Public Safety Power Shutoff event.”

And, “Partnering with community leaders, first responders and public safety authorities around PSPS [“public safety planned shutdowns”] preparedness and coordination.”

How nice that sounds!

But the presentation that Mendo is supposed to “accept” provides no specifics about the development of “resilience zones” or improving unidentified “central community resources.” If PG&E was serious, they’d offer a tailored presentation with suggestions specific to to Mendo.

NOR does the presentation provide any examples or criteria for what resilience zones might be. Hospitals? Emergency communications? How much back up power is necessary?

PG&E even goes so far as to say: “We welcome your feedback and input. For questions regarding PG&E’s Community Wildfire Safety Program, please direct customers with questions to: Call us at 1-866-743-6589. Email us at Visit”

AS UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL Editor recently put it after a similar PG&E presentation to the Ukiah City Council: “PG&E HATES YOU.”

AT THAT CITY COUNCIL PRESENTATION PG&E told the city these “safety” shut-offs could last as many as five days at a time and there may be as many as 80 days this summer when electricity is off. Meadows adds: “Never mind that the technology exists that taps ultrafast synchrophasor sensors to detect and turn off broken power lines before they hit the ground. It is used by San Diego’s power company and communities in Europe, but PG&E thinks that’s too expensive. It’s easier to simply shut us all down over and over to cover their own liability.” Meadows concluded, “We hope that the dire warnings PG&E is giving turn out to be hyperbole. But we don’t trust them to do what’s best for the consumers, only what’s best for their own bottom line. We’ll all be watching.”

ONE OF PG&E’s “new and enhanced safety measures” is described cryptically in their presentation as “Disabling automatic reclosing of circuit breakers and reclosers in high fire-risk areas during wildfire season.”

HUH? WTF? What’s a “recloser”? Why did they mention that without explanation?

PG&E continues: “To further reduce the risk of wildfires, we are disabling automatic reclosing of circuit breakers and reclosers on lines in high fire-risk areas during wildfire season. Where we have remote control capability, we disable reclosing based on a daily decision-making process during times of elevated risk. [We have] Enabled 450 reclosing devices with remote capabilities in 2018. [And we are] Working to enable nearly 300 additional reclosing devices with remote capabilities in advance of the 2019 wildfire season.”

Huh II? WTF II? “Working to”?

AS IF your ordinary County Supervisor has the slightest idea what “disabling automatic reclosing of circuit breakers and reclosers” means.

FORTUNATELY, the SF Chronicle covered the subject of reclosers way back in 2017 right after the PG&E-caused fires in Mendo, Lake and Sonoma counties. Not surprisingly, PG&E didn’t come out smelling too good then either. No wonder they don’t bother explaining why this “recloser” item is on their list of (belated) “safety measures”:

PG&E Devices’ Role In Wine Country Fires Come Under Scrutiny By State Legislators

by Joaquin Palomino (SF Chronicle, Dec. 29, 2017)

As winds picked up in Sonoma and Napa counties the night deadly fires broke out in October (of 2017), Pacific Gas and Electric Co. shut down some devices on its power lines that have a history of sparking fires.

Across the two counties, however, the utility company disabled just three of hundreds of the machines, known as reclosers, it operates on lines there.

Reclosers, like automated circuit breakers, send pulses of electricity through power lines that appear to be malfunctioning. If no damage is detected, the recloser automatically restarts the flow of power. But if the lines are compromised and are touching trees or other flammable material, the bursts of electricity can spark flames.

PG&E disclosed [sic] the information in a letter sent Thursday to state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, who has long advocated for safer use of the devices.

“A recloser, by its nature and how it functions, can easily start fires if they’re not deactivated,” Hill said. “When we see PG&E only turned off three reclosers in the entire area of Sonoma and Napa counties, it leads one to believe that many weren’t deactivated, and that could have presented a potentially dangerous situation.”

State investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fires in Sonoma and Napa counties. PG&E power lines are suspected, investigators have said, but it’s not yet known whether they contributed to the blazes. [Ed note: the suspicions of investigators were later confirmed.]

Many homeowners [and Mendocino County, among others] already have filed suit against PG&E, accusing the utility of improperly maintaining its equipment. Emergency dispatch records reviewed by The Chronicle found dozens of reports of damaged or sparking power lines and transformers across Sonoma County on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9.

Reclosers are used to help prevent unnecessary power outages, which can potentially impede first responders and the operation of critical facilities such as hospitals during an emergency, PG&E wrote in its letter to Senator Hill.

“As a general policy, PG&E’s goal is to avoid sustained power outages [sic], which are more than a mere inconvenience [sic],” the company wrote.

The devices, however, have been partially implicated in past wildfires, including one in Australia that killed 119 people and the 2007 Witch Fire in San Diego County — one of the most destructive in California history.

The Witch Fire was caused by a damaged transmission line that rained hot particles on a grassy field in a rural area east of Escondido, according to a December regulatory filing with the California Public Utilities Commission.

A recloser sent multiple surges of power through the line before San Diego Gas & Electric Co. shut it off. By that time, sparks had already ignited the blaze.

The filing noted that shutting off power is a “significant” decision because of its potential impacts on public safety [sic], but it also faulted the utility company’s actions when it came to disabling energy to the line.

San Diego Gas & Electric Co., along with Southern California Edison, now regularly reprograms its reclosers during fire season so they don’t automatically try to restart power lines in high-risk areas.

“I’m sorry to see that it took the Witch Fires of 2007 for San Diego Gas & Electric to deactivate their reclosers immediately when there’s a problem,” Hill said. “And now it looks like we may have to suffer through the Wine Country fires for PG&E to learn that same lesson.”

PG&E launched a pilot program in May to disable reclosers in areas prone to wildfires during times of elevated risk. The program includes just 38 of the thousands of devices on its power lines across the state. All 38 were shut off on Oct. 8 [2017], PG&E said.

PG&E didn’t provide The Chronicle with a total tally of reclosers in Sonoma and Napa counties or within its coverage area.

The letter to Hill stated that PG&E would continue to expand the pilot program, but company spokesman Keith Stephens said he did not know when it would be completed. [Ed note: We couldn’t find any on-line reference to the completed pilot program.]

“In determining whether and when to deactivate reclosing, PG&E must balance the competing and intertwined goals of safety and reliability,” the letter states.

PG&E disabled more reclosers than those in the pilot program during three weather events after Oct. 8, including a wind storm on Oct. 14 that threatened to further spread flames accross Northern California. The utility has the potential to disable most of its reclosers remotely.

Through the pilot program, PG&E hopes to be able to better weigh the pros and cons of deactivating the devices when fire risk is high.

“The decision to de-energize is not one taken in a vacuum. It affects all manner of public safety,” Stephens said. “When you turn off the power, you deactivate it for everything — cell phone towers, Wi-Fi, and grandma and grandpa’s garage doors.”

Hill plans to hold hearings early next year that look at the issues of reclosers and other fire safety measures. [Ed note: We couldn’t find any subsequent on-line reference to such hearings.]

IN A JUNE 8, 2018 article the San Jose Mercury News reported: “State fire investigators also found that Mendocino County’s Redwood Fire was caused by trees or parts of trees falling into PG&E power lines, Lake County’s Sulphur Fire was caused by the failure of a PG&E power pole that resulted in power lines and equipment contacting the ground, Butte County’s Cherokee Fire resulted from tree limbs contacting PG&E power lines, Sonoma County’s 37 Fire was electrical in origin and linked to PG&E distribution lines, and Humboldt County’s Blue Fire began when a PG&E power line conductor separated from a connector that caused equipment to fall and cause a ground fire. ‘This is a wholesale indictment of PG&E,” said Frank Pitre, an attorney for fire victims who have sued the utility. “PG&E had poor risk-management practices, they had no policy or practice in place to deactivate reclosers or reactivating lines. This is not an isolated incident. This is a failure of management. This is a culture that hasn’t changed’.”

THAT WAS BEFORE THE PG&E-CAUSED CAMP FIRE which destroyed the entire town of Paradise last fall.

HAS PG&E’S CULTURE CHANGED NOW? Maybe a little, however retrospectively, but before the Supervisors give PG&E some kind of “acceptance” pass, they should make PG&E do more on their end than just tell us how great their new-found interest in safety is and require them to offer what they’ll do for Mendo when they shut everybody off.

THIS NEW recloser “safety measure” (conveniently unexplained in the presentation) that PG&E is now touting was only “disclosed” when outspoken PG&E critic Senator Jerry Hill brought it up and now they list it as some kind of “safety feature” by PG&E — after they failed to remotely disable them in 2017 even though they could have been and can be remotely disabled.

UPSHOT? PG&E doesn’t “welcome” any feedback or input. Tuesday’s presentation looks more like a one-sided public relations dog & pony show than any actual (belated) “safety” or “assistance” or “partnering” discussion.

WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE Mendo’s Supervisors for once show some backbone and not simply say “thank you” to PG&E’s well-paid, well-dressed presenters for coming all the way to Mendocino County for pretend outreach to announce their shutdowns and then bid them fond farewell with a “please don’t screw us over too much.” Instead, the duly elected representatives of Mendo’s 90,000 or so voters/paying customers should steadfastly REFUSE to “accept” this presentation unless and until PG&E offers something tangible in return. (BTW: Where was PG&E months ago when this “safety” shutdown program first arose and when it would have allowed more time for planning and preparation?)

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The Street Fair & Fireworks Celebration is this Saturday July 6 at Arena Cove from 4pm to 11pm. There will be a street fair with bands, food and a kids area from 4pm on. Fireworks by Devastating Pyrotechnics will start at dark. Parking is available in two lots on Port Road and at City Hall for a $10 fee. A shuttle bus will run from 4pm to 9pm and immediately after the fireworks show. There is no parking allowed on Port Road itself. The fireworks show is $10 per adult, $5 for kids 12-17, kids under 12 are free. The rate for a family of 4 is $20. Remember to bring jackets and flashlights but please leave pets at home.

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"She was last seen by family members in the Modesto area on June 29 between 6 and 7 p.m…"

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office needs the public’s help to locate missing person Tiffany Alma Faith Clark, 38, of Lodi, CA. Clark is believed to be missing under suspicious circumstances.

A black Ford Ranger associated with Clark was located on June 30, 2019, in the area of the Martin’s Ferry Bridge near Weitchpec. Sheriff’s deputies, with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol, have conducted multiple searches of the Klamath River in addition to the surrounding areas in which the vehicle was located. Deputies continue to investigate all leads regarding Clark’s disappearance.

Clark is described as a white female adult, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall, 180 pounds, with medium-length brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen by family members in the Modesto area on June 29 between 6 and 7 p.m. wearing black scrubs and black Nike shoes.

Anyone with information regarding Clark’s whereabouts or related case information should contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

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Lost On Private Property in Anderson Valley

by Patrick Kack-Brice (October 2010)

During the summer of 2007 I worked as a production assistant on the movie “Pig Hunt.” Most of the filming was done on location in Boonville, and I was lucky enough to spend a month and a half in the majestic hills of Anderson Valley. The shoot was a wonderful experience and I hoped for the opportunity to return to the area at some point for more exploration.

About two months after we wrapped, my friends and I were allowed to set up camp in the east hills of the valley over the first weekend of August. Though this trip had been billed as a “camping weekend” in selling the idea to my friends, the thought that, yes, we will be getting lost in the woods, and yes, we will think we are about to die towards the end, was always on my mind.

So I set off with a car full of city boys. Along for the ride were Jake Anderson, a Los Angeles based screenwriter and production assistant; Jason Sussberg, lead video editor for the San Francisco Giants; and Travis Steil, student at SF City College and video editor for the Golden State Warriors — a car load of some of the softest, pale-est skinny-ninnies you could find in the Bay Area.

The summer heat was our fifth companion on the journey, never failing to make its presence known, never relenting in its brilliant oppression. The thermostat for that weekend topped out at 105°F in the Anderson Valley, so you’d think the decision to set up our campsite in an open clearing where we got maximum sunlight from dawn to dusk would be a bad one. Unencumbered by the constraints of logic and reason, we ignored our instinct to go for some shade and set up in an area that was to receive direct sunlight at 6:30am and would continue to get direct sunlight until almost 8pm. What better way to wake up from a pleasant evening of beer drinking and its ensuing symphony of man-flatulence than to be covered in the sweat of your best friend sleeping beside you?

Breakfast for that morning would be bologna, cheddar cheese, Wonderbread, and pepperchinis. That is what you get from four guys who do not cook, don’t understand what a kitchen is or does besides being a holding place for condiments. And that’s what you get from four guys who’d never spent a night in the wild. Or semi-wild.

We left our encampment at around 9am that morning, leaving it strewn with bear treats in the form of empty cans and plastic wrappers. The bear might enjoy these appetizers before he enjoyed a hearty meal of us city slickers later on in the day. We were going for a hike, a big circle that would eventually bring us back to our camp. We thought.

Up the hill and down the canyon we went, the sweat coming down off our backs and pooling in its inevitable resting place, just above our ass cracks. Three hours into our walk we were hopping from rock to rock along a nearly dry creek bed. I seem to remember a reference to this apparent stream as “Jimmy Creek,” and from what I could recollect at the time, it flowed west towards the intersection of Highway 128 and the town of Boonville. This dribble of warm, putrid water was our temporary salvation, we drank it and we jumped into it when it appeared in large enough pools. We rejoiced in its cow-pie-algae-ass-liquid.

Travis quickly abandoned any attempts at keeping his shoes (or body) dry and was the first of us to heave himself full force into about two feet of piss-warm algae. My shoes, being the only item of clothing I have not thrown away after the trip, still proudly secrete the viscous rust green stench of the creek. An entire history of the territory we covered could be told through the series of cowpies we encountered that afternoon.

“Do we know what kind of animal could shit this much?” asked Jason, anxiously. “Does this look like bear? It could be bear.”

I tried to explain to my old friend the Pomo proverb, “If you speak of bear, bear will appear and eat your ass,” but was too exhausted to speak, let alone form sentences.

Another two hours of creek walking passed as the sun lay high-center in the sky, and just as our last drop of water was consumed from our two-gallon jug, I realized we were lost.

“Now, where is the road from here?” my companions inquired as if they expected me to know. It was the first of what would turn out to be many questions to me about our location that day.

“I think we are on the Johnson property,” was my stock reply. Not really knowing who the Johnsons were, if they even owned property in the area, and ultimately unsure if there were people named Johnson. All I knew was the idea of someone named Johnson owning the property we were currently trespassing on brought a source of comfort to our sad company.

As we traveled onward, our shirts would soon be reinvented as makeshift turbans, making us look like insurgents from a lost country of emaciated albinos. Exposed backs and faces quickly turned from white to red from dehydration and direct exposure to the merciless sun. We had been walking for six hours at this point without seeing a single sign of civilization.

Suddenly, turning the corner of a hill rising out of the stream, we came upon a herd of cattle. They were grazing in a small ravine about 100 feet in front of us. Our eyes met the bovine gang in a full minute of Sergio Leone stare down, each party waiting to see who would make the first move. It would be the cows; we stared in petrified disbelief as they came rushing straight at us in a cloud of dust and clumps of clay.

“Un-fucking-believable!” I muttered as Jake, Jason and myself took the high road, escaping around the river bend. Travis, for reasons unknown, took the low road, splashing into the creek and running up the hillside opposite from us. The cows followed, and then cut off away, charging up a steep hill towards the west. It was then we realized that all of us (boys and cows alike) were actually running from each other. One cow toppled over, going down with a desperate “Moo!” backwards down the embankment. As we watched our temporary enemies fade into the horizon I noticed a green sign in the distance. It was the highway.

Surely salvation lay ahead, but after another two-hour’s walk up Highway 128 with our thumbs out salvation had not arrived. Not a single car stopped. Or even slowed down to assess our sorry, parched selves, and did we ever look sorry. Local resident Ben Anderson was behind the wheel of one of the vehicles that neglected to take pity on us that day, later explaining, “You looked like drug people; I was pretty sure you were heading for Reggae On The River but were so stoned you took the wrong road at Cloverdale.”

We spent this last hour of our journey walking in silence, too exhausted to feel any sort of emotion about what we had just experienced. But we knew that we would have a story to tell, and the sunburns to prove it.

(Patrick Kack-Brice is a film director in Los Angeles.)

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OPEN HOUSE 11AM -2:30PM 7/6/2019

16100 Highway 128, Boonville CA 95415

Single family home on 3.4 acres, $800k.

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AN INSOUCIANT CALLER demanded, "You guys are old, right? How much longer are you going to put out that rag?" I said we were only old in dog years, and look at all the newspapers that read like term papers published by an order of geriatric nuns, the Press Democrat for example. I ought to charge you double. The guy said he intended no insult. "I just wanna know if I should renew my sub."

THE SUCCESSION has been discussed, I can reveal that much, but for now we totter along, relics of the Print Age, barely treading financial water as communications move entirely to cyber-blips. People under the age of 60 don't read paper-papers anymore, and a lot of them under 60 can't read-read anymore either. Anyway, so we're doubly doomed — triply damned considering our placement on the actuarial tables.

THE ONLY MENDO MEDIA attitude I truly appreciate belongs to Tommy Wayne Kramer in Sunday's Ukiah Daily Journal and Mr. McCarthy over at MendocinoSportsPlus, a Facebook newspaper. They bring the brio, for sure, in a cringing Mendo media context that reads and sounds like it's written for very young, very slow children.

I'VE BEEN going through boxes of what I guess can be described as my memorabilia, sorting through the accumulated artifacts and communications accumulated over the long years in the newspaper business and, additionally, stuff I collected from about 1967 on, of interest to me and maybe ten other people who share similar experiences. I plan to leave the relevant items and documents to the Held-Poage Library in Ukiah, and by relevant I mean the material pertinent to life in Mendocino County unlikely to be included in their collection or any other collection in the county.

DECIDING what's relevant is more complicated than I thought. I have stacks of candid correspondence and notes of the type that might have to be sequestered until all persons mentioned and their heirs and assignees are long gone. Going through the dubious trove, it belatedly occurred to me that taken as a whole, my accumulation is unlike anything in the existing Mendocino County archive which, and I intend no insult, is a chaste assemblage of romantic accounts of the lives and times of our leading citizens and families. Those lives and times tend overwhelmingly to be at odds with my experience of Mendocino County, not that Mendo's population and its written reflections of itself are any more self-deceiving and self-aggrandizing than that of any other population. I'll have about ten museum boxes of stuff, which I'll leave to Held-Poage's new archivist, the smart and lively Alyssa Ballard, to sort out for "appropriateness."

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VITICULTURAL LUNCHEON, Tait's Cafe, June 5, 1913

Group of men in banquet room of the fashionable Tait Cafe in San Francisco's Tenderloin District.

(Sonoma County Visionaries, Immigrants and Winemakers Collection, Sonoma County Library)

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Broad-Based Partnership Takes Next Step Toward Two-Basin Solution for Eel and Russian Rivers

(A press release from Congressman Jared Huffman’s office)

Conservation group collaborates with public agencies in plan to call for new regional entity that will improve fishery, ensure dependable water supply for Eel and Russian Rivers.

Santa Rosa, Calif.- On Friday, June 28th, a diverse partnership between a conservation organization and several public agencies will file a joint Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) stating that they plan to apply for a permit to take over operations of the Potter Valley Project (Project). California Trout (CalTrout), Mendocino Inland Water and Power Commission, Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) and the County of Humboldt are working together to set a path forward for the Project that will meet the needs of water users throughout the region while improving conditions for native species in the Eel River watershed. The move comes after PG&E announced in January that it would not seek a new license for continued operation of the Project.

The NOI highlights the goals of the Potter Valley Project ad hoc committee, convened by Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), and includes restoration of fisheries and a dependable supply of water in both the Eel and Russian River basins. One key tenet of the filing is that it includes a plan to create a new regional entity that could assume operations of the Project once a new license is granted.

“I am glad to see this major step toward a broad coalition pursuing a two-basin solution, consistent with the co-equal goals and principles we have developed through my Potter Valley Project ad hoc group,” said Rep. Huffman. “This is the type of multi-stakeholder collaboration that I have been advocating for these past two years, and I remain committed to working with stakeholders in both basins to seize this historic opportunity to modify the Potter Valley Project to provide fish passage and habitat solutions while also ensuring greater certainty and reliability for regional water supplies.”

Since 2018, Congressman Huffman has led an effort to identify a two-basin solution that would dictate future operations of the Project. Rep. Huffman’s effort included forming an ad hoc committee made up of local and regional stakeholders. The NOI that will be filed tomorrow signals a start to the process of filing a joint application to take over operations of the Project under the principles defined through the ad hoc committee’s work.

The Project is a hydroelectric facility that, in addition to generating a small amount of electricity, delivers water from the Eel River basin into the Russian River basin. It is currently owned and operated by PG&E, which announced in January 2019 that it would not seek a new hydroelectric license from FERC for the Project. The main facilities are two dams on the Eel River, a diversion tunnel and a hydroelectric plant.

On March 1, 2019, FERC issued a Notice Soliciting Applications for any party interested in filing an application for a new license for the Project after PG&E declined to apply to renew its license. The deadline for filing an application (NOI) is July 1st, 2019.

Sonoma County Supervisor and Sonoma Water Director James Gore said, “Submitting a Notice of Intent with our Planning Agreement partners on the Potter Valley Project is the best option toward a two-basin solution that ensures water supply reliability, continues and protects critical habitat and fisheries restoration, provides some certainty in the FERC process, and continues the collaborative process given all of the diverse interests in the region.”

The four project partners are working within a Project Planning Agreement which details the funding, studies and legislative action required to move forward with a joint NOI, including:

The Planning Agreement: All four entities have signed onto the Project Planning Agreement.

The Notice of Intent will be conditioned upon the completion of a Feasibility Study, including the creation of a regional entity, which will ultimately become the license applicant. All four entities will contribute $100,000 each toward funding the Feasibility Study. The Planning Agreement does not commit any entity to acquire or hold the license.

“CalTrout is committed to ensuring that future operations of the Potter Valley Project create the conditions under which native Eel River steelhead and salmon can thrive in the context of a two-basin solution,” said California Trout Executive Director Curtis Knight. “The Eel River was once an incredibly productive watershed, and it holds tremendous promise for returning salmon and steelhead to abundance. Our objective is to identify a long-term, sustainable and realistic plan for the future of the Project.”

Janet Pauli, chair of the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, said “The Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission is pleased to be a partner with CalTrout, Sonoma Water and Humboldt County in a process that will result in a new license for the Potter Valley Project. Completion of the NOI underscores our commitment to work together to undertake a feasibility study that will outline a licensing proposal. The co-equal goals of securing water supply reliability and comprehensive fishery restoration in both the Eel and Russian Rivers are the driving force behind this unique regional collaboration. I am confident that, by working with our partners, we will succeed in attaining both of these important goals.”

Humboldt County Supervisor Estelle Fennell was similarly pleased. “We believe that we can find a win- win solution where we advance Eel River fisheries restoration to the benefit of Humboldt’s Tribal, sport, and commercial fishermen while being sensitive to the water supply needs of communities in Humboldt as well as our neighbors to the south,” said Supervisor Fennell.

For more information about the Potter Valley Project and Congressman Huffman’s ad hoc committee working toward a two-basin solution, please visit

Rep. Jared Huffman: Alexa Shaffer, 202-236-3421,

Sonoma Water: Brad Sherwood, 707-322-8192,

California Trout: Redgie Collins, 415-748-8755,

Mendocino IWPC: Janet Pauli,

Humboldt County: Sean Quincy,

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Library Closed July 4th and 5th, and First Friday Art Walk

The library will be closed on July 5th and will be open from 5-7pm for this event only. Regular library services will be unavailable during this event. View scenic photographs by local photographer Drew Gravier. Create whimsical Pinwheels with friends and family, & delight in live music by Stephen Winkle. Open to all ages.

More at:

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NO QUIZ THIS WEEK. Tomorrow, July 4th, there will not be a Quiz as I shall be celebrating Britain’s honorable withdrawal from hostilities in the American War of Terror and Treachery of the 1770s. The next Quiz is set for Thursday, July 11th, 7pm, at Lauren’s Restaurant in downtown Boonville.

Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

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Cohen, Demattei, Eligio, Faber

MARCY COHEN, Bellingham, Washington/Fort Bragg. Stolen vehicle, grand theft-auto, embezzlement.

FRANCO DEMATTEI, Ukiah. Robbery, petty theft of merchandize with priors, offenses while on bail.

DANIEL ELIGIO, Philo. Domestic abuse.

SCOTT FABER, Ukiah. Mail theft, trespassing, controlled substance, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Golyer, Hayes, Hennessy

DUSTIN GOLYER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

LAURIE HAYES, Covelo. Arson, probation revocation.

SUZANNE HENNESSY, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, tear gas.

Hogan, Ickes, Ireland

ALAN HOGAN, Willits. Failure to appear.

COLE ICKES, Fort Bragg. Battery, elder abuse, tear gas.

CASEY IRELAND, Willits. Parole violation.

Martin, Ridenour, Thomas

BONNIE MARTIN, Willits. Fugitive from justice.

DERRICK RIDENOUR, Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, probation revocation.

MELINDA THOMAS, Covelo. Probation revocation.

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by Marilyn Davin

I began my life-long hate affair with Ronald Reagan when I was just nineteen, walking to class on the Berkeley campus through clouds of pepper gas during the student protest era. That gas eventually dissipated, but the Great Communicator set two lasting precedents that haunt us to this day. The first is income taxes, which as president he had the power and opportunity to slash to the bone; while still working as an actor, he had decided he was being robbed blind by Uncle Sam via the IRS. His dogged determination to cut taxes ultimately torpedoed the middle class and set the table for the nation’s current banana-republic levels of income inequality. The other is “The Story.” Everybody has a story, of course, but Reagan perfected the evil art of high jacking somebody else’s story and using it to bolster his political agenda. You remember how it was; suddenly, midway in some national address, Reagan would get all misty-eyed and direct the camera and our captive attention to some dazed, hithertofore unknown individual sitting high up in the congressional nose-bleed section, caught like a deer in the headlights on the unblinking national stage. Reagan would then serve up the chosen’s story, usually involving some failure of government, and cleverly expand it into an argument for some national policy change. Difficult, complicated policy issues requiring considerable thought and understanding were reduced to the plights of these tear-jerker individual stories. Reagan was a master at this; he was, after all, an actor.

Politicians ever since have burnished this art of the story to themselves. Topping the list is the “I came from a poorer family than you did” theme, perhaps most cynical of the bunch. There are many examples of this; John Boehner cried on camera about his childhood poverty and, last week during the second day of the first Democratic presidential debates, Cory Booker offered up his gritty urban New Jersey roots, and Kamala Harris told the story of how she, a sad little Bay Area girl, was launched onto the path to prosperity through school busing in the East Bay. Harris’s story particularly galls me; her mother was a Hindu Indian PhD cancer researcher and her father is a Jamaican Stanford professor. She could have stressed America’s unique ethnic diversity as a great step forward, for both the country and herself; she opted instead, as she has consistently done, to present herself as African American, a claim that has drawn the ire of some African Americans. Maybe it’s a post-Obama thing and she thinks it’s cooler to be black than to be Southeast Asian or Jamaican. Who knows? In any event it’s doubtful that her highly educated and upwardly mobile parents would have provided her an inferior education. In touting her self-story Harris’s principles are of opportunity, not personal belief, no matter how dramatic and soulful her delivery.

About the “noble poor” thing. News flash! Go back a couple or three generations and just about everybody’s family was poor; the post World War II middle class hadn’t been created, yet. But of course since our culture obsessively admires wealth and upward mobility no one is proud of being poor today. It was good to be poor back then, it built character or something; today you’re a loser if you’re poor. I’ve seen this while reporting on Northern California homelessness over the past two years. Even respected news organizations at the top of the food chain typically cite “drug addiction” or “mental illness” as its root cause. Poverty itself, a much more credible driver of homelessness, is rarely given its due even as more and more California families set up camp in our city streets.

So everybody has a story. And everybody loves a story. As a species we’ve told one another stories about ourselves and others for millennia. And stories are big business in the U.S. today. The latest New Yorker has a fascinating piece on how a cottage industry of advisors has grown up around GoFundMe applicants; they help craft personal stories most likely to rake in the big bucks. Corporations are big into featuring stories about their customers and their employees, too – all the better to divert attention from stagnant wages, no more defined pensions, and no more unions. Look at all these happy people!

A touching story might get your juices going, but it will never replace the hard, boring work of actually doing something in the real world to change the laws and regulations that gave those sad stories legs in the first place.

Since it’s still open season I throw my support behind Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the true progressives who talk issues – though even they are still far to the right of FDR, one of our nation’s greatest presidents. Are our aspirations really so meager?

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“No need for climate change bureaucracy” (Ukiah Daily Journal, June 21) suggests focusing on the homeless problem rather than government action to fight climate change. The letter has lots of good suggestions on how we all could cut greenhouse gas emissions, but relying on individuals to do the right thing has gotten us where we are now: facing “catastrophic” global warming if we don’t make at least 50 percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions within the next decade (IPCC). For that we’ll need national legislation (IPCC).

But we won’t need a big new bureaucracy. The Green New Deal’s energy plan would simply expand the original New Deal’s TVA nationally, clearing the way to build out a 21st-century smart grid to transmit clean power nationally.

There’s a new, detailed, 38-page version of the GND’s energy plan from Washington’s Governor Inslee who’s focusing his presidential campaign on climate change. It’s called The Evergreen Economy plan and it will more than pay for itself ( Two-thirds of the money—$600 billion annually for a decade—will come from private investment. The rest—$300 billion annually for a decade—will be recouped by a $500 billion annual increase in US GDP (IPCC). That’s mostly because rapidly scaling up solar and wind energy will make them “essentially free” by 2030 (Financial Times, UBS, Aug 2019). Solar and wind (with storage and without subsidies) are already as cheap or cheaper than any fossil fuel (Lazard) and their prices drop every year (Scientific American).

The Green New Deal/Evergreen energy plan will also prevent over $160 trillion in climate disasters the US would otherwise suffer (Forbes, April 2018). Climate change has already cost Americans over $1.6 trillion and the cost of those disasters is now hundreds of billions every year (NASA/NOAA). Just a half degree increase in global temperatures will cost the US economy $13 trillion and we’re already locked into a 1.5 degree increase (IPCC). The National Academy of Sciences is warning of “global economic collapse” followed by “societal collapse” if we continue burning fossil fuels.

We have no time to lose. If we don’t vote out congressional climate deniers and vote in representatives and a president who will pass the Green New Deal/Evergreen energy plan in early 2021, our children or grandchildren will be the ones who are homeless—if they’re lucky.

Pete Kuntz


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"Gephardt, notably, became a corporate lobbyist after serving as a populist Democratic lawmaker from Missouri. His clients have included Peabody Coal and Goldman Sachs, among others. He also serves on the board of Centene, receiving annual compensation of around $315,965 in cash and stock awards."

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This is what Collapse looks like: Bogus economics, delusions, spiralling debt, lack of leadership, rising inequality, anger, and focusing on the trivial and what no longer matters.

LGBTQ, desperate political gambits, and additional nonsense that will never be implemented let alone paid for, will all be forgotten as USA continues its descent into hell, all the while proclaiming how great everything is, and how just and fair this rigged rule of law State really is. I always laugh at the MSM meme of USA Justice and human rights, while imprisoning more of its population by percentage than anywhere else on Earth. And NSA keeps trucking along while trump distracts and lines up the elite for an expanded trough.

Trump is a metaphor for how the World sees the USA; fat, lazy, crooked, ignorant, loud, bombastic, smug, and stupid. Got preps?

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New York Times reporter Sydney Ember has a problem with Bernie Sanders—which may be why the paper has her cover him.

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  1. Harvey Reading July 4, 2019

    I thought that the fourth might be different this year. Then I climbed out of bed to take a leak. The sky was clear. Darn.

    Got up a couple of hours later. It was cloudy and my hopes arose. Then the firecrackers started going off. It continues, sporadically, but nevertheless it continues. Tonight will be pure hell, especially for Diamond, my adult black Lab. I’ll have to leash him and take him for a walk in the midst of it to get him calmed down. When he can see, as well as hear, what’s going on, it settles him, at least until we get back inside where all he can do is hear the noise and run and hide.

    Diamond was already jittery when I coaxed him out of the house to eat his breakfast, a cup of dog food and a dog biscuit, the latter broken into small pieces since otherwise he uses it as a toy, throwing it around until he loses it.

    To coax him outside (he’s much too sloppy an eater for inside dining) to eat, I had to put him in a collar and leash him. Then, I sat patiently on a stool next to his food skillet, repeating the phrase, “Eat your dog food, eat your dog food,” ad infinitum. It’s a regular routine we have whenever someone is shooting at the range, if there is thunder, or even wind which might bring thunder. He’s a very sensitive creature.

    I noted the female of the Baptist couple next door to the north staring at me. She asked, somewhat snidely, what I was doing, so I launched into a whole lecture on dog training and repetition. I noted that Diamond was the smartest dog I had ever known but also the stubbornest, which had resulted in him failing consistently the repetition test of completing a task after no more than five repetitions of the command. To me that simply indicates an unwillingness to be a slave. I then went back to repeating the commands and she walked away sort of shaking her head. About two more minutes of “eat your dog food” commands later, he began to eat, and soon finished his meal. I couldn’t resist walking to the fence to proclaim success.

    • Harvey Reading July 4, 2019

      A continuation:

      I should have said the Baptist couple to the south rather than north. The ones to the north are Catholic, at least she is. The former are about 8 years younger than me, the latter about 6 years older.

      I have never been able to conduct a conversation with the Baptist male. Once, a few years back, he even suggested that part of my lot was his. After I pointed out the obvious by having him sight along the shared boundary fence, his uppityness disappeared. I learned early on never to trust evangelicals. They’ll rob you blind while praising the lord.

      The reason for the boundary question arose when he came to me asking if I would care to become a communal member of a shared dumpster group. I declined, stating that it was simpler for me to haul my trash to the transfer station in town once or twice a year, at $10 per visit. He offered to let me in for free since I had little trash. I still declined.

      A couple of weeks later, a new dumpster showed up on the back part of my lot. I didn’t say anything at first, but after a few weeks I started getting worried that people would think that the part of the lot where it rested was not mine.

      One day, I was speaking with the guy about something while we were near the dumpster. I said something to the effect of, ‘It’s strange that I am the only neighbor who doesn’t use the dumpster, yet it sits on my lot.”

      “What makes you think it’s on your lot?”

      I walked to a position in the alleyway that would lie on the boundary line and pointed out the obvious: that the dumpster was on my property. I also pointed out that there was a double, vehicle-sized gate that was an entrance to my back yard for anyone wanting to store a vehicle there, and that the land outside the fence was for parking and vehicle access, lying within my property boundary He then became agitated and began trying to move the thing to his side )which lacked the room to accommodate it. I told him to calm down, and that for the time being I had no problem with the dumpster remaining.

      A couple of weeks later, I started realizing that the guy was not to be trusted. I’m slow that way. So, I wrote a letter, addressed to all members of the dumpster commune, including the Baptists and their preacher. In the letter I made it clear that the dumpster was on my property, explaining the vehicle access gate and the gap between the boundary fence and the alley, which should have been obvious to a child, and which was a selling point for my property. I also explained that I had no problem with the dumpster remaining so long as trash didn’t pile up on my lot, and I reminded them that by so doing I was in no way granting an easement, right-of-way, or any property right to any portion of my lot. I hand delivered the letter to the commune members and mailed a copy to the trash hauler. Two of the members said they thought that the location was owned by the Baptists, and I corrected them in short order on that point. A few days later the dumpster was relocated to the preacher’s lot.

      A funny thing. A few years later, the Baptist male and I were disagreeing over something else, and he brought up the matter of the dumpster, claiming that he had asked my permission before placing the thing on my lot. I corrected him on that matter, too. Since then, we have rarely spoken. I find that to be a relief.

      Well, it’s almost seven in the evening here in Mountain Daylight Time, and the clouds just opened and are dumping heavy rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning. Hope it lasts a while and puts a damper on those celebrating murder, mayhem, and torture, and lies.

  2. Stephen Rosenthal July 4, 2019

    “WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE Mendo’s Supervisors for once show some backbone and not simply say “thank you” to PG&E’s well-paid, well-dressed presenters for coming all the way to Mendocino County for pretend outreach to announce their shutdowns and then bid them fond farewell with a “please don’t screw us over too much.” Instead, the duly elected representatives of Mendo’s 90,000 or so voters/paying customers should steadfastly REFUSE to “accept” this presentation unless and until PG&E offers something tangible in return.”

    In two words: They won’t.

  3. Harvey Reading July 4, 2019

    Great summary by Mark Scaramella on what PG&E was always like during my 52-tenure in the gilded state.

    When I moved to central Wyoming, the electric monopoly was much the same; different name, same poor service, including plenty of outages. Then, a few years back Warren Buffet’s outfit bought the utility. Things improved quickly as long-neglected maintenance and infrastructure upgrades were implemented. Outages are rare these days, almost as rare as during my years living and working in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Hope the old guy outlives me…as long as he doesn’t sell the power company.

    What this country needs, among numerous other things (including a new political system), is a nationwide monopoly on public utilities, one that is publicly owned and publicly run. Public utilities are too important to entrust to greedy kaputalist monopolies.

  4. Randy Burke July 4, 2019

    FOUND OBJECT: At least the wedding ring looks real.

  5. James Marmon July 4, 2019


    Writing to his wife on July 3, 1776 from Philadelphia, John Adams said he believed the occasion would be “celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.”

    “It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

    You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

    James Marmon

      • Harvey Reading July 4, 2019

        So, James, are we then to consider slavery as a good and beneficial thing just because the hypocritical, wealthy “founders” owned other people, even as they bellowed about freedom publicly (and privately despised, and feared, common people)? Your implication is unclear.

        • James Marmon July 4, 2019

          I was just pointing out that not all the founding fathers were slave owners.

          God Bless America

  6. chuck dunbar July 4, 2019

    “LOOK AT ME!”

    The president’s ego
    Sits on high display–
    Even on this
    Usually fine and fun holiday.

    Like a whiny little boy
    In a large man’s build–
    “It’s all about me,”–
    His needs never filled.

    What has it all
    Come to at very last?
    Something pompous and silly,
    Forlorn, crude and crass.

    When his childish, little
    Whimsies come down to abide–
    They cheapen and sully
    Any real national pride.

    A happy, fun, 4th for all, with my apologies to the poetry goddess

  7. George Hollister July 4, 2019

    The inscription on a late president’s tomb reads: “I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”

    A timeless American thought on this 4th of July.

    • Harvey Reading July 4, 2019

      Ronald Reagan; at least that’s what the Internet says. Of course. I would have expected nothing less from you, George, and nothing more.

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