- AV Testing Results
- Hot Inland
- Bottled Kniphofia
- B Fuddling
- Missing Man
- Brooktrails Mill
- Caspar Curiosities
- Log Boom
- Russian River Request
- Playing Through
- FB City Council Meeting
- Skunk Tunnelers
- Lovesick Alien
- Blossoming Cacti
- Ed Notes
- Boonville Hiatts
- Shots Fired
- AV Sunset
- Larry Spring Museum Grant
- Navarro By The Sea
- Yesterday's Catch
- Willits Oil Rig
- De-Industrializing Food
FROM THE ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER: "We tested 39 more community members for Covid-19 last Thursday, May 21st. We received results today (Wednesday) with 38 negative and one positive result. This was surveillance testing so all individuals were asymptomatic."
Yet the "official" Mendocino County Covid-19 page said of the latest two cases, "Please remember, if we see any evidence of community spread, we will alert you here. No evidence of community spread at this time."
We'll see what happens after the "contact tracing" is completed - but shouldn't the County give a "heads up" to Anderson Valley?
The county ONLY updates their page three days a week - Humboldt updates daily whether they have cases or not (they’re up to 98 cases as of today).
It’s a sad commentary that social media is way in front of the Health Officer’s announcements.
Current COVID-19 Statistics for Mendocino County as of 5/26/2020 at 7:45 p.m.:
Total Cases: 23
Total Recovered: 12
Total in Isolation: 8
Total Hospitalized at this time: 3
Total Tests: 3,734
SINCE MSP POSTED THAT NOTE a couple of those Mendocino County numbers have gone up (updated 5/27/2020 at 6:00 p.m.):
Total Cases: 25 (+2)
Total Tests: 4056 (+322)
HOT WEATHER INLAND is expected to continue this afternoon with some areas cooling slightly Friday. There is a chance for thunderstorms across the area Friday afternoon and overnight. Significantly cooler inland temperatures and rain showers expected for Saturday. There are additional rain chances Sunday into early next week. (NWS)
RED HOT POKERS
THE MEASURE B COMMITTEE MET Wednesday afternoon. It was the most pathetic excuse for a meeting I’ve ever seen in Mendo, bar-none — and the problems had nothing to do with their difficulties with on-line meeting technology. It was so bad that Committee Chair Donna Moschetti even apologized in her aw-shucks-I’m-sorry-for-not-knowing-what-I’m-doing-oh-well way for wasting everybody’s time for an hour on a vague item entitled “Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Treatment and Service Monies Disbursement,” which concluded after an hour of random opinion on the subject from each committee member. Chair Moschetti’s motion to “allow” unnamed experts to look into mental health service gaps in Mendo — a subject which should have started years ago emerged more muddled than it began an hour later. No specifics. No dates. No names of experts or organizations. Nothing. Former Sheriff Allman said that such an observation didn’t need a “motion.” But the Chair didn’t care, so Allman meekly seconded the “motion.” Then, like a bunch of braindead lemmings, the committee members voted unanimously one by one in favor of the pointless motion. And THAT was the highlight of the meeting! Nobody needs to know what else happened, obviously, but we’ll plod forward with some notes on it in the next couple of days. Or, as Measure B project manager Alison Bailey said about her alleged “numbers” for a Pyschiatric Health Facility, Crisis Residential Treatment Center and Crisis Stabilization Unit, maybe in two weeks “if all goes well,” but surely “less than a month” — which is as close to a specific as anybody got all afternoon. PS. There was one good thing: Nobody brought up last month’s 7-4 recommendation to siphon off $1 million for ongoing services.
MENDOCINO COUNTY TEAMS SEARCH FOREST FOR MISSING FORT BRAGG MAN
by Lori Carter
The disappearance of a 77-year-old Mendocino County man has authorities increasingly worried about his safety.
Luther Jackson has been missing from his home north of Fort Bragg for more than a week with no solid clues as to his whereabouts.
Jackson is white, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 175 pounds and has gray-blonde hair and blue eyes. It was unknown what clothes he might be wearing.
Jackson was last seen on May 14, when a volunteer from the Fort Bragg Senior Center delivered a meal to his home in the 31500 block of Little Valley Road, about 6 miles northeast of Fort Bragg.
The agency delivers twice a week, and Jackson was not at home on May 19 for his next delivery, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Van Patten said.
When Jackson again wasn’t home again for his Thursday delivery, deputies checked the house and surroundings but found nothing amiss. Jackson’s car was there and the house appeared in good order.
Jackson lives alone in the rural area near the coast but is healthy and relatively self-sufficient, Van Patten said.
Local deputies searched the surrounding area with available resources for several days, with no sightings. Over the long weekend, the agency received assistance from several other search and rescue teams from throughout the region.
Searchers have focused on land around Jackson’s house.
Jackson had told others about an old marijuana growing operation not far from his home, Van Patten said. He said he was going to revive it. Deputies think Jackson might have disappeared while walking to the site.
“He made it known he grows marijuana, just a handful of plants, and that he’d found an old marijuana grow garden in the wilderness beyond his house,” Van Patten said.
“He had some seedlings and start on his porch. That’s what we’ve been working on.”
Jackson has family in Lake County but they have had trouble securing a hotel room closer to Fort Bragg because of the shelter-in-place orders, Van Patten said.
Mendocino County search and rescue personnel used all-terrain vehicles, drones, searchers on foot and sniffer dogs without success.
On Monday, additional resources from the state arrived, bringing the total to 54 searchers scouring the area near Jackson’s home.
“He made a statement about this grow site being in an area of protected trees, so we’re trying to define the area with that detail,” Van Patten said.
Searchers found several preexisting grow sites but not the one Jackson described.
“He said he had fashioned himself a little bridge with some wood to get to it,” Van Patten said, and searchers found nothing like that.
“What has us concerned is the timeframe he’s been unaccounted for and if he’s been in the elements. It’s worrisome,” he said.
Searchers are reassessing their options this week and will continue looking, he said. Drivers in the Little Valley Road area were asked to be aware of searchers on foot and on ATVs.
Anyone with information about Jackson’s possible whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-463-4086.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
CASPAR HISTORICAL CURIOSITIES
by Katy Tahja
As AVA readers have interest in Mendocino County history beyond the Anderson Valley the following is offered.
It’s easy to be researching one project and get waylaid by interesting materials that have nothing to do with the research topic at hand when you’re a historian. The book “Caspar Notebook-School Days” by Ann M. Connor, self-published in 1979, was half about the topic I was after — schools — but the rest was stuffed with tidbits of Caspar history from 1895 to 1905 that I share here. The information about schools will be part of a future series of newspaper features I’ve planned.
The author must have spent a long time going through old Mendocino Beacon newspapers gleaning every bit of news that mentioned Caspar. Much of what she recorded was hum-drum stuff like who was visiting whom, who was traveling where, births, deaths, marriages, accidents, lodge meetings, ballgames, and mill and woods news.
What I found interesting were the odd little insights into the life of the town and its inhabitants.
The Caspar Lumber Company (CLC) in 1895 shipped 12,153,534 board feet (bf) of lumber, surpassing Albion Lumber Company’s 12,097,393 bf and Mendocino Lumber Company’s 11,200,000 bf.
In April of 1896 A.L. Fisher, the “jolly tombstone man” was visiting from Santa Rosa. I guess that’s where mourners had to go to get a grave marker. In September of that year CLC lost a valuable horse pulling a load of lumber and other supplies. It was assumed the horse died of heart disease. How do you diagnose heart disease in a dead horse?
“A tribe of filthy gypsies which have been infesting the neighborhood were ordered to move on by the sheriff and they left northward. Property owner along the way should check their chicken roosts for missing stock” the Beacon reported in December 1896. In June of the next year, when CLC’s schooner “Elvina” was wrecked at Caspar clever workman filled her hold with empty sealed barrels to keep her afloat as she was towed to San Francisco.
It was noted that CLC’s locomotive engineer W.G. Turner in July 1898 had lately been in the business of making leather suspenders which were satisfactory to the woodsmen. A 48 foot whale was stranded at the mouth of Jug Handle Creek in January of 1901. In May of that year the passing of a Caspar housewife resulted in her internment in the “Silent City of the Dead” in Fort Bragg. September saw the wedding of Anna Jefferson and Henry Stuart Tregoning. Her wedding dress was described in glowing details for a paragraph but the groom was clothed in a “conventional wedding suit.”
In the fall the coverage in the newspaper of a Masquerade Ball noted every costume worn by every guest, all 40 of them. While we might recognize conventional costume choices like soldier, sailor, clown, hoodlum and Mexican senorita some folks came dressed as the Queen of Clubs, Evening Star, Little Red Riding Hood, Goddess of Liberty, and a “Natural Curiosity” whatever that was. In July 1902 workmen were agitating for a 10 hour work day and in September of 1903 schools were closed for a measles epidemic.
Caspar Lumber Company president Mrs. Abbie Krebs caused excitement in April of 1904 when she hired a “moving pictures” expert to photograph the manufacture of redwood lumber from cutting the tree down, hauling the logs with steam donkeys to the rail line, pulling it to the mill, and the whole saw milling process. At the Saint Louis Exposition and World’s Fair this movie was to be shown in the Forestry Building to educate viewers on why they should choose this lumber to build homes with. The roof of the Caspar Mill was partially removed to get enough light in for filming the sawing operation. (On page 66 of Ted Wurm’s book “Mallets on the Mendocino Coast” you can see a photo of the mill minus its roof).
From four miles east of town five thousand boxes of apples from the CLC’s orchards were harvested by November of 1904. What was not used in the mill’s dining halls and lumber camp cook houses locally was shipped south. “Best grades were wrapped individually in tissue paper and make a very handsome appearance and command a fancy price.” In 1905 eggs were 12 cents a dozen and butter was 18 cents a pound and coffee 15 cents a pound.
The phone system in Caspar was modernized that same year with two operators working 7a.m. to 10p.m. A new line extended from Hardy Creek to Rockport (between lumber mills and shipping points) and a new line was planned from Fort Bragg to Ukiah. Before then a call was forwarded to Gualala, then on to Santa Rosa and back up to Ukiah and gave unsatisfactory service.
The steamer “Sea Foam” in 1905 charged $4.00 for a cabin and a meal if you left San Francisco at 4pm Wednesday, touching briefly at Point Arena and arriving in Mendocino Thursday morning. If you preferred stagecoach and train a four-horse stage left Mendocino at 4:30a.m. and arrived in Ukiah at 12:15p.m. in time to catch the train to San Francisco the same day for $7.00.
Connor’s writing about the Caspar schools will be featured in a future story. In 1969 she had written “Caspar Calling” about the earlier years in town and she wrote “Golden Years in Caspar-1878 to 1895.” All these books have extensive alphabetical indexes of the last name of every person mentioned in the book which is a true gift to researchers and genealogists. You can find them in the archives of local museums.
DRY WINTER SPURS WATER MANAGERS TO CUT RUSSIAN RIVER FLOWS TO RETAIN RESERVOIR SUPPLIES
by Mary Callahan
In a stark reminder that drought has once again taken hold on the North Coast, Sonoma County is preparing to ask state water regulators for permission to reduce water levels in the Russian River this summer to conserve water stored in Lake Mendocino and ensure minimal late-season flows for fish.
The request, to be filed with the State Water Resources Control Board as soon as this week, comes in recognition that the inland areas of Mendocino County, where Lake Mendocino retains runoff into the upper Russian River, has had less than half the normal rainfall this year.
In addition, supplemental flows from the Eel River have been reduced under a separate move by PG&E, further straining supplies that would normally help replenish Lake Mendocino and sustain water levels in the upper Russian River. Those flows support farmers, imperiled salmon and steelhead trout and municipal supplies stretching downstream to Healdsburg.
In a bid to retain reserves across the system, Sonoma Water, the region’s main wholesaler, is also set to reduce flows on the lower Russian River below the confluence with Dry Creek, the outlet for Lake Sonoma.
The combined impact means water managers, just 15 months after historic flooding on the lower Russian River, are having to maneuver to safeguard drinking water supplies for up to 600,000 Sonoma and Marin county residents, while also lowering minimal flows to ensure enough water exists for salmon and steelhead through the year.
“It’s been a really dry year … the third-driest year for the last 127 years,” said Don Seymour, principal engineer for Sonoma Water, the county water agency. “We don’t take it lightly to file with the state board to change the minimum in-stream flow.”
The agency is required to maintain certain flow rates in the upper and lower reaches of the river, as well as Dry Creek, which flows into the river downstream of Healdsburg.
During normal dry-year conditions, the minimum flow between July 1 and December would be 75 cubic feet per second from Lake Mendocino to the confluence with Dry Creek and 85 cfs from Dry Creek to the Pacific Ocean at Jenner.
Sonoma Water is requesting permission to reduce releases from Lake Mendocino to 50 cfs in the upper river and 60 cfs in the lower river. The agency is seeking permission to drop even lower — to 25 cfs and 35 cfs in the upper and lower stretches, respectively — if storage in Lake Mendocino drops to a critical level.
The plan is similar to one pursued on three successive occasions during the last drought to the dismay of anglers and those who depend on river recreation to draw tourists. Already, those businesses are suffering greatly amid the pandemic shutdown.
“We can’t catch a break this year,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, who represents the lower river.
Reduced water levels also means slower moving water, raising concerns about the potential for harmful blue-green algae blooms, Hopkins said.
“Of course, the concern is always water quality,” she said. “Lower slower, shallow in combination with high temperature and, of course, nutrients are what results in toxic algal blooms.”
But water agency officials said there’s little choice.
Where Santa Rosa recorded a paltry 17.82 inches of rain since Oct. 1, about 59% of the 30-year average, Ukiah had just 14.66 inches, less than half the average, National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Anderson said.
The area around Lake Pillsbury, which supplies Eel River water for PG&E’s Potter Valley hydroelectric project, was especially dry this year, which is why the utility since May has reduced diversions through its project and into Lake Mendocino.
“It’s probably going to be about 40 percent less water per month from the Potter Valley diversion,” Seymour said.
Lake Mendocino still has more than 77% of its water supply, however, because the U.S. Army Corps has agreed in recent years, including last winter, to be more flexible about scheduled flood control releases through more carefully calibrated operations spearheaded by the corps, Sonoma Water, Scripps Institute and other partners.
“We’re actually in much better shape at Lake Mendocino than we would have been normally for such a dry year,” Seymour said. “We would actually be in much worse a situation than we were in 2013.”
Lake Sonoma, the region’s largest reservoir and main source of drinking water, sits at about 87% of its capacity.
The U.S. Drought Monitor last week showed all of Sonoma and Mendocino counties in the “severe drought” category.
The public will have an opportunity to comment on the petition when it is filed with the State Water Resources Control Board. The order would last a maximum of 180 days and would likely go in effect July 1.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
A SHORT ONE AT FORT BRAGG CITY HALL
by Chris Calder
Well! That was a short one. But they got a lot done. Fort Bragg City Council report below.
Local businesses wanting to change their configuration to keep operating under COVID-19 precautions can get fast-tracked approval by Fort Bragg City Hall after the city council voted unanimously Tuesday to give City Manager Tabatha Miller authority to approve use changes without fees or hearings.
The council also OKd using $500,000 in federal grant money initially meant to rehab older houses, to reimburse landlords whose residential and commerical tenants are using the city's eviction moratorium. That moratorium will likely be extended past its June 1 end date, as the council approved having a special meeting this Thursday to consider the extension.
City Manager Miller said Police Chief John Naulty met with several motel owners Tuesday to get everyone on the same page as to what an "essential traveler" is and who motels can legally let stay. There were numerous calls over the holiday weekend, Miller said, about the clear increase in motel use. She said Naulty found that different motels had different definitions of who qualified and how they determined that. She said everyone should be working off the same set of rules now.
The skate park and dog park at the C.V. Starr Center are now open, with social distancing and masking requirements in effect.
City Hall will reopen June 1, Monday through Thursday, regular hours. Miller said there will be some changes and limits to use. Only the downstairs will be open to the public, but people will be able to do most regular City Hall business.
Two more gang related incidents happened in the city after the stabbing murder of Harry Mila in Noyo Harbor last week. Miller said one person was arrested in one of the later incidents and is still in custody.
Mayor Will Lee reported that there have been slightly more than 600 COVID-19 tests done in the Fort Bragg area. Aside from the one positive three weeks ago (a nurse at the hospital who contracted it elsewhere), there have been no positive tests out of the 600, Lee said.
The parade for Fort Bragg High School's Class of 2020 is scheduled for June 5 at 5 p.m. The route is along North Main Street, then east along Oak Street. Businesses and residents along Oak Street are encouraged to show support for the 2020 grads however they can, Lee said.
SKUNK LINE TUNNELERS
‘THE LOVESICK ALIEN and Other Poems’ by Stevan J. Derwinski. Stevan is more familiarly known to us in the Anderson Valley as Steve Derwinski, the omni-talented house builder, sculptor, metalworker, sail boat builder, musician, and now poet. With the end of the world right around the corner, this is the highly skilled man you want to be friends with because he can do it all. Reading through Mr. D's collection is fun, not a slog or a pretension anywhere, but the guy couldn't be too awfully lovesick with a beautiful wife like Mrs. D, and this nicely presented (and healthy) collection comes with the added bonus of Steve's well-known humor:
WHY I'M A SUCCESS
My stocks went thru the roof
Without leaving a big hole
Women love my fake tan
I got an A in all the classes I never attended
Sometimes God leaves me alone
I can read my own writing
The kids next door ask for my autograph
Someone keeps sending me poems
My ducks lined up all by themselves
All my numbers are lucky
Hurricanes and locusts
Don't know where I live
My immune system sends me love letters
My bathroom scale is a big fat liar
I made the angels laugh
When I tried to be a saint
I walked away from Facebook
Just in time
AVA VIBES ARE SO POSITIVE EVEN THE CACTUS ARE SMILING!
THE CATASTROPHE has inspired a creative and memorable occasion for the graduates of Fort Bragg High School's class of 2020, consisting of the matriculators' parade from the Pacific through the downtown streets where stores and householders will salute them with expressions of good luck. The irony of stepping into a wildly uncertain world in the normally symbolic clarity of 2020 won't be lost of some of the young ones.
THERE'S MUCH ON-LINE comment concerning heedless visitors, and many locals, who go about their public business unmasked and un-distanced. But here in Boonville my impression is that people are adhering to the basic precautions. My office window looks out on the busy Redwood Drive-In where the passing parade is invariably masked, even people one unfairly assumes from his or her slovenly presentation wouldn't bother.
THE INTERNET was sold as a breakthrough technology that would "bring us all together.” The family of man united at last! But it hasn't quite worked out that way, and has now taken an ominous turn in its techno-ability to not only stir up the fascist-minded but organize them into more or less coherent groups. Q-Anon, for instance, a cornucopia of evil-minded rumor — Hillary operating a pedophile operation in the basement of a pizza parlor — to a constant drumbeat of some kind of rightwing uprising on behalf of Orange Man who, predictably, is seen as the great wall between these whacked out "patriots" and liberal-minded pervs. A normal person with ordinary powers of discernment reads this stuff with head-slapping disbelief. These fools believe this stuff? Yes, millions are tuning in, sending money, organizing into groups, many of them armed.
THE QUALITY of conspiratorial thinking has always appealed to the simple-minded, especially its vicious sectors. We saw it right here in Mendocino County in the early 1980s with the preposterous satanist molesto hysteria. Fort Bragg turned out to be particularly vulnerable on that one, and soon there was prevalent talk about a Georgia-Pacific helicopter ferrying pre-schoolers, in broad daylight, up the coast for meetings with Beelzebub-inspired chomos. Things got so nasty that a pair of perfectly innocent sisters, the Orrs, daycare proprietors, not only regularly had their lives threatened, they lost their property and one sister even lost custody of her daughter! All on the basis of evil rumor by people whose own sexual obsessions were certainly suspect.
YOU'VE GOT TO WONDER about people who seem to get huge kicks from retailing vile rumors about other people. Now, though, the same mentalities have gotten behind Trump, their noble standard bearer, and they have Q-Anon and many other nutball websites suggesting that a showdown with global cabals operated by George Soros and Obama is coming right up.
SPEAKING OF SCREWBALLS, try Cowboys for Trump whose leader, Couy Griffin, has led pro-Trump horse rides through Washington, D.C., and even got himself a one-on-one with Big Mac himself. “I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to a conclusion where the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” the cowpoke said to cheers at a rally at a New Mexico church where he was courageously defying a public safety order pertaining to the coronavirus. Griffen later amended his threat, saying he only meant killing Democrats in the political sense.
E.M. & ELIZABETH HIATT (Boonville Pioneers)
WHO SHOT UP OAK KNOLL?
On Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 1:00 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to numerous reports of shots fired in the 100 block of Oak Knoll Road in Ukiah. Upon arrival, Deputies contacted residents who lived in the residential neighborhood and learned several gunshots had been heard prompting the report to the Sheriff's Office. Residents believed a vehicle had fled the area northbound on South Dora Street after the shooting but at that time a description of the vehicle is undetermined. Deputies conducted an examination of the neighborhood and located between 10-20 expended handgun casings (different caliber types) in the roadway along the 100 block of Oak Knoll Road. An inspection of several houses in the vicinity of the handgun casings showed no obvious signs of bullet hole(s), strike mark(s) or gunshot victim(s). Anyone with information that might assist Sheriff's Office investigators in this case is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100 or the WeTip anonymous crime reporting hotline at 800-782-7463.
(Mendocino County Sheriff's Office)
ANDERSON VALLEY SUNSET
THE LARRY SPRING MUSEUM!
Great news for the Larry Spring Museum
I'm proud to announce that the Larry Spring Museum in Fort Bragg has received a California Humanities grant. The project's schedule is TBD but we will keep you updated!
Hope you are all well!
Anne Maureen McKeating
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 27, 2020
SUSAN COSTIGAN, Fort Bragg. DUI, suspended license (for DUI), resisting.
RIVER STEWART, Willits. DUI, suspended license.
RYAN TRUEBA, Quartz Hill/Willits. Trespassing/Obstructing business.
OIL WELL RIG, NORTH OF WILLITS
DE-INDUSTRIALIZING THE FOOD SUPPLY