Scattered Showers | 22 New Cases | Trojan Bong | Mendocino Inspirations | Manchester Station | Signal Ridge | Old Gualala | Mike Pina | Jack Palladino | Wiener High | Ukiah Defiant | Coast Guard | Simpson's Lament | Elephant Crossing | Wackford Squeers | Yesterday's Catch | Longvale Oasis | Migrating Redwoods | Printer's Down | Mitchpocrisy | Freak Show | Recall Newsom | New Republicans | Statesman McPunk | Fakest Woke | Classical Podcast | Medieval Knievel | Net Neutrality | Saint Valentin | New Jacobins | Love Is
SCATTERED SHOWERS will linger today and even tonight, particularly over Del Norte and Humboldt Counties. Aside from stray showers Tuesday morning, high pressure will allow for a couple of dry days with some sunshine. The next storm system will arrive on Thursday with another dose of beneficial rain. (NWS)
22 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Sunday bringing total to 3723.
COUNTY WELCOMES IN TROJAN HORSE
by Jim Shields
Last week, we discussed that the Board of Supervisors in October gave the provisional go-ahead to expand pot cultivation in Mendocino County despite opposition from the Sheriff, environmentalists, and ranchers.
By a 4-to-1 vote, the Board conditionally OK’d numerous new provisions for a proposed Ordinance that will allow cultivation to occur on a minimum parcel size of 10 acres or larger up to 10 percent of the total parcel area. For example, a 600-acre parcel could have up to 60 acres of cultivated weed, or 100 acres of pot could be grown on a 1,000 acre parcel.
To his credit, Third District Supervisor John Haschak was the lone dissenter, explaining he had “serious concerns about” the expansion because “that’s going to really devastate the small growers. The range land, you know, we heard from the Sheriff, environmental groups, ranchers that are against it. There’s not a work plan to move this (forward) so I’m going to vote no.”
A week ago, the Board approved a motion giving “Direction to Staff and Requesting the Planning Commission Review and Make Its Report and Recommendation to the Board of Supervisors Within Forty Days on (1) Draft Amendments to Mendocino County Code Regarding Commercial Cannabis Cultivation; and (2) Draft Amendments to Mendocino County Code Regarding Commercial Cannabis Facilities and Cannabis and Other Special Events”
Weed industry heavyweights such as Henry’s Original and Flow Kana submitted statements arguing in favor of the “10% rule,” using nearly the identical language that was approved by the Supes.
According to Flow Kana’s written statement, “The Board of Supervisors has, on previous occasions, supported cultivation in RL zones and expansion, the only logical plan now, would be to incorporate these components into the ordinance as it is being developed … The amount of land that can be used for cannabis cultivation should be a percentage of overall parcel size.”
Henry’s Original, a subsidiary of the sprawling cannabis network created by Jamie Warm, filed comments hinting that the company may have to pull up stakes and depart unless the County “opens the door” to cultivation on resource lands: “As a vertically integrated brand born in Mendocino, we hope to stay. But for businesses like ours to succeed and keep jobs here we need to scale production. Currently, responsible operators are being ‘zoned out’ of the legal industry, and cultivation caps artificially prevent us from operating as any other agriculture industry does … Allow cannabis cultivation up to 10 percent percent of parcel size.”
The economic model the Supes are backing, with the exception of the 3rd District’s John Haschak, is that it’s time to recognize reality by accepting that bigger-is-better for pot cultivation and the prospective new tax revenues that will be generated by the large business model.
As Supervisor Ted Williams explained the new cannabis facts of life:
“One of the mistakes the board has made in the past is focusing on essentially rating the market and that’s not the role of government. The role of government is to make this opportunity available and let the market run with it and see what is successful. Should there be scale? Should there not be scale? It shouldn’t be based on trying to save existing businesses. That’s not our job. My heart is with the small farms. I want to see them succeed. I just think this is a misuse of policy. It’s inherent when we make zoning changes that there will be economic impact. But the potential economic impact should not be the driving force behind our decision-making.”
Newly-seated Supervisor Glenn McGourty, UC Cooperative Extension Winegrowing and Plant Science Advisor for Mendocino County since 1987, echoed Williams’ “hands off” approach to any Ordinance provisions protecting the small legacy farmers. McGourty said, “And some of the counties that are allowing the legal growing of cannabis such as Lake County are allowing up to 10% of their acreage to be planted. It kind of fits into a model where you have a larger volume of production which probably would be mechanized and the price of cannabis would come down because of that. If you look at kind of restricting acreage saying no more than one acre is whether or not Mendocino County is going to go into that business, where are we going to sit?”
The Board’s action on this matter takes us back to Nov. 8, 2016, when Californians passed Proposition 64, legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Prior to the 2016 election, I urged folks to vote no on Prop 64, calling it a “Trojan Horse that was sponsored by billionaire dot-commer, Napster founder and ex-Facebook president Sean Parker, who wrote the initiative for his One-Percenter corporate buddies, who have plans to take over California’s pot industry.”
That prediction appears to be close to coming true here in Mendocino County.
Although the Supes haven’t taken final action on the proposed new cultivation rules taking all the caps off of pot production, the local One-Percenters must believe it’s a done deal.
Already two separate 80-acre parcels on the floor of Long Valley have been sold to Henry’s Original and a SoCal-based cannabis company, respectively. I’ve been informed that negotiations are in process over another large chunk of acreage in Long Valley.
These transactions raise numerous issues involving use of resources, including water, an issue that the Laytonville County Water District that I manage will be monitoring very closely.
Others are also paying attention to the County’s efforts to radically alter current land use and cultivation regulations. Needless to say, the oft-heard commitment from County officials regarding the importance of ensuring small farmers remain a vibrant force in the emerging pot industry are apparently empty words.
The Laytonville Area Municipal Council this week will take under consideration what their position will be in regards to the proposed cannabis regulatory changes.
I received this message from a county resident updating me on a recent Zoom meeting of the BOS Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee: “In case you didn’t see the cannabis ad hoc committee meeting. They at the very end surprised even themselves, by after much conversation of the failed ordinance they decided to completely revamp the cannabis dept. They just lost the cannabis manager, staff does not want to work in the dept. So now they’ve decided to make a stand alone cannabis dept that reports directly to BOS. I know you are tired of the conversation but the information presented today is rather interesting to the community. Looks like only the ‘Henrys’ will remain standing.”
Also looks like the Trojan Horse is being well cared for by its many grooms in the county seat, where chaos continues unabated on the cannabis front.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, firstname.lastname@example.org, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org.)
MALCOLM MACDONALD: For Valentine's Day or any other day, photos like this from my collection, MENDOCINO INSPIRATIONS, make a splendid gift for folks near, dear, or afar.
MENDOCINO INSPIRATIONS is available exclusively from the good folks at Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino. Orders online at gallerybookshop.com are as easy as the corporate giant system. You can also call the nice people at Gallery Bookshop (707-937-2665) to place an order. Give them something specific to work from: name, inscription concept, and they will do their best to lure me away from the cows at the ranch to sign a copy or two or three.
ABHORRED IN ALBION
How about starting a new photo-article series called “Crimes Against Nature”?
You could start with the picture of the Signal Ridge, Philo, property advertised in your paper. I am disgusted and horrified each time I see it.
Your contributor and advertiser, Anne Fashauer, is the agent for this atrocity. Look what has happened to this mountin/hilltop. If she sells it, and if she gets her 6% commission, she’ll earn a cool $100,000. At least she’s “rooted in the community.”
How many roots got uproorted to plant this desecration? How many gallons and tons of fumigants and pesticides drenched that soil? And evetually poisoned the watershed?
Abhorrent in Albion
ED NOTE: You’re about 25 years too late, pre-dating Ms. F.
OVER SIX YEARS AFTER HIS BODY WAS FOUND on a Rural Round Valley Road, Mike Piña’s Homicide Goes Unsolved
Michael Leon Piña drove fast cars, played a mean guitar, and family remembers him being heard from a mile away “hoopin’ and hollerin’”. He loved his children, his tribal land, and was known to “tell it like it was”. On September 25th, 2014, hunters found Michael’s body off the side of a lonely mountain road and his family has sought answers ever since.
(From the San Francisco Chronicle, February 14, 2021)
UKIAH DEFIANT: FIVE WORDS ON A CUP
By Tommy Wayne Kramer
I was hunting down some morning coffee at daughter Emily’s place in Santa Rosa and I opened a kitchen cupboard, pulled out a big white cup with big black letters that said:
I’M FROM UKIAH.
Just five words on a coffee cup. But I thought to myself, Well now, that there is the simplest, most devastating, eye-rolling, single-shot putdown that only a Ukiahan can deliver when in the company of rough-talking poseurs who look down their noses at the Queen of California Municipalities.
And we get away with it.
Because we’re from Ukiah and they ain’t.
We all know the type and have endured their silly talk. These are the people who think they’ve been around the block and seen a few things. And maybe they have.
NOTE: Someone who tells you she’s “seen a few things” is usually hinting at having witnessed criminal or illicit behavior commonly found in those big, bad urban areas where jazz musicians smoke reefer, cops are on the take and there’s a thriving trade in you-know-what, providing you-know-who and then know where to go and why. All you have to do is slip the bartender a five dollar bill.
So she tells you she’s been around the block, backwards and forwards. And what does she think of Ukiah? It’s just some rural outpost in a land not far from Kansas with a few tractors and hicks.
And a Ukiahan thinks: Tractors? Hicks? Both covered.
If she thinks tractors are to be ashamed of, then the problem is hers, not the tractor’s. And in Ukiah those hicks are our founders, neighbors, and a tough batch of rogue rednecks we’re proud to call friends.
Gangstas from Santa Cruz? Bring ‘em on.
And we’ve also got some of those “seen a few things” covered. If shadowy alleys and mean streets and crime and criminals are what you look for on those walks around the block, Ukiah is hot. Per capita Ukiah kills. Also literally.
Ukiah has been home to three murderous criminal giants in the past half-century. LA, New York and Shanghai can’t top a trio like Charlie Manson, Leonard Lake and Jim Jones.
And did someone say reefer?
If you’re standing in Ukiah you’re standing within a hundred feet of reefer and it’s the best reefer anywhere. The world’s marijuana epicenter is Ukiah and it’s run by outlaw growers who’ve been outsmarting the cops since approximately 1975 and getting rich in the process.
Local demographics then stretch a mile in every direction. Ukiah’s weed outlaws foster nests of bikers and paranoiacs, but the very same counterculture marijuana roots sprout New Age dreamers, poets and therapy gurus. It is indeed a fascinating block to walk around, be it forward or backward.
And despite all the whacky rebels coloring outside the lines, Ukiah is also a mushy swamp of low functioning think-alikes who suck their thumbs watching MSNBC and regard a New York Times subscription as the badge that gives them entree into the local smart club. And it does.
But our smart club is virtue-signaling snobs planting “We Are the World” flavored yard signs to inoculate themselves from neighbors suspecting they harbor improper thoughts.
So not everyone in Ukiah has actually been around the block. Some have only been around the coffee shop where intellectuals tippy tap poems over lattes.
Pour it all together into one big coffee cup that says “Bitch, Please. I’m From Ukiah” and you have the highly aromatic, distinctly undrinkable concoction called Us.
Where to get your very own “Bitch, Please” cup? You’ll have to go around the block a few times, then slink surreptitiously through a back alley side door at Mendocino Bounty. Tell someone a guy named Slim told you “Pink Moon is on its Way” and let “Karen” (not her real name) know no one gets hurt if she drops a mug where the goldfish cries.
Leave a five dollar tip.
I am still locked up here in Low Gap Jail. Just recently my cellmate here, Ransome Anderson a.k.a. Hogman died when taken to the hospital from jail. I am 51 years old this year and I don't like the fact that I had to do all this time in jail for pleading not guilty. They offered me a deal from the district attorney. Deputy DA Beth Norman offered no strike reckless driving causing a fire for the low-term of 16 months, doubled. So I do 32 months for arson with only two witnesses seeing me trying to light the trees on fire. I never had a lighter nor did I say that I lit any leaves on fire. I hope a pro bono lawyer will read this and take my case for a lawsuit because I'm doing jail plus $15,000 bail they put on me and nothing was burned or destroyed or vandalized by me. I hope this letter will get things rolling and you put something good in your paper about it.
Gerald Crandall Simpson A# 1201
Mendocino County Jail
Ukiah CA 95482
PS. My home addresses 190 Sherwood Hill Drive, Willits 95490.
PPS. Public defender Robert Smith is representing me. I ask that he help me get a pro bono lawyer to file a lawsuit so I can sue for $1 million for having been exposed to my now deceased cellie Ransome Anderson. I feel they are responsible for giving me the virus by putting me in with people who have positive tests and I have a negative test. I never got a positive test until January 7 and January 9. I gave my test results to my public defender Robert Smith at 707-234-6950. He won't fill out forms nor will he help me on this other matter about my lawsuit for covid 19 exposure while in jail.
I am glad I have not died yet. I was in the same cell as Ransome Anderson and he is dead now. I hope I don't pass as I am 51 years old now.
I was raised until the age of nine in Boonville with Sharon and John Harding behind the feed store where they live. They are my foster parents. I miss them.
WHO’S WACKFORD SQUEERS?
If anyone is thinking about donating to the inaugural ceremonies, don't send it to Washington. Send it to me here in Willits and I will forward it to Joe Biden (minus shipping and handling of course) without diverging who the donor is. Never tell the President who provides the dough. The corporadoes and the stinking wealthy donate to both sides hoping to gain maximum advantage. What happens when someone like Mitch McConnell is known to donate is that Mitch becomes the protagonist in all of the President’s forthcoming dreams. When a student of English literature joins the donations, Mitch and Mr. Jingle engage in spirited scuffles which Mitch usually wins, followed by Wackford Squeers, Master Bates, Cissy Jukes, Mr. Pecksniff, Mrs. Jellybelly and Mr. Headstone. Mrs. Pardiggle and the Beadle watching from the sidelines.
I'm suspicious when someone like this Green guy is named Editor of the PD. (I'm sure my candidate Marco McClean was given a fair review.) Green has been in charge of well-known and larger newspapers such as the Des Moines and Louisville papers. What's he doing at the little pisspot PeeDee with a circulation of 55,000? What about his Gannett association which has ruined every newspaper they have taken over? Gutless and right wing. What does Falk want? More dumbed down circulation with appeal to the white trash? Golis times five?
I'm against the lodging tax on tourists. Take it off and the publicity will pay for itself. Get your revenue through the income tax which is equitable and closer to the socialist principal. Verdad?
Now that the census is severely undercounted costing the state two House seats, its time to redraw the damned boundary lines separating the smart areas from the dumb. Start a line at Fish Rock Road and proceed in a northerly direction to exclude Boonville, then head north east to the corner of the state east of Alturas. This district will include most of the states undesirables including that stinking Doug LaMalfa. Heir to a ranch rice growing fortune, he describes himself as deeply conservative. Along with the infamous Tom McClintock, he is one of those who refuses to certify the election results. Who can beat him in 2022? The crazy Ross Liberty? Captain Fathom? TWK? The chairman of the Boonville speedbump committee?
This idea of separating jurisdictions by smart and dumb may not work in all areas. For example, in most of Texas there are no smart areas.
A new app has been introduced in Washington. Before each vote in the House and Senate every Republican will receive a report regarding the political situation in his jurisdiction. Any opposition in the primary? Too accommodating to Negroes? Seen having lunch with a drag queen? Hiding a comb over?
Remember there are 74 million Trump voters out there. The best thing to do is to barrel ahead with a strong offense.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 14, 2021
JONATHAN CARTER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-drugs&alcohol, resisting.
TIMOTHY DAVIS JR., Covelo. Controlled substance for sale, county parole violation.
EUGENE HARRIS, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, criminal threats, probation revocation.
DESIREE JOHNSON, Carmichael/Ukiah. DUI, failure to appear.
JAMES LEMON, San Diego/Ukiah. DUI.
WESLEY LEWIS, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
BRITTANY SANCHEZ, Willits. Domestic battery.
ON A QUEST TO SAVE CALIFORNIA’S COASTAL REDWOODS, man “moves the giants” to Southern Oregon
Arborist David Milarch is on what he calls a spiritual quest to save California’s coastal redwoods, the largest, strongest, oldest, trees on earth.
He believes the fast-growing giants are the best tool we have for fighting climate change.
Growing at a rate of 10 feet per year, redwoods are among the fastest growing species of trees on Earth. An average redwood weighs 1000 tons, meaning it is capable of pulling a lot of carbon from the atmosphere, Milarch says.
With 96 percent of them already gone, he’s moving fast to preserve their genetics, so they can be planted around the world, when humanity’s ready to admit we need them to breathe.
Luckily, it’s very hard to kill a redwood no matter how hard you try, Milarch says. When the trees lives are threatened, chopped down for example, they shoot sprouts out of their stumps.
“The exact genetic fingerprint of the tree can be found in those sprouts,” Milarch says.
He and his organization Archangel Ancient Tree Archive found groves of redwood stumps 30-feet in diameter, cut off some of the basal sprouts, and brought them back to Michigan to propagate them.
Their goal of their lab is to figure out how to make a million redwood tree saplings to send all over the world.
For now, they’re planting them in southern Oregon through a program called assisted migration. The location is close enough to their original homes climate-wise, and it’s less likely they’ll get cut down there.
For more on the project and how to help, visit Archangel Ancient Tree Archive.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Notwithstanding all the hoopla inside the Beltway – and all the discussion over whether the Democrats should have called more witnesses or not – the one huge takeaway, the one that will resonate for years with most thinking Americans – is Mitch McConnell standing there stating absolutely that Donald Trump is morally and practically responsible for the sedition, AFTER having voted to acquit him.
Cynicism and disgust at Washington DC has always been high, but this takes it to new astronomic levels. And the Democrats will play that clip over and over – in any context where Trump or any Republican tries to claim it was a Dem stitch-up.
The Dems win hands-down – even with the acquittal.
'WHEN I LOOK BACK ON MY LIFE, it's hard to believe how big an entity I was at the height of my fame. I was different from the rest of the big stars because I was flamboyant too. And I was just an immature child, really in over my head. I felt like I was just part of a freak show for most of my career as a boxer. Later, I just felt like a freak. I'm truly grateful I don't have to live that way anymore.'
— Mike Tyson
Recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom is not based only on his famous dinner at the French Laundry, egregious as it was. California is a mess. Unemployment checks to notorious death row inmates, rapists and other career criminals is a taxpayer rip-off. The Employment Development Department is causing a great crisis for hard-working citizens who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Residents of California pay some of the highest taxes in the nation to a state government treating small, sometimes family-run, businesses as the enemy, all while Newsom’s winery remained open.
Vaccine distribution in California has been a nightmare for many. States had ample notice that vaccines were coming and many did a great job of quick distribution. This was not so in California. Newsom will only discuss climate change as a cause of California’s wildfire disasters, without rolling out fire-mitigation projects. Controlled fires and cleanup were proposed by firefighting groups, and let’s hope they happen.
So, to the letter-to-the-editor writer who says that the recall attempt is unwarranted, I say, let’s “count the ways” that Californians have become so disillusioned, and to vote to recall and rescue California.
Judy Karlsen, Belmont
NOTE TO MITCH
Great job, McConnell.
Well played, you piece of McPunk
So faux statesman-like.
SYMPHONY OF THE REDWOODS NEWSLETTER
Dear Music Lovers,
It’s been a full year since we had our last symphony concert. Little did we know at the time that it was going to be our last chance in 2020 to join together in person and celebrate great music. With this latest SoR newsletter we aim to stay connected, keep you informed... and entertained! You'll find the latest edition of Dr. Lenberg's podcast, Up Close and Classical, which presents "From Ravel to Bizet, part 2". The newsletter features an interview with SoR cellist, Bill Fletcher and volunteer, Sally Fletcher - and spotlights board member, Paul Sweigert. And the theme for this month's classical music quiz is Love. What could be more fitting!
My heart is overflowing with gratitude to all of you who stay in touch and to all who continue to support us through your donations.
Lots of love to all of you,
Eva von Bahr
Click on this link for the SoR Newsletter with all the latest: symphonyoftheredwoods.org/news-2-21.php
PANDEMIC PROVES NEED FOR NET NEUTRALITY and open internet - Department of Justice decision to drop California lawsuit clears path for equal access to web sites
If it wasn’t obvious before, the coronavirus pandemic makes clear the need for an open internet with broadband access for all Americans.
The U.S. Department of Justice took a major step in that direction Monday when it dropped its legal challenge to California’s 2018 model net neutrality law. The action, under the new Biden administration, mirrors the DOJ’s Feb. 2 decision to end the court fight to block California’s authority to set its own auto emission standards. On both issues, California is once again a policy leader.
The dropping of the fuel-standards challenge came as the legacy auto industry signaled it would get serious about fighting climate change. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the broadband industry to see the light on control of the internet.
AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, T-Mobile and other major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) aren’t backing away from their goal of raking in billions by charging web sites more for priority access to the internet. The providers are hoping Republicans will regain the White House in 2024 and once again roll back net neutrality provisions.
Network neutrality is the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally. Tech pioneers including Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf have long advocated that internet service providers shouldn’t be able to pick winners and losers online, creating an internet that resembles the cable TV industry. Consumer advocates argue that providers should be required to offer equal access to all sites and applications at the same speed.
Former President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission chair, Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, gave ISPs the ability to slow down or even block traffic from web sites. That sparked California’s Legislature to pass state Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 822, the legislation that gave the state the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation.
The law would protect consumers and ensure that small businesses and startups would be able to compete with tech’s biggest companies. The U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit during the Trump administration had blocked the bill from being enforced for the past two years.
Pai stepped down from the FCC on Inauguration Day, leaving the five-member commission deadlocked with two Democrats and two Republicans. Democrats’ control of the Senate should enable Biden to appoint a new FCC commissioner who will defend net neutrality principles.
Biden chose Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as the interim FCC chair. She has pledged to fight for net neutrality and close the “homework gap” by extending broadband access to every child in the United States.
Columbia law professor Tim Wu coined the term net neutrality in 2003, when the debate blossomed over whether ISPs could block some internet sites. Two years later, the FCC adopted its first net neutrality principles, working “to preserve and promote the vibrant and open character of the internet as the telecommunications marketplace enters the broadband age.” But Pai rolled back all previous efforts to protect net neutrality.
Congress should act to strengthen net neutrality and end the policy swings from one presidential administration to the next. But that isn’t likely as long as Senate Democrats lack enough votes to block a Republicans filibuster and the broadband industry, which has spent more than $1 billion lobbying members of Congress in the last 10 years, remains a potent political force.
So that leaves it up to the FCC and, thanks to the Justice Department action Monday, states such as California to protect consumers and small businesses from being controlled by a small group of broadband companies that put profits before the needs of internet users.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
CANCEL CULTURE, WHERE LIBERALISM GOES TO DIE
Elites and their courtiers who trumpet their moral superiority by damning and silencing those who do not linguistically conform to politically correct speech are the new Jacobins.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY
Sonnet: 116 by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.