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DRY WEATHER and near-normal temperatures will occur across northwest California through Wednesday. Precipitation chances will then increase Thursday into the weekend. (NWS)
The heart of this year's rain season has passed. Following a couple paltry months, February drizzle was downright stingy. Unless we get some serious extended downpours this spring, it will be another very dry year for our area, which does not bode well for the more fire-prone months ahead. The monthly figures for the 2020-21 wet season, thus far:
Boonville (12.8" total)
- 0.1" Oct
- 1.9" Nov
- 3.5" Dec
- 4.8" Jan
- 2.5" Feb
Yorkville (16.8" total)
- 0.0" Oct
- 2.2" Nov
- 5.4" Dec
- 5.9" Jan
- 3.3" Feb
5 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday.
FOLLOWING POT’S MONEY TRAIL
by Jim Shields
Following last week’s column dealing with the North Coast Regional Water Board’s Investigative Order finding the “North Coast Region is inundated with cannabis cultivation …”, I was somewhat inundated myself with phone calls and emails from folks who mostly asked, “What are the Supervisors thinking when they want to expand growing marijuana in the county?”
I gave them the same answer that was in my column.
The economic model the Supes are pushing is bigger-is-better for pot cultivation and the prospective new tax revenues that will be generated by the large corporate model. And 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 just empty words.
The Supes (with the exception of 3rd Supe John Haschak) have provisionally decided to expand pot cultivation effectively removing all caps on pot and open up rangeland to growing weed, despite opposition from the Sheriff, small cannabis farmers, environmentalists, and ranchers.
The marijuana industry, their lobbyists, and far too many local officials (especially here on the Northcoast) forget, don’t know, or don’t care that state legalization efforts were forged in the midst of California’s record five-year drought that ushered in statewide mandatory water consumption cuts.
They forget that while a majority of state voters favor legalization, they also want it with lots of strings attached. Such as enforcing regulations protecting natural resources and water and watersheds.
Fortunately, those state agencies with primary responsibilities for carrying out the various regulatory frameworks associated with legalized cannabis, have reminded everyone in the last few weeks that legalization comes with all those necessary strings attached.
Three years ago, the State Water Board adopted a new statewide policy establishing strict environmental standards for cannabis cultivation in order to protect water flows and water quality in California’s rivers and streams. The new regulations and programs address the not-so-friendly watershed practices of too many cultivators.
The Water Board understands that it’s all about water: you can’t grow weed without it.
Underpinning Water Board’s regulatory framework is the realization that commercial cannabis cultivation is growing significantly and spreading to new areas of the state following adult use legalization through Proposition 64. In the Regional Water Board’s Order, they specifically cite the inundation of cannabis “in headwaters and main river systems, with active, developed sites in steep and rugged terrain. Cultivation and related activities throughout the North Coast Region have resulted in significant waste discharges and losses of instream flows associated with improper development of rural landscapes on privately-owned parcels, and the diversion of springs and streams, to the cumulative detriment of the Regional Water Board’s designated beneficial uses of water.”
One of the cornerstones of the Water Board’s regulatory package is if left unregulated, cannabis cultivation could pose serious threats to water quality and fish and wildlife by diverting water or releasing fertilizers, pesticides, and sediments into waterways.
Clearly the Water Board understands it was the intent of legislators, to the point of specifically referencing North Coast “environmental damage,” that the state would be paying close attention to all natural resource issues. As I said, this is a fact lost on far too many in the emerging marijuana industry, as well as our local officials who continue to endlessly tinker with the Cannabis Ordinance.
In making its new rules, the Water Board relied on numerous reports and studies regarding the impacts of cultivation on watersheds.
So what are the plans of the State Water Board to address the impacts of cannabis cultivation?
It appears the State Water Board is taking a watershed-by-watershed approach to determining how many permits and licenses will be issued to cultivators. It’s all about the cumulative effects of pot farming, basically the same environmental standard theoretically applied in logging, land use planning, capital construction projects, and the like.
Several years back, Erin Ragazzi, an assistant deputy director for the State Water Board’s Division of Water Rights, explained her agency’s plan surrounding the issue of “cumulative effects” of cannabis cultivation.
“Well, I think that we are cognizant of the need to develop requirements that we think are protective of water quality, but also create an environment in which people want to come in to the regulated community, because they have been in the black market for so long. What will be your carrots and sticks?
“One key component of that is doing the education outreach to make the folks aware of what we’re requiring, why we’re requiring it, but then also having the enforcement arm necessary to facilitate folks knowing that they can’t hide in the black market, but that we are going to be taking enforcement actions against folks that are not registered and enrolled in our program.
“I think there are incentives already as part of the legislation that incentivize people to come into the process earlier rather than later. There’s the potential to have a limited number of plant identifiers and licenses issued by the various entities, and so those folks that come forward earlier are going to be in a better position than folks that may stand on the sidelines and wait for a while.
“There are those carrots in terms of the early adopters, and the board has an enforcement policy that is very focused on education as one of its first pillars, before you move directly to further enforcement.”
It’s worth noting the remark by Ms. Ragazzi about limiting the “number of plant identifiers and licenses issued by the various entities …”
She’s talking about the state’s plan to calculate on a plant-by-plant basis how many pot plants can be sustainably grown in each watershed.
And at the very time when the Regional Water Board has just issued an Investigative Order finding our region is “inundated” with cannabis, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors think it’s a good idea to take the caps off of cultivation and introduce weed into rangeland?
The only answer is follow the money trail, it starts with greed and it dead ends with greed.
(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.)
CHECK UNDER THAT OLD MINK COAT
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
And then one day you wake up, look around and say “Where did all the antique stores go?”
Followup questions: 1) So, what’s everybody doing, furnishing their homes from Ikea? and 2) Did I miss the Simple Living Workshop where we all learned how to make desks, sofas and steamer trunks from dried hemp stems?
No, and No.
But for whatever reasons Ukiah’s antiques stores have disappeared, and it’s a worrisome trend. Couple it with the fact local bars, taverns, saloons and other venues of social camaraderie have vanished in the past 20 years, and it’s beyond troubling.
What’s next? The bowling alley? The skating rink?
Why didn’t anyone notify me shops selling old stuff were disappearing? Now there’s nowhere to get back copies of Life Magazine, flashy sets of cufflinks or a nice purple and gold Ukiah High jacket with cream-colored leather sleeves and “Biff” embroidered on the chest.
Where can I find an old wooden tennis racket or a neon ‘Lucky Lager’ sign? How about an oil painting of Mount Rushmore done by an amateur Yorkville artist who died in 1950? A penny Gumball Machine? Not Costco.
There are approximately zero antique stores in the Ukiah Valley, and a few weeks ago there were a dozen. Well, five anyway.
Antique shops are musty and dusty and smell like grandma’s attic. A great antique store, and Hopland once had a pair of ‘em side-by-side, is one in which you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for and the owner can’t say for sure she’s got one anyway. If she does, it’ll be under that old mink coat in the corner.
And then you find it and you’re not sure you really want an old waffle iron / catcher’s mask / collection of Pez dispensers.
Ukiah once had shops stuffed with vintage goods but if there’s one left it must be in somebody’s garage. Redwood Valley had that nice spread near the ramp to Highway 20 behind Taylor’s Tavern. It specialized in appliances, many refurbished, and it’s where we bought our 1930s double-oven O’Keefe & Merritt gas range. Now I think they’re selling boats.
At The Forks the immortal Red’s Antiques was a couple hundred feet past the Market and famous for doors. Red’s had scores of doors, maybe hundreds, lined up like dominoes inside and outside the shop.
Then there was Blacklock’s on Highway 101. Blacklock’s was the Empress, the two-story Disneyland quonset hut filled with jewelry in glass cases, Oriental rugs, matching sets of old, well-made furniture, clothing, clocks, guns and toys.
Is that stuff all on eBay now? I weep.
The only places left in existence that might qualify as antique stores is the tidy clean and well-lit consignment shop in the old Ace hardware building at the north end of Hopland, and Fabulous Finds, a small shop just past Blacklock’s. Fabulous Finds is full of home furnishings that belong in a Sunset Magazine spread; it’s the antithesis of fusty, musty and dilapidated. You’ll want to wipe your feet and comb your hair before going inside.
Our loss of antique shops is a particularly devastating blow to Baby Boomers, who are old and have spent their lives collecting valuable stuff nobody wants. Not even their children, nieces or nephews will take their scrapbooks, framed Peter Maxx prints, National Geographics, hundreds of old science fiction paperbacks or a daughter’s Cabbage Patch doll hidden in the garage 40 years ago.
You could put a FREE sign in your front yard offering boxes of VHS tapes, lovely China teacups and dessert plates, genuine sterling silverware, handmade quilts, electric trains and Barbie Doll collections. All would sit, untouched, come the rains next November.
No one wants your grandfather clock and no one wants your high school yearbook. Nobody wants a ’58 Chevy Delray except Alex Tsarnas, but unfortunately his old wrecking yard disappeared around the time the Samoa Club shut down.
Items your children might be willing to take would be your stamp collection, coin collection, and your set of Topps baseball cards, 1951 through 1980. Mostly that’s because it’s the junk easiest to carry home in the trunk of a car, and will sell fastest online.
You don’t have many other options. You can try depositing vinyl record albums into the grave along with the casket but the Eversoles probably won’t be tricked. They’ve seen it before.
Or stuff everything into your garage and set fire to the whole mess. It’s pretty much foolproof, but don’t tell the cops you got the idea from me, and don’t tell Jared Hull, my insurance guy, either.
I’m planning on burning down my own garage filled with valuable collectibles and I want to surprise him.
California is bracing for drought in 2021. Marin Water adopted drought conservation actions and the City of Healdsburg is calling for voluntary conservation. Supervisor Glenn McGourty is a stellar resource on farm and water issues.
Lake Mendocino is a key drinking water source for the cities of Ukiah, Healdsburg, Cloverdale and Hopland, and also provides water to Sonoma Water’s Russian River water supply system.
Lake Mendocino: 32,365 on 2/26/21, up from 31,298 af on 2/19/21
Lake Pillsbury: 36,670 on 2/25/21, up from 33,765 af on 2/19/21
Lake Sonoma: 156,420 on 2/26/21, down from 157,026 af on 2/19/21
On Thursday, February 25, 2021, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies served an arrest warrant on Cullen Graham, 54, of Fort Bragg at a location in the 29700 block of Highway 20 in Fort Bragg.
Deputies made contact with Graham and arrested him without incident on two active warrants for felony failure to appear, felony terrorist threats, battery, and disobeying a court order.
Graham was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.
COVELO STOLEN GUN
On Friday, February 26, 2021 at about 2:42 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies conducted a traffic enforcement stop on a vehicle being driven by Juan Flores, 39, of Covelo.
During a consensual search of Flores's vehicle and person, Deputies located a loaded .45 caliber pistol under the front passenger seat.
Deputies conducted a records check on the pistol and learned it had been reported stolen in Berkeley.
Flores was arrested and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for Carrying Loaded Firearm in Public and Possession of Stolen Property.
In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order issued by the State of California Judicial Council, bail was set at zero dollars and Flores was released after the jail booking process.
FROM the Press Democrat: “Mendocino County is allowing those who work in the logging industry to receive a coronavirus vaccine, clarifying that those employees are eligible after earlier mistakenly posting to its Facebook page that people in the ‘lodging’ sector could receive such shots. “We would like to clarify that this group (lodging) was erroneously included with the individuals currently eligible for vaccination,” said Mendocino County Public Health Officer Andrew Cohen [sic] in a news release.”
UH, EXCUSE ME, but is Dr. Coren, not known for his irony, being deliberately provocative? Loggers work far apart in the woods; the “lodger” sector, and lots of other local businesses, are going broke.
WHAT'S THIS? It's a newspaper, madam. Where's the news? Throughout, madam, some of it ancient but relevant today, some of it current, as you will see if you make it past the front page. Awful lot of gray. Doesn't deter the serious person, madam. How would you describe this thing, this newspaper? Your disdain is rude, madam, but I'd describe its political bias as progressive without the oppressive PC overlay you get with most proggy publications. Are you a communist? No, madam, but some of my friends are. What are you, politically? Call me libertarian-socialist, madam. Do you print opinions you don't like? Every week, madam. Do you like literature, the arts? I yield to no one in my commitment, madam. So you believe in free speech? It's the only thing I believe in, madam. Why isn't your paper free? It would be if I were wealthy enough to do philanthropy, madam. What do you think of the young reporters around here? Younger than Jennifer Poole, madam? Yes, younger than Jennifer Poole. They're looking for love in all the wrong places, madam. Do newspapers have a future? No, madam, they're done. Are you done? Personally, madam? No, your newspaper. Not quite, madam. You? Way past my pull date, madam, so any time now. Will you give me a hug? No, madam. Why? I don't do hugs, madam. Hand shake? If you've had your shots, madam.
IF YOU'RE ENFEEBLED, or old enough to pass, you can get free books on tape from the state's Braille & Talking Book Library. Sign-up forms are available at any public library. You take the form to your doctor who, assuming he's not an uptight prick of the type who says, “I'm not signing because there's nothing wrong with you” will affix his doctor's scrawl, and very soon you'll get an indestructible government tape player and several taped books in blue bomb-proof plastic containers, Once in a while, a great while in my experience with the service, you'll get something you want to listen to. O yes, there are catalogs with order forms, but they may as well not exist. Some bored prole in a Sacramento basement just sends whatever's handy.
I OFTEN receive three or four cassettes at a time, and just as often l immediately turn them around to Sacramento. I got one a week ago that I almost sent back without giving it a go, “Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention” by Donna Freitas. It starts off with a lot of girlish gush-gush about the author's early years, all about wanting to be a cheerleader and grappling with teenage boys, causing me to fear that I'd wandered into the prose equivalent of a chick flick. But it got suddenly interesting, very interesting as Ms. Frietas describes in detail being stalked by a memorably creepy college professor who is also a Jesuit priest. El Creepo is a big shot in his area of expertise — philosophy — and is necessary to Ms. Freitas getting the PhD she's spent her academic life yearning after. He's an intimidating figure, especially to a young woman who admires his scholarship. Georgetown, the famous Catholic university, is the setting, and it's the university, including its Title 9 enforcer, a treacherous woman described by Freitas as a Tootsie look-alike, protects the stalker while Ms. Freitas is damn near driven crazy by the creep's constant, apparently compulsive, attentions. It all takes place as the Catholic Church is revealed everywhere as the perv apparatus it is, protecting chomo priests as they're moved from one unsuspecting parish to the next without losing their priestly collars. Not all the Georgetown academics are unsympathetic to Ms. Freitas' plight, one of them finally advising Ms. Freitas to get a lawyer and sue for relief. All of this is endured by the aspiring academic when she's very young, a fact her sinister academic advisor takes full advantage of:
“Then it went bad—escalating into increasingly inappropriate, even sinister, behavior. Eventually, he was sending her numerous letters daily; regularly calling her at home and work; and showing up uninvited at her apartment, where she found him peeking in her window. He pressed her to attend plays and weekend retreats. Father L.—to this day, she won't say his name—repeatedly asked her for feedback about an article he wrote about a priest who had an affair with a much younger woman, tried to kiss her and even started corresponding with Freitas' dying mother.”
MS. FREITAS had her family and protective friends, but many women, obviously, are undefended and forced to deal with male predators however they can. There have been some ugly cases here in Mendo, not that ugly cases don't occur everywhere, but this book would be useful to any young woman, as it's written in accessible (non-academic) prose, but especially useful to a young woman setting out for “higher learning,” as post-high school studies are called, because the higher up the academic ladder the young woman travels, the more resourceful grow the predators.
26,700 vaccine doses administered to Mendocino County residents, including 17,500 unique individuals
Nothing like publishing data to get necessary corrections. Above numbers exclude vaccinations to out of county residents received in county.
CVS, Consolidated, LTCFs, VA unknown counts.
I believe these numbers are lagging behind application, but this is the most reliable snapshot, perhaps a week delayed.
MENDOCINO COUNTY HOMELESS SERVICES CONTINUUM OF CARE (MCHSCoC) Full Membership and Board Meeting to eat government donuts and ensure homelessness everywhere in Mendocino County.
The Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care monthly public meeting will be held on Monday, March 15, 2021 at 1:30 pm via Zoom where none of our homeless funding units are likely to intrude. This meeting with be both a Full CoC Membership and CoC Board Meeting. There will be a special presentation by Elizabeth Elliott, Executive Director of Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority, on their newly awarded $5,400,000 to implement the California State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) with six of their seven Tribes. Don't ask about the 7th.
The MCHSCoC is a collaboration of individuals, and agencies committed to the goal of profiting from homelessness in our community. This group is instrumental in bringing federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding into the county to assist families and individuals experiencing, or at risk of homelessness, to gain access to stable housing. This group focuses on developing solutions to homelessness that also positively impacts the larger community. Community members and agency staff interested in understanding some of the issues of homelessness in Mendocino County, and working on capitalist solutions that cause homelessness in the first place, are welcome to attend the public meetings.
Members of the public who wish to provide written or verbal public comment during the agendized public comment time or on any agendized item must contact Veronica Wilson, Secretary for the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care Governing Board at email@example.com or (707) 468-7071 no later than Monday, March 15, 2021 at 8 am. Public comments are limited to a maximum of 3 minutes per speaker and 12 minutes per topic. No criticism of us will be tolerated.
Mendocino County Homeless Services of Continuum of Care—Strategic Planning Committee
Shannon Riley, City of Ukiah
Lisa Judd, Community Development Commission of Mendocino Co. Legal Services of Northern California
Angelica Millan, Manzanita Services
Wynd Novotny, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center
Carla Harris/Lynelle Johnson, Mendocino County Health and Human Services (non-voting)
Veronica Wilson/Megan Van Sant/Heather Criss Blythe Post/Brady Nord, Mendocino County Office of Education
Que B. Anthnoy, Individual—formerly unsheltered
Judy Albert, Project Sanctuary
Sage Wolf, Redwood Community Services
Dan McIntire/Ryan LaRue, Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation
Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness
Dan Gjerde, Maureen Mulheren
Technical Assistance Collaborative
Lisa Sloan, Jenna Espinosa
Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care Governing Board
Dan McIntire, RCHDC (Co-Chair)
Jacque Williams, Ford Street Project (Co-Chair)
Veronica Wilson, HHSA (CoC Secretary, non-voting)
Lisa Judd, Community Development Commission
Diana Clarke, Ukiah Senior Center
Judy Albert, Project Sanctuary
Grace Peeler-Stankiewicz, MCAVHN
Zenia Leyva Chou, Mendocino Community Health Clinics Wynd Novotny, Manzanita Services
Karen Lovato, HHSA
Amanda Archer, Mendocino County Youth Project
Carla Harris, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center
Sean Kaeser, Ukiah Police Department
Sandra Stolfi, Veterans Administration
Que B. Anthnoy, Individual
Lindsey Spencer, Adventist Health
Sage Wolf, Redwood Community Services
Blythe Post, Mendocino County Office of Education
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 28, 2021
CAROL BRUCE, Laytonville. Controlled substance for sale/transportation, vehicle registration tampering.
SANDY COOPER, Willits. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen property.
STEVE COUTHREN, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JENNY GRIFFIN-STEVENS, DUI with blood-alcohol over 0.15%.
JAY JACKSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, false ID, county parole violation.
DIAMANTE MCCAIN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
DANIEL MOLINA, Vallejo/Ukiah. Paraphernalia, failure to apepar.
ERYCKA SMITH, Willits. Vehicle theft, probation revocation.
JOE BIDEN AND WHOEVER is pulling his strings have assembled a group of establishment warmongers and aspirant social justice engineers that is second to none. Those who expected something different than the usual Democratic Party template have definitely been disappointed. Hostility towards China continues with warships being sent to the South China Sea and the president is seeking to create a new Trans-Atlantic alliance directed against both Beijing and Moscow. The Europeans are reportedly not enthusiastic about remaining under Washington’s thumb and would like some breathing room. ...So, Biden has been a major disappointment for those who expected that he might change course regarding America’s pathological involvement in overseas conflicts while also having the good sense and courage to make relations with countries like Iran and Israel responsive to actual U.S. interests. Finally, it would be a good sign if Assange were to be released from the threat of trial and prison, if only to recognize that free speech and a free press benefit everyone, but that is perhaps a bridge too far as the United States moves inexorably towards a totalitarian state intolerant of dissent.
— Philip Giraldi
JORMA KAUKONEN'S THOUGHTS ON LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI.
When I moved to the Bay Area in Northern California in 1962, I settled in Santa Clara where I was to go to school. San Francisco was a Mecca to me back then. The whole Beat headspace had been calling my name for years. Santa Clara was a backwater, but San Francisco was less than fifty miles away. As soon as I was able to find a like-minded spirit with a car, we saddled up and headed north up the 101.
North Beach had been calling my name for a long time. Coming back from the Philippines some months before, a stop at an English-speaking bookstore in Tokyo had outfitted me with some Henry Miller books… hard if not impossible to find in the States back then. At City Lights Bookstore there on Columbus Avenue in North Beach, all things were possible from The Rosy Crucifixion to Black Spring. That was 59 years ago, and at that callow age all things were still possible.
A couple or so years later in 1966, Jefferson Airplane would play a show at the Fillmore Auditorium. That in itself would not be that interesting. In some respects, the Airplane was almost like a band in residence. I lived up the street from the Fillmore in the Western Addition and the other band members did not live far away.
Anyway, the ‘opening’ act that night was Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the young Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky. Lawrence read, then Andrei read… then Lawrence read the English translations of the work that Andrei had just manifested. Hard to imagine an unformatted ‘rock’ show like that today. Bill Graham wasn’t into cookie cutter shows, that’s for sure! Bill would die in 1991, Andrei in 2010 and Lawrence in 2021.
As Lawrence said, ‘The greatest poem is lyric life itself.'
Fair winds and following seas brother! – Jorma Kaukonen, Feb. 23, 2021
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Magic in the Keys
by Tim Winterstein –
A couple years ago at the Newport Beach Film Festival, when my brother said I needed to watch a film called California Typewriter, I laughed. I didn’t care about typewriters; I certainly didn’t want to watch a whole movie about them. Maybe you would share that reaction. What could possibly be so interesting about an obsolete machine that would appeal to more than a few collectors and those who feed off nostalgia for obscurities? And that nostalgia itself might be limited, since those who grew up learning to type on typewriters might have been happy to move on to word processors and computers, happy to leave behind correction fluid and replacement ink ribbons.
If you are like me in my hesitation to watch a movie about typewriters, do not trust that instinct. California Typewriter (streaming on Amazon Video) is in—at least—my top three favorite documentaries ever. (Part of the evidence is the five typewriters I’ve gathered in the last two years.) The editing, music, and pacing, to my mind, are seamless. The very first scene is not at all what you might expect, and it’s the perfect introduction. The multiple stories, centered around the film’s eponymous typewriter store, never feel like they are going to pull the documentary apart into unconnected strands. This is a single and skillfully woven narrative.