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BREEZY NORTH WINDS continue and should continue to ease through the weekend. Warm and dry conditions should prevail otherwise with higher temperatures Saturday. Monday ushers in a cold front and possibly light rain. (NWS)
3 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
COVID-19 VARIANTS DISCOVERED IN MENDOCINO COUNTY
Post Date: 03/25/2021 4:00 PM
(If the find is so significant, Doctor, tell us where it is so we can take evasive measures.)
Mendocino County COVID-19 testing samples from February of this year were sent to a state lab for processing as normal, and were randomly sampled for variant testing. Mendocino County Public Health was alerted on March 24th that a number of our samples tested positive for 4 different variants of the COVID-19 virus.
Variants discovered include:
B.1.4.7 (West Coast Variant)
B.1.4.9 (West Coast Variant)
The 3rd and 4th variants discovered are of the B.1.2 category, which are U.S. variants.
The West Coast variants have been shown to have a 20% higher transmission rate and are also somewhat more resistant to antibody therapies.
“This discovery should be of significant concern for Mendocino County residents,” said County Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren. “While we are getting vaccines out rather quickly, scientists are still working to determine if these variants could bring on a new wave of the pandemic, with more vaccine resistance. This means, whether vaccinated or not, we as a community need to abide by COVID-19 precautions to avoid another surge.”
Mendocino County Public Health recommends that all residents:
Maintain social distance
Mask-up in public
To remain updated on the COVID-19 status of our county, please stay tuned to the Mendocino County Public Health Facebook page, or visit mendocinocounty.org.
Mark Scaramella Notes: In a normal world (as opposed to a Mendo World), if some random tests come back positive for a variant or more, the person or agency conducting the tests would 1) tell us how many, and 2) follow up to see where it is and how widespread. But in Mendo, all we get is: Yeah, we found some variants — so keep up your restrictions, and, oh, by the way, keep paying for two expensive public health officers who don’t follow up on their own random tests.
HAMBURGER SATURDAY AT THE YORKVILLE MARKET
This Saturday we will be making hamburgers, veggie burgers and Portobello burgers to order (add bacon, cheese, avocado, grilled onions, etc.) from 12:00am to 4:30pm. Call ahead to place your order at 894-9456, or drop in and enjoy a drink on our patio while you wait.
Our Take and Bake this week will be cottage pies.
Lastly, a forward look at next weekend:
Saturday, April 3rd we will be serving BBQ shrimp skewers with pineapple and bacon with a side of rice pilaf and a garden salad
Sunday, April 4th The Market will be closed for Easter Sunday. Happy bunny day!
Lisa at the Yorkville Market
Putting this out to the whole community, on the off chance anyone local might have info. We were tromping around the Prather ranch (across from the grange, visiting Freda) when we came across a headstone up on the hill above Highway 128. Equally surprised to see it isn't a Prather, but a guy named John Harrison, died 12-12-1898 at the age of 84. Any local historians here who could tell us more?
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Wow. This is a REALLY BIG DEAL. John Harrison and his wife Lorena Eastlick's graves were vandalized in the B section of Evergreen Cemetery (in the 70s?). John was the father of Amanda (Marvin Dutro), Adeline (Phelps) and Lenora (CH Clow). Lorena was the daughter of Jacob & Hannah Eastlick (B in Shields); wife of John Harrison; mother of Amanda (Marvin Dutro) & Adeline (Phelps - both Phelps are in Ukiah cem), Lenora (CHClow). Elizabeth Ilse Clow (1883-1966) also lost her headstone. She still has a “toe” marker. I will post two more that were repaired — I guess they were too heavy to haul away. Clyde says they put ropes or chains around the headstones and attached to their truck and pulled them over. Terrible desecration. I found a photo on ancestry.com of Lorena's and wrote to the owner of the site and they took the photo down. So hers is somewhere. Please go back and look for more headstones. The kids probably dumped them there. This headstone needs to go back to the Cemetery District to be reinstalled above John's grave. I have put a Geo link to the spot. Please let me know if you find Lorena's. Look these people up on Findagrave where I have posted what I know about them.
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I would bet the headstone at Prather ranch was not dumped there. It is extremely heavy and definitely seated. You have to understand that after decades of sheep and possibly cows running around, things get knocked over and crushed, buried etc. It’s no surprise to me at all that the second headstone Joann told me she remembers has disappeared with time and no one looking after them at all. And Mike Crutcher, who lived for many years under this hill and worked for Sam regularly, says he saw evidence of lots of marble rubble up there too.
It’ll be interesting to see what else Joann has to say. Sheri from the schoolhouse, who may be able to track down the church that allegedly stood nearby, is supposed to contact me when she gets back from out of town.
One thing for certain - Sam Prather has been running sheep and cows on this property for decades. The gates and fences prevent anyone casually dumping stuff on his land - he would be furious with anyone intruding on his sheep! And besides, he was right there virtually every day until his health declined. (My partner has lived on the Prather ranch for 20+ years, and we could see Sam’s truck from here, every day.) The “road” going up to the hill is a rutted mess of dirt (you can see this on google maps), more sheep trail than anything else at this point. Again, Christine Clark thinks the Prathers have had this land for likely 100 years.
Is there some reason you don’t think Yolonda/Trudy's account is credible? The fact that her family actually has memories handed down about John and a “Hattie Harrison”, including an account from Blanche & Kent Brown attending a funeral up there, seems worth looking into, at least. And again, the dates you mentioned on Boont Swap BS (ha) simply do not match what is written on this headstone.
Curiouser & curiouser!
* * *
Let me have a little time to research John Harrison and the mystery around his gravestone that was recently found in a field on the Prather's ranch in Philo. I will try to get something more fully developed soon. Going through my research, I can not yet prove that John and Lorena were buried in the B section in Evergreen. They weren't listed there in the mid 1970's when the County’s “cemetery walkers group” listed the graves, or in the late 1980's when Diane Walker Montgomery made a list of B section. I have been looking for this couple for a long time. I have correspondence with their descendants from 2016.
At some point there was terrible vandalism at B Section at Evergreen (the section that is next to the parking lot and the Veterans' wall). Clyde Doggett told me that many tall markers were pushed and pulled over by hooking ropes or chains to a vehicle and the cemetery district repaired about 5 or 6 of the broken ones. Some completely disappeared (Eliz Clow and maybe John and Lorena Harrison). I think the Cemetery District would know from their minutes when this happened - or their insurance claims. The miscreants were dealt with by some locals even though they weren't charged. There are people who know what happened, but I do not. Here are some of the repaired headstones.
I need to order John and Lorena's death certificates. Even back in 1898 there would be a notation about the disposition of the remains.
Also, I need to research the local Baptist Church from that era (1890's). I was told there used to be a Baptist Church on AV Way. Early church records do not seem to have been kept in the Valley for any of our churches, so I need to find the archdiocese (or whatever the Baptist Church calls their hierarchy).
John's obituary says he died at “Indian Springs” and was buried in “Oak Knoll Cemetery.” I have never found “Oak Knoll Cemetery” in any other obituary from that era. However, it may have taken a while for the name of the cemetery to settle. It was Green Mound first, and became Evergreen later when it grew beyond B section. John had three obituary entries: Point Arena Record, Mendocino Record, and the Ukiah Republican Press. I only have one of those and the others are on microfilm at the Held-Poage Museum in Ukiah, so I will have to do more research there after Covid. One of John and Lorena's eight children was Lenora Harrison Clow (Carl Henry Clow). Lenora died of typhus in 1888 at 25 years, ten years before John, her father. Mary, her 3 year old, died 4 months later and is buried with her. This seemed a compelling reason to assume that John would be buried close to his daughter in the Clow area. Another daughter was Amanda who married Marvin Dutro and they are in Shields cemetery. Lorena's mother was Hannah/Hattie Stryker Eastlick who is also in Shields. The rest of their children appear to have settled elsewhere. It seems very possible that “Oak Knoll” was a reporting error along with “Indian Springs” which should have been Indian Creek.
I appreciate how much interest there is in the graves of Valley settlers and ancestors. If anyone has any more information about the location where John's headstone was found, it would be very helpful to share it.
Marshall Newman sent the Boont Swap thread in to the AVA - so I sent them this summary to get out in front of the story. I will keep working on this. The gravestone is definitely John Harrison, the husband of Lorena and father of Lorena Clow. I think it unlikely that there was another cemetery in AV in 1898 that was unknown in County documents. It is possible, however, to have graves at ranches. There are at least 2-3 that I know of that I have photographed. Those are very very early graves and I went to photograph them because they are documented in County records.
I think these are the choices:
-Oak Knoll cemetery exists.
-John and Lorena were buried on their ranch (before the Prathers). (But usually the graves are close to the ranch house.)
-John and Lorena were in Section B and got vandalized. A long time ago. If the base is just sitting on the ground and not buried (seated) at all, it argues that the pieces were dumped there out of the back of a truck.
I wish I had noted exactly where I saw the photograph of Lorena's gravestone. I thought I sent a message to them, but I went through all my Cemetery communications on Ancestry (starting in 2015) and can't find it so it doesn't look like I sent a message. It was early in my research so I didn't realize how important that was. I remember the headstone was in someone's garden. And now I am not confident in my notes!
I will keep in touch and I am very eager to go walk around the area. I know Joann Borges pretty well, I think she would be OK with me coming along, but I want to ask her. I hope we can get her to join us.
Thanks so much, and thanks for maintaining the Boont Swap site!
JOHN McCOWEN ON WHAT REALLY HAPPENED HIS LAST WEEK IN OFFICE:
The issue was never return of property. It was about the petty and vindictive dictates of our autocratic CEO. My official date of retirement was January 9. On Dec. 17 without notice to me Angelo ordered the entire contents of my office boxed up and moved to storage. If the police want to seize your property they need a search warrant.
On leaving office I requested the County release the phone number back to the carrier so I could assume it. This is common practice in Mendocino County and many other locations where public employees are allowed to retain phone numbers closely identified with them. Angelo instructed County officials to lie and say this was not done in Mendocino County and could not be done for me.
I was not humiliated by the gratuitous announcement out of closed session [that a small claims action had been initiated] which reeked of bad faith. The usual announcement out of closed session is “direction was given to staff” and that would have sufficed in this case. In fact, there was no reason for the closed session since the small claims issue was already on calendar and would be resolved one way or the other without taking it to closed session. Which means the closed session and the announcement afterward was nothing more than a clumsy effort at public shaming.
Bad faith is further shown by the small claims filing by the County wherein it was alleged that the need to take action began on January 9, my last day as a County employee. In addition to return of property the County sought reimbursement for the cost of rekeying the administration building. Except the building was rekeyed on January 8, a day prior to when the County said the need for action arose. Keep in mind that Angelo was in possession of the entire contents of my office including all my files and personal property which she illegally ordered seized while I still held office. :o)
Things came to a head when the District Attorney became aware of the situation. He called me and the first thing he said was “This is bs! What’s going on?” When I told him he said, “I’ll fix it.” And he did. The County released the phone number (common practice), sold me the phone at its market value (not at all uncommon), and all other property was exchanged. The whole thing was an abuse of power by the CEO aided and abetted by County Counsel who failed to protect the interest of the County, preferring instead to act at the vindictive whim of the CEO. Regrettably, this unfortunate episode is only the tip of the iceberg of the CEO’s malfeasance and misfeasance.
PS. I accepted long ago that people will say and do what they choose regardless of what I say or do or what my intentions are. When it comes to Angelo and her misdeeds, it really is pretty spectacular how she’s able to get away with it. I do think my former colleagues were and are afraid of her and they have only to look at what happened to me as an object lesson. And the phone caper was the least part of the false and unethical behavior that the CEO and County Counsel, engaged in. Maybe I’ll be ready to tell that part of the story at some point, but I can tell you the abuse of power is pervasive.
PPS. It’s not how I intended to end my term of office. As an on-line commenter said, this episode “is a clear indicator of her sheer power and her shamelessness.” And mine is not an isolated case as you and many others know.
THE NEWMANS OF COMPTCHE’S KEENE SUMMIT
by Katy Tahja
Local history explorations often start with something as simple as a piece of paper. Walking into the Comptche store recently owner Belinda Pollack handed me a sheet of paper and asked “Who was Amanda Newman?”
The paper was an artifact of a mid-century tradition — a “Floral Tribute Contribution List.” When a local Comptche resident died everyone pitched in donations for a floral tribute at the funeral home and graveside services. The storekeeper kept the list and you contributed 50 cents or a dollar back then. There were 44 names on the list and two names, both men, are still alive. But what year was this? Pollack saw her grandma on the list and knew she’d died in 1959, so we knew the list was produced before that time.
Newman is a family name that has been on Keene Summit area of Flynn Creek Road more than a century. A trip to the Kelley House Museum took me to the archives where there are files of hundreds of family names and their histories. Sure enough, there was one on the Newman family. I made notes.
Otto Paskeasalon (or Pakhasall) was from Pyhajoki, Finland. Interestingly enough, this is about 10 miles from Marijarvi, Finland where my husband’s family lived. Work for men in the redwood forests of California spread, and many Finns followed their neighbors west. That’s what brought our family to America. When Otto arrived in the USA he said he felt like a new man in a new country and changed his difficult to pronounce Finnish last name to Newman.
Arriving at Salmon Creek near Albion in 1888 he worked in logging camps until he’d saved enough money to send for his wife Amanda and son Oscar in 1895. So I’d discovered WHO Amanda Newman was and found her obituary in the newspaper for her death in 1957 and date for the floral tribute list.
In the archives I also discovered a scrapbook album with over 80 funeral cards of old Comptche families, including Amanda Newman. Being a researcher and a retired librarian I immediately wrote out an index of all the names in the album to help other researchers in the future.
The Newman Ranch on Keene Summit was purchased from Anna Mattson in 1902 for the growing family. I’ve often wondered who planted the palm tree you can see from Flynn Creek Road. What’s a palm tree doing in Comptche anyway? The Newmans went on to have 12 children, eight of whom survived into adulthood. There was Oscar, Walter, William, Nathaniel, Miriam, Signe, Hulda and Esther.
When my husband and I first came to live on family land in 1975 I was introduced to Miriam through the Grange organization. This woman went on to live 104 years and was a wealth of stories about the good old days. She told a story of two of her siblings dying within a week of diphtheria. Their small white coffins were loaded on the Albion Lumber Company railroad car (lines reached Comptche at that time) and taken to Albion where they were loaded on a wagon and taken to the family plot in the Little River Cemetery.
There were two houses side-by-side on the Newman Ranch, the boy’s house and the girl’s house, as much of the family stayed close to home all their lives. With eight growing kids Miriam remembered a seamstress from town came once a year and stayed a week and did nothing but sew enough clothes to last everyone a year. Amanda must have been a busy woman with cooking, cleaning, gardening, and making butter for sale.
I don’t know Amanda’s religion but for the transplanted Finn’s in Comptche religion played a large part in their lives. Ministers fluent in Finnish would come from Fort Bragg frequently to provide services in the language they all loved and responsibility for hosting the event passed between families. The immigrant woman loved having someone to talk Finn to and would finish their morning chores, walk two miles to have a cup of coffee with another Finn, walk two miles home and get back to chores.
During WWII an enemy aircraft observation post was maintained on their high point of land and staffed by Newman’s and neighborhood woman in eight hour shifts.
At age 88 in 1957 Amanda Newman passed on. Her children remained on the ranch into the 21st century and the Koski/Coulson family now owns it and grows grapes. Interestingly the pallbearers listed on Amanda Newman’s funeral card later passed away and a funeral card for each of them was found in the scrapbook in the Kelley House Archives.
STATE EXPANDS VACCINE ELIGIBILITY to 50+ Californians Starting April 1 and All Individuals 16+ on April 15 Based on Expected Supply Increases
Even with increased vaccine supply, vaccination of willing Californians will take several months
State supporting trusted providers and counties for non-traditional outreach in hard-to-reach communities
SACRAMENTO – With supply of vaccines expected to significantly increase in the coming weeks, the state is expanding vaccine eligibility to more Californians. Starting April 1, individuals aged 50+ will be eligible to make an appointment, and individuals 16+ will be eligible to make an appointment to be vaccinated starting on April 15.
“With vaccine supply increasing and by expanding eligibility to more Californians, the light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter,” said Governor Newsom. “We remain focused on equity as we extend vaccine eligibility to those older than 50 starting April 1, and those older than 16 starting April 15. This is possible thanks to the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration and the countless public health officials across the state who have stepped up to get shots into arms.”
Based on the current estimates, California expects to be allocated approximately 2.5 million first and second doses per week in the first half of April, and more than 3 million doses in the second half of April. California currently receives about 1.8 million doses per week. These estimates may be adjusted as time goes on. The state has the capacity to administer more than 3 million vaccines per week, and is building the capacity to administer 4 million vaccines weekly by the end of April.
“We are even closer to putting this pandemic behind us with today’s announcement and with vaccine supplies expected to increase dramatically in the months ahead,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “However, we are not there yet. It will take time to vaccinate all eligible Californians. During this time, we must not let our guard down. It is important that we remain vigilant, continue to wear masks and follow public health guidance.”
In addition to increased allocations of vaccines to providers serving the hardest hit communities, the state has embarked on a series of initiatives to vaccinate those populations that have faced the highest rates of COVID infections before vaccines become available to the entire 16+ population. These efforts include:
• Provider funding for programs to reach and vaccinate communities facing the biggest health disparities
• Working with organized labor to reach essential workers
• Partnering with agricultural organizations and community-based organizations to vaccinate agricultural workers
• Allowing providers to target by ZIP code via My Turn with single-use codes (scheduled to launch at the end of March)
• Supporting a subset of community-based organizations currently partnering with the state on COVID-19 education to provide direct vaccination appointment assistance
• Prioritizing currently eligible populations and allowing providers the discretion to vaccinate those who live in high-impact areas (County Healthy Places Index Quartiles 1 and 2), including families
Even with expanded vaccine supplies, it is expected to take several months for willing Californians to be vaccinated. Based on public information shared by vaccine manufacturers and the federal government, California expects to receive several million vaccine doses per week starting sometime in April.
Along with the expanded eligibility and to align with upcoming federal guidance, California will update its vaccine allocation methodology. This will transition over four weeks, beginning with the March 22 allocation (delivered to providers the following week), from one based on the distribution of the 65+ population, workers in the agriculture and food, education and child care, and emergency services sectors to one based on the distribution of the 16+ population across California. This will be done in conjunction with completion of the shift to the state directly allocating vaccines to providers. The state will continue to double the amount of vaccine allocated to the lowest Healthy Places Index (HPI) quartile as announced on March 4.
Forty percent of COVID-19 cases and deaths have occurred in the lowest quartile of the HPI, developed by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, which provides overall scores and data that predict life expectancy and compares community conditions that shape health across the state. The rate of infections for households making less than $40,000 per year (5.7) is 84 percent higher than that of households with an income of $120,000 or more (3.1). At the same time, California’s wealthiest populations have received 50 percent more vaccinations when compared to the rate of our most vulnerable populations. This approach recognizes that the pandemic did not affect California communities equally and that the state is committed to doing better.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS has posted the following excerpts from the BOS minutes from 1/25 clarifying action taken on cannabis. The Board Directive for an ad hoc to work with Planning & Building Services on staffing shows the Board is very aware of the need to allocate appropriate resources. The direction to staff for Standard Conditions of Approval is a way to assure the public that every cultivation permit will have specified restrictions. The short list included here can be improved by adding a prohibition on trucked water, a prohibition on plastic fencing and other conditions that are deemed appropriate.
From Supervisor Williams:
Board of Supervisors direction given at 1/25/2021 Meeting (from official meeting minutes)
Board Directive: GENERAL CONSENSUS OF THE BOARD creation of an Ad Hoc Committee of Supervisors McGourty and Gjerde to work with Planning and Building Services on a process to best manage resources and staffing related to tasks directed by the Board of Supervisors.
Board Action: Upon motion by Supervisor Williams, seconded by Supervisor McGourty, IT IS ORDERED that the Board of Supervisors directs staff to submit proposed County Code amendments related to commercial cannabis cultivation, facilities and other special events to Planning Commission to review and make its report and recommendations on the proposed amendments within forty days; and directs staff to include standard conditions that allow:
generators only in special circumstances; and to limit hoop houses to no more than 10,000 feet and ensure agricultural soil quality is maintained and that agricultural lands being damaged or destroyed are referred to the Planning Commission; addition of an asterisk zoning table indicating phase 1 applicants not included in sunset or opt out zones be allowed to reapply under phase 3, irrespective of zoning and parcel size;
and with an addition of an indication of the zoning table that expansion of up to 10% of parcel size is permitted in Upland Residential Zoning.
The motion carried by the following vote:
Aye: 4 - Supervisor McGourty, Supervisor Mulheren, Supervisor Gjerde and Supervisor Williams
No: 1 - Supervisor Haschak Absent: 0
THE BOONVILLE SCHOOLS have a new Superintendent. Louise Simson begins her labors July 1st. She is currently a Principal/Assistant Superintendent in Murphys, Calavaras County. The last woman to hold the position was… how you say in English?… slandered and harassed every which way by a gaggle of unhappy women headquartered at the Elementary School who, in any other line of work, would have been summarily bounced outta there. Why, why a couple of these impertinent hags snarled at me — senior citizen, veteran, landowner, taxpayer, married father of three — for simply asking if they'd remembered to take their calm down meds before that night's school board meeting. Advice for Ms. Simson: Wear your kevlar vest backwards.
INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT WARYCH, filling in as the school's boss man for the past three years, did a good job pacifying the savage grinches at the Elementary School and, no sooner had those beasts been muzzled, here comes the usual turnover among the school board trustees and then covid. Warych made it all look easy. The new boss inherits two capable principals at both school sites in Sid Frazer at the Elementary School and Jim Snyder at the high school, although neither of the schools has seen a return of most of their students.
SEEING more gro dozers around Boonville, tank-size dude pick-ups driven by hat backwards boys not from here filling gasoline canisters at the Redwood Drive-In for their Green Rush gardens deep in the hills of the Anderson Valley.
THE HARRISON Tombstone mystery rumbles on. Is it a remnant of an old, forgotten cemetery on what became the Prather Ranch less than a mile east of 128 on the Boonville side of Philo, or was the old boy's headstone simply dropped there for reasons lost in the mists of time.
THE RUDDOCK CEMETERY is not included, but should be, in the Anderson Valley Cemetery District. It consists of about thirty graves, most of them with headstones, on a wild margin of hillside between the Ballo and Anderson Domaine wineries. It's been years since I've been there, but I clearly remember members of the Dightman family rested there. It's so overgrown the Ruddocks would take a major effort to clear, but these sites are our common history and should be properly maintained.
NEW ASSISTANCE FOR WILDFIRE SURVIVORS
ReCoverCA wants to help eligible homeowners repair or rebuild their homes affected by the 2017 and 2018 disasters
Post Date: 03/25/2021 1:30 PM
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is pleased to announce the availability of the 2018 Disaster Housing Assistance Survey for victims of the 2018 wildfire disasters. If you or someone you know is interested in rebuilding a single-family home or replacing a manufactured home as a result of a 2017 or 2018 qualifying disaster, ReCoverCA may be able to help.
To see if you qualify to participate in the ReCoverCA Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program, please take the 2017 or 2018 Disaster Housing Assistance Survey.
How much assistance can I receive?
Homes damaged or destroyed by any qualifying 2017 disaster are eligible for up to $150,000. Those impacted by any qualifying 2018 disaster are eligible for up to $200,000. Low- to moderate-income households will receive priority.
On Sunday, March 21, 2021 at approximately 12:30 hours, a Deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office conducted a vehicle check in the 1300 block of North State Street in Ukiah.
The Deputy contacted the male driver, Lewis Dishman, 38, of Ukiah, who opened his center console to obtain his identification.
During this time, the Deputy observed a methamphetamine smoking pipe in the center console. The Deputy requested Dishman exit the vehicle and advised him he was being placed in handcuffs and was being detained.
Dishman exited the vehicle in a very agitated state and was placed into handcuffs. As the Deputy walked Dishman to his patrol vehicle, he shoulder checked the Deputy and tried to pull away.
Dishman was placed on the ground by the Deputy until other Deputies arrived to assist with placing Dishman in a patrol vehicle.
Dishman was placed under arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of probation, and resisting or threatening an officer.
Dishman was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
RUN, MARTI, RUN!
On Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 2:42 PM, a Deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was responding to a Ukiah Police Department broadcast of a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle stolen from the Fort Bragg area leaving the 1000 block of North State Street in Ukiah.
The Deputy located the vehicle in the 1300 block of North State Street and attempted to conduct a vehicle stop on the vehicle.
The driver of the vehicle did not yield to the emergency lighting and siren from the patrol vehicle and a short pursuit ensued. During the pursuit, the driver of the stolen vehicle drove recklessly and on the wrong side of the roadway when evading law enforcement. The pursuit ended when the vehicle crashed head on into an overpass support pillar in the 250 block of Ford Road.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Martin Briggs, 50, of Willits, who was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, evading a peace officer with reckless driving, and evading a peace officer by driving on the wrong side of the highway.
In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order issued by the State of California Judicial Council, bail was set at zero dollars and Briggs was released after the jail booking process.
SHE CAN GO, YOU'RE COMING WITH US, AUGIE
On Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at about 9:26 PM a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy conducted a traffic enforcement stop on vehicle being driven by Augustine Frease, 49, of Covelo, at the intersection of Howard Street and Highway 162 in Covelo.
Present in the vehicle was passenger Kathy Genet.
The Deputy conducted a wants and warrants check on both Frease and Genet and learned Frease had an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest and that he was on Mendocino County Post Release Community Supervision probation (PRCS).
The Deputy arrested Frease for the outstanding warrant and conducted a search of the vehicle. The Deputy located illicit drugs in a metal container attached to Frease's keys, a methamphetamine pipe located in a pocket on the driver's door and a methamphetamine pipe located a bag on the front passenger floorboard.
Deputies connected Genet to the methamphetamine pipe and she was subsequently searched. The Deputy located illicit drugs on her person during that search. Genet was arrested and released on a notice to appear citation at the scene.
Frease was transported to the Mendocino County Jail on the listed outstanding felony arrest warrant and additional charges of 3455 PC, 11377(a) H&S & 11634 H&S and was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 25, 2021
KELIE ADAMS-PENROD, Caspar. Domestic battery, resisting.
SHANNON ARNOLD, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, criminal threats, resisting, battery on peace officer, probation revocationd. (Frequent flyer.)
DEANDRE BRAZIEL, Ukiah. First degree burglary.
WILLIAM DILOI, Willits. Domestic battery, elder abuse, probation revocation.
MARCUS DUMAN, Ukiah. Ammo possession by prohibited person, probation revocation.
KALLYN FOWLER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
STEVEN GREEN, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Assault with firearm.
DENISE HLUCHY, Laytonville. Disobeying court order.
RONALD HOEL, Redwood Valley. Parole violation, failure to appear.
STEVEN LUNA JR., Covelo. First degree burglary, second degree burglary, failure to appear, probation revocation.
DILLON MARTIN, Laytonville. DUI, failure to appear.
RAYMOND MARTINEZ, Laytonville. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
DANIEL PEREZ, Manchester. DUI, resisting, battery on peace officer.
BYRON PETERS, Covelo. County parole violation.
MARIA PETERS-PICKETT, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.
LUIS VELASCO, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
HOW MANY MORE?
How many people have to die in mass shootings before there is the political will to pass reasonable gun control legislation such as a renewed assault weapons ban?
Initial reports suggest that the Boulder, Colo., gunman used an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle. Similar weapons were used in the Aurora movie theater shooting, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Orlando nightclub shooting, Las Vegas shooting, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and Tree of Life synagogue shooting.
Experience shows that an assault weapons ban would save lives. The number of mass shootings with six or more fatalities fell 37 percent during the 10-year period beginning in 1994 when an assault weapons ban was in effect as compared with the preceding 10-year period.
After the ban expired in 2004, the number of mass shootings with six or more fatalities rose 183 percent over the ensuing 10-year period.
Thoughts and prayers won’t stop the bloodshed and tears. But a well-crafted assault weapons ban would reduce the number and lethality of mass shootings.
Stephen A. Silver
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Everyone will be somewhere. Which simply means that every unhoused person will spend the night somewhere. It might be in a doorway, a vacant lot, a parking lot, or any number of places on public or private property. But the last place people should be camping is in the most sensitive areas of our environment. I've dedicated the last 20 years to preventing and cleaning up trash from homeless encampments and I can tell you it's easier to prevent encampments than it is to clean up the trash after they are established. Can we agree no one should be allowed to camp in our creeks and rivers?
IN ‘THIS IS YOUR MIND ON PLANTS,’ Michael Pollan dives deep into three plant drugs—opium, caffeine, and mescaline—and throws the fundamental strangeness, and arbitrariness, of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring and participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs while consuming (or, in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants. Why do we go to such great lengths to seek these shifts in consciousness, and then why do we fence that universal desire with laws and customs and fraught feelings?
In this unique blend of history, science, and memoir, as well as participatory journalism, Pollan examines and experiences these plants from several very different angles and contexts, and shines a fresh light on a subject that is all too often treated reductively—as a drug, whether licit or illicit. But that is one of the least interesting things you can say about these plants, Pollan shows, for when we take them into our bodies and let them change our minds, we are engaging with nature in one of the most profound ways we can. Based in part on an essay published almost twenty-five years ago, this groundbreaking and singular consideration of psychoactive plants, and our attraction to them through time, holds up a mirror to our fundamental human needs and aspirations, the operations of our minds, and our entanglement with the natural world.
TRAVELS IN MEXICO
by Paul Theroux
The Mexican border is not a simple line it seems, and it's hard to believe that in time — so we are promised — it will be the site of the battlements of the Murus Hadrianus Trumpus. It has altered greatly over the past 170 odd years, been disputed and redrawn. The United States has expanded; Mexico has shrunk. Much of what is now our west and southwest — Texas and New Mexico, all of Arizona, and most of California — was once Mexican territory. But the northern one third of all of Mexico was ceded to the United States after the Mexican-American war (1846-1848), which was provoked in 1845 by the US annexation of Texas. California at that time was still sparsely settled, just a chain of missions on the Camino Real, from San Diego to San Francisco, as Richard Henry Dana described in ‘Two Years Before the Mast,’ when he sailed as a deckhand up this Mexican coast of Alta California in 1834. (On a second visit, 24 years later, Dana noted how the Gold Rush had turned the tiny mission of San Francisco into a big city.)
After Texas became part of the union, its southern border followed the Rio Grande. Arizona did not become a state until 1912, but earlier, when it was still part of the territory of New Mexico, its southern portion was defined by a patch of the Gadsden purchase (1854) — straight lines, as the border is designated today, inconvenient and hard to police, across stony hill and dusty dale, in the desert.
Throughout the border disputes among the colonials and newcomers, the Native Americans, who had occupied this region for hundreds of years, were regarded as a nuisance. They were fought for objecting to the interlopers and for asserting their ancestral claims to their home. The apaches (to use the popular term for a collection of nations) were particularly tenacious; for their veneration of the land, they were seen as warlike, and slaughtered. The descendents of the depleted populations of all these native peoples remain, and following the border today, one encounters the reservations and tribal lands of indigenous folk — from the Cahuilla people near Coachella, California to Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians (also known as the Cuyapaipe) near San Diego from the Cocopah at the Arizona State line to the Tahono O’odham farther east, from the Mescalero Apache in southern New Mexico to, in Texas, the Ysleta near El Paso and the Kickapoo people in Eagle Pass. Among other things, the borderland is a living repository of native peoples.
The Mexican border we know today was established as an international frontier in about the middle of the 19th century.
For more than 100 years from before 1900 Mexicans were encouraged by American farmers to cross the border to work in the fields — much to the Mexican government's disapproval, because their labor was needed at home. These men and women were the primary source of agricultural labor in the Southwest and California. To regulate the flow of field workers, the Bracero program (Mexicans working on short-term contracts) was established in 1942 under an agreement between the United States and Mexico.
The American need for cheap labor has defined the border culture. Once the border had been porous and in many places informal and notional, people strolling across in both directions to work, to shop, to find entertainment, and to settle. Mormons fled south across the border to escape US persecution for polygamy, sanctioned in their church’s doctrine and covenants (132:61-62: “If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another…”).
Mexicans headed north for work. The border itself was relatively harmonious. “We used to go across all the time,” people told me on both sides. The Bracero program allowed hundreds of thousands of Mexicans to cross the border to work as manual labors in the United States. After 22 years and five million Braceros, the program ended in 1964. The remaining Braceros were sent home. It has been proven that the Braceros — the term means “men who work with their arms” — were generally exploited and manipulated as low-wage workers.
Still, the border remained lightly policed and simple to cross until the Clinton administration activated Operation Gatekeeper in 1994. The border was beefed up with more officers and characterized by high fences, patrol cars, security technology, and massive deportation of illegal border crossers. Crime, the drug trade, illegal immigration, cartel violence, and the fears raised by the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 created the need to tighten the borders further. And that is where we are today, the border is a front line in what sometimes seems a war, and other times an endless game of cat and mouse.
CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION (FINALLY) BANS ORVS
by George Wuerthner
On March 18th, the California Coastal Commission appeared to settle a long-simmering dispute over Thrillcraft use of the Oceano Dunes Vehicular Recreation Area near Pismo Beach, California.
For forty years, the Coastal Commission has been arguing with the California State Parks and Recreation that thrillcraft jeopardized the area’s natural values, including the destruction of nests of endangered least terns and snowy plovers. There are ten species within the Park listed under state or federal laws that the Park agency is obligated to protect.
But with thousands of dune buggies, dirt bikes, 4WD pickups, and other motorized thrillcraft tearing up the beach and dunes, protection of plants and animals is not among the Park’s priorities.
The conflict was brought to a head this past year when the California Coastal Commission issued a cease-and-desist order to park agency.
At their March meeting, the commission voted 10-0 to approve the state park’s coastal permit on the condition that ORVs are eliminated. The Park has until 2024 to comply with the order.
Oceano Dunes State Park is one of nine state-run thrillcraft parks under the California State Parks and Recreation jurisdiction, but the Oceano Dunes is the only one that borders the Pacific Ocean.
There is tremendous opposition to the ban on ORVs (Off-Road Vehicles) from motorized advocates and the Oceano Dunes State Park itself.
One may wonder why a state park would be an advocate of motorized recreation? The answer is money. About 1.5 million people visit the Park each year, with thousands of all-terrain vehicles a day motoring across 3,600 acres of sand.
The Park gets to keep the gate receipts from these visitors, off-road receipts: license fees from the vehicles, and also enjoys financial funding from a gasoline tax that is also used to promote motorized recreation. Compared to other state parks in the California system, Oceano Dunes is well funded. For instance, the Park received $6.3 million in 2017-2018, by far the most significant amount of any of California’s most popular state parks
The Coastal Commission, for its part, says continued ORV use of the area violates its mandate to manage public recreation on coastal land “consistent with sound resources conservation principles.” Given the importance of this area for endangered species and other wildlife, the commission felt it had no choice but to suspend ORV use of the site.
Community Impacts And Social Justice Concerns.
There were other issues as well. Nearby communities complained about the dust and noise from the tens of thousands of users that can pack into the Park. At times the nearby towns have some of the worse particulate pollution in the nation. These communities must deal with increased crime levels, respond to more than 5,800 emergency calls, numerous accidents, including six deaths. Park Rangers in one recent year made 49 felony arrests and had to respond to a mass shooting when a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon injuring five people.
Some locals also argue the ORV use of the Park is a social justice issue as well. The nearest community to the Park, Oceano Dunes, is 60% Latino, and many live near the poverty line. Residents argue they get the noise, air pollution, and crime but cannot enjoy the beach out their door. State and federal air pollution standards are violated dozens of times a year. A recent court decision agreed that the air pollution from park activities was a significant health risk.
The snowy plover is a ground-nesting bird vulnerable to trampling under the wheels of vehicles. The Park is home to about 200 breeding adults of the birds, whose prime habitat all along the coast has succumbed to residential development and human disturbance. Recovery plans for this beach segment call for a minimum of 350 breeding adults.
In response to a 2004 lawsuit from the Sierra Club, the Park agreed to produce a management plan to protect endangered species. It took the Park sixteen years to pull together a draft plan that conservationists say fails to protect the birds. Indeed, among other proposals, the plan would decrease the area available for nesting plovers.
During the Covid virus, when the Park was closed, the snowy plovers expanded their use of the dunes into areas “reserved” for thrillcraft. In response, Park officials moved or chased the nesting birds back to “their” allotted habitat. Such actions violate the federal Endangered Species Act, which prohibits harassing or harming protected species.
Frustrated members of the environmental community, nearby towns, and the Coastal Commission say the Park has done nothing but stall and renege on promises. According to a quote in Calmatters, the parks agency has “no regard for the Coastal Act or coastal resources,” said Mary Shallenberger, a former chair of the Coastal Commission who was with the agency from 2004 to 2017.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has repeatedly threatened the Park with legal consequences for its violations of the Endangered Species Act but has never taken the Oceana Dunes State Park to court.
However, the Off-Roaders complain that they are the endangered species. They argue closure of the beach and dunes violates their rights. Vandalizing public property is, apparently, considered a “right” by some.
Part of the argument supporting the area’s continued use is a recent Park economic study found that ORV users contributed more than $273 million to the local economy. However, that study was criticized by other economists. There is no dispute that the millions of visitors have an economic impact on the regional economy.
Nevertheless, both the federal Endangered Species Act and the Coastal Commission mandate require them to protect listed species like the snowy plover and least tern no matter what the economic consequences might be. Plus, it is not a win-lose situation. Less vehicle traffic would make the Park attractive to other recreational users who would spend money as well.
There is an interesting political angle to the entire controversy. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is battling a recall effort that was launched in June of 2020, claiming the governor exceeded his authority with regards to restrictive Covid 19 closures and mandates, as well as other complaints such as his alleged lack of attention to dealing with homeless people (i.e., not getting rid of them). If sufficient signatures are verified, the governor will face a recall election.
The last thing Newsom wants is another controversy to propel disgruntled voters to the polls. Some suggest the three-year grace period offered by the Coastal Commission for the final termination of ORVs in the Park was partly a way to defuse anger over the Park ORV ban so it would not be an election issue.
Opponents of the motorized vehicle ban on ORVS say they will file a lawsuit, and who knows how that may turn out or delay the final implementation of the thrillcraft ban. Meanwhile, environmental organizations like the Center for Biological Diversity are also watching to see if the ban is implemented as promised or they will seek legal action.
Though it is a long time coming, it is good to see that the Coastal Commission is willing to stand up to the Oceano Dunes Park and thrillcraft advocates to defend the public’s wildlife and natural areas. We need more public agencies who take their mission to protect the public interest seriously.
(George Wuerthner has published 36 books including Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy. He serves on the board of the Western Watersheds Project.)
LA'S BIGGEST QUAKE THREAT SITS ON OVERLOOKED PART OF SAN ANDREAS, Study Says. That May Be Good
Because the southern San Andreas Fault is likely to experience ground-rupturing earthquakes at an average rate of one every 215 years or so—and because the last such earth-shaker in the southernmost section took place in 1726—we're about 80 years overdue, Blisniuk said.
About 6 to 9 meters of elastic strain have likely accumulated along the fault since the last one, the scientists said—which means that when it finally releases, the ground will likely shift roughly 20 to 30 feet. Whether it takes a single quake, or many of them, to go that distance remains to be seen, Blisniuk said.