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HOT AND DRY weather conditions are forecast to persist across the interior all week. The potential for widespread triple digit temperatures will increase late in the week and next weekend. Marine air and persistent low clouds will keep coastal areas cooler through this week. (NWS)
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: Counter Culture to Canna Culture
by David Wilson
It’s the season for outdoor cannabis growing, and given that it’s also the season for the Milky Way, and we’re in Humboldt County, California, how could I not go out for some nighttime images of the new plants growing beneath that glorious ribbon of light?
I recently photographed the accompanying images of young cannabis plants growing under the stars, and I am liking the photos I came away with. But “cannabis” is a broad subject, and I wasn’t sure how I wanted to approach writing about it, where to start or where to take it. I tend to photograph first, and write something about it later. I was particularly sensitive to the subject this time, given our culture’s tortured history with the herb.
It came to me the other day as I sat with a group of old friends, sipping cold drinks under the redwoods in the heat of a Sunday afternoon on the patio at the Brass Rail in Redway, deep in the heart of southern Humboldt County, California. It was hot, must have been 96º in the shade. I was showing them the nighttime cannabis images I’d recently taken.
“I don’t know how I’m going to write about these,” I was saying. “Sometimes I just want to take the pictures, you know? And not write anything.”
“Well, if I were to write a story about pot,” boomed Syd, “I’d start with how The Man is always telling us what to do.”
That was a possibility, I suppose; clearly “The Man” has lots of ideas about what folks should or should not do, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to explore that angle.
“First they tell us we can’t smoke it,” he elaborated, “and anyone who smokes it is a criminal. Reefer Madness, and all that. Then Prop 215 happens and they say it’s ok as long as it’s medical marijuana, and we all have to go get permits to smoke it. And now they say it’s legal recreationally. It’s all so arbitrary.”
“Yeah, well, I think ‘they’ realized that pot could make them so much money, both in business and in taxes and fees, that demonizing it seemed a lot less practical than embracing it, so they flip-flopped.”
“The all-mighty dollar.”
I’d grown up with most of these people. A couple of them now owned permitted farms and grew cannabis commercially; one of them was in the horticultural supply industry; most had grown marijuana at some point, and we had all grown up in the thick of it.
“You could write about how back when you were all kids, pot growers were the back-to-the-landers, doing small-time mom and pop kind of growing.” This was Aura. She’d gone by “Aura” so long I couldn’t remember what her actual name was. She was probably my parents’ age, young and free in the ‘Sixties.
“Aura,” I asked, “what brought you to Humboldt?”
“Oh, we’d been doing the grind in the Bay Area, and got burned out on it in the mid-Seventies. We were tired of the smog, tired of the traffic, the endless rushing around,” she said. “We wanted to get back to the land, grow our own food, raise our kids in clean air.”
“So you bought land? With a house?”
“Yeah, we bought land one mid-Seventies' summer and moved up. It was just my husband and me and our two kids. We had to build a house. We had no idea how to do any of it, but we did it.”
I remember it being like that for a lot of my classmates growing up. Those had been interesting times, though I hadn’t realized how interesting they really were as I grew up through them.
“We became part of a counter culture when we moved here. A movement!”
“We hadn’t meant to. All we wanted was peace and quiet.”
“My parents were like you, Aura.” This was Coral. She was a year ahead of me in high school. “They were long hair hippies with advanced degrees, just wanting to simplify life."
“I remember kids coming to school smelling like skunk (marijuana) during harvest season,” Ron said. “And everyone knew why.” I’d known Ron in high school, too; I think he was a year younger than I was.
“I remember it, too, now that you mention it,” I said. “I remember thinking they were like regular farm kids — when it’s time to harvest, it’s time to harvest.”
“Then the CAMP helicopters came…” Aura gazed into space. “And the peace and quiet was terrorized. We’d listen to KMUD’s ‘Community Safety and Awareness Report’ first thing to find out where the convoys were headed. If they were coming your way, you had to hide.”
I could also remember watching the CAMP helicopters dipping beneath the hills, to rise again with a great net of marijuana plants swinging pendulously on a cable beneath it. “Looks like they’re busting the McCoys,” I might’ve said to a companion at the time. “Or maybe that’s the old Smithback place.” It was hard to tell sometimes. But you were watching someone’s livelihood being taken away, someone you probably knew.
“I remember kids finding out at school that their community had been busted,” I said, “and worrying if their parents had been hit. There was a lot of fear and worry.”
“‘It feels like we’re living in a police state,’” Ron quoted the Rod and the I-Deals song, “ ‘You broke the law, so accept your fate.’ That song was spot on for the times.” He bent to his phone. “Hey, ‘Police State’ is on Apple Music!”
Coral giggled suddenly. “Remember when CAMP was dumping all the pot at the Garberville airport and burning it? Kids would get off the bus and get stoned in the smoke from the burning plants! And collect buds.”
“Yeah, and wasn’t the law standing around enjoying it, too? And probably collecting buds. I mean, who wouldn’t?”
“And then where else but Humboldt would you drive down the freeway and see entire billboards at harvest season dedicated exclusively to Wiss Clips or oven bags (of all things)? I remember laughing to myself seeing these driving past Fortuna. Pot was still completely illegal, before Prop 215 and medical marijuana. ‘They’ve figured it out!’ I thought. They had finally figured out what the pot farmer needs at this end of the season.”
“Yup, even before legalization, cannabis-related legal commerce would find a way,” Coral said. She has been in the horticultural supplies business a long time. “It has been helping the economy and pumping money into the area since long before it became legal.”
“Did your industry get any kind of bump when 215 passed?” I asked. “And what happened when it became recreationally legal?”
“Oh, both of those events brought increased business. Growing increased both times — especially when it became legal for recreational use, and everyone was allowed to grow a few plants — so the need for supplies increased. When there’s a boom, materials suppliers celebrate. It’s booming.”
“I’ll say,” Ron said. “There was no Garberville Rodeo this year, but there was still a Rodeo Parade… only there were so many cannabis-related entries that it was dubbed the ‘Growdeo Parade!’”
“Maybe it’s booming as far as how much is being grown,” Aura said, “but it’s not ‘booming’ for mom and pop anymore.”
“What’s funny to me,” Syd rumbled, “is that ‘pot’ and pot growing turned into ‘cannabis cultivation.’ It got all hoity-toity and now it’s ‘canna this’ or ‘canna that.’ When did ‘pot’ become ‘canna?’”
“That’ll be a marketing thing,” Coral said. “They — haha, ‘they’ — needed a clean, shiny new image for the herb, and ‘pot’ was never going to be it. ‘Cannabis,’ or ‘canna’ sounded perfect.”
For me, “canna” had always been something Scotty would yell when he couldn’t get the engines to work.
“Humboldt’s climate is sorta special,” Cora continued. “It’s very favorable for the terpenes in cannabis, which influence flavor, aroma, and even the high. Humboldt has basically become an appellation for the best cannabis in the world.”
I am sure we could have gone on for hours without becoming boring, but I had a drive ahead of me and was beginning to fade. All I’d had was iced tea.
“Thanks a bunch for this discussion, you guys. I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to mention any of this, but we’ll see.”
* * *
The conversation above never actually occurred, and all of the people in it are fictitious. Call it historical fiction, for these characters never got together at the Brass Rail, but the memories, thoughts, and feelings expressed by the characters within did come from real people with whom I’ve had informal chats about cannabis cultivation since I photographed the accompanying images. All of the dialog between the characters is from my memory of things said in the separate conversations. I’ve also thrown in my own memories from growing up in that culture. There aren’t any absolute facts I can point to in this story, but that isn’t to say that the characters’ comments don’t contain truth. I felt that writing it this way preserved everyone’s anonymity.
Besides, for me it is all about the photos.
(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or purchase a print, visit or contact him at his website mindscapefx.com or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx and on Twitter @davidwilson_mfx . David teaches Art 35 Digital Photography at College of the Redwoods.)
REMEMBERING OUR POPULIST ROOTS
by Jim Shields
I wasn’t planning on writing about the Great Referendum Movement that has risen organically, and most certainly stimulated by the County’s new Cannabis Ordinance. I had another topic in mind but that’s been pushed aside, at least temporarily.
I’ve said numerous times the Supervisors have created a Populist Movement surrounding the single issue of the 10 percent Expansion Rule and its inextricably intertwined relationship to water. Very conservatively speaking, 70 percent of County residents support repealing the 10 percent Rule because they understand that is the Ordinance’s main flaw.
They figured this out all by themselves without any prompting or preaching by those of who are supporting the Small Is Beautiful Mendocino Referendum to repeal, only and solely, the 10 percent Rule which would allow parcels that have a minimum size of 10 acres or larger to cultivate up to 10 percent of the total parcel area with the issuance of a Major Use Permit. It’s both the People’s voice and their choice.
These are not elitists or special interests, they are growers, non-growers, workers, small business owners, ranchers, farmers, and folks from every sector of our local economy, including the current Sheriff and a former Sheriff.
They all understand that if you eliminate expansion, you eliminate the water use that goes with it. Enforce the Ordinance by eliminating the thousands of un-permitted and the outright illegal grows that have proliferated after 4-plus years of a failed, unworkable Cannabis Ordinance, and you eliminate all the water use that goes with them.
This Populist Movement is not demanding that the entire Ordinance be deep-sixed. These folks are not demanding that at all. What they’re demanding is a return to some semblance of stability and normalcy where at least their wells have water and the landscape isn’t littered with hoops and sprawling fields of pot. The last outcome they want is the additional chaos that would result from burning down the entire Ordinance that another referendum group is advocating.
As I’ve disclosed previously, I’m the co-chair of the Small Is Beautiful Referendum campaign, and I want you to know that our plan has always had three parts or phases from the beginning.
The first part is to repeal the 10 percent Expansion Rule through the referendum process because that is the single issue this Populist Movement has rallied around in such large numbers. Politically speaking, once you start talking about repealing the entire Ordinance, those numbers begin to dissipate. We agree with most folks that about 90% of the new Ordinance is perfectly fine because it includes numerous protections and safeguards.
The second part of the plan is to use the initiative process to fix the remainder of the Ordinance (probably 5 or 6) items or issues, including preparing an EIR, establishing realistic cultivation caps, imposing tighter restrictions on hoops, eliminating permit “stacking,” etc.). This phase would include widespread input from County residents.
The final phase would be transforming the Small Is Beautiful Mendocino Coalition into a permanent County “Good Government Watchdog” entity because there are other issues besides Cannabis, for example mental health services, Dept. of Transportation roads and bridges, accountability in County government, etc., that require citizen oversight in getting resolved.
Speaking of our local Progressive Movement, there’s historical precedent for it.
Back in the early 1900s, it was a time local and state government reached a nadir in American history. Greed, corruption, and outright bribery were common among many politicians.
Writers like Frank Norris (a must read is his The Octopus, a novel from that time that accurately sets out the history of the Southern Pacific Railroad’s corrupt stranglehold on the state of California) tell us that most people back then “wanted changes to take place in American society, but not radical or revolutionary changes. They wanted government to take a more active role in regulating big business. They also realized that before meaningful changes could take place, the stranglehold over local and state government by corrupt politicians and the huge corporations had to be broken. The reformers of this time called themselves ‘Progressives.’”
In California in the early 1900s, the Progressive movement’s battle against total economic and political domination of the state by Southern Pacific RR was led by Republican Governor Hiram Johnson, who successfully stumped the state campaigning for a state constitutional amendment providing for the referendum, initiative, and recall.
That’s why we have the right today to challenge this Cannabis Ordinance and its widely unpopular and destructive 10 percent Rule. We should never forget those folks who came before us and joined together under the original banner of the Populist Movement, something that we’ve been fortunate to inherit and re-establish in our time.
(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.)
MENDOCINO COUNTY COUNSEL Christian Curtis concluded his opinion on the possible legality of the “Small Is Beautiful” referendum being circulated to simply remove Footnote 6 in the current cannabis permit ordinance which allows up to 10% of a parcel to be planted in pot plants:
“If a referendum petition targeting only Footnote 6 were to gain enough signatures, there are three possible results as to what a court might do. First, it is possible that a court might conclude that a referendum as to a single footnote is impermissible, and rule that the petition is invalid. Under this scenario, the ordinance would proceed as if the petition was never circulated. Second, it is possible that a court might find that the referendum petition is valid, but that Elections Code section 9145 requires the prior ordinance to be repealed before enacting a modified version. If so, then implementation of the remainder of the ordinance may be delayed for several years while the County undergoes environmental review. Third, it is possible that a Court might determine that while Footnote 6 is suspended and/or repealed, the balance of the ordinance continues as originally enacted.
Of these three possibilities, I believe that the first is the most likely, but the lack of any authority directly on point and the significant ambiguity in this area gives me a relatively low level of certainty.”
MARIJUANA 2021: REEFER SADNESS
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
I've spent much my life around people with strong opinions about drugs and most of those opinions have been wrong if not lies.
The more certain they were, the more laughable the outcomes. We've all had friends and acquaintances look us in the eye and tell us drugs were a source of enlightenment and a path to wisdom. Today those people are dead, homeless or quit doing drugs 40 years ago.
What they never were was enlightened. Wisdom? Ha.
Drugs were a pet project for a generation that scorned middle class values and rolled its eyes when warned about dope. Take marijuana. Please.
Recall what smart people were saying about marijuana in the 1970s. Weed being illegal in the Age of Nixon, they said, showed how repressive and short-sighted the American establishment was. Just as stupid as the war in Vietnam.
Drug laws were the new Prohibition, and they asked if we hadn't learned the lesson of making alcohol illegal. There was no justification for marijuana to be illegal since it was less harmful than a Martini. (Possibly true, yet truly irrelevant.)
Marijuana was considered harmless by the smart people in the country, meaning every college professor and all the media. (It took the legal system decades to catch up.) It was easy to compare marijuana to Martinis, but the step beyond them are different, and worse.
What the smart people missed was this: Beyond Chardonnay, a Vodka Tonic or a six-pack of beer — the next step is simply more alcohol. Tequila maybe, or bourbon.
But a step beyond marijuana opens different doors altogether. In the world of drugs there are lots of options, most of them bad and a few that will kill you. Or, more likely, kill your nephew or niece or the unemployed guy down the street.
Legalizing weed opened that door and Pandora's box erupted with new brain-cracking, life destroying drugs.
Methamphetamine was among the first our pothead friends turned to once the thrill was gone from inhaling cannabis. Meth is now everywhere. Tell me the last time someone said you can learn a lot by using meth, unless they were talking about lessons in dental procedures, jail, ruined careers, broken families and an early rendezvous with the coroner.
Or was it cocaine? Cocaine was a popular playtoy for rockstars, Hollywooders and pretentious kids who wanted in on the celebrity scene. Then it was heroin, hash oil, honey oil, banana peels, Vicodin, opium. All aboard, ye seekers of wisdom.
Next stop oxycontin, fentanyl and more American deaths per year than all American soldiers lost during the entire Vietnam war. Noticing any problems yet?
Back at Juicer's Saloon, drinkers are experimenting with Harvey Wallbangers and Pina Coladas. Some will wake up with hangovers tomorrow and others might try rehab. No one says booze can't ruin your life and the lives around you, or that getting sober isn't a difficult fight. But drugs are a lot of fights on a lot of fronts.
Now let's talk about all the promised tax benefits we've been told will bring a bright new day. For decades smart people have been explaining how the miracle of legalization will soon pay for anything and everything because that's how taxes work.
Today pot is as legal as potatoes and Mendocino County can't make a nickel on either. It's costing too much to hire consultants and county workers to process applicant cannabis paperwork, buy more county cars to inspect distant gardens and deal with the Sheriff's ballooning budget from spikes in crime.
Why didn't any of the smart people warn us that cartels would move in?
Profits? Mendocino County won't make money from marijuana until it lures big nationwide industrial operations (think RJ Reynolds) to process weed efficiently, distribute it nationally, sell it profitably and pay big taxes routinely.
It's the smart way forward. Big corporate marijuana machines will employ hundreds in farms, factories and front offices doing everything from acquiring, growing and grading to marketing, packaging and shipping.
A hundred mom 'n' pop growers means failure and tax evasion for most. It's a lesson every industry learns either quickly or slowly.
There aren't a hundred small car makers still fighting it out, and there aren't scores of national cigarette companies. MendoCo can sit spinning its wheels or embrace the inevitable and get the big boys in.
Small growers will wail and shriek and write letters. So what? These are the same outlaws who've spent decades hauling in huge profits from illegal weed and never paying a dime in taxes, while blithely using the roads, schools, libraries and legal system their neighbors paid for.
To hell with 'em. They can go get jobs like the rest of us. I hear RJ Reynolds is hiring.
AU COURANT DUDE that I imagine myself to be, I hadn't known there was a black national anthem. But reading the lyrics of it, Lift Every Voice and Sing, it's uplifting and all if you go for uplift, but seems awfully… uh… fey put alongside the martial descriptives of perilous battles and bombs bursting in air.
IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL we kicked off the academic day with three (count 'em) patriotic tunes. Standing at attention, hands over hearts, we'd belt out the National Anthem, My Country 'Tis of Thee and America the Beautiful, and woe unto the kid who tried to amuse his peers by singing a little too loudly or substituting smart alec lyrics for any of the sacred lines.
LOOKS LIKE the next Mendo ballot will feature a pair of pot measures, one a simple modification of the Supe's ordinance, the other will recommend chucking the whole works. The arguments have commenced and are all over the place where the fine print is taken seriously. I think the modification of the Supes' ord is sufficient, but it all seems irrelevant to me because the size and scope of what's become the Green Rush is, and will, overwhelm any and all attempts to regulate it.
DENIS ROUSE WRITES: “Yo Bruce, I took your lead and have been reading her gorgeous if (I think) sometimes overwrought stylish prose but enjoying it very much. I was particularly taken by her bull riding short story “The Mud Below” that's so ropey with male bull snot I fell into sexist wondering how a woman could pull it off. Guess there are no gender gaps in great writing but as you know these are weird days, no one knows what else is coming out of the closet. Enjoying the AVA, it's livelier than ever, a nice reality check from what poses as journalism in the mainstream. One more Britney Spears story and I'm taking my television for a one-way cruise on the Strait.”
ED NOTE: Agree. Proulx's prose can be a little implausibly purple at times, but what a writer. Like you, I often beat back my chauvinist impulses to say to myself, “A woman wrote this?”
FISHERMEN REPORT that the struggling salmon species are so far plentiful this season out of Noyo, so plentiful lots of ocean anglers are bagging 25 – 30 pounders, easily making their limits of "2 salmon except coho, with a minimum size limit of 20 inches total length. No more than two daily bag limits."
A FACEBOOKER wondered where in the Anderson Valley this giant madrone is. I'd guess at the top of the Y Ranch, Yorkville, on property formerly owned by Jackie Potter Voll's family and, before them, Dave Severn. There's a grove of giant madrones up there and, much more accessible, there's a good size madrone on the west side of Anderson Valley Way up from the Con Creek Bridge.
LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING (The Black National Anthem)
Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand.
True to our God,
True to our native land.
— James Weldon Johnson
MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: I prefer the “Small Is Beautiful” version of the two competing referenda as well. But since the County has never enforced permit terms on anything, much less pot, and no one has even raised that question concerning any of the options, arguing about the rules themselves seems pointless. I get the feeling that most people will vote for both referenda simply to protest the County’s complete mess of a current program and the perception, as noted a few weeks ago by Supervisor Haschak, that the Board isn’t listening to the public. A case can be made that the public isn’t listening to the Board either, but that probably has to do with the general perception that the Board either isn’t believable or that that whatever the Board thinks takes a backseat to what CEO Angelo thinks, and she’s not talking about pot. There has not been any reasonable attempt, in simple terms, to explain or defend the current ordinance or the seriousness of the promises about phased in gro-size caps. (Only John McCowen has even tried, but he’s kinda pedantic in his approach and he’s tied to the old mess of a program too, so his attempts at explanation are not getting much play — and the current Supes don’t seem to want his help.) We have yet to see a single press release about the program from the County’s new hot shot pot gal, Ms. Nevedal, who came to the Program with pot admin credentials and pot industry experience and credibility. Instead we’ve received a series of “code enforcement” press releases which don’t seem to be slowing down the black market. Prices of unpermitted pot may be coming down as the volume of pot for sale goes up, but that might cause people to grow more just to make up for the price-related loss of revenue. County Counsel’s recent attempt to explain the legalities of the “Small Is Beautiful” referendum only adds to the confusion and probably energizes the circulators. If, as County Counsel says, removing just a footnote is not a technically valid ballot measure and the Supes try to disallow it from the ballot, that may slow things down even more and motivate the circulators even more and would probably help the alternative “throw it all out” movement. Upshot: Instead of bringing growers into the “regulated” program, more and more of them will flaunt it. In effect, this kind of legalization is perversely creating more illegal grows than the status quo ante.
JULY FOURTH ADVENTURE
by Paul Modic
After a sleepless night in pain, seriously not one moment of sleep, I packed a small overnight bag and hauled my sorry ass up to the Garberville Emergency room. I was the only client there at 6am and all the wonderful tattooed hippie nurses, candy stripers, and others got me comfortable and did the tests, including EKG, x-rays, and a blood-draw.
The electrocardiogram revealed: heart attack! I didn't care, I'm ready to die, just don't like all that pain! (The old Vietnamese doc kept saying he couldn't understand why I had waited four days and that as I was on no medication and healthy it was odd that I should have a heart attack.) They told me I might have a procedure up in Eureka where they insert something up my femoral artery and be in the hospital a couple days. A stent? Quadruple bypass? No one knew until I saw the cardiologist. I called my sister and she insisted on driving up there also. Okay sure, why not?
They checked my blood pressure repeatedly, asked me about my pain levels, gave me some morphine a couple times, lined up the cardiologist, and the ambulance hauled me to Eureka Hospital. I got about five more mini-shots of morphine in the ambulance which didn't do much so I kept asking for more while looking out at the pretty views of the Eel River valley through the huge back window. One medic drove and the other continually ran tests by my side.
I got the express lane into a private room just off the Emergency Room and all the tests were repeated. Like the Garberville crew, the staff were young friendly people. It was quickly determined by the admitting physician that I had not had a heart attack, what I had was acute pericarditis which is inflammation of the sac around the heart. The cardiologist concurred and listed all the factors in the tests which unequivocally pointed to that condition.
I waited for a couple hours for the lab tests to be done in the comfy room catching up on some sleep. My sister arrived to hang out and eventually take me back south. We got the drugs at Rite-Aid and I got home just now. Though not exactly painkillers, the expensive drug, $175 for sixty pills, will reduce the inflammation, and thus the pain, after a month or so. (The pharmacist offered me a tutorial about gout, which is the most common use of Colchicine, and was surprised when I said it was for a heart condition.)
Wow, exciting day and I'm looking forward to taking the drugs and recovery. I did find my fave beer, Modelo Negra, at the nearly empty and odd retro drugstore which sold wine by the gallon for eight bucks.
Now I'm gonna defrost my fancy Amellia's birthday cupcake and start the celebration a few days early, with Cherry Garcia on top!
On Thursday, June 24, 202121, the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET) assisted California Department of Fish & Wildlife Wardens with serving a search warrant on an unlawful marijuana cultivation site in the 1100 block of Hoe Road in Ukiah.
A separate search warrant had been previously served in this general area weeks prior for a different unlawful marijuana cultivation site. Based on observations seen on that day, a separate search warrant was authored for this particular property.
On arrival, three people were contacted and detained. A total of 2,412 illegally cultivated marijuana plants were eradicated and destroyed. There was 80 pounds of freshly harvested marijuana "bud" that was also located and destroyed.
This investigation was ultimately forwarded to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office for potential prosecution.
* * *
In mid June 2020, the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET) and the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force (MMCTF) began investigating an illegal marijuana cultivation operation occurring on Tribal Lands in Covelo.
This particular cultivation site encroached onto a privately owned neighboring parcel, that was not connected with this illegal cultivation site.
During the course of the initial investigation, probable cause was established after this property was determined to not be licensed by the State of California to cultivate cannabis. Based on the aforementioned, a search warrant was ultimately authored.
On Wednesday, June 29, 2021 COMMET, the Sheriff's Office Detective Unit, MMCTF and members the United States National Guard all responded to the property to serve the search warrant.
During the service of the search warrant, three adult males were located tending to the separate marijuana cultivation sites on the property.
These subjects were detained without incident. One additional adult male was observed fleeing the property and was not located.
A total of 4,260 illegally cultivated marijuana plants were eradicated and destroyed. A total of three firearms were also found/seized from the location.
Once complete, this investigation will be forwarded to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office for potential prosecution.
PERVS ROUNDED UP
On Tuesday, June 28, 2021, Detectives with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office assisted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Parole Agents, initiated a compliance check of registered sex offenders in Mendocino County pursuant to section 290 of the California Penal Code.
The Sheriff’s Office is able to organize this check due to a grant from Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) program. The effort included compliance checks on registered sex offenders who are currently on Mendocino County Court ordered Probation or CDCR Parole.
During the compliance checks, several registered sex offenders were contacted throughout Mendocino County. The registered sex offenders were checked for compliance to confirm their place of residence and to ensure they were in compliance with their court ordered Probation or CDCR Parole conditions. Multiple registered sex offenders were contacted with some determined to be in compliance of their registration requirements and released.
The following registrants were determined to be out of compliance during the compliance checks.
Brian Hurtado, 31, of Willits, was identified as being on CDCR Parole and a registered sex offender. Hurtado was contacted in the 24000 block of North Highway 101 in Willits. During the contact items were located which were identified as being in violation of his CDCR Parole terms and conditions.
Based on the findings, a Parole Hold was issued by CDCR Parole Agents and he was arrested. Hurtado was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $75,000 bail.
* * *
Walter Jesse Creed Jr., 54, of Willits, was also contacted in the 24000 block of North Highway 101 in Willits.
Creed was identified as being on CDCR Parole and a registered sex offender. During the contact with Creed, he was found to be in possession of items which were in violation of his CDCR Parole terms and conditions.
A Parole hold was issued for Creed and he was arrested. Creed was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $75,000 bail.
* * *
David Legrand Cook, 67, of Redwood Valley was contacted in the 300 block of Forsythe Drive in Redwood Valley.
Cook was identified as being on CDCR Parole and a registered sex offender. During the contact, Cook as found to be in possession of items which were determined to be in violation of his CDCR Parole terms and conditions.
Based on the findings, a Parole Hold was issued for Cook and he was arrested. Cook was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Ukiah Parole Office and Parole Agents for assisting and participating in the compliance checks of registered sex offenders in our county.
WOULDN'T GET OFF THE COUCH
On Friday, July 2, 2021 at approximately 5:15 AM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a domestic violence disturbance that occurred at a residence at the 200 block of Mulligan Lane in Laytonville.
Deputies contacted an adult female and Glenn Clutts, 65, of Laytonville, at the residence.
Deputies learned Clutts and the adult female resided together in a cohabitant relationship. An argument ensued between the couple earlier in the evening which escalated into a physical altercation.
During the argument Clutts grabbed the adult female by her arms while she was sitting on a couch in their living room and forcefully tried to remove her from the couch. Clutts then grabbed the adult female by her ankles and dragged her off of the couch. Clutts also reportedly spit on the adult female and threw a sheathed knife at her which missed her body.
Deputies observed visible injuries to the adult female's left arm consistent with being forcefully grabbed.
Clutts was arrested for felony domestic violence battery and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
ZIM WAS OFF TO AN EARLY START
On Friday, July 2, 2021 at approximately 5:15 AM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies contacted Steve Zimmerman, 30, of Covelo, in a vacant lot at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Tabor Lane in Covelo.
Zimmerman was observed walking away from a vehicle parked in the vacant lot. Deputies were aware Zimmerman had an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest for violation of probation.
Deputies observed ammunition in the vehicle Zimmerman was seen walking away from and conduced a search of the vehicle.
Deputies further located a .45 ACP caliber pistol and loaded ammunition magazine under the driver’s seat along with indicia indicating the vehicle belonged to Zimmerman.
Zimmerman is a convicted felon, on Mendocino County felony probation and is prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition.
Zimmerman was arrested for Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Possession of Ammunition by Prohibited Person, Felony Violation of Probation, Possession of Stolen Property, Felony Arrest Warrant and Violation of Probation and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status.
The Deputy investigating the incident subsequently learned the firearm recovered from Zimmerman had been previously reported stolen in Mendocino County and Zimmerman was additionally charged with possession of stolen property.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 4, 2021
NICOLE ALVAREZ, Yucaipa/Mendocino. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
WILLIAM BETTS JR., Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MICHAEL BLOYD, Ukiah. Domestic battery, protective order violation, disobeying court order, probation revocation.
DAVID DOTY, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
LAURA HERRERA, Talmage. Trespassing and occupying property.
LILBURN HOAGLEN, Willits. DUI.
JASON KREUZ, Ukiah. Trespassing and occupying property, probation revocation.
JOSIE LATHROP, Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CHRISTIAN PEDERSEN, Willits. DUI.
PATRICK RIDLEY, Covelo. DUI w/BA over 0.15%.
ALYSSA ROBERTS, Ukiah. DUI.
DAMIAN SAMAS, Ukiah. Failure to appear,
AIDEN WILLOUGHBY, Ukiah. Speed contest.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
My local Habit a burger chain out of Santa Barbara has a sign on the door starting wages $16.75-$17.75 an hour.
This was considered a good head of household wage just twenty years ago.
The reality is these kids all expect $100k or no go.
I was talking to a fresh out of high school kid last week about working and his plan was to get a job at Chick-Fil-A long enough to qualify for unemployment and then get himself fired so he could go on unemployment to surf and travel. Great plan except so is everyone else.
ON LINE COMMENTS:
It was an electrical storm caused by high temps. So there was nothing about this that wasn't climate change related. It didn't even need a stupid human to ignite. The world just did it all by itself now that's it’s super charged with warmth.
* * *
We're about 3 hours from Lytton, it was 115+ for three straight days here and the air was so still, I've never experienced anything like it. Lytton was 120+.
by Phil Jones
Elon Musk claims to believe that in ten years speech will be obsolete. Tiny chips planted in the human brain will instead allow humans to communicate entirely with their minds. Never one to shy away from a grandiose proclamation, Musk describes his latest venture, Neuralink, as “conceptual telepathy.” “There’s a lot of information loss when compressing a complex concept into words,” he explained recently on The Joe Rogan Experience. The “link” promises to erase such inefficiencies by removing speech from the equation. But such reasoning is only compelling if you think smooth communication is the sole purpose of language. Musk says that humans will soon speak only “for sentimental reasons’.
For months he has been promoting Neuralink through a series of bizarre stunts. In May, he released a video of a rhesus monkey implanted with the chip playing the video game Pong. This came after a video of a pig wandering around a pen in a brightly lit conference room, eating and sniffing straw, while an audience tracked its neural activity on a bleeping monitor.
To his boosters, Neuralink is more evidence of Musk’s genius. To his critics, it’s another vanity project destined for failure. Musk may paint himself as a brave pioneer, but versions of the technology have been around for nearly 150 years. Scientists were recording brain signals in 1868, and they started to hook the brain up using inlying electrodes in the 1950s. Musk’s link is less a miraculous breakthrough than the steady plod of technological progress.
The link itself is a tiny chip, which lodges in the skull and connects to electrode threads that are pulled across the brain. It compresses information gathered by the electrodes and identifies patterns by recording spikes of electrical activity generated by firing neurons. It then transforms the chaotic din of a “live” brain into the gentle hum of a digital signal, clear enough to be transmitted by an interface such as Bluetooth.
Musk invented none of these technologies. But his ambition has always been something else, closer to the “science” of mass telepathy that emerged in early Soviet Russia. The Soviet government was serious about the paranormal. There was an entire program at Leningrad State University in “Biological Communication’. Efforts to communicate telepathically guided several of the government’s first cultural ventures too, including several early sound films: “electro acoustic telepathy” promised to convey subliminal messages from the Soviet state to the audience. The Ruler of the World, a novel by Alexander Belyaev serialized in the Krasnaya Gazeta between 1926 and 1929, imagined a psychotronic machine for reading minds and automating citizen behavior. It was apparently taken seriously by the state as a future possibility.
In his fascinating book on these experiments, Homo Sovieticus, Wladimir Velminski reveals a world of hypnotic state broadcasts, telekinetic radios and a laboratory known as the Aurathron, set up to practice mind control on dogs – not dissimilar to Musk’s experiments on monkeys and pigs. The book documents the peculiar mysticism that took hold of the Soviet state as the economy collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions. The strangest of these experiments took place just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. To calm the panicked populace, the Politburo beamed the celebrity psychic Anatoly Kashpirovsky into the nation’s living-rooms. Few viewers – if any – were actually hypnotized by the broadcast, but many complained of poor mental health in the years that followed.
It’s reasonable to wonder whether similar problems might hamper Neuralink. Musk has repeatedly overestimated his ability to deliver on his visions for the future, missing production targets he sets for himself at Tesla, and manufacturing a high number of vehicles with serious defects. The Boring Company, which aims to ‘solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic’ by blasting pods full of commuters around underground tunnels, has been repeatedly set back by engineering and urban planning problems. Musk says he remains “highly confident” that SpaceX will take humans to Mars by 2026, though the grounds for his confidence are mysterious. Undeterred by his growing list of failures, credulous pundits repeat Musk’s lofty speculations as though they were already reality.
Venture capital in Silicon Valley tends to follow the hype. Whether the technology fulfils its promise may not matter. Even in its present form, the Neuralink chip can record brain activity and capture potentially valuable neurological data that is otherwise challenging to extract. “It’s sort of like if your phone went in your brain,” Musk said at Neuralink’s launch. There have been countless articles politely discussing the ethics of using a chip to capture neurological signals in the way a smartphone tracks our online behavior. But asking a tech company not to collect data is like asking a person not to breathe.
Like the Soviet state dangling the promise of a radiant future in front of its tired citizens, Musk’s success is sustained by predictions of a technological sublime that’s only ever another decade away. These predictions are increasingly made on Twitter and have the power to move markets in directions that benefit his wealth, making him intermittently the richest man on the planet. As he said at Neuralink’s launch, “the future is going to be weird.” Just not for the reasons he imagines.
(London Review of Books)
Cities large and small are reporting increases in crime and gun violence. There is growing concern among businesses and residents leading to increased firearms purchases to protect themselves.
Why is this happening, you might ask? Well, when elected officials vote to defund their police departments; when the national media highlights every mistake a police officer makes; when social justice organizations vilify the entire law enforcement profession for the mistakes of a few; when police departments struggle to recruit or retain competent personnel; when progressive district attorneys fail to charge violent criminals who use firearms or are gang members with legislatively approved prison enhancements; when thefts of under $950 are minor crimes not worthy of prosecution; when previously sentenced violent criminals are released prematurely to reduce the prison population; and when states adopt a no-bail system regardless of the number of arrests that occur following release, then the end result should be no surprise.
Crime, major and minor, will plague residents in these communities, and they will arm themselves when they believe the principal duty of their government — to keep them safe — has failed them.
WAR CRIME JEOPARDY
Yesterday's response, Grenada (for Urgent Fury), was correct; however, we consider the Commander in Chief to be the person most responsible for such actions, which would have made Ronald Reagan the chief perpetrator of that 1983 adventure.