THE LATEST FROM THE WILLITS BYPASS PROTESTS.
Ripper Restrained from Destroying Hillside at Caltrans Bypass Site
In yet another stealthy pre-dawn action, protesters against the Caltrans bypass around Willits again snuck onto the construction site, this time on the south end of the route, locking themselves to a giant bulldozer called a ripper. The machine is tearing apart a hillside and using the soil to fill in wetlands and streams to build a freeway. For the first time, press has access to the protest site, after Willits News photographer Steve Eberhard was arrested when he tried to cover a protest last week.
Two women, Kim Bancroft and Maureen Kane, have locked their hands around the equipment in welded steel tubes, which are difficult to remove and must be sawn through. A third protester, Steve Keyes, was arrested when he would not leave their side, where he was stationed with water. Temperatures have been in the 90s all week. A crowd of local citizens has gathered in support, and CHP is on scene. Bancroft explained: “Caltrans put out false information to justify a four-lane bypass. The people of Willits designed an alternative route that would not be so expensive or destructive, and it was ignored.” The project’s cost at this point is $210 million.
“Caltrans is attempting to mitigate for the loss of wetlands on an unprecedented scale, using an untried method with no long term manager and without long term funding to sustain it,” said Ellen Drell, founding board member of the Willits Environmental Center. “They’re replacing an already functioning wetland with a speculative plan.”
Caltrans purchased one third of the entire Little Lake Valley in an effort to mitigate for this project, which will cause the largest loss of wetlands in 50 years. In a scheme that they themselves acknowledge to be experimental, Caltrans will excavate 266,000 cubic yards of wetland soils, gouging out unnatural depressions. In other areas the plan calls for stripping off existing vegetation and replacing it nursery grown plants.
“The total price tag of this mitigation travesty to the taxpayers is $54 million dollars,” said Drell.
The Mendocino Conservation Resource District (RDC), which Caltrans assumed would take over management of the mitigation plan, has declined to accept ownership of the mitigation lands or responsibility for its management, after reviewing the mitigation plan. Thus the plan is moving forward with no manager, leaving one-third of valley lands with Caltrans as the sole owner, and no plan for the future. While there is funding for earth moving, planting and 40 miles of fencing, there is zero funding for land management, including rotational grazing for cattle, oversight, maintenance, and flood control.
Protests over the Willits Bypass freeway have been ongoing since January when a young woman, Amanda Senseman, calling herself “Warbler” took up residence high in a pine tree on the route. Her tree-sit, and five others were ended after two months in a huge military-style operation by CHP swat teams. “Warbler” returned to the trees this week, this time in a rare wetland ash forest at the north end of the route. Over 30 people have been arrested, and rallies, petitions, protests and a lawsuit continue.
THE FIRST pink ladies have appeared, those perennially startling swathes of improbable color in the most unexpected places, especially those otherwise sere summer hillsides.
FORMER LEGGETT MAN ARRESTED IN CAMBODIA FOR CHILD SEX CRIMES
According to the Cambodian Daily, John Stahl, who is on the most wanted list of Mendocino County on multiple arrest warrants including one related to “child-sex offenses,” was arrested July 20th in the Preah Sihanouk province. The paper explained,
Yi Moden, acting director of Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), which monitors sexual abuse cases involving minors, said the local NGO’s investigations had found that Mr. Stahl had been living in Cambodia for about four years and was the co-owner of the beachside Cafe Noir establishment in Sihanoukville.
Mr. Moden said APLE staff had begun monitoring Mr. Stahl about a year ago when another NGO that works with young children said it had suspicions about the American.
“So far, no children in Cambodia were reported to be abused by him,” Mr. Moden said of the American who was detained at his rented apartment in Buon commune on Saturday morning.
Stahl, shown on the right in a photograph taken from a biography associated with his small publishing company, is the author of several books including one entitled “The Laughter of God” which is dedicated to “Children and young people everywhere. You are the future of the human race; take it further.”
Hat tip to the Press Democrat which has more information.
Kym Kemp (Courtesy, LostCoastOutpost.com)
A 14-YEAR-OLD FORT BRAGG BOY DIED WEDNESDAY when his 2000 Yamaha ATV rolled over on him. Ryan Kinney had been camping with his father and several friends on private property on Annapolis Road near the Sonoma-Mendocino County line when about 2pm, he went for a ride on his ATV. When he didn’t return, his father and friends went looking for the boy, only to discover him dead. The CHP report says Kinney had been wearing a helmet. The accident remains under investigation as officers try to understand how the boy lost control of the vehicle.
LETTER OF THE DAY
A totally preventable tragedy. The story as I know it: Escalade, a large brown and white dog and owned by a man named George who lives in Clearlake, disappeared from his yard. Strayed, picked up, stolen? George reported him stolen, made trips to various animal controls including two to the shelter in Ukiah. It was said no one saw him until one officer said they all knew him and that he had been adopted out two weeks ago.
Now legally, if a dog is unclaimed for a certain number of days and then adopted out, he/she is legally the property of the adopters. That is the legality of it. And of course, the tragedy is that if the dog is microchipped, then it has a much greater chance of being reunited with its person. I keep reading these wonderful stories of dogs and cats found thousands of miles away and identified through microchips. I do know that they are cheap now. You can have one in your dog or cat for $10 or $15.
The only hope for George to have his companion of ten years back is if the people who adopted him give Escalade back to him. He has offered to pay whatever they paid for him. That of course would be the morally correct action for them to take. No ifs, ands or buts about it. George and Escalade have a solid ten year relationship. Even if George was not a former Prisoner of War in Vietnam, even if he was just the guy on the corner, Escalade in every way (other than legally at this moment) is his dog.
This is not the first time a much loved dog has for some reason ended up at Animal Control and been adopted to another person or family and not returned to their person. It was a tragedy 10 years ago and it is a tragedy now. I know how quickly I become attached to some of the 300 foster dogs that I have had over the last 15 years. I know how a well loved dog can fit in another household easily. I also know how totally devastating it is to lose a dog to illness or old age. I do not know how these people can keep Escalade knowing how much George misses him. There are thousands of truly homeless dogs that need a good home. Escalade has a home.
Now, more time has gone by, Escalade and George, his rightful owner, have NOT been reunited! George made two trips to the shelter in Ukiah. The staff denied that any of them even remembered him being there. Then one of their officers walked in and said, “Oh yeah, we know that dog well. He was adopted two weeks ago.” Then “suddenly” the rest of the staff remembered him. I think they remembered him from the start, they just didn't want to admit they knew anything.
I'm trying to help George any way I can to get Escalade back. It is not George's fault his baby was stolen from his property in Clearlake and then abandoned in Ukiah. Now, that the Ukiah shelter knows the dog was stolen it is their responsibility to get the dog back, or they are guilty of receiving and selling stolen property. George is even willing to refund the new adoptees the money back they paid the shelter for Escalade. This is more than wrong of the shelter to keep this man from his therapy dog, and his four legged son of 10 years. George has had to start counseling through the Veteran's Administration because he is so upset. If any of you would like to call and complain to the shelter about this, their number is (707) 463-4427. This will be a voice mail more than likely, and please be polite about your complaint because we are still attempting to get Escalade back to George, and do not want to make the shelter angry.
Their Facebook page is
Eliza Wingate, Upper Lake.
WE'VE ALWAYS CONSIDERED Scott Simon a “rum character,” as the Brits call cracked or bogus persons. Simon, the smarmy NPR radio phony, has taken self-regard and all-round phoniness — “extreme douchebaggery,” as a young person might assess it — to a new low. He's turned the death of his mother into a demonstration of his own pious devotion to Mommy, tweeting their joint “emotions” as the old girl checked out last week. Mom, I suppose, has to be excused; but I can't imagine another family who would convert deathbed narcissism to national spectacle. Of course Simon's perfect for NPR and the NPR demographic, but still this is… I'm beyond appalled.
OFF-SITE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING, AUG. 13, 2013
On August 13, 2013, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will meet at Fort Bragg Town Hall, 363 N. Main Street, in Fort Bragg, California, for both a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board, and a joint meeting with the Fort Bragg City Council.
Despite continued fiscal challenges, the Board of Supervisors strongly supports preserving the policy of off-site meetings, affording constituents in rural communities and in every district an opportunity to directly participate in their local government.
Beginning in 2006, the Board’s adopted annual calendar has called for up to three of its regularly scheduled meetings to be held in outlying areas of the county. The primary focus for off-site meetings has been our coastal communities and the north County. Over the past seven years, meetings have been held in Boonville, Covelo, Gualala, Mendocino, Point Arena, and Willits.
The Board meeting on August 13, 2013, is scheduled to begin at 10am. Following the opening of the meeting, the Board of Supervisors will hold an appeal hearing related to the State Parks dune restoration project at MacKerricher State Park. At 3pm, the Board will participate in a joint meeting with the Fort Bragg City Council, addressing the topic of a new commercial transfer station.
Dan Hamburg, Board Chair, shared the following comments: “The entire Board is looking forward to spending the day in Fort Bragg. There are two critical issues — the Haul Road and the transfer station — that will be front and center in the Board’s consideration. We anticipate, and hope, that many members of the community will attend!”
The public is welcome and invited to attend all Board meetings. For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441, or visit the website at: www.co.mendocino.ca.us/bos/meetings.htm. The full agenda and supporting material will be available online after Thursday, August 8, 2013. The meeting will be recorded for delayed broadcast.
STATEMENT OF THE DAY UNO
“Going to church was a twofold coercion. My parents and my school insisted on it, and the school even took attendance at Mass. Young nitwit that I was, I couldn't make this kind of weekend surveillance jibe with the omniscience attributed to the Good Lord. I also had trouble with the fact that one of our classmates was allowed to absent himself from all church services on the basis of a medical certification. This kid Wilhelm was as healthy as a lumberjack, but his father was the richest taxpayer in town, a millionaire who could afford his own concordat with the church. Our family used the same devout Catholic doctor, but we wouldn't dream of requesting a similar dispensation. My father was not in a salary range that would have permitted him to enter into negotiations with God's representatives. When he finally worked his way up to the point where he could have greased the Lord's palm, I had long since sprung free of the whole dishonest mess. It didn't cost me a dime, but it cost me many a sleepless night and threw the course of my education out of balance. For years, Sundays remained poisoned days for me, and for years I nursed a strong mistrust of a Church that I was unable to square with the God who was said to reside within its walls.”
— Albert Vigoleis Thelen, 1953; from "The Island of Second Sight"
STATEMENT OF THE DAY DOS
As a child I suffered from a condition that someone once referred to as Sunday melancholy. Later this affliction extended to the remaining days of the week, and then it was no longer anything special, considering that I had been able to summon a certain amount of energy to counter it. I recall Sunday mornings when the sun shone through the slits in the venetian blind into my room, turning everything into a celebration. Every flower on the wallpaper looked different, even though the pattern replicated them a thousand times. I knew each and every exemplar by heart, and discovered more and more new transformations. On the street outside there was no rattle of trucks passing by: on Sundays commercial traffic was prohibited. Sunday! Gradually my not quite wide-awake brain registered the truth: no school, no humiliation, no teasing, no punishment, no homework, nothing — just Sunday, the most comforting day. But then I burst awake and remembered: You have to go to church! Gone was my summery meadow of a thousand blossoms. All the roses looked alike and crummy and cheap, fifty cents a yard and pasted up at all the wrong angles.
— Albert Vigoleis Thelen, 1953; from "The Island of Second Sight"
STATEMENT OF THE DAY TRES
That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. Telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology. I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capability that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.
— Senator Frank Church, 1975
FOR PURE POLICE scumbaggery or, as it was described in the outrageous case of Mendocino County's John Dalton, “egregious government misconduct,” it's hard to beat the DEA. (We'll return to the Dalton case.)
IN APRIL of 2012, Daniel Chong, 23, an engineering student at UC San Diego, was at a friend's house when the DEA burst through the door. Chong had nothing to do with the guns and 18,000 ecstasy pills the drug boys confiscated. But he was there, and if you're there you're going to be detained while who's responsible for what is sorted out.
CHONG WAS TOLD he wouldn't be charged, but he was nevertheless placed in a 5-by-10-foot holding cell where he was found four days later severely dehydrated and covered in his own feces. In all that time, nobody had looked in on him; he had received no food, no water. By day four, assuming he was about to die, Chong used a glass shard, to carve “Sorry Mom” into his arm, but could only manage the “s.” When he was finally freed by the incompetents who'd tossed him into the cell and forgotten he was there, Chong had to be hospitalized for dehydration, kidney failure, cramps, and a perforated esophagus. He said he drank his own urine to stay alive.
CHONG'S ATTORNEY, Eugene Iredale, said last week that no one from the DEA has been disciplined, let alone fired, for nearly killing Chong who has been awarded $4.1 million in damages. Incredibly, the DEA, post-Chong, has only now instituted a detainee policy that includes daily inspections and cell cameras.
JOHN DALTON, as AVA readers know, remains in the federal prison at Lompoc for a Laytonville marijuana bust nearly 20 years ago. The DEA literally seduced Dalton's wife, entertaining her with rides in a police helicopter and arranging for her to place a tape recorder beneath the marital bed, finally moving the woman, to whom Dalton thought he was still married, to the state of Washington without Dalton's knowledge. This behavior by the DEA was not, according to a San Francisco-based federal judge, “egregious government misconduct.” One has to wonder what the hell is.
GW PHARMACEUTICALS is testing a treatment for Type 2 diabetes derived from marijuana. Known as GWP42004, GW hopes to “improve the pancreas' ability to produce insulin to drop blood-sugar levels.”
RANDOM SHOTS: The only way to get performance enhancing drugs out of sports is a life-time ban for the first offense. Take baseball, and take it from a guy who remained seated every time Barry Bonds jacked a splash home run — it's being ruined by cheaters. And it's one of the few sports left for people of normal size and athletic gifts, but the new drugs not only make guys unnaturally strong, vision is improved to where the baseball looks softball size as it crosses the plate. Bonds was a great ballplayer before peds, after he was a joke, seems to me. And now this collection of clowns ranging from Ryan Braun to that middle-age relief pitcher for the A's who has miraculously retrieved the fastball he had as a 19-year-old is making a mockery of the game. Football? Don't even try to tell me those guys aren't on the stuff.
LAST WEEK, the San Francisco Bay Guardian ran a statement that began, “Join us for a community forum on the future of San Francisco's venerable alternative weekly…”
WHY? A free, ad-dependent weekly newspaper, especially one produced in Neener-Neener Land, can only hang on by deferring to the dead, flabby hand of the Democratic Party apparatus that dominates The City, while simultaneously touting every lunatic occurrence as somehow in the grand Frisco tradition of carefree zaniness. If the paper at least occasionally took out after the board of supervisors, as grand a group of feebs and hustlers as the city has seen in my lifetime, it might not have to resort to bogus community input sessions. Ditto for Mayor Lee, the cops, the fire department, city workers, Critical Mass, Larry Ellison, the Dog People, street people, the ongoing give away of prime real estate to the One Percent and on and on. Ask San Franciscans what they want, and most of them will shout back, “Me! Me! More! More of the same!”
IN ANY CASE, a newspaper is not a committee. One reason journalism in this country is so awful, so craven, is lawyers and accountants now make editorial decisions, that and editors who are so craven they give chickenshit a bad name. Then you have j-schools emphasizing “objectivity” (code for “don't disturb the rich”) plus term-paper prose and the art of nuzzlebumming. Calling a community meeting to discuss your newspaper is beyond pathetic.
PS. The crack about the SF supervisors being feebs? You want proof? According to Matier & Ross, old school reporters, The City's Recreation and Parks Dept., which owns Candlestick, “handed out more than $25,000 in tickets to SF politicians, department officials and their friends for Jay Z and Justin Timberlake's ‘Legends of the Summer’ concert…”
WORSE, the supervisors actually wanted to attend!
DR. BRIAN MARCEL CABLE, 48, a Ukiah orthopedic surgeon associated with Ukiah Orthopedics, was arrested Wednesday on charges of “possession of controlled prescription narcotics, fraudulently obtaining controlled prescription narcotics, using another person's identity for an unlawful purpose, burglary and conspiracy.” County, state and federal investigators served search warrants at Cable's Redwood Valley home and office with the Ukiah Police Department making the arrest. Odd thing about the arrest is that when Cable was booked into the County Jail, the charge was merely “theft from a motor vehicle.” Cable graduated from the UCLA School of Medicine in 1993 and has practiced medicine since January of 1995.