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Mendocino County Today: January 25, 2014


SO MUCH WATER is moved around California by so many different agencies that maybe only the movers themselves know on any given day whose water is where. But to get a general picture it is necessary only to remember that Los Angeles moves some of it, San Francisco moves some of it, the Bureau of Reclamation's Central Valley Project moves some of it and the California State Water Project moves most of the rest of it, moves a vast amount of it, moves more water farther than has ever been moved anywhere. They collect this water up in the granite keeps of the Sierra Nevada and they store roughly a trillion gallons of it behind the Oroville Dam and every morning, down at the Project's headquarters in Sacramento, they decide how much of their water they want to move the next day. (— Joan Didion, The White Album)


Re “Capital weather set on repeat cycle: Warm and dry” (Sacramento Bee, Our Region, Jan. 21): Poor water management of rivers and reservoirs by the Brown and Obama administrations has exacerbated the impact of the drought.

Last summer, high water releases down the Sacramento, Feather and American rivers left Shasta, Oroville and Folsom reservoirs at dangerously low levels. Shasta is at 36% of capacity and 54% of average; Oroville, 36% of capacity and 54% of average; and Folsom, 7% of capacity and 34% of average.

Yet Pyramid Lake in Southern California is at 98% of capacity and 105% of average; and Castaic Reservoir, 86% of capacity and 105% of average.

The state and federal water agencies exported massive quantities of water to agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies, endangering local water supplies and fish populations as the ecosystem continues to collapse.

-- Dan Bacher, Sacramento

AS HOUSEHOLD WATER REGS begin to be applied, one has to wonder at the math: If 75% of the state's water is devoted to agriculture, cutting household water consumption whatever percentage — say 25% to begin with — doesn't do much of anything to help overall conservation. Of course it helps in small towns like Willits where ag is pretty much confined to the illegal ag of marijuana production and household water consumption is most of the water consumed narrowly speaking about a closed water delivery system. But wherever else individual consumption is limited, ag will get most of what's saved. So lots of earnest people trying to conserve water are naturally going to start asking, “Why am I suffering with all this when the ag industry — the grape industry in Mendocino County — isn’t doing a thing?”


COSTCO wants to build one of their big emporiums in Ukiah. Official Ukiah is doing everything it can to accommodate them, including spending public money on site prep for a corporation that makes more money in a month than flows through Ukiah in five years. Lots of local residents are opposed to the project. Their reasons vary.

A MEETING of the Ukiah Planning Commission last Wednesday night, in the words of ace Ukiah Daily Journal reporter, Justine Frederickson, “considered one of the very last steps in the long process of project approval, which was the Site Development Permit for the 148,000-square foot warehouse and 16-pump gas station.”

THE MAMMOTH new Costco would join the skein of big box stores strung along the west side of Highway 101. Of course Costco's point men are enthusiastic: “It makes perfect sense to us to be part of the (Redwood Business Park) and we believe it will be a successful venture for us,” said Michael Okuma, director of real estate development for Costco, explaining that store's plan has been reviewed and tweaked often since its design began in 2011.

UKIAH'S PLANNERS offered a few last gasp tweaks about shade trees and maintenance of the trees.

SERIOUS OBJECTIONS from random citizens were ignored. The store comes with a 12-pump gas station in a small town that already seems to have a gas station or two at most of its major intersections, and a Costco will undoubtedly mean the end of one or more of the town's major markets.

THE COSTCO MEETING droned on until after midnight when the Planners voted, 4-1, to approve the corporate octopus that is sure to devour lots of Ukiah's remaining smaller businesses. Judy Pruden, the last person in Ukiah who seems to care what the place looks like, was the lone No vote on the Ukiah Planning Commission.

IT'S SAFE to assume Costco can expect a thumbs-up from the Ukiah City Council, and the monster store will be a fact of Mendocino County life by March of 2015.


MEANWHILE IN THE COUNTY SEAT as of Thursday the 23rd of January, the weekly crime report:

Burst Water Pipe -- Caller in the Ukiah Dog Park off Low Gap Road reported at 10:05 a.m. Monday that a pipe had burst in the fountain at the dog park and water was spraying out. A county staff member responded.

SUV Parked In Front Of Hydrant -- Caller in the 500 block of Stella Drive reported at 11:22 a.m. Monday that a dark green SUV was parked in front of a fire hydrant and it was an ongoing issue. An officer responded and counseled the person responsible.

Vandalism -- Caller in the 200 block of Observatory Avenue reported at 11:26 a.m. Monday that several windows had been broken.

Burglary -- Caller in the 600 block of Joseph Street reported at 1:19 p.m. Monday that a home had been burglarized after a rock was thrown through the window. An officer responded and took a report.

Fire Hazard -- Caller in the 1000 block of South Dora Street reported at 4:10 p.m. Monday that someone had put dirty aprons over the lights outside, causing them to melt and almost start a fire.

Death -- An officer responded to the 1200 block of West Standley Street at 8:30 p.m. Monday and took a report for a death.

Explosion -- Multiple callers in the area of Clara Avenue and Ford and Myron streets reported hearing an explosion shortly before 9 p.m. Monday. An additional caller on Sidnie Street reported seeing someone throwing fireworks from a vehicle. An officer responded but did not find any suspects.

Burglary -- Caller in the 200 block of West Standley Street reported at 7:26 a.m. Tuesday that a home had been burglarized. An officer took a report.

Rooster In City -- Caller in the 200 block of Cherry Street reported at 8 a.m. Tuesday that a resident had a rooster in violation of the city's ordinance. An officer left a card after no one answered the door at the residence.

Distraught Woman In Car -- Caller in the 100 block of Pomeroy Avenue reported at 8:04 a.m. Tuesday that a woman he didn't know was yelling and crying in his car. An officer responded, and the woman was released to a mental health case worker at Ukiah Valley Medical Center.

Car Egged, Speeders -- Caller in the 700 block of Yosemite Drive requested at 12:07 p.m. Tuesday to have extra patrols for cars speeding in the area and because his girlfriend's car had been egged.

Shoplifter -- An officer responded to Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard at 1:22 p.m. Tuesday and arrested a Cloverdale resident for shoplifting. The person was cited and released.

Stolen Car -- Caller in the 500 block of North State Street reported at 2:16 p.m. Tuesday that a car parked on the side of the business had been stolen, but the caller could not provide registration information for it because he was not the registered owner.

Disturbance -- Caller at Safeway on South State Street reported at 2:44 p.m. Tuesday that a man with a cane and a bicycle was yelling at customers near the bus stop. An officer responded and arrested a 54-year-old Ukiah man on suspicion of vandalism and resisting arrest.

Assault At UHS -- Caller at Ukiah High School on Low Gap Road reported at 3:23 p.m. Tuesday that a girl was assaulted at the school. The incident was assigned to the school resources officer for follow-up.

The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Ukiah Police Department regarding calls handled by the Fort Bragg Police Department.

Transient -- Caller in the 600 block of South Main Street reported at 6:54 a.m. Monday that a transient was sleeping on the south side of the building. An officer checked the area but did not find the person.

Transient -- Caller in the 100 block of East Cypress Street reported at 8:56 a.m. Monday that transients were sleeping on the porch, leaving trash, cigarettes and fecal waste behind. The caller requested extra patrols at night.

Burst Water Pipe -- Caller in the 200 block of Hocker Lane reported at 10:25 a.m. Monday that a pipe behind the high school baseball field's home plate had burst and was spraying water into the caller's yard.




Mendocino County Deputy District Attorney Tim Stoen was honored Thursday in Monterey as one of the top five prosecutors in the state by the California Fish and Game Commission.

Stoen’s award was presented at a dinner capping a statewide meeting of the California District Attorneys Association. Fish and Game Commission President Michael Sutton honored Stoen and four other prosecutors from around the state.

Sutton said that the five prosecutors were deserving of statewide recognition for their “outstanding commitment to the protection of California’s wildlife and natural resources, and their superior performance in prosecuting wildlife, natural resources and environmental cases in California courts.”

In particular, Sutton told the audience, Mendocino County’s Stoen “takes wildlife cases very seriously, including illegal hunting, sport and commercial fishing violations.” Stoen “doesn’t plead out cases just because it’s easier, and he is not afraid to take cases to a jury or court trial when necessary.” Sutton said Stoen is “equally adept at prosecuting environmental destruction and pollution crimes. In addition, Sutton said while marine reserves are relatively new along the North Coast, Stoen has been “supportive of the state’s outreach and education efforts as well as its enforcement stance.”

Stoen is the senior deputy district attorney in Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster’s coast office in Fort Bragg. Stoen prosecutes cases in the Ten Mile division of the Superior Court.

DA Eyster said Stoen was indeed deserving of the statewide recognition. Eyster specifically cited Stoen’s prosecution efforts to curb illegal abalone poaching and other resource-related crimes on the Mendocino Coast. “We are passionate here Mendocino County when it comes to protecting our fish and wildlife resources from those who abuse what we all must share. Tim has been my lead prosecutor in that effort and I join abuse the Commission in saluting him for his body of work.”

The other four prosecutors honored were Monterey County DA Dean Flippo, Orange County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Malone, Sierra County District Attorney Lawrence Allen, and San Mateo County DA Stephen Wagstaffe.

(District Attorney Press Release)


AT 8:42am FRIDAY MORNING the Anderson Valley Fire Department was dispatched to a traffic accident on Highway 128 at milemarker 42.50 just east of Yorkville. The two Fort Bragg residents, still not identified, had been traveling eastbound when the driver lost control of their vehicle, went over the embankment, struck a tree, and rolled into Dry Creek. The occupants had left the scene and were found walking down the road with minor injuries. They refused all transportation to the hospital, via helicopter or ambulance, and were released by the CHP at scene. This is another accident where seatbelts and airbags were major contributors in creating a positive outcome for the passengers in a crash with a significant mechanism of injury potential. — Andres Avila, Chief, Anderson Valley Fire Department


AT THE BOONVILLE WINTER MARKET this Saturday in front of the Boonville General Store, 11-1, rain or shine, you will find:

Jade - greens, possibly some root vegetables

Diane - Jam and Jelly, Garlic and Various Crafts

Yorkville Olive Ranch - both the 575ml and 750 ml bottles of Extra virgin Olive Oil

Wildeacre Farm - sauerkraut, milk kefir, water kefir and starter, chia seed muffins, chocolate hearts, winter root tea mix, crocheted wool scarves and cotton dish cloths

And more!

Next Saturday, February 1, the Boonville Winter Market will move (for one day only) to the Boonville Fairgrounds for the annual Winter Abundance Workshop (Seed and Scion Exchange) beginning at 9:00 and for as long as the vendors want to stay. See flyer below.

Volunteers are still needed for this event. If you can help for an hour at the welcome table, rootstock sales, or clean up it would be much appreciated. Please email or call Barbara at 895-3897.

Mendocino Permaculture’s 31st Annual Winter Abundance Workshop. Saturday, February 1, 2014. Rain or shine. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fairgrounds in Boonville. Seed, Scion & Cutting Exchange with Hands-on Fruit Tree Grafting

Classes all day on fruit tree propagation, how to grow fruits & nuts, and how to do seed saving of all kinds of food plants. Learn the tricks of making your own fruit & nut bearing trees, shrubs and vines. You can make your own tree right at the event. Come spend the day with local green thumbs who understand the unique climate zones and soils of our bioregion.

This is a free public service learning event. There is no charge for admission, classes, seeds, cuttings, or scion wood.

Items that will be sold: Lunch, Beverages, Tree Rootstocks, Fruit Trees & Vines.

Free classes: grafting your own fruit trees, top-working and bud grafting, cutting propagation, choosing rootstocks; planting, training, pruning, the localized holistic management perspective, seed saving for vegetables, flowers, and trees.

Seed Exchange: Seeds from local growers of vegetables, flowers, herbs and trees will be available all day, with local seed savers on hand to share local knowledge. Bring seeds to share. Labeled glass jars of bulk seed are preferable. Please label varieties by name, place, harvest date, and any pertinent cultural information. We supply seed envelopes for you to take home seeds.

Scion Exchange: Scions will be available all day, with local experts on hand to answer questions and share “local how to” knowledge. Bring scions to share. We supply over 300 varieties of fruit tree scions.

Rootstock sales: Over 500 tree rootstocks of all major fruit types, for a few dollars each. We select the best rootstocks for our climate and soil so you can build your own high quality fruit trees inexpensively by grafting your chosen scion to the right rootstock. You can also take the scions home to graft on existing fruit trees.

Plant share: everyone is welcome to use our venue to give plants away.

Trees & plants for sale by local growers, selected for our climate zone.

Food sales by local people: Lunch, beverages, and snacks

Boonville Winter Market: Relocated from it's normal location for this event - produce, meat, olive oil, value added food, crafts.

Schedule of Events

9:00-4:00 Open tables Scions, seeds, cuttings and selection advice—see workshop map when you arrive.

9:30 - 10:30 Class Mark Albert--Basics of Making Your Own Trees & Vines.

10:30 - 12:00 Class Tim Bates--Planting, Training, Pruning and Holistic Management of Fruit Plantings.

12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Salsitas’ Organic Mexican Lunch.

1:00 - 2:15 Class Patrick Schafer--Advanced Tree Grafting

2:15 - 3:30 Class Seedsaving Basics--Tom Melcher, an experienced seedsaver.

Please bring your own plate, utensils, cups, and napkins to reduce our carbon footprint. Biodegradable sets will also be available for $1.50 each.

This workshop is co-sponsored by Anderson Valley Adult School. More info? Go to or call Barbara/Rob Goodell 895-3897; Mark Albert 462-7843; or Richard Jeske 459-5926.


WHAT PASSES for identity in America is a series of myths about one's heroic ancestors. It's astounding to me, for example, that so many people really appear to believe that the country was founded by a band of heroes who wanted to be free. That happens not to be true. What happened was that some people left Europe because they couldn't stay there any longer and had to go some place else to make it. That's all. They were hungry, they were poor, they were convicts. Those who were making it in England, for example, did not get on the Mayflower. That's how the country was settled.

— James Baldwin


THURSDAY'S NEW YORK TIMES carried a long piece about the musical career of the late Gene Clark, the famous song writer and singer from the Byrds. The local angle? Clark lived on Middle Ridge, Albion, during the 1970s and Gene Clark and even formed a band called the Mendocino Rhythm Section.


KZYX goes all uptight at a single f-bomb dropped live on air. "Eek! The FCC is coming!" Check out Earl Weaver, the famous baseball manager, live at five one day not so long ago:


ON JANUARY 19, 2014, at about 12:30am a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy observed an occupied vehicle parked at the intersection of Zinfandel Drive and Tanya Lane outside Ukiah. The Deputy stopped to contact the four subjects in the vehicle. When the subjects rolled down the windows to speak with the Deputy, a large amount of smoke billowed out of the vehicle. The Deputy asked what they were smoking and the subjects noted they were smoking [concentrated] marijuana honey oil. The Deputy conducted a search of the vehicle and during the search he located a makeup bag belonging to suspect Monica Valadez, 22, of Ukiah. The Deputy located a container in the makeup bag with approximately .2 grams of methamphetamine and a glass methamphetamine pipe. Valadez was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County jail on the listed charges and was to be held in lieu of $10,000 bail. (Sheriff’s Press Release)


WILLITS HORSE-WHISPERER Angie Herman writes: “There is a confirmed case of strangles in Mendocino County. Prior to this horse showing any signs of illness it may have exposed horses that competed in last week's Willits High School Rodeo. If your horse could have been exposed please watch for fever, swollen throatlatch or other areas around head, nasal discharge, and depression.

 The infected horse has been isolated and every effort is being made to stop the spread of this disease. Strangles is common in many areas. It can be a serious, even fatal disease. Horses who travel and compete frequently should probably be vaccinated against it. It is a bacterial disease and it can be spread by “fomites” which are things like halters, hands, boots, buckets etc.

 The vet and owner are managing this case and other possibly exposed horses as per UC Davis's current recommendations. Please contact your equine veterinarian if you have questions. Also, please have any horses showing possible signs of this disease examined by a vet immediately.”


THE EASTERN STAR, OCEANVIEW CHAPTER 111 met for their first stated meeting of 2014 on Tuesday, January 21st. A quorum was present, however, attendance was marred by illness for several members or their families. Our new Deputy Grand Matron, Linda Fuentes, was present and not only participated in our ceremonies, but gave instruction for changes decided by the Grand Chapter for 2014. During the business segment of our evening, we voted upon charities for 2014 and how net profits from fundraisers will be distributed to them. The charities for 2014 are as follows: “Hospitality House, Mendocino Community Library, Project Sanctuary, Senior Cats for Seniors.” Each of these organizations was suggested by a current member of our Chapter. In addition, the Worthy Grand Matron’s statewide charity will also receive distribution, this charity being “J Clifford Lee Cancer Fund”. Our new Treasurer has enrolled us in Planet Green activities which will allow us to purchase computer supplies at nominal rates, and, make donations of used supply items to them. In addition, our organization will receive a donation back from each item purchased, or, remitted to them. Soon we shall be announcing a Scrabble Tournament as our first fundraiser of 2014. It will occur on February 15, Mendocino Masonic Center, corner of Lansing and Ukiah in Mendocino, 7-10pm. Our Deputy’s husband, who is also the Worthy Patron of the Kingsley-Augusta Chapter of Eastern Star in Ukiah, led our annual member obligation pledge at the end of our meeting. Mary Danchuk, WM, Order of Eastern Star, Ocean View, Chapter 111, Mendocino, CA, Meeting monthly, 3rd Tuesday, 6:30pm, Dark October and December, 10500 Lansing Street, Mendocino



by Samuel Blackstone

On July 1st, 2001, Portugal decriminalized every imaginable drug, from marijuana, to cocaine, to heroin. Some thought Lisbon would become a drug tourist haven, others predicted usage rates among youths to surge.Eleven years later, it turns out they were both wrong.

Over a decade has passed since Portugal changed its philosophy from labelling drug users as criminals to labelling them as people affected by a disease. This time lapse has allowed statistics to develop and in time, has made Portugal an example to follow.

First, some clarification.

Portugal’s move to decriminalize does not mean people can carry around, use, and sell drugs free from police interference. That would be legalization. Rather, all drugs are “decriminalized,” meaning drug possession, distribution, and use is still illegal. While distribution and trafficking is still a criminal offence, possession and use is moved out of criminal courts and into a special court where each offender’s unique situation is judged by legal experts, psychologists, and social workers. Treatment and further action is decided in these courts, where addicts and drug use is treated as a public health service rather than referring it to the justice system (like the U.S.), reports Fox News.

The resulting effect: a drastic reduction in addicts, with Portuguese officials and reports highlighting that this number, at 100,000 before the new policy was enacted, has been halved in the following 10 years. Portugal’s drug usage rates are now among the lowest of EU member states, according to the same report.

One more outcome: a lot less sick people. Drug related diseases including STDs and overdoses have been reduced even more than usage rates, which experts believe is the result of the government offering treatment with no threat of legal ramifications to addicts.

While this policy is by no means news, the statistics and figures, which take years to develop and subsequently depict the effects of the change, seem to be worth noting. In a country like America, which may take the philosophy of criminalization a bit far (more than half of America’s federal inmates are in prison on drug convictions), other alternatives must, and to a small degree, are being discussed.

For policymakers or people simply interested in this topic, cases like Portugal are a great place to start.


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