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Mendocino County Today: January 31, 2014

MARK COWIN of the California Department of Water Resources said Thursday that the snowpack in the Sierra is only 12% of normal for this time of year, the lowest amount recorded since 1960 when the state began keeping snowpack records. The previous lowest record for snow at this time of year was almost double what it is today: 21 percent of average in 1963 and 1991.


ReisnerBooksMARC REISNER died in 2000 at the age of 51 after writing two of the most prescient books we have on the state's water and the ever-present hazard of earthquakes. Cadillac Desert, published in 1986, described how precarious California's water delivery systems are even with abundant rainfall; his last book, A Dangerous Place, tells us what's likely to happen in an earthquake of 7.2 or greater — specifically that the inevitable Big One is likely to damage and/or destroy the vast network of dams and levees that store and hold back the state's water. As the tectonic plates grind in their different directions all that water will rush towards the new vacuums created. “If the contrived flow of water should somehow just stop, California’s economy, which was worth about a trillion dollars as the new millennium dawned, would implode like a neutron star,” Reisner writes.


Eel2013THE BELOW PHOTO of the nearly dry Eel River falls near Hearst in January 2014 provides a stark contrast to the conditions enjoyed by this kayaker at the same spot in January 2013 (above). Current water flows in some forks of the Eel River are lower than in January 1977, the last extreme drought for the area. Photos by June Ruckman. (Courtesy, the Willits News.)


IN A 5-0 UNANIMITY, the Fort Bragg City Council has overturned the town's Planning Commission vote against the Dollar Store proposed for the Affinito family's vacant building on South Franklin. FB's planners, reacting to neighborhood opposition, had recommended against the discount retail emporium. But the Council, citing area zoning that allows retail, undid the Commission's opposition. The barn-like structure had been leased to the County of Mendocino as a social services center.


WILLITS COUNCIL MEMBER STRONG TO GOV. BROWN: Delay Further Water-Using Construction on Bypass

January 28, 2014
Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Drought & Implications for the Caltrans Willits Freeway Bypass

Dear Governor Brown:

You recently declared a drought emergency in the State of California. The week before, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the Willits City Council had both declared a state of emergency in our area. Our county and its residents are experiencing water rationing.

Even with severe restrictions, there is uncertainty, if we do not receive substantial amounts of rainfall to fill our reservoirs and recharge our groundwater aquifers, that we can make it through 2014 with water for basic human needs. Under these circumstances, it would be unconscionable to proceed with extremely water-intensive construction on the Willits Bypass project this year.

In 2013, Caltrans reports having used at least four million gallons from local wells for dust control and compaction on the project. Activities during the coming 2014 season would far exceed that amount, with continued earth-moving, dust control, compaction and adding cement mixing for construction of bridges and a one-mile long aqueduct. Those local wells and those millions of gallons of water are essential for the survival of 13,000 people living in the Willits area!

At the same time that the bypass project plans to use large amounts of water, it also plans to pave over nearly 90 acres of wetlands in our small valley. Those wetlands are critically important in recharging our aquifers, not to mention their role in flood control, cleansing water going into salmon-spawning creeks and supporting other wildlife. In your declaration about our water crisis, you also wisely mentioned the importance of protecting and restoring wetlands.

Even if or when the current drought eases, there is a way to substantially reduce the wetlands impact of the Willits Bypass project. Some of the damage has already been done, but at the northern terminus of this 6-mile bypass, only about one-tenth of the fill has been placed so far.

An I-5 style interchange is planned, covering 40-acres of wetlands almost 30 feet deep, even though the project is only 2 lanes connecting with an existing 2-lane highway and even though, north of Willits, traffic averages only 8,000 vehicles per day. By scaling back this over-sized interchange, some 30 acres of wetlands could be restored to their original high-functioning natural state, at the sensitive convergence of several streams feeding Outlet Creek into the Eel River. (See graphic above.)

I urge you to: a) Delay any further water-using construction activities on this project; and b) Before construction resumes, order Caltrans to redesign the northern interchange by scaling back to either a round-about or at-grade intersection (both already designed), thus minimizing further unnecessary filling and instead restoring these wetlands.

By the way, the project appears to already be considerably over budget, with just one example being the wetlands mitigation bids that came in three-times more than Caltrans’ estimate. Scaling back the northern interchange could reduce costs for construction as well as for massive, untested wetlands mitigation measures.

Finally, this common-sense revision in the plans would not only benefit wetlands and save State taxpayers money, it would also substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions during construction. It would be a tangible, major step toward the more sustainable transportation policy you have called for and that we all want.

Madge Strong



THE NOAH'S ARK array of animals seized this week from the McNab Ranch (Hopland) property of Patrice Phillips, 59, is reminiscent of the late Lydia Dittmeier of Willits. Neither woman, and we assume they're much alike in their anthrophila, meant harm to her animals. The rescue work of both women simply got out of hand when, we also assume, they were unable to part with their adoptees. And the animals accumulated to where they ate their shelter. In Lydia's case, her goats and several other four-footed species consumed Lydia's Hearst Road home; passersby reported donkeys sticking their heads through Lydia's livingroom walls after the goats had eaten the sheetrock all the way to the street.

MS. PHILLIPS lived in Fairfax (Marin) before she landed deep in the McNab hills. In Marin, she also battled neighbors and authorities over the menagerie she kept at her hillside home. Her semi-wild pigs roaming her dense suburban neighborhood had neighbors threatening to shoot Phillips' anarchic petting zoo while their mistress racked up more than 60 nuisance complaints. And she retreated to Mendocino County. Where else?

PHILLIPS got herself arrested this week in Mendo, and her 13-year-old son placed in protective custody, when she refused to open the door to sheriff’s deputies attempting to serve a search warrant on her property. Lydia Dittmeier, the Willits animal collector, threatened to kill the young animal control officer who had the impossible task of trying to reason with her. Ms. Phillips seems slightly more amenable.

ACCORDING TO NEIGHBORS, Ms. Phillips' Hopland property was grazed to the dirt and her animals, including 10 Great Pyrenees puppies, didn't have adequate water and were underfed. They've all been placed in foster homes. One hopes Ms. Phillips pulls herself together and resumes life with her son as her first priority. That poor kid probably doesn't say much beyond woof-woof and cock-a-doodle-do.



Judge cites significant input from family and friends

by Tiffany Revelle

A Ukiah father who pleaded guilty last month to child abuse causing his 6-month-old son's hospitalization was sentenced to five years of formal probation and a parenting class Tuesday in Mendocino County Superior Court.

Daniel Camara
Daniel Camara

Daniel Camara, 25, was originally charged with assault resulting in a coma due to brain injury of a child younger than 8 years old, but the baby's recovery since then prompted the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office to reduce the charge to child abuse resulting in hospitalization, still a felony charge.

Camara's infant son arrived at Ukiah Valley Medical Center April 5 with a high fever, and was flown to the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center when his condition worsened the next day.

“I believe in this case, the injury was caused by shaking rather than hitting,” prosecutor Paul Sequeira of the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office said. “People don't realize what they're doing when they shake a child, especially when you're a big man,” he added, indicating Camara.

Judge Ann Moorman said her decision was influenced by the amount of support expressed for Camara by his family members and friends, who had written letters in support.

“Even at the very young age of 25 ... you have a lot of people who think very highly of you,” Moorman said. “That says a lot about you, in my opinion. They describe you very consistently ... and they're all very positive.”

Addressing Moorman's expressed uncertainty of the facts in the case and her belief that the Mendocino County Probation Department had drawn faulty conclusions in its report, Sequeira added, “but there is the ability to call me for more background before writing a report.”

Camara's Ukiah defense attorney, Duncan James, said he had shared the “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages” of the baby's medical records with the DA's office. Despite that, Sequeira said his office was still “not able to tell if (the baby boy) had developmental disabilities before” the shaking and subsequent recovery.

“My reading of the facts in the probation report leave me somewhat in question, and I don't like sentencing someone when I'm in question,” Moorman said.

She added that she knew the baby had been born two months prematurely and that the condition came with “consequences,” but not having the ability to make a “medical comparison” of the infant's condition before and after the abuse “makes it very difficult.”

Moorman said while she hadn't seen the investigation file, what struck her about the probation report was that it did “not describe accurately (the baby's) situation in life mentally and physically prior to Mr. Camara's arrest.

“Positions (taken in the report) might be staked out mistakenly because they are based on assumptions that might be incorrect,” she said.

James told the court that the baby's mother had rejected a doctor's advice to abort him before birth “because they knew at birth he would have developmental disabilities.” He said a county Child Protective Services worker's conclusion that the shaking caused the boy's medical condition “mischaracterizes the evidence.”

He also described for the court a previous hearing the baby's mother had asked him to attend, where he understood CPS workers and Camara's family members were trying to work out an agreement regarding the baby. After 15 minutes, James said, he interrupted and asked the leader to list on a whiteboard the priorities for the meeting, with the baby at the top.

“Everyone agreed on that,” James said, adding that the group continued to discuss the matter, but “we weren't getting to (the baby).” He asked what the goal was, and “they wanted a stipulation of no contact with (the baby) for the rest of his life. I said that's not going to happen.”

County Counsel Tom Parker told them they would be getting a stipulation via mail to sign, but weeks later, it hadn't arrived. The mother later got a call “saying they want to take all four of her children,” James said. Earlier Tuesday morning before the sentencing, in a family court hearing, CPS was “down to two,” he added.

The way the case was being handled, James said in court, “flies in the face of reunification.”

Jona Saxby, who represents the mother in the family court proceedings, told Moorman the Tuesday family court hearing had been continued to the next day. All four of the children were to stay with the mother Tuesday night, she said, and added that the county planned to detain the two younger children Wednesday and prevent Camara from contacting them.

James noted that Camara would be living and working in Cloverdale as part of the arrangement, but would like to visit his wife and the two older children he'd been raising with her.

Moorman said she would not impose a no-contact order as part of Camara's five-year probation, “for a lot of reasons.”

Camara is the baby's biological father, she noted, and imposing such an order would be a “gross violation” of his constitutional rights as a parent “until due process takes those rights away.” A large collection of family and friends in the family's life was also a factor in Camara's favor, Moorman said.

Moorman imposed a probation condition that Camara's terms would comply with any orders that came out of the related family court matter. The family court hearings are not open to the public.

“There's a lot to be gained from the program you're going to have to go through,” Moorman said to Camara. “You're going to be a better father, and you're probably going to be a role model for other people.”

She acknowledged that having a child with special needs is difficult for any parent.

Camara's statements in court were short.

“I'm really sorry for everything that happened, and I take full responsibility for everything,” he said, thanking Sequeira and James for the resolution to his criminal case.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)


THOMAS ELZIE SEGAR died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends on January 28, 2014, from complications related to dementia. He was born on January 27, 1927, in Hollywood, CA to E.C. and Myrtle Segar. His father was the creator of 'Popeye', and Tom was the inspiration for the character of 'Sweet Pea'. After graduating from Santa Monica High School in 1944, he joined the Navy. When the war ended, he completed his education at U.C.L.A, graduating with honors in accounting in 1949. He became a Certified Public Accountant and held various positions in business and industry. He started a number of companies in manufacturing and distribution before retiring for the first time in his 50's For the past thirty years, Tom has lived in Mendocino County. He bought Soda Creek Ranch in Bell Valley in 1983 and turned it into a nature preserve. He and his family moved to Ukiah in 2000, where he was often seen driving his fire engine red Corvette around town. Tom was an amateur actor, ceramicist, student, businessman and philanthropist. He had a special love for Ukiah Players Theatre, Plowshares, St. Mary's School, and individuals in need. He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Marie Clausen. He is survived by his wife of thirty years, Lucinda May, and his children, Tim (Susan Puls) of Durango, Colorado; Jeff (Yianna) of Casper; and Susan (Josh Broschat) of Santa Clara; and two grandchildren, Clare and Jackson, of Huntington Beach. With remarkable energy and enthusiasm, he loved life passionately and completely. We have been greatly enriched by knowing him. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Holy Trinity Church in Ukiah. Reception will follow in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers please donate to UPT, Plowshares, or St. Mary's school.


GROUP CAPT. LIONEL MANDRAKE: Colonel... that Coca-Cola machine. I want you to shoot the lock off it. There may be some change in there.

Colonel ‘Bat’ Guano: That's private property.

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Colonel! Can you possibly imagine what is going to happen to you, your frame, outlook, way of life, and everything, when they learn that you have obstructed a telephone call to the President of the United States? Can you imagine? Shoot it off! Shoot! With a gun! That's what the bullets are for, you twit!

Colonel ‘Bat’ Guano: Okay. I'm gonna get your money for ya. But if you don't get the President of the United States on that phone, you know what's gonna happen to you?

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: What?

Colonel ‘Bat’ Guano: You're gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola company. (Dr. Strangelove)



OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS there have been a series of thefts of mail from rural mail boxes in the Ukiah, Redwood Valley, and Willits areas. Numerous victims have reported mail thefts to various jurisdictions including the US Postal Service, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, and the Ukiah Police Department. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies identified a possible suspect in these thefts as Kristalee Eriksen, 27, a Redwood Valley resident. Deputies attempted to contact Erkisen several times without success. On 1-29-2014, shortly before 12:00 PM, deputies received an anonymous report that Eriksen was at her home on East Road in Redwood Valley. Deputies responded to that location where they contacted and arrested Eriksen on several outstanding warrants. The warrants charged Eriksen with felony burglary as well as misdemeanor charges related to failure to pay a fine related to a battery charge. While at the location deputies also located 3 grams of methamphetamine with digital scales, drug paraphernalia, and a large bin full of opened and unopened mail that did not belong to Eriksen. At total of 47 potential mail theft victims were identified with 19 different addresses in Willits, Redwood Valley and Ukiah. Eriksen was also arrested for possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail and is being held on $80,000.00 bail. The case is still being investigated as all of the possible mail theft victims have not been contacted. These types of thefts often involve attempts of identity theft to obtain or access credit or bank account information. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to encouraged the public to be diligent and monitor their personal bank accounts, credit history, and credit card accounts as they may not know they were the victim of mail theft.


ZEPPARELLA is the San Francisco-based Zeppelin powerhouse. We've had raging shows at the Caspar Inn many times over the years, and we're looking foward to checking out Point Arena! I'd love to chat with you about the show, the band, what it's like to travel around playing Led Zeppelin's music with three of your best friends. (It's awesome. :) Please let me know if you'd like to schedule a call or would like more info about the show. Thanks so much in advance for your time! Friday, March 28 The Arena Theater 214 Main Street Point Arena, CA 95468 Show Schedule: (707) 882-3456 — Clementine


DAVID ROVICS in Concert Feb. 21 — “David Rovics is the musical version of Democracy Now!” says Amy Goodman. He will sing and strum his funny and biting political songs Friday, February 21st, at 7 PM, at the Mendocino Community Center in Mendocino village. Cindy Sheehan called David “the peace poet and troubador for our time.” For an evening of rousing topical, political and humorous song, come enjoy David Rovics February 21st. A donation will be requested at the door, 'tho no one will be turned away. More info from Peter Sears, 964-6288.


ON JANUARY 29, 2014 at 3pm Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives learned that homicide suspect, Dakota Velez, 19, of Lakeport, was believed to be hiding in the Feliz Creek Road area of Hopland. Lake County Sheriff's Detectives had an arrest warrant for Velez in regards to a homicide that occurred in the Lakeport area earlier in the week. Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives and Patrol Deputies responded to the Feliz Creek Road area where they located a vehicle being driven by Velez's mother. A traffic stop of the vehicle was conducted and it was determined that Velez was not inside the vehicle, but was staying at a residence located in the 4000 block of Feliz Creek Road. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives, Patrol Deputies, and multiple K-9 units, including one K-9 team from the Willits Police Department, responded to and surrounded the residence. Communication was established with Velez inside the residence and he exited shortly thereafter and surrendered to Sheriff's Detectives. Velez was placed under arrest for the active warrant and eventually released to the custody of Lake County Sheriff's Detectives. (Sheriff’s Press Release)



Dear Editor:

Let me warn you about a man who was pals with the president who kills terrorists --- because he's coming to Mendocino on February 13, 2014. That would be Bill Ayers, signing and selling his new book, PUBLIC ENEMY: Confessions of an American Dissident. I've known Bill since 1965 when we worked together in Ann Arbor as teachers, counselors and dissidents. He was and is very subversive, which is why the right-wing blow-hards tell their followers to buy and burn his books! So, show up at Gallery Bookshop at 6:30 and meet the man and the myth. Teachers are encouraged to attend and to read his TO TEACH and also TEACHING THE TABOO. These recent books are filled with stories of courage that will inspire today's educators to bring initiative and imagination into the classroom; manuals for evolving by a long-time school reform activist and retired professor with a wonderful sense of humor & history. (Did he ghost- write Obama's book?)

Gratefully, Skip Taube, Mendocino



Please Cooperate so that I May Be Active in Washington D.C. Warmest spiritual greetings, I have been assisting Jamie “Bork” Loughner in New Orleans for the past two months. Her condition remains challenging, which may go on indefinitely. However, I have given it my all, and she has thanked me. I want to come to Washington D.C. and be active in peace and justice/radical environmental frontline efforts. If you haven't figured it out by now, this is a spiritual calling. That is why, despite the really ignorant responses I occasionally receive from the political left wing, (such as the recent ridiculous response that I am not welcome in left wing activist spaces in Washington D.C., because I have been branded a sex pervert, due to my supposedly having posted something which was {obviously} misinterpreted as being lewd, on one of my own DC IMC newswire positngs), I am nevertheless sending out this email message. I want you to share this with others who are similarly committed to peace and justice/radical environmentalism, and please know ! that I am ready to come to Washington D.C. Obviously, I need a place indoors to go to. Thank you very much for interpreting this on a spiritual level, and acting on my request. OM SHANTI Craig Louis Stehr Email: Blog:


SALAD UNIVERSITY: FLOODGATE FARM will be hosting Salad 101 from 12:45 to 4 PM with potluck immediately following on Sunday February 23. Meet at the West Road exit 557 off US 101 in Redwood Valley, in the parking area on the east side. We will caravan/carpool at 12:55 Sharp to the farm 5 miles away up Laughlin Peak. In addition to growing and harvesting secrets, health-giving properties of 40-50 various plants, we will also discuss methods for growing with limited water. Many places on earth receive much less rain yet can still grow food, and we can too. Biodiversity, lumpy texture with berms and swales, thick mulching, hugelkultur, allowing plants to complete their life cycles, and initial deep watering will benefit the health of the garden and in turn of us. Come see these methods in practice. We will gather salad as we go around tasting and discussing, and offer a main dish to which you can add whatever you want to share for the potluck meal. Tuition $20. Contact Bill Taylor or Jaye Alison Moscariello at 707-272-1688, or More info about the farm is at



Sat Feb 1 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville Fairgrounds (see info below)

Sat Feb 1 - Grafting/Seed & Scion Exchange - Boonville Fairgrounds (see info below)

Every Mon - Farm & Garden Show - KZYX 90.7 FM - 1-2 pm

Tue Feb 4 - Holistic Health Perspectives - KZYX 90.7 FM - 1-2 pm

Thu Feb 6 - AV Foodshed Group Steering Committee - Boonville General Store - 9 am

Every Tue - Agriculture & Ecology Hour - KZYX 90.7 FM - 7:00 pm

Sat Feb 8 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 11 am - 1 pm

Sun Feb 9 - AV Grange Pancake Breakfast - Philo Grange - 8:30 - 11:00 am (see info below)

Mon Feb 10 - Mendocino County Fair Board Meeting - FG Conference Room - 7 pm

Sat Feb 15 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 11 am - 1 pm

Sun Feb 16 - AV Foodshed Group Seed Saving event - (see info below)

Tue Feb 18 - AV Food Bank - Boonville Methodist Church (see info below)

Tue Feb 18 - Holistic Health Perspectives - KZYX 90.7 FM - 1-2 pm

Tue Feb 18 - AV Solar Grange #669 Meeting - Philo Grange - 7 pm potluck

Tue Feb 18 - Mendocino Farm Guild - Willits (see info below)

Fri Feb 21 - AV Bee Club (see info below)

Sat Feb 22 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 11 am - 1 pm

Sun Feb 23 - Floodgate Farm Salad 101 - Redwood Valley - 12:45 - 4:00 pm (see info below)

Save The Date

Sun Mar 16 - AV Foodshed Group Culturing Workshops (more info next month)

The AV Senior/Community Center has an expanding vegetable garden that is providing some of the produce for the meals there. All community members are encouraged to take advantage of this local food opportunity. For meal schedule and more information go to <> or call Gina at 895-3609.

Restaurants in Anderson Valley that support our farmers by using locally grown produce are Aquarelle Cafe, Boont Berry Farm, Boonville General Store, Boonville Hotel, Coq au Vin, Lauren's Café, Paysanne and Mosswood Market.

February Local Food News

The Boonville Winter Market on Saturday February 1 will be held at the Boonville Fairgrounds in conjunction with the Winter Abundance Workshop(seed and scion exchange) beginning at 9:00 am. The market will be larger than usual, with several vendors who come just for this event. You will find a variety of pickles and other fermented products, sheepskins and lamb, olive oil, kombucha, leek and onion starts (walla walla, copra, red river,) seeds, locally hand crafted natural bar soap, liquid soap, shampoo and lip balm, and more. Bill Seekins will be there with his seed cleaner, if you have saved seeds you would like to clean. For more info about the event and schedule of classes please go to

A Mendocino-wide rain dance is being organized to correspond with the lunch break at the scion exchange. People all over Mendocino will take a break from what they are doing and sing, dance and pray for Rain on Saturday at NOON.

Please bring drums, shakers, and your voice to the Seed and Scion Exchange, and we will gather outside at lunch to send a message to the rainclouds of thanks and please send more!

At you can also read the latest “Connecting With Local Food” article about arborist Patrick Schafer, written by Tom Melcher. Its on the home page, right under the Winter Abundance Workshop announcement.

The Anderson Valley Solar Grange is having its second Sunday local Organic Pancake Breakfast Sunday February 9 from 8:30-11 at the Grange at 9800 Hwy 128. Remember it is a open mic for performers who can play for a breakfast. Breakfast ranges from $6-10. for kid, Mom and hungry folks sizes with local Ukiah grown Mendocino Grain Project wheat, organic buttermilk, and local bacon and eggs. An alternative gluten free pancake is offered and we are working on a Sourdough milk free version as well!

The AV Foodshed Event for February will be a follow-up to the seed saving class at the Seed and Scion Exchange on February 1. Tom Melcher is a knowledgable seed saver who will share his info via a slide show presentation. This will be combined with our usual delicious local food potluck. More info coming soon.

On Friday February 21 you are welcome to join the AV Bee Club for a potluck and showing of two bee videos. For more info please respond or call Cindy at 895-2949. If you are on the Bee Club list, you will bee receiving more info by email.

Now is a great time to sign up for a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) farm! Check out the CSA Directory in the Mendocino County Local Food Guide for a CSA to join near you. If you have a CSA in Mendocino County and would like to be included in the directory or have an update to your listing, please email Paula Gaska, Project Organizer of the Strengthening CSAs Program at West Company

Stay tuned for more details about the county-wide Mendocino CSA Farm Tours, March through April 2014!

Farm tours will be offered to the public by several Mendocino CSAs including: Anderson Valley Community Farm, Floodgate Farm, Live Power Community Farm, Lovin' Mama Farm, Mendocino Grain Project, Roseman Creek Ranch, The Corn Crib, and Mendocino Organics. Look for updates as farm tour dates are confirmed at

The Anderson Valley Food Bank distributes on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. We distribute at the Boonville Methodist Church. We are now buying and giving out fresh produce from Burt at BBF and are seeking further improvements of a local nature! Denisse Mattei is the Food Bank director. You can reach her at 895-3763.

The Northern California Farm Guild Network now has four guilds. The Mendocino Farm Guild meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6pm at the Little Lake Grange Hall, 291 School Street, Willits. For more information on what the Farm Guild is all about, go to



The Arts Council of Mendocino County has awarded $31,960 to Mendocino County artists to provide arts enrichment in the schools in the 2013-2014 school year. This year marks the 9th year of funding for grants to artists through the Arts Council’s Get Arts in the Schools Program (GASP). Twenty (20) artists were awarded grants for programs taking place in 35 schools throughout Mendocino County. There is no cost to schools for participation in the program. Funding for (GASP) comes from the Mendocino County Office of Education, with additional support from The Community Foundation of Mendocino County, The Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation and Barra of Mendocino. The program is administered by the Arts Council of Mendocino County. Each year, the Arts Council awards grants to professional artists in support of residences and workshops in Mendocino County schools during the school year. These programs infuse the arts in schools’ core curricula and bring quality educational, curriculum-based artistic experiences to K-12 classrooms. Professional artists receive paid opportunities to share their expertise with students while educators benefit through exposure to current techniques in arts practice. Grants made to professional Mendocino County artists include the following: Alexa Armenta Baldwin, Grass is Green & Flowers Bloom (multidisciplinary), $2,087.50 – Nokomis Elementary Afterschool Program, Pomolita Middle School; Anne Beck & Dietmar Krumrey of Lost Coast Culture Machine, The Process & Practice of Handmade Paper (visual arts), $3,020 – Dana Gray Elementary, Fort Bragg Middle School, Manchester Union Elementary, Noyo High School, Three Rivers Charter School; Dorje Bond, River Running with Fish (textiles), $1,350 – Branscomb Elementary; Tessa Crawford, Graphic Arts Workshop (multidisciplinary), $1,550 – Accelerated Achievement Academy, Ukiah Independent Study; Viviana Field, Web of Life – Local Wildlife Study (multidisciplinary), $1,563 – Frank Zeek Elementary; Katie Gibbs, Birds of a Feather…Fly (sculpture), $1,440 – Oak Manor Elementary; Jessi Langston, Evolutionary Rock Band (performing arts-music), $1,400 – Whale Gulch School; Jacquie Lolich, Paper Sculpture Papier Mache (visual arts), $790 – Oak Manor Elementary; Cathleen Micheaels, Book Making/Where the Wild Things Are/Arts Across the Curriculum (multidisciplinary), $4,578 – Comptche School, Arena Union Elementary, Anderson Valley Elementary & Middle Schools; Blake More & Bryn Elizan Harris, Community Action through Theatre (multidisciplinary-theatre); $2,775 – Pacific Community Charter School, Redwood Elementary Afterschool Program, Dana Gray Elementary, Redwood Academy; Blake More, Multimedia Poetry (multidisciplinary), $1,332.50 – Pacific Community Charter High School, Point Arena High, Ukiah GATE Program, Ukiah High; Marie Pera, Numbers, Angles & Artists/Color, Form & Design (visual arts), $2,207.50 – Brookside Elementary, Yokayo Elementary, Potter Valley Elementary; Elizabeth Raybee, Mosaic Pathway for Covelo School (mosaic & concrete casting); $1,315 – Round Valley Middle & High Schools; Janet Rayner, Enhancing the Core through Visual Arts (visual arts), $2,410 – Blosser Lane Elementary, Laytonville Elementary & Middle Schools, Willits Elementary Charter School; Amanda Rosenberg, Healthy Activities (performing arts-dance), $900 – Ukiah GRIP Program; Chris Skyhawk, Storytelling & Mythic Imagination (storyteller), $560 – Calpella Elementary, River Oak Charter School; Mimi Stoll, Interdisciplinary Workshop & Performance Immersion (performing arts-dance), $800 – Willits Kids Club; Karen Wallaert, Academic Themed Mural (visual arts), $800 – Nokomis Elementary; Laura Wiecek, Weaving, Origami & Book Art (multidisciplinary), $1,080 – Sherwood Elementary School. The Arts Council is also pleased to announce the upcoming 2014 Professional Development Workshop for K-12 educators on August 7, 2014 from 8 am - Noon at the Community Center of Mendocino. Led by two artists selected for their excellence in integrating arts into the schools, participants will learn invaluable techniques for bringing the arts alive in any classroom setting. For more information about GASP, contact the Arts Council at (707) 463-2727 or Program information and news can be found on the Arts Council’s website at



Love is in the air for the entire month of February at the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency Animal Care Services Shelter. During February, you can adopt a cat for the significantly reduced price of $30. These cats are up to date on their age appropriate vaccinations. They are spayed or neutered. They have been tested for feline immunodeficiency virus and the feline leukemia virus (FELV/FIV) and even have a microchip. That is over $100 value for only $30. For an even bigger discount, you can double the love and take home two little furry friends for only $50. The Ukiah Shelter is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with special after hours available on Wednesday when the Shelter closes at 6. Interested in adopting? Come to the Animal Care Services Shelter at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah and sit in our cat colony room to get to know a few of our meowvelous cats who need a forever home. Interested in volunteering? The Animal Care Services Shelter is always in need of volunteers to spend time with our cats and dogs. — Kristina Grogan, Mendocino County Health & Human Services



Appeals Court Rules Caltrans Failed to Consider Highway Project's Impacts on Old-Growth Redwoods

SAN FRANCISCO-- The California Court of Appeal today ordered Caltrans to reevaluate the environmental impacts of a controversial highway-widening project in Humboldt County that would harm irreplaceable old-growth redwood trees in Richardson Grove State Park. The appeals court unanimously found that Caltrans failed to follow the law in assessing impacts to ancient redwoods and providing mitigation measures to reduce potentially severe harm to the trees. Caltrans' project--intended to allow bigger trucks to travel Highway 101 through the park--would require excavation, fill, and paving within the fragile root zones of Richardson Grove's ancient trees. “This is a victory for Richardson Grove's ancient trees and for the generations of travelers, hikers and campers who have enjoyed their magnificence,” said Center for Biological Diversity attorney Kevin Bundy. “Caltrans owes the public a full and honest account of how its highway-widening plans could damage this irreplaceable state park.” “The significance of this ruling cannot be overstated,” said Gary Graham Hughes, executive director at the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC). “Our ancient redwoods are invaluable, and we hope Caltrans gets the message that their survival cannot be put at risk by a careless highway development proposal.” “This illustrates how important the California Environmental Quality Act is for ensuring that major projects are subject to a thorough environmental review,” said Patty Clary of CATs. “The court has made an important decision that respects our responsibility to protect Richardson Grove as a natural treasure for future generations.” EPIC, Center for Biological Diversity, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics and local residents Trisha Lotus, Jeffrey Hedin, Loreen Eliason and Bruce Edwards challenged an Environmental Impact Report approved for the project by Caltrans in 2010. The Humboldt County Superior Court ruled in 2012 that Caltrans' report complied with the California Environmental Quality Act. Today's ruling overturns that decision. A separate lawsuit filed in federal court resulted in a 2012 ruling that Caltrans must redo critical aspects of its environmental analysis under federal law. The court cited numerous errors in mapping and measurement of affected old-growth redwoods, and found that Caltrans had been “arbitrary and capricious” in their use of “faulty data.” *Background* Richardson Grove State Park is home to one of the last protected stands of accessible old-growth redwoods in the world, where drivers first encounter significant ancient redwoods when heading north on Highway 101. The park also contains essential habitat for threatened and endangered species such as the marbled murrelet and northern spotted owl, and its creeks still support runs of imperiled salmon and steelhead trout. Caltrans first proposed the Richardson Grove highway-widening project in 2007. Opposition to the project has continued to grow, led by the Save Richardson Grove Coalition, a diverse group of community members including economists, business owners, scientists, and a consortium of 10 federally recognized Northern California tribes with longstanding ties to the grove. The proposed Richardson Grove highway widening is one of several Caltrans projects that threaten sensitive environments on the North Coast of California. Caltrans is currently mired in controversy regarding the unnecessary and destructive Willits Bypass project, which has been fraught with permitting irregularities and is the largest wetlands fill project to be pursued in Northern California in 50 years. Caltrans claims the Richardson Grove highway widening is needed to accommodate large-truck travel, yet Caltrans' own statements and signage indicate that this portion of road is already designated for larger trucks and that Caltrans has exaggerated potential safety problems. Caltrans has not established that this project is necessary for safety or movement of goods and the economy. Smaller-sized commercial trucks already travel through the grove to deliver goods to Humboldt County and legislative exemptions have functioned to allow the passage of the passage of oversize trucks. Plaintiff Trisha Lotus is the great granddaughter of Henry Devoy, who in 1922 transferred to California the redwood forest that became Richardson Grove State Park. Jeffrey Hedin is a disabled Vietnam veteran and a volunteer responder with the Piercy Fire Protection District. Bruce Edwards is a licensed contractor who travels the highway in both directions on a daily basis for his work. Loreen Eliason co-owned the popular Riverwood Inn in Phillipsville until her passing late last year.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs are Philip Gregory and Pete McCloskey of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, Stuart Gross of Gross Law, Kevin Bundy of the Center for Biological Diversity, and Sharon Duggan, a long-time expert on environmental law.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 675,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) works to protect human and natural communities on the North Coast of California. EPIC uses an integrated science-based approach, combining public education, citizen advocacy, and strategic litigation.* *

-- Gary Graham Hughes Executive Director EPIC -- the Environmental Protection Information Center Office: 145 G St., Suite A, Arcata, CA 95521 Tel: 707-822-7711 Email: Web:



I'm getting some of the songs down on Garage Band… I'll clear my throat and do another take on this one.


  1. Bill Pilgrim January 31, 2014

    Poor Craig. He wants desperately to be holy, like a counter-cultural Mother Teresa, but is instead more like a top loading clothes washer… stuck forever on “Spin.”

  2. Craig Louis Stehr February 1, 2014

    Thanking Bill Pilgrim for his comment. You are correct that I desperately want to be holy! What other aspiration is more worthwhile? If anybody is coming to New Orleans for Mardi Gras or the Jazz & Heritage Festival in the spring, get in touch with the anarchist Bork at (504)302-9951 in the Algiers west bank neighborhood. We might be able to put you up, and glow together to the festivities. Om Shanti

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