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Mendocino County Today: February 2, 2014


SEEMS FROM HERE that the state should go to mandatory water rationing immediately rather than wait a month to assess supplies at the end of February. The rains aren't coming, as the water authorities themselves tell us. “The state would have to experience heavy rainfall and snowfall every other day through May to get back to average precipitation levels,” the State’s Water's boss, Mark Cowin, said last week. In this context voluntary isn't going to cut it, and we're headed to mandatory anyway.

I SPEAK as a man with a well that produces five gallons a minute, and I'm assuming it will go on producing at that prodigious rate because it was developed in the last century when ranchers always grabbed property with dependable water.


SingleyRanchAreaTHE MOONIES owned most of the place back in the early 1970s. It was then a single 640 acre ranch, or a big hunk of the even bigger Singley Ranch that ran east up into the hills from Highway 128. At one time our well supplied a large-scale hop field. By the time the Moonies descended on us, the property consisted of a few outbuildings into which the Moonies stuffed hundreds of young people they'd recruited out of the Bay Area to visit their “New International Ideal City” in Boonville, the only new ideal city in the world with a bountiful water supply but nothing else. “Want a really cool experience in a beautiful place with beautiful people? Everything's free. Get on the bus.” And thousands did only to find themselves in sleep-deprived herds marched from one crackpot lecture and group chant to another, maybe grabbing a couple hours rest piled in a sheep shed with a hundred other disoriented cult recruits.

BOONVILLIANS often encountered distraught parents who'd driven up from wherever to retrieve little Debbie and disoriented Donnie only to either be turned away or, a couple of Moon goons standing by, little Deb and doh-doh Donnie would say, “I've found everything I've been searching for right here,” and the parents would drive off wondering at what they'd done wrong raising their blissed-out ingrate.

ON STILL NIGHTS the Anderson Valley reverberated with the chants of the recruits. The Moonies (and the Hari Krishnas) raised a lot of money selling flowers at SF International until the airport finally banned them as the pests they were, and Reverend Moon, as we know, went on to buy himself total respectability complete with a daily Washington DC newspaper whose stable of scribble-sluts you can see today on the Sunday morning talk shows.

MENDOCINO COUNTY finally cracked down on Boonville's Moonie camp and the Moonies, at least most of them, moved on to Sonoma County where they bought an old summer camp to do their rural brainwashing. A German and an Italian stayed on in Boonville to run a chinchilla ranch deep in the hills. The Rev had married them at random in one of those nutball mass ceremonies in Yankee Stadium. “You got him, honey, and you got her, hooplehead.” The chinchillas occasionally got smuggled out of their temperature-controlled pens and, for a time, were quite popular with Boonville teenagers. The property was sold years ago and is now dotted with rental cabins. I don't know what the Moonies did with all those chinchillas.


FRONT PAGE headline on Saturday's Santa Rosa Press Democrat, where every press release from a Democratic officeholder or a winery, preferably both in one story, is news. “Rep Thompson tours Sonoma factory to promote manufacturing.” Thompson's for local business, although his political party, and him, has signed off on every deal over the last twenty years to export jobs.

ALL THESE CHARACTERS say the same stuff. “We're working to restore the balance between defense and diplomacy,” Kerry said that the other day. It's not true, but with Kerry, limited as he is, you get the feeling he just might believe it. Our so-called Middle East policy, boiled down, is this: “We hope the Arabs all kill each other so they won't bother our dear friends who make Middle East policy for us and protect our access to oil, the Israelis.” I'll bet if you gave him or Hillary a blank map of the Middle East they couldn't fill it in.

AND IF YOU THREW all the public remarks of all our career officeholders in a big pot and withdrew them at random for distribution to media and Press Democrat front-pagers, they would all read like this: “Congressman Thompson announced today that he stands four-square for hope and opportunity,” and said he looked forward to the challenges ahead he shares with President Obama and young statesmen like his talented colleagues, Jared Huffman and Wes Chesbro. “Our constituents look to us for leadership, to ensure the values we all hold dear and to make the tough choices ahead for the future of our children,” Thompson declared.

BY THE TIME Thompson got to “leadership,” the PD's editorial team would be chanting, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” And at “future” and “our children” in the same sentence, they'd be weeping.



live, from the best bar anywhere,

the Beacon Light, Elk, California.



by Eric Bergeson

Businesses in Watertown, Wisconsin are working to make life easier for a vulnerable portion of their population: those with dementia.

Unfortunately, a diagnosis of dementia often results in shame and stigma. It should not. Those diagnosed early in the progress of the disease can live productive and happy lives for years with just a little help.

For the community to help, they need to know how. Watertown is training those in retail to better serve those with dementia.

An example: Servers at restaurants often bury you with a blizzard of choices. The choices would confuse anybody, but to a dementia patient, they become impossible to sort out.

Instead, servers are taught to create simple choices and narrow them down gradually.

Rather than offering coffee, tea, hot chocolate, iced tea, lemonade or six kinds of soda, a waiter might start with, “Would you like something hot or cold?”

That cuts the choices in half. Holding up a coffee cup in one hand and a soda glass in the other is another possibility, as visual choices are easier than those filtered through language.

Watertown has opened a cafe specifically for dementia sufferers. It is full most mornings.

Such a cafe, where dementia sufferers find understanding and meet others in the same boat, fights the tendency for the afflicted to hide out at home, which is exactly the opposite of what they need.

In fact, dementia sufferers can thrive if they keep busy attending community events, or having coffee every morning with a group of friends.

One man I met flies from city to city to speak about his dementia. He is in the early stages of the disease, and his primary symptom is that he occasionally doesn’t recognize his surroundings.

Enter a smart phone. With his phone to remind him where he is and where he is going, the gentleman gets back on track.  Although he keeps notes on the podium, he didn’t use them that day. He delivered a great speech, then paused briefly as he left the podium to figure out where he was and where he was supposed to go.

For those in the early stages, dementia is a mere disability, not a death sentence.

Instead of hiding the dementia diagnosis in shame, the more people who know about it, the better. Instead of whispers and gossip, the small town can surround the dementia sufferer with love and care.

For instance, if Agnes loses her way while getting groceries, somebody who knows her diagnosis can just pick her up and take her home.

Service people can slow down a bit and not bury Agnes with options. Townspeople should realize the good they do when they pause to visit Agnes, even if some of the words get mixed up.

Alzheimer’s takes language before other abilities. It is best not to test those with dementia to see if they remember your name. Instead talk to them the same tone you always have, and about the same topics. Farming. The weather. The Twins.

Recognition will come. Connection will happen. But it doesn’t happen when we challenge those with dementia: “I am Eric? Remember me?”

Your name now sounds foreign, and always will — but you are not.

Sharing a magazine or a photo album creates connection. Those with advanced symptoms will ooh and ah. However, if you leave the magazine for them to look at later, they likely lose interest. The real reason your friend enjoyed the magazine is it allowed them to connect with you without being challenged or tested.

Advanced sufferers have lost the past and future. They become more attuned to the present. The buzz of fluorescent bulbs. The rattle of the ice machine. A furnace kicking in — things the rest of us have tuned out.

Many dementia sufferers develop an uncanny ability to assess the true mood of their visitor. It becomes their mood. If you arrive agitated, they get agitated. If you come in truly happy, they can become happy.

Before we visit a dementia patient, it is best cleanse the mind of agitated thoughts, drop the need to have our name recognized, recognize and resist the temptation to test or challenge — and be ready to be delighted with unexpected, sometimes brilliant comments, or just great smiles, once the dementia sufferer recognizes that you are comfortable with them as they are.

In other words, be present, just as those with dementia are present!

The number of dementia sufferers is going to increase, mainly because medical science has eliminated so many other causes of death and decline.

A tragedy? Well, life is tragedy. Instead, let’s remember that each dementia sufferer has something to teach, if we are willing to learn.

With a little effort, every small town can become a dementia-friendly place.



The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office:

Battery With Injury -- Soren S. Gregson, 39, of Ukiah, was arrested at 3:20 p.m. Monday on suspicion of battery causing serious injury and domestic battery, and booked at the county jail. The MCSO arrested him.

METH SALES -- Juan M. Martinez, 32, of Ukiah, was arrested at 4:51 p.m. Monday on suspicion of selling methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine for sale, giving false identification to a police officer, using lost property without trying to return it and violating his community supervision terms, and booked at the county jail. The MCSO arrested him.

DUI -- Paul Beresord, 40, of Scituate, Mass., was arrested at 11:21 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The CHP arrested him.



AVA readers should be aware that Doug McKenty is the person who bears responsibility for both his removal from the KZYX airwaves and the temporary suspension of the Open Lines program which he hosted. Since he has not had the guts or integrity to admit it in all the communications that he has made about the situation at KZYX, in which he had made himself out to be the victim and the station's savior, here is what happened on his last night on the air as I understand it:

When a listener called in and said the word, “fuck,” instead of doing what he should have done, which is to press  the red “off” button on the phone that would have disconnected the caller and announcing over the air that, for FCC reasons, such language cannot be allowed on the air since doing so threatens the station's license, which Doug damn well knows, he kept the conversation going without making any attempt to correct the situation while both Mary Aigner and station engineer, Rich Culbertson, who were in the studio, were gesturing to him to shut the caller off and say something on the air.

Doug who has been at the station long enough to know better, ignores them.

On the basis of his being booted from the station, a position that I heartily endorsed, he has gone around the county, pretending to be a victim and that he cares about the station in order to create a revolt among the listeners to take over the station board, while not telling those he speaks with about what actually happened. This I have learned with speaking with some of them who were stunned to learn the truth.

As for John Sakowitz, he doesn't have the faintest idea or apparently any concern for FCC regulations. (Whether they are legit or not is another matter but disobeying them is not an option.) He seems to believe that the station must have an Open Lines program that permits UNRESTRICTED FREE SPEECH (as he capitalized the words) not apparently knowing or caring to know that there is no such thing as “unrestricted free speech” allowed on the nation's airways.

He then holds up KMUD as a shining example of what KZYX should look like without bothering to find out that KMUD, a fine station in its own right (that he probably has never listened to), does not have an “Open Lines” program and that listeners wishing to make comments about the station, its programming and anything on their minds need to call the station's phone line and leave a two-minute message on an extension which the station may or may not play at its discretion.

Then like a Don Quixote missing his meds, he starts complaining to the FCC and now, apparently, to the CPB, where, I assure you, his complaints will be considered a joke.  Just to set the record straight, the station is not about to lose its license.

Jeff Blankfort, Ukiah

ED REPLY: I agree with much of what you say here, but it seems clear that McKenty was offed not to spare the virginal ears of KZYX listeners and FCC drones but because he'd affiliated with a reform group. A few years ago KC Meadows was “suspended” for not remaining “neutral” during a marijuana discussion, meaning she'd expressed an opinion the pot heads didn't like. And since she's smart and articulate she had to go. For years now, KZYX management of whomever has managed to create public relations problems for itself. And I think KMUD does indeed set the standard for true community radio.


LISTEN TO WOMEN'S VOICES on 90.7 fm or 91.5 fm or streaming on the web at on Monday, Feb. 3.   Holly Near talks about Pete Seeger and her upcoming event in Ukiah.  Inspired Possibility will provide an opportunity to work with Holly  Near on presented your message. “There is nothing sadder than seeing  a great idea destroyed by a boring presentation”, says Holly.  Hear Allison Hoyman-Browe tell all about the Women's History Gala.  An annual event that celebrates Women of Courage, Character and  Conviction.  Carol Heady talks about MCAA's big exhibit coming to the Grace  Hudson Museum and featuring local artists.



by Dan Bacher

Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels, today blasted Governor Jerry Brown for urging President Obama to pressure federal scientists to suspend their expert judgment and approve his tunnels.

In a short clip from Sacto TV KCRA Channel 3 on January 30, Jerry Brown described his conversation with Obama talking about the "Delta project" and says (starting at about 18 seconds) "lower level [Federal] officials" aren't being helpful …. in fact quite the opposite."

“It is outrageous that Governor Brown is using the drought to push the president to override federal biologists who think the water tunnels are too risky,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of RTD. “The federal scientists are the only ones willing to stand up to special interests that want to violate the Public Trust, and transfer wealth from this region to mega irrigators with toxic soils on the west side that are last in the water bucket line.”

“The governor has bullied the state scientists into going along with him, but he has not yet cowed the federal experts into disregarding their conclusions and agreeing that Gov. Brown’s tunnels are a solution to our water challenges,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, “What’s remarkable is that Gov. Brown is using nearly the exact same language as the Westlands Water District. Clearly, he is carrying their water at the expense of the rest of us.”

Barrigan-Parrilla cited language used by the Governor as "right from the Westlands Water District script." The excerpts below are from a recent Westlands Board meeting by Westlands General Manager Tom Birmingham, Harris Ranch, at a Westlands Water District Board Meeting on January 15, 2014:

@ 43:03 Transcript Pg 4: Tom Birmingham “They [the state] say this is going to work just fine. And yet, you’ve got biologists in the federal agencies—not people in political positions or even management positions—we’ve got biologists who are saying ‘we still don’t know if this is going to work. There’s too much risk associated with it’.”


“So it’s very exasperating. But again, if these issues are not resolved, we’re done. That message is being sent very clearly to the federal agencies.” Pg 4.

….The basic problem is that every time you complete a stage, the federal agencies—the biologists in those federal agencies—say, ‘We need more analysis. We need more analysis.’ They don’t want an agency decision.” @pg 4

Barrigan-Parrilla said that instead of operating in a manner that plans for regular droughts, the State Water Project depletes storage under the theory that they should 'take it while it's there,' and they thereby make the dry year shortages even worse.

“This past year the State pumped over 800 thousand acre-feet (TAF) more than it had promised, making the water shortage worse, and compliance with water quality and fishery standards impossible,” she explained.

Restore the Delta issued the statement on the same day that the Department of Resources said State Water Project customers would get zero water deliveries this year if the drought conditions continue.

"Except for a small amount of carryover water from 2013, customers of the State Water Project (SWP) will get no deliveries in 2014 if current dry conditions persist and deliveries to agricultural districts with long-standing water rights in the Sacramento Valley may be cut 50 percent – the maximum permitted by contract – depending upon future snow survey results," according to DWR. "It is important to note that almost all areas served by the SWP have other sources of water, such as groundwater, local reservoirs, and other supplies."

Barrigan-Parrilla urged the state and water agencies to invest in projects that yield new water and jobs, rather than spending billions on the fish-killing twin tunnels.

“We have had three dry years in a row and the governor admits the tunnels won’t add one drop of water to our drought-plagued state," she stated. "We need solutions more appropriate to our future water challenges, not this $60 billion mega-project that would misspend the billions needed for sustainable water solutions."

“The better approach would be to invest wisely in projects that actually produce new water and local jobs. California needs more water recycling projects, such as Orange County's that is producing enough water for 600,000 residents each year. By cleaning up groundwater, we will create another new supply and room to store water when it is truly available," concluded Barrigan-Parrilla.

State and feds drained northern California reservoirs

The Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Water Resources systematically drained northern California reservoirs last summer, resulting in low flows and endangering salmon and steelhead in the Sacramento, Feather and American rivers, while filling water banks and Southern California reservoirs.

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 percent of capacity and 54 percent of average; Oroville, 36 percent of capacity and 54 percent of average; and Folsom, 17 percent of capacity and 34 percent of average.

Yet Pyramid Lake in Southern California is at 98 percent of capacity and 105 percent of average, while Castaic Reservoir is 86 percent of capacity and 105 percent 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. (

Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, explained how the water was mismanaged.

“We entered 2013 with Shasta, Oroville and Folsom reservoirs at 115 percent, 113 percent, and 121 percent of historical average storage. In April, they were still at 101 percent, 108 percent and 96 percent of average," said Jennings.

"With no rainfall and little snowpack, the Department of Water Resources and the Bureau (of Reclamation) notified their contractors that water deliveries would be reduced. But they didn’t reduce deliveries. Instead, they actually exported 835,000 acre-feet more water than they said they would be able to deliver," said Jennings. (

Ironically, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will have enough water in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to supply its users while Sacramento, Folsom and other cities have been forced to cut water use by 20 percent.

“We’ll have plenty of water in 2015,” Jeffrey Kightlinger, Metropolitan’s general manager, told the Sacramento Bee. “And even if it’s still a drought, we’ll still have enough water in 2016." (

Jennings said the present crisis could have been avoided, and is a "direct result of egregious mismanagement of the state’s water supply system by the state and federal water projects."

"Excessive water exports and the failure to prepare for inevitable drought have created a decades-long disaster for fisheries, and placed the people and economic prosperity of northern California at grave risk. The State's obsession with tunneling under the Delta does nothing to address drought, or put us on a path to correct the misuse of limited water supplies," he added.

The proposed peripheral tunnels will undoubtedly kill the sensitive Delta, a delicate mix of salt and freshwater, that is vital to the life cycle of Central Valley Chinook salmon, as well as thousands of other fish and species, according to the Winnemem Wintu Tribe.

“There is no precedent for the killing of an estuary of this size, so how could any study be trusted to protect the Delta for salmon and other fish? How can they even know what the effects will be?” said Winnemem Wintu Chief and Spiritual Leader Caleen Sisk. “The end of salmon would also mean the end of Winnemem, so the BDCP is a threat to our very existence as indigenous people.”

Failure to plan ahead contributed to water shortage

John Herrick, Restore the Delta board member and Counsel and Manager of the South Delta Water Agency, said the failure of the state and federal water projects to plan ahead contributed to the current water shortage.

"Last winter and spring the projects were concerned about not having enough water to meet fishery or agricultural standards, and so sought changes in their permits to allow for the relaxation of those standards," he said.

“At the same time, they projected the amount of water available for export. As soon as the projections were released, they began to pump MORE water than they projected; thus taking the water needed for fish and endangering future allocations for all purposes. If this had not been allowed, the reservoirs would have 800+ TAF more storage in them than they currently do,” he noted.

“The Urgency Petition process is for actual, unforeseeable emergencies,” said Herrick. “The State has known since at least September that we might be facing a horrible water supply year due to the lack of precipitation during the first 9 months of 2013. Knowing that reservoir levels were getting very low, and that the prior year had insufficient water for fish and water quality standards, the projects simply waited to see what would happen. Not until the very last minute did they file their Urgency Petition."

“Urgency Petitions require no public notice or input, but must be based on a finding that the petitioner exercised due diligence in getting the permit change under the normal petition process if possible. Since the projects have known for months that this scenario was facing them, they should have made their petition months ago. But that would have resulted in public notice, public hearing and input by the interests who depend on the current standards being met.

It appears that, as in the past, the projects manipulated the process to make sure there was no official opposition to their requests to violate the water quality standards. Worse, it appears the regulators (SWRCB staff) were working with the regulated projects outside of the public purview to make sure the petition remained unknown. Therefore, there was no contrary data submitted to contradict the pre-agreed to order granting the petition. What would have been the findings of the SWRCB Board if the information of the projects taking too much water last season were in the record?”

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One Comment

  1. Ben February 6, 2014

    Blankfort is another old guard idiot covering for Mary & the lame ass GM! Anyone using language as an excuse for “protecting” the station and it’s license is truly out of touch with reality. And anyone who thinks kzyx can compare in ANY fashion to kmud as a community resource/ station is plain ignorant. What a joke kzyx is in comparison…open lines or not, there is no comparison, or competition for that matter. Kmud is more of a community station for Mendo than kzyx by a long shot and they prove it daily. Kzyx instead proves their lack of community service and awareness plus lack of technical expertise daily. I’ve never heard any radio station go off the air over the years, especially @ key moments than that crappy station.

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