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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, February 9, 2014



by Tiffany Revelle

With drought conditions expected to persist despite recent and forecast rain, officials are urging the public to continue conservation, and to follow local regulations in the event that their homes run dry.

"The rain is great," Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman posted on his department's Facebook page Friday, "but until we start seeing our lakes and reservoirs start filling up, let's please keep our strong conservation efforts!"

And that's just what the residents of the Brooktrails subdivision near Willits have been doing, according to the community service district's water billing clerk, Elizabeth Simpson. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 7 declared a countywide drought emergency, and the district's board of directors then voted to limit residents' daily usage to 110 gallons.

State health officials last month named Brooktrails among the 17 driest small community water districts in the state.

"We're hoping for 100 more days," Simpson said of the subdivision's water supply Wednesday, when Inland Mendocino County had begun to see its first showers this month. "Everyone here is cutting back and conserving.... If we don't get substantial rain, we may have to go to 50 gallons a day."

The rain continued locally and was expected to stay through Sunday, dry out Monday and start up again Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Northwest California can expect eight to 10 inches of rain from a series of storm systems predicted Tuesday through Feb. 19, according to the NWS. In Ukiah, a 100 percent chance of rain is expected through Sunday, with the chances sinking to 70 percent Sunday night and to 20 percent Monday, according to the NWS.

The next series of storms is expected to begin moving through the state's northwestern region Tuesday, when the NWS forecasts a chance of rain for Ukiah. No values are attached to the forecast, but the NWS predicts Ukiah's chances of rain will continue through Friday, Feb. 14.

According to an NWS weather update, several of the systems expected to move through the region next week "will bring periods of moderate rain along with steady light rain."

Rivers may rise, but no flooding is expected, according to the NWS. Small streams and tributaries are also expected to rise and may overflow. Motorists should watch for rock slides and mudslides on highways and mountainous county roads, and the NWS warns that there may be "minor street flooding due to clogged storm drains" during moderate rain.

At the end of NWS' update is a statement that the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday shows Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino counties under "extreme drought" conditions, and that the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook released Jan. 16, valid through April 30, "favors the drought to persist or intensify."

Ukiah saw 0.59 inches of rain over 24 hours as of the NWS' 4 p.m. measurement Friday. That brings the Ukiah Valley's rainfall to 2.03 inches in 2014, which is still 6.37 inches behind normal rainfall for early February.

The valley is still 18.42 inches short of the normal rainfall for this time in the water year, which began in July, according to the NWS.

Anyone concerned that the county will red-tag a home that runs dry shouldn't be, according to Environmental Health Director Dave Jensen.

"Right now, we have people whose wells are insufficient or have gone dry, and they are buying water from suppliers," he said, referring to a list the county provides of companies licensed to transport and sell water. "Our role is to assist, educate and protect the citizens of Mendocino County, not to punish them."

That also goes for water quality, he said, noting that the county has launched a new service to help anyone concerned about their drinking water because of the drought to get it tested for bacteria.

Anyone who wants to get their water tested can pick up sample materials at the Environmental Health Offices, located at 860 N. Bush St., Ukiah, and 120 W. Fir St., Fort Bragg. Instructions are included, and laboratories charge a $35 fee for the testing, according to a Mendocino County Environmental Health press release.

Anyone who wants to install a water tank on their land may do so within certain limits, according to Mendocino County Planning and Building Services Senior Building Inspector Mike Oliphant.

"Any water tank not over 5,000 gallons is exempt from a building permit," he said.

Oliphant added that the landowner may need a building permit if the tank isn't supported properly by the natural landscape and grading is needed. Feeding water from a tank into a home for drinking water requires an inspection to ensure plumbing and electricity code is followed, which could cost an applicant $175.96 in fees, he said.

He also cautions anyone who wants to install a water tank of any kind on their land to first check with their community service district, water district or homeowner's association to make sure it's allowed.

Everyone who lives in the Brooktrails subdivision is required to get their water from that district, and water tanks are only allowed for rain collection, according to Simpson. Because drinking water has to pass through the district's water treatment system, collected rainwater can only be used for irrigation, she said.

For more information about the county's water testing kits, call Environmental Health in Ukiah at 463-4281, or in Fort Bragg at 964-5379. For a list of state-licensed water vendors, visit

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)


A READER reports Saturday, 4pm, from the big redwoods of Navarro: “We're getting a good amount of rainfall today, I'm guessing it'll be 3-4 inches by the time we check tomorrow morning; however, we are only in the very early stages of runoff. I just went down our hill, checking our local ditches, which are just starting to perk up in places. Meanwhile, the north fork of the Navarro and Flynn Creek remain extremely low, midsummer low. There isn't going to be any road closure this weekend. Most of the rain we've gotten thus far has simply been absorbed into the ground (and flora). We're still playing catch up, and we need more.”



by Daniel Mintz

As the state readies to present a water bond measure to voters, county supervisors have stressed that lobbying for the region’s water rights and infrastructure funding is essential.

Assembly Bill 1331 – The Clean and Safe Drinking Water Act of 2014 – is a $6.5 billion bond proposal that aims to pay for infrastructure, restoration and water quality projects. The Board of Supervisors considered water issues at its Feb. 4 meeting ahead of an assembly committee hearing in Eureka on local needs.

The state’s relationship to North Coast counties has been strained by disagreement over the scale of water diversions. Supervisor Estelle Fennell said that as water bond measures emerge, county residents and groups should push for the region’s water-related interests.

“We have to send a strong message to Sacramento,” she continued. Referring to AB1331, Fennell added, “I think that what you see in a lot of the provisions in here is that population trumps everything.”

Highly-populated urban areas get more attention from lawmakers “so we have to be firm in asserting our human rights to water use in our community,” she said.

But during public comment, longtime river preservation advocate Denver Nelson said the county shouldn’t be too picky about what’s in the bond proposal because it will fund restoration projects.

He also cautioned against fighting for possession of North Coast water. “It really isn’t our water, we don’t own any water and there’s a lot more of them than there are of us,” Nelson said. “If they want to take our water, they will.”

Nelson recommended considering broader needs when commenting on the state’s water dilemma. “Because really, the only way to fix it is to move out all of the people in California that have come here in the last 50 years – then we would have enough water,” he said.

Supervisor Mark Lovelace said the conditions of the region make funding assistance essential. “Rural areas are where the water comes from, it starts here,” he continued. Lovelace added that since urban areas have higher population concentrations per mile of water delivery infrastructure, they can more readily afford paying for improvements on their own.

Supervisor Ryan Sundberg also vouched for rural funding help, using Trinity County as an example. He said that despite being water-rich, it’s one of the state’s poorest counties and it and other rural counties should be prominent in funding decisions.

This state’s drought cycle will be a context for water bond decision-making and Lovelace warned that it might not be a short term condition. He said the state’s water infrastructure and allotments are based on what happened in the twentieth century, which was unusually wet.

The current drought cycle could signal a return to normal climate conditions, which Lovelace said is a “frightening thought.”



State and feds shipped massive amounts of water south during drought

by Dan Bacher

The dry bed of Folsom Lake has become an unlikely tourist attraction for visitors to the Sacramento area this year. On any given day this winter, large numbers of people can be seen wandering around the mud flats, granite boulders and rock formations of the lake bed to view ruins of Mormon Island and other communities that were inundated when the lake was formed by the construction of Folsom Dam in the 1950s.

The lake is its lowest level ever, 17 percent of capacity and 32 percent of average, since the Bureau of Reclamation filled the reservoir with the clear waters of the North, Middle and South Forks of the American River that drain the Sierra Nevada Range. Because of the record low level of the lake, the cities of Sacramento, Folsom and other communities face dramatic water shortages this year.

The impact on the American River and its unique urban steelhead and salmon fisheries is just as alarming. The Bureau in early January dropped flows to only 500 cubic feet per second (cfs), compared to winter flows ranging from 2000 to 5,000 cfs that anglers are used to fishing in – and much higher flows during wet years.

Because of the threat to steelhead and Chinook salmon posed by the low water conditions, the Department of Fish and Wildlife voted for an emergency fishing closure on the upper section of the lower American on Wednesday, February 5, along with closures on the Russian River and coastal streams threatened by drought.

Stafford Lehr, Fisheries Branch Chief of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, explained to the Commission the dire situation that steelhead, salmon and other fish face in the low flows.

"The snowpack is only 12 percent of normal and Folsom Lake is only 17 percent of capacity," said Lehr. "We are trying to maximize the protection of as many wild salmon and steelhead in the American and other rivers as possible. We are implementing the emergency closures on some waters to reduce mortality caused by angling."

Lerh stated, “We are fully aware of the impacts these closures will have on anglers and related businesses. However, anglers have overwhelmingly supported the decision to close fisheries because they are the original conservationists. They understand the severity of this drought.”

SWP Southern California reservoirs are 96 and 86 percent of capacity

Pyramid Lake in Southern California, at 96 percent of capacity. Photo by Gene Beley.
Pyramid Lake in Southern California, at 96 percent of capacity. Photo by Gene Beley.

While the drought has received major national and regional mainstream and alternative media attention, most media outlets have failed to explain how 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 supplying corporate agribusiness interests with subsidized water and filling Southern California water banks and 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 53 percent of average; Oroville, 36 percent of capacity and 54 percent of average; and Folsom, 17 percent of capacity and 32 percent of average. (

Yet Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County is 96 percent of capacity and 101 percent of average, while Castaic Reservoir is 86 percent of capacity and 102 percent of average. Both are State Water Project reservoirs that receive their water from the Delta through the California Aqueduct.

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.

There is no doubt that California’s fish populations are in unprecedented crisis, due to massive water exports south of the Delta by the state and federal water projects.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s fall midwater trawl surveys, initiated in 1967, the same year the State Water Project began exporting water from the Delta, document the steep decline of Delta fish species. They reveal that the population abundance of Delta smelt, striped bass, longfin smelt, threadfin shad and American shad declined 95.6%, 99.6%, 99.8%, 97.8%, 90.9%, respectively, between 1967 and 2013, according to Jennings. The 2013 abundance estimates for Sacramento splittail, a native minnow, were not released, but results from 2012 reveal that splittail abundance indices have dropped 98.5% from 1967 levels.

Jennings noted that 2013 was also a bad year for salmon. As many as half of this year’s up-migrating winter-run Chinook salmon were stranded in the Yolo Bypass and Colusa Basin in April-June and Sacramento River temperature requirements to protect spawning winter-run were relaxed in June.

In November, abrupt reductions in Sacramento River flow exposed spawning redds, killed up to 40% of Sacramento River fall-run Chinook salmon eggs and stranded newly emerged fry. "And low reservoir levels will likely lead to inadequate flows for young salmon out-migration this coming spring," said Jennings.

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 – and a looming disaster for salmon, steelhead and other fish species.

"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 (to the State Water Resources Board - SWRCB)," he explained.

Herrick noted that 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,” he said.

Herrick said, “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.

Herrick asked, “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?”

Tunnels and fracking will only amplify California's water and fish crisis

In spite of the record drought, Governor Jerry Brown continues his plan to build the fish killing-peripheral tunnels under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and to expand the water-intensive oil extraction process of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) for oil and natural gas in California.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, the Executive Director of Restore the Delta, urged the state and water agencies to invest in projects that yield new water and jobs, rather than spending billions on the environmentally destructive 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," said Barrigan-Parrilla. "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.

The proposed peripheral tunnels will undoubtedly kill the sensitive Sacramento-San Joaquin River 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.”

Referring to Shasta, Oroville and Folsom dams, Sisk said, "These dams are supposed to be efficient in times like these, but they will never work when water mongers are in charge. They want the dumbed down public to believe now that building the twin tunnels and raising Shasta Dam are what MUST BE keep golf courses green, and fallow farms wet with drinking water! Why don't they use their 'reclaimed water' project there like they did on the San Francisco Peaks?"

The massive tunnels won't create any new water, but they will divert huge quantities of precious water from the Sacramento River to corporate agribusiness interests, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting steam injection and fracking operations in Kern County. The construction of the tunnels would hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations, as well as imperil salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity River, the largest tributary of the Klamath River.

“We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas,” said Governor Brown when he declared a drought state of emergency in January. “I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.”

Brown can't make it rain, but he can can put a moratorium on fracking and he can stop his tunnels project in order to preserve California's precious water resources during an unprecedented drought. While Governor Brown is apparently pushing the construction of the peripheral tunnels as a monument to his “legacy,” his real legacy will be the extinction of Central Valley salmon and steelhead populations and the draining of northern California unless he stops his mad plans to build the tunnels and frack California.

For more information, go to:


WOOF! WOOF! The Regional Water Quality Control Board formally warned CalTrans back on January 15th that it would halt construction on the Willits Bypass this year until “a final 401 Permit” mitigation plan has been approved by the board.

“As discussed in our January 7th meeting, the Regional Water Board is very concerned that a final MMP (Mitigation and Monitoring Plan) has not yet been found acceptable by our agency. The majority of Project impacts to jurisdictional wetlands have already occurred and there is not yet an acceptable MMP to inform the scope, nature and timing of the compensatory wetland mitigation,” wrote Matthias St. John, executive officer of the north coast board.

“To avoid formal enforcement of passed deadlines in the Project's Clean Water Act 401 Š Caltrans must provide a final MMP, acceptable to the Regional Water Board and approved by signature of the Regional Water Board Executive Officer, prior to resuming import of fill material into the Project limits.”

CalTrans wrote back under the auspices of their “Environmental Manager,” John Webb. “CalTrans is committed to doing everything within our powers to produce a final MMP for your approval prior to resuming import of project fill on the Willits bypass project.”

ACCORDING to Linda Williams, writing in The Willits News, the “issues detailed in the letter to CalTrans include: lack of an acceptable grazing plan; a final property analysis record; a plan for the establishment and transfer of the mitigation properties into a conservation easement; resolution of 38 pages of comments provided to the agency in September; certain mitigation actions required in 2014; and a complete mitigation schedule. The letter advises CalTrans any MMP implementation which goes beyond the actual completion of bypass construction "may result in additional mitigation requirements.”

WE WILL RECALL, as Williams explains, “that the US Army Corps of Engineers issued a Notice of Violation in August 2013 to CalTrans for being in 'serious breach of permit' after CalTrans failed to meet certain commitments for mitigation associated with its Clean Water Act 404 MMP. In that notice CalTrans was cited for failing to complete its revisions of the 404 Permit MMP as listed in its own project mitigation schedule.”

AND the two agencies kissed and made up, as is likely with Caltrans and the State Water Board.


AS OF JANUARY 13, 2013, homemade commercial baking has been legalized in California under Assembly Bill 1616 which was signed into law late in 2012 with very little fanfare or publicity. The law should help local food activists, farmers market vendors and (some say) marijuana brownie bakers to come out of the closet-kitchen without the cost, special kitchen facilities and bureaucracy of a commercial food operation. There’s a cap on how much gross revenue can be earned which is currently $45k, going up to $50k next year. According to the overview posted at the California Department of Public Health website:

Assembly Bill (AB) 1616 authored by Assembly Member Gatto, Chapter 415, Statutes of 2012, was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 21, 2012, and became effective on January 1, 2013. The bill allows individuals to prepare and/or package certain non-potentially hazardous foods in private-home kitchens referred to as “cottage food operations” (CFOs).

AB 1616 creates a two-tier cottage food operator registration and permitting system to be enforced by local county or city environmental health agencies: 1) “Class A” cottage food operators are those operations that sell CFO prepared foods directly to the public (at the home where the cottage food operation is located or at a community event), and 2) “Class B” cottage food operators are those operations that sell CFO prepared foods either indirectly through restaurants and stores or both directly to the public as well as indirectly to the public via sale to retail food facilities such as restaurants and markets. There are different requirements for “Class A” and “Class B” cottage food operations. “Class A” cottage food operations must submit a completed self-certification checklist approved by the local environmental health agency when they submit their registration application. “Class B” operations must submit a permit application and be inspected prior to obtaining a permit from the local environmental health agency. All cottage food operations must be registered or permitted by their local environmental health agency before commencing business. Please contact your local environmental health agency for more information.

All cottage food operators will have to meet specified requirements pursuant to the California Health and Safety Code related to preparing foods that are on the approved food list, completing a food processor training course within three months of registering, implementing sanitary operations, creating state and federal compliant labels, and operating within established gross annual sales limits.

The local environmental health agency may inspect the permitted or registered area of the private home in which the cottage food operation prepares, handles, or stores food (1) prior to issuing a permit to “Class B” CFOs and (2) on the basis of a consumer complaint where there is reason to suspect that adulterated or otherwise unsafe food has been produced by the cottage food operation or that the cottage food operation has violated provisions of law related to cottage food operations.

Cottage food operations are not allowed to manufacture potentially hazardous foods, acidified foods, or low acid canned food products that would support the growth of botulism if not properly prepared. These foods, as well as other foods not on the approved foods list, are regulated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The enactment of AB 1616 provides cottage food operators with the opportunity to operate a small scale food business. Once the cottage food operation exceeds the gross sales volume established in the law, they must move their operations to a commercial processing facility and register with the CDPH under the Processed Food Registration Program. You may contact CDPH at (916) 650-6516 for more information about registration.

APPROVED FOODS that can be made under the new law (at present) are:

(1) Baked goods, without cream, custard, or meat fillings, such as breads, biscuits, churros, cookies, pastries, and tortillas.

(2) Candy, such as brittle and toffee.

(3) Chocolate-covered nonperishable foods, such as nuts and dried fruits.

(4) Dried fruit.

(5) Dried pasta.

(6) Dry baking mixes.

(7) Fruit pies, fruit empanadas, and fruit tamales.

(8) Granola, cereals, and trail mixes.

(9) Herb blends and dried mole paste.

(10) Honey and sweet sorghum syrup.

(11) Jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butter that comply with the standard described in Part 150 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(12) Nut mixes and nut butters.

(13) Popcorn.

(14) Vinegar and mustard.

(15) Roasted coffee and dried tea.

(16) Waffle cones and pizelles.

For more information go to the California Department of Health’s website:


THE FARM BILL, hailed by Obama as a reasonable compromise, gives the Koch Brothers everything they wanted, including a big whack out of the Food Stamp program. The Kochs had lobbied hard against food stamps under the aegis of a phony non-profit called “Americans for Prosperity.”

The Koch Bros did right well from the Farm Bill. It also mandates $881 million in mandatory spending for biomass energy, a program that Koch Industries' timber subsidiary Georgia-Pacific has used to to extract government subsidies. Georgia-Pacific applied and qualified for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program for its facilities in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Oregon and Florida. The Bros also own the old mill site at Fort Bragg, disposition of which they have not determined.

TIMBER SITES also get Clean Water Act exemptions. The Kochs, as owners of the mentioned timber farms get a big break here, too, again at the expense of the public's welfare.

ONE of the few positive outcomes of the Farm Bill is it legalizes hemp production for research purposes, but applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law.

ANOTHER GOOD THING the Farm Bill does, and is particularly good news in Mendocino County where the small farm movement is taking off, there will be incentives for farmers markets to make it easier for food stamp recipients to shop at them. A new program would award grants to some farmers markets and grocery stores that match food stamp dollars if recipients buy fruits and vegetables. It has a bit of money to help finance the building of grocery stores in low-income areas that don't have many retail outlets.


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



1. “Under The Volcano” by Malcolm Lowry. This is what alcoholism does, sometimes it's greatness.

2. “Brothers” by Yu Hua. To be Chinese is to be so human.

3. “The Archer” by Robert Stone (one in his volume of great short stories entitled “Fun With Problems"). Real life written by a true master of the subject.

4. “Child of God” by Cormac McCarthy. Hello, necrophilia.

5. “The Only Thing That Counts,” Hemingway's correspondence with his editor Max Perkins. Hello Papa, you'll always be in our top ten.

6. “Beauty and Sadness” by Yasunari Kawabata. To be Japanese is to be so human.

7. “The Gate” by Natsume Soseki, ditto.

8. “Five Noir Novels” by David Goodis. Move over Chandler and Hammett, this is your master.

9. “The Ears of Johnny Bear” by John Steinbeck (in the volume of his great short stories entitled “The Long Valley"). Steinbeck cared, never more evident than here.

10. “The City” by Denis Rouse, never published by decree of the author.

Warm Regards from Bieber. — Denis Rouse


DOUG McKENTY WRITES: Being on the board at KZYX was my first experience and I had a tendency to expect that legally the board and management would operate much like that of a for profit corporation, the difference being that the board had no money invested and the membership got no stock for the money they gave to become a member. I still believe this to be the case, legally. In reality, because no one has any real skin in the game, non-profits act very differently than for-profit corporations. The board, acting as volunteers, prefer to do as little work as possible. The membership got their tax deduction and don't care if the board elections are fixed, or the corporation is not following its Mission Statement. If they don't like NPR they just won't re-up. The institution is not expected to thrive, it's just expected to break even so nobody has to deal with the embarrassment of a scandal. When scandals do arise, everybody just buries their head in the sand until it blows over. Though the liability issues are real, nobody sues because there is no money at stake. As I discovered the level of dysfunction at KZYX, I was shocked. As I have come out against it, I have heard this “business as usual” defense time and time again. Mostly, I have felt that people are getting angry with me for telling a truth that everybody knows, but nobody is supposed to talk about. I'm not saying the non-profit model can't work but it's obviously not working well for this community right now. Urbanization is a very real phenomenon. I am afraid things are going to continue to get worse for our rural county unless we figure out a way to start being more productive with our time and resources.



The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Ukiah Police Department. To anonymously report crime information, call 463-6205.

Burglary -- Caller in the 500 block of Leslie Street reported at 9:43 p.m. Monday that a suspicious activity, possibly a burglary, had occurred over recent days because a door was found open and a screen was taken off. An officer responded and extra patrol was requested for transients taking recyclables.

Possible Prowler -- Caller in the 100 block of Waugh Lane reported at 10:14 p.m. Monday that she heard someone in her backyard. An officer checked the area but no one was seen.

License Plate Stolen -- Caller in the 700 block of South Oak Street reported at 8:18 a.m. Tuesday that a license plate had been stolen off a vehicle while it was parked there. An officer took a report.

Leg Cramp -- Caller in the 400 block of North School Street reported at 3:39 p.m. Tuesday hearing a man arguing, then crying out in pain. An officer responded and contacted a lone man who said he had a bad leg cramp.

Blood On Stairs -- Caller in the 700 block of Village Circle reported at 7:07 p.m. Tuesday finding "a lot of blood at the bottom the stairs" leading form the neighbor's door. The caller called back and reported that the neighbor was found and she had a bloody nose.

Student With Knife -- Caller at Frank Zeek Elementary School reported at 11:06 a.m. Tuesday that an 8-year-old student came to school with a knife. An officer responded and counseled the child.

Dog Bite -- Caller in the 200 block of Observatory Avenue reported at 2:07 p.m. Wednesday that dog swere fighting and one person had been bitten. An officer responded and took a report.

Records, Vacuum Cleaner Stolen -- Caller in the 600 block of Leslie Street reported at 4:32 p.m. Wednesday that vinyl records and a vacuum cleaner had been stolen. The information was recorded.

Skunk Attack -- Caller in the 1000 block of North Oak Street reported a skunk attack at 4:41 p.m. Wednesday. An officer responded and took a report.

Burglary -- Caller in the 100 block of Clara Avenue reported at 6:14 p.m. Wednesday that someone broke out a window and door. An officer responded and took a report for burglary.

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

Trespasser -- Caller in the 600 block of Oak Street reported at 6:13 a.m. Tuesday that a man was trespassing. An officer responded and found the 55-year-old man in the bathroom and arrested him for being drunk in public and violating city code.


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

Domestic Violence -- Elisabeth A. Koeppel, 31, of Ukiah, was arrested at 11:07 a.m. Wednesday on suspicion of domestic assault and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The Ukiah Police Department arrested her.

Domestic Violence, Evading -- Jesse D.J. Orton, 26, of Oakland, was arrested at 2:23 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of domestic assault and driving recklessly while evading a peace officer, and booked at the county jail under $125,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

DUI, Child Endangerment -- Monique M. Valador, 24, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 6:37 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of driving under the influence and child abuse or endangerment, and booked at the county jail under $15,000 bail. The Fort Bragg Police Department arrested her.

Battery With Injury -- Chad R. Martinson, 18, of Redwood Valley, was arrested at 8:24 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of battery causing serious injury and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

DUI -- Jenny A. Whelan, 53, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 9:35 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of driving under the influence and booked at the county jail under $15,000 bail. The FBPD arrested her.

DUI -- Alex J. Goeken, 55, of Ukiah, was arrested at 11:17 a.m. Thursday 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. The California Highway Patrol arrested him.


  1. Bill Pilgrim February 9, 2014

    Mr. Rouse’s top ten list included a volume of correspondence (letters) written by Hemingway. It got me to wonder: what’s going to happen to historical scholarship now that letters are increasingly electronic? One can still read through letters written by some of the great luminaries of the past. What then shall we do in the near future? Borrow and extract info. from a hard drive?

  2. Lazarus February 9, 2014

    I think people forget CalTrans and every other state agency are like members of the same family. Even though they fight eventually they will kiss, make up and leave the losing side in wonderment of how this could happen. In other words, it’s a rigged game. These agencies have to justify their existence some how, so feuding with each other is as good and any. It does give the haters something to hate and the protesters a reason to exist…….after the Willits bypass….not so much…but there always be haters.

  3. Alisha Taylor February 9, 2014

    So now caltrans has pissed off officials and is being told they are in breach of contract. …. what about in breach of nature or common sense I mean they covered up ancient indian burial grounds cut down beautiful groves of oak trees wick drained the heck out of the valley north of willits the damage is already done.

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