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Mendocino County Today: Friday, March 14, 2014

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AN INFLAMMATORY STORY in a recent Chronicle begins, “San Francisco spends $165 million a year on services for homeless people, but all that money hasn't made a dent in the homeless population in at least nine years.”

A BIG HUNK of that money goes for salaries for the helping professionals, so-called, whose first loyalty is to their own long-term employment. The programs? A few shelters dominated by thugs and run by martinets who, themselves, tend to be troubled people. Several thousand troubled people over the years have been placed in subsidized housing, but the country is falling apart faster than the half-assed, wildly inefficient programs run by the city can deal with the people who need help.

I SAID “INFLAMMATORY” because at the mere mention of the homeless the comment lines light up with versions on the theme of “Shoot them all.”

THE PROB, or one of them, is in the definition of “homeless.” In SF, as in Fort Bragg, Ukiah and Willits, the drunks, dopeheads and the harmlessly insane are now more numerous and difficult than the expensive strategies that try to help them — there are too many of them. (We had a homeless guy in Boonville for a number of years, but he got sober and went indoors in Fort Bragg, his original hometown.)

BUT THERE are all kinds of homeless people, many of them hidden away, respectable people living out of their vehicles or even sleeping outside but still trying to recover after losing their work and whatever living situation they had. Shelters are too dangerous for lots of them, and the waiting lists are long for permanent housing.

USED TO BE, all persons unable or unwilling to care for themselves went straight into the bin. These are the people, now reinforced by the roving Pitbull Brigades, who are bad for public morale, who frighten the vulnerable, who ruin public spaces. The Pitbull Brigades should not be lumped in with the drunks, the hopelessly addicted, the insane. They should be given the option of a fenced tent camp in the Candlestick parking lot or jail.

THE REAGAN counter-revolution closed most of the bins. Today, only those persons who are thought to represent a clear and present danger to themselves and/or others get a berth in a lock-up hospital. At any given time, Mendocino County's really, really crazy people are housed in the Mendocino County Jail, although a few of them have recently been elected to public office. Jail, of course, is not a good place for a mentally ill person to recover him or herself. (The cops, by the way, are quite pleased with the new privatized County health system because, they say, they can turn over responsibility for a disturbed person to one of the privatized counselors and go on about their patrol business. The old system they had to wait around until someone made a decision whether or not to take the patient to jail. If the decision is made to sequester the patient, another cop is dispatched to do that.)

WAY BACK IN THE DAY, the extremely fortunate were taxed at better than 90% of their big incomes. The figure of $100,000 a year, I vaguely recall, was the cutoff in 1950. Almost everything over that amount went to the Tax Man who spent it on at least a few of the basic amenities like state hospitals for the insane and the incompetent. Chronic drunks and the few pioneer dopers back then were packed off to dry out and un-addict themselves.


THE SYMPATHETIC HOMELESS are not the young people depicted in the Chronicle's photo above. These people, the Grunge and Pitbull people, annoy almost everyone. They are homeless by choice. They're out there because, undoubtedly, their families rightly consider them major ass-pains. But if you're terminally obnoxious, young and work-hostile, but can get free meals in communities of any size all over the country, you can easily live rough. If I were young and the choice was, say, stocking shelves at Walmart or wandering around the country with my sleeping bag, I'd choose wandering around the country with my sleeping bag. Doubt, though, I'd team up with these road dogs.

THESE FUCKERS flaunt their aggression, and they wreck public space for everyone else. The hoboes of yesteryear were, by and large, paragons of humility. And stealth. They didn't plunk themselves down in the street or a public park to menace passersby, and a lot of them really would work for food. Of course America was much less tolerant of aberrant behavior then and there were zero welfare programs outside church. You pretty much had to earn your way.

WE GOT WHERE we are politically, and we'll get out politically. Maybe. Homelessness works nicely as a metaphor for the political entropy we've arrived at. How can any rational person listen to a speech by the president or congressman Huffman or the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (an especially lame group of intellectually impaired individuals), and expect an intelligent, sustained movement to get people off the streets?

THE 99% MOVEMENT at least got millions of people thinking clearly about how unfair the present social-economic arrangement is. The task now is to get people to do something about it. I recommend, as a first step, voting NO on any person affiliated with either the Democratic or the Republican parties. (Except for Elizabeth Warren.) Any candidate who wants to tax the rich at the old confiscatory rates should be supported. Career officeholders of the Feinstein-Pelosi-Boehner-Huffman-Chesbro type have to go. Every single social-environmental-political problem we have, we have because of these people and the plutocracy that funds them.

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LOGAN JESS REED (1993 - 2014)

LoganReedLogan Jess Reed passed away on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with his family and friends by his side. Logan and his twin sister, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Reed, were born on Jan. 17, 1993, at UCSF in San Francisco, to Randy and Jennifer (Smith) Reed.

Logan grew up as a fifth generation on the Smith family ranch in Comptche. After graduating from Mendocino High School in 2011, he went to Humboldt State University with interest in Environmental Resource Engineering. Logan returned home and worked with his dad in construction.

Logan loved his family and friends. He enjoyed playing the guitar, listening to and creating music. He was always a deep thinker, had a creative mind, and was on a continuous quest for knowledge. He loved the outdoors and to explore. He loved and excelled at sports: soccer, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, golf, skateboarding and snowboarding. He loved the trips he took with family and friends, including hunting and fishing trips with his dad. He was adventurous and open to new experiences.

Logan was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Mick and Pat Smith. He is survived by his parents, Randy and Jennifer; his sister, Kaitlyn; his parental grandparents, Charlie and Beth Reed; aunts and uncles, Charles and Hillary Reed, Kathy and Charlie Deckard, Julie Reed and Cameron Fox; his cousins, Andy Deckard and Genevie Reed; as well as his great aunt, Pauline Taylor and family.

Logan loved deeply and was deeply loved. We will always remember his beautiful smile, his heartfelt hugs and genuine goodness. He was an amazing son and young man, a gift who brought joy to his family each and every day.

Memorial services were held on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Chapel of the Redwoods in Comptche.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary.

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SENTENCING OF JERRED HERNANDEZ, who admitted in late February to killing his neighbor in Ukiah and fleeing to Mexico nearly 13 years ago before he was finally apprehended, is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. Friday in Courtroom A by Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman.

BACKGROUND: Suspect In Ukiah Murder Arrested In Mexico

A man suspected of killing his neighbor in Ukiah and fleeing to Mexico nearly 13 years ago is in custody after being arrested in Mexico, the Ukiah Police Department reported. According to the UPD, Jerred R. Hernandez, 32, was arrested in Ensenada by Mexican Police and later booked into the San Diego County Jail for the murder of Michael Williamson in 2000. The suspected homicide was discovered Aug. 2, 2000, when UPD officers and firefighters from the Ukiah Fire Department responded to the 100 block of Carolyn Street for a report of smoke. After extinguishing the fire, firefighters discovered the body of Michael E. Williamson, 44, in a bedroom of the house, which was owned by his parents, who were out of town at the time. Investigators determined Williamson had suffered “severe blunt trauma to his head,” and that the fire had been set in an attempt to conceal evidence. Several items were also stolen from the residence, including jewelry, credit cards and personal checks belonging to the victim’s parents. After collecting evidence and witnesses statements, investigators identified Hernandez, then 19, as the suspect. According to the UPD, Williamson was a recovering drug addict and had been mentoring other addicts, including Hernandez, who lived on the same street. The UPD reports that following Williamson’s homicide, Hernandez fled to Santa Rosa after using his brother Nicolas’ name to withdraw money from his brother’s bank account. Hernandez then reportedly went to Southern California and finally to Mexico, where he has relatives. Law enforcement, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, continued searching for Hernandez, who was featured on the television show America’s Most Wanted last year. On Monday, UPD detectives Rick Pintane and Sgt. David McQueary interviewed Hernandez in the San Diego County Jail in connection with the charges of murder, arson, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary, and arranged for his transportation back to Ukiah. “We are extremely fortunate to have located and arrested Hernandez,” UPD Chief Chris Dewey said. “This was one of our department’s most lengthy and complex investigations and I am glad to bring into custody a person we suspect of committing such horrific crimes.” Dewey said Hernandez will be brought up to Ukiah in the next couple of days, likely by bus. His arrest was a result of a collaboration between the UPD, the FBI and the Border Liaison Program, the FBI Legal Attaché Mexico City, US Customs and Border Protection, the US Attorney’s Office and the Baja California State Police. (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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COMMENTING ON Malcolm Macdonald’s report about the KZYX Board meeting, Mitch Clogg of Mendocino writes: “Mr. Macdonald pulls his punches regarding Sakowicz. Sack has sought to ingratiate himself with the AVA, with some success. It’s too bad. No news-reporting source is better suited to tar & feather this fraud than yours. It doesn’t matter that he’s sometimes on the right side or that he is downright lyrical in chanting the stock truisms of citizenship. He is a devious man, a quality blindingly visible in everything he does and says. His attention to the truth or falsehood of anything has only to do with expediency. If a lie will further his present position, that’s far more legitimate, to John Sakowicz, than any other version, including the true one. His oratorical antics, his self-congratulations often composed from nothing more substantial than wind, would be laughable, except nobody’s laughing. This, keen-edged humor, is a mode of delivering information at which the AVA excels. I’ll be delighted when the AVA stops allowing itself to be a megaphone for this creature.”

John Sakowicz
John Sakowicz

I DON'T THINK MALCOLM MACDONALD knows Sako, and The Goddess Herself knows we've devoted much space to all manner of KZYX opinions that don't coincide with Sako's. We agree with Sako on the overall quality of the management of the operation. We've often been critical of him and have disagreed with him, and we think it's positively weird that KZYX's Moonie-like hardcore devotes a whole meeting to teeing off on the guy. We'll continue to print Sako's opinions just like we print pro-KZYZ opinions and even print announcements of their events when they send them to us. It's called a free press. Doesn't exist, of course, at KZYX or this entire discussion would be occurring there, not in the pages of the AVA.

PS. LIES. A lie is a deliberate falsification. Most everything else is simply error. Human beings are known to err. For the purposes of your beloved community newspaper, if you want to accuse someone of lying, don't lie yourself by not sending the 'lie' along so the rest of us can group on it to determine if it indeed a lie or not. Standards of literacy have fallen so low in this country that lies are often simply opinions the reader violently disagrees with. Of course there are professional liars — Fox News, national political officeholders and so on, but here in Lilliput's media there isn't much lying, although there are huge lies of omission at places like KZYX and the Press Democrat where whole areas of public life are no-go zones.

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GEORGE CUNBA WRITES: “A letter writer says all of his clothes and his cell phone were made overseas and implies that the flight of jobs was the result of our minimum wage laws. Low-skill, low-wage manufacturing jobs are gone forever. They are now done by desperate people in Third World countries who must work for their minimum wage — 20¢ an hour? The jobs we have left are those that must be done on-site. Walmart might buy its inventory elsewhere, but it can't export checkers, stockers and janitors. No one can export plumbers, chambermaids, salesmen, mechanics and all of the people who go to work every morning in the USA. You can be sure that their jobs would be gone, too, if some capitalist could figure out how to do it. These people must raise their families in America, not Indonesia, and they deserve a living wage that will provide them with the necessities of life — and yes, a few luxuries. Walmart can afford it.”

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PEBBLES TRIPPET of Navarro, the legendary fighter for sensible marijuana policies, has been named contributing editor for Skunk Magazine, the spunky national publication discussing everything having to do with the herb. In the March issue of Skunk, Pebs offers an interesting interview with Tori LaChapelle, “nurse, mother, medical cannabis advocate, social media writer, and 'medical refugee conductor.'“

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JAMES SPENCE (1931 - 2014)

JamesSpenceLong-time and well-loved resident, James Spence, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Oregon after a long illness. Born Aug. 13, 1931, Jim had been a Mendocino County building inspector for the coastal area for many years, and was a friend to contractors and homeowners alike.

He was also a mentor and inspiration to people struggling with alcoholism, and gave unselfishly of himself to those who wanted help. He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth.

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by Will Parrish

Across geologic time, rainwater sculpts the land into cradlelike entities that comprise a watershed. For the vast majority of inland Mendocino County, the basin that collects the water that the land first cradles is the collection of forks and stems that make up the mighty Eel River. Running 192 miles from south to north, the Eel drains all the land surface from south of Willits and east through the mountains above Potter Valley and Upper Lake, thence running northwest through Humboldt County, with land and water meeting the ocean outside of Ferndale: one low ridge south of Eureka and Humboldt Bay.

The large delta and estuary where the Eel's journey culminates is an area of giant ferns glades, redwood forests, swampy lands and windswept prairies. It has been populated since the beginning of time by the southern Wiyot people, among these people's subsistence practices have been to catch Lamprey eels, Salmon and Sturgeon in iris-leaf fish nets, and to collect shellfish along the river and in its estuary.

The Wiyot have known how to live on this land without severely depleting it. By the beginning of the 21st century, by contrast, the geologists and engineers who work for the United States of America's energy corporations and investment bankers had figured out how to do something altogether different. They had figured out to blast enormous quantities of water, mixed with sand and toxic chemicals, under high pressure deep underground for the purpose of breaking up shale rock formations, allowing oil and gas to seep into horizontal pipes and thence into Pacific Gas & Electric's power plants.

That is, they had figured out to “frack” here.

The first known instance of an energy company “fracking” near the Eel River's estuary was in 2008, when Houston, Texas-based Foothills California, Inc. carried out the controversial extraction technique in two of its wells on Grizzly Bluff, located in the mountains south and west of Rohnerville and Alton. Foothills is a private firm incorporated in Houston, with a subsidiary in the epicenter of California's oil industry, Bakersfield. Three long-time Texas and California oilmen founded the company in 2006.

Foothills has received a sizable share of its financial backing from notorious global investment firm Goldman Sachs, the world's largest. The notorious merchant bank owned eight million shares in the company as of March 31, 2009, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Because Foothills, Inc. went private four years ago, right as fracking was becoming a swear word to environmentalists and people who oppose the poisoning and despoliation of water supplies in general. Thus, it is difficult to know exactly what sorts of drilling activities the company has undertaken since then, or what its current ownership structure is. Under California and federal law, they have not been required to disclose whether they are fracking, or where.

“In the past decade, we believe the industry has overlooked the hydrocarbon potential and production within the Eel River Basin due to its relatively isolated position in California,” the sole 2009 Foothills, Inc. report to its shareholders reads.

It continues, “We performed a CO2 foam fracture simulation program on the Vicenus 1-3 and GB 5 wells in June 2008. As of June 3, 2008, the wells were continuing to unload the fracture fluid, and the results of the fracture simulations had not been determined. Further drilling in the Eel River Basin will be planned after the cumulative results of these activities have been evaluated.”

All told, Foothills Inc. now has drilling rights on roughly 12,000 acres in the Eel River delta region in general, and on Grizzly Bluff in particular.

Another oil and gas company with holdings on Grizzly Bluff is Forexco, which reportedly works nine wells with another 13 on tap to be drilled in the near future. The company is registered in North Carolina, and its main backing comes from CitiGroup. The company also has proposed to construct a natural gas collection and transportation system that would cross the Eel River and interconnect with the existing gas sales delivery point at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) natural gas meter station in Alton.

In 2010, Forexco described their holdings in Grizzly Bluff in the following way: “all of the completions in this clay-filled, low-resistivity field are natural. It would appear that fracture stimulations would significantly increase production in most of the wells.”

Roughly five miles to the north of Foothills, Inc.'s Grizzly Bluff field is Tompkins Hill, located slightly to the northeast of the Eel River estuary. The Tompkins Hill natural gas field was discovered by Texaco in 1937 and has since produced in excess of 120 billion cubic feet of natural gas. (For comparison's sake, the US as a whole consumes 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas annually, or 208 times as much as Tompkins Hill produced in more than seven decades.)

These fields are now owned and operated by Vintage Petroleum, a subsidiary of global oil and gas mega-firm Occidental Petroleum. Occidental extracts oil in numerous countries throughout the globe, is the largest oil producer in Texas, and is the largest natural gas producer in California.

Occidental is perhaps best known to environmental and human rights activists for its involvement in massacres of the indigenous U'Wa people of Colombia in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The U'wa opposed oil drilling in their ancestral lands, saying that oil is “the blood of Mother Earth” and therefore must not be touched, setting up blockades of Occidental exploratory and extraction vehicles. Occidental pressured the Columbian military to intervene, and then the US military, which undertook so-called “low-intensity” operations in the area under the guise of looking for coca plantations as part of the so-called Plan Columbia “drug war.” In one case, the Colombian military raided an U'Wa village by dropping US-made cluster bomb that killed 18 people, including nine children.

Occidental eventually withdrew from the area in the face of international condemnation.

Vintage/Occidental currently operates 28 wells on Tompkins Hill . One of the biggest frackers in California, the company fracked 41 wells in Kern County in 2012 alone. It was also the first company to frack in the Sacramento Basin. Earth First! Humboldt largely confirmed that Vintage is fracking some of its wells on Tompkins Hill by assessing the types of vehicles and equipment that entered and departed from the company's wells late this past year.

Fracking has been much in the news in the last four years, having become a magnet for investment on the part of oil companies and investment banks, and their nation state co-dependents, on a global scale. The fracking boom requires much higher levels of capital and investment to squeeze petroleum from fickle rock formations than do more conventional extraction techniques. Fracking currently receives more than $40 billion of fresh investments every year in the United States alone.

Currently, fracking accounts for 40 percent of US natural gas production. Fracking of shale oil, meanwhile, has been the main factor pushing US petroleum production to its highest level in nearly three decades. A mad scramble to drill in the Bakken Shale formation of North Dakota and Wyoming, Texas' Eagle Ford formation, and various other areas of the country has turned around many widely accepted

Of late, California in particular has been a target of oil industry exploration and investment. In July 2011, a rosy report from the US federal government's Energy Information Administration released its estimates of readily recoverable gas and oil in the shale deposits of the United States, highlighted by the claim that the Monterey shale formation — which underlies much of the land in Monterey, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties, and beyond — is trapping 15.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

By these numbers, California accounts for nearly two-thirds of the US' shale oil resources. The reserves in California would dwarf those of big oil-producing countries like Mexico, Brazil, or Angola.

But fracking's inherent destructiveness has generated strong opposition on the part of those concerned about the land and water. For example, one hydrofracked well requires three to eight million gallons of water per day. When cement well-casings fail, which most do over time, natural gas can migrate from deep underground into the aquifer. This results in dangerous, undrinkable water – in some cases, as documented by the movie “Frackland,” people open their kitchen sink valve and are able to light the water on fire.

Moreover, methane seepage, common in frack wells, cancels the apparent climate benefits from natural gas, being that methane traps heat at about 20 times the rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Fracking destroys wildlife habitat. It immiserates people in rural areas, whose water is contaminated and who cannot afford to move elsewhere or haul in clean water.

California Gov. Jerry Brown is a strong backer of fracking. Notably, he has already received $2.5 million from oil and gas interests, with Occidental Petroleum being one of the industry's top influence peddlers.

The same interests have also shaped the Brown administration's Bay Delta Conservation plan, including the Delta Twin Tunnels proposal to export water in two giant canals from the Sacramento River to California's existing massive system of tunnels and canals. The California oil industry's epicenter, Kern County, would be one of the primary destinations of the Twin Tunnels water.

California recently enacted new fracking regulations, which were fundamentally shaped by the oil and gas industry. They require drillers to alert neighboring landowners at least 30 days before fracking, and to test their water wells upon request. The drillers must do other groundwater monitoring and also disclose many of the chemicals used. The rules cover the use of acids, which are sometimes used to dissolve rock to access oil.

But these regulations do nothing to address most of the greater problems fracking poses, including the incredible volume of water it requires, the handling of fracking wastewater, the inevitable failings of , its release of methane, and the rest.

An important point here is that many of the projections about fracking catapulting California into the world's leading oil producer are probably greatly trumped up. While a considerable amount of fracking is already happening near Bakersfield, Rich Estabrook is a Ukiah-based petroleum engineer on the regulatory staff at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), sounds a cautionary note.

Oil and gas companies are eyeing the large tracts of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land with mineral rights over the Monterey Shale formation, leading to Estabrook's involvement in crafting regulations for the fracking industry on these lands.

“Even in the more accessible areas around Bakersfield, initial attempts to exploit the Monterey shale have not shown much,” Estabrook told the AVA. “And the mangled-up geology of the coast range makes large scale deposition unlikely for any type of oil and gas, shales or otherwise.”

He continued, “As far as I know, there are no known oil and gas deposits in Mendocino County, shale or conventional. Exploration and identification of deposits would take years (decades). If any deposits were found, they would have to be large-scale enough to justify the enormous costs of developing them, especially given the lack of oil and gas infrastructure here.”

Indeed, fracking in general has been the subject of considerable hype that holds little water since it first became a major part of the US' energy production portfolio. Shale gas production has been on a plateau since 2011, with existing major wells declining at a rapid rate. Many industry and federal government projections have turned out to be dramatically overstated.

In a profound sense, fracking is an indication of systemic desperation. As conventional oil reserves dwindle, the fossil fuel industry is increasingly turning towards extreme methods such as fracking, deepwater drilling (i.e., British Petroleum's disastrous 2011 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf Coast) and tar sands mining. Collectively, these are the most destructive fuel extraction techniques ever devised by human beings.

But there can be no arguing that fracking had become a massive industry worldwide, and that California is already sustaining massive amounts of ecological damage from the practice, with more to come. What impact it will have in the Eel River basin, where some of the most powerful financial and energy interest in this part of the world now hold thousands of acres of drilling rights, remains to be seen.

As Dan Zimmerman of the Northcoast Ocean and River Protection Association of Trinidad put it, in a recent e-mail to his organization's supporters: “Big players like Occidental, Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup don't take over an oil or gas field unless they know there is money to be made, any way they can make it. And when they do, our local and state regulators let them do whatever they want, no questions asked.”

This past week, Los Angeles became the largest city in the country to ban fracking. A rally this Saturday, March 15th in Sacramento aims to put additional pressure on California lawmakers to enact a statewide ban on the practice. Last year, Vermont became the first US state to ban fracking.

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by Dan Bacher

During a visit to the federal water export pumping facilities in the South Delta on March 11, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell affirmed the Obama administration’s support for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels - and failed to meet with Delta advocates protesting the tunnel plan.

“The Administration is committed to long-term water supply improvements and environmental restoration in California,” claimed Jewell. “We are working closely with the state to complete the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and take other important actions that will achieve the dual goals of a reliable water supply for California and a healthy Bay Delta ecosystem that supports the state’s economy.”

Governor Jerry Brown also used the photo opportunity to promote his Bay Delta Conservation Plan, even though it wouldn’t create one drop of new water.

“California is working closely with its federal partners to deal with the drought and prepare our state for other extreme weather events,” said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. “This current drought is just a portent of things to come and it underscores the importance of swift action on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.”

Secretary Jewell and California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird toured water storage and conveyance facilities and met with corporate agribusiness interests who rely on water exported from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, but refused to meet with family farmers from the Delta who were protesting the tunnels during her visit.

Barbara Barrigan-Parilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta (RTD), she was “disappointed” that Jewell refused to meet with tunnel opponents. She called upon Secretary Jewell to not support the tunnels, to let federal scientists do their job without political interference, and to embrace better policies for a sustainable water future.

“Restore the Delta is disappointed that Secretary Jewell did not stop to speak with Delta protesters yesterday,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “We call on her to meet at a later date with Delta farmers, Delta government officials, fishery experts, Delta water and reclamation districts, and community groups to learn firsthand about the impacts of the drought and water mismanagement by the State on the Delta economy and ecosystem health, and how the BDCP will lead to the destruction of Delta and coastal fisheries, the SF Bay, Delta family farms and the economy for the 4 million Delta residents.”

“Secretary Jewell should not be misled that the BDCP would provide reliable water supplies nor restore the health of the Delta. This boondoggle benefits mainly a handful of unsustainable mega-growers,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.

Federal scientists have refused to sign off on the tunnels project, noting that it cannot achieve its goal of restoring the health of the Delta estuary while removing millions of acre-feet of water from the Delta, according to Barrigan-Parrilla.

Gene Beley of the Central Valley Business Times was one of the lucky few to be able to attend, as a member of the media, Secretary Jewell's visit to the Delta pumps yesterday. Here Gene gives us both a transcript and a video of the press conference:

“Please read or view carefully with a critical eye, and be sure to look at the list of the 'VIPs' who were included in the closed door session with Jewell,” said Jerry Cadagan, water activist. “Compare that list to the similar list who met privately with President Obama on February 14, the usual suspects. Big kudos to CV Business Times Editor Doug Caldwell for featuring this kind of hard hitting journalism!”

Cadagan noted that this transcript is the first indication that Jewell may be having second thoughts about the peripheral tunnel plan, although she and the Obama administration are still officially committed to it.

The federal pumping facilities that Jewell visited and the state pumping facilities kill more fish, including salmon, steelhead, Sacramento splittail, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, striped bass, threadfin shad, largemouth bass, American shad, and other species, than any other government project in California. Millions of fish are slaughtered every year in the “death pumps.”

Between 2000 and 2011, more than 130 million fish were 'salvaged' at the state and federal project water export facilities in the South Delta, according to a fact sheet written in 2013 by Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. (

“Actual losses are far higher,” said Jennings. “For example, recent estimates indicate that 5-10 times more fish are lost than are salvaged, largely due to the high predation losses in and around water project facilities.”

The widely unpopular Bay Delta Conservation Plan would hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon, steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other struggling fish species, as well as imperil steelhead and salmon populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers. The BDCP would take vast areas of Delta farmland, among the most fertile on the planet, out of agricultural production in order to keep irrigating drainage-impaired, toxic soil on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Food and Water Watch and Restore the Delta, opponents of Jerry Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels, on March 4 released a new map that shows that 35-mile long twin tunnels would mainly supply water to the largest agribusiness users of Delta water exports, land impaired by toxic selenium concentrations that make farming unsustainable, and the oil and gas basins where the energy industry could expand the environmentally destructive practice of fracking (hydraulic fracturing).

For more information, go to:

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In January of 2014 detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office met with an adult female who reported that she had been sexually molested by her parents, repeatedly, from the age of 4-11. The female victim also reported that her parents had allowed her to be sexually abused by other adults during the same time period.On 1/24/14, Sheriff's Detectives executed a search warrant at a residence off of Ruddick-Cunningham Road in Talmage. During the course of the search warrant Donald Dunakin and Ina Medina were taken into custody on an assortment of charges, all stemming from the sexual abuse of their children.In February 2014, detectives, with the help of the victim, were able to identify another suspect who had sexually abused the victim 11 years earlier. The suspect, Walter Jesse Creed, had met Donald Dunakin and Ina Medina through on-line chat rooms.

On 2/27/14, Sheriff's Detectives executed a search warrant at Creed's residence off of Highway 253 in Ukiah. Detectives located a large amount of child pornography to include photographs and videos during their search.

Sheriff's Detectives seized several computers from Creed's residence. The computers are being forwarded to the Department of Justice for forensic analysis.

Sheriff's Detectives sought the issuance of an arrest warrant for Creed. On 3/13/14, Detectives served an arrest warrant on Creed at his residence. Creed was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for oral copulation of a child under 14, Lewd and Lascivious acts with a child, and multiple counts of possession of child pornography. Creed's bail was set at $130,000.


DUI — Thomas R. Patten, 45, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 9:38 a.m. Friday 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 California Highway Patrol arrested him.

DUI — Jotham D. Ford, 25, of Willits, was arrested at 10:25 p.m. Friday 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 $5,000 bail. The CHP arrested him.

Domestic Violence — Prudencio Cota-Leyva, 38, of Ukiah, was arrested at 1:53 a.m. Saturday on suspicion of domestic assault and possessing drug paraphernalia, and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The Ukiah Police Department arrested him.

Meth Sales — Waymon W. Wilson, 34, of San Francisco, was arrested at 8:37 a.m. Saturday on suspicion of selling methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine for sale and possessing methamphetamine, and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.


Child Sexual Assault — Harold V. Casebolt, 51, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 12:19 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of child abuse, committing lewd or lascivious acts on a child younger than 14, sexual assault, administering controlled substances or anesthetic to aid in committing a felony, employing a minor for marijuana activity and distributing matter harmful to a minor, and booked at the county jail under $75,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

Vehicle Theft — Martin C. Briggs, 43, of Willits, was arrested at 4:54 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of vehicle theft, driving with a suspended license, loitering or prowling on private property and violating his probation terms, and booked at the county jail under $60,000 bail. The Willits Police Department arrested him.

Domestic Violence — Kenneth L. Hanover, 27, of Covelo, was arrested at 4:56 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of domestic assault and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

DUI — Moises Y. Villapando, 27, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 9:20 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of driving under the influence and booked at the county jail under $5,000 bail. The WPD arrested him.

DUI — Arthur J. Crone, 58, of Laytonville, was arrested at 3:43 p.m. Sunday 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.

DUI — Aryliss J. Pratt, 41, of Santa Rosa, was arrested at 12:33 p.m. Monday on suspicion of driving under the influence and booked at the county jail under $5,000 bail. The MCSO arrested her.

Domestic Violence — Kevin B. Norton, 24, of Willits, was arrested at 5:53 p.m. Monday on suspicion of domestic assault and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The UPD arrested him.

DUI — Lauren E. Coates, 25, of Talmage, was arrested at 1:53 a.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 $5,000 bail. The UPD arrested her.


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

BIKE STOP -- An officer stopped a bicyclist in the 800 block of North State Street at 2:22 a.m. Monday and arrested Mark Brandt, 47, of Ukiah, on suspicion of possessing stolen property and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

TRANSIENT SLEEPING IN FRONT OF CAR -- Caller in the 600 block of Leslie Street reported at 7:50 a.m. Monday that someone was sleeping in front of the caller's car. An officer responded and the person left upon request.

TREE CUT DOWN -- Caller in the 1100 block of Mulberry Street reported at 9 a.m. Monday that someone had cut down a tree. An officer took the information.

CASH STOLEN -- Caller in the 400 block of West Mill Street reported at 9:08 a.m. Monday that cash was stolen. An officer responded and took a report.

DOG NOT BEING CARED FOR -- Caller on Marlene Street reported at 1:34 p.m. Monday that a dog was not being fed in a yard that had multiple code violations. An officer took the information.

FENCE KNOCKED OVER -- Caller in the 300 block of South State Street reported at 9:02 a.m. Tuesday that someone knocked over a fence and may have tried to break into a building. An officer responded and took a report.

MAN CAMPING -- Caller in the 700 block of East Perkins Street reported at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday having an ongoing problem with a man camping in the area and refusing to leave. An officer responded and the man left upon request.

ROAD RAGE -- Caller at the corner of East Perkins Street and North Orchard Avenue reported at 1:28 p.m. Tuesday that a man driving a gray pickup truck with lumber in the back nearly hit her car, yelled at her, made obscene gestures at her, pulled over to let her pass, then pulled up right behind her. The information was taken.

NEIGHBOR KNOCKED OUT INTERNET -- Caller on Ford Street reported at 4:05 p.m. Tuesday that her neighbor was pounding on her wall and knocked out her Internet; when she asked him to stop he refused. An officer responded and advised both parties.

DOG BITE -- Caller from Ukiah Valley Medical Center reported at 6:25 p.m. Tuesday that a victim of a dog bite was being treated.

GROUP CAMPING -- Caller on Myron Place reported at 8:50 p.m. Tuesday that a group of transients was camping near the creek with a blue tent. An officer responded and arrested a 47-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman.

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

KIDS CLIMBING POWER POLE -- Caller at the skate park on South Lincoln Street reported at 2:05 p.m. Monday that kids were climbing a power pole. An officer responded and the kids told him they were doing pull-ups.

CHILD BEING AGGRESSIVE -- Mother at the police station requested an officer speak to her young child about being aggressive.


  1. David Jensen March 14, 2014

    That’s a flattering photo of John, but who photoshopped the chihuahua in place of his pit bull?

    • chewsome March 14, 2014

      Maybe it’s Dan Hamburg’s picture clutching a dog.

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