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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, March 15, 2014

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Thank you for including a likeness of me with Mr. McEwen’s March 12th article, “The Reign of King David.” I lament had I only started my diet sooner it may have been more difficult for your graphic artist to morph my chubby face into Henry VIII’s portrait. That aside, let me get to the point of this letter. Though I occasionally see him in the courtroom, I sometimes question whether reporter Bruce McEwen is really there. His rendition of “facts” in the article relating to the Escareno criminal case could not have been further from the truth. For example, starting in December of last year I have been objecting to the Escareno case being heard in Juvenile Court. I have done so every single time I attended a hearing on the case. In direct conflict with what Mr. McKewn wrote, it was I who demanded that the courtroom be open to the public and accessible to the media. The fact that your reporter hasn’t shown up to court hearings in the case for more than two months is not my fault, and probably not your fault either. It is, however, like tuning in to the last half hour of a movie and reporting publicly that you’ve seen the entire show. If correcting the illegal sentence imposed in 2010 was going to be beneficial to this defendant, I would be arguing from the same position. Instead the defendant was given an illegal “gift” in 2010 to which he was not legally entitled. The law requires that we now fix that prior mistake no matter how the chips may fall. What I am arguing in court is not only fair for the victim’s family, but also consistent with the mandates of law. Please stay tuned.

David Eyster

District Attorney



Whenever a lawyer uses the word facts, in quotes, I put on my 3D movie glasses. The conflict of your fact (that you’d been objecting since last December to the case being heard in juvenile court) with what I wrote lies in the depth of a quotation by Ms. Elliott, wherein she says she just got notice last Thursday of your wish to send her client to prison. Do you see the difference? As for the “fact” that I haven’t showed up for hearings in the case for more than two months, please keep in mind that my staff is smaller than yours. If you could lend me just one or two of your half-dozen investigators, three or four of your score of secretaries, and one deputy DA, I think I could keep abreast of every single case you prosecute. Even singlehandedly, I do a better job than your own press secretary, five local weeklies and two daily papers combined. But this case is far from over, and unlike the last half of a movie, nothing worth reporting will be likely to happen until then. One more point on “facts”: by the time you lawyers get through wrangling over them, they are generally mangled beyond all recognition. Keep in mind that Escareno probably would not have pled to the murder — which he may well have not done, anyway — unless he got the “gift” as you call it.

Bruce McEwen

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The race in the June 3 Primary Election for the job of Mendocino County Assessor-Clerk-Recorder is a contested one for the first time in recent memory.

Registered nurse Robin Sunbeam this week announced she would run for the position against incumbent Sue Ranochak.

“When I see an injustice, I feel like I must set things straight,” Sunbeam said of her reason for running in her Monday announcement. “As the recent historic bank settlements have demonstrated, the big banks have robbed us all. And there is something we can do on the county level to protect the public from predatory banksters.”

She vowed, if she is elected as the county's recorder, to “conduct a foreclosure audit to see the true extent of the fraud problem to date in Mendocino County.” Sunbeam also said she would “scrutinize all new foreclosure documents for evidence of fraud and demand a clear chain of title before recording them.”

She continued, “The bank foreclosure-fraud debacle has left countless destroyed homeowners in its wake, and there are still many more Mendocino County homeowners ... struggling to save their homes.”

Ranochak responded briefly to Sunbeam's campaign promises Thursday.

“The county recorder has no investigative authority,” she said, adding that the issue of fraudulent foreclosures comes up frequently in her office. “If someone comes to us and says there was a fraudulent document, we ask them to provide the document and instruct them to contact the District Attorney's Office.”

It isn't the job, or the right, of the county recorder to investigate or determine the legal sufficiency of a foreclosure document, or any other document, as long as it meets the criteria set out in a binder in her office full of requirements each type of document must meet, according to Ranochak.

“That's a job for an attorney or a judge,” she said.

Ranochak says her job is simply to record the documents as required under state law, which says, “The county recorder shall not refuse to record any instrument, paper or notice that is authorized or required by statute, court order or local ordinance that relates to the recordation of any instrument, paper or notice that relates to real property to be recorded on the basis of its lack of legal sufficiency.”

Ranochak was appointed in January 2008 to serve the remaining three years of the four-year term of her predecessor Marsha Wharff. She ran unopposed in 2010, and began her current term in 2011. As of July 1, she will have worked 30 years in the Mendocino County Assessor-Clerk-Recorder's Office.

“I like to think I've served the public well in almost 30 years of service,” Ranochak said. “I'm committed to serving the public in the next four years, and I certainly appreciate their vote.”

The 2014 June Primary will be Sunbeam's first time running for office, according to her Monday statement. She has worked for the last 10 years as a school nurse at River Oak Charter School, in the Windsor Unified School District and in Santa Rosa City schools.

Sunbeam earned her degree in community health nursing, with a minor in administration, at University of California San Francisco in 1993. Her master's thesis was a business plan for a rural, nurse-run clinic.

She served as treasurer for the River Oak Charter School Education Foundation and for the Move to Amend Coalition of Mendocino County, which led the charge for Measure F in November 2012. The advisory measure calling for an end to corporate personhood, passed with almost 75 percent of the vote.

In other local election news, Mendocino County Auditor-Controller Meredith Ford did not file for re-election, and Assistant Auditor-Controller Lloyd Weer is running for the position unopposed.

Also running for re-election without opposition are District Attorney David Eyster, Sheriff Tom Allman, Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Schapmire and 5th District Supervisor Dan Hamburg.

Four candidates remain in the race to fill the 3rd District seat on the county Board of Supervisors, including Willits Mayor Holly Madrigal, real estate broker Tom Woodhouse, small-business owner Clay Romero and retiree Hal Wagenet. Incumbent John Pinches is not running for re-election, and former candidate Mike Tobin withdrew from the race.

Recently appointed Mendocino County Superior Court judges Jeanine Nadel and David Riemenschneider are running for election unopposed. Incumbent judge John Behnke also runs for re-election unopposed.

Local measures to go before voters include Measure K for a Brooktrails fire tax increase, Measure L for a $4 million bond measure for the Round Valley Unified School District, and Measure N for a $10 million bond for the Southern Humboldt Joint Unified School District.

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ON MARCH 7, 2014, at about 9:31pm Sheriff’s Deputies received a radio call for service to conduct a welfare check on a male juvenile in the custody and care of the suspect Harold Casebolt, 51, of Fort Bragg. The reporting party informed Deputies that Casebolt was potentially molesting the male juvenile. On 03/08/2014 at approximately 12:05 A.M., Deputies responded to the Simpson Lane residence and contacted Casebolt and the male juvenile. During that contact Deputies entered Casebolt’s residence and observed a pornographic movie playing on a television, along with sexual type instruments and marijuana lying about in plain view. Based on the Deputies observations, the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau was notified and responded to assist in the investigation. During that investigation, Detectives learned that the male juvenile had been in Casebolt’s care for just over 1-month. Detectives learned that Casebolt and the male juvenile were both presently under the influence of methamphetamine and that the male juvenile had been using methamphetamine and marijuana obtained from Casebolt. Deputies learned that Casebolt allowed and watched pornographic movies together with the male juvenile and that Casebolt had repeatedly and inappropriately touched the male juvenile while both slept in the same bed. Casebolt was arrested at the scene and subsequently transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he is being held in lieu of bail set at $75,000. (Sheriff’s Press Release)

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ANOTHER INLAND MENDO PERV, with implications of internet pornography, has been arrested. A third suspect is now linked to a Talmage couple charged with sexually abusing their five children. There's this one, and another ghastly case out of Willits we'll get to tomorrow.


AT THE BOONVILLE ROAD home of Walter Jesse Creed, 47, police have found “a large amount of child pornography,” and, police say, back in January, a young woman told police that her Talmage-based parents had not only repeatedly molested her themselves from the time she was 4 until she was 11 years old, they had allowed other adults, including Creed, to sexually violate her, too.

DONALD Dunakin, 61, and his girlfriend, Ina Selene Medina, 47, are the parents of the girl. They were arrested in January at their Talmage home on an array of mega-perv charges, including torture and sexual assault. Their five children have been placed in foster homes.

Dunakin, Medina
Dunakin, Medina

ACCORDING to the Sheriff's Office, Creed met Dunakin and Medina through online chat rooms. Creed lives on the Ukiah end of the Boonville Road, by the way, not that the Mendocino Coast hasn't had its share of child predators.

THE DEBAUCHING of children on the scale we now see, seems to have commenced in Mendocino County with the late sixties advent of Do Your Own Thing-ism, a subset of which was the sexual exploitation of children. You'd hear the rumors, but there were few arrests, so maybe, hopefully, it wasn't as widespread as was often suspected.

THE INFAMOUS Tree Frog Johnson and Kenneth Parnell, were the best known of the local degenerates whose crimes were so spectacular they continue to draw international attention. I don't think Jim Jones raped children but he certainly beat them.

PARNELL, to give you an idea of what those times were like, was able to enroll the child he'd kidnapped in Modesto, Steven Staynor, in schools in Point Arena and Mendocino with not a single person in authority making any effort to determine Parnell's relationship to the boy.

TREE FROG JOHNSON, who is black, appeared in Boonville in the middle 1970s with a small white boy named Alex Cabarga. The boy's Berkeley mother had turned her son over to Frog because she said Frog was the coolest man she knew and would be a good role model for the boy. Which also gives you some idea of the prevailing psycho-social vibe in those years. Frog molested quite a number of Boonville hippie kids before it occurred to the first-wave stoners that he was not a wholesome person.

(HISTORICAL FACT: In Boonville, Tree Frog lived on the Redwood Ridge property of Supervisor-to-be, David Colfax. Colfax always insisted he didn't know Frog was a criminal predator, and I believe him. It was the times. Weirdness was everywhere.)

WHAT DID THE BOONVILLE hippies do when they found out there was a monster in their midst? Of course they couldn't go to The Man, so they “shunned” Frog down the road to Albion where, natch, Frog attached himself to the hippies at the Whale School where he molested their children.

MAYBE the Albion dings finally “shunned” Frog, too, but the next we heard of him, Frog had kidnapped a female child as an age-inappropriate mate for the boy he'd come to Boonville with, the unfortunate Cabarga. Bay Area police soon nailed Frog and that was the end of him, buried deep forever in the state prison system.

THE CABARGA KID, who'd spent his formative years with this monster, managed to survive the experience, which included a long stay in prison and, I'm told, lives a normal life in San Francisco.

I ONLY had one experience with Tree Frog. I'd seen him around Boonville on an undersize motorcycle, the little boy riding pillion, one more odd visual consistent with the times. A friend had given me a step-van he'd outfitted like a camper much like the one Frog was eventually captured in by the Frisco police. The van was much more high maintenance than I had the patience or the resources for, so I placed a for sale ad in the beloved community newspaper, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which was even more beloved at the time because I still hadn't bought it.

FROG, accompanied by a long-hair I knew, soon appeared. The long-hair did all the talking as Frog walked around the vehicle kicking the tires and peering under the hood. Whenever I addressed the guy, he looked to the long-hair like he needed a translator. I thought maybe Frog was deaf or otherwise language-impaired. Frog didn't buy the thing, fortunately for me, because he was arrested in a step-van identical to mine right down to the exterior paint.

THE NEXT TIME I saw the long-hair I asked him, “What's the deal with that guy you brought by to look at my van? How come he doesn't talk.” The long-hair explained, “Oh, he just doesn't like straight people.”

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A READER WRITES: Enjoyed your discussion of taxes in the March 14 MCT. A minor correction: the top tax bracket in 1950 was for individuals making over $200,000 ($400k for married couples). Income over that threshold was taxed at 91%.


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ON-LINE COMMENT of the day, re Bill Gates' denunciation of Edward Snowden: “I can understand why Gates is down on Snowden. Silicon Valley companies, including Microsoft, are deeply invested in the surveillance economy. That's where they've reaped huge profits as the PC market tanked in the consumer economy as many people switched to smartphones and pads for casual web viewing. If the citizens of the United States learn about how much has been spent capturing their texts and nude webcam indulgences in the name of 'national security", they'd be furious — and companies like Microsoft would lose lots of money. The truth is Gates never really left Microsoft. The new CEO is just a proxy for the old guard. And everything he does is based on one thing — protecting his assets. Holding out the promise of spending some of it (and sometimes even doing so) is buying influence and obedience, just as a dog owner holds out a treat to a dog, but only if he begs for it. The fundamentals didn't change — just the image.

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What we used to do is handle poor people locally. (Let's put the mental cases aside.) It used to be there was direct local interaction between the needy and the poor. It used to be individual families took in orphans. Orphans were generally children whose parents were unable to take care of them. There was a tradition of families taking in orphans that went back to the Mayflower. Remember “Little Orphan Annie"? We also had orphanages. Most of the orphanages were run by churches. The Catholic Church was big on it. There was accountability in local involvement because locally people wanted their money spent on programs that worked because dysfunctional adults were also a local burden. There is a long history of orphans in America growing up to be successful adults.

Why were parents unable to take care of their children? Because they did not have enough money to. Also, these parents were drunks, or otherwise dysfunctional as parents. Remember Huckleberry Finn's father, a redneck alcoholic. Remember who was supposed to take care of Huck, the Widow Douglas. Mark Twain is writing about the way it was.

Orphans had it rough. They were often taken advantage of. But that being said, orphans were better then than the welfare system treats children today. That is because the welfare system is no substitute for a dysfunctional family. The welfare system is no substitute for community involvement. Orphans in America past had a better opportunity because they had a better chance to learn what a child needs to learn to succeed. The central government system will never do this. I should not say never because some of these children are rescued by going into the military. The central government welfare system is more likely to prepare a person for prison than a successful life. The more money that goes into the system the worse it gets.

There has been a long history of local people taking care of adults who had limited abilities. When I first came to Comptche, single men lived in simple shacks on people's properties and were “caretakers.” That all went away. It is not even legal. I remember all these single men were drunks. Most did not drive. They did not hurt anyone, they had a place to stay, and if they needed to see a doctor they were driven. These men worked for people doing chores. They also got some money from the county. So where are these guys today?

What has happened to community involvement? We traded local community involvement with the poor, for a welfare check, food stamps, housing vouchers, Medicaid, etc. The poor are now “not my problem.” Just look at San Francisco and every city in the US where economic inequality is the most. The top ten cities, by the way, where inequality is the greatest in the US, are heavily Democrat, and very liberal. This is not a “right wing” phenomena. OK, ask liberal citizens of any of these cities what to do for the poor. They will say give the poor more money, and tax someone else. There is no desire to get personally involved. People today are more likely to take in a stray dog than a stray kid. That is the problem. Nancy Pelosi is going to cry the blues about inequality but she and her fellow liberals are not going to do anything to seriously address the issue. Throwing money at the poor is throwing crumbs. Look at the schools. Do liberals send their children to dysfunctional public schools? Of course not. But do they try to fix the problem? In fact they support the status quo. Wealth is knowledge. It starts at home, but it also requires a formal education.

What our central government welfare system has also done is alienate the poor from the rest of society. The poor are treated more like pets not like citizens. Also if a person wants to do something, good luck. The system prevents meaningful personal involvement. Ask our favorite supervisor about his experience.

Mental health needs to be looked at with a historical perspective. Mentally ill people have never been treated well. Even when we had mental institutions, we had mental health practitioners practicing eugenics, performing frontal lobotomies, giving people electro shock therapy, etc. Substance abusers were often lumped into the mix with people who had more complex issues. Do we need mental health institutions? Yes we do. But how is this done? It is an easy thing to talk about and blame people about, but how do the mentally ill get proper care without the abuse? How do we determine who needs to be there? In my opinion, every substance abusing homeless person needs to be there. That is easy to say; the system needs to be much better than it was. People suffering from severe psychosis need to be there. That is also easy to say. But how is this to work? Again, this will work better locally than by the hand of the central government. Will it be perfect? No, not by any means. But it is local people who have to deal with mental illness, and it is local people who pay the price.

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IN FEBRUARY OF 2014, Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives with assistance from the Willits Police Department, Yuba City Police Department, and Mendocino County District Attorney's Office opened a joint investigation related to the sexual abuse of a child. Sheriff's Detectives learned that from 2005 to 2006, Jacqueline Vanbezooyen, 48, of Willits, had allowed and even facilitated the sexual abuse of a family member, under the age of 11. The sexual abuse was alleged to have occurred in the jurisdiction of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the Willits Police Department.

Griswould, VanBeZooyen
Griswould, VanBeZooyen

Sheriff's Detectives learned that Vanbezooyen's boyfriend at the time, Charles Griswould, 68, of Spring City, Utah, had been allowed to sexually abuse Vanbezooyen's family member while Vanbezooyen performed sex acts on Griswould. On 3-13-14 at 1000 hours Sheriff's Detectives took Vanbezooyen into custody after obtaining a warrant for her arrest. She was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a minor and a single count of child endangerment. Vanbezooyen's bail was set at $400,000. During the course of this investigation Sheriff's Detectives learned that Griswould had moved to Spring City Utah years earlier. Sheriff's Detectives coordinated with the Sanpete/Juab County Major Crimes Task Force to execute a search warrant on Griswould's residence. On 3-13-14 at 2000 hours (Mountain Time) investigators from the Sanpete/Juab County Major Crimes Task Force took Griswould into custody on an active warrant for his arrest out of Mendocino County. The charges on the warrant included two counts of continuous abuse of a child with a bail of $400,000. Griswould was booked into the jail in Manti Utah where he will await extradition to Mendocino County. Sheriff's Detectives learned during this investigation that Vanbezooyen had spent many years providing daycare services in Mendocino County. Thus far it is believed that the sexual abuse was isolated to the family member. Anyone with additional information into this case is asked to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at (707)234-2100. (Sheriff’s Press Release)

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A LITTLE LATE RAIN falls on Mendocino County, the lakes and ponds fill up, our outback governments suggest by their actions that the drought has ended. Well, half-ended. For now. Or isn't likely to re-commence until next winter, which may or may not be as dry as the last three winters.

THE WILLITS CITY COUNCIL has voted 4 to 1 to reduce the Willits water emergency level from Phase V to Phase IV, effective now, meaning a 25% cut for commercial and industrial users and a 200 gallon per day maximum residential use.

WILLITS’s two reservoirs presently contain 1,249 acre feet of water, “enough,” according the usual timely reporting by Linda Williams of The Willits News, “water to supply city customers for at least a year at 2012 normal usage rates.”

THE DANGER in a deceptively lush supply in another dry year is as Supervisor Pinches characterizes Mendocino County's water strategies: "When it rains everyone says we've got plenty of water. When it doesn't rain everyone says, 'What are going to do now?'"

PINCHES thinks we should develop and store more water on the assumption that there are going to be dry years, or long periods of dry years. We'll know by September if we're as flush as the City of Willits seems to think we are.

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On March 13, 2014 at approximately 11:00 am, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were on routine patrol in the 900 Block of E. School Way in Redwood Valley, Ca., when they observed a blue Chevrolet pick up traveling east bound that had an expired registration sticker on it (Nov. 2013), in violation of 4000(a) of the California Vehicle Code. Deputies conducted a traffic stop and contacted the driver who identified himself as Tony Morfin, 43, of Ukiah. As Deputies spoke to Morfin they could see that his hands were shaking and he was acting very nervous. Deputies could also smell the odor of marijuana coming from the cab of the pick up truck. Deputies conducted a search of the truck and located a glass pipe used for smoking methamphetamine, along with a small amount of methamphetamine and a small amount of marijuana bud. As Deputies continued the search they located a back pack behind the pick up seat that contained approximately $60,000 in U.S. currency in misc. denominations. In a lock box in the bed of the truck Deputies located an additional 2-3 pounds of processed bud marijuana that was packaged for sale. Morfin was arrested and while attempting to handcuff him he resisted arrest by pulling away. Morfin was secured and handcuffed without further incident. He was transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the above listed charges and his bail was set at $20,000. (Sheriff’s Press Release)

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by Dan Bacher

A broad coalition of conservation groups and American Indian Tribes on January 26 sued the Obama administration for failing to protect thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions from U.S. Navy warfare training exercises along the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

Earthjustice, representing the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the San Juans, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and People For Puget Sound, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s approval of the Navy’s training activities in its Northwest Training Range Complex.

“The lawsuit calls on the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to mitigate anticipated harm to marine mammals and biologically critical areas within the training range that stretches from Northern California to the Canadian border,” according to a statement from Earthjustice.

“These training exercises will harm dozens of protected species of marine mammals—southern resident killer whales, blue whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises—through the use of high-intensity mid-frequency sonar,” said Steve Mashuda, an Earthjustice attorney representing the groups. “The Fisheries Service fell down on the job and failed to require the Navy to take reasonable and effective actions to protect them.”

The groups said the Navy uses a vast area of the West Coast for training activities, including anti-submarine warfare exercises involving tracking aircraft and sonar; surface-to-air gunnery and missile exercises; air-to-surface bombing exercises; sink exercises; and extensive testing for several new weapons systems.

Tribes say exercises will hurt traditional cultural lifeways, whales

“Since the beginning of time, the Sinkyone Council’s member Tribes have gathered, harvested and fished for traditional cultural marine resources in this area, and they continue to carry out these subsistence ways of life, and their ceremonial activities along this Tribal ancestral coastline,” said Priscilla Hunter, chairwoman and co-founder of the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council. “Our traditional cultural lifeways, and our relatives such as the whales and many other species, will be negatively and permanently impacted by the Navy’s activities.”

“Both NMFS and the Navy have failed in their obligations to conduct government-to-government consultation with the Sinkyone Council and its member Tribes regarding project impacts,” Hunter emphasized.

Founded in 1986, the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, is a California Indian peoples’ environmental consortium working to re-establish local Indian stewardship within the Sinkyone region of Northern California through land conservation, habitat restoration, and traditional resource management.

The member tribes of the Council are: the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians; Redwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians; Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians; Hopland Band of Pomo Indians; Potter Valley Band of Pomo Indians; Pinoleville Band of Pomo Indians; Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians; Robinson Rancheria; the Cahto Tribe and the Round Valley Indian Tribes.

In late 2010, NMFS gave the Navy a permit for five years of expanded naval activity that the groups said will harm or “take” marine mammals and other sealife. The permit allows the Navy to conduct increased training exercises that can harm marine mammals and disrupt their migration, nursing, breeding, or feeding, primarily as a result of harassment through exposure to the use of sonar.

High intensity sonar results in marine mammal strandings

Navy’s mid-frequency sonar has been implicated in mass strandings of marine mammals in, among other places, the Bahamas, Greece, the Canary Islands, and Spain, according to the conservation groups and Tribes.

In 2004, during war games near Hawai’i, the Navy’s sonar was implicated in a mass beaching of up to 200 melon-headed whales in Hanalei Bay.

In 2003, the USS Shoup, operating in Washington’s Haro Strait, exposed a group of endangered Southern Resident killer whales to mid-frequency sonar, causing the animals to stop feeding and attempt to flee the sound.

“In 2003, NMFS learned firsthand the harmful impacts of Navy sonar in Washington waters when active sonar blasts distressed members of J pod, one of our resident pods of endangered orcas,” said Kyle Loring, Staff Attorney for Friends of the San Juans. “Given this history, it is particularly distressing that NMFS approved the Navy’s use of deafening noises in areas where whales and dolphins use their acute hearing to feed, navigate, and raise their young, even in designated sanctuaries and marine reserves.”

“Whales and other marine mammals don’t stand a chance against the Navy,” summed up Miyoko Sakashita, Oceans Director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Navy’s mitigation plan for sonar use relies primarily on visual detection of whales or other marine mammals by so-called “ watch-standers” with binoculars on the decks of ships. If mammals are seen in the vicinity of an exercise, the Navy is to cease sonar use.

“Visual detection can miss anywhere from 25–95% of the marine mammals in an area,” said Heather Trim, Director of Policy for People For Puget Sound. “It’s particularly unreliable in rough seas or in bad weather. We learn more every day about where whales and other mammals are most likely to be found—we want NMFS to put that knowledge to use to ensure that the Navy’s training avoids those areas when marine mammals are most likely there.”

The litigation is not intended to halt the Navy’s exercises, but asks the Court to require NMFS to reassess the permits using the latest science and to order the Navy to stay out of biologically critical areas at least at certain times of the year.

A US Navy spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit, while a National Marine Fisheries Service spokesperson said the agency has not yet received any information on the suit.

Killer whales threatened by both Navy training and water exports

Marcie Keever of Friends of the Earth pointed out the dramatic impact that the Navy exercises could have upon endangered southern resident killer whales (orcas).

“It has become increasingly clear from recent research that the endangered southern resident killer whale community uses coastal waters within the Navy’s training range to find salmon during the fall and winter months,” said Keever. “NMFS has failed in its duty to assure that the Navy is not pushing the whales closer to extinction.”

The killer whales face a double threat now: Navy sonar testing and increased water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. A NOAA Fisheries biological opinion released on June 4, 2009 found that water pumping operations in the Central Valley by the federal Bureau of Reclamation jeopardize the continued existence of imperiled Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River chinook salmon, Delta smelt, green sturgeon and southern resident killer whales, which rely on chinook salmon runs for food.

For the press release, the full complaint and a fact sheet, go to:


I have reserved the Library for a U.S. Navy action presentation Saturday between 4:30 — 6:30 P.M. about the whales. There are several issues that have just turned up on this issue that everyone needs to know.

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POLICE REPORTS for Friday, March 14, 2014

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.


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.

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