- Wind Fan Letter
- Lake Mendocino Up
- KZYX Down
- High School Expulsion
- SF Politics
- Fire Prevention Fee
- Ukiah Airport Stabbing
- AV Food News
- Grow Site Clean-up
- Last of the Lincoln Brigade
- Bears Crapping in the Forest
- Police Report
LETTER TO THE COMMUNTY REGARDING FROST PROTECTION & WIND FANS
MARCH 31, 2014 —
Dear Friends, Neighbors & Members of our Community,
Due to the severe California drought, a number of our local grape growers have installed wind machines to help mitigate the effects of spring frost and to conserve our very limited water resources.
We have discussed this recent change with many of our neighbors throughout Anderson Valley, and we sincerely apologize for the noise that these fans create. As members of the community, we wish to be both good neighbors and responsible stewards of the land by minimizing water usage during the drought. However, we realize that sometimes these two efforts can come into conflict.
Local grape growers and vineyard owners have met to address the issue, and we hope this document can provide some clarification on why we use frost fans, what we are doing to help minimize the disturbance to fellow residents and what can be done in all our homes to minimize the effects of noise.
Why Wind Machines Are Used In Agriculture
Wind machines are used all over the world to protect crops from frost, from avocado groves in Chile to green tea fields in Korea and kiwi groves in New Zealand. Wind machines protect agricultural crops by pulling down warmer air above, in the inversion layer, and circulating it amongst the plants or vines below, where the cold air settles.
Mendocino County is the only county in California to require a permit for the installation of wind machines. They take into account placement, noise and need when considering the application.
The benefits of wind machines include:
• no water usage, particularly during low flow/drought years
• cleaner fuels like propane are used to operate most fans
• farmers can continue with their fish-friendly farming and other conservation programs; in low water years fans are needed to avoid using water resources and protect the watershed
The drawbacks of wind machines include:
• fuel usage
• wind machines only protect to 28 degrees; below this temperature farmers should expect light to severe crop loss due to frost
• wind machines must be turned on before freezing temperatures occur, otherwise there is no warm air layer to circulate
Our Weather In Anderson Valley
Due to the geographical features of the Anderson Val¬ley, there are many inversion layers created in the coldest spots, often near rivers or streams. The variety of micro-climates in the Valley is vast, and some areas can be colder than others, even when vineyards are literally next door to each other. Often our coldest hours are around 7‐8 a.m.
Fans are most often placed near the coldest spots, and temperatures measured near the fans (to regulate the on and off times) often measure much lower than household thermometers placed next to buildings, landscaping or higher in elevation.
Crop loss due to frost is not uncommon in the Anderson Valley, especially in those areas where cold air pools. In 2008, approximately 40% of the local grape crop was lost to frost. Several subsequent years have also marked crop loss among certain vineyards. Farmers of every kind in the Valley operate with the knowledge that they may lose part of their harvest to freezing tempera¬tures.
However, this risk only occurs with grapevines for a few months in the spring, when the grapevines awake from their winter dormancy. With each passing day, the risk of frost decreases and frost events after April 30 are unlikely. Frosts during other seasons are not typically damaging, so frost protection machines sit idle for the majority of the growing year.
Overhead sprinklers are the most effective and quietest way to protect the vines from frost. Sprinklers can be turned on at lower temperatures, later in the morning, and turned off sooner than fans. They protect down to 26 degrees, versus the 28 degrees for most frost fans. How¬ever, with the aim to conserve water, the best viable alternative to sprinklers is wind machines. Methods commonly used for household gardens do not typically work well for commercial vineyards.
Many of the new wind machines in the valley are rented and will be returned after the frost season has passed. With adequate rainfall next year, the fans will not be needed.
What Local Grape Growers Are Doing Now
Best Management Practices:
The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association has crafted a best management practices document to guide the placement, usage and monitoring of wind machines, including efforts to minimize noise. For example, in this document is the stipulation that wind machine owners will not turn on their fans until temperatures reach at least 35 degrees and will turn them off by 37 degrees.
Every grape grower with a wind machine in the Anderson Valley will sign this document. The BMP can be found on the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Associa¬tion home page at www.avwines.com. We encourage all our neighbors to download and review it.
For more technical information about frost, check out this document:
We have established a hotline number 707-901‐7441 for our neighbors to call with comments and concerns. After leaving a message with your address at the hotline number, the wind machine owner nearest your property or a representative from your immediate area (Boonville, Philo or Navarro) will return your call within 24 hours.
How To Mitigate The Effects In Your Household
There are a few simple things can be done to offset noise:
• Close all windows, blinds and interior doors in your home
• Use a white noise machine or obtain a free white noise app for your smart phone or tablet. Most white noise apps can be downloaded in a few minutes, with no cost
• Turn on a house fan or place a small fan in a bedroom to create a similar background/ white noise
Management and employees at local vineyards have gone through training programs on how to most efficiently and considerately operate wind machines in regards to noise levels and fuel consumption. By learning how to better (and more quietly) use this new technology, we hope to continue to provide a livelihood to our employees, their families and the many local businesses who depend upon us.
Sincerely, The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association
THE ABOVE UNAPPEASING letter from the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association is so unappeasing that it would have been wiser for the Association to simply say nothing. Or, gitchee-goo you bastards, try and stop us!
THE RAINS of the last week have raised the water level in Lake Mendocino enough that the reservoir is no longer expected to go dry in November, or earlier, according to Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation District Manager Sean White. The storm systems are expected to clear over the weekend when temperatures are expected to be in the 70s. Snow down to elevations of 3,000 feet are expected Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday morning.
KZYX REMAINS off the air. The station's website has posted this update:
(7:55 PM): One of the replacement units has a problem and must go back to the shop for repair (in Napa). We will not be able to get back on the air until Weds. Our sincere apologies.
First 91.7 went down Monday morning and then after 3 PM 90.7 went down. The "STL" unit up at Cold Springs that receives the signal from the Philo studio (which it then transmits on 90.7 and also goes over to 91.5) has failed. We are working to get a spare unit working as a temporary backup.
91.5 may have iced up Monday morning in the short but intense snow storm that hit. It is located on Laughlin Peak and even with a 4X4, it was too snowy to reach the transmitter building at the top. If it is ice on the antenna, it will come back of its own accord once it thaws. But you won't hear anything until we get 90.7 working.
LOTS OF PEOPLE are unhappy about a recent Boonville high school expulsion, but what choice did high school principal Hutchins and the School Board have? An on-campus dope transaction (honey oil, we understand) got two kids gone. Under previous loosey-goosey regimes, the crime almost certainly would have gone unsanctioned. But most people would agree schools should be drug free. Most people, we hope, would also agree that marijuana and marijuana-related derivatives should not be encouraged among the young. On the other hand, the expelled kid, from all accounts, is not a bad guy, and because he's 18 he'll now have a criminal record. And he won't graduate with his Anderson Valley classmates. That's a real sanction, and real sanctions apply in the real world beyond the unreality of high school. We wish it could have been worked out in a way that the boy wasn't denied graduation. The second party to the drug transaction, a 16-year-old, has been exiled to the continuation program at the Elementary School. On the face of it, the penalties seem uneven, but we don't know any of the particulars. Parents always have the right to appeal to the County School Board. Years ago, I was involved in an appeal of an expelled Fort Bragg kid who'd accidentally slashed another kid who'd been bullying him. The Fort Bragg kid was re-admitted to school when all the facts were thoroughly reviewed by the County School Board, which overturned the Fort Bragg school administration.
COMING SOON TO HBO, Shrimp Boy, An Inevitable San Francisco Scandal brought to you by America's political system.
“SAN FRANCISCO — State Sen. Leland Yee, a prominent figure in California's Democratic legislative majority, was arrested in a federal corruption investigation Wednesday along with an ostentatious gangster known as "Shrimp Boy" — who insisted that he had gone straight — and two dozen of their alleged associates. An affidavit filed in federal court in San Francisco by FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua said there was probable cause to believe that Yee had conducted wire fraud and had engaged in a conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and illegally import firearms.” … “The organized crime figure known as Shrimp Boy, whose name is Raymond Chow, identifies himself as the ‘dragon head’ of that Freemason organization on his Facebook page. The indictment says that Chow, 54, whose criminal history includes racketeering and robbery, has a position of ‘supreme authority’ in the Triad, an international organized crime group.” (Los Angeles Times)
WITH ELECTED government at all levels for sale, our political class, or the poorer sectors of it, resort to the cruder forms of bribery. The richer sectors, and in SF that means the Feinstein-Willie Brown-Pelosi-Rose Pak Axis, don't have to resort to criminal schemes to fund raise; they simply go to big time capital and, in return, well, you know the rest. Senator Yee, incidentally, and Shrimp Boy, have never been included in the Brown-Feinstein-Pak apparatus.
FRISCO, of course, can be depended on to bring some uniquely florid touches to what any other place would be the usual story of a career officeholder of one party or the other reaching into pockets beyond “the strict donor reporting and accountability standards” overseen by — guess who? — political appointees.
BUT IN THIS ONE, the FBI is alleging China-based organized crime, murder for hire, gun running, cargo hijacking, and, natch, drugs and prostitution. Or as the Chron put it, “underage prostitution,” conjuring up images of 19th century Chinatown slave girls. It took the G-Men five years to make the case, although reading the on-line indictments it all seems awfully thin, especially for five years work the FBI says it put in on it.
BY THE WAY, the October murders of Jim Tat Kong and Cindy Bao Feng Chen, who were found still seated in their van off Highway 20 near Fort Bragg dead of gunshots to the backs of their heads, has all the earmarks of a professional San Francisco criminal hit. Neither victim had ties to Mendocino County. Both were well-to-do, their murders inexplicable in the way certain Asian murders in the SF Bay Area seem inexplicable. They go like this: An ostensibly respectable person will be shot and killed in his garage in a good neighborhood in what seems like your basic senseless, random shooting. But nobody heard the shot, and it's always just one, and friends and relatives will say they're absolutely mystified. The hit will turn out to be gambling-related if it's a murder of a respectable person. The murders of Jim Tat Kong and Bao Feng Chen remain under investigation, an investigation that is partly federal.
ONE OF THE ALLEGATIONS against Yee is that he was arranging arms sales and importation through a captain in the Army of the Phillipines. Huh? This one defies common sense, and these guys aren't stupid. You mean to say that in return for a bunch of cash Yee's guy will buy military weapons in the Philippines and arrange for them to be smuggled in through New Jersey ports? The senator would have much simpler access to money without leaving San Francisco.
OR SACRAMENTO, as per this howler in Tuesday's SF Chronicle: "Hours after FBI agents finished a raid on state Sen. Leland Yee's office in the state capitol on Wednesday, lawmakers emerged from the stately building to attend numerous campaign fundraisers around town. The fundraisers, typical at this time of year, are where lawmakers raise thousands of dollars for their future campaigns - with much of the money donated by groups or individuals with pending business before the Legislature."
WHAT DO YOU suppose the odds are that any of this will change short of revolution?
LIVING IN THE HILLS IS GONNA COST YA. As the State's Fire Prevention Fee continues to be collected from the state's hill muffins, hill muffins defined here as the millions of people living beyond urban or suburban services, CalFire is providing property owners multiple resources to answer their questions about the fee which, as we know, isn't exactly Pay or Burn, but the next best thing. Under the law, the Board of Equalization is responsible for collecting it. The bills scheduled for mailing this spring are for Fiscal Year 2013/14, which includes July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. The fee applies to the homeowner of record as of July 1, 2013, for all habitable structures defined as, well, far and away into the outback.
A MAN STABBED TWICE IN HIS TORSO near the Ukiah Municipal Airport early Tuesday morning made his way to a phone at a nearby bus stop to call for help. At around 4:30am, the man called from the bus stop near the airport to report being stabbed in the area of Laws Avenue. The man, whose name was not disclosed, was being treated late Tuesday morning for injuries at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. The injuries are not life-threatening. Detectives were talking to the man at the hospital, trying to learn more about what happened. They have not yet made an arrest or named a suspect in the stabbing, nor have they determined what caused the stabbing. “We're still trying to figure things out at this point,” Caudillo said.
AV FOODSHED FOOD HIGHLIGHTS FOR APRIL.
The Boonville Winter Market will continue through the end of April in front of the Boonville General Store, 11 - 1, rain or shine. Watch for the opening of the summer Boonville Farmers’ Market at the Boonville Hotel in May.
Now is a great time to sign up for a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) farm! Check out the CSA Directory in the Mendocino County Local Food Guide for a CSA to join near you. http://www.mendocinolocalfood.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=95:csa-directory&catid=41:buy-local-food&Itemid=83
The county-wide MENDOCINO CSA FARM TOURS continue through April 2014!
Engage with Local Food & Farms. Gain a deeper relationship with the farmers & land that feed our community.
Farm tours are FREE and open to the public. You must RSVP the farms if you plan to attend.
Sunday, April 6, 1pm - 4pm
Lovin' Mama Farm, Potter Valley
Vegetables, herbs & flowers CSA Shares
Taste farm-fresh appetizers & walk the fields
RSVP & directions: firstname.lastname@example.org (707) 490-5485
Saturday, April 12, 2pm - 4pm
Live Power Community Farm, Covelo
Vegetable CSA Shares plus add-ons from other local farms
Draft horse tillage demo & talk on biodynamics
RSVP & directions: email@example.com (707) 983-8196
Saturday, April 26, 3pm - 5pm
The Corn Crib & Mendocino Organics, Redwood Valley
Corn & pork CSA Shares
Corn shelling demo, gardens & animals
RSVP & directions: firstname.lastname@example.org (707) 272-2711
Sunday, April 27, 11am - 2pm
Anderson Valley Community Farm, Boonville
Eggs, poultry, pork & lamb CSA Shares, Limited Vegetable CSA Shares
Visit with goat kids & help herd the sheep flock
RSVP & directions: email@example.com (707) 391-9422
Find all the details here: http://mendocinocsafarmtours.wordpress.com/
The monthly AV Solar Grange Pancake Breakfast will be Sunday April 13, 8:30 - 11, at the AV Grange in Philo.
There will be no AV Foodshed Third Sunday event due to Easter. See you in May.
EEL RIVER RECOVERY PROJECT AIDS BLM IN CLEANING UP GROW SITE
Fourteen Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) volunteers, with support from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arcata Field Office staff and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, cleaned up trash and other trespass marijuana grow materials from the headwaters of Big Dann Creek on Friday, February 21.Big Dann Creek is an important source of clean water for the South Fork Eel River and is on BLM land just outside of the Red Mountain Wilderness. This project is just the first part of a larger ERRP effort to clean up all such grows in Eel River Wilderness Areas over the next five years. The clean up included two adjacent grow sites that had an extensive water diversion system, with six water diversions on four branches of the creek.A 750 gallon pool created by damming the creek with black plastic liner for the purpose of diversion was removed and unimpeded stream to return to the channel.One and one half cubic yards of nutrient rich potting soil and approximately two miles of black poly-pipe were transferred to vehicles at the trail head and taken for recycling.Six cubic yards of trash, including rodenticide were removed.
February 21, 2014. On February 21, ERRP volunteers from Mendocino and Humboldt County communities were briefed on potential hazards of the hike and clean up, and then proceeded to the site. Several team members did outstanding service collecting the materials, while others focused on shuttling loads of trash back to the trucks. Another group dispersed to the various stream branches through heavy brush to find and retrieve the lengths of pipe and hose, and take out the diversion dam.ERRP volunteer Dotti Russell from Phillipsville said "The success of our one-day efforts was amazing, especially considering the terrain and the amount of garbage and pipe that we needed to get out of the woods."
ERRP Volunteer Coordinator Pat Higgins said "The community wants to make public lands within the Eel River watershed safe for hiking and recreating and fully functional as sources of clean water and refuge areas for aquatic and terrestrial animals.Because industrial marijuana grows compromise these uses, we will be working with local communities and BLM and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to clean up all such grows in Eel River basin Wilderness Areas. "The strategy is not to interfere with active growing sites, but rather to take growing infrastructure out during winter when sites are dormant, which discourages continued growing at the same site. The clean up effort was preceded by several months of planning and coordination with BLM staff and the Mendocino County Sheriffs Office.ERRP volunteer support, field reconnaissance, and agency coordination for this project were funded through a Rose Foundation California Wildlands grant and with help from the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation.More grow sites have been identified and BLM has requested that ERRP continue to supply more volunteers to clean up additional sites in April. Call 223-7200 if you want to volunteer. ERRP is a grassroots group, which operates under the fiscal umbrella of the Trees Foundation in Garberville, and works with the community to identify problems and obtains resources to solve them. While ERRP is trying to raise additional funds from foundations for volunteer coordination and support, contributions from private donors for Wilderness clean up can be sent to Trees Foundation, P.O. Box2202, Redway, CA 95560 (please put "ERRP Wilderness" on checks).See www.eelriverrecovery.org for more information about this effort and to donate on-line.
DEATH OF LINCOLN BRIGADER JOHN HOVAN
As I am sure many of you know already, John George Hovan, a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, died on Thursday, March 27 in a Providence, Rhode Island hospital. "The Lincolns" fought in Spain against fascism in the 1930s civil war there. This leaves Delmer Berg, of Columbia, California, as now the last known surviving member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. All Lincolns are Honorary Members of Veterans For Peace. Del is in very good health and speaks regularly with one of my friends over the phone - so I get up-dated often. I recently sent him (for a late Birthday present [his 98th birthday was December 20, 2013]) a folder containing color photocopies of my Father's collection of post cards which are reproductions of Republican posters from the Spanish Civil War. 17 in all, only one in Spanish, the other 16 in Catalan. I included the Catalan with English translations. I added information on my volunteer work fundraising for Veterans For Peace for their humanitarian projects in Viet Nam. I was NOT soliciting Del - my intention was just to inform & up-date him. HE SENT A PERSONAL CHECK FOR $100 for Vietnamese Agent-Orange victims, schools, orphanages, unexploded ordinance clearing, etc.!
Nadya Williams, San Francisco
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The Democrats are essentially beholden to unions; mainly public employees unions. The Republicans are beholden to industry and private lobbies, individuals. Asking either party to reform the rules of campaign financing is like asking bears not to crap in the forest. What you need is a binding independent commission to propose alternatives that are put to the voters as an initiative that bypasses the State Legislature and put into law. It would be worth while to do an analysis of how the state legislators voted on bills where union interests were involved. I'll bet there is the same pattern as with the business groups. And it is legal and a very fine line between "pay for play" or quid pro quo versus "play and then get paid". That is how the State legislators, city politicians, national politicians play the game. Makes Leland Yee look like a "honest" crooked politician. You get what you paid for.
POLICE CALLS AS OF WEDNESDAY MORNING
TRANSIENTS CAMPING -- Caller on Airport Park Boulevard reported at 10:10 a.m. Friday that transients had set up tents on the railroad tracks. An officer responded and the group left upon request.
CASH STOLEN -- Caller in the 700 block of East Gobbi Street reported at 1:44 p.m. Friday that cash had been stolen. An officer took a report.
CROSS-DRESSING SHOPLIFTER -- Caller at the Ukiah Senior Center on Leslie Street reported at 3:27 p.m. Friday that a man dressed as a woman stole a trench coat and a pearl necklace. An officer responded and took a report.
SHOPLIFTER -- An officer responded to Safeway on South State Street at 8:04 a.m. Friday and arrested a 36-year-old Ukiah woman for theft.
HUSBAND TRIED TO BREAK IN -- Caller on Donner Lane reported at 8:41 a.m. Friday that her husband tried to come in the front door and broke a side window. An officer responded and arrested Joel P. Skellet, 31, of Ukiah, on suspicion of domestic violence, resisting arrest and vandalism.
DRUNK IN ROAD -- An officer contacted an intoxicated person in the intersection of North State and Garrett streets at 1:45 a.m. Saturday and transported the person to Ukiah Valley Medical Center.
WOMAN YELLING -- Caller in the 700 block of South Oak Street reported at 10:20 a.m. Saturday that a woman was on the sidewalk, yelling. An officer responded and arrested the 47-year-old woman for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
DOG IN YARD -- Caller in the 300 block of Washington Avenue reported at 10:29 a.m. Saturday that a neighbor's dog was in his/her yard. An officer responded and returned the dog to its home.
BARKING DOG -- Caller on Betty Street reported at 10:42 a.m. Saturday having an ongoing issue with a barking dog in the area. An officer responded and contacted the owner.
LOOSE DOG -- An officer took a loose dog found in the 100 block of Gibson Street at 11:09 a.m. Saturday to the county animal shelter.
LOOSE DOG -- An officer took a loose dog found in the 500 block of North Oak Street at 11:32 a.m. Saturday to the county animal shelter.
LOOSE DOG -- An officer took a loose black-and-white dog found running loose in the 300 block of Washington Avenue Street at 11:44 a.m. Saturday to the county animal shelter.
ROBBERY -- Caller in the 300 block of North State Street reported a robbery at 10:50 p.m. Saturday. An officer took a report.
TRANSIENTS USING ELECTRICITY -- Caller in the 1300 block of South State Street reported at 8:33 a.m. Sunday that someone in a blue and white Vanagon had been parked there for four days and was plugged into the caller's electricity. An officer responded and the person left upon request.
LOUD DRUMS IN VAN -- Caller in the 600 block of Live Oak Avenue reported at 9:55 a.m. Sunday that loud drums were coming from a blue van, and the subjects had been hostile to the caller in the past. An officer responded and reported that the area was quiet, but the responsibles were contacted and advised.
PEOPLE SLEEPING IN VAN -- Caller in the 300 block of Clara Avenue reported at 11:10 a.m. Sunday that people were sleeping in a van with a U-Haul trailer behind it. An officer responded and advised them to move.