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Mendocino County Today: Friday, April 4, 2014

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GOLDENEYE WINERY Continues To Pump Out Of The Navarro After March 31st.


I made a late walk to the river on Thursday and found Goldeneye pumping away.


Whereas other non-riparian users as indicated in the letter from Roederer’s Arnaud Weyrich are shut off no matter what the flow on March 31, it seems that others get a pass. The river is green, not muddy, and flowing right now at about 950 cubic feet per second — but dropping fast. I suspect that the only criteria for the likes of Goldeneye is how much silt is in the water. Silt of course would challenge their drip systems. The riparian rights granted years and years ago to the larger (was it Peterson?) ranch and used by local owners for food agriculture has now been passed along to each of the smaller non-resident, corporate investors that own the parcels that the ranch was broken into and that are using the water to make a drug. I think our legislators need to look at the current picture and should limit non-domestic use for all water takers. The Navarro River and its tributaries comprise a public trust resource and we, the public, should demand more respect. Both the water taking and the noise are demeaning and offensive.

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ON TUESDAY, March 25 Mendocino County Superior Court Presiding Judge David Nelson told the Board of Supervisors that he knew the construction of a new judges-only courthouse where the unused rail depot now sits — that Judge Nelson has actively supported since its inception — would create lots of problems for the related elements of the County’s law enforcement staff. Judge Nelson added that the problem could be easily solved — if Mendocino County simply found millions of dollars to buy a neighboring parcel and construct another unnecessary new office building at County expense! As usual neither Board Chair John Pinches nor any of his colleagues could bring themselves to tell the judge that Nelson and his fellow robes were creating the problem, so the judges should be the ones to find money to solve the problem the judges are creating. There’s nothing really wrong with the existing courthouse with its existing set of offices for law enforcement staff that a little remodel/rehab couldn’t fix. But Judge Nelson actually thinks he was being helpful by suggesting to the County that County taxpayers pay to fix a problem that the judges created.

Here’s the audio clip of Nelson’s opening remarks:


AMAZINGLY, much later in the day, after Judge Nelson had departed, County CEO Carmel Angelo sort of went along with exploring the idea of having the County eat the cost of the judges’ unilateral decision:


AT THIS POINT AT LEAST SUPERVISOR PINCHES recognized that the Judges and the State should do something about the problem they created. After a few remarks about the abandoned idea from the 1990s of using the Brush Street Triangle north of Ukiah for a new expanded justice complex, Supervisor Pinches noted:


SUPERVISORS Dan Gjerde and Carre Brown expressed mild concerns about where the money was coming from, the County’s existing debt load and why the state didn’t seem to be including the County in the discussion of where the County staff would be located after the new courthouse was built. Then Supervisor Hamburg made a motion to authorize staff to explore property acquisition. (Supervisor McCowen was not in the room when the courthouse discussion took place.) And everybody said go ahead: Find out how much the judges are going to cost us.

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5TH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR, DAN HAMBURG, reinforced by friends and family, has been showing wealthy Chinese nationals around Mendocino County with a view to persuading them to invest in return for permanent residence in the United States. Hamburg has lived in China where he presided over an inn for visiting Americans.

CALLED THE EB-5 Investor Visa program, green cards for cash was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment. Investors who qualify for an EB-5 Immigrant Visa can obtain a US Permanent Residency (Green Card) and the same for their qualifying family members through investment in a US Business or Enterprise. Three specific investment schemes are laid out by the regulations, New Commercial Enterprise, Troubled Business and Regional Center investment.

New Commercial Enterprise:

• Investment in a new or existing US for-profit business.

• Minimum investment of $1 million US or $500,000 US if business is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) such as Mendocino County.

• Investment must be shown to create 10 direct or indirect full-time US jobs within two years.

• EB-5 Investor must have some form of management or control in business, which can be through voting rights established as a Limited Partner within a Limited Liability Corporation or voting rights or business policy formation in another business entity, i.e., Partnership, Corporation, Holding Company, etc.

THIS IS THE PITCH the Chinese are getting from China Dan: “Mendocino County offers vast investment opportunities in an area of California famous as a tourist destination based on its long established hospitality and arts industry, historical sites, breath taking views and natural beauty, and award-winning, world renowned wineries, restaurants, and inns.”

SO FAR, no takers.

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SALMON SEASON starts Saturday. They're supposed to be out there in large numbers, the trick always is finding them. According to the Chron's outdoors guy, Tom Stienstra, “The Sacramento River Index forecasts an ocean abundance of 634,650 adult salmon. An additional 300,000 salmon are forecast on California's north coast from the Klamath River Index. The season runs through early November, and this season is uninterrupted season since the short-term collapse of 2008 and 2009.”

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The KZYX Board election results:

District 4:

*Meg Courtney - 616

District 3:

*Jane Futcher - 458

Patricia Kovner - 271


*Paul Lambert - 310

Doug McKenty - 286

Tom Melcher - 145

King Collins – 23


Total number of ballots cast: 783. (Out of 2300 members for a voting percentage of only about one third.)

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THE NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY is Saturday, April 26th. A Take-Back Event is being held at the Fort Bragg Police Department on April 26 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. to provide a safe place to discard prescription drugs. The Fort Bragg Police Department is located at 250 Cypress Street. They will also accept used sharps at the Take-Back Event for safe disposal. (Eh, what's a sharp?)

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AS IF THE WEALTHY don't already own our political system, the Supreme Court has ensured that they'll own it forever, or until us everyday Americans wake up and take it back. Wednesday's 5-4 decision by the Supremes to impose no limits on how much money the rich can give their already wholly owned reps, moves US all the way into a permanent oligarchy.

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RECOMMENDED READING: Comedy of Terror by John Fremont. The author is a long-time resident of Fort Bragg, not that this is a 'homer' review because I really, really liked the book. It's a satire, a literary form always hard to bring off, and it's a satire rooted in our area of Northern California with a recognizable series of local characters of the type we all recognize. I was chuckling throughout at passages like this one:

"Maybe she'll know," Wally said, pointing to a sign beside a red-and-blue-striped tent where a Psychic to the Stars channeled dead celebrities every evening at six, except when the moon was in Libra. Inside the tent, a plump, ethereal woman of late middle age stood onstage, her left arm raised as if to shield her eyes from the sun, her right hand swept behind as if fanning a fart.

"Sssh," a patron cautioned. "She's channeling."

A phone rang, and the psychic to the stars took an instrument from her gown, covered the mouthpiece, and told the handful of patrons in the audience that Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy was on the line. "Who has a question for Jackie?"

"What's the square root of forty-five?" Joe shouted. He was ignored in favor of a silver-haired woman who inquired, "Tell me, Jackie, who was your true love? Was it Jack or Ari?"

Published by Cypress House, Comedy of Terror should be available at local bookstores, and is obtainable also, I'm sure, through Amazon.

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COMMENT OF THE DAY: “I am a PG&E employee and I know that much of the gross and criminal negligence of our top management is not made public. There are 20,000 PG&E employees who work every day to do the best job for our ratepayers and our communities while the very few at the very top work to farm out all our services to other corporations and become an employee-free corporation selling electricity and gas and reaping huge profits. Many of the facts of the San Bruno tragedy are yet unknown to the public and will, I believe, come out during a trial. I believe Peter Darbee and other top executives made conscious decisions to save money that cost people their lives and their homes. Thus they are guilty of criminal negligence and should be standing trial for that crime. Instead Darbee got tens of millions to leave the company.”

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having the low down blues and going

into a restaurant to eat.

you sit at a table.

the waitress smiles at you.

she's dumpy. her ass is too big.

she radiates kindness and sympathy.

live with her 3 months and a man would know real agony.

o.k., you'll tip her 15 percent.

you order a turkey sandwich and a

the man at the table across from you

has watery blue eyes and

a head like an elephant.

at a table further down are 3 men

with very tiny heads

and long necks

like ostriches.

they talk loudly of land development.

why, you think, did I ever come

in here when I have the low-down

then the waitress comes back with the sandwich

and she asks you if there will be anything 

and you tell her, no no, this will be

then somebody behind you laughs.

it's a cork laugh filled with sand and 
broken glass.

you begin eating the sandwich.

it's something.

it's a minor, difficult,

sensible action

like composing a popular song

to make a 14-year old

you order another beer.

jesus, look at that guy

his hands hang down

almost to his knees and he's

well, time to get out.

pick up the bill.

go to the register.

 pick up a toothpick.

go out the door.

your car is still there.

and there are 3 men with heads 
and necks

like ostriches all getting into one

they each have a toothpick and now

they are talking about women.

they drive away first

they drive away fast.

they're best i guess.

it's an unbearably hot day.

there's a first-stage smog alert.

all the birds and plants are dead

or dying. 

you start the engine.

Anonymous submission. (Charles Bukowski)

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72 YEARS AGO April 5, 1942 — from The Fort Bragg Advocate: "War or no war, Fort Bragg will have a good baseball team. This year, Telio Pavioni will act as player-manager and his first game will be played this coming Sunday when the Loggers tangle with the Talmage Sluggers from the valley. Foggy Ottoson will bring his sluggers over and, as usual, he believes he can beat Fort Bragg. This year's Loggers include Rudy Alfaro, Charlie Balassi and Telio in the outfield, Don Schaffer will take care of short and Baldy Del Re will start at third, Billy Pavioni will be the second baseman while Vic Romeri will cover first. Catchers include Joe Pasero and Nini Bartalini, Bud Olson, John Anderson and Ado Severi make the pitching staff at the present time. The subs include Paul Bartalini, Buddy Johnson and Willie Alfaro.”

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ROBIN SUNBEAM will be challenging long-time incumbent, Susan Ranochak, for the office of Assessor/ County Clerk/Recorder. This is Robin’s first foray into electoral politics. For the last ten years, Ms. Sunbeam has worked as the School Nurse for River Oak Charter School, as well as in the Windsor Unified School District and Santa Rosa City Schools. She is a CA Registered Nurse with a CA School Nurse Credential. In 1993, Robin earned a MSN from UC San Francisco in Community Health Nursing, with a minor in administration. Her Master’s Thesis was a business plan for a rural, nurse-run clinic, which was put on display in the UCSF library. Robin served as Treasurer for both River Oak Charter School Education Foundation and the Move to Amend Coalition of Mendocino County (MTACMC). She was on the team of the MTACMC that brought us Measure F in November 2012, which garnered nearly 75% of the popular vote. And you may also have seen her many letters to the editor in our local newspapers. When asked why she is running for Assessor/County Clerk/Recorder, Ms. Sunbeam replied, “When I see injustice, I feel like I must set things straight. 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. As Recorder, I will conduct a foreclosure audit to see the true extent of the fraud problem to date in Mendocino County. I will carefully scrutinize all new foreclosure documents for evidence of fraud and demand a clear chain of title before recording them. The bank foreclosure-fraud debacle has left countless destroyed homeowners in its wake, and there are still many more Mendocino County homeowners, your friends and mine, struggling to save their homes. “Considering the enormity of the injustice and the avenue to ameliorate it through the Recorder’s Office, I was invited to run and decided to take the responsibility to step up and serve.” Robin will also advocate for easier access to polling places, and timely property tax assessments. She added, “I’m not waiting for ‘them’ to come and fix things. I'm going to do it! In a Democracy, we should all be saying, ‘I'm going to do it.’ If not us, then who? And if not now, when?”

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by Patrick Porgans,

Water officials’ and scientists’ claims that the Golden State is in the grips of an epic 500 year drought is not supported by the facts. Government documents show back in January that this year’s drought was not the worst in 500 years.

“We are on track for having the worst drought in 500 years,” 500 years,” said B. Lynn Ingram, Paleoclimatologist, professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. That story was released on January 30. Although an effort was made to reach Ingram to ascertain the scientific data to support her contention, she has yet to respond.

Contact was also made with NOAA’s World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, Boulder, Colorado to ascertain quantifiable data to validate Ingram’s assertion. Based upon a discussion with personnel assigned to the Center for Paleoclimatology, there is not enough data to say with certainty that this is the worst drought in 500 years.

Data obtained from the California Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) Public Information Office indicate that, at best, the state may be experiencing the fourth driest water year in recorded history. (A water-year is measured by the Sacramento River Unimpaired runoff dating back to 1906 and, by definition, begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year; currently, we are in water year 2014.) DWR officials depend heavily on Sacramento River watershed runoff to meet State Water Project demands.

In DWR’s February 1 report , Bulletin 120, DWR officials’ forecasted water year 2014 for the Sacramento River Unimpaired Runoff at 6.1 million acre-feet (MAF). One-acre foot of water contains 325,851 gallons of water. Critics point out that when DWR’s forecast was made we were only 16 weeks into the water year. However, in DWR’s March 1, 2014 report showed that this water year forecast at 6.2 MAF, stating it as the fourth driest on record. The March rains will require water officials to go back to the drawing board, casting doubts on the motives and severity of this drought.

Contrary to Ingram’s and water officials forecast, public records show that the driest recorded water year occurred in 1977 (5.1 million acre-feet (MAF), followed by 1924 (5.7 MAF), and 1931 (6.1 MAF); data extrapolated from a 2010 DWR report.

According to the record, the worst set of extended drought events occurred during 1929-1934, the 1976-1977 and 1987-1992 period, respectfully, according to DWR. The 1976-77 and 1987-1992 drought occurred post SWP construction.

Government Projects Operate on Flawed Computer Models

The facts contained in the public record do not support government officials and scientists assertion that the Golden State is currently in the grips of an epic 500 years drought. Their comments are prefaced on tree rings and limited Paleoclimatological information and computer-generated models.

The question is how accurate are models water officials’ use for management and operation of the State Water Project (SWP). Ironically, it is common knowledge that “All models are wrong, some are useful,” according to an article published by Professor Jay Lund, UCD, quoting statistician George Box.

Dependence on tree-ring records have intrinsic shortcomings, including divergence problems and proxies applied in the models. Furthermore, the models failed to identify California’s worse drought of record in recent history (post SWP), which occurred in the 1976-1977 water years.

“Every day this drought goes on we are going to have to tighten the screws on what people are doing” said Gov. Jerry Brown, who was governor during the last major drought here, in 1976-77.

Although California has experienced its share of notable droughts since 1906, officials could not provide a drought contingency plan, when request last month; instead they are holding public workshop to get the peoples input on what to do about the drought.

Officials made it clear that there is no universal definition of when a drought begins or ends. Drought is a gradual phenomenon, according to DWR.

Cloud of Doubt Rising as to the Severity of the Drought

In the first year of the 1976-77 droughts, DWR officials delivered 600,000 acre-feet of water, stored at the SWP’s Oroville reservoir, to agricultural contractors in Kern County for $2.95 delivered, even though it was warned that was not a prudent management decision.

During the 1987-92 droughts, DWR delivered record-breaking amounts of water to its contractors in central and southern California in the first four years, playing the odds that the drought would not continue. DWR officials water management and delivery practices exacerbated the severity of the droughts.

DWR officials responded to the dry conditions by exporting and delivering significant amounts of water to SWP contractors; i.e., in 2010 it delivered 2.44 million-acre feet (MAF), in 2011, 3.55MAF, and in 2012, 2.84 MAF.

In light of all the recorded data questions are being raised as to the motive behind Gov. Brown’s, water officials' and Ingram’s claim that this is the worst drought in 500 years.

Critics claim that it is all promoting more water development and bilking the public out of hundreds of millions of dollars for drought relief giveaway grants, the majority of those funds is borrowed money that is given to some of the biggest water districts and landowners in the state. Back during the 2007-2009 “drought" DWR held grant giveaway meetings at the Irvine Ranch Water District’s Duck Club.

Drought Proclamation Opens Floodgate Releasing $870 Million in Public Funds

DWR personnel claim that this is the third dry year in a row, includes water year 2012, 2013, and 2014, yet it was not until mid-January that California Governor Jerry Brown issued a Proclamation , declaring the drought as a State of Emergency.

“With California facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today [January 17] proclaimed a State of Emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions.”

Corporate media ran with the “500-year drought” story, heightening public fears and uncertainties, claiming that the drought will devastate California’s $44.7 billion agricultural industry and result in massive farm-related jobs losses, higher unemployment rates, rise in food prices, relaxation of water quality standards and environmental protections..

The situation apparently was so bad that President Obama flew in on Air Force One to Fresno and observed the devastation personally and immediately pledged $183million from existing federal funds for drought relief programs in California.

Meanwhile, Gov. Brown’s Administration opened the floodgates and is doling out $687million in drought relief grants using borrowed money that will ultimately cost state taxpayers in excess of $1 billion in new debt to offset the devastation.

The largest share of the drought relief package - $549 million - comes from accelerated spending of General Obligation (G.O.) bond money voters previously approved in two ballot propositions.

"This legislation (appropriating drought relief funds) marks a crucial step - but Californians must continue to take every action possible to conserve water," Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement.

As of late, government officials are holding hearings laying out plans for a new $4 billion reservoir, when the Golden State is already inundated with $74.6 billion in G.O. bond debt, of which $19.6 billion was expended on water- and drought-related give away grants.

According to the state treasurer, Bill Lockyer, it cost $2 for every dollar borrowed using G.O. bonds. The money to repay the bonds comes from the state’s heretofore deficit-ridden General Fund.

Ironically, California agriculture experienced a nearly three percent increase in the sales value of its products in 2012. The state’s 80,500 farms and ranches received a record $44.7 billion for their output in 2012, up from $43.3 billion in 2011 and $37.9 billion during 2010, according to the latest published government reports.

Almond acreage during the period of 2009 through 2012 increased from 720,000 acres to 780,000 acres in 2012; averaging to 20,000 acres a decade.. Between 1995 and 2010, almond acreage expanded from 440,000 to 870,000 acres in 2010; increasing cash receipts to growers from $800 million to more than $4 billion, respectively.

Using a conservative average of 3.4 acre-feet of water per acre to grow almonds indicate that the demand on California’s developed water supply and groundwater would have increased by about 1.36 million acre-feet of water.

The amount of water required to irrigate just the 870,000 acres of almonds planted would require an estimated 2.9 MAF of water that is about 800,000 acre-feet more than the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California provides annually to 18 million urban water users in its service area.

Essentially, DWR and SWP agricultural contractors gambled on the odds that even if the drought continued, they would get the unsuspecting public to bail them out by issuing G.O. bonds.

Because DWR has not produced all of the pertinent information, it is difficult to account for the extent and gravity of this drought. Currently, Planetary Solutionaries (PS) is conducting a forensic accounting of the “management” of the SWP going back to the worst drought experienced since the SWP became operable. PS’ findings will be continued in Part two of this series. ###

Part Two: Government officials dump floodwater during the “Epic 500-year Drought

In the midst of a “500-year drought” it is difficult to fathom why California water officials would dump million gallons of “floodwaters” out of State Water Project (SWP) reservoirs in southern California, while drought police issue warning letters, and d stiff fines to homeowners in the water-rich north state for watering lawns and washing cars. To be continued…

( Patrick Porgans completed 75-fact finding volumes on water- and drought-related issues in the Western United States. As a Forensic Accountant, he conducted 15 volumes that assessed every major aspect of the California State Water Project (SWP). Those reports were the subject of legislative hearings that brought to light the intrinsic shortcomings of the Project and the $10s of billions of dollars in cost overruns that have been paid for by the taxpayers that the law requires be repaid by SWP contractors. You can view his work at or go to

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TRANSIENTS HARASSING CUSTOMERS -- Caller at Jack-In-The-Box on Airport Park Boulevard reported at 7:58 p.m. Sunday that transients near the drive-thru were harassing customers. An officer responded and advised them. At 8:19 p.m., the caller reported that the same transients were fighting. The officer returned and arrested a 31-year-old Redding man and a 27-year-old Santa Monica man for being drunk in public.

VANDALISM -- Caller in the 400 block of East Gobbi Street reported at 9:06 p.m. Sunday that men who had been kicking a bus stop were breaking things behind a building. An officer responded and arrested a 20-year-old Redwood Valley man and a 21-year-old Ukiah man for being drunk in public and loitering.

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

STATUE DRIVEN OVER -- Caller in the 1000 block of East Chestnut Street reported at 8:23 p.m. Sunday that a car backed over a statue in the yard, breaking it, and the caller had possible suspect information. An officer responded and took a report.

BEER STOLEN -- Caller at Rite-Aid on South Main Street reported at 8:56 p.m. Sunday that a man had stolen two beers. An officer responded and arrested a 56-year-old transient for theft.


  1. Bill Pilgrim April 4, 2014

    re: KZYX board elections. APATHY (one-third turn out) and MEDIOCRITY (no change, please) rule the day! Sadly, most of us prefer to remain enwombed in our comforting illusions.

  2. Jim Armstrong April 4, 2014

    Count on Bukowski to darken your day.

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