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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, April 8, 2014

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by David Severn

Finally some clarity. After years of scratching my head in bewilderment at the seeming ignorance, greed and hypocrisy of both the wine industry and the general public that so lavishly supports it, I think I'm starting to get it, thanks to Russell Crowe and Darren Aronofsky. The roots of wine are Biblical. And that great patriarch of modern humanity, Noah, having won the favor of God Himself, became the first vintner and wine sot. We are now simply walking in the footsteps of our primal Great Great Great, etc., Grandfather. It’s in our DNA. Makes so much sense. But whereas Noah didn't have much of an issue with the lack of water — I'll have to wait for another Hollywood movie on that subject to see if such has been prophesied — that is exactly what is befalling us now, and Noah's legacy only involves the over-abundance not the scarcity of the Sacred Element.

Here in the Anderson Valley, Noah's endowment is carried on by myriad empire growing, mostly domestic, colonists — chief among whom is Dan Duckhorn, patriarch of Goldeneye Winery. I'm told that Dan is a nice guy (like most Mendocino liberals) and that you rarely, if ever, will find him lying naked in his tent.

But that doesn't stop the transgressions. In the past we have caught the Duckhorn enterprises illegally transporting water from Indian Creek to a new vineyard they were establishing down by Handley Cellars. Following that we witnessed them destroying an ancient Indian village site at the confluence of Anderson Creek and Rancheria Creek which the previous owners, having completed an archaeological survey, were told to stay away from.

Now we find that they are, in drought conditions, sucking water directly out of the Navarro River. Prior to March 31 they were pumping when the river was flowing at only 30 cubic feet per second (cfs). Currently, even as I write this on April 6, they have been pumping through a 3" pipe 24 hours a day since at least April 3 and maybe even before. The rules for other water takers, in non-drought conditions, is to only appropriate water between November 31 and March 31 and then only when the flow rate is above 200 cfs. With all appropriations stopping on the March 31 deadline. How the Duckhorn clan can get way with their crap, I don't know. Cajones I guess.

In a recent chat with a pleasant Zach Rasmussen, Chief Operations dude for Goldeneye, I was asked, “Why are you always after us? Everybody is doing the same thing.” My answer could only be that Goldeneye resides in my neighborhood and therefore is more visible to me. But the question exposes the insidious yet almost invisible cumulative effects of what has become the status quo. “Everybody is doing it.”

Back to Noah. Though I have been known to at times crack open a Bible, in truth I am pretty much Biblically ignorant. So after watching the movie I came home and did what all curious moderns do, I Googled the guy and I learned, among other things, that some apologist scholars have determined that because wine was a previously unknown elixir, Noah had no idea he would get so damned drunk that he would fall unconscious before having the opportunity to pull on his trousers. Wouldn't it be nice if we could catch all of these yahoos with their pants down and expose the industry for the environmental and social atrocity that it has become?

* * *

ACCORDING TO THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT’S “2013 Development Activity Report” for Jan-Dec 2013, Mendo issued a whopping 108 new home building permits (57 inland, 51 on the Coast) in 2013. There were 11 “industrial buildings,” 49 “carports and patios,” and several hundred miscellaneous other things (such as the Boonville International non-movable high-quality port-a-potty which almost took an act of God to get a permit for). The Planning Department made over $300k in permit application fees for non-building permits (variances, zoning changes, land divisions, sales, etc.) and over $700k in building and related construction permits. They also got $407k for doing plan checks. And the state gave them about a quarter of a mil for renting a forklift, bringing the General Plan over from the Low Gap Storage Locker, plopping it down on someone’s desk, dusting off the nearly useless piles of paper a few times, and giving it back to the forklift operator and putting it back on the shelf (aka “General Plan Maintenance”).

* * *

ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY: “The national average price of marijuana is at $283 an ounce. The price index does exist for marijuana, it is listed in High Times magazine. This is the lowest price ever listed since the index for marijuana began. However to us here that price seems pretty damn good. In Colorado, right now the price per ounce from a legal retailer is going to cost you $300 to $400 an ounce. The price on the street in Colorado is $200 to $300 an ounce depending on quality. This price scheme seems to align with the national index. We will see what happens in the future. I believe if we had more of a regulated market here prices wouldn't be as bad as they are and they would possibly rise.”

* * *

PREDICTION. This one will soon be very big among high school students and the younger college students — Smart Car tipping. Three were found recently in the Bernal Heights neighborhood, one of them on its nose, which would seem to be the point.

SmartCarOnNoseA FRISCO MAN COMMENTS: “Welcome to my world. My motorcycle gets knocked over a few times a year. People spit on my seat once a week. They slash my tires. All because I'm ‘taking up a parking space.’ I guess people with larger cars have more of a right to the parking in SF.”

BUT SMART CAR TIPPING seems more in the funsy vein unless, of course, you're the owner of the upended vehicle. A muscle guy lifted my VW Bug out of a ditch years ago, and it was heavier than these things. Hmmm. Two high school kids? Three?

* * *

DR. MILAN HOPKINS, 69, of Upper Lake, with a specialty in medical marijuana, has been placed on probation for the third time. The doctor could have had his medical license revoked but has again eluded the ultimate sanction. Narcos, forever on the doc's tail, had posed as patients to try to nail him as a pill medico, but to no avail.

* * *


“Every time we get a big gale around here
 some people just refuse to batten down.”

we estimate that

ice skating into a sixty 
mile an hour wind, fully exerting 
the legs and swinging arms

you will be pushed backward 
an inch every 2 minutes.

in a few days, depending on
 the size of the lake, 
the backs of your skates
 will touch land.

you will then fall on your ass
 and be blown into the forest.

if you gather enough speed 
by flapping your arms
 and keeping your skates pointed

you will catch up to other 
flying people who refused to batten down.

you will exchange knowing waves 
as you ride the great wind north.

— Billy Collins

* * *


by Spec MacQuayde

Monsoon rains have deluged our river valley for more than a week. I don't keep a rain gage, but the plastic five gallon bucket left outside was more than half full, and the vast bottomlands of our county have been transformed into a temporary lake something the size of Clearlake, to gaze across. This annual flooding isn't newsworthy, as local residents are well accustomed to our roads being under water, and quite a few folks keep boats near the highway in order to access their homes.

After several days of relentless downpours, I agreed with Jetta that the buffet at El Azteca in nearby Brownstown, our side of the river, might be the best idea for the day's activities. Upon pulling into the parking lot, I noticed Uncle Huck's flatbed dually with the tan cab parked beside quite a few other similar trucks.

"How come you're so paranoid about how you look?" Jetta asked.

I was glancing in the rear view mirror, trying to tuck my hair back under the red and black Mycogen seed corn cap that happened to be behind the seat of the Ford Ranger. It happened to be there because I do business with Bundy Brothers & Sons across the river in Medora. Believe it or not you are allowed to use standard sulphate of potash pellets in organic farming, and they gave me a hat with their business name on the back. I keep it for occasions when it seems prudent to tone down the hippy look. Over the winter I quit shaving, and haven't cut my hair for several years. "You don't know how these guys are," I said, referring to the local corn farmers. "They all get their hair cut at Hackman's barber shop, the same cut. They wear the same baseball caps, the exact same way. Any deviation raises eyebrows. And you're already raising enough the minute we walk in, wearing a dress like that."

The farming men don't eat lunch with their wives anymore. They dine in restaurants with the men who work for them, answering cell phone calls between bites. Of course since it was a rainy day anyway Jetta had adorned herself as if we were on our way out dancing for the night, trying on different outfits for nearly an hour while thunder boomed outside. I couldn't think of anything better to do all morning than lounge in a bedroom chair, watching the puddles turn to lakes out the window, commenting on this or that dress.

Inside El Azeta I encountered my watermelon-growing mentor, Uncle Huck, who sat at a booth with one of his henchmen. We hadn't spoken for quite some time. He sported the usual overalls with the seed corn jacket, the same Mycogen cap as I wore. "Howdy, Spec," was all he said. "How you doing?"

"Been enjoying the weather," I said.

"You're the only one."

"Good seeing you," I replied, following Jetta down the aisle to a booth in the back.

As we ordered drinks and were treated to the salsa and chips, I couldn't help overhearing the guys in the next booth talking about corn prices.

"Four seventy-five you're barely breakin even."

"Remember last fall it was down to four-forty, we were thinkin better sell before it gets to four-twenty."

"Boy, five would be great, wouldn't it?"

Accidentally spilling a few drips of salsa on the crotch of my jeans, I mumbled across the table. "Huck says that with all the costs figured, if he's not getting five-fifty a bushel, he's not breaking even. But then the government just subsidizes them anyway. I get so tired of hearing people talk about the price of corn. Five-twenty would be great! Five forty would be better! What about ten? Fourteen!"

"Spec, shhhh!" Fourteen is Jetta's lucky number, is why I threw that in there. It was her volleyball jersey.

"Could you go up to the buffet for me?" I tried wiping off the salsa of my jeans, but the effect still appeared mildly offensive, if not obscene. I turned around, noticing the farmers in the next booth with their Hackman's barbershop cuts and GMO seed corn caps, eyeing on down the line to the buffet, thinking, Shit if any of them looked at my crotch it was their fault, not mine, and once I got in line and started filling my plate nobody would see anything. El Azteca is family-owned, somewhat of an anomaly in the otherwise white, bland, cookie-cutter community of Brownstown. My appetite wasn't sufficient to warrant a buffet, but I just figured to load up on shredded lettuce and Pico De Gallo.

"You must have good farming instincts," I told Jetta when we sat down with our plates. "All the corn farmers in Jackson County had the same idea you did, today."

The farmers in the next booth were still talking corn prices. "Well, if the planters ain't rollin with all this rain, that'll drive it up to five."

"Boy I'd like to see it get back to six."

"They ain't getting this rain in Nebraska and Iowa."

"You get that planter cleaned out yet, Pete?"

"Well, I should of had it done this morning but I kept leaving my cell phone all the way up on the hopper so it wouldn't get dusty, and then it would ring just about the time I'd climbed all the way under everything, you know, and I'd get up and it'd be some marketing thing. But you never know, the minute you don't get up and get it, it's somebody urgent."

* * *

ELIZABETH WARREN isn't afraid to take on right wing bully boy, Paul Ryan. Sen. Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ryan (R-Il.) are considered to be intellectual leaders in their own spheres — Warren on the populist wing of the Democratic Party and Ryan on the Tea Party wing of the GOP. Both relish data, sweeping lessons from history and the kind of wonkery that has grown popular in Washington.

Warren, in comments at the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor’s Humphrey-Mondale Dinner on March 29th, worked to frame the debate as one about the character of working people in America. For Ryan, an oppressive nanny state has created coddled citizenry too lazy to find work. For Warren, special interests have successfully written the rules of the game in their own favor, depriving the middle-class of a fair shot.

Warren keyed in on what Ryan recently dubbed as an “inner-city” culture of “men not working.”

She began by quoting comments that Ryan made on a conservative radio show last month, stating, “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

Warren took aim at his view of the unemployed. “Paul Ryan looks around, sees three unemployed workers for every job opening in America, and blames the people who can't find a job,” she said. “In 2008, this economy crashed, wiping out millions of jobs.”

She went on, “Paul Ryan says don't blame Wall Street: the guys who made billions of dollars cheating American families; don't blame decades of deregulation that took the cops off the beat while the big banks looted the American economy. Don't blame the Republican Secretary of the Treasury, and the Republican president who set in motion a no-strings-attached bailout for the biggest banks. Nope. Paul Ryan says keep the monies flowing to the powerful corporations, keep their huge tax breaks, keep the special deals for the too-big-to-fail banks and put the blame on hardworking, play-by-the-rules Americans who lost their jobs.”

“That may be Paul Ryan's vision of how America works, but that is not our vision of this great country,” she said.

While she has said she won't run for president in 2016, many progressives have clamored for her to do so.

A Ryan spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Warren's remarks. However, Ryan later said in a statement that his comments were “inarticulate about the point I was trying to make.”

In her speech, Warren also took a swipe at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), referring to the “shutdown that sucked 24 billion dollars out of the economy. Talk about a financial genius.”

(Courtesy, the Huffington Post.)

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Winning the Green Energy Revolution

by Harvey Wasserman

High above the Bowling Green town dump, a green energy revolution is being won.

It’s being helped along by the legalization of marijuana and its bio-fueled cousin, industrial hemp.

But it’s under extreme attack from the billionaire Koch Brothers, utilities like First Energy (FE), and a fossil/nuke industry that threatens our existence on this planet.

Robber Baron resistance to renewable energy has never been more fierce. The prime reason is that the Solartopian Revolution embodies the ultimate threat to the corporate utility industry and the hundreds of billions of dollars it has invested in the obsolete monopolies that define King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nukes & Gas).

The outcome will depend on YOUR activism, and will determine whether we survive here at all. Four very large wind turbines in this small Ohio town are producing clean, cheap electricity that can help save our planet. A prime reason they exist is that Bowling Green has a municipal-owned utility. When it came time to go green, the city didn’t have to beg some corporate-­owned electric monopoly to do it for them.

In fact, most of northern Ohio is now dominated by FirstEnergy, one of the most reactionary, anti-green private utilities in the entire US. As owner of the infamous Davis­-Besse reactor near Toledo, FE continually resists the conversion of our energy economy to renewable sources. Except for the occasional green window­ dressing, First Energy has fought fiercely for decades to preserve its unsafe reactors while fighting off the steady progression of renewable generators.

FE’s obstinance has been particularly dangerous at Davis­-Besse, one of the world’s most profoundly unsafe nukes. To the dismay even of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other notoriously docile agencies, undetected boric acid ate nearly all the way through a reactor pressure vessel and threatened a massive melt­down/explosion that could have irradiated the entire north coast and the Great Lakes. FE’s nuke at Perry, east of Cleveland, was the first in the US to be substantially damaged by an earthquake.

Both Perry and Davis-­Besse are in the stages of advanced decay. Each of them is being held together by the atomic equivalent of duct tape and bailing twine. A major accident grows more likely with each hour of operation.

Small wonder the nuclear industry has been shielded since 1957 by the Price-­Anderson Act, which limits corporate liability in any reactor disaster to less than $15 billion, a drop in the bucket compared to what has already happened at Chernobyl and Fukushima, and could happen here.

Should either of those reactors blow, FE and other investors will simply not have to pay for the loss of your home, family or personal health. Should that federal insurance be removed, the reactors would shut soon thereafter since for the last 57 years, no private insurers have stepped forward to write a policy on these reactors.

As for the wind turbines in Bowling Green, there are no such problems. With zero federal insurance restrictions, they initially came in ahead of schedule and under budget. They have boosted the local economy, created jobs and produced power is that is far cheaper, safer, cleaner and more reliable than anything coming out of the many nearby trouble­plagued burners of fossil and nuclear fuels.

Throughout the world similar “miracles” are in progress. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 92 percent of the new electrical generating capacity installed in the US in the first two months of 2014 was renewable.

That includes six new wind farms, three geothermal facilities, and 25 new solar plants. One of those wind installations is a 75 megawatt plant in Huron County, Wisconsin.

Four solar arrays will produce 73 megawatts for Southern California Edison, which was just forced by agrassroots upsurge to shut its two huge reactors at San Onofre, between Los Angeles and San Diego.

SoCalEd and the people of southern California are now in the process of filling that void with a wide range of renewable installations. Many home owners will be doing it by installing solar panels on their rooftops, a rapidly advancing technology that is proving extremely cost-­effective while avoiding production of millions of tons of greenhouse gases and radioactive waste.

By comparison, according to one report, new development in “fossil fuel ­based infrastructure was almost non­existent for January and February, with only one natural gas facility brought on line.”

Across the nation, public opinion polls show an accelerating embrace of renewables. According to a Gallup Poll taken last year, more than 70 percent of Americans want more emphasis put on solar and wind power, well over twice as many as embrace coal (31 percent) and nearly twice as many as those who support new nukes (37 percent).

And here Wall Street agrees with Main Street. Despite gargantuan federal subsidies and its status as a legal fiefdom unto itself, major investors have shunned atomic energy. The smart money is pouring toward Solartopia, to the tune of billions each year in new invested capital.

There have been the inevitable failures, such as the infamous Solyndra which left the feds holding more than a half-­billion in bad paper.

But such pitfalls have been common throughout the history of energy start­ups, including all aspects of the fossil/nuke industry. And in solar’s case, Solyndra has been dwarfed by billions in profits from other green investments.

Ironically, one of the biggest new fields ­­­advanced bio-­fuels ­­­is being opened by the legalization of marijuana and its industrial cousin, hemp. Hemp was the number two cash crop (behind tobacco) grown in the early American colonies. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were enthusiastic cultivators. Jefferson wrote passionately about it in his farm journal, and Washington took pains to import special seed from India.

As a crop with many uses, hemp has been an essential player in human agriculture for 50 centuries.

In early America, hemp’s primary early service was as feedstock for rope and sails for ships. But it was also used to make clothing and other textiles. Ben Franklin processed it in his first paper mill. And it has wide applications as a food crop, especially thanks to the high protein content of its seeds, which are also a core of the bird feed business.

Some of the early colonies actually required farmers to grow hemp. During World War II the military commandeered virtually the entire state of Kansas for it, using it primarily for rope in the Navy.

But since then it has been almost everywhere illegal.

There are many theories behind why, including a belief that the tree ­based paper industry does not want to compete with hemp feedstock, which­­­ as Franklin knew­­­ makes a stronger paper, and can be grown far more cheaply and sustainably.

China, Japan, Germany, Rumania and other nations have long been growing hemp with great profit. Canada’s annual crop has been valued at nearly $500,000,000. Estimates of its domestic consumption here in the US run around $550,000,000, all of it imported.

The US hemp industry is widely regarded as an innocent by­stander in the insane war against marijuana. (Some believe that because it threatens so many industrial interests, hemp is actually a CAUSE of marijuana prohibition).

But because marijuana prohibition seems finally to be on the fade, the laws against hemp cultivation are falling away. The national farm community is in strong support, for obvious reasons. Hemp is extremely easy to grow, does not require pesticides or herbicides (it’s a weed!) and has centuries of profitability to back it up.

When Colorado legalized recreational pot it also opened the door for industrial hemp, with the first full­ on crop now on its way in. Washington state is following suit. In Kentucky, right ­wing Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell both strongly support legalization. The federal law against its cultivation in states where it’s being legalized has now eased.

Hemp’s role in the Solartopian revolution is certain to be huge. The oil content in its seeds make it a prime player in the booming bio-­fuels industry. The high cellulosic content of its stems and leaves mean it might also be fermented into ethanol. (The stalks and stems are also highly prized as building materials and insulation).

There has been strong resistance to bio-­fuels now derived from corn and soy, for good reason. Those are food crops, and their use for industrial fuel has pitted hungry people against automobiles and other combustion technologies, bringing on rising prices for those who can least afford them.

Corn and soy are also extremely inefficient as fuel stocks (corn is far worse). In a world dominated by corporate agri­business, they are generally raised unsustainably, with huge quantities of pesticides, herbicides and petro-­based fertilizers. None of those are required for hemp, which is prolific, sustainable and can be raised in large quantities by independent non­corporate growers.

Along with on­going breakthroughs in other feedstocks (especially algae) hemp will be a major player in the Solartopian future. As pot inches its way toward full legalization, we can reasonably expect to see a revolution in bio­-fuels within a very few years.

Likewise wind and solar. Windmills have been with us for at least five centuries. Coming from the plains of Asia, they covered our own Great Plains in the Great Depression and have rapidly advanced in power and efficiency. Newly installed turbine capacity is far cheaper than nukes and has recently surpassed all but the dirtiest of fossil fuels. As at Bowling Green, installation can be quick and efficient. Actual output often exceeds expectation, as do profits and job­creation.

But the real revolution is coming in photo­voltaics (PV). These technologies ­­­and there’s a very wide range of them ­­­convert sunlight to electricity. Within the next few decades, they will comprise the largest industry in human history. Every home, office, factory, window, parking lot, highway, vehicle, machine, device and much more will be covered and/or embedded with them. There are trillions of dollars to be made.

The speed of their advance is now on par with that of computing capability. Moore’s Law ­­­which posited (correctly) that computing capacity would double every two years ­­­is now a reality in the world of PV. Capacity is soaring while cost plummets.

It’s a complex, demanding and increasingly competitive industry. It can also be hugely profitable. So there’s every technological reason to believe that in tandem with wind, bio-­fuels, geo­thermal, ocean thermal, wave energy, increased efficiency, conservation and more, the Solartopian revolution in clean green PV power could completely transform the global energy industry within the next few years.

“Only flat­earthers and climate­deniers can continue to question the fact that the age of renewable energy is here now,” says Ken Bossong, executive director of the Sun Day Campaign.

But there’s a barrier ­­­King CONG, the Robber Baron energy corporations. In fact, the Koch Brothers and their fossil/nuke cohorts are conducting a vicious nationwide campaign against renewables. It puts out all sorts of reasons for the bloviators to blurt.

But the real motive is to protect their huge corporate investments.

Because what’s really at stake here is the question of who will control the future of energy ­­­King CONG, or the human community.

Though it would seem it could also be monopolized, Solartopian energy is by nature community ­based. Photovoltaic cells could be owned by corporations, and in many cases they are.

But in the long run PV inclines toward DG (distributed generation). The nature of roof­top collectors is to allow homeowners to own their own supply. The market might incline them at various stages to buy or lease the solar cells from a monopoly.

But in real terms, the price of PV is dropping so fast that monopolization may well become moot. As futurist Jeremy Rifkin puts it more generally his “Rise of Anti­Capitalism.” “The inherent dynamism of competitive markets is bringing costs so far down that many goods and services are becoming nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring those costs to near zero.”

But that’s what’s starting to happen with photovoltaic cells, where fuel is free and capital costs are dropping low enough that the utility industry and its fossil/nuke allies can’t quite grab control.

When individual building owners can generate their own PV power, when communities like Bowling Green can own their own windmills, when small farmers can grow their own hemp­based fuel, who needs King CONG?

We know this powerful beast will fight against the renewable revolution right down to its last billion, especially now that American elections are so easily bought and stolen. Defending the green ­powered turf will not be easy.

But sooner or later, if we can survive fracking, the next few Fukushimas and the oil spills after that, Solartopia must come.

Our economic and our biological survival both depend on it.

See you there!

(Harvey Wasserman edits and wrote Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth.)

* * *


REVVING ENGINES -- Caller in the 1900 block of Elm Street reported at 7:30 p.m. Thursday that neighbors were "revving their race car engines incessantly." An officer responded and reported that the car owners were stopping for the night.

SHOPLIFTER -- An officer responded to Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard at 8:09 p.m. Thursday and arrested a 20-year-old Ukiah man for theft. He was cited and released.

DINER DID NOT PAY -- Caller at Applebee's on Airport Park Boulevard reported at 12:08 a.m. Friday that a customer was refusing to pay. An officer responded and contacted the person, who promised to return and pay.

BICYCLES IN SKATE PARK -- Caller at the Ukiah Skate Park reported at 12:16 p.m. Friday that people were riding bicycles in the park. An officer responded and contacted the bicyclists.

PURSE STOLEN -- Caller at the Ukiah Post Office reported at 4:12 p.m. Friday that a purse was stolen from the post office.

SHOPLIFTER -- An officer responded to Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard at 4:32 p.m. and arrested a 19-year-old Lakeport man for theft and booked him into the county jail. A woman was also arrested for theft, and she was cited and released.

DUI -- An officer stopped a vehicle at the corner of East Clay and South Main streets at 1:39 a.m. Saturday and arrested Neftali Solis, 21, of Ukiah, on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was cited and released.

CAMPER IN CAR -- Caller in the 100 block of Gibson Street reported at 4:33 a.m. Saturday that someone was camping in a car parked on the street. An officer responded and the person moved.

NAILS IN STREET -- Caller on Clara Avenue reported at 9:48 a.m. Saturday that a box of nails was dumped on the street between Hospital Drive and North State Street. Streets employees were notified.

THEFT FROM UNLOCKED VEHICLE -- Caller in the 200 block of East Gobbi Street reported at 10:50 a.m. Saturday that CDs were taken from an unlocked truck that was tampered with. The caller did not want a report.

DRUG POSSESSION -- An officer contacted two people in a suspicious vehicle in the 500 block of East Perkins Street at 4:36 p.m. Saturday and arrested Rudy Berain, 61, of Cotati, on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine for sale, selling meth and three counts of possessing meth; and Su Anne Arnold, 59, of Novato, on suspicion of possessing meth and drug paraphernalia, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

THEFT FROM UNLOCKED VEHICLE -- Caller in the 400 block of East Gobbi Street reported at 5:31 p.m. Saturday that tools were taken from an unlocked vehicle. An officer responded and took a report.

DOMESTIC FIGHT -- Caller in the 300 block of El Rio Court reported at 8:05 p.m. Saturday that an unwanted person was there. An officer responded and arrested Michael R. Gularte, 24, of Willits, on suspicion of domestic violence, resisting arrest, driving under the influence and a probation violation.

BAG OF CHIPS TAKEN -- Caller at Subway on North Orchard Avenue reported at 8:12 p.m. Saturday that a man stole a bag of chips and the caller was following him. The caller was advised that officers were responding to higher-priority calls and not to follow the suspect.

DRUG POSSESSION -- An officer contacted a suspicious person in the 400 block of Ford Street at 11:58 p.m. Saturday and arrested Angel Histo, 25, of Ukiah, on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. She was booked into county jail.

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

LAUNDRY BASKET MOVED -- Caller in the 200 block of South Harold Street reported at 9:20 a.m. Thursday that her beads were missing and someone had moved her laundry basket. She requested extra patrols in the area.

DRUG POSSESSION -- An officer contacted a suspicious person in the 300 block of North Harrison Street at 10:23 p.m. Friday and arrested James H. Wells, 35, of Fort Bragg, on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance and violating his probation.


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

MARIJUANA TRANSPORT -- Sean M. Molina, 44, of Stockton, was arrested at 3:27 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of transporting marijuana for sale and booked at the county jail under $15,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

DUI -- Xoche E. Wright, 36, of Ukiah, was arrested at 4:16 p.m. Wednesday 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 her.

CHILD ENDANGERMENT -- Veronica A. Alvarado-Valencia, 25, of Ukiah, was arrested at 10:30 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of child abuse or endangerment and possessing a controlled substance, and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The MCSO arrested her.

MARIJUANA SALES -- Francis K. Macias, 42, of Lower Lake, was arrested at 12:12 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, driving with a suspended license and failing to appear in court, and booked at the county jail under $40,000 bail. The MCSO arrested her.

VEHICLE THEFT -- Theo V. Corcoran, 28, of Talmage, was arrested at 12:37 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of vehicle theft and booked at the county jail under $15,000 bail. The Ukiah Police Department arrested him.

VEHICLE THEFT -- Jacqueline E. Sherosick, 28, of Willits, was arrested at 1 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of vehicle theft and booked at the county jail under $15,000 bail. The UPD arrested her.

MARIJUANA TRANSPORT -- Vanessa L. Diaz, 25, of Bronx, N.Y., was arrested at 2:09 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of transporting marijuana for sale and booked at the county jail under $30,00 bail. The CHP arrested her.

MARIJUANA TRANSPORT -- Malcolm Davis, 25, of Bronx, N.Y., was arrested at 2:10 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of transporting marijuana for sale and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The CHP arrested him.

MARIJUANA TRANSPORT -- Julio A. Hernandez, 28, of Bronx, N.Y., was arrested at 2:11 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of transporting marijuana for sale and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The CHP arrested him.

MARIJUANA SALES -- Luis A. Villalobos, 21, of Ukiah, was arrested at 3:44 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale and cultivating marijuana, and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force arrested him.

METH SALES -- Steven J. Claus, 39, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 7:59 a.m. Friday on suspicion of selling methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine for sale, possessing a controlled substance, committing offenses while released on bail, violating his probation terms and failing to appear in court, and booked at the county jail under $350,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

DUI -- Jessica O. Bentel, 32, of Laytonville, was arrested at 8:27 a.m. Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The CHP arrested her.

MARIJUANA SALES, TRANSPORT -- Adam M. Kendall, 25, of Vallejo, was arrested at 9:46 a.m. Friday on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, transporting marijuana for sale and driving without a license, and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The CHP arrested him.



  1. Rick Weddle April 8, 2014

    News from Fukushima some weeks ago (on Democracy Now!, if I recall right) had a comment about Japan’s efforts to solarfy since their multiple meltdowns. What was said was that Japan has installed the solar-panel equivalent of 30 average sized nukes, just since the quake, the wave, and then the radiating cores headed south. If that’s anywhere near an accurate number, there’s a Big Lesson or two here, folks: (1) There’s more FREE power falling on the ground all around you, wherever you are, every day, than we have yet learned how to take advantage of…that’s FREE, y’all, and pretty much unlimited,…and (2) There are folks who do in fact act to take advantage of that FREE and CONSTANT and Very Old Time Power, and (3) We’re still held to these traditional fuels, the most dangerous and expensive we’ve come up with so far, FOR THE PERSONAL GAIN OF SOME TINY GROUP OF TINIER MINDS. We cannot keep believing them, believing IN them, putting everything at risk the way they do most everywhere. Not only would it be prudent to move now away from the Fossil/nuke Mistake, it’s clear that sorry road doesn’t go any further anyway…not with us Humans putting tracks down it.

  2. Jim Updegraff April 8, 2014

    Good for Elizabeth Warren taking on Ryan and Cruz. Ryan is a heartless person who seems to have little understanding of the problems of the working poor. As for Cruz the guy is the clown prince of Texas

  3. Bill Pilgrim April 8, 2014

    Wasserman should be applauded for his vision and perseverance. But, fer cryin’ out loud, Harvey, it’s Kong…KING KONG!

    • Bill Pilgrim April 8, 2014

      …On the other hand, CONG might be his clever and arch reference to the sellouts and sycophants in Congress.

      • Rick Weddle April 9, 2014

        I think that’s Coal, Oil, Natural Gas whose little acronym that is; the Biggest Monkey we Humans have ever packed around, along with it’s radiating-death-warmed-over subspecies, Nookular. Wasserman is another that goes loud on record pointing out that the sum of alternatives NOW would come close to displacing CONG in our hearts, minds, and lungs…and the jobs, indeed whole new career geographies will be immense. Who’s the holdup?
        I suggest also, while we’re prudently and quickly shuffling off this fatal coil, that since all this FREE power is falling on the ground all around us that we haven’t learned yet to take real advantage of, it kinda changes the Rules we’ve been going by under its majesty, CONG. For instance, very tiny and extremely cheap storage deals like windmill/hydro or compressor/airbottle arrangements would not need to be especially efficient or expensive…they’d just need to work after a moderate, slow-lane kind of fashion. These micro-generator systems could be arrayed in numbers that would put big slabs of kilowatt bacon on the table. And there’s the ____-Bradley hydrogen- generating/storage ocean buoy…we could go on and on, and so on. (Mark Bradley and I’m sorry I can’t recall his co-inventor’s name)
        And hey, aren’t you proud of ‘our’ Navy science guys? They discovered you can make gasoline out of sea water! This raises two questions quickly: What’d they do, strain it?
        How long till they use it up?

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