- Pot Grower Fined
- Being Priced Out
- Fatalities on 101
- Baroness Island
- Water Squeeze in Redwood Valley
- Join the PA Planning Commission
- April Rain Song
- Becoming a Police State
- Earth Day, Every Day
SO FAR as I'm aware, Joung Min Yi, is the first Mendo pot grower to be seriously fined for tearing up the land and imperiling the water. The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board has fined Joung $56,404 for, in an excellent account by Linda Williams of The Willits News, “discharging sediment from his property into Outlet Creek and the Eel River.” Joung's is “7 air miles north of Willits at 29980 and 30100 North Highway 101.”
LISA IBANEZ nicely sums up the state of things in a recent letter to the Chron: “The reason the San Francisco Giants built the Gotham Club with its VIP vibes and bowling alley is that there is a sizable block of well-heeled young people who think it's hip to go to the games but don't really care about watching baseball. I understand the anger felt by the not-so-well-shoed San Franciscans over the shuttle buses taking high-paid Silicon Valley employees to work. They are a symbol of what is happening not only in San Francisco but the whole country. We are being priced out of our community and discarded by our country, whose Supreme Court proclaims government office can be bought and corporations are people. When I was growing up most families could afford to attend a Giants game. Now it's a rare treat or a hard, cold bleacher seat for way too much money.”
THAT TERRIBLE ACCIDENT Thursday morning at Burke Hill took the lives of a 26-year-old Arizona man and his 3-year-old daughter. It also led to the arrest of a Santa Rosa delivery man assumed to have been responsible for the accident.
JONATHAN JAMES ARROYO was driving the family's 1998 four-door Cadillac south on the highway when a northbound 2010 Chevrolet Express cargo van crossed the grass median directly into their path after the driver of the van lost control, according to the CHP.
MRS. ARROYO and the couple's 1-year-old daughter, who were passengers in the Cadillac, survived the crash and were taken by ambulance to Ukiah Valley Medical Center with minor injuries.
THE DRIVER, Emmanuel Ariel Mandujano Barajas, 22, of Santa Rosa, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, according to the CHP. He was seen sitting in the back of a patrol car at the scene being questioned by officers.
“There was a statement of distraction, that he may have been playing with the radio,” said CHP spokesman officer Kylar Adams. The possible involvement of drugs or alcohol in the accident was also still under investigation Friday, Adams said.
Officer Adams said it isn't unusual for such charges to be filed where a driver is found at fault in a traffic accident resulting in the death of another driver and/or a passenger. In this case, he said, Barajas “made an unsafe turning movement” and was found at fault in the crash.
Barajas, who told police he was delivering parts for Nissan when the accident occurred, was booked at the Mendocino County Jail in Ukiah on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, posted $50,000 bail and was released the same day. No date to appear in Mendocino County Superior Court has yet been posted on the court's calendar.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden, a documentary about two pre-War German couples who depart civilization for an uninhabited Galapagos island, the one couple arriving first and greatly resenting the arrival of the second couple and their young son. They immediately begin feuding when a third trio arrives, a “baroness” with two live-in lover boys. She says of herself, “The man isn't born who can resist me.” Compared to the two frumps with the other two Weimar back-to-the-landers the Baroness is indeed pretty hot stuff. Someone, or someones, inevitably disappears the Baroness (in every way the most attractive resident of the island) and one of her lover boys. I couldn't follow the murder count but I think one of the frumps gets it, too. The narrative gets pretty confused, and there are way too many minutes of giant turtles and iguanas, but the whole of the film is fascinating, especially the original footage shot of all these people by the American oil millionaire Allan Hancock, who periodically shows up in his scientific expedition boat to visit the self-imposed outcasts.
REDWOOD VALLEY has the most fragile water supply in Mendocino County. Because of its limited storage capacity, the Redwood Valley County Water District has been on a new-hookup moratorium since 1989. Redwood Valley County Water District sells its water to domestic users and for agricultural irrigation and frost protection, mostly for grapes (plus some livestock). In this 2014 drought year Redwood Valley County Water District set a goal of “reducing overall consumption by 50%” — a substantial reduction. Most of Redwood Valley County Water District’s water comes from Lake Mendocino which, despite recent rains, is still way down. Making matters worse, Redwood Valley County Water District has no formal right to water from Lake Mendocino, but they do have a court stipulation saying that the Russian River Flood Control District must sell “surplus” water to Redwood Valley County Water District.
The rub for Redwood Valley County Water District is who gets to decide what is “surplus” and who gets to set the price? Answer: the Russian River Flood Control District whose board is dominated by Ukiah area grape growers who, obviously, are not too excited about giving up their remaining precious frost control and irrigation water to Redwood Valley grape growers.
The Russian River Flood Control District gets to decide how much the Redwood Valley County Water District will pay for their water. At present domestic users in Redwood Valley pay about $4 per thousand gallons, more if they use more, up to $5.50 per gallon. Ag users in Redwood Valley pay a flat rate of $225 per acre-foot (326,000 gallons) no matter how much they use, which translates to only 69¢ per thousand gallons, meaning that the grape growers in Redwood Valley are getting some very cheap water — when they can get it. And which also means that since the Redwood Valley Water is purchased from the Russian River Flood Control District with some kind of markup we can assume that the Ukiah area grape growers who are regular members and customers of the Russian River Flood Control District are getting an even bigger water discount.
* * *
Last week the drought may have taken its first victim: Redwood Valley grape growers — at least according to their own hyperbolic rhetoric about not having enough water.
On Saturday, the Ukiah Daily Journal’s Justine Frederiksen reported:
“Redwood Valley Cuts Water To Ag Users — Attempt to divert more water through Potter Valley was unsuccessful
The Redwood Valley County Water District voted Thursday night to stop providing the water its customers use for their crops and animals.
“I am deeply pained by this; this is awful,” said Bill Koehler, the district's general manager, describing the vote as “the most painful moment in my entire association with that board.”
Currently, the valley's 4,000 to 5,000 residents are limited to 50 gallons a day per person. Come Monday, Koehler said, the district's agricultural meters, which provide unpotable water unfit for human consumption, will be shut off.
“I hate this; we're going to get hit hard,” Koehler said, describing the valley's $60 million wine industry as “gone.”
Board member Pam Ricetti abstained from the vote Thursday night because, as a vineyard owner, she would have directly benefited if the resolution to cut off agricultural water users did not pass.
“I have 36 acres of grapes, and if we get four or five days of frost, it'll freeze the vineyards,” Ricetti said, explaining that she does have a couple of ponds, but not enough to handle several days of frost.
“We haven't had any so far, so we've been really lucky,” she said. “I'm keeping my fingers crossed.”
Ricetti said she was not sure what someone with horses or other animals will do for water.
“They're going to have a tough go,” she said. “It's a horrible situation. It's sickening.”
With Ricetti abstaining, the resolution passed 3-1 with Jeanette Hallman casting the “no” vote.
In the days leading up to Thursday's meeting, the RVCWD and other agencies tried to obtain more water by diverting more of the flow from the Eel River's Scott Dam through the Potter Valley Project and into Lake Mendocino.
According to the request made to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the RVCWD was hoping to obtain 800 acre feet by “increasing flows in the East Branch Russian River as long as water is available and all Reasonable Prudent Alternative-required minimum flow requirements are met.”
The request was made under the “emergency clause” of the RPA, which dictates how much water Pacific Gas & Electric (which owns Lake Pillsbury and Scott Dam) diverts through Potter Valley to Lake Mendocino.
Guinness McFadden, one of the Potter Valley Irrigation District's board members, said multiple agencies discussed the request and all were in verbal agreement: RVCWD, PG&E, the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Friends of the Eel River, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Marine and Fisheries Service and FERC.
With the amount of water that was flowing through Lake Pillsbury, McFadden said it would have taken less than two days to collect the desired 800 acre feet, all while keeping minimum flows in the Eel River, if the request had been approved.
However, McFadden said when FERC requested agreement in writing, all of the agencies provided it except for NMFS, which determined that the situation in Redwood Valley did not qualify as an emergency.
“Although NMFS thought this could be an opportunity to potentially help RVCWD with its water situation due to the drought and small quantity of water requested, we have determined that the request does not qualify as an emergency under the RPA,” wrote Dick Butler, supervisor for the Santa Rosa office of NMFS. “In particular, this request does not clearly indicate that this is a sudden, unexpected occurrence that involves a clear and imminent danger that demands immediate actions to prevent or mitigate loss of, or danger to, life, health, property or essential public services.
“If the situation does not improve and an emergency situation arises and is consistent with the above definition, NMFS is amenable to considering an exception,” Butler continued. “While the request was for a limited amount of water and for a short duration utilizing water above the NMFS required minimum flows, flows in the Eel River in excess of the minimum required flows do provide benefits to the Eel River, especially to out migrating salmon and steelhead.”
“We're in a deep pickle of fish,” said Ricetti, predicting that since the RVCWD cannot legally shut off the fire hydrants, people wanting to steal water for their crops, legal or otherwise, may pull up trucks and siphon water from the hydrants.
“If people see that, call the (Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at 463-4411),” she said. “It's a felony to steal that water.”
* * *
The Redwood Valley wine industry is probably not “gone,” but they certainly are at risk of major crop losses, especially if there’s a late freeze and they have no frost protection water. (That’s probably why the National Marine Fisheries Services ruled that the Redwood Valley growers were not in an “emergency” — at least not until they get hit with real frost.
The tight water situation highlights one of the major problems with Mendocino’s highly balkanized water arrangements which are difficult enough when there’s enough water, but downright cutthroat when there’s not.
We know of a few local grape growers in Anderson Valley who have unusual water source arrangements too — private arrangements which, because of terrain or plumbing convenience, make one grower dependent on water from another grower. As you can imagine, it can get testy. Imagine what would happen if that same water competition occurred between entire districts. Since there’s no oversight, no one with the ability to allocate available water reasonably and fairly, the problem usually deteriorates to “I’ve got mine — (and at my highly favorable price).”
That seems to be what’s happening between the Russian River Flood Control District grape growers and the Redwood Valley grape growers — although you have to read between the grape leaves to get any real sense of the picture.
Former Redwood Valley County Water District Board member Hal Voege recently filled in a few of the gaps between the grape leaves with a letter he wrote to the Ukiah Daily Journal last Thursday (which was not posted on line and which did not identify Mr. Voege as a former board member of the Redwood Valley County Water District):
SHUTTING OFF REDWOOD VALLEY
To the Editor:
On Tuesday, March 25 and Wednesday, March 26 the Ukiah Daily Journal ran two front page articles about the Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation District and Redwood Valley. Important information was missing from those articles. So here, as Paul Harvey would say, is the rest of the story.
Tuesday's article ran under the headline “RRFCD both to sell water to RV.” It fails to mention that in their meeting the month before the RRFCD board, including Mr. Lee Howard, voted unanimously to cut off Redwood Valley's water supply without looking into any alternatives. Here is what that cut off would have meant: It would have meant that when the ponds above our water treatment plant where empty our faucets wouldn't work, toilets wouldn't flush, and if there was a fire it would just have to burn because the fire hydrants would be dry. Meanwhile their agricultural customers water allocations were only reduced 50% (now 25%). This is not a normal year; it is a drought emergency year. In such a year to choose to cut off the water supply to 4000+ people is callous and inhumane.
So what changed their minds to offer to sell Redwood Valley 355 acre-feet of water? It wasn't newfound generosity. It was the state Department of Public Health insisting that they could not simply cut off Redwood Valley's water supply that forced them, grudgingly, to sell us a bit of water. It is clearly an issue of public health and safety.
At the same time RRFCD decided to stop selling water to Redwood Valley, a Redwood Valley resident, Rosalind Peterson, whose home is not connected to Redwood Valley County Water District, filed a protest with the State Water Resources Control Board stating that RVCWD was illegally diverting water from Lake Mendocino because it had no water right nor a signed a contract. She has done this many times before. While RCCWD doesn't have a usable water right at this time, it does have a stipulated judgment from the court that Redwood Valley must sell it surplus water at a fair price. RRFCD tried to claim it has no surplus water but in fact it had 800 acre feet of water that the city of Ukiah chose as a humane gesture not to use this year. I'm sure there will be haggling as to whether that is actually “surplus.”
There is some history regarding that stipulated judgment. When Redwood Valley Water District was first being formed it went to RRFCD and asked to become a customer and be sold water. RRFCD said, “No.” The issue went to court which issued the stipulated judgment. The good news was that RRFCD was required to at least sell us surplus water. The bad news was that Redwood Valley Water District was not allowed to hook up any new customers except in very limited and critical situations. Since the customer base cannot be expanded, as costs rise, rates also rise, and people who would like to be connected cannot be.
On Wednesday came another front-page article describing a “letter” that the RRFCD Board voted on to distance themselves from the actions of Lee Howard, a longtime trustee and president of the RRFCD Board. Certainly Mr. Howard as a private citizen can speak to anyone he wants, but his standing didn't hurt his chances of getting heard by state officials. Mr. Howard was apparently still trying to convince the State Water Resources Control Board that it should stop Redwood Valley from pumping water. Why else would he be in discussions with the Chief of Enforcement? His behavior isn't unusual — in fact, appealing to the State Water Resources Control Board to insist that there was no surplus water, only to later admit that there was, has been a long-standing ploy of RRFCD. It has been used for many years, most recently in 2009. Perhaps the ploy was a bit too obvious this time. Perhaps the letter was needed for damage control.
Isn't it ironic that Redwood Valley is the only Water District that actually has a pump in the Lake yet it is unable to buy any of that water from RRFCD unless it is “surplus"? Can someone explain to me why we can't become a customer of RRFCD the same as Willow district and the city of Ukiah and end all this stupidity? The argument that there is not enough water in a normal year simply won't “hold water.”
Ukiah residents should note that Mr. Howard was also discussing Ukiah's plan to drill a new well. Why would he be discussing that if not to convince the State to look into whether it was underflow from the Russian River and thus under state control? If the state were to decide it was underflow, it could maintain that the City could not legally pump that water. This would, at least, lead to long and costly litigation.
What is the bottom line here? RRFCD's response in the current situation has been nothing more than a naked power play. They seem determined to control all the water from Redwood Valley to Hopland and thus determine the price and sale conditions for that water. So remember this year's events the next time RRFCD suggests how easy it would be to join them and get active access to water. Take their words with a grain of salt and look carefully at what is really on their agenda.
Hal Voege, Redwood Valley
* * *
“A NAKED POWER PLAY”? Mr. Voege, an author and former business training consultant from Sacramento, is clearly not mincing words. But the underlying point is that the grape grower-dominated board of the Russian River Flood Control District (which controls Mendo’s 8,000 acre-foot water right out of Lake Mendocino) needs a Board with a broader cross-section of representation. Otherwise — short of some miracle reconsideration of Supervisor John Pinches’s water storage and allocation proposals — the Ukiah-area grape growers may be the last vineyards standing in inland Mendocino County if the drought continues much longer.
NOTICE OF VACANCY — POINT ARENA PLANNING COMMISSIONERS. No Experience Necessary. City Residents and Community members-at-large Welcome to Apply. Come join our Team! We have a new City Attorney, we have County of Mendocino Planning Staff support, a new City Engineer — and will soon have a City Manager. The City will be accepting applications for appointment to the City of Point Arena Planning Commission. There are five (5) vacancies on the Planning Commission. Applicants must be 18 years of age, a registered voter. No experience necessary. This is a part time, volunteer position. Historically, the Planning Commission meetings have been held at City Hall one evening a month. As of today, April 18th only one application has been received. If enough applications are not received, the Point Arena City Council will have to assume the roles and responsibilities of the Planning Commission. Please note that residency is not required within the Point Arena city limits for all positions on the Planning Commission. The City Council must appoint three Planning Commissioners that ARE residents within the City Limits. the remaining two (2) positions may be filled by applicants that reside OUTSIDE the City limits. Please see the attached Notice and Application. Completed applications must be submitted to City Hall no later than 3:00 p.m. Tuesday April 22, 2014. Selection and Appointment will be made next week during the City Council meeting of Tuesday, April 22, 2014. APPLY TODAY.
Hunter M. Alexander City Administrator/City Clerk 707 882-2122
Office City Hall: 451 School Street, Point Arena
Hours: M 9-3 T 9-6 (W Closed) Th 9-3 F 9-3
Mailing: Post Office Box 67, Point Arena CA 95468
APRIL RAIN SONG
Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.
— Langston Hughes
CONVERSATION WITH A POLICE CHIEF
by Dave Lindorff
There was a time when, growing up in a suburban area around Mansfield, a university town in northeastern Connecticut, I could go days without seeing a police car. These days, though, when I go back there to visit my old hometown, I see them everywhere. Where once there was one resident State Trooper for the township of Mansfield, today there’s a fleet of Troopers in squad cars, called “Interceptors.” The university too, which in my youth had a couple of university cops whose only real job was breaking up the occasional dormitory panty raid, now has a full-fledged police department, staffed with beefy cops who would be hard to distinguish from the troopers — or from recently furloughed military vets (which many of them probably are).
In communities and cities across the country, the number of police has soared, rising, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 603,000 in 1992 to 794,000 in 2010. This even as crime has been falling fairly steadily for over 30 years, even in cities that have had to cut back on their police staffing for budget reasons.
But it’s not just a matter of numbers. Police are also much more aggressive in their behavior towards the public. Where “no-knock” forced entries into people’s homes were a rarity 30 years ago, such so-called “breaches” are increasingly the norm in many jurisdictions — they reached over 80,000 last year by one calculation — as police departments adopt an approach that elevates “officer safety” over concerns about the safety of the public, including innocent bystanders. (Consider two recent incidents in New York where bystanders were shot by police who were firing at suspects — in one case an unarmed mentally ill man standing in traffic in midtown Manhattan.)
The same can be said about the use of supposedly “non-lethal” tasers, which have morphed from being alternatives to shooting and killing suspects to tools to enforce docility, or even to punish people who verbally contest the actions of a police officer. A recent report in the New York Times showed that as part of a growing trend to place police officers in public schools, students, including even in elementary schools, are being tasered for what used to be considered an offense meriting a trip to the principal’s office — sometimes with serious and even deadly results. Making everything a crime requiring police action can get ridiculous. In 2004 I covered one story in Philadelphia where a 10-year-old grade school girl was cuffed and hauled off to jail by two cops called in by the principal because she had innocently brought a pair of “grown-up” scissors from home to class in her school bag in order to finish a project involving pasting magazine clippings on a piece of construction paper (she was actually transported to the precinct lock-up, unaccompanied, in the back of a paddy wagon!). This year, a high school senior in Ohio was arrested and jailed by police who found a knife in his car, even though he explained to them that the car was his father’s and that he hadn’t even known the knife was in the vehicle’s glove compartment.
Over the last decade, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams have also proliferated. Initially developed in Los Angeles as units that could respond with special weapons and tactics to handle hostage situations, hopefully saving lives, these have, in many communities, become the favored units of choice for making minor drug busts and for serving warrants. The feature of a SWAT raid is arrival by military-looking police, often at night, in an armored vehicle, forced entry into a home via battering ram and sometimes with the aid of flash-bang grenades, with heavily armed and armored cops in military garb, often wearing ski masks, rousting and cuffing family members, who are screamed at and held at gunpoint while their home is ransacked.
Not surprisingly, killings of unarmed citizens by police have soared in recent years, while the killing of police officers has fallen sharply. In 2011, only 33 police officers were killed on the job by gunfire nationwide. It was the lowest number killed since 1887, when the US population was 75% smaller and when there were far, far fewer police officers.
Meanwhile, nobody knows how many people have been killed by police. Incredibly, no federal agency bothers to keep track, though the US Justice Department was tasked by Congress with doing so back in 1994. Several sources have scoured the internet, however, and these estimate that the number killed since 2011 tops 5000, making it more likely that an American will be killed by a cop than by a terrorist.
Not all police are happy about these changes.
Terrence Thompson, chief of police in my town of Upper Dublin, PA, said that while he understands the need for officers to have adequate weapons because of the heavier firepower of today’s criminals, and even understands why towns want armored vehicles for their SWAT teams, he is also concerned that SWAT tactics are being over-used, and that overall the militarization of police is a dangerous trend.
“SWAT is a necessary evil — well, I won’t say evil, they’re necessary,” says Thompson. “But SWAT teams shouldn’t be used for serving routine warrants. First of all, if we’re going to serve a warrant at a home, we do a threat assessment. Does the person in the house own a gun, does he have a history of violence? Also, are there other people in the house? Are there children? And you have to make sure you get the address right. When SWAT teams make a mistake about the address, it’s scary.”
Thompson insists that it’s critical for police be part of their community, and that they maintain a polite and professional attitude towards the public. “Someone giving the finger to a cop doesn’t call for a high-speed pursuit,” he says. Nor, he says, is it acceptable for police to be rude or threatening when they are engaged in something like a traffic stop or a minor arrest.
He says, “The scary thing about all the militarization of policing — the M-16s, the camo for the SWAT teams and so on — is that you lose touch with your community, and if the police lose that connection, you’re dead in the water.”
Thompson recalls his department being given, by the Pennsylvania state government, a bunch of free army surplus M-16s — part of a distribution of Pentagon gear to all police departments in the state. “The first thing I did was get rid of the fully automatic capability,” he says. “Then we locked them up and finally we got rid of them all. They weren’t appropriate for police work.” Squad cars now are equipped with semi-automatic AR-4’s which are disassembled so they fit better in the vehicle, to be used only when necessary, he said.
Thompson decries what he calls “camo creep” in policing, a trend he says is at least partly driven by “politicians who don’t see where this is going.”
And where is that?
“I don’t like the idea of a police state, but that’s where we seem to be heading,” he says.
Thompson speaks fondly of two visiting tours he did as a police officer in Ireland — a country that has certainly experienced its share of violence and even terror bombings and attacks over the years. “The officers there continue not to carry weapons because they’re afraid that it will ramp up the violence,” he says wistfully.
EARTH DAY: EVERY DAY
by Mendocino Solar Service
Birds chase the horizon, carried along by the spring breeze, waves roll in and out, the river meanders, and migrating whales head south for summer.
Here in Mendocino County it can be easy to remember that every day we are sustained and enriched by nature, that every day is Earth Day [http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement].
As a locally owned and operated solar energy installer [http://mendocinosolar.com/?page_id=70], for the past 20 years we at Mendocino Solar Service [http://www.mendocinosolar.com] have been committed to helping our friends and neighbors [http://mendocinosolar.com/?page_id=377] to reduce their home's carbon footprint, by converting to clean, green solar power. For us, 'every day at the office' we are reminded of the power of nature's own energy source: the sun.
With this month's E-News, we invite you to join us as we celebrate Earth Day, every day. Just read on — and be sure to check out the links we've included in green text.
In this E-News you will learn more about what's new in the world of solar, as well as events, activities and resources to help brighten your Earth Day celebrations, while also easing our global concerns.
And, yes, there's plenty to celebrate, because every day is Earth Day!
See You There?
Mendocino Solar Service is sponsoring two upcoming events in honor of Earth Day.
On Saturday, April 26, from 12-5pm, join us for the Noyo Food Forest's Earth Day celebration [http://noyofoodforest.org], at the Fort Bragg High School Learning Garden.
This is a popular community event not to be missed. Enjoy live music and entertainment, a culinary showcase featuring local food and chefs, hands-on sustainable living workshops, kids' activities, a community art project, and the beloved Spring Plant Sale.
Stop by the Mendocino Solar Service booth to check out a display of local solar projects and join us for a game of Ping-Pong. You can also pick up your copy of the 2014 Mendocino Film Festival [http://www.mendocinofilmfestival.org] program guide, hot off the presses, and enter to win a pair of tickets to see “Gaslands II,” the film screening that we are sponsoring.
On Sunday, April 27th, join us at the Willits Grange [https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Lake-Grange/104140479652218] at 4pm, for Willits Economic Localization's [http://well95490.org/about/well-overview/] public meeting regarding Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing. PACE is coming soon to Mendocino County [http://mendocinosolar.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/PRESS-RELEASE-3-4-14-MENDO-CO-MOVES-FORWARD-WITH-PACE.pdf].
This public meeting will feature a presentation by local PACE supporter Keith Rutledge of Renewable Energy Development Institute [http://www.redinet.org], as well as Q & A on the resources and funding that will be available for water and energy conservation projects across the County.
Bruce Erickson and Maggie Watson, Co-Owners of Mendocino Solar Service, will be on hand to answer solar questions. You can sign up for a no-cost solar evaluation for your home or business at tis event.
Willits Grange is located at 291 School St in Willits.
But the celebration doesn't have to stop there. During April there are opportunities to join a beach cleanup, catch a solar powered canoe ride [http://www.mendocinolandtrust.org/?Calendar_of_Events], and explore natural places, galore. A complete list of countywide Earth Day events — dubbed 'Mendocino County's Party for the Planet' — can be found online at Visit Mendocino [http://www.visitmendocino.com/earth-day]. Cheers!
What's New in Solar?
A recent article by Scientific American is well worth the read, clarifying the nationwide efforts to protect and expand net metering. We've shared a link to this article, as well as other solar news, at our frequently updated 'News From the Solar System' [http://mendocinosolar.com/?p=721]web page.
Spread the Word
We end this month's E-News with a great, big, sunny thank you to our friends and solar customers Jim & Judy Tarbell of Caspar. Jim and Judy graciously referred another 'Casparado' interested in going solar.
Referrals from our customers mean a lot and they make a big difference in our ability to spread the good word about solar. In fact, customer referrals [http://mendocinosolar.com/?page_id=377] are our biggest single source of good leads for potential new solar customers.
For more information on our Customer Referral program — including our Solar Open House Parties — or to sign up for your no-cost solar evaluation, give us a call at 707-937-1701, visit us online at [http://www.mendocinosolar.com], or just strike up a conversation at the grocery store. We're always ready to talk solar.
Bruce, Maggie & the Team at Mendocino Solar Service
40501 Little River-Airport Rd
Little River, CA 95456