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Mendocino County Today: Friday, May 2, 2014

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WATER. Supervisor Pinches has often said that water is a concern in Mendocino County only when there isn't any. Then it rains, most of the reservoirs fill up, and the concern disappears.

THIS YEAR, water arrived late, and not in the amounts needed, but enough to quickly convince some inland water districts that they were flush.

BUT WATER POLICY, especially inland, still wants rational discussion and planning, especially given the new demands on the resource from the grape industry, now synonymous with “agriculture” in Mendocino County.

THE MOST INTERESTING LOCAL AG, and the most relevant long-term ag in the County are the small-scale farms that have sprung up over the past 20 years. These enterprises are raising everything that once was grown on the family farms that Jefferson thought would become the economic engine of our political democracy. Tom couldn't have foreseen the food production processes we now suffer. But right here in Boonville, we have the nourishing and tasty LAYCHEE, fresh goat and sheep milk cheese from Penny Royal Farmstead, only one of many encouraging neo-ag businesses. But the only ag we hear and read about in Mendocino County is grape ag, a heavy industrial process at total odds with the homestead-like farms of real farmers trying to make their livings from real agriculture.

THE RUSSIAN RIVER, and thousands of downstream entities and persons as far south as Sausalito, are dependent on the partially diverted Eel River water where it flows by that ancient tunnel into Potter Valley.

Eel-Russian River Water system (Courtesy, Friends of the Eel River)
Eel-Russian River Water system (Courtesy, Friends of the Eel River)

THE WHOLE WOBBLY SHOW is a product of the early 20th century, and was merely a modest desire to power a small outback town called Ukiah. The old tunnel, and the manmade lake supplying the water flowing through it, is the lynchpin of a patchwork quilt of a system for a million downstream people. I don't think many people are aware of it and how tenuous it is. Sure, there are larger populations in the state in danger of going dry, but the one whose thirst is quenched by the old tunnel is plenty large enough.

IN A DROUGHT such as the one we've got going, the downstream people dependent on the tunnel get kinda testy about who gets how much of the diverted water flowing through it. That water begins by feeding the upper Russian at Potter Valley, then flows into Lake Mendocino whose waters in turn are released, in a flow determined by the feds (Army Corps of Engineers) into the lower Russian River and on downstream at a rate theoretically aimed at satisfying all its human dependents and preserving fish runs.

HOW MUCH of the Eel, partially diverted at Potter Valley, flows through the old tunnel, is also determined by the federal government via PG&E and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

WHEN YOU COUNT up all the agencies involved in portioning out this modest amount of water, you immediately see that much of the trouble is built-in.

THIS YEAR the concern about not enough water is likely to be year-round in most areas of the County, although Willits and Brooktrails say they're presently flush. Presently, is the operative word here as what appears to be a long, hot summer commences, and a couple of federal agencies and a confusing myriad of self-interested local water districts decide who gets how much.

MENDOCINO COUNTY has, ever since the creation of Coyote Dam and the water piled up behind it at Lake Mendocino, gotten the dry end of the water stick.

GUINESS MCFADDEN, the well-known Potter Valley rancher, grape grower and power plant operator at the Potter Valley end of the tunnel, has correctly pointed out how unreasonable and unfair the feds have been this drought year in deciding the diversion flow from the Eel. Late rains, McFadden wrote, could and should have resulted in more water from the Eel flowing through Potter Valley and downstream into Lake Mendocino for use by locals, especially locals in Redwood Valley. The feds (i.e., the National Marine Fisheries Services, NMFS) said no, and the late spring bonanza was allowed to flow on out to sea while Redwood Valley, the most parched of all downstream users, had its taps shut.

LAKE MENDOCINO remains half-full. And most of its water is owned by Sonoma County. Hot weather and hot-weather demand will deplete it further and, by the end of the summer, we'll all, even Willits, be lamenting the drought and arguing about how what water we have can be equitably allocated.

WHAT REALLY NEEDS to happen is local control of the resource, which isn't likely given the relative power of the federal government and Mendocino County, assuming Mendocino County could unite around a specific water sharing plan. And Mendocino County should at least be thinking about storage plans for what rain we do get in the winter months when and if it rains again like it used to rain.

OR, AS A MENDO GUY puts it: “Lake Pillsbury is entirely within Lake County, within the Mendocino National Forest (which embraces six counties), impounding the main stem of the Eel River (which some believe should more accurately be called the ‘east branch’) which captures waters which flow from the headwaters of the Eel, which are located in Mendocino County, to divert water through a tunnel to the Russian River so it can be sold by the Sonoma County Water Agency at a tidy profit to suburbanites living in Marin County so they can have lush lawns and sparkling clean cars as Mendocino County water runs down the gutters and into the drain.”

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DA DAVID EYSTER deserves credit for maintaining a decent amount of information and statistics related to his office on-line at his county DA webpage ( — much more than his predecessor, Meredith Lintott. As far as we can tell the statistics are objective and unbiased. There are statistics on cases filed and charged, felonies and misdemeanors and a breakdown of which are infractions and probation/parole violations, etc. by month. And they’re maintained fairly current.

THERE’S ALSO AN ASSET FORFEITURE SUMMARY. Mendo has seized a huge amount of assets in 2012 and 2013. Over $4.4 million in cash and goods in 2013, up from over $2.3 million in 2012. (About $270k was returned in 2013 and $454k returned in 2012.). That’s a net of almost $350k a month for 2013. And so far in 2014 it’s running almost $300k per month.

TEN PERCENT of the asset forfeiture money ($410k in 2014) goes to the DA’s office and DA office forfeiture expenses. 25% ($1 million-plus) goes back to the state’s general fund, 64% (goes to an amorphous category called “Law Enforcement Administrators Association Education Fund which appears to be related to training and designated law enforcement and drug prevention projects (which we all know are working really, really well). Tiny amounts go to the California District Attorneys Association and a special “Sexual Assault/Special Investigation Fund.” The rest of this 64% goes to the local police agencies involved in the seizure. A small remaining amount is donated to local drug prevention groups based on applications submitted to the DA who alone gets to dole it out. (The eradication fees that Eyster collects in the many marijuana cases which get reduced to misdemeanors upon such fee payments are in addition to the asset forfeiture and, somewhat surprisingly, those funds are not summarized in the DA’s otherwise extensive on-line reports.

BUT there’s one set of on-line statistics which are not all that impressive lately. The DA’s “Jury Outcomes” report for 2014. According to the DA there have only been nine jury trials in the first one-third of 2014 (four months) — of those, four were DUIs, one was a reckless driving case, one Abalone case (with two defendants), a child molestation case, an on-line child-solicitation case (originating out of the County), and the long-overdue prosecution (and conviction) of Fort Bragg multi-arrest gang-banger Ivan Sanchez for assault with a deadly weapon. Of those nine jury trials, six resulted in guilty verdicts, two in hung juries (Peter Richardson’s DUI and Chris Federline’s DUI), and one not-guilty (the child molestation case against Richard Delapena). Not exactly difficult cases, nor a heavy trial workload and not a particularly stellar conviction rate. Also of note in the 2014 jury trial list is the absence of the DA’s two top prosecutors: DA Eyster himself, and his high-paid, highly-touted Assistant, Paul Sequeira.

SO WHAT? you might ask. Among other things, with all that prosecutorial talent not handling any high-profile cases, why is the case against Dr. Peter Keegan — the only suspect in the murder of Dr. Keegan’s wife Susan Keegan in November of 2010 which the DA’s office officially declared a “homicide,” still — STILL — not charged?

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I need to respond to the Wine Association letter. With due respect to this industry and the friends who people it, joint rationalization of a bad idea does not make it a good one. Just as farmers have a right to farm, citizens have a right to sleep. In our house, I sleep very soundly and my wife is a light sleeper. During the frosts, she had to vacate to the center of our house, wear earplugs, hold a pillow over her head and still not sleep well. I woke up repeatedly through the night, both of us quite angry at the annoying sound. Both of us were dysfunctional the following days.

The recorded hot-line may bring us earplugs and sound machines, but not peace of mind amidst that clamor. I think we have the right to sleep without aids. I know that calls went to the Sheriff and in our house to local wineries at the time but they were also unsatisfyingly: recorded.

Further, what about those who do not know about this plan? The AVA does not reach all members of the valley. I disagree that home garden solutions do not fit in large scale operations and I challenge you to solve this problem by looking at alternate solutions. For example, root based sunflower rototillers (like hand hoe-ing) have successfully replaced accumulating toxic herbicides. I know of three to four different fans including a horizontal version that may be significantly quieter. I am also aware of the Canadian study that reduced frost fan sound to protect the rights of surrounding residents. I think you may find something that further optimizes your success while lowering water dependency.

Your solution could lower your operating costs in general. I suspect that the solution our Ag Commissioner worked on with your association is this letter and plan to call him to confirm that.

Missing at the meetings was a home owner/renter association to challenge the idea of unabated sound. If the solution is the letter then we need more resolve and plan to get it. The sound is a nuisance at a really bad time of the night that violates our county’s noise abatement ordinances and well may also violate a future right to sleep ordinance. There is a reason for this noise ordinance. Can you work for a real solution? It is hard to anticipate another cold night, the noisy outcome that might ensue and the dazed less productive day that follows. Incidentally, I get paid to work efficiently and children need their entire capacity to do good things at school and the infirm need a quiet place to recuperate. Most hospitals have signs saying “Quiet, hospital zone.”

Greg Krouse, Philo

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Some classrooms were on lockdown at Mendocino College Thursday after a discussion about a gun between students spurred a call to authorities that brought armed deputies to the campus, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

The MCSO got a call from campus security at 1:49 p.m. May 1 reporting that a student was in the college's library with a gun, according to spokesman Capt. Greg Van Patten.

"We got there and learned that no one had a gun," Van Patten said.

Responding deputies learned that one student in the library said something about a gun, another student joined in and the conversation became "agitated," but the students were not reportedly arguing, according to Van Patten.

He said the college "tried to initiate a lockdown, but it was very chaotic." The students inside some classrooms were locked in, he said, but there were others walking freely around the campus who thought it was a drill and didn't believe there was potentially a real threat until they saw deputies running with firearms.

"The campus has reached out to us to go over their lockdown procedures," Van Patten said, adding that the MCSO plans to do some training with college staff on emergency protocol at the college's request.

The response was brief, but enough to generate some concern among students and the community.

"In this day and age, any time you mention a gun on a school campus, whether it's an elementary school, a junior high school, a high school, a community college or a four-year college ... we're going to think the worst, until we see otherwise," Van Patten said.

[by Tiffany Revelle, courtesy of the Ukiah Daily Journal]

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ON THURSDAY, APRIL 17 at about 9:20 PM Ukiah Police responded to a residence in the 1100 block of Mulberry Street for a juvenile male destroying the residence. The officers arrived to find the interior of the residence in shambles; there was a hole kicked in the wall, photos and mirrors had been removed from the walls and thrown about the floor and shattered, and furniture had been toppled over. The resident reported her 13 year old grandson had become enraged when she confronted him about hanging around gang members, and he proceeded to cause the damage. The resident requested her grandson be prosecuted, and the 13 year old juvenile male was arrested for vandalism.

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ON SATURDAY, APRIL 19 at about 1:45 AM Ukiah Police responded to the 200 block of East Perkins Street for subjects fighting, and one reportedly swinging a belt. A vehicle window had also apparently been broken out by the same subject. Upon arriving officers observed a male wearing no shirt and with blood on his face running in the middle of Perkins Street [the male, not the blood — ed]. Numerous people were pointing at the subject, who refused commands to stop and ran into the alley between the Perkins Street Grill and Curry’s Furniture. The officer pursued the subject who continued running then began climbing a fence. A police K9 caught up to the subject and assisted the officer in capturing and subduing the subject, who was identified as 19 year old William Cody Wolfe.

Wolfe, Ashurst
Wolfe, Ashurst

It was determined Wolfe and 22 year old Christopher Robert Ashurst had been ejected from the Perkins Street Grill earlier in the evening, and proceeded to become involved in fighting several other people in the parking lot. The fight ended up in the street and a motorist had to stop, and Wolfe swung his belt at the motorist’s window, shattering it. The involved subjects then quickly dispersed upon hearing the police sirens. Wolfe was charged with resisting arrest and vandalism. While investigating this incident, Ashurst was observed walking in the area, yelling and staggering and obviously intoxicated. Ashurst approached a group of people and was contacted by an officer, who observed injuries on Ashurst consistent with being in a fight recently. Ashurst was on probation and prohibited from consuming alcohol, and was arrested for public intoxication and violating probation. (Ukiah Police Department Press Release)

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A FOUR-VEHICLE ACCIDENT that included a big rig closed 101 in both directions yesterday evening three miles north of Laytonville, the CHP reported. 101 was impassable for several hours until controlled, one-way traffic resumed about 8:30pm. No reports of injuries as yet.

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HIT WITH CAR DOOR -- Caller at the Ukiah Cinema 6 parking lot reported at 12:22 a.m. Saturday that he or she had been hit by a car door in the alley, then disconnected.

SHOTS FIRED -- Caller on Louise Court at 2:01 a.m. Saturday reported hearing shots fired. A caller in the 700 block of South Dora Street at 2:09 a.m. reported that neighbors were setting off fireworks.

EMPTY CAR RUNNING -- Caller in the 1100 block of Airport Park Boulevard reported at 9:09 a.m. Saturday that a dark blue Subaru had been running for the past hour with no one in it. An officer responded and contacted the owner.

DUI ARREST -- An officer stopped a vehicle in the 400 block of Luce Avenue at 11:37 a.m. Saturday and arrested Ethan D. Ponedel, 46, no city of residence given, on suspicion of driving under the influence.

MAN SLEEPING ON BENCH -- Caller on Cherry Court reported at 12:19 p.m. Saturday that someone was sleeping on a bench, covered in a blanket. An officer responded and the person left upon request.

SHOPLIFTER -- An officer responded to Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard at 12:37 p.m. Saturday and arrested a 33-year-old Ukiah woman for theft. She was booked into county jail.

CAR EGGER -- Caller in the 500 block of Baywood Court reported at 1:02 p.m. Saturday having an ongoing problem with someone egging cars at night.

DISC GOLFER THREATENED -- Caller at Low Gap Regional Park reported at 4:15 p.m. Saturday being threatened by a man who said he was going to get a gun and shoot the caller because the caller had a dog on the disc golf course. An officer responded and the parties left upon request.

SHOPLIFTER -- An officer responded to Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard at 4:27 p.m. Saturday and arrested a 47-year-old man for theft. He was booked into county jail.

KITE FLYING NEAR HIGHWAY -- Caller in the 600 block of North Orchard Avenue reported at 4:45 p.m. Saturday that a kid was flying a kite in the large field north of Kohl's and the caller was concerned the kite would cause an accident. An officer responded but did not find anyone flying a kite.

TRANSIENTS UNDER BRIDGE -- Caller in the 200 block of South Orchard Avenue reported at 7:18 p.m. Sunday that a group of transients was under the bridge at Gibson Creek. An officer responded but did not find them.

GRAFFITI -- Caller in the 300 block of South School Street reported at 10:41 a.m. Monday finding graffiti in the Alex R. Thomas Jr. Plaza. An officer took a report.

MAN THROWING GARBAGE -- Caller at the corner of Leslie and East Gobbi streets reported at 3:53 p.m. Monday that a man was throwing garbage cans and garbage. An officer responded and arrested a 19-year-old Hopland man for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

BURGLARY -- Caller in the 700 block of Waugh Lane reported at 4:25 p.m. Monday that she came home to her door ajar after the lock was tampered with, but nothing was missing.

CAT ATTACKED -- Caller at Home Depot reported at 5:01 p.m. Monday that a small, black-and-white stray cat that lives near the store's garden center looked to have been attacked by a dog.

BURGLARY -- An officer stopped a suspicious person at the corner of Perry and Rupe streets at 7:25 p.m. Monday and arrested Daniel W. Saia, 36, of Ukiah, on suspicion of burglary and a probation violation.

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

DUI ARREST -- An officer stopped a vehicle at the roundabout in Fort Bragg at 11:55 p.m. Saturday and arrested Donna J. Kline, 57, of Mendocino, on suspicion of driving under the influence.

SON HIT BY PELLET GUN -- Caller in the 100 block of North Sanderson Way reported at 6:21 p.m. Monday that a 7-year-old boy was hit by a pellet from an Air Soft Gun in a back yard. An officer took a report.

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

MARIJUANA SALES, DRUG MANUFACTURE -- Joey R. Long, 24, of Ukiah, was arrested at 1 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, cultivating marijuana and manufacturing a controlled substance by chemical extraction, and booked at the county jail under $50,000 bail.

MARIJUANA SALES, DRUG MANUFACTURE -- Alejandro Ayon, 26, of Redwood Valley, was arrested at 7:23 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, cultivating marijuana and manufacturing a controlled substance by chemical extraction, and booked at the county jail under $50,000 bail. The Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force arrested him.

MARIJUANA SALES, DRUG MANUFACTURE -- Derek W. Qualley, 25, of Redwood Valley, was arrested at 9:37 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, cultivating marijuana and manufacturing a controlled substance by chemical extraction, and booked at the county jail under $50,000 bail. The MMCTF arrested him.

VEHICLE THEFT, DUI -- Beau J. Vaughan, 40, of Mount Shasta, was arrested at 1 a.m. Wednesday on suspicion of vehicle theft, driving under the influence of drugs, possessing a controlled substance, failing to appear in court and violating his probation terms, and booked at the county jail under $1,000 bail. The California Highway Patrol arrested him.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE -- Steve G. Tackett, 50, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 8:03 a.m. Wednesday on suspicion of domestic assault and driving without a license, and booked at the county jail under $26,500 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE -- Charles T. Cudworth, 31, of Picayune, Miss., was arrested at 9:14 a.m. Wednesday on suspicion of domestic assault and driving with a suspended license, and booked at the county jail. The MCSO arrested him.

DUI -- Deborah L. Salvino, 46, of Westport, was arrested at 12:41 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit and violating her probation terms, and booked at the county jail. The CHP arrested her.

DRUG SALES -- Jonathan R. Cisneros, 24, of Ukiah, was arrested at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine for sale, possessing a controlled substance for sale and being armed with a gun, and booked at the county jail under $50,000 bail. The MMCTF arrested him.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE -- Robert R. Viale, 39, of Redwood Valley, was arrested at 8:28 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of domestic assault and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

DUI WITH PRIORS -- Joshua J. Owejan, 30, of Arcata, was arrested at 8:02 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of driving under the influence with prior convictions and booked at the county jail. The MCSO arrested him.

RECKLESS EVADING -- Ben E. Brooks, 32, of Ukiah, was arrested at 9:40 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of driving recklessly while evading a peace officer and booked at the county jail under $35,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

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ON MAY 1, 2014, 22 days after the Supervisor's meeting of April 8th, the video of the April 8th meeting has been posted. So what? You shrug and your clogged intake valves groan as you move on to absorb greater disasters. Belated postings annoy us, and they should annoy you, although we're probably the only people who watch the County leadership gavel to gavel.

TARDY POSTINGS should annoy you because the County, which is your tax money, pays a private individual to post the meetings, a simple matter of some distracted sloth directing his torpid fingers to click here, click there. If the sloth were getting paid by, say, the Ukiah Safeway to post stuff you can be sure that Ukiah Safeway would quickly find someone else's torpid fingers to do the clicking and the clacking if he couldn't click and clack in the timely manner he's getting paid to click and clack. It's a small thing, but it's a small thing that indicates how the bigger thing is managed.

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by Tiffany Revelle

A Fort Bragg man accused of sexually molesting a boy, giving him drugs and showing him pornography took a plea deal Wednesday in Mendocino County Superior Court that has him facing a possible eight-year prison sentence, according to Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster.


Harold Casebolt, 51, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to charges of annoying or molesting a child younger than 18 and giving methamphetamine to a minor, and admitted to a special allegation that he was at least four years older than the victim.

In exchange for his guilty plea, the DA's Office dropped felony charges against Casebolt of committing lewd or lascivious acts on a child, furnishing marijuana to a minor, child endangerment, administering a controlled substance to aid another felony and a misdemeanor charge of distributing harmful matter to a minor.

Sheriff's deputies in March arrested Casebolt after answering a call reporting he was possibly molesting a boy in his custody. They found Casebolt and the boy, who had been living with him just more than a month, watching porn with sexual instruments and marijuana lying around in plain sight, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported previously.

Sheriff's detectives responded and learned that both Casebolt and the boy were under the influence of methamphetamine, and that the boy had been using meth and marijuana Casebolt allegedly gave him, according to the MCSO.

Investigation revealed that Casebolt allowed the boy to watch porn and watched it with him, and that he had “repeatedly and inappropriately touched” the boy in a bed they shared, according to the MCSO.

Casebolt is due back in court for sentencing in mid-June.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Dear Editor:

Folks in Point Arena have been asking me about the article I wrote on the state of the current Point Arena City Council and possible Re-annexation of Point Arena: “Koogle Boondoggle” or “Re-annexation for Point Arena?” Most folks who haven't run for Council and live just outside the City limits, as well as many within the City limits, like the idea of re-annexation of the City of Point Arena.

While I see Anderson Valley struggling with the issue of incorporation, I wrote the article on the City of Point Arena and the generationally redundant struggles with trying to find a legally elected panel for City Council and Planning Commission, because Point Arena is too small in and of itself to actually run an incorporated “City.” Some who've considered the issue say to re-annex everyone who gets mail for Point Arena. However, folks who don't log on or pay the $25 for the AVA's website, will miss “Koogle Boondoggle” or any knowledge of it.

Is there any way to print a small space in weekly newsprint describing the titles of what was submitted and posted in toto for that week on the AVA's website - in case anyone wants to make the effort to refer to the Internet to view the rest of the AVA's articles for that week? For those of you who missed it, the article is in the April 23rd postings on the AVA's website and subscriptions are only about $25/year. Weekly and daily postings from readers are... interesting!


Debra Keipp, Occasional Contributor to the AVA

ED NOTE: The PA article has been removed from behind the pay wall.

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STATEMENT OF THE DAY: I think people who are unhappy are always proud of being so, and therefore do not like to be told that there is nothing grand about their unhappiness. A man who is melancholy because lack of exercise has upset his liver always believes that it is the loss of God, or the menace of Bolshevism, or some such dignified cause that makes him sad. When you tell people that happiness is a simple matter, they get annoyed with you.

— Bertrand Russell, 17 February 1931, from a letter to his publisher W.W. Norton

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I got another letter telling me that instead of the current TV listing coming with the Sunday Eureka Times-Standard, it’s now going to show up on Thursday with the revolting title of “URGE.” I’m not kidding you. Kim Wear confirmed in Sunday’s paper that “Urge” will contain the entertainment news that was in the TriCity and that the TriCity will be downgraded to a weekly shopper, published on Tuesdays.

It’s been obvious for a long time that the T-S was in trouble and I sympathize with Kim, Clay and the other talented people down there. But really, “Urge”? What urge are we referring to? Is it the urge to go sit on the pot while you read the paper? An “urge” is not a pleasant sensation. According to my dictionary, it’s “a strong need, wish or impulse to do something.” Has the entertainment scene up here grown that dire? Do you go to concerts or movies because of an “urge” to do so? I didn’t think so. The urge to vomit is a typical urge. Somehow I don’t think that’s what they meant to suggest, but there it is. Was this revolting nomenclature dictated by corporate powers?

The T-S has been carrying ads for months now advertising their surplus paper for sale. This is creepy, like a drunk selling his blood, but it was a fair augury of things to come. I literally learned to read on the morning Times (that, and Little Lulu comics) and I take umbrage when people mess with my paper, especially by imposing a title that smacks more of biology than entertainment. Sorry, “Urge” just doesn’t cut it. Go back to the drawing board, folks, and meanwhile I’ll be figuring out where to squeeze out an extra $60 bucks a year for the dubious pleasure of reading a publication called “Urge.” Urge? Come on, now. What’s next? Barf?

— Julie Timmons, Courtesy

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Making Changes for People

by Ralph Nader

This week, my new book is coming out with a daring goal. It is to break through the corporate imposed gridlock that prevents those on the left and right from realizing they actually agree on and can activate new directions for our country. The book’s title — Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State— reflects the direction of this desired action-driven dialogue.

Appearing on C-SPAN last Sunday, a widely syndicated columnist for the Chicago-Tribune — Clarence Page — said that he’s “writing a lot these days about left/right coalitions.” He was referring to such coalitions for prison reform, a review of the war on drugs and the passage of legislation in numerous states regarding juvenile justice reforms.

But there are many more long-overdue redirections of our nation that receive left/right convergence at various stages from the verbal to parallel activities to outright coordinated action. In defiance of their respective political leaders, Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a large combination of Republicans and Democrats came stunningly close (217 to 205) on July 24, 2013, to passing through the House of Representatives a ban on NSA dragnet snooping on the American people.

A comprehensive whistle-blowing bill protecting federal employees who want to speak out on waste, fraud and corruption overcame corporate opposition with an overwhelming congressional vote in 2013. The formidable lobby of corporate contractors delayed the bill’s passage but, in the end, left/right convergence made this reform possible.

Public opinion polls regularly reflect left/right concurrence. From 70 to 80 percent of the people support a restoration of the minimum wage to reflect the erosions of inflation. Higher percentages want the “too big to fail” big banks to be broken up. Even higher numbers object to the non-prosecution of corporate crooks, especially those responsible for the Wall Street crash of 2008-2009 that drove the economy into a severe recession, cost savers trillions of dollars and led to a huge taxpayer bailout.

Called crony capitalism by the right and corporate welfare by the left, there is a rising tide of revulsion against the rich and powerful freeloading on the backs of ordinary taxpayers.

A left-right majority consensus has emerged in the past decade directed against Empire and unconstitutional wars. Conservative members of Congress such as Rep. Walter Jones, former Congressman Ron Paul and libertarian Cato Institute leader Ed Crane are strong in opposing this imperial overreach and the corporate interests profiting from such costly aggressions.

There are latent majorities on numerous issues that do not see the light of day because the corporatists’ toadies — the political leaders in Congress — make sure there are no hearings, no floor debates or votes. Predictably, pollsters do not poll questions that are not on the table, such as long-time majority support for full Medicare for everybody, so the public is kept from having its voice reflected. By the same token, politicians, marinated in commercial campaign money, do not campaign on these convergences between the left and right.

It is a neglected responsibility of the mainstream media to expand reporting on left/right concurrences, especially where they move into action around the country. It is our responsibility as citizens to more visibly surface these agreements into a new wave of political reform. Guess what? It starts with left/right conversations where we live and work. Not even corporatists can stop you from getting that train moving.

For signed copies of Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, visit

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.)

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Fri-Sun May 2-4 - Handley Cellars Local Food Pairing - (see info below)

Sat May 3 - Boonville Farmers’ Market Plant Sale - Boonville Hotel - 10-12:30 am (see info below)

Every Mon - Farm & Garden Show - KZYX 90.7 FM - 1-2 pm

Tue May 6 - Holistic Health Perspectives - KZYX 90.7 FM - 1-2 pm

Every Tue - Agriculture & Ecology Hour - KZYX 90.7 FM - 7:00 pm

Sat May 10 - AVHS Ag. Dept Plant Sale - AV High School - 9AM to Noon (see info below)

Sat May 10 - Boonville Farmers’ Market - Boonville Hotel - 10-12:30 am

Sun May 11 - AV Grange Pancake Breakfast - Philo Grange - 8:30-11:00 am (see info below)

Mon May 12 - Mendocino County Fair Board Meeting - FG Conference Room - 7 pm

Fri May 16 - AV Bee Club (time and location TBA)

Sat May 17 - Boonville Farmers’ Market - Boonville Hotel - 10-12:30 am

Sat May 17 - Handley Cellars Winemaker Dinner - 6:30 pm (see info below)

Sun May 18 - AV Foodshed Third Sunday event - AV Grange - (details coming soon)

Tue May 20 - AV Food Bank - Boonville Methodist Church (see info below)

Tue May 20 - Holistic Health Perspectives - KZYX 90.7 FM - 1-2 pm

Tue May 20 - AV Solar Grange #669 Meeting - Philo Grange - 7 pm potluck

Tue May 20 - Mendocino Farmers Guild - Willits - (see info below)

Fri-Sun May 23-25 - Handley Cellars Local Food Pairing - (see info below)

Sat May 24 - Boonville Farmers’ Market - Boonville Hotel - 10-12:30 am

Sat May 31 - Boonville Farmers’ Market - Boonville Hotel - 10-12:30 am

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The AV Senior/Community Center has an expanding vegetable garden that is providing some of the produce for the meals there. All community members are encouraged to take advantage of this local food opportunity. For meal schedule and more information go to or call Gina at 895-3609.

Restaurants in Anderson Valley that support our farmers by using locally grown produce are Aquarelle Cafe, Boont Berry Farm, Boonville General Store, Boonville Hotel, Coq au Vin, Lauren’s Café, Paysanne and Mosswood Market.

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Eating Locally This Month

In farms and backyard gardens throughout our area we are seeing artichokes, strawberries, spring greens, spring onions, carrots, radishes, peas, culinary and medicinal herbs and more!

Egg production is ramping up and there is milk and meat available. If you would like to know about local sources, please reply. Also, if you have a local food product to sell or trade, let us know. If you are interested in being a vendor in any of the Mendocino County Farmers’ Markets, visit

We would like to have you share how you eat locally - what you grow and what you do with it, where you purchase locally produced products, etc. If you feel inspired to, please reply.

The summer Boonville Farmers’ Market is starting up. As a reminder, here is the article that went out a couple of weeks ago.

*Boonville Farmers' Market 2014 Opening Day*

Saturday, May 3rd, is the opening day and spring plant sale at the Boonville Farmers' Market. Come to the Boonville Hotel parking lot from 10-12:30 to get your healthy spring and summer veggie starts plus vibrant fresh kale, cabbage, carrots, parsley, radishes, Swiss chard, chicken, eggs, and meat for your home-cooked meals.

The market will be open every Saturday from May through October. Committed vendors this season are Anderson Valley Community Farm, Brock Farm, Erwin, Highland Organic Farm, Lone Oaks, Philo Hill, and Yorkville Olive Oil.

The line up of musicians is almost complete for the season with Leslie and Michael Hubbert doing the honors of opening the market. The McEwen's will debut their ollalieberry jams, jellies, and other preserves. T shirts, BFM shopping bags, and Secrets of Salsa cookbooks will be available.

We hope you will come join us to support our local farmers, gather plant starts for your own garden, talk with your friends and neighbors, enjoy the music and choose some freshly picked produce.

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Good Morning,

It is almost time for the AVHS Ag. Dept Plant Sale!

Put May 10th on your calendar, 9AM to Noon, at the high school

Also, we are in the planning stages for our spring Drive Thru Dinner. Tickets will be available at the Plant Sale. The dinner will be May 22nd.

Thanks for your continuing support,

Beth Swehla

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The Anderson Valley Solar Grange is having its regular second Sunday Local Organic Pancake Breakfast on Mother’s Day, May 11th from 8:30-11 at the Grange in Philo at 9800 Hwy 128. Breakfast ranges from $5-10 for kids through hungry folks sizes with local Ukiah grown Mendocino Grain Project wheat, organic buttermilk, and local bacon and eggs.

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The Anderson Valley Food Bank distributes on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. We distribute at the Boonville Methodist Church. We are now buying and giving out fresh produce from Burt at BBF and are seeking further improvements of a local nature!

Denisse Mattei is the Food Bank director. You can reach her at 895-3763.

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The Northern California Farm Guild Network now has four guilds. The Mendocino Farm Guild meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6pm at the Little Lake Grange Hall, 291 School Street, Willits. For more information on what the Farm Guild is all about, go to

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We're doing some spring cleaning at Mendocino Organics, and we need to make space in our freezer. Come by Heart Arrow Ranch between Redwood Valley and Willits for some sustainable meats this grilling season! Purchase in bulk (at least 15 pounds) and get wholesale prices, while supplies last: - Ground Lamb $7.00/lb - Bratwurst & Maple Beef-Pork Sausages $8.25/lb - Pork Back Fat - perfect for homemade lard - Pork Skin - perfect of chicharrones

Also, we now accept EBT!! We will waive the 15-lb minimum order if you want to use your EBT card.

Contact us to come by the ranch and purchase. (707) 272-2711

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West Company continues to offer FREE farm business development services. Some folks have been asking, and YES, free consulting is still available. Become a client with West Company and schedule consultations to fit your busy schedule.

We have consultants ready to help with: - Farming Technical Assistance - Business Planning - Enterprise Budgeting - Accounting Basics - Financial Management - Operations Management - Human Resources - Marketing - Loan Applications and more...

Find out more by contacting Paula Gaska, Project Organizer of the Strengthening CSAs Program at West Company (707) 272-2711 Visit for more details and to read farmer testimonials.

West Company is offering free business services through the Strengthening CSAs by Building Capacity and Expanding Markets Project funded by the USDA.

Beef For Sale Grass Fed Murray Grey Beef, 1/4's 4 Bar K Ranch in Boonville, CA is offering premium grass fed beef for sale. This is local grass fed beef, raised in rural Anderson Valley, in Mendocino County, with no shots or hormones, just excellent, lean, grass finished beef. We added the Murray Grey stock to our traditional Brangus cross, beef herd because of the Murray Grey’s ability to produce quality mild tasting grass fed beef. Murray Greys originated in Australia, they excel in finishing on a diet of grass only, making them very attractive to the emerging US market for grass-fed beef. Murray Grey grass-finished beef is a healthy heart alternative to fish and chicken meat. Plus, these Murray Grey cattle have an inherent ability to efficiently use pasture and to consistently finish Choice on grass. Our beef is slaughtered locally, then hung, cut and wrapped by a state inspected, professional butcher shop to our specifications. We sell live beef by the quarter, and the cost is between $3.50 - $3.75 per pound of hanging weight, plus 1/4 of cost of slaughtering, hang, cut and wrap. This usually amounts to approximately $6.00 to $7.00 per pound of packaged, premium, local, grass fed beef. The beef we are offering is smaller which reduces your cost to try some premium beef and it will be available soon. If interested please contact Dave Kooyers at (707) 895-2325. Why Grass Fed Beef? It is an incredibly delicious and healthy tender meat with less fat, calories and cholesterol. It will usually require less cooking time because it is leaner and richer in healthy fats. NO antibiotic-laced feed, NO growth implants, No steroids, NO hormones, NO animal by-product feed, NO preservatives and NO unhealthy feed lot confinement. Our cattle only eat grass, and some acorns in the fall, with plenty of clean water. Grass-finished beef is healthy for you. It is claimed by many to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and E, beta-carotene, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and beta carotene.

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Friday May 2nd - Sun May 4th in the Handley Cellars Tasting Room, 3151 Hwy 128 in Philo:

Handley will be offering a monthly food pairing in our tasting room, featuring all things local and organic. Stop by for a bite and a sip: in celebration of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo, we’ll be featuring Ceviche on homemade Organic corn chips, paired with one of our spice-friendly new release white wines. The Ceviche will feature local, fresh-caught seafood, herbs grown in our own gardens, and other products sourced from our local purveyors and farmers, including Boont Berry Farm, Camp Gunterhaven (formerly of Lovin’ Blooms fame), and Lemon’s Philo Market.

May 17th @ 6:30 - Handley Cellars with Chef Janelle Weaver of The Bewildered Pig We will be hosting a winemaker dinner in the cellar, as part of the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. The Bewildered Pigs will be pairing their dizzying array of delights, sourced from Mendocino County, with the Pinots of Waits-Mast Family Cellars, Bink Wines, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, and Handley Cellars.

“Chef Janelle Weaver has a crazy penchant for all things wild and foraged, and she turns them into elegantly whimsical creations, that taste as good as they look. Perhaps some spring lamb or rabbit from her own farm? Maybe some duck… definitely some North Coast staples: morels, nettles, fiddleheads… and then there’s the seafood. What will be on the boats?” Keep an eye to, Handley’s brand new website with regularly updated News & Events for a detailed menu of Janelle’s fabulous menu, featuring all local delights.

To reserve a seat at the table, please go here:

May 23rd - May 25th for Memorial Day Weekend at Handley Cellars: We’ll be offering a weekend long food pairing, and playing host to an art show with the Gualala Art Center’s Discovery Tour. Come to our open house on Sunday and peruse the art. We’ll be featuring delicious local food bites, including our ever-popular Kukuye Sabzi with local greens and fresh herbs from our gardens, Pate with local meat from The Bewildered Pig, and local pork and/or lamb sliders, featuring slider buns hand made by Burt Cohen in Boont Berry Farm’s kitchen, produce from Camp Gunterhaven and Handley Cellars, and other local purveyors TBD.

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GunterHaven - Plants for sale in Philo - vegetables, herbs and flowers - call for appointment - Gunther or Lisa - 707-895-2104

One Comment

  1. chewsome May 2, 2014

    AVA today wrote:

    “ON MAY 1, 2014, 22 days after the Supervisor’s meeting of April 8th, the video of the April 8th meeting has been posted. So what? You shrug and your clogged intake valves groan as you move on to absorb greater disasters.”

    In response:

    As of May, 02, 2014, 23 days after the County of Mendocino Board of Supervisor’s meeting of April 8th, the video of the April 8th meeting has not been posted at the Official County Government Online Resource webpage for BOS Agendas & Minutes.

    The most recent posted meeting video is for meeting of March 25, 2014.

    The AVA laments in Mendocino County Today: Friday, May 2, 2014 blog, about the recent May 01, 2014 tardy posting of the April 8, 2014 meeting Board of Supervisors video.

    However, the AVA is actually referencing placement of a video archive on the website of Mendocino Access Television, who live transmitted and video recorded the meeting.

    Some clarification is in order.

    The videos are posted online by a business in the state of Washington, because the county entities lacks sufficient bandwidth to host the videos, is the lame excuse, if the procedure of years ago is still in effect.

    This mindset was back at the time the BOS conducted a Boonville meeting for preliminary approval of the 99 plant exemption program since discontinued, a meeting which was publicly noticed in an usual format by County Counsel, which hid the meeting agenda item in plain sight, and was not caught in advance by the media reporters to inform the general public.

    Furthermore, at that distant past event, the meeting video was not posted on the County website nor that of Mendocino Access Television website, until well after the statute of limitations passed for challenging the meeting notice requirements under the Brown Act, the state’s Open Meeting Law.

    The contention here is that the County of Mendocino Executive Office continues to obstruct fair implementation of system of checks and balances to deliberately defeat the intent of the state’s Open Meeting law, to expedite government as a business entity not necessarily as the public interest resource it once was.

    As an aside, this is the ‘elephant in the room’ explanation reason why the Supervisors do not meet regularly on a Tuesday, and instead bunch their meetings into adjacent days, scattered weeks apart, which has partially derailed Louis Bigfoot’s determined efforts of meeting streaming scheduled on KMEC FM radio webcasts with Supervisor Reports each Tuesday.

    The obstruction by the Clerk of the Board/ Executive Office, by default is done with not timely posting Board of Supervisors meeting official videos, to thwart public engagement, enable Brown Act violations without timely appeal by the public of the meetings going ons, as required within 30 days to correct a procedural violation.

    Now stepping down from the soapbox, county insiders could nudge the AVA to view even the not officially posted, more recent 4-22-2014 meeting, which is in almost daily video rotation on Mendocino Access Televison’s Channel 65.

    This channel is the ‘live’ feed at the website For the reporters and media watch dogs, it takes a computer with sufficient RAM and up to date operating system, once the video has played, to backup review an earlier segment of the meeting in the web browser window, for accurate reporting and analysis.

    The technical hurdle is a significant burden and inconvenience. The AVA is right to protest the County Executive Office deviltry to not post official video until after Brown Act violations can not be challenged.

    This hiding of the meeting video posting from the official record, sure helps keep the ‘outtahere who knows who’ from looking over the County shoulders, and weakens responsible government to be free of local cronyism and not obstructed by lazy county employess.

    Screen copied: Fri May 2, 2014 at 10 AM

    Viewing meeting archive for 2014
    April 22, 2014 Minutes

    April 8, 2014 Minutes

    March 25, 2014 Minutes Video

    Online Videos
    April 8, 2014
    – – –

    Online Video

    Video – Schedule for Channel 65
    Saturday, May 3, 2014
    1:00 AM Mendocino County Board of Supervisors 4-8-14
    7:00 AM Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) 4-7-14
    8:00 AM Red Cross Training 2013
    9:00 AM Mendocino County Office of Education 4-14-14
    11:00 AM Mendocino County Board of Supervisors 4-22-14
    4:30 PM Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) 4-7-14
    6:00 PM Mendocino County Office of Education 4-14-14
    8:00 PM Mendocino Council of Governments 3-3-14

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