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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, May 17, 2014

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I'M AS BORING AS THE NEXT GUY, so I'm going to tell you about what happened late last Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco. That was the hundred-degree, globally warmed Wednesday afternoon a few days ago when it was around 80 even at the ocean.

A few weeks ago, walking through the cool precincts of the Presidio, on a chilly Wednesday afternoon, I'd had a little run-in with an old lady and her two dogs. Both the animals had lunged at me. One of them was a giant poodle, and way too much dog for its owner, the other a much smaller mutt. The poodle, perhaps sensing my dislike for him and his entire breed, took a shot at my thigh.

I'd been in a serene mental neutral paying no attention to my fellow pedestrians when the sudden attack startled hell out of me. “These things are supposed to be leashed!” I yelled at the old girl, immediately wishing I hadn't because she practically genuflected as she scurried around to get her animals under control, repeatedly assuring me that she was “Sorry, sorry, sorry.”

I always walk around Frisco with a big stick because dogs aren't the only possible assailants, although they're the most frequent, the most likely, and there are now more of them than human-type people. The old lady was still grappling with the poodle as I trucked on thinking less neutral thoughts about how happy I was at the proliferation of coyotes in the city, hoping they proliferate to where the Dog People will have to leash their beasts simply to keep them safe from the Real Dogs.

That was then, I'm now talking about this past Wednesday, the torrid Wednesday. The pavement was hot enough to feel through my shoes, and again I was shuffling along thinking good thoughts when Jesu Cristo! there's the same old lady and her two dogs! And again her two dogs were running around all over the trail paying her no mind at all. She's still thirty yards off but spots me, Mr. Leash Law, striding towards her. (Please don't get the idea I go around hassling old ladies just because old men have it coming.) Anyway, the old lady, seeing me moving toward her, throws up her arms in absolute panic and, fumbling with her two leashes, frantically tries to hook up her dogs, not completing her wild attempts at compliance until I'm adjacent to her and congratulating her, “Atta, girl. Keep up the good work.”

“Thank you; thank you very much,” she said. For what? I wondered. Getting inside her fearful old head for a month, ruining her afternoon outings with her two dogs for fear King Lear would again come striding officiously up to admonish her, destroying one of the only pleasures she has left, a walk in the park with her out-of-control dogs?

I take another path these days.

FARTHER ON, not far from the Lobos Creek Overlook, and on that same day, I saw a sight that stopped traffic up and down Wedemeyer. I was walking uphill when two young women appeared from the west, out of the dunes, from the direction of the old enlisted men's housing. One of them was conventionally clad, the other one was barely clad at all. At Baker Beach, a notorious nearby scene of year-round debauch, the barely clad woman would have attracted attention — she would attract attention anywhere — but her presentation would not have been unexpected in the warm weather panorama of nudes and open air sex. But here she was walking up a fairly heavily traveled public street, and she was large and voluptuous — proportionally, goddess-like voluptuous — six feet of ambulating invitation. And nude except for a couple of, I don't know, shoe strings? I was on the downhill behind her, and I'll confess that this amazing spectacle had my prostate singing for the first time in years.

IT SEEMED ODD, to me anyway, that the naked young woman seemed oblivious of the tumult she instantly caused. She and her fully clad friend walked on, chatting away as if they were the only people in the entire area as an Asian tourist van stopped in the middle of the street as its passengers took pictures; a black guy leaned out of his car window to shout “Bravo!”; other cars were honking approval, and a bunch of men came hustling out of a Presidio shop near the top of the hill to gaze, transfixed, as the naked lady strolled past, she and her companion giving no sign of the disturbance all around them.

THE WHOLE SHOW'S probably on YouTube, but I don't think my prostate can stand a repeat performance.

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ON MAY 9TH at about 12:00 AM Ukiah Police responded to the area of West Perkins and North Dora Streets for a physical altercation. Officers contacted 53 year old Kenneth Ray Good, and another male and a female. Officers were told Good was the female’s ex-boyfriend, and that she was currently dating the other male subject. The couple reported they were in the Ukiah Brewery earlier in the evening, when Good threw a napkin at them. Having gotten their attention Good waved at the couple, and the male confronted Good about an obnoxious note believed left by Good on the subject’s vehicle. Good apparently shoved the male subject, and then later confronted him again before being asked to leave by security. The couple left the Ukiah Brewery several hours later and were walking near Perkins and Dora, and were again confronted by Good who had apparently been waiting for them. The couple reported Good and the male subject argued, and Good punched the male subject in the face. The male subject pushed Good away, and the two continued to argue until officers arrived. The victim ultimately placed Good under citizen’s arrest for battery, and he was booked into the Mendocino County Jail. The victim later contacted Ukiah Police and reported he discovered his vehicle had been tampered with during the same time frame Good had left a note on the vehicle. A charge of vehicle tampering against Good is being sought with the District Attorney’s Office. (Ukiah Police Incident Report)

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ON MAY 9TH at about 6:05 PM Ukiah Police responded to a residence in the 200 block of West Gobbi Street, for a juvenile male attempting to stab his mother. Arriving officers heard a struggle inside the residence, and attempted to enter but were not able to fully push open the door. An officer was able to see the 16 year old male juvenile suspect on top of his mother on the floor, positioned next to the door preventing it from being opened. The juvenile was punching his mother in her head and would not stop. The officer was unable to enter the residence, and had to deploy his Taser at the suspect to get him to stop striking the victim. The officer reached in and moved the suspect so officers could enter, and went to restrain the suspect. The suspect began thrashing about and was eventually placed into handcuffs after a struggle. Officers learned the juvenile suspect became angry when his mother would not allow him to visit friends, fearing he would continue to smoke marijuana. The juvenile suspect grabbed the victim’s cellphone from her and began striking her in the head, before being restrained by a male adult who also resided at the location. The juvenile suspect calmed, but soon became irate again when stopped from leaving the residence. The suspect stated he was going to get a knife, and went to the kitchen and took a knife from a drawer. The suspect then began advancing towards the victim while waving the knife, stating he was going to stab her. The suspect again tried to leave and the victim blocked his path, and the suspect took the victim to the ground and began punching her until officers arrived. The juvenile suspect was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, threats, and resisting arrest. (Ukiah Police Incident Report)

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ON MAY 11TH Ukiah Police responded to 1070 South State Street for a male seen masturbating in the bushes behind the motel. Officers learned a guest had observed 42 year old Jerome Eugene McMurphy standing in the bushes with his pants to his knees. McMurphy was masturbating and looking through the bushes towards a playground containing children playing. The guest was headed towards the location to confront McMurphy, and was joined by another guest and they yelled to McMurphy to leave. McMurphy was soon contacted by another responding officer. McMurphy stated he was on parole for indecent exposure, and was identified by the witnesses. McMurphy was placed under citizen’s arrest for indecent exposure, and also charged with violating parole. (Ukiah Police Incident Report)

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Weaver, Tutera, Potts
Weaver, Tutera, Potts

ON MAY 12TH at about 8:25 AM Ukiah Police responded to the Comfort Inn, at 1220 Airport Park Boulevard, for a subject lying on the ground in the parking lot. Officers located 33 year old Gary Potts, of New Jersey, lying on the ground in the parking lot. Potts stated he was chasing a dog and fell, but declined medical assistance. Potts was found to be on probation, and to possess heroin and was arrested. Potts’ probation officer arrived and explained Potts was placed at the hotel, awaiting transfer to New Jersey. Officers proceeded to Potts’ room to perform a probation search, and contacted 27 year old Bianca Carollina Tutera, of Florida, and 46 year old Asahel Harold Weaver, of Willits, who was also on probation, inside the room. A search of the room revealed Oxycodone tablets, used nitrous oxide canisters, items used to ingest nitrous oxide, concentrated cannabis, over 20 pounds of marijuana in one pound packages, and items used to package marijuana. Potts, Tutera, and Weaver were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy and possessing marijuana for sale. Weaver was also charged with violating probation, and Potts was also charged with violating probation as well as possessing heroin, possessing concentrated cannabis, and possessing a narcotic. (Ukiah Police Incident Report)

(ED NOTE: Asahel Weaver is a frequent flyer tweaker-drug abuser/meth dealer/serious criminal who should be in prison, not out on the streets with other, younger, dumber druggies. By our informal count he has been arrested at least 15 times mostly for drug and related probation violations, but also for grand theft, driving without a license, burglary, trespassing, vandalism… going back to 2006 or further. Why his long rap-sheet was not mentioned in the UPD report is unclear.)

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DEATH -- An officer responded to the 1200 block of South State Street at 8:07 a.m. Wednesday and took a report of a death.

VEHICLE PROWL -- Caller in the 500 block of North School Street reported at 8:48 a.m. Wednesday that a car had been burglarized. Nothing of value appeared to be missing.

BARN BURGLARIZED -- Caller in the 700 block of East Gobbi Street reported at 10:26 a.m. Wednesday that a barn had been burglarized.

BARKING DOGS -- Caller in the 200 block of Burlington Drive called again about barking dogs nearby that an officer had previously dealt with. The officer responded again and left another card at the residence.

WINDSHIELD BROKEN -- Caller in the 1300 block of South Dora Street reported at 12:31 p.m. Wednesday that a vehicle windshield had been broken within the past few hours.

MAILBOX BROKEN INTO -- Caller in the 100 block of Brush Street reported at 3:42 p.m. Wednesday that someone broke into her mailbox. At 4:36 p.m., she reported that it had been damaged and it was unknown if any mail was stolen.

MAN STOLE PERFUME -- Caller at Kohl's on North Orchard Avenue reported at 7:43 p.m. Wednesday that a man wearing cut-off shorts had put perfume in his pocket. An officer responded and arrested a 46-year-old man for theft. He was booked into county jail.

DUI ARREST -- An officer stopped a vehicle in the 600 block of North State Street at 9:22 p.m. Wednesday and arrested Derek Killough, 30, hometown not listed, on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was cited and released.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE -- Caller in the 1200 block of South State Street reported at 10:56 p.m. Wednesday hearing a couple fighting. An officer responded and arrested Joshua Keys, 23, on suspicion of domestic violence. He was booked into county jail.

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From Media Spokesperson, Assistant District Attorney Christine Cook, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California

SoCo District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that Dyke Clyde Dewitt, 65, of Cloverdale, a former teacher’s aide at Cloverdale High School, pleaded no contest to charges he molested three teenage boys, two of whom were students at the school. Dewitt entered no contest pleas on May 7, 2014, to eight counts of lewd acts on the minors and one count of possessing child pornography. Under an agreement with the District Attorney’s Office, he will be sentenced to 11 years, four months in state prison when he is sentenced on July 3, 2014.

District Attorney Ravitch stated: “This is a tragic and classic case of a child molester who used a position of trust to prey on vulnerable children. The lengthy term of imprisonment serves to hold the offender accountable and keep the community safe.”

Dewitt worked as an instructional aide for Cloverdale High School in a special education classroom when the molestations took place. Dewitt befriended one 15-year-old student at the school and offered him the opportunity to do odd jobs at Dewitt’s trailer. That child testified at a preliminary hearing in April 2013, that Dewitt sexually molested him numerous times over the summer and fall of 2012.

The second victim, a developmentally disabled 15-year-old boy, testified at the preliminary hearing that Dewitt sexually molested him at a Cloverdale campground as well as at Dewitt’s trailer. The third victim, also developmentally disabled, was a student in Dewitt’s class. A classmate testified during a preliminary hearing in January 2014 that he saw Dewitt touch this victim over his clothes in the genital area during class.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Dewitt at his trailer on October 11, 2012. During the service of a search warrant, detectives seized a laptop computer and later found more than 2000 images and videos containing child pornography.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Barbara Nanney. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Detective Matthew North headed the investigation.

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SOCO DA RAVITCH throws a big press release for a Cloverdale chomo but retreats into transparent evasions when it comes to the Lopez case, announcing late Friday that she hasn't made a decision whether or not to bring criminal charges against the deputy who shot the boy to death. Ravitch has put the decision off for months, claiming it's still under investigation. As a candidate for re-election June 3rd, Ravitch is obviously waiting until after the election to announce that she won't prosecute because the boy's death was clearly a terrible accident. He was carrying a toy gun that looked real and the deputy, who certainly did seem awfully quick on the trigger, shot him several times on the assumption the gun was real and the kid was some kind of lethal gang banger. Race demagogues and professional cop haters, egged on by a lot of stupid reporting from the Press Democrat, portray the cop, a fellow named Gelhaus, as a racist and homicidal maniac. Ravitch should have wrapped the case up months ago one way or the other with full disclosure of all the facts. Her stalling and lying like this is another reason not to vote for her.

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• Original Press Release:

On 05-12-2014 at 10:09 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to downtown Laytonville, California to meet with person who had discovered the presence of two deceased people at a Laytonville residence. Upon meeting with the person, Deputies were escorted to a residence located in the area of Woodman Peak in a rural portion of Laytonville. Upon arrival Deputies confirmed the presence of two deceased people believed to be the victims of a homicide. Sheriff's Detectives have been summoned to the location and further investigations are ongoing at this time. No further information is available at this time.

• Update #1

On 05-12-2014 Sheriff's Detectives conducted a scene investigation on a piece of property located in the 6000 block of Woodman Creek Road in a rural portion of Laytonville, California. The property contained two travel trailers and a greenhouse structure being utilized to grow approximately 180 marijuana plants that were approximately 6-12 inches tall. Inside the greenhouse structure were two deceased adult male bodies that were in advanced stages of decomposition. Sheriff's Detectives were unable to note any obvious visual signs as to a cause of death for each person due to the condition of their bodies. Forensic autopsies have been scheduled for the afternoon of 05-13-2014 and Sheriff's Detectives have yet to positively identify each person. Anyone with information that could aid Sheriff's Detectives in this investigation is urged to call the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100. Further information will be released, as it becomes available, with subsequent press releases.

• Update #2

On 05-16-2014 Sheriff's Detectives were able to identify the decedents as being Felipe Cortez Guzman (26-years-old) and Abraham Gregorio Castillo (27-years-old) both residents of Avenal, California. Identifications were made based upon tattoos on each decedent’s body that matched the descriptions of the artwork provided by their families. Sheriff's Detectives would like to thank Kings County Sheriff's Office Detectives, the Tulare County Sheriff's Office, Visalia Police Department Detectives and the City of Avenal Police Department for aiding in the identification process of the decedents.

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WRITING ON THE COAST LISTSERVE a Mr. Bob Bushanski wrote: “WHERE THE TRUTH LIES — When I see non-profit boards of directors try hard to improve their organizations, I cheer for them. Serving on a non-profit board is often difficult, time consuming, almost always unpaid and emotionally unrewarding. When one person or a group of people, on the board or off, decide that they don't like what is being done or how it is being done and take a thoughtful, informed, knowledgeable, and honest approach to changing things it could be positive for that organization. KZYX, our Mendocino County Public Broadcasting radio station, on the other hand, is being attacked and individuals are having their reputations impugned by a board member who is thoughtless, uninformed, unknowledgeable, dishonest and conducting a campaign of malicious intent. I am going to list only a few of the oh so many statements and false accusations made by John Sakowicz, current KZYX board member. I will refute the falsities and submit documentation that disproves Mr. Sakowicz's alternate reality. In his letter to the FCC, dated January 27, 2014, [Exhibit # 4] John Sakowicz alledged a number of things: * Former KZYX reporter “Christina Aanestad was fired without cause”. Response: Attached is an e-mail from Christina, dated June 21, 2009. In that e-mail she clearly states “I was laid off not fired. John [Coate] has done right the right thing in this process." Exhibit # 1

• JS goes on to say: “It should be noted that Mr. Coate unilaterally added both the title of Executive Director and its powers, to his former title and powers of General Manager. This expansion of Mr. Coate's powers means that he does not have to consult the Board on most decisions regarding the operations of the station.”

Response: In John Coate's Employment Agreement, dated August 18, 2008 and signed by David E. Hopmann, Board President, Item 1 states that “The Station shall employ the Employee and the Employee shall serve the Station as its Executive Director and General Manager.” The Employment Agreement further states: “The Executive Director/General Manager reports to the Board. Paid and unpaid Staff report to the Executive Director/ General Manager.” The Employment Agreement also says that the ED/GM will “manage hiring, dismissal and recognition of employees, assuring compliance with authorized personnel policies and applicable laws.” Exhibit # 2 In other words John Coate is doing what he was hired to do – manage the day to day operations of the Station.

• Another JS accusation was that John Coate was not following EEO (Equal Economic Opportunity) rules, which require the posting and advertising for staff positions under FCC regulations. The specific instance was the opening of News Director in 2011. JS states “Another employee, David Brookshire, was hired without posting or advertising the job.”

Response: When the number of full time staff exceeds 5, the Station must file an Annual EEO Public Report. The report filed for the year ending July 21, 2011 clearly shows that four recruitment/advertising sources were used to fill the position of News Director. They were: the Ukiah Daily Journal,, Mendocino Beacon-Fort Bragg Advocate-News and the KZYX Website. There were a total of 8 persons interviewed from those sources. The 2011 Annual EEO Public File Report is Exhibit # 3.

For the time being I am only putting forth these items with which I have copies of documents that belie John Sacowicz's false claims.

The puzzling thing to me is, what is the motivation for this bad behavior? If it is, as is claimed, to improve the station then why did he not bring his grievances to the board before jeopardizing the station by independently submitting a letter to the FCC asking for the denial of the station's license renewal. If he is successful, it could be the demise of the station. At best he has delayed the normally quick process. At one time in his life John Sacowicz may have had stature. Currently if his name is mentioned people roll their eyes and one person has said to me that the way to tell if John Sacowicz is lying is to wait for his lips to move.

KZYX&Z just had a board election and two people running for open seats that supported John Sacowicz's view of things were defeated. The members seem to have more sense than to believe anything that John Sacowicz and his acolytes have to say. If you want a copy of the 4 exhibits please contact me and I will show them to you.

— Bob Bushansky“

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SAKO REPLIED: “O, I guess I could refute Mr. Bushansky's claims, one-by-one. But why bother? I just got home from a week on the road to report on the Council on Foreign Relations meeting in New York on military leadership and strategy, then on to Sacramento for the SACRS meeting. I'd much rather spend some time with my wife, our three whippets, and tend to our rose garden.

Let the Bushanskies of the world babble on. Suffice it to say listeners vote with their dollars, and KZYX's Spring Pledge Drive this week is something less than spectacular. The people of Mendocino County are starting to get it. By getting it, people are starting to realize KZYX is less of a truly “public” public radio station than it is a private clubhouse for a few insiders. KZYX management is secretive, paranoid, and punitive. Its management is Stalinist, not democratic. Zero-tolerance for dissent is the price of admission into the club.

Last year, Doug McKenty was kicked out of the club. His “Open Lines” show was canceled, and Doug had his broadcasting privileges suspended. Why? He started agreeing with station critics. An attempt is now being made to kick me out of the club. Last week, KZYX's so-called “business development manager,” a niggly piggly-type named David Steffen, tried to revoke my broadcasting privileges. Why? Because he falsely said I failed to read station ID at the top of the hour during a recent show. The real reason? Because I filed an informal objection of the station's two FCC licenses pending a change in station management.

But when Norman De Vall was recently kicked out of the club by being dumped as the moderator for the candidates debates, well, that pissed off a lot of people. Norman is the retired, highly respected, member of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. Norman is also the former, long-time, popular radio show host of “The Access Program” on KZYX, He is currently a court-appointed advocate for children. Why was Norman dumped? For the simple reason he started to allow a public forum for unrestricted free speech on issues at KZYX.

Bad move dumping Norman. Very bad.

I predict KZYX will be forced to change as support wanes. KZYX must change or die. Change or die — the station's flunkies, apologists, and pit bulls, notwithstanding.”

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A FEW HOURS LATER ERIC SUNSWHEAT REPLIED: “The construct of email complaint below against John Sakowicz, from Bob Bushansky is wrong. The email claims to be about WHERE THE TRUTH LIES. But it really appears to be just a hatchet job to point out a few errors in a large volume of statement facts of John Sakowicz. Where is the congratulations of all the facts where John Sakowicz speaks truth to power. Bob Bushansky does not relay the broad breath and depth of the multi-faceted concerns nor admit that there is any truth or valid concern with any statement of John Sakowicz. Furthermore the seemingly ugly email smear is illustrated by the following falsehood, that lumps recent KZYX Board member candidates as having 'supported John Sacowicz's view of things'. Bob Bushansky - “KZYX & Z just had a board election and two people running for open seats that supported John Sacowicz's view of things were defeated.” And Toni Rizzo inadvertently serves to perpetuate the smear, by in effect, directing list serve readers to respond offlist, to Bob at an email address if you have comments. Who set Bob up to construct such a one sided biased email attack, or am I misreading 'the elephant in the room', that being email errors by omission. Forgive me for believing there might have been some intent by Bob to not serve the greater KZYX listener community, and fail to promote harmony and compassionate understanding, to resolve the KZYX infrastructure funding crisis. I apologize for being heavy handed in the tone of this email, however sometimes a polarity is needed to help with simple reading comprehension, to support situational analysis among the myopic glazed eyes readers, struggling to contribute to keep KZYX signal from going off the air, so that the radio sound drones on. — Eric”

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Who has ever stopped to think of the divinity of Lamont Cranston?

(Only Jack Kerouac, that I know of: & me.

The rest of you probably had on WCBS and Kate Smith,

Or something equally unattractive.)


What can I say?

It is better to haved loved and lost

Than to put linoleum in your living rooms?


Am I a sage or something?

Mandrake's hypnotic gesture of the week?

(Remember, I do not have the healing powers of Oral Roberts...

I cannot, like F. J. Sheen, tell you how to get saved & rich!

I cannot even order you to the gaschamber satori like Hitler or Goddy Knight)


& love is an evil word.

Turn it backwards/see, see what I mean?

An evol word. & besides

who understands it?

I certainly wouldn't like to go out on that kind of limb.


Saturday mornings we listened to the Red Lantern & his undersea folk.

At 11, Let's Pretend

& we did

& I, the poet, still do. Thank God!


What was it he used to say (after the transformation when he was safe

& invisible & the unbelievers couldn't throw stones?) “Heh, heh, heh.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.”

O, yes he does

O, yes he does

An evil word it is,

This Love.

— Amiri Baraka

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• Water Wise Landscaping Workshop this Saturday

9-noon - Mendocino College Little Theater.

Free to the Community! Please see flyer below.

Visit for more info.

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• Worm Herding Workshop

At the Philo Grange’s Third Sunday Potluck

Potluck 5:30 (No worms, please.)

(Our Grange has dishes, but BYO if you would like)

Vermiculture 6:30

Intro to vermiculture/vermicomposting

By Jim Devine

Jim will discuss:

• types of worms

• manure management

• large/small scale vermicomposting

• the worms that saved Cuba

• building a backyard Bio-reactor

• worms for poultry

• more, bring your questions

(This event is co-sponsored by the AV Grange and is held in their building in Philo.)

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by Naked Whale Research, a killer whale research non-profit organization studying rare and endangered killer whales along the NorCal coast.

Biologist Jodi Smith of Naked Whale Research will be giving a talk on killer whales Thursday May 22nd at 7PM at the Gualala Art Center. The evenings discussion followed by audience q&a will include the evolving relationship between humans and this top marine predator as well as highlighting current research goals and recent NorCal sightings of endangered fish-eating killer whales visiting from Washington State. There is a $5 cover fee for this two hour event. More info to be found here: Naked Whale Research will be having it's first art sale fundraiser hosted by Handley Winery in Philo on Memorial weekend May 24/25th (11-5PM each day). Coastal artists have donated between 30% and 100% of sales to fund wild killer whale research. View and pre-purchase the unique marine themed art (including photography, painting, jewelry) at:!support-whale-research-through-the-arts/ck6q

All proceeds will go to supporting the Naked Whale Research NorCal hydrophone array project. More information on the hydrophone project found at:!hydrophone-array/c1kb9

Jodi C. Smith, Executive Director Naked Whale Research (707) 267-8587C

“Dedicated to filling in the information gap on killer whale habits along the west coast from Vancouver Island to Monterey Bay.”

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HUMCO LEADS THE WAY! (After Mendocino, of course.) Press release from the Committee for a GMO-Free Humboldt:

EUREKA – The Humboldt County Genetic Contamination Prevention Ordinance has officially qualified for the November 2014 ballot, according to Humboldt County elections officials. This grassroots initiative is being organized by local residents to protect family farms and the environment from contamination by GMO plants, seeds and pollen. The ordinance would prohibit “propagating, cultivating, raising or growing” GMOs, but would not prevent food that’s made with genetically engineered ingredients from being sold in grocery stores.

Last month, the Committee for a GMO Free Humboldt submitted the initiative to the County with more than 8,500 signatures. That was nearly double the number required. Now, according to a letter from Humboldt County Elections Manager Kelly Sanders to the group, the county has verified the submitted signatures and determined that the number is “sufficient to proceed with the initiative process.”

The proposed ordinance will be considered by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors at their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 20th. According to state law, the Supervisors can do one of two things: either place the ordinance on the November ballot, or adopt it immediately with no changes.

“Over the last several months, we organized and trained nearly 100 volunteers to help gather signatures,” said Bill Schaser, a Eureka resident, retired high school science teacher and spokesperson for GMO Free Humboldt. “Those volunteers logged thousands of hours collecting all those signatures and talking to folks about the initiative. This news from the Elections Office is just a great validation of all the hard work everyone has put into this initiative so far.”

Added Schaser: “We’d be very happy to see the Supervisors adopt the ordinance immediately. Our attitude is: ‘why wait?’ But if they do put it on the ballot, we’re confident the voters will approve it in November.”

Proponents say the ordinance is necessary to support local organic and non-GMO farmers. Those farmers can lose access to their markets if GMOs grown nearby contaminate their fields with stray pollen or seeds. “We think this is the best thing Humboldt County could do to support our local family farmers and strengthen our agricultural economy,” said Schaser. Many local farmers appear to agree. A list of well over 100 endorsements on the group’s website includes more than 40 local farms and ranches, as well as agricultural groups such as the North Coast Growers Association and the Organic Seed Alliance.

GMOs are produced by manipulating DNA in a laboratory to overcome natural reproductive barriers.

The resulting organisms contain genetic codes which could not have been created through natural

processes. The most widespread GMOs today are crop plants engineered to resist the effects of certain herbicides or to produce their own insecticides. For more information about GMO Free Humboldt,

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Here is the deal. If you are using bacteria to weaken cell walls, irradiating the crops, then forcing the genes from something like squid into an avocado, all so that you can carpet spray your farm with industrial pesticides, which the new GMO then retains at much higher rates, all the way to consumption, further promoting monocultures, and continuing to destroy the environment, just put a label on it so I don't have to buy your Franken-Food. Oh, and the quality of the product suffers. GMO's have little flavor, and even less nutrients. You will get your daily dose of glyphosate though. We need cleaner farming practices, not more chemical so-called solutions.

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Taking on the Imperious Corporatists

by Raph Nader

The Republican Party establishment – read the corporatist U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their incumbent toadies controlling the Party in Congress – is in the process of vanquishing the Tea Party. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, predicted as much when he told the New York Times in March that his brand of corporate Republicanism is going to “crush” challengers that Republican incumbents will face in their primaries.

The plan to “crush” the Tea Party candidates is detailed, very well-funded and working. During the early primaries in North Carolina, big Republican money gave state legislator, Thom Tillis, a big victory over his Tea Party opponent, Greg Bannon. Other Tea Party challengers in Kentucky and South Carolina have since withered, although, this Tuesday, the Nebraska U.S. Senate Republican Primary was won by a Tea Party-backed candidate.

The establishment GOPers and their strategist, George W. Bush’s Karl Rove, want to win. They want no more candidates like Sharron Angle (Nevada) or Christine O’Donnell (Delaware) winning Senate primaries only to self-destruct in the general election with Democrats. They want to avoid a repeat of the 2010 now-self-described nightmare.

For two election cycles – 2010 and 2012 – the GOP recognized and welcomed the energy that the Tea Partiers brought to the Republican Party and tried, with some success, to ride these dynamics backed by daily Fox News reporting. The loss to Obama in 2012 and the final straw – the unpopular government shutdown in 2013 driven by Senator Ted Cruz– convinced the GOP bosses to give up on assimilation or compromise with Tea Partiers, whether back home or in the Congress.

Finally a frustrated Speaker John Boehner smacked them down, joining Senator McConnell and the Wall Street money men in an undeclared war against the hard-core Tea Partiers who refused to compromise their beliefs. What the National Journal calls “the scorched-earth primary strategy” by the GOP is more than heavy TV advertising. It includes “opposition research” against the challengers and other heavy assaults that are usually reserved for November battles against Democrats.

The next month of state primaries will likely register GOP victories against Tea Party candidates, deploying the usual mantras of “less government, lower taxes and deregulation” to show their voters that the members of the GOP establishment are conservative and not RINOS (Republicans in Name Only).

Of course, rebellious Republicans have heard these mantras before only to see the GOP revert back to Wall Street over Main Street, global corporations over small businesses, and ever bigger government contracts and crony capitalism, with lower taxes for the rich and powerful and more burdens on the struggling majority of workers, regardless of their political labels.

After being knocked out in the primaries of 2014, will the Tea Partiers give up and go back into the fold, disrespected and marginalized? Will they do as many of the progressive left have done, which is to signal that they have nowhere to go, lose their bargaining power and choose to accept the “least worst” candidate on Tea Party issues between the GOP and the Democrats?

If they do that, they will fade into history. On the other hand, they can pursue an agenda that distinguishes “conservatism” from “corporatism.” They can oppose crony capitalism and its corporate state, slam sovereignty-shredding and job-destroying managed trade agreements, and press for more civil liberties with less government and corporate snooping.

They can push for breaking up the giant “too big to fail” banks, to prevent another economic crash, and support community-owned and controlled businesses. They can oppose unconstitutional wars and Empire. In short, these redirections mirror a Ron Paul political philosophy that has significant public support.

The Tea Party already has some formidable assets; widespread mass media name recognition, proven human energy, voter turnout skills, fundraising capabilities, supportive conservative think tank support and, unfortunately, little electoral competition for the above-mentioned objectives. And Tea Partiers show up! They are not prone to being armchair advocates.

The Tea Party even has nationally known candidates, sympathetic Senators and Governors, who, if amenable, could be their standard-bearers.

On the downside, the Tea Party’s positions on many health and safety regulatory issues and social services are not shared by a majority of the electorate. Also their preferred candidates for the White House are not likely to bolt the GOP. Rand Paul, for example, may try for more than one election cycle to show he can appeal to mainstream Republicans.

Nonetheless, the possibility of the Tea Partiers getting at least five to ten percent of the total vote in 2016 may be enough to attract leveraged politics against a two-party tyranny.

In our decaying, monetized self-seeking political auctions, it would be refreshing were authentic libertarian conservatives to take on the imperious corporatists who have such minimal allegiances to our country and its people.

(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.)

One Comment

  1. Bill Pilgrim May 17, 2014

    Were it an overcast, cold, uninviting morning,
    and the just-brewed coffee too weak, I might’ve,
    just might’ve, compared trying to rouse the sluggish
    & oblivious citizenry with “Herding Worms.”
    But the morning crackles with freshness, sunshine & birdsong…
    So, I won’t.
    At least not today.

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