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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, May 31, 2014

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AS MOST OF YOU KNOW, the State Water Resources Control Board has ordered more than 600 rights holders to stop diverting water from the Upper Russian River, which means from Potter Valley to south of Hopland at Dry Creek near Cloverdale.

"Based upon the most recent reservoir storage and inflow projections, along with forecasts for future precipitation events, the State Water Board has determined that the existing water supply in the Russian River watershed is insufficient to meet the need of all water rights holders," the Board stated in a letter sent out to all rights holders upstream of Healdsburg, or the river's confluence with Dry Creek.

Anyone whose right has a filing date of Feb. 19, 1954, or later -- a total of 652 rights -- is being asked to stop diverting water so that water will be available for more senior rights holders.

In January, warning letters were sent out to people who depend on water diverted from a river watershed that they should be investigating alternative sources of water.

"If you are in a water short area, you should be looking into alternative water supplies for your water needs," the state water board advised in the notice. "Water right holders are cautioned that groundwater resources are significantly depleted in some areas," and they should make "planting and other decisions accordingly.

Spokesman Tim Moran said the board sent out similar letters during a drought in 1977, but this is the first time water rights have been curtailed to this degree.

According to the board, because of two consecutive years of critically low precipitation, the required storage levels for Lake Mendocino cannot be maintained if traditional releases are made. Sonoma County Water Agency, which operates Lake Mendocino, "will only be able to release enough water to maintain required minimum instream flows and to satisfy senior appropriators, and there is only enough natural flows to satisfy senior water rights."

It is anticipated that an additional curtailment notice will be issued sometime in June to riparian water-right holders, who have senior water rights but only to natural flow within the stream.

The curtailments will continue until water conditions improve, and it is a violation of state law to divert water when it is not available under a specific water right priority. Those found to be diverting water they shouldn't be may face fines of $1,000 a day and $2,500 per acre foot.

If the board issues a Cease and Desist Order, violation of that order can result in fines of $10,000 per day.

* * *


Letter to the Editor:

This week, I received a copy of the informal objections from the FCC and their decision to renew KZYX’s license. The packet compiled the objections of five people with Eliane Herring, Board Chairman refuting and dismissing all complaints. Included are signed documents by Ms. Herring, Mr. Coate and Mr. Culbertson, subject to perjury if found to be false.

Ms Herring, an attorney not licensed to practice in California, categorized my complaint as a “frustrated” volunteer who did not have an art show picked up by the station. She also said that I “didn’t like” John Coate, Mary Aigner, and Rich Culbertson. This is NOT only untrue in reality, but it was not stated in my objection. Ms. Herring is interpreting and putting words in my mouth.

I volunteered to answer phones for a fund drive. Ms. Aigner learned that I worked as paid staff at another NPR affiliate. I had produced and hosted public radio shows and worked on the fund raising team for at least 13 on-air membership drives. Ms Aigner told me the station needed a program about the arts in our community. She said I would be a great person as I had the public radio background with on-air experience, a degree in music and was a practicing visual artist.

I soon met with John Coate with a prepared, two-page written proposal on how the show might look. He asked me to tape a demo of an actual event and I did. In addition, Mary Aigner invited me to attend the Volunteer Programmers Meeting held at Scharffenberger Winery. I did not insert myself, or demand that I attend that meeting. I was personally invited by Ms. Aigner and I was happy to attend the orientation.

I made a demo in Fort Bragg and turned the tape over to John Coate. He said Mary wanted to hear it. Over three years later, not a word has been said to me by Ms. Aigner and the show never materialized.

Ms Herring: Given the problems under your watch as board chair, I feel I dodged a bullet when Ms. Aigner intentionally did nothing about creating a new program for the arts. Her recent removal of Mr. de Vall says more about you as chair, and the staff in particular, then one “frustrated” volunteer.

M Kathryn Massey, Mendocino

* * *



Gotta say this Frost fan thing is getting real old. I am discriminating and open to change. I realize that these folks are trying to deal with the dual problems, yet I am seeing different strategies in our and the Geyserville valleys. There are vineyards with no fans here and there. Less fans in Geyserville. The density of fans here is way beyond the scale of anywhere I have seen and I get around the Mendo and Sonoma Counties. Only Mr. Charles says he is adjusting fan speed to lower noise levels and as another said had the courtesy to apologize. I will buy his wine.

I am not interested in lawsuits. I prefer friendly exchanges and resolve to deal with problems. Currently they have made this our problem, not theirs. That is wrong. Also I am not using a wide brush in my frustration; saying it is the entire wine industry. Only a few vineyards are using these devices and they are not manually operating them. I am not buying their wine.

Last night’s 3 AM triple operation was at 50 degrees Indian Creek valley ambient with what looked like a bit of fog. Why? In concurrence with the Canadian study, removing a direct exposure removes the low harmony subfrequency rattling. Scharffenberg’s (Roederer) is mitigating their noise by identifying noise making fans and creating water only blocks.

Per our call, they removed the direct fan to our home. Yet the other fans noise wakes us. This surprises me. I am a deep sleeper. I awake to the sounds of helicopters that get loud and then quiet. It is not a sleep through thing and I resent those unimpacted; suggesting it is no big deal and frankly recent the tear in our community fabric as these vineyard managers impose this nuisance. Further I find the “best practice” reference to be just a bandaid jargon to say we are really trying when they aren’t. Sure Scharffenberger’s is changing (appreciated), but the manned operation would avoid the double nuisance of unnecessary nuisance errors. Frost duty has required one person in the past to insure that the pump or generator operates. Why not someone alert to insure the machines get turned on instead of erroneously turned on automatically? Is that now too expensive?

Further I triply resent those vineyard owners, who confidently sleep knowing their profits are secured while my bottom line is eroded and my wife’s health is challenged to pay for their. I can only call their recorded line that they retrieve while being paid during their work period. If my wife’s health turns, you can bet my patience will follow.

We have a right to a healthy life and sleep is the key.

As I talk with some Valley folks they say “This is their (grape growers) livelihood. They have a right.” What about other businesses dependent on quiet nights (Inns, the fairgrounds camping, Hendy woods) and those of who need to function after a sleep interrupted night? It is sort of like parenting a fussy baby and you know how they are. I drive loads, work with a tractor and do technical things, children need to function well in school and Mothers just deserve respect. When people are sleep deprived, moods and illness follow. Then there is the immobile infirmed. Imagine being ill or dying with this cacophony every night? Back to the comments of locals supporting this noise, it isn’t about a right to do what you need to survive, it is about not wanting anyone to tell you what to do.

That is called lawlessness. We have rules for a reason.

The Noise ordinance is there to protect us all. An ordinance is an ordinance and no one should be able to violate it. Now because we have so many eggs in the recent boon ag business, representative are afraid to act and just like fishing relative to logging, the former took it on the chin while the latter was coddled; stretching or avoiding common sense laws and regulations. Representatives and regulators treat it like a hot potato; avoiding being the person to follow the ordinance and not bend it with some silly interpretation. Further those at the meeting a few weeks back had the audacity to claim that their industry created many jobs.

Articles in this paper have challenged that. They have also creating a great burden on our housing and health providers.

When representatives and law officers fail to do their jobs, unnecessary negative situations follow. Victims act out. If they would have made noise at Pinot fest, they would have been arrested as nuisance makers. The double standard. The victims get abused for simply asking for commonsense and respect.

Victim in Philo, Greg Krouse

* * *

THE LAST THING I want to tell you is this: in a real revolution -- not a simple dynastic change or a mere reform of institutions -- in a real revolution the best characters do not come to the front. A violent revolution falls into the hands of narrow-minded fanatics and of tyrannical hypocrites at first. Afterwards comes the turn of all the pretentious intellectual failures of the time. Such are the chiefs and the leaders. You will notice that I have left out the mere rogues. The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement -- but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims: the victims of disgust, of disenchantment -- often of remorse. Hopes grotesquely betrayed, ideals caricatured -- that is the definition of revolutionary success. There have been in every revolution hearts broken by such successes.

— Joseph Conrad, 1911; from "Under Western Eyes"

* * *

BOOKED, MAY 30, 2014

Abella, Balmain, Bow, Gibson, Cochran
Abella, Balmain, Bow, Gibson, Cochran

DENITA ABELLA, Ukiah, child endangerment

VICKI BALMAIN, Willits, violation of court order

JARED BOW, San Francisco, violation of court order

CHARLES GIBSON, Fort Bragg, meth-related charges

NICHOLAS COCHRAN, Ukiah, meth, driving on suspended license

Mata, Mathews, Ramos, Sheridan, Stone, Vickers
Mata, Mathews, Ramos, Sheridan, Stone, Vickers

ARTHUR HOBBS, Ukiah, driving on suspended license, revoke probation

RAFAEL MATA, Ukiah, meth-related charges

TYRA MATHEWS, Laytonville, felony-quality threats

TRENTON RAMOS, Ukiah, meth, revoke probation

MAUREEN SHERIDAN, Fort Bragg, domestic assault

WALLACE STONE, Ukiah frequent flier. Interfering, obstructing a police officer

MICHAEL VICKERS, Fort Bragg frequent flier. Felony-quality threats

* * *


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

DUI -- Gregory B. Bailey, 65, of Oakland, was arrested at 9:58 p.m. May 23 on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, and booked at the county jail. The California Highway Patrol arrested him.

DUI -- Michael T. Lane, 26, of San Francisco, was arrested at 1:02 p.m. May 24 on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and booked at the county jail under $15,000 bail. The CHP arrested him.

BATTERY WITH SERIOUS INJURY -- Charles J. Slagle, 23, of Ukiah, was arrested at 4:25 p.m. May 24 on suspicion of battery causing serious injury and conspiracy, and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The Ukiah Police Department arrested him.

DUI -- Michael L. Fisher, 27, of Ukiah, was arrested at 8:23 p.m. May 24 on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, and booked at the county jail. The CHP arrested him.

DUI -- Raymond S. Shamiya, 34, of Daly City, was arrested at 12:10 a.m. May 25 on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and booked at the county jail. The CHP arrested him.

DUI -- Benjamin N. Grasso-Underwood, 22, of Potter Valley, was arrested at 9:31 a.m. May 25 on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, and booked at the county jail. The CHP arrested him.

DUI -- Casey Calder, 23, of Santa Rosa, was arrested at 1:53 p.m. May 25 on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, and booked at the county jail. The CHP arrested him.

METH SALES -- Kevin Beckman, 43, of Ukiah, was arrested at 3:30 p.m. May 25 on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine for sale, possessing methamphetamine, possessing drug paraphernalia and violating his community supervision terms, and booked at the county jail. The MCSO arrested him.

DUI -- Kelley C. Mahoney, 21, of Santa Rosa, was arrested at 6:36 p.m. May 25 on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, and booked at the county jail. The CHP arrested him.

DUI WITH PRIORS -- Richard K. Johnson, 45, of Hopland, was arrested at 8:45 p.m. May 25 on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, having at least four DUI conviction within 10 years and violating his probation terms, and booked at the county jail. The CHP arrested him.

DUI -- Nathaniel D.E. Dickey, 21, of Ukiah, was arrested at 7:24 a.m. May 26 on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The CHP arrested him.

RECKLESS EVADING -- Benjamin Pope, 27, of Clearlake, was arrested at 4:20 p.m. May 26 on suspicion of driving recklessly while evading a peace officer and booked at the county jail under $35,000 bail. The Ukiah Police Department arrested him.

ROBBERY -- Daniel M. Jones, 33, of Auburn, was arrested at 12:02 a.m. May 27 on suspicion of second-degree robbery and booked at the county jail under $130,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE -- Michael J. Pina, 22, of Covelo, was arrested at 10:30 a.m. May 27 on suspicion of domestic assault and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

INDECENT EXPOSURE -- Carlos A. Ortega, 19, of Ukiah, was arrested at 3:31 a.m. May 28 on suspicion of indecent exposure and booked at the county jail under $5,000 bail. The UPD arrested him.

METH SALES -- Randy L. Sherwood, 48, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 12:12 p.m. May 28 on suspicion of selling methamphetamine and being under the influence of a controlled substance, and booked at the county jail. The MCSO arrested him.

MARIJUANA SALES -- Steven E. Hesh, 59, of Laytonville, was arrested at 5 p.m. May 28 on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, cultivating marijuana and being armed with a gun, and booked at the county jail under $50,000 bail. The Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force arrested him.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE -- Ramon D. Manuel, 50, of Ukiah, was arrested at 7:38 p.m. May 28 on suspicion of domestic assault and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The UPD arrested him.

BATTERY WITH SERIOUS INJURY -- Blake A. Shupe, 26, of Redwood Valley, was arrested at 7:52 a.m. May 29 on suspicion of battery causing serious injury, burglary, possessing marijuana hashish, violating a court order and failing to appear in court, and booked at the county jail under $60,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

* * *

ON MAY 5, 1864, the ladies of Carson City held a fund-raising ball for the US Sanitary Commission. This was a national charity that provided food, medicine, and other supplies to sick and wounded Union soldiers. Before his death, Thomas Starr King had raised more than a million dollars for the Sanitary cause. On May 17, 1864, readers of the Territorial Enterprise learned that the cash collected in Carson City wouldn't be sent to the commission's headquarters in St. Louis, but diverted 'to aid a Miscegenation Society somewhere in the East.'

This hoax delivered a painful blow. Twain had located a sore spot in the collective psyche and hit it as hard as he could. The idea of blacks and whites getting married wasn't simply taboo, it also tapped an anxiety about the ultimate aim of the Civil War. When the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in 1863, the Union formally committed itself to freeing the Confederacy's slaves. President Lincoln defended this as a war measure, intended to undermine the South's ability to fight, but it made many Northerners uncomfortable. They were fighting to keep their country in one piece, not to liberate the slaves. 'Miscegenation' in particular meant something very specific in 1864. The term had been coined the year before by two editors at a Democratic paper in New York. Mark Twain had concocted a powerful political hoax....When Twain joked that the money meant for the Sanitary Commission would instead be used for miscegenation, he articulated an awful fear festering in white minds throughout the Union: that the war would result in full equality for blacks, who would soon be taking white jobs, white land, white women.

— The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature by Ben Tarnoff

* * *

THE TOXIC RODENT POISONS widely used in marijuana grows will no longer be available according to an agreement between the manufacturer and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Reckitt Benckiser Inc. announced Friday it will discontinue 12 mouse and rat poison products sold under the d-CON brand. The company agreed to cease production of the rodent baits containing what are called second-generation anticoagulants by the end of the year and cease distribution by March of next year.

* * *


Most explicit--

the sense of trap


as a narrowing

cone one’s got


stuck into and

any movement


forward simply

wedges once more--


but where

or quite when,


even with whom,

since now there is no one


quite with you--Quite? Quiet?

English expression: Quait?


Language of singular

impedance? A dance? An


involuntary gesture to

others not there? What’s


wrong here? How

reach out to the


other side all

others live on as


now you see the

two doctors, behind


you, in mind’s eye,

probe into your anus,


or ass, or bottom,

behind you, the roto-


rooter-like device

sees all up, concludes


“like a worn-out inner tube,"

“old," prose prolapsed, person’s


problems won’t do, must

cut into, cut out . . .


The world is a round but

diminishing ball, a spherical


ice cube, a dusty

joke, a fading,


faint echo of its

former self but remembers,


sometimes, its past, sees

friends, places, reflections,


talks to itself in a fond,

judgemental murmur,


alone at last.

I stood so close


to you I could have

reached out and


touched you just

as you turned


over and began to

snore not unattractively,


no, never less than

attractively, my love,


my love--but in this

curiously glowing dark, this


finite emptiness, you, you, you

are crucial, hear the


whimpering back of

the talk, the approaching


fears when I may

cease to be me, all


lost or rather lumped

here in a retrograded,


dislocating, imploding

self, a uselessness


talks, even if finally to no one,

talks and talks.

— Robert Creeley

* * *

LIFE IS NOT AN EASY MATTER. You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.

Leon Trotsky

* * *


An Interview with Jim Browneagle

by Will Parrish

Lake County, as with virtually every other area of the western hemisphere, has a basis in legalized theft. In 1851-52, treaty commissioners sanctioned by the US Congress negotiated 18 treaties setting aside roughly 7.5 million acres of land as reservations for 500 Indigenous nations whose ancestral territory happened to be within the then-new state's boundaries.

One of these treaties set aside much of the land around Clear Lake for exclusive use and occupancy by Pomo peoples. The US Senate refused to recognize the treaties, however, instead taking the unique step of having these documents placed in secret files. Thus, the US government could proceed with expropriating all of the state's remaining lands from its original inhabitants with nary a legal problem. The existence of the secret treaties was not re-discovered by Indigenous people until more than 50 years later.

Fast forward more than a century-and-a-half, and now Lake County has its first-ever indigenous candidate for the county's highest official post: Lake County Supervisor.

Jim Browneagle
Jim Browneagle

Jim Browneagle, 60, of the Elem Pomo, is one among six people contending to represent Lake County District 3, which includes the communities of Blue Lakes, Upper Lake, Nice, Lucerne, Glenhaven, Clearlake Oaks, Lake Pillsbury, and Spring Valley.

The other five candidates include Herb Gura (who runs the Self-Help Law Center and currently serves on the Konocti Unified School District Board of Trustees), Mark Currier (who chairs the advisory board of a western Lake County subdivision), John Brosnan (an Upper Lake general contractor), Jim Steele (a retired Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist), and Marv Butler (a well-known local businessman). The election takes place this Tuesday, June 3rd. The District 3 seat is one of two that is up for grabs on the five-member board in Mendocino County's smaller western neighboring county.

Perhaps the most pressing issue in Browneagle's district is the dire straits of Clear Lake, which is beset with all manner of problems associated with pollution and toxic run-off, as well as a legacy of dams and diversions: algae blooms, enormous non-native invasive plant infestations, and high levels of toxicity.

Browneagle is no stranger to contamination of Clear lake. The Elem Pomo rancheria is located along the eastern arm of Clear Lake, where, for several decades, Bradley Mining Company ran one of the largest and most productive mercury mines in California. For a time, the Environmental Protection Agency listed these areas as the third highest-priority toxic clean-up site in the United States. The mine has had catastrophic health consequences for Elem people.

It has been one of the most egregious environmental justice issues in California's recent history, though seldom discussed by political officials. And Jim Browneagle has been a consistent leader in trying to address this toxic legacy, having been featured by the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications, in relation to his work on this front.

Browneagle comes from a long line of spiritual and cultural leaders. His father, Jim Brown II, was the recognized spiritual and cultural leader of the Elem prior to him. His mother, Elvina Brown, was a native of the Big Valley Pomo, and she also became a recognized Elem cultural leader. His uncle, Dewey Barnes, Sr., was a well-known land defender and spokesperson regarding the Elem's efforts to defend their traditional landscapes and culture.

Browneagle’s ability to marshal information pertaining not only to his own people’s history, but also various related strands of US history, global geopolitics, and current events is reminiscent of a university history professor. Along with his wife, Gail, a Yokayo Pomo from the Ukiah Valley, he hosts a weekly public affairs program on KPFZ Radio out of Lakeport entitled “Tribal Voices.”

Yet, as Browneagle likes to say, he has been forced to exist in two worlds. He estimates that he devotes roughly half his time to leading and participating in traditional ceremonies and other cultural activities. For the vast majority of his adult life, he has also been a tribal administrator. He was the Elem Pomo's tribal chairman from 1998-99. Throughout most of his adulthood, Browneagle has regularly given presentations on Elem culture in local schools and in other settings.

The first time I met Browneagle was nearly three years ago, when I wrote a series of articles about the Elem's efforts to protect Rattlesnake Island from development by John Nady, a wealthy electronic media mogul.

At the time, Browneagle talked a considerable amount about his relationship with his father, who regularly counseled him about the importance of not judging people by any visual criteria, but rather by “hearing each person’s spirit. Then, you really know who they are.” Choking up as he recalled his late father’s counsel, he added, “Wow, growing up, that was great for me.” The philosophy has led to a number of important collaborations with Native and non-Native people alike.

Working in Browneagle's favor is that Lake County District 3 has a disproportionately high number of Indigenous people as residents. It features three Pomo rancherias, including Elem, Robinson, and Upper Lake. On May 21, I e-mailed Browneagle several questions regarding his candidacy for Supervisor.

Will Parrish: What motivates you to run for Supervisor?

Jim Browneagle: The County and the Board of Supervisors have a long history of racism. They have continued to treat tribal people as second-class citizens. I want to assert the civil and human rights of tribes, and allow tribes to pro-actively participate within the County Government affairs, which directly impact all citizens of Lake County, including Indian Tribes. Until we address this long-standing Cowboy vs. Indian mentality in this and other areas, we will never be able to advance together as humans, and as citizens of our county, or our state and country.

WP: Family histories are a big talking points among candidates for political office. In local elections, it's even a big deal for a candidate to be a second-generation resident of a given area. Please tell us a bit about your family's history in Lake County.

JB: Roots are important, and I come from a resilient family of traditional chiefs and leaders who have survived the California and U. S. genocide of our people. I am a product of seven generations of female and male leaders. We have always taken on the responsibility of stewarding our people's living environment and natural resources.

WP: What would you do as a supervisor to help improve the health of Clear Lake?

JB: Improving the health of the Lake requires all stakeholders from the County and Tribal groups to be directly involved. That means being included in lake-bottom restoration community projects. In addition, we must stop the chemical contamination of our waters and soils, which our county has continued to endorse via its support for the wine industry and other polluters, and create public projects that our citizens can support, that will have a direct impact on water quality.

WP: How do you intend to challenge Yolo County's control of Clear Lake's water supply? [Ed. Note: Yolo County owns the rights to Clear Lake's water in much the same way as the Sonoma County Water Agency owns the rights to Lake Mendocino.]

JB: By asserting Tribal water rights in a partnership with the county, we can declare, protect, preserve and better understand our joint responsibility and our water rights. Tribes can invoke their direct government-to-government partnership with both the Federal and State governments, who actually jointly hold title to the Lake. We can address the first right of use, which Yolo County claimed in 1912. At that time, the County Board of Supervisors failed to claim any water rights on behalf of Lake

County. I would submit a bill to Yolo County, and the federal and state governments, requesting their direct financial assistance to address our water needs and issues. Also, tribal water rights have never been addressed!

WP: The expansion of the wine industry is a big issue in Lake County, where a number of hillsides have been visibly denuded just in the last year to make way for new rows of grapes. What have been your experiences with the grape-based alcohol business? How would you address this issue as a supervisor?

JB: My experience with the wine industry is that they have been given a fast-track approval in public and legal reviews. The Snow's Lake Winery (now owned by Gallo) is a perfect example. The County did not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Due to Lake County's conflict of interest with the wine industry, a DA from another county to had to take the Snow's Lake case. Still, the County accommodates all local wineries and vineyards, not asking them to comply with CEQA. Due to the severe drought in California, the County should immediately stop the fast-tracking of the wine industry, which has a direct impact on our lake and waters.

[Author's Note: In the early-’00s, a particularly egregious vineyard development adjacent to Clear Lake called Snows Lake enraged local residents. More than 800 acres of vineyard were installed. A large area of oak woodlands was decimated in the process, much of it containing documented Elem Pomo artifacts.]

WP: What is your stance on the other candidates in your district?

JB: The other five candidates are good people, with their views and causes. However, they represent business interests, or else are disconnected with the poor, the disenfranchised, the elderly and tribal people of the county. Not one other candidate has ever addressed or became involved with Lake County native issues. Not until they became candidates did they express interest in tribal or environmental concerns in the County.

If any one of the non-Indian candidates get elected, the Tribal concerns will be just another false political campaign promise that they used to get elected. The five candidates have never brought forward any tribal issues, yet there are three Indian tribes in District 3 and seven tribes in the County. Ironically, if you ask any one of the five candidates who they know, or what they know, about tribal issues they all say, "I know Jim Brown!"

WP: How might you utilize your position as a supervisor to advance the things you have been working for as a traditional leader, and leader of the Elem Pomo in particular, such as reparations for the catstrophic legacy of mercury mining on your people's aboriginal lands, and restoration of the Elem's historic role as caretakers of Rattlesnake Island?

JB: The best way to utilize the position of Supervisor is to be a champion of the people issues and be a positive County advocate, to help ensure that the county complies with state and federal laws that ensure both citizen's rights and tribal sovereignty rights. In addition, when requested by tribes, I would be able to assist tribes politically in addressing their long-standing issues: the negative environmental impacts of mining, illegal disenrollment and disenfranchisement, cultural preservation and protections, and true economic development partnerships with the County. The political influence and support can help unite the tribes to become true stakeholders of Lake County, while protecting our sacred waters, natural resources and sacred landscapes, and at the same time respecting the rights of all Lake County citizens.

WP: Closing thoughts?

JB: For me, this election is about addressing and asserting the civil and human rights for all the people, specifically in regard to the second-class treatment of Native people, while finally allowing their direct tribal participation in the County Government affairs. I honestly feel that tribal sovereignty can and will help unite federal funding resources and create a more positive government-to-government relationship between the County and Tribes. Most importantly, it would help address our long-standing water and environmental quality issues, while creating more jobs and developing a holistic sustainable community and county where all citizens and business can prosper, without further damage to our natural resources and environment.

* * *


by William J. Hughes


James Donavan’s new book, ‘A Terrible Glory,’ Custer and all the rest at Little Bighorn.

I was in a local bookstore picking up a newspaper when I noticed the book on the new publications shelf.

It was around my birthday. I had a few extra coins. It was Custer and all the rest at Little Bighorn. I didn’t pass it up.

I’m glad I didn’t. Years ago I tried ‘Son of the Morning Star’ by Evan F. Connell. Son of the morning star, the handle the natives gave Custer. The SOB attacks us in the morning in translation.

I had a hard time with the book, and left it, never to return, but always, like all of us, there in Montana’s territory on that hot day, June 25, 1876.

I’d stopped at Little Bighorn in the middle of the 70s on my way to Berkeley to see if the hair flowers were still fresh. Stopped at the battlefield. I remembered the beautiful river in the cottonwoods more than the hot day events.

A Little Of The Bighorn

You go there for Custer

And discover the river.

Unlike him

to it

You surrender

A Terrible Glory’s narrative ran smoothly, and most importantly, filling me in on the 7th Cavalry’s Reno & Benteen, Reno’s 200, the first in, Benteen’s 200, stumbling in as things went from bad to Custer’s annihilated 200-plus.

I longed to go, to go back. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, alive and well.

In Sept. of 07 I made a point of F. Robinson in western Nebraska. Where Crazy Horse was killed, 1887. Pay my respects.

I went to Wounded Knee around 2001 because it was Wounded Knee. Pay my respects. Paying my respects all my adult life.

Pay my respects at Little Bighorn, Hardin, Montana. The native encampment that was there in 1876. Like this morning. Cheyenne, Arapaho, Sioux. What a sight, the great camp, the great pony herd, the lovely little river twisting through the green cottonwoods; like the day I saw it in the 70’s, minus the forest of teepees.

The first week in November for going was fixed. Fly to Denver.

Rental car on up through Wyoming to border Montana.

Weather could be a factor. No kidding. Pick a month on the high plains.

Denver airport is too big. When you have to take a shuttle train, especially from lovely, livable Sacramento. I’d choose Burbank/Bob Hope to anywhere.

I know out there. Three years in Yellowstone, buses and rangers. I want to find some different ways around out here.

Can’t find a way out of this yet: I-25 North out of Denver up to Ft. Collins. Total shit, total. How can Obama or anyone ever fix this? Total sprawl, hot tub outlets and tacos, disgraceful — a nation not worth saving?

Yes, Obama, president to be. Get me out here, away from even his fine victory. He says he’ll send additional troops to Afghanistan. What a fool. Never mind, Barack.

Stopping at the Ft. Collins Visitors Center, wind blowin’ a gale, dry and partly cloudy. Chilly, but that’s all.

Warm and friendly with two gents who man the nice but nondescript Visitor’s Info. Why is I-25 North so fucked up?

Just checking with them to get out of the garbage dump, on to Rt. 14 to 287 North to Laramie.

They’re interested in Wyoming football. They’re men, out here. Of course they’re interested.

I had a friend, once upon another life, who played football at U of Wyo. Still had leather helmets then. No, no, of course not, but back yonder in the 70’s.

They don’t know him of course, but it was a time just after the “Black 11 or 12 or 14” at the U of Wyo, a protest about taking the field against all whitey BYU. The info gents know that. I guess it leads to Barack.

Rest stop over, on up to Laramie.

287 North is a complete surprise. A complete package of high prairie boulders and high red mesa shoulders, bluffs and dry desert, silence, ridgelines, empty, full, traffic at a less than minimum, sun shining, clouds covering, dust, heavy hints of snow; a lesser painted New Mexico, Taliesin westward, ho!

What I come for. The big, breath-restoring silence, landscape-escape. Just the earth, without the 50th candidate debate. Solace.

Not solace. Laramie, Wyoming. Should be Wyoming.

My own Laramie memories from a drive across America to it from Long Island, tasting the west for the first. But this visit has that and more serious fucking around in my earlier years.

Mathew Shepard. The young man who was tied to a rail fence and beaten to death. I’m going to leave out the because he was gay, but… And Prop. 8 in my California carried the day into darkness once again. Obama also a little shaky on gay marriage. So always, always remember, be aware, be on guard. And anyway, who gives a shit if gay couples desire marriage. Nobody’s family functions according to the Crosby Show.

The wind out here is always aware, always there. The wind never forgets Laramie, never.

Never, ever go to Laramie. It is depressing, bleak, shabby, lonely, ornery, cold, wind burned, chaps, chapped lips.

No getting burned at the pump. Almost under $2.00 everywhere.

Saratoga, Wyoming isn’t just anywhere. It’s where Annie Proulx of ‘Brokeback Mountain resides. So what, but it’s somethin’. Wanted to but it’s just a bit too much to get to.

So, first a not so leisurely roll through wind blown Laramie, some familiar, some a lot gone, matchbook bronc rider souvenir for someone who was once here, football stadium, cold and empty, of talent too, and on to I-90 West for Rawlins, Laramie Sr., rain splatting, big rigs stampeding, sunsetting country all set for the tribes to return, empty and powerful with just the black I-90 racing you through it.

A Super 8 Motel in Rawlins with a discarded couch out front; an Economy Inn with a road torn up in front of it, so a no go, still with enough Indian sunlight to head north, back on 287 out of this tumbleweed town like a red brick city hall settlement on the West Bank.

It is a holy land, our continent, the great divide basin with all the stark realities of religious myths, crooked stacks of stacked up boulders; earthquakes of Incan civilizations.

Pronghorn antelope, African wild, but mild, fenced in, grazing so near the ever fence lines, penned in, patrolled, controlled.

Mule deer, bucks with harem racks, proud and medieval, knights of the round table top red mesas.

A virgin dusting of snow on the Green Mtns, intersection at Muddy Gap, Wyoming. Got to stop for gas and a soda at Muddy Gap, Wyoming.

I’m wearing a Berkeley T shirt and a black beret, deliberately. Muddy Gap population who the hell lives in the road spot of Muddy Gap? Where did they vote on the past Tuesday?

Should I go out west to Lender or east to Casper, save the west for the way back?

East to Casper. A friend’s husband is an A Ball announcer for the minor league (St. Louis?) team in Casper. So, a reason to go; and the big, earlier, continental sunset is coming on. Don’t want to be caught out in the open after dark: Arapaho, Cheyenne, Sioux, Shoshone. No such luck.

Lucky me, a cold, windy night in a Super 8 in Casper, Wyoming, across from the car dealer and the KFC. Wanted to do mom & pop pardner for $50 but it’s dark and there’s tomorrow and more.

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