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Mendocino County Today: Monday, June 30, 2014

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POOR UPPER-LEVEL MANAGEMENT and the absence of predictable funding continue to plague state parks, always a matter of great concern in Mendocino County where our state parks draw thousands of visitors and locals alike every year. This year, Parks enjoys a total budget of $428 million in an overall state budget of $108 billion. While more open space has been added to Parks domain, allocations from the state's general fund have not kept pace. The upshot could be more “public-private partnerships” and ever higher user fees.

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ABS WILL GET A BREAK. The popular mollusk that is. You should continue working on your abs. As of Tuesday, July 1st, no abalone taking until the season resumes August 1st.

IT SEEMS miraculous to me that there are any abalone left on the Mendocino Coast given the numbers of people harvesting them. We won't even get into the poachers. But we hear rumors that thieves are more committed than ever to supplying lucrative city markets. They sneak across private property then nimbly rappel down cliffs to relatively virgin beds of abalone, which can fetch as much as $80 per where hunger for it is greatest.

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CALFIRE REPORTS the death Sunday morning near Elk of an abalone diver. No identification of the deceased has been released. Volunteer rescue crews from Elk, Mendocino, CalFire, a Coast Guard cutter out of Noyo Harbor, and two helicopters all assisted in the rescue attempt and the ensuing recovery of the man's body.

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CHARLIE PAGET-SEEKINS of Boonville was badly injured Wednesday afternoon when a tree he was working on at Airport Estates, Boonville, unexpectedly fell with Charlie still strapped onto it in his safety gear. He was about fifteen feet up when the entire tree came down. Charlie suffered numerous, life-threatening injuries. The popular young man was flown by medical helicopter from Boonville to Santa Rosa Memorial's trauma center, and from Santa Rosa to Stanford where, as of Sunday, his mother, Diane Paget, said in an e-mail that Charlie was much improved and "sitting up in bed." Diane Paget also said that Charlie will undergo lengthy surgeries to repair severe injuries to his face.

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by Emily Hobelmann

The San Francisco High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is happening this weekend in Santa Rosa at the fairgrounds. This event is a veritable dab frenzy. I don’t even know who entered the competition; I don’t even know who won, dabnabbit. What I do know is that this event is a total dab-hound destination.

Dabs at events like this are the equivalent cocaine at Studio 54. You can dab hard and it’s all good. Some dab divas and dab dandies over-dab (I’ve been there), and that’s all good too. Until it isn’t. A dab — does in fact go a long way.

Yesterday at 4:20 p.m. the temperature read 93 degrees on the fairgrounds’ electronic marquee. The venue was packed with marijuana enthusiasts a’plenty, dabutantes, dab dawgz, dab dads, dab darlings, dabbists and dabsters alike. This event’s dab swarm is male dominated — probably four out of five attendees are men.

So the “Medication Area” is where all the dabbing goes down. There’s lots of vendors with lots of buds and extracts and joints and rigs and vaporizers and ganga food and everything you can dream of for the getting-high-on-weed experience. This special area is for 215 recommendation holders only (mmm hmmm), and it is outside, basically in a big parking lot. So people were doing their dabskis out in the sun, with squinted eyes and sweaty brows. ‘Twas a fiery smoke session.

The “Non-Medication Area” is packed with vendors showing off giant size drying ovens (for extracts), massive hash extraction tubes (Humboldt growers have a lot of weed to process…), trimming machines and butane. Marijuana accessories and supplies for days. There are politicos and activist groups sprinkled throughout too.

People came from all over the state for this thing. I def met some folks from Denver. One dude told me he just moved to Calaveras County from Denver because weed is too corporate out there; his extract biz was being drowned out by those with big cash. So dude’s out to capitalize on the not-yet-totally-legal Cali cannabis scene.

I saw lots of familiar faces too yesterday, lots of people from Humboldt and Mendo showing off their marijuanas and crafts. Safe to say that the “Humboldt” name still carries weight when it comes to the weed, even though High Times the magazine seems to be all about Colorado’s indoor acres these days. Whatever. Cali outdoor is way better. The broader stoner culture will understand this someday.

For some photos from the day go to

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WE ARE NOW just a month out from NSSLF 2014 - our fifth Not-So-Simple Living Fair! Check it out at  One new thing this year is our online ticketing option. Hope to see you at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville July 25-27.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, June 29, 2014

Barragan, Daniels, Franks, Glaze, Green, Lopez, Marrufo
Barragan, Daniels, Franks, Glaze, Green, Lopez, Marrufo

REYNALDO BARRAGAN, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.

STEVE DANIELS, Fort Bragg. Crank possession, revocation of probation.

CASSIE FRANKS, Santa Rosa. Arrested in Willits for violation of a court order.


STEVEN GREEN, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

ULYSSES LOPEZ, Ukiah. Petty theft.

CLAUDIA MARRUFO, Stewart's Point. Possession of meth.

McGee, McGuire, Ryan , Sollid, Walrath, West
McGee, McGuire, Ryan , Sollid, Walrath, West

MASON McGEE, Ukiah. Felon with firearm, brandishing the gun, loitering, and drunk.

JUSTIN McGUIRE, Willits. Drunk in public. Frequent flier at age 26.

DANIEL RYAN, Ukiah. Drunk in public. Probation violation.

RICHARD SOLLID, Willits. Contributing to the delinquency of minors, which I suppose is possible in Willits if you catch them before they're ten.

MERRILL WALRATH, Ukiah. Merrill hit the jackpot with a total of ten charges, nine of them related to meth and pot with one gun charge.

HARRY WEST, Ukiah. Drunk in public, frequent flier.

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The industrialist is having his aeroplane serviced. 
The priest is wondering what he said in his sermon eight weeks ago
 about tithes. 
The generals are putting on civvies and looking like bank clerks. 
Public officials are getting friendly.
The policeman points out the way to the man in the cloth cap.
 The landlord comes to see whether the water supply is working. 
The journalists write the word People with capital letters.
 The singers sing at the opera for nothing.
 Ships' captains check the food in the crew's galley. 
Car owners get in beside their chauffeurs.
 Doctors sue the insurance companies. 
Scholars show their discoveries and hide their decorations. 
Farmers deliver potatoes to the barracks.
 The revolution has won its first battle:
 That's what has happened.

Bertolt Brecht

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by Elmore Leonard

These are rule I’ve picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I’m writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what’s taking place in the story. If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your voice pleases you, invisibility is not what you are after, and you can skip the rules. Still, you might look them over.

Never open a book with weather. If it’s only to create atmosphere, and not a character’s reaction to the weather, you don’t want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways to describe ice and snow than an Eskimo, you can do all the weather reporting you want.

Avoid prologues. They can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a forward. But these are ordinarily found in non-fiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory, and you can drop it in anywhere you want, There is a prologue in John Steinbeck’s “Sweet Thursday,” but it’s OK because a character in the book makes the point of what my rules are all about. He says: “I like a lot of talk in a book and I don’t like to have nobody tell me what the guy that talking looks like. I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks. …figure out what the guy’s thinking from what he says. I like some description but not too much of that. … Sometimes I want a book to break loose with a bunch of hooptedoodle. … Spin up some pretty words maybe or sing a little song with language. That’s nice. But I wish it was set aside so I don’t have to read it. I don’t want hooptedoodle to get mixed up with the story.”

Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped, cautioned, lied. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with “she asseverated,” and had to stop reading to get the dictionary.

Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” … he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances “full of rape and adverbs.” Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.

Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.” This rule doesn’t require an explanation. I have noticed that writers who use “suddenly” tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.

Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. Once you start spelling words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apostrophes, you won’t be able to stop. Notice the way Annie Proulx captures the flavor of Wyoming in her book of short stories “Close Range.” Avoid detailed description of characters. Which Steinbeck covered. In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” what do “American and the girl with him” look like? “She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.” That’s the only reference to a physical description in the story, and yet we see the couple and know them by their tones of voice, with not one adverb in sight.

Don’t go into great detail describing places and things. Unless you’re Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language or write landscapes in the style of Jim Harrison. But even if you’re good at it, you don’t want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.

And finally: 10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. A rule that came to mind in 1983. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he’s writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle, perhaps taking another shot at the weather, or has gone into the character’s head, and the reader either knows what the guy’s thinking or doesn’t care.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. It’s my attempt to remain invisible, not distract the reader from the story with obvious writing. (Joseph Conrad said something about words getting in the way of what you want to say.)

If I write in scenes and always from the point of view of a particular character — the one whose view best brings the scene to life — I’m able to concentrate on the voices of the characters telling you who they are and how they feel about what they see and what’s going on, and I’m nowhere in sight.

What Steinbeck did in “Sweet Thursday” was title his chapters as an indication, though obscure, of what they cover. “Whom the Gods Love They Drive Nuts” is one, “Lousy Wednesday” another. The third chapter is titled “Hooptedoodle 1” and the 38th chapter “Hooptedoodle 2” as warnings to the reader, as if Steinbeck is saying: “Here’s where you’ll see me taking flights of fancy with my writing, and it won’t get in the way of the story. Skip them if you want.” “Sweet Thursday” came out in 1954, when I was just beginning to be published, and I’ve never forgotten that prologue.

Did I read the hooptedoodle chapters? Every word.

ED NOTE: Elmore Leonard, the award-winning mystery writer whose snappy dialogue, misfit characters and laconic sense of humor produced such popular works as “Get Shorty,” “Hombre,” “Fifty-two Pickup” and “Out of Sight,” died Tuesday, August 20, 2013. He was 87.

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by Dan Bacher

Restore the Delta (RTD) called on Governor Brown to back a “clean water bond” for the November 2014 ballot that does not include any taxpayer funding for mitigating the damage from the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels.

The group's statement was issued after Brown told legislators in private meetings on Tuesday, June 24 that he opposes the existing $11.1 billion water bond and supports a $6 billion water bond instead, including about $2 billion for storage.

Brown also reportedly told legislators that Republicans “must accept less than their stated priority of $3 billion” for water storage projects, according to Capitol Public Radio. (,-wants-$6-billion-replacement/)

The Governor’s Office has declined to comment on the specifics of his proposal, including whether any funding in the bond will help pay for mitigation for damage caused by the construction of two massive tunnels under the Delta proposed under Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). "The Governor is concerned about ongoing debt service and its impact on future budgets," according to Jim Evans of the Governor's Office.

However, a draft of Brown's blueprint obtained by the Sacramento and Fresno Bee also "suggests $1.5 billion for water supply and water reliability, encompassing areas like safe drinking water and groundwater cleanup; $1.5 billion for watershed protection; $500 million for flood control; and $500 million for the Delta." (

"The document also states a general rule shared by Senate leaders: the bond must be 'Bay Delta Conservation Plan neutral,'" the Bee reported.

In response to the latest water bond developments, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, said, “California desperately needs a new sustainable water policy and a bond measure that invests in conservation policies that have broad and deep support. We call on Gov. Brown to leave tunnels mitigation out of a water bond.”

Barrigan-Parrilla cited records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act showing that the BDCP appears to plan to use bond funds to help fund purchases over the next 50 years of up to 1.3 million acre feet of water annually from upstream areas, such as the Sacramento Valley.

"These purchases are supposed to make up for over-pumping for the new water export Tunnels,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “This provision would become a referendum on the tunnels project and would likely doom the water bond to failure, leaving us with no progress on our need for drought resilient water projects.”

“In bond provisions labeled as BDCP ‘restoration’ and ‘habitat’ funding, the public would pay to purchase so called ‘enhanced environmental flow’ water from previously identified districts in the Upper Sacramento River Basin – leading to the devastation of their groundwater supplies. That same water would be diverted into the new BDCP Tunnels before it flows into the heart of the Delta,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.

“Mega-growers within Westlands and Kern County are depending on public subsidies to make the BDCP pencil out. The public purchase of ‘environmental’ water with bond funds has already been shown to be a waste. From 2000-2007, an ‘environmental water account’ was set up and spent nearly $200 million in public funds as the species crashed and the State Water Project over pumped the Delta, creating, huge profits for private landowners like billionaire Stewart Resnick. The voters will not agree to that kind of waste and profiteering again,” Barrigan-Parrilla added.

In addition, BDCP water exporters are relying on the public, through a combination of state and federal funds and two successive state water bonds, to pay $7.824 billion (before interest in today’s dollars) toward the cost of BDCP. The draft BDCP describes how state bond measures would provide $3.759 billion in funds to carry out the project, according to Barrigan-Parilla.

She said taxpayers, through other state and federal funding allocations, would also pay the remaining $4 billion needed for the estimated $25 billion dollar project. With the water exporters paying for the cost of the water export Tunnels through increased water rates to families, the public would pay additionally through taxes for the cost of creating more than 140,000 acres of experimental habitat, on Delta farmland, the largest strip of prime farmland in California.

“According to independent scientific reviews, BDCP habitat is unlikely to yield the benefits assumed by BDCP, in part because the Tunnels will starve the Delta of needed fresh water flows. The BDCP water export Tunnels will remove life-giving flows of high quality water through the Delta. The massive acquisition of farmland for habitat is a ruse to justify building the BDCP Tunnels, and the water exporters are planning to stick the taxpayers with that bill,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.

Restore the Delta calls on Governor Brown support the following three principles in the 2014 water bond:

• Remove all funding for Delta habitat and water purchases tied to the BDCP. Funding actions needed by the still draft, unfinished BDCP will take away funding from other crucial water projects that will make California drought resilient. Taxpayers should not be expected to pay to restore habitat or purchase paper “environmental” water to make the Tunnels appear to be an environmental project.

• Support levee improvement funding in order to upgrade Delta levees to the minimum PL194-99 standards. The Governor needs to recognize that if there is a catastrophic event in the Delta, one hundred percent of the loss of life and 80% of the economic loss will fall on the Delta region. Levees protect statewide water supplies and provide local flood protection. Regional infrastructure worth billions of dollars (roads, railroads, electric transmission lines, gas lines) is also at risk.

"The State claims to be worried about an earthquake in the Delta, yet inexplicably is focused not on shoring up the Delta’s earthquake defenses, but on building Peripheral Tunnels to “protect” the water exported. The State has forgotten that 4 million people live in the five Delta Counties and need to be protected from a catastrophic flood event," she said.

• Support conservation and local water supply and treatment projects throughout California to make the state more water resilient and less dependent on Delta exports.

"We are calling on Governor Brown to support principles that will actually lead to more secure water supplies for all Californians, rather than endorsing a water exporter driven bond that will deliver only for certain special-interest water districts to the detriment of the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas," she summed up.

“If the governor and Westlands mega-growers insist on including taxpayer subsidies for the tunnels mitigation in the water bond, it will become a vote of the people of California on the mammoth and destructive BDCP Tunnel project, estimated to cost a total of at least $54.1 billion after interest,” said Restore the Delta’s media consultant, Steve Hopcraft.

The current water bond on the November ballot was created as part of a water policy/water bond package passed by the Legislature in a special session called by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November 2009. The water bond was rescheduled twice, first in 2010 and then again in 2012, due to strong opposition to provisions in the bond that facilitate the construction of the twin tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Brown is a relentless advocate for the widely-criticized Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels - and looks at the tunnel plan, estimated to cost up to $67 billion, as a "legacy" project.

On Monday, June 23, Senator Lois Wolk’s new water bond, SB 848, failed to gain required two-thirds vote “due to Republican opposition and demands that the measure include more funding to enable the construction of two tunnels underneath the Delta to divert water to farming interests in the Southern San Joaquin Valley,” according to a statement from Wolk’s Office.

The vote was on party lines, with the Senate Democrats supporting the measure and the Senate Republicans voting against it.

The 22 yes votes were Beall, Corbett, Correa, De León, DeSaulnier, Evans, Galgiani, Hernandez, Hueso, Jackson, Lara, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Mitchell, Monning, Padilla, Pavley, Roth, Steinberg, Torres, and Wolk, all Democrats.

The no votes were Anderson, Berryhill, Fuller, Huff, Knight, Morrell, Vidak, Walters, Wyland, all Republicans.

No votes were recorded by Block, Calderon, Cannella, Gaines, Hancock, Hill, Nielsen, Wright and Yee.

Three of those recorded not voting - Leland Yee of San Francisco, Ron Calderon of Montebello and Rod Wright of Inglewood - were suspended from the State Senate with pay this March. Senators Yee and Calderon were indicted in separate federal corruption cases, while Senator Wright will be sentenced on July 21 on criminal charges that he lied about where he lived when he ran for office in 2008. (

“Yesterday’s vote was a missed opportunity,” said Senator Wolk. “It was especially disappointing to see my Republican colleagues from Northern California tie their horses to the Delta Tunnels and support the current bond written in 2009 rather than the tunnel neutral approach in SB 848 that was before them. The 2009 bond promotes the tunnels and is doomed to be rejected by the voters.”

“We are in a drought," she said. "The voters want real solutions, not the tunnels. There is no better time than now to act. SB 848 includes water solutions for every region of the state that reflect local needs and priorities. This bond doesn’t hurt any region and, critically, it avoids investments in controversial projects like the Delta Tunnels that will result in opposition at the ballot. SB 848 is the only proposal that doesn't provoke a North-South water war and meets Republican core demand for surface storage."

For more information, go to:


  1. Harvey Reading June 30, 2014

    How to Write? How many times has that question been asked … and answered, at least to the satisfaction of the person answering? And talented authors are the worst sources. As far as I’m concerned, a person either has the talent … or not, as with the talents for other art forms. No amount of instruction, schooling, or effort can change that. Those might polish up the talent that already exists, but nothing more. By the way, I always wished for the talent, but it’s just not there, so I do other things.

  2. C.Swan June 30, 2014

    No sign of abalone diver off Mendocino County coast


    June 30, 2014, 3:17 PM

    Abalone diver lost off Mendocino County coast . . .
    Efforts to find a missing abalone diver off of the Mendocino coast continued Monday but remained unsuccessful as searchers again faced rough water.

    Mendocino County sheriff’s search and rescue team members joined Elk volunteer firefighters along the bluffs early Monday morning, scanning the water with binoculars to look for signs of the man.

    Assistant Fire Chief Bob Matson said searchers will launch an effort at about 5 a.m. Tuesday when the tide is low.

    Divers then will head into the cave where the man was last seen, Matson said.

    Efforts Sunday to find the body were hampered by turbulent water.

    The 50-year-old San Francisco man had been diving with three friends Sunday in Elk Harbor. Just starting out, they went into a cave where the victim was slammed into a rock by a large wave and knocked unconscious, his friends told firefighters.

    They said they pulled him to the back of the cave where there was less water and attempted to revive him with CPR. But they said they then left the man in the cave as the water got higher and swam out to save themselves, officials said they were told.

    The man, whose name hasn’t been released, is the third abalone diver this season to die off of the Mendocino coast.

  3. Randy Burke June 30, 2014

    Delta Water Pipes = two big hooka pipes to be constructed to send northern life blood to southerners who drive big diesel maneaters, and hoopti cars without a care in the world. Split the state water hold at Tracy, and let the bay refresh as it did before we ever entered the scene disrupting, destroying, dying within the confines of our own actions.

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