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Mendocino County Today: Friday, July 25, 2014

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THE UKIAH CITY COUNCIL has been discussing “transients” and “homelessness” without mentioning alcoholism and drug addiction and the City's role as enabler of both.


THE MOST RECENT DISCUSSION was pegged to the town's recent clean-up of areas near the Russian River, an effort which has gone for naught as the cleaned-up venues have again been trashed by the “transients” and the “homeless.” Clean-ups have become a kind of open-air maid service for drunks and drug people, the two often interchangeable.

IF YOU FEED troubled people but don't house them and treat them, they will do what they now do in Ukiah — destroy the sensitive habitat around the river while the Ukiah Police Department constantly arrests them for misdemeanor offenses and the superior court blithely rotates them in and out of the Mendocino County Jail and back to the River.

FORT BRAGG has the same problems with a core group of street people that Ukiah has. Willits has less of a problem because Willits doesn't have the equivalent of Ukiah's enabling Plowshares.

IN LIEU of a state and federal reinstatement of California's state hospital program, which, thanks to Republicans we will never have again as the necessary social safety net it once was, the civic destruction caused by roaming mental cases permanently disabled by drink, drugs and untreated mental illness will only grow as our society continues to unravel.

MENDOCINO COUNTY needs to rouse our cynical superior court judges and an apparently unseeing board of supervisors to actually do something to finally address the problem. (Supervisor McCowen spends much of his free time cleaning up after the outdoor population; he has the most hands-on experience of any of the supervisors and would be the logical person to walk point on the issue. Of all our County officials, McCowen seems alone in being genuinely disturbed by the seemingly hopelessness he has directly experienced.)

WHAT IS NEEDED is a latter-day County Farm where, for instance, Scotty and Kelisha, the reigning couple of inland street people, would be judicially compelled to live for a year at a time. Ditto for poor old Hensley and the rest of the County's drop-fall drunks now permitted to commit slo-mo suicide on Ukiah’s and Fort Bragg's streets.

AND HERE'S the rub — compulsion. The phony compassionates, many of them professionally compassionate, immediately start screaming about civil rights. One more time with emphasis: Persons unable or unwilling to care for themselves have forfeited their civil rights, hopefully only until they can get themselves sober. For now, they need to be sequestered and looked after because they can't do it themselves.

IS IT POSSIBLE for a broke, rural county like Mendocino to institute an effective strategy for humanely coping with a relatively small population of habituals? After all, it’s been done to varying degress in similarly rural counties. It probably is, but only if it's a priority of the leadership and the courts.

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PROVOCATIONS EVERYWHERE, even Geyserville, on whose southern edge is some muy cool sculpture except for a recent construction that spells out TRUTH. That's it. Just big block metal letters. In a country that runs on bullshit, if truth were to magically become national policy the whole show would simply collapse.

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TheDesertersRECOMMENDED READING, sort of: “The Deserters — A Hidden History of World War Two” by Charles Glass. “The cold hard facts are that 1,825,000 men were rejected for military service because of psychiatric disorders, that almost another 600,000 had been discharged from the Army alone for neuropsychiatric reasons or their equivalent and that fully 500,000 attempted to evade the draft.” (Dr. Edward Strecker, adviser to the Secretary of War, 1943.)

THE AUTHOR uses the first-hand combat experiences of three deserters to tell the story that a heckuva lotta soldiers simply, or not so simply, took off from combat, often out of simple combat fatigue so severe they just walked off. Thousands of World War Two soldiers were pushed past human capacity. Because replacements and r&r tended to be long in coming, soldiers couldn't do it without some relief, which was not forthcoming. The author emphasizes the Army was overwhelmingly composed of draftees, civilians who, without much in the way of training, had to take on the more experienced and better trained German army.

THE THREE MEN whose stories Glass tells didn't exactly run away. They came and went and wound up being tried for desertion. One of them was criminally oriented, hiding out in post-War Paris where a whole network of awol Americans ran lucrative criminal enterprises.

THIS BOOK is replete with information and anecdotes that put a whole new face on America's role in the liberation of Western Europe. As I read it, it often occurred to me that the Army at that time, draftees or not, was generally drawn from a tougher population of young men, almost all of them unaccustomed to the soft life. Then, as America became richer and life physically easier, the draft had to go. Young men just wouldn't do it. The military tide in Korea was turned by combat Army veterans, the equivalent of elite troops, and Marines. Vietnam, into whose disastrous maw draftees were drawn, saw wholesale troop rebellions even by a few Marine Corps units. You can see, in the evolution, or devolution, of American forces that today, our empire now depends entirely on highly motivated volunteers, among them lots of non-citizens, and elite fighters like the Navy Seals. Citizen fighters just won't do imperialism's front line work.

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FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died, his lawyers said, in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.


Wood's lawyers had filed an emergency appeal in federal court while the execution was underway, demanding that it be stopped. The appeal said Wood was “gasping and snorting for more than an hour.”

The lawyers said the execution started at 1:52 p.m., but Wood continued to breathe and was alive an hour and 10 minutes later. Defense lawyer Dale Baich called it a botched execution that should have taken 10 minutes.

A message seeking comment was left with the Arizona Department of Corrections.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed the execution but could not immediately communicate with anyone outside the state prison in Florence where the execution took place.

Wood's case highlighted scrutiny surrounding lethal injections after two controversial executions, including that of an Ohio inmate in January who snorted and gasped during the 26 minutes it took him to die. In Oklahoma, an inmate died of a heart attack minutes after prison officials halted his execution because the drugs weren't being administered properly.

States have refused to reveal details such as which pharmacies are supplying lethal injection drugs and who is administering them, because of concerns over harassment.

Woods filed several appeals that were denied by the U.S. Supreme Court, including one on the basis that his First Amendment rights were violated when the state refused to reveal details of his execution such as the supplier of the drugs.

The Arizona Supreme Court also delayed the execution Wednesday morning to consider a last-minute appeal about whether Wood received inadequate legal representation at his sentencing. But about an hour later, the state's high court allowed the execution to proceed.

Wood argued he has a First Amendment right to details about the state's method for lethal injections, the qualifications of the executioner and who makes the drugs. Such demands for greater transparency have become a new legal tactic in death penalty cases.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had put the execution on hold, saying the state must reveal the information. But the Supreme Court has not been receptive to the tactic, ruling against death penalty lawyers on the argument each time it has been before justices.

Wood's execution was Arizona's third since October and the state's 36th since 1992.

Wood was convicted in the 1989 shooting deaths of Debbie Dietz, 29, and Gene Dietz, 55, at an auto repair shop in Tucson.

Wood and Dietz had a tumultuous relationship during which he repeatedly assaulted her. Dietz tried to end their relationship and got an order of protection against Wood.

On the day of the shooting, Wood went to the auto shop and waited for Dietz's father, who disapproved of his daughter's relationship with Wood, to get off the phone. Once the father hung up, Wood pulled out a revolver, shot him in the chest and then smiled.

Wood then turned his attention toward Debra Dietz, who was trying to telephone for help. Wood grabbed her by the neck and put his gun to her chest. She pleaded with him to spare her life. An employee heard Wood say, “I told you I was going to do it, I have to kill you.” He then called her an expletive and fired two shots in her chest.

(Courtesy, Associated Press)

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REGARDING the botched execution of the Arizona guy yesterday, I've got some ideas to make the death penalty more effective, or at least more consistent with its stated purpose, which is to stop other people from murdering. In this country you're going to stop people from killing each other? No. The death penalty, as we all know, doesn't work as intended, although it seems to satisfy some people's desire for abstract revenge.

I DON'T “believe” the state should have the right to kill anybody, but from the description of Arizona Man's crime I can certainly understand why lots of people would want him dead. (He was abusing his girlfriend; his girlfriend's father stood up for her as a father should do, and Arizona Man shot both of them to death, propelling the love of his life into eternity with a final “Bitch!”

IF ARIZONA had carried out the execution of Arizona Man in Arizona State's football stadium at high noon (or maybe half time) the public could attend and the state might more plausibly defend the death penalty as in the public interest. But if the state just hauls some guy out in the middle of the night (middle of the afternoon in this case) and puts him down like a stray dog, the process occurs in the name of The People but The People aren't in on it.

OF COURSE ARIZONA is a state almost as synonymous with vicious stupidity as Texas, but at least Texas can bring off an efficient execution. Arizona couldn't even manage that yesterday. Arizona tortured Arizona Man to death. It took Arizona Man two hours to die. Call me naive, but I think most Americans still oppose torture, the Bush and Obama administrations notwithstanding.

I'D TAKE the death penalty one step farther. By law, an immediate family member of the victim would have to carry it out, and I'd require that the execution be done in public — prime time national, television, mandatory viewing for all Americans over the age of 12. On Television. The family member could choose to do it with a handgun or a knife. Or maybe by stoning. Why not go all the way medieval? Hell, it works for the Taliban.

MEN, and the few women who kill, should simply be locked away, but even they should have opportunities to redeem themselves. Since most murderers do their dirty work when they are young or fairly young, by the time all the lawyers and judges are through pretending the justice system is just, the killers are seldom the same people they were when they did it.

I USED TO THINK that only about ten percent of any prison population is hopelessly, irremediably dangerous until a good friend of mine who did twenty years for second degree murder, told me that most convicts would put the hopeless percentage at around twenty percent, and that's from prisoners themselves. Prison staff and inmates know who should spend forever in the Big Time Out Room.

ONE OF JERRY BROWN'S forgotten crimes is his abolition of indeterminate sentences. Mr. Talk Left, Act Right naturally justified his move as “fair and just.” The result of Jer's humanity is that now the true psycho can spend his sentenced years in an iso cell (also a form of torture) without doing a single thing in prison to retool himself into a human being. He does his twenty years and emerges the mad dog he was when he went in.

SURE, indeterminate sentences were tough, but the idea was a good one — people who'd done bad things had to improve themselves in lock-up, had to get with the program, as they say. Who better to judge them than the people who worked with them every day? The old way, the pre-Jerry Brown way, was a more effective way of both protecting the public from the truly dangerous dudes while helping the rest with education and trade skills.

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An Exchange from the CoastListserve

Barbara Rice: Mendocino College is coming to town! And we need to fill their classes in order to keep them here! Please help spread the word. Mendocino College plans to offer classes in Fort Bragg this fall at our College of the Redwoods site. Their Schedule of Classes should be available online sometime next week. Classes are anticipated to start the week of September 8th. There won't be a lot of classes offered due to the short timeframe for planning, but it is critical that all the courses get strong enrollment. We need to prove to Mendocino College that we can sustain a college campus on the coast. High enrollment is the proof. Before you can enroll, you need to complete their Admissions form. This is a requirement of all California Community Colleges. If you took classes at CR in the last several years, you have already completed most of the Admissions form. If you can access your username and password from that process, then much of the form will already be completed when you access it. Here is the link to the form: It is important to complete the admissions form now as it may take a day or two to process. After that, you will have access to the online registration process through Web Advisor, IMPORTANT: Orientation and Placement testing are recommended, but not required to register, but if a course requires a pre-requisite, you will need to submit a college transcript to show that you have taken the required pre-requisite. Those seeking a degree or certificate are highly encouraged to do Orientation, Placement Testing and Counseling. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I'll try to answer them or direct you to those who know.

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Jessie VanSant: I agree but be not a nay sayer please!! Call Mendocino College and tell them you’ll be interested in classes. Tell them what you need, what you want to be able to access here on the Coast (or maybe by an an online class with MC via Coast facility) We have to show our support and desire/drive. We used to have a great little junior-college-that-could. It met in any empty space possible for as little money as possible with great instructors. Of course formalizing and rigidifying took a lot of the creative possibilities away from the options but we can still rebuild a unique Coast-centric school here IF people will get over ‘can’t do’ and get do 'can-do/will-do’!!!! I want to take a Spanish (conversational) class again and maybe be better at it this time… I’d like art classes again and maybe even finish up what I needed ages ago to be able to go forward for my BA… who knows.. it could still happen.. I’m not dead yet… ;-) Anyways - make demands and tell MC we’re ready and waiting!! We want programs again that lead to 4 years degrees with jobs waiting, we want good instructors and supportive administration and a library again and all the things that make a junior college a vibrant, living entity. Education is a key and a path and a map - our Coast deserves a decent junior college!!

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“Chavestaps”: We need a list of classes. It's a waste of time to push the coast campus, if they don't tell us what they are offering!

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“Zo”: Yes, the college, the oceanography program that gave its own 2 year certification, the much needed nursing program, just 2 examples, the wood working which still exists but not through the college, hello, art, pottery, that was shut down, all the regular academics, oh, yes, the college can be great again, vital, terrific... bring it on.. and this listserve is minimal for getting students, the high schools, the employment office, are fertile ground..

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Laura Mays: Just for the record, the Fine Woodworking Program is still administered by the College of the Redwoods, albeit from Eureka rather than from the Del Mar Drive campus in Fort Bragg. According to CR's most recent press release (July 18), 'future conversations may include the potential transfer of College of the Redwoods’ Mendocino Coast territory and facilities from College of the Redwoods to Mendocino College,' including the woodworking program.

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King Collins: Don't count on imagination or passion or direction from Mendocino College. I can't think of anyone there who cares very much about community education or the coast. (I might be wrong about that. I hope so.) Not that I know everybody, but I was there at a crucial point when we had a Dean, Susan Bell, who was community oriented, and we tried to prevent her from being demoted. That was 1996-97. We ran a couple of candidates for the board of trustees which was a close election but we failed, defeated by the Farm Bureau and the grape people and the boorish anti-intellectual pro-football culture that prevailed then, and probably still does. It just the same ol' story, a structure without a heart, a full-time faculty, forty or so mostly nice people who just want to have a nice life. Beneath them, a few hundred part-timers struggling to survive, carrying most of the course load. The part-timers used to have a union of sorts, but no more. The organizing types among the part-timers have all been fired. Some of the part-timers care a lot but they have no voice and no power. Creativity, imagination and passion will have to come mostly from the coast community, and if it wants a college, and if it can muster a determined creative group, one that has the guts and coherence to confront the conformist board and uninspired administration and faculty of Mendocino College, then you might get the real thing.

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On August 11, 2014, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will meet at Round Valley Public Library, 23925 Howard Street, in Covelo, California, for a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board.

Despite continued fiscal challenges, the Board of Supervisors strongly supports preserving the policy of off-site meetings, affording constituents in rural communities and in every district an opportunity to directly participate in their local government.

Beginning in 2006, the Board’s adopted annual calendar has called for up to three of its regularly scheduled meetings to be held in outlying areas of the county. The primary focus for off-site meetings has been our coastal communities and the north county. Over the past eight years, meetings have been held in Fort Bragg, Boonville, Covelo, Gualala, Mendocino, Point Arena, and Willits.

The Board meeting on August 11, 2014, is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Potential topics of Board business include a noticed CEQA hearing related to the Round Valley Airport, discussion regarding drought and the Clean Water Act, and an update on the status of illegal marijuana grows in the National Forest.

John Pinches, Board Chair, shared the following comments: “The entire Board is looking forward to spending the day in Covelo. We are hopeful that many members of the community will attend to share their valuable input and participate in local government.”

The public is welcome and invited to attend all Board meetings. For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441, or visit the website at: The full agenda and supporting material will be available online after Thursday, August 7, 2014. The meeting will be recorded for delayed broadcast.

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Scott Peterson Wonders At Coast Hospital's Impaired Hearing


I just got stonewalled by MCDH's Public Relations department! Apparently, Mr. Allen doesn't want any more public input. This seems oddly counterproductive in light of any possible parcel tax initiative. What do you think?

Scott Peterson, Mendocino

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Jul 17, 2014, at 3:11 PM, Scott Peterson wrote:

Hi Liz,

Thanks for your hard work on the MCDH Blog!

Is it possible to have an open discussion about the parcel tax initiative there?

I know a few people who'd like to talk about it.

Scott M. Peterson Mendocino

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22 Jul 2014 08:09:09 -0700
Subject: Re: MCDH Blog Question

Scott, I will forward this request to the CEO/CFO; he is the final arbiter of such decisions.

Best wishes, Liz Petersen

Elizabeth Petersen, Principal RevUp Creative Media Strategic Visual and Marketing Communications 707 964-2965 P.O. Box 11, Fort Bragg CA

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On Jul 23, 2014, at 7:43 PM, Scott Peterson wrote:

Hi Liz, Thanks for your time and attention to this. Please note the attached MCDH publication and ask the CEO/CFO to consider my request in light of MCDH's written pledge to gather community input.

Scott M. Peterson Mendocino

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Subject: Re: MCDH Blog Question
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:56:06 -0700

Scott: The deadline for community input ended on June 6. The comments section, included as part of the community survey, would have been the correct avenue for your feedback. As such, I will not be passing your further communications on.

Best wishes, Elizabeth Petersen, Principal RevUp Creative Media Strategic Visual and Marketing Communications 707 964-296 5P.O. Box 11, Fort Bragg CA 95437.

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McPhail, Navab
McPhail, Navab

ON JULY 10th at about 12:15 Ukiah Police Officers assisted the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force with service of a search warrant at a residence in the 200 block of Luce Avenue. The majority of the interior of the residence had been modified to grow marijuana, with one of the rooms extensively remodeled to grow a large number of marijuana plants. Officers determined over 260 marijuana plants were being grown within the residence. Also located were several firearm to include; handguns, shotguns, and an assault weapon, a large amount of cash, over 5 ounces of concentrated cannabis in the form of “honey oil,” and numerous items used in the production of honey oil. Inside a shed also on the property was over 20 pounds of semi-processed marijuana, a large amount of butane gas, and a fairly extensive honey oil production lab which included pressurized butane being stored in ice. Because of the danger associated with safely disposing of the gas, members of the County of Mendocino Environmental Health and Ukiah Fire Department responded. Present at the scene were 38 year old Michael Cheynne McPhail and 27 year old Aria Tehrani Navab, who were arrested for cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, drug manufacturing, possessing an assault weapon, and being armed in the commission of a felony. (Ukiah Police Press Release)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 24, 2014

Anaya, Archuleta, Barrom, Brane, Butler, Campos, Connell
Anaya, Archuleta, Barrom, Brane, Butler, Campos, Connell

JERRY ANAYA, Navarro. Resisting arrest, probation revocation

RICARDO ARCHULETA, Point Arena, Battery with serious bodily injury, driving without a license.

RONALD BARROM, Willits. Assault with a deadly weapon not a firearm, vandalism.

THOMAS BRANE, Ukiah. Driving under the influence, probation revocation.

DANIEL BUTLER, Probation revocation.

GABRIEL CAMPOS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

TABETHA CONNELL, Willits. Burglary/theft, probation revocation.

Hensley,, Johansen, Jones, McCain, Snyder, Ward, Wright
Hensley,, Johansen, Jones, McCain, Snyder, Ward, Wright

CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. One Guess. (Frequent flyer)

CHARRISE JOHANSEN, Fort Bragg. Under the influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

EUGENE JONES, Ukiah. Receiving stolen property.

DIAMANTE McCAIN, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

RAYMOND SNYDER, Ukiah. Failure to appear. Probation revocation.

TIMOTHY VANAUKEN, Redway. Sale of meth, possession of pot for sale, pot cultivation. (Picture not available.)

MICHAEL WARD, Ukiah. Violation of court order.

JEFFREY WRIGHT, Fort Bragg. Interfering with business.

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I have reached an age I doubt I’ll double.

When my daughters are this old

I’ll likely be dead and they will be made

a little more alone—however married

or careered they may be, no matter

if their mother survives me. I’ll want them

to recall the dinners when I tried

to teach them everything—the purpose

of chlorophyll, where the dinosaurs went,

the meaning of the Beatles. I like to think

they’ll miss the Sunday calls,

the cards that followed them

as relentlessly as junk mail. It’s possible

my death will come as a relief—

after a long cancer or dementia—

the money that’s left finally theirs

to blow on vacation or an IRA. Tonight

the stars are in their usual place

and this is no solace. That my daughters must

endure this same desolation

floating above them like dazzling salt is

intolerable. They’ll never have more

than a roof to shield them, the crackpot

wisdom of a man they knew.

— Charles Rafferty

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WHILE HE NOW CALLS FOR A CEASE-FIRE, Obama essentially gave Israel a green light to invade Gaza, claiming that every country has a right to defend itself. “There’s no country on Earth that can be expected to live under a daily barrage of rockets,” Obama said. He didn’t say that there is no people on Earth that can be expected to live under occupation forever. After three weeks the Israeli assault on Gaza has seen the Palestinian death toll top 690, mostly civilians. More than 100 of the dead are children. More than 3,700 Palestinians have been injured. Israel has bombed more than 70 sites inside Gaza, including five mosques and a football stadium. In the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah, five people died and 70 were wounded when Israel bombed the al-Aqsa Hospital. It was the third medical facility to be struck by Israel in as many weeks. The injured included about 30 medics. Israel says it has lost 27 soldiers since the ground invasion began. This is the very definition of disproportionate force. (Kevin Alexander Gray)

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JOIN SANCTUARY FOREST on Saturday, August 2nd for the Forestry Practices hike! Mike Jani of Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) and Tim Metz of Restoration Forestry will co-lead this educational hike, which will be held in the Hole in the Headwaters just south of Eureka. In 2012 Mike and Tim took hikers to visit this same forest, which is adjacent to the headwaters forest, to view a proposed Timber Harvest Plan (THP) area. This year’s adventure will take hikers back to the approved THP area to view the results of the selective harvest that took place. Leaders will discuss successes and failures and ways to improve and move forward with practicing responsible forestry into the future. Meet at the Park n’ Ride parking lot directly off the Herrick Ave/Elk River Rd exit off highway 101 at the south end of Eureka at 10 a.m. This moderate-to-rigorous, on and off trail hike will end at 3 p.m. Bring a lunch and water and wear sturdy hiking shoes. This is a group excursion, and participants are asked to stay together at all times. The hike is free of charge, though donations are gladly accepted and help Sanctuary Forest offer this program year after year. For questions or clarifications, contact Marisa at, or call 986-1087 x 1#. Hope to see you there!

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Support from volunteers and local businesses have made this program possible for Sanctuary Forest. Local businesses that have made generous contributions are Blue Star Gas, Caffe Dolce, Charlotte’s Perennial Gardens, Chautauqua Natural Foods, Dazey’s Supply, First Fig Gallery, Hohstadt’s Garden Center, Humboldt Bar & Grill, James Holland, MSW Counseling Services, J. Angus Publishing Group, Madrone Realty, Mattole Meadows, Mattole River Studios, Monica Coyne Artist Blacksmith, Ned Harwood Construction, Pierson Building Center, Redwood Properties, Roy Baker, O.D., Southern Humboldt Fitness, Sylvandale Gardens, The Security Store, Vella Wood Flooring, Whitethorn Construction, Whitethorn Winery, Wildberries Marketplace and Wyckoff’s Plumbing.

Sanctuary Forest is a land trust whose mission is to conserve the Mattole River watershed and surrounding areas for wildlife habitat and aesthetic, spiritual and intrinsic values, in cooperation with our diverse community.

As the drought continues in California, and with another two months of dry summer weather to go (at least), it is important for everyone to be thinking about what they can do to conserve water. On Thursday, July 31st at 7 p.m. Sanctuary Forest will be hosting a radio show highlighting ways for people reduce their water use. The show, Adapting to Water Scarcity for People and Wildlife, will be broadcast on KMUD at 7 p.m. Sanctuary Forest Executive Director Tasha McKee will be joined by Matt Cocking of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, local water and soils conservation educator Kyle Keegan and water program assistant Katrina Nystrom of Sanctuary Forest. Topics will include a flow update for the Mattole and South Folk Eel rivers, making stored water last longer, where to get grey water system and other water conservation supplies and water stewardship planning. If you’ve asked yourself this summer what you can do, or are looking for water conservation resources, then please tune in to KMUD on July 31st, and as a community we will discuss solutions to water shortage.

Sanctuary Forest is a land trust whose mission is to conserve the Mattole River watershed and surrounding areas for wildlife habitat and aesthetic, spiritual and intrinsic values, in cooperation with our diverse community.

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Dear Editor:

It is now three times Israel has invaded Gaza to “destroy” Hamas. Each time Hamas comes back stronger. Israel also invaded Lebanon to “destroy” Hezbollah. Hezbollah now has over 80,000 missiles, many of them state of the art from Iran. Each invasion resulted in the mass destruction of buildings and a large number of citizens killed or wounded but little affect on the capabilities of Hamas. Israel leaders should remember the definition of insanity: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Killing innocents is a good way of turning a population against occupiers. Israel needs to remember demographics are at work. About a third of the Gaza population is under 18. These young people have watched the deaths and wounding of their friends and relatives. They naturally would have a hatred of Israel and in particular the IDF soldiers. They will provide a ready source of recruits for Hamas.

Israel is on a suicide trip with their current policies of blockading Gaza and the apartheid cantonization of the West Bank. Given the rapid growth of the Arab population in Gaza, West Bank and Israel, Israel will find itself in the same situation as South Africa ultimately did with their apartheid policy.

In peace,

James G. Updegraff, Sacramento

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“Man, that was weird …” Jim passed away suddenly on June 20, 2014.

Father, husband, grandpa, chef, golfer, friend, rebel - all these descriptions and many more fit this long-time fixture on the Coast. Born in International Falls, Minnesota, to Stanley and Fern Larsen, Jim graduated from Acalanes High in Walnut Creek, California, and entered the Army. While enlisted, he was also able to act on stage, and apparently lit up the boards in San Antonio with his role as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” In 1958, he married Barbara Donovan, and the two moved to Los Angeles to allow Jim to pursue his acting career. Their two children, Peter and Kristan, were born in 1960 and 1964, respectively. His success in Hollywood was quickly surpassed by his skill at the grill, and he turned jobs at Lawry's Prime Rib in Los Angeles and Emil Villa's Hick'ry Pit in Walnut Creek into a lead role at The Dream Inn in Santa Cruz. He soon gained the attention of the owner of The Plumed Horse in Saratoga, who recruited him to be the head chef at this landmark restaurant. The experience gained during this period crystallized the realization that he and Barbara should open their own place, and in 1973, they, along with Rose Nunes, moved to Fort Bragg and opened “The Restaurant.” This group of hippies created an establishment that became a favorite of locals and visitors alike, and to this day continues to be a top dining destination on the Coast.

Jim was widowed in 1999, and married Susan Palm in 2000. Susan's daughter is Cayo Alba (Michael Frick) and her grandchildren are Soraya and Navarro. Susan continues to own and operate The Restaurant.

Jim loved singing (which he did almost constantly), cooking and his family. He was also passionate about golf, and spent many wonderful hours at The Little River Inn Golf Course. His outstanding wit, passion for laughter, and helping people were touchstones of his life.

Jim is survived by his wife, Susan Larsen; siblings David Larsen and Judy Edwards; children Peter Larsen (Joan Wulf) and Kristan Larsen (Paul Hebert); and grandchildren, Ella Ruth Wulf Larsen and Clare Marie Wulf Larsen. He was predeceased by his wife Barbara Marie Larsen.

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Message from The Big Easy

Warmest spiritual greetings Bruce, Please know that I continue to network the Washington D.C. area to find others who are enthusiastic about performing spiritually based direct action. That is my one and only socio-political focus. I will return to California otherwise. Meanwhile, I am continuing to assist Bork, and sleep on the couch, and that's about it. This is difficult, but what else can I do? We are called to “intervene in history,” and what sane individual would not wish to do something significant in this abominable Kali Yuga? Stay in touch, Craig Stehr, New Orleans


  1. Rick Weddle July 25, 2014

    Remember the cute yankee dictum, ‘…no problem so large it can’t be solved with high explosives…’? Notice how ever more frequently this principle appears as ‘foreign policy?’ Notice how the results don’t seem to actually solve the Problem? Anywhere?
    One of my Texas Grandmammas had a sarcastic observation for behavior like this:
    “…I cain’t tell what’s wrong! I added cornstarch and added cornstarch,…and it’s STILL too thick!”
    Maybe if we and they STOP doing what clearly does not work, and instead try something which stands some chance of success (unlike the present highly profitable silliness)?
    There are examples, suggestions, and instructions.

  2. Bill Pilgrim July 25, 2014

    Dear Craig Stehr,

    We have it from several internationally known and worshipped Indian avatars, such as the late Sai Baba and the late Swami Premananda, that Kali Yuga, the age of darkness and ignorance, IS OVER.
    A spritual master well known and loved in the Orient once said: “True service is being in the right place and STAYING THERE.”
    There are any number of service paths you can take just outside the door in New Orleans.

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