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Mendocino County Today: Friday, August 1, 2014

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THE FORT BRAGG POLICE DEPARTMENT wants everyone in town to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police this Saturday night.

THE 31st Annual National Night Out crime and prevention event will involve at least 16,124 communities from all 50 American states.

THE EVENT IS SUPPOSED to “heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.”

THIS YEAR in Fort Bragg there will be 14 block parties, an increase from nine in 2013. One will take place at the Police Department on Cypress Street with a free hot dog dinner.

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SPEAKING of Fort Bragg, there are only rumors about Chief Scott Mayberry's and Lt. John Naulty's stress leaves, the most prevalent of which say that Mayberry, who has more than the required twenty years in as an active cop, may retire. Naulty, the logical guy to succeed Mayberry as chief, can't return to work until he undergoes trauma counseling, counseling he is apparently resisting, but counseling the town's leadership thinks is necessary. Naulty, of course, played a heroic role in shooting the marauding Oregon tweeker who'd shot and killed Mendocino County Sheriff's deputy, Ricky Del Fiorentino, preventing the rampaging gunman from harming more people.

GIVEN THAT NAULTY is a much better judge of his own mental functioning than any therapist that official Fort Bragg might come up with, getting Naulty back on the job as chief would be in the greater interest of the town than any dubious psycho-clearance, and certainly better than paying an interim chief large amounts of money out of all proportion to the demands of the job.

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JEFF AYLEN, 62, of Fort Bragg was southbound on Highway One Wednesday evening about 7 when he lost control of his 1999 Lexus and plunged 80 feet down a hillside. The car landed on its roof, but Aylen, miraculously uninjured, managed to crawl from the wreckage and back up to the roadbed where he reported the accident. Aylen did not require emergency treatment or any treatment at all.

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AN 80 FOOT PLUNGE remains short of the Fort Bragg record, however. Al Dompeling remains the over-the-side champ. As we reported in September of 2002: “Al Dompeling is still confined to Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa but his family says he's doing a lot better. Dompeling, 51 at the time, was the driver of the Roach Brother's log truck that skidded off the east side of the Albion Bridge early the afternoon of August 19th. As horrified fishermen and campers watched from the Albion Flats, Dompeling's double-trailer rig fell cab-first in what witnesses described as ‘slow-motion’ 125 feet to the river bank. Dompeling was trapped in his cab until he was freed by Mendocino-based rescue workers who had to be ferried across the river to reach him. The valiant Dompeling was conscious throughout his terrifying fall and was said to be alert and helpful all during the painful ordeal of his rescue.

“THE APPALLING accident was apparently caused when a Toyota Celica driven by Neil Wood, 53, of Fort Bragg, driving drunk, crossed the centerline and hit Dompeling's southbound truck head-on, causing Dompeling's truck to veer over the side, taking out five yards of wood rail as neatly as if intentionally removed. Wood also remained hospitalized in Santa Rosa but directed Memorial Hospital not to release any information about him other than his presence there.

“A BENEFIT for Dompeling was held at the Albion River Flats Cafe last Saturday. Organized by the Cafe's spirited Gloria Vantassel, some 250 locals contributed more than $5,000 to a fund that will help pay some of the medical costs of Dompeling's prolonged hospitalization.”

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Incident Update
Friday, August 01, 2014 8:00 am
Fire Information Line: (707) 459-7425

Location: Wilderness Lodge Area
County: Mendocino
Acres: 650
% Containment: 5%
Start Date & Time: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 @ 6:27 am
Injuries: 0
No Structures Threatened


Fire Engines: 10
Fire Crews: 19
Bulldozers: 5
Airtankers: 6
Helicopters: 5
Water Tenders: 3
Total Personnel: 515

Current Situation: Fire is burning in heavy timber. Firefighters are challenged working in steep rugged terrain, with difficult access in the remote Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness area. Firefighters will continue to pursue aggressive air and ground strategies. Dry fuel conditions, above normal temperatures and low daytime relative humidity will continue to be a challenge for firefighters.

Cooperating Agencies: Laytonville Fire, Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation & California National Guard

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HEADLINE from Thursday's on-line edition of the Press Democrat: “Democrats stake out fundraising lead in local legislative races.”

GOSH, WONDER WHY? Could an overwhelming Democratic registration have something to do with Demo fundraising success on the Northcoast? Maybe the abdication of the Republicans, who figure why put a lot of money into races they'll lose? Perhaps, even, the obvious political fact that Northcoast Democrats, on key issues, are interchangeable with Republicans?

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To the Editor:

Apparently the efforts of the county grand jury result in nothing more than a futile exercise. The grand jury investigates selected government financed county operations and provides their findings and recommendation based on all the facts discovered and published in a public report. Whereupon the county administration goes into denial and obfuscation indicating that the grand jury has got it all wrong and the Board of Supervisors are reluctant to admit anything could be done wrong during their watch.

It is a shame that the dedicated work of 19 volunteer jurors who spend one year delving into the county government morass on behalf of the residents of the county is often covered over and soon dismissed.

Such is the case of the grand jury report on the County Free Library. I encourage anyone with the capability to obtain a copy of this report. It is available either by hard copy at one of the libraries or on the internet at the grand jury website, It is an in-depth review of the county library system from the very beginning to the present. The process of government that has unfolded over the years will be of interest. Unfortunately the report does not reflect well on the county administration.

Of special interest will be your comparison of the responses by the county CEO to the findings of the report. The only force that the grand jury has is the power of truth. If these truths are covered up, the work of the jurors on the grand jury will be for naught. We should all read these reports and evaluate these truths for ourselves.

Don Howard, Ukiah

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No wonder people hate Burning Man, I thought, when I pictured it as a cynic might: rich people on vacation breaking rules that everyone else would be made to suffer for not obeying. Many of these people would go back to their lives and back to work on the great farces of our age. They wouldn't argue for the decriminalization of the drugs they had used; they wouldn't want anyone to know about their time in the orgy dome. That they had cheered at the funeral pyre of a Facebook 'like' wouldn't play well on Tuesday in the cafeteria at Facebook. The people who accumulated the surplus value of the world's photographs, 'life events' and ex-boyfriend obsessions were now celebrating their freedom from the web they'd entangled us all in, the freedom to exist without the internet. Plus all this crap — the polyester fur legwarmers and plastic water bottles and disposable batteries — this garbage made from harvested hydrocarbons that will never disappear. To protest against these things in everyday life carried a huge social cost — one that only a few people are grimly willing to bear — and maybe that's what the old burners disliked about the new ones: the new ones upheld the idea of autonomous zones. The $400 ticket price was as much about the right to leave what happened at the festival behind as it was to enter in the first place. Still, I'd been able to do things here that I'd wanted to do for a long time, that I never could have done at home. And if this place felt right, if it had expanded so much over the years because to so many people it felt like 'home', it had something to do with the inadequacy of the old ways that governed our lives in our real homes, where we felt lonely, isolated and unable to form the connections we wanted. (Emily Witt)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 31, 2014

Abreu, Benback-Calhoun, Biord, Booth, Campbell, Greene
Abreu, Benback-Calhoun, Biord, Booth, Campbell, Greene

BLUE ABREU, Ukiah. Violation of county parole.

KEVIN BENBACK-CALHOUN, Clearlake. Parole violation.

CHRISTOPHER BIORD, Fort Bragg. One Guess (Frequent flyer).


WAYNE CAMPBELL, Redwood Valley. Parole violation.

THOMAS GREENE, Albion. Drunk in public.

James, Lopez-Fugate, McGlothlin, McQueen, Menard, Vaughn
James, Lopez-Fugate, McGlothlin, McQueen, Menard, Vaughn

ROBERT JAMES, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

LISA LOPEZ-FUGATE, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, petty theft, under the influence of controlled substance, receiving stolen property, probation revocation.

HARVEY McGLOTHLIN, Willits. Drunk in public.

KIMBERLY McQUEEN, Clearlake. DUI-Drugs.

JOSEPH MENARD, Bakersfield. Community supervision violation.

MOTECUHZOMA VAUGHN, Ukiah. Sale of meth, possessions of drug injection device, possessions of saps and similar weapons, felon in possession of ammo.

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by Linda Williams

City Public Works Director Rod Wilburn advised the council the main water pumps which transfer water out of Morris Reservoir to the Willits water plant went down around 3 a.m. July 23. One pump was "burned out" and the other two pumps had the suction area plugged with some type of debris or growth. Divers came in from Eureka on an emergency basis to unplug the intakes in two pumps and reservoir water was again flowing to the plant by the afternoon of July 23.

The pump intakes are located about 30 feet underwater. On July 23 plant personnel were arranging for two cranes to remove the "burned out" pump for repair. Wilburn expects to send it to a shop in Fresno to determine whether the pump can be effectively refurbished. The submerged 100 horsepower pump is in a 30 foot metal long housing. Wilburn blamed the failure on deferred maintenance.

During the time of the emergency Willits water users were drawing down water in system tanks.

The city has two reservoirs, Morris and Centennial reservoirs. Morris dam was built in 1924 and the reservoir supplies all the water to the water plant. Centennial dam was built in 1990. Water flows downhill from Centennial to backfill Morris. Centennial reservoir typically is nearly empty at the start of each rainy season.

Water and public works crews worked together to complete the final repair to a major city water line leak next to Highway 20 earlier on July 22. Actions to isolate the leak and put the section back in service may have caused some discolored water as sediment in the lines were disturbed, says Wilburn.

The city's $5 million water plant revamp continues to provide challenges for city staff. Wilburn says Water Works Engineering discovered a major manufacturing error in the steel 50 foot diameter flocculent hood for the new water plant clarifier. The steel was only 1/3 the thickness required, it had deficient welds and the paint was already coming off. Wilburn said the manufacturer has agreed to replace the hood, but prefers doing so next year, rather than before the equipment goes into service in about a month. The issue is still to be resolved.

City workers continue to be called in on overtime responding to bugs in the elements of the new water plant of equipment which have been placed into service so far, says Wilburn. No details on the types of bugs requiring these overtime charges were shared.

The lack of a city planner to file for a routine exemption may be delaying work on the replacement well the city is drilling to replace the emergency water supply Elias well, according to Wilburn. The existing Elias well was unsuitable for use as a domestic water supply due to the lack of a sanitary seal. The seal is intended to keep untreated surface water out of the water supply. The new well must be located far enough away from the old well to avoid contamination but close enough to have water of similar volume and quality.

The water plant is monitoring the algae situation in the water supply reservoirs. The operators are prepared to use copper sulfate to control the algae, according to water plant supervisor JC England.

(Courtesy, the Willits News)

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Out here in the exact middle of the day,

This strange, gawky house has the expression

Of someone being stared at, someone holding

His breath underwater, hushed and expectant;

This house is ashamed of itself, ashamed

Of its fantastic mansard rooftop

And its pseudo-Gothic porch, ashamed

of its shoulders and large, awkward hands.

But the man behind the easel is relentless.

He is as brutal as sunlight, and believes

The house must have done something horrible

To the people who once lived here

Because now it is so desperately empty,

It must have done something to the sky

Because the sky, too, is utterly vacant

And devoid of meaning. There are no

Trees or shrubs anywhere--the house

Must have done something against the earth.

All that is present is a single pair of tracks

Straightening into the distance. No trains pass.

Now the stranger returns to this place daily

Until the house begins to suspect

That the man, too, is desolate, desolate

And even ashamed. Soon the house starts

To stare frankly at the man. And somehow

The empty white canvas slowly takes on

The expression of someone who is unnerved,

Someone holding his breath underwater.

And then one day the man simply disappears.

He is a last afternoon shadow moving

Across the tracks, making its way

Through the vast, darkening fields.

This man will paint other abandoned mansions,

And faded cafeteria windows, and poorly lettered

Storefronts on the edges of small towns.

Always they will have this same expression,

The utterly naked look of someone

Being stared at, someone American and gawky.

Someone who is about to be left alone

Again, and can no longer stand it.

— Edward Hirsch

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California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Mendocino Unit is ending the sale of 2014 firewood permits on Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) due to the very high demand and a limited supply of available downed wood. One firewood area will remain open to those with valid permits until the wood supply is gone, September 15th, or the first significant rain, whichever occurs first. Gathering in violation of the terms of the permit will result in revocation of the permit; gathering without a valid permit is misdemeanor theft. Please help us protect your forest resources by respecting locked gates, and remember that one less spark is one less wildfire.

Questions regarding the firewood program may be directed to the CAL FIRE Fort Bragg office located at 802 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA (707) 964-5674. Office hours are 8-12 & 1-5 Monday through Friday.

Multiple uses of JDSF for a wide variety of activities that benefit the public, the economy and natural resources are what our demonstration forests are all about.

One Comment

  1. Harvey Reading August 1, 2014

    The “Saturday Night Out” program reeks of the Darryl Gates Foundation D.A.R.E. program that is forced on school kids. Just more police propaganda (respect and OBEY … and rat out your friends and neighbors confidentially a course), covered with entertainment.

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