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Mendocino County Today: Friday, August 8, 2014

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KYM KEMP, writing at a little before 9 last night: "The eastern flank of the Lodge Fire burning near Leggett made a run to the south today. According to Cal Fire, the blaze jumped the Eel River in two separate places. The fire is now at 4800 acres and still only 25% contained.

Meanwhile, structures to the north near Leggett continue to be threatened. Fire crews are struggling in steep terrain to build fire lines to the north of the blaze as well as maintain existing lines.

Smoke from the fire pouring into Laytonville and Leggett has caused the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District to issue a warning that air pollutant levels are at “unhealthy” levels. Smoke columns rising to the south of the small community of Leggett have residents on edge. Today’s meeting with Cal Fire drew over 100 people. Melissa Rosenthal, owner of the Redwood Mercantile where the meeting was held, said it was surprisingly well attended for such a sparsely populated area.

Rosenthal said Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman who spoke at the meeting is not calling for evacuations at this time but may be calling for them soon. According to her, Allman stated that his office may be calling in the next 24 hours with an evacuation warning and asked that residents call 707 463-4086 to check to make sure their addresses are registered with the reverse 911 system so they can be notified if necessary."

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The following report was reposted by Bend Lodge neighbors, Rangjung Yeshe Gomde Center: “It is strange how much it just feels like a normal day up here. There is very little smoke and the helicopters are just now starting to fly. We had a visit from a firefighter this morning who was able to update us on today's map and give us some good info. The fire is almost completely encircled by a fire break now. The only remaining portion that is not bulldozed is across the river from us -- south of low gap creek to the hermitage. He said that yesterday they were able to find a fire road from the hermitage towards low gap that had a huge, impassible wash out. He and his partner are heading out from the Graham's now to try to find this side of the fire road and map it to the wash out. If they are able to do that they will likely go in and bulldoze a break there giving them double the chance to stop it with a break and the river. He says that the fire is burning very slowly. It is burning all of the stuff on the ground but very few trees are igniting. There is very little wind right now which is also helping. He felt pretty confident that once they have defensible breaks they will go at it with aggressive back burns and take it out. He asked us to continue working to clear all of our structures so that they can get to them if they need to protect them but again, if conditions remain similar to what they are now he feels fairly confident that they are going to be able to stop it across the river. He mapped our buildings today as well as all of our neighbors so we will be added to the current count of 43 endangered structures and will appear on the map they are all using. We assume some of them have access to it digitally and we will appear right away. For those using the printed version we will be on it tomorrow morning.”

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THIS MORNING'S CALFIRE UPDATE [7 am, Aug 8]: 5400 acres, 30% contained, 2 injuries, 35 structures threatened.

Current Situation: The fire continues to burn in heavy timber. Firefighters are challenged by steep, rugged terrain with difficult access. Fire activity increased yesterday as the eastern flank of the fire pushed to the south. The fire crossed the Eel River in two areas and continues to grow to the east. Structure defense preparation continues near populated areas and firefighting personnel continue to make progress constructing fire line across the northern and southern boundaries of the fire.

The Mendocino County Air Quality Management District has issued an air quality advisory due to smoke, haze, and degraded air quality throughout the county. Individuals with cardiac or respiratory disease, the elderly, or those who are sensitive to air pollution should avoid any outdoor activities.

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BIG TROUBLE AT ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER. A READER WRITES: “I was at the Health Center meeting last Monday night and have a few observations. It seems to me that the whole process is being pushed by the feds who have imposed a huge, complicated, jargonized administrative burden on our little health center. But since they’ve been taking federal money, they now seem to be on a path to wholesale overhaul into something many of us will no longer recognize as our health center.

THE FEDERAL Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA, part of the Department of Health and Human Services) has given the Health Center a 50 page “Health Center Program Site Visit Guide.” Which details all the things a federally subsidized health center has to do “for HRSA Health Center Program Grantees and Look-Alikes.”

JUST ONE of the hundreds of questions on the “Guide” under “Program Requirement 10: Contractual / Affiliation Agreements” says, “Are appropriate provisions in place to assure that none of the health center’s contracts or affiliation agreements have the potential to compromise the health center’s compliance with Health Center Program requirements in terms of corporate structure, governance, management, finance, health services, and/or clinical operations?”

UNDER “PROGRAM REQUIREMENT 15: Program Data Reporting Systems,” the form asks, “Does the health center have appropriate systems and capacity in place for collecting and organizing the data required for UDS, FFR, Clinical and Financial Performance Measures (submitted with the annual renewal applications), and any other Health Center Program reporting requirements (e.g., those necessary for supplemental funding)?”

AND ON AND ON endlessly. This stuff would intimidate any rural clinic with amateur board members. So the board seems to be deferring at every point to the people (like the self-described experts from the Coast who were sort of released by our board a few weeks ago but are still calling major shots in health center management) and claim they can clear up these federal bureaucratic requirements.

THIS HAS LED to a wholesale replacement of nearly everyone from the health center that we were familiar with who had been in a managerial or senior medical position. So all the experience the clinic has acquired with local people over the years will be lost, particularly whatever experience Dr. Apfel has with people’s medical situations.

DR. APFEL seemed to be sort of shell-shocked Monday night as he read a prepared statement saying he had NOT BEEN CONSULTED about any of the changes being made. One board member told me that the particular set of bureaucratic requirements being imposed on Apfel are being used to help push him out the door.

THE ENTIRE CHANGEOVER could have been better managed, phased in, if you will, so that more experience from the former staff was retained and more community input be gathered. It’s as if the whole clinic got the Kathy Corrall treatment [the popular Boonville woman who was summarily fired last spring with no notice or opportunity to respond].

DIANE AGEE of the Gualala Clinic and our fill-in administrator, clearly has it in for Dr. Apfel. And bringing the dispensary into federal compliance will mean that even if the new management gets the dispensary up and running it will no longer handle ordinary refills for long time patients, just prescriptions for emergencies and extremely poor people.

THIS WAS ALL FORESEEABLE, albeit in slow motion, once the clinic took all that federal money. Now we’re being pushed into a one-size-fits all federal style clinic to keep federal funding and nobody locally is going to stop them, or even try to slow it down.”

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“I was looking at a magazine article about animals the other day, and they had some cats and dogs that are popular from YouTube videos and such. There was this one cat that had 1.3 million followers on Twitter. Now I’m on Twitter, and I have almost 28,000 followers. All I could think was, ‘What do I have to do to get ahead of this cat?’!”

Ralph Nader

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Richardson Grove disconnect due to lingo—

The disconnect between the public and Caltrans' Richardson Grove project largely stems from mischaracterizations of the potential benefits and risks. For example, local proponents have used the term "industry-standard trucks" for years, whereas everywhere else where allowing Surface Transportation Assistance Act truck access has been considered, the rigs are simple described as "oversize trucks" or more accurately, the largest trucks allowed on the Federal Highway System. These trucks are more prone to off-tracking (the rear wheels cross over the median line on turns), which will increase the risk of accidents on other windy sections of 101 and our local access roads.

Potential economic gains have been largely anecdotal. We do know that major national retailers favor STAA trucks, but there will be no additional hiring because those chains are already here. The local lily industry will save transportation costs, but they already dominate their market, so again, there will be no additional hiring. Unfortunately, there will be job losses in local trucking services.

Better safe than sorry.

Dave Spreen, Kneeland

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A READER WRITES: "The New York Times has written another fatuous piece, ignoring the wine industry's long history of watershed abuse"...

Dry California Fights Illegal Use of Water for Cannabis

by Melena Ryzikaug

NICE, Calif. — An abandoned recreational vehicle was the first clue. In this hamlet two hours north of San Francisco and barely a mile from the largest natural freshwater lake in the state, the trailer sat on a hill, hidden from the main drag. Behind it rose a flimsy fence, tall enough to shield its bounty: 50 marijuana plants in hastily constructed wooden boxes.

“This is common,” said Michael Lockett, the chief building official here in Lake County, giving a tour of the now-derelict plot, where a pipe ran from a stream to a large water tank.

It was just one of hundreds of illegal marijuana operations in Lake County, officials said, some of which have been diverting water for thousands of plants.

The scene has been repeated across Northern California. Amid the state’s crippling drought, many communities are fighting not the mere cultivation of cannabis — which is legal in the state, though subject to myriad restrictions — but the growers’ use of water. Marijuana is a thirsty plant, and cultivating it at a time when California residents are subject to water restrictions has become a sticky issue.

When a statewide drought emergency was declared in January, “the first thing we wanted to address was water theft and marijuana,” said Carre Brown, a supervisor in Mendocino County, a major cannabis hub west of Lake County.

By mid-July, the sheriff there, Thomas D. Allman, had already caught growers siphoning water from springs because wells had run dry too early in the season. “I have told my marijuana team, ‘I want you to fly the rivers, fly the tributaries; let’s prioritize the water diversion,’ ” Sheriff Allman said.

In July, Lake County enacted an ordinance that demanded that growers account for their water supply; as in Mendocino, the county also has a tip line to identify violators. “It’s very pointedly meant to stop a lot of what we’re seeing — the illegal diversions, damming up of creeks, tapping into springs that may be on someone else’s property,” said Kevin Ingram, the principal planner for Lake County.

Late last month, federal and state agents raided the Yurok Indian Reservation in a move requested by tribal elders to halt illegal marijuana farms whose water use threatened the reservation’s supply.

Using Google Earth imagery, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has estimated that outdoor marijuana cultivation in Mendocino County and Humboldt County doubled between 2009 and 2012, with what the agency described as disastrous effect. A marijuana plant can consume five to 10 gallons of water, depending on the point in its growth cycle. By comparison, a head of lettuce, another of California’s major crops, needs about 3.5 gallons of water.

Not all marijuana growers are cavalier about their water use. Swami Chaitanya, 71, has been tending — and smoking — cannabis for decades. “I grew my first plants in the shadow of the Bank of America in San Francisco on Telegraph Hill in the early ’70s,” Mr. Chaitanya said. (He adopted the name Swami Chaitanya after studies in India, and prefers it to his given name, which he asked not to use.)

Now ensconced in an off-the-grid farm in Mendocino County, Mr. Chaitanya and a few helpers produce a small crop of medical marijuana plants for an Oakland dispensary. Their beds are watered daily from tanks fed by a spring on the property. To minimize the environmental impact, he said, he recycles his wastewater. This year, he has also reduced the number of plants, he said.

Environmentally minded marijuana growers say that illegal operators and water guzzlers are giving them a bad reputation. Seth Little, 28, an organic medicinal marijuana grower near the Lake County town of Clearlake, said neighbors could be resentful. “They just think that we’re all kind of dooming everything,” he said, “and stealing everybody’s water, and dumping chemicals into the aquifers.”

Mr. Little, who has been growing marijuana for nearly five years with a special irrigation system designed to minimize water use, said many fellow growers had been heedless of the water problem. “A large percentage of them are just really not environmentally aware; they’re not in compliance,” he said.

But the artisanal ways of Mr. Little and Mr. Chaitanya can conflict with the demands of the market and, sometimes, the law. Because there are countywide restrictions on the number of marijuana plants even legitimate growers may keep, Mr. Chaitanya said, they have an incentive to make those plants as robust as possible — and that means using more water. Mr. Chaitanya suggested that the problem was exacerbated by confusing regulations.

Sheriff Allman of Mendocino County was skeptical of this. “That sounds like logic they’ve made up after smoking a joint,” he observed.

But, he added, the environmental offenders are not the stereotypical marijuana grower.

“Old hippies are not our problem — old hippies get it,” Sheriff Allman said. “They’re going organic; they’re doing water reduction.” So are “young hippies,” he continued.

“I’m talking about people that move here in April, grow marijuana as fast as they can until October,” Sheriff Allman said. “The 20-year-old kid who wants to make his million bucks, and he’s using these steroid fertilizers. He doesn’t care about how much water he uses, or what he puts in the soil.”

(Courtesy, the New York Times)

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In coordination with the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County, the County Executive Office is asking county residents to fill out a quick online survey. The purpose of this survey is to gather data on what types of impacts were felt by the internet and phone service outages that were experienced beginning on Sunday, August 3, 2014, and originated from the Comptche-Ukiah Road area.

The purpose of this data gathering is to assist the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County, in coordination with County elected leaders, to resolve this connectivity issue for many of the county’s residents and prevent it from happening again.

The online survey can be found at the Broadband Alliance homepage at, or at the County’s home page at under “Areas of Interest” on the right-hand side.

For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.

Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer, Mendocino County

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YOU'D THINK THE COLLEGE was preparing for a full frontal Taliban assault. In rural areas, "shots fired" is part of the sound track.

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HSU Remains Vigilant Following Off-Campus Gunshot

Earlier this morning Arcata Police received a report of gunshots in an area west of US 101. Although there was an initial report that an individual may have fled in the direction of the campus, law enforcement has indicated that there is no evidence that those involved entered the campus. The University Police Department is working with the Arcata Police Department to ensure the safety of the campus. In the meantime, campus has been asked to remain vigilant. At this point there is no emergency on campus and operations are normal.

Arianne Aryanpur, Marketing & Communications, Humboldt State University

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MENTAL HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD MEETING on August 20, 2014 in Point Arena

The MHAB meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. in Point Arena at the Coastal Community Library in the Conference Room. The library is located at 225 Main Street. The meeting is intended for members of the public interested in supporting their local mental health services system. Public members are encouraged to attend the meeting to ask questions and give testimony.

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Center for Biological Diversity Press Release:

The Center for Biological Diversity delivered messages from more than 55,000 people to California Attorney General Kamala Harris today requesting an investigation into the fatal poisoning of the pet dog of a scientist studying the deadly impacts on wildlife of the same toxin that killed his dog. A necropsy showed that the dog, Nyxo, had been fed red meat and poisoned with the highly toxic rat poison brodifacoum. Nyxo belonged to Dr. Mourad Gabriel, one of the nation’s leading ecological researchers on the dangers the rat poison poses for wildlife like imperiled Pacific fishers and northern spotted owls.

A PDF of this poster is available for download here.

“Nyxo was a handsome, inquisitive rescue dog who was at my side on many research projects,” said Gabriel. “His death, like the deaths of so many wild animals, was so unnecessary.”

In early February at his northern California home, Dr. Gabriel discovered that Nyxo was having seizures and had vomited red meat, which the family had not fed him. The dog was immediately taken to a local veterinarian, who was unable to save the dog’s life. His body was taken to a laboratory at the University of California at Davis, where a necropsy determined Nyxo died of brodifacoum poisoning.

“Thousands of Californians are demanding justice for this malicious poisoning and we condemn the use of violence to silence any scientist, researcher or citizen whose work aims to conserve wildlife,” said Jonathan Evans, toxics and endangered species campaign director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “While the exact circumstances of Nyxo’s death are still unclear, we know that the reckless use and sale of these poisons must be banned to end the indiscriminate killing of pets and wildlife.”

Investigations by local authorities have not led to any convictions and tens of thousands of people have called for a statewide investigation into the fatal poisoning. In addition, the Center for Biological Diversity and Animal Legal Defense Fund are offering a $20,000 reward for information about the poisoning of Nyxo. Those wishing to contribute to the reward fund can visit

Anyone with information about Nyxo’s poisoning is encouraged to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

Anticoagulant rodenticides interfere with blood clotting, resulting in uncontrollable bleeding that leads to death. Second-generation anticoagulants — including brodifacoum — are especially hazardous and persist for a long time in body tissues.

The state of California and the Environmental Protection Agency have taken steps to ban hazardous products containing brodifacoum because of the documented poisonings of children, pets and wildlife. On July 1 a statewide ban on the most dangerous direct-to-consumer rat poisons went into effect. This ban prohibits the sale of products by d-CON, the only second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide which could be sold directly to the public. Mice and rats eat these slow-acting poisons, making them easy prey for predators in their weakened state. However, the predators are then poisoned by eating the rodents.

A coalition of nonprofit organizations, municipalities, businesses and scientists formed the Safe Rodent Control Coalition to promote effective, affordable rodent-control strategies that protect children, pets and wildlife. For more on the Center’s work to combat rodenticide poisoning click here.

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Join Sanctuary Forest on Saturday, August 16th for the Insects of the Mattole Watershed walk! Pete Haggard, author of “Insects of the Pacific Northwest”, will lead this family oriented stroll through the forests and cold waters of the Mattole headwaters. Children of all ages (accompanied by an adult) are encouraged to participate in this educational, approximately 1-mile easy walk. The adventure will include a hunt for forest insects and aquatic insects as well as a "laboratory" investigation of the specimen at Whitethorn Elementary School. Bring a picnic lunch, drinking water and be prepared to get wet! Meet at Whitethorn Elementary School at 11 a.m. The day’s activities will end around 2 p.m. 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! 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.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 7, 2014

Collins, Crow, Donahe, Garman, McCall
Collins, Crow, Donahe, Garman, McCall

PATRICK COLLINS, San Diego. Felony marijuana cultivation, felony possession for sale of marijuana.

ALAN CROW, Ukiah. Felony theft or driving of vehicle, felony receiving stolen property, felony vandalism, violation of community supervision, under the influence of a controlled substance.

MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Misdemeanor domestic violence, probation revoked. (Frequent flyer)

COREY GARMAN, Ukiah. Felony possession of methamphetamine, receiving stolen property, probation revoked.

TIMOTHY MCCALL, Ukiah. False ID to a police officer.

Radnev, Radneva, Raymen, Scott, Taboada, Welch
Radnev, Radneva, Raymen, Scott, Taboada, Welch

IVAYLO RADNEV, unknown (Covelo? *See below.). Felony marijuana cultivation, felony armed with firearm, felony possession for sale of marijuana.

ELINA RADNEVA (Radnev or Radneva?), Covelo*. Felony marijuana cultivation, felony armed with firearm, felony possession for sale of marijuana.

DANIEL RAYMEN, Mendocino. Failure to appear.

ROGER SCOTT, Clinton, Illinois/Covelo. Felony marijuana cultivation, felony possession of marijuana for sale.

GREGORY STOUT, Covelo. Felony marijuana cultivation, felony possession of marijuana for sale. (Picture not available.)

ALANSO TABOADA, San Diego. Felony marijuana cultivation, felony possession of marijuana for sale.

DEBORAH WELCH, Willits, Felony domestic violence.

(*Bulgos? Rooskies? Probably Bulgos since there’s a town in southern Bulgaria named Radnevo)

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Warmest spiritual greetings, Please understand that the woman whom I have been helping as an in-house unpaid assistant for the past eight months in New Orleans, is exhibiting serious signs of mental illness. This morning, she informed me that I owe her money for past utilities, that she would sue me if I did not give it to her, and then (when I explained to her that her demand was ridiculous), she called the police. Following an interview with the New Orleans police dept., it is understood that I am properly at her place, that I cannot be tossed out (as she attempted to do), and that I have 30 days to make other arrangements. Subsequently, I have met with the pastor of the local Catholic church, whom I know. He has scheduled an appointment for me on Tuesday with St. Vincent de Paul, and the pastor will attend the meeting. He will ask that I be given a bus ticket to return to the San Francisco bay area. I need a place to go to upon my arrival. Please help. Love & Peace,

Craig Louis Stehr

Telephone messages: (504) 302-9951


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TOTAL RECALL Releases Free App That Reduces Video Editing Time on Smart Phones by 90%

CLINTON, Arkansas, Aug. 7, 2014 Total Recall Memory Capture Systems released mobile app that reduces editing time up to 90%. By touching the screen of a smart phone after something memorable happens, a video clip of the previous 15 seconds is sent to the photo album. Event time can be set from 15 seconds to 5 minutes. These clips can easily be trimmed further and merged into a movie, all from the smart phone. When the app opens, it is recording video. Touching anywhere on the right half of the screen takes a snapshot and can be done at any time. Touching anywhere on the left half of the screen after something memorable happens, records the event. “Like most of you, I have several digital cameras, video cameras and even an expensive action cam,” said Brent Pack, CEO of Total Recall. “Yet when something cool happened, I rarely had one with me because they were just too much trouble. I developed Total Recall out of frustration because I wanted a simple and easy way to record video. I didn’t like going through hours of video to find and edit the 15 seconds I really wanted. More than that, I didn’t like holding a camera in my hands all the time.” Total Recall also solved the issue of holding the camera with its Patent Pending mounting system that allows user to record video hands free. The Cap Mount is lightweight, stable, and comfortable. In this mount, the phone becomes an “action cam.” Perfect for selfies, the Clamp Mount attaches to most objects less than 1.5 inches thick to provide a solid platform to record from. The Dash Mount attaches securely to dash of a car without adhesives or damage. In less than 2 seconds, the phone can be switched from one of these mounts to another. Until September 1st, the Total Recall Memory Capture System App for iPhone and Android can be downloaded free. It is important to watch the short tutorial video at before use. The complete mounting system is set to retail for $39.95. Total Recall is using Kickstarter to raise capital for production of the mounting system. For more details, visit

One Comment

  1. Harvey Reading August 8, 2014

    Guess they’re bored in Clinton, Arkansas.

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