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Mendocino County Today: Friday, September 12, 2014

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UKIAH'S TWIN TOWERS of presumption, Mari Rodin, former city councilperson, and Mary Ann Landis, present city councilperson, may have bitten off more presumption than even they can handle. They're telling people that they intend to persuade the present owners of the Press Democrat to buy the Ukiah Daily Journal, fire the Journal's editor, KC Meadows and popular columnist Tommy Wayne Kramer, and install them and their pal Heidi Dickerson as tri-editors. The three would bring a community “progressive” positivity, a merry celebration of themselves and their friends.

MEADOWS' and Kramer's sins? Meadows has been critical of Landis and Rodin as they functioned in office. That, you see, simply isn't on. Kramer is just generally so negative that he reduces the entire west side of Ukiah to tears every Sunday. In fact, he's very funny and has a real gift for revealing the wonderful silliness of Rodin and Co.

THE PROBS with Landis's and Rodin's breathtakingly naive scheme begin with the assumption that the owners of the PD would have the slightest interest in the Journal as a business, and the owners of the PD are all about business, and the Journal, like all newspapers at this sad juncture of American history, is losing money.

SECOND, and this is true of MendoLib as a broad generalization: They don't work in any known sense of work, and newspapers are a lot of work. They get themselves a vague government or non-profit job where they spend a lot of time sitting around chatting. Or they already have money. Mendo is teeming with trust fund libs (cf Supervisor Hamburg, the archetype).

THE HAMBURG AXIS has tried newspapering before and lasted a few months before they seemed to bore even each other. (They called it “The Bullhorn” and it listed upwards of 70 people with grand titles as part of their production and editorial “staff”.) The thing was only produced once a month, but even that seemed to be too much work for them. Each month they’d pick a “theme” and then drone on for page after boring page wearing the ordinary reader out with repetitious copy. So a daily paper is clearly out of their reach. Ironically, the only interesting writer they had was the dread Kramer.

I'D LOVE to be a fly on the wall when Rodin and Landis put their proposal to Bosco and the other owners of the Rose City daily, who will levitate right out of the room at the preposterousness of it.

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MARI RODIN DEPARTED UKIAH a few months ago for an “analyst” job with Monterey County LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission), but lasted only a couple of months. Before departing Ukiah, Ms. Rodin served on the Ukiah City Counil for about ten years during which time her most notable achievments included spending $30,000 of public money to take out three prime downtown parking spaces and build an outdoor dining platform to benefit Patrona, her favorite restaurant. Schat's Bakery and Saucy had to wade through a lengthy approval process and pay for their own dining platforms. Rodin, along with councilmembers Mary Anne Landis, Little Benj Thomas and “Red” Phil Baldwin also voted to hand over $21,000 to a consultant to “brand” Ukiah with the slogan “Far out! Nearby!” but we have yet to see the promised influx of geezer hippies this wacky slogan might appeal to.

RODIN AND HER CITY COUNCIL COHORTS, in addition to squandering small amounts of public money on questionable projects, also voted for a long term giveaway with their garbage hauler which will cost the ratepayers millions of dollars in inflated charges. The Grand Jury looked into the deal, one that clearly warranted criminal charges, but in keeping with local government tradition, the City of Ukiah simply said the GJ didn't know what they were talking about and that was the end of it.

THE UKIAH CITY COUNCIL also passed a resolution saying they were in favor of “Zero Waste.” So why are they unable to take the simple step of requiring its wastehauler to collect food waste? Which could be done by simply tossing the stuff into the yard-waste bin? Which is what everyone in the Fort Bragg area and everyone in the Ukiah area except the residents of Ukiah currently do. The answer is that on top of the multi-million dollar giveaway, the contract with the Ukiah garbage hauler puts the hauler in charge of garbage policy, not the elected City Council. Which is why there is no food waste composting in Ukiah.

THE UKIAH GARBAGE HAULER, C&S Waste Solutions, which has family ties to Jim Ratto's North Bay Corporation, says there is not enough food waste in Ukiah to collect. And it would be too expensive. And we don't know the best way to do it. Except Empire Waste which has the contract for the City of Fort Bragg and the unincorporated area around Fort Bragg and Ukiah, collects food waste in the yard waste bin and trucks it to Cold Creek Compost in Potter Valley with no apparent problems. And Martin Milleck, who owns CCC has told the Ukiah City Council going back to 2011 that he would take all their food waste at no extra charge.

AS A SOP TO THE PUBLIC, the Ukiah garbage hauler is conducting a food waste “pilot program” which is designed to fail. Residential customers were asked if they wanted to sign up for the program which involves an extra can that has to be hauled to the curb each week. The pilot program, which only a few dozen people signed up for, is free. But the free pickup will end once the company has collected data on the cost to operate the program. Once the City Council adopts a fee the program will be dead. Most households will not generate enough food waste to justify a separate 20 gallon can that must be stored and drug out to the curb and brought back in each week. And no way will they pay extra for the privilege. Once the pilot program is proven to be an expensive failure the City and C&S will wring their hands and say they tried, but the public is just not interested. Which means there will be no food waste collection in Ukiah.

THE OBVIOUS SOLUTION (obvious to everyone but the dim bulbs on the Ukiah City Council) is to put the food waste into the yard waste bin which everyone already has. No extra can. No extra charge. No extra truck making a separate trip to pick it up. The “progressive” City Council unanimously passes a resolution that says they are in favor of zero waste but insists on trucking its food waste to an outtahere landfill in Lake County. And the trucks hauling the food waste to the landfill drive right by Cold Creek Compost, conveniently located in Potter Valley, just off Highway 20. Why have trucks make a 100-mile round trip and pay to bury food waste when it could be trucked about a 1/2 mile (from the Potter Valley turn off) and be converted into a valuable soil amendment? You would have to ask the City Council libs for the answer to that one.

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THE UKIAH COURTHOUSE JUGGERNAUT seems to be gathering steam as it proceeds completely outside the reach of the local planning process of the City of Ukiah. Not that anyone on the City Council would be likely to object anyway, but the State has exempted itself from the local planning process. Will the building be an ugly blight on the already questionable aesthetics of “downtown” Ukiah? Is it overpriced and overbuilt? Is it completely unnecessary? Is it designed as a monument to the egos of the nine black robed men and women who sit in judgement of the peons (that’s you and me, bro) who are stuck with paying the bills? The answer to all these questions and more is Yes. The Judges can thumb their collective noses at the local planning process, and that's exactly what they are doing.

WE UNDERSTAND STATE CEQA compliance is still necessary and that the Administrative Office of the Courts approved an EIR some years ago, before anyone really thought the project would go forward. And so it will, but without any meaningful public input or opportunity to address the negative impacts to the community. Like the impact to an already overloaded Perkins Street. The City recently approved spending $30,000 to get a report on the traffic impacts but why bother since the judges can just ignore it?

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Inmates Harvest Grapes in Mendocino County by Glenda Anderson

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The fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.

— Carl Sandburg

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On your way in to the Fair on Saturday, stop by the Boonville Farmers' Market at the Boonville Hotel, 10-12:30. The AV Foodshed Rural Living Skills booth will be adjacent to Apple Tasting in the Ag Building at the Fair. We'll be there Friday 10 am - Sunday 5 pm, with skills presentations beginning at noon on Friday.

Rural Living Skills 2014

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A SMARTY PANTS EUROPEAN REPORTER asked NBA star, DeMarcus Cousins, if he could locate Slovenia on the map. “No. Do you know where Alabama is?” Cousins replied.

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JIM LOWE OF NEW YORK WRITES: Re your 8/27 comments about dogs in the Off the Record section, here's Alexander McCall Smith's wonderful description in his 44 Scotland Street series about Angus's dog Cyril: He has “unresolved personal freshness issues”!

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A READER WRITES: Let's have lunch here...


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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 11, 2014

Chambers, Cummings, Gray, Latorre, Maynard
Chambers, Cummings, Gray, Latorre, Maynard

GEORGE CHAMBERS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

RICKY JAY CUMMINGS, Fort Bragg. Possession/under influence of controlled substance, petty theft.

ROBERT GRAY, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.

JEAN LATORRE, Fort Bragg. Resisting arrest, probation revocation.

ANDREW MAYNARD, Willits. Drunk in public.

Pierce, Robleto, Rodriguez, Ruano, Schoenahl
Pierce, Robleto, Rodriguez, Ruano, Schoenahl

PATTY PIERCE, Willits. Receiving stolen property.

DANIEL ROBLETO, Ukiah. Violation of community supervision.

LUIS RODRIGUEZ, Possession of meth/drug paraphernalia, ex-felon with firearm, participation in criminal street gang.

JEFFREY RUANO, Milbrae. Probation revocation.

ROGER SCHOENAHL, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Solano-Diaz, Thomson, Whitney, Winters, Yadon
Solano-Diaz, Thomson, Whitney, Winters, Yadon

RAUL SOLANO-DIAZ, Ukiah. Dirk/Dagger, drunk in public.

MATTHEW THOMSON, Fort Bragg. Assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism.

MICHAEL WHITNEY, Willits. Drunk in public.

VANESSA WINTERS, Laytonville. Drunk in public.


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(From the Advocate News report of the big Republican confab in Fort Bragg last week, estimated to have about 60 people attended, some of whom were actual Mendocino County residents.)


Republican Candidate for Lieutenant Governor Ron Nehring described the North Coast as being “devastated by bad, misguided policy out of Sacramento.” As lieutenant governor, he said he would use the office to determine which restrictions on fishing and timber are unreasonable and would then work to see those restrictions lifted. [Ed note: He hasn’t already checked?] Nehring also called the California Coastal Commission “the most powerful 125 staff members in the state of California” and said the Coastal Commission has gone way beyond securing public access to the coast. “It seems as though the coastal zone runs from the coast to Arizona,” he said. “Florida has a coastal commission, but it ends at the coast, not miles inland.”

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Republican Assembly Candidate Matt Heath singled himself out by addressing marijuana, an issue that has been a topic of debate for decades among local residents, but has become acceptable to discuss politically in recent years. “We need to try to figure out how to tackle that issue,” he said during his remarks. “It's not going to go away.” “Sacramento seems to pretend the issue doesn't exist,” he said in a telephone interview after the event. Heath wants to break the issue of marijuana into different areas. “There are people who are honest to goodness trying to provide for their families,” he said. He wants to separate that issue from the issue of criminal intent. If he is elected, Heath said he would get law enforcement and major stakeholders in the 2nd Assembly district together to create a plan to present to the Legislature. He said marijuana should be regulated and taxed and the money kept local. Heath said it is only a matter of time before marijuana is legal and large corporations try to control the industry. Heath also promised to have a field office in every county in the Assembly district to better enable constituents to contact him. Heath will face his opponent Democrat Jim Wood for the Assembly in a candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters on Oct. 10, at Fort Bragg Town Hall.

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by Dan Bacher

Redding, CA September 11, 2014 –The Winnemem (McCloud River) Wintu Tribe will hold a “War Dance” at Shasta Dam, north of Redding, Calif., beginning September 11th through September 15th. The War Dance is in response to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s proposal to raise the dam, which threatens to submerge many Winnemem sacred sites and village areas. The Winnemem lost much of their homelands and their salmon when the dam was first constructed. “Any raising of the dam, even a few feet, will flood some of our last remaining sacred sites on the McCloud River – sites we still use today,” says Caleen Sisk , Winnemem Chief and Spiritual Leader. “We can't be Winnemem any place else but the McCloud River. The dam raise is a form of cultural genocide."

The Winnemem invoked the War Dance in 1887 against a fish hatchery on the McCloud River that threatened the salmon and the Winnemem way of life. Again The Winnemem held a War Dance at the dam in 2004 to commit themselves to the protection of their land and their salmon. Now, the Winnemem face even more of their sacred sites and culture being submerged by the dam “We gave up a lot of our homeland for the sake of the California people, and got nothing in return. Now the government wants to take our sacred places, and again we get nothing in return. How is this fair, over and over again? This is not right" Chief Sisk said. “This is too much to ask of a people.”

On September 11, 2014 at a site near Shasta Dam, just before dusk, a sacred ceremonial fire will be lit, and the Winnemem War Dancers will fast for the full four days of the ceremony. For the next 4 days, the fire, the drum, the songs and the dance will carry the prayers of the Winnemem people. The dance is being held under a permit issued by The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). The Tribe has held numerous meetings with the BOR to raise questions about the feasibility of the BOR’s plans, the impacts it will have on the tribe and their way of life, and the troubled history between the tribe and the BOR. Yet, BOR is going ahead with plans to raise the dam and will submit it’s final EIS/EIR to the Secretary of Interior in December, and anticipates the final project plan will be submitted to Congress for approval no later then March 2015.

When Shasta Dam was first proposed, Congress passed a law (55 Stat 612) authorizing the federal government to take the lands and burial grounds that the Winnemem had for a thousand years. Promises were made to the Tribe in 55 Stat 612 that still have not been kept. The Tribe is asking that the BOR fulfill 55 Stat 612 to resolve these long standing debts as well as fully comply with NEPA, NHPA, and other laws that protect sacred and historic sites. The Tribe has consistently requested that the BOR, study alternatives to raising the dam such as better management practices for existing reservoirs and conservation options, as well as better protection of the fish populations. Raising the dam will damage, destroy and inundate cultural resources along the McCloud River, sites that are vital to future generations and are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as Traditional Cultural Properties.

For more information, visit


CALL Charlotte Berta - Cell: 916-207-2378 or email:

War Dance Location Information:

Shasta Dam Bureau of Reclamation
16349 Shasta Dam Boulevard
Shasta Lake, California 96019
Lat/Long 40.7140, -122.4176


  1. Jim Updegraff September 12, 2014

    Re: War dance at Shasta Dam. Tough on the indians but since when unless you start a legal action BOR gives a rat’s tail about sacred indian grounds or thier fishing rights.

  2. Lazarus September 12, 2014

    Why would the PD consider hiring these snobs even if they were considering buying the UDJ……?
    I heard another genius say once, “all you need is a Mac and you’re in business”…..a one termer supervisor from the 3rd…TL

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