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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, September 20, 2014

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LAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S Community Services District Board meeting here in the totally happening Anderson Valley was mostly routine business, addressing an update of the district's conflict of interest policy (thus putting the CSD far ahead of the County of Mendocino), giving final approval to the winning runway paving contractor at Boonville International, the impending first rain of the year, and a short update from Chief Avila about the status of Exclusive Operating Agreement for ambulance service in Mendocino County. (Apparently Coastal Valley EMS of Sonoma County has been retained by the County to prepare a Request for Proposals; there's some chance that an Exclusive Operating Agreement could be in place within a year and a half, in some form or other. Whether it will affect the local volunteer ambulance service and whether the ambulance service management is involved in the RFP preparation is not known at this time.)

THE MEETING ACUTALLY became interesting toward the end when director Fred Martin suggested that the Board invite a phantom advisor to the embattled and tumultuous Anderson Valley Health Center to address the CSD, a generally representative Anderson Valley body. This mystery fellow, a certain Dr. Gorchoff who no one in the Valley has actually seen or met, is now Medical Director of the Center. Martin suggested that he be invited to the next CSD board meeting to answer questions from the public about the latest developments at the Health Center.

Director Kirk Wilder said that he didn't think that Health Center activities were a CSD function and that CSD Board involvement would be a “no-win situation.”

Board Chair Valerie Hanelt was nervous about making an official Board invitation, saying that it was a “tricky situation.”

“We don't want to be in a situation where it's this board versus the Health Center board,” said Director Wilder.

Mr. Martin noted that the District had invited Health Center Board Chairman Ric Bonner to the CSD Board meeting in the past and other individuals have given presentations and this would just be one more presentation.

“But those were mostly invitations from individuals,” noted Director Neil Darling.

Director Kathleen McKenna pointed out that the Health Center has its own board and their own forum for such things and it wouldn't be very productive. “People just vent,” said Ms. McKenna, “but nothing is done.” (“Vent” is the trendy term for “rave” and “rant.” It is only the occasional outbreak of real feelings that save public meetings.)

“I think it would be kind of a setup,” said Director Hanelt. “It would make him uncomfortable and put him on the spot.” (Assuming he'd show up.)

“We are not here to make people comfortable,” responded Director Martin who, by this single statement, shot to the very top of the AVA's approved personalities roster.

“Dr. Gorchoff is mainly handling the paperwork anyway,” said Director Darling, “I'm not sure what message this would send.”

“It's not appropriate for this Board,” said Director Wilder. “I don't think we want to counter another board.”

Nobody had any problem with individual directors inviting Dr. Gorchoff to a meeting and speaking during public expression, but only Director Martin seemed interested in putting Dr. Gorchoff's name on a formal district board agenda.

“I don't think we should do this as a board,” said Director Wilder. “Mostly it would be him getting hammered. It's just not our business.”

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DIRECTOR WILDER then suggested that the board write an official letter to Sheriff Allman asking when the Valley is going to get its resident deputy back. "He's spending most of his time in the Ukiah area these days and we don't have much coverage," said Wilder. Everyone agreed that it would be a good idea and Director Wilder will draft a letter to the Sheriff and put it on the October agenda.

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by Ryan Burns

Scientists and government employees generally aren’t known as party animals, but there was definitely a festive mood yesterday at the Fortuna River Lodge as close to a hundred stakeholders gathered to celebrate the progress being made restoring the Eel River estuary. Roughly three decades of work has already gone into restoration, and there’s still a lot of ecological work needed to repair an estuary impacted by generations of dike-building, ditch-digging and sedimentation. But the biologists, engineers, nonprofit leaders and property owners on hand Thursday sounded optimistic.

Wiyot Tribe member Vincent DiMarzo delivered the welcoming remarks, explaining as the crowd sipped coffee that “Wiyot” is the local tribe’s word for the Eel River itself. It means “bountiful,” DiMarzo said, adding, “To see the river the way it is now is tough for me.”

The Eel was once one of the largest salmon-producing rivers in the state, and much of the delta’s river system was deep enough to host hundred-ton shipping vessels carrying goods from San Francisco and beyond. A hundred and fifty years ago, the delta’s river system would drain naturally with the rains and tides. But in seeking to manipulate the land to improve agriculture, people altered the estuary, diking off natural tributaries and digging channels to direct drainage. Over the subsequent years, these altered channels began to fill with the steady flow of sediment washing off the highly erosive Wildcat Hills, impacting the tidal prism and, ironically, leading to frequent flooding of the region’s agricultural land.

Former Humboldt County Supervisor Jimmy Smith is considered one of the most influential leaders in restoration efforts for the estuary. Standing before the crowd yesterday he remarked that next year will be his 20th working on Eel River restoration projects. Smith recalled going door-to-door in 1995, when he was running for a seat on the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, and hearing from landowners in the Eel River Valley who were concerned about flooding, wastewater problems and acres lost due to lack of drainage.

“Agricultural land in the county was underwater for months at a time,” Smith said. “People were angry.” In fact, the Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project, the delta’s most extensive and complex restoration project to date, was instigated by landowners. Nearly two decades later, Smith is impressed with the progress and excited about the potential.

“I think this will be the most successful, largest restoration ever in Northern California,” he said. “These projects not only benefit habitat; they allow working lands to continue into the future.”

The relationship between conservationists and landowners has often been an uneasy one. Katherine Ziemer, executive director of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau, said she was surprised to even be invited to speak yesterday. “We’ve been, if anything, an impediment,” she remarked. Many of the area’s landowners, she said, have felt disrespected and overlooked during much of the planning and implementation of these projects. She noted that only one landowner, grass-fed-cattle rancher Jay Russ, was among the day’s long list of speakers. “I think in the future we could be better partners,” Ziemer said.

The next speaker, Paula Golightly of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, offered an anecdote to convey the uneasy dynamic between scientists and landowners. Golightly said she had gone out to meet with a rancher named Larry — “hands the size of dinner plates,” she said. Larry invited her to step into his office, gesturing toward the cab of his full-size pickup. She climbed in on the passenger side and shut the door. Larry turned to her, Golightly recalled, and said, “I gotta tell you something, little lady: You scare the hell outta me.”

Without landowner cooperation, most of these restoration projects would be impossible. Landowners, meanwhile, don’t want to be forced into actions that could harm their land and livelihoods.

But Jay Russ, the local cattle farmer, said the projects here have been designed as win-win propositions. Standing with his thumbs looped into the pockets of his blue jeans Russ said, “From an agricultural point of view, flood control and improved drainage is what pays our bills.” Farmers like him get money from agricultural production and shouldn’t be held responsible for upholding the Endangered Species Act, he argued. But he feels that, here, at least, both goals can be achieved simultaneously. “We will find a common solution,” he said.

After lunch, attendees of the event climbed into a line of government SUVs and headed out for a tour of some of the project sites. Programming for the day focused on three major projects, each in a different stage of completion.

The Eel River Estuary Preserve project (pdf) “seeks to restore salmon rearing habitat, riparian function, water quality and fish passage while creating a mosaic of pasturelands and natural landscapes.” It’s also designed to enhance agricultural uses such as livestock grazing while reducing the impacts of climate change and enhancing recreational uses. The total project cost of just over $1 million has been provided by two grants, one from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the other from the State Coastal Conservancy.

Still in its early phases, the Ocean Ranch project (pdf) is further north, just south of Humboldt Bay:


This area (blue in the map) was historically claimed for agricultural use, though it’s not currently being used as such. The project aims to improve the functioning of the tidal marsh, freshwater riparian areas and other habitats, which play host to Pacific salmon, migratory birds and other species.

The most ambitious of the three projects is the Salt River Ecosystem Restoration (pdf), which local landowners have been well aware of, given the massive amount of work that’s already gone into it over the past 30 years. Workers from a long list of project partners (see the pdf) have reconstructed a 330-acre tidal wetland, enlarged 2 1/2 miles of river channel and excavated more than three miles of internal slough networks.

When all is said and done, the price tag will be in the neighborhood of $13 million. The four main goals of the Salt River project include enhancing the tidal marsh, restoring the historic Salt River channel, managing upslope sediment and planning for future adaptive management.

Michael Bowen with the California Coastal Conservancy explained that, rather than constructing L.A.-style aqueducts, designers aimed for full ecosystem restoration, and wildlife biologists have already seen encouraging results.

The SUVs pulled up on a dirt road along an excavated channel and the various stakeholders (along with a couple reporters) climbed out into the rain, which had just begun falling. Allan Renger, fish biologist with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, explained how workers have been monitoring fish in the channel, and then offered a demonstration.

Two workers in fishing waders stretched a fine-mesh net across the width of the channel, with the bottom submerged underwater, and proceeded to walk upstream about 20 yards, dragging the net through the water. Then they lifted the netting up and slowly rolled the ends.

Earlier in the day, Bowen said this happy outcome was far from assured. Before the design was complete, before the channels were widened and the slough networks excavated, scientists asked each other, “Will the fish figure it out? Will they know how to find their way back?”

They did. Still, there’s a long way to go before the estuary approaches the healthy ecosystem that it used to be. “These projects are not 50-yard dashes,” said former supervisor Jimmy Smith earlier in the day. “They’re marathons.”

(Courtesy, where this fine piece first appeared.)

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Ukiah Police Department Press Release

The Ukiah Police Department Detectives have spent a considerable amount of time since the end of July investigating reports of prostitution in the Ukiah area. Information obtained through extensive investigation revealed that women from their late teens to early 20’s have been offering prostitution services via the internet in Ukiah. Investigative information obtained indicated that some of the girls were local and some were from out of the area. The girls have reportedly been meeting clients at local motels. In the first week of September, as a result of this ongoing investigation, Ukiah Police Detectives made contact with an 18 year old female Ukiah High School Student at a local motel where she had agreed to meet a paying client for sex. Detectives established evidence that she was engaged in prostitution and learned that the girl had been engaged in this activity for the last 6 months. Because of the nature of this ongoing investigation and the likelihood of a number of other known girls involved in this activity in Ukiah, we are not releasing the name of the suspect at this time in order to keep the investigation uncompromised as further arrests are anticipated. Prostitution is often associated with many other crimes including drug use and sales, violence related crimes, robbery and human trafficking. Anyone with information regarding prostitution activity is urged to contact the Ukiah Police Department at (707)463-6262. — UPD Captain Trent Taylor

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THE FORT BRAGG PLANNING COMMISSION has approved, of all things, a Taco Bell, at Cypress and Main. For a town largely dependent on tourism, franchise fast food palaces, one would think, are contraindicated.

A STARTLED READER COMMENTED: “Really? A Taco Bell of all fast food joints? Like we don't have enough LOCAL Mexican food establishments, all of them offering real, tasty Mexican dishes at reasonable prices?”

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WE UNDERSTAND the world awaits our position paper on domestic violence. Here it goes: Let the record show we're opposed to it, verbal and physical. We understand that we live in a country where bad feeling is prevalent, the causes of which are unregulated corporate capitalism, pointless work, bad food, cancer-causing architecture, and so on — all of which combine to create a state of wild disproportion. Still, though, we think ballplayers are presently being subjected to a pernicious form of double jeopardy, deprived of their means of making a living before they even get into court. If an assault gets the guy two years from a judge, he should be out of the ball game for two years, not forever.

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by Alexandra Starr, New York

The story of one of the 74,000 children who come to this country each year alone and undocumented.

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THE CITY OF FORT BRAGG has settled a long-standing lawsuit with what's left of Georgia-Pacific. It had to do with apportioning responsibility for clean-up costs at the G-P mill site.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 19, 2014

Adame-Juarez, David, Davidson, Defluri, Dominguez
Adame-Juarez, David, Davidson, Defluri, Dominguez

JOSE ADAME-JUAREZ, Ukiah. Pot possession, sale, transport, furnish; driving on DUI-suspended license, probation revocation.

CHRISTIAN DAVID, Redwood Valley. Pot possession, processing, possession for sale.

JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Under influence of controlled substance.

MARK DEFLURI, Willits. Possession of meth, pot cultivation, processing, possession for sale.

BLAKE DOMINGUEZ, Wilton, CA. DUI, Suspended license.

Gerbacio, Goddard, Gunter, Howell, Mallon
Gerbacio, Goddard, Gunter, Howell, Mallon


JAMES GODDARD, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

JOEY GUNTER, Willits. Parole violation.

DREW HOWELL, Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting arrest.

JOSEPH MALLON, Willits. Vehicle theft.

Maynard, Miller, Peacock, Pollard, Thomas
Maynard, Miller, Peacock, Pollard, Thomas

ANDREW MAYNARD, Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

MICHAEL MILLER, Caspar. Robbery. (Frequent flyer.)

JUSTIN PEACOCK, Ukiah/Fort Bragg. (Frequent flyer.)

JACQUELINE POLLARD, Fort Bragg. Possession of meth/drug paraphernalia, under influence of controlled substance.

GABRIELLE THOMAS, Wallingford. Vehicle theft.

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Why the Fight for Independence Isn't Over

by Tariq Ali

Unionists of every stripe from the Orange Lodges to Tories and Labourist all sorts will be delighted with Scottish results. The United Kingdom has been saved. They won by 400,000 votes. Not a great triumph but a victory nonetheless and a defeat for the independence movement.

I’ll wait for the detailed breakdown of age, gender, class before commenting on these aspects, but the story isn’t over. Their victory was made possible by Project Fear that required a media campaign of ferocious intensity that even Goebbels might have admired. It was reminiscent of the recent offensives in South America, but there our side won despite 99 percent media opposition. Here, too, the media was backed by a violent corporate campaign – with bankers in the lead — and all the mainstream parties. Despite this the independence vote was almost 45 percent and Glasgow and Dundee had majorities for independence.

How short memories are in these times was demonstrated by the elevation of Gordon Brown as the saviour of the Union. He performed well, shedding crocodile tears for the NHS that he and Blair had already begun to privatise and weaken by dubious private finance initiatives. New Labour’s Health Secretary Alan Milburn now works for private medicine, for a company that he helped as a government minister!

What will happen now? Cameron will use the victory to portray himself as the man who saved the union and with some justification. Project Fear was launched in Downing Street, after all with Nick Clegg and Ed Moribund pressed into service as page boys. Simultaneously Cameron will push through (with the devo max measures) a bill disallowing Scottish MPs from voting on English questions. This will keep the Tories united, UKIP happy and Labour shafted. No more Scottish cannon fodder for Westminster votes on the budget!

In Scotland itself there will be a lot of soul-searching within the Scottish Nationalist Party. How could they lose in some of their strongholds? Did they work hard enough? Should Alex Salmond go and be replaced by Nicola Sturgeon? And who knows what else….

On the left the spirited and non-sectarian Radical Independence Campaign fought well. It would be important to preserve and enhance this current in Scottish politics to argue the case for a very different Scotland and this means keeping the movement together.

Radical Scotland will not disappear and the model here should not be any reversion to the tried and tested failures of the socialist left but something more like Podemos in Spain. There will be sadness and demoralisation and this is perfectly understandable, but it won’t last too long. British politics is getting worse not better.

Fear leads to passivity and even though in this case the Unionists managed to get the fearful out to vote, they might never be able to do that again. Hope leads to activity and that is what the independence campaign represented. We will win the next time.

(Tariq Ali is the author of  The Obama Syndrome (Verso).)

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SILLY ME. I thought there was nothing new under the sun. But here comes the annual Folsom Street Fair with the usual giddy story by the SF Chron. And this quote: “The most exciting new aspects always reflect the new things sexually that people are getting into.”


ALL I GOTTA SAY is some people have an awful lotta time on their hands. Seriously, by the time you got the costume on and all chained up to the wheel of love, wouldn't you just want to go to sleep?


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LIFE IN THIS SOCIETY being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex. (Valerie Solanis)

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A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!

Your prayers, oh Passer by!

From such a common ball as this

Might date a Victory!

From marshallings as simple

The flags of nations swang.

Steady—my soul: What issues

Upon thine arrow hang!

— Emily Dickinson

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Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG) will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, September 29 at 1:00 p.m. Usually held in Ukiah, MCOG will meet "on location" in the Fairgrounds Dining Hall, 14400 Highway 128 in Boonville. All MCOG meetings are open to the public. The Council will visit locations of potential projects identified in the State Route 128 Corridor Valley Trail Feasibility Study, a community based planning effort completed by MCOG earlier this year, as well as county road work, Safe Routes to Schools efforts, and state highway projects. At 9:45 a.m., MCOG council members will gather at the Fairgrounds for a tour from 10:00 to noon. The group will ride an MTA bus along Route 128 and then briefly walk the downtown area before convening the meeting. Community members are welcome to ride along on a space-available basis. When posted, the complete agenda may be viewed at the Fairgrounds, at, or by contacting the MCOG office at 463-1859. MCOG is the Regional Transportation Planning Agency for the countywide region, as a joint powers authority among the four Cities and the County of Mendocino.

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A POLL, clearly prompted by the Scotland vote, wafted into the AVA from cyberspace claiming that one in four Americans wishes his state would secede from the union.

COULD MENDO go it alone? We've got the quality dope and the quality wine. We also have redwood, kind of, when it grows back and maybe even fish if they ever come back. Political talent? Well… Probably not. But if we teamed up with HumCo with its similar economy — maybe. Put national policy to a vote, though, and the Northcoast would definitely not agree on the big ticket stuff — war and peace, single payer, min wage, eco-policy and so on.

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At The September Stated Meeting (September 16, 2014) we were most fortunate to have as visitors the Past Grand Matron and Patron from Massachusetts for the 2013/14 year (Ellen and Robert McKay). They retired in May of 2014. Mrs. McKay is the sister of south coast resident Jan Haverty. In addition, we initiated yet another new member and again were fortunate, in addition to our own members, to have assistance from Betty Lampson at the organ, Mary Beth Yu as star point Martha, Gee Gee Querry as the star point Esther, and Oscar Fuentes as Associate Patron. All of these members are part of the Kingsley-Augusta Chapter, Ukiah. Gee Gee Querry is the Grand Esther for the Order of Eastern Star Grand Chapter for 2014, and, Betty Lampson is the Grand Director of Music for Jobs Daughters. Oscar Fuentes is the escort of our Deputy Grand Matron, Linda Fuentes. The nominating committee for officers for 2015 brought the roster forward, and, it unanimously was passed. Oscar Ann Steadman will be the worthy matron for 2015. Her installation and that of the officers will be held on our November stated meeting night of 11/18/2014 and will be an open installation. Further details will be issued shortly. Several of our members are eligible for 25 or 75 year pins/certificates. These will be ordered and those members will be notified when the ceremony is to be held. We shall be presenting a breakfast for the Phoenix Masonic Lodge of San Francisco on October 25 at 08:45 hours, a Saturday. Members will be contacted for their expertise in helping. Our member, Flora Gordon, is repairing nicely from her fall and injury and we continue to wish her a speedy recovery. Mary Danchuk, WM Order of Eastern Star Ocean View Chapter 111 Mendocino, CA Meeting monthly 3rd Tuesday, 6:30pm Dark October and December 10500 Lansing Street, Mendocino


  1. Harvey Reading September 20, 2014

    “A POLL, clearly prompted by the Scotland vote, wafted into the AVA from cyberspace claiming that one in four Americans wishes his state would secede from the union.”

    Was this a real, statistically valid poll, or one of those online pieces of crap open to everyone?

  2. Jim Armstrong September 20, 2014

    Even though it is many times more common, how often has someone been accused of, let alone prosecuted, for verbal domestic violence?

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