Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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DAVID SEVERN revives his crucial Vine Watch duties to report, “After being out of town for three days I was surprised to find the Navarro River actually trickling in a few spots where it had been underground most of the summer. This could be the result of early leaf fall from the trees which usually happens in October - they transpire less water and the river rises a tad. The Sunday afternoon walk I took with with my granddaughter extended a bit further up Rancheria Creek than I have usually gone this summer and I was also surprised to find that the Wentzels had repositioned their Rancheria Creek pump to a deeper hole than it had been in this spring. The repositioning is a certain indication that they have been pumping out of the drought challenged watershed. This discovery puts the Wentzels in the same care-less empty bucket of responsible environmental stewardship as Goldeneye and Husch. Wentzel's vineyards are located out the Tumbling McD Road by KZYX that also serves The Philo Saw Works and are admittedly considerably smaller than the other two.”

* * *

THE NEXT MEETING of the Anderson Valley Health Center Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, September 30, at 5:30pm at the Health Center Conference Room.

CONNISSEURS of wacky public meetings might want to attend the Health Center's meetings as its overlarge board of trustees goes all sphinx on locals trying to pry info out of them. This is what happens: The locals “vent” as the trustees look back at them as if they're not there. The eight sphinxes don't look angry or amused or haughty or anything at all other than blindly disinterested. It's weird, and twice as weird when you know that the eight Health Center sphinxes have known everyone in the audience for many years. It would be as if your family and friends suddenly began looking at you as if you weren't there. Kinda eerie, actually, like out of a horror movie.

THE HEALTH CENTER board, like the Ambulance board, all the school boards since time began, and almost every other board you care to name here in Amnesia County operates, of course, on a self-selecting basis with, in this case, a student and an Hispanic thrown in as window dressing. (“We love the kids and of course we aren't racist dog-pigs like a lotta you gavachos out there.”)

* * *

KC MEADOWS, Editor of the Ukiah Daily Journal, writes in their Sunday Edition:

In Our Opinion: A Waste of Money

We are dismayed to find that the Mendocino County Office of Education School Board at its last meeting granted permission to Superintendent Paul Tichinin to take a couple of lame duck junkets before he leaves his job.

One of them is a trip to Inyo County, via a flight to Las Vegas, to attend the CCSESA Quarterly meeting. The CCSESA is the association of all county superintendents. This is a quarterly meeting on Oct. 12 so important that the agenda is still not available. And if you look at your calendar, you will find that Oct. 12 is a Sunday. Why would a bunch of county superintendents be meeting on a Sunday? Via Las Vegas?

Then there is Mr. Tichinin's second trip. This one is to Washington DC to attend the "Connected Superintendent's Summit" at the US Department of Education. The superintendents going to this one are certainly connected: to the large pots of money at their disposal for unnecessary trips. Mr. Tichinin's MCOE has a $200,000 travel budget.

But there's more.

Mr. Tichinin is going to be "honored" at this meeting for "his leadership in transitioning schools in rural Mendocino County to digital learning." That quote was from the letter Cong. Jared Huffman sent to the Department of Education lauding Mr. Tichinin's "tireless" work getting school children connected to computers in their schools.

The only thing Mr. Tichinin has done tirelessly in office is to press for more money and perks. He will be retiring on six figures for life and he has the nerve to boost a last couple thousand on his way out the door.

The MCOE Board of Trustees should be ashamed to have said yes to these boondoggles.

* * *

DON'T CRY FOR ME, FORT BRAGG, or THREE REASONS TO VOTE FOR PETERS & CIMOLINO

WRITING on the MCN Coast Listserve, Jesse VanSant wrote a long and slobbery pean to the now self-selecting Fort Bragg City Council, opening with, “MWPC is endorsing Heidi, Mark and Dave.” The cozy assumption is that we all know who Heidi, Mark and Dave are. VanSant says the heretofore unknown "coalition" has endorsed Heidi, Mark and Dave, and really, really wants all the cool progressive people to also vote for Mark Iucaniello (sic).

THE ALLEGED Coalition, which consists of Val Muchowski and Rachel Binah, and Rachel Binah and Val Muchowski, was formerly known as the Mendocino County branch of the National Women's Political Caucus, which also consisted entirely of Val Muchowski and Rachel Binah with Joe Wildman thrown in for comic relief. Whatever you call it, it's one more front for the Mendocino County Democratic Party.

THESE FAKE “coalitions” operate like the old Communist Party, with phony front groups aimed at convincing the unknowing that everyone “progressive” and generally groovy is on board. A handful of conservative libs do run everything political in Mendocino County, a fact that inspires Pure Hopelessness in the rest of us, but you really have to hand it to the local Democrats — maybe 50 active ones — they put in a lot of OT trying to get their conservative liberal pals into office.

BUT LINDY PETERS, a former Fort Bragg mayor, has put his finger on the problem of what's at work here “…There seems to be a polarization forming in our city and I believe I am the best candidate to bring us all together.” He's correct. The conservative liberals of Mendocino County are not inclusive. They are snobs and jerks, for the most part. They are for themselves and their friends. They look down on people who aren't them, a fact they established for all to see in the sleazy ways they went after Wendy Roberts of Mendocino who ran for supervisor against conservative-lib herd bull, Dan Hamburg. Hamburg was even endorsed by Muchowski's and Binah's fake branch of the National Women's Political Caucus, although the purpose of the organization is to elect women to office. Roberts, like Lindy Peters, is a liberal Democrat, but the dominant Mendo Libs saw her as uncool, unlike them, and went with Hamburg, a cult crackpot, a conspiracy nut and a life-long crook. (He's made many thousands of tax free dollars in the pot business; he believes our government is holding the people hijacked on 9-11; and he belongs to the criminal cult run by the late psychopath, Adi Da. Only in Mendocino County could this guy be elected to office.) And here they are again trying to install three of their own to run Fort Bragg. Don't go for it Fort Bragg.

* * *

“The following was written from an interview with long-time Mendocino County Office of Education employees (all of whom wish to remain anonymous) working in different departments at MCOE. It includes findings by the Mendocino County grand jury; responses from Superintendent Paul Tichinin or Executive Director of Human Resources/Technology Richard Lamken; and discussion by the employees.”

THUS BEGIN Karen Rifkin's timely interviews with County School employees, all of whom go on to say that Superintendent Tichinin's responses to the Grand Jury were untrue. All of them. Lame duck Tichinin has also created a grim workplace environment out there at MCOE's Talmage campus. These people are so afraid of retaliation they have to speak anonymously?

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MY COLLEAGUE, Major Mark C. Scaramella, USAF (ret), refuses to condescend to youth. Myself, I tend to pat them indulgently on the head while trying to think of more important matters like who's pitching today for the Giants. The new uptalk and adverb overkill rhetorical styles of the young make them, like, totally painful to listen to: “So, like I know you're like old, but like here's what I think about Neitzche and Camus and whether life has meaning…” That kind of thing. So, this kid, a senior at the University of Oregon, says to The Major: “I don't think you're paying attention to what I'm saying,” to which The Major replied, "Of course I'm not paying attention. Why should I? You can't tell me anything I’m particularly interested in or that I don't already know.” The kid blurted, “Well, like, you’re just an old [bleep],” and stomped off. “And it was just getting interesting at that point,” added the Major.

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THE “NELSON FIRE” on Nelson Ranch Road outside of Hopland was declared 100% contained Monday afternoon, the day after it started (Sunday, September 22). Calfire said the fire scorched 62 acres before it was contained, but there were no injuries, no structures lost or threatened. The cause is “under investigation.” 42 firefighters in two crews with two engines did the job. As of late Monday, “Firefighters continue mop-up and patrol operations. With the current weather conditions and elevated fire danger, CalFire asks everyone to use extreme caution, ‘one less spark – one less wildfire.’ For more information on how to prepare for wildfires, go to www.readyforwildfire.org. Cooperating Agencies: Hopland VFD, Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, Redwood Valley-Calpella FPD, Potter Valley FD, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and California Dept. of Correction and Rehabilitation.”

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THE NOTE PASTED ON THE DOOR of a San Francisco chinese restaurant fed up with finicky diners:

MSG

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AVHC BOARD NOT HELPING

Editor;

For some time now I have been trying to make some sense out of whatever is going on at the Anderson Valley Health Center. The AVHC has watched over me since it was first started, with the help of my former wife Peggy Miniclier, back in the early 1970s.

I am a strong supporter of Dr. Mark Apfel. Mark has devoted the better part of his life to the people of Anderson Valley and to the Health Center. He once came down to Boonville to sew me up on a Sunday afternoon and he came to my home to examine me and to offer the loan of a wheelchair when my leg collapsed several years ago. He has been tireless in evaluating what medications I should be taking and he has made it possible to obtain those medications easily and inexpensively at the Health Center. Dr. Apfel has taken good care of a lot of us here in Anderson Valley for a long time. He has earned and deserves our respect.

The Health Center Board of Directors (mostly in the background for many years) has suddenly seemed to become larger than life. They have stripped Dr. Apfel of his position as Medical Director and cut him back to 20 hours a week with no explanation to the community and they refuse to discuss their actions with Dr. Apfel. They have hired a replacement for Dr. Apfel and this may very well have the effect of forcing people to change doctors. People have been fired and marched out of the building with no explanation given.

If the Board is simply looking forward to Dr. Apfel’s eventual retirement and trying to plan ahead for that it would seem to me that they would be able to do that together. It would seem that the Board would be willing to discus this with Mark…

If the Board feels that there is some compelling reason to push Dr. Apfel out then the Board should publicly state that reason and be prepared to back itself up. If the Board will not do that the Board itself must be called into question.

There is apparently a movement afoot to ask the Health Center Board to resign, but I am not quite ready to sign on to that just yet. When I look at who is on the Board I realize that there are people on it that I know and respect and I think that there must be some sense in all of this. What strikes me here is that I do not know enough and the Health Center Board is not helping matters.

Tom McFadden, Philo

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ANONYMOUS & PERSONAL

Dear AVA,

I am active supporter of the Anderson Valley Health Center and I am actively staying tuned to the evolving ‘events’ surrounding the Health Center. I consider myself to be an interested observer and will remain anonymous as this ‘dialogue’ unfortunately has become personal. I hope that we may begin to find solutions to support the AVHC and that we move forward together.

I am responding to last week’s AVA Sept. 10. I will refer to the statement made to the AVHC Board made by Micheal Nissenburg that the “criticisms (of Apfel) comes from the consultants who want your money, want your building, your grants.” This implies that they (the consultants) are competitors for the same pot of grant money and patient clients as well, thus posing a conflict of interest.

This is just simply not true. I have talked to various people in the Rural Health Clinic field and here is what I understand to be true. The Anderson Valley Health Center is the only Health Center in its service area. There is no competition of funds.

The AVHC has an extremely high mortgage (new building, dental clinic etc) and this challenges the financial viability of AVHC.

Rural Health Clinics work together to try and provide services in their geographical area. When AVHC was about to foreclose many years ago, the Mendocino County rural clinics all agreed to help find solutions to keep AVHC doors open. Judith Dolan worked very hard to get these federal funds. We received the Shared Management Grant worth (roughly) $650,000 each year for three years. The idea of the shared management, a major component of this grant, was that AVHC would use the resources of these consultants instead of hiring our own CEO, Administrative Director, and Operations Manager. This is all about money folks, AVHC got in over their head and every measure made, whether skillfully or not, was about the survival of this clinic. I do not know whether the shared administration is a good model or not, but this was what we needed to work with.

These consultants came in 1 day a week. AVHC reimbursed. Their job was to get the AVHC federally compliant. This was not an easy job, there was a lot of work to do. They played a very important role. Thankfully, before they left, they secured another 3 year federal grant for $950,000 each year for 3 years, starting now. They are continuing to finish their commitment with the AVHC, without pay, during this 6 month transition time.

My Humble Opinion is this.

We are all thankful for Mark Apfel. He is an amazing and dedicated doctor. Our community owes a lot of thanks to Mark Apfel and many other very dedicated staff. But, I do believe we have lost a valuable asset through the consultants. We lost them before the new Medical Director came on and I believe this could have been avoided through better communication. I wish that Apfel could have helped to facilitate this communication. It should never have gotten to an “Us vs. Them” situation. There were some mistakes made and they should have been dealt with early on. We do need the Feds Money to keep this clinic alive, whether we want it or not. I would like to see Mark be our doctor and I would like to see the new Medical Director keep the records straight and keep us in compliance. I would like to see the Board become very transparent through this process and beyond. And most importantly, can we please move forward together? We are an incredible community with a lot to give, let’s heal this up and move on.

From a concerned community member.

Name Withheld, Navarro

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PEACE RALLY MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th IN GUALALA!

South Coast People For Peace invite you to join us this Monday, September 29th, and every Monday at noon in front of the Gualala Post Office in downtown Gualala. We stand for PEACE! not ongoing war! STOP U.S. BOMBING IN IRAQ!!!!! OCCUPATION DID NOT LEAD TO PEACE IN IRAQ. The U.S. war in Iraq helped create the conditions that led to the current crisis! The government installed with the 2003 U.S. invasion systematically disenfranchised the Sunni minority, many of whom now tacitly support the Islamic State (IS). In Syria, the U.S. and it's allies-Saudi Arabia, Quatar, and Kuwait-provide support to ISIS and others attempting to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad. Bombing will cause more bloodshed and instability and enable violent, anti-government groups to recruit more supporters! Tell Congress: No More Endless War in Iraq!!!! We must have a non-military response! The arms merchants and the Military-Industrial Complex are the only ones who benefit from war. Innocent civilians, mostly women and children, die in every war. We must have a diplomatic, non-military solution to the situation in Iraq and Syria, not brutality on all sides! If the US chose to challenge the arms suppliers and challenge the Saudi government, we could control ISIL. WE THE PEOPLE SAY NO TO WAR!!!!! We say "Do no harm!!!"!!! We must have an immediate arms embargo! Please join us on Mondays in Gualala. https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Coast-People-For-Peace/1488299098076641Information: 707-884-4703 “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” --Martin Luther King, Jr. “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” — Martin Luther King, in his famous “Beyond Viet Nam” speech at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967.

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IF YOU FORGET ME

I want you to know 
one thing.

You know how this is:

if I look 
at the crystal moon, at the red branch

of the slow autumn at my window,

if I touch 
near the fire 
the impalpable ash

or the wrinkled body of the log,

everything carries me to you,

as if everything that exists, 
aromas, light, metals,

were little boats 
that sail

toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now, 
if little by little you stop loving me

I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly 
you forget me 
do not look for me,

for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad, 
the wind of banners

that passes through my life, 
and you decide

to leave me at the shore 
of the heart where I have roots,

remember 
that on that day, 
at that hour,

I shall lift my arms 
and my roots will set off

to seek another land.

But 
if each day, 
each hour,

you feel that you are destined for me

with implacable sweetness,

if each day a flower 
climbs up to your lips to seek me,

ah my love, ah my own,

in me all that fire is repeated,

in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,

my love feeds on your love, beloved,

and as long as you live it will be in your arms

without leaving mine.

— Pablo Neruda

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SAVING MENDO HISTORY

The Friends of the Observatory monthly lecture series will feature Dr. Paul Poulos, board member of the Mendocino County Historical Society, presentation of “From the Eye of the Beholder: Saving Mendocino County’s History and Preserving Our Science.” The event is scheduled for Thursday night, September 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers of the Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Drive.

Dr. Poulos will talk about the current efforts of the Mendocino County Historical Society and also discuss preserving the County’s scientific heritage including the threatened Mendocino College teaching and scientific research center at the LORAN station in Point Arena.

The free public lecture is sponsored by the City of Ukiah Community Services Department. For more information, contact Martin Bradley at 489-4607 or mbradley@cityofukiah.org

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 22, 2014

Boudreau, Campbell, Clutts, DeWolf, Frisk, Herrera
Boudreau, Campbell, Clutts, DeWolf, Frisk, Herrera

ADDISON BOUDREAU, Laytonville. Domestic assault, probation revocation.

RYAN CAMPBELL, Redwood Valley. Under influence of controlled substance.

GLENN CLUTTS, Ukiah. Burglary.

HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revoked. (Frequent flyer.)

LINDSEY FRISK, Pensacola, Florida. Possession of meth/smoking-injecting device, receipt of stolen property, conspiracy.

JESUS HERRERA, Willits. Possession of meth, resisting arrest, parole violation.

Hipes, Howard, Keys, Kruger, McMurphy, Shaffer, Welsh
Hipes, Howard, Keys, Kruger, McMurphy, Shaffer, Welsh

DUSTIN HIPES, Ukiah. Domestic assault, false imprisonment.

FLORA HOWARD, Ukiah. Burglary, Grand Theft.

JOSHUA KEYS, Ukiah. Burglary, illegal use of someone else’s credit card, receiving stolen property, conspiracy, offenses while on bail.

ILENE KRUGER, Covelo. Child endangerment, resisting arrest.

JEROME McMURPHY, Ukiah. Possession of meth, parole violation.

JEFFREY SHAFFER, Ukiah. Possession, purchase, and use of a stun gun by person convicted of a felony. Probation revocation.

PATRICK WELSH, Willits. Unlawful possession of firearm/ammo.

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HENDY WOODS STATE PARK DAY USE AREA IMPROVEMENTS TO COMMENCE

Project to begin Monday, September 22, 2014; Day Use Area and some trails to be impacted

PHILO, California. – A project to improve the parking, picnic and restroom facilities at the Hendy Woods State Park Day Use Area commenced on Monday, September 22, 2014. The list of improvements includes a newly paved and striped parking area, a new two-stall pit toilet, accessible pathways leading to new picnic tables and barbecues with shade ramadas, and new interpretive signs to educate visitors on Hendy Woods State Park’s natural, cultural and recreational resources. Work will be performed by California State Parks staff and the Sonoma County Probation Camp. To provide for public safety, the Hendy Woods State Park Day Use Area will be closed to vehicle and pedestrian access during the construction period which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015. Hendy Woods State Park trails are expected to remain open, however, some loops and through travel may not be possible at all times, and vehicle parking will be confined to the campground area. This much needed project is being funded through generous donations from the Hendy Woods Community and Save the Redwoods League, as well as the matching fund program administered by California State Parks. Information regarding the project is also available online at the Hendy Woods State Park website at http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=438.

For questions about this project, contact Sector Superintendent Loren Rex at (707) 937-3118 or loren.rex@parks.ca.gov

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DOES ANY TATTOO-FREE AMERICAN ADULT outside the Kardashian-NFL mass hypnosis matrix feel confident about the trajectory of US policy regarding the so-called Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL)? First, there is the astonishing humiliation that this ragtag band of psychopaths managed to undo ten years, 4,500 US battle deaths, and $1+ trillion worth of nation-building effort in Iraq in a matter of a few weeks this summer. The US public does not seem to have groked the damage to our honor, self-confidence, and international standing in this debacle. So, now we’re going to just deal “death from above” on the Black Flaggers across that stretch of their captured territory that runs from Iraq into Syria — violating Syria’s sovereignty in the process, of course. My guess is that such an operation will inspire them to bring the action straight to Europe, the USA, and the grand prize, Saudi Arabia. The movement is too broad now, includes too many psychopaths from all over the world (Europe especially) who hold passports that will enable them to travel easily out of the Middle East and export mayhem wherever they want to bring it. — James Kunstler

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FARM TO FARM

by Spec MacQuayde

The unusually cool, overcast summer turned the page into autumn with a stiff breeze from the north and nightime lows dipping dangerously close to frost. My son, now 17, gets paid $20 an hour to toss and stack pumpkins for a distant MacQuayde relative up the road.

Every bit of sixty years old, Gary still loads the hefty pumpkins from one side of the wagon while my son tries to keep up on the other, and Gary's Dad, Mick (who is 85 and can't hear well or turn his head around) drives the tractor. Nobody could ever keep up with Gary, who employed me in the summertime when I was a teenager, and dozens of other boys since. Stacking pumpkins in a wagon is an art, as the ones he grows come in all shapes and sizes unlike the totally uniform fruit preferred by Wal-Mart, and each one has its proper spot in the stack. "Them chain stores like 'em all the same size, that way they can price 'em all the same," says Gary, a man of few words. He won't even walk into a Wal-Mart, as a matter of principle, because "they buy produce like sweetcorn on consignment, and only pay the farmers if they sell it."

"What you been doin to stay busy, Spec?" he asked recently as I dropped my son off for work.

The watermelons are done, and except for half an acre of turnips I intend to load on the truck to sell to rednecks at Old Verona Days in October, my season has winded down. "Oh, just tryin to clean up around the place."

"You need to find you a woman."

That simple statement echoed through my thoughts as I returned to the Farmhouse to clean the kitten shit off the kitchen floor and separate the recyclables from the garbage. About 10 days after we held "Hoefest" at our farm, for the second year in a row, Jetta had to go. Last year it was Alabama; this time the Emerald Triangle--last I heard they were in Ukiah, seeking a fortune perhaps fifteen years too late.

"Job opportunity at the Farmhouse for intelligent hippie woman who wants to host music festivals and do farmers' markets," I posted on Facebook one evening as I looked around at the group of my son's buddies and a couple musicians, all of us guys.

"It's kind of sexist to suggest only a woman can do the job," commented a former member of the Emerald Earth commune.

The thing was that Gary had pretty much commanded me to find a woman, specifically, and if he tells you something you better do it right now.

The "job" I only vaguely described in the Facebook post is the subject of a book-length essay by the poet/farmer, Wendell Berry, Home Economics, which I was instructed to read by a former manager of the gardens at the Live Power Farm in Covelo.

"You burn through a lot of wives and girlfriends trying to grow food for a living," preached the electric tractor guru, Steve Heckeroth, from the stage at the Real Goods Solar Living Solfest about six years ago. I remember hearing that lecture on the truck radio, drinking beer and fixing fence while my second Ex and the boys along with a tall blonde French guy enjoyed the festival in Hopland. Other older organic farmers, mentors of mine, offered the same cynical view, so I never even got my hopes up all these years, one reason I put on "Hoefest." It's like hope without the "P."

"Hey, you know I'm good for the job:)" commented Amy, a Facebook friend who'd been at Hoefest and helped put on other bluegrass festivals in the hills of Brown County.

"Wow, a possible love interest," I couldn't help telling everyone, meaning my son and close friends who were going to great lengths to fend off the "crank hoes" who tried to move in once they heard Jetta was gone. If you don't live in a rural redneck region in 2014 you may not understand the consequences the Drug War has placed on our demographic. Methamphetamine, or what is represented as such and sold, runs the show, and it's a fucking circus, literally. Go to Austin, Indiana, or Crothersville, or any other small town in the sticks in America, and there are literal zombies prowling the streets--young men in search of aluminum cans or "scrap" metal, women in search of cocks to suck for another hit off the lightbulb or more frequently now, the needle. Not that I would have any dope on me, as I despise the shit, but the crank hoes see every guy with enough dough to put gas in his tank as a possible source.

"The girls all got hepatitis from sharing needles," said the guy at Vic's Liquors in Seymour, ringing up my beer as we both shared a mutual moment of relative sanity, surrounded by tattooed skeletons twitching and muttering obscenity to invisible entities. "This place is full of lunatics."

"That's just the way it is, how it works," one of my son's peers told him bluntly, describing why she took to giving blowjobs to get high on crank. One inevitable consequence of War is rampant prostitution out of necessity and opportunity, and the Drug War is no exception. So I didn't go out to the bars once Jetta left, doubtful that I'd run into anyone interested in anything besides getting high and screwing mindlessly. Instead, I rode down to the Terrapin music festival on an organic farm in central Kentucky. I say I rode down.

I guess I had messaged Amy on FB something to the effect that I could drive my truck, and she had taken that as a "he's gonna drive," so when she'd followed her Tom-Tom from Bloomington to the Farmhouse she was rather surprised to learn I'd only meant that I was capable, and the truck could roll, but not really that far. "Oh, I though you said you were driving."

"Uh, yeah, I did say that. I meant I COULD, but probably not over sixty miles an hour. I hate driving on the freeway."

I offered to pay for the gas, her ticket, and everything. The whole drive down I tried to describe the "job" to Amy, how a wealthy buddy of mine wants to open a farm-to-table Bed & Breakfast or something, how I wanted to get certified organic so we could really move the watermelons, how I missed all the hippie women I used to hang out with in Mendo who made sauerkraut and butchered sheep and all that back-to-the-land shit, how every day I am going around just trying to get people to separate the goddam recyclables from the garbage. . .drinking up my supply of beer as she followed the Tom-Tom, paying more attention to it than to the road. I kept thinking what if some tractor pulls out, or a deer jumps across, will the Tom-Tom see it? And does she want to spend the night with me?

"In case you're interested in romance, the answer is no," she informed me once we'd finally followed the device back and forth past the festival entrance that apparently the Tom-Tom remained unaware of, and we'd gone back to some town in what turned out to be a dry county where some teenagers said they were heading to the festival, and we could follow them.

"A DRY county?" I gulped, opening the cooler and seeing three beers floating like doomed bluegill in a baitbucket.

Moonshine jars of all flavors abounded--authentic stuff around 140 proof or so, depending. I pretty much had to go off on my own, not wanting to follow Amy around, and laid down next to a waning bonfire about dawn, snuggling in the warm, dry ashes, after having a blast with all sorts of interesting, enterprising folk. That was how I inadvertantly got to meet the owner of Terrapin Farms, through security. I told them I was okay, had a great night and needed some shuteye, was all. They knew Amy and Hoefest, and led me to this cot behind some vendors where I ran into this gal who happened to be opening a jar of homemade pickles before she crashed in the camper shell.

"I love pickles," I said, "especially after a night of moonshine."

"Me, too. I just canned them."

"You know about the mustard seeds, right? To keep 'em crisp?" I might have said. We were both tanked, though I remember her looking back before climbing in the camper shell as the sun rose. When I woke up, she was gone and I had to steal another pickle from the jar before joining the crowd, wondering where I was. "I had to steal another pickle," I said to Bethany Broccoli, she called herself.

That morning she was slammed, selling Bloody Mary's $8 for one, $15 for two. I had to try one, then stick around the vending booth where I learned that she'd fused the vodka with garlic and basil for several weeks prior to the festival. The best Bloody Mary I'd ever tried, with a homegrown pickle instead of celery stick. "I charge 8 for one, 15 for two, but they always give me either 10 or 20," she said as we passed around a jar of moonshine browned with coffee beans soaked in. As the owner of Terrapin farms showed up again, along with other old hippie dudes who put on festivals around the region, I shut the hell up and listened to them and Bethany Broccoli, who impressed me immediately when she decided she'd rather sit around and bullshit with us than sell any more Bloody Marys. "No, sorry, but I don't feel like making any more," she told the festival goers who inquired. Once the New Old Cavalry came on the main stage, I had to go see them, mingle with the crowd some more, and that was the last I saw of Bethany Broccoli until returning home to find she had sent me a friend request on FB…

* * *

YES on Measure S

A Water and Fracking Initiative Establishing a Mendocino Community Bill of Rights

By Jamie Lee

In less than six weeks, Mendocino County has a chance to make significant history.

This November 4th, if passed into ordinance, Measure S will become the first county in California, and only the 2nd county in the country, to establish a Community Bill of Rights asserting our inherent right to clean water through the banning of any and all fracking activities in the county. (You can read about Measure S at Yesons.me.)

For over a decade now there has been a fast growing grass roots movement across the country where counties, communities and cities are exercising their rights to local self-governance. Over 160 communities across the United States have now passed local ordinances declaring their rights. The ordinances have included the banning of fracking, disallowing toxic corporate sludge waste dumping on private and community lands, halting continued toxification of local ecosystems and water streams and denying corporations the same rights as human beings, also known as corporate personhood.

Measure S is what is called a single issue ordinance based on establishing a Community Bill of Rights through the banning of fracking in Mendocino County. The measure also provides for the protection of our natural communities and ecosystems as well as our inherent rights to healthy, clean, toxic free water where we live.

The last issue, right to clean water, could prove critical for local action in the days and years ahead if the Great California Drought continues on and on.

Activism is the rent I pay to live on this Planet ~ Alice Walker

No county to date has been able to pass such an all-encompassing ordinance as Measure S. The measure essentially claims, and is not granted, the legal power to the residents of Mendocino County to decide what happens in their county.

Passing Measure S would be even more significant than the ordinance (Measure H) passed by the residents of Mendocino County on March 4, 2003 that banned GMO’s. If passed into ordinance, it would decidedly change the way our legal system in the county operates from the current Federal down to State down to County legal authority that currently exists.

To get Measure S even on the ballot has required a tremendous effort by dedicated activists and community leaders throughout the county. This spring over 9 communities in our county came together to gather over 6300 signatures to get Measure S on the ballot box. They then turned those signatures into the voter registrar office in June for verification. It was then up to the County Board of Supervisors, who passed Supervisor Hamburg’s motion unanimously which then put the Measure S to vote this November 4th.

Additionally, these community activists created the Community Rights Network of Mendocino County (CRNMC.org) in order to establish a county-wide website so that all can learn more and join in creating a Community Bill of Rights of, by and for the residents of Mendocino County.

“By the time frackers are done, water will be worth more than oil.”

As Will Parish alluded to in his March 12, 2014 article, “Fracking on the North Coast”, it is only a matter of very little time before fracking comes to Mendocino County. Fracking is a highly technologically advanced, highly toxic, process of injecting chemicals and fluids deep underground to fracture oil and shale deposits while using some 13 million gallons of potable water per well site in the process.

Last March, when Governor Brown declared a California State emergency on water, he allowed fracking practices to continue unabated in the state despite declaring that we are in the “Greatest drought in California history.”

Additionally, many land owners are finding out that they do not own the mineral rights under the property. This has legally allowed the frackers to extract hydrocarbons from right under their lands without recourse or remedy (Both documentaries, Gasland I and II, describe in great detail these activities.)

Besides the ban of fracking activities, Measure S, as summarized by Acting County Counsel, Doug L. Losak, reported to the Board of Supervisors that Measure S, if passed into ordinance, would:

“Establish a ‘Community Bill o Rights’. This Community Bill of Rights provides in part that ‘{a]ll residents, natural communities and ecosystems in Mendocino County possess the right to water, air and soil that is untainted by toxins, carcinogens, particulates, nucleotides, and hydrocarbons introduced into the environment through unconventional extraction of hydrocarbons….the ordinance would also prohibit any corporations form asserting State, Federal or International Laws to overturn this ordinance.

On August 1 of this year, Mr. Losak gave his opinion as to whether proposed ordinance S was legally sound and his answer was “No”. He also cited deep concerns about the enforceability of the strong fines and penalties for violating each incident of infraction by fracking as laid out in Measure S as well as “violating the interstate commerce clause of the federal constitution.”

Of course Mr. Losak had never seen an ordinance such as this and in rebuttal, Thomas Linzey Esq., founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and legal advisors to the Community Rights Network of Mendocino County group states:

“Mr. Losak is correct about one thing – the law is not currently on the side of community residents of Mendocino County. Over the past century, both corporations and state government have restricted the authority of municipal corporations so that the people of the municipality have very few rights at all. Your right to govern your own county has been canceled out by the “rights” of corporations, and the authority of the State to preempt your lawmaking.”

“Measure S is about changing that. It is about changing the law by challenging the law. Openly, frontally, and directly. The current system of law does not allow you to say “no” to fracking within the County. You therefore have a choice – you can either accept that current status of the law, or you can work to change it. Measure S is about asserting your right – as residents of the County – to change how the municipal system operates.”

“Mr. Losak counsels about what the law ‘is’. Measure S is about challenging what the law ‘is’ and adopting a new system of law which enables you to control what happens in the County. Mr. Losak is not your lawyer. He is the lawyer for the municipal corporation that is Mendocino County, not the people of the County.”

“Rights are not Rights unless they are claimed”

Over the past several years many cities and counties have tried to pass such similar ordinances. Up in Spokane, Washington, in 2010 and again in 2011, they came with just a few percentage points of passing a Community Bill of Rights which would have banned corporate personhood. Large corporate interests came in with big money to help defeat the measures.

Mt. Shasta city, in 2011, was only two weeks away from passing a similar ordinance claiming local rights to clean water when the city voter registrar, the same one who helped the community write the proposed ordinance, then declared the initiative invalid due to incorrect language and then was stripped off the ballot box and put an end to that movement to date.

In November of 2010, the City of Pittsburgh became the first city to ban fracking activities through local ordinance. Other cities are filing as well this November.

Also this year, two counties in Oregon, Lane and Benton, are attempting to pass very similar ordinances as Measure S, banning GMO’s and asserting local rights to self-govern county agricultural practices. This effort has come about due the State of Oregon’s underhanded passage of what many are calling the “Monsanto Protection Act”. The new law entitled “Preemption of Local Agricultural Laws Act,” states that: “A local government may not enact or enforce a . . . measure, including but not limited to an ordinance, regulation, control area or quarantine, to inhibit or prevent the production or use of agricultural seed, flower seed . . . or vegetable seed or products of agricultural seed, flower seed . . . or vegetable seed.”

By reclaiming our Creator endowed inherent right to self-govern, as guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence, we, the residents in Mendocino County, have an incredible opportunity to make history. If some call this “radical” by nature it is, but not by the Founding Fathers standards. We only have to go to our 7th grade math classes to understand that to be radical is to get to the square root of the problem.

Since this is an “off” election year, meaning no Presidential elections and no strong initiatives on the ballot, voter turnout could be very low. There were 47,297 registered voters in the 2014 primary of which 34.72% actually voted. If this November 4th election sees similar voter turnout some 16,421 ballots would be cast. Nearly three-quarters of the ballots are cast by mail or absenteeism.

That would be mean that to get over the 50% to pass Measure S would need a little more than 8,210 yes votes to pass it into law. Remember, CRNMC submitted over 6300 signatures to the voter registrar, so this is very doable.

Please join us on the Community Rights Roadshow for the get out to vote, YES on S campaign. The roadshow begins in Covelo on October 2 and goes through 9 communities near you in Mendocino County. Featured guests will be long time community rights activist, Paul Cienfuegos as well as local speakers and live music at some venues.

To learn more and celebrate our rights over corporate control to self-determine what is right and just in the communities where we live or to donate and/or volunteer assistance in anyway, please visit YesonS.me, CRNMC.org and/or call 895-2999.

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We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high. —Frances Moore Lappé

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ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST Anne Petermann and writer Quincy Saul describe how the People’s Climate March has no demands, no targets, and no enemy. Organizers admitted encouraging bankers to march was like saying Blackwater mercenaries should join an antiwar protest. There is no unity other than money. One veteran activist who was involved in Occupy Wall Street said it was made known there was plenty of money to hire her and others. There is no sense of history: decades of climate-justice activism are being erased by the incessant invocation of the “biggest climate change demonstration ever.” Investigative reporter Cory Morningstar has connected the dots between the organizing groups, 350.org and Avaaz, the global online activist outfit modeled on MoveOn, and institutions like the World Bank and Clinton Global Initiative. Morningstar claims the secret of Avaaz’s success is its “expertise in behavioral change.” — Arun Gupta

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SUDDEN OAK DEATH THRIVING IN SOME LOCATIONS DESPITE DROUGHT - 2014 SOD BLITZ RESULTS

By the California Oak Mortality Task Force

BERKELEY—2014 SOD BLITZ results reveal areas where Phytophthora ramorum (the pathogen known to cause sudden oak death - ‘SOD’) is thriving despite drought conditions and areas where infection levels are nearly undetectable, possibly offering an opportunity for impacted communities in the fight against SOD.

One of the largest citizen science programs in the State, SOD Blitzes are a grassroots effort organized by local volunteers in cooperation with the Garbelotto lab at UC Berkeley. The 500 participating citizen scientists in 2014 surveyed more than 10,000 trees and collected more than 2,000 samples. Participants were trained to identify SOD symptoms on California bay laurel and tanoak leaves and to properly record sample locations as well as mark surveyed trees for comparison in future years. Within 48 hours of collection, samples were processed by the Garbelotto lab to determine the presence or absence of P. ramorum.

Among 2014 findings in San Francisco County was a P. ramorum-positive redwood in The Presidio (National Park Service). While redwood isn’t harmed if infected, its needles support pathogen sporulation and spread. SOD has only been found once before in the park in 2011 on an oak. Oaks can die if infected, but they do not spread P. ramorum. Mitigation activities there are underway. Additionally, the main Golden Gate Park nursery continues to be infested; officials there are working to address the issue.

In eastern Santa Cruz County, a canyon on the San Benito County border was found positive. While this is one of the easternmost reports of SOD in California, it is in a cooler area that is conducive to the pathogen, with redwood and tanoak.

Unexpectedly high levels of P. ramorum were found in north Berkeley and Tilden Regional Park (Alameda County), with the pathogen not only found on California bay laurel, but also on oaks. Similar findings were also made in the region between Novato (Marin County), Petaluma, and Sonoma (Sonoma County).

The drought has led to a reduction in the number of infected trees in many warmer areas with oak woodlands as well as in areas where SOD has recently become established, including southern Mendocino, northern Sonoma, and southern Oakland Counties as well as the eastern S.F. Peninsula and Carmel Valley Village (Monterey County).

“Given the dry weather, SOD Blitz results this year have been very site specific, with pathogen levels decreased in drier areas, yet, areas nearby with cooler conditions still have higher infection rates. Updating SODMap with these findings will serve as one tool in helping inform people about the risk of SOD in their neighborhood, which may offer input as to when preventative measures might be appropriate to implement, including preventative treatments based on new recommendations and, in some cases, selective bay removal,” said Matteo Garbelotto, UC Berkeley.

Four regional meetings will be offered (East Bay, Peninsula, Sonoma, and Carmel Valley – see http://nature.berkeley.edu/garbelottowp/?page_id=816 for details) to help community members interpret results and understand recommended management options. SOD Blitz results are also available online at www.sodblitz.org, where results from 2008 to 2014 can be viewed using Google Earth. This year a geographically based chart has also been posted, with results compiled based on ecologically related regions and at a smaller scale than in previous years.

SOD is a serious invasive, quarantine disease that is killing tanoak, coast live oak, California black oak, Shreve’s oak, and canyon live oak trees in California. Since its discovery in 2000, more than 3 million trees have died, making it the number one cause of tree mortality in California coastal forests. Other major findings for 2014 that were not associated with SOD Blitzes, include P. ramorum-positive oaks on the Monterey peninsula, SOD in Redwood National Park, and SOD in Trinity County.

For more information on SOD Blitzes, go to www.sodblitz.org. For more information on Sudden Oak Death and P. ramorum, go to the California Oak Mortality Task Force website at www.suddenoakdeath.org or contact Katie Palmieri at (510) 847-5482 or kpalmieri@berkeley.edu.

6 Responses to "Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, September 23, 2014"

  1. Lazarus   September 23, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Fracking……? been going on for over a century, in other parts of the country. Uses lots of water, has been linked to seismic anomalies ( nothing proven though), accused of water contamination.
    Personally I see too many, if ands and maybes with fracking, so before you get pissed at me, I’m agin it. That said if the country does not get it on with a viable alternative to oil there will come a day when the powers that be will frack anywhere they want just to keep the profits coming i.e. and our lights on……
    The problem with this mangled, manipulated and obtuse ordinance deal is it could stop folks from drilling water wells…..! which opens up a whole gaggle of lefty issues. Where the pro potters going to get water for the panacea predicted after legalization? As usual stay tuned……

    Reply
  2. Harvey Reading   September 23, 2014 at 11:11 am

    “…$1+ trillion worth of nation-building effort in Iraq in a matter of a few weeks this summer.”

    How much of that paid for the U.S. embassy palace and grounds? And, just how many projects were actually completed, or is Mr. Kunstler engaged in wishful thinking? This whole mess was created by our meddling in the Middle East, particularly since the second half of the 20th Century world war. We’re supposed to be smart, at least that’s we repeat constantly to ourselves, exceptional. So, why do we elect idiots, who appoint more idiots (like the stumblebum, Kerry, or Hillary), and get us into messes from which we cannot really extract ourselves, no matter how many people we bomb or otherwise murder? There is always a reaction to idiocy, you morons in charge. And, it’s likely to be big time, since you fools never learn. Personally, I think Ivy League degrees are overrated.

    Reply
  3. Jim Updegraff   September 23, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    AVHC Board is a bunch of clowns. Tichinin is a big time moocher. Memdo’s efforts at stopping fracking is a joke. The most important items of the day are why Tim Hudson is now such a bust and how long are the Giants going to keep Lincecum around. Plus why did my team the Oakland As do such a flop out.

    Reply
  4. cswan   September 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Studies just coming out in N.Dakota and Colorado. . . Fracking has INCREASED “seismicity” in those areas — places where earthquakes were never a concern before.

    Heads up, CA! You’re next, unless we all take action to protect against it.

    Please re-read text of actual ordinance, Lazarus . . . bans usage of local water for fracking, and drilling of “discharge wells” (where they stash water contaminated w/chemicals used in fracking process back into the earth, i.e. contaminating our local aquifers.)

    ~C.

    Reply
    • cswan   September 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      You can read text of Measure S at http://www.yesons.me

      Reply
    • Lazarus   September 23, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Yea I read it and re-read it, look for the courts to through it out, the fix is likely in. Sorry

      Reply

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