- Grape Insurance
- Courtroom Showdown
- Quieter Alternatives
- Ortner Money
- AV in WSJ
- Catch of the Day
- History of Albion
- Pitiful Allowance
- Waltz Project
- Bewildered Pig
- Salmon Season
- Hotel Psychiatry
- Ted Cruz
LAST THURSDAY NIGHT, County Counsel Doug Losak explained on air to KZYX newswoman Valerie Kim that requiring a million dollar bond of an unhappy citizen is nothing more than a procedural step unrelated to the unhappy citizen's lawsuit.
BOONVILLE'S Mark Scaramella has had to file a lawsuit so Anderson Valley locals can get some sleep. He's trying to get the County to enforce its own noise ordinance. For his effrontery in demanding that local government enforce its own laws, the County, claiming potential crop loss, says Scaramella will have to put up a million bucks before the County will listen to his complaint. The County of Mendocino, a public entity not known to be in the grape business, is alleging crop loss that might be suffered by privately-owned vineyards, which is a nice local example of socialism for the rich, no sleep for the rest of us.
SCARAMELLA isn’t asking the vineyards to stop using vineyard fans, just that the fans be quieted during sleep hours, and take it away, KZYX:
Kim: The County of Mendocino is being sued for not enforcing the county's noise ordinance. They have requested a $1 million bond. But the bond isn't actually related to the lawsuit at all. You heard from the plaintiff Mark Scaramella on last night's Community News. He is the Boonville resident who filed a nuisance suit against the County and three wineries who use wind machines and they are also named in his lawsuit. But the million dollar bond requested by the County pertains to an injunction that Scaramella and his lawyer Rod Jones filed earlier this month. They filed a temporary injunction against the county to cease and desist approving wind fan permits and to revoke existing permits. Interim County Counsel Doug Losak contacted me today to clarify the County's reason for the bond request.
Losak: I believe Mr. Scaramella mentioned that the request for a bond, if granted, would affect the lawsuit that he filed. The County's request for a bond was in response to Mr. Scaramella's request for a preliminary injunction. And the county is opposing that request and also asking the court that if they do order a preliminary injunction that they require Mr. Scaramella to post a bond in the amount of $1 million.
Kim: I spoke with Mark Scaramella yesterday about the million dollar bond request.
Scaramella: I think the whole thing is exaggerated and an attempt at intimidation and prior restraint on ordinary citizen lawsuits.
Kim: But Losak says the bond request is actually a matter of procedure.
Losak: Under the California Code of Civil Procedure, that's 529, a bond is required if a preliminary injunction is issued and we are requesting a bond in the amount of $1 million, which is probably a low amount. If an injunction is issued and a frost occurs and vineyard owners are not allowed to use the frost fans they may incur a substantial loss to their crops.
Kim: So the million dollars would be in that case to reimburse the actual wineries for their losses. Losak didn't want to speak on the particulars of the case, but he said that the brief he has filed as well as the two briefs from two of the wineries named in the suit center around the Right to Farm ordinance. If you are interested, those briefs are a matter of public record.
AS THE NOISE MACHINES destroy another night's sleep for as many as a thousand residents of the Anderson Valley — 7 nights already by our count — locals are urged to fill out and send in a complaint form. Mail or fax to:
Mendocino Planning Dept.
Ukiah Office: (707) 234-6650
860 North Bush Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
Fax: (707) 463-5709
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Complaint form is at:
A BOONVILLE READER WRITES: "Bombarding vineyard customers with wind machine noise is a great idea since it hits the vineyards where it hurts the most - in their wallets. However, it would be cheaper and safer to use a high watt stereo system and play a real life recording of the wind (noise) machines. Also, does anyone remember our meeting last year when the vineyards said they would stop using the machines when the "drought" is over? From what I can see out my window, the vineyard ponds are full, yet they still are running the machines. Another lie?"
ANOTHER OUTRAGED LOCAL SAYS, "Hey, y’all! Time for reality to set in; anyone who has disillusioned themselves into thinking that we can win this fight needs to take a drive through Napa, get a load of the dozens/hundreds of fans installed there. Get used to it, folks! Not only do our local representatives give nary a fuck for our wellbeing, these fans are federally subsidized. End of story. I, for one, am out of this discussion. Deeds, not words. Good luck!"
THEN WE HAVE Pennyroyal Farms’ cretinous and so far unnamed attorney who, according to our attorney Rod Jones, has already argued that “Scaramella’s request to quiet the machine noise levels will risk hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crop damage and is unnecessary in light of alternative, less-costly remedies.”
PENNYROYAL is Sarah Bennett of Boonville and her parents Ted and Deborah Cahn of Navarro Vineyards. Ms. Bennett's vineyard is across the street from the property where the AVA's brain trust lay their pretty little heads at night. Pennyroyal’s attorney seems to think that those “alternative, less costly remedies,” include: “Mr. Scaramella get up in the middle of the night when the automatic fans begin operating because of a freeze and go somewhere to ‘rent a hotel room’ or wake up ‘friends or family’ at 2 a.m. and go to their house to sleep. (Opp., 7:3-5, 8:10-13)
WHEN WE'D RECOVERED ourselves from the shock of the pure idiot arrogance of that suggestion, our attorney, Rod Jones of Mendocino, replied,
“REALLY? Is Pennyroyal then offering to pay for this inconvenience and lodging every time it operates its fans, much like a water polluter purchases bottled water for affected families?”
THE ASSERTION that our lawsuit will “risk hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crop damage” is also ridiculous. Why? Because the County and the vineyard owners are misrepresenting what our lawsuit is about. As Jones notes, “The ‘defense’ of County and RPIs [the three vineyards] is that they must be allowed to use wind machines to battle frost and save grapes. This is a peculiar posture because nobody is suggesting that they cannot do so. Only that they must situate the fans and/or use multi-bladed fans that do not produce noise pollution. It is that simple.”
PENNYROYAL’S ATTORNEY ALSO ARGUES, “It is also possible that Scaramella will not be harmed if his motion is denied if there are not frost events that result in frost fan use in the coming month. Regardless, Scaramella has several options besides forcing the vineyards to avoid frost protection.” (Opp., 8:14-16)
JONES REPLIED: “Pennyroyal overlooks that, as the noise offender, it is the one that possesses the option, not Scaramella. It can quiet the machinery by adding blades or changing the equipment or relocating the fans. Nobody is ‘forcing’ Pennyroyal to not protect its vines. But is Scaramella’s well-being truly to dependent (as it is presently) on the fortunes of changing weather and the erratic weather of global climate change?”
RANDOM comments muttered aloud in Boonville: "I love the idea of renting a bigass fan, putting it on a flatbed truck during weekend biz or maybe during PinoFest, staying on public streets and maybe have a flat tire in front of select wineries. Oh dear! while running the fan, of course. And then explain to anyone passing by…"
AND, "Is anyone ready to picket a tasting room?"
AND, "A rifle with a night scope would do just fine as noise reduction."
AS A THOUSAND or so people in the Anderson Valley prepare for a sleepless spring, the wine business, with typical arrogance, hires lawyers and issues stupid statements misrepresenting the issue. The issue is Why not muffle the noise? Is that an unreasonable request? No, but it's certainly unreasonable to have to go to court to achieve it.
AT LEAST THREE more wind fans have been installed at Rhys Vineyards, Navarro, and there are a couple up on the hill off Salmella Road at a Kendall-Jackson vineyard. And say, how come Brutocao's frost fan is relatively quiet? Is it because it's electric?
SCARAMELLA VS. THE NOISE MACHINES is in court this Friday, April 10th, 9:30am in Department E (Judge Henderson).
OUR ALLEGED SUPERVISOR, has characterized Citizen Scaramella's suit as "unproductive," although it has occurred in the absence of local government, the same local government that pays the supervisor $65,000 a year to at least feign interest in local matters.
MORE QUIET FAN ALTERNATIVES
Wind Turbine - Quiet Energy Australia Pacific Ltd
* * *
Aussie Wind Turbine Works Harder And Quieter
* * *
THESE TWO are not related to frost protection, but…
Wind power controversy
Wind Energy Impacts and Issues
It now has a name: Wind Turbine SYNDROM
* * *
Wind Turbine Noise: a simple statement of facts
Wind Energy Impacts and Issues
EVEN BY MENDOLIB standards the present, freshly privatized part of local Mental Health services is corrupt — not in the usual sense of taking cash for favors, I mean corrupt in the lazy, self-interested sense characteristic of the deal that saw the supervisors give a private party, Mr. Ortner of Yuba City, between $7 and $8 million a year in Mendocino County mental health contracts. The Old Coast Hotel will be an Ortner operation even on the off chance a few destitute mental cases somehow become more or less functional again. And he'll be pulling in huge money from state and federal reimbursements every step of the way. (He charges by the minute. Among other mental health coping strategies Ortner will offer at Coast Hotel is tai chi. Hmmm. See any room for billing fraud here?)
ORTNER is supposed to be doing all of the County's mental health heavy lifting, and the guy responsible for reporting back to the supervisors on how well Ortner is holding up his end of the lush bargain he got is a fellow named Tom Pinizzotto, a former Ortner employee and the man who hustled the deal past the board of supervisors. Pinizzotto, having left Ortner, now functions as a boss at what remains of Mendocino County's mental health services.
ORTNER AND HIS REDWOOD MANAGEMENT COMPANY get $2.61 per minute for “assessment/plan development/case conferencing therapy (individual, group and family)/ collateral services rehabilitation services (individual & group)”; and for “therapeutic behavioral services.” They’ll get $2.02 per minute for “case management linkage.” $3.88 per minute for “crisis intervention.” And $4.82 per minute for “medication management and support.” (Note: $2.02 per minute is about $121 per hour. $2.61 per minute is about $157 per hour. $3.88 per minute is about $233 per hour. And $4.82 per minute is about $290 per hour.)
GASTROMANIA SQUARED. The Wall Street Journal has featured Anderson Valley wineries, spas and sandwiches in its issue of April 3rd. "The wineries, restaurants and unspoiled landscapes of the pocket-size (huh?) Anderson Valley are just a sip away from Anderson Valley...."
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 6, 2015
KELLI ADAMS, Boonville. Violation of court order, probation revocation.
ERIN BLACKWELL, Ukiah, Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
ERICA CERVANTES, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
SHAYLYNN COOPER, Ukiah. Violation of court order.
KOURTNEY DAVILA, Laytonville. Drunk in public.
BENJAMIN GAYSKI JR., Willits. Domestic assault.
JACK HUGHES III, Fort Bragg. DUI.
EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance. (Frequent flyer.)
JEREMY KENYON, Anchor Bay. Possess & sale of meth, suspended license.
KATHLEEN KNIGHT, Ukiah. Possession of meth for sale, armed with firearm, receiving stolen property, possession of drugs while armed, prohibited person with ammo, ex-felon with firearm.
MARIA MARFIL, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, receiving stolen property, probation revocation.
HARVEY MCCARTY, Ukiah. Parole violation.
THEODORE OCHOA, Willits. Probation revocation.
DONAVAN PARRISH, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, receiving stolen property, probation revocation.
GERALD SIMPSON, Willits. Under influence and possession of controlled substance.
MELODY SPEARMAN, Clear Lake/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
HISTORY OF ALBION
Albion History will be the subject of a talk and slide show by Archaeologist and Historian Thad Van Bueren on Saturday, April 11th. The event will be at the Albion Elementary School, 3 miles up Albion Ridge Road from Hwy 1, from 2:00 to 4:00. The presentation will be illustrated with many historic photos and maps uncovered during recent research about the mill and town. The presentation will focus on the evolution of the Albion mill and town in the century following initial colonization by Mexican citizens in the mid-1840s. As a teaser, guess where the very first mill in the County was established? Yep, it was at Albion, not Mendocino, and the shipping records offer conclusive evidence! In addition, residents, old-timers and historians are encouraged to bring old photos, maps and stories telling the history of Albion to share with the audience. For willing contributors, a scanning station will be set up to scan these documents into the computer to start an Albion History archive. Copies will be available for the owners, and credits noted. This event is sponsored by Coastal Commons Research, a non-profit organization based in Albion. For further information contact Rixanne Wehren, 937-2709.
"The Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care would like to invite you to attend the First Annual Membership Invitation Event on Monday, April 20th, which will be held at the Adult and Aging Services Building at 747 S. State St. in Ukiah from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm in the Big Sur Conference Room. This is an opportunity for the public to work together in planning and organizing our local efforts to end homelessness. A guest speaker from the VA will be presenting innovative approaches and collaborations that are occurring on the national level to address homeless. For more information, please contact the Homeless Services Continuum of Care Secretary Veronica Irwin at 462-8879 ext. 112 or firstname.lastname@example.org."
County residents request an increased 2015 plant count with a reasoned water policy. Dear Mr. Woodhouse, Congratulations on your being elected to the Board of Supervisors representing the 3rd District. I contributed to your campaign and voted for you in last November's election. I am writing today to ask for your support to increase the allowable plant count for legitimate, qualified medical Cannabis farmers in your district and all of Mendocino County. The Small Farmers Association is requesting that the Board change or modify County ordinance 9.31 to permit an increase from 25 MMJ plants per parcel to a minimum of 50 plants. This increase will directly benefit your constituents and county residents and allow us to better prepare for the imminent legalization of non-medical Cannabis and the looming threat to family farms from large Corporate Ag interests in the Central Valley and elsewhere Small farmers and medical Cannabis are the economic bedrock of Mendocino County and are vital to county banks, businesses, non-profits, law enforcement, and government. Opponents to a plant-count increase for 2015 are primarily concerned with water and the current drought. Most small farms have on site water and can grow only as much as their source allows. It is also notable that other agricultural producers are not being targeted for their water usage, and much of their produce is exported from California to other states and countries. Governor Brown specifically exempted farms and agriculture from mandated water cutbacks. Mendocino is a "donor county" for water exports to Sonoma and Marin. It is unfair to deprive local farms of needed water when unregulated residential and agricultural development in other regions depend on and benefit from our water. Please vote to allow a plant count increase now for 2015.
Sincerely, Noel Manners President, Small Farmers Association
ON LINE REMARK OF THE DAY
First off, there is no more ‘welfare’ in US – Clinton eliminated it back in 90s. Most of refugee help programs have about 6 months expiration date. They are probably some help for needy families, but I doubt you could live large on that pitiful allowance.
I give you an example: when my mom used to live in Chicago, she was over 65 at the time and she was getting around $450 a month in SSI (Social Security Supplemental), out of which she had to pay around $120 for rent in Chicago Section 8 housing (we paid $2000 in bribes to help her get there). That was back before 2005.
In addition, she was entitled to about $65 in food stamps + Medicare/Medicaid assistance.
Using her Russian experience, she was able to stretch that money and even save a little. How? For example, breakfast. She would boil a couple of eggs, have a cured salmon sandwich – she was buying salmon on sale at 99c a pound and cured it herself — a little butter and coffee. Overall cost? Around 55 cents.
Her American neighbor would go to McDonald for the same breakfast and manage to blow on some shitty sandwich made of who-knows-what and soda around $4.50.
JUDY BASEHORE WRITES: Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 25th at the Apple Hall in Boonville, it will be the culmination of the “Waltz Project” to honor the dancing spirit of Rod Basehore and to learn a new dance. The brilliant Laura Sloane will teach another of Rod’s favorites, the Texas Ten Step, which comes across as a line dance or a couples dance. You could go from here to Timbuktu and not find a more energetic and capable dance teacher. Laura’s lesson will be from 6 to 7 PM. Following the dance lesson, from 7 to 10, Dean Titus and the Bootjack 5 will be on the bandstand in the Apple Hall. The music will tickle your feet as if Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys had come to town. Some of the vocals by Susan Clark, that tiny lady with the magnificent voice, will make you think that Patsy Cline is still alive. The ticket price for the dance, including the lesson, is ten dollars. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Wine and beer sold at the dance will benefit the Anderson Valley Grange which let me use their building for the waltz lessons. Many local wineries have donated wine for the event. To add more excitement to the evening there will be a wine raffle. Saturday, April 25th will be a great day at the fairgrounds in Boonville besides the lesson and dance from 6 to 10, there is the 80th Annual Wildflower Show from 10 to 4 and the inaugural Anderson Valley Goat Fest (all things goat) from 10 to 4. Some local restaurants will be featuring goat specials. Bring your friends and have a fantastic day. Happy Trails.
THE WILDLY POPULAR Coq du Vin restaurant at Navarro has been sold. The new owners will call their restaurant, "The Bewildered Pig," and all us oinkers are already looking forward to troughing down.
SALMON SEASON opens Saturday from Shelter Cove south to the Mexican border.
Letter to the Editor
Imagine being the father of a daughter who suffers from bipolar disorder and has started to relapse. You go to the Coast Hotel, walk in past the armed policeman to the receptionist. You tell her, “My daughter needs to see the psychiatrist. She has bipolar disorder and has begun to relapse, can’t sleep, hears voices, is paranoid and thinks the neighbors are talking about her.” The receptionist says, “Have a seat in the atrium” with the smokers, homeless children and their parents. Most of the time, the receptionist will have to say, “No psychiatrist is available so when she becomes a danger to herself or to others, take her to the hospital emergency room.” You walk out the door and your neighbor is stopped at the four-way stop. She honks and waves, and wonders which of you is under psychiatric care.
You can’t go lower than County Mental Health and Ortner. There is an annual $23 million dollars from the State and Federal Government earmarked for mental health patient treatment. Where are they putting this money besides into management fees and corporate profits?
Sonya Nesch, Author, Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
There's comfort in melancholy
When there's no need to explain
It's just as natural as the weather
In this moody sky today
In our possessive coupling
So much could not be expressed
So now I'm returning to myself
These things that you and I suppressed
I see something of myself in everyone
Just at this moment of the world
As snow gathers like bolts of lace
Waltzing on a ballroom girl
You know it never has been easy
Whether you do or you do not resign
Whether you travel the breadth of extremities
Or stick to some straighter line
Now here's a man and a woman sitting on a rock
They're either going to thaw out or freeze
Strains of Benny Goodman
Coming through the snow and the pinewood trees
I'm porous with travel fever
But you know I'm so glad to be on my own
Still somehow the slightest touch of a stranger
Can set up trembling in my bones
I know no one's going to show me everything
We all come and go unknown
Each so deep and superficial
Between the forceps and the stone
Well I looked at the granite markers
Those tribute to finality to eternity
And then I looked at myself here
Chicken scratching for my immortality
In the church they light the candles
And the wax rolls down like tears
There's the hope and the hopelessness
I've witnessed thirty years
We're only particles of change I know I know
Orbiting around the sun
But how can I have that point of view
When I'm always bound and tied to someone
White flags of winter chimneys
Waving truce against the moon
In the mirrors of a modern bank
From the window of a hotel room
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
Until love sucks me back that way
— Joni Mitchell
I wonder if you caught any of Ted Cruz's announcement of his candidacy for president at 'Liberty' University. Could there possibly be better symbolism for today's Republican Party? I mean really; first of all, Liberty University was founded by none other than the world-class religion huckster Jerry Falwell. Is a diploma from there really worth the paper it's printed on? Perhaps somewhere deep in red state country, but I doubt if it is much of an asset anywhere that operates on principles of science and logic.
I guess the students were required to attend Mr. Cruz's unctuous harangue; I wonder if it is possible for him to get any significant number of people to voluntarily subject themselves to his annoying oratory. Like president W, whose every word and bit of body language only made one want to slap him across the face to snap him out of his unbelievably annoying posturing, Cruz comes off more as a parody of the venal politician than as a candidate for president.
One has to wonder how it is that the Republican Party is able to get anyone to subscribe to their increasingly bizarre positions; as laughable as the Harvard educated Cruz may be, he is hardly any stranger than the rest of the potential GOP lineup for next year's presidential race, stocked as it is with tea party favorites like Rand Paul, the 'libertarian' son of his famous 'libertarian' father, Ron Paul, both of whom are gynecologists who's zeal for liberty stops short of a woman's right to choose.
Young Rand apparently renamed himself Rand in homage to the bizarre right wing extremist cult author Ayn Rand, who concocted a whole body of reactionary political beliefs that masquerade as a political philosophy, even giving it the absurdly self-reverential name "objectivism". I was once seduced by this puerile excuse for a political philosophy, when I was a sophomore in high school. That seems to be the typical age when young inquiring minds are waylaid by Ms Rand's simplistic worldview, but most of us outgrow it before graduating from high school. Not Mr. Paul however; he requires everyone working in his office to read Ayn Rand's ponderous tomes. The old quip is that Libertarians are Republicans who want to smoke dope and get laid.
And who are some of the other Republican heavyweights ready to toss their hats in the ring? How about Bobby Jindal, the confused Mr. Rogers sound-alike who has forsaken the beautiful Hindu religious beliefs of his ancestry for the brutally regressive brand of evangelical Christian faith popular in his backward state of Louisiana, or the new possible candidate, Tom Cotton, who recently informs us that the regime in Iran has already taken over Tehran and has clout in several other Gulf states, where its influence was greatly expanded by the power vacuum created by our senseless and criminal destruction of neighboring Iraq. Maybe he's next going to inform us that the Russian regime has completely taken over Moscow!
Then, end of course, there is the little kid senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, of that state's infamously influential anti-Cuban right-wingers, who have long held veto power over any US dealings with Cuba. They are mainly those elites (or their kids) who fled Castro's Cuba out of fear of having their riches nationalized and were horrified at the prospect of being forced to send their little white children to school with their black and brown neighbors.
It is remarkable how many of these people have graduated from Harvard. I don't think that that fact says so much about a Harvard education as it points to the fact that Harvard would probably graduate a ham sandwich if it's parents would pony up enough money for the fantastically wealthy school of the elite.
So, how can it be that a party as bereft of useful ideas, as out of touch with reality, as vehemently opposed to any government measure that may improve the lives of the majority of its citizens, a party whose entire raison d'tre seems to be serving the interests of the ultrarich over the other 99.9% of the US population? How can it be that vast stretches of the country are completely dominated by the Republican Party, even though the Democrats may actually have more people voting for them?
Well, for one thing, it helps to have a 24/7 propaganda network, owned by a deranged right-wing criminal (implicated in massive illegal wiretapping in Britain and presumably elsewhere), constantly pitching their agenda. Pretty women and serious-sounding men hammer away night and day at the ill-informed, often succeeding in persuading them to vote against their own interests.
Of course it also makes a big difference if you can set up digital voting systems that are easily hacked and can tilt the vote without leaving a trace. Gerrymandering, too, on a massive scale in all Republican led states, contributes significantly to control going to Republicans.
All in all, the present political system constitutes a kind of soft coup d’état, in which a ruthless Republican Party, for which winning is the only value, is able to defeat the clear will of the people, running on a platform of kicking your kids off your health insurance, cutting your Social Security, letting your infrastructure deteriorate, and cutting all social programs that might alleviate the unemployment and poverty that is at the root of so much crime and misery across the country.
But now, in the post-Citizens United era, where greedy billionaires can spend unlimited cash to purchase the politicians who will further serve their interests, it is really hard to imagine how there's any way out of our nation's predicament.
John Arteaga, Ukiah