- Mom's Day
- Talk & Squirt
- Real World
- Teenage Reader
- Suspicious Gage
- T-baller Logan
- Palace Intrigue
- Ravitch News
- Loretta's Expenses
- Catch of the Day
- Regressive Tax
- Hey Buddy
- State of the Union
- Pillsbury's Decline
- Bottled Water
- Concert Volunteers
- Marco Show
HACK & SQUIRT, PUBLIC COMMENT, SESSION 2
From last Tuesday's "Let's Study It For A While" Board of Supervisors agenda item.
Madge Strong, Willits City Council Member (speaking for herself): “I think this motion has some good aspects to it. I think we do need to have an updated fire protection plan and we need to have studies done and all that and coordinate with working groups of citizens and fire personnel. But what I'm really concerned about is that we are in the fourth year of a drought and we already have a tremendous amount of dead standing wood in our forests. The fire hazard has already been identified. We don't need another study to wait and find out where exactly are all these fire hazards. We know they are there! We need to do something now to at least not make it any worse. What really disturbs me is that there is no direction here to stop making it worse. I agree with Supervisor Hamburg that it's pretty obvious — even the MRC representative admitted that in the short run, like a year or two, the hack and squirt methods do increase fire hazards. They do leave standing dead wood out there that is a fire hazard. Maybe after the fourth year, it's not such an issue, I don't know. Long-term study -- great! No problem. Short-term: I really hope that you would adopt something with enforcement power that is feasible, that says because of the fire hazard, because of the health hazard to residents of this county, that we discontinue allowing any hack and squirt this summer while the studies are done. I think you have that authority as you are charged with protecting the public safety. I hope that that would be what you would do. At the very least I hope that you would add that you, as Supervisor Hamburg requested two weeks ago, that you call upon all of the private forest management entities out there not to continue this practice that even they admit will cause fire hazard and will increase fire hazard in the short term this year while the studies go on. I think anything else is just kicking the can down the road. This summer we might have a fire that would be really horrendous. We have already lived through one of those. I sure don't want to see that happen again. I think it's on your shoulders to do what you can right now, this summer, this year, to stop that from happening this summer.”
* * *
Els Cooperrider: "I have a real problem with the [fire hazard study] working groups. With all due respect to the Fire Safe Council and Madeline Holtcamp. I know she does great work and I really appreciate everything they do. But there's one thing that I want to get straight. We are going to ask a bunch of people to get together, firemen, to drive on their own time, they are already working, completely as volunteers, on top of having to make a living for their family, and then we are going to ask them to come to these meetings on their own dime, on their own time, to talk about something they already know is a real problem. While at the same time MRC is going to kill another million trees to add to the problems. This is disingenuous. This — I don't see how any of you here can possibly ask that of your volunteer firefighters. Because the only reason this is happening is this company that is owned by people who are worth over $2 billion want to do the cheapest thing possible to get rid of the tanoaks. The cheapest thing is what they are doing which is the hack and squirt. They have a lot of tools in their toolbox that they are not using because they want to make the most money. So are you really telling the public that for that little bit of profit that MRC can make you are willing to put at risk all of our volunteer firefighters? All of the residents, the thousands of residents, who live out there? For that little bit of profit? That's really what all this is about. I would ask you to think about what you are really asking of these people — what you are asking them to sacrifice for the profit of a company that is owned by multibillion-dollar people. It makes no sense to me."
JON KRAKAUER'S 'MISSOULA' is the most depressing non-fiction book I've read in a long time. I was just finishing it off when I saw a Mom on the evening news describing how her 19-year-old son had died from alcohol poisoning at a college fraternity party. The grieving Mom warned parents to somehow convey to their young the hazards of being away from Mom's protective embrace for the first time. Dad's too, one supposes, but fathers tend to the wild oats life perspective more than Moms, not that Dad wants to see his heirs engage in drop-fall drinking.
'MISSOULA' describes a college town that did not take rape seriously until some brave young women came forward to force the authorities to take it seriously, so seriously that even a football star was finally packed off to the state pen for ten years. The young women, not surprisingly, were vilified and insulted every step of the way through the justice process, a process hostile, in this town, to rape victims.
US OLD FOLKS are aware that it isn't 1955 anymore, but it's still at least mildly shocking to us how thoroughly pornified and utterly slobified our society has become. In the context of rapid social decay it's no surprise that thousands of young people graduate from high school only to go off for four more years of dipsomaniacal “college.” Not once in his accounts of the ugliest sexual assaults, all of them the work of football players, does anybody even mention the academic program. All the young people pass their days texting each other, sleeping and getting themselves ready for another debauch. To get a college degree from this clown show of a school seems to be simply a matter of showing up for classes, which is exactly like the high schools most of these young people come from.
THE RAPES occurred at “parties” where the point of the gatherings is stupefaction via dope and booze. One 19-year-old girl, passed out drunk, is gang raped by “student athletes.” Another girl is raped by a kid she grew up with and regarded as her big brother.
FOOTBALL apparently being the point of the alleged university, the girls, post-rapes, are humiliated every which way by “Griz” fans — a big portion of Missoula's adult, football-worshipping population — for simply demanding that the thugs who attacked them be prosecuted. And the prosecutors would rather not.
ALL-IN-ALL, Missoula, the book, is more evidence of the social rot gnawing away at US's decayed foundations. There are lots of talmudic-like arguments about exactly what constitutes rape, and a lot of fatuous pronouncements from college administrators. It's not a very well done book-book. But I guess it will kick off a million hours of talk show debate of the “youth of today” type, out of which young people might somehow become a little more wary, a little more sensible of the obvious fact that there are bad people in the world. But from the Boonville perspective what's described here seems to be the logical result of the way kids are cosseted and over-indulged in the years before they go out into the world without their bicycle helmets, unprepared for a world a lot more dangerous than their straight-A high schools and trunks full of trophies prepared them for.
WE'LL BE BEATING the drums for Bernie Sanders and/or Elizabeth Warren, although it's already obvious the perennially rigged Democrat convention (rigged since Carter) is already wired for Hillary. The Sanders website, though, won't be up until May 26th at berniesanders.com.
As registered Democrats, we've voted Green for a long time while, of course, avoiding the local Greens, a small, cult-like group dominated by the late Richard Johnson. The Mendo Greens, now all the way defunct, functioned as an adjunct of the local Democratic apparatus. Mendocino County is one of the few counties in the state that does not have a functioning Green Party. It will be interesting to see what the local Democrats do this time around. But given their demographic — chardonnay on redwood decks — they'll go all out for Hillary. The argument, as it's been for fifty years, will be that Hillary is less bad than whatever lunatic the Republicans put up.
THE ONLY TEENAGER IN AMERICA WHO READS THE AVA COVER TO COVER EVERY WEEK
A READER WRITES: The next generation of AVA readers continues to fascinate in the great newspaper on the globe!
OBSERVATIONS FROM MY VISIT TO ANDERSON VALLEY EARLIER THIS WEEK
USGS needs to have someone check and recalibrate the Navarro River flow and height gages. A look at the Navarro River near Greenwood Bridge shows flows similar to those of early August in a normal rainfall year, but nothing like the readings the gage is giving. Also, no way that flow gage should have been rising a full week after the last rather modest rain — the Navarro doesn’t flow that way. Very suspicious. That last rain provided plenty of standing water for mosquitoes to propagate. Anyone heading into Big Hendy Grove should wear mosquito repellant — they are going to need it, and not just early or late in the day. Lots of wildlife at the upper and lower elevations looking for water. Less so in the middle elevations, where springs and watercourses are already mostly flowing underground.
Best, Marshall Newman
AV LITTLE LEAGUER AT THE BALLPARK.
Go, AV! Go, Giants! Logan Devine — T-ball
Here's our latest little leaguer to enjoy a Giants game! Apparently he got to see the championship trophies too.
NO WORD ON UKIAH'S PLANS FOR PALACE HOTEL
More than two weeks after a crucial deadline passed for the Palace Hotel, no decision has been made on whether to seek a receivership for the building.
MIKE GENIELLA WRITES: Maybe it's just me. After all I am the public spokesman for Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster. Yet the notion that Sonoma County DA Jill Ravitch merits a news story in The Press Democrat about her possible return to the courtroom — only her second since taking office in 2011 and even with that as a “co-counsel” — boggles my mind. Eyster is a regular in the courtrooms. He tries cases, and wins convictions in most of them including a first-degree murder conviction in 2012. Besides overseeing what in reality is the largest law firm in Mendocino County, Eyster is largely responsible for all marijuana prosecution cases, no small task in the heart of California's dope-growing region. So where's that story? Just asking.
HELP LORETTA HOUCK with her medical expenses:
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 9, 2015
ANTONIO COLLINS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
DARREN GONZALES, Manchester. Drunk in public.
JULIE HARLOW, Willits. Drunk in public.
JOHN HOLLOWAY, Fort Bragg. Possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia, under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation, parole violation.
TRAVIS ‘THE HUMP’ HUMPHREY, Talmage. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
VERNON KNAPP, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
NICHOLAS LANZIT, Willits. Domestic battery, court order violation.
JEREMIAH LUNA, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
ANTHONY MACIAS-DOCKINS, Ukiah. Failure to pay, failure to appear, probation revocation.
ERICA MANFREDINI, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
RUSSEL PAULSON, Willits. Domestic assault.
AUDRINA PHILLIPS, Covelo. Attempted murder.
TODD RAMOS, Redwood Valley. DUI, probation revocation.
SCOTT SADDLER, Lucerne/Ukiah. Battery with serious injury, probation revocation.
MINDY SLATER, Branscomb. DUI.
SHAUN STRINGFELLOW, Garberville/Ukiah. Possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia, suspended license, probation revocation.
DON'T GO FOR IT
On Tuesday, June 2nd, those of us who can vote are being asked to say Yes or No to a another regressive sales tax whose primary purpose is to go to law enforcement. I'm urging a NO vote. If the People can't have a Community Control and Oversight Commission with real powers of subpoena, investigation, discipline, and the right to hire and fire so called peace officers we should not increase any funding raised under the guise of Public Safety. Sample ballots are already arriving, please take the time to open this mailing, cast your vote by mail, or by turning your ballot in to the Registrar of Voters office, or go to the polls on June 2nd. No funds for Freitas, no gold for Gelhaus, and no enrichment for Ravitch.
Irv Sutley, Chair, Sonoma County Peace & Freedom Party (email@example.com)
BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?
They used to tell me I was building a dream
And so I followed the mob
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear
I was always there, right on the job
They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead
Why should I be standing in line
Just waiting for bread?
Once I built a railroad, I made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a railroad, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower up to the sun
Brick and rivet and lime
Once I built a tower, now it's done
Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once in khaki suits, gee, we looked swell
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell
And I was the kid with the drum
Say, don't you remember? They called me 'Al'
It was 'Al' all the time
Why don't you remember? I'm your pal
Say buddy, can you spare a dime?
— Yip Harburg
The recent riots in Baltimore over the police-caused death of a young black man, local objection to the overly punitive, prohibitively expensive traffic tickets, activism nationwide against the proposed TPP or Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact; these are all manifestations of one of the main intractable causes of so much that is wrong with our country; the enormous and growing disparity in wealth between America's haves and have-nots.
The yawning gulf that separates the billionaires of the .1% and the rest of us just gets wider and wider. The top 1% controls more of America's wealth than the bottom 50%. We have already exceeded the wealth disparities of the roaring 20s that preceded the Great Depression, and are approaching the kind of wealth distribution that brought about the French Revolution and the communist revolutions of Russia and China.
Following the crash of '08, the financial news has, in recent years, being quite upbeat, with stock prices, CEO pay, and the portfolios of the well-to-do surging quite nicely. On the other hand, the paychecks of Joe and Josephine Lunchbucket have been stagnant for a decade or more, which, with inflation, constitutes quite a nasty pay cut. Even with the recently reported tightening of labor markets and falling unemployment numbers, one looks far and wide to find any evidence of an employer adding a dime to the pay of regular workers, except in those rare cases where a city imposes an increased minimum wage.
One would think that any reasonably run society would take steps to ameliorate this galling wealth disparity, if for no other reason than crime reduction; those without the wherewithal to put food on their table (or in the memorable W quote, "put food on your family") will steal rather than starve.
And what steps could be taken to address this societal problem? Well, there are innumerable ways that different societies have employed in dealing with what seems to be a feature that is inherent in human society; the aggregation of capital into fewer and wealthier hands. If we were to look out at other countries and adopt what works well for them and that we think might work well for us, wouldn't that be great? Unfortunately, Americans have had it drummed into their heads that we're the only people who matter, and that no other nation has anything to teach us. This is unfortunate, because I could go on for a number of columns about the many creative ways that I have read about other industrialized democracies improving life for all by providing simple, basic, helpful things to support the average citizen.
Far from doing anything to level the playing field, the Republican Party, which unfortunately controls both houses of Congress at this point, has a singular devotion to comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted; they are forever offering greater and greater tax cuts for the super rich, (who already enjoy some of the first world's lowest levels of taxation) and offering to 'pay' for these cuts by further slashing the meager, threadbare social safety net that was already slashed way back under Clinton. God bless the few moral and ethical billionaires like Warren Buffett who points out how absurd it is that his tax rate is less than that of his secretary. We can only hope that at some point (after Democrats regained control of Congress no doubt) they will manage to institute the 'Buffett Rule', calling for a minimum tax rate of 30% for those making millions of dollars a year.
I was just looking at the graph of US voter statistics versus those of other industrialized democracies; as you might surmise, we're near the bottom. Apparently, the percentage of potential voters today is about the same as it was in the early 19th century, when only white men who owned property were allowed to vote! Why is that? Perhaps it's because to so many of us, there is no real choice; one must vote for either Tweedledee or Tweedledum, both of whom are utterly in the pockets of Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, the Israel lobby, and the judicial/prison system. Look at Obama, for instance; sold to us as this champion of the Constitution (he is a Harvard educated constitutional scholar). However, since becoming president, he has run roughshod over the letter and spirit of the Bill of Rights, at the behest of the laughable (if it weren't so serious and expensive) National Security state. Promising the most open and transparent administration in history, he has, instead, presided over the most aggressive vendetta against leakers and whistleblowers ever. How ironic that Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for mouthing a few niceties, while true heroes of peace, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, are exiled to Russia, or condemned to rot in prison for decades.
And Obama is one of the best presidents of my lifetime; the Affordable Care Act, while it is a long way from the universal healthcare offered in most other first world democracies, is still an enormous benefit to many millions of Americans. While he has blundered into a number of pointless bloody conflicts, at least there were some that, despite the most vociferous urging of warmongers like McCain, the Fox News armchair warriors and Benjamin Netanyahu, he declined to squander American blood and treasure on.
It's hard to see how these trends can be reversed; perhaps if Bernie Sanders wins the presidency, an amendment is drawn up to reverse Citizens United, and we close down about three quarters of the military, dismantling our entire nuclear stockpile, oh, and we close down the whole National security state. Then we could get on to the real job of phasing out the use of fossil fuels, while the earth is still habitable.
Sincerely, John Arteaga, Ukiah
SHRINKING LAKE COUNTY RESERVOIR PROMPTS NORTH BAY SUPPLY CONCERNS
by Guy Kovner
Water supplies for Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin counties this summer could hinge partly on the dwindling storage in a remote, drought-starved reservoir on the Eel River that serves as a cornerstone to the region’s water system.
Water managers, fisheries biologists, environmentalists and PG&E have their eyes on Lake Pillsbury, a diminishing Lake County reservoir where storage has dropped 30 percent in the past three months, leaving it at less than 55 percent of capacity. Barring a change in water policy, the situation could lead to a string of empty reservoirs by year’s end, officials said Friday.
“We get to a place where we’re threatened with dry lakes,” said Janet Pauli, a Mendocino County grape grower who has long served on a local irrigation district that depends upon the reservoir’s supply.
Lake Pillsbury’s decline most immediately affects about 300 ranchers in Potter Valley, but its repercussions could reach Lake Mendocino near Ukiah, and ripple down the Russian River to eventually touch the 660,000 customers in Sonoma and Marin counties whose water is drawn from the river by the Sonoma County Water Agency.
“This is an unprecedented situation,” said Grant Davis, the agency’s general manager.
It underscores the need, he said, for communities that depend on Russian River water to boost conservation efforts and develop off-river alternatives, such as recycled wastewater.
The Water Agency hosted a meeting Thursday involving the major stakeholders — including the Potter Valley Irrigation District, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service and PG&E — who all agreed that Lake Pillsbury must make it to the end of December with at least 10,000 acre-feet of water, or about 13 percent of its capacity.
The agencies also agreed, as an immediate step, to support PG&E’s request for federal permission to reduce next week the flow of Eel River water released from Lake Pillsbury. The plan would curb the amount diverted through a mile-long tunnel to Potter Valley from 90 cubic feet per second to about 75 cfs. Of that amount, 50 cfs would flow into the irrigation district’s canals and 25 cfs would flow down the East Fork of the Russian River into Lake Mendocino.
Flows down the Eel River would be ramped down 9 cfs under the plan, which requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to designate a “dry condition” for PG&E’s Potter Valley powerhouse, which generates electricity from water diverted from the Eel to the Russian River.
Pauli and Davis said that PG&E obtained the same standard last year, and both the Potter Valley district and the Water Agency made do.
But PG&E caught the water suppliers by surprise with a proposal late last month to seek a “critical condition” designation from the federal agency, reducing the Potter Valley diversion to 30 cfs.
At that rate, Potter Valley crops would be damaged or fail and little, if any, water would reach Lake Mendocino, officials said.
“We’ve never gone to critical before,” Pauli said.
PG&E determined the need for change this year in April, as Lake Pillsbury was dropping from a peak of 58,900 acre-feet on Feb. 7 toward the level it reached Thursday, 40,500 acre-feet.
Pauli said the Potter Valley district received notice in late April that PG&E intended to seek a critical condition designation, setting off a scramble among local water agencies and state and federal biologists intent on protecting the endangered fish in the Russian River. The response led to Thursday’s meeting at the Water Agency.
For the Water Agency, the main hedge to any loss of water from Lake Mendocino and Lake Pillsbury is the supply from Lake Sonoma, the system’s largest reservoir, which is at about 86 percent capacity.
But the Water Agency’s ability to offset losses from the northern reservoirs, however, is limited by constraints on the daily flow permitted along Dry Creek, which carries Lake Sonoma’s water to the Russian River.
Assuming federal regulators approve PG&E’s request, attention will be fixed this summer on Lake Pillsbury, which must stay above 30,000 acre-feet, or 17 percent of capacity, to stave off deeper cuts in the Eel River supply.
At its current outflow, the small reservoir would most likely fall below that level by midsummer, hence the agreement by all stakeholders to back PG&E’s plan, which McKannay said would be submitted next week.
The federal agency could take 30 days to approve the reduced release from Pillsbury. Pauli said she wished it could start immediately.
(Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
CRYSTAL GEYSER CONTROVERSY. INDUSTRIALIZED WATER BOTTLING PLANT ENDANGERS ENVIRONMENT.
Northern California water-bottling plant's critics consider the source
by Lee Romney
Siskiyou County officials were effusive in 2013 when Crystal Geyser's chief executive announced outside an idled bottling plant here that it would soon be churning out sparkling water, teas and flavored beverages.
A one-time logging haven, this northern county had long been burdened by high unemployment, and the company's purchase of the plant just outside the town limits would bring jobs.
But this is not the old Mount Shasta. A steady influx of outdoors enthusiasts, spiritual seekers and urban retirees has arrived in recent decades, drawn to the beauty and power of the 14,180-foot mountain that looms to the east.
The glacier-studded stratovolcano is the source of much of California's water. Snowmelt percolates through fractured rock to burst forth in clear cold springs below before making its way to Shasta Lake, which holds about 40% of the federal Central Valley Project's stored supply.
To many who learned of the "politician-studded" event from the local paper, it didn't sit right that they'd had no say.
The plant faces no cap on what it can pump. Its deep production well is surrounded by homes that rely on shallower ones, some of which, residents maintain, were compromised when Coca-Cola's water bottling operation — and Dannon's before that — was pumping.
Residents raised questions about noise, truck traffic and the environmental hazards of plastic bottles. Mostly, they believed the mountain's resource was better shared by all, not exported for profit.
County and city officials say they have no legal authority to require an environmental impact report because the site was zoned for heavy industry when it was a lumber mill, and water bottling is a prior and permitted use.
Crystal Geyser representatives say they "share everyone's concerns for the future and have a vested interest in helping to preserve a safe and sustainable environment."
But opposition has intensified in the fourth year of record-breaking drought that has shrunk the snowpack and strained the city's water system.
It comes as protests target commercial bottling operations elsewhere. Though the industry uses a relatively tiny proportion of California's water, the controversies have raised questions about local groundwater management in a state where regulation has been notoriously weak.
"We have never said the plant shouldn't open," said Bruce Hillman, 66, who with fellow resident Roslyn McCoy, 54, formed WATER — We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review. "We are saying we need to know what the effects will be so we can mitigate them."
* * *
Dannon turned the former mill site into a water bottling plant in 2001. Though concerned citizens helped kill a proposal for a massive Nestle facility in nearby McCloud, the mood was dark when Coca-Cola packed up in 2010 and shed 42 jobs.
"From the second that we were aware that they were going to be shutting down operations, we were trying to figure out ways to replace that lost employment," said Tonya Dowse, executive director of the county's Economic Development Council.
Crystal Geyser, a California-based subsidiary of Japan's Otsuka Holdings, shares "the same values we do as a community," Dowse said, and is "a quality fit for us because of the resource availability."
Many here who agree remember the mill, which "used more water, had more trucks and made more noise than any of the bottling facilities," said Greg Plucker, the county's community development director.
"This is one of the best things that's happened in this town in a long time," said Ross Porterfield, an insurance agent and former city councilman. "We're looking for environmentally friendly business, and this is one."
Others are deeply worried.
After reading about the ribbon-cutting, Hillman and McCoy joined forces to push for a public evaluation of the project, poring over the California Environmental Quality Act.
Raven Stevens, the community liaison for the Gateway Neighborhood Assn., which abuts the plant, launched a study to monitor groundwater levels in residents' wells so any adverse effect from the plant would become apparent.
Members of the Winnemem Wintu tribe, whose origin story begins at Panther Spring on the mountain's flank, also joined the fight.
"I understand the county wants to bring in business," said Luisa Navejas, 69, who serves with her husband, Mark Miyoshi, 64, as a keeper of the tribe's sacred sites. "But you have to think about your future generations."
The drought has worsened public anxiety.
Panther Spring ran dry the last two years for the first time in tribal memory. The Mt. Shasta Ski Park, which draws crucial winter tourism, could not open. Output at Cold Springs, which feeds the city municipal system, dropped to record lows, forcing backup wells to run overtime last summer. Residents, who will soon get water meters, are being asked to sacrifice.
North of here, Joyce and Chester Kyle have also felt the drought's sting: A rancher renting their pasture hauled his cows away after the county water master shut off access to the Kyles' supply.
"Everybody's suffering, not just the people in the lower half of the state," said Joyce Kyle, 77. "Letting Crystal Geyser come in and draw down groundwater, it's not right."
Plucker said he understands that residents want a say, but the county's "hands are tied" unless the company seeks some kind of discretionary permit. Meanwhile, a city effort to launch an environmental impact report on the plant evaporated after a grant that it was linked to fell through.
"We're trying to make the best of a situation where we lost our legal leverage," said City Councilman Jeffrey Collings, who supports the plant but would like to see it fully vetted.
* * *
The plant will first bottle sparkling water, later adding teas and flavored drinks, a Crystal Geyser representative said in written responses to questions. With one production line at capacity, it will draw an average of 115,000 gallons per day, less than 1% of Big Springs' output. A second production line will eventually boost that to 217,000 gallons per day.
Designed to meet top green building standards, the plant will rinse its plastic bottles with air, not water, and use a type of plastic softener that does not break down into phthalates, which have been shown to cause health problems, the company said.
It is slated to open later this year with 25 to 35 workers but will employ 60 with the first line at full capacity. Some will transfer in from other Crystal Geyser plants that are expected to close.
The plant will draw on Big Springs, which tumbles forth in a city park. The waters first journey for decades through complex cracks and lava tubes that are believed to connect to other springs.
Crystal Geyser's own monitoring of Big Springs Creek over the last year has found little change despite the drought, and experts retained by the company have confirmed "the sustainability of the water source," the representative said.
A new state law that calls for local regulation of groundwater basins in the coming years will not compel action here. State water officials call it not a basin but a "source area" of low priority.
But much about the watershed remains unknown. A regional plan for water management prepared in 2013 by local governments and advocacy groups said that the springs' ability to resist to drought remained an open question due to "poorly understood geology" and was "sorely in need of additional study."
"Our concerns are huge," said Curtis Knight, executive director of the nonprofit California Trout, which aims to restore the state's wild fish and waters. His message to Crystal Geyser: "If you say there's not going to be an impact, then you need to prove it. And if you have an impact, you're going to have to mitigate."
The problem, he said, is there may not be a way to compel the company to do so.
* * *
On recent day, residents converged on Big Springs to fill reusable jugs with drinking water.
"We see the water tables dropping all over the place," said John Hawk, 77, a retired librarian. "If you pull that resource out, you'll see the impact on all of us. The wells will have to be dug deeper."
His concern is echoed elsewhere. Nestle Waters North America has come under fire for pumping from the San Bernardino National Forest on a decades-old permit, bottling from a declining aquifer near Cabazon, and tapping into Sacramento's municipal water supply. Starbucks, facing criticism for operating a water bottling plant in Merced, said Thursday it would shift production of Ethos Water to Pennsylvania.
Chris Hogan, spokesman for the Virginia-based International Bottled Water Assn., said dislike of the industry is driven by emotion, not fact. Industry research shows that it takes 1.32 liters of water to produce a liter of bottled water, a low ratio in the beverage industry. In California, he said, bottlers use just .02% of the state water supply. (Crystal Geyser said it uses just .00016%)
Ellen Hanak, director of the Water Policy Center at the Public Policy Institute of California, agreed that reaction to the industry can seem disproportionate to its impact. Bottlers are no different than other commercial users, she said, and Crystal Geyser's maximum annual use estimates equal less than what it would take to irrigate 50 acres of alfalfa.
Rather than "arbitrarily deciding that one particular use … is not good," she suggested, "it would be better to put in place a groundwater management plan, because who's to say that the combined uses aren't causing a problem?"
Indeed, while the new groundwater law does not require plans for low-priority areas, it "encourages and authorizes" local jurisdictions to make them.
Siskiyou County Supervisor Ed Valenzuela said further study of the aquifer might just prove the "silver lining" of the bitter controversy. Then, he said, "there could be an estimate of what can be reasonably taken away."
(Courtesy, the LA Times)
MAY 16TH MENDOCINO MUSIC FESTIVAL VOLUNTEER SIGN UP DAY
On Saturday May 16th from Noon to 3:00, the Mendocino Music Festival will be hosting Volunteer Sign-Up Day for the 2015 Season at the Community Center of Mendocino, corner of School and Pine Streets in the Village of Mendocino.
There are many volunteer opportunities. On the 16th you will be able to sign up for volunteering at concerts (in the music or concession tents) as well as for some daytime tasks and events during, and before, the Festival. For non-concert jobs we offer tickets to selected concerts as a token of our appreciation.
To save time and make Sign-Up go smoothly it is very helpful if you come to Sign-Up day with a list of shifts you would like to work. You can access, a simple guide sheet with the job listings and concerts by going to www.mendocinomusic.org/support/volunteer . You can also register, or update your contact information in that section.
If you cannot come to Sign-Up day, you will be able to sign up online for unfilled slots after May18th.
If you have questions or need more information you can contact Arlene Reiss at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you on the 16th and to a wonderful Festival season.
Thank you for your support.
Arlene (& Cynthia Frank)
THE MARCO SHOW
Have ticket! Aboarding no ticket equal kick out! Man have ticket! Woman have ticket! Pupil have ticket! Baby no ticket!
The recording of last night's (2015-05-08) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download and keep or just play with one click at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Austin Williams visits. Alex Bosworth phones. Announce list material. Paul Baum shares info about that homeopathic nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, you remember the one. And what else? …A sort of verbal Venn diagram of the bombing and the bombed. Poetry of drowning. A young girl’s sexual awakening epiphany in a roller skating rink. The true story of fire and mankind and the planet. The dark slapstick New York anti-dissection riots. Feminist pornography. A man shares consciousness with an octopus. And lots of other things I can’t seem to call to mind right now. It all starts to blur together when you get as old as I am. You’ll find out.
Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find thousands and thousands of links to interesting things to see and do and learn about, such as:
The art of dreams. http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/the-art-of-dreams/
You've heard of placebo pills. Here's placebo surgery. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP6eUrd148I
How to be ultra-spiritual. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kDso5ElFRg
And how to get out of professional handcuffs. Need: 1 paperclip and 2 seconds-- 3 seconds if it’s the deluxe model. (This method doesn't work on the plastic zip-tie kind. You have to bite those to open them.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-F_NexlNJA