- Sierra Fest
- MRC Rumor
- Contract Negotiator
- CEO Report
- SF Intrigues
- Clearlake Cleanup
- Blacktail Settlement
- Transportation Needs
- Election Novelty
- Esterlina Allegations
- Copper Monte
- Independent Voters
- Teen Vamp
- Elk BBQ
- Found Dog
- Herbicide Protest
- Free Advice
- Yesterday's Catch
- Coming Conventions
- Under Investigation
- New Normals
- Pure Mendocino
- Summer Solstice
- Strawberry Moon
SIERRA FEST 2016
by Steve Heilig
There was a striking man walking up and down 128 all weekend with a goat on a leash. At least he looked like a man, wearing some kind of goatskin-looking coat. The goat was real, and at one point had some sort of coat on too. At Mosswood cafe one morning, customers were speculating.
"He must be part of the music festival," one said.
"Yep, maybe even a performer," added another.
"I think it's probably just Jesus," a third contributed.
The latter observation seemed closest to accuracy. I knew this Goat Man was no reggae or world music singer, at least nobody we knew, and Iearned later that he had tried all weekend to talk his way into the festival, at all three possible gates, for free and with his goat. He was not successful. But he looked more like the (white, longhaired) Jesus many of us westerners were raised on than anybody else around, even on this festival weekend. My dog smelled the goat a block away and really wanted to meet him/her. Most others seemed to be keeping their distance. Even waving at him and saying "hi" elicited no audible response.
So far as anybody I talked to could say, including an admittedly random selection of "the law," the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival 1016, now at least a decade in residence in Boonville so far as anybody can recall, went off without any real hitch — unless you count the rain that forced an early closure on Friday night a hitch. It certainly was unprecedented, for June, and it was sad to see the stage crew — whom I could watch up close — desperately try for over an hour to figure out a way to provide a dry zone for the final two big stage performers do their things. But the big shade structure over the Fairgrounds stage seemed to concentrate the misty rain so that it became the wettest spot around. Eventually they had to call it quits. Headliner Don Carlos was able to stick around and play a wonderfully solid set on Saturday on the smaller stage. Alas, legendary producer/singer/self-proclaimed madman and "Upsetter" Leee Scratch Perry had to be on his way. But he did hold forth in his dressing room tent for an hour or so for a select group who heard his wisdom regarding taking LSD with the Queen of England and much more that was untranslatable.
Saturday was gorgeous and perfectly temperate. Great artistes from Jamaica, Colombia, West Africa and more held forth on both stages while the biggest crowd of the weekend grew through the day. On the big stage the accumulated roster of reggae stars added up to what some called the strongest ever, with Israel Vibration — longtime reggae harmonists who met in a Jamaican child polio ward and use canes to walk, but who, backed by their legendary accompanists the Roots Radics, sound like roaring lions; Beres Hammond, a sweet/gravely-voiced heart-throb who sang on and on, making women swoon and the masses sing along; and the return of Toots Hibbert, with his latest version of the Maytals. Toots coined the word reggae with a song in 1968, steamed on for decades relentlessly, but was beaned by a bottle onstage a few years back, with sad medical consequences. This was his comeback show and he seemed downright overjoyed, presenting a somewhat more subdued style of stage show that actually fit his vintage songs well. The crowd, as they say, went nuts — and not just due to the big full moon looming over all.
Sunday morning was hot and by afternoon the visibly diminished crowd was chilling in the shade — until La Santa Cecilia, formed on the streets of Los Angeles but soon winning Grammy nominations and awards, roused many to dance to their infectious pan-Latin sound. Brazilian chanteuse Ceu, a big star in her home nation and also a Grammy nominee and #1 Billboard world music chart-topper, delivered a more sultry set, quite jazzy, with her superb band. And then the reggae powered up again with veterans Inner Circle, Leroy Sibbles of the legendary Heptones, and West African superstar Alpha Blondy storming through. Blondy in particular, a mercurial character with a mixed history in live shows and recent history of illness (malaria), took full command and mesmerized the crowd. Besides his hits done in a few languages and a Pink Floyd cover in English ("Wish You Were Here" — the original viewed almost 23 million times online), he delivered some scathing words about both Islamic and other fundamentalists purporting to kill for God, and politicians here scapegoating immigrants and the poor. It felt like he wasn't pandering but really meant it too.
Monday morning, all the SNWMF crews working away at making it seem the thousands of festival-goers had never even been there, Goat Man was still roaming. I had to wonder how he'd gotten to town and what had drawn him — probably the festival, yes, but he had no means to get in, goat or no. I sat at Mosswood again, fueling up on good coffee and day-old baked goods (not just cheap, I hate to see food go to waste). There was a giant muscle truck parked across the highway with TRUMP written on each side and something like "Heavily Armed Assault Vehicle" on the back. Somebody obviously didn't get enough attention when they were little. Another SNWMF fest staffer came by and we had a brief discussion about how the stage guys had worked so hard, including turning down the music whenever they could to protect not only delicate children’s ears but those of some nearby residents. We hoped, sincerely, that they had succeeded at least in part.
"There's that goat!" yelled a cute kid.
"Which one you mean?" cracked a local.
I had a few AVAs from last week and spread them on the tables. A nice-looking woman picked one up, looked at it, curled her lip, and said "I HATE this paper."
Not being able to resist but not brave enough to break my cover so early in the day, I just said "Really? How come?"
She looked at me and replied "They say mean things about the local radio station."
"Hmm," I said. "Maybe you should write them in response with a correction or like that?"
"Too much trouble," she sighed dismissively. "Plus, I NEVER read it."
I sighed too, then went back to looking for Goat Man. What would Jesus say?
RUMOR OF THE DAY: A guy in Comptche called Tuesday afternoon to say that after the (apparent) passage of Measure V, MRC went out and hired 50 more hack & squirters. The caller said he heard it from "a very reliable source."
THE FOLLOWING ITEM appeared on the Tuesday, June 21 Supervisors Agenda:
“Approval of Agreement with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore in the Amount of $165,000 for the Period of July 1, 2016, Through June 30, 2017, to Provide Contract Negotiations and Employer-Employee Relations Services with the County's Eight Bargaining Units and Other Legal Representation as Needed. … A primary duty of the County is to negotiate the wages and benefits of its employees with the employees’ representative labor organizations. Due to processes imposed by the State Legislature, the contract with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore is needed to receive adequate representation for labor negotiations and other legal representation as needed. Approximately $65,000 will be paid through Health and Human Services Agency funding.”
NOT THAT LONG AGO this alleged “service” cost about $70k-$80k and it only required the “service” of one labor negotiator. Now the County has turned the whole job over to outside Sacramento lawyers. Besides being overpriced (apparently tossing in $65k from HHSA is supposed to make this pill more swallowable) it’s a slap in the face of the County employees and an admission that all those lawyers in the County Counsel’s office on top of the Human Resources staff can’t do a simple job of negotiating pretty much the same contract terms as are already in existence. Of course there will be some disputing of the wages this year, but that will come down to what the County decides to pay, not what some Sacramento law outfit does — other than tell the employees, “We’ll get back to you on that.”
MENDOCINO COUNTY CEO Report, June 21, 2016
WAZZUP IN FRISCO?
The recent positive profile of District Attorney Gascon in the SF Weekly is marred by the implication that City Hall is rife with corruption comparable to the crude pay-to-play scandals of the early 20th century, that Mayor Lee is somehow implicated in serious wrongdoing and may be indicted any day now (Beyond the Law: District Attorney George Gascón's threat to San Francisco's business as usual):
A few days after he'd charged Lee's fundraisers with felony bribery and corruption, Gascón fired off a letter to Lee, holding him responsible for police leaders dragging their feet in cooperating with the blue-ribbon panel's investigation into the institution that allowed the text messages to go on unreported. Police and Lee's powerful backers were appalled. The city's progressive left, however, was thrilled. The city's chief prosecutor was talking about going after corruption, and was taking steps to back it up. He'd already stopped throwing drug users and petty criminals in jail--and was not backing the mayor's efforts to build a new jail. For the first time in decades, the law was on the left's side. The most powerful politician interested in reform and shaking up the city's ossified power structure was a prosecutor. It echoed the days of Langdon and [Abe] Ruef...
This is gross overreach. After all, among other things, Abe Ruef bribed every member of the Board of Supervisors! Mayor Lee hasn't been connected to either those dumb fundraisers that were charged or anything else even remotely criminal, as KQED News pointed out last year ("There's nothing there, Mr. Serra").
But like its sister publication, the SF Examiner, the SF Weekly is straining for a big scandal story not supported by the facts, as I noted last year when the Examiner first made their scandal fantasy explicit (Broke-ass Steuart and the dumb-ass Examiner).
But the corruption--if that's the right word--in our political system is not quite as crude as it was in Ruef's day. Citizens United means that pay-to-play is now more or less legal; politicians just have to be careful about any quid pro quo.
The Weekly does raise a few legitimate issues:
He's also been criticized for moving too slowly. It took Gascón six months to file charges against the Alameda County Sheriff's deputies who videotaped themselves savagely beating a carjacking suspect in a Mission District alley in November.
Gascon started out promisingly by denouncing Critical Mass shortly after he arrived in San Francisco.
But he later looked like a moral midget when he joined the political mob that hounded Ross Mirkarimi after an overblown incident and a legal case against the Murk that was grossly over-charged by Gascon.
And he looked like an intellectual midget during the goofy kerfuffle about those anti-jihad ads on Muni buses.
— Rob Anderson (Courtesy, District5Diary)
A READER DRAWS OUR ATTENTION TO CLEAR LAKE'S SUPERFUND SITE:
Wow, check this out – I guess it’s not news but something everybody there “knows,” although I don’t’ know much about it, but I am impressed with this effort by Ken Wells to put it all together. Presumably in part 2 we will learn more about the last sentence: “Clear Lake is also the source of drinking water for the 4,700 people in the Clearlake Oaks County Water District, according to the EPA.”
“EPA grapples with mercury mine cleanup efforts (Part 1 of 3) — the first in a three-part series of articles covering Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine Superfund site.
MENDO BOARD ENTERS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT REGARDING THE 9.31 MARIJUANA CULTIVATION URGENCY ORDINANCE
On May 17, 2016, Board of Supervisors meetings, the Board adopted urgency ordinance No. 4356, amending Chapter 9.31 of Title 9 of the Mendocino County Code. The urgency ordinance was declared necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, due to the impacts of state regulations resulting in additional marijuana growers locating in Mendocino County. The purpose of the urgency ordinance is to create local regulation of medical marijuana that establishes a permit program within Chapter 9.31 to balance the needs of medical patients and their caregivers with the needs of the community to be protected from public safety and nuisance issues.
On June 8, 2016, the Mendocino County Blacktail Deer Association filed a lawsuit based on the adoption of Ordinance No. 4356, alleging violations of CEQA and improper adoption on an urgency basis. On June 21, 2016, the Board of Supervisors approved a settlement agreement with the petitioner, Mendocino County Blacktail Deer Association. As a result, the County will stop accepting permit applications as of June 22, 2016, at 5:00pm. No new applications will be accepted following the deadline. Applications already submitted or received by the close of business on June 22nd will continue to be processed according to the urgency ordinance. The ordinance will continue to be enforced by the County until a permanent ordinance is established.
For more information regarding the urgency ordinance, please contact County Counsel’s Office at (707) 234-6885.
Carmel J. Angelo
Chief Executive Officer
MAYA AND FLORA
Maya and Flora are two puppies from a litter of seven! They are 4 months old, spayed, and ready to rumble into your home and heart. Maya and Flora are currently in foster care where they are learning good manners and behavior. Both dogs are crate-trained, housebroken, and know sit, wait and shake. They also walk well on a leash. Maya and Flora will be in the puppy play yard this coming Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.Â You can meet them, and also their foster person, who will be able to give you oodles of information. To inquire about these delightful little pups, call the Ukiah Shelter Adoption Coordinator--707-467-6453. You can see all of the shelter's dog and cat guests at the official county website: www.mendoanimalshelter.com Visit our webpage and bookmark us! We're also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/
HOW ABOUT DURAND, ANNA?
An Open Public Letter To Mendocino County Hospitality House Center
Dear Director Anna Shaw,
Why was I "BANNED" without stated real good cause by you and The Wellness Censer's operations manager (Paul Davis) from the "Private Property" used by "The Wellness Center" etc.?
Director Shaw and "Responsible" Board Members:
Today when I was at the Fort Bragg ACCESS Center between 11:00 a.m. & Noon a phone call was received by the receptionist Mariah. I could not help but hear part of the conversation.
The unknown caller was seeking needed transportation to his or her medical provider whom they had an appointment with today. Client in need had no self reliance ability to keep a needed medical treatment appointment. Rob in the past had provided needed transportation to the client in need.
After the conversation had ended I informed Mariah in the past I had been approved (after successfully passing an appropriate County of Mendocino services assessment and driving test) to use County of Mendocino vehicles so as to provide needed transportation to Mental Heath clients and others in need of County of Mendocino services.
However from the time of certification up to today I have never been contacted by responsible County offices or contracted agents to provide the needed transportation service to County of Mendocino agency clients.
Apparently it is in the financial interest of the State of California and associated contracted County services not to provide transportation access to clients needing access assistance.
As such I have never been called upon.
I have no interest in confronting responsible authority and no desire to personally suffer yet more humiliation from past drug and alcohol addiction abusers who can "never recover" or further Elder Abuse — shunning and or retaliation "Blandishment."
I am not into living out a "victim term" life just because I desired to be of some real help in meeting needs of YOUR RESPONSIBILITY clients.
I simply was, as stated many times approved to provide transportation to clients so as to help in meeting the needs of Mendocino County Mental Heath and or Department of Heath & Human services clients.
I no longer use my personal vehicle to assist in meeting the transportation needs of clients as I have never been respected for my past assistance to clients, nor compensated for transportation millage and other expenses incurred when using my personal vehicle for meeting your clients’ needs. My vehicle was used to transport your clients but it was stolen by one of "The Wellness Center" clients this year.
He gives rides to other clients of yours, without my knowledge of vehicle use nor consent for my vehicle use as he had no USA Homeland Security "Real ID" nor a valid California State Driver License and was not given consent by my person to use my personal vehicle, for meeting transportation needs of Mendocino Coast Hospitality House Center/The Wellness Center" clients who were or are eligible to receive client "transportation" services, so as to meet the clients real world needs. Such as but not limited to needs of the son of "Leon Gibson."
Sincerely Durand Evan t.f.m.
PS. My stolen vehicle was reported to the City of Fort Bragg Police Department and responsible person arrested when transporting L. Gibson Jr., a "FREQUENT FLYER.”
BLACK FOUNDERS OF HEALDSBURG'S ESTERLINA VINEYARDS ACCUSE SOCO BANK OF DISCRIMINATORY LENDING
(The Sterlings also own vineyards in Mendocino County)
by Bill Swindell
Members of a prominent African-American wine family are alleging their bank steered their Healdsburg winery into costly high-interest loans because they are black, triggering a downward spiral that forced them to file bankruptcy and relinquish their winery.
Brothers Eric and Craig Sterling, whose family founded Esterlina Vineyards and Winery, leveled the allegations of discriminatory lending in a new complaint filed last week against the winery’s lender, Bank of the West.
A bank spokeswoman declined to comment Monday on the allegations, the latest salvo in a yearlong legal battle between the Sterling family and Bank of the West.
A US Bankruptcy Court judge granted the bank permission Friday to take ownership of the Healdsburg winery, according to court records.
The bank, in turn, is selling the Esterlina production facility, tasting room and 20-acre estate above Dry Creek Valley to vintner Eric Flanagan, according to court records.
The Sterling family, which retained the Esterlina brand and a sister wine brand, Everett Ridge, announced the sale to wine club members on Friday.
“The Esterlina and Everett Ridge labels will be sold in a separate transaction. One of which we hope to be able to purchase. We do not know the plans of either the new facility owners or the new Esterlina or Everett Ridge brand owners (if it isn’t us),” the email stated.
The Sterlings were one of a handful of African-American families to own a winery on the North Coast, where the vast majority of winery owners and top managers are white.
In their fight against Bank of the West, the brothers have hired San Francisco attorney Waukeen Q. McCoy, who represented a group of African-American women in a racial discrimination suit against the Napa Valley Wine Train last year. The women, who were kicked off the train and accused of being overly loud and boisterous, received an apology from the train’s CEO and settled the case in April for an undisclosed sum.
In an interview, McCoy said he wants a hearing in front of a judge to examine the Esterlina loans. He said it may not be enough to allow the Sterling family to regain control of the winery, but he intends to hold Bank of the West accountable for the family’s losses.
“That would be a hefty sum,” McCoy said.
The family entered the wine business in 1995, when Murio Sterling began growing grapes in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley.
In 2000, Sterling and his four sons purchased a tiny hilltop winery in Mendocino County and launched Esterlina — Spanish for “sterling.” By 2005, it was doing $1 million in sales, according to court records.
They purchased Everett Ridge Winery in Healdsburg in 2006 and moved Esterlina into the facility in an attempt to expand their business.
A series of loans made by Bank of the West to finance the acquisition and operation of the Dry Creek Road winery are at the heart of a cross-complaint filed last week in Sonoma County Superior Court by the Sterling family as they battled with the bank for control of the property.
The family was overdue on $7.2 million in loans from Bank of the West by April 2015, according to a bankruptcy court filing. Craig Sterling, an attorney, and Eric Sterling, a physician, personally guaranteed the loans, according to the court filing.
In their complaint, the two brothers alleged Bank of the West put them into loans with higher interest rates and less favorable terms than loans provided to white vintners in similar situations, in violation of various civil rights laws.
The chain of events began in 2006, when the Sterling family began working with Bank of the West to acquire their Healdsburg winery. The Sterlings alleged the bank reneged on a promise to provide financing to buy the property, forcing them to use a bridge loan while long-term financing was arranged.
The brothers alleged that a bank officer said the bridge loan was only going to be temporary and replaced with a more favorable loan in one to two months.
The family went along with the terms or they risked losing a $315,000 deposit on the winery, McCoy said.
Their complaint alleges the 13.5 percent interest rate for the bridge loan “was far higher than rates offered to comparative white owned and/or non-African-American owned business, and in fact was higher than rates then offered to credit card holders with no security.” The brothers contend they were not able to reduce the principal on that loan, despite paying “tens of thousands of dollars” to the bank.
The Sterlings allege the bank convinced their company to amend their loan in 2007 and enter an interest rate swap agreement because rising rates could place the winery in financial jeopardy.
“In fact, BOW (Bank of the West) did not expect interest rates to rise; it expected interest rates to fall because the financial markets were becoming very soft as the housing crisis progressed to the Great Recession,” the two alleged.
The bridge loan was replaced with a term loan for up to $3.4 million at the prime rate plus 2.1 percent. The bank also required Eric Sterling to take out an additional $1.95 million loan to refinance another loan he had made.
The brothers alleged that after the agreement, interest rates dropped significantly, but their termination payment would be $1 million to break the agreement. They alleged they paid about $300,000 annually more than they should have.
“Even as BOW’s representatives knew that Esterlina was in dire financial distress, BOW chose to do nothing to fix a problem it helped create,” the cross-complaint reads.
The two also alleged that the bank rejected a request to renegotiate the interest rate swap agreement, “which would have allowed the company to operate normally.”
The family has been attempting to sell the winery for at least two years, according to the lawsuit. They alleged the bank improperly injected itself into the sales process in December 2014, thwarting a deal.
Bank of the West filed suit against the two brothers in Sonoma County Superior Court in April 2015 over the unpaid loans.
The Sterling family filed bankruptcy in August 2015 to stop foreclosure proceedings initiated by the bank. The bank’s proposal to acquire the winery for a credit bid of $325,000 was approved Friday by US Bankruptcy Judge Thomas E. Carlson, court records show.
Flanagan, the buyer lined up to purchase the Sterling property from Bank of the West, said in an interview Saturday that he expects the deal to close sometime this week. Flanagan has secured a $5.2 million loan from Live Oak Bank to purchase the holdings, court records showed.
He is the proprietor of Flanagan Wines and part of an investment group that last year bought a 32-acre vineyard near Occidental planted by former tech and wine executive Lew Platt.
As of Friday, Esterlina winery was shuttered, according to the family’s email.
Stephen Sterling, who served as vice president of sales and marketing for the business, said the family still retains vineyards in the Cole Ranch appellation in Mendocino County.
Stephen has served on the board of directors for the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University.
(Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
On 06-16-2016 at about 1:30 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were informed of a copper wire theft occurring within the last several weeks from a closed lumber mill building in Philo, California. Deputies investigating the incident received information that Monte Rose, 43, of Philo, was reportedly seen at the closed lumber mill in the past several weeks. Deputies contacted a metal recycling facility in Ukiah and learned Rose had delivered several hundred pounds of scrap copper wire at the recycling center in exchange for cash. On 06-17-2106 at about 2:50 PM Deputies received information Rose had attempted to sell more copper wire to the same recycling center. Deputies responded to location however Rose had left prior to their arrival. Deputies searched the area and eventually located Rose at the Walmart parking lot in Ukiah with numerous stolen scraps of copper wire in his vehicle. Rose was also found in possession of a concealed revolver with ammunition. Deputies observed Rose exhibiting symptoms of illicit drug usage, evaluated him and determined he was under the influence of a controlled substance. A criminal history check revealed Rose was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. Rose was arrested for grand theft, being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Rose was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
A READER WRITES: Ukiah made this list of US cities with highest percentage of Independent voters:
THE TEENAGER STRIKE VAMP AT THE HEART OF THE OAKLAND POLICE SCANDAL (Her Mother Is A Dispatcher)
Hey! She's Just A Kid!
Another "scandal" involves black police officers telling klan jokes.
ELK FIRE TO CELEBRATE 60 YEARS AT ANNUAL BBQ JULY 30
The Elk Volunteer Fire Department invites you to its 12th annual Summer BBQ to be held Saturday, July 30, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Greenwood Community Center on Highway 1 in downtown Elk.
Department members and friends are preparing to serve up grilled tri-tip, smoked chicken and portabella mushroom entrees, along with beans, garden salad, homemade dessert and coffee. Fresh bread from the Center’s wood-fired brick oven will accompany the meal. Enjoy all you can eat for a donation of $20 for adults and $10 for kids 7-12 (6 and under free). And, as always, Elk’s famous Margaritas will be available, along with beer, wine and soft drinks.
Emergency vehicles and equipment will be on display at the BBQ. Kids can meet Smokey the Bear and play in the portable pond. Weather permitting, you can inspect CalStar and REACH helicopters and greet their crews. And throughout the day, local musicians will keep things festive.
There will be a raffle featuring items donated by local inns, merchants and community members. Raffle tickets are a bargain at $1 each or 6 for $5 and are available now at the Elk Store, the Elk Garage, Queenie’s Roadhouse Café, and at the BBQ. You don’t need to be present to win.
Serving the community for 60 years - and providing mutual aid to Anderson Valley and other districts - the EVFD has 17 volunteers, 6 of whom are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). The department maintains a fleet of 7 firefighting vehicles of mixed type and an ambulance located at 4 stations spread out over a large, 55 square-mile service district.
The annual BBQ generates critical funds to maintain the department and its equipment. Thanks to generous donations from the community over the past few years, the department has made structural repairs to some of the stations and added a second repeater to its radio network to improve emergency communications. The targets for this year’s funds include replacing or adding critical equipment at each station, as well as adding a ventilation fan and binoculars to the fleet for use in structure fires.
FOUND DOG IN BOONVILLE
ENVIRONMENTALISTS PROTEST POISONING TREES IN MENDOCINO COUNTY
* * *
Save Our Little Lake Valley
Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians
Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters
For immediate release: June 21, 2016
Contact: Naomi Wagner 707 459-0548; Cell 382-2310
Protests Erupt Against Mendocino Redwood Company
Measure V Passes Ban, but Herbicide Spraying Continues, Increasing Fire Danger
Comptche, CA - Activists today blocked trucks and vehicles transporting logging crews, in a protest against Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC). The company uses a practice known as “Hack’n’Squirt” to kill hardwoods on their forest holdings.
Protesters called for a “lock’n’block” protest at noon at the gates of MRC Timber Harvest Plan #1-14-148 MEN, nicknamed “Half Way to Hell,” near the tiny town of Comptche, in the heart of southern Mendocino County.
On June 7, a two-thirds majority of voters in Mendocino County passedMeasure V, declaring the practice of leaving of dead standing trees a public nuisance. Despite the overwhelming voter mandate, MRC continues the practice of dousing the forest with the chemical Imazypr, leaving thousands of tan oaks and other hardwoods dead but standing, exacerbating an already critically high fire danger by adding dry fuels to the forest during the fifth year of drought in California.
“We locked down today because MRC is continuing to hack and squirt after the people went to the ballot box and told them to stop. When the normal civil channels don’t work, that’s when you get civil disobedience and non-violent direct action,” said longtime County resident, Lara Anderson. “We’re putting our bodies on the line to stop this dangerous practice and to expose the MRC’s dead-end brand of forestry,” she said.
A large crowd of supporters carried signs with messages like “Poison is Bad Forestry”, “Fisher Family – Go Back to the Gap.” A large banner expressed the groups’ central demand, reading: “MRC Stop Hack’n’Squirt Now!”
Long-time forest activist Linda Perkins of Albion explained, “The ‘Half Way to Hell’ plan is 580 acres of total decimation. They are taking it down to the nub.” The plan includes three silvicultural prescriptions designated Group Selection, Transition and Variable Retention, all “forms of Even Age management leading to more tanoak growth, more poisoning and more dead, standing trees,” said Perkins.
“MRC is converting the forest to monoculture tree plantations, claiming restoration, but they’re actually doing the opposite, taking too much too fast, reducing diversity. This is bad for the earth as we know it. They should heed the will of the people or have their FSC [Forest Stewardship Council] Sustainable Certification revoked,” she concluded.
The plan also includes an unknown acreage of previously hacked and squirted hardwoods, which will become dead standing trees. The Company refuses to disclose to the public the locations where it is applying the poisons. Currently, the contractor is only required to report the use of chemicals to the Agriculture Department within thirty days after use. The Mendocino County Ag Commissioner has warned about breathing smoke from burning materials treated with Imazapyr. The Initiative was heavily backed by local volunteer firefighters.
Measure V is awaiting certification after the required thirty-day period following the election. Proponents are bracing for an expected lawsuit by MRC challenging the law.
FEEL THE YEARN
by Zack Anderson
Dear Dr. Zack,
What happened to the Warriors? I thought Golden State could repeat, but instead my local heroes got sour milk from a withered teat. Do you or Nurse Yearsley have any advice for a forlorn fool whose self-worth is measured by corporate money mills masquerading as community sports?
North El Sobrante, CA
Dear Forlorn Fool,
Nurse Yearsley here, as Dr. Zack has been suspended from the operating room until the Grand Jury decides if there’s enough evidence to warrant felony charges. Without throwing my sycophantic colleague under the bus, suffice it to say that the matter is, while grave, still technically short of necrophilia (or at least that’s what his lawyers claim). The good doctor claims that he mistakenly overdosed on three Pepperidge Farm frozen apple turnovers, washed down by a gallon of pruno supplied by a former Panther teammate serving six months in Low Gap Jail for abducting an ex-wife’s goldfish; and thus the confusion over mausoleum vs. Electric Gaia Commune Summer Solstice Potluck and Orgy.
As for the Warriors, what is that, a refugee dance troupe? Listen, you forlorn fool. Do you have any idea of the pressure I’m under? Maybe within the withered confines of your ignorance dome I am nobody, a pious no one. Perhaps to you my reputation is not important. But, like rare and succulent winter fruits, the sweetness of my fleshy consciousness delights student-initiates to such a degree that more than one blushing novice has drowned her senses in the edifying tonic of my tenure-track ego; and, depending on ambulance response times, death’s blissful embrace.
And my reward for encouraging the rational choice of suicide? Nada, zip, zilch, aside from a few untoward gropes in the broom closet during the faculty club’s annual Vrill Society mixer. The ungrateful little bastards could give me, the best teacher they’ll ever slander, heirloom apples or envelopes of Swiss Francs; but instead, like the self-obsessed iPhone pansies they are, the elfin droolers prefer the coward’s way out, too dumb to realize that the Young Werther stole their poetic thunder centuries ago, fashioned it into a dildo, and shoved it right up their advanced placement happy glands. Put a candle on it and call it the Enlightenment!
Please also note that, like the Grim Reaper, my hunting grounds are remote geographies untrod upon by velvet boots: for the record, I am an adjunct professor at a liberal arts college in the central part of upstate New York. In my younger days at a liberal arts college in the eastern hills of central Massachusetts, I was known for two things: 1. An uncanny ability to make merry with hardy peasants as well as bourgeois vermin; and, 2) a wardrobe flush with sartorial flourishes that recalled Louis the XV’s more flamboyant excesses (e.g., an ermine-trimmed codpiece (claws intact), a vestibule stuffed with the blood-specked molars of Nubian lancers, etc.). Moreover, ask any cabby in the Schenectady metro area, and you’ll find it’s common Faculty Room knowledge that I, Nurse Yearsley, am expert on two subjects: 1. The rate at which Indy 500 Pirellis degrade when the barometric pressure climbs above a sacred mark known only to monk-apprentices of Bo Schembechler’s spiritually attuned gridiron classic, “Three Megalithic Yards and a Cloud of Tectonic Crust”; and, 2) how long one can eavesdrop on someone else’s not-so-private sidewalk conversation.
Which is to say, the Warriors are proof positive of macho posturing sheep-dipped in corporate pandering masquerading as tribal warfare. You want to “win” something real, Forlorn Fool, then grab a club and swim to Syria! Mighty Isis will give you more than ample opportunity to “take it to the hoop” and “spread the floor with your bigs.”
And don’t bother whining to Dr. Zack: the pompous hand-wringer is getting his just desserts, as CSI-Albion dusted his boy-bits while he was passed out from jet lag after a recent “fact-finding mission/sojourn” to Upper Silesia; to the horror of everyone involved, including the victim’s recently deceased’s widowed Pomeranian, traces of her beloved’s ashes were found in more than one crack and less than a dozen crevices. A tragic chapter in the epic tale of a man-child who once donned AV’s Brown and Gold. (Warning: if you do see Dr. Zack, please call police and do not approach directly; he was last spotted on the night bus to a golf resort outside of Dusseldorf catering to Bavarian midgets, and clutching three wooden clogs and a half pint of Schnapps.)
– Nurse Yearsley, lawyer/advocate for the Dr. Zack Foundation, Improving Lives and Delivering Tapenades for the Soul, One Grandiose Fantasy at a Time™.
* * *
Dear Dr. Zack:
I forward to you a previous letter asking for your sage advice, and include the quite hostile even psychopathic reply from one “Nurse Yearsley” who claims to speak for you. Yearsley’s snide non-response to my very real trauma regarding the Warriors total horseshit collapse has led to me using up all of my sick days; today I had to call in dead. Dead! My boss got a good chuckle out of it, and said I just saved him from firing me anyway.
What kind of rinky-dink operation are you running there, Dr. Zack? I have Obamacare, fer crissakes! I deserve to see a real doctor, not some Nasi Goreng Hindu nurse practitioner with one oxen-like testicle and Hillary badges for nipples! Now my fiancée left me for a Cleveland Cavaliers fan who makes ten thousand dollars a week on an anagram-generator site called Managraham Parsons, Acoustic Love Ballads for the New Century®.
I don’t know where you live, Dr. Quack, but I’m gonna find you and dribble a half-deflated Voit basketball off of your sweaty blockhead! My contacts within the military-industrial-breakfast buffet complex inform me that you’re hiding out somewhere on the Dutch-Danish border. Well guess what? I’m on the 9:15 to Rotterdam as you read this, to lurk in the bushes and nail your ass to a windmill (whichever comes first). Even though this is a free advice column, I want my money back, and all of it! Ibid my life and honor and seventh grade crush, D’Monique Studds, who underwent successful gender reassignment therapy and is now a blitz package linebacker at Idaho State, under the name Desmond Studd, 6’3” and 255 pounds of jackhammer love muscle. Do you even have any muscles, Dr. Zack, let alone capacity for love?
East El Sobrante
Dear Forlorn Fool:
Nurse Yearsley has returned neither my phone calls nor the note taped to the brick someone else used to shatter his living room window. I think it’s rude, especially when I discovered through completely legal means that the Glassman of Ithaca Falls (“Picking Up The Pieces Since The Arabs Got RFK In 1968”) gave the good Nurse a coupon for 10% off his next purchase over $25K. If Yearsley’s appalling behavior is indicative of the Ivy League, then give me the Seven Sisters any day, whether crowned by violet night or veiled in moist-ish New England dusk, you decide.
As for your self-inflicted “trauma” regarding the Warriors’ bun-numbing finals loss, how old are you? Do you understand how the professional game works? It’s a money-making factory that preys on childlike minds of all ages. The NBA exists to coin gold, not to provide a fair and honest platform for hoopsters.
That said, the Warriors shrunk and the Cavaliers expanded. Cleveland deserved to win. LeBron proved that he’s the best player in the world by manhandling the Warriors when it counted. Our superstar MVP, Stephen Curry, looked disinterested and semi-drugged the last three games, summed up by his half-hearted left-handed behind-the-back pass to Klay Thompson that sailed out of bounds in game seven. What the hell was that? It’s like wearing a banana hammock made of cellophane instead of a black suit to your mother-in-law’s funeral.
Draymond Green also choked by not keeping his temper inside his spandex jockstrap. He was tugging and punching and kneeing opponents’ groins the entire playoffs. He yaps and yips and loses his cool, providing a distraction for his teammates more often than not. He danced too close to the edge and burned us all by missing game five. Shut up and play, Draymond! And wait until closing time to paw at LeBron’s charity stripe.
In short, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and LeBron played like superstars the last three games. They hit big shots. They played tough D. They didn’t make careless turnovers. I’m not going to be a complete traitor and say I enjoyed Golden State’s spurious end, but there is something honorable in losing to a blue collar city like Cleveland, and watching the yuppie scum in the astronomically priced courtside seats at Oracle Arena squirm in horror. Maybe there is a God. Maybe He/She/It/Them does care about justice. Maybe this is God’s way of condemning the Warriors’ imminent move to San Francisco, where the ticket prices will soar even higher, where there will be plenty of luxury coffin-boxes for billionaires, and where there will be no seats for the kids who the game is for. And across the tracks in the dim light of a cracked asphalt court, the next LeBrons and Kyries will keep shooting in the gathering gloom, ignoring the gunshots, the th-th-thump of the drug dealers’ stereos, and wondering if on some distant planet, in a galaxy far away, heaven really is a playground.
His face lit up when I mentioned Charles Garry (at Books Inc. yesterday). He said, "I knew Charlie!"
Last time I bought a book because I wanted to shake the hand of the author was Kareem in 2007 (whose book on the Harlem Renaissance is really good)!
A Passage From Mort d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
How Sir Eyster overcame the knight, and how he lost his head at the request of a fair lady.
With that came a damsel riding on a palfrey as fast as she might drive, and cried with a loud voice to Sir Eyster.
“What will ye with me?” said Sir Eyster.
“I beseech thee,” said the damsel, “for the Superior Court’s love, give me a gift; I require ye gentle knight, as thou art a gentleman.”
“Now,” said Eyster, “ask a gift and I will give it to you.”
“Gramercy,” said the damsel; “Now I ask the head of the false knight Rackauckas [DA of Orange County], for he is the most outrageous knight that liveth, and the greatest scoundrel.”
“I am loath,” said Sir Eyster, “of that gift I have given you; let him make amends that he hath trespassed unto you.”
“Now,” said the damsel, “he may not for he fired mine own brother before mine own eyes, that was a better knight than he, an [read if] he had had grace; and I kneeled half an hour afore him in the mire for to save my brother’s job, that had done him no damage, but fought with him by adventure of arms, and so for all I could do he struck off his check; wherefore I require thee, as thou art a true knight, to give me my gift, or else I shall shame thee in all the Court; for he [Sir Rackauckas] is the falsest knight living, and a great destroyer of good knights.
When Sir Rackauckas heard this he was sore afeard, and yielded him to Sir Eyster and asked mercy.
“I may not now,” said Sir Eyster, “for I should be found false of my promise.”
At which the false knight therewith took of his helm, and he arose and fled, and Sir Eyster after him, and smote off his head quite.
“Now, Sir,” said the damsel, “it is near night; I pray you come lodge with me at my place, it is here fast by.”
“I will well,” said Sir Eyster, for his horse and he had fared evil since he left Camelot [read Mendocino County], so he rode with her and had passing good cheer with her, and well eased both his horse and him. And on the morrow he break his fast and returned to Camelot wherein withal he made the damsel’s brother the Chief Knight of the Round Table, and they lived passing happy ever after, and thus endeth the tale of how Sir Welsh became the Chief Knight of the Round Table.
— Bruce McEwen
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 21, 2016
RUDOLFO ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
BENJAMIN BOYD, Kelseyville/Willits. Drunk in public, failure to register.
MAURILIO CAZARES, Fort Bragg. DUI, pot sales.
JOHN DOYLE, Ukiah. Domestic assault, probation revocation.
HEATHER MARSH-HAAS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
FRANCISCO PEREZ, Boonville. DUI.
CARLEY SCHLAPKOHL, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
KRISTOPHER SPARKMAN, Boonville. Under influence, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
“Add a dash of Mexican hot sauce to this farrago and you’ve got a perfect recipe for mayhem.”
That may be the biggest understatement of the year.
Imagine Trump getting dumped at the GOP convention, and the reaction of millions of already disgruntled Trump supporters, any one of them having access to the cache of some 300 million guns in this country.
What could go wrong?
And we haven’t even touched on what Bernie supporters will do at the DNC coronation of Queen Hillary since Bernie got robbed of the nomination. Even if they come in peace and unarmed, the militarized police will be sure that they don’t go quietly, and that they are blamed for any police brutality that ensues.
It’s going to be a long, hot summer.
GET OVER IT: Mass shootings are the New Normal In America
by Ted Rall
What is wrong with Americans?
Okay, that’s a very open-ended question with many potential answers.
What I’d like to talk about this time is: why is it that Americans only begin to get serious about a problem after it’s too late to solve it?
Currently, I’m thinking about the latest, depressingly predictable response to the Orlando massacre.
As usual, right-wingers like Donald Trump want to restrict immigration. But even setting aside the obvious moral and practical economic objections to nativism, how would that prevent future mass shootings (in part) in the name of the Islamic State? Orlando shooter Omar Nateen wasn’t an immigrant. He was born in Queens, New York; his parents were from Afghanistan. If the Republicans’ goal is to get rid of potentially self radicalized Muslims, it’s too late. There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States. Many are full-fledged citizens.
Any group of people that numbers in the millions includes some who are mentally ill, some who are politically radical, some who are religious fundamentalists, and some who are some combination of all three. Since it’s illegal to deport U.S. citizens, millions of whom are Muslim, a few of whom are crazy – and the United States insists on pursuing an endless “war on terror” against Muslim countries – there’s no way that a policy of reduced immigration can prevent future attacks by homegrown Islamists.
On what passes for a Left, Democrats like Hillary Clinton are pushing for tighter restrictions on guns. As usual.
Indeed, it’s hard to argue that civilians require military grade weapons like the semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle used to kill 49 people at the Pulse nightclub. Hunters don’t use them. If the AR-15 is legal, why not hand grenades? Had Nateen been forced to use a pistol or long gun instead, his bullets would have been smaller, the death toll lower. Some of his victims might have been able to overpower him as he tried to reload.
Here again, however, it’s too late to fix the problem. The cat is out of the bag. Two years ago, the national sport shooting foundation estimated that there were between 5 million and 8.2 million assault-style rifles in American homes. Sales of these weapons always spike after mass shootings, so it’s a safe bet that that number has risen by at least 1 million or two since then.
Even if Hillary Clinton were to succeed beyond her wildest dreams, assault weapons were banned permanently, what about those millions of AR-15’s already in circulation? Would she be willing to send jackbooted federal thugs door to door to search every home until every last one of them, or at least the lion’s share, were rounded up and melted down? Of course not.
The truth is, this ship sailed back in 2004 when Congress allowed thefederal ban on assault weapons to expire without being renewed. Congress’s failure to act over the last 12 years has transformed the United States into a nation awash in military hardware.
Mass shootings are the new normal. Get over it.
“It’s too late to do anything about it, now let’s act” mania appears to have become as much of a part of our national character as the myth that everyone is a member of the middle class.
Progressives and liberals who form the base of the Democratic Party, most of whom supported Bernie Sanders during the primaries, are engaged in a robust debate over whether to switch over to Hillary Clinton this fall, support a third-party candidate like Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, or stay home on election day. It’s the same old question: Do you vote for the lesser of two evils? Isn’t that voting for evil?
Democrats for Clinton are trying to convince Bernie Sanders voters that November represents an existential threat, that if Donald Trump is elected everything we know and love about America will be destroyed. They don’t get it.
What the Clintonites don’t understand is that it’s already too late. Yes, if Donald Trump gets in, there’s a strong danger that what’s left of American democracy will yield to something radically new and terrifying, full-fledged authoritarianism. But Hillary Clinton also represents something horrible: a continuation of the neoconservatism that led to the invasion of Iraq, has made the United States a target of Islamist terrorism, complete capitulation to the banking class whose power structure relies upon the vast majority of American workers toiling for longer hours and shrinking wages – in effect, the last nail in the coffin of the idea that ordinary people have the right to imagine themselves and their children living better than they have in the past.
The existential battle isn’t in November. It was a couple of weeks ago, when Hillary Clinton appeared to nail down the Democratic presidential nomination. Whatever happens now, whether authoritarian Trumpism or steady-as-she-goes downwardly mobile Clintonism, we are screwed.
Perhaps no issue better illustrates my point than climate change.
I remember watching Jacques Cousteau on television in the 1970s, when he repeatedly warned that the oceans (along with the rest of the planet) were warming, and that it would soon – might already be – too late to stop it. The politicians and corporate executives, of course, ignored him and the other scientists who said the same thing. Now, finally, the political class is giving lip service to the crisis, though action remains in short supply.
The fact is, Cousteau was probably right. It was probably too late to save the planet back then. It’s certainly too late now. The climate science is clear. The polar ice cap is never coming back; Antarctica ismelting away. The process can’t be reversed. Even if every internal combustion engine in the world stopped running tomorrow morning, human beings have pumped too much energy into the closed system that is our atmosphere to reverse global warming.
My intention isn’t to bum you out. All I’m saying is, let’s stop focusing on problems we can’t do anything about and work on those we still can.
21ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE CANCER RESOURCE CENTERS OF Mendocino County!
2016 Pure Mendocino Invitation
Please join us Saturday, August 27, 2016
A summer evening to enjoy the perfect blend of food, wine, fun and a good cause.
Pure Mendocino is the major fundraising event for the Cancer Resource Centers and a unique celebration honoring Mendocino County's leadership in organics and community health.
Tickets are available now for the 12th Annual Pure Mendocino Organic Dinner and Wine Tasting at Dark Horse Vineyard in Ukiah.
Farm Tour: 4:00 pm
Paul Dolan will introduce you to the basics of organic and biodynamic farming as seen at the Dolan family ranch.
Wine Tasting & Appetizers: 5:00 pm
Farm-to-Table Dinner: 6:30 pm
Chef Olan Cox and friends will showcase our community's finest organically grown food and wine.
Silent Auction: 5:00 — 8:30 pm
Unique items in Pure Mendocino-style
Live Music Under the Stars: 8:00 — 10:00 pm
Dance to Funky Dozen
$135 per person — tickets must be purchased in advance.
Purchase tickets online at www.puremendocino.org -
or call us at (707) 937-3833.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PureMendocino -
to learn more about the event.
This event always sells out well in advance. To ensure a seat, please order early.
Thank you and see you there!
SUMMER SOLSTICE FULL MOON COMMUNIQUE
Magnificent day of rare bright circumstances
This summer solstice with its "strawberry moon"
Fullest moon indicating propitious harvest time
Such as an oh so perfect day to pick strawberries
Went to Kabuki Spa in San Francisco and watched
Six pounds of water go down the steam room drain
And later, walked around the east bay, ate some fish
Realizing that health dictates diet, not pacifism
Chanted mantrams from waking until now to the Dark
Mother Warrior Goddess Kali Ma to bring in spiritual
Mojo in these postmodern times of environmental insanity
And political stupidity with its calculated aggravations
The joke is that the masses refuse to rise up and shake off
Neuroses to square off with this sideshow of materialism and
Destroy the demonic parade of enemies of the blissful dharma
The people hesitate to wake up from a thousand years of fears
— Craig Louis Stehr
JOHN SAKOWICZ WRITES:
Summer Solstice Brings a Once-in-a-Generation 'Strawberry Moon'
For the first time since June 1967 -- the Summer of Love -- two astronomical phenomena will occur at the same time.
The summer solstice, the official start of summer (according to the calendar, if not necessarily the weather), is the longest day of the year, and this year it is accompanied by a fairly rare event: it coincides with a so-called "strawberry moon," the folkloric name given to June's full moon.
What does tonight's moon have to do with fruit? It's not because the moon will look reddish, as many people think. Rather, according to "The Old Farmer's Almanac," the strawberry moon was given that name by the Algonquin tribes because it occurs right at the height of the season when strawberries are harvested. Other names for this month's full moon are the "hot moon" and the "rose moon."
Starwatchers will have the first chance to see a full moon on the summer solstice in nearly fifty years. The last time these two phenomena occurred together was at the beginning of 1967's Summer of Love, and it won't happen again until 2062.
The Farmer's Almanac and the Slooh network of robotic telescopes are teaming up to present a livestream of the full moon that can be viewed below starting 8 p.m. EDT.