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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, June 23, 2016

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by Justine Frederiksen

The First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco has upheld the lawsuit delaying the building of a Costco warehouse in Ukiah. According to court documents, the court reversed the May 2015 ruling in Mendocino County Superior Court that dismissed the 2014 lawsuit filed by William Kopper on behalf of “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First.” The court ruled that the city of Ukiah must “set aside its certification of the final (environmental impact report) and approval of the project and to bring the energy section of the EIR into compliance with CEQA before redetermining whether to approve the project.” The court also notes that “Citizens,” a group which consists of no known members other than Kopper himself, will “recover its costs on appeal.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)

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COSTCO, Where art thou and thy half-off Cheetos? Someone or someones continues to fund the Davis attorney who's keeping Ukiah's proposed Costco in court while most locals clamor for the bulk foods store. Ukiah, City of, predictably, hasn't convinced anybody except a local judge that another big box store on Big Box Row off Highway 101 is in any way, sensible.

UKIAH-BASED opponents originally got CostCo to drop its mega-gas station and to modify other areas of its plan. The initial suit to stop CostCo was brought by local, unionized grocery workers who pointed out that Ukiah's existing groceries will be severely impacted by CostCo's cut-rate, non-union prices. The original plaintiffs have since withdrawn their sponsorship of the suit, but the Davis attorney refuses to say who he's representing.

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AN AS YET UNIDENTIFIED 62 year old Santa Rosa motorcyclist was driving his Harley Davidson westbound on Highway 20 with his passenger, Cindy Makinano, 60, also of Santa Rosa, riding on the backseat at milemarker 4.5. David Gillette, 62, of Sacramento was driving an International truck eastbound at the same point. As the Harley rider executed the right hand curve with the roadway he allowed his Harley to unsafely cross over the solid double yellow lines into the eastbound lane. Mr. Gillette was executing the same curve while traveling the opposite direction when he saw the Harley crossing the solid double yellow lines. Gillette attempted to avoid a collision with the Harley by swerving to the right and applying his breaks. Gillette’s evasive attempts were unsuccessful and the Harley collided into the front left portion of the International. The Harley with rider and passenger came to rest in the westbound lane of Highway 20. Gillette drove the International out of the roadway to a nearby turnout and remained on scene. The Harley rider and passenger were transported from the scene with major injuries. The 62-year-old Harley driver was later pronounced dead upon arrival at Ukiah Valley Medical Center. Passenger Makinano was flown to Santa Rosa Memorial to receive treatment for her major injuries.

(From a CHP Press Release by Officer M. Covington)

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We saw this post on the "Point Arena Update” page:

"I know some people are unhappy with the $10 charge to see the fireworks this year. I believe the fireworks cost $10,000 and people donate towards the cost. Could I just suggest looking at doing something different next year, something less costly, something better for the environment?

How about a laser light show with choreographed music? We could involve the Arena Tech Center, involve our youth. No pollution going into the ocean, no wildlife and pets scared by explosions. A onetime purchase versus $10,000 dollars every darn year."

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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POINT ARENA AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RESPOND to Grand Jury report about favortism toward councilmembers and illegal sewage dumping.

(Spoiler Alert: Total denial by City of Point Arena)




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by Nikki Schwab

Several dozen House Democrats are engaged in a sit-in on the House floor trying to push Republicans to debate gun control.

The protest started right before lunchtime — with Republicans gaveling out to take a break — and then later calling a recess.

The House's cameras were turned off with members using the web app Periscope to broadcast their speeches.

Both Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama tweeted their support of the Democrats' sit-in.


House Democrats today took a stand — by sitting down — to pressure Republican leadership to allow them to vote on gun control measures, two days after the Senate failed to pass anything new.

The Democrats gathered on the House floor for hours and took turns speaking. They were without lights and the usual House video camera — streaming the protest on their cell phones instead.

The sit-in was led by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a veteran of the civil rights movement, who shamed the Republicans for turning “deaf ears to the blood of the innocent” before asking his Democratic colleagues to join him in the well of the House chamber around 11:30am Wednesday (eastern time).

The Republicans responded with Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., acting as Speaker, gaveling out to let his peers head off to lunch.

After noon, Rep. Ted Poe, now with the gavel, noted that “the House is currently not in a state of order due to the presence of members in the well who are not recognized.”

Poe asked them to leave and when the Democrats didn't he called a recess.

While in recess each time, the House's cameras were shut off, with C-SPAN, which airs the proceedings, noting that they don't have control of the camera feed.

Individual members of Congress used the Periscope app to then broadcast the day's pro-gun control speeches from the floor.

Just moments before the sit-in, Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., played the role of opening act.

“This congress has no right to hold moments of silence anymore and then do nothing to prevent the next tragedy,” she said.

“This is a moment of truth for Congress,” she continued. “We cannot have another moment of silence without action.”

Passing the baton to Lewis, who spoke at the 1963 March on Washington alongside Martin Luther King Jr., said he had had “an executive session with myself” and decided to jump into action.

“We have lost hundreds of thousands of innocent people to gun violence,” he said.

“Tiny little children, babies, students and teachers, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, daughters and son, friends and neighbors,” he entoned.

House Speaker Paul Ryan blasted the protest, appearing on CNN Wednesday afternoon. He called it “nothing more than a publicity stunt,” adding, “This isn’t trying to come up with a solution to a problem.”

(Courtesy, the Daily Mail On-Line)

(Ed note: They were still at it late Wednesday night as we posted Thursday’s collection.)

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I’m proud to join Congressman John Lewis & House Dems in a protest on the House floor as we urge an immediate vote on common-sense gun control legislation that has been stalled for years in Congress. A moment of silence is an insufficient response to tragedies like Orlando; Congress cannot just sit idly by. I urge Speaker Ryan to do the right thing and allow for a real debate on how to solve our country’s gun violence epidemic.

— Congressman Jared Huffman

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So long sad times, Go long bad times

We are rid of you at last

Howdy gay times, Cloudy gray times

You are now a thing of the past


Happy days are here again

The skies above are clear again

So let's sing a song of cheer again

Happy days are here again


Altogether shout it now

There's no one / Who can doubt it now

So let's tell the world about it now

Happy days are here again


Your cares and troubles are gone

There'll be no more from now on

From now on...


Happy days are here again

The skies above are clear again

So, let's sing a song of cheer again

Happy times

Happy nights

Happy days

Are here again!

— Milton Ager, Jack Yellon (1929)

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by Karen Rifkin

The Ukiah Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce its 37th anniversary season, once again working in collaboration with Mendocino College to bring to the community a full season of performances at the college’s Center Theatre. Mendocino College will offer its symphony orchestra classes in which both community members and traditional students will enroll as part of the instructional program.

To encourage a love of music, the Symphony has agreed that those under 18, as well as students of any age with an ASB student body card, can attend the concerts at no charge.

The season kicks off with a major fundraising concert performance of “Annie Get Your Gun” by Irving Berlin at Nelson Family Vineyards on Saturday, August 6th at 7:30 p.m. The 1946 Broadway hit musical originally starring Ethel Merman features Roseanne Wetzel and Pedro Rodelas portraying the fictionalized story of Annie Oakley’s romance with sharpshooter Frank Butler.


Our Own Back Yard! opens the season on September 10th and 11th showcasing original compositions by longtime orchestra members Jeff Ives and Clovice Lewis.

Fantasy Suite for Orchestra by Ives incorporates English Baroque fantasia, Balkan folk music and stately dance from Renaissance Europe with lively polyrhythms and Romantic swoon.

The Score by Lewis is a symphony — for a movie that does not exist — featuring a cello solo in one of its four movements which premiered in full in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 6th, under Leon Burke as part of a worldwide “Global Embrace” concert tour.

The program concludes with Joseph Haydn’s classical piece Symphony No. 103 in E-flat Major nicknamed “The Drumroll” because of the long roll on the timpani with which it begins. Haydn was a prominent and prolific Austrian composer of the Classical period who is known as “The Father of the Symphony.”

Rach III & the New World to be presented on December 3rd and 4th features solo pianist Lawrence Sarabi-Holmefjord on Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, one of the most difficult piano concertos ever written.

Sarabi-Holmefjord and his brother Julius cofounded the Aureus Academy in Singapore, a new music education center inspiring adults to take up a musical instrument for the first time or pick up where they left off as children. The accomplished pianist is quoted as saying, “Everyone deserves the gift of making music; I would make this my mission.”

The concert concludes with Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World,” America’s most popular and famous symphony. Dvořák was a Czech nationalist composer who directed the National Conservatory of Music in America in the late 1800s. After listening to Native American music and African-American spirituals, he was able to transfer that nationalist idiom to American soil in this great work.

The Dances of Argentina on February 11th and 12th brings to the stage Bay Area solo harpist Anna Maria Mendietta playing Alberto Ginastera’s Harp Concerto, Opus 25.

Mendietta and Marcelo Molina, a U.S.A. National Tango Champion, dance tango numbers accompanied by tangos of Argentina by various composers. The symphony performance concludes with Four Dances from Estancia by Alberto Ginastera.

Free school performances the week prior to the concert are being made available to over 1200 local students.

The Sublime, the last concert of the season on May 20th and 21st, features solo cellist David Michael Goldblatt who has been with the San Francisco Symphony since 1978. He will be playing Joseph Haydn’s technically difficult Concerto in D Major.

The Mendocino College Masterworks Chorale concludes this program in a presentation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem, the most performed and well-known work in the chorale repertory.

Adult season tickets for four concerts are $75; season tickets for seniors (65 or older) for four concerts are $65; season tickets for those under 18 or student body cardholders (ASB cards) for four concerts are free! You may go to to see dates for concerts and more ticket information. To request a 2016-2017 brochure, call 707 462-0236.

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Dear Ms. Courtney (Chair of the KZYX Board of Directors),

Thanks for posting the 'MCPB Budget as Passed' on the KZYX website:

The subheading reads, "MCPB FY2016 Budget As Approved 6-29-16".

That's a whole week from today. Has it already been approved?

You and your fellow Directors might want to check it for error. Just for example, it reports the actual 'Legal and Professional Fees' at $7,515 for last year. But according to last year's so-called audit, the amount was $17,914. You can see that here:

Also, the total actual expenses on your 2015 'Budget As Passed' are $568,912. Those on the so-called audit are actually $597,165.

So I'm wondering. Do you or your fellow Directors actually participate in passing budgets like this? Or are you a rubber-stamp board?


Scott M. Peterson


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ARAGORN AND LOUIE at the Mendocino County Animal Care Services Shelter in Ukiah.

Handsome Aragorn is a black tabby waiting for a castle to call his own. He's an explorer at heart, and given the chance to roam the shelter's Cat Colony room, he will do so rather than laying in your lap. When he's done with his adventures, Aragorn enjoys playing with toys. We love his independent streak!


Louie is very friendly and social. He seems to do well around other dogs at the shelter; however due to Louie's history from his past owners, he will need to do a meet and greet with any potential doggie housemates. He probably would do best being an only dog. Louie is mellow and enjoys hanging out and being in the company of people. He doesn't seem interested in playing, but he does like affection. Louie is 70 pounds, 6 years old and neutered. Being an older guy, Louie is enrolled in the shelter's SENIOR DOG PROGRAM--which means his adoption fees are discounted. Call to find out more!

If you think Aragorn or Louie might fit into your family, call the shelter's Adoption Coordinator at 707-467-6453, or better yet, come on down to 298 Plant Road in Ukiah. Don't forget to visit and bookmark the shelter's official website: We're also on Facebook:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, June 22, 2016

Bolton, Buck, Carver
Bolton, Buck, Carver

JOHN BOLTON IV, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

KEITH BUCK, Willits. DUI, unlawful display of registration, suspended license, probation revocation.

CHAD CARVER, Willits. Burglary.

Cook, Davidson, Donahe
Cook, Davidson, Donahe

THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Camping in Ukiah, probation revocation.

JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Ellingwood, Huff, Jacquet
Ellingwood, Huff, Jacquet

EMERY ELLINGWOOD, Willits. Drunk in public.

JAMES HUFF, Arcata/Ukiah. Controlled substance, more than an ounce of pot.

MICHAEL JACQUET, Potter Valley. Probation revocation.

Martinez, Seward, Shaw
Martinez, Seward, Shaw

LORENZO MARTINEZ, Navarro. Suspended license, parole violation.

FORREST SEWARD, Navarro. Domestic assault, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, false imprisonment, phone line vandalizing.

JORDAN SHAW, Talmage. Controlled substance.

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AVA et al,

I will open with the honorable Moses Maimonides from his Mishneh Torah on the 613 biblical commandments and that is quite simply to refer to one of the commandments that we have all heard and know, "Not to stand by idly when a human life is in danger."

On Tuesday June 21st at about 9:30pm there was a sexual assault at the Valero station on the corner of MLK and University avenue, less than a block away from the Berkeley Police Department.

Most shockingly when I heard of the assault I also found out that the woman who was being assaulted was yelling and screaming and fighting back as best she could and yet none of the many passersby on foot or in cars nor the gas station attendant — NO ONE — came to her assistance. I believe it is a sad day in our society when the passerby does not help someone being hurt right in front of their eyes. Are we all too distracted, complacent, self-absorbed, scared?

Why would no one help or come to her assistance? Is everyone so completely absorbed in their handheld device that they are too "busy" to even pay attention to anyone else? They say handheld devices create a lack of empathy in people. Well, this is a direct example of how. The perp was a tall, thin black male about 50 years old, riding his bike around wearing a green Oakland Athletics parka who did not appear to be one of the many homeless characters lurking about this town.

I have several conclusions.

First there is a subset of characters who are not homeless but who come from neighboring towns and ride their bikes around Berkeley looking for crimes to commit and use their bikes to escape. This is a finite group of characters so somebody knows this guy and this is not the first time he has been in Berkeley if he is comfortable enough to commit a sexual assault less than a block from the police compound. I'll bet the perp is known to the characters who hang out in the city center park and drink malt liquor purchased from the Valero station in question.

Second, do the police have a lock on BART surveillance and operations where they can stop and search trains forward several stations after leaving from Berkeley after the commission of a serious crime, and review tape to see the perp entering the station? Has BART taken out the dummy cameras and put real ones in?

Third, there are a lot of young women in Berkeley because of UC as well as Berkeley High and so I want to know how active the special crimes task force is on this issue? What is good police work and is it being done locally?

Fourth, are we beefing up the presence of closed circuit television wherever possible to capture perps on surveillance (it works wonders for the conviction rate in London)? Are local businesses canvassed and encouraged to possess an outward facing surveillance camera to capture video of criminals on the approach or escape? Trader Joe's and Valero should have street facing cameras.

Five, are we doing enough to raise the general awareness of the need to be active, vigilant and aware for ourselves and others when we travel the streets? Do we grasp the gravity and prevalence of these crimes and the fact that many go unreported?

Six, are we teaching our young boys that the objectification of women's bodies is demoralizing and wrong, even if it is glorified in popular culture? Again we are back to devices/internet as part of the problem on all sides.

Seven, are we targeting problem businesses that attract crime and fuel criminality? I believe the Valero station in question, which sells cheap malt liquor to be consumed on the streets and in our filthy parks to the detriment of our city, is a PROBLEM BUSINESS. I have personally seen a crime being committed on that corner that I chose not to personally get involved in, which is why modern societies employ police forces. When I went into the Valero station and insisted they call the police I was adamantly rebuked over and over again despite my insistence and eventual cursing.

This is a real sign of decline when women are so brazenly sexually assaulted in public and no one will help. The fact that the handheld device fuels the pervert, preoccupies the witness, and distracts the victim seems to be quite telltale in all of this. Anyone who saw that crime being committed and did nothing to help the young woman deserves a wicked slap in the face if not worse. Wake up, pay attention and get with it people!

Nate Collins, Berkeley

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BERNIE IS DOING EXACTLY AS I PREDICTED two months ago, playing a role that has become almost standard fare in the Democrats presidential elections, the sheepherder, the piedpiper, the apparent revolutionary who walks onto the national stage like a warm up speaker for a year, promising great reforms and changes to come via his revolutionary movement within the Democratic Party, then when the electoral insurgency fails after the primaries, declares victory, pointing to the massive movement building, begrudgingly or belatedly endorses the choice of the liberal oligarchy, and proves to be True Blue, going out and campaigning like a demon on fire in the Fall to help the Democrats, Hillary in this case, win.

— John Stauber


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During the presidential election cycle, liberals display their gutlessness. Liberal organizations, such as, become cloyingly subservient to the Democratic Party. Liberal media, epitomized by MSNBC, ruthlessly purge those who challenge the Democratic Party establishment. Liberal pundits, such as Paul Krugman, lambaste critics of the political theater, charging them with enabling the Republican nominee. Liberals chant, in a disregard for the facts, not to be like Ralph Nader, the “spoiler” who gave us George W. Bush.

The liberal class refuses to fight for the values it purports to care about. It is paralyzed and trapped by the induced panic manufactured by the systems of corporate propaganda. The only pressure within the political system comes from corporate power. With no counterweight, with no will on the part of the liberal class to defy the status quo, we slide deeper and deeper into corporate despotism. The repeated argument of the necessity of supporting the “least worse” makes things worse.

Change will not come quickly. It may take a decade or more. And it will never come by capitulating to the Democratic Party establishment. We will accept our place in the political wilderness and build alternative movements and parties to bring down corporate power or continue to watch our democracy atrophy into a police state and our ecosystem unravel.

The rise of a demagogue like Donald Trump is a direct result of the Democratic Party’s decision to embrace neoliberalism, become a handmaiden of American imperialism and sell us out for corporate money. There would be no Trump if Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party had not betrayed working men and women with the North American Free Trade Agreement, destroyed the welfare system, nearly doubled the prison population, slashed social service programs, turned the airwaves over to a handful of corporations by deregulating the Federal Communications Commission, ripped down the firewalls between commercial and investment banks that led to a global financial crash and prolonged recession, and begun a war on our civil liberties that has left us the most monitored, eavesdropped, photographed and profiled population in human history. There would be no Trump if the Clintons and the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama, had not decided to prostitute themselves for corporate pimps.

Con artists come in many varieties. On Wall Street, they can have Princeton University and Harvard Law School degrees, polished social skills and Italian designer suits that are priced in the tens of thousands of dollars. In Trump tower, they can have cheap comb-overs, fake tans, casinos and links with the Mafia. In the Clinton Foundation, they can wallow in hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate and foreign donors, including the most repressive governments in the world, exchanged for political favors. But they are all crooks.

The character traits of the Clintons are as despicable as those that define Trump. The Clintons have amply illustrated that they are as misogynistic and as financially corrupt as Trump. Trump is a less polished version of the Clintons. But Trump and the Clintons share the same bottomless guile, megalomania and pathological dishonesty. Racism is hardly limited to Trump. The Clintons rose to power in the Democratic Party by race-baiting, sending nonviolent drug offenders of color to prison for life, making war on “welfare queens” and being “law-and-order” Democrats. The Clintons do a better job of masking their snakelike venom, but they, like Trump, will sell anyone out.

The Clintons and the Democratic Party establishment are banking that the liberal class will surrender once again to corporate power and genuflect before neoliberal ideology. Bernie Sanders will be trotted out, like a chastened sheepdog, to coax his followers back into the holding pen. The moral outrage of his supporters over Wall Street crimes, wholesale state surveillance, the evisceration of civil liberties, the failure to halt the devastation of the ecosystem, endless war, cuts to Social Security and austerity, will, the Democratic Party elites expect, airily evaporate. They may not be wrong. Given the history of the liberal class, they are probably right.

Sanders supporters, however, were given a stark lesson in how the political process is rigged. Some are disgusted and politically astute enough to defect to the Green Party. But once they no longer play by the rules, once they become “spoilers,” they will be ignored or ridiculed by a corporate press, excoriated by liberal elites and chastised by their former candidate.

Liberals, as part of the quid pro quo with the establishment, serve as attack dogs to keep us within the deadly embrace of corporate capitalism. Liberals are tolerated by the capitalist elites because they do not question the virtues of corporate capitalism, only its excesses, and call for tepid and ineffectual reforms. Liberals denounce those who speak in the language of class warfare. They are the preferred group — because they claim liberal values — used by capitalist elites to demonize the left as irresponsible heretics.

— Chris Hedges, Truthdig

The rest:

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by Dan Bacher

The Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, the Astroturf group bankrolled by Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoon Stewart Resnick, on June 9 submitted a new petition to the California Fish and Game Commission to raise bag limits and reduce size limits on striped bass in an attempt to reduce their populations. This time they’ve added black bass also as a so-called “predator” in their petition.

The “Coalition” is joined by a who’s who of the state’s agribusiness, water agency and corporate interests, including the California Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California, San Joaquin Tributaries Authority, Southern California Water Committee, State Water Contractors, Western Growers Association, California Farm Bureau Federation, Northern California Water Association and Kern County Water Agency.

When the water contractors last tried to eradicate striped bass by slashing the size limit and increasing the bag limit, anglers were able to defeat their proposal with a large showing of people at the February 2012 Fish and Game Commission meeting after Fish Sniffer Editor Cal Kellogg and I helped organize a campaign mobilizing over 450 anglers to show up for a CDFW meeting on the issue in Rio Vista in November 2011.

Coalition for a Sustainable Delta spokesman Michael Boccadoro, the president of the Dolphin Group, claimed the purpose of the petition is to “help preserve” Sacramento River Chinook salmon and Delta smelt.

“California families, businesses and farms have sacrificed considerably during this drought to provide water to help preserve salmon and smelt,” Boccadoro stated. “Modifying size and bag limits for striped bass is an important next step to better protect and begin restoring these endangered species. It is clear that more needs to be done to halt the continuing declines.”

The proposed changes would increase the bag limits and decreased the size limits for black bass and striped bass in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and rivers tributary to the Delta, according to Boccadoro.

The black bass size limit would be decreased from 12 inches to 8 inches and the daily bag limit would be increased from 5 fish to 10 fish.

The striped bass size limit would be decreased from 18 inches to 12 inches and the daily bag limit would be increased from 2 fish to 6 fish and the size limit.

The Coalition also criticized state regulators for focusing on increased flows and water pumping restrictions while “predation by non-native species has gone largely unaddressed.”

Anglers oppose the proposal because they say it will reduce the population of stripers and black bass and not address the real causes of salmon, Delta smelt and other fish declines — water diversions, overpumping and mismanagement by the state and federal governments.

Dave Hurley of the Allied Fishing Groups explained the gravity of the matter in an action alert to anglers. “Those wanting to blame introduced species for the water contractors’ sins of overpumping the Delta are back on another attack on species that have co-existed in the Delta for over 100 years,” said Hurley.

At this time, it is unclear when this petition will be presented to the Fish and Game Commission, but it may be as early as July in Petaluma, according to Hurley.

Prominent scientists disagree strongly with the contention of Boccadaro and the water contractors that the proposed regulations would “help protect” endangered salmon and smelt, pointing out the lack of any peer-reviewed science backing this claim.

“There is NO new peer-reviewed science that would change anything regarding this issue from the last time they tried the regulation change until now,” said David J. Ostrach Ph.D., Chief Scientist of Ostrach Consulting. “There has been some special interest group directed ‘studies’ by the water contractors and their allies, most of which are bogus or focus on hot spots and then expand that notion to the entire estuary e.g. if they're eating them in mass at the hotspots there eating them everywhere.”

“Most importantly. predation at hot spots and throughout the Delta has not been shown to affect population levels of salmon or endangered species; it is a lower-level stressor. The biggest predators known to affect population levels of endangered species in the system are the state and federal water project pumping operations, where it's clearly documented that they've killed tens of millions of endangered salmon, Delta smelt, striped bass and any other fish that enters Clifton Court Forebay,” said Ostrach.

In fact, Ostrach points out that Dr. Sean Hayes, NOAA's lead scientist on this topic, made a 45 minute presentation to the State Water Resources Control Board concluding that removing striped bass are other predators from the system would likely not only do no good, but could potentially cause serious harm to endangered species and the ecosystem.

“So the federal agency's own scientists working on this problem have come to this conclusion, yet his words are twisted to suit the needs of the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta and others,” said Ostrach.

Ostrach emphasized that if the Commission does change the regulations so that smaller striped bass are being caught and kept, it would likely cause a decrease in striped bass predation on other fish more dangerous to the endangered species such as the inland silverside.

“If you remove young (up to 3-4-year-old) striped bass by fishing or otherwise reduce their numbers, then the silverside population would increase,” said Ostrach. “The silversides are direct competitors with salmon smolts for the same food sources, and they also are known to eat Delta smelt larvae, juveniles and eggs. This is just one example of how trying to perturb an ecosystem already in collapse would likely make things much worse rather than do anything better,” he said.

A UC Davis study released in May confirms Ostrach’s argument. The study, “Understanding predation impacts on Delta native fishes,” written by Peter Moyle, Andrew Sih, Anna Steel, Carson Jeffres, William Bennett, asked the question: Will endangered fishes, such as Chinook salmon, delta smelt, and longfin smelt, benefit from control of predators, especially of striped bass? (

After a review of the scientific literature and research, their conclusion was “unlikely.”

“It seems unlikely that a large-scale predator removal program focused on striped bass would have a sustainable, measurable effect on populations of its prey species, specifically protected smelts and salmon,” the scientists concluded.

Like Ostrach, they pointed out that predator control can have unintended consequences, including potentially adversely impacting endangered native species.

“For example, reducing striped bass populations might cause an increase in important prey species, such as Mississippi silverside, that prey on delta smelt eggs and larvae. In other words, controlling striped bass may backfire and increase predation on delta smelt,” they wrote.

“Striped bass get blamed for declines of native fishes because they are an abundant, voracious, non-native predator. Yet striped bass have been part of the Delta ecosystem for nearly 150 years, plenty of time for co-adaptation of predator and prey. In periods when delta smelt, longfin smelt, and salmon were abundant in the past, striped bass were much more abundant than they are today, suggesting that the same factors that drive native fish declines are also driving striped bass populations,” the scientists said.

Dr. Ostrach described the petition as “just another diversion by the water contractors and their allies to focus attention on predation rather than the real cause of the demise of the San Francisco Bay Delta ecosystem — mismanaging the water such that we have an environment very much similar to an Arkansas lake where things like egeria /water hyacinth and freshwater species like smallmouth bass largemouth bass can thrive and is not conducive to survival of plants and animals that live in an estuary.”

“The key to stabilizing the Delta would be to restore habitat, restore the appropriate flows to the river system, and in the case of hot spots, reengineer those places that have created a haven for predators rather than trying to do things that simply won't work like removing the predators and taking them to lakes and out of the system,” he said.

“Don't blame the fish — blame the structures in engineering and the way they are managed,” he concluded.

The composition of the Fish and Game Commission has changed dramatically since they last addressed this issue — and turned down a petition by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), under pressure by the water contractors, to increase striped bass bag bag limits and decrease size limits. Only one Commissioner — Jacqueline Carmenin Hostler- has been on the Commission for over two years.

Even more troubling, the two newest Commissioners, Russel Burns of Napa and Peter Silva of Chula Vista, work for or have worked for groups pushing Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels plan, a water grab by the same water contractors that have proposed changing the limits on stripers and black bass.

Burns works as business manager at Operating Engineers Local Union 3, a supporter of the California WaterFix, while Silva served as senior policy advisor at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, one of the sponsors of the petition and one of the leading backers of the Delta Tunnels.

As the water contractors submit their petition, the numbers of Delta smelt, once the most abundant fish in the estuary, have plummeted to a new low, according to this spring’s CDFW smelt survey. Only thirteen adult Delta Smelt were collected at 8 stations contributing to the index in 2016.

The Delta smelt collapse is part of an overall ecosystem decline driven by water diversions by the federal and state water projects. The CDFW’s 2015 Fall Midwater Trawl demonstrates that, since 1967, populations of striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, splittail and threadfin shad have declined by 99.7, 98.3, 99.9, 97.7, 98.5 and 93.7 percent, respectively, according to Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).

Stewart Resnick, the billionaire funder of the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta Astroturf group, is the co-owner of The Wonderful Company with his wife Lynda, and the largest grower of orchard fruit in the world. For more information about the Resnicks and their connections with the University of California system, read my piece, “The story that disgraced UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi didn’t want you to read,” at:

* * *



On 6/22/2016 8:23 AM, Thomas M. Grattan wrote: “How do you know the gender of the "rant"???”

* * *

There are lots of cues and signs. Is it pure visceral stupid outrage or just florid huffiness? And examine the handwriting -- is the dot over every i a little heart, a star, a tiny picture of something? That's probably a girl, then. If the dots are all different tiny pictures, that's rare probably a redheaded woman. Doodles of guns/knives/rockets in the margins of a death threat: small boy /or/ really interesting older woman. Ponies or a sketch of a boy's face: a girl. Count the exclamation marks; a repeated odd number is a boy, even is a girl; a whole line of bangs is a woman in her forties. Aerobic capitalization: old woman or old man. All caps: a partially deaf old man.

The more material to work with, the better. If it's a very short rant and you're already certain the person is nuts, that's the hardest to tell. Also there's the name of the sender. Ezekiel, Q-Dog, Crash, Jenny, Phil, Pops, Nirmala, etc., are dead giveaways. Taylor, Morgan, Alex, Sam, not so much. Alix would be a 20-something young woman, slight, pretty, no makeup or facial mutilation (no wood plugs; no lip, nose or tongue rings).

Does the rant smell like a clove or menthol cigaret? Girl. Like a regular cigaret? Male veteran (or a creepy buzz-cut techie with a car trunk full of specialized tools). Smell like weed? Dude.

It's like any on-the-job skill. Experience furthers. You do it for awhile, faking it, wondering if you'll ever get it, and then one day it's like skating away on the ice and you're there.

Marco McClean


  1. Craig Stehr June 23, 2016

    Considering the AVA online postings of the last couple of days, how could I not offer this gem from Swami Sivananda? “Brahman alone is real; this world is unreal; the individual soul is identical with Brahman.” I’m leaving for Honolulu on Sunday, staying at The Plumeria for 28 days, no plans beyond that…don’t need ’em! Dogs bark, but the caravan moves on, and on, and on. ;-)

    • LouisBedrock June 23, 2016

      “WHICH is real—
      This bottle of indigo glass in the grass,
      Or the bench with the pot of geraniums, the stained mattress and the washed overalls drying in the sun?
      Which of these truly contains the world?

      Neither one, nor the two together.”

      Wallace Stevens

    • LouisBedrock June 23, 2016

      “I placed a jar in Tennessee,
      And round it was, upon a hill.
      It made the slovenly wilderness
      Surround that hill.

      The wilderness rose up to it,
      And sprawled around, no longer wild.
      The jar was round upon the ground
      And tall and of a port in air.

      It took dominion everywhere.
      The jar was gray and bare.
      It did not give of bird or bush,
      Like nothing else in Tennessee.”

      Wallace Stevens

      • BB Grace June 23, 2016

        What a wonderful inspiring story Susie. Bravo!

        I imagine if Mr. Updegraff was the professor he would have filled the mayo jar with petrol instead of water explain how over population and eating were the big problems to focus on, and lit the jar on fire to make a point about climate change, where his good buddy Bedrock would erase his class from existance and wonder if they were ever real.

  2. Rick Weddle June 23, 2016

    re: Marco…
    He’p me, cheeses!

  3. Stephen Rosenthal June 23, 2016

    Can somebody please explain? How is it that a shithole like Dollar General can bully its way into rural Redwood Valley against the will of more than 85 percent of its residents, and Costco can be forever delayed and/or stopped by a single mysterious attorney from Davis (almost 150 miles away) despite the approval of the City Council, local Superior Court and vast majority of area residents? Unless Costco execs feel very strongly that the Ukiah Valley is a potential cash cow, you can kiss it goodbye and settle for the higher-priced status quo. And by the way, Costco may not be a union shop, but its pay and benefits package are equal to or better than those of its competitors, union or otherwise.

    • LouisBedrock June 23, 2016


      Check out the second or third definition of the Spanish word, “enchufe”;
      although I suspect your question is rhetorical and you already know the answer to your question.

      • Stephen Rosenthal June 23, 2016

        Yes, it is a rhetorical question which, sadly and cynically, I am all too aware of the answer. But I appreciate your response, as I learned a new and very valuable word as a result.

    • Bruce McEwen June 23, 2016

      It goes back to the shop local propaganda. You spend your money at the local businesses; they in turn spend it at Costco in Santa Rosa — buying products which they mark up to captive-audience prices, and sell to you! This highly profitable scheme would be spoiled if Costco came here. The kinds of cheap trifles Dollar General provides are similar to the wares provided by tinkers and drummers in former times, the Good Old Days, that were no real threat to the better quality staples available at a general store in a small town, in a rural county, far from competitive markets. Remember that next time you see or hear those seemingly egalitarian words, Shop Local!

      • james marmon June 23, 2016

        That’s quite the conspiracy theory McEwen.

      • Stephen Rosenthal June 23, 2016

        Can’t say I disagree with you, Bruce. But I’ll tell you, I, too, am willing to drive to Santa Rosa to stock up at Costco, Whole Foods, Pet Club, et al. No lawsuits blocking Chipotle or In ‘n’ Out; just what Ukiah needs – more unhealthy fast food joints. But unless there’s a massive influx of outsiders coming to Redwood Valley just to save a few pennies on the crap that Dollar General sells, it will fail within 2 – 3 years and leave an ugly concrete monolith in its wake. Book it!

        • Bruce McEwen June 23, 2016

          Sure, look at the empty store fronts where they (dollar stores) have been before — one at the Pear Tree Mall, two or three more S. along State St., up Talmage and elsewhere. When I was a wee lad wandering the prairies,w/ my pony and dog, I would come across the carcass of a mule — bleached bones, the shriveled harness collar and traces, bleached boards and wheels of a wrecked tinker’s wagon, looted of it’s merchandise… a few scattered rusty pins, dented tin pots W/ the enamel chipped off, broken bottles, scattered pottery shards, and some rotted bolts of calico or homespun. If you could find a bottle turned blue or, better yet purple, in the desert sun, it was worth money. Same for a old teakettle or chamber pot for somebody to make a planter out of — But mostly, those things had been riddled with .22 bullets; and I was guilty of a lot of that kind of mindless vandalism, too, sad to say.

  4. Jim Updegraff June 23, 2016

    Louis, I believe Suzie da and BBGrace have a problem with us which is fine with me.

    • LouisBedrock June 23, 2016

      “A palabras necias, oidos sordos”

      Deaf ears for foolish words.
      (Spanish refran–saying)

    • LouisBedrock June 23, 2016


      On Sunday, 19 June 2016, Bruce McEwen wrote (to Susie):

      “Your reading, vast and all-inclusive as it is, Mlle. de Castro, leaves much to be desired. …

      You really need to wake up and take a whiff, Susie. Your ignorance is appalling in this day and age. You remind me of some silly little girl in a Norman Rockwell painting, dressed like Shirley Temple, but with the wrinkles and white hair of a cadaver — “Susie’s not dead, she’s only a-sleeping…”

      This observation applies to both of the village idiots.

      • Bruce McEwen June 23, 2016

        The platitude Women Are Smarter Than Men hath attained the status of a maxim after three generations of fathers bowing to the wisdom of mothers, and this deference has resulted in a horde of tattooed morons and ninja turtle clowns addicted to methamphetamine replacements for the nanny drug Rittalin that our school nurses have been distributing in the schools over the past 30 years, along with a curriculum of facile homilies like the one Susie de Castro cites above. It’s gotten really bad, out there, but it’s all about to get much worse: The election of Ms. My Turn will inaugurate the rise of the Nanny State to full-blown rule; and in turn, the likes of us, my friends (Jim, Louis, et al) will be huddled and trembling like the men in Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata. Consider this when you hear rumors that the election has become a gender issue.

        • Bruce McEwen June 23, 2016

          that’s some funny shit.

  5. Bruce McEwen June 23, 2016

    Susie, it’s a game where you yell four, shoot six, and write down five. Or, a good walk spoiled. It comes w/ a handicap, for chrissakes. Yet these exquisite glimpses into your past and psyche are soooo illuminating. My, what a pleasure it is to come home from work and segue right into group therapy!

    And I hope I speak for “the good ol’ boys” on this thread when I say, hey, we love, ya, pal and will fight for your right to disagree.

  6. Bruce McEwen June 23, 2016

    Actually, the cops in Laramie, Wyoming unpacked my suitcase the day I had to take my dog to the vet. After the vet put her down I hit the road w/ my suitcase and guitar case, and when I got ’em back, after being arrested for hitch-hiking (42 days in jail), the guitar was smashed and the suitcase full of concrete.

    When I hear people bellyache about the local cops, I just have to laugh. To posit this perspective, go frolicking around in Las Vegas, and get pulled over. Vegas has the meanest, toughest, most short-tempered cops in the world. If you, Snoozin-Susan, think these guys are bad, why don’t you take a trip down to Vegas?

    • james marmon June 23, 2016

      I once had Cops make me walk with a large suitcase all the way from Malad Idaho to the Utah State line, several miles. They told me if I stuck out my thumb, they would arrest me. I swung up to Malad for a visit while hitch-hiking back to Ukiah from Cheyenne Wyoming. That was back in 1973 I believe. About a mile from the line, some kids saw the cops following me and stopped and picked me up and took me all the way to Salt Lake City and Interstate 80. They could do that, you just couldn’t solicit a ride. You and I may have shared some jail time together somewhere in the past McEwen. Both of us out there writing history.

      We didn’t have backpacks in those days did we? Freaking suitcases.

      • james marmon June 23, 2016

        Laramie had the hottest chicks at that College, I loved Laramie. A suitcase in one hand, and a bedroll in the other. Those were the days.

        • Bruce McEwen June 23, 2016

          Wull, I lived in Saratoga, worked in the sawmill, then for the town, finally for the concrete company. On the way I worked on a ranch, the Four-Bar, which is why I went there in the first place.

          Some men will relocate for their wife’s profession; and that’s all good. But I went there to fulfill my dog’s dream of working on a cattle and sheep ranch.

          My dog loved the 4-Bar, and they loved her. The owners tried to buy her from me, but no, no go.

          As will happen, she got old and crippled up. My friends said, do the right thing. You’re just keeping her around for sentimental purposes which the dog may not have shared.

          A cattle dog, she was bad to bite. (Stock dogs are trained to “nip” the heels of sheep and cattle. But, you know, big ugly steers, on their way to the slaughterhouse, don’t really appreciate this “nipping” at their fetlocks, and sometimes they whirl around with rather supprising celerity and pin the goddamned dog to the ground and either gore the fucker to death with a horn, or try to smash her like a bug w/ his skull.

          Also, drunks at the bunkhouse had tried to rape her with riding crops and other foreign objects to the point she wasn’t that pleasant to have around.

          This made retiring from the ranch problematic. I hired on at a lodge, and played guitar in the bar of an evening, the Saratoga Inn; where, incidentally, the lawyers of the Wyoming State Bar used to frequent.

          One evening, I was strumming my six-string in the corner, my old stock dog snoozin under the table and a couple got up and started to dance, in that kind of boot-shufflin, skirt-bloomin, whirrlin-&-twrilin kind of western music.

          I was strummin along somewhat in a trance when i heard this guy yellin at me: Hey! Hey, dude! Hey….!

          Finally, I come out of my cord progressions and say — What?

          He says, do you know Your Goddamn Dog Just Dove Out From Under The Table And Bit My Old Lady On The Ankle…?

          I thought a moment and said, No, but if you hum a few bars, I’ll try it.

      • james marmon June 23, 2016

        That’s about the time I discovered that I was the reincarnation of the Great Mormon Prophet John Woolley. Which was also the name of my step-father, John Woolley. Woolley was kicked out of the church for having too many wives. I’ve only had 5 so far.

        James (Jim Woolley) Marmon
        The Prophet.

  7. Bruce McEwen June 23, 2016

    For someone born and bred in a seedy little bungalow w/ sliding glass doors opening onto the fairways, I expect a certain tilt of the snout, a downward glance, a deprecating comment; and, to be honest, a certain, shall we say, sense of ascedancy; by which I mean, the inscrutable sniff, and patient smile of a social ladder-climber.

    Which is all fine and good.


    And if you don’t remember your manners, I shall report you to your family and have your mother’s displeasure invked.

  8. BB Grace June 23, 2016

    As I was saying:

    If McEwen was the professor, the golf balls would represent the balls of every man being the most important thing in the world.

    The pebbles represent women, “the problem” in the world.

    And the sand, well that kids for yah including kitty litter, castles, quick, just add a little cement because it was something to do when there was nothing better to do, like the screwing you get for the screwin you got trick.

    Knowing the mayo jar ain’t full yet, Infurno Louis and flamin’ Updegraff are sure to want a front row seat (now that Mr. Reading has taking his wit and gone away) to watch McEwen fill the mayo jar with Jack Daniels, a very good friend indeed. Never been any better.

    So when Susie askes, “What does the Jack Daniels mean?” The AVA arrested developement men’s club puts on their bestest girly men vaudville:

    Mr. Updegraff: “Oh the real girls have a problem with us. Tsk. I don’t care, they make babies and we all know babies are the problem except in Palestine, then it’s the Jews fault. Not the good Jews like Louis. But the bad Jews who think Islam needs to share the world.”

    Mr. Bedrock: “Jim speaks my mind”

    Mr. Bedrock: “You know I really do love you Bruce more than anyone ever. Don’t you wish we could execute them?”

    Mr. Bedrock: “I ignor them. They don’t exist.”

    Mr. Bedrock: “You’re so smart Bruce, your mind moves me to dark places. I like dark places.”

    McEwen: “I wish these real girls would go away, they have no idea what it is to be a girly man. All the whores everywhere we went were jealous of me. They all wanted me. These stupid women and their drugged up stupid children are the problem. It’s ALL their fault.”

    Mr. Updegraff: “Louis speaks my mind. Big Bang.. McEwen. I’m telling you Big Bang, I’ll send you another letter for the AVA about it.

    Mr. Marmon: “I can be a girly man if I feel like it guys. I have feelings. I tell you everyday my feelings”.

    Mr. Bedrock: “Lovely dark places in Spanish so dark and bloody reminds me of a dream I had a few minutes ago in Spanish! You should see the bull fights of my gory dreams in Spanish Bruce.. but these real women are too much. You know that. I wrote a letter. I tried to extinguish them to be nice.”

    Mr. Bedrock: “Talk Spanish to me Steven, I just love it so much, more than any woman could know (got that Bruce?).”

    McEwen: “It’s the women and children’s fault, we’re all in agreement, except them. Louis is right. Ignor them. They don’t exist. I feel better allready. LOL I love you Jack Daniels, yes, Jack and me. LOL Jack knows how to put that Susie doozie where she belongs -> who cares? Not Jack. They should have named it Bruce McEwen, not Jack Daniels God Damn it. I said GOD DAMN IT! Flippin flappin bible thumpin Jew lovin’ snipper snappers.. Snapper.. Hey did I tell you about that time in some Whore town” Let me tell you boys, they’re all whore towns Louis; Updegraff. Whores. All of them are WHORES and don’t try to talk me out of it!”

    Marmon: “The biggest whore of all is SHREADER Ahhhhh it makes me go crazy and I kinda feel at home with that.”

    Marmon: If I really did care about the women and children I’d get off this computer. So come on Bruce.. love me just a little. Come on. Give you a ride on my Harley, even clean the crap off it.

    McEwen: “See this mayo jar? I could drink all the Jack Daniels in it if it wasn’t for those damned women and children in there stuck with cement. Where’s my gun, I’m going to shoot the sucker up, after what they did to my Jack.. Cheezits Weddle.. did you see how these women and children messed up my friend Jack?”

    To Mr. Updegraff. For decades I wondered what happened to the ACLU. Meeting you on the AVA is awesome because now I virtually know the guy who couldn’t get anything done. I guess that could be said for the RT too. I like all of you and any time you feel like being real men why I’ll be right here for yah, until then, you girls have a good night.

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