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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Aug 10, 2016

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A 5.1 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE shook Lake and Mendocino counties Tuesday evening, according to the USGS. The quake, centered about 12 miles north of Upper Lake, struck just before 8 p.m Tuesday night. It was felt as far inland as Chico and Sacramento, and as far west as Fort Bragg. Anderson Valley felt it as a sharp jolt. People from all over Mendocino County are also reporting the quake as a quick but memorable jolt. A few minutes after the 5.1, Boonville felt an aftershock measuring 2.7. And at 2:19 this afternoon, a mini-quake measuring 2.1 was felt by no one anywhere other than the USGS.


AN AVA PERSON reports from Upper Lake: "My house on pins (mobile home park) shook pretty well, I lowered myself to the floor (was engaged in a conversation with someone on Bartlett Mountain who only noticed that her deck swayed a bit). Report from Clearlake Park, house on shoreline that normally doesn’t move was shifting considerably; no damage. We have several fires burning in the Lower Lake area causing evacuation (up to the minute if colloquial reports coming from this FB page:

Evac shelter has been set up at Twin Pine Casino and advisory warning has NOT been transmitted on cable TV (per state requirement); doubt that anyone is minding the Lake County OES FB page — deemed the “people’s” communication source by the Lake County (former) PIO."

MIKE KALANTARIAN IN NAVARRO: “Felt it! (rocking and rolling). Tuesday evening, August 9, 2016, 7:57 pm (PDT) Magnitude 5.0 earthquake about 11 miles north of Clear Lake (base of Snow Mountain). PS. "Interesting that you got a sharp jolt. It was big waves for us (sister in Ukiah said it was similar motion there). Yes, two aftershocks now listed (2.7 and 3.0) but unfelt here (and in Ukiah). Main quake now upgraded to 5.1."



USGS MAP of where the quake was felt, based on on-line responses.

(COURTESY, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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AS OF Tuesday Night when we posted MCT for Wednesday, August 10, the USGS, Twitter, LA Times, KRON 4, ABC7 News, CBS-Sacramento, KTVU, SF Chronicle, and several on-line earthquake monitoring websites had reported on the decent-sized quake.

But not the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

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Usually, the process of recognizing a saint starts no earlier than five years after a person starts growing weed. The wannabe saint’s pals and fellow stoners present the case to the AVA Editors. Specific stages are met on the path to being declared a saint:

Servant of the Universe: As soon as the grower is accepted for consideration, he or she is called a Servant of the Universe.

Venerable: After the AVA Editorial Board determines that the servant of Universe lived a life of heroic virtue, he or she is granted the title of venerable. Heroic virtue doesn’t mean a person was perfect or sinless, but that he/she worked aggressively to improve his/herself crop and never gave up trying make better buds and grow better weed.

Blessed: After the Editor establishes one miracle (going five years without getting busted would qualify), the venerable grower’s cause is presented to the pot pope, His Holiness Dan Hamburg, to see whether He deems him/her worthy of being called blessed. This step is called beatification and is the next-to-last step.

Saint: Another miracle and the blessed person’s cause is presented to the pot pope again for His holy judgment. If He determines that the evidence is clear and that contrary reports aren’t credible, He may initiate the canonization procedure. If all goes well, the candidate is publicly recognized as a saint.

The process

Only people whose existence can be verified and whose lives can be examined are possible candidates for canonization. Candidates for sainthood undergo an investigation:

Informative inquiries are made into the grower’s medicine, potting soil, and organic diet while they cultivated cannabis in Mendocino County.

Proof that no one has proclaimed or is already proclaiming and honoring the person as a saint before it’s been officially declared.

A thorough examination of the grower’s weed.

If the thorough background check leads the investigators to declare the candidate venerable, evidence of miracles attributed to the candidate’s intercession with the Universe is sought. Miracles need to be documented and authenticated, so eyewitnesses alone are considered insufficient. Medical, scientific, psychiatric, and theological experts are consulted, and evidence is given to them for their professional opinion. If a scientific, medical, or psychological explanation exists for what had only appeared to be a miracle, then it isn’t an authentic miracle. Only immediate, spontaneous, and inexplicable phenomena – such as winning the Emerald Cup three years in a row -- are up for consideration as authentic miracles.

A group of medical marijuana doctors (Consulta Medica) examine the healing miracles of the grower’s weed. Some of the doctors aren’t stoners and some are, but all are qualified and renowned physicians. They don’t declare a healing a miracle, but instead say, “We can find no scientific or medical explanation for the cure.”

Besides miraculous healings, the commission examines other phenomena:

Impervious to Law Enforcement: The Editors consider St. Wendy Read of Boonville to be an example. She grew weed for 20-plus years without ever getting busted.

Odor of sanctity: The body of the saint exudes a sweet aroma, like fresh marijuana, rather than the usual pungent stench of BO. The Editors considers St. Sherry Glaser of Mendocino to be just such an example. The Editors believe her person will exude a pot-like fragrance for nine months after her death.

His Holiness the Pot Pope alone decides who is publicly recognized as a saint in the cannabis community all over the county, and who gets a feast day.

The actual act of beatification, in which a person is declared blessed, or of canonization, which is officially recognizing a saint, usually takes place in the Caretaker’s Garden outside Wendy Read’s house in Boonville. Sometimes, though, the Pot Pope beatifies and canonizes in the grow site where the grower kept his or her garden, as in the case of the martyr St. Matthew Graves who won a local jury trial and still went to federal prison for cultivation of marijuana on what was considered at the time one of the largest grows ever in Mendocino County.

(Bruce McEwen)

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JIM UPDEGRAFF WRITES: "Sheriff Allman is to be commended for his efforts in trying to bring a secure psychiatric facility to Mendocino County. These poor souls do not belong in jail. Unfortunately, under our current county system of governance this effort is very difficult to accomplish in small counties where you cannot achieve economies of scale. Rather it should be a joint effort of Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties to have a single security psychiatric facility. As for why we got into this situation with the mentality ill, leave that for the historians — there is a serious problem NOW that needs to be resolved."

GIVEN THE GIVENS of where we are in this country — no leadership in a Ponzi economy — basic services are going to have to be worked out by local communities. Sheriff Allman has seized the initiative here, and implicit in the Sheriff's initiative is the assumption that government is no longer capable of providing relief for and from the free range mentally ill.

USED TO BE, back when Americans were more or less on the same page, the "homeless" were housed in state hospital programs. The doomed souls one now sees every morning in the booking log contain a large number of drop-fall drunks, incompetents ("public nuisances" back in the day), drug addicts, straight-up crazy people, and people driven crazy by drugs, especially methamphetamine.

THANKS TO DRUGS like meth, we have a much larger population of Thanatoids these days, people who will never function normally, especially when there isn't even basic consensus on what constitutes normal anymore. (We know it when we see it! Well, don't we?)

THE SHERIFF has done a commendable thing here in lieu of state and federal relief. I hope his modest asylum is expanded to include drunks and drug addicts and the frequent flying public nuisances, the people who were protected at County farms and state hospitals in the days before we lost our way.

I DON'T RECALL the "homeless" even being mentioned during either convention, do you? Trump is said to be personally charitable, but Hillary? Whatever other virtue she might have, I doubt charity is among them.

KNOWING how the Democrats operate, and we're going to get Hillary by default, she and they may shovel more federal money to "non-profits" like Plowshares, Hospitality House and kindred programs because the well-paid people who staff these institutions are all Democrats. Or, if they're closet Republicans, vote Democrat because they know Democrats will share the liberal illusion that these programs are somehow helping when, objectively, they encourage and assist in keeping troubled people on the streets, thus destroying public space for the rest of us. (cf Alex Thomas Plaza, Ukiah; Bainbridge Park, Fort Bragg.)

OR ASK SUPERVISOR McCOWEN. McCowen, a rare public servant indeed, spends much of his free time cleaning up after the homeless camping on the Russian River and its tributaries in the Ukiah Valley. By himself, with the occasional assistance of a friend, McCowen has removed literal tons of trash and even much more vile detritus from the vicinity of the once pristine Russian River. And is frequently threatened with violence by the wretches who think nothing of fouling it.

CASUALLY inaccurate paragraph from a recent Portland newspaper: "Homeless campers say anywhere they land, residents and businesses want them gone. Campers acknowledge that some among them suffer from drug addiction and mental illness, but they say they're also populated with law-abiding people whose economic realities have left them with few options."

BULLSHIT. Double bullshit. "Some among them"? Try 99%. You don't see the homeless who are still trying, who aren't totally screwed up. The wholly bad luck, priced-out-of-their-homes lost-their-jobs live in their cars or find a place as far from homeless camps as they can get.

A FEW YEARS AGO, the Oregonian newspaper ran a story about a man who'd carved out a secret but safe place for himself and his daughter in a Portland park. (I'm working from memory here but I think I've got the basics straight.) His work didn't provide enough money to both eat and get out of the rain. The daughter, as I recall, was about 12. When they were discovered, the assumption was that dad was nuts, retarded, a perv, and so on down through negative possibilities. Turned out he was simply economically challenged. He was saving money for an apartment. The girl was well cared for and desperate not to be separated from her father. She went off to school every day where she was a better-than-average student. When it was all sorted out, a zillion charities and charitable individuals rushed in to help out. The bottom line, though, is homeless camps contain very few functioning citizens. This guy and his daughter would not have been safe in one, which is why they lived in hiding.

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Recommended reading: “Out of Bedlam: The Truth about Deinstitutionalization. Ann Braden Johnson. Reviewed by Kia J. Bentley, Virginia Commonwealth University,” The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare: Vol. 21: Iss. 2, Article 10.

Available at:

(Western Michigan University)

For a brief synopsis of the publication’s review:

Betsy Cawn

The Essential Public Information Center, Upper Lake

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THANKS TO THE FAST REACTION of a local surfer, two kids at Big River Beach were saved last week after being swept out to sea in a small inflatable boat.

On July 12, the Mendocino Fire Department received a call for a water rescue of two kids in a raft that had capsized at Big River Beach in Mendocino.

According to Mendocino Fire Department Fire Chief Ed O’Brien, the kids had been playing in the lagoon area of the beach in a rubber raft, and as the tide changed they were swept out toward the ocean as the river emptied. The kids had no paddles, and were wearing no life jackets or wet suits.

By the time the fire department arrived on scene, O’Brien said, they had received word that the kids had made it safely back to shore due to the help of Caleb Rickett, a longtime local surfer who happened to be teaching a surf lesson at Big River beach that day.

“We saw this lady signaling us from the beach, and I looked over to the south end of Big River and there were two children in a small blow-up boat. They were in the south part of Big River where the river sucks out to sea,” explained Rickett.

Seeing that the kids were getting pushed closer to the rocks, Rickett asked for his student’s nine-foot board, a good two feet longer than the one he was using, and began paddling his way to the kids, who he estimates were about 100 yards from where he was on the north side of the beach.

Rickett was able to get to them quickly, at which point, according to Rickett, the kids were only five to seven feet away from the rocks. At first he tried to tow the boat with the kids in it, but they were going nowhere. So Rickett switched tactics, putting both of the kids on his board, and ditched the boat.

“I had to get them to shore without the waves crushing them, and I was going to try and get them into the wave, but it was just too gnarly. So I swam in front of the board with my left hand on the board, paddling with my right hand,” said Rickett.

Due to Rickett’s familiarity with the area and ocean conditions, he was able to get the kids to shore and return them safely to their parents.

Rickett loves to surf, spending four to six hours in the water every day, and has been surfing in the county for over 20 years. He is also the founder of North Coast Surf School teaching surf lessons all along the Mendocino coast.

“I am a water man basically. I knew how to get right through the current and I knew how to get to them,” said Rickett.

(Courtesy, the Mendocino Beacon)

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Date: August 8, 2016

On Thursday, August 4, 2016, Forest Unlimited and Friends of Gualala River, represented by attorney Edward Yates, filed a lawsuit in Sonoma County Superior Court to compel the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to set aside the agency’s July 1st final approval of the “Dogwood” timber harvest plan in Sonoma County. The large-scale redwood logging plan in the sensitive, protected floodplain of the Wild and Scenic Gualala River was approved over the objections of hundreds of public comments and petitioners, after a year of controversy.

The “Dogwood” Timber Harvest Plan covers over 400 acres of nearly pure redwood forest entirely within the river’s protected floodplains, home to sensitive seasonal wetlands, rare plants, and steelhead trout habitat. The forest is dominated by trees 90 to 100 years old and sprawls over five miles of the river reaches that are designated as Wild and Scenic above the Gualala River’s mouth and estuary, adjacent to a regional Park and The Sea Ranch.

The State’s Forest Protection Rules protect flood-prone forests from the disturbances of logging operations, such as road-building. But the applicant requested an exception to the protective flood-prone forest rules, and CAL FIRE’s director, Ken Pimlott, granted the request to log the largest and most mature redwood forest tract in coastal floodplains since the rules protecting them were made.

The lawsuit culminates a troubled history for the controversial floodplain redwood forest logging plan. CAL FIRE had to re-circulate two separate revised and corrected versions of the original error-laden logging plan in late fall 2015 and again in spring 2016. The final approval was delayed until July 1, 2016 as CAL FIRE had to respond to extensive public and expert comments opposed to the plan.

The approval of the permit was marked by a rally and protest of over 200 local citizens on July 16th, who objected to CAL FIRE’s waiver of regulatory protections of the unique floodplain forest.

The floodplain logging permit was granted to Gualala Redwoods Timber (GRT), which purchased the timberland from Gualala Redwoods Inc., in April 2015. The forest manager of both companies is Henry Alden, who was previously the forest manager Pacific Lumber Company during the Headwaters Forest old-growth redwood clear-cut logging controversy of the 1990s.

The lawsuit alleges that CAL FIRE’s approval of the “Dogwood” THP is in violation of California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) the Forest Practice Act, and Board of Forestry regulations (California Forest Practice Rules) that implement them. FoGR and FU argue that CAL FIRE improperly ceded its mandate to carefully review the impacts of the timber harvest plan by granting exceptions to rules without requiring the applicant to supply sufficient evidence that impacts are minimized. CAL FIRE failed to assess reasonable alternatives to the project – including alternatives that minimally comply with existing forest practice rules without exceptions or waivers. Other violations of environmental rules alleged by the plaintiffs address CAL FIRE’s inadequate assessment of significant impacts to floodplain forest wetlands, rare plants, archeological resources, and special-status species. Gualala Redwoods Timber denies that seasonal wetlands exist in the seasonally flooded forest, even where they observed wetland plants.

Both FoGR and FU are local nonprofit conservation organizations who have supported nonprofit conservation forestry acquisition of Gualala River Watershed timberlands by The Conservation Fund. They joined forces to organize public comments opposing the “Dogwood” floodplain logging plan, along with a coalition of environmental organizations including the Dorothy King Young (Mendocino Coast) chapter of the California Native Plant Society, Madrone Audubon Society, Sierra Club Redwood Chapter, and Center for Biological Diversity. Environmental stakes of the lawsuit are both local and regional: "Newer logging rules on the book were designed to minimize logging impacts within a floodplain riparian area. But the precedent set by approval of this this logging plan makes the exception the rule by logging and skid road-building entirely in the Gualala River floodplain, and in an oversize area." said Larry Hanson, President of Forest Unlimited. “This is wrong. We need to correct it."

For more information:


Peter Baye, Friends of Gualala River 415.310.5109

Rick Coates, Forest Unlimited 707.632.6070

Ed Yates, attorney 415.990.4805

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On August 9, 2016 at about 0730 hrs MCSO Deputies were dispatched to the 16000 block of North Highway 101, Willits, regarding a domestic dispute. Upon arrival Deputies contacted the victim who reported that she had been involved in an argument with her boyfriend, Henry Cisneros, 32, of Willits. The female victim explained that during the argument Cisneros began to punch her, with a closed fist, about the head and face. The victim reported that she was able to block a number of the punches. During the altercation Cisneros pushed the victim backwards into a bathtub, where the couples 12 month old child was being bathed and he forcibly took a phone from her when attempted to call 911 for assistance. The female victim, fearful for her safety, fled the residence and called 9-1-1 for help from a nearby business. Deputies immediately went into the residence to attempt to locate Cisneros and the child. Deputies located the child, unattended, on a bed located in the bedroom (The child was uninjured). While at the location Cisneros returned to the residence at which time Deputies placed him under arrest without incident. Cisneros was transported to the Mendocino County jail at which time he was booked on charges of child endangerment, domestic battery, removal, destruction, or obstruction of use of wireless communication device with intent of preventing the victim from calling 911 and violation of probation. At the time of this press release Cisneros was being held without bail due to the violation of probation charge.

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A priest and a woman were assaulted outside a church in Ukiah Sunday night, the Ukiah Police Department reported.

According to the UPD, officers responded to St. Mary’s Church on South Oak Street around 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7 when it was reported that a teen had assaulted two people outside the church.

One of the victims, a Catholic priest, told officers that after that evening’s Mass he was told about some newly applied “satanic graffiti” on the church’s prayer plaza. When he went there, he found a 69-year-old woman praying and joined her.

Two young males came onto the plaza, one reportedly smoking marijuana, and the priest said when he told the boy that was not allowed, the teen pushed him and left.

However, the teen reportedly returned, began yelling “satanic slurs” at the priest, and when the woman tried to intervene, the boy reportedly hit her in the face and she fell to the ground.

As the priest tried to help her, he was also reportedly hit in the face. Neither victim was seriously injured nor needed medical attention, police said.

Officers later located the suspect, a 16-year-old male, hiding under a travel trailer in the 1000 block of Alice Avenue.

He was arrested on suspicion of battery, elder abuse and public intoxication. Possible charges of vandalism and hate crimes are being reviewed by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

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July 6, 2016

Ms. Carmel Angelo, Chief Executive Officer
County of Mendocino
501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010
Ukiah, CA 95482

Dear Ms. Angelo:

We are writing to articulate our understanding of the recent voter approved Measure V initiative and its applicability to timber operations occurring on our ownership in Mendocino County. In short, Measure V declares trees intentionally killed and left standing a public nuisance, and as such are potentially subject to County abatement procedures or civil action. As you are aware, we practice a specific silvicultural treatment as part of our timber operations wherein excess hardwood trees inhibiting the establishment or development of the forest are treated with herbicides and left standing. The treatment is commonly referred to as “Hack and Squirt” or “Frilling”. We practice this to ensure adequate reforestation, control stand densities, promote growth and ensure stand development. For the reasons we will set forth below, we conclude timber operations to be exempt from a public nuisance determination. Furthermore, only the State has the independent authority to regulate timber operations. Throughout state law, the legislature has repeatedly expressed its intent to protect the productivity of the state’s resources from undue restrictions resulting from pressures associated with increasing urbanization and alternative land use desires of a population encroaching into agricultural areas of the state.

This practice is protected by State Law. California state law protects all agricultural operations, specifically including timber operations, from being declared a public nuisance. California Civil Code Division 4 Part 3 Title 1 Section 3482.5 (a) (1) states:

No agricultural activity, operation, or facility, or appurtenances thereof, conducted or maintained for commercial purposes, and in a manner consistent with proper and accepted customs and standards, as established and followed by similar agricultural operations in the same locality, shall be or become a nuisance, private or public, due to any changed condition in or about the locality, after it has been in operation for more than three years if it was not a nuisance at the time it began.

Section 3482.5 (d) states in part:

This section shall prevail over any contrary provision of any ordinance or regulation of any city, county, city and county, or other political subdivision of the state.

Section 3482.5 (e) states in part:

For purposes of this section, the term “agricultural activity, operation, or facility, or appurtenances thereof” shall include, but not be limited to, the cultivation and tillage of the soil, dairying, the production, cultivation, growing, and harvesting of any agricultural commodity including timber, …, and any practices performed by a farmer or on a farm as incident to or in conjunction with those farming operations,

We have practiced this specific silvicultural treatment, since the inception of our company in 1998, for the commercial purpose of enhancing growth and stand development of commercial timber as part of our long term timber management. This treatment is conducted in accordance with California Environmental Policy Act as administered by the Department of Pesticide Regulation and Mendocino County Agriculture Commissioner. It is an accepted forest management treatment, practiced throughout the United States. It is practiced locally by large and small forest managers alike.

This practice clearly meets the state standard for an agricultural activity pursuant 3482.5 (a)(1) and, as such, is exempt from a public nuisance declaration. This protection is independent and prevails over any County ordinance.

This practice is protected by County ordinance. County code Chapter 10.13 provides protection for agricultural operations from being declared a public nuisance. Section 10A.13.020 states in part:

No existing or future agricultural operation or any of its appurtenances, conducted or maintained for commercial purposes, and in a manner consistent with proper and accepted customs and standards, shall become or be a nuisance, private or public, for adjacent land uses in or about the locality thereof after the same has been in operation for more than three (3) years, when such action was not a nuisance at the time it began; provided that the provisions of this subsection shall not apply whenever a nuisance results from the negligent or improper operation of any such agricultural operation or its appurtenances.

The County code provides much the same protections as State law. However it provides for additional protections in Section 10A.13.060 which states:

It is the finding of the Board of Supervisors that this Ordinance is to take precedence over all ordinances or parts of ordinance or resolutions or parts of resolutions in conflict herewith and same are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict and no further.

This County code mirrors and provides additional protections from this practice being declared a public nuisance. This code also indicates any actions taken by the county in response to Measure V in the form of adopting any ordinance or resolution declaring this practice a public nuisance would be automatically repealed by matter of law.

State law limits enforcement and validity of local ordinances pertaining to timber operations. The Forest Practice Act, Public Resource Code section 4516.5 provides specific mechanisms for counties to recommend additional rules and regulations pertaining to timber operations. Stating in part in 4516.5(a):

For purposes of this section, “timber operations” includes, but is not limited to, soil erosion control, protection of stream character and water quality, water distribution systems, flood control, stand density control, reforestation methods, mass soil movements, location and grade of roads and skid trails, excavation and fill requirements, slash and debris disposal, haul routes and schedules, hours and dates of logging, and performance bond or other reasonable surety requirements for onsite timber operations and for protection of publicly and privately owned roads that are part of the haul route.

It further states in 4516.5(d):

Except as provided in subdivision (e), individual counties shall not otherwise regulate the conduct of timber operations, as defined by this chapter, or require the issuance of any permit or license for those operations.

This practice as conducted by our company meets the definition of timber operations and, as such, any additional rules or regulations proposed by the County are restricted by state law.

Additional Intent. In addition to the regulations cited above, other State and County rules governing agricultural operations frequently cite as policy or intent the protection of the state’s agricultural resources. State and County law has long identified the risk of increasing urban populations encroaching into rural areas and the associated conflicts. This is mostly clearly articulated within the California Timberland Productivity Act of 1982, Government Code section 51101 which states in part:

The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following: (a) The forest resources and timberlands of this state, together with the forest products industry, contribute substantially to the health and stability of the state’s economy and environment by providing high quality timber, employment opportunities, regional economic vitality, resource protection, and aesthetic enjoyment. (b) The state’s increasing population threatens to erode the timberland base and diminish forest resource productivity through pressures to divert timberland to urban and other uses and through pressures to restrict or prohibit timber operations when viewed as being in conflict with nontimberland uses. (c) (c) A continued and predictable commitment of timberland, and of investment capital, for the growing and harvesting of timber are necessary to ensure the long- term productivity of the forest resource, the long-term economic viability of the forest products industry, and long-term stability of local resource-based economies.

The above referenced laws and ordinances clearly demonstrate the knowledge and anticipation of measures such as Measure V. State and County laws have been enacted to specifically limit future attempts to declare timber operations a public nuisance. For these reasons we conclude the specific silvicultural treatment referred to as “Hack and Squirt” or “Frilling”, is exempt from a public nuisance determination and the county lacks independent authority to adopt any ordinance restricting its practice. This is a safe, well established and essential forest management operation within the county. Should you have any questions or disagree with our conclusion please contact us at your earliest convenience.

We remain committed to managing our forests with a high degree of environmental stewardship and welcome any requests to visit our forestland to see our practices first hand.


Dennis Thibeault
Executive Vice-President, Forestry
P.O. Box 996
Ukiah, CA 95482

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SKIP TAUBE boils down MRC's thuggish presser to its essentials: “MRC — poison is "essential" to their business model; democracy be damned!”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 9, 2016

Cantaroni, Carrigg, Harbour, Litzin
Cantaroni, Carrigg, Harbour, Litzin

LAURA CANTARONI, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

SONO CARRIGG, Ukiah. Causing a fire of property, under influence, resisting.

CLINT HARBOUR, Willits. Failure to appear.

KEVIN LITZIN, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

McNary, Ramirez, Roseberry
McNary, Ramirez, Roseberry

DEVON MCNARY, San Jose/Potter Valley. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.


ANNA ROSEBERRY, Covelo. Assault with firearm.

Sanders, Sassa, Spaggiari, Vaughn
Sanders, Sassa, Spaggiari, Vaughn

THOMAS SANDERS, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

PHILLIP SASSA, Concord/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

DIEGO SPAGGIARI, Willits. Escape, interence with police communications, receiving stolen property.

SEQUOYAH VAUGHN, Ukiah. Court order violation.

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THE SPREAD OF SLUMS, the hypergrowth and congestion of manufacturing cities, the noise and stench of the industrial process, debased urban life all over the western world and led to a great yearning for escape … In America, with its superabundance of cheap land, simple property laws, social mobility, mania for profit, zest for practical invention, and bible drunk sense of history, the yearning to escape industrialism expressed itself as a renewed search for Eden. America reinvented that paradise, described so briefly and vaguely in the book of Genesis, called it suburbia, and put it up for sale.

— James Howard Kunstler, “The Geography of Nowhere,” 1993

R. Crumb

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Depending on the type of collapse, I’ve got it covered. In a fast collapse, we bug out to a place on a beach peninsula that’s been paid for for years. We take the chickens, stored food, guns and ammo with us and hunker down with the other residents. The peninsula is easily defended due to it being nothing but a thin strip of land surrounded by ocean on all other sides. Most residents down there have multiple firearms. We have a large seine net that provides protein aplenty.

In a slow collapse, we stay put. The basement serves as a true underground bunker. That’s the scenario I hope for. Having a cider press and equipment to make hooch gives me a trade.

* * *


* * *

The night has already turned on that imperceptible pivot where two a.m. changes to six a.m....Somewhere back there you could have cut your losses, but you rode past that moment on a comet trail of white powder and now you are trying to hang on to the rush. Your brain at this moment is composed of brigades of tiny Bolivian soldiers. They are tired and muddy from their long walk through the night. There are holes in their boots and they are hungry. They need to be fed.

— Jay McInerney, Bright Lights

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See Who Prop 57 Will Reach Out To, Touch, And Help. Christopher Skaggs, Age 33, State Prison Inmate

A criminal who recklessly drives to evade law enforcement is a special type of criminal, one who puts all who drive the roads and highways of Mendocino County -- families, truckers, and visitors to the county – at great risk of injury, or even death. This particular form of criminality puts the pursuing law enforcement officers at far greater level of risk than what is commonly acceptable in a civilized society.

As part of our educational outreach re Proposition 57, the so-called Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016, we have been researching current inmates housed at state prison to see who may be the beneficiaries in the event Prop 57 should pass. Here’s the second in a continuing series:


Just before Thanksgiving 2012, driver Christopher Skaggs led law enforcement vehicles on an hour-long chase starting near Ukiah and traveling on the narrow, winding country roads east towards the Comptche area. Skaggs, cutting corners, driving in opposite lanes of travel, and speeding well over posted speed limits, adamantly refused to yield to the lights and sirens pursuing him. Unfortunately for one CHP officer who was hurrying to incept Skaggs and limit the risk Skaggs was presenting to the public, the officer lost control and crashed his vehicle in the course of the chase. Damage to patrol vehicle amounted to over $34,000. Medical expenses for the injured officer exceeded $70,000. Skaggs was ultimately convicted of (1) reckless evading causing injury and (2) reckless evading crossing over into the opposite lanes of travel during yet a separate incident on a separate date. Skaggs was also required by the DA to admit 2 sentencing enhancements based on his being a recidivist who had served two prior prison terms. Ultimately, on January 24, 2014, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke sentenced Skaggs to 9 years, 8 months in state prison on what we will call Case #1.

But the Skaggs story does not end there because Skaggs had been adding to his list of crimes while he was out of custody between November 2012 and January 2014. While Case #1 was winding its way through the courts, Skaggs teamed up with an enforcer for the Aryan Brotherhood by the name of Walter Kristopher Miller. Together, in February 2013, the two men drove out to a remote home in the Potter Valley area. The owners had left for the day to go to work so the house was unprotected. Skaggs and Miller climbed over the gate, kicked in the front door, and ransacked the house, stealing firearms, ammunition, jewelry, and other items of value. While some of the property was ultimately recovered, what wasn’t recovered exceeded $8,500 in value.

As good luck would have it, a Sheriff’s deputy saw the de facto get-away car – with Skaggs driving and Miller as the front passenger -- commit a traffic violation in Ukiah. The deputy initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle just south of Ukiah Ford. As the deputy approached the vehicle on foot, Skaggs revved the engine, put the car in gear, and accelerated away from the deputy. The deputy ran back to his car and gave chase, using his full lights and sirens. The high-speed pursuit went southbound on South State Street and then turned west on Boonville Road. As the deputy was gaining ground on Boonville Road, Miller leaned out the passenger window with a firearm (stolen from the house in Potter) and fired multiple rounds directly at the deputy. Fortunately, the deputy was not hit. The deputy’s car was not so lucky. It was hit forward of the driver's steering wheel and disabled, allowing Skaggs and Miller to drive on and temporarily escape. For his participation in these crimes, Skaggs was eventually sentenced to an additional 40 months to run consecutive to Case #1 discussed above. Between the two cases, the overall state prison imposed on Skaggs by Judge Behnke was 13 years.

So the question is asked -- will Skaggs be a beneficiary of Prop 57 if it is allowed to pass? The answer is a simple yes. Under Prop 57, Skaggs’ 13-year sentence would be undone and recalculated by a records clerk at the Department of Corrections. Recalculated? Yes, recalculated -- to ignore the consecutive time ordered for the second of the two evading counts and to further ignore the recidivist enhancements imposed for the two prior prison terms. Prop 57 would also exclude the consecutive sentence imposed for the totally separate Case #2. Thus, Skaggs’ 13-year sentence would be reduced to 7 years, which was the sentence originally imposed for just the “primary offense,” meaning just the first of the two substantive convictions in Case #1. Under current credits law (please also remember that Prop 57 wants to award inmates even more credits than what the Legislature has deemed appropriate), that 7 year sentence is cut in half, meaning Skaggs need only serve 3 ½ years of the original 13 year sentence. If Prop 57 is allowed to pass, Skaggs will be immediately eligible for release in January 2017.

How could this be, you again may ask. Because the language of Prop 57 mandates that, “Any person convicted of a nonviolent felony offense and sentenced to state prison shall be eligible for parole consideration after completing the full term for his or her primary offense” [in the singular] and that “full term” means full term for the “primary offense” [again singular], meaning “the longest term of imprisonment imposed by the court for any [single] offense, excluding the imposition of an enhancement, consecutive sentence, or alternative sentence.”

Using Skaggs as our working example, both Case #1 and Case #2 would be characterized by Prop 57 as “nonviolent.” Candidly, almost everything is nonviolent under Prop 57, save for a very special and very limited 23 or fewer crime definitions (see Penal Code (§667.5(c).) Though the CHP officer was hurt as a direct result of having to pursue Skaggs, the vehicle crash and resulting injuries to the officer are nonviolent, according to the proponents of Prop 57. The full term of Skaggs’ single “primary offense,” as that phrase is used in Prop 57, means only the seven years imposed for a single count in Case #1. It will not matter what the judge has otherwise ordered. Under Prop 57, the additional 33 months imposed consecutively for the second (and separate conduct) count in Case #1 and the two prior prison terms enhancements will be ignored. Under Prop 57, the burglary and pursuit of Case #2, along with its own separate sentencing enhancement, will also be ignored in determining Skaggs' earliest release eligibility.

As an aside, one might ask what progress Skaggs has made towards paying restitution from his prison work earnings? The restitution ordered was $113,907.34, not including accrued interest. We checked on this and the answer is not enough to mention. Some might say we should get Skaggs and others like him out as soon as possible so they can get a good job and begin paying on restitution orders. Without being too pessimistic, we believe the chances are quite slim that Skaggs will find a good job and willfully pay on his restitution obligation. Rather, we believe the chances are far better that he will go back to one of his proven lines of work – burglary.

It should go without saying (but perhaps its better if we just say it) that the 13-year sentence, as imposed by the judge, is an overall state prison sentence that was reasonably relied upon by the various victims in seeking their respective closures. By unilaterally changing such sentences, Prop 57 expressly undercuts many of the victims’ rights developed in California during the last 40 years. If that is not bad enough, the proposed changes to the law reward – rather than discourage -- criminals who commit as many crimes as possible before getting caught. Like in this example, crime will be cheaper by the dozen because release dates will be calculated on only one count of only one crime with any additional convictions and sentencing enhancements to be ignored (even though such sentencing enhancements were passed by both houses of the Legislature in Sacramento.) Instead of promoting public safety and rehabilitation, Prop 57 will benefit all career criminals and those inmates who find themselves convicted of serial criminality, as demonstrated in our example by the three separate convictions and three separate sentencing enhancements in this example. Those three convictions and three sentencing enhancements will be “boiled” down to just one. Why? Again, because under Prop 57 an inmate will only be incarcerated for one "nonviolent" count at a time ... no matter how many felony counts and enhancements the inmate stands convicted of. For better or worse and across the board, career criminals and serial offenders will all be treated like first-time, one-crime offenders. Oil up the hinges on the revolving doors of justice, Waldo!

So tell us what you think. Do you believe justice is served by manufacturing expedited releases by crafting a constitutional amendment that protects those who prey on society from having to serve large portions of their judicially-imposed sentences? We respectfully assert this is not sound public policy and it is not supportive of public safety! Ask the CHP officer who was injured what he thinks about this. Ask the homeowners who had their home violated and valuables stolen what they think. Ask Sgt. Brewster what he thinks. These people are all direct and indirect victims of Skaggs -- victims who believed justice was going to be served through the global sentence imposed by the local judge. Prison authorities will be authorized to unilaterally overrule the sentences that judges have imposed -- to renege on plea bargains and judicial sentences -- in order to meet undefined benchmarks to depopulate prisons – all at great risk and costs to public safety.

Please help educate your friends and neighbors about Prop 57 -- the wolf in sheep's clothing initiative.

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REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS could have picked Bobby Jindal, the former governor of Louisiana, who bankrupted his state by drastically cutting taxes on the rich — after unsuccessfully attempting to eliminate all personal and corporate taxes. Born Piyush Jindal, a Hindu, he converted to Catholicism and renamed himself after a character on the 1970s television comedy The Brady Bunch. A graduate of Brown and a Rhodes scholar, he cut state funding for higher education by 80% and instituted a law allowing the teaching of Creationism in science classes. Although Louisiana is one of the poorest states, Jindal remained firm in his opposition to Washington and refused hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants for health, welfare and education. He believes that America is mired in a “silent war” between Christians and the left, but his advocacy of “religious liberty” — for example, the right of a business to refuse to serve a gay couple — does not extend to Muslims, whom he would monitor and regulate. He has claimed that parts of Europe are “no-go zones” under Sharia law, where police authorities are terrified to go and where women must wear veils, but, in a television interview, could not name any specific examples.

— Eliot Weinberger

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As the night is so mild we have the door open wide tonight in residential area of Fort Bragg and noticed a change in the sound that the buoy has made over the past couple of hours. It was much lower in pitch earlier and now higher in pitch, not a whole octave but several steps higher. At our location, about 8 blocks and uphill, there is no change in "fogginess." Does anyone know what causes the change and if different tones are of significance?

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In human conversation a slightly higher than usual pitch expresses a desire to appear harmless.

But your question reminds me of the Ray Bradbury story The Foghorn. Scott Beach, who had a rich deep voice, read it aloud on stage one night in Crown Hall in the middle 1980s. The best part was where he spoke for the foghorn: "Iiiiii'm here… Iiiiiiiiiii'm here."

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A READER WRITES: Excellent Piece On The State Of Contemporary Journalism



  1. BB Grace August 10, 2016

    The avishai (State of Contemporary Journalism). article needs a subscription to open.

  2. mr. wendal August 10, 2016


    I hope to see a report in your paper on today’s Mendocino County Mental Health Services Act Forum being held at the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center at 10am. It should be interesting.

  3. George Hollister August 10, 2016

    The homeless narrative is spot on. And the sheriff is fundamentally correct. We lost our way when the War On Poverty replaced local responsibility, and when state mental institutions were closed. Now the central government pays people to enable those who are not taking responsibility so they can “commit suicide in public”.

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