- Paul Titus
- Loretta Houck
- Consent Calendar Dialogue
- Art Theory
- Native Exhibit
- Protesting Protests
- Prohibition Continuation
- River Testing
- Fjords Transformation
- Yesterday's Catch
- Kicking Grandma
- Tomato Harvest
- Tunnels Audit
PAUL TITUS died Thursday at his Boonville home on Anderson Valley Way. He was 94. A native of Mendocino County born into a large ranch family in Manchester on the Mendocino Coast, Paul and his wife of many years, Vera, have lived in the Anderson Valley for many years. A full obituary will appear soon.
WE JUST LEARNED that Loretta Houck has died. A lovely, vivacious woman all of us in the Anderson Valley had hoped would miraculously recover from the terrible accident she suffered last April 30, 2015. We are deeply saddened at her passing, and our deepest condolences to Loretta's husband, W. Dan Houck, and Loretta's daughter, Jennnifer,who were constantly at Loretta's bedside all the time she lingered.
LOTS OF PUBLIC BUSINESS gets done on the consent calendars of local public bodies. Some of that business is snuck by snoozing city councils and boards of supervisors by unelected but highhanded managers. David Gurney has rightly complained about the placement and apparent abuse of Fort Bragg's consent calendar:
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Dear Ms. Ruffing,
At the "City Dialog" meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, you stated that a special meeting is going to be held, regarding the City of Fort Bragg's improper scheduling of its Consent Calendar by putting this item at the end of City Council meetings. After the Dialog meeting you personally indicated that you would email me when such a meeting is going to take place. So far, I haven't heard from you. Can you please give me some idea when this meeting is going to occur?
Also, you might also note that such a meeting is unnecessary, if you should simply choose to do the right thing on your own, and allow the mayor to properly schedule the Consent Calendar, and public comments pertaining to it, at the beginning of City Council meetings.
Thank-you for your consideration.
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From: "Ruffing, Linda" <LRuffing@fortbragg.com>
Date: August 11, 2016 11:59:07 AM PDT
To: David Gurney
Subject: RE: Consent Calendar Scheduling
The matter will be on the Finance & Administration Committee’s September 7th agenda. The Committee meets at 3 PM at Town Hall.
Fort Bragg City Manager
SAN FRANCISCO'S Museum of Modern Art has doubled its floor space via a nicely done expansion. Unfortunately, they've also doubled the amount of bad art in the place. Check that — non-art, phony art, anti-art, art so bad there should double arrests of the alleged artist and the fool who bought it. The elevator doors are more interesting than the art.
I STARTED on the 7th floor and worked my way down. There was exactly one piece of art, a painting of an elderly Asian man, on the entire 7th floor. The rest of the stuff looked like it had been hauled in from the used lumber yard in Ukiah, stacks of big blocks of wood, "flowers" by mega-fraud, Jeff Koons.
6TH FLOOR. Nothing whatsoever of interest, let alone that might make the heart sing or "make the world whole and comprehensible," as Robert Hughes described what art should do. It was either on the 6th or 7th floor that high school-quality videos looped round and round, driving me faster to the elevators for the 5th floor.
5TH FLOOR. Lots of Warhol and other pop art from the Fisher collection. Some hideous "sculpture" by British "artists," a ten foot portrait of himself by Chuck Close. (Last time I said I disliked Close, several real artists jumped my bones. I still don't like him and one Warhol serves me for all his stuff.)
4TH FLOOR, the most depressing of all. Piles of scrap metal by ultra-fraud Richard Serra, photos by Diane Arbus which, locked in a room with them overnight will have you cutting your wrists by sun-up. The red-doored elevators were the only signs of life on the floor.
3RD FLOOR. "Hey!" I exclaimed to myself, "that looks interesting." But when I got closer it was a coffee shop. I looked around for the Hopper that has often redeemed a MOMA visit for me, but not finding it or anything else I wanted to look at, I walked on to the Historical Society, always an interesting place.
I THINK I AT LAST UNDERSTAND San Francisco art theory. The interesting art is out at the Legion of Honor. That's where you always get the good stuff, the paintings that make you Wow. The blockbuster art like Van Gogh and the other really, really famous (and deservedly great) artists is displayed at the deYoung. The trendo-groove-o non-art likely to draw the pseuds in large numbers is reserved for the MOMA, where I paid $22 at the so-called bargain senior rate to be completely bummed out on a cool, sunny August early afternoon in San Francisco.
THE CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY is a stone's throw from SF MOMA, and always worth a visit. It's presently featuring photos and documents of the Klamath, Modoc and Pit River Paiute tribes, with a focus on the famous Modoc Wars, 1872-73. 159 Modocs, including women and children, retreated to the lava beds where they held off a thousand U.S. Army troops for a year. The Indians of the Klamath Basin were described by John C. Fremont and Kit Carson as the fiercest and best fighters of any they faced in early California. PS. The Modoc Wars are best memorialized in a fascinating book from a few years ago by historian Arthur Quinn called "Hell With the Fire Out.”
TIME WARP PROTESTS
To the Editor:
I see the article in paper about protesting MRC hack and squirt. The protesters started to protest only when drought was very bad and criteria changed that put their property in danger. I get that. I hate when someone starts an illegal open fire in my backyard. Protection, I understand. But the process has been going on for a long, long, time. Don’t pretend it’s for the environment now, it’s for property owners. And because of fire danger, adjustments should be made. But MRC is trying to eradicate an invasive species.
It’s not simple, it’s complicated. So no one in the protest group have pulled out new trees or eradicated blackberries or other thorny maddening plants, like sycamore trees in their own yards?
MRC gave away young Redwoods for people to plant, but the employees in the booth stated no one wanted them. I was the only one who took some. How odd. The people that protest didn’t take free Redwoods to plant in their yards? All of us live in wood houses, or build new homes. We use logged wood. We are the consuming masses. And yet some don’t see themselves as part of the equation or the problem. In my opinion, which goes back to many years ago, the eco systems and water sheds are being destroyed by pot growers. But no one in the protest circle has protested that on the front page of the local paper.
Only legitimate companies are monitored, and they get protested. The exception to protesting pot grows, was maybe my letters. The huge pot raids now, have come, and now in 2016 the public is fighting the growth of a pot industry that hasn’t been in check for years. And now in 2016, when pot is going to be legal, there is talk about banning new growers? Is it really for environmental damage or to protect the vast illegal growers so the price of pot stays up?
Absolutely no one is protesting until it affects them personally. Who really cares and has cared about the forest, wildlife and water sheds all along?
Check out MRC’s office, and do a tour, if they will allow it. They have done logging as best they can, and have more overhead spending because of their commitment to the future of the landscapes they are changing. Has any protester in that circle taken the time to investigate the real story? They have microbiologists, they replace timber with new plantings, plus actually have properties that will never ever, be logged. Could you say the same for thousands of pot grows? Approximately 5,000 Pot grows? Do they even try to put properties back to normal for a future of forest growth? So protest in a circle for tan oaks and forget about the pot grows. And forget about planting indigenous trees instead of lawns or flowers. Because until we all realize it is not just corporations but individual use and practises that is causing climate change nothing will change. WE Are all part of the problem. I don’t think hack and squirt during a drought is good practise, but I’m not making villains out of a company that I know is at least making an extreme effort to do logging as well as possible.
Take individual responsibility, just for yourself, and if a company is doing wrong, ask for change, but don’t ask anymore, more than what you ask of yourself, otherwise, it’s hypocritical and only because it affects you personally. Take a Redwood and plant it in your yard next time. Water your trees instead of lawns or pot. Protect the water sheds from abise by everyone! Please save the earth from loss. Because the earth’s loss, is our loss.
Catherine A. Lair, Ukiah
GOOD NEWS for Mendo pot pharmas, and sure to keep prices at pretty good levels. Despite 25 U.S. states and the District of Columbia having allowed the medical use of marijuana, the federal government on Thursday will reaffirm its prohibition on the drug and its standing as a Schedule I narcotic that has “no currently accepted medical use.” The refusal to reschedule the drug will maintain its illegality, at the federal level, for doctors to prescribe to patients, effectively continuing the chill on medical research for the popular drug. According to multiple outlets, however, the government’s announcement will also expand the number of research facilities allowed to grow marijuana for medical-research purposes, effectively ending the monopoly on such research held by the University of Mississippi in contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
NO TOXIC ALGAE IN RUSSIAN RIVER, LATEST TESTS SHOW
by Derek Moore
Test results released Thursday found no detectable amounts of harmful toxins produced by blue-green algae in the Russian River, Sonoma County public health officials said.
Despite the findings, officials are still urging caution along the river. Signs at 10 public beaches warning of exposure to potentially toxic-laden algae will remain in place for at least another week.
Tests of river water collected Aug. 1 revealed trace amounts of Anatoxin-a at four public beaches - Steelhead, Forestville Access, Monte Rio and Patterson Point.
The naturally occurring toxin attacks the central nervous system of mammals. Ingesting it can cause a variety of symptoms, including irritation of the eyes, nose, mouth and skin, gastrointestinal symptoms, muscle tremors, seizures and difficulty breathing.
A golden retriever dog died last summer after ingesting infected algae along the Russian River. Dogs and children are particularly vulnerable because of their habits in the water, including ingesting it.
No toxin-related health problems have been reported this year.
A spokesman for the county’s public health department said warning signs will remain in place until two subsequent weeks of testing show no signs of algae toxins in the water.
Officials are urging precautions in the meantime, including not ingesting river water or using it for cooking, keeping pets and children away from algae and showering with fresh water after getting out of the river.
(Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
A LAST LOOK AT 'FJORDS' IN UKIAH…
ABOUT TO BECOME SITE OF NEW 'IN-N-OUT BURGER'
Here's a link to the "In-N-Out" burger chain history (Store #1 opened in 1948): http://www.in-n-out.com/history.aspx
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 11, 2016
MARANDA ADAMS, Ukiah. Misappropriation of lost property, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
DOUGLAS GAZDA, Willits. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, child endangerment, offenses while on bail.
DENISE HAMMIG, Willits. Pot cultivation, possession for sale, child endangerment.
BRANDON HANSON, Ukiah. Probation violation.
HALYN MCARTHUR, Windsor/Willits. DUI-drugs, controlled substance.
NICOLE PACHECO, San Jose/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Speaking of so called ‘Millenials’ working in warehouses, I heard this story a few nights ago from a guy who works with us part time.
He has a day job where he goes around with a crew to different grocery stores in the area making shelf space for new products and removing old or out of date products from shelves. He said there are quite a few older people working for him; they make the best and most dependable employees. There is also a training program where they hire young college graduates for management positions. They sent him a young hot shot just out of college. He said it's common practice for managers to pitch in and help employees if schedules were tight, which this young supervisor refused to do saying, “I’m management, not labor”. One of the best employees was this 70 year old woman. One day last week, working on a bottom shelf, she was sitting on a milk crate, which evidently breaks some sort of company rule (Which was never enforced) He began berating the woman in front of everybody. The next day she brought in her own little stool to sit on while working; this young supervisor saw it, kicked it out from under her and sent her sprawling onto the floor, shouting that she’s fired.
Store security witnessed this incident; it was the young man who got fired, and later on arrested for assault. I don’t know if this is just one idiot or if this is typical behavior for ‘Millenials’ in the modern workforce.
HARVEST OF THE MONTH: TOMATOES
by Heather Seggel
Ah, Solanum lycopersicum, where would we be without your gorgeous summer fruit? For many of us it’s tomatoes and not the solstice that signify summer’s arrival. If you love them you’ve probably got a story about the best you tasted, and so often those tales are as simple as walking out into the garden with a salt shaker and picking a winner. There’s just nothing like a fresh tomato off the vine.
This garden staple is a member of the nightshade family with origins in Central and South America. Our word for them is derived from the Nahuatl name, tomatl, which you can see is just a short hop away from tomatillos (and salsa verde!). In their native habitat tomatoes are perennials, but greenhouse gardening allows for salsa in the off-season.
While they are a berry in the botanical sense, tomatoes are generally thought of as a culinary vegetable and feature more widely in savory than sweet dishes. However, playing to the sweetness of tomatoes can yield fantastic results; when you make an all-day pasta sauce, don’t you add a spoonful of sugar to the pot? While salsa pairs tomatoes with heat, tomato jams and relishes bring out the earthiness of the fruit with a bit of sugar.
If you’ve grown your own from seed or shopped at a farmers market you’ve no doubt seen the range of varieties that are available. Purple tomatoes, green tomatoes, white ones and even tomatoes with fuzzy peach skin. Many so-called “heirloom” tomatoes are hard to grow, more vulnerable to pests and don’t travel or store well, but they’re still worth the investment because their flavor is so fantastic. Slice one up, set it on a plate, and eat with a bit of sourdough bread to soak up the juices. Close your eyes and notice how sweet, tart and salty the fruit is. That’s summer you’re tasting. Enjoy it.
The tomato’s mixed identity as fruit and vegetable was adjudicated by the US Supreme Court in May of 1893 to settle a tariff dispute; they said it was a vegetable, but only for fiscal purposes. It went on to be a cultural divider in George and Ira Gershwin’s song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” Do you prefer tomAYtoes or tomAHtoes? Which will you vote for this fall? Perhaps it was all this controversy that prompted the tomatoes to strike back in 1978, as the film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes attests. The horror movie parody sent up the central conceit of The Birds, speculating about what would happen if tomatoes became sentient and sought revenge on humanity for all those jars of marinara sauce; if nothing else, their color made for good special effects.
Leanne Brown’s recipe for Tomato Scrambled Eggs from the cookbook GOOD AND CHEAP is a perfect way to use imperfect tomatoes. (It’s also fantastic made with tofu in lieu of eggs, so substitute freely). Since you saute the tomatoes briefly they bring forth extra sweetness--even a version made in the dead of winter with those pink, sad, supermarket Romas can turn out quite nicely, and you can make it with canned tomatoes in a pinch! That said, made with freshly grown, first-of-the-season Early Girls, this dish is sublime.
Tomato Scrambled Eggs for Two
half TB butter or olive oil
4 small or 2 large, fresh tomatoes, chopped
4 eggs (or ½ 14 oz. tub tofu, crumbled)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Fresh chopped herbs (think basil)
Melt the butter over medium heat in a midsize nonstick pan. Add the tomatoes and cook until they release their juice and it begins to evaporate, 5-7 minutes. Stir gently every few minutes. Beat the eggs with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat under the pan and stir the eggs in gently. Keep stirring them over low heat until they are as dry (or not) as you like. Sprinkle on any herbs you’d like to add (basil or chives are especially good) and serve with freshly made toast or spoon into a pita.
Look for fresh, local tomatoes at the farmers market and at local grocery stores and restaurants that source via the Mendo Lake Food Hub. Look for Grown Local Mendo Lake on Facebook for more info.
(Heather Seggel is a freelance writer who used to have a garden, but now contents herself with writing about whatever’s in yours.)
LEGISLATURE TO AUDIT FUNDING FOR JERRY BROWN'S DELTA TUNNELS
by Dan Bacher
Opponents of Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels plan scored a victory on August 10 when the Joint Legislative Audit Committee voted to conduct an audit into funding for the tunnels, as requested by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman and Senator Lois Wolk.
The legislators approved the audit by a 9-2 vote. Assemblymembers Freddie Rodriguez, Chair, (D), Katcho Achadjian (R), Catharine B. Baker (R) and Adrian Nazarian (D) and Senators Richard Roth (D), JIm Beall (D), Cathleen Galgiani (D), Ricardo Lara (D) and Connie M. Leyva (D) voted for the audit. Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D) and Senator Jean Fuller (R) voted against it, while Assemblymember Brian Jones (R) and Senator Cannella (R) didn't vote.
The controversial plan, now called the California WaterFix, aims to build two massive 30 mile long twin tunnels under the Delta to divert Sacramento River water to agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and other extreme oil extraction methods.
In a hearing at the State Capitol in Sacramento, the legislators said the $16 billion cost, lack of legislative oversight, and “murky funding mechanisms” all indicated the need for an audit of the funding for the controversial project, according to a press release from Restore the Delta (RTD).
"Such a significant investment needs, I think, to have a corresponding level of oversight and scrutiny,” said Assemblymember Susan Eggman.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, thanked Assemblymember Eggman and Senator Wolk for their leadership on this issue.
“A project this expensive, and potentially destructive to the San Francisco Bay-Delta, deserves scrutiny and public oversight,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.
Spencer Kenner, chief counsel for the California Department of Water Resources chief counsel, said the agency did not oppose an audit and promised full transparency. Nobody testified against the proposed audit.
The Delta Counties Coalition (DCC), including representatives of Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano and Yolo counties, also back the audit.
“We strongly support greater openness and accountability of this multibillion dollar tunnel plan,” said Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli, chair of the DCC. “This request is timely and will shed much needed light on spending for this project.”
“We thank the legislators who asked for this audit and commend their efforts to protect the interests of California taxpayers and ratepayers,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff.
In public comment, Barrigan-Parrilla made the case for an audit of the Delta Tunnels.
“The proposed Delta tunnels project, also known as California WaterFix, is required, under CA Water Code 85089, to have the state and federal water contractors pay for the planning, mitigation, and construction of the project," Barrigan-Parrilla explained. “That is not what has been happening, and that is why I am here today to ask this committee to move forward with an audit of CA WaterFix.”
She also outlined three areas of “potentially improper transactions” involving public funds within the Department of Water Resources, Westlands Water District, San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Authority, Metropolitan Water District, and Santa Clara Valley Water District. These are:
“1. The Deputy Inspector for the U.S. Department of Interior is already investigating how the Department of Water Resources siphoned off millions of Federal taxpayer dollars meant for improving fish habitat to instead prepare the Environmental Impact Report for the controversial Delta tunnels project…”
2. Both the Santa Clara Valley Water and Metropolitan Water Districts have used property tax funds to pay for Delta tunnels planning without a vote of property taxpayers…
3. “How did DWR select and award one of the state’s large engineering water contracts to a contractor with a BS in economics and no water project management experience…?”
“The project beneficiaries have created a ‘joint powers authority’ to further mask how the beneficiaries are basically in charge of this so- called “public water project” that will benefit just a few regions of the state at the expense of our public trust resources, the regional economies and vast water quality resources served by this estuary and the rivers that feed it,” she stated.
“This shift in control is known only after months and months of Public Record Act requests and deserves an investigation into how this major project will now be run by the select beneficiaries without Legislative oversight,” Barrigan-Parrilla said.
Her full testimony is available here.
In April, the Department of Interior’s Inspector General opened an investigation into the possible illegal use of millions of dollars by the California Department of Water Resources in preparing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Delta Tunnels Plan. The investigation resulted from a complaint the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) filed on the behalf of a Bureau of Reclamation employee on February 19, 2016. (www.counterpunch.org/...)
The audit is one more hurdle that Governor Jerry Brown faces in his campaign to build the Delta Tunnels. The State Water Resources Control Board is currently holding hearings on the permit requests by the Department of Water of Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for new water diversion intakes on the Sacramento River and water quality certification under the Clean Water Act (CWA). These are essential permits required before the Delta Tunnels could be constructed.
Delta advocates oppose the Delta Tunnels because they say it would hasten the extinction of Sacramento winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species. The project would also imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.