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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016

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[ED PREFACE: The Navarro River has never been in a more dire condition. Mike Koepf tells us why, and how it might be restored.]


by Michael Koepf

Cattails. I saw them for the first time this summer. A patch was growing on the south bank, another at the end of the small island that lies near the river’s mouth that’s currently blocked by sand. Cattails exist on the periphery of ponds and marshes. They are abundantly seen in bogs. Cattails are often deliberately planted in slow, effluent-bearing streams flowing from wastewater treatment plants. Cattails remove nutrients—usually ammonia from animal waste or fertilizers. Ammonia accelerates algae growth. Unfortunately—as yet—there are not enough cattails to remove the nutrients in the estuarine mouth of the Navarro River.

A scummy sheen of algae grows longer and wider everyday. If blue-green algae are present, deadly microcystins may be there. There’s already a reported incident of a dog dying after drinking water from the Navarro River. Is the mouth of the Navarro River becoming a poisonous swamp?

In the 1950s and 60s, while driving up or down the twisting curves of the Navarro grade on Highway One, it wasn’t unusual for drivers or passengers to see outboard motor boats with sport fishermen entering and leaving the Navarro River to and from from the sea. In the 1960s I saw a small fishing boat with an inboard engine enter the Navarro. It had to be high tide. Where it was going I don’t know. Safely anchored from the wind or to a cabin up stream? In summer, like Big River to the north and the Garcia to the south, the waters of the Navarro River usually flowed clear and unimpeded to the sea. If a northwest wind blew hard for several days it drove a current that often pushed sand up on the beach. It could close the mouth for several days. However, there was always enough water flowing down the river from the forest and the Anderson Valley drainage to reopen the river’s mouth.

Historically, the Navarro was open to the sea. In the mid-ninetieth century, there was a lumber mill near the beach. Lumber schooners anchored off the Navarro and lighters, shallow draft scows, ferried the wood through the river’s entrance and out to waiting ships. The Navarro River was tidal—a river synchronized to the pulse of the sea. Baby crabs and juvenile fish crawled and swam in from the ocean seeking shelter from predators. Sand sharks nosed about. Flounders found a home, but, most essentially, salmonoids—young Coho, Kings and Steelhead lingered in the estuary, where the fresh water mixed with salt, to acclimatize them to the sea.

Years ago, I shared the occasional afternoon drink in the now defunct Oasis bar in Elk with Ted Galletti, a former supervisor of Mendocino County. Galletti served during a time when practical, ordinary people still entered local government. That was before the progressive, big thinkers and SEIU took control to put the county in the hole. Raised on a farm, Ted spoke of the Navarro River in the days of long ago, when farmers took their wagons and trucks to the mouth of the Navarro River after the King and Coho salmon had spawned. Spent carcasses littered the banks. The farmers scavenged the salmon by the hundreds and took them home to feed their pigs.

Things are different now. According to a report by the California Department of Fish and Game, in 2014 zero salmon—Coho or Kings—entered the river and 419 was the estimated Steelhead count. A few years ago, juvenile Steelhead could often be seen in the evening breaking the surface in the Navarro estuary. I don’t see them anymore since the algae have taken over and the Navarro estuary warms to the temperature of urine. The simplistic may blame it on the drought or global warming, but last winter at my home on Greenwood Ridge we had 52 inches of rain. Two cords went up in smoke to keep me from the cold.

Recently, it was rumored that a single acre of land in Anderson Valley sold for $100,000 dollars. Pinot was the cause. In the Napa Valley and Sonoma County, pinot real estate has gone as high as $200,000 dollars an acre. There is little doubt about it, the pinot rush is on. A back-to-the-lander hippie currently approaching the age of a social security check, who bought their patch of paradise in Anderson Valley cheap in 1971 to build his class K home and grow a bit of weed, could now easily be a millionaire. Ditto for the sheep rancher driven out of business by the so-called global economy and cheap, New Zealand lamb. A decent bottle of pinot, a wine I do enjoy, starts at $35 bucks in Anderson Valley and the sky’s the limit at Golden Eye.

It’s estimated that currently in Anderson Valley there are about 2,800 acres in vines. At an estimated average of 1500 vines per acre spaced in rows of four by seven feet, that’s roughly 4,200,000 thirsty plants in need of water during the crucial growing months.

According to a 2013 report entitled Assessment of Vineyard Water Use in the Navarro River Water Shed compiled by the University of California UCCE cooperating with the county of Mendocino and the Nature Conservancy, the vines in Anderson Valley are irrigated on average 60 times in a growing season for an average of 5 hours per watering. Soil, topography, canopy and growing methods vary from vineyard to vineyard, thus, water consumption for individual vineyards varies. Nonetheless, during the peak growing season from June to harvest it’s estimated that a single acre of vines can use up to 750 gallons of water per hour.

Five hours of drip irrigation at 750 gallons equals 3,750 gallons per watering cycle. 60 seasonal irrigations cycles times 3,750 gallons equals 225,000 gallons of water for an acre during the growing season. This amount times 2,800 acres roughly equals 630 million gallons of water, which is enough to float a ship.

An acre-foot of water—that’s a cube of water a bit more than 280 feet by 280 feet—equals 325,851 gallons of water. This amount divided into 630 million equals around 1,933 acre-feet of water. In terms of an Olympian size swimming pool, that’s 953, fifty by twenty-five meter pools of water delivered to the vines, some of which ends up in that expensive bottle of pinot before we slurp it down.

That’s a significant amount of water that’s absent from the river as it flows down through the forest headed to the sea where it now ends up in the swamp that exists at the Navarro’s mouth. And this does not count the estimated and annual 678 acre-feet used for frost protection (in the high water flowing months) or the 457 acre-feet used for orchards and another 132 acre-feet used for pastures.

Added all together that’s a considerable amount of water missing from the river’s mouth, and that’s not counting domestic use.

Some vineyards and orchards prudently have their own ponds to collect water in the winter for use in the summer months. According to the University of California UCCE report, there are 165 ponds in the valley that can hold 819 acre-feet, although not all of them are used for grapes.

Some are for aesthetics, others for wildlife, livestock or pasture irrigation. However, even if every pond were used for grapes there would still be about 1,114 acre-feet missing from the river during the crucial, summer months.

It’s interesting to note that the joint University of California UCCE, Mendocino County, and Nature Conservatory study and abstract of 2009 states that the vintners used 537 acre-feet of water during the summer months. This figure falls far short of the 1,933 acre-feet mentioned above. Interestingly, the lower figures for water use in the abstract are denoted as grower surveys. Were the professors, politicians, bureaucrats and high-end environmentalists who authored this report spending too much time in the tasting rooms? Did they walk down to the river in late summer to take a look at the water beneath the old concrete bridge on the Philo-Greenwood road? Did they see the algae in the river where it never bloomed before?

The findings in the Assessment of Vineyard Water Use in the Navarro River Water Shed concludes with a note of special thanks to, amongst others, the Anderson Valley Wine Growers Association, Roederer Estate US, and Mendocino Wine Inc. Were the folks who turned the spigot, the ones who reported use?

Not all of the water used for wine or orchard production in Anderson Valley is pumped directly from the river, although much still is. As noted, a percentage of irrigation flows from ponds. Water is pumped from wells. Springs also aid irrigation. However, where was all this water headed before it was going to be used for wine? The aquifer’s the aquifer and to the river it flows.

I enjoy and patronize various wineries that make their home in Anderson Valley. Years ago, I was a friend of Tony Husch before he ended his life. He was one of the first boutique vintners into Anderson Valley. Tony had the foresight to see the grand potential of this place. He labored seven days a week. Through Tony I came to appreciate just how hard it is to produce wine from an acre of dirt. Nowdays, I realize that big investors have moved in, but there are still plenty of small time and family vintners who create exceptional wines working harder than anyone else.

When it comes to agriculture I prefer wineries compared to dope and sensimilla and the endless, selfish problems: the murder and the violence as well as the constant, pharmaceutical flimflam that it will cure anything that ails. It takes years to produce good wine. As a business, wine’s a commitment to a place. The vineyards are here to stay. But when I sip a glass of Anderson Valley pinot, I can also taste a river, and if the vineyards keep expanding will there be a taste of dust in my mouth?

Cattails in the estuary; algae bank to bank, it’s dangerous to drink the water, and there’s hardly any fish around. Where’s the County in all of this? Discussing pot dispensaries or a new courthouse for their pals?

My simple thought is this: the way to save the river is to turn to those who might be sucking it dry. Vintners are resourceful people. It’s not easy to manipulate nature and make a decent bottle of wine. The county politicians, the county bureaucrats as well as the professors who tell them what is right make their livings in their chairs. A vintner gets dirt on their hands, and those who’ve arrived with money have to write the checks for those that do. Do they need to greatly expand the their ponds to collect the winter run off that’s wasted in the sea? Should there be a moratorium on expanding vineyards? Can they cut down on irrigation?

In Europe, and especially France, which produces some the finest wines in the world, irrigating the best vines is actually against the law! Not because of wasted water, but because of making better wine. The French call it “la concentration,” denoting wines that have depth and richness that gives them special appeal and interest. The concentration comes from the skins of the grapes that grow on vines that have worked very hard to succeed. Minimum water is part of the deal.

In the end, can the vintners join together to save a failing river? Could they build a small hatchery on Indian Creek to mitigate the loss of fish? It wouldn’t cost more than a tasting room. Is anything to be done? Or…has cynicism been bottled and bought? Do vintners think that the public doesn’t care as they stop to taste their wine, buy a bottle and drive away? Wine producers are smarter than that.

If the river dwindles to a trickle, bad publicity could be next and when that comes to the wonderful wines of Anderson Valley that may be worse than blight. If the winegrowers can save the river, they may actually be saving themselves. But…if the cattails keep expanding, we’ll know precisely who has failed.

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ALTHOUGH IT’S OFFICIALLY FALL, summer isn’t going away without a fight. After warming up a good bit on Saturday, topping 90 in inland Mendocino, temperatures will soar for a the next few days with inland temperatures rising to around 100 on Sunday and Monday and continuing into Tuesday. By Wednesday temps are expected to return to more seasonal levels. Fortunately, the days are shorter this time of year and night-time temps will drop sharply into the 50s Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights. As usual, Boonville and the rest of Anderson Valley will be moderated by gentle sea breezes which will keep temps well under 100 for the Sunday to Tuesday hot period ahead. The Coast, as usual, will remain cool with temps barely exceeding 70 over Sunday to Tuesday. Inland fire danger will remain “critical” although winds are expected to be light.

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FOLLOW-UP, Election Observers

(Board of Supervisors meeting September 20, 2016, Supervisors Reports.)

Supervisor Carre Brown: "Doing a lot of thinking this weekend and also seeing a newspaper article, we had discussion on observers' rights, concerning the observation process and it was stated by a member of the public that Mendocino County has not convened one in a long time and I believe that this Board has the responsibility in this matter — I don't know if you all agree with me — for both the elections clerk and for voting citizens or constituents that want to have an observation process. We were throwing out ideas and yet nothing was concrete and several of them felt mistreated. Obviously there's some type of disconnect between all of them and I am proposing that we send it to an ad hoc or we could kind of be a facilitator in this process. What did occur? Let's go in, let's find out. When I read the one article it said one of the individuals that spoke, and I do remember this being said, We will be back in November and we would like to have the regulations as we understand them to be observed. But that is her opinion what the regulations are. Where we heard from our elections clerk, she felt they were. I'm just suggesting to think about it. Maybe we want to have this as an item and we can put people together and make sure we don't have chaos or people who feel that they were mistreated for the November elections."

SEEING no reaction from her colleagues, Supervisor Brown didn’t ask for a response.

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Here's another ballot proposition that appears only because legislators are afraid to take it on, doubly fearing the organized Gun Nut Lobby. The gun people live in fear of everything from lurks breaking in on them in the middle of the night to the government taking over for the specific purpose of gun confiscation. As if. As if, say, a 3am tweaker bent on machete mayhem penetrates your perimeter defenses, gets all the way into your slumber chamber… He's got you. You're drunk and so deeply wrapped in Morpheus's arms you're decapitated before you can get to your Tec 9 and your back-up large-capacity magazines, loaded and ready to slap in on full-auto. Then there's the government: When it comes for you they'll do a Ruby Ridge or Koresh on you, no problem. Their guns are bigger and there's lots more of them. On the other hand, guerrilla resistance, if it ever comes to that, you're going to want weapons. Prop 63 would ban the giant mags and require a background check on people buying ammo, and the paranoids are buying ammo in literal wholesale lots. I should confess I own three guns myself without really knowing why other than they give me a sense of security I know objectively is false. The kind of people who buy bulk ammo and lust after big mags generally aren't criminals, and most of them already have this stuff. I think 63 is mooted by existing conditions, but go ahead and vote Yes just for righteous hopelessness of it.

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On-Line Candidate forums on

Live call-in (964-0101) candidates forums on

  • Sept 28, 6pm - Mendocino Coast District Hospital
  • Oct 5, 6pm - Fort Bragg City Council
  • Oct 19 - Mendocino Coast Recreation & Parks District

All candidates have been invited to participate in these hosted forums broadcast live from our Fort Bragg studio.

Thank you for helping us educate the electorate and feel free to call-in at 964-1010 to ask your questions of the candidates! - Skip Taube, host of Naturally Mendocino on MTV

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J.D. Morris

A 75-year-old Cotati woman who drowned Friday in the ocean off Goat Rock at Sonoma Coast State Park had come to the beach to memorialize her oldest son who died a year ago, Sonoma County sheriff’s officials said Saturday.

Evelyn Moore was standing at the edge of the surf and had thrown flowers into the water when several large waves knocked her off balance and swept her out to sea, according to Sonoma sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum.

A 55-year old Santa Rosa woman who was with Moore attempted to save her, officials said. Gregg Knapp, a state parks lifeguard, swam out and retrieved her and started CPR, according to Crum.

The attempts to revive her were unsuccessful and Moore was pronounced dead at 1:32 p.m., Lt. John Molinari said Friday.


Responding agencies included state parks, the Monte Rio Fire Protection District, the Bodega Bay Fire Protection District and the Sheriff’s Office, which sent its helicopter to assist.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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A San Francisco woman was arrested Sunday for allegedly refusing to pay a cab driver for the ride she took to Ukiah, the Ukiah Police Department reported.

According to the UPD, an officer responded to the 100 block of North Main Street around 7:50 p.m. Sept. 18 when a taxi driver reported that the woman he just drove from a hotel in San Francisco to Ukiah, subsequently identified as Natalia Owen, was refusing to pay the $427.50 fare.


The driver told the officer that when he stopped the cab in Ukiah, the woman got out of the vehicle and ran away. The driver chased after her, caught her and called 911.

When contacted by the officer, the woman first gave a false name, then was correctly identified as an 18-year-old San Francisco resident, police said.

The suspect also then alleged that the cab driver had kidnapped her, but the officer reportedly proved that claim false as well.

She was then arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance, falsely reporting a crime and providing a false name to a police officer.

She was booked into Mendocino County Jail under $15,000 bail.

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Two men in a Ford pickup truck were caught on video apparently trying to steal a drive-thru sign at Taco Bell last weekend, the Ukiah Police Department reported.

According to the UPD, an employee of the fast-food restaurant in the 1200 block of North State Street reported on Sept. 19 that he had noticed that morning that someone had vandalized one of the drive-thru signs.

The employee showed an officer surveillance video that reportedly showed a 1990s model Ford F-250, long bed, 4WD pickup truck painted silver and blue that had five lights on the top of the cab pull up with two signs already in the bed of the truck.

The truck pulled into the drive-thru lane around 12:38 a.m. Sept. 17, stopped and a man wearing a ball cap got out and tried to pull up the drive-thru sign. When he couldn’t, another man got out of the vehicle and kicked the sign. Then both men got back into the truck and left.

The restaurant reports that the damage to the sign will cost $1,200 to repair.

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In a study published in the August 21st, 2015 issue of the journal Science, researchers found that natural predator species like wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and bobcats serve important ecological functions: by hunting weak and sick prey they cull out poor genetics, contain disease transmissions, and control overpopulation. The researchers also found that due to long term co-evolutionary relationships between predator and prey, natural predators generally don't hunt healthy adult prey animals.

The study, entitled “The unique ecology of human predators”, further found that humans, unlike all other predators, specifically target the healthiest adults rather than the weak and sick. Due to this unique hunting pattern, human predators have a very different effect on ecosystems: instead of a sustainable relationship between predator and prey, the study's authors noted that, “contemporary human hunters can rapidly drive prey declines, degrade ecosystems, and impose evolutionary change in prey.”

The reason humans hunt differently than all other predator is that through the evolutionary process, natural predators developed bodies capable of subduing and devouring their prey. Our human bodies, on the other hand, evolved to walk upright freeing our hands to collect and prepare fruits, nuts, seeds and tubers.

Since humans did not evolve the bodily tools necessary to subdue and devour prey, we had to invent our own tools for hunting and butchering. The first tools made by early human hunter/gatherers were primitive spears, snares and chipped stones, but as tool making technologies advanced over the millennia, hunting equipment became so sophisticated and efficient that humans became the Earth's first super-predator.

The major advantage human predators have over natural predators is that the tools we use to hunt with enable us to expend relatively little energy at low risk of injury in subduing our prey. Natural predators must expend considerable energy at significant risk of injury. This explains why natural predators concentrate on weak and sick prey, and why humans prey on healthy adults.

As human populations expanded rapidly over the past 10,000 years, populations of prey animals declined around the world and the hunter/gatherer way of life all but disappeared. Over this time, the hunting of wild animals became more the prerogative of the privileged class where hunting for trophies of the most well endowed prey animals became the object of the hunt.

According to the authors of the study cited above, “Emerging evidence suggests that the consequences of dominating adult prey are considerable.” By targeting trophy specimens, “...the resulting changes can modify the reproductive potential of populations and ecological interactions with food webs.” The authors concluded that, “...owing to different behavior (e.g., age-class preference and seasonality of exploitation), [human] hunters cannot likely substitute for carnivores as providers of ecological services.”

Here in America there is a hunting tradition that extends back to the first indigenous people on the continent over 13,000 years ago and forward to modern day Indians and people of European descent. Before guns were introduced into the Americas by European colonizers, Indian hunting technologies were limited to traps, snares and the bow and arrow, but when guns came on the scene, once abundant large prey species such as elk and buffalo were nearly exterminated.

Today in America, individual states manage so called “game animal” populations by limiting the number of “legal take” permits through the issuance of hunting licenses. This system based on limited take only adds to the hunter's incentive to target the finest trophy specimens which has the effect of removing the best genetics from the gene pool.

Another finding of the aforementioned study is that humans kill competing predator species at a much higher rate than natural predators do. This human hunting pattern, mostly for the purpose of protecting livestock, has led to the near extinction of wolves, mountain lions and grizzly bears from the continental US.

There are now very few people in the world today who depend on hunting for survival. Virtually all of the hunting done these days is for sport, not part of a survival strategy. This situation has led to the obscene spectacle of endangered species being sold off to the highest bidder. That is what happened to the iconic 13 year old African lion named Cecil who was mercilessly gunned down in 2015 by a would be great-white-hunter who in real life was a mild-mannered dentist from Minnesota.

The good news is that hunting is on the decline in the US. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, in 1955 about 10% of Americans hunted while today that number is down to around 6%. The number of hunting licenses purchased has also declined from over 40 million in 1970 down to 12.6 million today.

The only purpose for hunting in this modern world is to carry on traditions whose relevance has long since past. The ecological cost of human predation is far too great to be justified by continued adherence to these anachronistic traditions. The time has come for we humans to abandon the practice of hunting for good, and leave it up to natural predators who are the true experts in ecosystem management.

Jon Spitz, Laytonville

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 24, 2016

Amato, Barnes, Bianche
Amato, Barnes, Bianche

STEVEN AMATO, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license, probation revocation.

JERRIANN BARNES, Ukiah. Battery, resisting.

DANIEL BIANCHE, Willits. Domestic assault.

Borgman, Briggs, Commander, Dillon
Borgman, Briggs, Commander, Dillon

JAMES BORGMAN, Orangevale/Ukiah. DUI.

MARTIN BRIGGS, Willits. Failure to appear.

NICHOLAS COMMANDER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, tear gas, probation revocation.

ROBERT DILLON III, Fairfield. Failure to appear.

Hooper, McAllister, Proctor
Hooper, McAllister, Proctor


ELIZABETH MCALLISTER, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear.

RODNEY PROCTOR, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

Sanchez-Gil, Sanders, Young
Sanchez-Gil, Sanders, Young

JUAN SANCHEZ-GIL, Domestic battery, criminal threats.

THOMAS SANDERS, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MARIA YOUNG, Willits. DUI, suspended license, false impersonation of another, false information to police.

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(From The Other Internet, by William Langewiesche in Vanity Fair)

...The Dark Net exists within the deep web, which lies beneath the surface net, which is familiar to everyone. The surface net can be roughly defined as “anything you can find through Google” or that is otherwise publicly indexed for all to see. The deep web is deep because it cannot be accessed through ordinary search engines. Its size is uncertain, but it is believed to be larger than the surface net above it...

...The Dark Net occupies the basement. Its users employ anonymizing software and encryption to hide themselves as they move around. Such tools offer a measure of privacy. Whistle-blowers and political dissidents have good reason to resort to them. Criminals do, too.


White fades quickly through gray and then to black in the Dark Net. Furtive sites there offer all manner of contraband for sale—narcotics, automatic weapons, contract killings, child pornography.

The most famous of these sites was Silk Road—the brainchild of Ross Ulbricht, a libertarian entrepreneur who was arrested by the F.B.I. in San Francisco in 2013 and sentenced last year to life in prison without parole.

New and even larger marketplaces have opened, including the current leader, AlphaBay, which is owned by a man who has been quoted as saying he resides in an “off-shore country where I am safe,” gives interviews to the press, and openly defies attempts by the authorities to shut him down.

There are twists: illegal narcotics sold over the Dark Net tend to be purer, and therefore safer, than those sold on the street—this because of the importance to the sellers of online customer ratings. By comparison, it is hard to see the bright side of missile launchers or child pornography.

However noxious the illicit Web sites may be, they are merely the e-commerce versions of conventional black markets that exist in meatspace. The real action on the Dark Net is in the trade of information. Stolen credit cards and identities, industrial secrets, military secrets, and especially the fuel of the hacking trade: the zero days and back doors that give access to closed networks...

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A traditional pancake breakfast will be served at the Whitesboro Grange on Sunday, September 25th. Breakfast includes orange juice, pancakes with maple and homemade berry syrups, ham, eggs your way, and coffee, tea or hot cocoa. The public and visitors are invited to join neighbors and community for a hearty b'fast/brunch. Adults $8, ages 6-12 half price, children under 6 eat FREE. Breakfast is served from 8 to 11:30 a.m. THANKS to your appetites, the Grange is able to support local families in need, the Albion-Little River Fire Department, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Coast Senior Center, 4-H, Hospitality House, Veterans, food banks and other community service organizations. Quilts and Verna's famous aprons will be available in the gift shop. Whitesboro Grange is located 1.5 miles east on Navarro Ridge Road. Watch for signs just south of the Albion Bridge.

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Liberals used to defend the free speech of nonconformists. No longer.


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Let these days pass,

let these years pass,

and meanwhile

be grateful for the gift of light

of the December sky:

so discrete

that is almost mere transparence.

It does not offend and is very beautiful.


Let these years pass--

They are few now.

Be patient and wait

with the certainty that with them

everything will have passed

for good.

— Ángel González

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RETIRED COP: Called to a “transient hotel”…cheap flop house. Man in his room was screaming incoherently, waving a large kitchen knife…The first officer in the room grabbed the single-wide mattress off the bed, and, using it as a shield, we rushed the poor bastard…subdued him, hooked him up, and sent him in for evaluation.

Problem with a large, long baton is that you have to have it with you when needed, and this is not always predictable. If you cannot hang it on a gun belt, it will be left in the vehicle. Same thing with a shield…useless while in the trunk. These are practical considerations that people in the business would not see as evident. The standard riot baton is often carried, and a ring on the gun belt is there for that purpose.

I really do not understand the mindset of law enforcement today…we would occasionally draw our weapons as a tool of intimidation, and if the suspect was not properly cowed, we would usually have to hit him with it (we are talking about felony arrests, and you have the goddamned thing in your hand…difficult to holster, etc) …on-duty shootings were very rare…most guys in Oakland never fired their weapons on duty, even over a 20 year career.

I saw videos of the Tulsa shooting, and I have no fucking idea what was in the heads of those on the scene.

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Education is the pathway to the American dream. It is how we build a better life for our families and communities. Sign now in support of free college tuition for working students...


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"Council meeting to consider placing traffic lights at the corner of Slough of Despond Blvd and Vo-dodio-do Way. Bring your harrowing accident stories. We need this. The children need this." -G.K. Chesterton

The recording of last night's (2016-09-23) KNYO and KMEC Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available to download and keep and skip around in via

You can still get it that way if that's been working for you. But this is the future and so there's another way. Hank Sims, publisher of Lost Coast Outpost, offered to set me up with a podcast. I told him about the complaints I'd been getting because of difficulties some people have with downloading shows via MediaFire, which is visually busy with flashing ads and numerous attractive-but-not-the-right-one download buttons, and he said, no problem, he'd take care of it. I asked him what he needed me to do to help, and the next email I got from him said, basically, /You don't have to do anything but what you're already doing. Just continue to send your shows to MediaFire as you've been and I'll take it from there./ And half an hour later he wrote:

Now there is a Memo of the Air podcast feed here:

People who have podcast apps can plug that URL into their app, and they can download Memo of the Air that way, if they so choose, unless they use iTunes, in which case they can only get their podcasts through the iTunes Store and not via a direct URL, and I’m not dealing with that, because it’s too hard.

Also, there is a hidden page on the Outpost that contains direct links to downloads of episodes. This could be easier for your people who have trouble downloading from Mediafire. It’s here:

So --sorry, Marco here again-- if you want to hear the show(s), and you like the old way, continue as you were. Or get the podcast. Or if you want to directly download a show (or click on a Play button and just play it), try the direct way Hank offers.

I don't know what I did to deserve this jiffy service and I truly appreciate it. Carry on, people, all watched over by machines of loving grace programmed by generous, competent souls like Hank Sims, to whom my hat is not only off but flung into the air and hanging for a flag atop the gleaming radio antenna of a (figurative) heaven that fairly admits all dogs, not just certificated service dogs. Even nervous ratlike teacup dogs that in life rode everywhere in their smoky-voiced mistresses' shoulder bag, including into the grocery store in the baby seat of the cart. /That/ heaven.

Further, at you'll find links to practically a telephone book of things to read and play with and learn about, that wouldn't necessarily work via radio but that are nonetheless worthwhile, that I found while putting radio shows together, and all of it for free. Items such as:

A way to provide decent wi-fi anywhere there's electricity, even out the ridge roads. Done. (Soon.)

A song composed by artificial intelligence in the style of the Beatles.

And a sad commentary on America. Woe betide you, huddled masses we invited here to breathe free and/or dragged here in chains to pick cotton, if we catch you out after dark in this neck of the woods.

-- Marco McClean

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The Spiritual Writers Group's Mission

Resting comfortably in our own Svarupa

We write down the bones.

To all: Please know that I am flying to Honolulu Monday afternoon September 26th, 2016, and will be staying at The Plumeria for the purpose of focusing on new creative writing. I am inviting others to be a part of an emerging spiritual writers group, for collaborative creativity to uplift in this time of paradigm shifting. If your enlightened energy is enthusiastic for this in the immediate, and for the far distance beyond the stars, then let us commence.

Craig Louis Stehr



  1. Jim Updegraff September 25, 2016

    To Hunt or not to Hunt:I have never own a gun and never will (Only time I had a gun was in the Army and that was to hunt human prey). Of course there are the creepy types who get their jollies off killing Bambi. The country would be much better off if no one own a gun.

    • BB Grace September 25, 2016

      One can hunt with a camera and shot pictures. That’s hunting too.

      Hunter’s saftey classes should be a mandatory curriculum for environmentalists.

  2. Bill Pilgrim September 25, 2016

    re: Navarro River. And just where does the water that fills all the ponds come from? Pumping groundwater exclusively? No chance.
    No mention here of creek diversions.

  3. Bruce McEwen September 25, 2016

    I with began a cap gun at six, started carrying a BB gun when ten, added a .22 at the age of twelve, a 12 gauge shotgun at 14, and was issued an M-14 as a marine at 17, then an M-16 the following year, along with (sometimes) a .45 sidearm. Bought a Mossberg .243 when discharged, a 30-30 Marlin saddle gun, couple years later, having moved to a ranch in Montana, then a Dan Wesson .44 Mag. (for griz); moved to Wyoming and bought a .264 Win. Mag. for antelope, a .223 Heckler & Koch for coyote, also a .50 cal Hawkins for Sierra Nevada Muzzleloaders club.

    I have hunted since the BB gun came one Christmas morn and the blood of songbirds and squirrels have stained my hands; learned to hit a jackrabbit on a dead run with a single shot .22 — and all up and down the Rockies over the past 40 years there’s not many large game animals that haven’t graced my table with fillets of tenderloin — not to mention all the upland game birds, migratory waterfowl and, a favorite, pan-fried cottontail.

    I knew all along it was idiotic to kill trophy deer, elk, moose, dall sheep and black bear — as stupid as a rancher killing off his prize bulls — but there’s an irrational kind of lusty glee that comes with hunting and, while I don’t go out anymore, my fondest memories were formed at dawn on a mountain range stalking through white trunks the size of elephants’ legs, aspen leaves flashing like a fortune in gold coins overhead, puffs of breath white as smoke, then a twig snaps underfoot, a rack of antlers swivels like a bush in a whirlwind, and we both freeze in our tracks as a bull elk and I suddenly spot each other…!

    “If you take away our guns and our bows, and you put us away on a reservation, then we will hunt mice,” Chief Joseph said. “Because hunters is what we are, and hunting is what we do.”

  4. George Hollister September 25, 2016


    by Michael Koepf

    Interesting history of the Navarro. Interesting evolution. But transpiration from grapes being the primary factor effecting change in the Navarro is a stretch. The largest consumer of water in the Navarro Watershed is native vegetation. Grapes might be a distant second. Native vegetation is at a high point in at least the last 100 years. We don’t burn anymore, don’t maintain grass for livestock, and don’t clear cut. Transpiration and pumping water in themselves, are not as simple as adding and subtracting acre feet, either. Not all water is available for transpiration, not all irrigated water goes out the leaves of a crop, not all ground water is on it’s way the the river, and a lot of pond water leaks back into ground.

    Something else that has recently happened to our local estuaries is the introduction of seals and sea lions. The result is estuaries are no longer safe havens for salmon and steelhead waiting to move upstream and spawn. So these fish waiting to spawn stay outside the mouth, where it is now safer. This is independent from why the Navarro River closes now, when it did not in the past.

    We too often have found someone to scapegoat when it comes to fish. It used to be logging. Of course logging had nothing to do with the recent fish decline. Then there are the dams, and the farmers, and the fisherman, or human introduced striped bass, etc., etc. There are bigger forces at work here, and it is not human cause global warming either. Ocean conditions are what effect fish the most, and not freshwater habitat. There are too many things going on in the ocean we don’t understand, but we do know when there is food in the ocean for salmon there tend to be more, when there is not so much food in the ocean for salmon there tend to be fewer. To understand salmon and steelhead populations, look to the sea.

    • Bruce McEwen September 25, 2016

      You remind me of when my college sweetheart and I started our first newsweekly in Montana, the Flathead Valley Leisure Review. She did the art galleries, summer theater, and the restaurants; I went out to the hunting camps and on the fishing excursions, natch. A bunch of brains from State F&G decided to bring a kind of freshwater shrimp (from Lake Golden near Revelstoke) down to Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater natural body of water west of the Big Muddy (in the continental USA). Within a year, this project had made extinct a salmon run in the millions that for millions of years had brought bald eagles in the thousands to (what later became) Glacier Park — but these Canadian shrimp ate the food the salmon fry had been nursed on since the ice age.

      Of course the F&G biologists did the right thing; they blamed it on the loggers. Even though the loggers had been thinning the shade and silting-up the creeks for going on 200 years — this all happened practically overnight: The Very Next Year!

      Trust me, sir. I know how they like to shovel blame for everything onto loggers.

      That being said, even your Paul Bunnyan was not 100% pious in his opinions.

      • George Hollister September 25, 2016

        There is nothing pious about loggers and logging, the same as anybody else. But uncaring actions sometimes have good outcomes. And as you point out above, caring actions sometimes have disastrous outcomes. Science is supposed to sort this out, but it doesn’t, because scientists too often bring their preconceived prejudices into their scientific work.

        Locally, it was Fish and Game that cleared out our streams of heavy woody debris because this material was creating “fish blockages”, which to a small extent was true. But to a large part this debris was essential to freshwater salmon and steelhead habitat. So statistically, heavy woody debris is the single most important changeable component of freshwater habitat that effects salmon populations, not shade, not sediment, as is popularly stated. Why was the heavy woody debris considered to be so bad? Because uncaring and unpopular people, mostly loggers put the debris in the streams. Science was not behind the decision to clear our local streams, preconceived notions were. That nonscientific mindset in Fish and Wildlife continues today.

        • Bruce McEwen September 25, 2016

          OK. Let’s say it’s 50 years ago and you are a handsome young Boonvillian, hiking up Soda Creek Canyon, in cutoffs and tennis shoes, from the bridge at the Anderson Creek debouche, Mille. You’ve got a willow stick, cut to length (at 5-to-6 ft.) Any longer, you won’t make it through the creek-side brush. A line of Grandma’s thread tied with a bosun’s knot to the end of this deadly weapon — you’d get whipped if caught with it — and a hook made out of a safety pin.

          You dig out a worm, looks like your uncle, and put him squirming on the hook — then sneak up to the creekbank –keeping a watch on your wicked old shadow, which would gladly snitch you out — and flick the worm over the bank, just below a rill around and over and about some big rocks…

          Two seconds — if that, maybe — and bang! Your line is tight, your rod bent to cracking –green sapling tough it is — and you’ve a steelhead on!

          • George Hollister September 25, 2016

            I experienced this in the 1960s. One of the best trout holes in my memory was one in Marsh Creek, that was in an area recently logged by uncaring loggers, was devoid of shade and full of algae. Under today’s way of seeing things, that fishing hole was not fish habitat, and the fish should not have been there. Today, this fishing hole is gone, the algae is gone, and the creek is completely shaded.

            About 20 years ago I was near the mouth of Russell Brook in Big River, and saw the same conditions as I had seen in this fishing hole Marsh Creek. I had some fish food with me, so threw some in to see what would happen. Fish immediately responded to the food. After that I would stop by and throw food in for the fish anytime I was in the area. The fish were either young steelhead or salmon. This hole had no shade and was covered with algae, like the one in Marsh Creek. It had been “devastated” by logging staring in the 1960s,

  5. MarshallNewman September 25, 2016

    Re: Navarro River. The reason for reduced flow on the Navarro River is as plain as the vineyards that now carpet Anderson Valley. If the California Water Resources Board got get tough on those pumping water from the Navarro River and its tributaries either unpermitted or in excess of their permits, the problem would be less. On another front, if the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association got serious – right now it isn’t even interested – about preserving the Navarro River and its tributaries, it would push growers to either dry farm or eliminate water use after the threat of spring frost has passed. If locals let both organizations know their concerns regarding the Navarro River, they will take action.

    • George Hollister September 25, 2016

      Why did the big changes in the Navarro happen before vineyards were common?

    • George Hollister September 25, 2016

      Here is something to reflect on, from a reliable source:

      “There is a figure floating around the internet and many publications on redwoods that a mature tree can use up to 500 gallons of water on a hot summer day (picture those small swimming pools you can buy at Costco). So far, I have been unable to find a source but it is not as unrealistic a number as it might seem. There are studies showing large rainforest trees using upwards of 300 gallons, so 500 certainly seems possible. Regardless, this is not to say they need 500 gallons or even that they would want it, just that a huge, old tree could use that much if it were available.”

      OK, so how much has the redwood forest canopy increased in the Navarro watershed in the last 50 years? How about tanoak and other oaks, and douglas fir? And even if the right number were not 500 gallons per large tree, there is a lot more tree canopy out there, compared to 50 years ago. Canopy is what transpires water.

  6. Bruce McEwen September 25, 2016

    This news about the Navarro puts fishing for steelhead pretty much out of the picture – and that was about the only sport fishing left in Anderson Valley.

    After that withering article on big game hunting, added to the prospects of Prop. 63, and a drought that just will not go away, about the only outdoor sports (by which I mean field & stream, sportsfans, not croquet nor yet ping-pong) left to the Boonvillian, is the bareback rider’s taking down of a wild boar with a Bowie knife in one hand, boar bristles in the other, and a shot of Bullet bourbon in your belly.

    • George Hollister September 25, 2016

      Salmon and steelhead fishing has declined in every watershed in California, regardless of grapes, logging, dams, etc, or not. The decline is in parks. Wouldn’t that suggest that there is something bigger going on? And that we could put a moratorium on any water use, of any kind, in the Navarro watershed and the situation with fish would remain the same?

      • Bruce McEwen September 25, 2016

        True, but wee wee we all the way home are occupying a habitat where we’ve always had at least five gallons of pure, potable water to carry off every piddle of urine at the flick of our wrist. How much more we’ve lavished on our cookery, debaucherie, and abulitions and confections adds up to something rather obscene, don’t you think?

        My Granny scolded me Mum and her sisters, me Aunties, thusly: “You girls spend more on paper — paper napkins, paper towels, toilet paper and wrapping paper — than I had to raise my family on!

        • George Hollister September 25, 2016

          Think about it. How much water is lost due to septic systems? We use it, it goes into the septic tank, then into the leech field, and then right back into the ground water. So from the view point of watershed water loss, septic systems are close to a zero loss. Boonville knows this all too well. Gray water systems that aren’t used to water flowers, like mine, are close to a zero as well. So when looking at water use and loss, it is important to look at exactly what the use is.

          • Bruce McEwen September 25, 2016

            Your logic is irrefutable, old as the hills and, as the founding fathers would say, “self evident.”

            But, to bring it all back down home, Grandpa used to sing, “Put more water in the soup, better days are a-coming!”

  7. BB Grace September 25, 2016

    re: Deep Dark web

    Yesterday “POOF” it was gone.

    Last month there was a massive scramble for subscribers as YouTube changed it’s rules.

    What the deep dark web was, international trade agreements allowed Russia, Iran, Venezuela, anyone even US “enemies” to publish incriminating facts and evidense on US government, we read it every day. It’s where birtherism lives.

    Globalism undermined US web and because of MSM censorship, Deep Dark web became the underground. The Alt-Right is today’s underground = les deplorables. We are not liberals, many of us been there done that didn’t work, didn’t work, didn’t work, didn’t work: we moved on.

    Today the Alt-Right is a subscription only basis. If you go on YouTube and check out any of the many global newscasts, you will see there are hoaxy Fox, CNN, MSNBC, which we boycotted MSM decades ago.

    Yesterday the report was that Kim Jong Un was going to be assassinated by the US, by MSNBC. (to us it appears as Obama is looking for a war.

    No one will give it to him, though liberals wouldn’t protest or hold him accountable, not like they did Bush. Thank you for that help. I love it when I read Mr. Updegraff say there is going to be an criminal investigation with Trump. GOOD! DO IT and don’t stop. Please. We LOVE IT! It makes us LOVE you even though we don’t buy Climate change the 1% sell and you bought (sucker).

  8. John Sakowicz September 25, 2016

    Nice show, Marco.

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