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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016

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Well, sure the bypass ceremony was interesting, but no protest or anything unanticipated, as far as I could tell, except apparently a much larger crowd than expected. Word from CHP was over 1,000 — they had a big parking lot that got all full, and then they were directing people to back in and park sideways on the shoulder; that line of parked cars went back at least a mile. Somebody on Facebook (FB) said they’d walked 1.5 miles to the ceremony. I saw on FB that (former Sheriff) Jim Tuso said he’d tried to get there too late, so he’d given up and turned around and left. Sheriff Allman guessed over 500 on his FB post, but made it clear he was just guessing.

We saw a young man who’d been involved in bypass protests walking south on highway 101 when we were driving up to go to the opening ceremony, and figured something might be brewing but talking to him later, he stood there at the turnoff for the event — probably alone — no sign — as a “symbolic protest” — letting his long hair serve (my interpretation) as his “environmentalist” badge.

Although, I am happy to report John Pinches was there! In the crowd, not as a “dignitary” — although he was praised by several who did speak (as he was during bypass supper on Saturday — no protest there for sure, they’d decided against it) with a woman he introduced as his wife!

Lots of it was re: dedication of the aqueduct to Jesse Pittman, and much of that very moving. Brought tears to my eyes more than once. Despite the militarism.

Pittman family was there, his brother spoke very movingly, some other Navy seals, some other Gold Star families were present, and brought up for round of applause; a couple of Pittman’s Navy Seal superiors spoke, one says when people tell him “Thank you for his service,” he replies: “Thank you for paying your taxes” — a good line! Did you know CalFire had a pipes & drum band as part of an Honor Guard? They were beautiful — five or six guys in kilts and sporrans marching in, with Honor Guard in uniform. Doing the Placement of the Colors, then marching out at the end of the ceremony.

Betsy Totten, Caltarns PR person from HQ, told a story about how she’d asked Ida Pittman, Jesse’s mother, what his favorite song was so they might play it at the ceremony, but since, she said, such song was an AC/DC song about a highway… she didn’t name it — they’d decided not to play it. That’s AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell.” Crowd chuckled as it did for a couple different mentions along the lines that “People used to say the Cubs would win the World Series before the Willits bypass opened — and they did!”

The ceremony was a good hour and 20 minutes, maybe even 30 minutes. A number of California Transportation Commission board members (including chairman) came. Did not speak. Lots of agencies, lots of law enforcement. NOT in SWAT though, at least not anywhere visible by attendees. CHP bicycle patrol! Somebody said they are probably CHP bike patrol from the Golden Gate Bridge.

I thought I’d seen bike patrol with City of Ukiah uniforms, too, but couldn’t’ swear to it. Fire engines reportedly parked at north end; I expect as much to provide “security” to block off access as much as anything else. As they had said when they first announced date, Caltrans was STILL saying at the ceremony that the bypass “will be actually open later today, this evening or tomorrow” not giving an exact time, and claiming there was still some striping to do, but somebody overheard flaggers, who were aware it was actually planned to open at 3 pm. Surely, again, vagueness was because they didn’t want people to plan any protest. It did open apparently around 3 pm.

Signage is still not quite all there, they need more signs for Willits — and more speed limit signs on the aqueduct! One small sign southbound for “55 mph,” and I was tailgated going 58; I didn’t see a speed limit sign at all going into the aqueduct going north (maybe I missed it) and the big rig in front of us was certainly tailgated, too. And traffic really should be “55” not “65” on that narrow aqueduct with no center divider. Probably should be 45. Fair amount of traffic Friday evening as it was getting dark: A good chunk of it might’ve been townsfolk driving up and down to check it out…

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I have concluded three interviews for the Fort Bragg city council election, Rex Gressett, Will Lee and Scott Menzies (other candidates did not reply to interview request). All three interviews are available on the podcast, they will all be played on KNYO 107.7 fm but I am not the programer so I'm not sure of the times. Hope these interviews give you a better understanding of the candidates. Ron Ortman

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Campaign committees either for or against local ballot measures had another deadline last week to file their latest information on donations they’ve collected to support their cause.

The two most contentious, the Mendocino Heritage Initiative committee, (or Yes on Measure AF) and the No on Measure AF committee, continue to raise funds with Yes on AF garnering the most large donations.

According to reports filed between Oct. 12 and Oct. 21, the Yes on AF committee raised $32,000 all in $1,000, $2,000, and $5,000 amounts. That’s in addition to the $51,000 the campaign raised between January and the end of September. (Actually that number should have been $54,000 as the campaign on Oct. 12 filed an amended form for $3,000 donated in July by The Madrone Collective that should have been on their previous campaign statements.)

All campaigns for or against local ballot measures needed to fill final pre-election campaign funding forms by Oct, 27. Anything collected after that date but before the election on Nov. 8 won’t need to be reported until Jan. 31, 2017.

Yes on AF had one celebrity donation, $5,000 from Tommy Chong, one half of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong, known for their “stoner” movies.

Also contributing to Yes on AF were: J. Blake Johansen, founder of Pacific Wholesale Network $5,000; Adam Steinberg, $1,000; Gabriel Martin of Leonard Moore Cooperative, $2,000 & $5,000; Casey O’Neill of Happy Days Farm, $1,000; Matt Johanson, Mendocino Fence Co., $1,000; Cody Bass, $1000; Nicole, Nikkio Laestro, owner of Swami Select $1,000; Lurane Cassidy, owner Weathertop Nursery, $5,000; and Herbalizer, $5,000.

The No on Measure AF commitee in the same period rasied $16,189 in mostly small donations. Of that, $689 were in amounts less than $100 which do not needed to be reported. That brings the campaign funding to a total of $21,334 in contributions in this calendar year. Contributing during the latest period were: Alese Jenkins, county worker, $100; Vincent Lechowick, retired judge, $200; Jared Carter, attorney, $200; James F. King, attorney, $600; Randall Woesner, $250; Phillip Boynton, retired, $100; Neelam Salmen, insurance agent, $250; Dennis Slota, hydrologist, $200; Dennis Wik, writer/editor, $100; Madeline Mello, Jere Mello Foundation, $100; Mendocino County Farm Bureau, $5,000; Ronald Selim, retired, $250; Donald & Lynda Coursey Revocable Trust, $200; Joe H. Mayfield, retired, $200; Jeanne King, retired, $500; Beverly Dutra, retired, $100; California Association of Realtors PAC $3,000; Hal Wagenet, Wagenet Sound Service $250, $500, $500; John McCowen, $2,000; Mike Anderson, $1,000.

Finally, the committee for Yes on Measure AG filed one form for a donation Oct. 14 of $1,000 from the Emerald Cup LLC. That brings the total collected to promote the measure to $23,788.

Measure AF, written by marijuana growers would, among other things, expand marijuana growing in all land zones of the county including residential areas and mobile home parks, while allowing more plants grown in denser areas. It would prohibit law enforcement from enforcing its provisions, instituting a $100 fine for violations and reduce current marijuana growing buffer zones along property lines.

Measure AG would institute a temporary sales tax hike to pay for building a mental health facility in the county - including a locked ward - which would be a place to care for and treat local mental health patients. There is no organized No on AG committee.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS: "On behalf of small dogs everywhere, I am humbled to accept this great honor as Little Dog Of The Year."


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No on Measure AF.

Measure AF is 60 pages of special interest legislation written to benefit the few at the expense of the many. Key provisions are vague or contradictory. Measure AF bypasses the normal process of environmental and community review so there will be no ability for resource agencies or the public to raise concerns or have them addressed.

The proponents of Measure AF claim it protects the small farmer, the environment, and public safety, and raises taxes for mental health, roads, and fire and emergency medical services. None of these claims are true.

Measure AF claims to protect the small farmer. But AF allows anyone who has been a resident of Mendocino County for two years to get a permit to grow up to an acre of marijuana — even if they have never grown before. But there is no standard of proof to determine residency, so anyone will be entitled to a permit. Many small farmers will be content to continue at the cottage level. Others will take advantage of the draft County ordinance which will allow them to increase to 5,000 or even 10,000 square feet of plant canopy. How many truly "small farmers" want to grow an acre (43,560 square feet) of marijuana? Or have water to do so? In short, AF threatens the small farmer by allowing an unlimited increase in new growers, all growing up to an acre of marijuana.

Measure AF claims to protect the environment. But AF makes marijuana cultivation a "principle permitted use" in almost every zoning district in the County — including residential, forestland, rangeland, open space and public facility. Which means hundreds or thousands of new growers will be able to establish new cultivation sites almost anywhere in the County. It defies logic to claim that AF protects the environment when it allows thousands of new grow sites on areas that have never been cultivated before.

Measure AF claims to protect public safety. But AF weakens or eliminates every existing neighborhood protection. Do we really want to allow anyone living in a mobile home park to fill up their side yard with marijuana? Or eliminate the setback from youth oriented facilities? Or make the setback from a property line or a neighbors house unenforceable until July 2018? But none of the rules really mean anything because an irresponsible grower can pay a $100 fine and continue the any violation without interruption.

Measure AF claims to raise taxes to fund mental health, roads and fire and emergency medical services. In fact, Treasurer/Tax Collector Shari Schrapmire says the tax provision of Measure AF is so poorly written it is uncollectible. And Measure AF says nothing about funding mental health, roads, or fire and emergency medical services. Only County Measure AI has a marijuana tax that is collectible. And only County Measure AJ says that a majority of the tax revenue should be spent to fund mental health, roads, and fire and emergency medical services

Measure AF was written by a marijuana defense attorney and a small group of marijuana growers and dispensary owners to protect their economic interest at the expense of the small farmer, the general community and the environment. Measure AF is bad public policy, bad for the environment, and bad for public safety.

Vote No on Measure AF.

Vote Yes on Measures AI and AJ.

John McCowen, Ukiah

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 5, 2016

Barnett, Beers, Figueroa-Garcia
Barnett, Beers, Figueroa-Garcia

CRAIG BARNETT, Fort Bragg. Probation violation.

MICHAEL BEERS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

EDGAR FIGUEROA-GARCIA, Annapolis/Point Arena. Meth possession.

Irby, Lindoo, Minshew
Irby, Lindoo, Minshew

KEATON IRBY, Potter Valley. DUI.

MARK LINDOO, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

LISA MINSHEW, Gualala. DUI, suspended license.

Nutt, Otstot, Stanton
Nutt, Otstot, Stanton

ROBERT NUTT III, Fort Bragg. Failure to leave school grounds, refusing to leave real property, unlawful entry, refusal to leave campus, criminal threats, drunk in public, resisting.


KELLY STANTON, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, interfering with police communications, probation revocation.

Stiles, Vichi, Zurita-Paz
Stiles, Vichi, Zurita-Paz

MATTHEW STILES, Willits. DUI-drugs.

ELMER VICHI, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

MARCLINO ZURITA-PAZ, Ukiah. Court order violation, probation revocation.

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AVA CONTRIBUTOR DAVID YEARSLEY will make a rare west coast appearance in the Bay Area next Saturday, November 12, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at 1111 O’Farrell in San Francisco.

Yearsley is not only a fine music historian and critic but a top notch classical organist and musician. So it’s no surprise that he will be hosting an organ master class and, later that evening, a formal recital. The master class will be from 9am to noon and the recital at 7:30pm.

For more information go to the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists at:

A sample:

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(One) After the five-year moratorium on industrial-scale grows, large corporations will no doubt invest in the industry. But are they likely to do it in northern California when there is so much flat, arable land already used to grow low-income crops like carrots in the Central Valley? The comparison to the wine industry should recognize that in northern Calif. the wines of recognizable quality are generally grown on small plots that are not practical for large-scale operations. The areas in Calif. that are suitable for such corporate grows are already used for agriculture and dealing with the environmental problems discussed in the article: water and fertilizer use, mechanized cultivation, harvesting, and processing. I don’t see this happening to the small-scale grows in northwest Calif. Proper regulation of both small and large grows is the key to environmental prudence on this issue. I believe that many growers are more concerned about the economic effects of industrial grows than they are about the environmental effects: Corporate production of cannabis will flood the market with product and lower the price — the effect of the simple economic law of supply and demand. The quality wineries of California succeed based on the reputation of their product and command premium prices. Mass-produced Gallo wines from the Central Valley don’t. I foresee much the same situation evolving with northern California cannabis: limited supply and reputation for quality will command premium prices just as in the wine industry.

(Two) Two things that separate wine and pot. Wine is greatly affected by its “terroir”. That is a combination of a number of elements. Soil and climate are important aspects of terroir. So much of the growing medium around here is handmade due to the poor quality of the “natural” soil that So Hum grown isn’t about the content of local dirt. Nor is the local climate unique. When indoor/greenhouse container grows emerged local terroir didn’t matter anymore. Boutique weed can and will be grown anywhere. The other main difference is that wine production requires substantial capitalization that is not required to get into growing pot. I was talking to several vineyard owners from Napa/Sonoma and they are looking to start growing pot in addition to grapes. they already have much of the needed infrastructure in place. The times they are a changing.

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Some in Healdsburg are challenging water fluoridation, saying its safety and utility are unproved. Nonsense. I was a little girl (I am now in my 80s) when a key study of safety and efficacy was conducted in New York state. Two towns on the Hudson River were matched for population factors, and then one town’s water was fluoridated. Everyone’s health was carefully monitored for five years — one of my father’s physician colleagues was involved as a lung specialist (yes, it was that thorough). In the end, the only difference was the improved dental health of those in the fluoridated town, especially the children. If you need a fight, folks, how about making dental care available for all children regardless of income? Does Healdsburg have that?

Miriam Mueller, San Francisco

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From the SF Chronicle (Crumbling roads in SF, Oakland ranked worst in nation):

To experience America’s crumbling infrastructure firsthand, look no farther than San Francisco and Oakland — ranked this week by a transportation research group as being home to the worst roads of any large urban region in the country.

The Bay Area cities and their surrounding neighborhoods topped the list for having poor roadways for the second consecutive year, according to a study conducted by the Washington, D.C., group Trip.


San Francisco and Oakland had a whopping 71 percent of roads in shoddy condition, more than 10 percentage points higher than the Los Angeles area, which was the runner-up.

“It’s a simple explanation. We just haven’t invested enough in our infrastructure over the last couple of years,” said Will Kempton, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Transportation California. “The demand is very significant, and our system is aging”...

This is not a new development; I blogged about a similar study back in 2013.

How can this be in San Francisco? Seems like we're often voting for money to fix city streets, but it never seems to get done. The answer: a lot of the money is then used for "improvements" that have nothing to do with maintaining our streets: traffic "calming," bulb-outs, and bike lanes.

As our streets crumble, the SFMTA bureaucracy keeps getting bigger!

Look back to SF's Proposition K in 2003 (page 143) that renewed the transportation sales tax. Here's the laundry list of projects the money was supposedly to be spent on:

  • Maintenance of local streets; • Transportation for the elderly and disabled; • Construction of a Central Subway; • Upgrades to the bus system, including new buses, stations and dedicated lanes; • A Caltrain extension to a new Transbay Terminal; • Projects to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety; • Support for regional transportation systems (BART, Caltrain, and ferries); and • Replacing the roadway to Golden Gate Bridge (Doyle Drive).

"Maintenance of local streets" is on top of the list of mostly worthy projects, but somehow it never gets done adequately.

And city voters are being asked again to raise taxes to deal with the issue with Propositions J and K on next week's ballot!

Note that the Central Subway is high on the list. That project got more than a billion dollars in state and federal money and more than $123 million in local taxes. The price tag on that boondoggle steadily increased, from a mere $700 million in 2003 to the official $1,578,300 now, though it will surely be a lot more than that before it's done (See Aaron Peskin and the Central Subway).

From the Chronicle story on the study:

The report from the Trip research group tallied the average amount motorists pay for vehicle maintenance due to poor roadways. The typical driver in the San Francisco-Oakland area pays $978 a year for those costs. Motorists in San Jose — which also made the top 10 for car maintenance expenses — pay an average of $863, the study found.

Poorly maintained streets and potholes cost motorists repair money, but they can be serious safety hazards for cyclists.

Since this is not a new issue, it makes you wonder why the Bicycle Coalition and Streetsblog continue to tolerate routinely poor street maintenance in San Francisco.

(Rob Anderson; Courtesy, District5Diary)

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MEET ME UNDER THE GIANT FIBERGLASS IGUANA that guards the entrance to the Berlin aquarium. Bring the negatives.

"I want to give you a piece of advice: wear an eye-patch. Wear an eye-patch, Bret." -David Bowie in Bret’s dream

The recording of last night's (2016-11-04) KNYO and KMEC Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available to download and keep and skip around in via

A vast amount of information, some goofy, some useful, mostly both. Molly dropped off a bag of cheese and apples and grapes left over from First Friday, thank you very much. Derek came by. Doctor Spencer. On my way in, walking to the door, I made eye contact with the big dog one of the people talking in front of the bar had on a long string, and the dog, maintaining eye contact, lifted his leg and pissed on the radio station. "Really?" I said. The people looked at me past the steadily pissing dog, not noticing at all, because why should they? Dogs look at dogs. People look at people. That's America.

I read the second part of Scott Peterson’s story /Cowboy School/ starting at 11:45. That's 165 minutes into the show, in case you want to head straight there. There's a fine letter to the editor of the AVA by Scott Croghan. Poetry, math, philosophy, science, ancient medical history, tragicomic disaster news. A fine show, even though there's faint motorboating going on in the recording all the time the main microphone was up. I didn't notice it until just now. That's the thumping sound you'll hear throughout. Juanita is away at her project until Sunday; I have an extra night before I go to her, so I'll go to the radio station tonight about 10 or 11 to try to duplicate the electrical problem and solve it. It's probably the little mic pre-amp. Maybe while I'm there I'll play a set of music from the shopping bag of thrift-store CDs. If you're driving by and the lights are all on, stop in. (325 N. Franklin, Fort Bragg)

Speaking of which, there are still some good airtime slots open at KNYO. If you've ever wanted to do a radio show, contact Bob Young and say so. He'll show you how to use the equipment and you'll be on the air before you're even ready. That's the right way. Seneca (or Mark Twain, or Richard Feynman, or Mary Shelley, somebody like that) said, "If we wait till we’re ready we'll never start." Boldly burst forth. What could happen? "Wear an eye-patch, Bret."

Besides all that, also at

you'll find links to a wheelie bin 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:

To fly is everything.

How NORAD worked.

Pertectin' the red white and blue. Gawd bless them Redneck Avinjers.

And a 6000-year-old Sumerian star map. You might have seen something like this in Prometheus, the prequel to Alien. Based on the true story.

Marco McClean

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OMing On O'ahu

Awoke early and began silently chanting OM in the bed, before discursive thoughts could arise. Performed the morning bathroom ritual, noticing a deeper sun tan as a result of spending yesterday swimming at Waikiki Beach. Now on my Lenovo computer in the travel hostel room, OMing on the out breath. Two more days in paradise, and then returning to the mainland, having written a bunch of poems here, mostly published online, maybe some will be published later in radical publications if the constantly changing anarchist milieu favors me. Purchased an Hawaiian Airlines one way ticket for San Francisco on Monday, and am booked into the Green Tortoise "party hostel" in North Beach for ten nights. I have no other plans beyond that. I have money. I am available. I am willing to return to the New York City~Washington D.C. power strip (for the twelfth time) to intervene in history. It remains worthwhile to tear the beast's heart out and burn it! If you are interested, then give me housing. Simple. Otherwise, what would you creatively like to do?? Come in, postmodern America, I am listening. Talk to me, baby. OMing on the out breath on O'ahu, Craig Louis Stehr

Craig Louis Stehr

Honolulu, Hawaii




  1. Bruce McEwen November 6, 2016

    Old Wives’ tales such as — well, first of all there’s something wrong with the appellation. Old wives’ tales is politically incorrect, since it could be construed as demeaning to women who may be married and elderly, suggesting that this demographic is more susceptible to repeating, as unsubstantiated gossip, various so called “common sense” conclusions about natural phenomena which have subsequently been disproven through scientific research and experimentation.

    Moreover, it is offensive to the LGBT&Q community as it presumes the role of an effeminate spouse is limited to only heterosexual women. So the term needs to be updated and adapted to the political correctness required by the Nanny State we currently inhabit. Here’s a few suggestions:

    Any spouse’s antiquated assumptions

    Senior citizen’s obsolete convictions

    Alzheimer patient’s trivia

    The delusions of a codependent spouse who has spent too much time in an abusive or neglectful relationship that is not conducive to intellectual nurturing and spiritual growth

  2. heilig November 6, 2016

    Methinks Little Dog has now earned a place on the prestigious AVA masthead?

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