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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017

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by Evan Sernoffsky

A menacing storm taking shape over the Pacific is poised to pound California this weekend, causing what could be the worst flooding in parts of the state in more than a decade, forecasters said.

The atmospheric river of warm and highly concentrated water will begin to deliver its payload across the northern two-thirds of California on Saturday, overwhelming rivers, drenching urban areas and likely eviscerating much of the Sierra snowpack.

But while drought-stressed California has begged for such soaking storms in recent years, the rain may do more harm than good — especially in the mountains — when it surges Sunday.

“In terms of the way things look meteorologically, this is shaping up to be a significant event,” said Scott McGuire, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Reno office, which monitors the central Sierra. “We’re going to have the highest levels on main-stem rivers in 11 years. ”The problem is that a significantly cooler storm dumped several feet of snow and rain in the Sierra on Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing the snowpack up to an encouraging 84 percent of normal, while soaking lower-lying areas.

Snow will fall at 9,000 feet and higher over the weekend, and up to a foot of rain is forecast to drench everything below that.

“This is what we talk about with bigger flood events,” McGuire said. “Not only are we dealing with a rather significant precipitating event, but the snow is also completely saturated.”

When all that fresh snow melts in the downpour, nearly all major rivers in the central Sierra will rise to their highest levels in years, with many expected to flood.

On top of the trouble in the Sierra, things will likely be a mess in the Bay Area. Streams and rivers are already swollen, and the heavy rain may cause them to spill over.

“We’re thinking this weekend storm is going to pack a pretty good punch,” said Brian Mejia, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Monterey office. “We won’t know the extent until the next few days, but the potential is there to flood.”

In the Santa Cruz and Santa Lucia mountains, where the summer’s Loma and Soberanes fires lefts swaths of earth scorched, hydrologists are concerned about the potential for debris flows. More than half a foot of rain is forecast to dump on those areas between Saturday and Monday.

Atmospheric rivers — which are especially wet air masses accompanied by high winds — are critically important to California, said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA.

The past five years of drought have in part been characterized by an overall decrease in such storms.

“They can be beneficial, but they can also cause problems,” Swain said. “The one this weekend is raising some eyebrows.”

For one, the Sierra snowpack provides about 30 percent of California’s water for drinking, farming and other needs over the dry season when it typically begins melting around April 1.

But much of the snow that has accumulated so far will likely wash into the reservoirs this weekend — and those reservoirs are already flush.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation — which manages California’s water supply in conjunction with the state — in recent weeks has even been discharging water from several reservoirs like Shasta Lake that have already reached flood-release levels.

The weekend storm will do damage to more than just the snowpack. State officials are bracing for havoc on roadways and in urban areas as rain and winds cause streets to flood and trees to topple.

Several trees and branches fell during Tuesday’s heavy storm that brought just under an inch of rain to San Francisco and 3.5 inches to San Rafael.

Forecasters estimate that around 3 inches of precipitation will fall in Oakland and San Francisco from Saturday to Monday. (More than that on the North Coast.)

In the next two relatively dry days, weather watchers are bracing for the potentially devastating conditions while the serpentine system continues to develop.

“At the moment it looks like this could be the most significant flood in six years, and more significant than that in other parts of the state,” Swain said.

(The San Francisco Chronicle)

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by Bruce McEwen


Winner of 2016’s Lucky To Be Alive Award, Ricardo Garcia, was sentenced to five years in prison early Tuesday afternoon by Judge Ann Moorman. The did not deviate from the recommendations of the probation report, the District Attorney's Office, a statement from the officer involved, and gave Mr. Garcia the aggravated term for the assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, i.e., machete; and three years concurrent for the assault on Mr. Ceja with a rock.

Restitution for injuries suffered by Mr. Ceja as Garcia, on his way to the big house, waived his right to attend the hearing on how much he’ll have to pay.

Public defender, Eric Rennert argued valiantly for leniency — having been put on the spot by (newly minted gold bars) Lt. Darren Brewster who came to court in a finely tailored charcoal & ash three-piece pinstripe. Brewster stood in front of the judge to urge her to give Garcia plenty of time to think about how close he came to getting his fool self shot and killed.

“I didn’t have time, or I probably would have,” Lt. Brewster told Judge Ann Moorman. “We were at such close quarters when he drew his weapon that I could see if I didn’t drop my gun and charge, I would have been cut.”

A lot of cops simply would have commenced firing.

Lt. Brewster was no stranger to Garcia; he’d been on law enforcement’s radar since he started tagging and trespassing as a juvenile. Deputy DA Joshua Rosenfeld read out his rap-sheet which, despite the prosecutor’s choice adjectives, wasn’t terribly awful. There was the tagging, the trespassing, drugs, alcohol, a broken restraining order… Garcia did have one successful graduation from probation, though. Public Defender Rennert crowed about it, too.

But Rennert’s best performance was criticizing first the Probation Officer’s report and recommendation, and then Deputy DA Rosenfeld’s characterization of it, and then made a plucky dash at minimizing “the officer’s” credulity as a victim of his “admittedly reckless” client.

Rennert said, “This was a West* plea, Your Honor. I’ve heard comments regarding my client’s remorsefulness, but Mr. Garcia acknowledged responsibility early on, he pled to the two counts; and it was only after the preliminary hearing that the felony charge was assessed and added on. I’m not sure how a person is supposed to comment… Some of the comments from Probation — the lack of cooperation, the lack of remorse, the lack of honesty… Where does that all come from? Probation got the date wrong on the last day my client worked — he’d been in jail over five months!”

Rennert had a point, here. They really do take the lace curtains down after the judges leave from a tour of the county jail. Unless you have a lot of pull, you don’t get all the latest updates on your smart phone in jail.

“And then we have this business about ‘not a suitable candidate for probation.’ Where does that come from? I don’t see that. Tagging and trespassing? Really? These are ‘successively serious crimes’? C’mon.”

There were several felons seated in the dock and they all perked up in their theater seats like they were suddenly watching a free movie. I’d like to get the concession for selling popcorn in the galleries whenever this happens. The prisoners could take it out of their commissary.

“But I wouldn’t call that ‘violent.’ Then we have the ‘serious offense’ — this next escalation in his progressively worse behavior — of the violation of probation for — what? —paraphernalia [my italics, judge]. Then there was the restraining order violation; the restraining order his sister had against him; and he spent a night at his mother’s house, at her behest was my understanding, and the sister too, who professed to be helping him with his drug problem.”

It was Lt. Brewster’s position — stated more as the conviction of a man who was in a position to know — that Garcia had been stone, cold sober. Brewster had said this at the prelim and repeated it at the sentencing and judgment.

Rennert for the defense of the indefensible.

“He told his Probation Officer, Your Honor, that he knew his actions were reckless. And that comment that he lied was about a job he’d lost after he was arrested. It was five months later. And there’s been some comments about his mental health and this also is what Probation tends to view as factors of aggravation rather than mitigation…”

Rennert, with his signature frown and frump, had set the court a hare a’ runnin’, and off they went, first the judge, then Probation, then the prosecution and back to defense for some spirited rebuttal and then the already broadcast consensus.

Rosenfeld had said, “You can debate the seriousness of his crimes, as counsel suggests, but this offense takes it out of that realm, and into a category where you can no longer argue for probation.”

Yup. A machete charge at a police officer is sure to get agreement.

Judge Moorman agreed, “Mr. Rosenfeld is right. This type of behavior is outside the category.”

Judge Moorman continued, “I did preside over the preliminary hearing, so I’m familiar with the facts.” She looked up over the top of her glasses at the defense table. “…and the defendant, although he did admit culpability in Count One, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer… Mr. Garcia is presumptively ineligible for probation due not entirely to his youthfulness. However, this case — and although his record is significant, I agree it’s not remarkably egregious — but there is a category beyond which, the fact is, in my estimation, would never qualify for a sentence of probation.

“When you are in close quarters, a room or narrow passage, and you attempt to draw a weapon and strike an officer with a machete or whatever, Mr. Rennert, and I’m going to strike the word ‘violent’ and replace it with the word ‘serious,’ but I’m still going to impose the aggravated term of five years.”

“I’d like to address that,” Rennert said.

“You’ll have your chance, counsel. Now, let me finish. The three years for the assault on Mr. Ceja will run concurrent and an $1800 fine for the victim witness fund, $80 for the courthouse fund, $60 for a conviction fee… Another $1800 if you blow parole when you get out and you have 60 days to appeal.”

*(Nowadays, attorneys will plead “no contest” subject to or pursuant to People v. West. This means that the plea is entered to avail the client of a specific plea bargain, but without admitting the type of conduct that the pled-to charge alleges.

Some attorneys enter every plea subject to People v. West even when there is zero difference between the pled-to-charge and the allegation in the complaint. Such a practice demonstrates a lack of understanding of what People v. West said.

The savvy attorney who does such a plea correctly will really only specify that the plea is entered pursuant to People v. West when there is an amended charge that the client then pleads to for purposes of receiving a more lenient sentence.)

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Fort Bragg Mayor Lindy Peters Announces Weekly "Monday Morning Meetings with the Mayor"

Fort Bragg Mayor Lindy Peters will start the New Year with a new series of public meetings. The "Monday Morning Meetings with the Mayor" will be held every Monday morning from 11 AM to noon in the downstairs conference room at Fort Bragg City Hall (416 N. Franklin Street). The inaugural Monday Morning Meeting with the Mayor will be held on Monday, January 9, 2017. 
Every Monday morning from 11 AM to noon, Mayor Peters will be on hand to meet with any and all members of the public that show up. No appointment is needed. This is an opportunity to ask questions, share your concerns, and share your ideas and visions for Fort Bragg.
 The meetings are intended to offer members of the community an easy way to meet directly with Mayor Peters in an informal setting and to encourage public involvement in civic matters.
Questions regarding this information should be directed to Fort Bragg City Manager Linda Ruffing, at (707) 961-2829.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Joined FaceBook ten minutes ago and all these kids friended me pronto!“

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The Appointments Office of Governor Jerry Brown has announced the vacancy of the Mendocino County Third District member of the Board of Supervisors.

Mendocino County is comprised of five supervisorial districts. The Third District includes the communities of Willits, Covelo, and Laytonville. The Board of Supervisors, which serves as the legislative and executive body of Mendocino County government and many special districts, is comprised of five full-time members elected by their respective districts. Pursuant to the California Government Code, the Board enacts legislation governing Mendocino County and determines overall policies for County departments and various special districts, adopts the annual budget, and determines salaries. The Board also hears appeals from decisions of various planning related committees and commissions in addition to considering such planning matters as General Plan amendments.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors' mission is to create and maintain a responsive and responsible government that enhances the quality of life of the people of Mendocino County. The County's mission is to deliver services that meet: Public safety, health, social, cultural, education, transportation, economic, and environmental needs of our communities.

Interested parties are welcome to visit the Governor’s Appointments website located here:

At this location, interested applicants must: 1) Select the ‘Online Application’ link, 2) Be prompted to initiate the application process, 3) Select “Supervisors, Mendocino County, District 3” under the “Positions Sought” drop down menu, and 4) Then complete the remainder of the application.

For more information or assistance with the application process, please contact the Governor’s Appointments Secretary at (916) 445-4541.

Carmel J. Angelo

Chief Executive Officer

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On Tuesday, January 3rd, at approximately 10:30 AM, the Lake County Sheriff's Office notified the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office that they had received notification that a vehicle with three people was stuck in the snow on US Forrest Route M-1, just north of the Hull Mountain.

The information relayed to the Mendocino County Sheriff's office indicated that the motorists had become stuck the previous day on 01-02-17. After obtaining GPS coordinates the Lake County Sheriff's Office determined that the location of the stranded motorists was in Mendocino County.

Due to the remote location, coupled with the snowfall and incoming weather front, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reached out to the California Office of Emergency Services to request additional resources to rescue the motorists. Under the Mutual Aid system, Cal Fire/South Lake County Fire District deployed a snow-cat, a specialized vehicle for traveling in deep snow, and a rescue crew to assist.

At approximately 2:30 PM, the Snow-Cat and crew were under way driving up Hull Mountain on US Forrest Route M-1. Members of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue, and Lake County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue maintained a remote command post near the Gravelly Airport north of Lake Pillsbury.

The Snow-cat was able to get within a mile of the stranded motorists before experiences mechanical problems. While the mechanical problems were being resolved, the rescue crew was able to walk the remaining distance to extricate the motorists back to the snow-cat. The Snow-cat was then able to return to the base camp. No injuries were reported and all the motorists were rescued."

The Sheriff’s Department added the names of those rescued: Alexander Winters, age 19 of Ukiah; Tyler Bennetto, age 25 of Willits, and Jesse Jones, age 18 of Redwood Valley.

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HOMINY SLUMPED in his seat and clasped his hands behind his head and looked out the window and into his past. I flipped on the radio and let the Dodger game fill the silence. Hominy missed the gold ol’ days and Sunshine Sammy. I missed Vin Scully, the dulcet voice of objectivity, calling the play-by-play. For a baseball puritan like myself, the gold ol’ days were the days before the designated hitter, interleague play, steroids, and assholes in the outfield, baseball caps perched precariously atop their heads, flying off with every missed cut-off man and pop fly lost in the national pastime sun. They were me and Daddy, our mouths full of Dodger dogs and soda, two black bleacher and dharma bums sharing the June night heat with the moths, cursing a fifth-place team, and longing for the gold ol’ days of Garvey, Cey, Koufax, Dusty, Drysdale and Lasorda. For Hominy any day when he could personify American primitivism was a good ol’ day. It meant that he was till alive, and sometimes even the carnival coon in the dunk tank misses the attention. And this country, the latent high school homosexual that it is, the mulatto passing for white that it is, the Neanderthal incessantly plucking its unibrow that it is, needs people like him. It needs somebody to throw baseballs at, to fag-bash, to nigger-stomp, to invade, to embargo. Anything that, like baseball, keeps a country that’s constantly preening in the mirror from actually looking in the mirror and remembering where the bodies are buried. That night the Dodgers lost their third straight. Hominy sat up in his seat and rubbed a porthole into the suddenly fogged up windshield.

— Paul Beatty, “Sellout”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 4, 2016

Attanasio, Bennett, Brantley

MYQ ATTANASIO, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

JADE BENNETT, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

MARKEESE BRANTLEY, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Daniels, Gray, Nieto

STEVEN DANIELS, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

JOHN GRAY, Windsor/Willits. First degree robbery, parole violation.

JORGE NIETO JR., Willits. County parole violation, battery of peace officer.

Sellmer, Tyler, Wing

JACOB SELLMER, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

ELISABETH SHOEMAKER, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, battery of peace officer. (Photo not available.)

RAYMOND TYLER, Willits. Failure to appear, court order violation.

ERIC WING, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Court order violation.

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by Ralph Nader

All signs point to Donald Trump becoming a jawboning president without equal in American history. That is, jawboning by exerting rhetorical bombast focused on people, corporations and institutions, with massive media propulsion behind the very personal presidency he will establish. It will be a natural daily extension of his boundless, easily bruisable ego.

Trump has embraced these tactics as both a candidate and president-elect. He went after Carrier Corp. (a subsidiary of United Technologies) and Ford Motor Co. for shipping jobs to Mexico, after Boeing for charging too much for the new Air Force One and after Lockheed/Martin for over-pricing its F-35 fighter planes.

Previous presidents, knowing they have the “bully pulpit,” have generally been averse to the sort of jawboning that singles out specific firms and persons. President Harry Truman did take on a newspaper columnist who criticized his daughter, Margaret’s, singing skills. President John F. Kennedy went after U.S. Steel and referred to price hikes from the industry as “a wholly unjustifiable and irresponsible defiance of the public interest.”

But generally, presidents do not want to be seen as bullies, preferring one competitor against another or frittering their presidential authority by getting into petty squabbles. In the midst of more serious matters of state, jawboning can be a serious distraction that alienates larger numbers of people who may side with the assailed.

With Trump, none of this may matter. He has said repeatedly that he always slams back twenty times harder than anyone who slams him. He revels in his 20 million Twitter followers and loves how his tweets are carried by the mass media. That gives him a personal “mass media” which he controls, unfiltered by his antagonists in the press.

Rather than playing the “going-through-channels” game in Washington, he’ll want to throw his opponents off balance through personal attacks, including attacks on members of Congress and Governors. He is into the psychology of human frailties, vanities and occupational vulnerabilities. He knows that jawboning one person, firm or politician will put others on the defensive, and wondering whether they will be next, or putting foreign powers off balance because of his furious unpredictability.

The downside for Trump is that he will be so absorbed in jawboning and rebutting critics that he won’t be paying attention to what his underlings are doing until trouble rises to his level for decision. Jawboning can lead to complex consequences when it comes from the most powerful office in the country.

Should Trump use jawboning to give corporate gougers of workers, consumers, taxpayers and communities some pause and restraint, if not produce outright reversal of policy, he can become the champion of the underdogs and those bullied. He’s already said that drug prices are too high. If he believes that plain fact, can you guess what he’ll do next with his tweet on a specific company or a pay-or-die drug costing patients $100,000 or more a year?

Trump is known not to like detailed immersion into issues or detailed briefings by civil servants. He likes to set the pace, establish the new focus of the day and, above all, get even with anyone who stands up to or embarrasses him. He seems to behave as if rules and norms do not apply to him.

The strange Trump personality can radiate in many directions. Some results may be beneficial. Others – such as in the case of a stateless terror attack – may worsen a bad situation because of impulsive and violent over-reaction, leading to a worsening situation overseas and damage to the national interests, civil liberties and other constitutional rights of the American people.

Want a New Year’s resolution? Stay alert, keep up with your fellow citizens at the Congressional grassroots, stay informed on current events, and always be ready to foresee and forestall initiatives by politicians and corporatists that recklessly or greedily gobble up your tax dollars and undercut your health, safety and civil rights.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

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Ukiah welcomes the first baby born in 2017! A healthy baby boy, Caiden Marcus Krisik, was born at 11:47 a.m. on New Year’s Day 2017 in the Family Birth Center at Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC). Baby Caiden was born weighing in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces and measured 18 inches. Caiden was delivered by Katrina Lieben, CNM at the Care for Her Clinic. Mother Melissa Pitkin and Father Clay Krisik were joined by Sister Kylie Waring in welcoming Caiden to their family.

“We would like to give a special thanks to everyone at Care for Her and at Ukiah Valley Medical Center for the wonderful care they have given Caiden and I,” said Mother Melissa Pitkin.

This was the first baby born in 2017 at UVMC’s Family Birth Center, where they typically deliver around 800 babies each year. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015 there were 3,978,497 babies born in the United States, equaling about 10,900 births daily. In the United States, the birth rate declined by less than 1% in 2015, following the first increase in 7 years during the year 2014.

In addition to providing a safe and comfortable birthing unit, UVMC also offers childbirth education classes, lactation consultations, and tours are available. The Family Birth Center is located at UVMC at 275 Hospital Drive in Ukiah, CA. For more information about their services or about classes provided, please call 707.463.7550. You can also take a virtual tour of the Family Birth Center by copying this link into your browser:

Welcome Caiden! We wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2017.

Doug Shald
Marketing & Communications Manager
Ukiah Valley Medical Center
Northern California Network of Adventist Health
P: 707.463.7524

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Presentation In Fort Bragg On The Cannabis Public Bank

Thursday, January 12, 4 PM · 499 E Laurel St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437-3511

Interested in supporting a grassroots effort that aims to establish a public cannabis bank in northern California? Join us at the Fort Bragg Public Library Community Room.

Marc Armstrong, President of and co-founder of the Public Banking Institute, will present a proposal for a public bank for the northern California cannabis industry. It will comply with State banking regulations and thereby effectively be addressing the growing public safety issue created by the state’s recent legalization of recreational cannabis through the passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (2016).

Commonomics USA has launched the North Coast Public Banking educational project that is building the legal, business and educational foundation so that the City of Santa Rosa Council Members can fully consider taking the steps necessary to establish a North Coast Public Bank. Most important, we are doing the research needed to establish the legal foundation to protect the capital and deposits in the public bank from federal seizure.

We've got a lot of work to do, and to begin, we need your support. We need to raise $99,000 by the end of January to get a proposal ready for the Santa Rosa City Council by the end of June. Can you help fund this effort?

Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by the law.

Send checks payable to: Commonomics USA

Mail checks to:

Inquiring Systems
PO Box 2037
Sonoma, CA 95476

You can donate online at Membership is free and online donations are equally tax-deductible as allowed by the law.

This is a big lift, but we can do this if we come together and make it happen....

This is exciting – We’re looking forward to it!

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I have been living and working in Italy for almost 3 years. As you can imagine, I have been watching U.S. history unfold from a distance (thankfully), and I have some thoughts as a happy (and I believe fortunate) expat:
 1) My Italian friends and colleagues have seen this movie before in the form of Silvio Berlusconi. They are not engaged in any schadenfreude regarding the election of Mr. Trump. They know here probably better than anywhere how alluring a rich, con-man can be and how willing people are to believe in magical thinking. I predict that Mr. Trump’s honeymoon will be over very quickly. Even though Congress is now in the hands of the republicans, Trump will not want to play by the rules. He and congress are headed for some huge confrontations. 
2) Living overseas gives one a far deeper understanding of the affects of globalization. Most of the supposed angry white people in the U.S. have been living in a fantasy world for a long time. This is why it was so easy to sell the idea that all those jobs are coming back. The sad truth is, if Americans are dissatisfied with their situation, they have no one to blame but themselves. Most of the country is now solidly run by conservative, republican politicians and they are in office because people vote for them. Nothing like voting against your own self interest!
 3) Chances are, once Mr. Trump and Congress can’t put together a viable economic plan, the U.S. will end up picking a fight with Iran or some other country and, as usual, the new job program will be the Military Welfare Complex. Nothing stimulates the economy more than a good old war or two. 
4) I have a sinking feeling that there will be some very ugly trouble in the U.S. There are too many people with guns. There are too many militarized police departments. There are too many animosities among Americans (of all different backgrounds). It’s a powder keg just waiting to explode. 
5) With a leader who is clearly a capricious, lying, tax-cheat at the helm, I wonder what new (low) standards will be set for the country’s values. I foresee a total lack of accountability at the highest levels of government that will trickle down to every day life. It’s going to be an “anything goes” world.
 I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Italy is pretty fucked-up,” and, indeed, Italy has some of its own problems. What I can say is this: Regular Italians are not living with mountains of personal debt. They live far more frugal (and I believe realistic) lifestyles. Towns are set up for people to live without depending on their cars so much. Their houses are smaller. They aren’t living in the hyper-consumeristic whirlwind of the American “dream.” They are, for the most part, happier with less. 
In the end, I hope that Mr. Trump doesn’t help destroy the best parts of the New Deal, but I fear that greed and a lack of empathy will conquer all in the years to come.
 Cheers and Happy New Year!!! Buon Anno!!!!!

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Fort Bragg Dog & Owner Training Classes

Julie’s School of Dog Winter

2017 Schedule (subject to adjustment)

(bad weather cancels a class meeting)

Classes are drop in due to probability of weather cancellations.

Payment due at each class (we can discuss sliding scale if so needed).

Drop In Classes

January 8, 15, 22, 29 Feb 5 Improving Leash Skills

($20. per session)

10:00 am Mendocino College Fort Bragg (and locations TBA)

January 8, 15, 22, 29 Feb 5 Intermediate Obedience

($20. per session)

11:10 am Mendocino College in Fort Bragg (and locations TBA)

Early spring class sessions:

Feb-March Class Six Week Session $150.

Feb 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26 Beginning Dog Training

Sunday 10 A.M. Location TBA

Feb 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26 Novice Rally, first two weeks are

introductions to Rally Signs, March dates are Course Work

Sunday 11:10 A.M. Location TBA

April 2 AKC Canine Good Citizenship Testing (time/locations TBA)

Please email me for more information!

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Secretarial Order calls for actions by Interior and its bureaus to secure water supplies while providing environmental protection

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today issued a Secretarial Order directing the Department of the Interior and its bureaus to take timely actions to help address the effects of drought and climate change on California’s water supply and imperiled wildlife.

“Long-term drought, fueled by climate change, has adversely affected the state’s water supplies, exacerbated effects of water operations on imperiled species, impacted water quality, and added to the stressors affecting the health of California’s unique ecosystems, particularly the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Bay-Delta),” the order states.

“This Secretarial Order is a practical and broad-based strategy to help protect California’s water lifeline for present and future generations,” said Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor. “This order will ensure the integration of the Department’s actions with those of the State of California to provide a reliable drinking water supply for the public, sustain California’s agriculture, and continue to protect the Bay Delta ecosystem and enhance the conservation of species.”

“Today’s action tracks closely with the state’s multi-pronged Water Action Plan and commits the federal government to a timely review of the California WaterFix project,” said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. “This state-federal partnership is what’s needed to improve water reliability for residents and farmers and protect vulnerable ecosystems.”

Developed in consultation with the state agencies and other federal agencies, the order specifies steps by Interior and its agencies to achieve “the State’s co-equal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the environmental quality of the Bay-Delta.”

The Secretarial Order issued today provides direction for the Department, and particularly Reclamation and FWS, with scientific support and technical advice from the USGS, to complete the technical, scientific, and analytical work necessary to make permitting, regulatory, and other decisions associated with various water initiatives. It calls for six actions:

  1. California WaterFix Environmental Review. The order directs Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to allocate available resources, as necessary, to complete in a timely manner the Biological Opinions under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and a Record of Decision on the environmental documents for California WaterFix. California released a final environmental impact statement and a final environmental impact review on December 30, clearing the way for a final decision on WaterFix, which is the State’s plan to upgrade infrastructure in the estuary where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meet before flowing to San Francisco Bay. This will secure water supplies for 25 million people. Interior’s Reclamation was the lead federal agency on the environmental impact statement issued under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Today’s Secretarial Order directs FWS to take all necessary actions to issue an initial Draft Biological Opinion in January 2017 and a final Draft Biological Opinion by March 2017 after incorporating the results of independent scientific peer reviews. A final Biological Opinion is to be issued by April 2017. It specifies that the Department, working with the State and others, will promptly review and consider any information received after publication of the Final EIR/EIS and issuance of the Biological Opinions, and will then be prepared to sign a Record of Decision. This decision will be made by the next Secretary.

  1. Collaborative Delta Science Engagement Process. The order directs Reclamation, FWS, and USGS to work collaboratively with the state and other federal agencies to use the Adaptive Management Framework developed as part of California WaterFix to help guide scientific studies and monitoring, assist with Central Valley Project and State Water Project operations, and achieve the co-equal goals for the Bay Delta. New science proposals will be subject to review under various existing science review processes. Implementation of the framework will include an annual review process that develops innovative approaches to the refinement of monitoring and restoration activities that measure species’ populations. Annual review results will be made available to the public.
  2. Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy. This strategy addresses both the risk to the critically endangered Delta smelt—formerly one of the most abundant fish in the Delta— and the risk to water supplies. The order directs Reclamation and FWS to closely coordinate with state and federal agencies and others in implementing all facets of the Strategy. During the next several years, Reclamation will acquire or otherwise make available up to 250,000 acre-feet/year of outflow above current state water quality permit requirements. This additional outflow may include using water transfers, changes in exports from the Bay-Delta, releases from upstream storage, or other measures. Each year FWS must provide to Reclamation and the state a detailed description of specific physical and biological objectives and species needs for Delta Smelt during the spring and summer based on the best available science.
  3. Re-initiation of Consultation under the Endangered Species Act on Coordinated Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The Secretarial order directs Reclamation and FWS to work with other state and federal agencies to carry out the work necessary to complete the recently re-initiated consultation on long term operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.
  4. Active Engagement in Development of Voluntary Agreements for Flow Requirements and Coordination on Flows with ESA Requirements. Reclamation and FWS will work with other agencies to provide information to the State Water Resources Control Board as part of its Bay-Delta Plan initiative. This will include coordination with the California Natural Resources Agency in at least the following areas: 1) engagement with key stakeholders to develop voluntary agreements to increase flows and integrate flow and non-flow measures; 2) providing information necessary to establish water quality standards to meet fish, wildlife, and ecosystem goals; and 3) ensuring that requirements developed through the Bay-Delta Plan process are considered in assessing requirements and compliance under the Biological Opinions related to the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.
  5. Winter-run Chinook “Species in the Spotlight” Action Plan. The order underscores that implementation of the “Species in the Spotlight” Action Plan is an essential element of reducing both near-term and long-term risks to Winter-run Chinook salmon. This plan was developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in 2016 as a high priority action plan that would guide allocation of NMFS resources, as well as attract funding from partner agencies and stakeholders. Reclamation and FWS will work with NMFS to incorporate spotlight actions into priorities developed under the Adaptive Management Framework.

(Courtesy, Dan Bacher)

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by John Lewallen

The risk of "accidental" nuclear war involving the US, China and Russia suddenly became much greater when US President-elect Donald Trump "Tweeted" that he was going to greatly expand US nuclear forces, and later said on a television talk show that he welcomed a new nuclear arms race: "We will outlast them at every pass."

These words are like throwing matches around in a room full of open gas cans. Today the US has Russia and China encircled with an increasing number of "first-strike" weapons focused on destroying Russian and Chinese nuclear response systems, and a formal threat posture that the US may do a preemptive first-strike.

To make sure Chinese and Russian nuclear commanders get the point, every year the US Space Command "war games" such a preemptive first-strike against Russia and China, in an apparent effort to gain "nuclear primacy" over them.

I have studied this strategic nuclear confrontation involving China, Russia and the US for many years. It is actually a war of threat and counter-threat, both to achieve "deterrence" from attack, and "nuclear compellance" to force another nation to do or not do something, sometimes called "nuclear blackmail."

It has been 71 years since the most recent detonation of a nuclear weapon in war. There seems to be universal understanding that avoidance is the only sane nuclear war strategy, so deep in the human race that nuclear strategist Thomas Schelling has called it a "taboo" on detonating a nuclear weapon.

However, the relentless escalation of nuclear threat by the US forces Russia and China to escalate counter-threat to deter an attack against them, and prevent the US from using overwhelming force to blackmail them. This both nations have done, very effectively. Both Russia and China are prepared to attack the US homeland with weapons, many secret, which could completely destroy the US with nuclear groundbursts, and/or destroy computer chips continent-wide with high-altitude nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons.

Russian and Chinese nuclear commanders are focused on avoiding nuclear war. I believe the US has been following a suicidal, and potentially omnicidal (all-destroying), aggressive first-strike strategy. It seems urgent to de-escalate US nuclear confrontation with both Russia and China, by withdrawing first-strike weapons from their borders and announcing a nuclear strategy of deterrence only.

Nuclear Weapons: The Great Equalizer

For Russian and Chinese defense officials intent on deterring attack on their homelands, nuclear weapons are the great equalizer. No matter how much the US threatens and surrounds them, both have the ability to counterstrike with totally destructive effect on the US.

In addition to nuclear missiles, many on submarines, only one of which could devastate huge areas, both are prepared to use high-altitude nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons, which could destroy computerized civilization throughout North America.

Anyone who wants to understand nuclear war could visit Wikipedia and look up "High-Altitude Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons." Weapons designers have been very secretly but intensively focused on nuclear weapons that enhance the electromagnetic pulse. Only one of these weapons, which can be placed in satellites orbiting the Earth, could emit an electromagnetic pulse that would destroy all unprotected computer chips in line of sight. China and Russia claim to have "super-EMP weapons" that will overwhelm all attempts to protect computer chips, the very basis of modern civilization.

US Nuclear Posture: From "Mutually Assured Destruction" to Missile Defense

In 1999, the US Congress passed a one-sentence act stating that it is the policy of the US to develop a missile defense system, in an attempt to ward off nuclear attack. This story went almost unnoticed in the US, but the Chinese government named it the story of the year. The Chinese knew they would be forced to develop weapons to overcome "missile defense" systems in order to maintain a credible deterrent against US preemptive attack.

For years the US and the Soviet Union, and later Russia after the Soviet Union collapsed, observed the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. Recognizing that neither side could possibly achieve effective missile defense against the many thousands of nuclear weapons they had aimed at each other, both agreed that they would only start a futile and very dangerous nuclear arms race by attempting missile defense.

President Reagan began the attempt to make a missile defense system, and it continues to this day, with a relentless encirclement of Russia and China with first-strike missiles the US claims are aimed at Iran and North Korea. The ABM Treaty has been abrogated by the US, although every sane person realizes it is physically impossible to develop effective defense against either a nuclear missile attack or a high-altitude nuclear EMP burst.

Nuclear Compellance: The Possibly Insane Commander

Now President-elect Donald Trump has Tweeted to the world that he will begin an intensified nuclear arms race. This seems to be a suicidally insane strategy, announced publicly in a way that terrifies the whole world. It's a clear signal that the US is moving toward using its dominant nuclear forces for "nuclear compellance," to force other nations to yield to its demands, despite the fact that the US population and environment are now a greater risk of being attacked by China, Russia with an all-destroying weapon.

Nuclear strategic thought is the province of a very small group of strategists. I believe it is urgent that more people study nuclear strategy, because the present strategy seems quite insane. Nuclear warfare probably is the greatest survival threat faced by the human race today.

Strategists realize that, because actual detonation of a nuclear weapon in war is so risky to the user as to be considered suicidally insane, that effective use of nuclear threat to blackmail another nuclear nation requires a nuclear commander who is crazy enough to risk the whole world. Enter Donald Trump, the nuclear commander who is scorning expert advice and flinging vain threats even before entering office. How will China and Russia react?

One of the most nerve-wracking facts about strategic nuclear confrontation is the "use it or lose it" syndrome. That is, if a nuclear power believes an opponent is about to attack, there is a tremendous compulsion to strike first with a pre-emptive nuclear or other strike which would essentially disable the potential attacker. In short, it's certain that Russia and China have their nuclear forces on heightened alert.

Presently, the US and Russia have about 14,000 nuclear weapons aimed at each other, many on hair-trigger alert. The risk of "accidental" nuclear war, exacerbated by US weapons and Trump's threats, has become so great that it almost can't be considered "accidental" any more, but rather the result of an insanely threatening US posture.

China's fascinating nuclear weapons strategy is informed by ancient Chinese strategic wisdom, laid out by Sun Tsu in "The Art of War." The Chinese try to achieve "minimal deterrence" while possessing the most advanced nuclear weapons and missiles designed to neutralize US nuclear threats. The great danger is that China's non-threatening posture may fool US commanders into thinking that the US now has "nuclear primacy" over China, and could launch an effective pre-emptive attack to destroy China's strategic nuclear forces. I'm sure China is watching US nuclear moves very closely, and has prepared responses of all sorts, including cyber warfare.

Toward a Safe and Sane US Nuclear Weapons Strategy

The current catastrophically hazardous nuclear strategy of the US could be easily and rapidly converted into a safe and sane strategy by a US President focused on reducing the threat of nuclear war with China or Russia. Words and deeds of de-escalation could happen at the speed of a Tweet: withdraw first-strike missile systems from the borders of both nations, and announce a nuclear posture of deterrence only, abandoning the suicidal attempt to achieve missile defense and threaten first-strike.

Only a concerted demand from many individuals and groups in the US will, I believe, move us toward a safe and sane nuclear strategy. Presently there's a "conspiracy of silence": the US government doesn't want the public to know the real dangers of current policy; and the public, weary of decades of nuclear terror during the "Cold War" era, doesn't want to hear about threats of nuclear war, on top of the other threats we deal with every day.

Every child is born into a beautiful world where a war of nuclear weapons threats risks all life. Maybe it is time to start thinking about the risks of nuclear war again, not with mind-numbing terror, but with the wonderment of a child discovering the world.

Every day that dawns without nuclear war is a magnificent gift of beauty and hope. I honor and respect all who have worked to avoid nuclear war, though our approaches may sometimes seem diametrically opposed. Here's to avoiding nuclear war in 2017 and forevermore!

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Enjoy Master Artist/Teacher Adele Pruitt’s exhibit of her current students’ paintings. This exhibit will showcase over 20 of Ms. Pruitt’s students and illustrate the impact of her long and productive career on the Ukiah area art scene. This event is free to the public and sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

In Storytelling, students use computer science to tell fun and interactive stories. Storytelling emphasizes creativity by encouraging club members to tell a unique story each day. Preregistration is required and space is limited. Students arriving ten or more minutes late to the first meeting might lose their spot.

On Sunday, January 8th the Ukiah Library is hosting a voice training session for transgender individuals. This vocal training is valuable for male to female and female to male individuals. The instructor, Liliyanna Grace Warren, is a transgender woman.

While sessions are free, donations for Liliyanna are gratefully accepted. The Library hopes to host an ongoing series of voice training sessions in Ukiah.

For a full list of events, check out our website or follow us on Facebook.


  1. Jim Updegraff January 5, 2017

    Public Bank: “It will comply with State banking regulations” As I have commented a number of previous times, the regulations require the proposed bank to have FDIC insurance for the deposits. Do the proponents really think the FDIC, a federal agency, is going to approve their bank?

  2. Jim Updegraff January 5, 2017

    ps: I would suggest to prospective donors they first get a copy of their IRS 990 from the California Attorney General and review how much of your donation will be spent on administration expenses plus how much is spent on fund raising over and above administrative expenses.

  3. Jim Armstrong January 5, 2017

    How can a daily catch be on the list 5 or 10 times in 4 years for serious felonies, sentenced to 6 years in state prison and still be around to not appear?

  4. james marmon January 5, 2017

    Do you suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome?

    “The country is in the throes of a major epidemic, with no known cure and some pretty scary symptoms. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS, and it’s rapidly spreading from the point of origin – the political class – to the population at large.

    In the first stage of the disease, victims lose all sense of proportion. The president-elect’s every tweet provokes a firestorm, as if 140 characters were all it took to change the world.”

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