- Flood Predictions
- Trash Talk
- Philo Speed Limit
- Glusker Censured
- Basketball Sweep
- Physician Wanted
- Yesterday's Catch
- DiMauro Retires
- Whale Migration
- Fish Farming
- Little Dog
- Crab Compromise
- Post Tortoise
- Pet Rescue
- Perjury Bad
- Grand Teton
- Blues Delayed
- Trump Served
- Marco Radio
NAVARRO FLOOD PREDICTION LOWERED — a bit. Also postponed — a bit. The National Weather Service still predicts that the Navarro River will exceed flood stage on Sunday by several feet, but now it’s a few hours later moving into late Sunday. They have also downgraded the second peak on Tuesday to be barely at flood stage. Apparently the prime target of the predicted “atmospheric river” approaching northern California has drifted south somewhat and is moving slower than anticipated — possibly meaning more rain when it arrives.
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HIGHER FLOWS ON EEL RIVER FORECASTED
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is cautioning those going near the Upper Eel River to be aware of higher and changing flows with the coming rains. After years of drought conditions, flows like these have not occurred in several years.
As the rains arrive, flows on the Upper Eel River could increase several fold and will be well above the normal seasonal flows for this time of year. Fortunately, the river can accommodate much higher flows like those that occur during the wettest months of winter.
PG&E's Lake Pillsbury in Lake County has reached its spill crest and water is running over the spillway. During winter, spill gates remain open for flood control. In the spring, the spill gates will be closed, allowing the reservoir to fill an additional 10 feet.
PG&E recommends those going near rivers and streams to be aware of the higher flows and take precautions. At PG&E the safety of the public and our employees is our top priority.
It's not unusual for PG&E 's reservoirs to fill in normal winters as they tend to be smaller and at much higher elevations than the state and federal multi-year water storage reservoirs like Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville. PG&E's reservoirs are designed to capture rain and snow melt runoff in winter, spring and early summer to generate clean, renewable hydroelectric power.
(PG&E Press Release)
LAST WEEK we wrote about the impasse between Mendocino County and Solid Waste of Willits (SWOW) over proposed trash hauling rate increases that SWOW’s owner Jerry Ward says he needs to continue operations.
THE ISSUE has been simmering for almost a year with no agreement on new rates. Last week, after Ward threatened to file for bankruptcy, the issue was turned over to an ad-hoc committee of Supervisors Dan Hamburg and John McCowen for one last attempt to agree on new rates.
NO LUCK. Instead of reaching agreement, Mendo’s new Trash Czar (aka Solid Waste Director) Louise Morris (replacing the recently-retired Mike Sweeney) told Ward he would have to post a performance bond, a nice slap in the face for a guy who has served the County well.
“THE AMOUNT of each performance bond shall be 25% of the estimated annual revenue generated (not to exceed $1,000,000), for each distinct and separate Solid Waste Agreement listed above. The cost to SWOW of the performance bond may be recovered as a pass-through rate adjustment … Please obtain these performance bonds at your earliest convenience, but no later than Friday, January 27, 2017.”
MS. MORRIS also told Ward that the County intended to look for other haulers, and that Ward would have to sign a promise not to sue Mendo for any damages that Ward may be contemplating regarding his contract with the County:
“DEAR MR. WARD, It is our understanding, based on statements made to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on December 20, 2016, that SWOW is evaluating whether to enter into bankruptcy proceedings due to losses associated with fulfilling the terms of its Mendocino and Humboldt County Solid Waste and Recycling Contracts. Furthermore, we understand that you are concerned about SWOW’s ability to meet immediate payment obligations to your vendors, employees and financial lending institutions.
“BASED upon the above representations of imminent financial insolvency and the fact that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors did not provide you the anticipated and immediate financial relief you were seeking at their December 20, 2016 meeting, we believe it is prudent to take immediate action.
“IF YOU ARE UNABLE to perform your obligations under SWOW’s County contracts, we must act to ensure adequate transportation and disposal of County solid waste in SWOW’s franchise areas and transfer stations managed by SWOW under contracts with the County of Mendocino.
“PRIOR to County Solid Waste staff conducting necessary outreach to identify alternative transportation and disposal solutions and development of a critical pathway to release SWOW from its contract obligations related to its solid waste and recycling contracts, we require that SWOW sign the attached Covenant not to Sue and Hold Harmless.
“THIS ACTION simply allows the County to explore options while we continue to work with SWOW in an effort to resolve outstanding issues. Please execute and return two original covenants to my office no later than close of business (5pm) on Friday, January 13, 2017.
"Sincerely, Louisa K. Morris, County of Mendocino, Solid Waste Director”
* * *
IT DOESN'T take a close textual analysis to see Mike Sweeney as the author of this ultimatum.
* * *
AS OF LAST WEEK, Ward had said that he was on the verge of not making payroll because his financial difficulties had reached the point where his bank wouldn’t cover his costs while the rate dispute went unresolved.
EVIDENTLY, the only thing the last ditch negotiations have produced since then are these high-handed demands that Ward post a performance bond (which obviously will not get any trash actually hauled) and an odd, if not ridiculous demand that Ward promise not to sue the County while Mendo starts to look for another hauler — without any assurance that new hauler would offer rates lower than Ward anyway.
WHAT GOOD does this apparent brinksmanship do for the citizens of Mendocino County? Doesn’t the County at least have to make sure that the trash gets hauled while this impasse continues? Doesn’t the County have to at least grant some kind of interim arrangement to get the trash hauled? Hasn’t Ward done a good job of hauling the trash — even if his rates are subject to debate? And, if so, what do these latest demands do besides make matters worse?
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MIKE SWEENEY, assisted by former Supervisor and present city manager of Point Arena, Richard Shoemaker, has been scheming against Ward for years. This revelatory report in 1997 by Jim Shields of the Mendocino County Observer alerted Ward to Sweeney skullduggery. (Sweeney and Shoemaker were maneuvering to get the Board of Supervisors to support their over-priced, government-run North State Street, Ukiah, transfer station instead of Ward's more efficient Willits operation.)
“Back in 1997, when Ward was first putting his proposal forward, Sweeney and Shoemaker did everything in their power to kill competition from the private sector. On June 9, 1997, Sweeney wrote a memorandum to Shoemaker. It was during this time that Ward was seeking approval from the cities of Fort Bragg and Willits for Sweeney’s proposed transfer station. Sweeney’s memo reveals how the MSWMA process nurtured competition. In the two-page memo Sweeney wrote:
“‘I think that it will be easy to stop Fort Bragg from taking any action on Ward’s proposal on Tuesday night. The challenge will be to get them to dismiss [original emphasis] Ward as so unreliable and flaky that he doesn’t justify any further delay in acting on MSWMA’s request. I would be interested to know how hard you think we should attack Ward’s credibility’.”
“Sweeney’s memorandum is a real eye-opener. Jerry Ward is a solid citizen, respected businessman, and somebody whom the Board of Supervisors and City of Willits have recognized in public session as a valued partner in the private-public solid waste relationship. Ward’s trash-hauling business and trash/recycling centers are models of efficiency and user-friendly enterprises. Yet, inexplicably, Sweeney chose to assassinate Ward’s character at a time when he claims that the MSWMA process ‘yielded a huge benefit to the public.’
“Sweeney’s actions beg the question of just what he perceives as ‘a huge benefit to the public’ in such a process. One thing is for certain, there is no ‘huge benefit to the public’ in paying for two governmental entities handling solid waste-related services.”
CALTRANS PROPOSES TO RAISE THE PHILO SPEED LIMIT
”The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing in their chambers at 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, California on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 starting at 9:00 a.m. or as soon thereafter as possible, on:
”Caltrans has informed the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors that the results of a speed zone survey of State Route Highway 128 in the community of Philo support an increase in the speed limit from 30 miles per hour (mph) to 40 mph, between milepost (MP) 22.10 and MP 23.70. Based on Mendocino County Transportation Director’s Report. California Vehicle Code §21400(b), Caltrans has incorporated a maximum 5 mph reduction and is recommending a 35 mph speed limit between MP 22.10 and MP 23.70. Caltrans is also recommending a decrease from 55 mph to 45 mph in the speed zones on each end approaching the proposed 35 mph speed zone.
”California Vehicle Code §22354.5(b) provides for the Board of Supervisors to conduct a public hearing on proposed speed limit increases or decreases on state highways in its jurisdiction and Caltrans is required to take into consideration the results of the public hearing in determining whether to increase and/or decrease the speed limit. The Board of Supervisors encourages the residents of Philo to attend the public hearing to learn more about Caltrans’ proposal and to provide input on the proposed changes to the speed limit on State Route Highway 128.”
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BACKGROUND: Until the mid-90s the speed limit in downtown Philo was a lethal 55mph. In June of 1996, a small boy was killed and his brother and mother injured when a speeding northbound pickup coming up over the semi-blind rise into Philo barreled into another pickup that had stopped to allow the mother and her two sons to cross from the then-Post Office side to the Lemons Market side of Highway 128. The truck that had stopped was then pushed into the three pedestrians in a narrow zone where Caltrans had removed an historic crosswalk. 16-month old Juan Ceja was killed and his older brother and mother were injured.
A PUBLIC OUTCRY arose and a crew of nighttime guerilla painters repainted the crosswalk which a large Caltrans crew quickly ground off. The guerilla painters painted the crosswalk again and Caltrans removed it again.
(NOW it can be told! AVA staff, as citizen journalists, repainted the crosswalk in the dead of night.)
THAT AUGUST, Philo organized a large protest in front of Lemons Market where upwards of 200 placard-waving locals denounced Caltrans and spent an afternoon threatening to block traffic as six CHP officers did their best to keep the protesters off the highway.
IN THE WAKE of the protest Caltrans hosted a community meeting at the AV Grange in Philo where Caltrans listened to dozens of angry locals demand that the speed limit in Philo be reduced. Caltrans eventually agreed to set the speed limit in Philo at 30mph, adding “30mph zone ahead” signs and permanent speed indicator radar signs on each end of Philo. The crosswalk never was replaced, although a number of people live on the west side of the highway. A tasting room is also opposite the popular and always busy Lemons Market.
THERE CONTINUE to be speeding motorists barrelling through Philo from both directions, especially tourists and large trucks traveling to and from the Mendocino Coast. The lowered speed limit has made Philo pedestrians much safer for more than a decade now.
THERE'S NO REASON to change anything other than Caltrans’ periodic bureaucratic “speed surveys” that apparently now show that some people are speeding through Philo so, in Caltrans logic, the speed limit must rise in accordance with Caltrans’s “prevailing speed” doctrine.
ALTHOUGH the Post Office is no longer across the street from Lemons’ Market, the hazards in both directions remain the same: People still stop for pedestrians crossing the street, southbound cars still stop in the middle of the street to make left turns, school children are still loaded and unloaded on both sides of the street, etc.
WHY CAN'T Caltrans leave well-enough alone and save us all the trouble, expense and increased hazard?
by Malcolm Macdonald
At a hurriedly called January 3rd meeting, the Mendocino Coast District Hospital's Board of Directors voted a resolution of censure for one of its members, Dr. Peter Glusker. The closed session gathering lasted a few minutes beyond an hour, resulting in a 4-0 vote for censure, with one abstention (presumably Glusker).
The Wednesday evening meeting was called in response to an email sent by Glusker late in the afternoon of Friday, December 30th. Earlier that day the Executive Assistant at Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) had emailed an agenda packet for the Board of Directors meeting scheduled to be held on January 5th. The agendas were emailed to a total of sixty people, from Board members to employees of the hospital as well as interested citizens, including folks who write for newspapers.
Apparently alluding to prior closed session items from a December 15th MCDH Board of Directors meeting, Glusker replied to the Executive Assistant, “Closed session agenda does not list the item Mr. Ruprecht [legal counsel to the MCDH Board] said he would report on at this meeting about follow-up on Ellen Hardin's [Chief Human Resources Officer at MCDH] emails and allegations of harassment and possible fraudulent billing problems. I believe the board needs a report at this time on those matters.”
Whether Dr. Glusker intended to send the email to all sixty potential recipients or he thought he was replying only to the Executive Assistant and accidentally clicked send without realizing the email was essentially a “respond all” type is unknown. With or without motivation closed session confidences were apparently breached, prompting the censure vote from MCDH Board Chair Steve Lund, Vice Chair Kitty Bruning as well as new Board members, Dr. Lucas Campos, and Dr. Kevin Miller.
For clarity's sake (Has anyone ever named their child Clarity?) the word censure can be used as a noun or verb. In the sense of a “resolution of censure” it serves as a known meaning a strong or vehement expression of disapproval. In practical terms, a censure is a formal slap on the wrist; other than resignation, only the voters can remove from office someone they have elected. Until proven otherwise, Dr. Glusker's mistake seems to have been pushing the SEND button without pausing to consider whether the message was merely going to the MCDH Executive Assistant or, also, to a much broader list of recipients.
The Special Board meeting was the second of the day for Dr. Campos who chaired his first MCDH Finance Committee get together earlier in the afternoon of January 4th. At that meeting Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wade Sturgeon emphasized that the potential $ 1.5 million available through a Help II loan, alluded to in the December 21st AVA, will pay for most of the remaining costs of three critical capital maintenance projects, which involve the health, ventilation, and air Conditioning (HVAC) system, operating room sterilization, and an automatic transfer switch (ATS) to flip the hospital to generator power in less than five seconds in case of an emergency caused by loss of electric power.
Questions from the audience and Finance Committee member Kaye Handley brought to light a need to more closely track the profitability, or lack thereof, in four areas, EmCare Holdings Inc. taking over as the provider of physicians for the Emergency Room (ER), a new orthopedic surgeon, pain management procedures, and the immediate care program at MCDH's affiliate North Coast Family Health Center (NCFHC).
Whether or not the issues alluded to by Dr. Glusker's email come to light for the public or remain confidential personnel matters remains to be seen. Any conjecture at this juncture appears inappropriate.
The hospital board's ad hoc committee concentrating on the obstetrics (OB) department held a preliminary meeting last Friday, Dr. Miller chairing. More on this after a followup get together in just two weeks, January 19th.
(You can always get more at the author's website: malcolmmacdonaldoutlawford.com)
ANDERSON VALLEY PANTHER GIRLS Varsity Basketball Drops Rough One to Mendocino Cardinals Varsity
Girls AV: 50, Mendo: 59
by Andrew Scully (AVA Special Correspondent)
January 7, 2017 — It was a sunny afternoon in Boonville Friday as the AV High School basketball teams prepared to travel to the coast, what meteorologists said would the last before an onslaught of successive winter storm fronts began to arrive, systems so massive with moisture that scientists call them atmospheric rivers.
By the time the Panthers boarded their team bus for the return trip, arriving in Mendocino a little after 8pm, darkness had fallen, the rains had started,, and both the Girls and Boys Varsity teams had lost their games to the hometown Mendocino Cardinals.
* * *
In the opening varsity match the AV girls had their hands full with a well prepared Cardinal team that demonstrated impressive ball handling and shooting skills as they dominated the first half, which ended 28-14. The Mendocino offensive attack was well balanced, and thus the AV defense was spread out and unable to cope. Cardinals were led by by point guard Emily Symonds, ably assisted by Maddie Crowningshield, Aimee Gordon, and Allegra Geiger. Tayler Kolby-Kishbaugh played well at center for the Cardinals, and she needed to just to hold her own against Anderson Valley's Ava Sanchez.
Gordon showed the value of hustle and grit after she missed both of her free throws following a foul. Instead of hang-dogging it, she hustled in, got her own rebound, and converted a field goal from inside the paint.
The Panthers however area a scrappy bunch, and they came out in the second half looking like a bit of a changed team. Panthers point guard Riley Lemons is a very sharp shooter and is tough on defense as well. She converted several nice field goals.
If the game had a dominant player, however, it would surely be Anderson Valley's center Ava Sanchez, an impressive athlete. In addition to her strength and stature, and her rebounding, blocking and passing, she displayed very sharp instincts for the game. More than once – twice in fact – she grabbed the ball away from Cardinal opponents, simply snatching it out of their hands. She also has a very nice touch, highlighted by a lovely set shot from the top of the key.
Speaking of shooting, Riley Lemons was outstanding for the Panthers and helped keep it close with a series of nice field goals. Lemons and Sanchez were also tenacious on defense, in what was a very physical game. Hailee Peterson was also strong for the Panthers. In the end, it was not enough, as the Cardinals held off a Panther surge in the 2nd half for a 59-50 win.
* * *
Reporting on the Boys game —AV 48; Mendo 61 — is delayed as some of the names were not available at press time. Boys being boys, we shall see if they are forthcoming in time for next week’s edition.
(Andrew Scully can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
* * *
MENDO BREAKS THREE-YEAR HEX, BEATS AV 61-48 IN LEAGUE PLAY
Paced by 24 points by Nakai Baker and the hot-hand of Evan Cole (16 points - he hit 5 three-pointers, 4 in the second half) and the dominating presence of Cody Call, who earned a "double-double" 16 points & 20 rebounds, Mendocino FINALLY beat Anderson Valley in the regular season after three seasons trying. Mendo won going away 61-48 but Anderson Valley made several runs on the Cards in the second half. Clutch free-throws from Nakai Baker preserved the win - he was 9-of-10 in the game from the line. Gerado Torales led AV with 12 points - all scored in the second half.
We'll have to look it up, but it has been YEARS since Mendo swept AV like they did tonight.
The Mendo Boy JV's won 46-5. The Mendo Girls won 59 - 50 & the Boys 61-48 win was frosting on the cake
Anderson Valley Health Center is recruiting a full-time family practice physician.
Opportunity to serve the community in Anderson Valley: Anderson Valley Health Center (AVHC) is a small rural Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in Boonville, CA 2 1/2 hours north of San Francisco in a beautiful valley known for its pinot noir grapes and homesteading families. We are a unique independent non-profit community health center founded in 1976 by our current Medical Director (Dr. Mark Apfel) and his cousin (Franklin Apfel). We are a Primary Care Medical Home offering “one-stop shopping” to our residents for whom we are the sole medical, dental and behavioral health provider. Additionally, we run a small medication dispensary for our patients. Dr. Mark Apfel is board certified in Palliative care and has been an advocacy leader in CA on the POLST initiative. He has completed the California Healthcare Foundation’s (CHCF) healthcare leadership program and continues to play an active role in supporting current participants of the program. We have one psychologist who has been at AVHC for seven years as well as our dental director who has also been here for seven years and emphasizes children’s dental care. Our team provides truly integrated and collaborative care for our patients.
Our patient population consists of about 40% seasonal and migrant farm workers of Mexican decent, 20% seniors whom are some of the original homesteaders of the valley and have a strong desire to age-in-place, and the rest of our patients who make up the valley’s diverse and creative population of back-to-the-landers, artists, farmers, foodies, truckers, loggers and more. We provide primary care, urgent care and emergency care as well as x-ray and soon ultrasound services. We are beginning a prenatal program for our small population of pregnant women (roughly 20 per year) so that they can access early prenatal care in the valley. We see many children for urgent care and are reaching out to parents to encourage them to bring their children to our practice for pediatric care (The closest pediatric practice is 30-40 minutes away). We are also heavily involved in providing health services in the schools and provide the school nurse, reproductive health classes, vision and hearing screenings, fitness and nutrition counseling and BMI data collection.
AVHC participates in the National Health Student Loan Repayment program and our medical HPSA [health professional shortage area] score is 15 though we are working to have it reviewed as our scores for Behavioral Health and Dental are slightly higher. We are participating in Partnership Healthcare Plan’s Physician recruitment plan and recruitment bonus as well as moving and housing support may be available. We are searching for a qualified Board Certified Family Practice Physician. An opportunity to join Anderson Valley is open to someone interested in understanding the challenges faced by being the only medical provider in a rural area, someone who is interested in developing new strategies to reaching the farm working population, someone who may be interested in providing urgent care, caring for dying patients including conducting home visits and someone who truly wishes to practice a community model of whole-person healthcare. We look forward to receiving any interested applicants. Please contact Chloe Guazzone-Rugebregt at (707) 895-3477 x 102 if you are interested in our program.
CATCH OF THE DAY: January 7, 2017
AURELIO ALCARAZ, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.
JOEL ALVAREZ-LOPEZ, Ukiah. Smuggling controlled substances or liquor into county jail, possession of meth, suspended license, false ID.
JUSTIN BALLANTYNE, Willits. Failure to appear.
ERIC MAIER, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault.
RAFAEL MALDONADO-MATA, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, failure to pay, probation revocation.
TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Court order violation.
JUAN SANCHEZ-MONTIEL, Ukiah. DUI.
JENNIFER SKINNER, Willits. Domestic assault.
AUBREY THOMAS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
THERE GOES SHAR
From the Advocate/Beacon FaceBook page: "Let them eat cake. Today is the day we release our beloved Supreme Commander (Publisher) Sharon DiMauro into the wilds of retirement. After 35 years in newspapers and 23 years at the helm of the Advocate-News and The Mendocino Beacon, Sharon hosted our last First Friday meeting under her command this morning. Tears were shed, gifts were exchanged and hugs were given. We'll have gluten-free carrot cake and cookies at the office (on Main, North of Taco Bell) from noon to 2 p.m. for members of the public who'd like to stop in to help us wish her well and celebrate her phenomenal career. Please spread the word and join us for cake!"
Elise King wrote: “I spotted six humpbacks in the past hour today, heading south close to shore off the Caspar headlands. It's easy to spot whales today as the ocean is flat and calm. Lots of spouts and tail flukes.”
Stuart Cohen replied: “ Those are not Humpbacks, they are Grey Whales making their seasonal migration down to Baja to drink Tequila and make babies. But they are still beautiful to watch. They will continue going south for the rest of this month, then it slows down and the Northerly migration starts (up here) in early March. That's the best time to watch for them. The newly pregnant females leave Baja first, with the males following close behind so they pass here in HUGE groups about 25-30,000 of 'em in all...”
NOAA PLANS TO OPEN FEDERAL WATERS IN PACIFIC TO FISH FARMING
by Caleb Jones
As traditional commercial fishing is threatening fish populations worldwide, U.S. officials are working on a plan to expand fish farming into federal waters around the Pacific Ocean.
The government sees the move toward aquaculture as a promising solution to feeding a hungry planet. But some environmentalists say the industrial-scale farms could do more harm than good to overall fish stocks and ocean health.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is creating a plan to manage commercial fish farms in federal waters, the area of ocean from three to 200 miles offshore, around Hawaii and other Pacific islands.
The program is similar to one recently implemented by NOAA in the Gulf of Mexico. The farms in the Gulf and the Pacific would join the few aquaculture operations in U.S. federal waters, though there are smaller operations in state waters close to shore.
Fish farming has been practiced for centuries in Hawaii and around the world. But modern aquaculture, some environmentalists say, carries pollution risks and the potential for non-native farmed fish to escape and enter the natural ecosystem.
Most shellfish consumed in America comes from farms, and their methods are widely considered sustainable. However, some farms that grow carnivorous fish such as salmon have raised concerns about sustainability because they use wild-caught fish to feed the captive species.
There are several ways to farm fish, including: fully contained land-based systems that pump water in and out with little, if any, environmental impact; near-shore operations incorporating natural and man-made elements; and off-shore farms.
Former NOAA chief scientist and founder of ocean advocacy group Mission Blue Sylvia Earle said there are more environmentally sustainable and economically viable options than open-ocean aquaculture, which uses floating net-pens or submerged cages. "We have to make a choice with aquaculture," she said. "Is our goal to feed a large number of people? Or is our goal to create or to serve a luxury market?"
Last year, NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography put an economic value of $17 billion a year on the ocean off the west coasts of North and South America. That includes $4.3 billion from commercial and sport fishing and $12.9 billion for the capture of carbon.
Earle said the ocean is worth more, and no dollar figure can be attached to keeping the ocean, and in turn humans, healthy. "We now have recognition of other values of the ocean beyond what we can extract either for food or for products," she said.
New technologies are being developed for open-ocean aquaculture, and many U.S. companies are sending their crews overseas to farm, according to NOAA officials.
"The U.S.'s view is we'd rather have these U.S. companies pursuing these opportunities in a sustainable, environmentally sound way in the U.S.," said Michael Tosatto, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service regional administrator.
The NOAA plan would create a regulatory and permitting scheme for the industry. "It's reasonably common knowledge that the environmental laws are less where aquaculture occurs the most, (that) being China and other Southeast Asia countries," Tosatto said.
Many foreign operations have U.S. companies supplying the breed stock, then the fish are grown and sold back to the U.S. as imported seafood. U.S.-farmed fish in 2014 was valued at $1.3 billion, Tosatto said, and constitutes 19 percent of the nation's seafood production.
That amounts to only 1 percent of the global farmed product.
NOAA has been trying to establish an aquaculture industry in federal waters for many years. But attempts to get legislation to implement open-sea aquaculture have failed.
"And so (NOAA) moved into the fishery management process ... as a means to move forward with ocean aquaculture under the radar of the public," said Marianne Cufone, executive director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition. NOAA received input from thousands of people during a public comment period last year on its plans.
Cufone's New Orleans-based organization has been developing land-based aquaculture systems that are fully contained. Cufone says these types of farms are more sustainable than ocean aquaculture, and Earle agrees.
"Controlled systems are the most promising," Earle said. "I personally am wary of the open ocean approach to aquaculture."
Meanwhile, NOAA says researchers off Hawaii's Big Island are studying ways to make open ocean farming safe and efficient. They are studying different techniques and species to better understand probelms the industry could face.
"All forms of aquaculture can be done responsibly or irresponsibly," said Michael Rubino, NOAA aquaculture program director. "We will need all forms done well to meet seafood demand and healthy ocean objectives."
Native Hawaiians have long practiced sustainable aquaculture. They build walls around shoreline areas, allowing fresh water from the mountains and salt water from the ocean to flow in and out. Fish enter through slotted gates, and can't get back out. The ponds are monitored to make sure they are healthy, mimicking nature.
"Our ancestors, they could ... sustainably feed themselves no problem," said Luka Mossman, a Native Hawaiian who grew up working on a traditional fish pond and is now helping study and restore such ponds with the nonprofit environmental group Conservation International.
"You constantly watch how the natural system works, and you adapt to that. You don't try and adapt the natural system to work for you," he said.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “My favorite basketball player is Draymond Green. Keeps it real. After blowing that 24 point lead against the Griz in a fourth quarter meltdown Friday night, Draymond said he was happy the Warriors lost because the team needed a wake-up call. How many professional athletes would say something like that?”
CRABBER STRIKE AVERTED
An 11-day strike by thousands of West Coast crab fishermen has ended after a successful negotiation of prices with seafood processors.
The agreement reached late Friday will restart the sputtering season for much-sought-after Dungeness crabs in Northern California, Oregon and Washington.
The Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association told KRCR-TV in Eureka that the crabbers had settled on a price of $2.875 per pound of crabs with major buyer Pacific Choice Seafood.
The processors had initially agreed to $3 a pound in early December, then backed off to $2.75, which led to the strike. The agreed-upon price is halfway between those figures.
The association said the deal was reached in Oregon, which sets the price for the entire coast.
Bernie Lindley, a crab fisherman in Brookings, Oregon, said he has mixed feelings about the price.
“Happy? I don’t know,” Lindley told the Curry Coastal Pilot. “In a successful negotiation, nobody’s happy and nobody’s pissed. For me, personally, I wish it would’ve been resolved more fairly for the fishermen, but we’re back to work, and so be it.”
The strike left crab pots empty along the North Coast during what would normally be among the busiest times for the craved crustaceans.
The season’s beginning was also slowed by the presence of domoic acid in some parts of the three states, including Sonoma County. The naturally occurring neurotoxin can make the crabs unsafe to eat. And even now it could be further slowed by this weekend’s big storm.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
While stitching a cut on the hand of a 75 year old farmer, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Donald Trump and his role as the Republican President-Elect.
The old farmer said, ” Well, as I see it, Donald Trump is like a ‘Post Tortoise’.” Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post tortoise’ was. The old farmer said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a tortoise balanced on top, that’s a post tortoise.”
The old farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain. “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there, he’s elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with.”
FOSTER A HOMELESS PET
Urgent! Our Ukiah Animal Shelter needs your help!
Our homeless pets need our help! The Ukiah animal shelter is overcrowded and to prevent further infectious disease outbreaks the dog population needs to be reduced. Please contact us if you can foster or if you are interested in adopting and please make a contribution in any amount, so that we can transfer dogs to other rescue organizations. Mendocino Shelter Pets Rescue is a non-profit dedicated to saving animal lives. All donations are used 100% toward saving dogs from being euthanized. Visit the website for more info on how you can help! or send us an email to: email@example.com, http://mendoshelterpets.com/
A READER WRITES: Marmon’s got a point, eh?
Federal Judges Reject Orange County's Claim That Social Workers Didn't Know It Was Wrong To Lie In Court
GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING
Photograph by Josh Packer
AMERICAN BLUES STORY IS CANCELED FOR NOW
American Blues Story event that was scheduled for January 27 & 28 at Mendocino Theater Company has been canceled for now due to an injured, irreplaceable band member. We hope to reschedule sometime in the Fall or Spring at a different venue. The rehearsal have been fun and energetic with love for the Blues. Thanks to the fine musicians who have contributed their musical abilities to this worthy project. Long Live the Blues!
— Pattie D.
ACCOUTERING THE NATIONAL BONDAGE DUNGEON.
"On Paradise Island where we play many binding games this is considered the safest method of tying a girl’s arms." -Princess Diana
The recording of last night's (2017-01-06) KNYO (and, three hours in, also KMEC) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download and enjoy, via http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Also, at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find literally thousands of links to not necessarily radio-useful but certainly worthwhile things to see and/or do and learn about while you're trapped inside because of the flooding:
A hypnotic drawing toy made of record players and yardsticks.
Just a few of the terrible demons you can drive out of your life by banging on pots and pans, hanging garlic around the mailbox, and praying to the ceiling.
Places to simply avoid.
And Busby Berkeley's By A Waterfall.