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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017

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Don was born in Visalia, California. After college and his time in the Air Force, Don joined the financial world with a job as a trust officer at a Fresno bank. In 1967 he left that world and moved to Napa Valley with five children and a wife, eager to work on a project together. That project was Vintage 1870. Don loved Yountville and as councilman and mayor was instrumental in shaping its future, going on to found the original French Laundry, a family run business in the true sense of the word. Don and his wife Sally’s affection for the Napa Valley never wavered until they discovered the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County.

Don became the patriarch of The Apple Farm in Philo, where the family worked together again to create successful enterprises. The lifestyle they created there has been an inspiration to many, including ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Soon after midnight on February 6, Don died after a fall at our home on the Apple Farm. We quickly gathered the nearest family members and sat with him through the night until dawn with our memories and our tears. We will always treasure that morning with no interruptions, letting our grief come in waves. After we gathered the rest of the family, we said our goodbyes.

He was a loyal, loving partner and father, whose influence spread far beyond his immediate family. He had a good life. Our early morning vigil and family gathering was deeply satisfying for all of us. The immediate family will gather later in the spring to spread Don’s ashes.

We want to thank the Anderson Valley Health Center for making it possible for Don to die at home after a period of declining health. He couldn’t get around easily at the end, but never lost his appetite for a good meal, a glass of wine, and the company of his family and friends. He was an ongoing inspiration to all of us, our biggest supporter, loving and cheerful to the end.

With much gratitude for your outpouring of love and sharing of wonderful memories,

Sally and all the family.

Any donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Anderson Valley Health Center, PO Box 338, Boonville, CA 95415. No formal services are planned.

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Bernadine Ruth Thoreson was born January 20, 1921. She was the six child of seven children born to Sena and Peter Thoreson (one child died in infancy) on the Thoreson farm one mile southeast of Voltaire, North Dakota. Her father died from cancer when Burgundy was five years old. The whole family was grief stricken. He was the heart of the home. Everyone said, "Sena was never the same after Peter died." The responsibility was overwhelming. This plucky little woman managed to keep the farm going when all around the depression era caused many to lose their farms. The Thoreson farm was one of the largest with no hired help. The workload fell on all members of the family -- raising crops of wheat, corn and oats -- besides the vegetable garden, hay for the horses and cows. Also turkeys and chickens to care for. The household was up at five every morning milking cows by hand. The milk was separated from the cream in a separator. Most of the skim milk was used as food for the pigs. After Bernadine was older her job was cleaning the separator daily by hand.

The church was a quarter-mile from the barn. The land was donated by the Thoreson family. The church always seemed like it was part of the farm. Pete Thoreson, a Norwegian immigrant, was an accomplished carpenter. He helped build the church, the family house and farm buildings which are still standing thanks to good maintenance. The Thomas Thoreson third-generation still lives there and raises buffalo.

Bernadine and brother Vernon were sort of left on their own a lot. She was told to take care of her little brother. He called her “beenabean” when he first started to talk. They were very close and did everything together. Vernon really cried when she started school, he thought he should be able to go also.

Peter Thoreson bred horses for the military and workhorses. The Thoreson children always had horses to ride especially one pony named Tupsy Bernadine and Vern remembered very well. Pete’s horses were very special; it's been said that he traded one for 80 acres of land.

The children's school bus was a covered wagon with a pot bellied stove in the middle which burned coal. Bernadine lived just one mile from school so she could walk except in the winter when the horse-drawn wagon was equipped with runners to get through the ice and snow. Many children lived far from the school and the bus (wagon) driver started early to pick them up. Even after the automobile and better roads appeared it took a while to get a bus large enough to hold them all. Horses were still very much in use.

The railroad tracks joined the Thoreson pasture land and the steam from the train engines kept the grass green during the years of the drought. Bernadine herded cattle during the summer months. The cattle didn't venture much onto the tracks because there was no food for them there. At noon she herded them to the watering trough which were kept full by a windmill. A dog named Jack was trained to herd the cattle and her horse named Dusty helped Bernadine in this endeavor. One winter night a coyote fought with Jack and killed him. The family all grieved over the loss of their good friend.

Everyone went to church on Sunday, their social life was centered around the many church activities. On special holidays the lutefisk and lefse dinners were served. Lefse was a thin black potato cake made like a tortilla rolled up like a napkin with butter. They were baked on a clean top of the coal and wood burning stove.

Bernadine loved going to school. It was exciting. They played games, sang songs and most of all there were many books to read. She never tired of reading and learning from them.

There was no electricity on the farm until Bernadine was in high school. Everyone studied by kerosene lamp.

Bernadine was an honor student at the Voltaire high school where she graduated in 1939. She played the violin in high school band. In the band she played the trumpet. She was a member of the marching band and participated in vocal music and later soloing in church, weddings and country music festivals. She was also the editor of the monthly newspaper.

Bernadine graduated from Minot State Teachers College in 1941 with a two-year teaching credential. While there she was a member of the college band and concert choir that produced light opera like Gilbert and Sullivan.

A former high school teacher of Bernadine owned part of a resort on Lummi Island, Washington (Puget Sound). She offered a summer job to her and a friend in 1942. The environment and climate was beautiful and she wanted to go back again.

Bernadine taught school at Crary, Michigan City and Harvey, North Dakota. One summer vacation time in 1943 she visited Seattle, Washington, and accepted job during World War II at the Boeing Aircraft Corporation making parts for the B-52 bomber. She had a difficult time leaving his job in the fall but finally persuaded them that she was under a teaching contract. They were a little annoyed.

In 1949 Bernadine accepted a teaching position in Pe Ell Washington a small logging town. On New Year's Eve most of the teaching staff could not travel to their hometowns for the holidays because of the returning servicemen using up all the travel space. They decided to go to a New Year's Eve dance party. She was standing watching that when a handsome young man came across the dance floor and asked her to dance. His name was Maurice Turner who had just returned from Navy duty in the South Pacific.

On July 14, 1946, Maury came to North Dakota and they were married in the little Hjerdal Lutheran Church where Bernadine was raised.

The Maurice and Bernadine Turner family settled in Olympia, Washington. Maury worked for and was trained in a government-sponsored program in data processing and attended Harvard Business College there. Bernadine took a position teaching school in Boston Harbor, a suburb of Olympia, Washington. During this time Maury rebuilt a bungalow on the Boston Harbor Road. They sold the house and move to Tumwater, Washington, another suburb of Olympia, Washington, where Bernadine taught third grade at Tumwater school. All three children were born in Olympia.

(Mr. & Mrs. Turner later retired and lived in Anderson Valley from 1980 to 2003.)

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SPRINKLE DENIED. AGAIN. Mendocino County's most thoroughly screwed state prison inmate, Mark Sprinkle, has again been denied parole. He will appear before the State Parole Board again in 2020.

THE UKIAH truck driver got 45-to-life for 90 seconds of sexual touching back in 1996. The crime consisted of a bizarre episode where three young girls, two of them prematurely sexualized to put it mildly, voluntarily, as a "joke," took their clothes off in Sprink's car. They testified to that basic fact and seemed truthful in their testimony about what ensued. Which was a fast round of vaginal pats and breast chucks. Sprinkle still insists he didn't even do that, and initially turned down a 3-5 deal if he would plead out.

WHAT WE KNOW for sure is he didn't rape, murder or otherwise coerce the three innocents. And his denial that he did even that has kept him in prison. Two of the three girls initiated the episode. The third was a ten-year-old the two older girls were babysitting. (!) Sprinkle touched them inappropriately, as Mendolib describes everything from bad table manners to mass murder. 21-plus three for this?

WHAT I KNOW from reading all the paper on the case is that the state authorities, including a prison shrink, were unaware of the bizarre basics of what happened. And weren't interested in adjusting their views when they were made aware.

ASSUMING SPRINKLE touched the girls, and it would be a heroically disciplined man who could restrain himself from "molesting" the preternaturally statuesque ringleader, and given the voluntary circumstances of the touching, does he deserve to die in prison? There are at least fifty guys sitting in the County Jail right now who've done a lot worse.

SPRINK has been locked up for almost 21 years now, and he is a guy who was always employed on the outside but also a guy the local cops found highly irritating because he was always around trouble, always around tweekers and, of course, used tweek himself. But if we doled out life sentences to local people who lived the tweeker life a lot more Mendolanders would be locked away.

WHEN PUNISHMENT is out of all proportion to the crime alleged there's no justice, and Sprinkle has been on the receiving end of a disproportionate sentence for going on twenty years now and, as he says himself, "I'm never getting out." He probably isn't. Alive anyway. Sprinkle is in failing health.

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The big event that everyone waited for was the DTSC (department of toxic substances control) meeting on toxicity at the old Fort Bragg lumber mill.

The almost 400-acre mill site which is smack on spectacular ocean front could with imagination transform our city and bring us prosperity. Instead it has lain dormant for 15 years, polluted, neglected and alienated from the life of the city. A discussion of real progress by DTSC was welcome but suspect. The crowd that night was subdued when they came in and disgusted when they went out. We are past being angry. That was Thursday.

The following Monday there was a special meeting of the Fort Bragg City Council also about the mill site. This was also a surprise. Was something in the works? Was this meeting somehow mysteriously linked to the DTSC proposals that the city suck it up and accept a few acres of carcinogens, and dioxins? Officially they called it a meeting to receive report and discuss the Georgia Pacific mill site specific plan and reuse process.

A lot of folks came to this second meeting although not as many, all of them wondering. What they got was a tour de force of local government obfuscation, non-transparency and manipulation. The facts were obscurely there. The smokescreen was unmistakable.

Mayor Lindy Peters started out with a disclaimer. Nothing was going to be decided at this meeting, he informed us. Nothing will be voted on. This was an informational meeting only. I wondered if he meant that he was there to get information or to provide it. He implied the former but it turned out to be the later. After we said the pledge of alliance and had some of the cheese and crackers and even olives (very unusual) the information came in torrents. Reality bobbed around in it like flotsam.

Development Director Marie Jones (the exact opposite of everything you would want in a public servant) was center stage. The failure of DTSC to clean up the mill site, the failure of the specific plan, the failure of the city to get to first base at all, may not be all her fault but she is the person who was the city official officially in charge of all the processes that failed.

Monday was her night of redemption. She was there to explain the mill site and what had not happened there. Actually she was there to exonerate herself and by association the city hall management that tolerates her. She spoke at great length making her most important point that everything in public service was almost incomprehensibly difficult and that time scales were inevitably geologic when it came to dealing with it all. She summed it up by saying that the 14 years in which she has had the ball to run with were about what was needed to achieve the almost nothing that she has achieved.

Her failures have been impressively extensive but they have had a silver lining, which she wears like a medal. She was able (barely) to extract the Coastal Trail out of the wreckage of the proposal to use the site the way that people thought it should be used. Her claim to competency is the trail. But the wreckage still exists.

Alas though we have a trail around the toxic dump we still have a toxic dump. We still have no path forward. We have still wasted 14 years. We are still an officially economically disadvantaged community. We still can not walk out on the property that still separates our town from the ocean. But thank Marie we can walk around it and see the surf. It is not safe, but according to them it is safe enough.

Marie Jones has been the official negotiating Fort Bragg's interests in now failed toxic cleanup for many years (I think it is 14). It is passing strange that she does not seem concerned or interested that DTSC has now proposed to call it a day and leave the dioxins where they are, and the polluted areas as they are. The DTSC and Marie Jones are asking the people of the city to help out by limiting our personal exposure. I guess she is ok with their position that no harm can come to anyone if they just don't go out there too much. She has an easygoing disposition (I guess).

Marie Jones should be by the nature of her job our fighter for a clean site. Instead we have this sneering mediocrity who is principally concerned to avoid comment, and collect her check. She has made no statements to the public asking for support for the cleanup and shown little concern or interest in its progress over the decades. We should recall that she gets paid (effectively) by the hour.

She did produce a specific plan which is their technical term for a legal permission and blueprint for development. It was distinguished by its lack of imagination, and it was so flawed that Georgia Pacific who paid $2.5 million for it dropped it in disgust when it was close enough to completion that they were able to get some idea how unworkable and just plain boring it was .

The development director claims that the Koch brothers flushed $2.5 million down the toilet so they could concentrate on cleanup. But that does not make sense. The specific plan came out of a long costly negotiation. It constituted a legal right and a plan for development expensively acquired. The specific plan might reasonably have been delayed by the toxic cleanup but would have value in its own right if it had been written intelligibly. It wasn't, so they paid their money and threw the plan away.

I really think that if Marie Jones's specific plan had been workable and not a botched mass of falsehoods and pretensions, the Koch brothers would have at least kept it on the back burner. Maybe they don't care about money.

At the meeting Monday night Ms. Jones read her now abandoned specific plan at enormous length. The point of doing it was obscure. It did bore everyone and some to the point that they left the meeting so it did some good. After that exhausting exercise, in the hopeful expectation that everyone had been numbed into insensibility they let us know the reason for the meeting.

Our town leaders had determined that they were going to forget about doing something about the site that would involve so much work. They had a better idea.

They were going back to making an application for an LCP (local coastal plan). This was another strategy that had also in years gone by failed to cut the mustard. We learned at the meeting that the old LCP back when they launched it had provoked the Coastal Commission to enumerate 888 flaws unacceptable to the Commission. But heck, the city said, only eleven were important, and four were resolved in negotiation. The development director declined (or has declined so far) to tell the AVA what those little hangups were. More on that when I find out.

But we learned that the possibility exists (this was the point of the meeting and the surprise) that by reverting to an LCP the local brewery (North Coast Brewing) might be permitted to move their operations out onto the mill site. That way visitors to our Trail could, by the grace of the city and the development director, get to experience the smells and sights of an industrial brewery and the waste treatment plant all in one visit. Just what the hopeful people of the city had in mind when they expressed their ideas for a world class property.

Actually the city hall folks admitted there were five businesses that were interested to move their commercial operations on to the mill site. What a great idea. So very much easier than all the problems of creating a user friendly monument to imagination and creative planning. That had turned out to be nothing but a problem to them.

In the high and far off times when the city started out to do something with the GP site they had a lot of public meetings at which they solicited ideas about what could be done there. The people of the city came and participated with excitement. Those meetings generated many interesting and innovative concepts and ideas for the use of this world class property. That it should be sold off piecemeal to friends of city hall was nowhere on that list. But now the city council working hand in glove with the development director have worked out a new plan all by themselves. They did not need us after all. They will be presenting this new concept to the people in a series of dog and pony shows soon to be announced. But this time they are not looking for ideas; they are pitching a sad compromise.

–Rex Gressett

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Lawmakers are concerned that they will not meet a key deadline to establish a system for collecting up to $1 billion in taxes. The delay in tax system imperils California’s rush to govern cannabis economy

by Guy Kovner

The regulatory and taxing system that will be needed to govern California’s newly legalized marijuana industry may not be in place by a key deadline next year, imperiling the state’s rush to oversee a booming $7 billion cannabis economy.

Multiple state agencies, including the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, are scrambling to develop rules for licensing and taxing cannabis cultivators and other businesses in the industry.

But State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg is among those concerned that the legal framework will not be in place by the Jan. 1 deadline set by Proposition 64, the marijuana legalization measure approved by voters three months ago.

“We are not being transparent and honest if we continue to say the state will be fully compliant come January 2018,” said McGuire, whose North Coast district includes the famed Emerald Triangle, where 60 percent of California’s weed is reportedly grown.

At stake is $1 billion in anticipated tax revenue for the state, which needs that money to implement and enforce hundreds of new regulations meant to bring California’s sprawling cannabis industry out of the legal shadows.

But the tax collection system, including a so-called “track and trace program” for cannabis products, “is not in place and it will be near impossible to get it up and running by the new year,” McGuire said.

The delay is giving pause to some medical cannabis businesses considering an entry into the recreational pot market.

CannaCraft, a Santa Rosa-based manufacturer and distributor of cannabis-infused medicinal products, will stay out of the recreational market until it sees how the state implements Proposition 64, said company spokesman Nick Caston.

He said the track and trace program is “unlikely to be in place” by the 2018 deadline. But the Board of Equalization on its own can pursue sales tax payments by marijuana dispensaries, he said.

For pot operators, the delay also could have additional consequences. McGuire noted there is no state Board of Equalization office in the Emerald Triangle that can accept cash payments for sales taxes, requiring operators to drive for hours with huge amounts of cash to offices in San Francisco and Sacramento.

“It’s the state’s job to make it as simple as possible to pay the tax,” he said.

California’s current collection of marijuana taxes — on sales by medicinal cannabis dispensaries — is uneven geographically and amounted to just $22.3 million in the last fiscal year, he said.

State officials and industry leaders are now speaking out in greater numbers about the delay and its implications.

McGuire will chair a Senate Governance and Finance Committee hearing Tuesday in Sacramento, titled “California Cannabis in a Turbulent Time,” to consider what he called “significant unanswered questions” about the progress of state regulations.

Similar concerns were voiced Jan. 30 at a legislative hearing, where Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, acknowledged “there are a lot of challenges” in meeting the 2018 deadline.

“The bureau has every intention of meeting our goal of Jan. 1,” spokesman Alex Traverso said in an email Wednesday.

State analysts and a marijuana industry representative expressed skepticism.

“California can’t afford to delay,” Hezekiah Allen, head of the California Growers Association, said at the Jan. 30 hearing.

Allen said in an email he believes regulations for medical cannabis — approved by the Legislature in 2015 — will be established on time, but “we are much less confident” about the timeliness of the rules for recreational marijuana.

The independent Legislative Analyst’s Office called the regulatory schedule “an ambitious time line,” adding that various state departments face “a shorter period of time than is normal for such a large and complex new regulatory program.”

McGuire noted that the state has yet to request proposals from vendors of technology systems that will handle the track and trace program, intended to assure the safety of cannabis products and their taxation.

Proposition 64 established a 15 percent statewide sales tax for the retail purchases of marijuana, plus a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce of flowers or $2.75 for leaves.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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Petit Teton Monthly Farm Report - January 2017

And it keeps on raining. All day yesterday. In torrents. This after a full week of rain off and on every day. After a short break the next round starts late in the following week.

We've had no major damage and haven't even lost power so far this winter which is miraculous given the number of fallen trees and mud slides. But the water is sheeting off the hills and since the ground is beyond saturated, some of our topsoil is draining off as well and into the Rancheria despite the cover crops, swales and mulches. As we've been saying and will continue to say as we build our ark, water is life; everything else is negotiable. Actually, there are many edibles growing in the fields...artichokes, greens of all kinds, turnips, broccoli, garlic and as soon as we have a moment of sun, the asparagus will jump up. A plum tree is blooming as are the forsythia, flowering quince, daffodils, paper whites, rosemary, and ceanothus, although, sadly, it's too wet and windy for the bees to be out. The chickens don't seem to mind the rains and have been pumping out eggs. We do wonder if they're growing webbed feet. It's warm and wild and alive outdoors and every evening when we collapse in the hot tub with our beer we have to shout to be heard over the frog chorus in the pond and puddles nearby.

It's going to be the year of the slug and mold. And of course, endless weed whacking. Sounds a lot like the politics we've devolved into!

–Nikki Auschnitt and Steve Kreig

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Feb. 10, 2017

Adkins-Casey, Bolton, Costa

BRANDI JO ADKINS-CASEY, Ukiah. Petty theft, burglary from vehicle, burglary tools, ID theft, failure to appear.

JOHN BOLTON IV, Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)


Gray, Hernandez, Liebig, Monte

BRETT GRAY, Ukiah. Under influence, dirk-dagger.

EUFEMIO HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Public urination, resisting, probation revocation.

ASAAD LIEBIG, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

TIMOTHY MONTE, Lucerne/Willits. Sale of meth, possession of meth.

Patino, Ritter, Sakane, Solis

ERIC PATINO, Ukiah. Evasion, parole revocation, resisting.

GEOFFREY RITTER, Ukiah. Under influence, probation revocation.

YUTA SAKANE, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

HECTOR SOLIS, Ukiah. Burglary, vandalism, drunk in public, probation revocation.

Stout, DeVito, Tedford

JOSHUA STOUT, Ukiah. Brandishing, driver with concealed weapon.

MATTHEW DEVITO, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

JAMES TEDFORD, Shasta Lake/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

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Montessori Philosophy has a lot to say about the inadequacy of Traditional Education and that criticism was rendered in the first half of the 20th Century. One can only imagine what Maria Montessori would say about Traditional Education in the beginning of the 21st Century. If she has a grave, I’m sure she’s rolling in it. There are a lot of famous Dead People rolling in their graves. People think it’s Fracking that’s causing all the Little Earthquakes, but it’s really all these famous Dead People doing a Dirt Dance to the Preposterous Pantomiming Predilections of Putrified, Pusillanimous, Pandering Politicians.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Nice to see the sun today. Boring as heck, though, to hear the boss say a hundred times, "Welcome back, jolly King Sol."

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In the Jan 25 AVA I read "Why The Dems Lost," by Clancy Sigal. This blather is typical of the current parroted narrative that over-psychoanalyze, without mentioning the 2,900,000 "popular" vote win of Clinton. That's not a small number. It's huge. To say their votes don’t matter is a theft. Where is their representation? Who speaks for them?

I feel every last one of you "lying news media," who say Trump won the election are complicit in the killing of truth and the covering up of a crime.

A basic bedrock principle of any fair contest, sporting or political, is highest score wins. Why even bother voting, if highest score loses? Then insult to injury, the real winner is then blamed ala, The Big Lie Technique, and truth dies.

Greg Palast reported 75,000 ballots in Michigan, not counted in mainly poor black areas and the "crosscheck" system of legal voter disenfranchisement. Not reported in the mainstream press, or even the AVA.

Wow, in all my 51 years, except for that Bush-Supreme Court ruling, never seen this amount of lies, deceit, treachery and ignorance.

Honesty demands transparency. Legitimate questions remain unanswered. I was not a Clinton supporter, but the Electoral College, constitutionally, failed and we need answers, not stupidity.

Best Regards,

Rob Mahon


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Honoring three pioneers in the visual arts: Adrienne Fuzee; Bernice Bing; Sue Hoya Sellars

February 4 - 26, 2017

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11 am. to 5 p.m.

at Art@Oddfellows, corner of Kasten & Ukiah, Mendocino

Reception Saturday, February 11, 5 - 8 p.m.


Sunday: An Afternoon’s Delight

ritual, music, dance, comedy and spoken word

L.A. Hyder; Linda Shear; Sherry Glaser; Shiloh Sophia; Kara Starkweather and Chelsy Rathblot / Mendocino Dance Company

Sunday, February 12, 4 p.m.

$5 - 20 sliding scale (No one turned away for lack of funds)

Visual Artists: Amari Johnson, Beta Morello, Button Quinn, Cynthia Josephs, Debra Scott, Elly Simmons, Flory Chowe Hedley, Gemma Benton, Jan Couvillon, Janet Self, Jeannine Toussaint, Kathleen Flanagan, L.A. Hyder, Laura Pope, Lenore Chinn, Madame Chinchila, Maritza Perez, Mary-Ellen Campbell, Mary Jane Devore, Mary T. Faria, Masako Arita, Maz Dashu, Osha, Patricia Scott, Saradevi Dillon, Sarita Johnson, Shiloh Sophia, Silver Mangini, Susan B. Wood, Susan Chin, Suzi Long, Virginia Fink, Viviana Paredes, Wildflower

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Just finished 2 hours of listening to the Shiva Chalisa, and now will take rest. The practice of listening to a spiritual video prior to sleeping is highly recommended. Last night, after an afternoon-early evening pub crawl with a visit to Ghirardelli Square in between, putting on this profound music video prior to sleep was the right call. And by the way, it is interesting to note that the experience of visiting 5 bars in one outing left me with the clear impression of emptiness. There just ain't much there of substance in the bar scene. The live music at Grant Street Saloon was good, but otherwise it was all mostly forgettable. Putting on Shiva Chalisa afterwards, upon returning to my place, smoothed it all out, and I awoke feeling that my outing was a hoot but forgettable. Then again, I have said since high school that beer is overrated, which it is. Oh well. The lunar penumbral eclipse is tomorrow. YeeeHa!!

(Craig Stehr)

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On March 2nd, we are showing the documentary Forks over Knives at Redwood Valley Community Guild. This film may change your relationship with food as it has done for me, and bring you a healthier and longer life. A poster is attached with a bit more information, and the website goes into more depth. Please spread the word, and we hope you can make it. If not, it is worth getting and screening this film in your community!

There will be an incredible workshop, a sort of Salad University expanded in breadth and depth, Sat April 1 and Sunday April 2nd. Author and health educator Katrina Blair and Environmental Biologist, Acupuncturist, and Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine, Tyler VanGemert LAc will be joining us (Jaye Alison Moscariello and Bill Taylor) for a weekend of movement, wild medicine and food both in Ukiah and at Floodgate Farm on Heart Mountain. We have set affordable prices for the weekend and for portions for those unable to come the whole weekend. We interviewed Katrina on the Farm and Garden Show in November and will have her on again March 20th from 1-2 PM, and first heard her at the heirloom expo in Santa Rosa in September. Her book The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, is full of great information that makes wild plants a realistic source of food, medicine, fiber, and other uses. We will have books for sale at the workshop; available also via Chelsea Green publishing. A poster and brochure for signing up for the workshop is attached.

Please spread the word about the workshop too, and we hope you can make it! If you have questions about any of this, please call 707-272-1688.

Bill Taylor and Jaye Alison Moscariello

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On 2/10/2017 4:15 PM, Ellen Rosser wrote: “Actually, Daney, boys who are raised by the mother alone--because the father decided not to be present--are more likely to do badly in school, have psychological problems, have sexual problems and/or become juvenile delinquents. Check the article by a woman psychologist: 'Where's Pappa?' Irresponsible men are a major part of the problem. Peace and blessings, Ellen”

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Marco McClean replies: On one hand, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, given that cheap, reliable birth control or safe equally reliable chemical or physical abortion solves that problem before it becomes one.

On the other hand, I was raised by my mother, who divorced my bio-father because he didn't want a child and she did. I did pretty well in school and went on to teach, among other things. Anything I'd have to say about my own psychological and sexual health would be suspect, but I've been in a stable, delicious marriage for nearly thirty years, I'm neither depressed nor manic nor violent, nor addicted to anything but reading and writing, and unlike you, Ellen, I don't pray to an imaginary giant baby in the sky when things go wrong. I roll up my sleeves and fix it myself. Or comically bitch about it, whichever is appropriate.

Marco McClean

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At this year’s 29th annual County Mock Trial competition, members of the Laytonville High School Mock Trial team out-argued the Fort Bragg High School Mock Trial team in the final trial to reclaim the Honorable Judge Ron Brown Memorial Perpetual Trophy, and earn the honor of representing Mendocino County at the State Mock Trial competition in Riverside on March 24-26.

Sponsored by Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE), the annual competition gives students the opportunity to experience the American judicial system first-hand. Student teams argue both sides of a fictitious case developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the statewide coordinators of this academic enrichment activity.

This year students portrayed all key roles in the fictitious case People v. Awbrey, the trial of restaurant owner Cameron Awbrey, who was charged with human trafficking and the false imprisonment of Lin Stark, an immigrant from the fictitious country of Tanterra. The case involved issues related to the Fourth and Fifth Amendments: protection against illegal search and seizure and against self-incrimination.

The competition took place during two consecutive weekends, and culminated in the two top teams arguing their case at the Mendocino County Courthouse in Ukiah in front of the Honorable Judge Jeanine Nadel while a packed house of parents and supporters watched.

Laytonville High School student participants included, Sophia Avila, Kassandra Basler, Kiley Carter, Zane Elizondo, Hailey Finnegan, Bronwyn Gilfillan, Kyrie Golden, Tanner Golightly, Cora Hamilton, Aurora Hardwick, Oliver Hill, Jephthah Ikeh, Roxanne Johnson, Mercury Lawton, Brianne Sanderson, and Gracie Silva. The Laytonville High team continues to work with their coaches to refine and improve upon their trial performance in preparation for state competition next month. Although MCOE is able to pay for team member state registration fees and a portion of the team’s lodging expense, the school must still raise approximately $6,000 to cover transportation cost to Riverside and the expense of meals for the team for three days. (Donations from supporters can be made payable to the Laytonville High State Mock Trial Team and sent to Laytonville High School, c/o Bruce Potter, PO Box 868, Laytonville, CA 95454.)

Fort Bragg High School student participants included, Kaleb Browning, Nathan Fontanilla, Nancy Gonzalez, Oscar Hernandez, Toby Kafin, Annika Kao, Analiese Keaton, Claire Kisliuk, Antonia Lewis, Judah Millen, Jon Parrish, Josepha Sugrue, Maria Romo, and Max Whaley.

Developing Virtue Girls’ School student participants included, Oceanna Ackley, Sophy Chin Raman, Emily Du, Leanna Duong, Cindy Han, Jocelyn He, Klare Hu, Kusali Kandahsari, Chloe Lee, Anna Liang, Sophia Liu, Christina Park, Brandy Quach, Chris Ruan, Sophie Xue, and Suzanne Zhang.

Ukiah High School student participants included Leila Achtoun, Mercedes Allende, Avery Barett, Josefina Cavalin, Cooper Clark, Jace Cooperrider, Megan Dolan, Cole Fetherston, Maggie Flaherty, Hannah Hinrichs, Ava Mortier, Caramia Putman, Elka Roderick, Ayla Schroeder, Dylan Schroeder, Christopher Shaver, and Jamie Speka.

Educators and members of the legal community volunteer their time to coach teams and officiate during the competition. Local participants include students from Developing Virtue Girls School, coached by Rianne Kravitz and Matthew Finnegan; Fort Bragg High School, coached by Josh Brown, Tara Larson, and Peter Kafin; Laytonville High, coached by Bruce Potter, Elizabeth Norman, and Elina Agnoli; and Ukiah High, coached by Matthew LaFever, Sergio Fuentes, Colin Morrow, Alexander Rich, and Zach Stephens. MCOE funds and coordinates the County Mock Trial program, so the program can be offered to students at no cost to them. Approximately 70 students represented the four high school teams.

Participating in the event as presiding judges were the Honorable Judges Clay Brennan, Keith Faulder, Cindee Mayfield, Jeanine Nadel, David Riemenschneider; and Judges Pro Tem Giny Chandler, Attorney at Law, and Katharine Elliott, County Counsel.

Scoring panels included local attorneys Robert Boyd, Ashley Rose Burrell, Brian Carter, Giny Chandler, Cooper Demarse, Lewis Finch, Caitlin Keane, Patrick Kingsley, E.D. Lerman, Meredith Lintott, Brian Morimune, Hannah Nelson, Margaret O’Rourke, Douglas Parker, Nathaniel Raff, Josh Rosenfeld, Charlotte Scott, Michael Shambrook and Frank Zotter.

“We’re incredibly grateful to all the volunteers who make this program possible,” said Carolyn Brown, MCOE Program Coordinator. For more information about the Mendocino County Mock Trial Program please visit the event’s webpage at

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* * *


Treat your Valentine to an evening of good food, entertainment, and a live auction. On Saturday, February 11 Gloriana will be holding its second annual Cabaret Dinner and Auction. All money raised will go towards improving sound equipment and new microphones. Dinner is your choice of either meat or veggie lasagna (gluten free available), garden salad with a selection of dressings, garlic bread, non-alcoholic drink and a dessert bar. Beer and wine for sale separately. While you dine our performers will sing songs of love to entertain you and when they aren't singing Tim Bosma will be hosting a LIVE auction! The evening will run from 6:00 – 9:00 at Eagles Hall in Fort Bragg. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple. Tickets available online at or at the door. Remember proceeds go to bettering our sound equipment. Help us improve the sound of our shows!

* * *


My husband Walter and I have been living in Dario, Nicaragua since 2004, when I retired from teaching Spanish, and my mother passed away. Walter grew up on a ranch in western Nicaragua, so he is devoted to his cows, although feeding them has been hard work these last three years of drought. He grows corn, sorghum and Taiwan grass to chop up, and rents pastures, since our finca is only 15 acres. We also raise pigs, ducks, turkeys, pelibuey sheep, chickens, and 4 horses, as well as the dogs and cats. He is installing irrigation systems to save water. His sons Julio (just married at 23) and Walter Junior (almost 25) have been working with him and the manager. We sell milk, fresh cheese, eggs, piglets, ducks, etc. Nicaraguan country chicken soup with their version of dumplings and vegetables adapts well to duck, and is deliciosa. Our finca is about 10 kil. or 15 minutes from our house in Dario.

Since my back no longer likes lifting and bending much, I do some of the cooking and cleaning. No more picking lemons, oranges and tangerines to sell since the trees died in the drought. I also have been participating in local govt. Recently the fiestas for the 150th anniversary of Ruben Dario's birth (our very famous poet born here, father of modernismo) entertained us for a week with election of the Muse (10 young women who declaimed his poetry --that is memorized with voice inflections and hand gestures -- and answered questions about his life and work, and wore Greek type dresses, competed with family and friends rooting them on.) We also had baile folclorico performances, singing contests, children’s games, parades, a visit by the National Assembly, art exhibits, & a cake contest for a week.

Here in Nicaragua we had elections 2 days before the US, and Daniel Ortega won a third term, with his wife Rosario Murillo as VP this time, with 70+% of the votes. His government has made great strides in infrastructure, education, and public health, and in case you haven’t noticed, those Central American refugees arriving in the US are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, where gangs, violence and corruption cause so much trouble, but none are leaving from Nicaragua for those reasons. We are a very safe country, where no one wants war, since during the revolution against the US supported dictator Somoza ending in 1979, and the contra war funded by Ronald Reagan and the CIA in the 80's left 120,000 dead.

By law here, HALF of public offices must be filled by women, in the National Assembly, local govt, and department level, so if the mayor is a man, the vice-mayor must be a woman, etc. And there are several parties, but as long as they are legal and have at least 5% of the vote, they are represented appropriately in the Assembly by their percentage. So people like me that voted for Dr. Jill Stein would not be unrepresented here just because they didn't vote for one of the main 2 parties. Rosario Murillo has been working overtime for years as the National Coordinator on women's and children's issues, land title issues, cultural and tourism issues, youth and community development issues, etc. so she is definitely not just a figurehead.

As for freedom of the press, the opposition La Prensa newspaper weekly has caricatures of Daniel as el Bachi (he never finished the Univ because of the revolution, therefore only has a HS degree or bachillerato), and Rosario as la Chamuca or witch, perhaps because she dresses like an aged hippie, colorful with rings on every finger. They have renovated Managua, which was destroyed by the 1972 earthquake, so that now after 40+ years, there are no more half destroyed buildings downtown, everyone has been getting their home or land titles legalized, and the lake front instead of a huge garbage dump called la Chureca, has a shiny recycling center employing lots of the people who earlier dug through the trash. We also have the Salvador Allende Park on Lake Managua, with restaurants and entertainment for families.

Public health care has much improved, and I have several neighbors who have had knee, back, eye, etc. operations for free. My dermatologist, optometrist, general practitioner, and acupuncturist were trained in Cuba. Hospitals and clinics are much better equipped. Pregnant women in the countryside can stay in town at the Casa Materna for free before their due date, when they are taken to the hospital for free in the ambulance and treated for free. People with chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes receive their weekly medicine and checkup for free. Our electricity coverage is up to 90% of rural areas, when with the opposition government (1990-2006) it was under 50%. Now over 50% of our electricity comes from wind, solar and geothermal sources. Education at all levels is more accessible everywhere, not just in the city.

So any of you interested in visiting us, we have lots of natural beauty to show you, as well as colonial cities, 13 volcanoes, 2 big lakes, and great beaches. When it’s cold up north, we are having 70 degree weather. Nicaraguans are hospitable and just learning how to share their country with tourists. My son Dan from Sacramento in July fit in whitewater rafting, Somoto Canyon, the beach, and climbing Maderas Volcano on Ometepe in a week's vacation.

— A hug from Susan Lagos

* * *


by James Kunstler

By her public utterances, Betsy DeVos seemed spectacularly unqualified to lead the bureaucratic enterprise called the US Department of Education. But you really have to wonder: could she do any worse than the exalted mandarins of educational bureaucracy who preceded her?

There is so much not right with public education these days that it could be the poster child for institutional collapse in America. Certainly in terms of the money spent per student, it illustrates perfectly Joseph Tainter’s classic collapse dynamic of over-investments in complexity with diminishing returns. Young adults are floundering in high school, or “graduating” as functional illiterates despite the vaunted widespread application of computer “technology.” They can do Instagram on a cellphone, but they can’t read an application for a driver’s license. And the mania for “diversity and multiculture” has left kids without the armature of an American common culture to successfully mold a life onto.

That common culture, by the way, is exactly what allowed waves of immigrants from the early 19th century until the Second World War to find a place and thrive in an American life that was new to them. It also enabled the sons and daughters of former slaves to enter professions and business, even despite Jim Crow segregation. Today, according to the official diktat of the Department of Education, and the propaganda of the politicized teacher corps, the very mechanisms that made previous success possible are essentially outlawed or banished beyond the pale of a functional consensus. For instance, instruction in speaking English correctly.

I have said this before to the scorn and derision of my auditors: it should be the primary mission of schooling to teach kids how to speak English grammatically and intelligibly. Without that capability, they may not be able to learn much of anything else. That this is not regarded as important anymore is a spectacular disgrace. It also brings us to the horrifying issue of race in American schooling. (Yes, this is part of that “conversation about race” that the professional race relations establishment calls for incessantly but doesn’t really want to have.)

The failures of education are especially vivid among the children of the so-called inner city — polite code for black. The school troubles of this group may be attributed to an array of other problems, starting with a social services system that pays teenage girls to have babies without a father present in the house, and the inept parenting that follows in chaotic homes. You could argue that children produced in those conditions are so damaged by the time they get to first grade that they can’t recover.

Under Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, a policy called “racial equity” was devised to mitigate the embarrassing problem of black students being suspended or disciplined disproportionately for atrocious behavior in the classroom. The “solution” to that was to just stop enforcing behavioral standards. The policy placed the blame for students’ disruptive behavior on the “cultural insensitivity” of the teachers and staff, and more generally on “white privilege.” The result, naturally, is greater chaos and dysfunction in the classroom. It is worth reading the piece by Katherine Kersten in City Journal on how this worked out in the St. Paul, Minnesota, district.

Arne Duncan was also responsible for mis-applying federal “Title Nine” law on college campuses (originally drawn up to balance funding of men’s and women’s sports), where it was used to promote the extra-legal prosecution of rape allegations in what amounted to campus kangaroo courts run by ideologues unconstrained by due process. This has produced a star chamber climate of persecution across the country, nicely in-step with the officially sanctioned coercions of the cultural Maoists who are destroying the intellectual life of American higher ed.

American schooling from kindergarten to post-doc has entered a phase of epic failure under the watch of several generations of federal policy “experts.” It suffers from several other illnesses than the ones I’ve already mentioned, namely the tragic over-centralization of school districts into giant schools; and the odious racketeering in loans that drives college education. Betsy DeVos has a lot of damage to undo engineered by her exquisitely qualified predecessors.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page:

* * *


In a land where the states are united, they claim,

In a sky-scraping tower adorned with his name,

Lived a terrible, horrible, devious chump,

The bright orange miscreant known as the Trump


This Trump he was mean, such a mean little man,

With the tiniest heart and two tinier hands,

And a thin set of lips etched in permanent curl,

And a sneer and a scowl and contempt for the world.


He looked down from his perch, and he grinned ear to ear,

And he thought, I could steal the election this year!

It’d be rather simple, it’s so easily won,

I’ll just make them believe that their best days are done!

Yes, I’ll make them believe that it’s all gone to Hell,

And I’ll be the Messiah, and their souls they will sell.


And I’ll use lots of words disconnected from truth,

But I’ll say them with style, so they won’t ask for proof.

I’ll toss out vague platitudes, phrases, and such.

They’re so used to fake news that it won’t matter much!

They won’t question the how, the what, why, or when,

I will make their America great once again!


The Trump told them to fear, they should fear he would say,

They’ve all come for your jobs, they’ll all take them away.

You should fear every Muslim and Mexican too,

Every brown, black, and tan one, everyone who votes blue.


And he fooled all the Christians, he fooled them indeed,

He just trotted out Jesus, that’s all Jesus-folk need.

And celebrity preachers, they all crowned him as king,

Tripping over themselves just to kiss the Trump’s ring.


And he spoke only lies, just as if they were true,

Until they believed that the lies were true too.

He repeated and Tweeted, and he blustered and spit,

And he misled and fibbed and he just made up shit.


And the media laughed, but they printed each line,

Thinking “He'll never win, in the end we’ll be fine.”

So they chased every headline, bold-typed every claim,

‘Till the fake news and real news, they looked just the same.


And the scared folks who listened, they devoured each word,

Yes, they ate it all up, every word that they heard,

Fearing their status was under attack,

Trusting the Trump to take their America back.

From the gays and from ISIS, he’d take it all back,

Take it back from the Democrats, fat cats, and blacks.

So hook, line, and sinker they all took the bait,

All of his lies about making America great.


Now the Pant-suited One she was smart and prepared,

She was brilliant and steady, but none of them cared.

They cared not to see all the work that she’d done,

Or the fact that the Trump had not yet done Thing One.

They could only shout “Emails!”, yes “Emails!” they’d shout,

Because Fox News had told them—and Fox News had clout.

And the Pant-suited One, she was slandered no end,

And lies became truths she could never defend.

And the Trump watched it all go according to plan

A strong woman eclipsed by an insecure man.


And November the 8th arrived, finally it came,

Like a slow-moving storm, but it came just the same.

And Tuesday became Wednesday, as those days will do,

And the night turned to morning, and the nightmare came true,

With millions of non-voters still in their beds,

Yes, the Trump, he had done it, just like he had said.


And the Trumpers they trumped, how they trumped when he won,

All the racists and bigots, deplorable ones,

They crawled out from the woodwork, came out to raise Hell,

They came out to be hateful and hurtful as well.

With slurs and with road signs, with spray paint and Tweets,

With death threats to neighbors and taunts on the street.

And the grossest of grossness they hurled on their peers,

While the Trump, he said zilch for the first time in years.


But he Tweeted at Hamilton, he Tweeted the Times,

And he trolled Alec Baldwin a few hundred times,

And he pouted a pout like a petulant kid,

Thinking this is what Presidents actually did,

Thinking he could still be a perpetual jerk,

Terrified to learn he had to actually work,

Work for every American, not just for a few,

Not just for the white ones, there was much more to do.

He now worked for the Muslims and Mexicans too,

For the brown, black, and tan ones, and the ones who vote blue.

They were all now his bosses, now they all had a say,

And those nasty pant-suited ones were still here to stay.

And the Trump, he soon realized that he didn’t win,

He had gotten the prize and the prize now had him.


And it turned out the Trump was a little too late,

For America was already more than quite great,

Not because of the sameness, the opposite’s true,

It’s greatness far more than just red, white, and blue,

It’s straight, gay, and female it’s Gentile and Jew,

It’s Transgender and Christian and Atheist too.

It’s Asians, Caucasians of all different kinds,

The disabled and abled, the deaf and the blind,

It’s immigrants, Muslims, and brave refugees,

It’s Liberals with bleeding hearts fixed to their sleeves.

And we are all staying, we’re staying right here,

And we’ll be the great bane of the Trump for four years.

And we’ll be twice as loud as the loudness of hate,

Be the greatness that makes our America great.


And the Trump’s loudest boasts, they won’t ever obscure:

Nearly three million more of us voted for her.


–Blair, a teacher in Bellevue, WA; edited by R. Green and A.Vizinho

Make America Sane Again.

* * *


by Dan Bacher

A 250-foot long cavity opened in the Oroville Dam spillway yesterday as approximately 55,000 cubic feet per second was being released from Lake Oroville into the Feather River downstream.

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) shut the spillway to investigate the rupture on February 7. The discovery of the giant hole caused a halt and reduction in water deliveries downriver.

The rupture takes place at a time when Governor Jerry Brown is promoting the construction of two massive Delta Tunnels and new water storage. Project critics say that the state should instead focus on maintaining and improving existing water system infrastructure, such as properly maintaining the spillway at Oroville, rather than focusing on environmentally destructive and enormously expensive tunnels and dams.

To help determine “an appropriate level of flow down the damaged spillway,” DWR plans to release up to 20,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) this afternoon, then ramp down the flows and assess any further damage to the eroded spillway, the agency reported in a news release.

"The test flow will run for two hours, perhaps as soon as late this afternoon," according to Ted Thomas, spokesman for the Department of Water Resources. "The test flow is expected to further erode the lower reach of the spillway, where a cavity opened yesterday as approximately 55,000 cfs was being released from the reservoir."

"With the test flows, engineers will verify how much flow the spillway can handle. The spillway is necessary to maintain reservoir operations, given the immediate forecast of continued rain for the next two days and also in preparation for the remaining runoff season," said Thomas.

"In the coming days, DWR will continue to investigate ways to bolster and protect the spillway. At the same time, as part of a contingency plan, the DWR is removing trees and debris from the corridor near the dam where water would flow in the event the emergency spillway is needed," he said.

DWR said the emergency spillway, separate from the damaged spillway, is not gated, and water would flow naturally from the reservoir if it were to reach its capacity of 3.5 million acre feet at 901 feet elevation.

As of this afternoon, the reservoir holds 3 million acre-feet of water. Before the test flow, approximately 14,000 cfs were being released from the reservoir through other outlets, including the Hyatt Power Plant. The test will boost those flows temporarily to 34,000 cfs. Inflows to the reservoir are approximately 85,000 cfs, according to Thomas.

Thomas concluded, "Enough vacant space exists in the reservoir to capture the flow of the rains expected through Friday afternoon. The dam is sound, and no imminent threat to the public exists."

DWR said it is coordinating closely with State and federal wildlife and dam safety officials as it responds to the spillway erosion. Lake conditions, including lake levels, inflows, and outflows can be obtained via a recorded message at 530-534-2307.

Critics of the Delta Tunnels project said the Oroville Dam spillway rupture shows how basic dam assessments, management plans, and maintenance are being neglected as Governor Jerry Brown constantly promotes the California WaterFix as the "solution” to the state’s water supply and ecosystem problems.

“According to the American Society of Engineers 2013 Report, there are 678 high hazard dams in California, and 48% of them do not have an emergency plan,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, responding to the Oroville Dam rupture. “Watching the damage unfold at Oroville, it is striking to us that Governor Brown, CA WaterFix proponents, and Department of Water Resources leaders keep telling Californians that the tunnels are the needed fix for updating California’s water delivery system, yet basic dam assessments, management plans, and maintenance are forgotten or put off.

“The Federal Government had indicated that Oroville Dam needed a further seismic assessment, but the Department of Water Resources stated in 2013 that a seismic assessment of Oroville Dam was not needed. What would happen if an earthquake were to happen near the dam today during this high water event?” she pointed out.

“While an emergency plan for Oroville Dam exists, it is clear that something is lacking in maintenance and planning that such a large hole has opened up in the spillway. Clearly, the Department of Water Resources is not prepared to manage the system during wet years,” she said.

“The Governor and DWR officials want to spend $60 billion, on unnecessary Delta tunnels, a wasteful expansion of infrastructure that will not address California’s dated water delivery system. What we need is a major investment in upgrading our 678 high hazard dams, and making sure that dams like Oroville can stand up without ruptures during high water years. We need to upgrade and maintain the infrastructure that we have first to protect people and ensure water deliveries. If the tunnels are built, there will be no additional cash from state and local agencies to pay for needed dam maintenance, and locally needed water system upgrades,” Barrigan-Parrilla concluded.

Governor Jerry Brown is currently under fire from 12 public interest groups for his many controversial environmental policies. The groups, led by Consumer Watchdog and Food & Water Watch and including Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, Restore The Delta, Rootskeeper, Powers Engineering, Basin and Range Watch, Aguirre & Severson LLP, Public Watchdogs, Southern California Watershed Alliance, the Desal Response Group and Committee to Bridge the Gap, challenged Brown’s “green” credentials at a press conference in Santa Monica on February 6.

The groups unveiled a comprehensive report card on Jerry Brown Administration’s environmental record showing he falls short in six out of seven key areas, including fossil fuel generated electricity, oil drilling, and coastal protection.

The report calls for a moratorium on the building of natural gas powered electricity plants, given what they described as “the glut of electric capacity,” and calls for an outside audit of state’s energy needs. The group showed how California can improve its environmental protections to meet standards set in other states.

The report, noting that Brown’s infrastructure projects, led by the California WaterFix, “deplete water resources and threaten wildlife,” also urges the Governor to abandon the Twin Tunnels project.

Read the report “How Green Is Jerry Brown?” at



  1. LouisBedrock February 11, 2017

    Kunstler’s criticism of Duncan is too mild.

    Arnie Duncan was a venture capitalist with no background in education. He was hired to privatize public schools—part of Obama’s neo-liberal strategy to destroy the public sphere.

    “…it’s really the Chicago model that Duncan has expanded as a national education agenda.

    And the main features of that are really the ones that you talked about. Increased testing, expansion of charter schools through the Race To The Top initiative, paying teachers based on student test scores. And in general shifting education more and more towards business methods, business people in charge of education, creating more influence for corporate think tanks, neoliberal think tanks, venture philanthropies like the Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation in the national education agenda. And shifting public education increasingly toward preparing students for corporate workforce needs rather than a broad public education.

    So really, if we look at Duncan’s legacy, we can see that he has presided over a further dismantling of public education in the U.S.”

    • Bill Pilgrim February 11, 2017

      The same dismantling, politicization and rot has been occurring in nearly every federal department and regulatory agency for decades. The great hue and cry arising today over the wolves appointed to lead various agencies ought to be tempered by a clear realization that they are wolves in wolf’s clothing rather than sheep’s clothing, as in the past. Hopefully, this will awaken slumbering or complacent millions to the importance of PAYING ATTENTION to what is happening in D.C. and getting involved.

  2. George Hollister February 11, 2017

    Kunstler is right.

    “Today, according to the official diktat of the Department of Education, and the propaganda of the politicized teacher corps, the very mechanisms that made previous success possible are essentially outlawed or banished beyond the pale of a functional consensus. For instance, instruction in speaking English correctly.”

    We instantly prejudge people by the way they speak. We all do it. It is unavoidable. So if someone speaks like a hick, we prejudge them to be everything hicks are to us. If Einstein spoke with a Southern accent, he would never have gotten beyond shinning shoes.

    • Rick Weddle February 11, 2017

      Actually, there’re many of us born in North America speaking redneck as a First Language, who later become technically bi-lingual in the ‘outside world.’ You do as you imagine is expected, expecting you’ll suffer lapses. I’m from N. Texas, Canadian River country, but I been naturalized, and can pass for Yankee anywhere. Not that I’m especially proud of it, right now, but you pick things up…

      • George Hollister February 11, 2017

        And if you go back to Texas, you had better adjust back to redneck speak, too.

        Remember what Harry Reid first said about Obama when Obama got the Democratic Party nomination in 2008? “At least he doesn’t speak with a negro accent.” More wisdom there than Harry knew, even though he was criticized for his statement. A “negro accent” is a version of southern accent. It carries all the prejudices, from every Yankee, regardless of political affiliation, or declaration.

        • Bill Pilgrim February 11, 2017

          “…Wot prawce selvation nah?”

          -George Bernard Shaw

        • Rick Weddle February 11, 2017

          re: ‘negro’ accent/’southern’ accent…
          Boy howdy! It is of some significance, other than color coding social strata, that what was celebrated in the ’70’s in San Francisco as ‘Soul Food,’ has always been known all across Dixie, in every neighborhood, as ‘food.’

    • LouisBedrock February 11, 2017

      “…the very mechanisms that made previous success possible are essentially outlawed or banished beyond the pale of a functional consensus.”

      I agree. But this is not because of “the official diktat of the Department of Education, and the propaganda of the politicized teacher corps…” It’s a consequence of the war against public education (and public anything).

      “The flashpoint of the war being waged by capital and its political allies against the public provision of services is education, especially that which serves poor and minority communities. Billionaires like Bill Gates (Microsoft) and the Walton family (Walmart) have established organizations and contributed enormous sums of money to do two things. First, they seek to revolutionize the way in which students are taught. Here they have achieved great victories, with two presidents enacting sweeping laws: No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. Both condition federal aid to schools upon what has been described as “teaching to the test.” Literature, art, music, and all critical education are to be sacrificed so that children do well on standardized examinations. Then, how schools and their teachers fare, including whether or not a school continues to exist, depends on students’ scores.

      Second, these plutocrat “reformers” want to alter radically the way in which schools are organized. The best way to describe their aim is to say that they want the schools to resemble assembly lines, with students as outputs and teachers as assembly-line-like mechanisms who do not think or instill in their students the capacity to conceptualize critically and become active participants in a democratic society. And this Taylorization* of schooling has a military-like component, with pupils expected to react to commands with rote discipline and respond unthinkingly to rewards for appropriate behavior.”

      *”The neoliberal education reform movement, in pushing for standardized testing, privatizations, and union breaking, represents a top-down attempt to implement the industrial techniques of Taylorism in the modern classroom. Standardized testing, score-based individual compensation, and the “dumbing down and narrowing of curricula” are corporate schemes to implant the logic of the factory into public schools. The result is the dehumanization of the American classroom – where education becomes another input in the production process.”

  3. Rick Weddle February 11, 2017

    re: ‘How the Dems lost the election…’

    It’s pretty clear, isn’t it, that Clinton’s and her crew’s basic, open corruption, and paid-off arrogance soiled their own chances, and handed the entire faux ‘election’ to Trumpty? And it might as well have been given to Wile E. Coyote…anyone but Wall St. Hill. (And, shut up, Putin, ya pesky Russky, ya!) Now, the Second Most Repugnant ‘Choice’ offered us is laboring under the delusion that he ‘won,’ and that he enjoys a ‘mandate’ from some MINUS THREE MILLION VOTERS (to say nothing about any Electoral anything). And the beloved Main Media, which is supposed to follow the Leaders like balloons on string, now do not know whether to shit or go blind, so they do a lot of each. To say this past fake election cycle is still ‘inconclusive’ is somewhere near Gold in the Understatement Olympics.

    • Bill Pilgrim February 11, 2017

      Let’s also be clear that due to gerrymandering, voter suppression, and other election rigging tactics around the country…12 states (so-called swing states and their electoral college votes) now determine the presidency. A sham!

      • Rick Weddle February 11, 2017

        Yes, and like some wacked shell-game hustle, where there’s a Bad Surprise under every little goddam shell.

  4. Jim Updegraff February 11, 2017

    Poetic justice: Interesting article in the New York Times about California’s Central Valley and its farmers. Many of the farmers voted for Trump. it is estimated up to 70% of farm workers are undocumented and now under Trump’s immigration plan may face being deported. Then the farmers can not harvest their crops (worth $35 billion) and its effect would restaurants, stores, gas stations would also economic losses. Also schools which have expanded for children of farm workers. will have to cut staff. Now the farmers are pressing for a citizenship speed up program for these workers. ‘Be careful what you wish for, you might get it’.

    • George Hollister February 11, 2017

      Farmers are knowingly caught between the Republican Party that is mostly anti-immigrant, and the Democratic Party that is mostly Environmentalist. So the question is always, which is worse? Environmentalists are pushing for more regulation, and blocking water development; anti-immigrant groups are blocking access to farm labor.

      Tough deal. Potentially, anti-trade policies from Trump are another issue to confront down the road.

      Don’t believe farmers are unaware. They are very aware.

      • james marmon February 11, 2017

        “Tough deal. Potentially, anti-trade policies from Trump are another issue to confront down the road.”

        Stop the crap, our President isn’t anti-trade and you know it. He wants “fair trade”.

        “The U.S. trade deficit with China was $347 billion in 2016. The trade deficit exists because U.S. exports to China were only $116 billion while imports from China were $463 billion.”

        Buy American, make America great again.

        James Marmon MSW.

        • james marmon February 11, 2017

          Along with those logs you’re sending to China are thousands of manufacturing (wood products) jobs we could have here on the North Coast.

      • LouisBedrock February 11, 2017

        Those goddamned tree-hugging democrats!

        1. “…last May the Obama administration cleared the way for the giant climate-changing multinational oil corporation Royal Dutch Shell to begin drilling for fossil fuels in the Arctic Ocean this summer. Shell got approval to drill in the U.S. portion of the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. Shell’s leases are 70 miles out, in a remote, untouched, and pristine area that provides critical habitats for several rare species and large marine mammals. It’s a treacherous area characterized by extreme storms, likely to cause massive oil spills. Environmental groups had long warned against the madness of drilling in the area, which holds 22 billion barrels of oil and 93 trillion cubic feet of natural gas;

        …the decision came just four months after Obama opened up a large portion of the southern U.S. Atlantic coast to new deep-water offshore drilling, the Times notes. The national newspaper of record might have added that it came five and a half years after Obama, elected on a promise (among other things) to reduce climate change, almost singlehandedly undermined desperate international efforts to set binding limits on global carbon emissions in Copenhagen. His environmental record ever since has been calamitous, greasing the eco-cidal skids for the United States’ largely fracking-based emergence as the world’s leading oil and gas producer in the name of an “all-of-the-above” (nuclear included) energy policy and so-called national energy independence.

        And the “first green president” is not done contributing to anthropogenic global warming. Obama has been steadily and stealthily pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)”

        2. The Clinton-Gore years were anything but environment-friendly. Under Clinton-Gore, more old growth forests were cut down than under any other recent U.S. administration. “Wise Use” committees — set up by the lumber industry — were permitted to clearcut whole mountain ranges, while Clinton-Gore helped to “greenwash” their activities for public consumption.

        Under Clinton-Gore, the biotech industry was given carte blanche to write the US government’s regulations (paltry as they are) on genetic engineering of agriculture, and to move full speed ahead with implementing the private patenting of genetic sequences with nary a qualm passing Gore’s lips.

        Clinton-Gore also approved the destructive deal with the sugar barons of South Florida arranged by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, which doomed the Everglades. (In fact, Clinton was on the phone with Alfonso Fanjul, Jr., the chief of the sugar barons, while Monica Lewinsky was busy doing her thing in her famous blue dress under Clinton’s desk.)

        • Bill Pilgrim February 11, 2017

          Do you know of the deceased stand-up comic Bill Hicks? One of his inciteful yet painfully accurate political routines involved lines to the effect that every President – on his first day in office – is escorted to a small room in the White House basement and shown the Zapruder Film. “This is what will happen if you don’t play ball with us,” he’s told.
          Need I say more?

          • LouisBedrock February 11, 2017

            Painful indeed. Bill.
            And very real.
            Have you read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man?

            • Bill Pilgrim February 11, 2017

              Yes. A remarkable and painful book.
              There’s now a sequel: “New Confessions…”etc.
              One of the spiritual truths Americans are now painfully experiencing is the Law of Cause and Effect, the Law of Karma, also called the Law of Action and Reaction. Millions are ignorant of the fact that the chaos, suffering and destruction we have sown in other countries for decades has inevitably come home to roost. “They have sown a wind…and shall reap a whirlwind.”
              Perhaps one of the most hypocritical aspects of the Christian fundamentalist ethos that underlies the reactionary agenda in Congress today is their disavowal of the real teachings of the Christ.
              It’s almost hallucinogenic!

              • LouisBedrock February 12, 2017

                I could not agree more.

        • George Hollister February 11, 2017

          For the pure on both sides of the divide, there is never satisfaction. There is no scientific environmental reason California can not build more reservoirs. There are Environmental reasons, though, that carry the day. “Diverting water for fish” has not been shown to benefit fish, but has certainly hurt farming, and farm economies. The issues around pesticides, when used as the label directs, are Environmental, and not ones of environmental science. Same for GMOs. Look at the Spotted Owl issue. Science shows logging is not the cause for Spotted Owl decline, but Environmentalism says it is. It goes on and on.

          Environmentalism is the religion of urban liberals. And their party is the Democratic Party. What the last election did was separate those Democrats who are the non-believers from the true believers. The non-believers are the Democrats in trade unions. The non-believers, this last election, voted Republican. This will serve to intensify the divide.

  5. Rick Weddle February 11, 2017

    A disadvantaged Mexico has flooded America with dirt-poor, high-value (slave) labor since Four Ever. It’s one of our legacies and pillars of empire. Mexico has ranted and roiled against it, enduring it, suffering it and profiting by it Big Time. Ask any coyote or any of their patron beneficiaries. Anyone who orders removing it (1) doesn’t know what he’s doing, and (2) is doing foundation economic destruction, for all parties. Unwise, and likely mis-advised, policy… Plus, it’s ruining Life and needlessly screwing with People and so on…
    If you want to solve ‘the immigrant problem,’ simply stop BEING such a ceaseless official pain-in-the-ass Problem dealing with immigrants. Stop throwing gasoline and high-explosives and razor-wire and drug-profits on the fire, and try helping People who flying-A need it. You want clean, then act like it. And while you’re at it, you can meditate on the truth of the act, that if you do your cleaning yourself, you don’t have to waste so much time and energy whining about the ‘help.’

    • Harvey Reading February 11, 2017

      A fairly recent boost to emigration from Mexico came under Mr. She-Monster’s reign. It was called the North American Free Trade Agreement, which put a lot of Mexican farmers out of business, because they couldn’t compete with the cheap imports coming from the land o’ exceptionals. I suspect, in the end, when we exceptional folks have run our course (not too long from now), that “our” southwest, and probably the rest, will be repopulated from the south. Hell, they can’t any bigger mess of things than we already have.

  6. Eric Sunswheat February 11, 2017

    Oh yeah, farmer crocodile years in the Press Democrat, about the limited labor opportunity this very rainy season, to trim the grapevines before bud break.

    But do you see help wanted ads on north bay craigslist for it. No way. It’s all manufactured consent angling labor out of the way for automated pruning.

    Next it will be outfits like the news outlets renewing push for no exception mandatory vaccines of California infants of any stripes, including those of idle workers with too much time on their hands, making hungry babies, and perhaps even adults themselves vaccineed without consent.

  7. Harvey Reading February 11, 2017

    There’s a certain, somewhat appealing feeling–to me at least–that I get when I read about a rupture in Oroville Dam. Who knows, maybe the Central Valley, particularly the San Joaquin, won’t be needing slave laborers from Mexico much longer.

  8. Annemarie Weibel February 12, 2017

    Susan Lagos,
    I liked reading your account of your life in your new home in Nicaragua. I would like to stay in touch with you. I might even visit you. Thanks, Annemarie Weibel

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