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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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The most shocking part of Donald Trump’s speech Tuesday night was that there was nothing shocking at all. Speaking before a joint session of Congress to an audience of senators, congressmen and women, supreme court justices and generals, Trump mostly stayed on script. He did not really brag about the size of his electoral victory (except to declare that in 2016 “the earth shifted beneath our feet”). He did not attack the media or go on any of his frequent verbal detours. But Trump’s speech is not likely to change the political landscape. We have been here before, where he has seemed presidential on one day and launched a 6am tweet storm the next, making any gains in gravitas temporary. But the occasion did show how divided the country and this Congress is. When Democrats won’t even stand or clap when Trump is talking about a fallen soldier, it’s not likely that they will be willing to make deals on infrastructure, let alone controversial topics like immigration reform. It does not matter what Trump says or how formal the setting within which he speaks. No matter what words come out of Trump’s mouth, Democrats are only going to ever hear the echoes of “lock her up”. — Ben Jacobs, London Guardian

ED NOTE: Trump hit some rhetorical notes that lots of people can agree with. But the likelihood of those things happening (affordable non-Obamacare health care, lower drug prices, more US manufacturing jobs, infrastructure, immigration reform, etc.) is nearly nil since the Republican dominated Corporate controlled Congress won’t do it, and Trump’s own cabinet picks are the usual Republican/Wall Street hacks who will undermine any genuine good intention Trump may have.

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The new year has been a soggy one thus far. Yorkville recorded another 21 and a half inches of rain in February, their season total now surpassing six feet (73.6 inches). High Roller monthly precipitation totals thus far this season (2016-2017):

  • 10.36" October
  •  6.76" November
  •  9.92" December
  • 24.92" January
  • 21.64" February

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We’re gonna do what we’re gonna do. Pubic safety is not a consideration.

Dear Mendocino County Board Chair John McCowen:

Feb. 2, 2017

This is in response to your January 24, 2017 letter regarding Philo speed zone changes.

First let me clear up an apparent point of confusion. When we propose a speed limit change we are required to offer the local agency (City Council or Board of Supervisors) an opportunity to conduct a public hearing on the proposed change. While we typically attend to answer questions and receive the input directly, the public hearing is the local agency’s, and not Caltrans.

Let me respond to your three bulleted points separately:

  • Input into the proposed change is an effort to identify any condition that is not readily apparent to the traveling public. The fact that the current 85% is near 45mph indicated that we have already considered various factors to keep the proposed limit at 35mph. It is also important to remember that the speed limit is set for good weather and free flow traffic conditions. Any other conditions are accounted for by California’s basic speed law which states that “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for…” It should also be noted that the CHP cannot enforce a speed limit not established by an E & TS (Engineering and Traffic Survey.)
  • I will reach out to CHP and share your request for additional enforcement. The proposed speed limit has the benefit that it will be enforceable. You should be aware that their enforcement is general and does not differentiate between those who are local or not.
  • I am forwarding a copy of your contact sensitive design request to the Mendocino Council of Governments, as most of the funding available to implement context sensitive solutions or complete street features requires their involvement

I appreciate your perspective and that you are concerned about safety, but want to let you know that the only way to control the speed of traffic is to establish a realistic speed limit that is enforceable. We believe that the proposed changes will do just that. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me at (707) 445-6393.


Mark Suchanek, Deputy District Director, Maintenance and Operations, Caltrans District 1

PO Box 3700, Eureka CA 95502-3700. 445-6445.

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WANTED TO RENT: Locations in Mendocino County to set bee hives, approximately 40 to 80 hives per location. Please Call Patrick Kalfsbeek @ (530) 908 1311 email:

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Veterans Day Service, September 11, 2016

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The recent conversation among Ukiah City Council members about attracting a downtown hotel should send shivers up the spines of local restaurants and existing hotels.

The city seems determined to have a downtown hotel and the $25,000 study the city now has in hand says they should try to attract a major upscale chain hotel, definitely with a restaurant and conference space.

Why a restaurant? If the idea is to attract business to the downtown, why give a hotel the added boon of keeping all its customers in the building at night? Seventy-five rooms full of people downtown would be a big boost to local restaurants, but allowing say, a Hilton or a Hyatt to come in with its own restaurant would be the equivalent of allowing a big new chain restaurant in the downtown. Is that the idea? If a large upscale hotel moves to the downtown, wouldn’t that be enough incentive for more local restaurants to open in the downtown area? Maybe the post office building would finally be attractive, or some of the other vacant downtown spaces. Maybe the city should think about how to make that prospect easier.

The study also indicates the hotel should have a conference space. Why? The city has its own under-used conference center. Isn’t that the point of bringing a hotel downtown? To provide more business for existing business?

The study indicates the average price of a hotel room now is about $76. We argue that this figure is unrealistic and includes all the budget hotels where budget customers will continue to stay anyway. The study says a high end hotel would charge about $170 a night. We doubt that. The two upper scale highway hotels we have now already charge more than that. A night at the Fairfield Marriott in Ukiah on a July weekday will range from $175 to $219. The same July weekday at the Hampton Inn goes for $185 to $264. Are rates higher than these likely to fill 75 rooms a night, 365 days a year? Maybe.

We have no problem with an upscale hotel moving into the downtown. As the man giving the council the study details noted, “that’s capitalism.” But we warn the city against giving a large chain hotel any kind of leg up to do it. The city says it is not considering giving up anything, including its parking lots. The study, according to the council, was based on “hypothetical” areas of the downtown. It used parking lots as examples only of potential areas, not wanting to point to any specific spot currently owned by someone else.

The city also says it has been talking with some hotels already. That’s fine and presumably if those hotels think Ukiah is a good bet, they’ll find a spot and fund their project all on their own. Providing an ideal location, or other tax or utility benefits, is a hefty incentive for any company to move in. There are times when a city should do that. Providing a bunch of low wage housekeeping jobs is not one of them in our book.

If the city is going to move ahead, it should be sure to protect the taxpayers and take care not to kick its existing long time businesses in the face.

— K.C. Meadows (Courtesy the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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IN ALL THE BACK AND FORTH about detoxing the old mill site in Fort Bragg, it seems that lots of people are still holding out for bio-remediation, the deployment of certain kinds of vegetation to naturally suck the poisons from contaminated earth.

WE ASKED FB City Manager Linda Ruffing for a clarification:

"A considerable amount of the mill site remediation process to date has involved bio-remediation. In 2008/09, GP conducted an extensive "land-farming operation" whereby TPH contaminated soil was bio-remediated. They also conducted "bio-sparging" to help remediate contaminate groundwater. In 2008, GP also funded a bench test study to determine the feasibility of treating dioxin-contaminated soils with fungi. The test was performed by Paul Stamets (Fungi Perfecti) and NewFields laboratory. It determined that the fungi were not capable of bio-remediating dioxin to acceptable standards. Consequently, "dig and haul" has been the remedial action for dioxin-contaminated soils on the mill site."

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by Clark Mason

As the northernmost city in Sonoma County and closest to the “Emerald Triangle” of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties where highly prized marijuana is grown, Cloverdale would seem to be well positioned to cash in on the “green rush” from California’s legalization of pot.

Cloverdale, the only city in Sonoma County to have a tax in place on commercial marijuana businesses, is close to deciding where such cannabis operations should be located, as well as regulating personal cultivation.

But council members are taking a cautious approach toward preserving small town identity and values and not being over-welcoming to the newly legitimized industry.

“The last thing I want to see us be is the marijuana capital of Sonoma County,” Mayor Gus Wolter said Monday.

He is also pushing to ensure any recreational pot growing for personal use in residential areas is confined indoors, to six plants or less, although the city makes an exception for medical marijuana patients, who may cultivate three plants outside.

Wolter said he doesn’t want the odor of marijuana, which can be especially pungent near harvest, to permeate neighborhoods.

Under proposed guidelines that will be discussed by the City Council Tuesday night and brought back for approval at a later date, nurseries and commercial outdoor cultivation would be restricted primarily to industrial zones.

The only exception would be on rural-residential parcels of two acres or more where cottage farmers could grow up to 25 plants and wholesale operations could cultivate an area of no more than 5,000 square feet.

Regardless of parcel size, indoor or greenhouse operations also would be allowed in rural-residential zones, which tend to be located at the edge of town.

Most of the marijuana businesses would be concentrated in the city’s industrial zones, other than up to two dispensaries that could be allowed in the downtown commercial area under the draft ordinance.

Typical businesses relegated to industrial areas include cannabis edibles, oils, tinctures, distribution, and testing.

But with limited industrial lands available in Cloverdale, the potential for the cannabis sector to grow may be limited.

How much demand there will be from the marijuana industry to be in Cloverdale, and how much revenue it would produce remains an open question.

Cloverdale voters in November overwhelming agreed to tax marijuana businesses up to 10 percent of their gross revenues on top of the other taxes that state will collect. In ballot arguments, advocates estimated $90,000 in tax revenue would be collected for each cannabis business.

“It’s conceivable there could be 10 different cannabis-related businesses in Cloverdale,” Police Chief Stephen Cramer said Monday, adding it’s hard to say if that would translate to almost $1 million into the city’s general fund.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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THE NEW YORK TIMES is taking out full-page ads in its own paper in response, I guess, to Orange Man's careful lectures about fake news: “The truth is hard. The truth is hidden. The truth must be pursued. The truth is hard to hear. The truth is rarely simple. The truth isn’t so obvious. …”

AND SELDOM appears in the "newspaper of record," long a conduit for White House press releases and, some of us will recall, responsible for the most disastrous false news ever as its reporter, Judith Miller, relayed page one stories from Bush-Cheney about Saddam Hussein's non-existent weapons of mass destruction, thus kicking off an endless war with Islam.

IS IT AN EXAGGERATION to say that The New York Times, with its steady drip of propaganda for a war on Iraq, kicked off the destabilization of the entire world, a world our grandchildren unto the tenth generation and beyond will spend fending off fanatics?

I'VE ALWAYS operated on the safe assumption that people believe what they need to believe, that objective truth, where it applies, or is available, has no bearing on the conclusions drawn.

CASE IN POINT: A bunch of people I thought were basically tethered to what most of us consider reality, are suddenly opposed to vaccination, which not only endangers their own children, but ours.

IS IT POSSIBLE to be more irresponsible? Ask them for sources and they cite internet cranks, which means to me they are incapable of sifting fact from fancy, that they're crazy in the Orwellian sense. (The sage said so long as you could tell truth from untruth, you were still sane.)

IF THE ANTI-VACCERS were quietly nuts, crazy all by themselves, nobody would care, but here they are talking hysterical young parents into a return to iron lungs and death from diptheria.

ANY NEWS SOURCE, especially the big ones like the NYT, has to be read with the basic understanding of who owns them and the politics of the owners. The New York Times is the work of wealthy liberals. Ditto for the Washington Post. These people are lip-locked to the top Democrats. And there's your built-in bias.

ON THE RIGHT, we get the Washington Times owned by the Moonies, an excellent example of how crazy people get instant credibility if they have enough money to start their own national newspaper. (Naturally, there's a Mendo link here; back in the early 70's when Rev. Moon was still a consensus nut case, he ran his primary brainwash center here in Boonville.)

MSNBC is lib-owned, Fox News is the property of a rightwing Australian, so from him we get a lot draft dodgers like Hannity and O'Reilly talking up war on everyone, the weaker the better. From Fox, you also get wall-to-wall yobbos like those two clowns plus a lot of bombastic graphics heavy on the American flag, always the tipoff that fascists are in the house. And you have beautiful blonde women reading the nutball version of the news.

READING back over these primitive media opinions, statements of the obvious, I should think, it occurs to me that the old notion that unless you devote a pretty good hunk of your free time to ferreting out the truth of things — and who has time for that? — you're flying blind.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 28, 2017

DeWolf, Elkin, Elliott

HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

BILLY ELKIN, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

NORBERT ELLIOTT, Willits. Forgery.

Fazenbaker, Fontane-Tucker, Frenna

NORMAN FAZENBAKER JR., Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

HEIDI FONTANE-TUCKER, Willits. Domestic battery.

DAVID FRENNA, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

Kapitan, Lopez, Mather

JAMIE KAPITAN, Fort Bragg. Battery-Punishment, failure to appear.

ALBERTO LOPEZ, Talmage. Loitering, disobeying court order.

SCOTT MATHER, Ukiah. Controlled substance.

Maynard, McCoy, Rodriguez-Silva

ANDREW MAYNARD, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

ROBERT MCCOY, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

SCHAILI RODRIGUEZ-SILVA, Willits. Drunk in public.

Rogers, Sassenberg, Schmit-Feliz

JOSHUA ROGERS, Willits. DUI, probation revocation.

WILLIAM SASSENBERG, Clearlake/Redwood Valley. Reckless driving.

JENNIFER SCHMITT-FELIZ, Willits. Vehicle theft, suspended license.

Starcher, Wolfe, Wright-Hoaglen

DAMIEN STARCHER, Fort Bragg. Petty theft, defrauding innkeeper, drunk in public, under influence.

LARRY WOLFE, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance, ID theft.

DOREEN WRIGHT-HOAGLEN, Covelo. Ammo possession by prohibited person.

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by John Eskow

For Jimmy Kimmel, simply being unfunny is much too easy. He accomplished that goal very early in his monologue, when he zeroed in on Mel Gibson: “hey Mel, you look good—the Scientology is really working out!” Hilarious, because it means absolutely nothing—Gibson did look good, and he’s not into Scientology, so…but why suffer through more of Kimmel’s 2000-pound one-liners, each one thudding and echoing in the excruciating silence like a massive hammerblow of dullness? He’s hardly the first host to carpet-bomb the Academy like a Curtis LeMay of comedy. Nor is he the first host to find any human name more unique than Bob or Joan to be inherently comical—remember when his idol, David Letterman, died miserably on that very same stage by mocking the sound of “Uma” Thurman and “Oprah” Winfrey? In Kimmel’s case, it was the name “Mahershala” Ali that we were supposed to find so delightfully amusing. “Mahershala!” Man, I’m still laffin’! As Jerry Seinfeld might say, “what is up with black people’s names?” Which leads me to the crux of my argument, i.e., the utter dickishness of this smug Jimmy Kimmel.

Kimmel ported over to the Oscar broadcast a favored shtick from his nightly show, which is the “pranking” of everyday slobs. Vile enough in its nightly incarnation, this mockery of uncool out-of-towners reached a zenith of Creepy Sunday night when he arranged for a busful of tourists to be led into the auditorium unawares, so that they suddenly found themselves onstage at the Academy Awards. I give this “prank” full points for surrealist invention; there is a certain cruel, tedious genius to it. But the point of this kind of joke is always the same one: there are two classes of people, the puppeteers and the puppets, and we in show business—the men, specifically, the ones who wear the tuxedos–are always the ones whose fingers will make you dance. The fact that these “tourists”—ha! they sign up for organized tours! they come from places like Oshkosh and Utica! they don’t dress good like us!—responded to the prank with good humor did nothing to mitigate the ugliness of it.

And, of course, to cap it all off, Kimmel ordered the Academy members to throw a shock into the tourists as they entered the hall by shouting—in unison—“Mahershala!” And with that, he married his two endlessly-battered themes—the intrinsic hilarity of “foreign-sounding” names and the goofy cloddishness of the everyday American—into one huge condescending punchline.

I work in this business, and I have seen up close the utter contempt that many people in it have for the audience they purport to entertain. But nothing embodies it more clearly than that smirk on Jimmy Kimmel’s face as those everyday, hardworking Americans—you know, the idiots—were paraded offstage, past the uncomfortable movie-stars, back to their meaningless and unglamorous lives.

(John Eskow is a writer and musician. He wrote or co-wrote the movies Air America, The Mask of Zorro, and Pink Cadillac, as well as the novel Smokestack Lightning. He is a contributor to Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence. He can be reached at: Courtesy,

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When the Social Security bubble finally is burst by the thieves in DC (and Wall Street), how they do it will be a good indication as to whether they want all us old people to just die ASAP or whether they will allow us to whimper our way slowly into the night. If the system is simply crashed or stopped outright then they want us dead and quickly. The ensuing rumble will surely get ugly fast and there will certainly be a large number of Grannies and Grandpas either jumping off their Mart Carts into traffic or simply starving. The scum who rule DO have the option of cutting back on the payment amounts and if they do how could anyone really argue that? After all, the case can easily be made that the contract is still being honored, though the amount was subject to circumstances. This would be the kindest way they can kill the old people off, slowly through compromising their abilities to eat and/or secure medical care and drugs to keep them all upright. At some point in time we are going to have to be culled in numbers and in a big way. There are simply NOT enough young people and/or working people to pay for us all to keep on breathing and eating. The newest waves of immigrants are uneducated, unskilled, unemployed and living in poverty and on social programs themselves. Surely there cannot be enough coming into the coffers to support us all, especially once the printing presses stop functioning.

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WILLITS NURSE celebrates 40 years of service to Howard Memorial Hospital

Being a nurse is a calling, being a nurse for the same hospital for four decades, is even more inspiring. That's Cindy Bodensteiner's story, a long-time nurse and director of surgery at Frank Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH) who celebrated 40 years of service to the hospital and the community.

Bodensteiner recalls vividly when she first applied for the job. It was 1974, there was no internet and no online employment sites, so she showed up with her handwritten resume at the Human Resources office. Now 40 years later Cindy says she still loves every minute of her job and cannot imagine working anywhere else.

In a day and age where job-hopping by "millennials" is the new norm, Bodensteiner says it never crossed her mind and that the love for her coworkers, the hospital and this community is what keeps her fulfilled. "What I love about working here is the caring attitude of my coworkers and physicians; the compassion we have for our patients and each other. I know that many people feel that their hospitals or other places of employment are "special", but the specialness of HMH is palpable as soon as you walk through the door. I am grateful to come to work in a place that makes me happy every day and know that I have friends who will lift me up when I'm having a rough day," she explains.

Originally from Laytonville, Bodensteiner learned about the hospital in an elective class on Nurse's Aids in high school. She went to school to become a Surgical Technician and came back to Willits to apply for her dream job.

"When I started I was making $2.95 an hour. And gas was only 60 cents per gallon," she muses, reminiscing of days gone by.

She started out as an OR Technician and Nurse's Aid, became an LVN in 1985 and three years later, became an RN, all while working full-time and raising a family. Today, she's an RN First Assistant, working alongside surgeons during procedures and the director for the surgery department, supervising and mentoring 28 employees.

Having had the longest tenure as any nurse at HMH, Bodensteiner says she has seen the community change through the years, and the hospital has done a great job of keeping up with those changes. From three beds separated by curtains in the ICU to four private rooms with their own bathrooms and from one operating room to four, Bodensteiner says the hospital has come a long way.

"Back then we had one nurse on each shift. There were no radios, let alone cell phones so there was no warning that an ambulance was coming. But we made it work and saved a lot of lives," she shares.

Bodensteiner says there's never a dull day on the job and recalls one story as a nurse in the emergency room when she literally risked her life when an intoxicated and combative patient tried to stab her. "Thankfully, a brave soul who just happened to be visiting another patient saw what was transpiring, put his head down, ran as fast as he could and tackled the patient! At the same time, the Willits Police Department came bursting through the back door! To say I was a bit shaken is an understatement!" That Good Samaritan was honored by the City Council for his bravery.

Besides the excitement of it all, Bodensteiner says one of the best things about working for the hospital is caring for her community. "Because we are a small community, it's our own friends, neighbors, and family members who end up here. It gives them such comfort to know the people that are caring for them. I love seeing someone I've helped, doing so much better at the grocery store, or at the post office, and they are all very grateful. It makes everything we do so worth it."

Having seen four remodels and just recently the move to the new hospital, Bodensteiner says one of the highlights of her career was being part of the process of building the new facility. "I have been waiting for the new hospital for so long! It's amazing how well we've done such a small facility. Now it's finally here and it's everything that the community deserves," shares Bodensteiner.

Even though 40 years seems like a lifetime, she says retirement is the last thing on her mind. "I love my job so much! To have worked at HMH for that long has been an honor, a blessing, and an experience I wouldn't trade for anything!"

Asked what she would tell those who are just starting in the field of nursing, she had these words of advice, "Come to each patient's bedside with an open mind, an open heart and be prepared to share your knowledge, your skill, your compassion and to make every effort to provide the best healing you can offer. Each patient presents an opportunity for you to make a difference in their life, even if it's only a small one. And with each patient you can learn something. We have been given an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference, take every advantage you can to make that happen for every patient. Honor yourself, your profession, continue to grow and learn. The opportunities as a nurse are endless."

(Howard Memorial Hospital press release)

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Non-Profit PSA for Elk's 30th Annual Rummage Sale

The Greenwood Civic Club invites you to take part in the 30th Annual Elk Rummage Sale to be held Saturday and Sunday, April 1st and 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Greenwood Community Center in downtown Elk. Discover antiques, collectibles, clothes, books, toys, housewares, furniture, tools, and more at bargain prices. Join the Great Race Sunday afternoon - all you can stuff in a bag for $3. While shopping, feast on baked goods, drinks and home-made tempting lunch items.

Donations in good condition are welcome before the sale and may be dropped off at the Greenwood Community Center in Elk March 29th and 30th between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. For information or pickup assistance, call Rae at 877-3224 or visit The Greenwood Civic Club is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible. Proceeds from the annual event benefit community projects, the summer children’s program and student scholarships.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Patty Wolfe, Publicity Chairperson for the Greenwood Civic Club 707-882-2729

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PG&E Flying Low in Mendo County to Inspect for Dead Trees

Ukiah, Calif. — As part of its response to California’s tree mortality crisis, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct aerial patrols in Mendocino County on Thursday, March 2 to identify dead trees that could pose a wildfire or other public safety risk.

“Even with the recent winter storms, five years of drought in California have caused millions of trees to die or become structurally compromised. That’s why we are taking extraordinary measures to help keep the communities we serve safe,” said Kamran Rasheed, manager, PG&E vegetation management.

Every year, PG&E patrols and inspects all 134,000 miles of its overhead electric lines. Since the tree mortality crisis began, the energy company has been inspecting trees along power lines in high fire-danger areas a second time, six months after its annual patrol because weakened trees can die quickly. Last year, PG&E conducted second patrols on 68,000 miles of power line, and in 2017, expects to patrol 73,000 miles of line a second time. The company will patrol 10,750 of those miles by helicopter.

Depending on clear weather conditions, the flight on flights will occur between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The helicopter will fly along Highways 1 and 271 over the towns of Laytonville and Leggett and the communities of Cummings and Tan Oak Park.

PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters over the area to inspect trees. Patrolling by air allows the company to cover many miles quickly and efficiently, and reduces impacts on the ground. Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – about 200 to 300 feet – along distribution power lines, and higher in areas where livestock are present.

If patrols identify dead trees, PG&E will send inspectors on foot to verify a tree is dead, and then contact the home or land owner to schedule removal.

PG&E Press Release

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Starhawk Is Coming To Town!! Here in Willits, March 12th at the Little Lake Grange. Tickets are $50-$75 for this all day event. The workshop starts at 10 and goes to 5. Please bring your own lunch. There will be an hour break to grab some local food for those who wish. The workshop is called Heart, Head, and Hands, Hope and Action in challenging Times. She will be weaving together an introduction to permaculture design with ritual and ceremony to help us connect to our ancestral roots and deep emotions, analysis and strategy tools for planning and organizing, and nature connection to renew the spirit. This is all about community collaboration and empowerment. Let's stand together and celebrate.

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by Dan Bacher

Spurred by heavy state, national and international media attention on the Oroville Dam crisis, California Governor Jerry Brown on February 24 announced a series of “immediate and longer-term actions” to bolster dam safety, improve flood protection and fix the state’s aging transportation and water infrastructure.

“Recent storms have pounded the state of California resulting in a dam spillway eroding, roads crumbling and levees failing,” said Governor Brown. “Our aging infrastructure is maxed-out. We can take some immediate actions – and we will – but going forward we’ll need billions more in investment.”

In a press conference at the State Capitol Friday, Brown told reporters, “There is real work to be done. We got to belly up to the bar and start spending money.”

Brown’s plan will redirect $50 million from the General Fund and request a $387 million Proposition 1 appropriation from the Legislature as soon as possible, according to Brown’s Office.

In addition, the Brown administration plans to require emergency action plans and flood inundation maps for all dams; enhance California’s existing dam inspection program;: and seek prompt regulatory action and increased funding from the federal government to improve dam safety.

On February 22, the Governor made a surprise visit to the Incident Command Post in Oroville and surveyed the regional flood control system, including areas recently impacted by flooding. This was the first time since the crisis began on February 7 that Brown visited Oroville.

Brown’s funding package does not include money to fix the Oroville Dam’s primary spillway or auxiliary spillway, where severe erosion spurred the evacuation of over 188,000 residents of Butte, Yuba and Sutter counties on February 12.

“That expense is the responsibility of the more than 20 water districts and other water contractors that get water from the reservoir, the Department of Finance said Friday,” the Sacramento Bee reported. (

“Even with today’s action, California has nearly $50 billion in unmet flood management infrastructure needs,” the Governor’s Office noted. “To address these needs, the Administration will continue to work with the Legislature through the budget process on solutions, including potential changes to Proposition 218, which continues to prevent local government from fixing core infrastructure.”

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, responded to the Governor’s announcement in a statement, indicating agreement with Brown on the necessity for spending money on flood control improvements, but challenging him on whether he will continue pushing the controversial California Water Fix or other big new infrastructure projects.

“We agree with Governor Brown about the need to spend for flood control improvements. $437 million in expenditures is a start,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “What remains to be seen is if he will promote smart expenditures that will augment water supply, while protecting the environment and environmental justice communities. Or will Governor Brown continue promoting big new infrastructure projects like the Delta Tunnels that will not solve flood problems or drought challenges, and that only serve the profit motive of Big Ag and special corporate interests?”

“Restore the Delta is creating a list of water projects in the weeks to come that will serve flood control and water supply demands while protecting the environment and environmental justice communities. We will share our findings with government leaders and the press. It is time for all Californians to have equity at the water planning table,” she stated.

In all of the media coverage of Oroville Dam spillway crisis over the past 2-1/2 weeks, the mainstream media haven’t yet discussed the real issue behind the disaster: corporate control of California water politics.

The reason why state officials and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ignored a motion to intervene by Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League in October 2005 wasn’t because of incompetence or negligence.

I believe it is because Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown spent much of their time, energy and money over the past decade pushing the water bond and Delta Tunnels, rather than repairing and fixing existing infrastructure such as the Oroville Dam spillway, at the behest of corporate agribusiness interests and the Metropolitan Water District.

To read the untold story of the Oroville Dam crisis, go to:

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Warm spiritual greetings, It has been an amazing four days in the San Francisco bay area. Celebrating Shivaratri at the Shiva Murugan Temple in Concord, CA on Friday, featuring three South Indian priests officiating, a bharatnatyam dance performance, and a free prasadam dinner feast. Incredible! Sunday night at Krishna Temple in Berkeley featured chanting of the holy names, and much good feeling among the assembled, with a free prasadam dinner feast. Everyone who attended is happy, and committed to having a Krishna consciousness, as opposed to disconnected existential thinking which accompanies a life-journey going nowhere. Monday morning was spent at Kabuki Spa...five hours at Japantown's finest health facility. The sauna, then four 15 minute trips to the steam room, a bracing cold plunge, and finally the relaxing hot tub. I am chanting the mahamantram continuously! We cultivate Krishna consciousness amidst the meltdown of the Trumpocalypse. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare...

Craig Louis Stehr

Mechanics Institute Private Library

San Francisco, California, USA



  1. Lazarus March 1, 2017

    I found it interesting that according to CNN 78% of the populous apparently approved of Prez Trumps speech, but while watching KPIX San Francisco, 11pm news show…, Liz Cook reported their poll was nearly 80% negative on the speech. Go Cal, Go…!
    And just today you be reporting on Brown go’n beg’n for money for that old dam … I’ll give odds on him getting any government money any time soon from Trump.
    Folks in Sac. best get the MJ tax stuff work’n…but then there is that AG business isn’t there…? Not look’n so good out west…

  2. Bill Pilgrim March 1, 2017

    RE: “The truth is…” Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, bought the Washington Post in a fire sale a while back. Amazon has a 600 million dollar contract with the CIA for Cloud services. The WaPo should be scrutinized even more closely when it comes to “intelligence officials said” stories.
    The WaPo published that list of 200 websites, many alternative & left, it claimed are outlets for Russian propaganda.
    The AVA didn’t make the list, for some reason.

  3. Mike Kalantarian March 1, 2017

    Re: Trump’s Speech and “the likelihood of those things happening”…

    True, the good things he mentioned in his speech won’t happen, but, sadly, many of his bad notions will. Things like increased military spending, deregulation, privatization, and regressive tax policies. These are things the oligarchs want, and since they own both parties, they will continue getting exactly what they want (that is, until enough people in this country fully wake up to this horrific scam – until then, we will continue being sidelined).

  4. Harvey Reading March 1, 2017


    Lifting the cap on income subject to Social Security, as well as paying back the trillions–plus interest–diverted from the trust fund in favor of military spending, would go a long way to keeping the program solvent until we, of the huge generation born between 1945 and 1965, are long out of existence, when the “problem” goes away.

    The comment seems to me nothing more than right-wing propaganda, tailored to seem folksy and reasonable. I’ll bet the writer wasn’t even old. The suggestions of how old people might respond is hokum of the highest order.

  5. Eric Sunswheat March 1, 2017

    A viewpoint on vaccines and immunological sciences, that does not respect naturopathic and orthomolecular medicine, and is stuck in senility horrifics of obsolete iron lungs, for victims of polio that didn’t get enough vitamin C and related cofactors, isn’t worth responding to. Likewise, skimming internet drek for republishing, that expresses fears that there will not be enough young people to take of the old, is ignorance beyond belief or a begging for response, as the computer robotics take hold for self driving cars, and the replacement of other job functions, literarily driving the newly unemployed dispossessed, over the cliff into retirement or into guaranteed national income with universal healthcare.

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