Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Friday, April 7, 2017

* * *

ROAD CLOSURE: State route 175 at Diamond Dust Trail has an extended closure due to a tree and powerlines being down. Unknown time of reopening / will be closed for several hours. (California Highway Patrol news release, 4/7/17, 0026 hrs)

* * *

LEAP INTO SPRING ADOPTION EVENT at the Ukiah Shelter, April 11-15. All spayed and/or neutered dogs will have their adoption fees lowered to $50 ($25 license fee required for Mendocino County residents.) Check out the shelter's website to find your new best buddy:

* * *


by Rex Gressett

I drove up Highway One Monday afternoon to the old Fort Bragg Grange building in Inglenook to meet the local resistance. The Grangers, officially The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, were in emergency conference to talk strategy in the building they had taken back basically by force. They did not let me stay for the meeting but they gave me the basics of their side of the story and they sure have engaged my interest.

The Grange is about as hard core American an institution as you can find anywhere. Born out of an agrarian resistance to railroad monopolies and land grabbing banks in the post-Civil War South, the Grange movement spread like prairie wildfire through the farming and ranching communities of the country, exploding from five to eight thousand chapters in its first five years. The Grange is America’s original grass roots movement.

It started life as lobby for farmers, a forum for the community, a resource for sharing farming technology and became the first organized national resistance to the corporate expansion and consolidation of the Gilded Age.

The populists and the progressives trace their origins to it. We should recall organized opposition to an unfettered capitalist free for all began first with farmers. The Grange movement was farm families organized around common sense, respect for women, modern farming and to act as a unified political voice.

From the start they were considered radicals by the banker Republicans and railroad tycoons. Worse, they were an effective opposition to the monopolists. In their long history they pushed for and got the Cooperative Extension Service, Rural Free Delivery and the Farm Credit System. They made the small farmer heard in the halls of power.

In thirty-six states and thousands of small communities the Grangers built solid wooden meeting halls as a physical symbol and practical realization of community. Most communities in Mendocino County had its Grange Hall.

By the turn of the century, the American political dialogue had become complex and increasingly focused on urban issues. The radical ideology of small farmers was muted in a national dialogue that went far beyond the farm, but the Grange did not disappear. The old halls still stood in thousands of towns, often unpainted and mostly unused but the core idea that they represented lived on.

Fort Bragg Grange Hall

In the early years of the century, insurance entrepreneurs saw opportunity in the national scale of the Grange and appropriated the legal organization and the name as a vehicle for their own ambitions.

The insurance hustlers came and went, but the meeting halls themselves were built to last. To this day in over 2000 communities in 36 states the Grange halls are still standing as monuments to our grandfathers’ intelligence and spirit.

The ideals of the Grange had grown like seeds in the common dirt of a precious shared experience of independent farming. Their values were founded in common sense, rooted in the life and culture of the independent farm. For Grange families there was a proud disdain to be anything less than free and independent on your own land. The new mega-culture of factories and commercialism and cars and advertising might laugh at it, and they did, but they could not entirely kill the Grange idea.

Over the 20th century the country changed beyond all recognition. The Grangers seemed to recede to a historical footnote. But in 2012, in what must have been an unimaginably distant future to our farmer ancestors, local Granges started acting up.

In California organized opposition to genetically modified crops came first from a Granger. Bob McFarland was elected state Grange president in 2009. As state president he organized a ballot initiative, Proposition 37 which, had it passed in 2012 would have mandated the labeling of GMOs in California. That got the Grange noticed. California is the world’s seventh largest economy. To the educed but historically proud and naturally oppositional small town Granges, local, self-produced organic food was second nature.

By all accounts, Bob McFarland tapped a strong sentiment of local activism across rural California. Independent farmers, gardeners and just folks seeking the voice of affiliation and the comfort of community found relevance in the values that were always at the heart of the original movement. Like a ghost recalled from the dead the Grange once again was a living idea.

In faraway Washington DC the Grange’s central administration reacted. They amended the bylaws in 2011 to allow them to revoke a state charter. The noble Bob McFarland was suspended and then fired in 2012. When the California executive committee demurred, the national organization revoked the California charter and amended the bylaws again to give the central national authority greater authority over local Grange property. Then they sued the Grangers for calling themselves a Grange.

In 2014 the National Grange let the cat out of the bag and went to bat openly for Monsanto. In an amicus brief for the Supreme Court the Grange backed Monsanto with all that they had.

National Grange Legislative Director Grace Boatright put it to the local membership with cold brutality. “If the Supreme Court didn’t rule in favor of Monsanto’s argument there would be little incentive to produce and promote inventions if a company or individual lost all profit-making potential after the first sale of a self-replicating product.”

National Grange President Ed Luttrell told the Grangers with a straightface that the Grange was backing the megacorporation that “assures an abundant food supply into the future.”

Said Ed, “The Supreme Court’s decision is not only good for agriculture and Ag business, but it reaffirms the fact that genetically modified products are not only safe but also necessary if we intend to produce enough food to meet future needs; the Grange is a supporter of GMO products.”

The Grange that many thought represented them were bluntly told that the Grange was “a supporter of the individual farmer’s right to use this (gmo) technology when available until credible scientific evidence suggests that a real danger exists”

For many of us in Mendocino County, not only small farmers but organic food consumers and folks generally, the informed perception is that the Monsanto corporation has declared war on nature itself. In our small, green county we understand all too well that vast ecological damage, brutish political usurpation of intrinsic legal rights and behind the scenes political scheming that define Monsanto and their assault on the earth. Bob McFarland’s Proposition 37 would have made them put labels on the roughly 80% of food products sold in California that contain GMOs.

There was fierce local disagreement with the National Grange position. So far there have been seventeen lawsuits filed against National Grange. The National Grange brought in Ed Komski as state Grange President to work the situation. He changed locks on Guild halls, made threats and hustled into the courts for control of local assets.

The locals fought back.

In the end the Grangers lost their name but they kept their buildings. Shamefully, they now have to call themselves a Guild. But at Inglenook, right here north of Fort Bragg, and elsewhere they busted the locks and took out the security cameras.

The day was windy and bright when I turned my car around, I had the feeling that the folks formerly known as the Grange were not too certain what the next move might be. They were talking strategy and trying to figure it out. They were doing the same thing in Granges across the country. Betrayed by a national organization that played the shill for the worst agricultural policy since the stone age, and under assault from a predatory, small time hustler with his hands now on the helm of the state organization, the local membership had nowhere to turn but to each other. The Grange 672 had come back to where it all started.

* * *


To the Editor:

Our Ukiah City Council and staff prove that it is really easy to spend money when it is not your own. They needed to push through a ballot initiative last November to maintain our streets by increasing sales tax into perpetuity, but somehow found some discretionary cash laying around to pay a consultant to look into building a fancy downtown hotel.

What is the business case for this cash outlay? How long will it be before the taxpayers recoup their investment into this private venture? I don’t know anyone who thinks a downtown hotel is a must have. I can only guess this whole thing is being pushed through by one or more influential downtown merchants to increase their business. Yes, folks, we have special interests right here in our own town!

Our intrepid Sunday columnist, Tom Hine, sometime ago, posited that it is kind of silly to try and attract upscale tourists who would want to visit our semi-permanent homeless encampment at Alex Thomas Plaza. Our homeless and transient situation is the elephant in the room that our City Council and staff do not want to deal with. The daily police log is filled with instances where law enforcement has to get the street people to break camp and move along — but to where? Just up the street from City Hall, transients occupy McGarvey Park by day, basically precluding the people who pay taxes for parks from enjoying this lovely area. A few blocks away, a woman was recently brutally assaulted and robbed. Also close by, another transient led police on a car chase through the neighborhood.

Addressing public safety by dealing with the homeless/transient issue is where taxpayer funds need to be spent. We need to make another try at the Sheriff’s proposal to provide and staff mental health facilities, so those with these kind of issues can be taken off the streets and be properly cared for. We need to discourage enabling services which encourage transients who are not from this area from dropping anchor here.

Ukiah was once one of the most desirable places to live in the country. Let’s put pressure on the City Council and staff to drop the idea of attracting an upscale hotel and focus on Making Ukiah Safe Again!

D.E. Johnson, Ukiah

* * *


Fort Bragg City Council To Decide Monday

The City of Fort Bragg released the agenda for Monday night's City Council meeting and besides introducing new employees (Crystal Rowley, Community Services Officer; Michael Herringshaw, Police Officer; Sarah McCormick, Planning Technician & Chantell O'Neal, Engineering Technician) and a vote to appoint Joe Sutphin to serve on the Fort Bragg Fire Protection Authority, the only "hot button" topic seems to be the decision on whether to allow a private business to rent "Segways" on the newly opened Coastal trail.

Oh yeah, the councilors will go into closed session AFTER the meeting for the "Performance Evaluation" of City Manager Linda Ruffing.

Here's the link to the agenda:…/…/Agenda/_04102017-410

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

* * *


California Highway Patrol officers in Ukiah Wednesday were investigating four New York men who tried to ditch bags of marijuana from their vehicle after they crashed during a Highway 101 pursuit.

A CHP officer in Redwood Valley around 1:30pm Tuesday clocked a northbound Jeep Laredo at 100 mph on Highway 101 and pursued. The driver stopped briefly, then drove off, again reaching about 100 mph before exiting on West Road where he lost control on an overpass and the Jeep rolled multiple times down an embankment. The four men got out and began throwing bags of marijuana over a fence. The CHP did not say how much marijuana was involved. All four were arrested and sent to various hospitals, two with major injuries. Two ambulances and two medical helicopters responded.

Abreu-Urena, Delacruz, Garcia-Perez
(Guzman not pictured, presumably because of delayed medical clearance)

Euclides Abreu‑Urena, 23, of the Bronx, was flown to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Luis Guzman, 27, of New York City, was flown to Enloe Hospital in Chico. Yoan Delacruz, 27, of New York City, and Luis Garcia‑Perez, 28, of the Bronx, were taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center with minor injuries.

Driver Abreu‑Urena was arrested on suspicion of evading an officer. All four were arrested on suspicion of possessing and transporting marijuana for sale, conspiracy and resisting arrest.

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I always try to be friendly, civil, companionable. It ain't easy around here, believe me. A certain person walks past. I woof out a merry ‘Good morning’ That certain person snaps, ‘Zip it, you little feeb. What's good about a cold, rainy dawn?’”

* * *

AT LAST, MAYOR TURNER'S summer adventure. Turner's name is redacted but the incident was basically a theft, not a late night invasion as first thought. Interested Fort Braggers can read the details here in this redacted Sheriff’s Report:


* * *

FROM THE JOURNALO FRONT. A reader comments: "The Press Democrat closed all comments on their editorials and articles unless the reader subscribes. Of course, this reduces their reader base which reduces revenue from their plethora of on-line adds. One bad move after the other, the PD is slowly going away."

THE PAPER'S MANAGEMENT EXPLAINS: "After much consideration, we have decided to make some changes in how we handle comments on To provide a better user experience for our valued online community, we will now require a subscriber login to both read and post comments to stories on the website, beginning today. We value open and honest dialogue, but the proliferation of hate speech, anonymous trolling and personal attacks have created a commenting environment that is not conducive to respectful thought exchange and sharing of viewpoints. Rather than eliminating comments entirely, we have made this feature a benefit for our subscribers…" Etc.

FOR ONCE I almost sympathize, but came to my senses with, "We value open and honest dialogue…" The Press Democrat, ever since it was bought out by the New York Times, then the Bosco Gang, can hardly be said to "value open and honest dialogue," as any regular reader will attest.

I UNDERSTAND THE PROB. There are millions of unhappy people out there whose anger is apparently partially assuaged by writing foul, and typically anonymous, comments on newspaper comment lines. But the nut messages can easily be edited out, which is what we do at the mighty ava's on-line comment section.

TOTE UP THE STAFF at the Press Democrat, compare it to the daily work product, and you come away wondering what the hell they all do all day. The papers of yesteryear had reporters filing at least one story every print day.

COMMENT LINES on lots of papers, especially the Press Democrat, are often much more interesting than the day's "professional" journalism. In my direct experience with the PD, the writers are ok in a kinda dull-normal-ish way (cf Glenda Anderson, Pete Golis, to name two) but the editors are a gang of cringing wimps, hence the paper's slavish daily work output. Incompetent, management-oriented editors, wedded to reactionary owners, and there it is, my fellow Americans, today's journalism, most of.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 6, 2017

Abreu-Urena, Bastion, Bauer, France

EUCLIDES ABREU-URENA, New York, NY/Ukiah. Possession/transportation of marijuana for sale, evasion, resisting, conspiracy.

PAUL BASTION, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

CHRISTINA BAUER, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Domestic battery.

ERIC FRANCE, County parole violation.

Hartsock, Munnerlyn, Schoonmaker, Young

DAVID HARTSOCK, Citrus Heights/Ukiah. Controlled substance, county parole violation.

SHALER MUNNERLYN, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

GABRIEL SCHOONMAKER, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, receiving stolen property, controlled substance.


* * *


Charles Bukowski related his bus trip across America. A whore set up shop in the back seat. All the other men on the bus paid for her services except him. He didn’t judge them since he went to whores all the time. Maybe he just didn’t like her or the Spartan accommodations. Or maybe it was the fact that a “community” had been created, one with her as the Queen. At rest stops, surrounded by her followers, he could hear her asking “Who does he think he is?” Bukowski didn’t like pressure like this and would automatically resist. Beyond that, he knew the utter smallness of it all and was repulsed. Not the act itself nor the business aspect, but to make it some kind of loyalty issue when they’re all never going to see each other again in a couple of days. As he often said, “Humanity, you never had it.”

Social psychologists have found that after twenty minutes or so, a room full of people will begin to form factions.

* * *

SIGMUND FREUD delighted in calling himself a conquistador, or failing that, a Hannibal, Semitic enemy of Rome, or a Cromwell, throwing over an established church.  In his exile he went to London, not Jerusalem, believing that Palestine always would be the cradle of fresh superstitions.  I am delighted by Freud's "The Future of an Illusion," though it may be his weakest book, if only because I relish the image of T.S. Eliot, respectable anti-Semite, reading it in a fury.  Freud too would have been delighted.  "Moses and Monotheism," Freud's novel, makes fairly explicit the identity between the history of Jewish religion and that of the life of the New Moses, Solomon Freud (to give him his Hebrew name, which suited him far better than the Wagnerian Sigmund).  Freud's pragmatic motto, in regard both to Catholics and to normative Jews, might well have been "Outrage, outrage, always give them outrage."  T.S. Eliot indeed was outraged, but then even a far less gifted Jew than Freud would have been enough for Eliot to deplore.  The only Jewish genius who pleased Eliot was Christopher Marlowe's Barabas, "The Jew of Malta," who dies in boiling oil, though to be just to the abominable Eliot, one should mention his fondness for Groucho Marx.

Freud prided himself upon his originality, and denied that he had read Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, a denial I don't believe.  Shakespeare, authentic precursor, Freud nastily reduced to "the man from Stratford," usurper of the glory of the Earl of Oxford, who wrote all the plays (some from beyond the grave).  Oxfordian maligners of Shakespeare are a mean lot, adept at poison-pen letters (I have received a passel).  The Freudian map of the mind is his own invention, but Freud had a Hamlet Complex, as Goethe did, with Shakespeare again playing the father's Ghost.  Hovering uncannily nearby was Charles Darwin, wisely named by Alexander Welsh as scandalous forerunner of Freud.  How chagrined Freud might be that now, in the United States, Darwin goes on outraging fundamentalists, while Freud's provocations are forgotten.  Darwin continues to inflict severer wounds then Freud; a number of American states and school boards now require courses in "creation science," but I do not know of any compulsory anti-Freudian courses.  Evolution is a live issue; the unconscious, the drives, and repression, are stuffed birds on the shelf.   I say this not to disparage the enormous genius of Freud, but only to indicate again that we have passed into another time, when the genome and the computer constitute reality, and the Freudian speculation does not.

— Harold Bloom, 2002; from "Genius, A Mosaic of 100 Exemplary Minds"

* * *


Border Patrol apprehensions drop again

by Jason Buch

The number of immigrants caught illegally crossing the border from Mexico plummeted again in March.

After an unusually large number of apprehensions by Border Patrol agents at the end of last year, arrests fell precipitously in February. Last month, they dropped to the lowest they’ve been in years, according to the Border Patrol.

The agency reported that there were 16,600 individuals apprehended or deemed inadmissible in March, a 30 percent decrease from February. That’s a 64 percent decrease from the same month in 2016.

“Since the Administration’s implementation of Executive Orders to enforce immigration laws, the drop in apprehensions shows a marked change in trends,” agency officials said in a statement.


US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues to see a sharp decline in the number of individuals apprehended along the Southwest border, as well as a decrease in those found inadmissible at ports of entry on the Southwest border.  In March 2017, 16,600 individuals were apprehended or deemed inadmissible, this is a 30% decrease from February 2017, and a 64% decrease from the same month in FY2016.

Since the Administration’s implementation of Executive Orders to enforce immigration laws, the drop in apprehensions shows a marked change in trends.

As directed in DHS Secretary Kelly's memoranda implementing the President’s executive orders, CBP will remain committed to carrying out fair, impartial and humane enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. CBP will remain vigilant to respond to any changes in trends, as numbers of illegal crossings typically increase between March and May.

In March, a total of 12,193  individuals were apprehended between ports of entry on our Southwest Border, compared with 18,754 in February and 31,577 in January. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, USBP apprehended 408,870 individuals along our southwest border, compared to 331,333 in FY15, and 479,371 in FY14.

(CBP Press Release)

* * *


by Kenneth Rexroth (May 22, 1960)

Just as I said last week, one thing leads to another. The important thing about the shambles in the City Hall on Friday the 13th is not Communism or anti-Communism, civil liberties preserved or violated, the Constitution or any of its amendments. The important thing is a breakdown in community morality. It is only a miracle that nobody was seriously hurt. How easy it would have been for someone to have been tossed off that balcony or slid down those marble stairs to a broken neck. The guardian angels that protect fools and drunkards, old ladies and children, policemen and college students must have been watching.

Who was to blame? As in most family quarrels, the family itself. People have compared it to the bloody riots of the 1934 and 1936 strikes. Those were probably the last real class conflicts in San Francisco, and their grislier moments were due to the use of police imported from outside the community. Those strikes were big moments in the economic history of San Francisco. They marked the change from a low-wage to a high-wage town, from chaotic to managed labor relations. Except for a lot of enthusiastic propaganda, when contracts come up for re-negotiation, everybody is satisfied with the results.

Employers and men along the waterfront and on the sea are prosperous and sassy and reasonably honest with each other. In certain East Coast ports whole trainloads, not carloads, of automobiles have disappeared into thin air, union officials get thousands of dollars as Christmas gifts, and some cargoes take over twice as long to load there as out here. The borscht and shashlik served at contract time in some quarters is just window dressing — the “class enemies” of 25 years ago get along just fine — in San Francisco.

Last time the Un-American Committee was here they met in the City Hall, and during their brief visit it was impossible to conduct community affairs anywhere around the Civic Center in a normal manner. The administration dropped a few hints that the federal government had a large supply of buildings in San Francisco and perhaps next time they might manage to squeeze in someplace else. There is no question but what the police and sheriff’s office made considerable effort to accommodate both the Un-American Committee and the demonstration they knew would appear. They were stuck with a return engagement they didn’t relish at all, and they tried to make the best of it. Not many city administrations would wire a public address system out to the street to keep the picket lines informed of the proceedings of their picketees.

What went wrong? The boys from KPFA were all over the place with tape recorders. They pulled off one of the greatest jobs of radio reportage I’ve ever heard of and deserve a Pulitzer Prize. The pile of tapes constitute one great mass of evidence. Proving what?

First, that the interior of the City Hall under such circumstances is a place with a built-in riot. It is impossible to control a crowd in such a physical situation. Once the crowd becomes unruly, it becomes dangerous to itself, whatever happens. Marble corridors, staircases and balconies make fine settings for Eisenstein’s movies of the Russian Revolution. Picket lines belong in the street.

Furthermore, the City Hall is full of courts in session. This is a decorous activity demanding considerably more quiet than most churches. All crowds are by definition noisy. Frustrated crowds are very noisy indeed. The hearings should have been held in a building with adequate accommodations for the 200 or more college students who wished to attend, not picket. Certainly, the Un-American Committee should have made a representative number of passes available to them, and then, if the rest were to be frustrated, let the frustration take place at the street entrance to the building, not in a narrow corridor.

There is little question but what the police panicked and used undue force; considering the circumstances, not excessively undue force. After all, everybody is still alive, which is more than can be said for many a riot.

There are a few simple questions that should place the immediate blame. What happened to Sheriff Carberry’s clearly recorded promise that the crowd would be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis? He did not renege on it, he was out to lunch. Did somebody hit a policeman with his own nightstick, and, if so, have they arrested the right man? Presumably, this will be decided in court. Was the crowd clearly ordered to leave the corridor and go to the street and was every reasonable effort made to get them out before the firehoses were used? Were nightsticks and fists used on persons who offered only passive resistance? There are nonviolent ways of handling nonviolent demonstrators. On the other hand, all amateur followers of Gandhi or Martin Luther King should be taught that “nonviolence” which directly and necessarily provokes a violent response is not nonviolence.

The worst aspect of the whole business is that San Francisco was thrown for a few ugly moments back into a used up past.

How pathetic most of the hostile witnesses were! Political and economic mummies dug up from another day, bygone “youth leaders” in early senility, hopeless but perennial candidates for office, “mass leaders” whose name no working man under 50 remembers. In the eyes of hundreds of young people who had never heard of them, they were given their brief and noisy martyrdom. What purpose was served by this?

The function of the Un-American Committee is to recommend legislation to Congress. Legislation to suppress Archie Brown? We all know Archie Brown and have managed to cope with him for over 30 years. We do not expect him to take over the City Hall — or, for that matter, the Longshoremen’s Union — at any time in the foreseeable future. And neither, I might add, does Khrushchev.

As a result of the arrests, a few discredited “militant defenders of the workers against the Cossacks of the Bosses” have been able to move in on some of the students. When you are soaking wet, beaten and outraged, this old line of flaming blarney can sound very convincing. It is not dishonest — it is just historically emptied of all meaning and so a dangerous trap.

Today, all over the world, a new responsibility, a new awareness, a new demand for direct and simple solutions of the fouled up, lethal dilemmas that confront mankind, a whole new wonderful awakening is sweeping over the campuses, over youth everywhere. With it have come new methods and new attitudes. Out of these new methods and new attitudes may come something of a better world. It would be a disaster, however small a one, if here in our community, even for a while, this wave of the future was sucked back into the past.

* * *


Don't miss your chance to see the Mendocino Theatre Company's popular production of Paul Osborn's heart-warming comedy, Morning's at Seven, which closes this Sunday, April 9th!  Not many tickets left, so we suggest you reserve your seats NOW!  Call the box office, 937-4477, or purchase online at: Find out more about this production at: Our next production, OR, by Liz Duffy Adams, opens April 20th.  Find out more at:

* * *


Soroptimist International of Mendocino-Sonoma Coast, Inc. (SIMSC) And Gualala Arts (GArt)
 The 33nd Annual Architectural Tour, Wine Tasting, & Auction Saturday, May 13, 2017

Tour 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. — SIMSC 
Wine Tasting & Auction 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. — GArt
 The Sea Ranch and Mendocino South Coast 
Architectural Tour:
Wine Tasting and Silent Auction

Self-guided tour of new, newly remodeled and historically significant homes on the northern Sonoma Coast at The Sea Ranch; and the Southern Mendocino Coast. Wine Tasting & Silent Auction at Gualala Arts from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Tickets: Pre-ordered ticket $60, day of the tour $65 
Student Ticket $35 (Tour only) 
Place credit card ticket orders at Brown Paper Tickets 800-838-3006, Event 2760517 or

Purchase with check or cash at the Gualala Country Inn, 47975 Center St., Gualala after April 25. On the day of the tour, tickets are available at Gualala Arts or the Stewarts Point Store (32000 S Highway 1) Mile Marker 48.10.

Wine Tasting & Auction only tickets contact the Gualala Arts Center, auction-2017/

For more information go to or

Join Soroptimist International of Mendocino-Sonoma Coast in celebrating their 33rd Architectural Tour, Wine Tasting, & Auction on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Your ticket purchase includes maps for this self-guided tour, driving directions, and house descriptions, followed by admittance to one of the finest wine tastings in Northern California at Gualala Arts. It features 25 premium wineries pouring their award-winning wines and 80+ wine-related, silent-auction lots.

Reserve your tickets early at Charge by phone at 800-838-3006. After April 25, tickets may be purchased at the Gualala Country Inn, 47975 Center St., Gualala, 707- 884-4343.

Each Architectural Tour, Wine Tasting, & Auction Ticket helps us make a positive difference in our community:

  • Grants and scholarships for local students
  • Adult educational opportunities
  • School programs, activities, and field trips
  • South Coast Senior Center (Meals On Wheels)
  • Promoting public interest and participation in the arts

* * *

* * *


Join Discussion on April 14 at the Willits Hub

Regenerative Cannabis Discussion at Willits Hub – Evening of Friday, April 14

The Eel River Recovery Project is hosting a discussion about assisting cannabis farmers in the Eel River watershed with becoming more sustainable so that the burgeoning industry can be compatible with ecosystem recovery. The purpose of the forum is to explore the idea of locating a sustainable cannabis center at the Willits Hub, so that farmers could “drop in” to get information on water conservation and water pollution prevention. The event will take place on Friday evening, April 14 from 6-9 PM and will be preceded by a fish barbeque.

The evening will be moderated by Bruce Hilbach-Barger of ERRP and the discussion will be open to local experts and practitioners to contribute their perspective. Presenters will include Anna Birkas and Noah Cornell of Village Ecosystems, small organic cannabis farmer Mickey Bailey, Traci Pellar of the Mendocino Wildlife Association (MWA), and Pat Higgins also of ERRP.

In 2015, ERRP did extensive outreach to the cannabis community in the southern Eel River watershed as part of a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board.  ERRP contractors hosted events to spread information about agricultural best practices, conducted model farm tours, and visited 70 cannabis farms to render technical assistance on how to avoid pollution and to conserve water. Pat Higgins of ERRP will make a short presentation on the findings of Eel River Monitoring and Water Quality Awareness Pilot Project Final Report, which is available on-line at  Data collected related to the cannabis enterprises were confidential, as was the location of where services were rendered, but summary data indicate more need for work to attain sustainability.

Anna Birkas will discuss why understanding the water cycle on your land is essential to maintaining your water supply. Roads that are out-sloped and spill into a vegetated berm promote groundwater recharge, while roads with in-board ditches and culverts accelerate drainage and can cause major erosion. She will touch on applications of permaculture, like using a bio-swale to trap nutrients and water from your garden.  This can buffer impacts to nearby streams and the swale can support an area where an orchard can thrive or even dry farming may be possible. Anna will also touch on her recent experiences assisting small farmers coping with new regulations and share tips on overcoming the hurdles.

Noah Cornell is a soil fertility expert and will discuss how building living soils can not only increase your garden yield, but also cut down on the amount of water your plants need. Mixing green waste, chicken or cow manure, and mushroom mycelia creates a soil medium with which plants co-evolved. Mushroom mycelia aid plant nutrient and moisture uptake and mushroom compost can produce amazing crops using one third to one tenth of the water of plants growing in store-bought soil media. Noah will also share information on making compost tea, for farmers who lack a surplus of organic material. Videos of Noah and Anna, as well as other best practices experts, are on the ERRP website and available on DVD.

Mickey Bailey will be sharing the perspective of a small farmer currently applying for legal status.  He called ERRP in 2015 for technical assistance for his farm on the Eel River at the mouth of Woodman Creek downstream of Dos Rios. He was a volunteered as a citizen monitor and assisted with water temperature and cyanotoxin monitoring. Mickey has gone beyond just getting his own farm in order and has worked actively with his neighbors to promote sustainability in his watershed. The bottom of Mickey’s property abuts the old North Coast Railroad Authority railroad bed.  He is allowing access and permission for the removal of their levee in order to re-establish Chinook salmon passage into lower Woodman Creek and facilitate passage of steelhead.  He will be holding a celebration of the return of fish passage on April 29.

Traci Pellar will share her perspective on the impacts of cannabis farms on wildlife in Mendocino County.  She is with the MWA that has a goal of helping “care for wild animals and their habitat through public education in cohabitation with wildlife, use of non-lethal wildlife management practices, and facilitation of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation” as noted on their website (

The doors will open at the Willits Hub, at 630 South Main Street, at 4:30 PM with snacks and drinks and a rock fish barbeque dinner will be served from 5-6 PM. No admission is required, but donations are welcome. Anyone wishing to donate to support the Willits Hub and efforts to raise enough for a year’s rent can donate on line at  Anyone with questions about the event can call Bruce Hilbach-Barger at 983-6169.

* * *


I'll be in Fort Bragg for tonight's show. Come to KNYO and play your musical instrument or talk about your project, or whatever. You don't have to call and arrange things; just show up after 9pm, waltz right in like you own the place, head for the lighted room at the back, and get my attention away from whatever I'm doing. It's 325 N. Franklin, next to the Tip Top bar. (Just about every other week I do the show from out of town, but this week, tonight, I'm in town, so.)

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio, Friday nights 9pm to about 4am 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, including midnight to 3am 105.1 KMEC-LP Ukiah. Or listen via (click Listen Live). Or via and look for KNYO-LP.


  1. lindyj April 7, 2017

    RE: the Press Democrat. Glad to see I am not alone in my disappointment with the direction they have taken. I cancelled my subscription and I told them why when I did it. If I wanted to subscribe to the NY Times, I would! I love the AVA because you have interesting articles, varied opinions, local news, and are a true open forum. Keep up the good work.

  2. Jim Updegraff April 7, 2017

    Giants: another loss yesterday – have loss 3 out of 4 games to Arizona. Now going to play San Diego which also has lost 3 out of 4.

    The A’s are at 2 and 2 against Texas. some good performance by the bull pen.

    • George Hollister April 7, 2017

      The Diamond Backs look pretty good. Mike Krukow predicted they would be. Jeff Samardzija did not pitch all that bad, either. He has done worse. It will be interesting to see if there is any hope for Matt Cain, coming up tonight.

      • Stephen Rosenthal April 7, 2017

        Arizona’s pitching will be their hindrance, but they can hit. Except for closer, the Giants did not address areas of concern in the offseason. They have 3 reliable starters – Cain and Samardzija are simply bad contracts that must be used because of the money they’re being paid. Samardzija always “looks good” until the inevitable inning when his pitches flatten out and he gets hammered. Would be better utilized as a closer, but not with that contract. They have only one lefty (Blach) in the bullpen who should be the 5th starter, left field is more crap than a crap shoot and Span in center is just another bad contract. I hate to say it, but the Dodgers are loaded and I expect them to run away with the division. Wouldn’t be a complete shock if the A’s end up with a better record than the Giants.

        • Stephen Rosenthal April 7, 2017

          One more thing: San Diego and Atlanta are projected to be the worst teams in the National League. Obviously it’s early, but if the Giants fumble and bumble their way through this series with the heretofore display of weak hitting, lousy relief pitching and horrendous base running, we could be in for a long season. Posey and Pence both resting today. Four games in and they already need a day off? Worse than the NBA!

          • George Hollister April 7, 2017

            At this point in the season, a good assessment.

  3. Harvey Reading April 7, 2017


    Looks like there has been a dramatic decline since the turn of the century if the graph is accurate … Somehow the text just doesn’t match the graphic … oops, I mean whatever the clown prince’s guvamint says, I agree, 1000 percent, so please don’t arrest me. I unquestioningly trust the major media implicitly, trust me, I do, I do, I do.

    I swear, people in the U.S. are pathetic, the bigger the lie the more they believe it (seems like some well-known European propagandist said that back in the 30s). I have a feeling they’re gonna love it when the country becomes totally authoritarian-fascist, and it’s almost there. They love obeying power. Just look at how easily they forgot the past regarding Syria, to the point that they demanded no proof whatever regarding the gassing (the more recent one as well as the one a few years back, when Putin had to bail out the stumblebum, Kerry). Since the media say it, it must be true. Sad.

    • George Hollister April 7, 2017

      The problem in America is a lack of available labor. There are positions going unfilled because of the lack of people available to fill them. It is certainly seen in Mendocino County. I saw someone on CNBC talking about it today, as a problem in the US. This is the reality undercurrent being overridden by the cascade of stories about high unemployment, the plight of the American worker, jobs going to China, and the need for a minimum wage.

      The fact is, if a person possess a fundamental work ethic, and can competently read and do math at an 8th grade level, this person commands market power in the US labor market. If things don’t look so good in one place, there is opportunity somewhere else.

      So less immigrants, means an increased shortage of labor. It also means “bringing jobs back” begs the question, bringing jobs back for who? The US has a large population of unemployables that we falsely assume someone will hire. We see that in Mendocino County as well.

      • Harvey Reading April 7, 2017

        Do those positions you mention pay a minimum living wage ($20/hour and benefits, about $3/hour in the early 70s, which was lousy then) for a single person? My experience is that they don’t. Those who expect people to work for practically nothing in jobs that have no future are a more realistic “real” problem for the U.S. Employers always pay bottom dollar, always have, and always will unless worker organize themselves.

        • Harvey Reading April 7, 2017

          By the way, the work ethic also applies to employers, who are NOT the masters they perceive themselves to be. I’ve in my life had jobs in small businesses where I was paid dirt, and quit. These days, kids have to subject themselves to the scrutiny of their would-be masters in the form of drug tests (considered by our pathetic court system to be “conditions of employment”), being kept after hours, off-clock, to be searched for items possibly pilfered, expected to donate time to the masters by arriving early and staying late–in addition to the pilfering check, etc.

          George, I’m afraid the picture you paint is not realistic. I would probably punch a peddler who demanded I submit to any of those terms, and, of course, the “law” would take the side of the would-be master. My employer is entitled only to those hours for which I am employed. The rest of the time is mine, and mine alone. My private life is none of some two-bit peddler’s business. My sympathies are entirely with the worker these days. I get so sick of hearing the line you repeat. I’ve heard it for decades, and it’s still just as faulty and one-sided.

  4. BB Grace April 7, 2017

    GMO free oil, pancakes, potatoes, ham?

  5. Bruce McEwen April 7, 2017

    Emperor Trump reads a quote of Bonaparte’s:

    “Men deserve the contempt with which they inspire me. I have only to put some gold lace on the coat of my virtuous republicans and they immediately become just what I wish.”

    To cut the National Park Service budget down to the size of the President’s salary, suggests the Emperor has also heard about Napoleon’s annoyance with supply sergeants:

    “What creates the difficulty, in the profession of the land commander, is the necessity of feeding so many men and animals. If he allows himself to be guided by the commissaries he will never stir, and all his expeditions will fail.”

    Emerson tells us: “One day he asked whether the planets were inhabited. On another, what was the age of the world. Then he proposed to consider the probability of the destruction of the world…”

  6. Randy Burke April 7, 2017

    Jesus Christ on a bicycle, can’t we just let and allow the Granges to be:
    1 Our meeting places within all ranch/farmlands
    2 Be our alternate council meetings that have no brown act kerfuffle’s?
    3. And rely upon getting back to the land through these great entities already set up for the purpose of self governance?

    Damn, keep it simple people, and if you doubt my logic, ask little dog, your grandchild or the wonders of nature such as bigfoot. But local governance is the way of the future, and getting along in the grange may become the way of the land… After the Indians it worked in the past it should work in the future…Thank you James Kuntsler.. World made by hand.

  7. Alice Chouteau April 7, 2017

    Tho it was gratifying to finally get the 411 on the Turner ‘incident’ at their family summer camp, a robbery, am still mystified by their silence on the event. Is it because the theft was committed by FB locals, or because Rennacker’s mother is a friend of the family? I imagine Turner, still mayor at the time, wasn’t eager to let us all know that some of those camps are now nests of transient tweakers? It seems he chose to ignore the issue of public safety, which should be a top priority possibly setting up innocent hikers and camping families to end up in the same situation, if not worse.,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *