- InfoNut Interview
- Mendo's Promotors
- City Hall
- Co-op Expulsion
- Little Dog
- Treeless Park
- BBQ Gone Bad
- Fat Cat
- Captain Fathom
- Prosperous Developers
- Local History
- Disappearing Kelp
- Yesterday's Catch
- Eco-socialist Revolution
- Stupid Danger
- Wonder Women
- Israeli Occupation
- Guitar Masters
ALEX JONES has lots of followers in Mendocino County. I know a guy who spends hundreds of dollars on the stuff Jones peddles — Survival Shield vitamins; Bill Clinton Rape Shirts; Superblue Toothpaste, even a special viagra-like substance called something like Automatic Re-Load.
I'D NEVER heard of the guy until I read a MCN comment by Supervisor Hamburg citing Jones' theory that 911 was faked, a government "false flag op." (The 5th District supervisor has been a guest on Jones' program.)
LISTENING TO JONES is, in a macabre, alternate universe sort of way, very funny. He's got the excited delivery typical of every paranoid you've ever known as he spins out massive conspiracies involving liberals like George Soros, Obama (of course), and pending government gun-grabs. He said the Arab immigrant who founded Chobani yogurt was importing Muslim terrorists until Chobani sued Jones for slander and won.
JONES' basic appeal is to mean bastards who think that the people they don't like — which is everyone except dumb white males — are conspiring against them. Jones' banquet of dramatic unreason seats several million nightly.
THE FAMOUS whatever she is — "television personality?" — Megyn Kelly, has interviewed Jones for her television show coming up this weekend some time. She justifies the national exposure she's giving this nut on the basis that Jones has the ear of the Dumbest White Guy of All, Trump, so ipso facto Jones is an important figure.
THE TRUMP-JONES friendship alone is a measure of just how nuts this country has become.
OFF HIS EXPERIENCE with Kelly, Jones described her as "not feminine, a cold psychopath with painted-on joker lips and those lawyer, sociopathic eyes."
YEAH, I laughed, but stopped laughing when Jones also said to her, "Your children are going to die of cancer. You're going to outlive your children, Megyn."
MEGYN KELLY DEFENDS HER ALEX JONES INTERVIEW
Megyn Kelly on Tuesday released a statement defending her decision to interview right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, despite outcry from Sandy Hook parents repulsed by giving a platform to a man who claims the elementary school mass shooting was a hoax and never happened. Kelly wrote: “I understand and respect the decision of the event organizers but I’m of course disappointed that I won’t be there to support them on Wednesday night. I find Alex Jones’ suggestion that Sandy Hook was ‘a hoax’ as personally revolting as every other rational person does. It left me, and many other Americans, asking the very question that prompted this interview: How does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions? President Trump, by praising and citing him, appearing on his show, and giving him White House press credentials, has helped elevate Jones, to the alarm of many. Our goal in sitting down with him was to shine a light—as journalists are supposed to do—on this influential figure, and yes—to discuss the considerable falsehoods he has promoted with near impunity.”
MENDO’S PROMOTERS GET ANOTHER NEW NAME as they congratulate themselves for overcoming self-created problems.
On April 24 the “Mendocino County Lodging Business Improvement District Advisory Board” issued their “Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018)”
Although the April MCLBIDAB report is full of acronyms, replete with jargon, blind alley footnotes, and pseudo citations on almost every page of text, their opening paragraph claims that in 2015 “visitor spending increased five point three percent (5.3%) to $375,000,000 generating approximately $957 of tax revenue per Mendocino County household and providing employment for nearly 6,000 individuals and earnings of more than $166,000,000.”
But they cite no source or authority for this huge number. 6,000 people are “employed”? How many are part-time? How many have any benefits? Doing what? At what rate of pay? Don’t look to the promoters for any real information (because it probably doesn’t reflect very well on their industry).
“Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue from lodging businesses outside the incorporated cities contributed $4,772,699 to the County General Fund in FY 2015- 2016. This was an eight percent (8%) increase over the prior year and a forty-five percent (45%) increase since the recovery commenced in FY 2010-2011.”
As we have said before, this “increase” has nothing to do with promotion. It’s entirely based on the economic recovery that began in 2010 and the tourism increase isn’t even keeping up with overall sales tax revenue increases.
The MCLBIDAB Report also offers a confusing glimpse into the many artificial groups that make up this alleged “$375 million” wine-touri juggernaut:
“Extensive modifications to Chapter 5.140.210 to Title 5 became effective on June 18, 2015 to restructure and assign responsibility for oversight of the BID to a single County contractor. Section 5.140.250 established MCTC to serve in this role. The former contractors, Mendocino County Lodging Association (MCLA) and Mendocino County Promotional Alliance (MCPA), continued to oversee the Budget and marketing programs implemented by Visit Mendocino County, Inc. (VMC) until the first MCTC Board was seated in January, 2016. Momentum was maintained and results remained strong during this period.”
Internal bickering among the various promotional and commercial factions seems to have taken up a lot of the time and money for whatever their new name is:
“Recruitment for open seats on both the MCTC and BID Advisory Boards was among the tasks that required more than the anticipated amount of time. Late appointments to the MCTC Board delayed the annual Brown Act and Ethics Training and a timely start of planning for the new fiscal year. Rather than submit nominations for the BID Advisory Board in August, as was formerly required by its County contract, Mendocino Coast Lodging Association abruptly proposed two nominations in February, creating an unfortunate disruption in the process of developing the FY 2017-2018 BID Annual Report.”
“Late in 2016, MCTC’s Executive Director announced his intent to resign, effective March 31, after only nine (9) months on the job. [This is presumably a reference to the unlamented departure of Scott Schneider who quit to take an even cushier do-nothing job for the City of Fort Bragg.] The news, and the need to repeat the Executive Director search, came on the heels of two important decisions that have brought MCTC to a critical inflection point [sic] in its development. The first was to engage the Coraggio Group [no contract value mentioned] to guide stakeholders through a strategic planning process to chart the course for the next two to three (2-3) years. The second was to engage a professional marketing firm [no contract value mentioned] to develop a comprehensive program of marketing and promotion. MCTC extended a Request for Proposals and selected TheorySF to fill this role.
A large amount of bed tax money was “focused heavily on establishing its own structure and operational policies as a re-defined and re-vitalized organization. [This seems to happen almost annually.] High staff turnover [not explained, but we can easily guess why] complicated this work by creating a loss of institutional memory regarding policies and procedures, report formats and re-occurring responsibilities. [Who cares?] For the first time, and due in part to missing information, the annual audit was accompanied by notes specifying a number of deficiencies that compelled the Board to invest time and energy in responding. Despite the need for the Board to address these and numerous other issues, MCTC Board Members deserve to be commended for the year’s many accomplishments.
[“Accomplishments”? See below.]
“They will begin the new fiscal year committed to building capacity [sic] to oversee marketing and promotion of the County and to regularly assess the relative impact and Return on Investment (ROI) of the many possible programs that compete for scarce funds.”
Of course, there’s no “return on investment” because the money is simply spent on themselves and their unacountable contractors, not “invested.”
Based on their own report, the promoters primary product is meaningless bureaucratic gibberish.
“The transition from VMC, Inc. to MCTC was accomplished by amending the organization’s name in the VMC Articles of Incorporation and modifying the Bylaws by majority vote of a quorum of the VMC Board at a public meeting on November 30, 2015. The changes became effective as of January 1, 2016. Thus, MCTC is a continuation of the pre- existing 501 (c) (6) rather than an entirely new entity. Bylaws were amended by the VMC Board to provide for the new MCTC Board to be established, to rename the position of CEO/ President to Executive Director, and to add provisions regarding Brown Act compliance. In order to retain the VMC brand as the public face of the organization, the transition also included steps to establish MCTC as “doing business as” (DBA) Visit Mendocino County. The purpose of the DBA was to retain the public face of the organization and bring clarity, simplicity and transparency to the every day operations of MCTC.”
“Clarity, simplicity and transparency.” Oh yes. Just look at it.
Under “Accomplishments” — the promoters claim credit for the economic recovery and tourism increases which they had nothing to do with. They also claimed: “oversaw VMC implementation activities,” “adopted standardized budget categories,” created a “marketing data dashboard,” built a new website, created “ad equivalency of over $82 million” (with lots of other bogus on-line stats), claimed credit for “at least 1200 room nights” and last but not least they accomlished “eight Visit California FAM tour groups from China, France, Korea, Taiwan and the UK”!
They also “addressed a myriad of office management and personnel issues” because “High turnover among staff and contractors caused gaps in institutional memory and discontinuity in established policies and procedures. Staff members and Board Committees were faced with having to recreate financial and marketing reports, employee policy documents and a misplaced Organizational Calendar showing re-occurring tasks and events.”
Oops. Oh well. Start over. Nobody noticed anyway.
“The total budgeted cost of services, activities, and programs for the [Business Improvement] District in FY 2017-2018 is $1,481,700. The Budget contained in this BID Annual Report is based on estimated FY 2017-2018 assessments totaling $886,519 plus the County’s fifty percent (50%) match of $430,000, based on estimated final FY 2016-2017 assessment revenue of $860,000. It includes the $134,700 Reserve Fund and Other Income of $57,077, including $30,477 carried over from the prior year.”
Got that? $1.5 million of bed tax and self-taxes for nothing of value. Money that should be going for road repairs and emergency responders.
PS. Although the AVA recently got a note from a representative of the Arts Council of Mendocino County which attempts to distance itself from the embarrassing non-performance of the promotional groupings, we found this little item in the April report: “Continue to allocate $14,400 for ongoing sponsorship payments of $1,200 each month to the Arts Council of Mendocino County in return for specified deliverables, as required by the County contract.”
“Deliverables” are not identified, nor are they listed as “delivered.”
If you’ve got a strong stomach and want to read the full report, go to: http://mendocinotourism.org/wp-content/uploads/4_24_2017_APPROVED-BID-REPORT.pdf
(— Mark Scaramella)
ONE CRANBERRY TOO MANY
Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op
To: Dorotheya Dorman, Redwood Valley
June 9, 2017
Dear Ms. Dorman,
This letter is your formal notification of your expulsion as a member of the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op (UNF).
The Board of Directors (BOD) considered the reasons for your expulsion (consumption theft) at our regularly scheduled meeting of May 15, 2017. In advance of that meeting, the BOD mailed and hand-delivered two letters to you over the past months providing you an opportunity to be heard orally or in writing per the requirements of our bylaws. The BOD invited your attendance at the BOD meeting to discuss this matter with you. You did not attend either meeting nor have you contacted any of the board members regarding this matter.
We have notified you in two prior letters stating that staff have directly spoken to you about your consumption theft and have requested that you stop this behavior. Your inability to follow through with your agreements compelled the BOD to consider your expulsion. As we stated in the letter dated April 19, the Co-op’s bylaws provide for the expulsion of a member for any justifiable reason under section 4.03(a)(5). The BOD hereby provides you notice under section 4.03(c) you are expelled as a member of UNF, effective as of May 20, 2017 and that your equity interest in UNF is being returned to you in the amount of $200. The check is enclosed with this letter.
As per our policies, UNF has the right to refuse service to anyone. You are no longer welcome to shop at the store and should you attempt to do so you will be considered trespassing and staff will take appropriate actions.
The Board of Directors of Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op
721 South State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
* * *
Previously (AVA, May 17, 2017)
THE CASE OF THE FOUR DRIED CRANBERRIES
Replying to the unsigned letter supposedly from the Co-op staff, I want to clarify the inaccuracies and outright falsehood in the letter. Inaccuracies: Only one person has spoken to me about tasting anything at the Co-op, that is the store manager. For tasting four dried cranberries to see if they would be good in the black bean soup, the manager and a male employee swooped down from their upstairs surveillance camera to confront me. Lori asked me to meet her outside the Coop for a lecture on “consumption theft.” I responded that the whole thing was ridiculous. I told the manager that she was petty, that there were more important matters than this. I suggested that she place little taster cups on the counter like other health food stores do. Laurie was adamant, “NO!”
I pointed out that for years she opposed placing a table at the soup bar because” there was no room.” She countered that I was “changing the subject,” as though I should stand there and be scolded like a child. I went back to eat my soup. Her idea is that a customer must look for an employee to hand you the four dried cranberries. According to Lori, the penalty for trying four cranberries is possible expulsion from the Co-op and invalidation of a fully paid lifetime membership in the Co-op, without offering to return my membership fees. Wouldn’t it be preferable to legalize trying the berries in soup with little thimble sized cups? Recently I made the mistake of ordering the lentil soup without tasting. Unfortunately, as happens frequently, the lentils were rock hard. Lentils and beans should be cooked soft or sprouted, not to be chomped on like little soup stones. It would be welcome if the Co-op “staff” would find local soup providers who would respond to customer dissatisfaction with uncooked legumes.
The falsehood: The accusation that I have put my hands into the food bins (without using the scoops) is untrue. Lori would not tell me who was responsible for this statement, only saying that it was another customer. This was either a faulty perception or a barefaced lie. Perhaps the mysterious customer should peruse some of the studies and experiments on accuracy of observation.
Why am I targeted for something so petty, so insignificant? Is it because I openly disagreed with the manager’s decision to replace the old juicer which is incapable of juicing green leafy vegetables with the same machine? An abundance of leafy green vegetables is recommended for people suffering from the lyme disease epidemic. The manager overrode the recommendation of the juice bar employees to purchase a somewhat more expensive cold press juicer, as it would quickly pay for itself. So many decisions in our contemporary society are made because of cost only. Money and profit are trumping the public good across much of the political spectrum from our local supervisors to the congress, senate, president and supreme court. The political class is the moneyed class, so money rules. Our value system needs to be rethought.
I am not the only person targeted for a taste by the Orwellian big brother, big sister upstairs video watchers. Another customer confided in me saying that the Co-op is the only store where he has ever had a problem in his whole life. Fearful of losing access to the Co-op, he did not want to be named. The actual accusation was “Eating your way thru the Co-op and theft, a crime.” To remedy the matter I placed four dried cranberries in a tiny paper cup. The scale would not read such a tiny amount of product, so one of the employees placed a penny on the scale. No reading. Adding a nickel produced a 6 cent reading. Here are some of the figures of money I have spent recently at the Co-op.
4/6/17. $101.72. 4/12/17. $46.18. 4/13/17. $36.21. 5/5/17. $41.00. And 6 cents.
A reminder: Co-op members are Co-op owners.
Dorotheya M Dorman
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Meet Scrag! He just showed up about a month ago and has been here ever since. They started feeding him, and you know what deadbeats cats are. You feed them, they stay, kinda like hippies.”
DAVID GURNEY REPORTS:
If you liked those nice old shade trees at Bainbridge Park in Fort Bragg, guess what? It's too late. They're gone. The genius City Manager and her supine underpaid subordinates at City Council allowed all of them (except one) to be cut down. So even though they were perfectly green and healthy, except for a few branches that needed to be trimmed, in the name of ridding the city of the homeless who liked to hang out there, we now will have a barren square, surrounded by a fence. Wonderful.
Instead of hiring some local to do the deed, the City instead had it done by inmates of the CDC, who in a cozy relationship with our corrupt city officials, provides slave labor for much of the grunt work that needs to be done around town. According to the inmates I spoke to, they were being paid $1.45 a day. Their guard/supervisor had previously told me they were getting that amount per hour. When I questioned him on the discrepancy, he threatened to call the police.
BARBECUE GOES SOUTH
FORT BRAGG POLICE PRESS RELEASE on the armed robbery described in yesterday’s MCT: "On Sunday, June 11th, at approximately 2:05 pm, officers from the Fort Bragg Police Department were dispatched to 410 South Harrison Street for the report of a home invasion robbery. Officers were informed that Daniel Armes had met the juvenile and Charles Williams approximately one month ago. At that time, Armes invited Williams and the juvenile to his residence for a BBQ the next time they were in town. On the above date, Williams and the juvenile took Armes up on his offer. Approximately one hour after the BBQ had started, Washington entered the residence with a semi-automatic handgun. Washington told Armes and Garry Hill to give him everything they had or he would kill them.
At that moment, Williams and the juvenile pulled out a revolver and a semiautomatic handgun and pointed them at Armes and Hill. The three took 9 pounds of processed marijuana and fled the residence. A Be On The Lookout (BOLO) alert was issued for the three suspects, described as being in a maroon colored vehicle. Two Officers from the Fort Bragg Police Department, who were conducting training at Chamberlin Creek, heard the BOLO. They proceeded to Highway 20 and began to drive westbound. Just as they pulled onto Highway 20, they observed the vehicle pass them heading east on Highway 20 toward Willits. Officers activated their emergency lights and sirens, but the vehicle failed to yield, continuing to evade. Officers pursued the vehicle toward Willits where the vehicle was incapacitated by Willits Police Department with a spike strip. Officers from Willits Police Department, Mendocino County Sheriff’s office, CalFire and the Department of Fish & Wildlife assisted Fort Bragg Police Department in apprehending the three suspects without incident. Evidence of the crime was recovered in the vehicle and along the highway where the suspects had discarded it. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707) 961-2800 or on our anonymous Crime Tip Hotline at (707) 961-3049."
GOODBYE, FAT CAT
by Rex Gressett
There is no good way to start this. No glib cleverness works at all. There is no chance of an entertaining composition. I can only stumble.
The city of Fort Bragg has lost one of its most beloved citizens, one of its best men.
Fat Cat died of an overdose. I guess in an obit you are supposed to find words that make some sense of a life, that to some degree celebrate it.
Although it is not hard to find things to say about Fat Cat, none of the many things that could be said are in any sense sufficient. Fat Cat knew us all. Every one. He was from right here, down to his DNA. I knew him from the time he was a little kid and in many ways he never changed. He lived a Fort Bragg life, without pretension and completely without unkindness. He was formidable, big, decent and eternally kind. I wonder how many people who live to any age manage to grow into the kind of person Fat Cat was apparently from infancy? His decency was bone deep, it was not acquired or learned or adopted. Goodness came to him as naturally and inevitably as breath itself.
Fat Cat was an oddball kind of handsome, not the kind that you would admire in a magazine but more than that. He was in reality what they attempt to manufacture and sell as attractive. He was unique. They don’t make it and they can’t sell it. He carried his weight like power. He was graceful by being more than usually alive.
He was striking because his true self was visibly his own. He was his own man in a way few people ever get to be. He could not have imagined such a natural easy thing was remarkable but he held undisputed title to his own uniqueness.
He was remarkable and he was modest. His only outward acknowledgement of the great achievement of his own character was his adopted name. He called himself Fat Cat, an in your face boldness in the easy manner of a great artist signing a masterpiece.
To say that he had many friends is a towering understatement. He had a basic attraction for people that made every one he interacted with if not a friend at least interested and warmed. His close friends were very close indeed.
Fat Cat was someone you tended to lean on, if not for anything tangible at least for the music of an offbeat humorous sensitivity. He was funny even when he was completely silent. His power of observation was so keen it made expression superfluous. He communicated not with words or looks or expressions but with a power of being that was so eloquent you could not miss it.
He was gone for a while. I suppose he was in jail. For the shrinking violets and the rule abiding bourgeois that may be remotely reprehensible but there are those of us that know that the just are also imprisoned perhaps more than the unjust. When he got out the man had a new depth and a new power. He was the same as ever but he was tired, I think, and had come more fully into his courage and his power and resilience.
When he reentered he instantly manifested a beater of a Ford truck. He got it running right away. I used to see it around on the streets and roads at intervals and then one day it was renewed. Painted a comprehensive battleship grey he strutted it in the Safeway parking lot. That baby had been transformed to jump like a well-oiled mule. It was amazing, impressive in an American way and completely enviable. His 57 made the gleaming new rams look like school boy recruits in comparison to a hardened veteran.
The facts behind his death have been discussed and detailed elaborately and still the picture is not entirely clear.
He died in a house somewhere up by Glass Beach they tell me. What is known is that his friend was with him. Mason, only 23, tried desperately to revive him, administering cpr and screaming for an ambulance. The owner of the house declined to call one. When he finally relented the ambulance took twenty minutes to get there. I don’t know Mason. I know the depth of the bond of loyalty that group held for each other. I know something about guilt. Four days later the kid shot himself.
There must be something that moves us. There has to be some depth of tragedy that will finally cut through the conventions and politeness and inertia that bind us like animals in a snare. If I have made Fat Cat sound like an angel I have misled you. I accept that he never made an apology that I know of for his adeptness in the economy of drugs. That he had an indisputable bone deep sense of style probably does not excuse anything. But looking at it in the clarity of grief I wish that I had reached out more. Possibly slugged him or tackled him or hit him with something.
When the chance comes around again, at any cost, I promise you Fat Cat I will take it.
READ T-Shirt orders from Cap'n Graham in FB
(photo by Susie de Castro)
CITIZENS FOR MORE PAVEMENT
To the Editor:
Lovers Lane subdivision project and Mr. Liberty’s letter to the Ukiah Daily Journal on 5/18, and Mr. Selzer 5/19.
Two prosperous businessmen wrote to the UDJ promoting the same project. Coincidental?
These gentlemen sat side-by-side at the Guillon Vineyard Crossing housing development presentation meant to inform neighbors about the proposal to pave over the Lovers’ Lane Vineyard, located north of Lovers Lane in north Ukiah; their proposal is to build 121 single family dwellings on 23 acres of prime agricultural land adjacent to Highway 101.
It is rumored that Mr. Selzer and Mr. Liberty are also members of a group calling itself Ukiah Valley Citizens for Prosperity. It does seem a prosperous group, including its out-of-town developers. But we wonder about their mission especially with this tract home subdivision that will pave prime farmland. What could be the group’s motive beyond solving Ukiah’s housing crisis?
Both Mr. Liberty and Mr. Selzer could benefit handsomely from a Guillon Vineyard Crossing development.
Mr. Liberty seeks to convert his North State fronting industrial property (Factory Pipe-plus) to commercial zoning in contradiction of 2008 resounding rejection of DDR’s mall proposal by county voters. Mr. Selzer (real estate broker) should win big if the Vineyard Crossing subdivision squeaks through the Board of Supervisors.
Help preserve our farmland. Contact your county supervisor today.
David Taxis, Ukiah
A BIT OF LOCAL HISTORY
I wish the old boys had been more inclined to writing and record keeping, because their lives were remarkable as was their hardy versatility.
NORTH COAST ENVIRONMENT: DISAPPEARING KELP DISRUPTS MARINE HABITAT
Underwater forest in crisis
by Mary Callahan
(April 16, 2017) — Aerial surveys conducted each year to gauge abundance in the iconic kelp forests off the North Coast showed a slight improvement last fall, offering a glimmer of hope for the recovery of the coastal marine habitat, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has reported.
But conditions for the “bull kelp,” an annual type of seaweed — especially off Sonoma County — have become so bleak in recent years that even a reported doubling of the forest canopy during last year’s growing season has done little to bring the underwater habitat back to full strength, scientists said.
Despite patches that resemble the historic ecosystem in some ways, large swaths of ocean floor off the North Coast remain devoid of bull kelp and other fleshy algal species, prompting continued starvation among common marine herbivores like red abalone and urchins, they said.
Even with growth in the overall canopy last year, data indicates the kelp off Sonoma and Mendocino counties covered at least 95 percent less surface area in 2016 than it did in the banner year of 2008, said Cynthia Catton, an environmental scientist with the state wildlife agency.
The apparent expansion of the kelp canopy “is deceptive,” said Sonke Brenda Verno, owner of Timber Cove Boat Landing, looks out over the ocean from the boat launch area in Timber Cove on Monday.
Mastrup, environmental program manager for the agency’s invertebrate program, “because 2016 is still way below anything we would consider normal.”
Bull kelp is a large, brown algae that anchors itself to substrates on the ocean floor and reaches for sunlight with a thick, flexible stem that grows up to 60 feet long. A gas-filled float with long, narrow blades forms the surface canopy.
The thick forests typical of the waters off the North Coast provide a source of nutrition and an important link in the food web. They also form nursery habitat for young finfish that need to remain concealed until maturity, including commercially caught salmon and rock fish. Abalone and red urchins, which both supply important North Coast fisheries, rely on it as well.
Scientists with state Fish and Wildlife use infrared photography to map and measure the surface area of the kelp canopy each September in what should be peak season.
But they sounded the alarm last spring after observing shifting dynamics over several years that by 2014 and 2015 had produced what’s known as an “urchin barren.”
An exploding population of voracious purple urchins had overgrazed the North Coast bull kelp so severely it was nearly decimated.
The agency cited aerial surveys from 2014 that showed a 93 percent reduction of the kelp canopy between San Francisco and the Oregon border when compared with 2008. The overall surface area of the kelp diminished by another 33 percent in 2015, Catton said.
Sonoma County was particularly hard-hit, and by 2015 had lost nearly 100 percent of its canopy coverage, she said.
The agency described what it called “a perfect storm” of large-scale environmental stressors. They included a harmful algal bloom off the Sonoma Coast in 2011 that proved catastrophic for red abalone in the area; widespread sea star wasting disease that killed off large numbers of the invertebrate predators along the North Coast, beginning in 2013, and an unchecked explosion of small purple urchins that resulted; and anomalous warm water conditions that spread down the West Coast from Alaska in 2013 and 2014, persisted in 2015 and weakened the kelp forest, which requires cold, circulating water to thrive.
The purple urchins, estimated at more than 60 times their historic densities in Northern California by last year, ate heavily of the kelp, out-competing abalone and razing huge areas of all growth, including other, smaller fleshy alga and, by last fall, even hard, crusty, calcified species that coat the rocks on the ocean floor, Catton said.
A key concern has been that bull kelp is an annual, unlike the giant kelp common to Southern California, and needs to be around to reseed itself each year, Mastrup said.
Any increase in forest density is an improvement, Rebecca Flores Miller, a state environmental scientist, said via email.
The most recent survey results reveal a number of unusual trends, including diminishing levels of kelp in Southern California, where the surface canopy was about half what it had been the previous year, Flores Miller said.
In areas north of Pigeon Point near Santa Cruz, the canopy had grown two to five times what it was a year earlier, though results were uneven, she said.
At the Timber Cove Boat Landing north of Fort Ross, where owner Brenda Verno grew up, the kelp in her little cove used to grow so thick in the summer it was necessary to cut a channel through the canopy so boaters could get out. These days, looking out from land, the water is undisturbed by the bull kelp fronds.
The winter storms that used to litter her beach with remnants for her garden compost haven’t produced enough for her to bother cleaning up.
Monte Rio diver and fisherman Matt Mattison, who runs an online forum and has fished off the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts for 3 ½ decades, said each location, each diver, tells a little something different about what’s happening under water.
There are places off the Mendocino Coast where sea stars are returning and appear to be curtailing the purple urchin growth, with the result that there’s more kelp and “big, fat, healthy abalone,” Mattison said.
But “you can go 50 feet down the reef, and it’s a totally different environment,” with abundant purple urchins, hungry abalones and no kelp, he said.
“I’m not going to panic. We’re seeing some improvement, which is good. We’re not seeing more loss, degradation. We’re slowly seeing some areas of improvement, which is a good sign.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 13, 2017
JAMES AVANTS, Albion. County parole violation, resisting.
GREGORY BELL, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ERIC CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Battery on peace officer.
MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
DAVID DURYEE SR., Willits. Under influence.
CYPRIAN ELIZONDO, Laytonville. Protective order violation.
ALEX GREENE, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Kidnapping for robbery-rape, forcible kidnapping, anal or genital penetration by foreign object by force, violence, duress, menace, etc. and two other unspecified charges.
JEREMY JONES, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, drunk in public, probation revocation.
LIANA MENTON, Ukiah. Battery on peace officer, drunk in public.
ALVIN WILSON, San Francisco/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I see young adults with 1-2-year old babies and toddlers in strollers and car seats and I have three blasphemous thoughts these days: (1) are they aware that those strollers and car seats (posture nightmares) are destroying the structure and development of their child’s backs and necks? (2) did they look at the Earth science before they brought new life into this world? (3) They’d better figure out how to focus their lives on bringing about an eco-socialist revolution if they want their kids to have any shot at a decent life.
by Clancy Sigal
O, how we could use a Diana Prince, a 5000-year-old Amazon warrior daughter of Zeus, flourisher of the “God killer” sword not just to slaughter spike-helmeted German WW1 soldiers, but leap into our future to do something deliciously nasty to Donald Trump’s whole crew starting with the women-hating Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions.
Our failing politics, currently dominated by men of both parties, badly needs a regiment of Dianas to remind us that fresh blood and female aggression pay off, at the box office, in DC Comics and just possibly in our gerrymandered polling booth.
It’s so obvious. Women on the front line, women as fighters with the most to lose, and women as the spearhead of what used to be called the “Resistance.”
In light of Trump-Mulvaney’s baby killing cuts in women and children’s support programs, women have a snarling dog in this fight.
Why not? If timid, misogynstic Hollywood dares risk kazillions of dollars on – gasp! – a woman Patty Jenkins directing a female crew on a woman-hero movie, why can’t we push on with women leading, and occupying positions of power in the anti-Trump movement?
Fire Perez and Ellison and get some organizationally competent, eloquent females at the very top of the snobbly, wobbly Democratic pyramid collapsing before our eyes. Pension off Hillary, exile Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Devil’s Island, and gird ourselves for the fight of our lives – smack right in the smoosh of that vast Confederate nation of women haters (including many women).
There are, or will be, statistic-laden polls “proving” misogyny killed Hillary so why put our hand back in the woman eating fire? Too risky?
I know some Class A women who never went into politics because of domestic chores or they didn’t “know enough math” or “I hate public speaking”, And sometimes, behind it all, a man’s silent or not so silent signal, If you do this I won’t love you.
What a waste.
Just by being born female doesn’t make a woman an angel, as we know only too well. (Thatcher, May, DeVos, Ann Coulter).
So what? What’s to lose?
There are many, many Zeus’s daughters among us.
(Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset.)
WHY ISRAELIS MUST DISRUPT THE OCCUPATION
A Reader Writes: You’re too busy to read the Electronic Intifada regularly, but we found this by Miko Peled today. Brave guy. In the video, you can see him being arrested around the 12:10 time slot. I want the T-shirt he’s wearing! Will do a search. I wear one now that says “End the Occupation.”
“TWO CELEBRATED GUITAR MASTERS,”
Andrew York & Alex De Grassi, performing in Mendocino, CA
July 15, 2017 at 2:30 PM
Hill House Inn
10701 Palette Drive, Mendocino, California 95460
“Alex de Grassi is a treasure... his technical wizardry as well as his vibrant and poetic music-making make him one of the most distinctive steel-string guitarists performing today.”
—-David Spelman, Director of the New York Guitar Festival
"Andrew York’s eclectic writing and playing constitute one of the hippest styles in American classical guitar.” ---Jim Ferguson, Guitar Player Magazine
Two leading innovators of the guitar, GRAMMY® winning classical guitarist, Andrew York, and GRAMMY® nominee and Windham Hill superstar, Alex de Grassi join forces to fuse the sounds and traditions of steel and nylon into a unique duo program at the Hill House Inn on Saturday, July 15th. With roots in seemingly different traditions - De Grassi, getting his start as a self-taught folk and jazz musician, and York as a trained classical guitarist - their mutual passion for exploring all types of music has led these two acclaimed composers/performers to find a common ground where steel-string and classical guitar interact seamlessly. Juxtaposing original compositions, improvisation, and unlikely arrangements of everything from folk songs to Monk, their duo performances take audiences for a ride through astonishingly diverse terrain. This collaboration is sure to delight! Tickets and further information on the concert can be found at www.MendocinoMusic.org, by calling 707-937-2044, or visit: Andrew York concerts or Venue information.
Andrew York is one of today's best loved composers for classical guitar and a performer of international stature. His compositions blend the styles of ancient eras with modern musical directions, creating music that is at once vital, multi-leveled and accessible. Andrew received a GRAMMY as a member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet during his sixteen years with the cutting-edge ensemble. His 2010 CD release “Centerpeace” offers individual collaborations with guitarist Andy Summers, and pianists Mitsuko Kado and Allaudin Mathieu. Andrew’s most recent solo recording “Yamour” was released on vinyl as a double LP album, and garnered the number one spot in Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s “Essential Recordings of 2012.”
York's compositions have also been recorded by guitar luminaries Sharon Isbin and Jason Vieaux on their Grammy Award winning recordings, as well as by John Williams and Christopher Parkening, and Japanese pianist Mitsuko Kado. Generations of younger guitarists make Andrew’s music a staple of their repertoire in their performances and studies. As a published composer, York's works appear in print worldwide. He has performed in more than 30 countries with recent concerts including Rome, Bogotá, Beijing, Munich, Manhattan, Finland, Lithuania and Andrew’s twelfth tour of Japan. He received his Master of Music degree from University of Southern California, and is the only USC graduate in the school’s history to twice receive the Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award.
Alex de Grassi was born in Japan, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He switched from trumpet to guitar at the age of 13 and immersed himself in American and British folk and blues traditions, eventually studying jazz and classical guitar. Since then he has become widely acclaimed as a leading innovator and virtuoso of acoustic guitar, fusing a variety of guitar traditions into a highly orchestrated sound. The Wall Street Journal has called his playing “flawless” and Billboard hails his “intricate finger-picking technique with an uncanny gift for melodic invention." His early Windham Hill recordings of original music—Turning: Turning Back, Slow Circle (1979) and Southern Exposure (1984), as well as his GRAMMY nominated recording The Water Garden (1998)— are considered classics of the genre that have influenced a whole generation of young players. His most recent solo recording, Now and Then: Folksongs for the 21st Century, features his contemporary take on traditional folksongs. HIs 35 years of international touring include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Montreux Jazz Festival and numerous international guitar festivals.