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Mendocino County Today: Friday, June 16, 2017

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On 6/15/17 at about 2:00pm, the pictured suspect (please click on photos to see enlarged versions) entered the West America Bank in Gualala. The suspect displayed a black handgun and demanded the tellers provide him with cash. The suspect is described as a white male approximately 5'10" with a thin build. The man was wearing a dark wig and sunglasses. The suspect ran from the bank northbound with an undisclosed amount of cash and out of the view of witnesses.

If you have any information on this case that might help us identify and locate the suspect, please call the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center at (707) 463-4086 or (707) 234-2100.

(Mendocino County Sheriff's Office)

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LONG-TIME BOONVILLE RESIDENT ROSS MURRAY died Thursday in Ukiah. He was 98. Mr. Murray was prominent in the life of the Anderson Valley for more than three decades.

Steve Sparks interviewed Mr. Murray in 2009.

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Ross Murray moved to Anderson Valley nearly 30 years ago.

Ross was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1918 to Harry and Sydelle, both of Russian descent, whose families had lived in the States for a few generations. His father was a children’s clothes designer who throughout Ross’s childhood and teenage years remained “an irresponsible ladies man” embarking on many affairs. “As a result, my sister Shelley (seven years younger) and I had a very insecure childhood, never knowing if Dad was going to be at home – he’d disappear for a week or more at a time. On top of this we were always moving with his job. I attended six different elementary and grammar schools and five different High Schools. I had to make friends very quickly and learned to adapt quite well as we moved from New York, to Virginia, and on to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and back to New York again where I graduated from High School in the Bronx in 1935.”

Ross entered Temple University to study pre-med and during his time there he fell and broke his right elbow which never healed correctly, something that was to be of significance a few years later. After two years at college, Ross decided he had to get away and in 1937 moved with his mother and sister to southern California where they stayed with his mother’s cousin in Los Angeles. “It was the end of my college career as I felt I had to get a job and support my mother and sister. I had a couple of friends in the rapidly expanding movie business and, even though I had no formal training, I had been in the dancing club at school as a kid, so I signed up for Central Casting – the agency that supplied all the studios with extras.”

Not only was Ross at just the right age to play a military man in the many “soldier pics” being made as war loomed, he also had many of the required skills.

“I could dance, ride a horse, ice skate, and had fenced on the college team. Things were slow at first but I found a job as an usher at a cinema/theatre in Beverly Hills and one day a customer came up to me and told me to call her at 5am to see what movie extra work might be available. She was a casting director and took a liking to me, and immediately found me steady work. I made some money from appearing in war movies but mostly from dancing in the chorus lines behind the likes of Fred Astaire, Betty Hutton, Shirley Temple, Eleanor Powell, Olympic ice skater Sonja Henie, and also the Andrews Sisters – many years before my wife Joyce was to join them, but a strange coincidence all the same.”

In the late thirties the draft was instituted but Ross was designated as 2A – the sole supporter of a family. It meant he would not have to go to war. “I remember seeing Ronald Reagan often in his military uniform around the studios at that time and he was always talking about wanting to go and ‘kill some Japs.’ It was all talk and he spent the entire war working at Hal Roach Studios.”

In December 1941, the US declared war on Japan and just two weeks later Ross was going through a physical at the Naval Air Corps. “I wanted to do my bit. I had been interested in planes since a child and had flown with friends many times. However, even though they failed to notice my bad right arm – I cannot straighten it without using my left hand – I had a deviated septum in my nose and was turned down. I had this fixed but when I went back I was now 23 and told I was too old – they wanted 19 and 20 year olds, like George Bush Sr.”

“I fussed and fumed for a month or more before going to Santa Ana to the Army Air Corps. They also failed to spot my bad elbow and I passed the physical, one major telling me that the Navy’s loss was the Army’s gain. By late 1942 I was Private Ross Murray and in March 1943 I began my aviator training. Because of my elbow, one maneuver was difficult for me and I thought I would get rejected but it turned out that in multi-engine planes your right arm is for the throttle only, you flew with your left so I was fine. I graduated at the end of the year at Roswell Army Base in New Mexico and became the pilot for bombardier students who were learning how to drop bombs, became a training officer soon after.”

“In 1944 the B17 bombers arrived and around that time I became the Operations Officer of the base, organizing the training program and so, despite constantly looking to get overseas, I was now tied to the base on the new bombers… Then at the end of the year the new B29’s arrived, much bigger bombers, and my Colonel allowed me to go and train on these at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, so that I might finally get a chance to go overseas. He had fought at the Battle of Midway and said I was a ‘dumb son of a bitch’ for wanting to go and fight. I completed my training just a few days before they dropped the atomic bombs and the war came to an end. I had busted my ass trying to help in some way and was a very, very frustrated young man. It was something that bothered me for years, not really going away until after meeting Joyce and she explained that ‘A’ for effort was fine.”

Murray coming out of a vintage B-17 at a Vets event in Ukiah in 2015

In 1944, while in the Army Air Corps and on leave, Ross had married a girl he had known in show business – “she probably wanted to collect on my life insurance, a lot of that went on” – and it had lasted three days. Then a year later he got married again, to a woman who sang with the Ted Lewis Orchestra and whom he had booked to perform for the troops at the Air Base. ‘We were together for over twenty years but there were many difficulties. We had three kids and I got custody when we divorced.”

“I thought about staying in the service at the end of the war but I had met a writer and he said I had talent and offered me a job. I left the military and returned to civilian life only to be told that the job was no longer there for me. I was very upset indeed and returned to the picture business, becoming the stand-in for Peter Lawford (later of Rat Pack fame) for two years.”

Ross looked for and found a change of direction in 1949 when he began work for C.B.S. Radio as a sounds effect editor on dramatic shows/plays, while on the side he started to write mysteries for radio broadcasts. “Writing was something I’d always wanted to do but initially my work was heard only on regional broadcasts. Everyone can do one story but can they do a second? I did and sold it to network radio for airing around the country and for the next eight years I wrote at least four shows a year – mysteries, comedies, and romance, featuring such names as Ronald Reagan and Broderick Crawford.”

“Old men tend to be history revisionists as nobody can correct them, particularly if they get to be ninety-one years old! Here are my plays – I am not making this stuff up.” Ross then proceeded to show me a number of the scripts for his plays, each in its original binder with the title and date of airing.

As for his regular job, in 1954 Ross was moved from radio to a 6am television show in a move he did not want. “I did not understand it but a friend told me that the Engineering Head did not like the fact that I was meeting producers and directors through my writing. This was show business and I had come to understand the frequent jealousies of ‘small’ people. I nearly left CBS to concentrate on writing but I had responsibilities and needed the steady job so I stayed and the opportunity passed me by. Besides, I had a good job and enjoyed what I was doing.”

(Murray, standing at editing machine)

Radio began to ‘die’ in the late fifties and Ross stopped his play writing in 1958, concentrating on starting and developing the videotape-editing department for CBS television in Television City with three others. “We worked on many different projects and went on to win Emmy’s for our efforts on the 1960 Winter Olympics and Play House 90 (a ninety-minute television drama), but by 1962 I figured I’d done what I could in that department and thought it was time to ‘go upstairs’ – where ‘show business’ was happening!”

I returned to sound effects and began work on the Danny Kaye Show, for which I was to receive my third Emmy. I was there for four years and for about a year of that Joyce appeared with the Andrews Sisters on the show but I was so involved in my work that I didn’t even get to meet her. I was obsessed with my job and helped on the Red Skelton Show too, staying on there when the Danny Kaye Show came to an end…Life at home was not particularly happy and we were divorced in 1968 and I received custody of our three teenage boys – David, Timothy, and Fred.”

Murray (right) making sound effects

In 1969 Ross became the sound effects editor on the Carol Burnett Show and would remain there until the show came off the air in 1978. “In 1970 I became the Head of the Sound Effects Department for CBS Television but still got to stay with the Burnett show. I had met Joyce in 1971 and we were married in 1973. Life was very good and working on that show was an absolute delight. Carol was wonderful; very, very nice and easy to get along with, and her husband (and the Show’s producer), Joe Hamilton, was a great guy. The whole cast was so much fun, such good people, and we spent many great years in the company of the likes of Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicky Lawrence etc – it was a very close group and always very professional. During that time I remember going to the home of Joyce’s friend, Maxine Andrews of the Andrews Sisters and she showed me an old picture of me dancing with the Sisters many years before, as I mentioned earlier. It was before Joyce had joined them and I now have that photograph on the wall.”

Ross stuck around at CBS for a couple of years after the end of the Burnett Show but by 1980 he and Joyce were ready to leave Los Angeles and “the rat race it had become.” An old screenwriting friend, Michael Kraike, had retired to Elk on the Mendocino coast in northern California and Ross and Joyce visited him and “fell in love with the area.” Local realtor, Mike Shapiro started to show them properties and they bought forty acres a couple of miles outside Boonville in the hills and woods on Mountain View Road. Ross designed and helped to build the house. “During that summer of 1980 we were living in a mini van with a stove and small fridge and had the garage built first which became our bedroom for about four months while the house was being built by contractor Joe Cave, Michael’s son-in-law. Two of the first local people we met were Bill and Nancy Charles who one evening came to welcome us with a bottle of champagne as we sat reading our books by lantern light in the garage. It was very touching to be welcomed like that and we have remained close friends ever since.”

Ross felt that on retirement people should try if they can to bring something to a community – “for a while, why you still can” – so he joined the Chamber of Commerce, later becoming its President. He also joined the Mendocino Development Association; was on the Grand Jury, later its foreman for a year; became Commander of the American Legion; and soon became good friends with many local people such as Margaret Charles, Ray and Kathryn Eubanks, Lee Sidwell, Post Mistress Peggy Bates, and Art and ‘Barky’ Korpella. Ross also continued his interest in flying at the Boonville Airport (he still has his flying license) through which he and Joyce later met another circle of friends – The Airport Crowd as they are affectionately known today, and who meet most Friday evenings at alternating houses.

Sometime around 1999, Carroll Pratt, board member of the local public radio station, KZYX suggested Ross do a radio show. “Carroll and I knew of each other from our film and television days in southern California, and we had both flown bombers, so I listened to what he had to say and began a one hour a month show in which I just talked about politics and current affairs – that was it. It ran from 2000 to 2004 before I decided it was too much and since then I have continued to produce my five-minute commentary once a week at 6.30pm on Thursdays (repeated on Monday mornings at 8am). I just tell you what is happening, what you might not hear elsewhere; it is not an opinion show in the strict sense. I enjoy it very much and I’ll continue to do it as long as I can… I have noticed a big difference in my energy levels over the past couple of years – no more chain saw work for me – and there is a huge difference between being 71 and 91. It is annoying but I’m here and that’s all I care about – here with Joyce.”

“Thank you” said Joyce from across the room.

“You betchya, babe,” Ross replied with a big smile.

I asked Ross for his brief responses to some of the issues confronting Valley people at this time… The Wineries? – “Look, life is a continually changing landscape – literally in this case. This Valley used to be an apple valley, now it is grapes. Fifty years from now, who knows? Overall I am positive about the wineries – they supply jobs and are relatively clean – we hope. The water is a problem here but it’s a huge problem worldwide thanks to global warming. We must use our intellect to figure out efficient ways to use ocean water at some point. Water doesn’t go away, it just goes to different places”… The Radio Station? – “I have to always give it an ‘A’ for effort. The recession has hit it badly and the people there are doing their best under the circumstances”…

The AVA newspaper? – “Like the radio station, it is people giving their time for the good of the community. It takes a certain kind of person to do this and they do the best they can; some do better than others”…

Marijuana production? “It should be legalized. At the end of prohibition, which I remember, they said legalizing alcohol would encourage everyone to get drunk – I distinctly remember that being said. Well it didn’t. Social security was said to be the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the U.S. public – I heard that on a newsreel in 1936. How wrong people can be. It’s the same with marijuana. Everyone’s going to smoke it? – Give me a break.”

I asked Ross for his choice for the Mayor of Anderson Valley, if such a position was created with the power to make a difference.

“Me!… No, not really, although some people wanted me to run for Supervisor in the eighties but Joyce said that if I did run for any sort of public office I’d win, and then she’d have to divorce me.”

I asked Ross, if Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“Well if God is a man then perhaps he is looking for a buddy and so ‘I’ve been waiting for you’ would be good. If God is a woman, ‘Welcome aboard’ would work – being God, she’d know I was married to Joyce so I couldn’t really be her buddy, could I?”

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by Rex Gressett

The sixty year old trees in Bainbridge park are gone. In the battle, nay war, against homeless people sitting on the grass, every element of grace or accommodation in the park has been removed. The benches went first, then the grills where generations of families cooked hot dogs. Then the little trees where the kids liked to play, and now the great old trees that defined the park and gave it decency and shade and character. They were cut down with a ruthlessness that really should tell us something.

The security cameras are in since Mayberry. The police can now rejoice that there’s not even a shadow where any weary wayfarer can hide. I have seen similar parks in Newark and Harlem where every vestige of convenience was ripped out of a park by a hostile civic authority bent on making the point that local government represented people other than those who habitually used the park. In Harlem even the grass went. We still have grass, but the rest of the park looks like the vacant lot it has become.

The community resentment of raggedy looking folk sitting around Bainbridge was deep and intractable. The City Manager and her crew of operatives had been stalling on improvements to the park for years. Bainbridge was a textbook example of the timeless inefficiency and all-encompassing incompetence that characterizes the self described super hero bureaucrats at city hall. After years and years the grindingly slow machinery of the Ruffing planning department was possibly inching its way toward the Bainbridge park “improvements,” just in time to coincide with the vivid wrath of the people of the city about the takeover of the Old Coast Hotel as a homeless center by he machinery of autocratic bureaucracy majestically indifferent to community outrage.That outrage found a little focus in the Old Coast Hotel. In consecutive city council elections the whole city council crew got the boot. Turner survived by 40 votes; the rest of them got walking papers. In the limelight and the defensive mode the City Manager, with trademark smiley insouciance, declared that things at Bainbridge were moving at last. The urban planners under her command provided an outline of options to the people who lived near the park. Having just completed their movement of the homeless into the heart of the city in the teeth of community opposition the City Manager was now entertaining suggestions about how they might be kept out of the city park. They concluded that an iron fence around the park would at least slow them down. The community was not informed that emplacement of the iron fence required the removal of the great trees. Go figure.

If I had not raised the issue of the trees with the Mayor, city management would not have had to corrupt an employee. But I did and so with a professionally straight face city hall made an off-hand concession to responsibility more shameful and distasteful than if they had simply gone chopping with no caveats.

Allen Palacios who cheerfully collects his weekly paycheck from the city was asked to provide cover for his boss. He gravely wrote a letter for the city manager to the city manager in which he slandered the trees in the name of his renown as a gardener declaring that the trees were dangerous and diseased. He himself announced that he had removed twigs (his words) from the ground under the trees and had been told once that swarms of beetles had arisen from the stumps of the smaller trees on the other side of the park when they were cut down to make the view clear for the new security cameras. That settled the matter. Mr Palacios’s in-house recommendations were intended to reassure the community that even if everybody involved was on the same payroll they could be trusted without question. Indeed, questions were not permitted or entertained. The propaganda letter was well-received at city hall. Mr. Palacios’s job security was ensured and the folks around the park who gathered in quiet groups to observe the solid wood sections of the slaughtered trees got to suck eggs.

The promised iron fence, described to me by Mayor Lindy Peters as a psychological tool to deter the use of the park by homeless people now had an unobstructed right of way. Everyone was happy.

They told me when I appeared in depression at city hall to stare at the tree killers that a branch might possibly have fallen and someone could have been wounded. That no branch had fallen in the 60 years since the trees were planted is not a definitive argument, I grant. But no branches had fallen. I have read on google that beetles — if there were any — are not a terminal problem but tend to occur in times of drought. I would have liked a second opinion, maybe from the Garden Club on a matter of community importance. It would not have cost anything.

I would have thought that if the trees were in some manner distressed that treatment, care, a little love, a trifling of respect might have been at least tried. They did not try, they did not care, they did not want the trees obstructing their vision of an open, controlled fenced-off empty space filled with plastic and devoid of history or character. A second opinion might have been asked for by the mayor. I was on his case about the trees and he reassured me, sucker that I was.

Now the big trees are gone. They will put in little ones. I mostly blame myself. I knew what they had in mind but I did not work enough. I did not try enough. I let it happen by indifference. There are other issues before the council and the community. They all depend on judgment, courage, and community involvement. The cost to the community will be very great if they are decided in contempt of the public interest or without concern for values that the community understands, but the highly paid urban planning drones can not and do not remotely comprehend. Maybe the big old trees can help us yet.

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Derek wrote:

… multiple public meetings concerning the tree removal (and replacement), and I know who was at those meetings, because I was.

"Cur Mudgeon" wrote:

A Treeless Fort Bragg

Someone told me that Derek lives right next to the park where the trees were. He is on the Planning Commission. Hmmm. Homeless people are the reason the park is being changed - nobody wants them around. They were congregating and sleeping there, and we can't have THAT, now can we ? They WERE hanging around the door to the Library - the unused emerency exit by the corner- and now there are big signs stating, 'Emergency Exit - do not block ' - (as if someone exiting the building in a real emergency would be trapped by someone sitting there). Frightened people move like frickin' elephants. Libraries have become, in this best of all possible worlds, a sort of a home to homeless, unconnected people as well as garden variety vagrants and nut cases. Speaking of which, I heard years ago, probably from that clown who owns the AVA newsrag, (one of the few people that will tell,occasionally, the truth), that Ukiah sends sick people over here; they give them a few bucks and put them on a bus to Ft. Bragg, telling them that Social Services here will take care of them. Sounds believable to me. Why else would we have so many? Not the warm, sunny weather and plethora of inexpensive housing available here. People with 3 jobs can't find housing here. Anyway, I don't like homeless people any more than the next person, because most (not all, for certain) are unsightly and smelly and loud and sometimes criminals, they smoke around the entrance to the Library and have sick dogs and panhandle and generally remind us of the reality we live in and how close we are to joining their ranks, so let's call it like it is: Ft. Bragg's respectable and 'nice' people just want them to go away. And they will cut down a few trees, and a whole lot more, if it will help to make them go away.

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The Fort Bragg City Council ad-hoc fence design committee tasked with finding the "appropriate" fence design for Bainbridge Park after sending out "requests for proposals" has made their selection.

The chairman said, "A woman architect from Chowchilla nailed it - it's what we wanted and more. She said her design was based from the view she has out her window. It will be $750,000 well spent."

The new fence design will also be placed around "Wiggly Giggly" Park too.

"Now children can be left there without parental supervision for hours on end," the chairman said, "parents can be confident they'll remain within the confines of the play area while they patronize the local cocktail lounges."

The ad-hoc committee will now select a contractor from the bids received to pave over the entire park after the sod is removed.

"The City will save a significant amount of money now that the trees and grass will be removed," the chairman said, "no more mowing, no watering, no branches threatening people in high winds. It will be a showcase, something the City can be proud of."

Paving is expected to start August 1st, after the fence is installed.

Additionally, the city learned that the painting contractor awarded the bids for City Hall and the Guest House Museum has agreed to spraypaint the park asphalt "green" at NO COST to the city once it is in place.

(from MendocinoSportsPlus’s “Mendocino Bacon” spoof)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Heat wave? We got ac out the kazoo at this place. Runs off our new solar system, so no prob on the electric bill. Only prob is I have to go inside to cool off, which means listening to these people talk, talk, talk.

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INTERESTING LOCAL ITEMS from the (Draft) Project Evaluation And Pre-Design Engineering Report For A Proposed Public Water System In Boonville, Anderson Valley Community Services District, June 2017

by Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers,

475 Aviation Blvd., Suite 120, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. 707.576.1322

“The local economic industries in the area are tourism and agriculture, with local agriculture mainly comprised of wine grape cultivation. From the 2015 American Community Survey (issued by the United States Census Bureau), the median household income was $37,865 (+/- $8,055) and the mean household income was $54,329 (+/-$18,185). Boonville has an assortment of land uses including residential, commercial, offices, lodging, and other community services. A survey of current land use within the proposed service areas yielded commercial and institution buildings including schools, health center, airport, restaurants, stores, and other services.” …

“The owners of four parcels at the end of Farrer Lane submitted a written request to AVCSD to not be included in any proposed water service areas. They indicated that their wells and septic systems are relatively new and should have many more years of useful life. Anderson Valley Brewing Company was not included in any service areas as the company has its own public water system with treatment. …

“According to the 2010 United States Census, Boonville’s population was 1,035 people and 372 of the 413 household units were occupied. Since Boonville is a census-designated place, the population estimate aligns with the census boundary. Unfortunately, the census boundary and proposed water system boundary alternatives do not align, requiring the proposed water system population to be estimated using the other two methods. …

“The population estimate using the other two methods is 650-870 people with the population varying between methods and service area alternatives. Using the ‘connection estimate times 3.3’ method, the population was estimated as approximately 700 people with 211 connections in the smallest proposed service area. For the largest proposed service area, the population was estimated as 870 people with 264 connections. Using the ‘building estimate times 2.8’ method, the population was determined as approximately 650 people within the smallest proposed service area. The number of buildings in the area was estimated as the number of connections plus the number of buildings at connections that have more than one building (i.e., the schools or the fairgrounds) for a total of 233 buildings. For the largest proposed service area, the population was estimated for 280 buildings and 780 people using the ‘building estimate times 2.8’ method.

“In the [central Boonville] service area, there is an estimated 175 residential connections or dwelling units distributed as 95 single-family residences and 80 units on multi-family parcels (counting each individual apartment or duplex unit).

The non-residential connections were estimated from a list of businesses and an aerial imagery count. … Each business or building was counted as one potential connection to obtain 36 non-residential connections”

Excerpts about contamination:

Chevron #9-6221 — The clean-up site is located at 14125 Highway 128, between the current Mosswood Market café and the Pic & Pay Market/Laundry Mat. The site was previously used as a Chevron gas station and is currently occupied by Philo Ridge Winery Tasting Room. [aka TomTown] Three underground storage tanks suspected of leaking were removed in 1978 and replaced with new tanks. The new tanks were removed in 1991 when the gas station was demolished. Potential contaminants of concern were benzene, diesel, and gasoline. No remediation has occurred at the site to date. The site will undergo a physical site assessment in summer of 2017 to determine what type of remediation should be installed, if any.

“Jeff’s Chevron The site is located at 14289 Highway 128 near Haehl Street, across from the AVCSD Fire Department and the Mendocino County Fairgrounds. It was previously used as a Chevron gas station succeeded by an automobile tire sales/repair shop and convenience grocery store.

Diesel was detected in several wells in the vicinity in 1988 and a subsequent Cleanup and Abatement Order was issued by the NCRWQCB to the Chevron station owners in 1989. Two tanks were excavated in 1992 and another three tanks excavated in 1999. Contaminants of concern were diesel, gasoline, MTBE, and other fuel oxygenates. Groundwater monitoring was performed between 1999 and 2004. No remediation efforts or sampling efforts occurred between 2004 and 2010 due to a recalcitrant land owner according to NCRWQCB documents in the GeoTracker database. …

“There were four domestic wells in the vicinity of the clean-up site that were contaminated with MTBE due to the leaking underground tanks. One well serves the Mi Esperanza Market (convenience grocery store), one well serves the Anderson Valley Fire Department (AVFD), and the other two serve private residences. Well head treatment systems were installed on two wells: the AVFD well in 2011 and the Mi Esperanza Market/tire shop well in 2013.

“Limited excavation of the site occurred in 2014 by EBA Engineering. Excavation included removal of impacted soils in the former gas station’s dispenser islands, product piping, and vent lines. Excavated soils were landfilled appropriately. Soil samples were taken during the excavation and showed MTBE detections in the vicinity of several old piping appurtenances, suggesting prior leaks.

“A 2015 feasibility study performed by EBA Engineering showed the majority of soil and groundwater contamination in the capillary/transition zone (12-22.5 ft below ground surface) between the saturated and unsaturated zones. EBA Engineering estimated contaminant masses of approximately 3,900 pounds in the soil and 115 pounds groundwater. In the study, EBA Engineering recommended dual phase extraction as the best method for remediation at the site. To date, dual phase extraction remediation has not been installed.

“Groundwater flow was noted in case reports as north to northeast and at a rate of 0.01 to 0.1 feet/foot. SCS Engineering noted that “the groundwater flow direction may be locally influenced by pumping domestic wells, seasonal recharge, and discharge of aquifer beneath the site and vicinity.”

Estimated Supply/Storage Requirements

“Based on the potential demands presented in the preceding sections, a secure source supply of approximately 100 gpm (includes a 10% design allowance) would be required to satisfy the estimated maximum day demand of 123,000 gallons of Alternative 1. Since all systems with less than 1,000 connections are required to have sufficient water storage to meet their MDD, the system would need at least 140,000 gallons of storage for domestic purposes (includes a 10% design allowance). Should the system be intended to provide fire protection, storage for fire flows would also needed. The required fire protection volume was established as 180,000 gallons. As the MDD and a fire would likely not occur on the same day, adding the fire storage requirement to the MDD volume would generate an overly conservative requirement. A more reasonable storage requirement would be a domestic volume equal to the average day during the month of maximum demand (1.5 times the average day plus a 10% design allowance) plus the fire protection volume. This method yields a total storage requirement of 270,000 gallons.

As addition of the elementary school only increases the average day demand of Alternatives 1 and 2 by 1,000 gallons, only Alternative 3 is discussed herein for comparison purposes to Alternative 1. A secure source supply of approximately 120 gpm (includes a 10% design allowance) would be required to satisfy the estimated maximum day demand of 152,000 gallons of Alternative 3. The system would need at least 170,000 gallons of storage for domestic purposes (includes a 10% design allowance). With the inclusion of the fire storage volume as discussed above, the total storage volume required would be 290,000 gallons.

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(photo by Susie de Castro)

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All six Mendo beaches surveyed got high marks.

Big River: A+

Caspar Beach: A+

Hare Creek: A

MacKerricher: A+

Pudding Creek: A+

Van Damme: A+

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JIM SNYDER has been appointed principal at Anderson Valley High School. The youthful math teacher graduated from Sonoma Valley High School in 1993 and UC San Diego in 1998. Snyder began work in Anderson Valley as a substitute teacher, became an instructional assistant, and is in his tenth year as math teacher at the high school. He holds a master's degree and is working on an administrative credential. The Job pays $96,609 annually.

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On 6-5-17, it was reported that Jaime Barajas had molested the 14 year old victim over a period of time. During the investigation, it was discovered that there were multiple victims over a period of time. UPD detectives obtained a no bail warrant for Barajas’ arrest and put out a BOLO for Barajas. On 6-9-17, MCSO located and arrested Barajas on the warrant in Redwood Valley. Barajas was lodged at the county jail. Emergency protective orders were served on Barajas which prohibit Barajas from contacting the victims.

UPD detectives are currently attempting to identify and contact possible additional victims or witnesses. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact the Ukiah Police Department at (707)463-6262.

Jaime & Shannon Barajas

UPDATE: Additional Suspect: Shannon Barajas, (30 Years Old, Ukiah): 136.1(A)(2) Pc-Preventing Or Disuading Witness Or Victim From Testifying Or Doing Other Acts (Felony)

Additional Victim: 41 Year Old Female, Ukiah

UPD detectives learned Jaime’s wife, Shannon Barajas, had reportedly threatened a witness in regards to this investigation. UPD detectives had been actively attempting to locate Shannon. On 6-4-17, UPD detectives located Shannon at the courthouse. Shannon was arrested upon leaving the courthouse for 136.1(a)(2) PC. Shannon was lodged at the county jail and her bail was $25,000. Jaime remains in custody with a bail set at $1,400,000.

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(photo by Susie de Castro)

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ARTURO REYES is president of Mendo College, Ukiah. Reyes has some dedicated detractors, one or more of whom sent us a Gotcha Package minus the Gotchas that effective Gotcha-ing require.


TO US, Reyes seems the typical, lushly compensated Mendo school administrator who can do whatever he or she wants to do, short of nude handstands at public events, and even at that would be placed on open-ended paid leave because he/she enjoys a rubberstamp board of chuckling trustees to whom public funds are free money.

FACULTY OPPOSITION caused Reyes to back off a grandiose "create space" remodel project designed for him and visiting edu-potentates. But he did back off it.

HIS CRITICS complain that Reyes has an inner circle of stooges that do his bidding (also typical of contempo school admin at all levels) and has created "a culture of fear at the college." Fear is the dominant American emotion at every work site in the country. So long as people work in trembling nuzzlebum contexts they'll always be enslaved. Rise up, wimpos! You have nothing to lose but your car payments!

THE MOST interesting complaint from our anon source is the claim that Reyes is boffing a staffer he's rewarded with a job she hasn't earned at a rate of pay she doesn't deserve.

DEAR ANON: You're going to have to do better than this. You need names, you need facts, and we couldn't find anyone at Reyes' prior stops on the junior college merry go-round who would talk about him, but his media escutcheon is clear — no mention of the guy other than in relation to the pasha building remodel and, before that, the football scandal, which mostly preceded Reyes' arrival here.

* * *

THE PEOPLE popped the other day at a large scale Lake County marijuana complex comprised a virtual United Nations enterprise. 58-year-old Jeffrey Mann, 51-year-old She Huang, 46 year old Xiaofeng Wang, 51 year old Tanng Zhili, 39 year old Martin Arellano-Carillo, and 29 year old Severiano Carrillo-Alvarado. Over in Covelo, and throughout Humboldt and Trinity counties, we've got Bulgarians, Russians, Hmongs, Spanish and Italian nationals, plus Chinese, and a Ukranian.

* * *

MEANWHILE, here in the Anderson Valley, we've talked to people who say they've quit growing because, (1) prices are so low it's not worth the effort, and (2) Colorado's mega-corporate grows are closer to the big, still lucrative markets on the East Coast, so who needs Mendo dope? So many people have jumped into the business that the bottom has fallen out of the market, at least in California.

* * *


James Hodgkinson protests outside of the United States Post Office in Downtown Belleville, Illinois on April 17, 2012. (photo by Derik Holtmann/AP)

* * *

FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING BLAZE in rural subdivision near Cloverdale

by Mary Callahan

A small fire that broke out in a rural subdivision outside Cloverdale Thursday drew a heavy response from local and state fire crews as temperatures across the region soar and abundant brush dries out.

The 11:46 a.m. blaze in the Palomino Lakes community was near containment at less than one acre, but authorities were preparing to notify residents in the subdivision of more than 100 homes so that people were ready to flee it if became necessary, Cal Fire said.

“It’s a high potential fire area,” Capt. Warren Parrish said. “We’re making sure we put a lot of resources into it.”

The fire apparently started in a yurt on a property off Toyon Lane and began spreading to surrounding vegetation in the area, which is mostly grassland and oak woodland, Parrish said.

Officials closed Palomino Road at River Road to keep others out while firefighters and equipment rushed into the area. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office also was preparing to use its reverse call notification system to alert residents.

A Cal Fire air attack plane, two air tankers and a helicopter were among the equipment sent to battle the flames, along with five fire engines and hand crews, Parrish said.

“They don’t expect the fire to grow beyond what it is right now,” he said. “But they don’t want to take any chances.”

The cause of the fire was not known, he said.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

* * *


The grownups sat on their long chair called couch

And talked of the weather, the dew of the blossoms’ morning,

And what might happen to us, the children.

Mom said don’t leave the house, not without

Papers. Do I dare speak of the papers hoarded

In corners? How many more poems can you write

About a face spackled with fear before

It holds you? The reader aiming, too.

Let us find a charcoaled corner, you and I,

Where we will lay these words. Leave children

To sleep in windowless rooms. The mother

Biting a prayer. The country weaving a tomb.

— Jose Antonio Rodriguez

* * *

DOES ANYONE OUT THERE KNOW what variety of plant this is?

* * *


Here's a little information regarding the recent spate of reports of felines being snagged by Mountain Lions on the coast:

"I'm saddened to read of all the lost cats in the Airport Road area of Little River. Yes, we do have at least one mountain lion who makes Airport Road its territory.

Mountain lions do not kill cats to eat them, but as a matter of ridding their territory of any other cat, and they will stop at nothing to do that - it's instinctive.

Mt. Lions spend time assessing whether or not something is a good food item or worth pursuing. In the case of humans, while they are not afraid of us, they seem to have assessed us as perhaps not worth the trouble to catch because of our size and whatever other things go on in a mountain lion's mind.

I have heard reports from all over the country that they will walk right up to your open door and grab a cat or dog, they certainly see a dog on a leash or in a pen or tied up as potential food items. As they are not afraid of people, they will not hesitate to take a dog on a leash.

They hunt or are active in the several hours before sunset and several hours after sunrise--except in the case of cats, which they will dispose of any time they happen to see one no matter what the time of day.

I have a cat and I know how difficult it is to keep it in the house. I've given him a place where he can howl all he wants at night, but I don't have to listen to it and he is safely confined so the night lion won't get him. It's a problem to which I do not know the answer--except to keep my cat inside.

Garages and sheds can all make comfortable night quarters for a cat. We all live here because we want to be by the ocean and near or in the forest, see woodlands critters, be closer to mother nature, but all those things include the wild animals like mountain lions.

And absolutely do not allow toddlers or young children to play alone outside or wander the woods. If your dog barks when the kids are out playing--check it out. We seem to have had many more sightings of lions recently than in years past."

— From Ronnie James At Woodlands Wildlife (via MendocinoSportsPlus)

* * *


Response to Katherine D re bats in her ceiling:

Stay calm, they won't hurt you and they can easily be evicted. Firstly, how do you know they are bats and not mice making noises in the ceiling? Then sometime today go outside and check around the exterior roof (eaves) of your house with a strong flashlight to see if you can find their entry place. Often there will be a screen covering a vent/air hole that has rusted away. You do NOT want to just cover up the hole if you do find one, because bats have babies this time of year and they leave them in a little nursery in their home space (your ceiling), and if you cover the hole, the babies and perhaps some other bats will die and smell up your house. Send me your phone number and I'll talk to you about a one-way-door later today.

— Ronnie James, Woodlands Wildlife

* * *

SCRAG is putting on a few ounces.

* * *

THE MENDOCINO COAST HEALTH CARE DISTRICT BOARD will hold a special board meeting on Thursday, June 22nd at 6:00 p.m. at Town Hall. The only known agenda item is a discussion and vote about the Labor and Delivery Department at MCDH. Our board chair, Pam Merritt, and I met with Steve Lund and Bob Edwards on Monday afternoon. They shared this meeting date with us and we discussed ways that MCC and MCDH can work together. I have made an offer to recruit and hire and 2nd OB/GYN for the community, if and when the hospital board makes a commitment to the department.

This vote should give us the commitment to the department to move forward with recruiting a second OB/GYN for our community or if the board votes to close the department we will have to work with the hospital regarding how they will ensure transportation and housing for our patients who will need to go to Ukiah or beyond for deliveries.

I am still hopeful that the board will stay committed to the community need and keep L&D open. There are a number of community groups organizing around this issue and hundreds of signatures have been gathered and delivered to the hospital board already.

If anyone would like to see video or editorials about the Mendocino Coast Healthcare District Board meetings, Planning Committee meetings, OB Ad Hoc Committee they are available on

I will be at the meeting on the 22nd and encourage any of you who are interested in this issue to join me in Town Hall at 6:00 p.m.

Thank you,

Lucresha Renteria
Executive Director
Mendocino Coast Clinics, Inc.

* * *


Barajas, Lopez, Martinez

SHANNON BARAJAS, Ukiah. Witness intimidation.

PHILLIP LOPEZ JR., Ukiah. Parole violation.

FERNANDO MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, elder abuse, false imprisonment.

McGregor, Molina, Willett

ROY MCGREGOR, Fort Bragg. Disturbing the peace, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JAVIER MOLINA, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse.

SHAWN WILLETT, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.

* * *


by John W. Whitehead

“What are the defenders of free speech to do? The sad fact is that this fundamental freedom is on its heels across America. Politicians of both parties want to use the power of government to silence their foes. Some in the university community seek to drive it from their campuses. And an entire generation of Americans is being taught that free speech should be curtailed as soon as it makes someone else feel uncomfortable. On the current trajectory, our nation’s dynamic marketplace of ideas will soon be replaced by either disengaged intellectual silos or even a stagnant ideological conformity. Few things would be so disastrous for our nation and the well-being of our citizenry.”

—William Ruger, “Free Speech Is Central to Our Dignity as Humans

My hometown of Charlottesville, Va., has become the latest poster child in a heated war of words—and actions—over racism, “sanitizing history,” extremism (both right and left), political correctness, hate speech, partisan politics, and a growing fear that violent words will end in violent actions.

In Charlottesville, as in so many parts of the country right now, the conflict is over how to reconcile the nation’s checkered past, particularly as it relates to slavery, with the present need to sanitize the environment of anything—words and images—that might cause offense, especially if it’s a Confederate flag or monument.

In Charlottesville, that fear of offense prompted the City Council to get rid of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that has graced one of its public parks for 82 years. In doing so, they have attracted the unwanted attention of the Ku Klux Klan.

Yale University actually went so far as to change the name of one of its residential colleges, which was named after John C. Calhoun, the nation’s seventh vice president, a secretary of state, secretary of war, senator and Yale alum who supported slavery.

New Orleans ran up a $2 million tab in its efforts to remove its four Confederate monuments, with the majority of the funds being used for security to police the ensuing protests and demonstrations.

With more than 1,000 Confederate monuments in 31 states (in public parks, courthouse squares and state capitols), not to mention Confederate battle flags on display in military cemeteries, and countless more buildings and parks named after historic figures who were slaveholders, this isn’t an issue that is going away anytime soon, no matter how much we ignore it, shout over it, criminalize it, legislate it, adjudicate or police it.

The temperature is rising all across the nation, and not just over this Confederate issue.

The “winter of our discontent” has given way to an overheated, sweltering summer in which shouting matches are skating dangerously close to becoming physical altercations.

As journalist Dahlia Lithwick writes for Slate,

“These days, people who used to feel free to shout and threaten are emboldened to punch, body-slam, and stab. It is a short hop, we are learning, from ‘words can never hurt us’ to actual sticks and stones and the attendant breaking of bones. That is what has become of free speech in this country.”

Here’s the thing: if Americans don’t learn how to get along—at the very least, agreeing to disagree and respecting each other’s right to subscribe to beliefs and opinions that may be offensive, hateful, intolerant or merely different—then we’re going to soon find that we have no rights whatsoever (to speak, assemble, agree, disagree, protest, opt in, opt out, or forge our own paths as individuals).

The government will lock down the nation at the slightest provocation.

It is ready, willing and able to impose martial law within 24 hours.

Indeed, the government has been anticipating and preparing for civil unrest for years now, as evidenced by the build-up of guns and tanks and militarized police and military training drills and threat assessments and extremism reports and surveillance systems and private prisons.

Connect the dots, people.

The government doesn’t care about who you voted for in the presidential election or whether you think the Civil War was fought over states’ rights versus slavery. It doesn’t care about your race or gender or religion or sexual orientation.

When the police state cracks down, it will not discriminate.

We’ll all be muzzled together.

We’ll all be jailed together.

We’ll all be viewed as a collective enemy to be catalogued, conquered and caged.

Thus, the last thing we need to do is play into the government’s hands by turning on one another, turning in one another, and giving the government’s standing army an excuse to take over.

The police state could not ask for a better citizenry than one that carries out its own censorship, spying and policing.

This is how you turn a nation of free people into extensions of the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent police state, and in the process turn a citizenry against each other. It’s a brilliant ploy, with the added bonus that while the citizenry remains focused on and distrustful of each other, they’re incapable of presenting a united front against the threats posed by the government and its cabal of Constitution-destroying agencies and corporate partners.

Unfortunately, we have already become a nation of snowflakes, snitches and book burners: a legalistic, intolerant, elitist, squealing bystander nation eager to report fellow citizens to the police for the slightest offense.

Mind you, once the police are called in, with their ramped-up protocols, battlefield mindset, militarized weapons, uniforms and equipment, and war zone tactics, it’s a process that is near impossible to turn back and one that too often ends in tragedy for all those involved.

So how do we stop this train from barreling down the tracks past the police state and straight into martial law?

Let’s start with a little more patience, a lot more tolerance and a civics lesson on the First Amendment.

As my good friend Nat Hentoff, that inveterate champion of the First Amendment, once observed, “The quintessential difference between a free nation, as we profess to be, and a totalitarian state, is that here everyone, including a foe of democracy, has the right to speak his mind.”

What this means is opening the door to more speech not less, even if that speech is offensive to some.

Understanding that freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society, James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, fought for a First Amendment that protected the “minority” against the majority, ensuring that even in the face of overwhelming pressure, a minority of one—even one who espouses distasteful viewpoints—would still have the right to speak freely, pray freely, assemble freely, challenge the government freely, and broadcast his views in the press freely.

We haven’t done ourselves—or the nation—any favors by becoming so fearfully polite, careful to avoid offense, and largely unwilling to be labeled intolerant, hateful or closed-minded that we’ve eliminated words, phrases and symbols from public discourse.

The result is a nation where no one really says what they really think anymore, at least if it runs counter to the prevailing views. Intolerance is the new scarlet letter of our day, a badge to be worn in shame and humiliation, deserving of society’s fear, loathing and utter banishment from society.

For those who dare to voice an opinion that runs counter to the accepted norms, retribution is swift: they are shamed, shouted down, silenced, censored, fired, cast out and generally relegated to the dust heap of ignorant, mean-spirited bullies who are guilty of various “word crimes.”

We have entered a new age where, as commentator Mark Steyn notes, “we have to tiptoe around on ever thinner eggshells” and “the forces of ‘tolerance’ are intolerant of anything less than full-blown celebratory approval.”

In such a climate of intolerance, there can be no freedom speech, expression or thought.

We have become a nation of snowflakes.

We have allowed our fears—fear for our safety, fear of each other, fear of being labeled racist or hateful or prejudiced, etc.—to trump our freedom of speech and muzzle us far more effectively than any government edict could. Ultimately the war on free speech—and that’s exactly what it is: a war being waged by Americans against other Americans—is a war that is driven by fear.

By bottling up dissent, we have created a pressure cooker of stifled misery and discontent that is now bubbling over and fomenting even more hate, distrust and paranoia among portions of the populace.

The First Amendment is a steam valve. It allows people to speak their minds, air their grievances and contribute to a larger dialogue that hopefully results in a more just world.

When there is no steam valve to release the pressure, frustration builds, anger grows and people become more volatile and desperate to force a conversation.

The problem as I see it is that we’ve allowed ourselves to be persuaded that we need someone else to think and speak for us. The result is a society in which we’ve stopped debating among ourselves, stopped thinking for ourselves, and stopped believing that we can fix our own problems and resolve our own differences.

Not only has free speech become a “politically incorrect” four-letter word—profane, obscene, uncouth, not to be uttered in so-called public places—but in more and more cases, the government deems free speech to be downright dangerous and in some instances illegal.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: the War on the American People, the U.S. government has become particularly intolerant of speech that challenges the government’s power, reveals the government’s corruption, exposes the government’s lies, and encourages the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices. Indeed, there is a long and growing list of the kinds of speech that the government considers dangerous enough to red flag and subject to censorship, surveillance, investigation and prosecution: hate speech, bullying speech, intolerant speech, conspiratorial speech, treasonous speech, threatening speech, incendiary speech, inflammatory speech, radical speech, anti-government speech, right-wing speech, extremist speech, etc.

The powers-that-be understand that if the government can control speech, it controls thought and, in turn, it can control the minds of the citizenry. In fact, some of this past century’s greatest dystopian authors warned of this very danger.

In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, reading is banned and books are burned in order to suppress dissenting ideas, while televised entertainment is used to anesthetize the populace and render them easily pacified, distracted and controlled.

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, serious literature, scientific thinking and experimentation are banned as subversive, while critical thinking is discouraged through the use of conditioning, social taboos and inferior education. Likewise, expressions of individuality, independence and morality are viewed as vulgar and abnormal.

In George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.”

And in almost every episode of Twilight Zone, Rod Serling urged viewers to unlock their minds and free themselves of prejudice, hate, violence and fear. “We’re developing a new citizenry,” Serling declared. “One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”

It’s time to start thinking for ourselves again.

It’s time to start talking to each other. It’s time to start listening more and shouting less.

Most of all, it’s time to start acting like people who will choose dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.

As Dahlia Lithwick concluded for Slate:

To guarantee an escape from conflict, from violence, requires censorship. To have free speech in this moment, when the stakes are so high, is to live with fear. This is not an easy thing to confront—or to accept… Conversation might still be our best chance of getting out of this mess. Free speech is just free speech. It takes actual humans making the effort to talk to each other to transform speech into something more vital and more valuable. Conversations don’t always work. They may sometimes go wrong—horribly, terribly wrong… The First Amendment will never be able to protect us from horrible words and horrific acts. It does guarantee that we’ll keep talking.

(John W. Whitehead is the president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People.)

* * *

WE ARE AGAINST OFFICIALDOM always and everywhere. We are against bureaucratization, and we must pull up bureaucracy by its roots if it still nestles in our new system. But you know perfectly well that it is extremely difficult to remake people and that, as Marx used to say, the most inaccessible fortress is the human skull.

— Lenin

* * *


by Ralph Nader

The turmoil inside the Trump White House is much more intense than the media is reporting. Palaces of intrigue, under perceived siege by political and law enforcement adversaries, tend to boil inward before they burst outward.

One of the most perilous decisions for Trump is how far will he go in firing prosecutors looking into his murky dealings past and present. Already he has fired former FBI Director, James Comey, who just testified before the Senate flanked by several of his loyal FBI agents in the front seats of the hearing room.

Earlier, after then President-Elect Trump assured the influential US attorney in New York City, Preet Bharara, that he could keep his job, President Trump abruptly fired him in March. It seems Mr. Trump got wind of an investigation pertaining to various ill-defined, at least publicly, inquiries, tried to contact him to find out what was going on (a clear breach of ethics) and, not receiving a response, dispatched Bharara. The US attorney had reported Trump’s phone call to the chief of staff of Attorney General Jeff Sessions which probably led to his undoing.

New presidents often replace US attorneys, who are known to harbor political ambitions within the political party that appointed them to this powerful prosecutorial position. But President Trump had an additional personal motive behind his worry about Bharara.

Now Mr. Trump’s White House friends are leaking a trial balloon, or shall we call it the ‘nuclear option.’ Can you imagine that President Trump even is considering firing Robert S. Mueller III, who is the special counsel chosen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to lead the investigation of possible connections between Trump’s electoral campaign and Russian operatives.

Mueller, a highly respected former director of the FBI, is starting to hire staff for this important inquiry – one paralleled by similar probes under the Republican controlled Senate and House Intelligence Committees.

One can discern this possibility is more than a slip of the tongue by someone eager for publicity. Already, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, often a mouthpiece for Trump’s ‘thinking,’ has tweeted that “Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair,” even after praising Mueller’s integrity a few weeks earlier. The signal to fire Mueller is being trumpeted by conservative talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and other lucrative right wing beneficiaries of our free and public airwaves.

While this latest drama of Trump’s panic unfolds, there is speculation within their ranks that Trump may fire dozens of inspectors general who investigate waste, fraud and abuse by federal agencies to which they are attached. This would be unprecedented. Inspectors General (IGs) are non-partisan, independent civil servants with traditional bi-partisan support. They return $14 to the taxpayer for every $1.00 they spend on their investigations.

Trump looks askance on such independence and what might be found under his cabinet and agency heads. Thus far, he is not replacing open IG positions and intends to cut IG budgets. In another brazen move, the White House has insisted that Executive Branch agencies don’t have to respond to Congressional inquiries. A bizarre narcissism is taking hold in the White House. Get rid of anyone who can hold you to the rule of law. Have cabinet members bow and scrape the floor with their obeisance at a White House meeting as they surrender giving their independent judgement to a firing-prone president.

Overseas, we have names for bosses of nations who expect such orchestrated ooze. What’s next, statues and giant pictures of Trump looking down on his subjects around the country?

Trump would do well to study what happened when another president, Richard Nixon, hunkered down in 1973 and fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the Watergate scandal. Nixon’s attorney general, Elliot Richardson, refused to fire Cox and resigned in protest, followed by the protest resignation of Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus.

It is possible that Trump may not want to wait as long as did Nixon, who acted after he received a subpoena from Cox requesting copies of taped conversations recorded in the Oval Office?

Nixon’s firing of Cox generated a public firestorm of protests with millions of telegrams and calls pouring into Congress from the American people. The momentum to impeach Nixon accelerated. He quit just before the House of Representatives was to vote. Already, so early in the unfolding of Trump’s reactions, 43 percent of the people believe that Congress should begin impeachment proceedings to remove President Trump from office, with 45 percent of them opposed (according to a Quinnipiac poll).

Firing a special counsel before he even gets underway, much less starts issuing subpoenas, would not sit well with even more Americans and increasing numbers of Republicans in Congress who would have preferred Mr. Pence by a large margin over Mr. Trump. Trump could quit in a fit of rage. Impeaching Trump in the House and convicting him in the Senate would get the Republicans a more stable, very conservative, former congressional colleague. Could Mike Pence, a recent governor of Indiana, be our next president?

Fasten your seatbelts, the wild card in the White House is sure to get wilder and seriously test our nation’s rule of law.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

* * *


Indeed Sir it is all farce and has been for many decades now as you do well to point out. There are two main reasons that the system will never recover and cannot ever get any better. The first is that there are NO leaders of character that could ever rise to the level required to make any serious improvements or corrections. The system itself is far too corrupt and degraded to be repaired. The fact that they call themselves “Parties” should tell you all you need to know about their intentions.

The second is that there are far too many, and I mean WAY too many Mindless American Idiots that do not vote at all, vote for a candidate based on the color of their tie or the line of happy horseshit that it spews, or vote simply for an “R” or a “D” line because that is the limit of their abilities. Sorry, but Americans are simply no longer able to rule themselves or even smart enough to choose which Sock Puppet will be lifted onto the stage for the next go around at the Show. In the end, what does it matter anyway since the Sock Puppet does not actually rule anyway, the Money Masters do. It may even be in all of our best interests if They simply appoint the next Sock Puppet so that things go smoothly even if in the wrong direction. In the end, slavery for the masses is the final destination and the people will even beg for it I assure you. There is a certain comfort in being subjugated for after all they will never have to think again and it is clear that having to think is something that bothers them anyway. Bring it on, they will embrace it.

* * *

ONLY ONCE I SAW LENIN: I had an hour's conversation with him in his room at the Kremlin in 1920. I thought he resembled Cromwell more than any other historical character. Like Cromwell, he was forced into dictatorship by being the only competent man of affairs in a popular movement. Like Cromwell, he combined a narrow orthodoxy in thought with great dexterity and adaptability in action, though he never allowed himself to be led into concessions which had any purpose other than the ultimate establishment of Communism. He appeared as he was, completely sincere and devoid of self-seeking. I am persuaded that he cared only for public ends, not for his own power; I believe he would have stood aside at any moment if, by so doing, he could have advanced the cause of Communism.

— Bertrand Russell

* * *


Brenda Hall will be playing Songs for Shelter on the hammered dulcimer at the Ravens restaurant in beautiful Stanford Inn by the Sea (10051 S Big River Rd, Mendocino, CA 95460, 707-937-5615) this Friday, June 16, 2017, from 6:00-8:00pm. The Ravens restaurant serves wonderful, tasty food in a beautiful setting. Or if you just want to come by for a drink, there is a cozy bar and friendly folks to serve you. And with this being Father's Day weekend, you can treat dad to an evening of relaxing music and great views. This is a free concert but Songs for Shelter is also a benefit for the non-profit, S.O.S.-Networking for Mendocino Coast Companion Animals. All tip jar donations for the evening go to S.O.S. to help lost and abandoned animals on the coast. So not only will you be serenaded, but you can help coast animals as well.

* * *


by Dan Bacher

Since 2007 when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger revived the plan to build a peripheral canal or tunnels around or under the Delta, fishermen, Tribal leaders, conservationists, environmental justice advocates and Delta residents have been fighting to stop this plan pushed by corporate agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies.

After Jerry Brown became Governor for a third term, he embraced the revived plan, reincarnated as two 35 mile long tunnels under the Delta, as his “environmental legacy,” along with the completion of the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create so-called “marine protected areas” in California.

In the latest saga in the California water wars, Delta and public trust advocates are gearing up for a “heated battle against the continuation of planning for the Delta tunnels this summer," according to a statement from Restore the Delta (RTD).

Next week the official official biological opinion necessary for the operation of the tunnels will be released. To date, every federal panel that has examined the tunnels plan has concluded that the tunnels plan will devastate salmon and other fish species.

Most recently, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released a draft biological opinion documenting the harm the tunnels would cause to salmon, steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, other fish and wildlife species, and water quality. (

Meanwhile, state water agencies are making moves to secure a joint-powers authority with the Brown administration to accelerate the project, as reported by Ellen Knickmeyer and Scott Smith of the Associated Press.

“As the controversial proposal inches toward a crucial vote in September, state and federal water agencies are attempting to drown out the noise made by Delta advocates rejecting dual conveyance with tedious documents and amendments to the Delta Plan,” said Restore the Delta. ”In fact, recently leaked emails reveal that general manager of Metropolitan Water District, Jeffrey Kightlinger, asked member agencies to lobby the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) with pro-tunnels support during the public comments section of their next meeting on June 22 to combat the anticipated outpouring of opposition to the proposed amendments.”

Commenting on the emails, RTD Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said, “The Delta is now being set up to function as a colony of Southern California water interests. MWD is pressuring the Delta Stewardship Council to pass the Delta Plan amendment so MWD can secure its portion of the $17 billion in bonds to pay for the tunnels, costs that will be passed back to their ratepayers in their water bills and property taxes.”

Then on June 13, Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee reported on how state water supply, environmental conservation, and taxpayers could be impacted if the tunnels proposal is approved:

“What Metropolitan and water agencies in Silicon Valley, Fresno, Bakersfield and beyond decide is going to have sweeping ramifications across California. Ratepayers in Southern California and Silicon Valley could see a hit in their monthly water bills. In the San Joaquin Valley, farmers who’ve seen their water supplies decline sharply over the decades to protect endangered Delta fish will decide whether Brown’s promise of more reliable deliveries is worth cutting into their profits.

In greater Sacramento and throughout the Delta, farmers, environmental groups and elected officials remain deeply mistrustful of the proposal. They call it a ‘water grab’ by moneyed and politically powerful interests bent on siphoning more of Northern California’s water. By routing some of the Sacramento River’s flow directly to massive government pumping stations in the south Delta, they say the tunnels will cut into north state water supplies and do greater harm to native fish species on the brink of extinction.”

The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) must consider the findings of the official biological opinion during its June 22 meeting, in addition to hearing public outcry from Delta environmental justice communities, farmers, fishermen, and environmental groups, RTD noted.

The group is encouraging everybody who cares about the future of the Delta and our imperiled salmon and other fish populations to attend this meeting and help pack the room! Get the details.

Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, exposed the folly of the Delta Tunnels project at her speech at the “March for Science” on Earth Day 2017 before a crowd of 15,000 people at the State Capitol in Sacramento. She pointed out how the tunnels, rather than achieving the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem restoration, would instead devastate salmon and other fish populations while doing nothing to supply clean drinking water for people in impoverished rural communities in the San Joaquin Valley.

“The California Water Fix is the biggest water problem, the most devastating project, that Californians have ever faced,” said Chief Sisk. “Just ask the people in the farmworker communities of Seville and Alpaugh, where they can’t drink clean water from the tap.” Read the article here:

Unfortunately, media reports, including the recent articles by the Associated Press and the Sacramento Bee, have completely failed to discuss one of the most important aspects of the California WaterFix project - the deep relationship between the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative and the Delta Tunnels plan.

At first glance, the privately-funded MLPA Initiative and the California WaterFix may appear to be entirely different processes.

The MLPA Initiative, a process begun in 2004 under the Schwarzenegger administration, purported to create a network of “marine protected areas” along the California coast. The network was supposedly completed on December 19, 2012 with the imposition of contested “marine protected areas” along the North Coast under the Jerry Brown administration.

On the other hand, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan process began under the Bush and Schwarzenegger administrations to achieve the so-called “co-equal goals” of water supply reliability and Delta ecosystem restoration. In 2015, the state and federal governments divided the BDCP into two projects, the California WaterFix, the conveyance component and the California EcoRestore, the habitat “restoration” component.

But in spite of some superficial differences, the two processes have been united by their (1) leadership, (2) funding, (3) conflicts of interest, (4) greenwashing goals, (5) racism and denial of tribal rights and (6) junk science. When people educate themselves on the undeniable links between the two processes, I believe they can more effectively wage a successful campaign against the Delta Tunnels and to restore our imperiled salmon and San Francisco Bay-Delta fisheries.

To read my latest investigative piece on the deep links between these two controversial neoliberal “environmental processes," go to:

Take Action: If you haven’t done so already, voice your opposition against the tunnels by signing the RTD petition by June 19  

* * *


My Turn

The actual problem in Washington, D.C. is not whatever he said or they said, but whether anybody actually colluded with Russia. The widening investigation needs to realize that nobody in the Trump administration actually colluded with Russia against the United States. Therefore, the widening investigation needs to get rational and direct its questions to the Russians. Assuming that the Russians deny everything, the widening investigation will ultimately accomplish nothing whatsoever. At worst is what the Democrats are hoping for. And the Russians are laughing out loud. News update at ten.

Craig Louis Stehr, San Francisco



  1. Marco McClean June 16, 2017

    Re: Can anyone identify this plant?

    That there is Silphium perfoliatum. It’s not native to the western U.S. It eventually makes little daisy-like flowers. It’s a cup plant.

    If it ever says, “Feed me,” don’t. It won’t end well.

  2. Jim Updegraff June 16, 2017

    MLB: Colorado 10 Giants 9. Moore went 3 innings and gave up 8 ER.Giants kept closing in on the Rockies with 6 pitchers all of whom gave runs. giants finally went in the bottom of the 9th with the score giants 9 and Rockies 6; however, in the bottom of the 8th scored 2 runs and the giants lost another game. what is painfully clear is the Giants pitchers can’t get the job done.
    A’s 8 Yankees 7. Sonny Gray went 5 1/3 innings and gave up 3 ER. The relief pitchers gave up 4 ER and the score was Yankees 7 A’s 6 going into the bottom and the the A’s score 2 runs and won the game. At the start of the game the A’s management announced pitching coach Curt Young was fired. They should have fired the “genius” Billy Bean who is responsible for the A’s being in last place.

  3. james marmon June 16, 2017

    Big sale happening now at the InfoWars Store, $10.00 off both “Super Male Vitality” and “Brain Force Plus”, two of my favorite products.

    James Marmon

    • Bruce Anderson June 16, 2017

      Smarter yet, Jim?

  4. Eric Sunswheat June 16, 2017

    Mendocino County: Too High To Fail (by Doug Fine).

  5. William Valley June 16, 2017

    Although someone already commented on the plant, it looks like something that grows as a weed in my yard in Ukiah. The stalk has a reddish color almost like a rhubarb. When it is mature it will grow very large purple berries that make a mess. Looking online I came up with “Common Pokeweed” or phytolalacca Americana. The plant is poisonous but my dogs never mess with it.

  6. Eric Sunswheat June 16, 2017

    Perhaps a good idea. Feed James’ ‘thinking manly man’ pills as bait, to amp up the Fish and Wildlife relocated bears, that are now terrorizing Ukiah’s Greenfield Ranch, and in Potter Valley, the Pine Avenue and Mid Mountain area, as a clean sweep to wipe out Guerrilla growers. The relocated bear that attacked the honey bee hives at Round Mountain, has already been removed by a Game Warden.

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