- Earthquake Weather
- Westport BBQ
- Little Dog
- Public Education
- Croskey Appointment
- Embezzlement Arrest
- Moratorium Comments
- Psych Unit
- Big River
- Dope's Downside
- Miller's Letter
- CPS Knocking
- Old Trophies
- Cannabis Update
- New Sweeney
- BOLO Jackson
- Rancho California
- Yesterday's Catch
- Dick Do
- Huff Legislation
- Robert Hardy
- Russia Probe
- Carbon Pawprint
- Reading Program
- Craig Permanente
- Heroes & Patriots
SUMMER HEAT CONTINUES, although temps for the next few days should be a few degrees lower. A slight chance of dry lightning seems to have dwindled after a muggy “monsoon-like” summer system passed over Northern California Wednesday and Thursday. “It feels like earthquake weather,” one Mendo old-timer was heard to say on Thursday. Highs are expected to stay below 100 in most of the normally hot inland areas, and stay below 90 in Anderson Valley for the next week or so as on-shore daytime breezes help to keep things from getting too summer like.
BEATING THE HEAT IN THE HAIGHT
THE ANNUAL WESTPORT VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT BARBECUE
The Westport Volunteer Fire Department is sponsoring its Annual Fundraising Barbecue on Saturday, August 19, 2017 from noon to 7 p.m. on the Westport Headlands. Enjoy an afternoon of fun, great food and live music while helping support the Westport Volunteer Fire Department. Admission is free.
Live music will be provided by several great local performers, including The Lost Johnson Band, Hiway One, Sue Sisk and The Thorn Petals. The barbecue features barrel roasted tri-tip, chicken and a vegetarian option. Meal tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for kids under 10. Beer, wine and dessert can also be purchased.
There will be plenty of fun activities for the whole family (sorry, no dogs). Many craft merchants will have their wares for sale. A beautiful quilt and several great raffle prizes can be won.
The Westport Volunteer Fire Department provides year-round initial 911 emergency response service for medical emergencies, traumatic injuries and fires on the Northern Mendocino Coast.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “These guys were moaning that they didn't have any money, so one of them says, ‘I got it! We'll say Little Dog broke his leg and set up one of those Go Fund Me pages. The animal people will send in millions and we'll be rolling in dough!’ I told them if I ever heard any thing like that ever again, they'd be explaining their jive selves to Deputy Craig Walker. Just because I'm a dog doesn't mean I don't have scruples.”
POT SHOTS: Really, isn't it time to re-think the educational mission if you need a cop at a junior high school? There's been one at Ukiah High School for years, and now another one, Isabel Madrigal of the Ukiah PD, is patrolling the apparently tense halls of Pomolita Middle School. The sub-text here is that parents who can afford St. Mary's, or finagle their way into a charter or private school, long ago fled the Ukiah schools, leaving them with junior gang bangers, psycho kids and youngsters otherwise hostile to learning what the public schools have on offer. Which, unless they've changed since I was a kid, consists of "Sit down. Shut up. We aren't there yet. No, you just got back from the bathroom. Don't call me by my first name. One more word outta you and…"
A READER COMMENTS on Supervisor Croskey's recently announced upcoming departure:
"All speculation: Surely she and MSCO husband must’ve known when she accepted that appointment that they were planning to – or at least hoping to – bail on Mendocino County. You don’t find another law enforcement job and sell a veterinary practice in a matter of weeks. Why did she accept the appointment? ‘The governor does not like to appoint placeholders,’ we were told, after the Board of Supervisors endorsed Pinches, an appointment which would have made sense. The Governor did not want to appoint an ‘interim’ candidate, but one who would run again. Governor got played."
DEBORAH ANN SEARS, 45, and Jason Eagles Sears, 46, of Redwood Valley, were arrested Wednesday and charged with embezzling more than $180,000 while Mrs. Sears worked as the office manager for Deep Valley Security. She is being held on $190,000 bail while her husband's bail is set at $30,000.
* * *
Ukiah PD Press Release, August 3, 2017:
Embezzlement investigation leads to arrests of two Redwood Valley adults. Ukiah Police Department case #16-2805
In September of 2016 Ukiah Police Department’s Detective Unit was notified of a suspected embezzlement from Deep Valley Security, a local business. The initial suspect in the embezzlement was Deborah Ann Sears, a former employee at the business.
A lengthy and extensive investigation ensued over the following six months, which included numerous search warrants to obtain financial records. Through the course of the investigation; it was discovered Deborah Sears embezzled over $180,000.00 from Deep Valley Security while she was employed as the Office Manager from 2014-2016. The investigation revealed Deborah Sears used Deep Valley Security’s bank account to pay her and her husband’s personal bills. The case was submitted to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s office in April of 2017 and charges were filed against Deborah Sears and her husband, Jason Eagles Sears, in July of 2017.
On August 3, 2017, Ukiah Police Detectives served a search warrant at the Sears’ residence, in Redwood Valley. During the service of the warrant; both Deborah Sears and Jason Sears were arrested, without incident, pursuant to warrants which were issued for them as a result of this investigation.
Deborah Ann Sears, 45 years old, of Redwood Valley was booked at the Mendocino County Jail on multiple counts of 503 PC (Embezzlement) and 487(a) PC (Grand Theft) and is being held on $190,000 bail.
Jason Eagles Sears, 46 years old, of Redwood Valley was also booked at the Mendocino County Jail on charges of 503 PC (Embezzlement) and 487(a) PC (Grand Theft) and is being held on $30,000 bail.
As always, our mission at Ukiah Police Department is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cellphone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com
(Ed note: Booking photos of Mr. & Mrs. Sears have not yet been posted.)
TWO LOCAL PUBLIC COMMENTS from the August 1 Board of Supervisors meeting regarding the moratorium on new short-term vacation home rentals.
(1) Don Shanley:
I have been a resident of the county for 47 years. I am a property owner in Anderson Valley. I am absolutely in favor of the moratorium. What I don't understand is, during this moratorium that county is subjecting property owners to increased liability and costs that will arise relating to claims of damages on their property while the current AirBnB rental owner is allowed to engage in business. A bunch of people go into Planning and Building and they apply for business permit last week. If they have an easement through another individual property owner that property owner all of a sudden has maintenance costs, has liability concerns. The County gets money, bed tax; the person renting their structure derives substantial income from these rentals but the person whose property they are driving through that is a mile or more off the public thoroughfare gets nothing but a liability and further expenses. I just don't understand where this arbitrary date of August 1 is coming. If you applied for your business license, you don't have to have a use permit? You can just operate unlawfully? That's all I really want to bring up. That does not seem to be addressed by this. Also, it's incredibly unfair at best and perhaps in complete defiance of existing use permit laws that are there to protect the health and welfare of everyone, not just someone who needs to bring in another couple grand a month to "survive." If they are all in a public thoroughfare I guess that's different. But if they have to drive through other private properties… Any person who can access a world wide website can all of a sudden come and push the keypad on my property gate to go through three other properties to get to a cottage with a full kitchen and the whole nine yards. I just think these things need to be addressed. Thank you.
(2) Bob Gardner:
I would like to make a comment on the referendum that you are planning on discussing today. I personally don't see how you are going to enforce it. If you enact it today, how is anybody in the community that's thinking about opening up a temporary rental going to be aware of the ordnance? Are you going to put it in the newspaper? Are you sending out e-mails? Are you going to phone everybody? They will be immediately in violation of the ordinance. I personally tried to get a business license when I started AirBnB. I think I'm doing a service to the community. Mendocino's lifeblood is tourism. I have people coming to stay with us from all over the world. I don't know how they get to Philo but they do. We give them a choice. They don't want to stay in the motel. They don't want a swimming pool. They want to stay in a retreat center in the woods somewhere where they can have some privacy and walk in the woods and do whatever they want. They may come to attend the fair, they might come to a community festival. They may come for the beer festival, for a wedding, whatever have you. We are giving them a choice. I was contacted again by the Planning Department after my last appearance and it said, as your parcel of does have footage on a publicly maintained road — that's a joke. Signal Ridge if you've ever been up there is definitely not a publicly maintained road. Panorama, where my driveway is, is maintained by the homeowners association and its in twice the condition that Signal Ridge is. So that's kind of an oxymoron. He says that because my driveway is not on a publicly maintained road I would have to pay a $6100 now for use permit. That's ludicrous. I'm not even sure I'm going to make $6000 in my rental over a period of time. And if God forbid, the board would outlaw temporary housing are you going to refund the $6000? I doubt it. Also you use the terminology of transient housing. As if that's a dirty word. Every B&B, hotel, motel depends on temporary housing. If we are being penalized because we are providing housing for transients then every other establishment would have to come under the same protocol.
QUESTIONS ABOUT PSYCH UNIT
To the Editor:
I read in the Ukiah Daily Journal that Sheriff Tom Allman and his group are making another attempt to pass a half cent sales tax to fund the construction of a much-needed mental health facility in Mendocino County. I applaud and support Sheriff Allman for his efforts and concern in this area, and I agree that a mental health facility is critical for our county. However, I sincerely hope that this group has done a better job of drafting their proposal than their previous attempt. It is not enough to simply fund the construction of a building. You must also provide for a stable, ongoing revenue stream to fund professional staffing and maintenance. Without staffing a facility is just another county building. I seem to remember that Mendocino County previously had a psychiatric health facility (PHF) on Bush Street, but it was closed in 1999 due to county budget cuts and a subsequent lack of staffing. The building was converted to county administrative offices. I for one am reticent to approve a tax increase to fund the construction of a facility if there is no guarantee that after a few years the building won't be abandoned due to a lack of ongoing funding. The other problem that I had with the previous tax proposal was the inclusion of a "Trojan horse" rider that included the construction of a sheriff's training facility. If this is indeed needed, it is a separate issue and should be funded separately, not bundled with mental health services.
These two problems were serious enough to cause me to vote no at the last election. If they can be appropriately addressed I will be happy to vote yes this next time. If not I will be regretfully compelled to once again vote no.
Lawrence Ames, Ukiah
ED NOTE: The old 'Puff' unit closed only partly because it was expensive to run, it was also ineffective, mostly because it was staffed by incompetents and directed by a series of incompetents. Local cops got tired of running out there to restore order every time a patient nutted up as staff locked themselves in their offices. I agree there should not be hidden add-ons like a so-called "training facility" — what's wrong with a local gym for that? And I think the Sheriff's psych facility ought to be housed in a rehabbed existing building like, for instance the abandoned Willits Hospital or the mostly abandoned Willits Courthouse. I think the five-year half-cent sales tax add-on to fund the thing while it's getting up and running, plus the money saved by keeping Mendo's intensive psych cases here at home rather than firing them off to distant lock-up facilities where shyster doctors juggle their meds and send them back to Mendo to repeat an endless cycle, should make the Mendo unit fiscally self-sustaining.
BIG RIVER & BIG RIVER BRIDGE (Photo by Susie de Castro)
To the Editor:
I strongly urge everybody to read Ron Epstein's essay in the July 13 edition of the Ukiah Daily Journal. It is must reading for everyone in our community interested in the impact and collateral risks of the legalization of cannabis.
I can only add some anecdotal observations; things that have bounced around in my head based on the recent celebration of legalized recreational cannabis. Legalizing another intoxicant is an odd step given our wonderful legacy of alcohol and substance abuse.
Some see pot as having infinite curative powers and local doctors have signed off on the positive medical applications, only reduced the list from infinite to around 10. There are a few factors that probably convinced citizens to go along with legalization. If you legalize some previously illegal thing or behavior you have automatically, by definition, cut down on crime. If you bring it into the mainstream of economic structure you can tax it. If you grant something respectability people can openly work in the field and you have increased employment. It's a panacea of all things good.
With this new respectable industry comes marketing and innovation. So now, instead of having to do something as distasteful as smoking pot, customers can enjoy all its benefits by eating it in all new delicious edible manifestations.
Did anyone research how all this is playing out in Colorado? Through parental carelessness or through what's left of the criminal world more pot will find its way to the doorstep of schools. How do you think this will work out with your school children? (Read Ron's essay.)
One last thought from Pandora's box: corporations, companies, and small businesses have not had a full menu of hirable employees from which to choose for two generations. There is a growing lethargy all around us and it will get worse.
Panacea or Pandora's box? Is our community prepared?
Don Crawford, Ukiah
As an inmate serving time in the California prison system, I am all too aware of the public's contempt for me and for any proposition which may enable me to be released early.
This general sentiment felt throughout the community is compounded by letters authored by inmates such as Walter Miller in the July 19, 2017 edition of the AVA.
Miller not only rubs Proposition 57 in the noses of the community, but also brags about an assault he committed in a Willits motel.
Sadly, Mr. Eyster's response in the same issue is on point. "All law-abiding citizens should feel sick to their stomachs at Miller's letter."
These types of letters only validate the public’s feelings that none of us should ever be released.
May I remind those who feel compelled to write such letters that the community is reading them. The same community that will vote on future propositions that will potentially affect us all.
SOUND FAMILIAR, MENDO?
What should you do if child protective services comes to your house? You will hear a knock on the door, often late at night. You don't have to open it, but if you don't the caseworker outside may come back with the police. The caseworker will tell you you are being investigated for abusing or neglecting your children. She will tell you to wake them up and tell them to take their clothes off so she can check their bodies for bruises and marks. She will interview you and your kids separately, so you can’t hear what she's asking them or what they are saying. She opens your fridge and your cabinets, checking to see if you have food and what kind of food. She looks around for unsafe conditions, for dirt, for mess, for bugs or rats. She takes notes. You must be as calm and deferential as possible. However disrespectful and invasive she is, whatever awful things she accuses you of, you must remember that child protection has the power to remove your kids at any time if it believes them to be in danger. You can tell her the charges are not true, but she's required to investigate them anyway. If you get angry, your anger may be taken as a sign of mental instability, especially if the caseworker herself feels threatened. She has to consider the possibility that you may be hurting your kids, that you may even kill one of them. You may never find out who reported you. If your child has been hurt, his teacher or doctor may have called the state child abuse hotline, not wanting to assume, as she might in a richer neighborhood, that it was an accident. But it could also have been a neighbor who heard yelling, or an ex-boyfriend who wants to get back at you, or someone who thinks you drink too much, or simply doesn't like you. People know that a call to the hotline is an easy way to blow up your life. If the caseworker believes your kids are in imminent danger, she may take them. You may not be allowed to say goodbye. It is terrifying for them to be taken from their home by a stranger, but this experience has repercussions far beyond the terror of that night. Your children may hear accusations against you — you are using drugs, your apartment is filthy, you fail to get them to school, you hit them — and even if they don't believe these things they will remember them. And after your children see that you are powerless to protect them, this will permanently change things between you. Whatever happens later — whether the kids come back the next week, or in six months, or don't come back at all — that moment can never be undone.
Larissa MacFarquhar, first paragraph of "The Separation," The New Yorker, August 7-14, 2017
Coast Listserve Question:
Does anyone have a use for old trophies? We're ready to part with 2 boxes. Son's glory days! He's on to new ones. — Larry Fuente
Marco McClean replied:
Trophies are the real ghosts of the young people who old and/or dead people used to be. I always spend extra time examining the shelf of old trophies in a big-city thrift store. When my mother sold real estate in L.A., when I was little in the early 1960s, she was the only woman in the whole building and she won the salesman-of-the-month trophy month after month. "Oh, how nice. Thank you," she would say, and when the trophies began to crowd the right-side edge of her desk she started just packing them in the trunk of the Oldsmobile, around the spare tire, upside-down, like shrimp around a tray of dip.
Also, Demitri Martin said, "I used to play sports. Then I realized you can buy trophies. Now I am good at everything."
PS. Larry Fuente. Great idea. He will make something cool out of them.
MENDOCINO COUNTY CEO CARMEL ANGELO’S:
Cannabis Management Unit:
The Executive Office is working on a job description and organizational chart for the new Cannabis Management Unit approved by the Board of Supervisors on July 18, 2017. However, in the absence of the new manager position, the CEO is working with the cannabis team to streamline the permitting process. There are over 600 applications and two permits issued. [Up from one a month ago — ed] Under the direction of the Board, the cannabis team will work to uphold County Code while developing a more effective and shorter permitting process.
Third Party Inspectors:
A meeting was held on July 27, 2017, with County staff and the third party inspectors. This is the first of many meetings to learn how to work better together and to further define the role of the third party inspectors. A joint [sic] training is being planned to identify the third party inspectors’ role and determine if they can work with County staff and applicants before an applicant receives a permit.
During the cannabis update at the July 18, 2017, Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board received information on many of the items of concern and directed staff to return on August 8, 2017, for further discussion and direction from the Board. Specific topics to be addressed will include: possible amendments to the Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance, clarification of issues regarding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for commercial structures from Planning and Building Services and the Environmental Health Department, and potential solutions for streamlining the permitting process.
Representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Planning and Building Services, Code Enforcement, and Environmental Health will provide updates on their respective components of the Cannabis Cultivation Program. In addition, departments will discuss potential solutions for streamlining the permitting process and possible revisions to the Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance.
On June 14 and 15, 2017, the County hosted a Track and Trace Informational Workshop with SICPA [the controversial vendor the County has chosen for their costly “track & trace” software — no one knows what “SICPA” stands for but our initial guesses are not very pretty]. The County has selected SICPA to provide a track and trace system called CalOrigin to support the new cannabis program. This system will be used by organizations permitted by the County to operate a cannabis business which cultivates, manufactures, distributes, tests, delivers, and/or dispenses cannabis in the unincorporated areas of the County. During the workshops, the County received a high volume of questions from interested parties. The County has condensed those questions into a Mendocino County Track and Trace Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ). The FAQs are now available online at:
THE NEW SWEENEY. A young man named Robert Carlson has been offered the General Manager of the Mendocino County Solid Waste Management Authority. He is expected to accept the offer to replace Louisa Morris who recently resigned without giving a reason. (Ms. Morris replaced Mike Sweeney, Mendocino County’s most interesting man.) Mr. Carlson was chosen by the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority Board last week. Apparently he is an “enviromental scientist” who previously worked for the equally awkwardly named California Office of Resource Recycling and Recovery (aka CalRecycle, formerly the Integrated Waste Management Board) in Sacramento.
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: BE ON THE LOOKOUT (BOLO) FOR OUR MOST WANTED FAT GUY
Trevor Jackson, 34 years old
6' 0", 190 lbs
Trevor Jackson is wanted on a $500,000 felony warrant for an armed robbery that took place off Hwy 162 on July 16, 2017 at approximately 2:30 a.m. Jackson is being sought by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau.
Jackson is known to frequent Potter Valley / Redwood Valley / Hopland / Willits and Ukiah.
If you see him do not approach him. Jackson should be considered armed and dangerous based on information known to investigators.
Anonymous tips can be made at the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at (707) 234-2100 or the Mendocino County Sheriff's Dispatch at (707) 463-4086.
THE CALIFORNIA I KNEW, old rancho California, is gone. It just doesn’t exist, except maybe in little pockets. I lived on the edge of the Mojave Desert, an area that used to be farm country. There were all these fresh-produce stands with avocados and date palms. You could get a dozen artichokes for a buck or something. Totally wiped out now.
— Sam Shepard
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 3, 2017
THOMAS BECK, Eureka/Leggett. DUI.
STEPHEN BENBOW, Fort Bragg. Paraphernalia, provation revocation.
KEVIN BETTS, Willits. Under influence.
TOM CAVENDAR, Laytonville. Domestic abuse.
PRUDENCE DAVIS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, camping in Ukiah, failure to appear, probation revocation.
SEAN DIXON, Lucerne/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
DAVID JOHNSON, Covelo. Suspenced license, resisting, probation revocation.
LARISSA NOBLE, Ukiah. Paraphernalia.
MICHAEL TRIPLETT, Point Arena. Fugitive from justice.
LOUIE VIGIL, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Bottom line is people elected a dick. They elected a dick because they thought a good strong dick could come in and kick ass. They elected a dick because when they were kids there were numerous big dicks in positions of power, and things were better then. Now that they have a dick in the White House, they can count on the president doing the “dick” thing whenever confronted with a problem. “What would a dick do?” That’s the only question that need ever be answered. “What would a dick do?”
JOE OF (NAZI) GERMANY & PAUL OF TARSUS (submitted by Louis Bedrock)
"Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things than I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths."
— Joseph Goebbels
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
— Paul of Tarsus (1 Corinthians 9:19-23—KJV)
LIKE, EXISTING REGS (IGNORED) AREN'T SUPPOSED TO DO THIS?
From Congressman Jared Huffman’s office:
Washington, D.C.- Today, Rep. Huffman (D-San Rafael) announced he is calling for public input on his newly unveiled draft legislation to guard communities against wildfires, provide local jobs, restore lands impaired by illegal marijuana growing operations, and protect Northern California’s spectacular wild places and pristine streams on federal lands. Huffman’s draft legislation would restore forests and fish habitat, stimulate local economies through forest stewardship programs, enhance recreational opportunities, and reduce fire danger to protect communities. The draft legislation would not limit hunting or fishing, close any legally open roads or trails to vehicles, or affect access to or the use of private property.
“On the North Coast of California, we are privileged to live among some of the most stunning old-growth forests and pristine rivers in the world,” said Rep. Huffman. “But we can do more to manage these spectacular public lands to protect communities, restore forest health from illegal marijuana grows, and improve trails and recreational opportunities. I want to hear your ideas on how to protect our forests and watersheds while creating economic opportunities and safeguarding our homes. By putting our heads together, we can create collaborative solutions to protect our communities and the lands we value for generations to come.”
“I’m grateful to Congressman Huffman for his support of our public lands communities and our unique needs,” said John Letton, co-owner, Indian Creek Lodge, Trinity County. “I believe that the package he is proposing supports the importance of local voices in guiding the future of our public lands, while also prioritizing activities and management that will benefit the long-term economic future of the region.”
“We are fortunate to have a congressman who is aware of the many public lands needs in our region,” said Ryan Sundberg, Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor. “Congressman Huffman’s potential legislation would address fire management on our public lands while still protecting prime fish habitat. Additionally, it only would apply to public lands, would have no impact on private property, and would not close any roads.”
In addition to inviting constituents to provide comments online, Rep. Huffman will hold four public meetings to explain the draft legislation and take constituent questions and feedback. Interested individuals can attend the following meetings:
Huffman’s draft bill is supported by Northwest California’s Mountains & Rivers coalition.
Specifically, this legislation would:
Restore and Revitalize Forests and Watersheds:
o Designate a 700,000-acre South Fork Trinity-Mad River Special Restoration Area in the South Fork Trinity River watershed and the Forest Service-portion of the Mad River watershed in southern Trinity and western Humboldt counties. Within this area, the ecological health of previously logged forests will be improved and the danger of unnaturally severe fires will be reduced through a careful program of individual tree-removal, especially within “shaded fuel-breaks.” Within these fuel-breaks, the trees with the greatest potential to provide the most shade over the longest period of time will be retained including, but not limited to, hardwoods like oaks and madrones. This will improve forest diversity, decrease fire danger along roads where most human-caused fires occur, and help young groves of trees develop into mature forest more quickly. Any proceeds generated from these projects will be returned to fund additional restoration in the Special Restoration Area, including steps to improve habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead trout.
o Establish a partnership of federal, state, and local entities that can help to clean and restore federal public lands in northwestern California affected by illegal trespass marijuana grows. Illegal marijuana growing on public lands has catastrophic impacts on wildlife and water quality and it poses serious threats to public safety. Experience shows that when illegal growing sites are fully cleaned up and restored that they are far less likely to be used again for trespass cultivation.
o Require federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to cooperate and coordinate in managing fires in northwestern California’s wilderness areas. Therefore, even when a landscape such as the Trinity Alps Wilderness is managed by multiple federal agencies, these agencies must have a coordinated approach to managing fire in the area.
Conserve Ecologically Significant Areas
o Protect over 326,000 acres of federal public lands as “wilderness” by expanding nine existing wilderness areas and establishing ten new ones. Wilderness is the strongest protection available for certain areas of public land available under federal law. While camping, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and other recreational activities can continue in these areas, logging, mining, the construction of new roads and other development is prohibited. The appropriate management of fire, including fire-fighting with bulldozers and aircraft, can continue in these wilderness areas if it is deemed necessary to protect public safety.
o Designate about 485 miles of stream as “wild and scenic rivers.” Wild and scenic river status will protect our purest and wildest remaining streams from the construction of new dams or major new water diversions. Federal land managers will also be required to protect a half-mile wide corridor of federal public lands that border each of these streams. As with wilderness, the protection of wild and scenic rivers will not impair existing private property rights. Protecting streams and watersheds safeguards habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead populations and conserves vital sources of clean water for drinking, fishing, and recreation.
Expand Recreation Opportunities
o Direct the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to work collaboratively with each other, local communities and other interested parties to develop a regional trail development plan. This could offer a blueprint for increasing access to trails for hikers, equestrians, off-road enthusiasts and others throughout the region.
o Require federal agencies to study the possibility of establishing the “Bigfoot National Recreation Trail” that will run from southern Trinity County to Oregon. The trail will highlight the immense ecological diversity of Northwest California’s ancient forests and other unique landscapes.
o Authorize construction of specified mountain biking routes in Del Norte County, designate the Elk Camp Ridge Recreation Trail, and designate the Horse Mountain Special Management Area, which would enhance the recreational and scenic values of the recreation area while conserving the plants, wildlife, and other natural resource values of the area.
o Authorize the construction of an interagency visitor center in Weaverville in Trinity County.
ROBERT HARDY OBITUARY
THE NOOSE TIGHTENS
The Department of Justice’s Russia probe appears to have greatly accelerated in intensity. On the same day that two senators, a Republican and a Democrat, unveiled two bills aimed at protecting the special counsel from being removed from his job by President Donald Trump, the Wall Street Journal reported that Robert Mueller has now impaneled a grand jury. Unnamed sources familiar with the matter told the Journal that Mueller has impaneled a separate grand jury to solely focus on the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The grand jury, the Journal reported, “began its work in recent weeks.”
One year after the FBI opened its investigation, it looks like things might be starting to get serious. A grand jury is a very powerful investigative tool, and Mueller has broad latitude to expand the probe wherever the evidence leads. CNN reported on Thursday that Mueller’s probe “has widened to focus on possible financial crimes, some unconnected to the 2016 elections, alongside the ongoing scrutiny of possible illegal coordination with Russian spy agencies and alleged attempts by President Donald Trump and others to obstruct the FBI investigation.”
Bloomberg additionally reported last month that Mueller’s probe “also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.”
Two senior federal law enforcement officials recently told Vox that the potential case against Trump is stronger than outsiders have thought, and said top FBI officials should be prepared to testify against Trump:
“What you are going to have is the potential for a powerful obstruction case,” a senior law enforcement official said. “You are going to have the [former] FBI director testify, and then the acting director, the chief of staff to the FBI director, the FBI’s general counsel, and then others, one right after another. This has never been the word of Trump against what [James Comey] has had to say. This is more like the Federal Bureau of Investigation versus Donald Trump.” Trump’s attorney, Ty Cobb, told the Journal that he was not told about Mueller’s grand jury.
“Grand jury matters are typically secret,” Cobb said. “The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly. … The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.
YOUR PET IS RUINING THE PLANET, SAYS UCLA STUDY
Its carbon paw print is bigger than you realize
by Mike Moffitt
You may drive a hybrid car, recycle every plastic bottle and obsessively compost food scraps, but if you own a cat or dog, you're feeding the world's greenhouse gases, according to a new UCLA study.
And if you're a millennial who has a cat or dog, you're likely making things even worse. More on that later.
The study "Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats", published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, found that the nation's pooches and felines each year indirectly account for some 64 million tons of methane and nitrous oxide, two powerful climate-warming gases, mainly because of their meat-heavy diet. That's roughly equivalent to driving 13.6 million cars for a year.
The environmental impact of meat production is well-known. It "requires more energy, land and water and has greater environmental consequences in terms of erosion, pesticides and waste," according to researchers. But the study notes that furry consumers of agricultural products are rarely included in calculations of the environmental impact of dietary choices even though more than 60 percent of U.S. households have pets.
The study estimates pets are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of the overall environmental impact.
Millennials are exacerbating the problem because they tend to demand better quality chow for Fifi than older Americans.
UCLA geography professor Gregory Orkin, author of the study, explains:
"As a possible consequence, there is a trend toward increasing meat quantity and quality in pet foods, which results in further increases in consumption of animal products by pets. There is evidence that this trend may continue as younger people are more likely to purchase premium pet food that includes more desirable cuts of meat."
With an estimated 77.8 million dogs and 85.6 million cats (2015 figures), the United States has more pets than any other nation. Orkin does not dispute the social or emotional benefits of pet ownership. He says the study is aimed at building awareness of the impact that pets have on meat production and its environmental effects.
In terms of dietary energy, the nation's pets consume about as much as one fifth of the U.S. human population.
"It is clear that a transition to pets that eat less meat, and therefore have less environmental impact, would reduce the overall U.S. consumption of meat," Orkin wrote.
The study also examined what was coming out the other end: U.S. dog and cats produce 5.1 million tons of feces a year. That's about the same as the total amount of garbage produced in a year by everyone in Massachusetts.
(The San Francisco Chronicle)
HELP A CHILD LEARN TO READ!
Schools of Hope program adds new schools in Mendocino County.
Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success and reading is a core building block. Yet in Mendocino County, less than 25% of 3rd graders are reading at grade level. Those students who continue to struggle with reading into adulthood are likely to have trouble finding and keeping a job with a livable wage and health benefits.
In an effort to help improve student reading scores, United Way of the Wine Country is partnering with NCO Volunteer Network and local schools to offer the Schools of Hope program in three new schools this year, beginning in October. The program is now serving Yokayo Elementary, Calpella Elementary, Frank Zeek Elementary and Grace Hudson Elementary Schools. In the fall Willits Elementary Charter, Redwood Elementary (Ft. Bragg), Dana Gray Elementary (Ft. Bragg) will be added to the program. Schools of Hope is an early intervention strategy for children (K-3) who struggle with reading. This model is based on best practices from Dane County, Wisconsin, where in 10 years it virtually eliminated the achievement gap.
The success of this program depends upon volunteers willing to work one on one with students for 30 minutes a week. Those who wish to tutor more than one student may do so provided they are able to commit an additional 30 minutes of volunteer time per student. Training and materials will be provided so tutors can feel confident.
Is it successful? An evaluation of Schools of Hope by Sonoma State University in 2014 found that first and second grade students who received tutoring showed reading proficiency growth between 28% and 50% higher than non-Schools of Hope students who started with similar scores.
An information and orientation session will be held at North Coast Opportunities (NCO) in Ukiah on Wednesday, August 23rd at 10 am and 6:00 pm, and in Willits and Ft. Bragg in early September. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer or hearing more about the program should plan to attend. NCO is located at 413 N. State Street, Ukiah. For more information or to RSVP for an orientation/information session, please call the NCO Volunteer Network at 462-1959 or email Joan Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT'S UP WITH CRAIG
Message from Craig (in San Francisco)
Am now fully set up with Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage Plan for $67.10 monthly premium. Have received the plastic membership card in the mail, and am authorizing electronic payments out of my checking account. Am requesting a face to face meeting to obtain a personal physician, who would be responsible for my physical exam including appropriate tests, etc. and then provide me with the warm & loving best care possible as we go forward. I took David Rockefeller's advice and turned a disaster (cancellation of my previous medical providers due to my now being above the assets limit) into a success. My serious advice to everybody is: "Realize the Self, and take care of yourself!" The only thing that the United States government is any good for in terms of social services anymore, is providing a suitable death certificate.
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