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- Museum Crisis
- Cat Clinic
- Swing Band
- Soto 1000
- Pier Blog
- Ed Notes
- Little Dog
- Wildfire Lawsuit
- Police Reports
- Eel Diversion
- Ryan's Stone
- Elk Capture
- Blood Moon
- SoHum Goose
- Montecito Mudslide
- Candidate Tucker
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DANIEL DE LOS SANTOS, 51, of Ukiah, died Tuesday night at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital from injuries he sustained in a hit and run accident as he crossed the Talmage Road on ramp to southbound Highway 101 in Ukiah.
Michael Siegler, 52, of Ukiah, was arrested Wednesday morning as he drove to work. Siegler was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on suspicion of felony hit and run causing death and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Bail was set at $50,000.
It was still dark at the time of the accident and de los Santos was wearing dark clothing.
He was found in the roadway about 5:15 a.m. and died in the Santa Rosa trauma center 8:25 p.m.
An astute investigation of the scene led to Siegler, whose Ford F-250 pickup showed evidence of front-end damage.
MENDOCINO BREWING STOPS PRODUCTION
The distributor for Mendocino Brewing Co. said the Ukiah brewery has stopped producing beer and laid off its sales staff.
NICE PHOTO FROM JENNER THIS MORNING...
MENDOCINO COUNTY MUSEUM CRISIS MEMORANDUM OF CITIZEN CONCERN (2)
TO: Chair, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, Dan Hamburg
COPY TO: 4th District Supervisor Dan Gjerde
FROM: County Museum contract archivists (suspended) Russell & Sylvia Bartley
DATE: 28 January 2018
Sylvia and I are moved to address this second Memorandum of Citizen Concern to you most immediately by last Friday’s Ukiah Daily Journal article (“Mendocino County hires museum curator,” 26 January) about MCM’s new curator, Karen Mattson. It is a transparent PR response to Ariel Carmona’s previous UDJ article exposing serious mismanagement issues at the Museum (“Mendocino County Museum advisory members concerned over museum management,” Tuesday, 16 January) that conveniently ignores the basic administrative and operational problems facing our County Museum. As one active local heritage preservationist expressed it to us in an email sent the day this latest gloss-over appeared, it is “a bit of a spin on damage control” so as “not to let the public ask too many questions.”
Our primary reason for addressing this memorandum to you, however, is the Board’s failure to respond to us and the very serious issues we have raised based on our many years of hands-on involvement in the curation of County Museum records and archival holdings. We take the liberty here to remind you that your oath of office obliges you “to devote time, thought and study to your duties” in order to “render effective and credible public service;” to work “in a spirit of cooperation so all issues, especially those which are controversial, may be debated openly and fairly;” and “to base decisions on all available facts, without bias.” Objectively, you have not adhered to these principles of office in your oversight of the County Museum.
How can you properly and responsibly delegate that oversight to your Chief Executive Officer, Carmel Angelo, who, her meritorious handling of last fall’s wildfire crisis notwithstanding, knows nothing about the operational principles and requirements of a local heritage museum? How can you defensibly neglect to discuss the issues we have raised with us, the two individuals most familiar with the Museum’s institutional history, with its current operational needs, and, above all, with the Museum’s archival collections on which all other operations depend? How can you defend failing to keep the Museum Advisory Board apprised of your intentions with regard to the Museum’s future when they are supposed to be your administrative link to the Museum?
What the public needs to understand is that the current, potentially fatal, institutional crisis at our County Museum is the fault of County government (BOS and CEO), not Alison Glassey. While Glassey, like most administrators, had her shortcomings and did create more than one administrative difficulty, she also made significant contributions to the Museum and its public service role, for which she deserves to be duly recognized. Moreover, whatever her administrative missteps, it was Carmel Angelo who chose to place her in the Museum’s directorship rather than recruit a professional public historian as had been done in the past and should have been done when former director Herb Pruett retired.
We cannot dismiss in this context our sense that there may have been a competitive bureaucratic personality clash here between the CEO and Glassey and that we ourselves have been removed from the Museum because of the CEO’s perception that we were somehow in league with Glassey, which was never, in fact, the case.
We also know too much, it seems, about BOS/CEO mismanagement of the County Museum over the past two decades, which would explain our having become the unnamed subjects of the latest Museum public relations coverage in the Ukiah Daily Journal. In this light, we can only conclude that our new two-year archival contracts, requested by Glassey and authorized by Carmel Angelo, then summarily suspended five weeks later, were not issued in good faith. We respectfully suggest that the following empirical facts must receive your and your Board colleagues’ sober attention:
(1) If the Mendocino County Museum is to achieve its defining public cultural purposes, it must be staffed by a trained/experienced public historian director; a curator of artifact collections; a curator of exhibits and programs; and a curator of archival collections; plus an executive secretary, part-time receptionists, and a part-time museum store supervisor.
(2) The Museum cannot be run properly by one “museum curator” and “talented volunteers.”
(3) No matter how talented and experienced recently hired curator Karen Mattson may be, she faces a daunting task of gaining adequate familiarity with the Museum’s artifact collections and will be incapable of doing so in a timely fashion if, as a practical matter, she must also perform the duties of Museum director, concern herself with exhibits and programs, and generally deal with innumerable other operational calls on her time.
(4) Key to everything our County Museum does are its institutional records and archival holdings, which is where we have been devoting our time for several years now as contract archivists. (We, in fact, created the archival unit, which is an area commented on in last Friday’s UDJ article by County librarian Karen Horner as exemplifying the “amazing” job done by “current staff members and volunteers” to organize and maintain Museum collections. What she neglected to say to the reporter, but has acknowledged to us personally, is that that particular “amazing job” was our work, not the effort of “staff and volunteers.” We don’t know how much you took in, Dan, but we showed you around the Museum’s archival suite the day you donated your records re. the Round Valley historical monument at Inspiration Point.)
(5) The work we have been doing over the past several years to bring order out of chaos in the Museum’s archival collections has accomplished much, yet leaves a great deal to be done, none of which Karen Mattson is qualified to do, nor, as we have said before, is anyone else for the simple reason that nobody coming in cold from the outside can possibly have a coherent idea of where we are in the archival process, of the rationale and historical significance of particular collections, or how to complete in-process inventories of unfamiliar holdings.
Our purpose is simply to bring sufficient order to the Museum’s archival holdings, with the requisite collection inventories, established accessions priorities and developed administrative policies, so that an experienced archivist can then take charge of those holdings and effectively manage them into the future. If we are not allowed to complete the job we are professionally motivated and have been contracted to do, much irreplaceable County history will be lost and with it invaluable insights into who we are as a community.
Finally, please be advised that in the event it is decided not to reactivate our County contracts and allow us to complete the work for which those contracts were issued, we will be obliged to recover some exceptionally significant historical materials that we ourselves have contributed to the Museum’s archival holdings and for which we remain personally responsible to the original donors.
Russell & Sylvia Bartley
P.O. Box 219
Fort Bragg, CA 95437-0219
FERAL CAT CLINIC
PS. To Little Dog
In reply to your article in today's mighty AVA (“Talk about sexually inappropriate, try the deadbeat cat, Skrag. I hear the ladies every night all night trying to fight him off! I hope he gets turned in to the the Spay and Neuter police, pronto!”), please see the above. Please inform your people that those C-A-T-S can be easily taken care of. Check out the flyer. I'm just saying. May be time to get the traps out for some TNR (that'd be TRAP, NEUTER, RELEASE—just for C-A-T-S.) Ever yours, Enzo, fellow terrier. I got your back, little buddy.
THE SWINGIN BOONVILLE BIG BAND RIDES AGAIN
The Swingin Boonville Big Band, formed in the year 2000 as an A.V. Adult Ed. class, will return to Laurens Cafe in Boonville on Saturday February 17th. This is the 18th annual show at Laurens, and the band considers it sort of home base since its first public appearance was given there. The band currently is 20 musicians strong. It features outstanding musicians from all parts of the county. Among the local musicians we have Bob Day tenor sax, Joe Petelle trombone, Mary Aigner piano, Nadia Berrigan piano, Dave Martin trombone, Kevin Burke drums, and Alice Woefle trumpet. Susan Archuleta, who for many years was a regular feature piano soloist at the Boonville Hotel, returns after a long hiatus to play alto sax. The band plays mostly classic hits from the Great American Song Book. The show starts at 9:00 PM and runs to 11:00 PM. Admission is $10.00 and all proceeds for Benefit of A.V. Adult Ed. Music. Singing sensation Sharon Garner will headline the show. Break out your dancin' shoes and join in the fun.
ALEJANDRO SOTO did it! Scored his thousandth point as a AV High School hoopster, joining an elite Panther club that includes such as Anderson Valley greats as Tony Sanchez; Jerry Tolman; Don Summit; John Stevenson; Eugene Waggoner; Zack Anderson; Pete Boudoures; and Justin Johnston. Alejandro hit the big number early in the third quarter vs. Point Arena. From all accounts he seemed startled that he'd broken the record and doubly startled that the game was stopped briefly to recognize his achievement. Unfortunately, AV went on to lose the game, 68-59.
INTERESTING BLOG ON THE POINT ARENA PIER
MSP was forwarded this link to a great blog for the Point Arena Pier - if you get some time, check it out, you’ll be glad you did: kenjonesfishing.com
ACCORDING to San Francisco's visitor bureau types, tourists leave shocked at the number of people on the streets, most of them mentally ill or loaded on something, or both. SF spends upwards of $310 million a year on the homeless, the catch-all term for people unable or unwilling to care for themselves. A big hunk of that money, of course, goes to the well-paid people who administer homeless programs. The evidence that homeless programs are ineffective is all around us, as it is in Mendocino County, the irony being that the numbers of homeless seem to increase in direct proportion to the money spent helping them. A second irony is the growth of government at all levels while the entire country comes apart every which way. What's the point of paying, for instance, the Ukiah City Manager, a quarter mil a year (pay and bennies) to manage a population of only 16,000 if he and his lushly compensated colleagues can't figure out a way to get Ukiah's small but obtrusive number of walking wounded off the streets? (cf the WalMart parking lot, South State Street, the railroad tracks, lower West Perkins, the bike path. Also note the comfortable and attractive Ukiah City Hall where Ukiah's leadership does its thing, whatever that thing is. I doubt a homeless camp like we see between WalMart and Jack In The Box would be able to establish itself on the City Hall lawn.)
THESE COMMENTS came from San Francisco visitors: “Tons of prostitution and fighting every night ... you couldn’t pay me to stay here again,” read one comment. Another said, “We felt unsafe walking across the street, and we live in New York City!” And: “A homeless man tried to stuff drugs in my pockets outside and tried to sell them to me.”
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THE THREE STARS of Cannibal Capitalism, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon will work together to reduce health care costs. They couldn't just support single payer for everyone, could they? Their plan according to Buffett, would be "technology focused" and aimed at reducing the ballooning costs of the present rip-off models. The good news? Stock prices of major healthcare companies fell dramatically. UnitedHealth Group's stock price plummeted by almost five percent after the announcement. Cigna Corporation and CVS Health followed, each dropping by five percent. The Big Three said they hadn't worked out the details.
More than half of the American population are unable to afford a $1,000 emergency room bill or a $500 car repair, according to a new report by Bankrate. Buffet, Dimon and Bezos are silent on this fact of American life.
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ANOTHER SIGN THE END IS NEAR: Despite doctors across the country warning teens not to ingest laundry pods, hospitals are reportedly seeing even more poisoning cases stemming from the "Tide pod challenge."
According to a report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), "the country's poison control centers handled 39 intentional exposures cases among 13 to 19 year olds" during the first two weeks of 2018.
But after the dangerous "challenge" caught the eyes of adults in mid-January, it appears that teenagers somehow became even more inclined to eat Tide pods.
The AAPCC is now reporting that poison control centers treated 86 intentional exposure cases through the first three weeks of 2018. This means that there were more intentional exposure cases in the third week of January than in the first two weeks combined.
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FROM BOONVILLE'S Temple of Discernment, aka the AVA, we can in good faith recommend only two movies from the crop of '17 — Get Out and I, Tonya. We can't bring ourselves to watch the Academy Awards, but if these two get shut out, well, that's show biz.
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THE COUNTY'S Health and Human Services lateral bunker in central Ukiah is an awful structure to begin with.
With the recent addition of chainlink fencing we at least get a full-face expression of how the helping pros and their County sponsors feel about their "clients." On my endless list of things to do, I have intended to look up the names of the local fat cats who lease back these buildings at top extortionate dollar to local government, a branch of the larger government these same fat cats are always talking about getting off their backs.
THE FENCING is clearly aimed at keeping the needy from camping at the doors of HHS, but even without the fencing, and on the off chance there's a human-type person somewhere in the upper echelons of the bureaucracy, how about some planter boxes, maybe a few neglected geraniums, a battered oleander? Anything.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag finally showed up, just in time for dinner of course. But all day the suckers were saying, ‘Where the heck's Skrag? Jeez, I hope the critters didn't get him.’ If I dropped out for a whole day, would anyone say, ‘Where's Little Dog?’ Noooooo.”
SONOMA COUNTY TO SUE PG&E OVER WILDFIRES
SoCo to seek tens of millions of dollars in damages to clear debris, rebuild infrastructure and develop safety measures (such as undergrounding and emergency power shut offs) to prevent future disasters. (Mendocino County is expected to join the suit in near future, as is Lake and Napa.)
On 01-26-2018 at approximately 10:45 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies received a call for service for an assault that just occurred in the 26000 block of Company Ranch Road in Fort Bragg, Ca. After Deputies arrived they learned that the suspect Robert Vargas, 42, of Fort Bragg, fled the location and had physically assaulted a 32-year old female and 67-year old male.
Deputies initiated an investigation and determined Vargas was in a romantic cohabitating relationship with the female victim. Vargas and the female victim were in a brief verbal altercation at their home. The altercation escalated when Vargas struck the female victim repeatedly in the face and head with a closed fist. The victim was thrown to the ground, during which her head struck a blunt object. Vargas discontinued his assault on the female and left the residence. The female victim telephoned a nearby relative for assistance who responded immediately to the location by vehicle. The responding relative encountered Vargas driving on the roadway and Vargas intentionally struck the male victim's vehicle with his vehicle. As the male victim exited his vehicle, Vargas tackled the male victim to the ground and struck the male victim in the face and head multiple times with a closed fist. Vargas then entered his vehicle and again rammed the male victim's vehicle with his vehicle, before fleeing the location. Deputies observed that both victims had visible injuries to their face and head consistent with the reported assault. The female victim was transported to the Mendocino Coast District Hospital for medical treatment. Deputies observed the male victim's vehicle had sustained substantial damage as a result of being struck with an estimated repair cost exceeding $5,000. Deputies searched for and attempted to locate Vargas without success. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is still actively looking for Vargas and requests that anyone with information on Vargas' current whereabouts be reported by calling the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Communication Center at 961-2421.
Update- On 01-30-2018 at approximately 10:30 PM, Robert Vargas turned himself in for booking at the Mendocino County Jail. Vargas was booked for Inflicting Corporal Injury on Spouse / Cohabitant, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Felony Elder Abuse, and Felony Vandalism and released upon posting $55,000 bail. This report has been submitted to the Mendocino County District Attorney for prosecution.
(Sheriff’s Press Release)
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BRANIN DRIVES AGAIN
On Tuesday, January 30, at approximately 5:40 pm, officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department received an anonymous report of a suspected drunk driver in route to the area of Colombi's Market.
As officers responded to the scene, the reporting party and the Fort Bragg Police Department Dispatch Center were able to identify the driver as 69-year-old Patrick Branin. Officers were additionally informed that Branin had a suspended California Driver's License and was on Driving Under the Influence (DUI) probation.
Officers located Branin operating his vehicle in the 100 Block of South Harold Street. A traffic enforcement stop was conducted and Branin displayed obvious symptoms of being under the influence of alcohol. With Branin's DUI probation prohibiting Branin from operating a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in his system, Branin was arrested and transported to the Fort Bragg Police Department. Branin's vehicle was towed and stored.
Once at the Fort Bragg Police Department, Branin provided several breath samples with one sample showing a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.23%.
Additional charges were added to Branin's booking and he was transported to the Mendocino County Jail.
The Fort Bragg Police Department would like to thank the member of the public who provided information related to Branin driving intoxicated.
With the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimating that drunk driving accounts for over 10,000 vehicle related fatalities a year, the public is encouraged to report all suspected drunk or impaired drivers.
Providing a vehicle description, direction of travel, and full or partial license plates for suspected drunk drivers can be vital in assisting law enforcement officers with combatting this deadly trend. Suspected drunk drivers should be reported to 911.
(Fort Bragg Police Press Release)
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DRUGGED MAIL THIEVES ARRESTED
On Tuesday, January 23, officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department were dispatched to the parking lot near the intersection of E. Redwood Avenue and N. McPherson Street for the report of suspected controlled substance use associated with a dark-colored sedan.
On scene, officers located Shalom Lewis, age 21 of Fort Bragg and Elias Rutherford, age 29 of Fort Bragg, inside of the suspect vehicle.
Upon initial contact, officers identified evidence that Lewis and Rutherford had just consumed or were in the process of consuming heroin. Based on the initial observations and both suspects being on local probation with search waivers, a search of the vehicle was conducted.
During that search, officers located various paraphernalia used in the consumption of controlled substances and three separate containers containing small amounts of suspected heroin.
Officers additionally located several checks written to various businesses and individuals residing in both the unincorporated county and city limits. Both suspects were arrested for Possession of Opiates, Possession of Paraphernalia, and Possession of Stolen Property then transported to the Mendocino County Jail.
An investigation was initiated involving the suspected stolen checks and several victims were identified and contacted. After speaking with victims and as the investigation proceeded, officers were able to determine that the recovered checks were stolen from various mailboxes during the month of December, 2017. No evidence has been identified that any of the stolen checks were successfully cashed or deposited.
All victims related to the recovered checks have been identified and contacted.
If you live outside of the Fort Bragg city limits and have evidence that you were the victim of mail theft, please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Victims living inside of the city limits may contact the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707) 964- 0200. Questions about this press release may be directed to Officer O’Neal at (707) 961-2800 ext. 167 or at email@example.com.
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ANOTHER FORT BRAGG TOUGH GUY
On 01-30-18 at about 11:00 AM, Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff's were called to a motel in the 16000 block of Highway 1, Fort Bragg, regarding an assault that had just occurred. As Deputies responded they were told that the victim had escaped the suspect and ran to the office and the suspect was leaving in a white pickup truck. While Deputies responded to the scene, others searched the area for the suspect vehicle. Deputies at the scene contacted the female victim and requested an ambulance respond, per her request for complaints of pain. The investigation revealed that the victim and Kyle McNamar, 35, of Fort Bragg, a had been cohabitating for approximately a year and earlier this morning McNamara had attacked the victim.
Deputies also found that a Criminal Protective Order is in place preventing McNamara from contacting the victim. The victim was transported to a hospital where she was treated and released. Deputies continued to search for McNamara and located him on 01-31-18, at approximately 8:00 AM. McNamara was arrested without incident and lodged at the Mendocino County Jail for Inflicting Corporal Injury on Spouse/Cohabitant and Violation of Protective Order with bail set at $25,000.
FEEDBACK ON YESTERDAY’S POTTER VALLEY DIVERSION PIECE:
George Hollister: What a complete bunch of BS.
Harvey Reading: I assume you’re referring to your own comment.
George Hollister: What is going on with salmon on the Eel, has nothing to do with the water diversion, or with a reduction of freshwater habitat. The problems there are the same as they are on every other watershed along California’s North Coast. No, and it’s not logging or pot growing either. It’s the ocean, stupid.
We are stuck with our faith in these political narratives that place science, common sense, and an open mind in the back seat. The liberal educated class seem most susceptible. One of the chroniclers of Nuremberg, noted how the Nazi’s represented the German educated class, and wondered how this could be. Well you are looking at it folks.
Harvey Reading: George, you are like a record with its needle stuck in one spot (for youthful readers, phonograph records were a recording media for sound in the olden days — look it up). I’m not going to waste any more time with your silly and untruthful comments. All people need do is a little — the tiniest bit of — research to completely refute your ridiculous assertions. Talk about “faith narratives”… Tell it to your Comptche buddies.
George Hollister: Good idea Harv. Have you ever heard of the Pacific Decadal Osculation(PDO)? Or how about what the primary influences on the ocean food chain are? Or how about what salmon eat, and what eats salmon?
Oh yeah, it is all about faith in the capitalist greed narrative. No need to go beyond that, right? Just wondering, what is the final solution here?
Bruce Anderson: I think fair-minded people (like our ava commenters) would agree that a lot of factors have combined to disappear the fish. But the diversion at Potter Valley is way past its pull date. And for the diverted water to be sprinkled on grapevines grown by rich people is farcical. It these wanks were growing potatoes or something useful we could live with the diversion. (Ever see the fish lifter at the diversion, George? It’s quite a comic sight. Fish come out the other end as ducks. One day when I was there exactly one fish was lifted over an hour’s time.)
George Hollister: There are always things that can be done to make that specific situation better. But that does not take away from the reality we see in every one of our fish streams on the coast. We have more freshwater habitat for fish, than we have fish.
So why is it past its pull date, other than it is?
Sonoma County is the primary beneficiary here. Santa Rosa, and Novato are the primary political players that will intercede. Not ag’ or PG&E. It might be that Sonoma County Water Agency will have to put some(a lot of) money up. Congressman Huffman, our Environmentalist House representative, will go with where the vote is. All this stuff about fish, bogus as it is, will get a lot of play, and public money will be used to placate a bunch of fish non-profits. But the project will continue, at excessive cost, because it has to. Everyone knows this.
Harvey Reading: FYI:
Jim Armstrong: “But for nearly a century, a large share of its flow has been diverted…”
Over that period, the average has been 3% of its annual flow.
Good or bad, it can’t be called “a large share.”
“Today, salmon returning to spawn in the Eel number fewer than 1,000 fish.”
Reports of the 2016-17 run in the Eel was 15,000-30,000 just for Chinook.
Living in Potter Valley, I have an obvious stake in the subject. I wish the AVA was a less biased source of information about it.
“Water Deeply is designed to help you understand the complex web of environmental, social and economic issues related to water in California. Our editors and expert contributors are working around the clock to bring you greater clarity and comprehensive coverage of the state’s water issues.”
That is the claim of your source and I think they miss.
Mark Scaramella: “Less biased”? Who gets to determine bias? The guy with the obvious stake in the subject? The question should be what the diversion would look like if Potter Valley water users and agriculture were not predominantly wine grape growers with riparian rights? Would the diversion even be necessary? Excuse us for thinking those grape growers and winemakers should 1: not have first dibs on the diverted water (only “surplus,” like Redwood Valley), and 2. Not get cheap/subsidized water that’s sold to them for a few hundred dollars per acre foot to make wine while domestic users are charged by the gallon. Grape growers do not need water subsidies. If that minority opinion over here in Anderson Valley where there’s no comparable diversion counts as “bias” there’s not much chance of it declining over time. Mr. Armstrong is perfectly free to offer an opinion on Anderson Valley’s hundreds and hundreds of wine ponds and while I might disagree I certainly wouldn’t declare his opinion “biased.” Why so sensitive? The only subject you roll out on is this one?
“HONESTLY, if Paul Ryan had a kidney stone, I think he might refuse to pass it.”
— Rep. Jared Huffman, on Republican obstinance in Congress.
DON'T FORGET THE ONE IN ELK
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is planning to capture numerous elk in northern California in late January and early February.
From Jan. 31 through Feb. 4, CDFW will capture as many as 43 adult Rocky Mountain elk (nine bulls and 34 cows) in Lassen, Modoc and Siskiyou counties in northeastern California. From Feb. 6 through Feb. 8, CDFW will capture up to 16 Roosevelt elk cows in Humboldt County in northwestern California.
The elk will be captured on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) as well as on private properties with permission from landowners. CDFW is grateful to the USFS, timberland owners and other private landowners that are providing access to their lands for the captures.
Under the direction of CDFW veterinary staff, CDFW wildlife biologists will lead the captures. Capture crews will locate elk via helicopter, capture them with net guns and restrain the captured animals for tagging.
Each elk will be ear tagged and fitted with a GPS collar. Pregnant female elk from specific herds will receive an additional transmitter that will monitor their pregnancies and aid biologists in finding their calves in the spring. The collars will provide detailed information about elk for approximately two years. This information will enhance CDFW’s knowledge of current elk distribution, abundance, calf recruitment, survival and habitat use.
For additional information regarding captures in Lassen, Modoc or Siskiyou counties, please contact CDFW Wildlife Biologist Reid Plumb at (530) 598-6011. For information regarding captures in Humboldt County, please contact CDFW Environmental Scientist Carrington Hilson at (707) 445-6493.
(Photo by Judy Valadao)
SOHUM’S GOOSE IS COOKED
by John Hardin
“The goose is dead,” I heard Ed Denson tell the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. He didn’t say “the goose is gonna die if…” He said “the goose is dead.” I’ve heard a lot of that kind of talk lately, but when Ed Denson says “the goose is dead” I believe him, because he’s the goose’s lawyer. Ed went to the supervisors to complain about the excessive county taxes on legal cannabis, but it appears that the confluence of legalization and regulation created the perfect storm for Humboldt County’s cannabis industry, otherwise known as “the goose that lays golden eggs.”
They could also call it “the goose that eats people, sucks the rivers dry, and turns the community into a ghetto,” but you know how much people around here prefer to focus on the positive. Whatever you call it, Humboldt County’s cannabis heyday is over. The price of black market cannabis collapsed last year in the face of a historic glut in supply. Meanwhile, state regulators dealt the fatal blow to Humboldt’s so-called “small farmers” when they decided to license grows larger than one acre. Suddenly, Humboldt County growers are too remote, too dispersed and too small to produce cannabis competitively in the free market.
The bubble burst. Although it happened suddenly, it didn’t take a genius to see it coming. Anna Hamilton saw it coming a decade ago, and she warned everyone about it. She asked “What’s after pot?” and the community resoundingly replied, “More pot!” Unfortunately, “more pot” quickly turned into “too much pot,” leading to the current collapse in price. It’s a classic small farmer mistake, and it’s why small farmers usually struggle financially, and fail often. Today, the goose still sucks the rivers dry, and it still eats people, but it doesn’t lay golden eggs anymore.
Eventually, life as a small farmer will rehabilitate a lot of black market growers. The people who played smart, paid their land off, love it, and know how to live close to it will survive on honest labor and thrift. For the rest of Humboldt County’s 12,000+ black market cannabis growers out there, the people who moved here to grow weed because they thought they could make money at it, it’s just a matter of time. You can tell how smart they are by how quickly they scram. The smart ones have already left.
A lot of growers will move on to the next sleazy scam. Don’t be surprised if you see them in the health care industry, or working for Big Pharma, but only the smart ones will make that transition seamlessly. Most of Humboldt County growers will not respond well to the economic downturn. Generations of living the low-status, highly secretive life of a black market drug dealer left us with limited skills, substance abuse problems and chronically low self-esteem, issues we could always cover up, when we had plenty of money. Without money, it’s gonna be a bitch.
A lot of people still don’t know what hit them. They will crumble along with the black market cannabis industry here in Humboldt County. Broken-down cars will continue to accumulate on broken-down homesteads, occupied by broken-down people who have no idea what else to do. We won’t see quite so many big shiny new trucks in town, or cocky young men driving them. Instead, we’ll see more hollow, addicted and despondent young men, hitchhiking and asking for help. We’ll all feel the pinch, but it will be worse for some parts of Humboldt County than it will be for others.
Arcata will be fine. They took steps to run black market growers out of their residential neighborhoods years ago. They also have the college and a strong arts community that will all help buffer and mitigate the impacts of economic upheaval. McKinleyville seems to have inherited most of Arcata’s old indoor grows, and problems, which they are likely to see more of. Eureka and Fortuna have enough economic diversity to withstand the shock, if people, especially in Eureka, could learn to be more humane to each other.
Life up in rural North East Humboldt has always been pretty hardscrabble, and will remain so, but here in Southern Humboldt, where the black market cannabis industry choked out most of our economic diversity decades ago, we will feel the impacts of this collapse most acutely. Despite Anna Hamilton’s warnings, we remain ill prepared for it. Here, instead of facing reality, and preparing for the inevitable, we put our energy into cultivating a mythology about ourselves as growers of superior cannabis, in a region narrowly suited to it. Unfortunately, that myth only fooled us.
The goose has become a liability. Our dream of becoming the Napa County of cannabis just got buried in bushels of bud from Bakersfield. Now, it’s about survival. It’s about recovery. It’s about reality. For the first time in a long time, we’ll have the financial poverty to match our cultural poverty. Ultimately, that’s a good thing. When you build culture, it attracts money, which brings prosperity. A fountain of money divorced from culture, on the other hand, breeds dependence and weakens communities. It’s time we got back to building culture, here in Southern Humboldt, instead of just growing money.
AS THE PREDICTED STORM pounded the narrow canyons in the hills above Montecito early in January, a rumble began to overtake the percussion of hard rain on scorched earth. It built, once the torrent of water had dislodged first soil, pebbles, small rocks, then boulders, into a mighty thunder as the mud gathered speed over the resin-slicked surface of the newly burned wild lands.
From out of the Wildland-Urban-Interface, the mudslide drove down into the leafy suburbs of Montecito and tangled with the fragile infrastructure that supports the life-styles of the rich and famous, the merely rich, and all those others who call this Santa Barbara suburb home. It smashed through homes, businesses and, most critically, fractured the system of pipes, suspended across the naturally occurring drainages, that link a chain of reservoirs that serve as the community’s water source.
The broken pipes unleashed a sea of nearly ten million gallons of fresh water released from the reservoirs because their electrically operated control valves were inoperative in the storm related blackout. Much of the mud and water found its way to U.S. Route 101 which runs from Los Angeles to the Oregon border. The section that runs through Montecito, a few hundred yards east of the beach, was transformed into a rock and tree strewn delta where water ran twelve feet deep in places and over 100,000 tons of debris were spread along its length. The highway was reopened recently after a two-week closure. Restoration of the area’s water supply will take longer. Both were the collateral damage of extreme weather events.
We are a species in retreat. Pusillanimous descriptions of our geo-historical circumstances such as ‘climate change’ are daily challenged by the occurrence of extreme weather events that disrupt society, destroy infrastructure, and obliterate human life. Twenty lives were lost in Montecito and two others remain missing, buried perhaps, beneath mud or swept out to sea. These events might be more effectively described as Weather Terrorism. However, the ascription of such an inflammatory label to acts of ‘Nature’ – to grant weather agency – requires a profound philosophical re-orientation.
— John Davis
COVELO SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER RUNS FOR THIRD DISTRICT SEAT
A resident of Covelo for more than 30 years and a Navy veteran, Tony Tucker has filed his intent to run for supervisor in the 3rd district. With a background in education and public service, Tucker said if elected, he will get to work on the issues affecting Covelo and the region including advocating for small cannabis growers, revitalizing the local economy and improving health and social services.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 31, 2018
SHANNON ARNOLD, Goleta/Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, trespassing, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
PATRICK BRANIN, Fort Bragg. DUI while on court probation with priors.
ASHLEY FERNANDEZ, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse.
KYLE MCNAMARA, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse, protective order violation.
SHIREE MYERS, Redwood Valley. Disoderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.
MICHAEL SIEGLER, Talmage. Vehicular manslaughter, hit&run resulting in death.
ANDREW SMITH SR., Willits. Domestic battery, court order violation, probation revocation.
ROBERT VARGAS, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse.
RODOLFO VEGA-CARRILLO, Willits. Criminal threats, brandishing.
YVONNE WELSH, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
HOW ABOUT SIRENS?
More than three months have passed, and Sonoma County’s citizens still have no wildfire early warning system. According to Tuesday’s article, our county supervisors are still uncertain about what approach should be adopted as an effective alarm system (“County seeks better alarms”).
One problem, at least as I see it, is that not everyone has a smartphone or a landline. If authorities are determined to apply a relatively high-tech approach such as SoCo Alert and Nixle, many people could still become statistics.
What’s wrong with setting up sirens? Sirens have been around since the beginning of the Cold War in the late 1940s and early 1950s.They can be cheaply built and regularly tested so that everyone, regardless of how long they have lived here and their level of education, can be rapidly alerted to a dangerous, rapidly moving wildfire, tsunami or high-magnitude earthquake. Persons with hearing disabilities would be alerted by neighbors with better hearing.
Other countries, including Mexico, for example, already have sirens in place that can be effective warning systems.
What is holding up our decision-makers?
THE SOUL IS A SOUP
by Rosa Montero, translated by Louis S. Bedrock
I have a very vivid memory of certain nightmares of my early childhood, the vague memory of which has haunted me for a long time, filling me with an incomprehensible anxiety because, as a matter of fact, they’re devoid of a narrative and violence. Actually, they were no more than some geometric images, a slow, elegant dance of triangles, some floating cubes and trapezoids; weightless figures adrift that nevertheless would cause me indescribable anxiety and stress.
Many years later, I encountered similar images among the three dimensional projections of computers and I felt almost afraid when I recognized them. I never understood the reason for my apprehension until about a decade ago when I found out about something that scientists had discovered: during high fevers (like those very high temperatures that may be suffered by small children, for example) the brain creates geometrical hallucinations — processions of dancing polyhedrons. Thus, what I recall as nightmares were actually feverish delusions. It’s not surprising that they prove to be asphyxiating and horrible because they proceed from a state of sickness and physical distress.
This information not only explains an old childhood enigma but in addition, I’m overwhelmed with a vertigo from the similarity. That is, I thought that my Euclidian nightmares were a peculiarity of my mind — but lo and behold, I suddenly discover that they come from the factory: That they can be found in the primordial design of what we are. Even something as intimate and personal as a dream, which appears to be one’s own unique creation, is actually the result of the general chemical process in everyone.
There’s a wonderful book that I recommend everyone read immediately: Written with Drugs by Sadie Plant. It is an essay about literature, drugs, and life. In it, the author sustains — among a million other things (the book is an avalanche of suggestions) that determined drugs produce determined images — that is, every substance produces its own fantasies.
For example, psychoactive products, like cannabis and acid (LSD), induce a vision of colors and pictures very similar to those multicolored designs in Persian rugs or Cashmere prints, two crafts which come from an area where the consumption of this type of drug is traditional.
Yagé, an hallucinogenic drug from the Amazon, “makes you see cities”, according to its users.
And everyone knows that, during the delirium tremors, alcoholics see tiny insects, ants, or spiders that crawl all over their body, on top of and underneath their skin.
The most troubling aspect of this is not the conclusion that chemical products provoke images in the brain but rather that the phantasmagoria are the same in all people. If fever produces the dancing of triangles and alcohol poisoning makes you see ants, two delusions so specific and so strange, then you might suspect that all of your dreams, and even your feelings and most personal beliefs, are actually the standard product of the cerebral laboratory.
From where does the personality of each of us originate? This very old question has arisen from the also very old debate between the supporters of the environmental explanation (we are the product of our circumstances) and the defenders of genetic heredity. As we know, both theories have been proposed and have taken turns being in fashion.
For example, the environmental theory caused a furor in those periods dominated by Marxist thought or the theories of psychoanalysis. Now the biological position has triumphed once again.
Intoxicated by recent, stunning scientific discoveries, we once again feel capable of domesticating the entire universe and reducing any existential mystery to a formula or a number. And so today we are told that everything we are made of — love, genius, madness — comes from genes and chemistry.
I believe that actually that the truth lies at some point between these two theories; however, I cannot but tremble every time I observe those essential lines of our biology.
Perhaps we may be able to find the key to what we are in microscopic cellular nakedness; perhaps what some people call the soul is nothing more than a subatomic soup of zinc and potassium. There, inside, deep inside, at the bottom of everything, we are merely crystals, dances of polyhedrons, geometry.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
"It’s time to look in the mirror, folks. Blaming Trump for being Trump simply won’t do. Like Lenin or Franco or Perón or dozens of other demagogues, Trump merely seized the opportunity that presented itself. Our president is a product and beneficiary of several decades worth of vainglory, cynicism, epic folly, political cowardice, missed opportunities, and a public not given to paying attention. In present-day Washington, no one can deny that the chickens have come home to roost. The biggest fowl of them all has taken up residence in the White House and, in a very real sense, we all put him there."
— Andrew Bacevich
RICK IS BACK!
Mendocino County Tourism Commission: Interim Executive Director
Our Mission: To steward and amplify the total Mendocino County experience.
The Board of Mendocino County Tourism Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Cooper as the Interim Executive Director of Visit Mendocino County, effective January 29, 2018. For many, Richard will be a familiar face having recently retired from Mendo-Lake Credit Union (now Community First CU) where he was the CEO. He has over 40 years of experience in financial services with an emphasis on marketing and business development. For eight of those years, Richard was VP of Community and Government Relations.
In his time in Mendocino County, Richard served the community in many ways as a volunteer. He was Chair of the Economic Development Finance Corporation and served on the boards of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and the Mendocino College Foundation. He was also a member of the California Credit Union League Audit Committee.
Richard will be operating out of VMC's Fort Bragg office and also spending time in Ukiah. Please feel free to stop by and welcome Richard back to the community. He can be reached by phone (707) 964-9010 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Kuhry, Chair, Mendocino County Tourism Commission
Wines & Spines Book Club @ Ukiah Brewing Company Adults 21 & over are invited to join our monthly book club for a discussion of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans at Ukiah Brewing Co. (102 S. State St). Contact Melissa at 467-6434 or email@example.com for a list of future titles or to be placed on the book club email list.
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Get a jumpstart on submitting poems to the annual ukiahhaiku festival this year!
Sat, Feb. 3rd — 2-4pm Haiku Walk: Open to both teens and adults, this will be a guided haiku walk (gingko) through downtown Ukiah. We will make poems based on visual & aural observations of our surroundings, & play with metrics, rhythm, & cadence to discover where the syllables take us. This haiku walk will be facilitated by Melissa Eleftherion Carr (MLIS, MFA), author of field guide to autobiography, huminsect, little ditch, and others. Registration is required – please call/email Melissa to sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org
BLOOD MOON ECLIPSED, plus bastardized version
USA GYMNASTICS & MICHIGAN STATE: WHAT'S NEXT?
This week, we speak to Jessica Luther, author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape, about Michigan State, USA gymnastics and what justice could look like for the gymnasts abused by Larry Nassar.
Get ready for a surprising Choice Words segment where we make a progressive case for rooting on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl...seriously. We keep your attention on the Super Bowl for our Just Stand Up award -- Chris Long and Malcolm Jenkins continue to prove that standing up for social doesn't inhibit a football team from winning games. The Just Sit Down award could only go to someone on the Michigan State board of trustees. Plus, we bring you a Kaepernick Watch that has to do with him playing football! Enjoy all that and more on this week's episode!
EXTINCTION OR MANAGEMENT OF OWLS: the dilemma of the barred owl invasion in California
Symposium 2/5/18, Santa Rosa, CA
CALIFORNIA WATERFIX HEARING RESCHEDULED TO FEBRUARY 8
By Dan Bacher
A critical hearing needed to approve Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial Delta Tunnels project has been delayed until February 8.
The California Water Fix Hearing Team of the State Water Resources Control Board has delayed the hearing as it continues to review several motions to delay a key hearing by 90 days over alleged illegal exparte communications between the Board’s staff and California Department of Water Resources (DWR) personnel.
The Part 2 hearing will review the permit by DWR and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to change the point of water diversions required to build the tunnels, considered by opponents to be potentially the most environmentally unjust public works project in California history: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/docs/2018/20180130_cwf_notice.pdf
The Hearing Team explained:
On January 17, 2018, the hearing officers directed the hearing team to advise the parties that the hearing days scheduled for January 18 through February 1, 2018, were canceled to give the hearing officers time to review several procedural motions, including motions to continue this proceeding, according to the notice from the Hearing Team. “The hearing officers have further directed theWaterFix team to advise the parties that the hearing days scheduled for February 2 and February 5, 2018, are also canceled. Unless the hearing officers notify the parties of any additional changes to the hearing schedule, the parties should assume that Part 2 of the hearing will commence on February 8, 2018, beginning with policy statements, to be followed immediately with the evidentiary portion of Part 2.”
Provided that no additional changes to the hearing schedule are made, NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on February 12,2018, this water right hearing will be held at the following location:
California Regional Water Quality Control BoardCentral Valley Region (5), Sacramento Main Office11020 Sun Center Drive, Suite 200
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
CA WaterFix Hearing Team
The motions were filed as a result of emails disclosed under a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request filed by Patrick Porgans of Porgans and Associates.
On January 18, Assemblymember Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, issued a statement slamming the alleged unlawful ex parte communications between the Board and DWR regarding the proposed Delta Tunnels outlined in complaints filed by Delta region local governments, public agencies and advocacy organizations.
“If these allegations are true, it attests that DWR has been illegally manipulating the process in favor of the disastrous tunnels project and doing it behind closed doors. I’m appalled that the State Water Board would show such bias and not represent the whole state but only a portion of the state,” said Frazier.
More information: www.dailykos.com/…
In related news, California Water Research on January 29 filed a Public Records Act request to the State Water Resources Control Board, requesting that the Board disclose Ex Parte communications with the Governor’s office and the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) to the WaterFix Hearing parties.
Communications regarding the WaterFix hearing, or permit terms for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project, are requested, according to a news release from California Water Research.
California Water Research’s principal, Deirdre Des Jardins, stated, “the issue of providing increased flows to restore the Sacramento Delta estuary has become extremely politicized. The Board’s WaterFix Water Right Change Petition hearing is a quasi-judicial process and there needs to be better transparency.” More information: www.dailykos.com/…
The California Water Fix consists of two massive, 35-mile long tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas. If built, the project would hasten the extinction of Sacramento River spring and winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as imperil salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.