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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, April 10, 2018

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Well, the "Pineapple Express" inundated the Navarro River watershed with near eight inches of rain — but the river drained very nicely. It never came near the 23.0' flood stage cresting just over 18 feet.

The closure of Highway 128 for three days was, we understand, because of the "failure" on newly-installed culverts (around mile marker 9 on SR-128) that caused the roadway to flood. Granite Construction was called in to "bail" Caltrans out of the situation — literally.

At last report, the river level measured at the upstream USGS gauge was at 7.38' Monday @ 12:15 pm.

It was still discharging a LOT of water into the ocean - 1,220 cubic feet per second, or, in understandable terms:

9,028 gallons per second

541,680 gallons per minute

32,500,800 gallons per hour.

The graph shows no threat of flooding from the rain forecast for this week.


NOTE TO CALTRANS: The road closed sign at the Cloverdale end of 128 is barely visible, and when it is visible it looks like it was written by a little kid with a crayon.

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On Saturday, the body of an African-American female was found in the surf near the March 28 crash site.

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The Hendy Woods Community ( is casting our net out to the wider Mendocino community looking for volunteers who can help lead bird and/or interpretive nature walks at Hendy Woods State Park in Philo. This is one of the programs we support at the park and that means recruiting knowledgeable folks such as yourself to lead a walk once or twice during the season, or regularly if you have the time.

We are eager to begin these walks soon, especially as the wildflower and Spring migrant bird season is under way. The walks are on Saturday mornings, generally beginning at 10:30 a.m. but could start earlier, if desired, for birders or others.  Duration of the walk is up to you and the group but is usually at least 45 minutes.

Walks usually begin at the Day Use area and can take place in the forest, meadow, down to the river, or all of the above.

Nancy Ippolito ( has generously volunteered to organize these walks for the season and would love to hear back from you. If you are interested/available please reply to Nancy and let her know your availability.

Please forward this message on to any birders/native plant specialists/foresters/biologists etc. in your wider circles. Hendy Woods is centrally located in the County where people from Inland as well as the Coast can come to enjoy the beauty and biodiversity found in the majestic redwood forest and the riparian/forest/meadow edges.

Please like our Face Book page (Hendy Woods Community) to find out about our local Free Days, invasive species removal volunteer days and more. Or Email Anica ( about invasive species volunteer days.

Thanks so much for all that you do to help deepen people's understanding and appreciation of nature and our magnificent wild surroundings here in Mendocino County.

With fondest regards,

Linda MacElwee and Anica Williams

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“HERE’S MERILEE! — Marilee Talkington, daughter of Dr. Robert ‘Bob’ Talkington and Lucinda Talkington will have a part on the popular TV series and NCIS on April 17 at 8 PM on CBS. Marilee is legally blind and will play a blind gal who witnesses a car wreck. Her father Bob is a 1960 Anderson Valley High School graduate. Bob taught Marilee to play basketball with a hoop he put up at home. Marilee, through many many extra at home hours of practice at shooting the ball from certain spots, made the all regional basketball team while living in Woodside near Sacramento. Lucinda, Marilee’s mom, is also legally blind. She taught Marilee to be independent. Many years ago I traveled to San Francisco to roll out cars from a showroom so Marilee could stage a play. Later she was the newcomer of the year in a New York off-Broadway show. She is a member of ACT. This will be her first screen role. She is terrific!

PS. From the CBS/NCIS website: “On the episode "Sight Unseen" — NCIS searches for a petty officer suspected of assault who escapes when the sheriff transporting him crashes into a lake. Also, Torres works closely with Annie Barth (Marilee Talkington), a key blind witness who heard vital evidence needed to solve the case, on the milestone 350th episode of NCIS, Tuesday, April 17 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.”

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FAIR BOOSTERS, lead by the popular and energetic Palma Toohey, are preparing for a Fair Spring Cleaning Event Day. A date has not yet been set. The event is described as “a clean-up day and celebration of our fairground, an opportunity for the residents of Anderson Valley to show their appreciation of our fair.” For more info or to sign up call Palma at 489-1088.

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THIS YEAR’S GOAT FEST is scheduled for Saturday, April 21. Organized by the local Foodshed group, the festival will be held held in the Big Grove at the Fairgrounds and offers demonstrations of using goats’ milk, music, food, games, a bike rodeo, a goat parade, and lots of fun! 10am to 4pm. No charge. For more information contact Cindy Wilder at 895-2949.

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DAVID RODERICK, candidate for 5th District supervisor, a business owner out of Hopland, is a graduate of Anderson Valley High School. Dave’s folks are known to us all as long-time residents of Navarro now living, I believe, in Hawaii. A fine interview with the candidate by Skip Taube can be found at

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NO O.D. STATS YET for Mendo, but America’s Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, says he wants more Americans to start carrying an overdose antidote to help fight back against the nation’s spiraling opioid crisis. The doctors wants people at risk of overdosing, as well as their friends and family, to start carrying the naloxone (“Narcan”) antidote and learn how to use it to save lives. Adams says 42,000 Americans suffered fatal opioid overdoses in 2016. “Each day, we lose 115 Americans to an opioid overdose—that’s one person every 12.5 minutes. It is time to make sure more people have access to this lifesaving medication, because 77 percent of opioid overdose deaths occur outside of a medical setting and more than half occur at home.” Naloxone is available over-the-counter and can bring overdose victims back from near-death by restoring their breathing.

I WAS ALARMED one recent morning by a young-ish man hanging half out of his running vehicle near Lemons Market. I hustled up to him for a closer look just as he stirred to say, “I’m ok,” righting himself to a seated position behind the wheel and closing his car door. I’d had cursory dealings with him when I’d assumed he was under the influence of something or other. The morning I found him dangerously loaded in Philo, and reading all the stories about opioid addiction in the daily deluge of bad news, I wondered if Boonville’s first responders are prepared to revive our dopers when they conk out. The Major wrote for clarification to Chief Avila: “Chief, a while back you said that local first responders might be authorized to use narcan ‘soon.’ (End of Feb I think?) We were wondering if that happened. And if so, have any been used either in AV or in Mendo to your knowledge by first responders?”

CHIEF AVILA forwarded the Major’s inquiry to Ambulance guy, Clay Eubanks: ”Clay, could you fill Mark in on the details of where we stand with this application process?”

AND THAT’S where our request languishes. Like a lot of people, part of me has zero sympathy for people whose drug fecklessness borders on suicidal, as they then become our responsibility to bring back to life so they can do it all over again. No idea how many heroin addicts there are in the Anderson Valley, but we all regularly encounter people who are suspiciously languid, that’s for sure.

BUT DARNED IF CLAY didn't show up just in time to inform us, "The Narcan protocols were posted and approved by Coastal Valley for use April 2nd. All of our EMT's were trained in the use of Narcan in February. The next step is for Coastal Valley EMS to give our organization (AVFD) approval to use all of the new EMT skills. They have not finalized an approval process for us to start this next step. I spoke to them today and they were still working on it. Our target date in Anderson Valley is to be up and running with all the new EMT skills by July 1st, 2018. State law does not require us to be there until July 1st, 2019. We hope to be well ahead of their deadline."

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CHILD THEFT? If what is alleged, child theft is what it is, and we have no reason to disbelieve what we've been told because it's the kind of CPS story we've often heard versions of.

THE MAN telling us the story is a grandfather. His two grandsons, now 2 and 5, were removed from the drug-crippled home of his son nearly three years ago by Mendocino County's Children's Protective Services.

OVER THE INTERVENING YEARS, the offending parents have recovered themselves and have fully complied with the original conditions demanded of them by CPS. They want their children back. But the two boys are still in foster care after innumerable court hearings and despite several thousand dollars paid by the family for a private attorney to help them regain custody of their children. The grandparents have also been denied visits with the children.

UNTIL RECENTLY, the grandparents enjoyed court-sanctioned visits with their grandchildren three days a week, but when their Fort Bragg CPS worker was fired, the custody case reverted to Ukiah and they lost all access to their grandchildren, which can't have been good for the two contested children. Ukiah CPS has resisted all the family's efforts to get the kids back.

IT GETS WORSE. The family alleges that their two boys are now in the foster family of the son of CPS boss, Bryan Lowery. Reportedly, the two kids were removed for a month from the Lowery family for allegations of child abuse but returned to the Ukiah foster family after the family underwent “training.”

THE DISTRAUGHT FAMILY of the two boys says they understand the Lowerys now want to adopt their two boys.

MENDOCINO COUNTY Judge Reimenschneider has rejected all the parents' and grandparents' pleas for fair hearings while he simply rubberstamps CPS’s arbitrary decisions, claiming that the family has missed appointments. The family says these alleged missed appointments were scheduling mix-ups complicated by the distance they must travel from Fort Bragg to Ukiah. (Mendocino County residents living far from Ukiah can verify the difficulty of coordinating court appearances with Ukiah authorities.)

THE CHILD CONFISCATION process in Mendocino County occurs outside public scrutiny "to protect the best interests of the child." The only way the secrecy can be penetrated is for the families suffering from it to tell their stories to the public and hope the resulting pressure on this deeply flawed system gets them justice.

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LOW-COST HOUSING. That phrase gets an exhausting workout every election, especially at the Mendo level. Everyone’s for it, but apart from candidate Pinches no one has the faintest idea of how to even begin accomplishing it, and even Pinches is vague beyond “a trailer park” on the County-owned land north of Willits where Caltrans’ pharonic removal of earth for the north end of the Willits Bypass created a suitable building site.

THE COUNTY could take a portion of the public money they presently throw at the combined crap shoot and ponzi scheme known as the stock market and erect County-run trailer parks on County-owned parcels throughout Mendo. The County would get a more reliable income from our trailer parks than we do from Wall Street. Of course the parks would have to be rigorously managed to keep scumbaggery to a tolerable level, but the only difference between scumbaggery at the poverty level and scumbaggery at the secure levels of income is that the well-to-to keep theirs in-doors.

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THE "REDWOOD COAST DEMOCRATS" are advertising "another event sponsored by Redwood Coast Democrats," this one a 5th District Supe's candidate's forum, 2-4pm, Gualala Community Center, Saturday, April 14. I can't remember any other event put on by the group, but it seems kinda exclusionary to picture only the three candidates who are registered Democrat since the job is non-partisan, at least in theory and, presumably, the forum also includes hometown Gualala candidate Arthur Juhl, and Hopland candidate, Dave Roderick. In local practice, however, the County's active Democrats, much like the nationally active Democrats, represent the secure sectors of the middle-class, especially lawyers, non-profit administrators, public employees and administrators, trust funders, school teachers, and other white collar fortunatos. Blue collar people, if they bother to vote, vote against themselves for Republicans. Hispanics and other ethnic minorities vote Democrat, not because the Democrats do anything for them, but because the Republicans brag about being their enemies. The overall situation in our fast fading land resembles Weimar Germany without the classy art and entertainment of the Weimar period. There is no America anymore, only mutually exclusive interest blocs, as The Money moves inexorably upwards.

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A RARE BEAUTY: It's called Tamarisk - a flowering shrub or small tree in the family Tamaricaceae. (Seen behind Gowan's produce stand)

(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by William Allen)

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THE SUN comes out, I think of baseball. As a child we marked the seasons by sports — football, basketball and baseball, but played baseball year-round, weather permitting and it usually did. I gave up going to pro football and basketball games about twenty years ago, even with free tickets, because I didn't want to devote an entire day getting to and from the Niners, most of the night getting out to the Coliseum to watch the Warriors and sitting through hours of bad music and gyrating hoochie koochie girls into the non-bargain. My secret to getting to the Giants ball games is to park at the North Beach garage, either the one next door to the police station or the one across the street, hop on the 30 Stockton bus which runs straight to and from the ballpark. The parking costs $12, the bus two bucks coming and going. At the park, I buy a "dynamic pricing" ticket for under ten dollars for a seat at the very top of the stadium where I can gaze out at the Bay between pitches. (“Dynamic Pricing" means to see the Giants play the Dodgers you pay about fifty dollars, for a ticket to see the Giants take on, say, the Marlins, you pay eight dollars.) I prefer the Giants but I never care who wins; I just like watching the game played at the highest level it's played, and even the Marlins are worth the price of admission at 8 dollars.

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THERE ARE CERTAIN WORDS that cause me to wince when I hear or read them. "Party" as a verb is one, the adjective "appropriate" in whatever part of speech it's used, especially as the pejorative it's wielded as by the libs, drives me nuts, or further nuts. And "history buff" is all over the place to describe people interested in it, people like me, for instance, and my interest is genuine, not superficial as implied by the insulting "buff." The mere mention of "objectivity" is good for a sneer from anyone who understands there's no such thing, but also understands there is such a thing as fairness." (Class dismissed!)

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ONE OF THE MAJOR reasons for supporting John Pinches for Third District Supervisor is that the County’s bigwigs dread his return. He’s the only supervisor likely to hold their plump little tootsies to responsibility’s fires. As presently constituted, the Mendo supervisors are a textbook case of the tail wagging the dog. No, they aren’t the dog. They’re getting wagged by their CEO, Carmel Angelo.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Every time I see a police dog all padded up for combat, I say to myself, ‘I could do that’."

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"WHERE THERE'S SMOKE: The Environmental Science, Public Policy, and Politics of Marijuana," April 19. 9 a.m., on the Cannabis Hour, KZYX, Thursday, April 19 at 9 a.m. Host Jane Futcher will be joined by Pomona College Professor of Environmental Analysis Char Miller, editor of WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, and by contributor and cannabis policy expert Amanda Reiman. Stream the show live at or listen to an archived version at

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AS FIRST reported by MSP, Anna Shaw, the controversial director of the even more controversial Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, aka Hostility House, has resigned.

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A friend of MSP sent this our way Sunday — we’re always willing to help hard workers.


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Are you planning to attend the public meeting? Please let us know

Dear Friend of Todd Hill,

The City (Fort Bragg) is planning to hold a public meeting to receive comments about the Hare Creek Project on Thursday, April 19, 6 pm in Town Hall (see flyer below).

Can you please send us an email letting us know if you plan to attend or not? No explanation is needed, just a simple yes, no, or maybe will suffice. Best is to send a new email to, rather than replying to this one.

Thank you,

Citizens for Appropriate Coastal Land Use

(Click to enlarge)

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ARTHUR JUHL, candidate for 5th District Supervisor:

Time’s up for wasteful county spending! As I say that again and again. Dr. Marbury was hired to tell us something we all know. What are we paying the so called professional county workers or why!

Enough is enough, accountibilty is needed and if it is not met we might just throw our hard earned tax money in the trash. I got into this race to get Measure B, the mental health issue in order. Now after studying the county budget I am more than determined to clean up the country club! We work hard for our money and our representatives should do the same. After all they are our servants!

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GRAND BALL held at the new Comptche Hall, May 1913. Kelley House archives

(Click to enlarge)

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by Anne Fashauer

Can a local group gather enough money to buy local land for the community’s use? A recent post on a local Facebook site suggests this idea and I think it’s an intriguing one. The poster posits gathering donations (he suggests 1,000 donations of $200 apiece) and using the money to buy land here in Anderson Valley to spare it from being put into production as a vineyard or into the hands of “rich uncaring prospectors [sic].” Hence, I think it is an idea worth pondering.

I think the idea of gathering funds to purchase land for communal use is an alluring one. Furthermore, I think there are local properties on the market now that would be wonderful to have as a community resource. One such is the property on Anderson Valley Way that boasts gorgeous gardens; this seems like it could become Anderson Valley’s Botanical Gardens. However, the 1,000 people donating $200 only raises $200,000; this is not quite enough to buy this property, currently listed for over $1,000,000. Therefore, it is not enough to purchase any vineyard property, or any property other than a north-facing 40 acre parcel at the end of Clow Ridge or Nash Mill.

A recent sale of a former vineyard property outside of Boonville is one example. A winery from outside the Valley purchased the property with the likely intent to rehab the vineyard and plant more vines. Could a local group have purchased this? Possibly, but the price tag was over $2,000,000. That means either 1,000 people donate $2,000 or a lot more people donate smaller amounts. While this is possible, it may not be easy.

In addition, there are issues outside of raising the funds – who would actually own the property? A land trust is one possibility. And what about managing it? Who would determine the rules of use? And who would enforce those? What about income to pay for the annual property taxes and other expenses?

Local groups raising money to purchase local lands is a thought-provoking idea. I conclude that it is a possible idea if a dedicated group put a lot of time and effort into making it happen. However, that may be the ultimate problem. Gathering the funds via crowd-funding and other means might turn out to be the easy part; finding enough people committed to see the project all the way through may turn out to be the idea’s downfall.

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Cannabis Group Hosts Third District Candidates’ Forum

by Jane Futcher

The evening was an “historic first,” according to Nikki Lastreto of the Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association, host of a Board of Supervisors’ 3rd District candidates’ forum at the Willits Little Lake Grange April 5.

“No other public cannabis-industry grassroots group has ever before organized an election forum,” said Lastreto, secretary of the MCIA.

The goal, Lastreto said before the event, was “to include discussion of issues related to cannabis policy as a significant component of the county’s economic development.”

Mendocino County’s 3rd District stretches across prime cannabis cultivation areas from Willits through Laytonville and north to the Humboldt County line, but not including Leggett and Piercy, which are in the 4th District.

The June 5th primary will determine the top two vote-getters, who will run against each other in the Nov. 6 General Election.

All eight 3rd District candidates and eighty-plus voters braved a heavy downpour Thursday night to attend the forum.

Amanda Reiman of Flow Kana moderated the forum with a fair but firm hand, keeping an eagle eye on the clock.

The candidates for 3rd District supervisor are: Susy Barsotti, Laytonville festival producer; John Pinches, former 3rd District Supervisor, Tony Tucker, who has served on the Round Valley school and sewer boards, Cyndee Logan of Willits, formerly of NASA/Ames Research Lab and co-founder of Wowser; teacher-activist John Haschak of Willits; Pamela Elizondo, long-time Laytonville activist; Shawna Jeavons, Willits business owner and health advocate; and Michael Horger, a former Masonite employee representative from Willits.(Click to enlarge)

Photo: Former 3rd District Supevisor John Pinches, center, said he could write the cannabis regulations he’d like “on the back of a bar napkin.” Also pictured, Cyndee Logan of Willits and Tony Tucker of Covelo.The candidates agreed on many of the issues but were short on details and specific solutions. All agreed that the Brooktrails community needs a second exit road; the county and district must have affordable housing; a mono-crop economy can weaken the county, and the best deterrent to substance abuse is a strong community with good services.

On cannabis, all said the county’s cannabis permit-application process should be quicker, cheaper and simpler.

Pinches said the county should “keep it simple for the small growers,” harkening back to the days when the Sheriff issued zip ties for 25-plant gardens. Only bigger farms, he said, should have to get a permit. “I could write the cannabis regulations on the back of a bar napkin,” Pinches said, drawing laughter.

“Permitting is a whole bunch of garbage,” said an impassioned Elizondo. “Everyone that wants a permit should have a permit, including the Mexican cartels.”

Tucker, who advocated for better services for rural communities, said the state should follow Oregon, which has a much shorter, two-page cannabis ordinance. The county’s regulations, he argued, should not be stricter than the state’s.

Susy Barsotti said the county should get out of the “regulations business” and let the state do it. Streamlining, she believes will bring more farmers into the program and help eliminate the black market.

Haschak said he supports the California Growers Association lawsuit against the state to put a limit on farm size and believes the farmer-county working groups are already improving the county’s current cannabis ordinance.

Jeavons said she would survey farmers, asking them for ideas on making the permitting process better.

Horger said way too many local and state agencies are making the licensing process slow and complicated.

Logan asserted that streamlining would bring more farmers into the cannabis program, reducing environmental damage and ending the black market.

After the event, Willits Environmental Center’s Ellen Drell said she enjoyed the forum and supported the county’s cannabis ordinance as it is written. She acknowledged that the application process should be easier, with lower fees and less redundancy.

Susan Bradley of Laytonville said she found the forum engaging but regretted that none of the candidates addressed the serious issues facing county library system.

Several more 3rd District BOS candidates’ forums are coming up this month: In Covelo, Saturday, April 14, at 3 p.m., at the library; in Willits, on Thursday, April 19, 6:30 p.m., in the Community Center; and in Laytonville, on Saturday, April 28, at 2 p.m. at Harwood Hall.

(Jane Futcher is host of The Cannabis Hour, every other Thursday morning at 9 a.m. on KZYX.)

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(Photo by Susie de Castro of unidentified artist’s painting)

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by Jim Shields

Recently a group of Laytonville folks have been getting together to discuss and formulate plans on what they believe are potential contamination problems stemming from our long closed landfill.

I know most of the people involved with this issue, some of them are friends, others are individuals I’ve worked with on various community projects, events, or politics. Peggy Smith Hoaglin is the leader of what I’ll call a neighborhood organization that is concerned about possible or potential landfill contamination. Peggy and I have worked together on these landfill issues going back 25 years when she led the way to force county officials to close the old dump.

That was the right decision to make back then, and it’s still the right decision. That landfill should never have been sited there in the first place.

I believe the more that landfill and surrounding areas are tested and moinitored, the better off we all are. If there’s a problem, we’ll find out, and then we have to fix it. So I welcome Peggy and the neighborhood’s current efforts to get to the bottom of this long-standing issue.

But we need hard facts and evidence of the contamination, and so far all the testing and monitoring at the landfill have come up negative.

Since there are many new folks who have moved into the Laytonville area and are probably not aware of the landfill and its history, here are some reports and excerpts from reports published in the Observer on the issue 15 years ago when multiple federal, state, and county agencies investigated the Laytonville Landfill contamination issue. Next week, I’ll discuss the most recent testing and investigation of the landfill that has occurred in the past 8 months.

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State Health Study:

No Health Risk From Laytonville Landfill

July 22, 2004

As reported here last week, the California Department of Health Services (DHS) has released a report assessing various health issues, most of which deal with the closed Laytonville landfill.

Back in 2000, at the request of investigators from DHS’ Environmental Health Investigations Branch (EHIB), I met with them and provided them background on the Laytonville landfill and discussed community health concerns surrounding the landfill.  During that same time period, DHS representatives also met privately with numerous other citizens, including landfill activist Peggy Hoaglin, who were interviewed and provided DHS with various kinds of information.

In the four years since then, DHS has studied and investigated health claims that fell into three broad categories or questions:

1). Has the Laytonville landfill posed a past health risk to residents of Laytonville and the Cahto, Tribe?

2). Does the Laytonville landfill pose a current health risk to the residents of Laytonville and the Cahto tribe?

3). What is the current condition of the landfill and does it pose a future health risk to the residents of Laytonville and the Cahto Tribe?

In general, DHS found that there was no cause and effect relationship between the landfill and citizens’ health concerns.  In a four-page document sent by DHS to Laytonville residents by DHS, the state health agency announced that:

“DHS became involved with the landfill in February 2000 in response to the health concerns of residents of the Laytonville Rancheria. Rancheria residents were and are highly concerned about possible health effects from past and current exposures to contaminated air, surface (drinking and bathing) water, groundwater, and surface soil. Tribal members are afraid that people who scavenged and played on the property may have been exposed. They are also concerned about past and continuing exposures of tribal members and other neighbors who live next to the landfill. Members of the tribe expressed concern about playing, swimming and fishing in Cahto Creek. Nearby residents who do not live on the Rancheria also worry that they may be exposed to contaminants from the landfill and about their health. They are concerned about the drinking water they get from their private wells and about the trash burning that used to occur on the landfill. DHS heard many health concerns, including breathing (or respiratory) problems, cancer, gall bladder disease and other stomach and gut (or gastrointestinal) problems, developmental disabilities, and reproductive difficulties. After reviewing available information, DHS could not conclude that any of these health concerns and effects could have been caused by the landfill. Information gaps limit the conclusions for some exposures that were investigated. However, DHS understands that residents have health concerns and makes recommendations to address their concerns.”

According to its authors, DHS evaluated twelve possible exposure pathways from the Laytonville landfill. DHS had limited information upon which to decide if and how residents were affected by the landfill.

The report’s findings are as follows:

  • Before the cap was placed on the landfill, people who had contact with the trash may have been exposed to chemicals and live bacteria and viruses. Sharp, rusty objects in the trash are a hazard to anyone who scavenged or played at the landfill. DHS could not account for these types of hazards because there are no records. After the cap was placed on the landfill in 1997, it was no longer possible for anyone to come into direct contact with the trash. However, the landfill has and continues to have a mental and emotional impact on community members.
  • Using existing information, DHS believes that these activities pose no apparent health hazard: 1. playing in the leachate; 2. swimming in the sedimendation ponds on landfill property; 3. playing in Cahto Creek or in puddles that formed from surface water runoff; and 4. eating fish or eel from Cahto Creek.
  • However, being exposed for a long time to the liquid that periodically leaks from the edges of the cap could be hazardous to a person's health. The cap should be looked at and tested to see if it is working properly. Until the cap leaking problem ends, testing of any and all liquids that leak from the cap should be carried out. Even though Cahto Creek is not a public health hazard, tribal members are still worried about it. DHS will work with the Cahto Tribe to access resources and the needed expertise to restore Cahto Creek so that tribal members can use it without worry for recreation, fishing, and other activities.
  • DHS could not evaluate two pathways because of a lack of data:

1) The health hazard from breathing in outdoor air on and around the landfill from the 1960s to 1997 (before the cap was placed on the landfill) cannot be determined. This is because not enough sampling was done while the landfill was in operation, especially when trash was burned. Open burning of vegetation to reduce fire hazard sometimes occurs on the landfill. DHS recommends alternatives to open burning be utilized to deal with vegetation control on the landfill and elsewhere. DHS recommends that the Air District and the Tribe raises the awareness within their communities of the environmental effects of garbage burning, the air district strictly enforces the current prohibition of garbage burning, and the Tribe regulates such activity.

2) Because of the lack of soil samples, skin contact and ingestion of off-site soil could not be determined and is considered a potential exposure pathway. Nearby residents who live northeast and southwest of the landfill might have been exposed to contaminants in the off-site soil, Those contaminants may have come from the surface water runoff from the landfill. Nearby community members have expressed concern about contamination from the runoff. DHS recommends off-site soil sampling on the landfill where open burning occurred and the area is still exposed.

  • DHS concludes that the levels of acrolein, a-pinene, and benzene found in outdoor air sampling are not a health hazard. They probably arise from sources such as wood-burning fireplaces and automobile traffic.
  • DHS concludes that chemicals found in nearby city drinking water system do not come from the landfill. The levels of arsenic and manganese found in the untreated city water supply are natural. The treated water meets current drinking water standards for these chemicals.
  • DHS concludes that the "tent of contamination in the groundwater is unknown because of incomplete information. Several metals found in water samples from eight private wells near the landfill were above the drinking water standards. It is unclear what the source of these metals is. Aluminum, barium and manganese are naturally occurring in Laytonville water, making it difficult to know whether the landfill is affecting the adjacent private wells. DHS recommends additional studies of the groundwater. To make sure that private well owners know if their water is affected by the landfill, we recommend a survey of wells near the landfill and sampling of private wells adjacent to the landfill as part of the quarterly groundwater monitoring program. DHS will work with the county to share information with private well owners about water sampling results and possible health issues. Also, DHS will give general public health information about private wells to nearby residents.
  • DHS also looked at two sources of health outcome data; 1) a 1994 cancer cluster investigation by the Mendocino County Health Department (MCHD); and 2) a California Cancer Registry (CR) cancer case summary. The cancer cluster investigation was done to find out if the number of cancer deaths from 1974 to 1994 among people living near the landfill was higher than the expected rates for this community. The findings showed that cancer mortality rates within a 1-mile radius of the landfill were similar to those for Mendocino County as a whole. It is possible that inaccuracies in cancer mortality records limited the ability of the studies to estimate cancer rates for this population. Although the MCHD and CCR cancer estimates may be somewhat wrong, there is no way to get a more accurate estimate.

As I reported to you previously, last year at about this time, the Environmental Protection Agency released a report, which was based on years of investigating the Laytonville landfill.  The 60-page report closed out 3 years of EPA involvement with the controversial landfill, including the expenditure of several hundred thousand dollars for grant-funded studies, as well as EPA’s separate investigation.  The overall effect of the 2003 EPA report was that the landfill did not qualify for Superfund listing because no evidence was found that the site was contaminated with hazardous substances.  Specifically, EPA determined that:

  • No contamination attributable to the Laytonville Dump site was detected at significant concentrations in tested drinking wells in proximity to the landfill.
  • No PCBs were detected at concentrations significantly above background in the landfill’s sedimentation ponds.
  • The sediment and water quality of the landfill’s sedimentation ponds do not pose a risk to environmental health.
  • The water quality of Cahto Creek does not pose a risk to human or environmental health.

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Landfill Concerns Unproved By Study

January  20, 2003

An Environmental Protection Agency study of the Laytonville landfill failed to find evidence of black helicopters clandestinely dumping hazardous waste at the site.

"U.S. EPA could not find anyone who saw the helicopters," county Solid Waste Director Paul Cayler told county supervisors last week.

Nor did the agency find evidence that hexavalent chromium or other waste from Remco Hydraulics in Willits or substances from the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in Livermore were secreted to the landfill under cover of darkness, according to the EPA report.

The Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria has made the allegations over the years and had asked the federal agency to investigate.

Someone also made allegations about Remco dumping to the grand jury, however, the EPA was not given access to that sealed grand jury testimony, according to the EPA.

The EPA report said the helicopter rumor could be the result of Campaign Against Marijuana Production helicopters using the landfill to alight. The agency had temporary permission to land on the landfill at one point, but it's uncertain the access was ever used.

The rumors that trucks dumped garbage in the night were easier to explain. The report said commercial haulers at one time had their own keys to the landfill. Those operators emptied their garbage trucks daily and paid by the month. They had contracts that prohibited them from dumping any hazardous waste.

There also were some noncommercial customers who had keys, including the Boy Scouts of America, school district landscapers and Caltrans, according to the EPA report.

Records show each of those also signed an annual contract agreeing to dump only "garbage, refuse and trash."

Remco Hydraulics apparently never had a key to the landfill and no evidence its toxic wastes were otherwise disposed of in Laytonville has been unearthed, according to the report.

A county review did find that PG&E was an occasional customer of the landfill, and a retired landfill operator said he had buried transformers brought to the landfill.

He said he did not know whether the transformers were empty or whether they contained toxic polychlorinated biphenyls.

Chemical tests on the landfill have included monitoring for PCBs, but none have been detected so far, according to the EPA report.

Photographic chemicals at the landfill also were of concern to the Cahto tribe, and subsequently investigated by the county, according to the report. A note from the tribe in 1985 said an unidentified person delivered 30 gallons of photo developing chemicals to the landfill.

Records of that delivery could not be found.

The report noted the chemicals, some of which contain silver, were not regulated as hazardous waste in those amounts at that time. In fact, they generally ended up being dumped in sewers.

As a result of concerns, however, recent tests on the landfill have included checks for silver.

The report said the county has confirmed that household hazardous waste was accepted at the landfill, and waste generated by manufacturing or industrial processes may also have been disposed of at the site. Such waste could contain significant quantities of hazardous constituents, according to the EPA.

However, such wastes were not defined as hazardous waste at the time and were allowed under regulations.

The EPA investigation took place last summer. Its focus was to determine whether the Laytonville landfill operated as a hazardous waste landfill. If it had, it would have been subject to additional permits and corrective action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

That was not the case, the report said.

The EPA also conducted site inspections to determine the threat of contamination from the landfill, based on analytic tests in and around the landfill. The results of that study are pending.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 9, 2018

Borrelli, Caradine, Corcoran

WILLIAM BORRELLI, Redding/Ukiah. Unspecified misdemeanor.

DARRELL CARADINE, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, disobeying court order.

WILLIAM CORCORAN, Santa Cruz/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Esquivel, Fillion, Guevara

ORLANDO ESQUIVEL JR., Covelo. Evasion.

HAZEL FILLION, Lakeport. Community supervision violation.

RANDOLPH GUEVARA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Hoaglin, Ivey, Lucas

GARRIE HOAGLIN, Covelo. Parole violation.

TROY IVEY II, Ukiah. Concentrated cannabis.

JESSIE LUCAS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, county parole violation.

Meyer, Moynahan, Odaye

SCOTT MEYER, Clearlake/Ukiah. Negligent discharge of firearm, willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death.

SEAN MOYNAHAN, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, interference with police communications.

TRENTON ODAYE, Ukiah. Burglary, vandalism.

Pearce, Silva, Tellez-Morales

JASON PEARCE, Orlando, Florida/Ukiah. DUI.

WESLEY SILVA, Willits. Controlled substance, evasion, probation revocation.

CARLOS TELLEZ-MORALES, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, protective order violation.

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Dear community members,

During the Almost Fringe Festival Laurie York and Carmen Goodyear's short film "Bridging the Gap" will be shown at the Guest House Museum in Fort Bragg on Friday, April 13 from 11:00am - 2:00pm, Saturday, April 14 from 10am to 4pm, and Sunday, April 15 from 10am to 4pm. For more info see

The Kelley House Museum in Mendocino will show the short film on  Saturday, the 14th of April from 11am to 3pm. For more info see

(Anne Marie Weibel)

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Everyone is invited to celebrate the Albion River Bridge, one of our community’s most emblematic -- and threatened -- historic treasures, at a musical benefit sponsored by the Albion Bridge Stewards on Sunday, May 6, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Albion River Inn.

Featured local musicians extraordinaire include Steven Bates (voice, guitar & mandolin) and Butch Kwan (voice, guitar, violin). Poet ruth weiss will be accompanied by Pilar Duran (guitar) and Hal Davis (percussion).

You will get a chance to see the short film "Bridging the Gap" by award-winning local filmmakers Laurie York and Carmen Goodyear.

Built during World War II, the Albion River Bridge is the only remaining timber trestle bridge along California’s scenic Highway 1. It was recently placed in the National Register of Historic Places and listed in the California Register of Historical Resources.

Tickets for this afternoon of entertainment, refreshments, and beautiful views of the historic timber bridge from the restaurant and grounds of the Albion River Inn can be purchased in advance at for $20 or at the door for $25. There will be a no-host bar.

The Albion River Inn is located at 3790 Hwy 1 in Albion on the north west side of Albion River Bridge. For more information visit and <>

(Click to enlarge)

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If you want to send a letter to Grandma, a Mother’s Day card, a Valentine to a loved one, keep the Postal Service subsidized, and good for you for staying in touch.

If you are, I don’t want my taxes to subsidize $1.46 per package you send. Most Amazon buyers are looking for a lower price, and if an extra $1.46 pushes it over the edge, they should buy local.

Subsidize the private letters to loved ones. Charge the businesses enough to make the US Postal Service sustainable. They are making profit, why should I take a loss to help them?

Glenn Norum

Santa Rosa

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Here is a disconcerting thought. Everyone is blaming everyone else for all the evil in the world, all the bad trends, all the bad headlines. Trump did this, Schumer did that, the Russians are bad guys, the Chinese are beating us, etc, etc.

What If the Long Emergency is right on mark and these trends are apolitical and are coming at us no matter what we do. What if overpopulation, resource scarcity, greed, the income inequality part of capitalism, the sloth of people are cooking our gooses and no matter what, the WMBH is rapidly approaching no matter what the optimists might think. It seems to me that the discord between us is another major cause of the downslide we are approaching. How much of a catastrophe has to occur before the people of America can or will have to work on the problems together. Because if we do not work together, the supposed trade war with China will be the shortest war in history with the Chinese coming out on top. But guess what, without us here as a market and paying our debt to China, they are just as bad off as we will be. A house divided —. This probably sounds like a pipe dream but us not working together because of illogical idiotic reasons may just be the number one reason everything comes down around our ears. And it is not Trump, not HRC, not Xi, Not Putin, not the Middle East, just Mother Nature letting us know that if we do not use our wits together, that the end times may be unavoidable.

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by Dan Bacher

The Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture held the 45th Annual Zeke Grader Fisheries Forum at the State Capitol in Sacramento on March 8. Below a revised version of my testimony before the Committee exposing the huge expansion in offshore oil drilling in Southern California waters in recent years:

There appears to be a widely-held misconception among fishermen, environmentalists and legislators that new offshore oil wells have not been approved off the California coast in recent years.

The reality is much different. In fact, Governor Jerry Brown’s oil and gas regulators approved 238 new offshore oil wells in state waters under existing leases off Los Angeles and Ventura counties from 2012 to 2016, an increase of 17 percent, according to an analysis of Department of Conservation data by the Fracktracker Alliance. Roughly 171 of them were still active as of a year ago.

In addition, the number of active onshore oil and gas wells has jumped 23 percent from 53,825 in 2009, the year before Brown was elected Governor, to 66,516 onshore wells at the end of 2016, according to Department of Conservation data. The number of wells drilled and completed in 2014 jumped by 67 percent over 2011 to 6,896 from 4,636 on Governor Brown’s watch.

“Brown’s record on oil drilling offshore and on shore is one of expansion,” said Lisa Tucker, Consumer Advocate for Consumer Watchdog. “That is no longer acceptable. Brown should ban all drilling activity offshore, cut off any planned new oil and gas drilling on shore, and ban fracking outright.”

The FracTacker Alliance report is available here: <> In addition, regulators approved permits for at least 203 fracking operations off the Southern California coast from 1993 to 2013, according to data revealed in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and an Associated Press investigation in 2013. These fracking operations took place off Long Beach, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach — a region known for some of California’s most iconic beaches and tourist attractions: <>

The desmogblog has also just published a piece documenting the increase in offshore oil drilling in California waters under the Brown administration: <> While it is true that no new offshore oil leases have been opened up in federal waters off the California coast in recent years, as the Trump administration is proposing to do, the fact is that California has continued to expand offshore drilling in state waters under existing leases and the federal and state governments approved over 200 fracking operations off Southern California over a 20-year period.

The big increase in offshore drilling in state waters and the Trump administration’s proposal to open new leases in response in federal waters makes it crucial that the public support legislation in the California Legislature to protect the state from new offshore oil drilling.

In response to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s January 4th announcement to open federal waters along the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf Coasts to new federal offshore oil and gas drilling, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) on January 5 reintroduced legislation ensures that pipelines and other infrastructure cannot be built in California waters to support any new federal oil development. This bill would also serve to stop the approval of new offshore oil wells in state waters under existing leases.

In the Senate, Jackson is carrying Senate Bill 834, also jointly authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). Muratsuchi is carrying an identical companion measure, Assembly Bill 1775, in the State Assembly, also jointly authored by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), according to a news release from Senator Jackson’s Office.

The legislation prohibits the State Lands Commission from approving any new leases for pipelines, piers, wharves, or other infrastructure needed to support new federal oil and gas development in the three-mile area off the coast that is controlled by the state.SB 844 would also prohibit any lease renewal, extension or modification that would support the production, transportation or processing of new oil and gas,according to Jackson’s Office.

This bill faces a major challenge to pass through the Legislature and an even bigger challenge to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown before he leaves office.

That’s because the spending of millions of dollars by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), Chevron and other oil companies to stop the bill resulted in the legislation being stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee last year. The oil industry spent more on lobbying in California, $16,360,618, in just the first six months of 2017 than was spent by the industry in all of 2016, $16.0 million, according to a report compiled and written by William Barrett of the Lung Association in California.

WSPA, the most powerful corporate lobbying group in California, and its members have also contributed $170 million to California political campaigns since 2001, according to a new data analysis <>from the Berkeley-based, nonpartisan watchdog MapLight.

On February 8, hundreds of Californians protested the federal government's plan to offer new leases for offshore oil drilling off the Pacific Coast. The federal agency in charge, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), held its one and only California open hearing for public comment on the proposed plan.

Then on February 28, the Stockholm Institute on the Environment (SEI) released an analysis showing that action to stem California oil production, something that Governor Jerry Brown has strongly resisted, would have critical health and climate benefits.

“The Stockholm Environment Institute makes a strong case that Governor Jerry Brown cannot support full-throttle oil and gas production while claiming that emissions can be cut substantially enough via energy efficiency, carbon trading, and renewable energy to avoid the ‘existential threat’ of climate change,” said Lisa Tucker, Consumer Advocate for Consumer Watchdog. “We have to start leaving oil in the ground.

“The report finds that, contrary to previous claims, every barrel of California oil left in the ground will also result in a net decrease in oil production globally,” noted Tucker.

Tucker said the report lays out “policy pathways” to limiting state oil production, including ending permitting for new oil production, ending subsidies for oil and gas production, and establishing setbacks to limit urban drilling in vulnerable communities.

For the SEI report, see here. <> There is no doubt that the Trump administration’s proposal to open new federal oil drilling leases off the Pacific Coast must be resisted, but so must Governor Brown’s expansion of offshore and onshore drilling in California.

* * *

MONO LAKE by Chiburo Obata

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APRIL 4, 1943: Four freedom-hungry desperadoes cracked out of Alcatraz in a thick fog early yesterday. They all gambled their lives and two of them lost, riddled as they swam; the other two were recaptured, one in the water, the other cowering in a cave on the island. Recaptured were Harold Brest, handsome, cold-blooded bank robber, hauled naked out of the frigid waters, and Fred Hunter, stoop-shouldered member of Alvin (Old Creepy) Karpis gang of murderers. Wounded by rifle slugs from the Rock’s gun towers and drowned were James Boardman, bank robber, and Floyd Hamilton, erstwhile henchman of the notorious Barrow-Parker-Hamilton outlaw gang that flourished in the Southwest. The quartet made its abortive bid for liberty after slugging, gagging and binding Captain of the Guards Henry Weinhold and Officer Smith. And then, clad only in their underwear, armed with improvised daggers, the convicts leaped out of a window at the rear of the model building on the northwest tip of the island. But they left behind two of the four cans designed to keep them afloat in the tiderips and stuffed with Army uniforms with which they hoped to make good their escape. Seconds later the guards on the high gun tower trained powerful rifles aiming at the bobbing heads. Fusillade after fusillade spattered the waters with deadly slugs, peppering the surface with tiny geysers. The first rain of bullets winged Hamilton who sank beneath the surface. Brest now naked was floating on his back holding up the wounded Boardman when the prison launch pulled alongside. Boardman, riddled through the head, tinctured the green waters with his blood. As Brest reached up for a guard’s grip he loosened his hold on Boardman who slipped like a lead weight beneath the surface. Hunter, who injured his back in the leap from the window, was discovered later in an island search, hiding in a dank cave eroded from the cliff walls.

(SF Chronicle)

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IF SCIENCE and religion are both conceived of as a “search for truth,” then the faith- and revelation-based methods of religion have failed to converge on single, agreed-upon answers. Different religions have different “answers,” and even within a single faith different people diverge in their notion of religious “truth.” In contrast, scientists— regardless of religious creed, ethnicity, or nationality—converge on single, agreed-upon answers (of course there is still scientific disagreement about many cutting-edge issues). Water has two hydrogen and one oxygen molecules whether you’re a chemist in Africa, Eurasia, or America. DNA in the nucleus is a double helical molecule consisting of sugars and nucleotide bases. Evolution is a fact for scientists in every land, for they can all examine the massive evidence supporting it. There are many faiths; but there is only one science.

The fact that different people from different backgrounds converge on the same scientific answers also implies that there really are objective truths about the universe, decrying the postmodern notion that all truths are subjective. In contrast, if there were objective truth about God and his ways—truths revealed by God to people through revelation, dogma, and authority—you might expect that everyone would be of the same faith. …

Scientists believe X because we have seen evidence for it. Philosophers may turn this around: the X hypothesis has withstood strenuous attempts to falsify it. But I am not concerned with such refinements. It still counts as evidence, even if technically all our beliefs are on probation. Nor shall I lose any time on fashionable claims that science is just the white, Western, patriarchal view of truth. Science works. That is why when you go to an international conference on cultural relativism you go by Boeing 747 rather than by magic carpet.

—Richard Dawkins

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Pet Care-A-Van at the Manchester Community Center this Tuesday & Wednesday

The Mendocino County Pet Care-A-Van will be at the Manchester Community Center/Garcia Guild on April 10 and April 11. For neuter and spay surgeries call (707) 513-7604 and leave a message. There are only a few spots remaining. Low-cost vaccinations do not require an appointment. Drop-in at the Center between 10 am and 2 pm either day.

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Letter to the Editor,

Earlier this year, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued a decision that essentially found that state law requires oil and gas regulators to place greater priority on protection of public health and the environment than in issuing drilling permits.

Beleaguered anti-fracking groups in Colorado — and throughout the U.S. — cheered the decision.

Judge Fox wrote the majority opinion. Judge Vogt concurred.

Judge Booras dissented in favor of the fracking industry.


This decision came in a case brought by attorneys for six teenage plaintiffs — Mexican-American and Native American — who contended that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGC) isn’t doing enough to protect today’s youth and future generations from the hazards of fossil-fuel drilling (especially fracking), from pollution-related respiratory ailments to environmental degradation, and climate change.

The teens had requested that the COGCC not issue any more permits for oil and gas drilling without scientific evidence that the activity “does not adversely impact human health and does not contribute to climate change.”

The COGCC rejected the initial petition, maintaining that setting such a standard was beyond the agency’s statutory authority. The teens sued. They were represented by Our Children’s Trust, a legal advocacy firm for kids and the environment.


In the first court appearance by the teens, Denver District Court Judge Eric Elliff ruled against the teens, declaring that the COGCC is merely required to “strike a balance” between oil and gas development and protecting public health, the environment and wildlife.

The plaintiffs contend that the COGCC approach isn’t really “balanced,” maintaining that they couldn’t find a single instance where a permit was denied for health or environmental reasons. And the appeals court overruled Elliff, saying that state law “mandates that the development of oil and gas in Colorado be regulated subject to the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including the protection of the environment and wildlife resources.”

The three-judge appellate court panel didn’t rule on the merits of the rule change the teens were proposing. But the basic finding that the COGCC has been misapplying the law — assuming that it withstands future appeals — could open the door for fracking opponents to seek more stringent conditions for future drilling permits.

That’s a big deal, because county and municipal officials in Colorado have been treading cautiously when dealing with fracking operations, uncertain over how much local control can be exerted, in the wake of Colorado Supreme Court decisions overturning a long-term moratorium in Fort Collins and an outright ban in Longmont.

Recently, pro-fracking Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman filed a lawsuit against Boulder County, too, claiming that its long-running moratorium on new rigs usurps the authority of the COGCC to oversee drilling operations.

Last month, Broomfield’s city council flirted with, then ultimately killed, a proposal for a short-term moratorium in the wake of a proposal by one company to drill up to 139 wells at four sites near residential areas.

The COGCC has responded to the rejection of its balancing test by appealing to the state’s highest court — the Colorado Supreme Court.

But for now, the teenage plaintiffs in the current suit, closely affiliated with the Boulder-based activist group Earth Guardians, the appellate court’s decision was something to cheer about.

The case is now before the Colorado Supreme Court.


There’s more.

On the federal level, the same group of Colorado teenagers are part of 21 youth plaintiffs in a second lawsuit arguing that the U.S. government has failed to protect their constitutional right to a stable climate and that it’s the government’s responsibility to create scientifically sound environmental policies, especially given the decades-long consensus over the role of greenhouse-gas emissions in man-made climate change.


As a footnote, Booras characterized Judge Fox as “The Little Mexican”. She also characterized her ex-husbands Native American wife as “The Squaw”. These racist slurs, and other serious misconduct, are substantiated in emails from Booras to me. It is the primary reason I filed a complaint to the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline.

Keep in mind that most of the teenage plaintiffs in the above cases are either Mexican-American or Native American.

Want to meet some of the kids who filed this lawsuit?

They are my heroes:

John Sakowicz

9 April 2018

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(Photo provided by Susie de Castro)

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* * *

COSBY, 80, laughed (above) at the woman as she jumped over the barricade and ran into his path on Monday

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Planning Commission meeting Agenda for April 19, 2018, is posted on the department website at:

Please contact staff with any questions.

Victoria Davis, Commission Services Supervisor, 707-234-6664

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(Click to enlarge)

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Rat Poison--Woodlands Wildlife

This is the time of year rats and mice and other unwanted wildlife are a big problem in and under our homes.  But when we use poison baits to kill these pests, they wander out into the world and are eaten by turkey vultures, hawks, owls, other hungry mammals (foxes) and our pets.  I just had to watch my third such victim of secondary poisoning die within a few days.  Please, invest in and maintain a RAT and MOUSE-SIZE Have-a-Heart trap or use snap-traps if you must.  These 3 victims (a turkey vulture, hawk and owl) all had brood patches on their breasts -- they were either sitting on eggs or babies.  Now they will die and all their possible offspring will never be born.  Our area has suffered a massive die-off of wildlife thanks to so many years of drought and the hunger and disease it brought.  We live here because we love the ocean and the wildness around us.  Spread the word.  If you have a shop or restaurant -- make a little extra effort. These deaths weigh heavily on all of us.

And it's a good time to remind everyone NOT to trap and remove larger mammals this time of year because they all have babies and families that will be left to die of starvation -- their only revenge will be to stink up your house.  Just wait until August and then use a Have-a-Hart trap and close up the places they are getting in.  If you know where they are -- shine an inexpensive clamp-shop light at them, raccoons and skunks seek darkness and isolation -- they will get uncomfortable and move -- be careful not to get the light bulb close enough to cook them or start a fire. Most animals will move their young every few weeks in order to keep the nest space clean -- and we can always just be patient too.

P.S. I have concern and compassion for rats and mice too, and have actually rehabbed and released a number of them, but I am also territorial about my own space -- I'm okay with getting rid of rats and mice -- but only if it's done in a compassionate way,

–Ronnie James, Woodland Wildlife

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Mendocino Coast UkeFest 2018

This weekend - join us for some ukulele fun at the Redwood Coast Senior Center! All Ages and levels of experience welcome. Net proceeds benefit RCSC.

Friday, April 13 6:30-9pm - Mendocino Coast UkeFest Kick-Off Jam and sing-along, meet the instructors. Bring your ukulele or just come in to sing along. Free admission.

Saturday, April 14 9am -3pm Mendocino Coast UkeFest Workshops - The daytime ukulele workshops and jamming with a choice of two workshops each at 10am and 1:30pm, open mic follows. $30 for the day.  Tickets available at

Saturday, April 14 3-9pm Live music and Pizza Party with salad bar. Free admission, dinner $10, no host bar. Open mic at 3pm. Dinner starting at 5PM. Performances from 5:30-8:30PM featuring “The Ukeholics and the Tiny Orchestra of Boonville”, "The Random Holler Jug Band", Janet Lenore with Jeff Davis and Sarah Wagner.

All this at Redwood Coast Senior Center, 490 N Harold St, Fort Bragg. For more information email or call Pattie 937-1732

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(Click to enlarge)

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by James Kunstler

“BEIRUT, Lebanon — Days after President Trump said he wanted to pull the United States out of Syria, Syrian forces hit a suburb of Damascus with bombs that rescue workers said unleashed toxic gas.”

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me, the old saying goes. So, tread carefully through the minefields of propaganda laid for the credulous in such low organs as The New York Times. There are excellent reasons to suppose that the American Deep State wishes strenuously to keep meddling all around the Middle East. The record so far shows that the blunt instruments of US strategic policy produce a consistent result: failed states.

Syria was well on its way to that sorry condition — prompted by an inflow of Jihadi maniacs fleeing our previous nation un-building experiment in Iraq — when the Russians stepped in with an arrantly contrary idea: to support the Syrian government. Of course, the Russians had ulterior motives: a naval base on the Mediterranean, expanded influence in the region, and a Gazprom concession to develop and manage large natural gas fields near the Syrian city of Homs, for export to Europe. The latter would have competed with America’s client state, Qatar, a leading gas exporter to Europe.

But the US objected to supporting the government of Bashar al-Assad, as it had previously with Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, as well as Russia’s presence there in the first place. So, the US cultivated anti-government forces in the Syrian civil war, a hodgepodge of Islamic psychopaths variously known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, Ansar al-Din, Jaysh al-Sunna, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, and what-have-you.

As it happened, US policy in Syria after 2013 became an exercise in waffling. It was clear that our support for the forces of Jihad against Assad was turning major Syrian cities into rubble-fields, with masses of civilians caught in the middle and ground up like so much dog food. President Barack Obama famously drew a line-in-the-sand on the use of chemical weapons. It was well-known that the Syrian army had stockpiles of chemical poisons. But the US also knew that our Jihadi consorts had plenty of their own. Incidents of chemical atrocities were carried out by… somebody… it was never altogether clear or proven… and Mr. Obama’s line-in-the-sand disappeared under dust-storms of equivocation.

Finally, a joint mission of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was called in to supervise the destruction of the Syrian government’s chemical weapons, and certified it as accomplished in late 2014. Yet, poison gas incidents continued — most notoriously in 2017 when President Donald Trump responded to one with a sortie of cruise missiles against a vacant Syrian government airfield. And now another incident in the Damascus suburb of Douma has provoked Mr. Trump to tweetstormed threats of retaliatory violence, just days after he proposed a swift withdrawal from that vexing corner of the world.

Surely by now the American public has developed some immunity to claims of nefarious doings in foreign lands (“weapons of mass destruction,” and all). The operative sentence in that New York Times report is “…Syrian forces hit a suburb of Damascus with bombs that rescue workers said unleashed toxic gas.” Yeah, well, how clear is it that the toxic gas was contained in the bombs, or rather that the bombs dropped by the Syrian military blew up a chemical weapon depot controlled by anti-government Jihadis? Does that hodgepodge of maniacs show any respect for the UN, or the Geneva Convention, or any other agency of international law? As in many previous such incidents, we don’t know who was responsible — though there is plenty of reason to believe that parties within the US establishment are against Mr. Trump’s idea of getting the hell out of that place, and might cook up a convenient reason to prevent it.

Lastly, how is it in Bashar al-Assad’s interests to provoke a fresh international uproar against him and his regime? I’d say it is not the least in his interest, since he is on the verge of putting an end to the awful conflict. He may not be a model of rectitude by Western standards, but he’s not a mental defective. And he has very able Russian support advising him in what has been so far a long and difficult effort to prevent his state from failing — or being failed for him.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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EVERYBODY aims a vehicle these days. Not a lot of people drive anymore.

— Ernie Patnoe

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* * *


Immigrants from Central America work harder than native-born citizens. They start their own businesses doing work that citizens don’t want to do. They earn money. They pay taxes. They pay their own way, just like the Irish, Polish, English, German, and Chinese immigrants before them did. Nobody has to “invite” them into their home. They have their own families to raise. They want their own homes… and eventually they get them. They create jobs for others, for citizens. It’s called the American Dream and it has worked for millions and will continue to do so. Trump cannot kill the American dream. Trump cannot stop immigrants by sending the military to the border. And the Democratic Party would have more success and legitimacy if it tried to establish its political base among the hardworking American middle class. If they would do that it would expose Republicans as the plutocrats they have become.



  1. George Hollister April 10, 2018

    DAVID RODERICK is setting a new standard for people running for supervisor in Mendocino County. Pretty impressive. He is also refreshingly free of the political sectarianism that has gripped our county for the last 40 years. Anyone would feel good about voting for him. Watch the video, or read the AVA interview. The only way someone would not like Dave, is to decide that ahead of time.

  2. Stanley Kelley April 10, 2018

    Don’t let the tamarisk loose. They are an environmental problem when they grow along rivers

      • George Hollister April 10, 2018

        I just looked it up. Tamarisk is a genus with 60+ species. They are exotic to the US, but not necessarily undesirable, or invasive. They certainly can be, though. Tamarix aphylla, is commonly planted, and is not considered to be invasive. The blooms of the genus can be good for honey bees, and produce a high quality honey. I don’t know the specie in the photo, and would personally withhold judgement.

        • Bruce McEwen April 10, 2018

          Wrong climate hereabouts for the tamarisk to become invasive — but the Nile version of the species, along with Russian olive, have both invaded the arid canyonlands of Utah and Arizona and have fairly choked-out everything else on the banks of the Colorado River and its tributaries all through Southern Utah, Northern Arizona and even Nevada and Southern California all the way to the Sea of Cortez.

    • Bill Pilgrim April 10, 2018

      I’ve lived in Anderson valley for 15 years…have driven many if not most of its roads, and have seen 3 Tamarisks. No more.

      On the other hand, “Scotch Broom” is increasingly taking over the roadsides on nearly every lane I travel, from here to the coast.

      Now THAT is invasive.

  3. Jim Armstrong April 10, 2018

    An interesting comparison of watersheds:
    At the height of the recent storm Anderson Valley and the Navarro River produced a flow of about 9000 cubic feet per second.
    At the same time the East Fork of the Russian River (Potter Valley and Cold Creek) was measured at 6000 CFS.
    Of that 6000, about 10 CFS was water stolen from Humboldt County by the PV Project while 8300 CFS went on down the Eel.

    • George Hollister April 10, 2018

      Jim, I understand your point, but I am not sure about the math.

      • Jim Armstrong April 10, 2018

        What are you not sure about?

        • George Hollister April 10, 2018

          Are your sure about the 10 CFS?

          • Jim Armstrong April 10, 2018

            The flow through the tunnel from Van Arsdale to the powerhouse averaged 33 cfs on 4/6 and 9 cfs on 4/7 when an average of 8317 cfs went past the dam.
            So “about 10” seemed OK.

            • Jim Armstrong April 13, 2018

              Don’t know if I satisfied George’s question, but I did forget to mention the main difference between the two rivers:
              The Navarro’s 9000 cubic feet per second went into the mighty Pacific Ocean to be instantly joined with all of its flows of the past.
              The Russian’s 6000 is sitting in Lake Mendocino waiting to do who knows what.

  4. james marmon April 10, 2018


    I just read the restraining order signed by Judge Henderson and guess what, he only ordered the last one for 2 years. My restraining order ended last month 3/22/18. I am free again! They had asked for 3 years, but he only gave them two.

    James Marmon MSW

    • Lazarus April 10, 2018

      So now what? I’d be careful, they’ll likely be out to get you if you show up at their gaggles…So far the Measure B committee has had it all their way, but that could be changing. Rumors and rumbles are stirring of late in the Willits about HMH and that Howard Foundation bunch. Seems people are waking up to what’s about to be perpetrated on them. I hear talk of hiring lawyers and such…
      As always,

  5. james marmon April 10, 2018

    If anyone has the dates for the Behavioral Health Advisory Board (BHAB) and/or Measure B Oversight Committee meetings, please email me at

    I also would like to attend any public meetings pertaining to the homeless.


    James Marmon MSW
    Personal Growth Consultant

    ‘don’t just go through it, grow through it’

    • Bruce Anderson April 10, 2018

      I second Laz. Don’t give them any ammo, Jim.

      • james marmon April 10, 2018

        What about my First Amendment rights? I have one of the best Civil Rights Lawyers in the nation as one of my friends (Robert Powell). I live my life above reproach and really have nothing to fear. As an employee those rights were limited, as a private citizen, they will never take that away from me again.

        This is always been about “Silencing Marmon”

        I’m ready to file a retaliation suit, have been for years. I’m done with the being a victim of the “chilling effect” that Mendocino County inflicted on me over the years. Judge James Luther gave me my marching orders in 1989, “go learn and come back and help others” I plan on doing just that and there isn’t a power in the world that can stop me from doing so.

        Chilling effect

        In a legal context, a chilling effect is the inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights by the threat of legal sanction. The right that is most often described as being suppressed by a chilling effect is the US constitutional right to free speech.

        I appreciate the AVA for not completely taking part in Silencing Marmon, even though you really wanted to at times. I thank you for that.

        James Marmon MSW
        Personal Growth Consultant

        ‘don’t just go through it, grow through it’

        • james marmon April 10, 2018

          I’ve spent the last 5 years setting them all up. Thank you AVA.

          First Amendment Retaliation

          When the plaintiff is a private citizen (as opposed to a government employee), the level of injury they must allege is somewhat lower. The First Amendment right to criticize public officials is well-established and supported by ample caselaw; a public official’s retaliation against an individual exercising his or her First Amendment rights is a violation of § 1983.

  6. chuck dunbar April 10, 2018


    OMG—The James has been set free!
    Bureaucrats, toadies, louts and such,
    Better slither and hide, cower and flee,
    ‘Cause he’ll pester and bother all a bunch.

    Hid behind a rock, or under a chair–
    That James’ll seek and find them out.
    He’ll insist they be just, fair and square.
    Oh–not a doubt–he’ll call ’em to account.

    Congrats on your freedom, James. Good for Judge Henderson–2 years, not 3.

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