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REST IN PEACE DEPUTY DAVIS. We will never forget you.
Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff George Robert “Bob” Davis, call sign three-Zebra seven six, honorably and heroically completed his tour of duty on the 14th of April, 1995 at 21:51 hours.
(Mendocino County Sheriff)
* * *
THE BEAR LINCOLN CASE
by Mark Scaramella
In the late afternoon of April 14, 1995, 23 years ago, Arylis Peters shot and killed Gene Britton in the Covelo High School parking lot. Peters and Britton both had been drinking. Peters said Britton was reaching for his rifle in his pickup intending to shoot at him. Peters eventually pleaded out to second degree murder, then tried to withdraw his plea but the withdrawal request was denied and Peters was packed off to state prison.
According to Grand Jury records, the month prior to the April shooting death of Gene Britton, Byron Peters, was beaten up by Neil Britton and some of his friends. Neil was 23 years old and Byron was 17. Byron's father, Leonard ‘Acorn’ Peters, insisted his son go to the police. Three times the elder Peters set up appointments with Sheriff's deputies but the Peters' said the deputies had stood them up each time.
The older men affiliated with Neil Britton, according to Byron, continued to harass Byron until he fought back by shooting into the side of their truck while it was parked at a Covelo filling station. Deputies arrested Byron within hours. The alleged non-response by the Sheriff’s Department to the Peters' earlier complaint, and the almost immediate arrest of Byron Peters for shooting into a Britton truck, led to confrontations between Byron's father, Leonard Peters, and Gene Britton, Neil Britton's father.
A full family feud between the Brittons and the Lincoln-Peters families had erupted.
Leonard Peters’ brother Arylis Peters soon encountered Gene Britton in the parking lot of the Covelo high school. Both men were armed, but Peters proved faster on the draw, fatally shooting the elder Britton as, Peters would claim, Britton went for his gun.
That afternoon shooting at the high school led to a police manhunt for Arylis Peters, and it was that search for Arylis Peters that would lead to the shooting deaths of Leonard Peters and Deputy Bob Davis later that April evening, and which made Bear Lincoln a cause célèbre among liberals throughout the United States.
Arylis Peters, despondent over the death of his brother Leonard and in ill health, did not participate in his own defense, such as it was. In a modern day record for Mendocino County, Arylis Peters was sentenced to 25-to-life a mere seven weeks after being charged. Peters' lawyer, then-Public Defender Ron Brown, later a Superior Court judge (who died several years ago from cancer), never questioned his client’s state of mind nor did he raise the issue of self-defense, even though it was known that Gene Britton also had a gun and was apparently reaching for it at the time he was shot. Arylis Peters had fired his fatal shot at Gene Britton from a car driven by Kathleen Lincoln. Her husband, Les Lincoln, was in the back seat. Neil Britton's statement to police said that Les Lincoln had handed Arylis the rifle he used to shoot his father, Gene Britton. The charges against Les Lincoln were dropped for lack of evidence, but his wife Kathleen received three years for being an accessory to the murder of Gene Britton. Neil Britton would be one of only two civilian witnesses called to testify in front of the Grand Jury against Bear Lincoln leading to Bear Lincoln’s arrest warrant, the other being a mystery witness by the name of Robert Steitler.
* * *
As night fell on that full moon night of April 14th, police had descended on Covelo in force looking for Arylis Peters. The moon was often obscured by rain clouds alternating between spotlight clarity over the Covelo area and pitch dark. Deputies Bob Davis, a Native American and former Navy Seal, and Dennis Miller, a former resident deputy in Anderson Valley, dispatched themselves to the top of a ridge between Round Valley and the Little Valley home of Bear Lincoln and family.
The Sheriff’s Department had information that led them to believe that Arylis might be at the Little Valley home of Bear Lincoln, four miles west of the high school, and just over the shallow ridge from Round Valley proper, hence the tactical placement of deputies Miller and Davis on the ridge overlooking the Lincoln property.
Deputy Dennis Miller: “We were completely off the road and the trail that goes along the ridge there. We were completely off the main road. It wasn't a road block it was just a surveillance point.” The “surveillance point” was on behind a large berm in the bend of the road where Davis’s 4x4 patrol vehicle was parked out of the view of anyone coming up the road from Lincoln’s compound down in Little Valley.
Deputy Miller said that he and Davis had just arrived at the ridgetop and backed their car off the road when Davis alerted Miller that someone was coming up the road. It was about 10pm. Both deputies quickly got out of their patrol wagon and Davis, Miller said, shined a flashlight on a man walking up the road carrying a rifle. Davis shouted, "Sheriff's Department! Drop the gun."
Miller testified that Davis repeated the command three times. But the man shouldered a rifle and, Miller said, fired a shot in the direction of the deputies, and both deputies opened return fire with pistols. The man with the rifle went down and it was quiet.
From Bear Lincoln’s trial testimony:
What was the first thing, as you approached the summit, that you did hear?
Well, I heard Acorn [Peters]. He said, “Oh, fuck.”
Then what happened?
"Then there was a barrage of gunfire, and bullets."
And how far behind him were you?
"About the same distance, 25 feet."
And when you say “a barrage of gunfire” what do you mean?
"A lot of bullets going off at the same time."
Could you see gunfire, that is any of kind light… I don’t know, any kind of fire from any muzzle?
"No. I didn’t see anything."
Had you heard any person emit any sound other than Acorn who said “Oh, fuck”?
Had Acorn shot? Did you see him shoot?
"No. He didn’t."
Did you shoot before Acorn fell?
How did he fall?
"He fell backwards."
How far from you did he fall?
"20 to 25 feet."
What did you do then?
"I chambered a round in my gun and I returned fire."
From their surveillance point, Deputies Miller and Davis had shot and killed Leonard Peters who was walking up the road a short distance in front of Bear Lincoln.
Miller said he then reached into the patrol vehicle and retrieved Bob Davis's fully automatic M-16 rifle. Peters was dead in the road in front of the deputies. Davis had crawled around the back of their patrol vehicle to where Miller was crouched, saying he thought he was hit, and that he thought there was another suspect behind them. Davis turned on his flashlight and was checking his “leg and abdomen” for wounds while Miller called for back-up and an ambulance, according to Miller’s statement. Miller and Davis, apparently in fear that someone was to their rear, decided to cross the dirt road to seek cover on the downhill side of the roadbed just beyond where Peters lay dead. As they scurried past the body of Peters, Davis stopped to check Peters for vital signs. Miller said he could see Davis crouched over the dead Peters.
Miller stated that he then saw a movement from down the road, followed by the flash of a gun blast.
“Davis fired one or two rounds at the same time I cut loose with about a six round burst on full automatic,” said Miller. “I stepped off the edge (of the dirt road) and I fell and I hit on my left side and I rolled and come straight up and flopped and went back to the berm of the road, and as I come back to the berm of the road, I saw Davis on his back against the … first he was against the wall and then he just went straight on his back.”
This version of events, however, would be contradicted as the case moved forward.
As it turns out, Lincoln was following some 20-30 feet behind Peters and he indeed did open fire with his semi-automatic, which he was carrying in the expectation that members of the Britton family were out to get either him or a member of his family because of the earlier shooting of Gene Britton by Arylis Peters. Lincoln and Acorn Peters assumed, apparently, that they'd been ambushed by the Brittons, not the police.
One of Bear Lincoln’s bullets in the very first exchange of fire when Peters was shot had apparently hit Davis in the hand. Lincoln testified later that he hadn’t heard the deputies identify themselves nor did he see them or their car. From the top of the berm, people walking up the road from the Lincoln place are not visible until they're almost at the top of the road adjacent to where the police vehicle was parked off the road and out of sight of anyone walking up the road.
The two parties had been shooting at each other at almost point blank range from no more than 25 or 30 feet. After the first exchange of fire, Lincoln later testified, Lincoln ran off to his right, down the hill and hid in a dry creekbed.
Not having heard any more gunfire while down in the creekbed, he thought whoever it was might have left, so he made his way back up the road to check on his friend, Acorn Peters, who was lying dead in the road, although Lincoln didn’t know that at the time.
As Bear Lincoln cautiously approached the spot on the road from where he'd jumped over the bank at the initial exchange of fire, he was still carrying his Mini-14. The two deputies thought they heard sounds in the brush, and that someone might be preparing to attack them from their rear. They decided to take cover in a clump of small oaks across the road from their wagon. Davis then apparently decided to check the fallen man again. As Davis bent over the body, Miller said he saw motion down the road and fired a burst of full-automatic fire from his M-16 assault rifle at that movement. Almost simultaneously Miller fell over an embankment, rolled on his shoulder, and came back up. Davis had been shot in the head. Miller saw more movement down the road and fired another burst at that movement.
“There was an explosion of gunfire,” Lincoln testified. “The shooting started again. I was maybe 30-40 yards from Acorn’s body.”
Lincoln couldn’t see anything: “It was too dark.” He said he could see gunfire muzzle blasts, but no figures or people, and he heard no voices. He said the gunfire seemed to be coming from somewhere on the road this time because he could see the muzzle blasts. “It sounded like automatic weapons going off continuously,” Lincoln said. “There were bullets flying by me. I returned fire, but I didn’t have anything to aim at. But only one round went off. I kept pulling the trigger, but it just clicked.”
Deputy Bob Davis lay dead against the bank of the high side of the road, a fatal wound to his head and a superficial wound to the back of his hand. These were his only two wounds, according to the autopsy report. At that time, no one knew who was in the vicinity or who was shooting at the cops or who shot first at whom. It was chaos and it was about to get a lot more chaotic.
In his first account of the incident, Deputy Dennis Miller said that Leonard Peters had fired at the deputies with his rifle after they had identified themselves as cops, and that they had killed him with their return fire.
But when Peters’ rifle was tested, it tested “clean.” It had not been fired. When Deputy Miller was informed of this finding he revised his version of events to say that Peters raised his gun as if to fire when the deputies shot and killed him. This change in Miller's testimony would become a key point in the case. Miller’s new version of events was that whoever was farther down the road behind Peters, had fired first. It was never clearly established who shot first.
Miller insisted that whoever was behind Peters, which would have been Bear Lincoln, shot first and the deputies shot Peters in return fire. Lincoln’s defense team implied several times that Leonard Peters had been murdered by the police for simply raising his rifle in likely reaction to having a flashlight beamed at him, that he had not been warned that the flashlight belonged to the police. Everybody on that ridge that night had reason to think somebody else (or more) was out to shoot them.
It was also never clearly established who shot Davis in the hand or when — before he ran down the road towards the Lincoln’s cabin or later in the event. But given Miller’s testimony that he had fired two rounds of full-automatic fire from an M-16 assault rifle at “motion down the road” in the dark, it would be reasonable to presume that one of those bullets could have unintentionally hit and killed Davis.
But nobody in law enforcement wanted to consider that a deputy might have accidentally killed his own partner.
Law enforcement then descended on the scene en masse, as did emergency personnel. But no one was in charge. Civilians arriving on-scene, including the late DA Norm Vroman and former Supervisor John Pinches, said that Sheriff Tuso was so distraught he was in no condition to manage the scene. Cops, fearing someone or someones were still armed and at large, were shooting at anything that moved. Round Valley residents later reported that they heard hundreds of gunshots from the area long into the night and into the next morning.
By daybreak, the “crime scene” had been trampled and driven over by dozens of people, mostly cops and other emergency responders.
Nevertheless, three key pieces of evidence were soon found: Leonard Peters’ unfired rifle, Bear Lincoln’s black felt hat with a beaded hat band and hawk feather, and a trail of blood drops, later established as Deputy Davis’s blood, were found leading from where the two men lay dead down the road to Bear Lincoln’s gate. Davis, a resident of Round Valley and familiar with the territory, had been shot in the hand during the very first exchange of fire that killed Peters and which prompted return fire from Lincoln. Davis had run down the hill toward Lincoln’s cabin in an attempt to catch up with the second figure that Deputy Miller testified they'd seen in the road after Peters was shot.
When law enforcement recognized Bear Lincoln’s distinctive hat near the scene, a highly inflammatory wanted notice was circulated, and an aggressive multi-agency, house-to-house search commenced for anyone in Covelo who might know something about where Lincoln was.
Lincoln has never said how he managed to elude the large manhunt for him. (We've been told he fled north on horseback along the Mina Road where he was sheltered in the mountains east of Alderpoint by "hippies."
Four months later Lincoln turned himself in at the law offices of Tony Serra in San Francisco before a large crowd of television and newspaper reporters, but after the Serra team had photographed him nude to ensure he wasn't harmed after he left San Francisco in Mendocino County custody.
And so began what would become the biggest and longest trial in modern Mendocino County history where, after much heated controversy and legal maneuvering over almost two years, Lincoln was acquitted. According to post-verdict statements, the jury simply didn’t believe Deputy Miller’s second, revised, version of events.
(PS. According to the California Prison Locator website, Arylis Peters is no longer in prison.)
UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK
Puppies!!! We currently have 9 puppies patiently waiting for their new families. They are all social, friendly pups who will grow to be medium sized adult dogs. Pictured are Flip (top) and Fergie. Our puppies love to spend time in the puppy play yard, so feel free to come in and meet them!
Calling all BIG cat lovers! Alison is a beautiful 4 year old, spayed female who weighs in at 11 pounds. Just so happens she is also very sweet and loves attention. With her long white whiskers and gray and white markings, Alison is as cute as they come.
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. Many wonderful dogs and cats await their forever homes here. To view photos and bios of more of the wonderful adoptable animals, please visit online at: www.mendoanimalshelter.com or visit the shelter. Please join us the 2nd Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for some exercise! For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
EARLY CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION FILINGS (As of April 13, 2018 — Contested Races)
Fifth District Supervisor
David Roderick, Business owner/farmer: $5000 loan from his company.
Arthur Juhl, Real Estate Broker: None so far.
Chris Skyhawk, Youth/Family Counselor: None so far.
Ted Williams, Fire Chief/Programmer: None so far.
Alan Rodier, Farmer/Attorney: $170, no names.
County Superintendent of Schools
Michelle Hutchins: $1000 from retired teacher Monique Leigh.
Bryan Barrett: $1240 from James Barrett, self-employed planning, development and real estate consultant.
Third District Supervisor
John Pinches, Rancher: None so far
Susy Barsotti, Businesswoman, Festival Production: $5,000 from Bob Barsotti LLC, $1000 from Dansun Productions.
John Haschak, Teacher: $150 from Kirk Lumpkin, $100 from Judith Bagley, $500 from Carolyn Doggett, $100 from James Rathe, $100 from Rachel Yusen, $400 from Hal Wagenet $100 from Gregory Bonaccorsi, $100 from Judith Ahern, $100 from Michael Haschak, $100 from Terry Poplawski, $100 from Helen Green, $100 from Rachel Binah (“self-employed artist”), $100 from G.A. Young (“Labor rep Teachers Union”), $150 from Gary Owen $100 from Dixie Johansen, $500 from Richard Padula (“Forester”).
Pam Elizondo, Environmental Healing Consultant: None so far.
Tony Tucker, Emergency Childcare Worker: None so far.
Cyndee Logan, Housing Director: None so far.
Shawna Jeavons, Educator: None so far.
Michael Horger, Parent/Retired: None so far.
Katrina Bartolomie, Assistant Clerk-Recorder/Registrar. $2,000 from Phyllis Bartolomie, $1,000 from Darlene Simpson (Gregg Simpson Trucking), $2,000 from John T Stephenson and $2,336.64 (“signs purchased”).
Jeanette S. Kroppmann, Real Property Appraiser II. $10,000 from Robert Doran (VP Construction Divis. ROIC/CZAR DRT, President),
Dirk Larson, Real Property Appraiser III. $5,000 from himself.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “So I ask Skrag if he's tracking the war news tonight, what with the attack on Syria. ‘The only thing I'm tracking is my dinner,’ Skrag says. ’If my eats are on tv lemme know’."
ALBION RIVER BRIDGE UPDATE-
Tuesday, April 17, 6:00-7:30pm, Albion Elementary School
Informational Open House to discuss:
-Proposed Geotechnical studies
-Inspection Commentary from October 2017 Bridge Inspection Report
- and more
COMMERCIAL SALMON FISHING RESTRICTED AGAIN
by Daniel Mintz
This year’s ocean salmon fishing season continues a down trend and will be the third season that could qualify for a federal fishery disaster declaration.
Decided by the Pacific Fishery Management Council on April 10, the state’s upcoming commercial, recreational and tribal Chinook salmon seasons are again restricted.
Klamath River fall run Chinook heavily affect Northern California and Southern Oregon seasons and last year’s poor returns triggered closures. At 359,200 fish, this year’s Klamath fall Chinook ocean abundance forecast is far above last year’s prediction of 54,200 fish
But the forecast for Sacramento River fall Chinook – which is often referred to as the “bread and butter” stock for commercial fishing — is no better than last year’s disappointing estimate and continues a down cycle that began three years ago.
Drought combined with warm water ocean conditions and water diversion impacts are believed to be the causes.
The range of Sacramento River fish includes the entire California and Oregon coasts.
Noah Oppenheim, the executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, said the commercial fishing allocations in Northern California’s Klamath Management Zone (KMZ) from Humboldt South Jetty to the California/Oregon border are improved from last year but still limited by the condition of the Sacramento Chinook stock.
“There are plenty of Sacramento fish that reach the KMZ and we aren’t leaving fish on the table, so to speak, but there are definitely Sacramento constraints in mind in the design of this KMZ fishery,” he continued.
The conservative approach is “warranted,” Oppenheim said, but “this is a really good sign of an improvement that’s desperately needed and appreciated by the fishermen I’ve spoken with who will finally be able to fish close to home in Eureka and Crescent City.”
Last year, the KMZ was closed to fishing. It was limited to the month of September in previous years, with minimal commercial catches.
The upcoming KMZ commercial season allows fishing from May to August, with monthly quotas of 4,000 fish except for May, which has a 3,600-fish quota.
From just north of Shelter Cove to Fort Bragg and Point Arena, fishing is closed for most of the crucial month of July but August and September are open.
Last year’s statewide salmon catch amounted to about 50,000 fish, slightly below the previous year’s catch. Those catch levels are alarmingly low and have triggered requests for federal fishery disaster declarations.
Oppenheim said the upcoming season is likely to produce a similar yield.
Drought conditions have recently eased but continue to affect salmon runs as this year’s returning fish were juveniles when lack of water and warm water temperatures affected survival.
Drought conditions have eased but snowpack levels are well below normal and Oppenheim said water policy changes are needed to effect long term improvement.
“I’d say the system is currently broken when it comes to salmon and a couple of band aids aren’t going to do the trick,” he continued. “We need real robust solutions to water management and water over-allocation in virtually all of our salmon-producing watersheds”
The fishing seasons will get final approval from the National Marine Fisheries Service on May 1.
“Missing Juvenile Lia Long Has Been Located Safe
Lia Long has been located safe in Stockton, California. Family members are currently with her and will be in the process of bringing her back to her home in Lakeport, California.”
(Lakeport Police Press Release)
SILVA IN THE CROSSHAIRS AGAIN
I find myself in the crosshairs of the District Attorney’s office again. In May of 2013 unbeknownst to me you covered my sentencing and "what defense?" with Mr. Haehl.
So currently I faced a strange charge of assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism, a prior strike and prison enhancement. So I broke up a dogfight with a bat and no one was home to assault? My next court date is April 17 if you'd like to follow my adventures through the Mendocino County justice system again. By the way, thanks for the first article.
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 14, 2018
DAVID CALVO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JORGE CAMPOS-DIAZ, Covelo. DUI, suspended license.
RAUL COCONE-DANIEL, Eureka/Ukiah. Pot sales, failure to appear, probation revocation.
WHITNEY DASE, Richmond/Ukiah. DUI, under influence, paraphernalia.
JOEL FRANTZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JONATHAN GAINES, Willits. DUI.
RICHARD GUSTIN, Penn Valley/Willits. DUI.
RHONDA SANDERS, Willits. DUI.
DARIN SCOTT, Laytonville. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
LARRY WOLFE JR., Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, controlled substance, vandalism, suspended license, probation revocation.
FUNDRAISER TO ELECT MICHELLE HUTCHINS
My name is Michelle Hutchins and I am running for Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools.
Everyone who runs for political office has the challenge to raise a large amount of money to cover the cost of the campaign. This being my first time running for political office, every contribution to my campaign is greatly appreciated. Your donation will allow me to produce lawn signs, fliers, mailings and slates. One flier mailed county-wide can cost over $5,000. My goal is to use local printers and designers to keep this money in Mendocino County. I'm confronted with the challenge of asking people to help financially support my vision for improving public education.
I bring knowledge of school district administration, operations and a strong background in curriculum and staff development. I believe children are incredible problem solvers who, when given the right tools, can advance their communities and their education at the same time.
The County Office of Education should not just support school districts in financial matters, but promote academic achievement, provide teacher development and foster personalized student learning. County academic scores are low, and economic forecasts indicate most students are not prepared for the jobs of the future. As County School Superintendent, my primary focus will be to help districts produce graduates who can succeed in today’s complex world.
When elected, I plan to: 1) confront chronic absenteeism by forming countywide attendance boards and teen courts; 2) decentralize services to overcome Mendocino’s geographic challenges; 3) assist local school boards in developing effective governance structures; and 4) inspire a culture of innovation.
I bring the experience and knowledge required to meet California Education standards for all districts. During my 24-years in education, I served as an art and technology teacher, director of adult and alternative programs, university instructor, principal and superintendent of schools at two rural school districts.
Thank you for your support.
OFF BY 25 YEARS
Shame on Bernie Sanders. At an event in Mississippi, Sanders said the Democratic Party has been a failure the past 15 years. I find that comment to be deceiving, misinformed and distorted. The Democratic Party has been a failure for 40 years.
UPCOMING EVENTS HAPPENING AT THE UKIAH LIBRARY
Coming up this month: Bibliotherapy for teens, virtual reality day, anime club, wines and spines, felt flower necklaces, cindy rinne, yoga.
(And if, like us, you’re wondering what any of this has to do with a LIBRARY, you are, like us, too old.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
And it's totally normal and safe behavior to drive drunk, with your car full of your unbuckled children, near a cliff and then speed up and peel out over the cliff. Totally normal to remove your children from public schools and move from state to state as soon as someone reports you to the CPS. And it's totally logical and probable to conclude that all of the numerous abuse witnesses, Child Protective Services, and law enforcement from four different states are all lying and exaggerating all of these different reports because they are all homophobic sexist bigots out to get lesbians. Right?? Yeah right. Wrong. Murder/Suicide all the way. Jennifer Hart was head narcissistic racist psycho "mommy" and Sarah was her pathetic little sycophant. And together they took pleasure in torturing those poor children from the day they got them home. Starved and beat them. Isolated and enslaved them. Treated & trotted them around occasionally like circus freaks. They adopted them for the attention and of course the money which they spent all on themselves - obviously both living and eating VERY well.
THE MENDOCINO COAST JEWISH COMMUNITY is holding a Dine Out on Wednesday, May 9th at the MacCallum House, located at 45020 Albion Street, Mendocino. Dinner is served from 5:30 — 8:30 pm — bar opens at 5 pm. All profits from the restaurant, cafe and bar that evening will benefit MCJC, so bring your friends, and make reservations today at 937-0289, or visit www.maccallumhouse.com
POT TALK TALK TALK
Mendocino Cannabis Resource(MCR) is proud to present MCRConference 2018 & 420 Celebration, April 20th at the Little Lake Grange 291 School St. in Willits CA. This year’s conference will be a One Day event packed with current information and an evening of Celebration!
The doors for the conference open at 9am.
Morning Session: Cannabis Regulations Panels
Environmental Regulations – Chantal Simonpietri, Harvest Logic
Mendocino County Regulations – Kelly Overton, Mendocino Cannabis Program Mgr., Hannah Nelson, Esq.
Casey O’Neill, Mendocino County Growers Alliance & Genine Coleman, Mendocino Appellations Project
State Regulations – E.D Lerman, Esq., Monique Ramirez, Covelo Cannabis Advocacy Group, & Casey O’Neill, California Growers Association
Afternoon Session: Cannabusiness Development Panels
Overview of License Types: Sourcing to Sales – Omar Figueroa, Esq. & Lauren Mendelsohn, Esq
Cannabusiness Models – Nursery – Ron Edwards, CKA Nursery, Distribution – Amanda Reiman, Flow Kana
Manufacturing – Tim Blake, Emerald Cup Products & Testing – Emily Richardson, CW Analytical
Direct Marketing – Farmers Markets – Karen Byars, MCR & Events – Brooke Horowitz, The Emerald Exchange
The conference will be followed by an evening 420 Celebration with Dj Green B. We’ll share a delicious meal! There will be music & dancing! Time for networking, getting acquainted, building community! Bring your business cards & whatever you have to share!
Dj Green B is one of California’s toppa top selectas focusing on reggae, dancehall, & african musik! On the radio, in the club, or at the festivals she delivers an energetic set lled with hot new music and all your favorite big tunes.
The MCRC2018 is sponsored by Flow Kana, Emerald Grown Co-op, Mendocino County Growers Association, Julia Carrera & Associaties, Round Valley Growers Association, Emerald Cup Products, Law Offices of Omar Figueroa, Law Offices of E.D. Lerman, & Hannah L. Nelson, Attorney at Law.
Tickets are available at www.mendocinocannabisresource.com or at the HeadChange 215 S Main St. Willits, CA. For more information contact MCR @ 707-223-4367
NEAR FINAL DRAFT of FAQ for Building Use Requirements Working Group
by Kelly Overton
I have attached an updated draft of the Building Use Requirement Working Group's FAQ document.
There are a few remaining questions that need answers. Your input is also needed on improving/expanding the existing answers. If you have changes to recommend simply email them to me. Please do not change on the document and send that to me. I am going to work with one FAQ document.
I appreciate any time and input - and all you do.
Have a great weekend.
Kelly Overton, Mendocino County Cannabis Program Manager
* * *
Building Use Requirements Working Group
Frequently Asked Questions (DRAFT)
How much is a hoop house permit?
The flat fee for a hoop house permit is $275
Can I dry cannabis in a shipping container?
Yes, if you do not have employees shipping containers can be permitted as Ag Exempt. Under Ag Exempt you cannot have mechanical installations attached to the structure. Electrical installations are limited to 100 amps. Please note this refers to drying – not processing – cannabis.
If you have employees (or members of the public present), the shipping container must be permitted as a commercial building. Any modifications such as fans, vents, doors, etc., require plans prepared by a California licensed architect or engineer. As with other commercial buildings the shipping container must be accessible to persons with disabilities.
How long is an Agricultural Exempt permit valid for?
Once the Ag Exempt permit is issued you have one year to complete construction and call for a final inspection. After the permit is finalized the Ag Exempt status of the building does not expire unless it is changed to a non-Ag Exempt use.
Do pre-manufactured structures (Tuf-Sheds, etc.) with engineered plans qualify for an F1 occupancy structure to be allowed for use as a processing facility?
Possibly. The permit for application for premanufactured buildings must be accompanied with a current set of plans prepared by a California licensed architect or engineer stating the proposed structure is classified as an F-1 Occupancy. If employees/public will be accessing the structure it must be accessible to persons with disabilities.
Can a structure, such as a garage tent qualify as a non-temporary Ag Exempt structure for drying of cannabis?
Answer – is it a permanent structure?
Can a class K structure be used for drying or processing of cannabis if the person has no employees?
No, with exceptions. The Class K Ordinance is for rural residential dwellings and appurtenant structures such as garages and storage sheds. You cannot grow, trim or dry cannabis that will be sold in a Class K structure. If you, as the state allows, are growing only six plants for personal use, you can do so in a Class K structure.
Is there a difference between a hoop house and a greenhouse?
The definitions of hoop house and greenhouse are found in the Mendocino County Medical Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance section 10A-17.020 and are as follows:
Hoop House means a structure with structural members that are made of flexible and somewhat rigid construction materials, typically PVC pipe or similar material. The ends may be covered or left open and the material covering the structural members is readily removable and is typically removed and re-affixed frequently.
Greenhouse means a completely enclosed structure whose structural members are made of pre-formed, rigid construction materials. The walls, roof, and ends are typically covered with a transparent material, often glass, that is fixed in place and which allows solar radiation to penetrate the surface and affect the growing environment of the plants inside.
What building permits do I need for a greenhouse?
If you do not have employees a greenhouse can be permitted as Ag Exempt. If the greenhouse is over 1000 sq. foot in area you are required to have plans prepared by a California licensed architect or engineer.
If you have employees or members of the public present, you cannot receive an Ag Exempt permit and you must submit California Building Code compliant plans prepared by a California licensed architect or engineer regardless of size of greenhouse.
What building permits do I need for a hoop house?
Hoop houses can be permitted as Ag Exempt if you do not have employees and the maximum size does not exceed 1000 sq. feet (example; 20 ft maximum width x 50 ft maximum length). If you have employees or members of public present, you cannot be permitted as Ag Exempt and must submit California Building Code compliant plans prepared by a California licensed architect or engineer regardless of size of the hoop house.
Can I use a hoop house year round?
Where can I trim cannabis? Does it matter if I have employees or members of the public present?
Trimming cannabis is an F-1 Occupational Classification therefore it must be done in a building that complies with the California Building Code requirements for an F-1 Occupancy regardless of employees or public presence. (include F-! occupancy code description/link).
Are structures used for cannabis treated differently than other buildings that must have a building permit?
They are not treated differently, but they are labeled differently.
Are there other structures that an Ag Exempt building permit can be obtained for?
Yes, Ag Exempt structures include hay barns, livestock barns, chicken coops, etc.
Where can I access the requirements for an Ag Exempt building permit to understand whether my structure qualifies?
The Ag Exempt can be found on the Mendocino County Planning and Building website under Building Department Forms and Handouts.
Where can I access the requirements for commercially permitted structures?
The requirements for commercial permitted structures can be accessed at:
California Building Code
California Plumbing Code
California Electrical Code
California Mechanical Code
California Fire Code
California Green Building Standards Code
California Energy Commission Title 24 Energy Efficiency Regulations (link)
When do I need an ADA portable or permanent toilet and hand washing facilities instead of non-ADA compliant portable or permanent facility?
Whenever you have employees or members of public present you must provide accessibility for persons with disabilities, including, but not limited to parking, path of travel, building entrances and restrooms. Title three applies and your location must be ADA compliant.
If I have unpermitted structures on my property that will not being used in my cannabis business must they be permitted in order to proceed with my cannabis business?
Compliance plan gives one year – “All unpermitted structures need an appropriate building permit – non cannabis structures won’t delay cannabis permits.
Are composting toilets allowed for residences?
Yes, a residence with an existing, functional septic system or sewer connection can install a compost toilet at their discretion; no permit is issued or available from Environmental Health.
Can I use composting toilets for my cannabis business?
Yes, if the structure a cannabis business is operating from has an existing functional septic system or sewer connection, they can install a compost toilet at their discretion; no permit is issued or available from Environmental Health.
Environmental Health will continue to pursue the development of a composting toilet program with the approval of the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Am I allowed to use portable toilet service as facilities for my cannabis business?
Yes. County Ordinance No. 4399, passed ½/18, allows the use of a portable chemical toilet in lieu of connection to an approved septic system if certain conditions are met, including meeting setback requirements, having a written service contract with a licensed septic pumper, having no public access, and pumping/storing units during the off-season.
What is the difference between an Ag Permit to Commercially Cultivate and an Administrative Permit or Use Permit that is needed in addition to the Ag Permit to Commercially Cultivate? Are these in addition to the need for building permits?
A permit to commercially cultivate cannabis in Mendocino County is obtained from the Agriculture Department. The first step is to check the ordinances (10A17, and 20.242,) to confirm you are eligible to commercially cultivate. The next step is to take you application and materials to Planning & Building Services (PBS) where they will determine if there is a need for a Zoning Clearance, Administrative Permit or Use permit in order to use the property for that purpose. Even if it is determined you only need the Zoning Clearance (a very easy review), in addition to obtaining the permit to commercially cultivate from the Ag Department, you will need to get the appropriate building permits for your building(s). Ultimately, you will need;
- Zoning Clearance and an Administrative Permit or a Use Permit from the Planning side of Planning & Building Services.
- Commercial Cultivation Permit from the Department of Agriculture.
All applicable building permits from the Building side of Planning & Building Services.
What is a Compliance Plan?
A compliance plan is an agreement stating that you the owner/applicant agree to submit and obtain building permits for all of the unpermitted structures on your property within one year of signing the compliance plan agreement.
This allows the owner/applicant to proceed through the cannabis license permitting process.
How does Home Occupation and Cottage Industry affect my business and permitting?
Can I bring product from a cultivation site on a different parcel to an Ag exempt dry shed?
So long as the parcels are contiguous, under the same ownership, and only one Agricultural Permit type exists on the property.
Can you explain the following permit types?
Agricultural Permit: This permit is awarded by the Department of Agriculture to commercially cultivate cannabis. You are required to obtain this permit before commencing the applications for the required state license.
Administrative Permit: This permit is awarded by the Department of Planning and Building Service for certain cultivation styles and particular zoning designations. For example, most ‘Indoor’ cultivation sites will require an Administrative Permit, as will cultivation sites located in Forest Land (FL) or Timber Production Zone (TPZ) districts. An Administrative Permit, if required, needs to be approved prior to the Agricultural Permit being issued. The depth of application review for an Administrative Permit is greater than a Zoning Clearance but less than a ‘Use Permit’. Staff can advise applicants on what elements can be addressed to avoid delay and improve their application quality. Complete applications can be processed within 3-4 months; Administrative Permits cost approximately $900, plus a $75 check to Sonoma State University.
Building Permits: This permit is for permission to build, construct, enlarge, or modify any improvement on the property. This includes activities like grading for a pond, installing a Hoop-House, or changing the occupancy of a structure.
Use Permits: This permit is awarded by the Department of Planning and Building Service ‘Indoor’ cultivation (500 ft² -2500 ft²) on Non-Industrially Zoned Parcels. Complete applications can be processed within 4-6 months; Use Permits cost approximately $3400, plus a $75 check to Sonoma State University. Staff can advise applicants on what elements can be addressed to avoid delay and improve their application quality.
Will an Archeological review be required for my cultivation site?
When your Administrative or Use Permit application is reviewed, the Planner assigned will examine the components of your application, including any feedback received from Sonoma State University. The need for an archeological survey depends on the level of new construction/development planned for the cultivation site, the potential for archeological remains per Sonoma State University’s records, and existing site disturbance and conditions. All residents in Mendocino County are bound by the ‘Discovery Clause’, which prescribes the procedures subsequent to the discovery of any cultural resources during construction of the project.
MISSILE ATTACK ON SYRIA IS A SALUTE TO “RUSSIAGATE” ENTHUSIASTS – WHETHER THEY LIKE IT OR NOT
by Norman Solomon
Politicians, pundits and activists who’ve routinely denounced President Trump as a tool of Vladimir Putin can now mull over a major indicator of their cumulative impacts. The U.S.-led missile attack on Syria before dawn Saturday is the latest benchmark for gauging the effects of continually baiting Trump as a puppet of Russia’s president.
Heavyweights of U.S. media — whether outlets such as CNN and MSNBC or key newspapers <https://fair.org/home/major-papers-urge-trump-to-kill-syrians-risk-world-war-iii/> like the *New York Times* and the *Washington Post* — spent most of the last week clamoring <https://fair.org/home/few-to-no-anti-bombing-voices-as-trump-prepares-to-escalate-syria-war/> for Trump to order air strikes on Syria. Powerful news organizations have led the way in goading Trump to prove that he’s not a Putin lackey after all.
One of the clearest ways that Trump can offer such proof is to recklessly show he’s willing to risk a catastrophic military confrontation with Russia.
In recent months, the profusion of “war hawks, spies and liars <https://www.truthdig.com/articles/cable-news-serves-a-steady-diet-of-war-hawks-spies-and-liars/>“ on national television has been part of a media atmosphere that barely acknowledges what’s at stake with games of chicken between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. Meanwhile, the dominant U.S. news media imbue their reporting with a nationalistic sense of impunity.
On Saturday morning, the top headline on the *New York Times* website was “U.S. Attacks Syria in Retaliatory Strike,” while the subhead declared that “Western resolve” was at work. The story led off by reporting that Trump “sought to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.”
Try putting the shoe on the other foot for a moment. Imagine that Russia, with a similar rationale, fired missiles at U.S. ally Saudi Arabia because the Kremlin “sought to punish King Salman for his country’s war crimes in Yemen” — with such reportage appearing under a headline that described the Russian attack as a “retaliatory strike.”
The latest U.S. air attack on Russia’s close ally Syria was as much politically aimed at Moscow as at Damascus. And afterwards, the televised adrenalin-pumped glee was as much an expression of pleasure about striking a blow at Putin as at Assad. After all, ever since Trump took office, the U.S. media and political elites have been exerting enormous pressures on him to polarize with Russia.
But let’s be clear: The pressures have not only been generated by corporate media and the political establishment. Across the United States, a wide range of people including self-described liberals and progressives — as individuals and organizations — have enthusiastically participated in the baiting, cajoling and denouncing of Trump as a Putin tool. That participation has stoked bellicose rhetoric by congressional Democrats, fueling the overall pressure on Trump to escalate tensions with Russia.
What’s really at issue here is not the merits of the Russian government in 2018, any more than the issue was the merits of the Soviet government in 1967 — when President Lyndon Johnson hosted an extensive summit meeting <https://www.thenation.com/article/fifty-years-later-rekindle-the-spirit-of-glassboro/> in Glassboro, New Jersey, with Soviet Premier Alexi Kosygin, reducing the chances of nuclear war in the process.
If you keep heading toward a destination, you’re likely to get there. In 2018, by any realistic measure, the escalating conflicts between the United States and Russia — now ominously reaching new heights in Syria — are moving us closer to World War III. It’s time to fully recognize the real dangers and turn around.
(Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”)
NEVER HURTS TO BE PREPARED
THOSE BANK-KILLING Dodd-Frank regulations have really devastated Wall Street, haven’t they?
Thank God for last year’s Republican tax cut. If not for that, Jamie Dimon could probably barely afford his yacht moorage fees anymore.
Kevin Drum (Mother Jones)
THE WRONG ROAD
Ellen Rosser in her “Fence Post” letter of March 2 to the Independent Coast Observer laments the fact that so many young people are "victims of US militarism." Like it or not, I suppose we'd better get used to it. The United States has divided the entire world into US military commands and included all of outer space as well. We need lots of lower-class young people to support the military machine. After they serve four years their view is usually different than the day they enlisted.
Here's a paraphrase of a paragraph from the World War I book "All Quiet on the Western Front":
“I am young, I am 20 years old; yet I know nothing of life but death, fear, and sorrow. I see how people are set against one another and obediently, innocently slay one another. Many of my generation are experiencing these things with me. What do you expect of us if a time ever comes when these wars are over? During these years our business has been killing. It was our first calling in life. Our knowledge of life is limited to death and destruction. What will happen afterwards? And what shall become of us?”
Your answer to the last question would probably include: PTSD, depression, drug use (prescription and otherwise) suicide, hopelessness, homelessness, and, oh yes, you can attend college for practically nothing just like everyone in my generation could do without joining the military. Every nation that has gone down this road to world domination has bankrupted itself.
Ellen is right. We should be concerned.
RUKPALI, THE SMOKING ELEPHANT OF BARODA.
"You sneeze like a teacup dog and it's driving me crazy! Oh, yeah? You're the one who sneezes like a teacup dog! OH, boo hoo hoo. Aww, let's not fight. I don't care what you sneeze like. Let's not fight. I'm sorry. I'm sorry too."
The recording of last night's (2018-04-13) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0276
IN OTHER NEWS, as usual at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of links to educational activities and amusements and sources of wonderment, such as:
A virtual moon tour.
They used Google Street View to make this startling project.
The sword in the spring.
And a dreamlike ballet about a full-service gas station in 1937.