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Mendocino County Today: Friday, April 20, 2018

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A controversial plan to log miles of Gualala River floodplain, including nearly century-old redwood trees just outside Gualala Point Regional Park, is back on track, setting the stage for a showdown in court or perhaps among the trees themselves.

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The $79 million Caltrans campaign to tear down the historic Albion River Bridge, and, over nine years of construction, replace it with a concrete bridge, came back to Albion Tuesday night.

The existing Albion Bridge was built for $350,000.

Caltrans is making the rounds to drum up support for its project, and late last week announced Tuesday night’s “informational” meeting at the Albion Elementary School as a “courtesy” to the Albion community. Despite the short notice, area residents filled the room. Although billed as running from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the Caltrans presentation started twenty minutes late.

In its hour-long presentation, Caltrans revealed that it plans to continue to destroy the Albion environment to find out if one of its bridge designs is feasible, and at what ultimate cost, in the eroding geology of the Albion headlands. In the short time afforded for community input because Caltrans representatives needed to go to dinner, the comments and questions were mainly critical of both the geotechnical investigation scheduled to be before the Coastal Commission in a few weeks, and the ill-conceived effort to replace the bridge itself.

Caltrans last night indicated that it wants to clear-cut most of the protected environmentally sensitive eucalyptus rookery in the view shed on the northwest side of the bridge, and excavate the bluff to create a level staging area.

Caltrans also admitted that it has to use tall cranes and a helicopter to install, and supply steel platforms and drilling equipment on the protected steep bluff faces, which are otherwise inaccessible.

Another drill site is located on a protected small dune adjacent to Albion Cove.

By deleting the geotechnical study of the Caltrans-Proposed critical south anchor of the bridge, near the base of the steep slope adjacent to Albion River, Caltrans is illegally piecemealing the environmental review of the project, underestimating its true cost, and will have to come back for more destructive work in the future. Already, the Caltrans plans show that to build this boondoggle, massive grading of the bluffs would have to be done.

Everyone supports a safe and functional Albion River Bridge. By implementing the maintenance, repairs, and seismic retrofit that Caltrans has already identified, it can protect the historic Albion River Bridge that is the icon of the community and vital to our area’s coastal-dependent businesses and jobs.

The Coastal Commission is scheduled to hear, and possibly act, on the Caltrans geotechnical investigation at its May 9-11 meeting in Santa Rosa.

Here is the audio of the meeting:

And video from Tuesday's meeting:

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Dear Community,

I appreciate people standing up and expressing their views of what is going wrong. It is my number one priority to create a trustful, respectful and collaborative working environment for every employee. It is extremely difficult to respond to such vague condemnation. I do hope my detractors never themselves face a denunciation like this one. I am, however, grateful that the authors of the letter recognize my "good intentions.”

I am not claiming that I have not made mistakes, as I know I have. I faced and continue to face my mistakes so that I learn and grow. I think even my detractors will concede that I've always faced up to my mistakes and that I have never been unavailable to anybody in the district who wanted to talk to me or criticize me.

While we address areas that need improvement, our test scores are up, support for our schools among parents and the larger community remains strong and we continue to send an impressively large number of our graduates on to college.


Michelle Hutchins, Superintendent of Schools

Anderson Valley Unified School District

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “These guys still haven't sent my friend Spot to the doctor. ‘His nose will grow back, LD, and in the meantime you keep your nose out of our business.’ Pretty cold, if you ask me, just like that cat.”

SKRAG SAYS, "I'm definitely interested. Hey Little Dog, I am sending you this postcard from The Navarro Store."

Be nicer to my cousin Skrag. David said he could take me on a “field trip” to pay you both a visit. There are a lot more of us, Little Dog, than there are of you. –Skrag’s Cousin, Gatos, Navarro

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MAINLY DRY WEATHER will occur across the region during the next seven days. This will bring above normal temperatures in the inland areas. Along the coast periods of breezy north winds and occasional marine stratus will keep temperatures near normal. (National Weather Service)

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RANDY JOHNSON TO BE RE-HIRED AS EXTRA HELP. BUT FOR WHAT “CRITICAL DUTIES”? (and for how long and for how much? None of this minimal information is provided in the agenda item.)

ITEM 5a On Next Tuesday’s Supervisors Agenda:

“5a) Discussion and Possible Action Including Approval of Extra Help Appointment of Randy Johnson to Fulfill Critical Duties, Pursuant to California Government Code Section 7522.56 (Sponsor: Human Resources) Recommended Action: Approve the Extra Help Appointment of Randy Johnson to fulfill critical duties, pursuant to California Government Code Section 7522.56.”

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MSP saw this posted to the MCNlistserv by Tom Tetzlaff:

"Some living within Mendocino reading this may have recently received a ballot from the MCCSD (Mendocino City Community Services District) seeking a doubling of their Ground Water Management fee (it's worded as an increase from 11% to 21% of the sewer service charge which essentially doubles the GWM fee).

In my opinion, their method of approving this doubling of the GWM fee is stacked against We The People. (Not to mention the futility and flaws surrounding GWM in the first place.)

Has anyone that read through the documents provided noticed the bit under 'All you need to know' that reads, 'If you’re OK with the proposed charge increase, toss the ballot in the recycling bin. To vote yes, do nothing.'

In other words, a no reply or absent vote is recorded as a yes vote.

If you do not want this increase, your ’no’ vote must be written on the ballot and returned to the MCCSD who will then count the votes themselves apparently.

It is my firm belief that if a government agency is required to hold a vote from the public concerning a huge rate hike like the one proposed by MCCSD, actual yes/no votes should be cast.

To count votes that are not received or absent as a 'yes' vote stacks the deck against the entire voting base imho.

And why is the default a 'yes' vote, instead of 'no' vote anyway?

One would think that the default position for any price increase on anything from the general public would be ’no’. Isn’t that what the general public would typically say?

It seems a little dishonest to operate a ballot system that skews the voting base towards the governments desired result in such a way as I see it."

(Courtesy MendocinoSportsPlus)

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FIFTH DISTRICT Supervisor Candidates Forum, Friday, 4/27, in town of Mendocino (Sponsored by MCIA)

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BLACK HAWK DOWN! Frost fans thundered through the Anderson Valley early this morning (Thursday), destroying the sleep of everyone south of Anderson Valley Market here in Boonville. But, in the immortal words of wine guy Ten Bennett, "My grapes are more important than your sleep."

AND THOSE VINEYARDS advertising themselves as "fish friendly"? They annually belie their claim by the death brown Roundup streaks in between their vines that they poison this time of year, when everything is otherwise green.

NOT THAT industrial grape growing is responsible for all the environmental woes of the Anderson Valley and inland Mendocino County, but when's the last time anybody saw a fish like this in Anderson Creek? Or the Navarro for that matter? Up through the sixties and early seventies (Pre-Grapes) they were still thriving.

(Click to enlarge)

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REPRESENTATIVES of the Corporation For Public Broadcasting have been in Philo this week for a close-up look at the station's neo-cult ops. Don't get your hopes up for any changes in insider hiring, fiscal chicanery, ever more pay for invisible management, surly, boorish behavior of staff, and so on, which is what happens when… well, no need for gratuitous insult here. But here's what we can expect: The two feds get a government-paid B&B week in the glorious spring time of Anderson Valley, and probably a weekend in Frisco before flying back to Trump City. They'll eventually write a weasel-worded report that says they found "minor irregularities that station management assured us are mere oversights and will be quickly remediated. We found criticism of the station largely unfounded and based on unfamiliarity with standard management practices…"

GOVERNMENT RADIO is circular. The government funds the NPR programming, which the station returns to the government to pay for the programming. A real crackdown on a small group of petty chiselers is not in the interests of Government Radio.

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AMEN BRO. Art Juhl writes: "…Now studying the budget I can read into it that there is a great need for accountibilty of all departments. The Supervisors should get each and every director to submit a report every month to see where their funds are spent, not the CEO who in my opinion is overwhelmed. If that happened we might even have a surplus to fix our roads! Arthur E. Juhl candidate for the 5th district Supervisor"

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(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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Thanks to an agreement with the Boonville Hotel, we are pleased to announce that we have been permitted to manage a new farmers’ market on its grounds. This will be a certified market unaffiliated with the McFarm Association. The Hotel wants only sellers of agricultural products and food who have all necessary county permits to vend. Like last year, the market will be every Saturday from 9:30am to noon. If you have interest in vending in 2018 contact us and we will be happy to send you the requirements for vending. As in all previous markets the manager decides who vends and where he/she will set up.

The Hotel has no desire to be involved with the market or to referee any problems. They have requested that their management and staff do not receive any market related comments or questions, so if you have interest, questions or comments, contact us directly.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the NEW Boonville Farmer's Market and hearing from potential vendors.

Steve and Nikki, Petit Teton Farm
Managers, Boonville Farmers’ Market

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There will be TWO farmers' markets going on this Saturday, April 21st. One will taking place at the fairgrounds, in conjunction with Goat Fest. The other will be the first of the NEW Boonville Farmers' Market, which will take place Saturdays from 9:30-12:00 in the Boonville Hotel parking lot.

Petit Teton will be at market in the parking lot of the Boonville Hotel this Saturday, April 21st, with greens (kale, chard, parsley, mustard, baby artichokes, cilantro, fennel, scallions, escarole, etc.), meats (most cuts of pork, sausage, most cuts of beef, squab), eggs, and our large selection of canned goods (pickles, jams, krauts, soups, etc.). If you have an interest in a specific cut of meat, let us know and we'll be happy bring it.

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(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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Oakland, Ca — Willits resident Adam Thatcher Lawrence, 38, pleaded guilty in federal court in Oakland April 9 to mislabeling wildlife intended for importation, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement Region 8 Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel Crum.

The plea was accepted by the Honorable Haywood S. Gilliam, U.S. district judge.

In pleading guilty, Lawrence admitted that, in August 2011, he traveled to the Republic of South Africa and hunted, shot and killed a leopard in that country. Lawrence did not possess a permit to kill a leopard in South Africa at that time, nor did he possess a permit allowing him to export the leopard from South Africa.

Lawrence further admitted that in May 2012, he returned to South Africa with the primary purpose of bringing the leopard out of that country and into the United States. The leopard’s skin and skull were secretly transported into the Republic of Mozambique concealed inside a spare tire.

Leopards are a protected species under both the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq., and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty to which the United States, South Africa, and Mozambique are signatories. As a result, the import and export of leopards is strictly regulated.

Lawrence admitted that he falsely claimed he had killed the leopard in Mozambique. He acquired the permits required to export the leopard parts from Mozambique, import them into South Africa, re-export them from South Africa, and import them into the United States.

In each of those documents, he falsely stated that he had killed the leopard in Mozambique in 2012, rather than South Africa in 2011. Further, in April 2013, he imported the leopard skin and skull into the United States. In connection with the importation, Lawrence knowingly submitted a United States Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife in which he falsely stated he killed the leopard in Mozambique in 2012.

A federal grand jury indicted Lawrence on Jan. 11, 2018, charging him with one count of importing wildlife contrary to law, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 545, and one count of mislabeling wildlife intended for importation, in violation of 16 U.S.C. §§ 3372(d) and 3373(d)(3).

Under the plea agreement, Lawrence pleaded guilty to the mislabeling count, and the importing count will be dismissed. Also as part of the plea agreement, Lawrence agreed to forfeit his interest in the leopard skin and skull that he imported, as well as the hunting rifle that he used to kill the leopard.

He also has agreed to forfeit other contraband seized from his home in October 2016, including a mountain lion mount and skull, a carved hippopotamus tooth, whale bones and a harbor seal skin.

Lawrence is released on bond. Judge Gilliam scheduled Lawrence’s sentencing hearing for June 25, 2018, at 2 p.m.

The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 16 U.S.C. §§ 3372(d) and 3373(d)(3) is five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 plus restitution, if appropriate. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Lloyd-Lovett is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Vanessa Quant. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement.

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by Justine Frederiksen

After trying to defer the decision to the Ukiah City Council last month, the Ukiah Planning Commission this month granted a permit to Nor Cal Christian Ministries to operate a day center serving homeless individuals at the former Plowshares facility on Luce Avenue.

Citing city guidelines that require homeless facilities to be at least a quarter of a mile apart, most commission members previously said that while they supported the project in theory, they could not approve a permit for the plan called Center for Hope. The board then voted nearly unanimously March 28 to defer the permit decision to the City Council, but was later advised it could not do that.

Community Development Director Craig Schlatter said at the next commission meeting that when his staff consulted with City Attorney David Rapport, he determined that “such an action by the commission is not permissible and it must make a decision to approve or deny a use permit.”

Therefore, staff brought the permit request back to the commission and held another hearing April 11 to collect public comment. As with the first public hearing, the vast majority of speakers spoke strongly in favor of the project, which they described as distinctly different than other programs offering services to the homeless because it was focused on offering people spiritual guidance.

“It’s not a duplication in any way, (because) our intent is to instill hope (through faith in God) in individuals who have lost all hope,” said Randy Dorn, adding that he “hoped and prayed that (the commission) would lean toward grace and give us the chance to continue doing something we have been doing for years already, and we will respect the citizens of this community as we try to help the poorest among us.”

Another speaker accused the commission of discrimination, ascribing its hesitation to grant a permit not to an honest attempt to interpret city code, but rather to a “bias against the Christian community here in Ukiah,” said Don Moir, adding that he could think of no other explanation as to why the project approval hadn’t been a “slam dunk” at the previous meeting. “This is 100 percent paid by private people, it’s helping people, and I’m just blown away that a good thing is getting poo-pooed.”

“I take offense to that statement about us being biased in any way against anybody of this community,” said board Chairman Mike Whetzel. “That’s really upsetting to me. We spend our time up here … trying to interpret the ordinances and codes as it pertains to zoning in the city, that’s it.”

Commissioner Linda Sanders then moved to approve the permit for the project, but for a time it appeared her motion would not be seconded.

“Are we then in violation of the existing code (if we grant a permit)?” Commissioner Mark Hilliker asked, to which Rapport said, “I think there is an issue of interpretation here, so you have to decide what you think the code means in order to answer that question.”

“Do I really think in my heart that allowing this use of this building is going to do something harmful to the neighborhood? No, I don’t,” said Commissioner Laura Christensen. “But we have this process and we have this (quarter-mile) distance requirement that we can’t change. I really want you guys to be able to do this in that location, but it doesn’t feel like I’m doing my job if I say that, so I can’t second the motion.”

“There’s no doubt there’s a deep human commitment of the project advocates here,” said Commissioner Christopher Watt. “(But) irrespective of a project’s benefits, when we make a determination that’s inconsistent with the codes and guidelines created through a public process … we’re setting aside that process and that’s a slippery slope.”

At the previous meeting, staff members suggested findings that could “outweigh” the distance requirements and might allow the commission to approve the project at 150 Luce Ave. despite its proximity to the Redwood Community Services facility at 1045 S. State St., but Watt said at the time he was concerned that might look like favoritism.

At the second meeting, Watt asked staff to repeat the suggested findings, then asked Rapport if the commission could interpret the distance requirement as only applying to homeless facilities with beds.

When Rapport said that was a possible interpretation, Watt then seconded Sanders’ motion to approve the permit given that the Center for Hope is not an overnight facility with beds.

When Sanders amended her motion to include the commission’s assertion that this facility was exempt from the distance requirement, the board then voted unanimously to approve the permit and the audience erupted in applause.

Before the meeting was adjourned, Whetzel asked Schlatter if the guidelines for homeless facilities could be brought before the City Council “to re-evaluate the classifications (for homeless facilities) because of what happened tonight and at the last meeting.”

Schlatter said he could but that the City Council would be driving the process, and he would first “reach out to the city manager to see if he wants to form an ad-hoc committee.”

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MEASURE B COMMITTEE APRIL 25 meeting agenda (Main Items).

  • Report Out on Committee’s Board of Supervisors (BOS) Agenda Summary to Amend a Health and Human Services Agency Agreement with Lee Kemper to include a Scope of Work for an assessment of mental health facility services, organizational needs and supportive program policy and planning necessary for implementation of the Measure B Mental Health Treatment Act as approved by the voters of Mendocino County. Member Angelo will report out on the progress of this item. (2 mins)
  • Needs Assessment Discussion and Possible Action. Members to bring questions that they would want answered in a needs assessment. (40 mins)

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Next Meeting of the Inland Mendocino Democratic Club

The Inland Mendocino Democratic Club will hold our next meeting Thursday, May 10th at 5:30 pm at the Alley Lounge, Ukiah. Let’s all join together to make our county an oasis of Justice and Peace. Together, in coalition, we can take progressive action and protect our county from the incoming Conservative nightmare. Come lend a hand. All are welcome. See us on Facebook and at

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by Warren Hinckle (April 17, 1988)

Dori Seda, aka D. Somerset, aka Sylvia Silicosis, had long straight hair and peachy mayonnaisey skin and kumquat eyes behind glasses as big as a D-Cup brassiere and an inviting gap between her front teeth the size of a kick starter on a Harley hog. Dori was the first woman to die among the underground Bay Area cartoonists who took the comic book, once a wholesome American art form, into the chasms of depravity and hipness that define the 60s in burnt out cells of memory and kept it there to assault 80s sensibilities with outrageous comics 20 years after Zap contributed to the national patrimony such professional deviants and turkey necks as Mr. Natural, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Trashman, Mr. Peanut, the Checkered Demon, and an entire barnyard of unwholesome hand drawn characters whom you would never want to get near your bedroom, not even in a daydream.

Dori Seda was the latest underground artist to surface. She was at once the finest cartoonist to enter the neo-Zap spectrum and the first to go through the narrow door and, according to the famous R. Crumb, the hey-boparee bop to counterculture controversialists and pushed her ascendancy into the seraphim of underground comics artists, may have been the most talented of the lot. She died in February at the ripe age of 36 of complications from silicosis acquired in a previous incarnation as a potter, and incessant cough further complicated by the suicidal consumption of many packs of cigarettes a day and an insomniac lifestyle that whether it was Dori drawing or Dori playing with her dog Kona, who was always snorting her socks, or Dori playing with her cat Dracula or Dori playing with a man or Dori working her straight job as a bookkeeper for Ronzo E. Turner — the connoisseur of evil geniuses who, as proprietor of Last Gaps comics, continues to publish whoopie pillows in the form of 44 page comic books with names like Wierdo and Zap and Wimmen's and Cannibal Romance and Commies from Mars and Anarchy — no matter what she was doing, Dori was always staying up all night and pouring down maybe 20 brewskis. She thought of the sun what most people think about ants, as a nuisance to be avoided.

Dori Seda was as skinny as the tip of a Bic and in body deportment the polar opposite of the characteristic women in Crumb’s cartoons which feminists find so outrageous — fat ladies in colored smocks and mini-Amazons with greedy sexual appetites, rock like thighs, bicycle buttocks, and breasts that belong on Mount Rushmore. If you think Crumb’s wimmen look funny, you should see Crumb, who looks for all the world like an anorexic Charlie Chaplin, a walking string bean wearing a straw hat and a tie narrower than his nose and a drugstore clerk's Sunday suit made in 1954 with a pencil mustache on his shriven face and tortoiseshell glasses that weigh more than his head. But for all the feminist agitprop about Crumb’s antagonism to women, the artist has been unchauvinistic about female talent. His second wife, the talented cartoonist Aline Kominsky is the editor of his magazine Weirdo which has showcased the best women cartoonists of the 80s. Crumb immediately saw Dori as Zap-compatible talent.

Dori had a winning giggle and a horse laugh that often tumbled into a barrage of deadly coughs and the ability — common to the Zap school — of poking relentless, savage fun at the human condition, beginning with her own. In the 60s when most everyone among his Haight-Ashbury contemporaries were blitzed out of their gourds on potluck dosages of low-grade pills, Crumb somehow remained sane enough to as evenly caricature the hipster white revolutionaries as the porcine based cops who routinely busted their faces. Dori Seda similarly managed in her art to make fun of her own sex life and 80s sexual perk-and-turf battles.

A short time before her unexpected death I met Dori at the redneck Jay’n Bee cavern, a cop bar with the badges of SFPD retirees hanging in positions of honor on the walls. Zap publisher Ron Turner and I were they're discussing what, if anything could be expurgated from the celebrated raunch of Zap that could be printed in a Sunday newspaper in honor of the socially significant event of its obtaining 20 years of age (first issue: February 1968) and selling over 2 million copies. The Jay’n Bee was an unlikely venue for a femrad, sexual liberationist artist, but Dori, who popped in to show Turner some work in progress for her next book, blended right in with the boys, ordering up a few brewskis and chattering charmingly about her compulsive relationship with her dog Kona, a black Doberman, whom was constantly at her side and always getting into the laundry pile and snorting her socks and otherwise sticking his nose where it didn't belong, including her sex life, in an embarrassing moments she has hilariously told in her comic strips. When she decided that Tona needed a new home, she placed this hand-drawn ad:

If you asked Crumb why he supported the idea of Dori Seda getting published he would, Bible spouting fool, most probably say, "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." "Dori the person is a seething, barely controlled nutcase coming out of her skin. Dori the artist is patient, orderly, keenly perceptive, reflective — you might even say wise and reassuring. How does she do it?" Crumb wrote in an introduction to Dori's Lonely Nights published in 1986.

There was an impromptu requiem for Dori at the party March 11 at the San Francisco Art Commission Gallery honoring Zap’s 20th anniversary and the publication of Zap Number 12 in June. With the exception of expatriate Gilbert "Fabulous Furry" Shelton (who now lives in Paris where he oversees his comics published worldwide in 14 languages), all the original Zap movers and shakers were there: Crumb, Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, S. Clay Wilson, Robert Williams, Spain Rodriguez, and Don Donahue, the first publisher of Zap with whom Dori lived the past few years. When she died, Dori's second book of comics was two-thirds done, and Turner said he hopes to bring it out this year with memorials from her zap friends filling the pages she left blank.

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First I want to thank you for sending me your paper. I really enjoy it and it is something I've grown to look forward to weekly. I hope that you will extend me being able to receive it.

I've been reading about Tai Abreu the last couple of weeks and knowing Tai for the last three years I believe he really is one of "those guys" who deserves a second chance. He just doesn't belong in prison. He is on a yard full of "guys like me." And he stays positive and focused. He always has a smile on his face and a greeting. We are polar opposites. And I think it's really great for you all to try to bring attention to his case and hopefully some help to this situation.


Walter K. Miller AE5304
High Desert State Prison
Box 3030
Susanville, CA 96127

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 19, 2018

Campbell, Conley, Daugherty, Davis

ROBERT CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Trespassing, disorderly conduct-alcohol, parole violation.

MATTHEW CONLEY, Fort Bragg. Shoplifting, failure to appear.

DANIELLE DAUGHERTY, Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, probation revocation.

JOSHUA DAVIS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, disobeying court order.

Delacruz-Orozco, Espinoza, Fleming, Linker

NATHAN DELACRUZ-OROZCO, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Suspended license, failure to appear.

SERGIO ESPINOZA, Ceres/Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent.

BRIAN FLEMING, Eureka/Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia.

SUZANNE LINKER, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.

Morris, Rojas, Wilson

DENA MORRIS, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

ANTHONY ROJAS, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

JENNA WILSON, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

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by Susan Roberts

Incarceration is, probably, the starkest form of commodification where simply warehousing flesh brings a return. The cost of penal servitude in the US varies from state to state, but an average of around $30,000 per year can be made by simply keeping a body shut in a cell. Bearing in mind that over 20 prisoners are often locked up together, it isn’t a bad return on a tiny speck of, often sub-standard, real estate. However, servitude is best seen as a gateway to a whole raft of exploitative practices, as even basic amenities, such as making a phone call, or receiving a money transfer are charged at exorbitant rates. In fact some sort of ‘tariff’ is levied on just about every aspect of prison life, with many in jail even receiving a bill for their stay. And, since indebtedness itself is a criminal offence, the door back into prison is never quite closed. Parole, probation, tagging, repetitive drug testing and a wide range of coercive practices are other lucrative uses to which the incarcerated or recently released can be put. Thus, ex-cons are not delivered back to the pre-incarceration world, but remain permanently suspended in a kind of ‘felonised limbo’ in which the only way out is down.

The figures around incarceration in the US tell a brutal story, particularly if you are an African American, as Michelle Alexander recounts in ‘The New Jim Crow’. There has been a massive 700% increase in the prison population in the past 4 decades with 2 out of 3 men imprisoned being black, notwithstanding the fact that African Americans make up less than 13% of the total US population. As California’s mass prison building programme, which began in the 1980s, took place against the back drop of a falling crime rate, the most obvious explanation for this carceral expansion is a coalescence of political and corporate interests, discernibly embodied in A.L.E.C: The American Legislative Exchange Council. As its name suggests, A.L.E.C. doesn’t waste time wooing delegates; instead it pro-actively produces the legislation it wants passed and simply gets its emissaries to fill in the blanks.

In addition to the considerable profits earned by the correctional industry, (which is also the country’s third largest employer), – CoreCivic, the biggest such corporation, made profits in excess of $220m in 2015 – many private companies, making products as diverse as airplane parts and sexy underwear, have been attracted by the “outsourcing without a language problem” slogan that is prison fare. In 2012 Unicor: the public company which uses prison inmates, earning $0.23 – $1.15 an hour, to produce goods for government contracts, began inviting other corporations to co-invest and enjoy the financial benefits of what is essentially slave labour.

Whereas Alexander laments that so many incarcerated, and subsequently stigmatised, black men are ‘locked out’ of the mainstream economy and society, Loic Wacquant, in his examination of penal colony America, recognises that this is already mainstream. Wacquant’s focus is not on mass incarceration per se, rather, he sees it as a further development of state power, which has nothing to do with growing criminality but with the state’s need to readjust power relations within wider society. As Wacquant astutely observes in his aptly entitled opening chapter, ‘America as Living Laboratory of the Neo-Liberal Future’, a restrictive workfare and an expansive prison-fare are inter-related, giving the neoliberal state a “distinctively paternalistic visage” which translates into “intensified intrusion and castigatory oversight.” Wacquant is surely correct in identifying the social retrenchment of the state as a dislocating force within society, an effect of which has been the stratification of urban poverty, giving rise to “a new form of citizenship for those trapped at the bottom of the polarising class structure.”

What is most notable about this new ‘warehousing’ of the poor is just how reminiscent of early capitalism it is. Jeremy Bentham’s corporate proposal: ‘Pauper Management Improved’, published in 1796, even looks like a forerunner of Unicor, with its stated aim to have absolute authority over “the whole body of the burdensome poor” through setting up a network of workhouses to contain the unemployed, “So many industry-houses, so many crucibles, in which dross of this kind [the poor] is converted into sterling.” For, as Michael Perelman points out in his study of the brutal primitive accumulation which accompanied, or in many ways was a forerunner to, the establishment of capitalism in industrialising England, but has largely been airbrushed out of historical accounts, “Bentham understood that the struggle to subdue the poor would spill over into every aspect of life.” For once people had been forced from their homes and denied their customary rights of self-subsistence steps would have to be taken to force them into poverty wage labour. Even the commentary of the time, primarily from the idle rich, attacking the sloth of dispossessed peasants, is remarkably similar to today’s arguments for cutting welfare. Raising the price of necessities, cutting holidays, lengthening the working day, even slavery were proposed as ways to make the poor work harder and longer. In fact much of the argument surrounding child labour wasn’t concerned with what children could actually produce, but about “habituating the rising generation to constant employment.” What is different today is that the state has learned to disguise its oppressive practices in a therapeutic terminology. Convincing the jobless that their impecuniosity is a personal failing, attributable to some imagined lack of aspiration or character flaw is doubly advantageous. Not only does it bury the thorny subject of class conflict, but it also inculcates an exploitable dependency. So it is an imputed ‘low self-esteem’ or ‘need for dignity’ which justifies cutting somebody’s welfare payments. Individuals are said to be ‘trapped on welfare’ not because of a lack of decent wage jobs but due to an imagined ‘lack of self-esteem’. Republican congressman Todd Tiarht, in a discussion on welfare reform argued, “You cannot have self-esteem without accomplishment. You cannot have accomplishment without work.” But, then as now, much of the commentary concerning the evils of the ‘idle poor’ doesn’t convert into concern for the leisure activities of the idle rich. Nobody seems to worry much about the self-esteem of the vastly unaccomplished rentier class.

As Wacquant points out, what is most noteworthy about the state’s punitive approach to social collapse is just how little protest it has elicited from the Left. No doubt this is largely due to the political clout of an expanded and co-opted middle class, which bought into the early rounds of privatisations, has benefited hugely from the neo-liberal project, and now sees itself very much as a ‘stakeholder’ in the corporate state. Given that the middle class is not only the decisive group electorally, but also the class involved in “continuous boundary work” – desperate to be accepted by the elites and terrified of falling back – it is small wonder that so many Leftist political parties have aligned themselves with the market and espouse so-called ‘middle class values’. The redaction of primitive accumulation from the history of capitalism, and the resultant pretence that people volunteered to give up self-subsistence and embrace lives of wage-slavery maintains the facade that the state is neutral and that the working class is inherently lazy and feckless, requiring constant chiding and direction from their betters. And, given that so much middle class employment, status and financial security is based on that version of capitalism, it is indeed a useful fiction. In fact so widespread has the consumption of the poor become that one can only assume that were Swift to survey the scene today he would note that far from being a culinary delicacy reserved for the tables of ‘fine gentlemen’, the working class has become the staple diet for much of the bourgeois economy.


* * *


by W. Hilton Young (1952)

Before Williams went into the future he bought a camera and a tape recording-machine and learned shorthand. That night, when all was ready, we made coffee and put out brandy and glasses against his return.

“Good-bye,” I said. “Don’t stay too long.”

“I won’t,” he answered.

I watched him carefully, and he hardly flickered. He must have made a perfect landing on the very second he had taken off from. He seemed not a day older; we had expected he might spend several years away.


“Well,” said he, “let’s have some coffee.”

I poured it out, hardly able to contain my impatience. As I gave it to him I said again, “Well?”

“Well, the thing is, I can’t remember.”

“Can’t remember? Not a thing?”

He thought for a moment and answered sadly, “Not a thing.”

“But your notes? The camera? The recording-machine?”

The notebook was empty, the indicator of the camera rested at “1” where we had set it, the tape was not even loaded into the recording-machine.

“But good heavens,” I protested, “why? How did it happen? Can you remember nothing at all?”

“I can remember only one thing.”

“What was that?”

“I was shown everything, and I was given the choice whether I should remember it or not after I got back.”

“And you chose not to? But what an extraordinary thing to—”

“Isn’t it?” he said. “One can’t help wondering why.”

* * *


If you gave Comey an enema you could bury him in a matchbox. Comey sets the standard for obstruction of justice. The fact that he’s walking around free is a measure of the American system of dispensing “justice”. He covered it in dis-honor (and the FBI in disrepute) and if there’s any consolation to come out of this debacle, he did his part to dig its grave.

* * *

IS OURS a government of the people, by the people, for the people, or a kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?

— James Russell Lowell

* * *

MAY 5: ADMIRE MENDOCINO COUNTY GARDENS and Artisans to benefit the Garden Conservancy Open Days Program

The Garden Conservancy is pleased to announce our first Northern California Open Days garden tour of 2018 in Mendocino County on Saturday, May 5; see full press release and calendar listing below. Complete details on this event can be seen at this link:

* * *

The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program

Explore three private and public gardens in Gualala and Mendocino, open for self-guided tours to benefit the Garden Conservancy. Private gardens featured include a scenic coastal property with extensive stone work, garden follies, and sculptural installations, with hardscape artisans on site for Q & A, and a special bonsai display; plus a property nestled into a cathedral of redwoods, with more than 300 specimens of conifers and rhododendrons to admire. Save time to visit the Gualala Arts Center for a 1 p.m. guided tour of the Global Harmony Sculpture Garden. No reservations required; rain or shine. When: Saturday, May 5; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where: Visitors may begin at any of the following locations: Mullins' Mendocino Stonezone, 44600 Fish Rock Road, Gualala; The Gardens at Harmony Woods, 44380 Gordon Lane, Mendocino; or the The Gualala Arts Center, 46501 Old State Highway, Gualala.

Cost: $7 per private garden; children 12 and under are free. Admission to Gualala Arts Center - free.

For More Information: See

* * *


Across the country, older Americans – a rapidly growing population – are taking part in activities that promote wellness and social connection. They are sharing their wisdom and experience with future generations, and they are giving back to enrich their communities. They’re working and volunteering, mentoring and learning, leading and engaging.

For 55 years, Older Americans Month (OAM) has been observed to recognize older Americans and their contributions to our communities. Led by the Administration for Community Living’s Administration on Aging, every May offers opportunity to hear from, support, and celebrate our nation’s elders. This year’s OAM theme, “Engage at Every Age,” emphasizes the importance of being active and involved, no matter where or when you are in life. You are never too old (or too young) to participate in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotion well-being.

It is becoming more apparent that volunteering helps seniors remain socially engaged and improves the quality of life for older adults. North Coast Opportunities (NCO) Volunteer Network will use Older Americans Month, 2018 (OAM18) to focus on how older adults in our area are engaging with friends and family through various community service activities. Throughout the month, NCO Volunteer Network will share information designed to highlight Volunteers 55 and older who volunteer in Lake county. These seniors can be found in preschool and elementary classrooms serving as Foster Grandparent and Schools of Hope mentors and tutors; at local senior centers delivering meals to the homebound; providing free tax return preparation services through VITA Earn It! Keep It! Save It! and in libraries, community gardens, museums, and many other locations and activities.

We encourage people of all ages to get involved and volunteer. For more information, call NCO Volunteer Network at 462-1959 or visit our website ( and Facebook page (NCO Volunteer Network).

* * *

Visit the Official OAM Website

Follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook

Follow AoA on Twitter and Facebook

Connect with us:

North Coast Opportunities Volunteer Network 467-3200 Ext 316

* * *


Symphony of the Redwoods Welcomes Virtuoso Violinist to Mendocino County for Season Finale Concerts

FORT BRAGG, Calif. – April 19, 2018 – Violinist Annelle K. Gregory will make her Mendocino County debut with the Symphony of the Redwoods to bring their 2017-2018 concert season to a close. Led by Music Director Allan Pollack, the Symphony will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2, and Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy with Gregory as the featured soloist. Performances will be on Saturday, April 28 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 29 at 2pm at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg.

Max Bruch composed numerous works for chorus and orchestra before he wrote the Scottish Fantasy. Comprised of four movements, this piece features prominent references to Scottish folk music, including a harp and the illusion of bagpipes. For Gregory, the Scottish Fantasy holds personal significance. “My great-grandfather was from Aberdeen, Scotland,” she said. “It was a welcomed surprise when the Symphony requested this piece.”

Gregory, a San Diego native and graduate of USC’s Thornton School of Music, began playing the piano at age four, and received her first violin on her eighth birthday. “Every member of my family dabbled in music,” she explained. “All the women are singers and pianists.” Recently, Gregory won 1st Prize and was the Audience Choice Award winner of the 2017 National Sphinx Competition. This year, she will begin recording her next album with Dmitry Yablonsky and the Kiev Virtuosi Orchestra, featuring little-known works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Taneyev.

All Symphony of the Redwoods concerts will be at Cotton Auditorium, 500 N. Harold Street, Fort Bragg. Tickets are available for $20 online at, at Harvest Market and the Redwood Coast Senior Center in Fort Bragg, Out of This World in Mendocino, and at the door. Attendees ages 18 and under are always free. For more information, please contact our executive director, Alex Pierangeli, at 707-946-0898 or Like us on Facebook at

* * *



Seventy-five years ago, the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann experienced the world’s first full-blown LSD trip on his way home from his lab in Basel. Hofmann had been researching the ergot fungus, hoping to develop a drug to treat fatigue. Among the compounds he was analysing was lysergic acid—Lysergsäure-Diethylamid in German, also known as LSD.

On Friday 16 April 1943, Hofmann left the lab feeling a little dizzy: “I lay down and had these wonderful dreams—I saw every thought as an image,” he said in an interview for his 100th birthday. The chemist concluded that he had accidentally touched the substance, and was intrigued by its powerful effect.

Three days later, on 19 April, he returned to the lab and swallowed a tiny amount just to see what would happen: “As it later turned out, it was five times too much and gave me a horror trip.” He asked an assistant to take him home by bicycle, and Basel transformed into a panorama of hellish and heavenly visions.

The bike seemed to freeze to the spot; a friendly neighbor turned into an evil witch. Hours later, Hofmann felt wonderful. “LSD called me, I didn’t seek it out,” he recalled. “It came to me.”

Today, Basel wears its psychedelic history with pride. Locals point out that the city has for centuries served as a safe haven for rebels and free thinkers. An exhibition at Basel’s Kunstmuseum celebrates Hofmann’s discovery in the context of the city’s creative history, pairing it with nightmarish, horror trip-like prints by Old Masters such as Bruegel. Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to Basel to celebrate “Bicycle Day”, as 19 April is known among the cognoscenti. And researchers are studying LSD’s medical properties again, shrugging off decades of stigma…

(The Guardian)



  1. George Hollister April 20, 2018

    “NOT THAT industrial grape growing is responsible for all the environmental woes of the Anderson Valley and inland Mendocino County, but when’s the last time anybody saw a fish like this in Anderson Creek?”

    (First of all, that is not much of a fish.) The suggestion is that there are no fish because of grapes. There are more watersheds on the Navarro, that are just like Anderson Creek, but have no grapes. And those watersheds don’t have many fish either. So the hypothesis that connects the lack of fish to grapes, fails.

    • Brian Wood April 20, 2018

      It’s a nice fish, better than no fish. I live on Anderson Creek behind Boonville and used to see a few Steelhead and occasional Salmon every year. 2008 was the last time I saw any. I look for them every year but it’s probably done.

    • MarshallNewman April 20, 2018

      Sadly, Anderson Creek looked pretty poor by the late 1960s, with little flow after July. Hard to know why, as grapes were not a factor then.

  2. Bruce Anderson April 20, 2018

    Correct. An accumulation of neg factors have combined to destroy the fish streams of the Anderson Valley, but chemical run-off from the industrial grape industry won’t help bring them back to health, if that’s even possible given the givens of mad dog capitalism.

    • George Hollister April 20, 2018

      LOL Come on. Has anyone found significant levels of chemical run-off from “industrial grape production” anywhere in the Navarro, any time? No. As I have said here before, the reduction of fish on the Navarro is matched by the reduction of fish in every coastal watershed in Northern California. This suggests there are other factors, than freshwater habitat, that are impacting salmon and stealhead populations.

        • George Hollister April 20, 2018

          I doubt it. But why make accusing statements based on one’s imagination? And besides, what difference does it make? Anytime someone has done water quality testing, and the results have come back negative, the environmental narrative continues right along unabated.

          Glyphosate binds with clay, and has like a 40 day half-life. If it is found in streams, associated with land where it is used, it would likely be found in single digit parts per billion, which is insignificant. Glyphosate is also one of the few herbicides approved for aquatic use. Of course that is all based on reproducible science. And none of that matters when the political narrative is all that counts.

          • Bruce Anderson April 20, 2018

            The frogs are gone, George. There were millions bw, before wine. How do I know? Direct observation!

            • George Hollister April 20, 2018

              Direct observation is important, particularly for the independent mind. But the next step is understand the the ecology of those frogs. What do they eat? What eats them? What in the river environment has changed in the period observed? Meanwhile, assuming the decline in frogs is due to grapes is a hypothesis that awaits being tested.

          • MarshallNewman April 20, 2018

            Bruce is correct. The baby toads (they mostly were toads) populated the sandbars on the Navarro River and Rancheria Creek by the thousands in the 1950s and 1960s. I haven’t seen any at either location in years.

            • George Hollister April 20, 2018

              Rancheria Creek. I know there are a few vineyards in the upper watershed of Rancheria Creek. Not a lot. How are the toads/frogs doing in the North Fork of the Navarro? No vineyards there.

              Here’s the thinking I see: A plague ravages a village after Jews show up. So it must be Jews caused it. We don’t like Jews anyway. (Or maybe it was gypsies.) Today, we have the tools to find scientific answers, we need to use those tools.

        • Brian Wood April 20, 2018

          That’s a good question. Who monitors runoff from vineyards? I know that whatever the answer is, vineyards are not the only problem. A lot of the problems with the creeks have to do with logging practices in the past.

          But the fish here in Anderson Creek disappeared about the same time as the next door acreage became commercial vineyard, as most of the remaining valley acreage succumbed to vineyards. At the same time many of the spring birds disappeared. There was once an abundance of Meadow larks, Bluebirds, Swallows and various other birds in my yard that show up now only in small numbers, if at all.

          It might not be the vineyards per se, but the conversion of so much valley land from whatever it had been to a lightly regulated mono culture coincided with the disappearance of the fish and birds.

    • George Hollister April 20, 2018

      I love the mad dog capitalism part, too. The most fundamental part of the narrative. Looking back to Mesopotamia, or Ancient Egypt, or the civilizations in Peru 2000 years ago, who diverted water, grew monoculture crops, and created empires. Were these civilizations mad dog capitalists, too? No, of course not. These civilizations are marveled for their ingenuity, and advancement. What we see in Anderson Valley is not new in concept. And a lot more attention is currently given to environmental, and human impacts. We don’t perform human sacrifice, as far as I know, either. A thousand years from now, some archeologist might well be marveling at the evidence here in AV.

      • Brian Wood April 20, 2018

        Just because something looks good to you through an historical lense doesn’t mean anything about how well the inhabitants and eco-systems of those civilizations fared. We marvel at their ingenuity and advancement from a great distance. At any rate current ecological impacts are global because there isn’t any longer anywhere for civilization to expand to. It’s not the same game anymore. I prefer marvel at the evidence of civilation here in AV from a thousand years in the past, what little there is. Not that natives were inherently better, but there were fewer of them. Global over-population is the cause of ecological disasters. Civilization now needs to learn how to tread more carefully in order to survive. Our generation might make it, but the future ain’t so bright.

        • George Hollister April 20, 2018

          My main theme is to be open minded, and look beyond whatever the political narrative is that one embraces. Today, in America, and at the AVA, we are short of people who actually think for themselves. This has become a critical problem, mostly with the educated class. The centers of bigotry today are focused on our college campuses. Not good.

          I was telling Cindy the other day, the people I know who are independent minded include her mother, who had an eighth grade education and grew up in the hills of West Virginia. There is also Cindy’s father who almost finished high school before being drafted during WW2. Others include a long time friend, Steve Ciro, who finished high school and worked in the woods his whole life. And Will Koski; And Steven Roberts; And a bunch of other guys I have known who worked in the woods or the trades. These people think for themselves. The educated class mostly doesn’t. Professors are the worst.

          The educated class are mostly sheep. They embrace narratives, and are unable to open their minds to anything else.

      • Bruce Anderson April 20, 2018

        And a great deal for the average guy, and human sacrifice every weekend. Whee!

        • George Hollister April 20, 2018

          Exactly. So the Mesopotamians were Dirty Dog Capitalists? And the Romans and Mayans, too?

    • Jeff Costello April 20, 2018

      There’s also over-fishing. Americans eat a lot of salmon, tuna, cod and shrimp, far more than other species. I do wonder where all the salmon come from sometimes. Even Atlantic cod supplies are diminishing.

      • George Hollister April 20, 2018

        Marine food chain creatures are far better at fishing, and are more persistent than we as humans are. At least that is my observation. Drag nets definitely have an impact, but so do the open mouths of whales. And their numbers continue to grow. None of the marine creatures observe limits, seasons, or boundaries, either They’re a greedy bunch. They eat until they can’t eat any more, or until the food runs out. The thought of it.

  3. George Hollister April 20, 2018


    by Susan Roberts

    Good editorial. The crux of the problem begins with the government welfare system. Prison is the final stop for it’s expanding slave class. The left created it, profits from it, and will defend it. That is why they will never criticize it.

    • Bruce Anderson April 20, 2018

      Jeez, George. The left created what? The left hasn’t clamored all these years to lock more and more people up. That’s been cringing white Republicans afraid of poor people, not us. The left has always agitated for reform, including a radically reduced prison population, shorter sentences, more rehab programs inside and so on.

      • George Hollister April 20, 2018

        Jeez, Bruce. The left created the welfare state that, to a large extent, feeds the prison system. Look where these throw away people come from. This is fairly well documented. Children from single parent families on welfare, are being set up to fail. Right wing racism did not create people in ghettos shooting at each other, either. Left wing racism did. “Black people are unable to take responsibility for themselves.” That is the underlying message from the left. “So we need to treat them like pets.”

        It has nothing to do with whether someone is monied or not, either. The haves and have nots are defined by parenting, not money. The illusion that money equals success, is a fantasy. The welfare system is all about money, other people’s money.

  4. Dave Smith April 20, 2018

    Re: Center of Hope

    I hope they do not REQUIRE the homeless to sit through a Christian church service in order to get a meal. THAT turns my stomach…

    • james marmon April 20, 2018

      It wouldn’t hurt you to catch a few sunrise sermons Mr. Smith, besides hope, they’re going to be serving hot breakfasts there, stop by and start your day out right. Lunch and Dinner at Plowshares, screw Marbut and his recommendations! Come one! Come all!

      God Bless You

      James Marmon MSW

  5. George Hollister April 20, 2018

    One thing I want to make clear, I really love the AVA. It’s the best paper I read. I often recommend it.

    • Bruce Anderson April 20, 2018

      All is forgiven, my son.

      • George Hollister April 20, 2018

        Same to you, old man.

  6. John Robert April 20, 2018

    What a bunch of narcissist crap. Here’s an idea…why don’t you seven or eight daily commenters exchange phone numbers and spare the rest of us from your litany!

  7. Eric Sunswheat April 21, 2018

    Allowable Total Material Daily Load (TMDL) of streams in Anderson Valley, is set by regulations and perhaps 10 year plan, of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.

    Round Up for Aquatic Use, is one of the many formulations of glyphosate used to kill weeds and diminish soil microbial activity. Most formulations contain confidential ‘inactive in terms of contact immediate kill’ hazardous waste which should be kept from impacting waterways, and are restricted from such use.

  8. Nate Collins April 24, 2018

    Holy smokes I was reading these comments till the guy likened grape growers to persecuted jews, I guess you got a couple cammo retards that frequent this commemts section, eh?

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