- Cold Front
- Playground Fall
- Suspect Shot
- Dave's Day
- Christmas Singalong
- BOS Proclamations
- Purple Rose
- Yesterday's Catch
- Boney Fingers
- Yorkville Market
- Foodshed Update
- MCDH Wages
- Wealth Inequality
- Still Glad
- Dark Sides
- Wall Ideas
- BOS Agenda
- Mural Artist
- More Equal
- Covelo Farm
- Shoes Only
A COLD FRONT will bring a quick shot of rain, gusty winds, and modest mountain snows on Friday. Another cold front will sweep through the area on Sunday. (National Weather Service)
WOMAN HURT IN BOONVILLE SCHOOL PLAYGROUND FALL
The scanner said (11:20 am) the Anderson Valley Fire Department & ambulance were dispatched to the Anderson Valley Elementary School playground for a "40-year-old female - fall." (via MSP)
THIS ONE A LONG WAY FROM OVER...
* * *
CUSTOMER SHOOTS ROBBERY SUSPECT AT SUBWAY SANDWICH SHOP IN UKIAH
DAVE'S DAY — FORT BRAGG
by Rex Gressett
Once upon a time in Elk on a cold winter afternoon Thomas Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell and I were pounding across the green moors of England riding hard with the incomparable calvary of an awakened nation to execute a king. But when the shadows grew long, and the clock insisted I pulled myself away from my books to head up Highway One to Fort Bragg. I was surprised to discover It was Dec 10, 2018. The City Council, fairly and honestly denoted the Lindy Peters City Council, was meeting for the last time. The new City Councilwomen were taking their seats.
As I leaned into the road and blessed the absence of traffic I thought to myself that in the unsung chronicle of our tiny and isolated coastal town epochs were changing and whole philosophies of governance were passing into history. It is a history all parties participating devoutly hope will never be written. Fort Bragg's administration was providing ceremonial cake at 5:30 as the city gathered in Townhall to turn the page.
There was almost nothing on the formal agenda but ceremony. The only token of real business they had on the agenda was the always wildly popular dispensation of money. This joyous event arrives annually in the form of interest-free housing rehabilitation loans you don'92t have to pay back for 30 years unless you sell your house. It is a County program that generously enables a low-income family to substantially erode their equity on the condition that they remain planted in the community and permit special building bureaucrats to tell them in comprehensive detail exactly how they must spend the cash. The awardees get a rehab but are also compelled to buy shiny new energy efficient appliances. There are already 13 families on the waiting list.
When I got to Townhall I thought at first that I had taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in a Fellini film. Everyone except Dave Turner was arrayed in brilliant Timberwolf purple tea shirts with Dave Turner's picture on the front. That not being enough for inventive strangeness everyone who wanted one was given a hand-held paper Dave Turner mask on a little stick. I was not entirely surprised to discover that. It had officially become Dave Turner Day. It was a nightmare. I got my cake and took a seat.
As I quietly tapped away on my computer trying not to be distracted by the deluge of Daves, the room behind me filled unto overflowing. At first, almost everyone there was a Dave.
With malice aforethought, the discredited villains of our recent political past once more conspired to steal the show at Townhall and this time to manifest the spirit of Dave before it whiffed out for the last time like an exhausted candle. As an expression of surreal political theater it was intense. The entire Linda Ruffing political machine had come to Townhall to bear witness to the passing of the last and most effective of the Ruffing political shills. Linda Ruffing herself was present for the first time since they fired her. Scott Dietz was resurrected from under the political bus where he had been so casually discarded. Doug Hammerstrom was in murky attendance. Meg Courtney showed up beaming vacuity. They all got their cake and milled around in their purple Dave shirts and paper Dave faces in a demonstration of weirdness that scared me.
Fort Bragg always turns out for important political rituals. The candidates' forum, our principle election event, is always massively packed. Any controversy that evades obfuscation and actually comes before the Council attracts a gratifying crowd of patriots. It is a full-time occupation for the manipulators of policy to keep the dirty business of the city ( and there is plenty of it). off the public radar and to ensure that the really rotten stuff is mentioned in sparsely attended meetings.
Success for the Council in the Lindy Peters era was a Townhall with lots of empty seats and only a few irascible regulars hanging in there. Mayor Lindy always leaned hard on secrecy and worked like a horse to keep comments and observations from the public to the extremity of the legal limit. Officially contrived deception is present in abundance in Fort Bragg, but the mere possibility of a packed city hall keeps the reigning power on their toes.
As the cake disappeared and first the seats and then every inch of floor space filled, the mass of purple tee shirted Dave worshipers became almost evenly balanced with actual people. After the conspirators had presented an elaborate truly tear-jerking video depicting the greatness of Dave through the years. Plaques were awarded to the two outgoing Councilmen Dave and in a kind of afterthought Mike Cimilino, Yin and Yang.
Dave Turner, our longest serving City Councilman ever, had for decades established himself as the preeminent apologist for the elaborately hidden but horribly real financial debacle resulting from the megalomaniacal reign of former City Manager Linda Ruffing. He was the only remaining Councilman of an incumbency that had insinuated itself into absolute control of municipal government, and which persisted (world without end) for almost twenty years. He survived the last election by 40 votes. Mike Cimilino was the new guy and by far, the most outspoken adversary of the ethically creative Ruffing system. Cimolino had run for office on the sole premise of firing Ms. Ruffing and he got it done.
For Mike Cimilino it was the end of a courageous albeit uneven campaign to move the machinery of government back into the paths of sanity. He largely achieved that and got exactly no thanks In the Monday night send off from the Dave worshipers. But the City of Fort Bragg knows. The new City Manager knows who it was that hired her. She knows why. In a few short months, Tabatha Miller has balanced the budget thathad run carefully undisclosed deficits for 10 years, missallocated 3 million dollars ( now being laboriously repaid ) and allowed a million dollars of ( arguably illegal) surprise overcharges on municipal works projects.
Every city department is still struggling under the weight of decades of mismanagment. The new City Manager Tabtha Miller got us out of the '93unavoidable'94 city bankruptcy that Ruffing and friends had casually bequeathed the city as her parting gift. City manager Miller seems to have put Development Director Marie Jones back in the box, walking back Jones's quarter of a million dollar grand scheme to build the glass beach staircase and getting it done instead for $25 thousand. Mike Cimilino, Bernie Norvel and Will Lee made it happen by firing Ruffing and found an excellent replacement in Tabatha Miller.. They deserve a lot of credit.
Dave Turner was the last vestige and primary pillar of a discredited political machine Turner practiced pretend oversight his whole career, and they sent him away in a purple blizzard of t-shirts and Dave masks.
When they passed out plaques Mike Cimolino got a regular one and Dave Turner got a grand one. But the pen of history is a sharp instrument. Dave went out in a cultish extravaganza by discredited villains. But it was Mike Cimilino, not Dave Turner that returned the City Council to reputability.
CHRISTMAS SINGALONG, DECEMBER 15
This Saturday, our 23rd annual Christmas Singalong with Lynn Archambault at 8:30 (dinner ends a bit early). Song books and hot mulled wine provided. Come caroling where you can stay warm! Come early and you can shop with Safari from Mendocino, art & crafts from Kenya, or of course, you can just have dinner.
SUPES PREPARE PRO-FORMA “PROCLAMATION” “honoring” Georgeanne Croskey for her short term as Third District Supervisor.
“Proclaimation Of The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors Honoring Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey For Her Service On The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors And His Service To The County Of Mendocino
WHEREAS, Georgeanne Croskey was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., to represent the Third District for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors in May of 2017 and has devotedly represented the constituents of the 3rd Supervisorial District since that time, acting in the interests of all Mendocino County residents; and is currently serving as Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors; and
WHEREAS, Georgeanne proudly served in the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserves before earning Degrees in both Physics and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University; where after she returned to her hometown of Willits to establish a large animal veterinary practice; and
WHEREAS, as a mother of three children, Georgeanne represented her community as a Board Member of the Willits Unified School District prior to being appointed to the Board of Supervisors; and
WHEREAS, as an elected Supervisor, Georgeanne has served with distinction on many boards and committees including the Behavioral Health Advisory Board, Mendocino Fire Safe Council, and Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG); and
WHEREAS, her passion and concern for the safety and welfare of Third District residents has positively affected the local region through sponsorship of items on Board Agendas as well as her involvement in the community. The citizens of Mendocino County deeply appreciate Georgeanne’s leadership, dedication to public service, and her passion for advocacy for sound public policy representing Mendocino County.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Supervisors of the County of Mendocino hereby honors Georgeanne Croskey for her service and dedication to the County of Mendocino.
* * *
Let’s see if we get this straight. Supervisor Croskey is “honored” for being appointed, for serving in the Air Force, for being a mother of three and “serving” on the Willits School Board, for going to some meetings, for “passion and concern” etc. OK. But most of that has nothing to do with Supervisor. Plus, did she do anything? Did she take a stand on anything? Did she even try to do anything for the County besides vote to raise the pay of herself and every official whose pay came up? The bar for being “honored” is now down to going to meetings while having been in the military and raising some kids? Actually, little as she did for as short a time as she did, she did seemed better than some of her predecessors like Tom Lucier and Hal Wagenet.
PS. Croskey’s draft proclamation leaves the signature blank, saying only “, Chair,” because “Chair” Dan Hamburg walked off the job a few months ago.
* * *
THE SUPES WILL ALSO HONOR CLERK-RECORDER-ASSESSOR Sue Ranochak:
“Proclamation Of The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors Honoring Susan Ranochak For Her Years Of Service As Assessor/Clerk-Recorder For The County Of Mendocino
WHEREAS, Susan Ranchock began her public service career with Mendocino County in 1984 as a County Appraiser, and was promoted to Assistant Assessor in 2003. Throughout her career, spanning over 15 years, Sue worked tirelessly, ultimately being elected to the position of Assessor/Clerk-Recorder taking office in 2008, establishing the beginning of her 11 year tenure in office; and
WHEREAS, Sue’s commitment to public service consumed untold hours of her time serving on several local, state, and professional boards and committees, including serving as Director of California Timber Industry Advisory Committee; Director of Mendocino Council of Governments; Treasurer of St. Mary’s School Foundation; and is a member of the Ukiah Rotary Club; and
WHEREAS, during Sue’s extended career, vast improvements in technology and information management demanded many changes within the organization; and
WHEREAS, under Sue’s guidance, Mendocino County improved the ballot counting process, including improvements associated with posting results on the Assessor/Clerk- Recorder Department's website within moments; and
WHEREAS, Sue Ranochak has had a long and distinguished career and can take great pride in her service to the citizens of Mendocino County.
WHEREAS, the citizens of Mendocino County deeply appreciate her leadership and dedication to public service
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Supervisors of the County of Mendocino recognizes and honors Assessor-Clerk-Recorder Ms. Susan Ranochak for her years of service, dedicated leadership and commitment, and further, that this Board extends to Sue its congratulations and best wishes for continued success on the occasion of her retirement.
Dated: December 18, 2018
Dan Hamburg, Chair”
* * *
The only comment to be made here is that the claim that “under Sue’s guidance, Mendocino County improved the ballot counting process, including improvements associated with posting results on the Assessor/Clerk- Recorder Department's website within moments…” flies in the face of anyone who follows local elections. Ranochak’s steadfast refusal to take even modest steps to speed up the vote counting or to re-institute at least some of the precinct polling stations after they were forcibly closed by former Clerk Marsha Wharff was an embarrassment to the County, with final results always dragging out for weeks after the election, sometimes leading to unnecessarily annoying reversals in initial outcomes. All other neighboring counties do a much better job at counting and posting election results. We know that Supervisors Gjerde and McCowen have publicly complained about Ranochak’s sludge-like vote counting in the past even after their attempts to offer more money to hire some temps to speed up the count. Will they sign off on a proclamation that directly contradicts their experience?
PS. This draft proclamation has Dan Hamburg’s signature block. But it’ll probably be signed by Vice Chair Supervisor Croskey who’s been filling in — “honorably” of course — since Hamburg walked off.
PURPLE ROSE HIATUS
There's still time - 3 days till vacation. We will be on Holiday December 16 - December 25. Back OPEN December 26 at 5pm. Enjoy the season!
The Purple Rose Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
24300 North Hwy 1; Fort Bragg, California; 964-6507
Serving Tuesday - Saturday; Open at 5pm
CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec. 13, 2018
VICTORIA BURBIDGE, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse.
KINDRA NELSON, Covelo. Burglary, receiving stolen property.
ALEXANDREA PERRY-PEREIRA, Willits. DUI, vandalism.
JOSHUA RANDALL, Hopland. DUI with priors, probation revocation.
JAKE SCHULER, Willits. Probation revocation.
KRISTINE TUPPER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
By Bruce Patterson
Up there by Yorkville, near the old Y Ranch HQ and beside the Rancheria, there’s a tombstone in the cemetery with the epitaph: “I done all I could.”
Since it marks the grave of a daughter of the pioneers, I figure she’d worked like a mule her whole life long. Like my own grandmas had before, and after, they’d landed in the Promised Land; like nearly all of humankind’s grandmas had ever since people learned how to plant seeds with their thumbs and it was decided that women—the “weaker sex”—would do most the work while men did all the talking.
My grandparents grew up without electricity or indoor plumbing, and as kids they worked farms dawn till dusk when need be. That prospect being about as likely as tomorrow’s sunrise if it was planting or harvest time or the animals got loose. But rest? Sustained sit down, lick your paws and scratch the lint out your bellybutton kind of rest? Even when snowed in there was plenty to do inside, and outside, so winter days were a mix of light and heavy duties, maintenance, repair and resupply. Whether woman, child, man or beast, they’d get real rest in their final resting places if at all.
It ain’t easy starting from scratch and then scratching a living off a patch of alien soils under seasons you don’t know. If you’re isolated or bullheaded, it’ll take you a whole lot of failures before you make a general all-around success of yourself. And when you’ve finally mastered a pick and shovel, a plow and disk, shearing shears, pruning shears, roofing hammers, handsaws, draw knifes, scalping hoes, splitting mauls and what all, you probably ain’t got much longer to live, much less the ability to produce like you used to back when you were young, spry and hungry.
Yet, so long as you’d given your children the proper amount of love, book-learning and on-the-job training, you could go to your grave knowing there’s a fair chance the place ya’ll’ve built will be properly taken care of for at least another lifetime anyway. And a person can take some pride in that. Not that pride had much to do with it. You’d done all you could because it came natural to you and that was reward enough.
* * *
The trouble with becoming a pioneer was the instant you’d unhooked your wagons you became a clodbuster. Back before the Civil War, the Far West started in the lands west of what was then thought to be the Continental Divide. Beginning up atop the Rockies in northernmost Montana, it meanders down to the southern toe of Colorado and New Mexico’s long, tall and lanky Sangre de Cristo Mountains. From there, beginning at its three-forked headwaters in the Cristos, the West starts to mean all the lands west of the Pecos River that runs south and then southeast before joining the Rio Grande at its little big bend near a town called Langtry, Texas.
On early maps, the West is the Great Western Desert. While that was a gross misstatement, it did mean the settlers’ top priority was to find themselves someplace having year-round water. Choosing a spot beside a cold-running river (all the fish loved cold water), a blue line creek or a perennial mountain spring was ideal. All but guaranteed you’d never die of thirst anyway.
Yet there was one big problem: everything already belonged to somebody else. Not just any old body, either. The owners were whole tribes of people made up of extended and interconnected families having deep roots in the soils of this continent. It meant that beautiful riverside “meadow” of yours is somebody else’s favorite fishing spot. Your animals are eating their graze. The sky, seasons, birds, mammals, plants and everything else already have their rightful owners and you ain’t included. What to do?
For some years a long time ago I was a volunteer docent at the Anderson Valley Museum. Seeing how sometimes not even one person passed through the cyclone fence while I was standing guard, it was the easiest chore I’ve ever done. It also allowed me to purchase (and read) every book ever written about “Anderson Valley” and, gee, it’s almost like the Pomo never existed. At least 8,000 years—480 human generations—vanish leaving nary a trace while individual sons and daughters of the pioneers are recalled in great detail and portrayed mostly as fine and dandy if not downright saintly?
Still the museum has plenty of interesting info about who married whom and who owned what, how much and for how long and, of course, some about the Pomo and a lot more about big tree, steep ground, highballing (60 hr. work weeks) rape-and-run logging. There’s also some information about what agricultural products might turn a profit and those that never will. In short, some G-Rated family adventure stories are about as controversial as anything gets. In essence and speaking generally, as well as metaphorically, since getting out West was a whole lot more interesting than scratching out a living there, “American Pioneer History” amounts to WASP white bread folklore to go with the cornbread and milk toast (a mug of fresh cow milk heated atop the wood stove then filled with crumpled bread, a dab of butter and maybe a half teaspoon of sugar. A couple mugs of milk toast polished off before sunrise was enough to keep growing boys and girls happily producing till lunch time anyway).
By the way, easily the biggest PR mistake I made as a “local author” (my 1st book was “Walking Tractor and other tales of old Anderson Valley”) was publishing some forgotten article in the AVA that included a wisecrack I’ll never forget: “After all, Boontling was just redneck Pig-Latin.”
I mean, I meant—I thought everybody would get the joke. Besides, I’m a certifiable redneck my own self with 40 years hands on experience in boney fingers and I know what’s funny. Then it was the 21st Century and even living in church-going, sheep and apple-growing Anderson Valley never was like living in Little House on the Prairie. Moreover, I didn’t think everybody still able to speak Boontling could fill a breakfast table at the Boonville Drive-In, much less get any use out of it beyond maybe having some fun with it. In short: you can kick a dead horse if you want to and I absolutely guarantee you it won’t mind. Or so I thought.
Anyway, more than a few settlers, imbued mostly with England’s “Anglo-Saxon” version of the Holy Spirit, thought of themselves as modern day Christian Soldiers fulfilling their New World’s Manifest Destiny. Yet—I mention this because Americans have a long history of forgetting their extremely short national history—living on land the settlers held no legal title to, and weren’t paying taxes on, meant they were properly called squatters, nesters or yeomen: those living “outside the law.” And, at least since the Norman Conquest, back in England such kinds were commonly known as “white trash.”
Remember the saga of Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest? While Robin himself—natch—was of Noble Blood, his Merry Men were plain old white trash. (Suggested Reading: “WHITE TRASH: The 400-Year untold History of Class in America” by Nancy Isenberg).
Here’s how it went: if England’s Noble landlords were chosen by God to rule over His Earthly Domain, poor white trash were born to suffer through lives of toil, subservience, exorbitant rents, usury, thuggery, military drafts and the like. Hunger was their minister; want their creed, outcast their status. That’s why, in 19th Century England, squatters got hung for poaching a rabbit; slum boys publicly hanged for stealing apples off pushcarts. It’s also why, during the 19th Century, English Gentlemen allowed millions of Irish (and Scots-Irish) white trash to starve to death. It’s also why during the American West’s colorful parade of boom and bust towns (most went bust even before they’d boomed seeing how they’d only existed on paper) white trash came as cheap as white people get: rock bottom. And, as my invalid mom warned me when I was a boy, “nobody loves you when you’re down.”
Mine workers were worth less than the mules they got partnered with. If you were a miner and you got killed on the job, the boss could hire another man. But if you got his mule killed, he’d hafta buy another one. A killed lumberjack causing schoolhouse flags to lower to half-staff? Are you kidding? Some dumb Okie, Arkie, Great Laker, Swede or Bull hunk gets squished in the woods? Stockpile him on the landing till quitting time then rope him to the roof of the crummy and deliver him home to his kin. Time is money, boy, and sentiment has no market value. Get ‘er while you can.
It wasn’t the Vietnamese who taught me to admire peasant labor; they just radically re-affirmed what I’d already learned from my parents, grandparents and the stories about our ancestors. Weren’t long ago in this country that virtually all towns were farm towns and today’s managed outbreak of super-megalopolis’ exist only because of bountiful agricultural products reliable produced, preserved, distributed and sold via extremely sophisticated logistical networks and interlocked lines of credit. And, of course, the more sophisticated a machine becomes, the more fragile and unreliable it becomes. Henry Ford’s auto assembly lines operated with two or three work shifts a day for decades and none of them went very long without grinding to a halt for one reason or another.
Starting in 1975, I worked and drank with a bunch of Anderson Valley’s remaining ranchers and ranch hands, and they all knew they were getting pushed out by “progress.” At least they’d get flush when they finally sold out. And that was a whole lot better than most get after having outlived their usefulness.
* * *
In 2017 our County of Crook, Oregon, exported $27,300,000 worth of beef on the hoof. Yet today in the local grocery markets the price of prime rib or ribeye, T-bone or flank steak keeps climbing to “new highs.” Seems the marketeers are always inventing “new” cuts of beef, too, and new breeds, while retiring old ones. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Porterhouse in the market—seems the big city steak houses buy them all up. And while hereabouts there remains plenty of Open Range and grazing allotments offered by the NFS and the BLM, I imagine not many of our cattlemen earned enough selling their cows by the pound to have much of an appetite for buying back 12 ounces of it flame-broiled and priced so high you’d never guess it’d once belonged to you.
Never thought I’d live long enough to see the so-called Market Economy—the giver and taker of all things, according to reigning Gospel of Wealth (think Feudalism with Orwellian Group Think and nukes)—devouring its own customers. Henry Ford produced cars his workers could buy; today’s Robber Barons want to replace their workers with computers or, even better, overseas wage slaves (since you needn’t house, feed, clothe, doctor or bury them, wage slaves are actually better bargains than chattel slaves).
So who’s going to buy their mass-produced plastic trinkets? Global Marketing isn’t a problem, they’re convinced. Their record proves they can sell salt on a beach. A dying natural world shouldn’t affect their projections. People can adapt to anything.
IF YOUR LOOKING FOR A HOLIDAY GIFT, the Yorkville Market has a wide selection of local handmade products!
AV FOODSHED WEEKLY UPDATE
Don't forget to include locally-produced goodies in your holiday shopping!
- Blue Meadow Farm - at the base of Holmes Ranch Road - 895-2071
- Brock Farms - on Goodacre off the base of Peachland - 895-3407
- Velma's (Filigreen Farm) - on AV Way - 895-2111
- Gowan's Oak Tree - on Hwy 128 between Philo and Navarro - 895-3353
- Pennyroyal Creamery - on Hwy 128 in Boonville - 895-2410
- Petit Teton - on Hwy 128 between Boonville and Yorkville - 684-4146
- The Apple Farm - on Philo/Greenwood Road just before the bridge - 895-2333
AV Products you can access by contacting:
- 4 Bar K Ranch (beef) - email@example.com, 895-2325
- Anderson Valley Community Farm CSA (variety of products) - firstname.lastname@example.org, (831) 332-5131
- Bramble Family Farm (olive oil) - email@example.com, 272-8487
- Bucket Ranch (variety of products) - 845-3851
- McEwen Family Farm (variety of products) - firstname.lastname@example.org - 472-9009
- Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company (seaweed) - email@example.com , 895-2996
- Natural Products of Boonville (mushrooms & more) - firstname.lastname@example.org, 684-0182
- Petit Teton (canned goods, pork, beef, squab & veggies) - email@example.com, 684-4146
- Pomo Tierra Orchard (apple products) - firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Forest People - Radically Sustainable Mushroom Cultivation - 489-5034
- Yorkville Olive Ranch (olive oil) - email@example.com, 894-0530
Local Handmade Gifts from Petit Teton Farm
Do your gifting with unique locally grown and made products. At Petit Teton Farm we grow the fruits and vegetables that go into our hand-made jams, relishes, pickles and drink mixers. We're happy to ship anywhere in the United States and will even gift wrap. Contact us, Nikki and Steve, at 707.684.4146, or stop by the farm at 18601 Hwy 128 any day between 8:30-4:30 except Sunday, noon to 4:30.
"Olio Nuovo" from Yorkville Olive Ranch
The "Olio Nuovo" or "New Oil" from the 2018 olive harvest at the Yorkville Olive Ranch is now available in 375 ml bottles. The Tuscan olives were harvested on November 3rd,. 4th, and 5th and milled each day using the stone wheels at the Olivino mill in Hopland, and bottled on the 8th of November. It is unfiltered, pale green and hazy in color and translucency. Although olive oil enthusiasts in Italy and Spain gather at the olive mills early in the harvest season to get their first tastes of that year's "Olio Nuovo", the vivid, brilliant flavor and pungency may be too much for the typical American pallet. "Olio Nuovo" may be an acquired taste yet to be acquired. So if that astrigent, bitter taste at the beginning and the robust, peppery finish of a decanted Tuscan olive oil is pushing your taste buds too far, the "New Oil' will probably be too much. But the taste of olives will be bright and fresh, sparkling and alive!
The "Olio Nuovo" is not labeled as Extra Virgin as the lab tests are not complete, nor has the California Olive Oil Council's Tasters Panel certified it as being "Extra Virgin".
The "Olio Nuovo" will only be available at the Yorkville Olive Ranch House at $ 20.00 for a 375 ml bottle until December 23rd. Call 894-0530 to reserve a bottle and arrange a time for picking up the oil.
Holiday Gifts from The Bucket Ranch
The Bucket Ranch has perfect little holiday gifts for sale around the county. Find our Piment d'Ville pepper by the jar at many local retailers, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to buy a whole case (12 jars) for $99. You can see the formats available at https://www.pimentdville.com. Or try Nacho's dry beans, which are $10 per pound, vacuum sealed in bags. They come in 3 varieties: Sorana, Zolfini, and Controne. All grown, dried, processed and packed by local hands right here in Boonville -- we appreciate your support!
Beef For Sale
Grass Fed Murray Grey/Angus cross Beef, by the 1/4, for January/February delivery.
4 Bar K Ranch in Boonville, CA is offering premium grass-fed beef for sale. This is local grass-fed beef, raised in rural Anderson Valley, in Mendocino County, with no shots or hormones, just excellent, lean, grass finished beef. We raise our beef free range, organically, in a humane, safe, and stress-free way. This ensures your beef is the best quality and safest meat, that is raised and sold in the right way. We sell live beef by the 1/4 then ship it to the butcher who then slaughters, ages, cuts, wraps, and freezes it before we deliver your 1/4 to you. Bones and offal are included at no cost.
Please contact me and I will send our information flyer in an email. It should answer most of your questions, but feel free to call me anytime if you're interested.
If interested please contact Dave Kooyers at (707) 895-2325.
WHY DON’T WE RIOT OVER WEALTH INEQUALITY?
Tell people their gas taxes are going up and they will riot, literally. Tell people that 42 individuals hold the same amount of wealth as the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population and we don’t blink an eye. Okay, maybe we do a hard blink but we certainly don’t riot.
TIN FOIL HAT ALERT!
To the Editor:
Mendocino County was the crucible for a lot of spooky stuff back in the day. For example, it's well known that the CIA was conducting its LSD "mind control" experiments on patients at the Mendocino State Hospital in Talmage. This led to the CIA's full-blown LSD-mind control program known as MK-Ultra. Even the infamous gangster, Whitey Bulger, was an experimental subject when MK Ultra moved some of its research from Talmage to Alcatraz Prison.
I also believe Jim Jones led MK Ultra's venture into "mass mind control" at The People's Temple, located in Redwood Valley. It was an experiment that eventually led to the mass suicide in Guiana.
I'm further told that the FBI's COINTELPRO had offices in Ukiah, in the area now known as Kings Court Business Park. The Social Security Administration later built an office in the same area. One may regard the area as a federal complex -- the local VA is here, along with offices for undercover FBI and DEA.
Keep in mind, too, that federal law enforcement has long had a keen interest in Mendocino County. Why? Judi Bari, Mike Sweeney, and Darryl Cherney, among others. Law enforcement feared -- rightly or wrongly -- that they were spearheading an eco-terrorist movement, in other words, domestic terrorists.
None other than Pulitzer Prize novelist, Thomas Pynchon, lived incognito in the Anderson Valley for three years, researching and writing a novel about the surreal and dangerous counter-culture movement in Mendocino County. It's called "Vineland". KZYX and Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (MCPB) was coming into own at about this time.
Is it any wonder that some now believe that it's not too weird to think the soon-to-depart GM and Executive Director of KZYX, a mysterious guy named Jeffrey K. Parker, was a CIA asset in China for the 20 years leading up to his two-year tenure at KZYX?
Is it any wonder that some also believe that the longtime chair of MCPB's Board of Directors, another mysterious guy -- David Hopmann -- recruited Jeffrey Parker?
David Hopmann is a former Army intelligence officer and retired partner at the international law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.
Among Pillsbury's 20 worldwide offices, three of those offices are located in Shanghai, Beijing, and Taipei. They do a lot of work in China.
Parker worked in Shanghai for 20 years. He purportedly published medical journals. But it's interesting that all those journals are incorporated out of the Cayman Islands. Also, their funding is also shrouded in mystery. China doesn't allow freedom of the press, and the Chinese don't buy advertising in American journals. So who supported Parker in China for 20 years?
Here's where it gets really weird.
My guess is that Jeffrey Parker heard about the job at KZYX from David Hopmann.
Why? Because Parker needed a place to transition. The CIA's intelligence operations fell apart in China in several years ago. A well-publicized breach in 2015 gave Beijing access to thousands of government personnel records, including intelligence contractors. That breach in June 2015 was a hacking operation by China. It was perhaps the largest breach of federal employees’ data, involving at least four million current and former government workers. The Obama administration did not publicly identify Chinese hackers as the culprits because it is difficult to definitively attribute the source of cyberattacks and to back up such an attribution without divulging classified data, but almost certainly the hackers were state-sponsored.
Now, the CIA considers spying in China one of its top priorities, but the country’s extensive security apparatus makes it exceptionally hard for Western spy services to develop sources there.
It was time for Parker to leave China.
Parker actually first applied to be GM at KZYX in 2015 -- a year before he was hired. He didn't get the job. It went to a woman named Lorraine Dechter, who didn't last long. Station politics burned her out. It was then that Parker was hired.
Did David Hopmann bring Parker back?
Incidentally, Pillsbury Law also has offices in Washington, DC, and McClean, VA.
Many national security contractors -- and the federal agencies that hire them --are located in McClean and northern Virginia. Clearly, Pillsbury Law does a lot of national security work.
I wish I could take a look at Hopmann's client list.
Golly Gee Willikers, I wish I could connect the dots.
—John Sakowicz, Ukiah CA, MCPB and KZYZ Board of Directors, 2013-2016; Board Treasurer, 2013
* * *
ED REPLY: Easy, Sako, easy Big Champion. I try to keep abreast of the dark side of County history, but this is the first I've heard of acid experiments at the old state hospital at Talmage. I believe those experiments were conducted at Stanford where, among others, Ken Kesey, was a hired participant. Ditto for Alcatraz and the early Whitey Bolger. Never heard that the CIA was involved there. And there's never been any evidence that Rev. Jones was associated with government skullduggery beyond curiosity about his Guyana remove. During the Redwood Summer period the FBI's presence is, and undoubtedly will, remain unconfirmed. But given that they thought Earth First!, elements of, were engaged in "industrial sabotage," which Bari and Cherney were, or at least encouraged, and industrial sabotage being a federal crime, the feds would have been here. I think they operated out of the prior incarnation of the Mendocino Environment Center, and I think Sweeney was their guy and an FBI snitch all the way back to the late 1960s, which is only my as yet unconfirmed opinion. The late John Ross told me he met Pynchon in Trinidad, Humboldt County. As for Parker, Hopmann and the Gray Ghost, John Coate, who knows? Or cares?
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AGENDA
The Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda for the December 18, 2018, meeting is now available on the County website: mendocino.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
Please contact the Executive Office at (707) 463-4441 if you have any questions regarding this message.
ARTIST TALK: MEET THE MURALIST
On Saturday, January 19 from 10 am to noon, members of the public will have a chance to meet Lauren Sinnott, the Point Arena-based artist currently at work on Ukiah: Past, Present, Future, a block-long mural on the north-facing wall of the City of Ukiah Conference Center.
Sinnott will share the story of how she became an artist and the many partners involved in the creation of her monumental mural. The presentation will be held at the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, 204 South Oak Street, Ukiah, where a completed indoor mural by Sinnott is also on view.
The artist's talk will include a guided tour of the mural in progress on the exterior wall of the Conference Center, which is a short walk from the Community Foundation where Sinnott's talk will be held.
This event is hosted by the Mendocino County Art Association and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. The mural was funded by the Arts Council of Mendocino County through a Local Impact grant from the California Arts Council, matched by generous support from the local community, most notably Laura Fogg and Art Center Ukiah.
The Conference Center mural is the first work of public art to engage the City of Ukiah's recently established Public Art Policy. Lauren Sinnott was selected to create the mural by a committee of the Arts Council of Mendocino County through a competitive open call to artists, and her design was unanimously approved by the City of Ukiah Design Review Board and Planning Commission.
Winter rains have currently put outdoor painting on hold, but Sinnott will resume painting in the spring of 2019.
ONLINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
It's like the re-runs we see on over-the-air TV channels, the allahu-akbarista doing a shoot-em-up in some public place. And so the average shmuck out for a stroll gets greased. And, guess what happens next, like night follows day the Greatly Enlightened mount the podium to castigate people – like those people leaking out their life-blood – for their various phobias, their Islamophobia, their xenophobia, their general all-round intolerance and moral inadequacy.
But here’s a bet, that if instead of targeting the average man-in-the-street, the allahu shouter shot up a conclave of billionaires and politicians, you wouldn’t hear a fucking peep about “tolerance”. Here’s another bet, that if more than one or two of these massacres killed those in the political and oligarch elite, you wouldn’t hear a fucking WORD about racism, you’d see the borders close to Muslims and you’d see round-ups and imprisonment and expulsion of anyone looking and smelling even a little bit off.
And why? They’ll say it goes without saying, that seeing as there’s no way to sort the good apples from the bad, and seeing as there’s regular blood lettings of the best and the brightest and most indispensable of society, measures must be taken. Harsh measures. Regrettable but necessary.
Everybody in these bastions of progress and tolerance is equal but some are more equal than others.
LOCAL APPELLATION EXPLORATION: SUN ROOTS FARM, COVELO
by Emily Hobelmann
Round Valley is Mendocino County’s largest swath of level ground, recognized for its rich soil and proximity to the nearly million-acre wilderness of the Mendocino National Forest. Sun Roots Farm is a cannabis cultivation site located in the northeast section of the valley, just outside of Covelo.
Co-Owners Forrest Gauder and Patricia Vargas are holistic farmers growing cannabis in the ground amongst a myriad of other herbs, fruits, vegetables and farm critters. They are cultivating strains with Jah Goo genetics, a localized family heirloom that started with Gauder’s brother Mike about 10 years ago.
Gauder and Vargas welcomed me to their farm in mid-October to talk about their land and their standards, practices and varietals for the fourth-installment my five-part series about cannabis farms in diverse Emerald Triangle locales.
Walking into the Sun Roots Farm cannabis gardens felt more like entering an apple orchard. At the time of my visit in mid-October, their mature cannabis plants were 12-15 feet in height (some taller) with canopies of equatorial-esque circumference, giant buds and substantial trunks.
Sun Roots Farm Co-Owners Forrest Gauder and Patricia Vargas practice biodynamic farming, which Vargas describes in uncomplicated terms as Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy of creating living soil. They view the systems on their farm as an interconnected whole, not only influenced by what is happening on the earthly plane, but also by what is happening in the cosmos.
They are all about closing the loop on their farm, which means sourcing what they need from the land and not bringing in outside materials, if at all possible. Gauder and Vargas have a ritualistic approach, taking lunar phases and planetary cycles into account when planting, feeding and tending their gardens.
They grow from seed and cut clones from their own seed plants. All of their cultivars have Jah Goo genetics (Purple Jasmine X Af Goo); as such, they are descended from phenotypes that showed traits suited to this particular environment. For example, their cultivars demonstrate a looser bud structure, as opposed to dense, compact nugs. This is more ideal for resistance to mold. This season’s varieties include Silver Goo, Strawberry Goo, Candy Goo (Candy Land X Jah Goo), Velvet Purps and Magic Bus.
Throughout the growing season, they provide their plants with specifically formulated preparations, which can include yarrow, valerian, chamomile, stinging nettle and horsetail plant. Each ingredient has different purposes and properties, and everything is sourced on their land. For example, Vargas describes valerian as warming, so “it brings a warmth and a light to your plants.”
They even stir the preparations in a specific way while making them, creating “vortex and chaos” in the water. All of this is done with intention and in harmony with the cosmos and as a complement to compost and mulching practices. Their system inputs include hemp stalks, green material that they scythe from the property, third cuttings of alpaca fleece (yes, they have alpacas), leaf mold and leaves from various trees on the property.
In keeping with the character of Round Valley their land is flat, but the diversity of plant life contained therein is anything but. Established trees include corkscrew willow, ash, birch, walnut, valley oaks and fruitless mulberries. Cultivated herbs include ashwagandha, chamomile, mallow, mullein, Echinacea, zinnia, comfrey and white sage. They have grapes, apple trees and vegetable gardens.
Their soil is obviously quite fertile; Gauder calls it “real nice chocolate topsoil [with] lots of worms and life.” Gauder and Vargas have been planting in the same holes for years, “building them up,” and they don’t till, using Meadow Creature broadforks instead to gently loosen the soil up in advance of planting.
Through the UC Davis California Soil Resource Lab’s SoilWeb Apps, I learned that the soil at this location belongs to the Mollisols order which the University of Idaho Department of Soil and Water Systems “Twelve Soil Orders” site describes as,
…the soils of grassland ecosystems. They are characterized by a thick, dark surface horizon. This fertile surface horizon… results from the long-term addition of organic materials derived from plant roots. Mollisols are among some of the most important and productive agricultural soils in the world and are extensively used for this purpose.
(Hat tip to Redheaded Blackbelt commenter “Matthew Meyer” for pointing me in the direction of this portal to incredibly detailed information about soils all over the United States.)
People didn’t need modern science to arrive at such a strong conclusion. The History of Mendocino County, California text originally published in 1880 describes the soil of Round Valley as “a very rich, black loam, a great deal of it being reclaimed marsh land, which is by far the most productive in the state.” (Original imprint: Alley, Bowen & Co., San Francisco; quoted from the Mendocino County Historical Society’s 1967 reprint.)
More on their environment: The landscape beyond the gardens is a grassy savannah leading to a ring of mountains at the valley’s edge. Elevation here is about 1,400 feet. Summers are hot; temperatures can top 100 degrees. Winters are cold; temperatures bottom out in the teens. The mountains get snow, and sometimes it snows in the valley, maybe a couple times a year. Average rainfall is 42 inches.
Harvest season is milder, averaging between 70-80 degrees during the day, and, in keeping with summer, harvest time temperature swings on the order of 30-40 degrees. Gauder and Vargas find that Round Valley gets its own weather, especially in the wintertime when there is a “sit down” of moisture coming off the mountains, creating a dense fog on the valley floor.
Round Valley is surrounded on all sides by wilderness; it’s an island in an upland sea. The Mendocino National Forest lies to the north and east; the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness is contained therein. Anthony Peak is east; Poon Kinney is west; Bluenose Ridge is north; and the Sanhedrin Wilderness and its Big Signal Peak access are south. The Middle Fork Eel skirts the south end of the valley; the confluence with its tributary Black Butte River is east.
There is much to see when you look out from Sun Roots Farm. Now let’s turn back in to hear how polyculture is the backbone of their pest control strategy. Plant and soil health is achieved through fostering a complex web of life, including beneficial insects like the hover fly, mycorrhizal fungi and trap plants. Gauder and Vargas minimize bad actors by nurturing life that is advantageous to their gardens.
Bugs will always be a factor, Vargas says, but they never spray with harsh chemicals, since whatever they spray will cycle right back into their well water supply, which Gauder describes as clean and delicious right out of the spigot. They want to keep it that way.
So when aphids popped up this season – a first for Sun Roots Farm, Gauder and Vargas sprayed with things like lactobacillus, milk and vinegar to reduce the population. They also used high-pressured water to knock the aphids down. They experiment and adapt, trying different companion plants or natural materials that uplift their garden in the face of disease.
It is harvest season at the time of my visit, and we talk about what goes into deciding to start taking a plant down. First and foremost, Vargas says, the plants will just tell you when they’re ready. But you have to listen and know what to look for. Rain in the forecast, trichome color, broken branches or the presence of mold also come into play. Ultimately, they view the farm as her own entity; so they follow her flow.
After drying, they buck the plant material down into airtight food safe bins, then cure for at least 6 weeks in a temperature-controlled room. They flip the plant material maybe once during this time, but not more. “The less we touch it the better,” Vargas says. And cleanliness is paramount – “We don’t touch anything without our biodegradable gloves.”
And thus the product goes out to be trimmed and sold, marking the final part of the season in which the strands of their garden’s unique storyline are drawn together. The nature of the farm plus all of the efforts and decisions made over the year will be expressed in the final product, which is primarily wholesale flower.
Vargas says they are “fortunate” that their flowers are typically rated AAA, but these consistent top-notch ratings are not due to chance. The vigor of their plants and quality of their flowers is a testament to the effectiveness of their biodynamic methodologies and the fact that they put in a lot of time — each plant receives attention on a daily basis, and it shows.
I think people can relate to their commitment to minimizing outside inputs and closing the loop on their land when Vargas puts it this way: “If you really want to tune in, preserve your land and help the environment, it’s important to get down on a local level and appreciate the things that are [there] already.”
The Sun Roots Farm is an abundant place; there is a lot to appreciate. And via legally distributed Sun Roots Farm branded cannabis products, consumers from out of the area can connect with this place, with their soil, fresh air and diverse garden, with their distinctly Northern Mendocino terroir.
BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS VACANCIES as of December 12, 2018
The list of vacancies, due to term expirations and/or resignations, for County Boards and Commissions has been updated. A list of all new and existing vacancies is available on the County Website at: mendocinocounty.org/government/board-of-supervisors/boards-and-commissions
Please contact the Clerk of the Board office at (707) 463-4441 if you have any questions regarding this message.