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MCT: Saturday, February 9, 2019

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COLD, RAIN AND SOME SNOW ALL WEEK. Showers Saturday, up to .75 inches in some locations, turning to snow at higher elevations Saturday night. Cold and rain continuing into Sunday with more snow likely at night. Cold rain and snow continuing on Monday with slightly less precip and accumulation. Rain likely every day next week into Friday with continued cold temps, lows in the 30s all week, highs unlikely to make it into the 50s.

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Boonville is a photogenic one-street town home to just over a thousand people. It's got a hardware store, a couple of grocery stores and a laundromat plus half a dozen places for tourists to get an espresso on their way to the coast. But beneath the surface is a very different story.

Many of the people who live in town don’t have safe drinking water. Valerie Hanelt is chair of the Boonville Community Services District. "We’d heard there were problems with water. So we did some tests for nitrates and Ecoli. It was a blind test, so no one knew where each results came from." The results were not good. Twenty-two out of twenty-four water samples were bad, some of them were really bad. "When I took them to the people in Sacramento they looked at me, and looked at the results, and looked back at me and said, 'This is third world.' These are indicators of other stuff in our water. If you have Ecoli and nitrates you also have pharmaceuticals, cancer treatments, estrogen, oven cleaner, and it’s all going through your community and into the creeks and into the river.”

One thing that should be made clear is this: the water in the public serving establishments is safe. It is strictly regulated by the health department. The restaurants, tasting rooms, the schools, and the health clinic are all carefully regulated. So how did this happen? How did it get to this point?

In the 1980s two Boonville residents, Frank Wyant and Homer Mannix, applied for state funding and hired engineers to draw up plans for a sewer system but they were voted down in a public meeting. The project was put on hold until 2014 when funding from the state became available again. The project is estimated to cost around $32 million [combined for both projects. water and sewer — ms] which will come from a handful of state grants. It's hard to imagine a lack of support for clean drinking water in your town, and most of the community is in favor of the project but there has been some opposition regarding the compulsory sewer system. Valerie makes the case that in the long term the benefits for the community far outweigh the costs. Homeowners won't have to worry about pumping their septic tank, or managing their leech field or well. It also raises property values.

“It’s a different sale if the house is on water and sewer, It will definitely add value to a property if you don't have to explain a leech field and a well.” She says the water and sewer systems will lead to development that the town needs. It will allow dilapidated buildings to be renovated, and comply with new state fire suppression regulations. It could also make way for a public restroom, which will take pressure off local businesses. There will also be fire hydrants located every five hundred feet. 

The project is nearing the end of the planning phase and could be operational by 2022, which seems like a long time to wait for clean drinking water. Valerie wants homeowners [in the proposed service area] to be informed when it comes time to vote, and though she doesn’t hold any resentment towards the naysayers, she says it’s time to think about the community. For more information about the Boonville water and sewer project visit 

(Alice Woefle, KZYX)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS: “Skrag! Come back! All is forgiven!”

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(via MSP)

#StopDisenrollment. My husband and his family (1/3 of the tribe in August 1995) were disenrolled from their lifelong and multigenerational Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria. As a result of misinterpretation of the HYSA - an Act of Congress, PL 100-580 that his paternal great grandmother was a part of in 1948 when Gene was 6 years old. Congress specifically stated it would not affect his Indian Status. An Act of Congress which was no different than Cobell or Tille Hardwick Cases and their heirs.

(Alice Langton-Sloane)

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(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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From the Ukiah Police Department: "The suspect in both the Ukiah Food & Liquor and Rite Aid robberies has been identified and is now in custody. Press Release to follow.”

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(Mendocino County Museum)

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GREEN NEW DEAL pushed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez draws support from north coast Reps. Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman.

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THE VIRGINIA BLACKFACE AFFAIR, and not to go all moralistic on you, is shocking even by today's daily jolts to one's intake receptors. The child is father to the man, we've always heard, but these adult guys, unlike most children, never got out of emotional grammar school. Doing stupid things as a young person is one thing, but young persons born in the fifties and sixties, even in the South, ought to have known better. And what's ever been funny about it anyway? The first movie I ever saw was called, I think, "Bill and Coo," featuring talking parakeets. The mostly adult audience laughed like it was the most hilarious thing they'd ever seen. Looking back, I think it was my first inkling that I did not share the prevalent reality, and still don't.

HAD TO LAUGH when I read that Congressmen Huffman and Thompson, Dull and Duller, have been persuaded by rookie Congresslady, Ocasio-Cortez, to support basic environmental survival sense. The whole lib-lab apparatus seems to be lurching left, hence the utter panic of the plump capons of Fox News and the rest of the oligarchical stoogery that America is going commie. Jeez, next thing you know Democracy Now will be mandatory listening! It's too boring to keep pointing out that through the 1950s the big fortunes were taxed more than the 70 percent, and free enterprise never worked better. 

BTW, HUFFMAN'S  carefully choreographed "town halls" feature screened questions and a hall packed with middle of the road Democrats of the active party type, hence the pre-meeting sign-ups, seating dibs going to party parrots. You'll never catch our people's tribunes walking around Ukiah WalMart pressing the flesh.

HAPPENED ON a sports talk show with Dave Zirin. Never felt older. I had no idea who they were talking about in any sport except the biggest names, names like Lebron, Steph, Brady.


This headline from the Chron: “ 'Combat shopping': Mayhem at Seattle stores as shoppers clear shelves pre-snow storm."

There was a wonderful photo of empty shelves, long lines of shoppers, heaping carts, not enough checkout clerks, barely controlled hysteria I'm sure, and among all of it one serene-looking man holding his single purchase, a bouquet. The panic was inspired by weather forecasts predicting a snowbound city. Meanwhile, in Thursday afternoon Marin, concrete began falling from the top deck of the Richmond Bridge, some of it large enough to kill eastbound drivers. The television news showed one guy, probably in his forties, stomping his foot and yelling at a CalTrans worker at the bridge closure, as if the temporary closure was aimed solely at him. I want to be in Boonville when a truly large catastrophe occurs.

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The Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project is proud to again host an engaging selection of award-winning films from the International Wildlife Film Festival of Missoula, Montana. The first screenings begin on Friday, February 22th at the Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Avenue. The series will continue at the same venue for four more consecutive Friday evenings ending on March 22nd.

Participants are invited to enjoy live music and snacks starting at 6:15 p.m. with films beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Mendocino Book Company and at the door for a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children. A series ticket for all five evenings is $45. Most films are appropriate for older children, but parental discretion is recommended.

Films for this year’s tour are organized by theme and represent some of the best in wildlife filmmaking. Opening night viewers will be inspired by films that feature the return of keystone species such as beaver, buffalo and wolves to their native habitats. Other festival themes include a Peregrine Audubon Appreciation Night highlighting the best of the festival film “Bird of Prey” about the Great Philippine Eagle. The third Friday in the series features a “Keepers of the Earth” theme underlining unique conservation efforts around the globe. A “Wild Lands of the Atlantic” theme will focus on “Wild Ireland” and the sandy beaches of Delaware Bay, a stopping point for one of the longest bird migrations. The festival culminates with a theme night of award-winning short films. Everyone is invited to join RVOEP in a spirit of stewardship and celebration as together we honor good filmmaking and learn about these unique wildlife species and the natural ecosystems upon which they depend.

Purchasing a series ticket saves money and supports the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project. The RVOEP is a special program of the Ukiah Unified School District that provides outdoor environmental education field trips and classroom programs to over 2,000 students a year. For a full program of the films and more information about the RVOEP visit its website, For further information contact Maureen Taylor, RVOEP Education Coordinator, at (707) 489-0227.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 8, 2019

Bolton, Canepa, Carreno

JOHN BOLTON, Willits. Battery with serious bodily injury, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

RANDALL CANEPA, Fairfax/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JESSE CARRENO, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Castaneda, Charles, Florea

JOHNNY CASTANEDA, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

DUNCAN CHARLES, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.


Gonzalez, Jennings, Peart

VICENTE GONZALEZ, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

RANDAL JENNINGS, Westport. Failure to appear, probation revocation.


Ryken, Treppa, Vincent

WILLIAM RYKEN, Fort Bragg. Disobeying court order, probation revocation.

LANCE TREPPA, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, false ID, parole violation.

JESSE VINCENT, Willits. Probation revocation.

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by James Kunstler

Somewhere between the fevered Zzzz’s of American Dreaming and the blinding shock of being “woke,” there is a recognition that an awful lot about contemporary life is not working and can’t go on. At the bottom of this discontent is the mistaken notion that the unwind of modernity can be arrested or mitigated by “smart” and “green” this-and-that.

The disappointment over it will be epic when we discover that the laws of physics override the bright ideas of politicians. America has been blowing green smoke up its own ass for years, promoting oxymorons such as “green skyscrapers” and “clean energy,” but the truth is we’re not going to run WalMart, Suburbia, DisneyWorld, and the interstate highway system on any combination of wind, solar, geothermal, recycled Fry-Max, and dark matter. We’re just running too much stuff at too great a scale for too many people. We’ve blown through the capital already and replaced it with IOUs that will never be honored, and we’re caught in an entropy trap of diminishing returns from all the work-arounds we’re desperately trying.

For all that, there are actually some sound proposals in the mostly delusional matrix of the Green New Deal promoted by foxy front-person AOC.

(ONE) Revoke corporate personhood by amending our Constitution to make clear that corporations are not persons and money is not speech. Right on, I say, though they have not quite articulated the argument which is that corporations, unlike persons, have no vested allegiance to the public interest, but rather a legal obligation solely to shareholders and their boards-of-directors.

(TWO) Replace partisan oversight of elections with non-partisan election commissions. A no-brainer.

(THREE) Replace big money control of election campaigns with full public financing and free and equal access to the airwaves. Quite cheap and worth every penny.

(FOUR) Break up the oversized banks that are “too big to fail.” And while you’re at it, resume enforcement of the anti-trust laws.

(FIVE) Restore the Glass-Steagall separation of depository commercial banks from speculative investment banks. Duh….

Of course, a lot of the proposals above may be obviated when the money system we’ve been using, and its subsidiaries in markets, blows up, taking much of the world’s notional wealth with it, along with our hopes and dreams for replacing the fossil fuel economy with “Green technology.”

The Green New Deal may be an exercise in throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, so let’s just assume that a lot of the “social justice” pander-jive in it will slide down the wall onto the floor and make its way to the dumpster. Stuff like: “the right to full employment” (there is no such right), Free college and medicine (doesn’t pencil out with our capital gone, though the current odious rackets must go), “ending the war on immigrants” (how about ending the Democratic Party’s war on enforcing immigration laws?)

There are two kinds of deadly narcissism at work in American culture these days: techno-narcissism — the belief that magical rescue remedies can save the status quo of comforts and conveniences — and organizational narcissism — the belief that any number of committees can lead a march of humanity into a future of rainbows and unicorns. Both of these ideas are artifacts of a fossil fuel turbo-charged economy that is coming to an end. Societies and economies are fundamentally emergent, non-linear, and self-organizing as they respond to the mandates of reality — which are not necessarily consistent with human wishes. Circumstances in the world change and sometimes, when the changes are profound enough, they provoke episodes of flux and disorder.

A better index for our journey into the unknown frontier beyond modernity will not be what is “green” and “smart” but perhaps what is “sane” and “insane.”

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

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Would we esteem ourselves gainers if New York, ruled and robbed by thieves, loafers and brothel-keepers; nursing a race of savages fiercer and meaner than any who ever shrieked a war-whoop on the plains; could be set down on our [San Francisco] Bay tomorrow? Would we be gainers if the cotton mills of Massachusetts, with their thousands of little children who, official papers tell us, are literally being worked to death, could be transported to the shores of our American River; or the file and pin factories of England, where young girls are treated even worse than slaves on southern plantations, be reared as if at Antioch?

—Henry George, “What the RR will bring us, 1868”

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A LONG HABIT of thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.

— Thomas Paine

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Here’s an anecdote concerning my ancestor Arthur McEwen (incidentally, we share a birthday, January 9, his in 1851, mine in 1952) who, in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century was managing editor at the San Francisco Call, the San Francisco Mail and finally the San Francisco Examiner, before William Randolph Hearst sent him on to Manage the New York Herald, newly acquired from Joseph Pulitzer. The excerpt is from “Adventures in Interviewing,” by I. Allen.

My first lesson in interviewing was given me by Arthur McEwen, one of the brightest pen wielders of his day. He was Managing Editor on the Mail in 1876, or 77, I forget the year. I was working on a fraternal organization paper, a weekly, setting type, sweeping out the office, folding, mailing, and delivering papers to city subscribers. I got acquainted with the police reporter at the Mail and was introduced to McEwen. For a few nights I hung around the office from seven to ten unnoticed. Then McEwen said to me, “See ‘Hallelulujah’ Cox and get his views on Life Insurance and Hell.”

Cox was a a life insurance agent and on Sundays would preach the Word on the street to delelicts. He was a notable figure in San Francisco in those days. He lived among the sand hills. I returned to the Mail office about midnight, hungry and weary from a futile quest around that dark part of the city looking for Cox.

McEwen looked stern when I told him I had failed in my mission.

“My boy,” he said, “when you go out of this office to do a thing, do it. If the man you want to interview is swimming in the Bay hire a boat and talk to him. Get to your man even if you need a balloon. Excuses for failure satisfy no one. Anybody can make an excuse.

“The reporter may not have a story when he returns but the City Editor will be mollified if he knows a conscientious effort was made to make the person talk.”

PS. Then there was the one about the judge in Virginia City where my Great-Great-Great Uncle Arthur McEwen was editor of that paper (before he moved to San Francisco) and the townspeople complained about all the stray dogs, which the judge authorized ‘em all rounded up and taken to the pound; there were eleven mongrels in all, and the judge asked the Pound Warden what was the bail to get one out, and the judge was told he could have anyone he wanted for five dollars – the judge gave the warden $55.00 and had ‘em all turned out – reminds me of Judge John Behnke, another Old Softie, when it comes to dogs, and I’ve heard him say his favorite cops are the K-9 officers.

In San Francisco Arthur was harshly criticized for not taking better care of his brother (probably my Great-Great-Great-Grandpa McEwen) since Arthur was a “millionaire” and still too Scotch to pay for getting his own brother off the streets and into a respectable asylum – apparently the derelicts on the streets have been there for a good many generations!

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THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS is nothing more or less than a television show. Under normal circumstances and for most of the assembled, it is an opportunity for all the political peacocks to strut for the cameras before returning to the business of screwing us over in the holy name of someone else's profit margin.

— William Rivers Pitt

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THE REASON I’m no longer a doomer is simply that I got tired of being wrong. And I started to feel contempt for other doomers who shamelessly made the same wrong predictions year after year. And you have to make precise predictions because otherwise what does “collapse” even mean? Do you think we’re still going to have internet? Container ships? Large scale grain farming? Banks? Taxes? Electrical grids? Hospitals? Stock markets? Elections? These are all different subjects that require different specialized knowledge. Even something like “manufacturing” could have vastly different answers for different products. And for each thing that’s going to go away, how long will it take, and by what chain of events?

Everyone wants to be right, but people who persist in being doomers want to be right in a different way than I do. I want to say what’s going to happen, and then it actually happens. Some people want to feel like they understand the mechanism for how things happen. But the real world is much too complex for any one person to understand, so we make simplifications. In the context of collapse, the simplest idea is business as usual plus sci-fi extrapolation. The next simplest idea is total collapse: every one of the above things goes away, because they’re all part of the same One Big Thing, and some of the conditions that made the One Big Thing possible are disappearing.

Everyone is stupid, but smart people know how they’re stupid. I know that modern civilization is only One Big Thing inside my head, and out in the world it’s billions of people I don’t know, their knowledge and habits and intentions, plus trillions of physical objects and all the connections between everything. I know that you can’t have perpetual economic growth on a finite planet, that renewable energy is not coming online fast enough for a smooth transition out of fossil fuels, and that presently fertile regions will become deserts; but it would be arrogant to think that large complex high-tech society cannot adapt to these conditions, just because I can’t personally imagine how it can adapt.

— Ran Prieur

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ALMOST EVERY COUNTRY one can think of is being led in exactly the wrong direction by exactly the wrong people. It may not be unprecedented, but it certainly feels unprecedented.

— Michael Hofmann, on Brexit

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I had a drinking buddy of mine who was a smart MBA kind of guy. His thesis was how amazon was a flawed business model and would soon go broke. I was like him in that respect. I had shorted amazon at least a half dozen times on its way up to $300 a share where I was sure it had topped out. I forgot about it for a couple of years and when I looked at it again it was over $1000 a share. I was sure it had topped out, AGAIN. When I met John I realized there are some people who would rather be right than rich. John was such a person. But he had a talent. He could spot the 100 baggers in reverse. The company he thought would soon go broke became the most valuable company in the world and its founder Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world. So now John was a big time Tesla naysayer. He bet me last summer Tesla would be broke by Christmas. See a pattern here. So I asked myself what company in addition to Tesla would lead the electric car and AI world, which is attached at the hip to autonomous driving cars, in a similar way that amazon revolutionized internet retail. So I opened positions in the companies that John was sure to go belly up and now it’s a wait and see. We’ll see if John’s is capable of picking the next most valuable company in the world, and in his own stupidity, remain a pauper and unrequited in his love of being right.

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The White House

Washington, DC

January 22, 1908

My dear Mr. Kent:

I have just received from Secretary Garfield your very generous letter enclosing the gift of Redwood Canyon to the national government to be kept as a perpetual park for the preservation of the giant redwoods therein and to be named the Muir National Monument. You have doubtless seen my proclamation of January 9, instant, creating this monument. I thank you most heartily for this singularly generous and public-spirited action on your part. All Americans who prize the undamaged and especially those who realize the literally unique value of the groves of giant trees, must feel that you have conferred a great and lasting benefit upon the whole country.

I have a very great admiration for John Muir; but after all, my dear sir, this is your gift. No other land than that which you give is included in this tract of nearly three hundred acres and I should greatly like to name the monument the Kent Monument if you will permit it.

Sincerely yours,

Theodore Roosevelt

Kentfield, CA

January 30, 1908

My dear Mr. Roosevelt:

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your message of appreciation, and hope and believe it will strengthen me to go on in an attempt to save more of the precious and vanishing glories of nature for a people too slow of perception.

Your kind suggestion of a change of name is not one that I can accept. So many millions of better people have died forgotten that to stencil one’s own name on a benefaction seems to carry with it an implication of mandate immortality, as being something purchasable.

I have five good, husky boys that I am trying to bring up to a knowledge of democracy and to a realizing sense of the rights of the “other fellow,” doctrines which you, sir, have taught with more vigor and effect than any man in my time. If these boys cannot keep the name of Kent alive, I am willing it should be forgotten.

I have this day sent you by mail a few photographs of Muir Woods, and trust that you will believe, before you see the real thing (which I hope will be soon), that our nation has acquired something worthwhile.

Yours truly,

William Kent

The White House

Washington, DC

February 5, 1908

My dear Mr. Kent:

By George! you are right. It is enough to do the deed and not to desire, as you say, to “stencil one’s own name on the benefaction.” Good for you, and for the five boys who are to keep the name of Kent alive! I have four who I hope will do the same thing by the name of Roosevelt. Those are awfully good photos.

Sincerely yours,

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt and William Kent, from a correspondence. In 1905, as president, Roosevelt created the U.S. Forest Service. That same year, William Kent purchased 611 acres of Northern California forest to save Marin County's dwindling old-growth redwoods from logging interests. A devastating earthquake in San Francisco in 1906 destroyed the city’s access to water reservoirs, and eminent domain proceedings began for a reservoir on forestland. Kent mailed a deed for 295 acres to Secretary of the Interior James R. Garfield in late 1907, knowing that the recently passed Antiquities Act, by which Roosevelt had created national monuments of Devils Tower and the Grand Canyon, could allow for the land’s preservation. 

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BILL TAYLOR of Touch The Earth Music is releasing a new CD, Nature's Dream with Bill Taylor and Friends. We are having an official launch/release concert on March 10, 2019 at Ukiah United Methodist Church, 3 PM. Performers include Grammy Award winner Paul McCandless, jazz flautist George Husaruk, bassist Yanahay Hooper, pianist Bill Taylor, and singer Jaye Alison Moscariello. Most of the music is by Bill Taylor and we will also play a Paul McCandless tune and one by Bill's mom written in 1946. A nourishing and compelling blend of musical elements from classical to jazz with melodically weaving dreams and piercing lyrics for Earth justice, the music defies catergories and is provocative and relaxing at the same time. Below is a link to the facebook event page and in addition to the Ukiah Saturday Farmers' Market and at the concert, the music is available from CD Baby as either physical CD or electronic download (Jaye created the cover art and design.

Bill and Jaye 707-272-1688

Concert facebook event link:

Listen to parts of or order the CD at:

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This is in response to James R. Oglesby’s letter (“Defending capitalism,” Sunday). There is nothing voluntary about market exchanges in a capitalist system. Somebody else controls the resources I need to live. I therefore must participate in their system on their terms.

Also, most of Adam Smith’s writing was done before the Industrial Revolution. In my reading of Karl Marx, I get the idea that he was a fan of Smith and that he was trying to accomplish more or less the same thing. But he wrote mostly after the Industrial Revolution, so he was dealing with a different economic reality.

And, in fact, Smith came out in his later writings suggesting that stock corporations should be illegal. And Smith was never a free-market advocate in the current sense of that phrase.

But both of these guys wrote long ago. While it is worth reading what they had to say, we are dealing with a much more complex world today. Economic studies and real-world experience tell us that the market and government have their place in our economic lives.

Getting stuck in an ideologically extreme all-or-nothing position is destructive.

Edward Meise

Santa Rosa

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This year's Convergence will bring an impressive lineup of experts, leaders, teachers and innovators to Ridgewood Ranch for a day of education and inspiration. Scroll down to read about just a few highlights of the day, with more details to come! 



Founder and Director

Motherland Botanical Sanctuary and Herb School

Donna d'Terra is a lifelong student of plants and has been teaching herb classes for the past 30 years with a focus on local, sustainable and restorative herbalism.

Taxes, Bookkeeping & Record Keeping for Very Small Farms

Michael Foley is co-owner/operator of Green Uprising Farm in Willits. 

An overview of what you need to know to manage your farm and keep necessary financial records. We’ll look at how you report income for tax purposes; how to keep track of income, expenses, assets, and liabilities; and what records you can keep to better manage your farm. 

Seed Saving & Varietal Trials

Strong Roots Farm 

This discussion group will do a deep dive into unique and specialty varietals. Do you have a variety of winter squash that you absolutely adore? Have you spent the last ten years perfecting the perfect sweet summer cantaloupe? We want to hear all about it! 

The Art of Whole Animal Butchery

Ruthie King & Eliot Hartley, New Agrarian Collective 

Learn the theory and practice behind humane slaughter and butcher techniques for sheep, including the science behind different kill methods, anatomy and physiology, low stress handling and meat quality.

Herbal First Aid For Farmers: Bug Bites, Burns, Backaches, Blisters & More

Sara Grusky, Prana, Anna & April

This workshop will offer simple and accessible herbal remedies for common ailments. Discussion and hands-on demonstration will follow the process from plant identification and spit poultices to making simple salves and tinctures.

Learn to Build a Johnson-Su Bioreactor

Jes Pearce & Kieth Michalak, Buttercup Compost Lab 

Bioreactors are a simple and accessible method of building compost with high biological diversity. Their compost is so potent it is better considered a biological inoculate to your soil, rather then serving the same purpose as the compost you may already use. 

Climate Smart Farming

Britta Baskerville, Community Education Specialist for Mendocino County's UC Cooperative Extension 

Explore the upcoming funding opportunities provided by the CA Dept. of Food and Ag. (CDFA) for farmers and ranchers interested in implementing new climate-smart technology and practices. 

Hands-on With Soil Health

Rachel Britten, Instructor at the School of Adaptive Agriculture

Ever wonder what’s going on with your soil? Rachel Britten will help you understand where to start with this hand-on workshop all about the science of soil. She will share practical steps you can take to improve your soil’s health and known for her ability to make complex topics fun and accessible - this workshop is not to be missed!

Food Safety On The Farm

This training will be a great overview of important food safety best practices. Luis Sierra will present the basics of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), as well as best practices for retaining high quality produce through effective and safe post-harvest practices. This training will discuss how to integrate practical, useful, and effective “right-sized” food safety on the farm.


All Day Seed Swap. Bring some seeds to share if you have them, pick up some other seeds to grow out this year, and then bring back more seeds next year to share.

Informational & Vendor Hall. Megan (Johnny's Seeds sales rep) will be on hand with the newest tools, seeds and info to share. The Herbal Guild, Sundial Seeds, Mendocino County Food Policy Council, Victory Gardens for Peace, MendoLake Food Hub and many more will also be on hand to answer questions and share information.

Closing Reception. Sunday will close with a mixer (5-6pm) where food producers and buyers can make connections and establish sales relationships over locally sourced beer, wine, and other beverages. 



The National Young Farmer Coalition invites all local farmers to come and share your stories with them. They will be here at Ridgewood Ranch to listen and to incorporate your input into a California policy platform that will help farmers thrive. 


1:00 PM: Registration & lunch

1:30 PM: Introduction to the session, participants, and facilitated listening session 

4:30 PM: Next steps & closing

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) is a national advocacy network of young farmers fighting for the future of agriculture. They are farmer-led and want to hear from North Coast agriculturalists about your experiences—your journey, joys, and challenges. This convening for real-talk will be the foundation for a solution-oriented session at Convergence the following day (mini-session/workshop 2/17), wherein they will identify regional, state, and national strategies for helping you and North Coast agriculture thrive. Learn more and register for the pre-conference here.

For more information on the 7th Annual North Coast Farmers’ Convergence, visit our Facebook page.


Tickets include lunch produced with local ingredients, with options available for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets. 

To encourage attendees to bring a friend, we're offering a special ticket price this year - $20/person or $30 for 2 people! 

We are also offering a pay it forward ticket, where folks can pay a little extra to support a farmer who can't afford a ticket.

Tickets are available via Brown Paper Tickets.

Attendees are encouraged to register in advance. 

No one will be turned away due to lack of funds and scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the event’s sponsors. Please contact Kelly at if you would like to apply for a scholarship or if you have any other questions about this year's convergence. 


VisitMendocino has an extensive list of local lodging options in the area on their website. 

The 7th Annual North Coast Farmers’ Convergence is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors, including North Coast Opportunities, MendoLake Food Hub, School of Adaptive Agriculture, Mendocino County Food Policy Council, National Young Farmers Coalition, Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op, MCFARM, The Gardens Project, Yokayo Seed Project, Flow Kana, and Christ's Church of the Golden Rule.

7th Annual North Coast Farmers' Convergence

Ridgewood Ranch | 16200 North Highway 101, Willits, CA 95490

Sunday 2/17 - Program

8:00am - Check in opens

8:30am - Welcome & Kick Off

9:00am - Keynote

12:00pm - Lunch

1:30pm - Session I Workshops

3:00pm - Session II Workshops

5:00pm - Mixer

Questions? Email us at

Our mailing address is: 

Anderson Valley Foodshed

PO Box 154

Boonville, CA 95415

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by Mark Scaramella

It was a routine day at the office in the early 70s at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. I had been transferred to the job of Organizational (Org) Maintenance Squadron Commander a few months earlier from Field Maintenance Squadron Commander when Chief Master Sergeant Ralph Johns, the senior enlisted man in Field Maintenance, had asked his long-time patron — and my top boss — Colonel Taylor to move me to Org Maintenance as his last act of revenge on the flight line maintenance group before Chief Johns retired after 30 years in the Air Force. During his final tour of duty in Field Maintenance Sergeant Johns and I had found ourselves on the losing end of an ongoing battle with our sister squadron (Organizational Maintenance) which was overstaffed and underworked while we in the maintenance/repair shops away from the flightline were understaffed and overworked.

Chief Johns and I regularly complained to Maintenance Control that they shouldn’t dispatch our overworked shop specialists so much because we were having trouble keeping up with shop repairs and didn’t have time to worry about minor things that the flight line crews should be able to handle themselves. But Maintenance Control refused to stop summoning our specialists even though most of our shops were understaffed.

The warrant officer in charge of the flightline operations had insisted that it was better to have a specialist do the work — he liked to make a crude, unfunny remark about preferring prostitutes (specialists) over wives (generalists) — even if the tasks were as simple as tightening a fuel connection, tire alignments, aileron adjustments, canopy cleaning, etc. Our position was that if Organizational Maintenance had better training and supervision, they’d be able to do more of the routine work themselves. We even offered to hold training classes for their general flight line mechanics. But no such luck — not with the pompous ex-flight line mechanic, Major Smith, in Maintenance Control, anyway.

As a 20-something young lieutenant, I had no real business being put in charge of Field Maintenance in the first place; the Air Force was short of experienced maintenance officers at the time, and my suddenly being put in charge Organizational Maintenance was quite a surprise to both Organizational Maintenance and me. But the grizzled and burly Chief Johns had convinced Colonel Taylor (as I later learned through a mutual friend) that only Lieutenant Scaramella (who Johns had “trained”) could “fix” Organizational Maintenance. Johns had also demanded my transfer as a reward for his 30 years of service.

The top NCOs in Organizational Maintenance were worried about what I might do to straighten their operation out. So, to put it mildly, I was greeted with cold stares and closed lips at Organizational Maintenance — I had a well-deserved reputation of being a frequent critic of their inadequate training and poor management.

(As it turned out, they ended up welcoming the simple reforms I installed, mostly having to do with training, as well as requiring flight chiefs to pre-screen and approve calls for specialists from the shops.)

One day I was informed that the Air Police had caught a young Organizational Maintenance flightline mechanic with an open bottle of wine going into the barracks. Booze in the barracks was a no-no — not as bad as women in the barracks, but still prohibited. When I got the Air Police report, I summoned the airman to my Squadron Commander’s office, a small sparse room with my desk and chair, two gray steel armchairs for guests, and a slow-turning ceiling fan on the second floor of Hanger 5, to face the “charges.”

Sergeant Mills was Organizational Maintenance’s First Sergeant. Mills was a tobacco chewing old enlisted bureaucrat who accompanied the airman into my office and sat to the side of the semi-formal “hearing” periodically leaning over his chair’s arm-rest to sort of drool/spit his green gooey gobs of wet chewing tobacco into a rusty coffee can he carried around with him as I quizzed the airman.

(The First Sergeant is supposed to be an airman’s “representative” in these hearings, but in practice Mills took a vague “what’s good for the Squadron” stand and didn’t concern himself much with justice for the “accused.”)

I explained his rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to the airman and asked a few friendly questions regarding the circumstances of the booze citation.

The airman said he had begun consuming the contents of the bottle at a friend’s house, continued drinking in the car, and, when stopped by the Air Police, was on his way from the parking lot to the barracks when he was arrested with the nearly empty wine bottle.

I asked, “Were you drunk?” (The citation had said that he was walking unevenly.)

The airman admitted that he was probably drunk.

“So you were driving drunk from your friend’s house to the car?”

He guessed that yes, he probably was.

I told the airman that he had just said that he was then guilty of a much more serious crime than just booze in the barracks. But, I said, if he accepted Restriction to Barracks for 20 consecutive weekends (signing in with the Barracks Charge of Quarters every 15 minutes) as punishment for the Booze in the Barracks charge, I’d forget about his drunk driving confession.

The airman reluctantly agreed and that should have been the end of it.

But Sergeant Mills was pissed. After the airman was dismissed, Mills accused me of tricking the airman into his drunk driving confession by being friendly and cordial, then using that as leverage to get him to agree to the restriction without further consideration. Mills insisted that restriction with 15-minute sign-ins was excessive punishment for an open container in the barracks. (I had used the sign-in option in Field Maintenance and the airmen hated it so much that minor violations had fallen off dramatically.)

Sgt. Mills then proceeded to bring up a whole rasher of pent-up minor complaints about my then-three-month tenure as Organizational Squadron Commander. He didn’t like my information style with the airmen. He didn’t like the way I had demanded that airman performance reports were more carefully written. He objected to using my having transferred an experienced staff sergeant from Field Maintenance to a training function. (Better maintenance training was one of Sgt Johns’ first priorities for Organizational Maintenance.) He complained that I was too flexible in allowing uniform waivers during bad weather and that I was too critical of his fellow senior NCOs, the ones Johns had been complaining about. Etc.

Sgt. Mills said that he wanted to speak to Colonel Taylor about getting the airman’s punishment reduced and, he added, “get a Commander in here who’s not playing games with the men.”

I said, “Fine. Let’s go up to Colonel Taylor’s office right now.”

Mills called what he thought was my bluff and we got in my car and headed off for Colonel’s Taylor’s office, about four hangars up the street.

On the way I started speculating about who might replace me. There was the dork Major in Maintenance Control, the nerdish Avionics Squadron Commander, a grounded pilot on temporary maintenance assignment, the occasional drunk who was the Maintenance Checkflight pilot… Mills seemed to be realizing that the options to me were an unattractive bunch, especially since maintenance people don’t like working for pilots, who tend to blame maintenance people for pilot mistakes or minimize pilot errors which can cause a lot of extra work for the maintenance crews, if not aggressively resisted.

Aside — One time a Lt. Colonel pilot came storming into my Field Maintenance office and threw some aircraft forms on my desk. “That’s not funny!” he shouted. “What’s not funny?,” I asked. He angrily flipped some pages and pointed at the last maintenance discrepancy in the aircraft’s forms folder which read, “Evidence of hydraulic leak in nose wheel well.” The “corrective action” block which my hydraulic specialist had entered read, “Evidence removed.”

I kind of giggled.

“This is serious!” he shouted.

“Well, there is an allowable leakage in hydraulic systems,” I explained. “He probably just wiped down the area to see if it was leaking and how much,” I continued, “but I agree that he could have phrased it better.”

“I want him fired,” insisted the Lt. Colonel.

“I’ll take care of it,” I replied.

After the pilot left, I called the Hydraulic shop chief and told him to improve his forms entries.)

When Sgt. Mills and I got to Colonel Taylor’s office the Colonel’s secretary said he was busy and we’d have to come back or wait 20 minutes or so. We sat on the couch to wait.

As we waited I rehearsed in my mind what I’d say — that Sgt. Mills didn’t like my decision in this case and that he wants me fired because he says I’m not doing a good job as Squadron Commander.

I had never really wanted the job anyway. I’d tell Colonel Taylor I agreed with Sgt. Mills that I should be transferred to an easier staff job in Quality Control or Maintenance Analysis or Records.

As the minutes passed, Sgt. Mills apparently changed his mind, presumably after considering the unattractive alternatives — much as he disliked me.

“We don’t need to see the Colonel, ma’am,” he told Colonel Taylor’s secretary. “Please cancel our appointment.”

For the rest of my two-year Organizational Maintenance tenure, there were no more major objections from Sgt. Mills. But if there had been, I was perfectly prepared to try to get myself fired again.

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In the midst of shopping and getting the kids to their practice and dentists and stuff, the news these days makes a considerable blur. The images on TV are not there to help us keep track. They are, of course, on our ubiquitous smaller screens too, but even this saturation doesn't do much for our grasp of it all.

Many years ago, this may very well have not had much purpose except to put us in front of commercials for dog food or Buicks, but it is purposeful as we wake up this morning. It washes out our attention, helps the days dealings all seem the same. We become as passive as flowers or goldfish in a bowl. As far as our 'leaders' know, we do nothing but eat and cost money which they are convinced they need more than us.

Putting it as mildly as possible, this makes our world wildly unstable. Our continued existence is now as uncertain as the climate or tottering Fred down the street. Mirroring the way it has been since 'we' cracked the atom, our life expectancy is now measured in seconds. Appropriate to it all, the clock ticks out there in the hall.

So we turn on the news. There will be no need for subpoenas at the hearing tomorrow. A preview of a program (next!) analyzing Facebook. The confusing world of Wall Street investing, which for a few seconds I mistook for the news. Could he claim to be an unwitting boyfriend? The reason Hillary is not charged is because Obama would be excused. The reason there is rock and roll.

We must resist the soma with all we can muster. Make sure that the clocks are all wound. These bastards all need to be nervous. Lamp posts spray painted on walls give them something to ponder as they swish past in their limos. Make 'am all sweat. Meanwhile, throw a party. Go to a game. Do something that expands your life, with a purpose. Inhale deeply. And smile.

(Bruce Brady)

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  1. George Hollister February 9, 2019

    Good to see Ran Prieur come around. He was obviously over 40 when he made this observation. “But the real world is much too complex for any one person to understand, so we make simplifications.”

    It is also too complex for any group of people to understand, so simplifications are made. If a person gets to understand him/’herself, and his/her neighborhood, that is a significant life accomplishment. I personally don’t know anyone who has gotten that far. But we sure think we know what is going on with some pipeline in South Dakota, or a coal mine in West Virginia, or with a corn farmer in Canada 30 years ago.

    • Harvey Reading February 9, 2019

      Jes’ keep dreamin’, George. Everthin’ gonna be OK. Them scientist boys and girls don’t know nothin’ … exceptin’ the ones who work for right-wing think tanks and oil companies. But you already know that, huh George?

      • George Hollister February 9, 2019

        Harv, it doesn’t matter anyway, right? The end of days is coming soon, very soon. So we will all be gone, due to our sinful behavior.

        BTW, it looks like I will have to revise my speculation that Prieur is over 40. Maybe over 30. Hard to believe. If the wisdom part of the brain ever kicks in, it’s usually not until after age 40.

        • Harvey Reading February 9, 2019

          Time’ll tell, George, time’ll tell. Sin’ll have nothing to do with it. Greed will.

          • George Hollister February 9, 2019

            This is what the Bible says about greed:

            Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

  2. Whyte Owen February 9, 2019

    For those who approach elections as “my way or no way,” this piece in the WaPo offers a nice perspective on the possible versus the ideal. He bent over for the auto industry, but made up for in so many ways.

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