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MCT: Thursday, February 21, 2019

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COOL DRY CONDITIONS can be expected across the region today into Friday. Thereafter, showers will spread across Del Norte and Humboldt Counties during Saturday, followed by the potential for widespread moderate to heavy rain from Sunday through the middle of next week. (National Weather Service)

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CHP UPDATE (Feb. 21, 1:53am): Highway 20 in Mendocino/Lake County is now completely open. Had been closed due to traffic accident Highway 20 at Midlake Road in Lake County.

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TAI ABREU was in Judge Moorman's courtroom this morning (Wednesday) for a brief hearing. Abreu's attorney, Jessica Hoagland, who has been ill with pneumonia, requested time to file her brief demonstrating why Abreu's eligible for a sentence reduction under new felony-murder legislation. The 38-year-old petitioner, a native of Fort Bragg, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in 2002 for the murder of David Perez of Santa Ana. Abreu's two confederates, Aaron Channel and August Stuckey, also of Fort Bragg, received reduced sentences of 20-to-life. The date for the determination if Abreu's appeal can proceed was set for Thursday February 28th at 9 o’clock. If the judge approves, the burden will shift to DA Eyster to show why Abreu's not eligible, which he seems eager to do, and Ms. Hoagland will be given a chance to respond. She said this morning that the original probation report on judgment and sentencing was missing from her office and so she filed for a sealed copy of it, which will be made available to her. (Bruce McEwen)

A LENGTHY ACCOUNT of the Perez murder, if it was a murder — no firm cause of death could be determined — can be found on our website. It is clear Abreu participated in the robbery part of the scheme that resulted in Perez's death, but there is no evidence he had anything to do with the presumed murder.

Here is the link for the whole story: theava.com/05/1221-perezcase.html

A shorter version: counterpunch.org/2004/05/29/is-l-wop-truly-forever-the-awful-injustice-to-tai-abreu/

And here is a link to another shorter version (scroll down for the items on Tai Abreu): theava.com/04/0526-otr-tai-abreu.html

I MET ABREU Monday night in the County Jail where – and shall the circle be unbroken! – we also encountered former Assistant DA Kevin Davenport. Davenport prosecuted the three young men and remains mystified as to why Abreu's public defender, Linda Thompson, did not take the same deal quickly agreed to by the two other defendants. All three were offered reduced sentences because it was, and remains, unclear exactly what happened. Abreu was convinced by Thompson to take a vague Miranda Warning complaint to a jury, which took about an hour to find Abreu guilty. Thompson called no witnesses on Abreu's behalf, yammering on solely during the one-day trial about the alleged failure of investigators to properly advise the 19-year-old of his rights to a lawyer. Judge Richard Henderson duly sentenced Abreu to life without. Co-defendant, Aaron Channel, has been out of prison for two years. He lives and works in Reno. Stuckey has proved to be a problem inmate. He's been in lots of trouble inside and is presently undergoing a male-to-female sex change and has yet to appear before the parole board.

ABREU has one minor violation in his 18 years in state prison, and that had to do with unapproved possession of a law book. He functions as a kind of trustee at High Desert State Prison in Susanville where, given his high level math and language skills, he works in one of the prison offices. As a kid, Abreu was a computer wizard and intends to resume high tech work when he's out. Off my visit the other night, I came away impressed by a sensible, serious and still young man highly unlikely to re-offend. Abreu did his own appeal to get his case back to Mendocino County. He reads science fiction, naming two authors this non-science fiction-reading person had never heard of. I was surprised to learn from him that "I play Dungeons and Dragons with the other nerds at Susanville." He spends much of his off-work time reading and has taken all the classes available to inmates that he can.

SB 1437 re-defines the California Murder Rule as applying only to the person who does the murder, not the people who happen to be present when it happens. In Abreu's case, there's no evidence there even was a murder, so this new and obviously just amendment to the old One Size Fits All approach to violent crimes is long overdue.

THE NEW VISITING regimen at the jail is by appointment. You call up to get a time that meets mutual approval. Jail staff, incidentally, in my experience, are unfailingly polite and helpful. There are six booths with metal stools and phones on either side of plexiglass. Monday night, there were two girlfriends and a grandmother visiting their three captives on my 7 o'clock slot, with a mother and four young children waiting for an 8 o'clock visit with theirs. Unlike many European prisons, there is no art or any other visual diversion on any of the walls. Although the jail itself is humanely managed, the visitor is imprisoned too. (Abreu said the food is better in Mendo than in the state system.) In the lobby there's an annoyingly slow and complicated rip-off machine into which the visitor can insert a credit card or cash to put money on the inmate's books so he can buy a variety of unvaryingly negative food value items. The vending machine takes a nice rake-off from each transaction, most of which of course come from people who can't afford it.

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EGRET FLYING OVER PUDDING CREEK

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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COVELO GROUP SHOOT

On 02-19-2019 at approximately 7:06 A.M., Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to a reported in-progress burglary where the suspects were firing guns at the residence in the 76000 block of Henderson Lane in Covelo. Round Valley Tribal Police officers advised Sheriff's Office dispatch they overheard firearms being discharged in the area of Henderson Road. Tribal Police officers responded to the area and advised on the radio they encountered a male subject walking on Henderson Road while armed with an assault rifle. Tribal Police officers contacted and detained the subject at the scene, who was identified as Lee Joaquin, 29, of Covelo. Tribal Police officers observed Felix Swearinger, 28, of Covelo, leaving the same area in a white Toyota SUV northbound on Crawford Road. Tribal Police officers also learned that Ambrose Fallis was reportedly inside the vehicle with Swearinger. Sheriff's Deputies responded to the area and were advised by Tribal Police officers that Swearinger reportedly drove to an address on Logan Lane and was now leaving in a Dodge sedan. Sheriff's Deputies located the Dodge sedan and conducted an investigative stop on the vehicle in the 77000 block of Crawford Road. The occupants of the vehicle were detained, to include Swearinger and Sally Arellano, 33, of Covelo. Arellano was found to be in possession of a large amount of suspected methamphetamine. Swearinger was determined to be on active Post Release Community Supervision in Mendocino County for an unrelated offense. A search of the vehicle was conducted at which time Sheriff's Deputies located a 9mm handgun in the rear passenger seat area where Swearinger was seated in the vehicle. Upon further investigation, it was determined the recovered handgun was reported as stolen from another state. Tribal Police remained in the area of Crawford Road and Henderson Road and advised Sheriff's personnel they contacted and detained Ambrose Fallis, 19, of Covelo. Fallis was determined to be on active formal probation with Mendocino County.

Swearinger, Joaquin, Fallis, Arellano

During the detention, Fallis was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. All four subjects contacted and detained during this investigation were placed under arrest for the following charges: Swearinger was arrested for First Degree Burglary, Shooting at Inhabited Dwelling, Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Concealed/Stolen Weapon, Armed With a Firearm During Commission of Felony, and Violation of parole. Swearinger was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail on a no-bail status. Joaquin was arrested for Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm, and Possession of Assault Rifle. Joaquin was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail. Fallis was arrested for First Degree Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, Violation of Probation, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Fallis was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail on a no-bail status. Arellano was arrested for Possession of Controlled Substance for Sale and Transportation of Controlled Substance. Arellano was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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PETIT TETON MONTHLY FARM REPORT - January 2019

We are happily enjoying WEATHER - rain, sleet, snow, thunder, lightning - and water running everywhere. What a relief.

Nature is breathing deeply and turning from brown to white (snow) to green. The other day I noticed an orange bellied salamander (a California newt, I believe) with the tip of a big worm in its mouth ready to suck it out of the ground. It saw me peering down and moved away. My feelings were mixed since I saved a worm but prevented a meal.

In other animal news, ChiChi, our 10 yr old German/Australian Shepard mix, suddenly expressed pain when touched, first on her jaw which led us to think a tooth issue, but no sign of any when we took her to the vet. Then on her head and neck; the vet was puzzled because she never even whimpered when in the office. Then all over. I looked online and guessed that she had tick borne Lyme disease and when I suggested this diagnosis to the vet, he concurred, saying good call and telling me that our area is the worst in the country for disease carrying ticks. After one day on antibiotics she was nearly her old self. The full course is several weeks.

Just a few days ago, one of our two 4 month old gilt pigs stopped eating and refused to get up. She's a bit young to be in heat so we checked her eyes for yellowing, ears for heat and nose for wetness. We ruled out pneumonia since all were normal, so we forced her to stand up and the problem became obvious - one hind leg was sprained. Not surprising since the two of them chase around their large mucky pen all day and falling is always a risk. Luckily it's another two months until they go to market, enough time to heal we hope, because the USDA processor will not accept lame animals.

We, on the other hand, are in the bloom of health (well, sort of - not bad for older folks with the usual aches and pains), and we still get our chores done daily. We hope that you, too, are doing well and getting it all done.

Take care in these rather frightening times.

Nikki Auschnitt and Steve Kreig, farmer@petitteton.com

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ED NOTES

THAT SMALL NAVARRO PARCEL featuring redwoods and an ancient structure not far from the Navarro Store has been sold to Katherine Mortimer and Robert Bruen, believed to be from Ukiah. The acre-plus has been for sale for some time.


INTIMATION OF SPRING. Three days of frigid mornings, cool sun-struck days, daffodils, and a full moon rising in clear skies. Or, as D.H. Lawrence put in Enkindled Spring

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,

Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,

Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between

Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration

Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze

Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,

Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among

This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed

About like a shadow buffeted in the throng

Of flames, a shadow that's gone astray, and is lost.


JUST as The Valley's green is greenest, some of our soul-free industrial winemakers ribbon their vineyards with death, row after row of chemical poisons. Weed control, they say. And the stuff runs off into the streams and the rivers and we wonder where the fish went, the frogs having croaked their last years ago. Then, when the days heat up, here comes another mass dosage of pesticides and we wonder where the honey bees have gone.


DESPITE GALES of blustery vows from one of the owners never ever to have anything to do with the marijuana industry, a cannabis cultivation permit for the old Remco site in central Willits has been filed.

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FOR $3.3 MILLION

You may have dreamed of owning your own vineyard. Well, here's a chance to own an entire wine appellation.

In a remote canyon valley rimmed with oak-dotted rolling hills two hours north of San Francisco, Cole Ranch is the country's smallest wine appellation with 150 acres and 50 of them planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling vines.

The patch of land sitting at about 1,400 feet above sea level in Mendocino County has its own microclimate that's cooler and wetter than nearby Ukiah, lengthening the grapes' required ripening time over a month compared to nearby vineyards, and infusing the wine with a trademark acidity. The ranch's tricky climate has historically resulted in a smaller wine yield for an area its size with 130 tons of grapes sold to nearby wineries, but the resulting vintages are generally well-regarded.

"That marked acidity is the defining trait of Cole Ranch wines, sfgate reported on a story about the wine region in 2007. "The wines are remarkably delicate, yet earthy, with bright fruit flavors. Almost every year, Cole Ranch Rieslings have an electric edge."

Ohio native John Cole planted the first vines on the land in the 1970s, and in 1983, Cole Ranch was officially designated an American Viticultural Area. The property has since had two other of owners, and now it’s on the market for $3.3 million.

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PUT DOWN THE BOOKS! No Quiz this week. We do the 2nd and 4th Thursdays - so no need to “study.” Festivities and brain exercises will resume at Lauren's next Thursday, February 28th at 7pm prompt. Hope to see you there. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

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IN SOUTHERN HUMBOLDT you'll find incredible hikes to incredible places. Panoramic ocean views, towering redwood trees and winding, scenic rivers await.

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ARROYO AND WATSON JOIN OFFICIALS FROM FORT BRAGG, CRESCENT CITY IN PURSUIT OF COASTAL COMMISSION SEAT

by Ryan Burns

Arroyo, Watson

Eureka City Councilmember Natalie Arroyo and Arcata Mayor Brett Watson are each hoping to become the next North Coast representative on the California Coastal Commission, though they’re facing competition from elected officials to our north and south.

Peters

Mendocino County officials have rallied behind longtime Fort Bragg City Councilmember Lindy Peters, with both the Board of Supervisors and City Council endorsing his candidacy, while up in Del Norte County, Crescent City Mayor Blake Inscore has thrown his hat into the ring.

All are hoping to succeed Ryan Sundberg, the former Humboldt County supervisor, who will lose his seat on the commission after failing to win reelection last year.

Arroyo and Watson are competing for endorsements from local groups, though Watson said they’re “friendly and cordial” about the situation and have met to talk about the appointment.

The Eureka City Council will discuss the matter tonight, and they’re expected to recommend Arroyo. The Arcata City Council will talk about the issue Wednesday night and, as you would predict, they’re expected to recommend Watson. On Thursday afternoon, the Mayors City Selection Committee, which is comprised of the mayors of Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Blue Lake, Rio Dell, Ferndale and Trinidad, will deliberate on the issue.

Eureka Mayor Susan Seaman told the Outpost that the committee is not limited to just one nominee, so they could wind up recommending both Watson and Arroyo.

Same deal with the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. Board Chair Rex Bohn told the Outpost this afternoon that the board will likely take up the matter of choosing a nominee next week or the week after. He’s not sure who they’ll wind up selecting, though he mentioned that Inscore “comes pretty highly recommended” by his friends in Crescent City. “I hear he’s real strong,” Bohn said. “A nice guy, and a friend of [State Senator Mike] McGuire.”

Third District Supervisor Mike Wilson considered pursuing the Coastal Commission seat himself but ultimately decided against it. “I think Humboldt County has at least two qualified people that are interested that I believe can capably represent our community,” he told the Outpost.

Wilson said he plans to urge his fellow board members to nominate both Arroyo and Watson.

The appointment will ultimately be made by Governor Gavin Newsom. His office has asked for city and county officials in the North Coast district — comprised of Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties — to nominate “at least one [county] board supervisor and at least one city council member” for the seat by mid-March.

So far no county supervisors from the three-county region have stepped forward in pursuit of the position.

A letter from the governor’s office to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors said, “Candidates for consideration should be officials committed to and knowledgeable about coastal preservation and conservation.”

Arroyo said she’s passionate about the California Coastal Act, having grown up in Florida where private beaches often limit coastal access. She also said that, thanks her service as a marine science technician in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, she understands the importance of implementing regulations fairly and consistently.

“I mostly just find it incredibly interesting to think about and be a part of the Coastal Act,” she said, noting how different the North Coast is from the beaches of Southern California.

Watson said he’s drawn to the opportunity because he sees a lot of challenging issues coming up for the North Coast in the near future, “and I think it would be a great opportunity to serve the North Coast in that capacity.”

The California Coastal Commission, which meets once a month at various locations up and down the state to consider land- and water- use issues in the coastal zone, includes a dozen voting members and three non-voting members. Half of the voting members are elected officials from coastal counties while the other half are “public members.”

The Outpost attempted to reach Inscore for comment but didn’t hear back before the time of publication.

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LOCAL ARSONIST GENSAW FAILS ON PROBATION

UKIAH, Tues., Feb. 19. -- Convicted of arson of grasslands, a felony, in November 2018, defendant Randall Lee Gensaw, age 46, generally of the Ukiah area, was committed to state prison Tuesday for repeat violations of terms of his supervised probation.

After having served his original jail sentence, Gensaw almost immediately violated terms of his probation in early January and was returned to jail for a 45 day sentence.

When he was next released from jail, Gensaw again violated terms of his probation within a week of his release by having a prohibited weapon, along with a lighter on his person, the latter being an instrument that most arsonists are prohibited from possessing.

After coming out on the short end of an evidentiary hearing held Tuesday afternoon wherein the defendant challenged the probation violation charges, it was determined that Gensaw was not amenable to probation. He was then sentenced to 48 months in state prison. The probation department had recommended a 72 month commitment, the maximum sentence allowed by law.

(DA Press Release)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 20, 2019

Arellano, Fallis, Fox

SALLY ARELLANO, Covelo. Controlled substance, transportation of controlled substance.

AMBROSE FALLIS, Covelo. Burglary, paraphernalia, conspiracy, probation revocation.

RENEE FOX, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance.

Hall, Joaquin, Potter

VICTOR HALL, Novato/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

LEE JOAQUIN, Covelo. Assault weapon, felon/addict with firearm.

JUSTIN POTTER, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

Schaefer, Selvester, Swearinger

JUSTIN SCHAEFER, Eureka/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

KARLA SELVESTER, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

FELIX SWEARINGER, Covelo. Burglary, shooting at inhabited dwelling, felon/addict with firearm, concealed stolen weapon, armed with firearm in commission of felony, County parole violation, conspiracy.

Tomlinson, Williams, Yeager

NATHAN TOMLINSON, Hudson, Iowa/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, Probation revocation.

JOHN YEAGER JR., Glendale/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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DON NEWCOMBE

Don Newcombe, one of the greatest pitchers in Dodgers history and one of the franchise's final links to Brooklyn and the days of Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella, died Tuesday after a lengthy illness. He was 92.

"Mentor at first, friend at the end, missed by anyone who got to know him," said former teammate and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax.

Newcombe was Major League Baseball's first Cy Young Award winner, earning the award in its inaugural season, when it encompassed both leagues, in 1956. He was also the National League's Most Valuable Player that year, the NL Rookie of the Year in 1949 and a four-time All-Star.

"Don Newcombe was a big man in every way," said Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully. "He had a big trophy case. Don was admired by Dr. Martin Luther King and he was a big champion in the fight for equality along with Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella. The former 27-game winner was an even bigger winner when he overcame his battle with alcoholism and helped others whenever he could. He truly was a big man on and off the field and he will be missed by all."

"Don Newcombe's presence and life established him as a role model for Major Leaguers across the country," Dodgers president Stan Kasten said. "He was a constant presence at Dodger Stadium, and players always gravitated to him for his endless advice and leadership. The Dodgers meant everything to him, and we are all fortunate he was a part of our lives."

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BILOXI DAYS: Crash Recovery

by Mark Scaramella

We were having occasional problems with the rebuilt carburetors coming back from the depot in San Antonio. The carburetors were installed behind the T-28’s radial engine where they combined air and fuel in a tightly controlled mixture operated by the throttle position in the T-28 two-seater training aircraft cockpit.

T-28 Carburetor (with safety wire)

Normally carburetors do not require much maintenance, but when they do, access is a problem because you have to remove the engine to get at it. After the first few rebuilt carburetors were installed during a two-day overhaul and inspection process in Hangar 4, some pilots were complaining that the engines would occasionally cut out in flight, sometimes to the point of requiring a thrilling steep dive to restart the engine by spinning the propeller then engaging the engine, the equivalent of pushing your clunker down a hill then popping the clutch. If the clunker didn't start, you survived. If the plane didn’t start, well…

After checking out the propulsion systems without finding any other problems, we assumed the glitch had to be in the carburetor. We had been on the phone and had sent bulletins to the depot explaining the problem. Our explanations to the pilots that the engines seemed to work fine on the ground were not exactly what the pilots wanted to hear.

One day as this problem was unfolding I was doing a routine inspection of the engine shop. Looking at the grease-pencil status board, I noticed that they were working on an aircraft with a malfunction described as "engine quits in inverted flight." As I was standing there, the engine shop chief was writing in the corrective action block: "Could not duplicate on ground." I suggested that he add the phrase, “Checked out in accordance with run-up procedure, no fault found.”

Not long after that, our heavy maintenance hangar crew got a call that an aircraft had ditched in the Back Bay of Biloxi. As the incident was described to us, the pilots (instructor pilot and student pilot) had been flying at a relatively low altitude when the engine started sputtering and seemed to be about to quit on him, and he didn't have enough elevation to try a dive to restart the engine or enough elevation to glide to a safe landing area.

The instructor pilot was familiar with the carburetor difficulties we’d been having and he assumed that that was the problem. Because of their low altitude, they didn't have much time to check things out either, so the two pilots popped the canopy climbed out on the wing, jumped off, and parachuted out safely.

Fortunately, the sturdy old 50s era T-28 has a fairly smooth and steep glide path, so, after the pilot had aimed it toward the Back Bay and put it in auto-pilot, the plane descended fairly evenly and landed in the shallow Back Bay of Biloxi, sinking in about 12-15 feet of seawater.

Sergeant Wilkins, the tall, lanky, red-headed Master Sergeant, T-28 master mechanic, and “aero repair” shop chief (in charge of the heavy maintenance in the hangar) who was more familiar with the trainer aircraft than anyone else on the base, asked me to accompany him on the crash recovery effort.

By the time I got to the aero repair shop, Sergeant Wilkins and his crew were assembling a salvage convoy: two large "bread trucks" (large blue maintenance vans), a flat-bed trailer, and the base salvage crane, with some aircraft jacks, air bags, tow ropes, cables, grappling hooks, scuba gear, and miscellaneous tools and equipment.

After checking some maps at the base search and rescue detachment and enlisting a couple of their experienced divers, we set out for the area we thought the plane was likely to have ditched.

When we got to the area, Sergeant Wilkins basically commandeered a local fishing trawler, telling the owner — who happened to be a retired Air Force sergeant — to submit a bill after we were finished with it.

With Sergeant Wilkins and the owner at the helm, we loaded up and set out into the Back Bay (formed by the west-to-east peninsula on the south coast of Mississippi) to look for the ditched aircraft.

As luck would have it, it wasn't long before we saw the top of the aircraft’s tail sticking up through the surface of the water. The plane seemed intact and relatively undamaged as it tilted forward with its nose in the shallow mud at the bottom of the Back Bay with its tail sticking up like a beacon to the salvage crew.

The divers and crew managed to position two big air bags under the wings and, using the portable air compressor we had brought along, we filled the airbags. After a few minutes the aircraft bobbed gently to the surface.

The canopy had already been jettisoned to allow the pilots to exit the cockpit and parachute out. Sergeant Wilkins immediately jumped onto the newly floated plane and started slowly striding around to check things out.

"It looks better than I thought," Wilkins said. “It must've come down fairly nice." As Wilkins was looking down into the cockpit with water slowly draining out of it, he suddenly shouted, "OH SHIT!"

"What?" I asked.

"Look at that!" Wilkins shouted, pointing into the cockpit. "The fuel’s been shut off!"

I walked up behind Wilkins and stared down where he was pointing. Then I realized what he meant. The D-shaped lever besides the pilot’s seat labeled "fuel" had been turned to the “off” position.

Dumbfounded, I asked, "Why would anyone shut the fuel off in flight?"

"Beats hell out of me," said the exasperated mechanic. “But that sure would create an engine problem.”

We spent the rest of the day towing the newly floated aircraft with the airbags under the wings back to the pier, then, using the salvage crane and cables, we put it on the flatbed to bring back to the hangar.

Colonel Burns, the flight operations commander, had already begun an investigation into the crash. I immediately reported to Burns’s office to inform him that we had discovered that the fuel had been shut off and that seemed to have been the reason for the engine quitting.

Several days later, after the Colonel’s investigation and interviews with the pilot and the student pilot were completed, it emerged that the student pilot, an inexperienced trainee from Vietnam being trained to fly the T-28 as one small part of President Nixon’s famously delusional “Vietnamization” of the Vietnam War, had somehow mistaken the heater control lever for the similarly shaped and nearby fuel control lever and thought he was turning down that cockpit heat without looking more closely.

Obviously, he had mistakenly shut off the fuel to the engine and the instructor pilot, with the limited time he had due to their low altitude, had, well, jumped to the conclusion that the problem was the carburetor; he didn't have time to check his instruments and controls before bailing out.

For the short term, we suggested that the heater control lever at least had to be a different color (as shown in the photo) and a different shape. So we painted all the fuel control levers red. (They had been gray like the heater control.) Later we replaced the D-shaped heater levers with solid plates printed with the word “heat.” Flight operations also made a point of lecturing all their pilots about the proper use of the fuel control lever and the heater and added a provision to the emergency procedure checklist to check the heat and fuel control levers before bailing out.

We had to replace the engine and propeller and put on a new canopy, but otherwise there wasn’t too much airframe damage and the aircraft was back in service in about a week.

As far as the carburetor problems, the depot never confirmed exactly what the problem was. We were eventually told, however, that they had found another vendor to do the carburetor rebuilds and I don’t recall there being any more widespread carburetor problems in my final two years at Keesler.

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BERNIE ENTERS 2020 RACE WITH DEFIANT ANTI-TRUMP RHETORIC

He is running less against specific opponents like Sens. Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren than against decades of pro-corporate policies endorsed by both parties, dating back to NAFTA and the deregulation of Wall Street.

This system-wide criticism has not endeared him to party leaders. To say Sanders is a controversial figure in Democratic circles is a great understatement.

Campaign post-mortems from 2016 like Shattered and Chasing Hillary, as well as the WikiLeaks dump of DNC and John Podesta emails, made clear what everyone in Washington already knew: the apparatchiks who run the Party and sit in Democrat-aligned think-tanks dislike Sanders with the heat of a thousand suns. In some quarters, he may be resented more than Trump, among other things because he represents a brand of politics that takes aim at many Beltway sinecures.

rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/bernie-2020-president-786842/

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THE GREEN NEW DEAL

Editor,

Climate change is happening here and now, and as a young person, I’m terrified. I’m 36 years old and have a 2-year-old daughter.

The latest climate report from the United Nations says we have only 12 years to transform our economy to preserve the stable climate human civilization has depended on for millennia. We need a massive mobilization of every sector of society on par with what science and justice demand.

A Green New Deal will keep Americans safe from climate change and create millions of green jobs. It is a commonsense policy that is overwhelmingly popular with Americans, regardless of political party or where they live.

Any presidential candidate who wants to be taken seriously on climate and earn the support of young people needs to support Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey’s resolution.

Kevin Anderson

Santa Rosa

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'WE WON'T BE TRAMPLED ON': Striking Mexican Workers Vow To Fight The Fight

Strikes close or slow production at dozens of assembly plants and factories as workers demand better salaries

theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/17/mexico-matamoros-strike-union-jobs

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WARMEST SPIRITUAL GREETINGS, Please know that I am giving up the effort to return to Washington, D.C. for the 15th time, because I am receiving nothing at all in terms of solidarity from the radical left wing there. This is in spite of having been there 14 times since 1991 in a number of roles, everything from service work to protesting, and writing about it all prolifically. I have recently received one invitation to be a guest on a couch for 5 nights upon arrival, and otherwise am welcome to live on a park bench in Lafayette Park (across the street from the White House) and help to maintain the 24/7 Peace Vigil throughout the night. As of this moment, total focus is on keeping the mind enjoined to its Source, not identifying with either the body nor the mind, but with the Immortal Self. This is the only choice which makes any sense, in view of the extreme social alienation and chaos which defines postmodern America. No doubt a unified individual spiritual condition is the answer to all of America's problems, and the first step is to recognize this. I recognize this! To everyone who also has discovered this fact, feel free to remain in touch with me. I am still in Honolulu comfortably staying at the Plumeria Alternative Hostel. I still have good health, some money, and am willing to relocate if it is all about acting from a stable, enlightened place within ourselves.

Craig Louis Stehr

Honolulu, Hawaii

Email: craiglouisstehr@gmail.com

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APPEALS COURT REJECTS BIG OIL'S LAWSUIT Against L.A. Youth Groups, City of Los Angeles

by Dan Bacher

LOS ANGELES— In a victory for environmental justice, a California appeals court on February 15 dismissed the California Independent Petroleum Associations’s lawsuit against youth organizations from South Los Angeles and Wilmington, the Center for Biological Diversity and the city of Los Angeles.

Judge Terry A. Green of the California 2nd District Court of Appeals reversed a previous order by the L.A. Superior Court denying the special motions by the nonprofit organizations and the city to strike the oil industry lawsuit.

The oil industry is the most powerful corporate lobby in California, so this big win by the Center and youth groups is very significant.

The California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA) filed the suit after the groups won protections against neighborhood oil drilling from the city, according to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition and Youth for Environmental Justice.

CIPA is “a non-profit, non-partisan trade association representing approximately 500 independent crude oil and natural gas producers, royalty owners, and service and supply companies operating in California,” according to the CIPA website at: www.cipa.org/. The association’s members represent approximately 70% of California's total oil production and 90% of California's natural gas production, including Exxon and Chevron.

“Using lawsuits to shut people up has long been a part of the oil industry’s playbook, but the tides are changing,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “This decision affirms that communities have the right to demand protection from pollution without fear of retaliation from polluters.”

Siegel said oil and gas drilling releases toxic chemicals known to cause a range of health problems, from asthma and headaches to a higher risk of cancer.

“Drilling sites in South Los Angeles and Wilmington, neighborhoods that are predominantly black and Latino, are on average hundreds of feet closer to homes, schools and playgrounds than drilling sites in neighborhoods with larger numbers of white residents,” she stated.

“For decades the oil industry has put our health and safety in jeopardy,” said Nalleli Cobo, an activist with the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition. “Now we the youth are fighting back, and we’re winning. It’s time for justice and it’s time to put people’s health over profit.”

Cobo, a Los Angeles resident, knows first-hand the impacts of oil and gas drilling upon people’s health and safety, since she was sickened by toxic emissions from the oil drilling site, AllenCo., near her home.

“In 2011 when I was 9 years old, I suffered from lack of sleep, headaches, stomach pains, body spasms and asthma,” she explained. “After we worked with community members and then Senator Barbara Boxer to shut down the AllenCo. site, all of these symptoms disappeared in 2013 except that I now have asthma. I still have to use two inhalers and take pills daily.”

In November of 2015, Youth for Environmental Justice , the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition and the Center for Biological Diversity sued the city of Los Angelesfor “rubber-stamping oil projects in communities of color.”

The groups sued the city “for allowing oil companies to drill hundreds of contaminating wells near homes without conducting mandatory environmental studies and for exposing black and Latino residents to disproportionate health and safety risks by imposing less-protective rules in their neighborhoods.”

Unlike other oil and gas producing states including Pennsylvania, Colorado and Texas, California requires no mandatory oil and gas well setbacks from homes and schools.

The groups and city reached a settlement in 2016 after the city adopted new requirements for drilling applications to ensure compliance with state environmental review rules and protect vulnerable communities.

However, the California Independent Petroleum Association then countersued the city and groups, arguing that the new requirements raised drillers’ costs without due process.

The youth groups’ attorneys filed an anti-SLAPP motion, calling CIPA’s lawsuit “a classic example of a retaliatory strategic lawsuit against public participation” (“SLAPP Suit”) that violates California law. In an unexpected ruling, the L.A. Superior Court denied the motion.

The ruling by Judge Terry A. Green reversed that decision, siding with the groups and dismissing the Petroleum Association’s suit as having “no probability of prevailing.”

“Because Memorandum 133 does not expand the City’s discretionary authority to make decisions about drilling, redrilling or modification of existing conditions, CIPA cannot show the measure implicates any property rights of its owners,” Judge Green ruled. “Without such an impact, CIPA has no probability of prevailing on its claim that due process requires voiding the settlement between the City and the Nonprofits and compelling further litigation of Nonprofits’ case to a termination of merits.”

Judge Green also said the decision “obliterates any claim CIPA might have for attorney fees and its appeal of the order is accordingly moot." CIPA had requested nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in attorneys’ fees from the city and groups.

“I’ll never let the oil industry bully me into silence,” said Briannda Escobedo of Youth for Environmental Justice. “This win shows what happens when communities come together to stand up to polluters. It gives me hope to continue fighting for the healthy neighborhoods we deserve.”

In spite of California’s “green” facade, state regulators during the Governor Jerry Brown administration approved over 21,000 new oil and gas drilling permits, including over 200 new offshore oil wells in state waters under existing leases.

The reason for the oil drilling expansion in California, as well as the failure of the state to require setbacks from wells as is done in other oil producing states, is because the oil industry dominates lobbying spending in California every year, resulting in the capture of the state regulators by the regulated.

In 2017, Big Oil dominated three out of the four top spots of expenditures by all lobbying organizations. Chevron placed first with $8.2 million and the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) placed second with $6.2 million. The Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company finished fourth with $3.2 million.

That’s a total of $17.6 million dumped into lobbying by the three top oil industry lobbying organizations alone. That figure exceeds the $14,577,314 expended by all 16 oil lobby organizations in 2016.

In 2018, the top three spenders were PG&E, with $9,580,357 spent lobbying California officials, followed by WSPA, with $7,874, 807 spent, and Chevron, with about $4 million spent.

For more information about Big Oil money and power in California, go to: www.counterpunch.org/…

21 Comments

  1. Jim Armstrong February 21, 2019

    I suppose the CHP and/or MCSD will not provide any useful details about yesterday afternoon’s tie-up on Highway 20, but it would be nice.
    An apparent single vehicle vs. power pole collision happened about 1:30 PM near Blue Lakes. Both lanes were closed with no close-by detour available.
    This condition lasted for hours on into the surprisingly heavy daily commute both ways.
    Along the way a complete closure of 10 to 12 hours was predicted, but no effort was made to keep traffic off 20. The back-up at about 4 PM started at 101 and was stop and go to the Potter Valley turn where everyone not going to Potter was u-turned to head back to Hopland and HWY 175.
    The new ill-conceived configuration at the intersection made truck turn arounds almost impossible and things were a total clusterf*** for hours.
    Right about the height of the commute, a single east bound lane was opened, too late for those headed to 175.
    CHP should explain the decisions made.

    • james marmon February 21, 2019

      Apparently the power pole fell on top of a parked semi truck, complicating the whole cleanup process.

  2. Harvey Reading February 21, 2019

    Paleoconservatives NEVER accept refutation!

  3. George Hollister February 21, 2019

    “JUST as The Valley’s green is greenest, some of our soul-free industrial winemakers ribbon their vineyards with death, row after row of chemical poisons. Weed control, they say. And the stuff runs off into the streams and the rivers and we wonder where the fish went, the frogs having croaked their last years ago. Then, when the days heat up, here comes another mass dosage of pesticides and we wonder where the honey bees have gone.”

    Absolutely no science here. Just pure unadulterated BS. Sorry guys, I had to call you on it.

    • Bruce McEwen February 21, 2019

      Did you put an extra large heaping tablespoonful of Round-Up on your Wheaties this morning, George?

      • George Hollister February 21, 2019

        Are you again invoking an ad hominem argument this morning? I believe you can do better.

        • Bruce McEwen February 21, 2019

          In 1972 The Nixon Administration outlawed Compound 1080, a coyote poison, but the clever Mormon sheepherders in Utah sent their kids as missionaries to Mexico where you could still buy it, and the young missionaries would send Compound 1080 home to Dear Old Dad. Many years later, when one young missionary had grown and prospered and was out having an Easter picnic near Bryce Canyon, his little toddler found a pellet of this poison and popped it in his mouth. The unspeakable agony Compound 1080 caused its victims is why even a soulless ghoul like Nixon outlawed it. “Not a scrap of science behind it,” the sheepherders howled in outraged indignation; they sounded just like you do this morning, George. A little parable for you to contemplate this morning.

          • George Hollister February 21, 2019

            Bruce, please explain how this incident is relevant? Shepherds? Bryce Canyon? Mormons? A child eating poison? Like the 30+ year ago incident involving a corn grower in Canada and Monsanto. A secondary question here is, how close to factual are these type of narratives? Both in distant lands, long ago. Both gaining mythical status, and lives of their own.

            The question at hand, is the Navarro being poisoned from pesticide use? There is absolutely no science that indicates this is the case. And the science that has been done, suggests otherwise.

        • Bruce Anderson February 21, 2019

          Wine making is a heavily industrialized, chemically dependent business plunked down in formerly rural places like Mendocino County where it has transformed for the worse everything from the sociology to the biology. Remember the good old Republican days of Mendo, George? I have my own hanky, thank you anyway, but remember when after the rains millions of little frogs appeared on our rural roads, so many that some of us waited until later in the day when the little dears had safely accomplished their journeys before we drove anywhere? Remember, George? The frogs are gone, George, murdered by forty dollar bottles of Dow Pinot! Ditto for honeybees. And that’s a scientific fact.

          • George Hollister February 21, 2019

            “I have my own hanky, thank you anyway, but remember when after the rains millions of little frogs appeared on our rural roads, so many that some of us waited until later in the day when the little dears had safely accomplished their journeys before we drove anywhere? Remember, George? The frogs are gone, George, murdered by forty dollar bottles of Dow Pinot! Ditto for honeybees. And that’s a scientific fact.”

            This is a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument, and is no more scientific than the argument that Jews caused the plague, and vaccines cause autism.

        • Harvey Reading February 21, 2019

          It seems George learned a new phrase recently, a Latin one at that. How cute!

          Why’s ever body always pickin’ on him …

    • Alethea Patton February 21, 2019

      Mr. Hollister,
      Take a moment to look up the Mendocino County Ag Dept. pesticide report to see how many tons of Round up and other pesticides are used by the wine industry in our County every year. It is truly astounding. Add to that the “slash & squirt” logging practices and one quickly comes to the conclusion that this County is swimming in pesticides (although Sonoma and Napa outdo us by a long shot). Here is one of many articles / abstracts easily found with a cursory web search regarding how poisonous Round Up is to frogs: https://www.biology.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/facilities-images/Relyea%20286.pdf. There also appears to be evidence (google it) that Round Up becomes more toxic to fish as the water temperature increases, so we can deduce that climate change and destruction of riparian habitat can contribute to making Round Up more toxic to fish. and then there are the dozens of other pesticides, fungicides & herbicides used by grape growers. So, for you to say “there is no science here” is itself unadulterated BS. Consider yourself 100% refuted.

      • George Hollister February 21, 2019

        Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has a short half life(40 days), ties up in the soil(that means it doesn’t leach), and is approved for aquatic use. What is toxic to fish is the surfactant that is added to Roundup to keep it from beading up on the leaf surface, not the glyphosate, except in exceedingly high rates. Remember, what we use for washing dishes is a surfactant, too. And putting this directly into water where there are fish will kill fish, too. The likelihood of surfactants used for washing getting into freshwater, seems like a higher risk than surfactants from herbicides doing the same.

        Remember, correlated evidence is the basis for a hypothesis that then needs to be tested, and confirmed in order to be scientific. If we lived our lives basing what we think we know on observed correlations we would be right back to the days of witch hunts, programs, and mob rule. Of course, Mendocino County has been a fertile ground for this sort of thought for the last 50 years, as has the AVA. (Sorry, guys.) We need to lighten up, and be enlightened. This non-scientific mindset is eating us up.

        • Bruce McEwen February 21, 2019

          The only “science” you will ever believe is that which is conducive to your ease and convenience, and that is why the Compound 1080 and Mormon Mythology is relevant to this argument. All through the succeeding years since 1972 and all across the country, from here to far off Utah and Wyoming, those who have made their livelihoods through despoiling the environment, whether it be sheep grazing on the BLM, clear-cutting National Forests, or spraying weeds in the trailer park where I live with Round Up — and here you are quoting the sales pitch from Monsanto in order to refute the scientists who condemn it — you and your ilk will not only deny but also defy science to excuse further wrack and ruin of the environment (hack & squirt, for example).

          It’s a constant battle, George. You are a persistent and numerous enemy. But you eventually lose. Finally, the profiteers of glyo-phosphate have lost in court but, like the users of Compound 1080, you will continue to use it, and all I can say is put another spoonful on your Wheaties, George.

          • George Hollister February 21, 2019

            I was unaware 1080 was still in use. It was used in Mendocino County up until about, maybe, 30 years ago. Could be longer longer than that. The problem with 1080 was it was indiscriminate, and killed non-target species. We had something called a “coyote getter”, when we had sheep, that was a live .38 cartridge packed with cyanide. There was bait and a triggering mechanism. I never had much luck with these. Back them, domestic dogs were the biggest problem for sheep.There was an attempt to use toxic collars on sheep, too. That would have focused on the predator killing the sheep. It was a good, well tested idea, but got shot down anyway.

            As we inevitably move to substantially increasing grazing to reduce fire risk, we will have to revisit all these issues regarding goats and sheep, and the predators that like to eat them. Then the motivation to control predators will be a community fire safety issue, and not solely a farmer’s economic and livelyhood issue.

          • George Hollister February 21, 2019

            Bruce, I will say it again. You can do better.

          • Bruce McEwen February 21, 2019

            I thank you, George, for your faith in me that I can do better. It is a selfless thing for you to say. And, by God’s grace, I shall do better. I will try, at any gait. But I know I can never hope to attain the lofty heights you look down from, that high moral ground of superiority you enjoy, the pristine alpine atmosphere of absolute complacency, the smug alpenglow of the self-ordained saint.

            As to your coyote killing methods, anybody with any trapping sense knows that coyotes will always look into a picnic area after everybody’s gone, to see what was left behind, any little snack will do. So a good bait setter, like a good trapper would leave his poison around the picnic tables.

            And this is where we depart philosophically, St. George. You are an acolyte of The Enlightenment (you mention it above), Pascal and Descartes, who argued that the howling of a dog during a vivisection was merely mechanical, because animals hath no souls and therefore feel no pain.

            I will not point out to you how convenient this theory is to your conscience, George. It would be too callous, and I’m a man of gentle instincts.

          • Bruce McEwen February 21, 2019

            George, you had more luck with the cyanide pill than you know. I remember it well. The dog would get the pill and run off. (Which is why you were dissatisfied). Not until water hit the cyanide in the dog’s belly would it turn to fatal gas and kill instantly — that’s why they used showers at Auschwitz, incidentally — and that’s why I would sometimes find a dead dog or two at our water trough when I went out to do my early chores as a youth.

            Same with chlorine gas, George. Now that cyanide has been taken off the market for any eejit to buy, you can still get a gallon of bleach and a quart of H2SO4. Do be cautious trying this at home, however. The “science” is most unforgiving, George, despite your most devout denials.

          • George Hollister February 21, 2019

            Bruce, engaging in logical fallacies, might make you feel better, but it defeats your argument. I think you know that. That’s why I said, you can do better.

          • Bruce McEwen February 21, 2019

            famous last words… anything else?

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