Mendocino County Today: July 16, 2013
by AVA News Service, July 15, 2013
ACCORDING to a Sheriff's Department press release, Mr. Dana Brandon Hambelton, 30, of Arcata, at approximately 4pm Sunday was southbound on 101 when a deputy “observed” his “non-operational tail lamp.” The deputy subsequently “detected the odor of cannabis emanating from inside the car.” A search of the vehicle revealed four mason jars containing a “honey oil” type of concentrated cannabis. There was also a plastic bag nearby which contained 92 grams of another type of concentrated cannabis known as “bubble hash.”
THE AVA'S drug expert tells us that honey oil “makes you fall down and hit your head; its thc content is about 39%.” He added, “But we could certainly use more professionalism in the drug trafficking community. What kind of idiot transports with a tail light out?”
A STONED IDIOT, undoubtedly. Bubble hash, incidentally, “is super refined honey oil that forms bubbles when you smoke it.” I'll bet you could double your fun if you took a bubble bath along with the bubble hash, and triple your jollies with a wad of Double Bubble Gum. Stoners just have so much fun!
SPEAKING OF WHATEVER we were speaking of, a caller noticed a full pallet of ammonium phosphate at Friedman Brothers, Ukiah, with a note attached that said, “Special Order, Mateel Community Center.” Why would the Mateel want golf course (and/or bombmaking) chemicals? We called the Mateel to find out if they'd ordered it and if they had, why? Sports stadiums use this stuff to green up their grass, but it's bad mojo, as Ashley, the pleasant young woman who answered the phone at the Mateel agreed. “It's like gnarly stuff,” Ashley said, before assuring me that she'd call the Mateel's plant manager, Johnny, and get back to me.
DAVE HULL and Ric Piffero are making an offer to Ukiah that Ukiah hasn't refused. But with the present apparat running the city… But it seems to be a done deal. Hull and Piffero are offering the city 37 untouched acres, valued at a mil-plus, in Ukiah's west hills. Back a ways, H&P got Westside Ukiah all excited when they tried to build on the property. During that hassle H&P further aroused the Pwoggies by flying an American flag on their property and blasting out Bruce Springsteen's wowser anthem, Born In The USA, through early morning loudspeakers. H&P were unhappy, as I recall, at the opposition to their development plans. The property includes Gibson Creek, “sloping hillsides and old-growth redwoods.” You can hike to it by walking due west on Standley Street.
SONOMA COUNTY Supervisor Efren Carrillo, 32, was arrested early Saturday morning creeping around his neighborhood in nothing but his flip-flops and Fruit of the Looms. It seems he was looking for love, but wound up charged with burglary and prowling when he tried to climb through a neighbor woman's window.
CARILLO has long been viewed as perfect flab glab lib lab material by the flab glab lib lab Northcoast Democrats, especially big shots like Mike Thompson and Doug Bosco. The Party endorsed Carillo over Rue Furch, a woman with much more real progressive history. But for today's Democrats of the Bosco-Thompson type, Carillo is perfect. A glib, principle-free Hispanic in an area with an ever-larger Hispanic population, a kind of Mexican Obama, how could he miss? But now this, an adventure that raises serious questions about the dude's mental equilibrium.
WILL CARILLO'S midnight ramble hurt his political future? No. It will probably help him with Democrats, for whom the bar can't be too low. (The Republicans don't even have the bar or the poles to rest it on.) Look at Clinton. His approval ratings rose faster than his penis during his Monica Lewinsky interlude.
ON HIS PLUS SIDE, earlier this year Carillo gallantly knocked out a gavacho pestering a young lady in his company. But an early morning attempt to break into a single woman's apartment— well, that might even be too much for Bosco and the Party stenos at the Press Democrat. As it happens, the supervisor was at a Demo wine guzzle with Thompson earlier in the day and may have still been drunk from that event when the cops corralled him.
ABOUT TIME. A series of regulations went into effect earlier this month that will place new restrictions on San Francisco’s professional dog walkers. The new rules require dog walkers to obtain a city-issued permit, puts a limit on the number of dogs that can be walked at a time (a maximum of eight) and requires dog walkers to have any vehicles used to transport dogs to be inspected, approved and carry $1 million in liability insurance. Violators will be charged a $50 fine for the first infraction.
JUST LAST SATURDAY afternoon, I was walking on California between 7th and 8th when a leashed, medium-size dog, maybe a forty pounder, leaped out from behind his inattentive owner at a passing Hispanic woman. She just kept going, probably thinking to herself, “One more bummer here in Gringolandia,” as the trendo-groove-o dog owner said, “Gee, he's never done that before.” I'd like to see a law banning big dogs from The City. Period. It's not fair to the dog to keep him cooped up in an apartment. Your little yappers, while annoying, are at least apartment-manageable. And you shouldn't be allowed to own a dog at all if you have to hire someone to walk it. (A trendo-groove-o is a young guy with a little pork pie hat, stovepipe jeans, a t-shirt with a corporate logo, a tattoo of a cartoon character. They're coming in the windows!)
OF COURSE my upstairs neighbor, who happens to be blood, maintains a dog about the size of a Shetland pony. He hires a neighbor lady to walk the beast, a giant poodle of some kind, and an animal with zero redeeming features — dumb, loud, unattractive, which, it occurs to me, is also a description with wide human applicability. A city doesn't work unless there's basic civility, at least minimal regard for one's neighbors. Frisco's teeming with entitlement creatures, kind of like Westside Ukiah transplanted to SF. Tiny case in point: A lady is advertising on our neighborhood blog, typically chock-a-bloc with restaurant tips — gastromania also being prevalent in The City — for someone to drive her and her rabbit to the veterinarian. I'd volunteer to hunt her rabbit or eat it, but drive a rabbit? Anywhere?
ON-LINE STATEMENT OF THE DAY: “As an Oakland resident, I'm embarrassed that we've become the go-to town when national newscasts need cheap photo-ops of burning flags and broken windows. Oakland is not Biloxi, 1962. It's extremely integrated and diverse, we even have a place for entitled, pseudo-intellectual Reed drop-out ‘anarchists’… Go break some windows in Florida!” (SF Chron comment line)
TODAY (TUESAY JULY 16) at 1pm, Sheriff Allman will hold a press conference to announce a major development in a “cold case” homicide investigation. The press conference will be held in the Donovan Room at the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (951 Low Gap Road in Ukiah). Those interested can use the Summit Conference Call System by dialing (877) 223-4490 and entering Conference Security Code: 38768. Please call in by 12:55pm as the Press Conference will start promptly at 1pm. (Credentialed media only.)
FLIGHT 214 CRASH ANALYSIS
As a pilot and former flight instructor, I've been following this Asiana Airlines crash story very closely.
At the outset — I picked up the incident early on the car radio when I was out shopping. I spent the rest of the day on the net trolling the world (in the four languages I can get along in) to see who was reporting what.
One seemingly significant thing I found was that early on, the Italian press [la Repubblica} noted that the pilot had declared an emergency. They changed the verbiage three times on their website, but the message remained the same. No one else anywhere (that I could find) mentioned the pilot declaring an emergency.
Soon after this revelation — early afternoon, California time — I found on the Hearst Chronicle sfgate website a [purported] recording of the SFO tower:
(1) It informed OZ 214 that the emergency crews would be available;
(2) It gave approach instructions for other inbound aircraft;
(3) It shooed some other aircraft away with “go-around” instructions. The 214 pilot's responses were undecipherable. He was saying something — quite short, possibly simply an affiirmative — but who knows what?
And I have not heard another thing about this recording. (It would unravel a lot.)
My initial reading of the crash was that there must have been a runaway trimtab. The plane pitched up and the pilots tried to compensate. How else could it get so low and slow? That's why they hit the barrier.
(The initial radio reports were that the plane lost its tail on landing — which I figured must have been caused by metal fatigue: The tail fell off, and then the plane went — bang — nose-first into the ground. The first report is, of course, always wrong.)
The recording also noted that OZ 214 was cleared for 28L. Which means that any mechanical problem must have occurred shortly before final, because otherwise tower would have cleared them to a closer runway — which is 10. And they could have come in over northern Pacifica and saved several minutes of flying, rather than going to San Jose just to go north. (This approach to 10/28 is used only during bad weather, about which Bay Approach controllers used to say, Hey, we're always out of practice, because we only use this approach 5 days a year.)
This was a visual approach. Any pilot looking out the window is trained to tell where the plane is going to land: Your landing spot is where the terrain doesn't move. You can see your way right to the runway. This is basic pilot training.
Plus, a VASI (or, I think, on big planes) PAPI system of lights will give you a very good idea of whether you're descent is high, low, or appropriate. (SFO's glideslope wasn't working, but, hell, this wasn't an instrument approach; if the pilots can't do a visual in VFR, they shouldn't be trying to land the f-ing plane in the first place. — which may be recursive.)
Any student pilot can go low and slow. (It's the classic set-up for a stall-spin accident.) Speaking as a former flight instructor here, if you let 'em get away with it a time or two and then scare the hell of them (by saving the landing), they'll never ever do it again. They've been there, they know. Presumably.
Then there's cockpit communication problem. CRM — Cockpit resource management. Some decades ago, because of the overweening authority of pilots in command, it was determined that anarchism trumped authoritarianism: All authority must justify itself. The pilot flying is hands-on. The pilot nonflying monitors and challenges. (“Captain, the airspeed is too low”; or generically “Hey, the instruments say otherwise!”) Consider the commercial jet that flew into the swamp in the Southern USA. There was a malfunctioning indicator light. Nobody was watching the store. Nobody monitored; nobody challenged. For OZ214, with three experienced pilots in the cockpit, how in the world is it possible that the sloppy approach goes unmonitored, unchallenged?
Now if the reigning Samsung honcho can call a six-hour meeting with no dissent — or even bathroom breaks — allowed, perhaps the S. Koreans are too much in awe of authority. Or as one of the OZ training pilots commented [to closely paraphrase], If someone in the cockpit had said “Airspeed,” we wouldn't be talking about this.
It's a shame we have to.
Michael Slaughter, Pacifica
PS. The KTVU debacle, however racist (as is widely and snidely sneered), is to me still very funny. Involuntarily so — but I still giggle every time I think of it. And today, some corporate media were declaring that this incident has smeared the reputation of KTVU. I say, however, that that's nonsense:
It's US television — WHAT reputation?
The overall silliness reminds me of an old two-panel Wizard of Id cartoon:
Employment interviewer: “Your name?”
Candidate: “Dhing Dhong.”
Interviewer: “Your previous employment?”
Candidate: “Avon Man.”
In short, IMO BFD. Silly, stereotype-invoking, but funny.
PPS. If you want real racism in action in the USA, look at Juan Cole's piece on July 14 on a racial breakdown of who gets murdered [by the state] for murdering whom? Or the comparison he notes of comparative household wealth, black/white. Stunning.
NO SUCH THING
I write in response to a recent San Francisco Chronicle story about the proper role of photojournalists (“Eyewitness to History,” Insight, SF Chronicle, July 7, 2013).
I think that the creed of objectivity has ruined journalism and that it should be abandoned entirely. Journalism should be concerned with truthfulness, not “objectivity,” and the two are not the same.
Journalism should tell us what is going on and why we should care. If a journalist does not care about what he covers, why should the public? But to be “objective” means to be morally and emotionally uninvolved, uncommitted, disinterested.
It defeats the whole point of reporting on current events which is to inform the public about matters of public interest. If the journalist is not morally and emotionally engaged in his subject, why should he expect the public to be?
The very decision to cover a story implies that the story should engage the public. By eschewing any personal moral or emotional engagement with the story, the journalist is surely not going to engage the public.
This credo of “objectivity” is at odds with the entire purpose of journalism and explains why so much “mainstream” journalism is so boring.
Steven Yourke, San Francisco
HELPFUL HINTS FOR AMPUTATIONS
The Battle of Gettysburg, fought 150 years ago this week, saw the deaths of more Union and Confederate soldiers than in any other Civil War battle. An estimated 9,000 men were killed during the fight, and another 40,000 were injured. The victorious Union Army, after driving Confederate forces south, stopping their northward advance had much to celebrate and many to mourn, but for those who survived the immediate fighting, a second battle lay ahead in the struggle of the wounded to survive.
Civil War medicine could often be more of a hazard than enemy ambushes. Germ theory, a new-fangled idea that involved hand-washing and instrument sterilization, wasn’t yet in fashion with America’s medical professionals, and keeping bone saws clean on a bloody battlefield was a minor concern.
With limited knowledge and even more limited resources, doctors and surgeons often turned to amputation when a soldier suffered any kind of significant wound. Before the war’s end, some 60,000 men would have a limb removed. Tillie Pierce Alleman, a fifteen-year-old girl whose recollections of Gettysburg during the battle would be published in 1889, observed a grisly scene outside a local home:
To the south of the house, and just outside of the yard, I noticed a pile of limbs higher than the fence. It was a ghastly sight! Gazing upon these, too often the trophies of the amputating bench, I could have no other feeling, than that the whole scene was one of cruel butchery.
Surgeons weren’t just cutting and hoping for the best, though—Samuel Cooper’s The first lines of the practice of surgery was a must-read for any army doctor working on the front lines. Here, we’ve excerpted some of Cooper’s most helpful advice for amputation of the arm, leg, and smaller extremities. It goes without saying—we do not encourage you try this at home:
Arm: The patient may either sit on a chair, or lie near the edge of a bed, and an assistant is to hold the arm in a horizontal position, if the state of the limb will allow it. The pad of the tourniquet is to be applied to the brachial artery, as high as convenient… Instead of making a short stump, when the arm must be taken off very high up, Dr. Larrey thinks it more advisable to amputate at the shoulder joint. He says, that if the humerus is sawn through higher than the insertion of the deltoid muscle, the stump becomes retracted towards the arm-pit by the pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi; the ligatures on the vessels irritate the brachial plexus of nerves; great pain and nervous twitchings are apt to be excited; tetanus is frequently brought on; the stump is affected with considerable swelling; and at length, an anchylosis of the shoulder follows…
Thigh: The thigh should be amputated as low as the disease will allow. The patient is to be placed on a firm table, with his back properly supported by pillows, and assistants, who are also to hold his hands, and keep him from moving too much during the operation. The ankle of the sound limb is to he fastened, by means of a garter, to the nearest leg of the table. An assistant firmly grasping the thigh with both hands, is to draw upward the skin and muscles with some force, while the surgeon makes a circular incision, as quickly as possible, through the integuments, down to the muscles. When the integuments are sound in the place of the incision and above it, their retraction by the assistant as soon as they are cut through, and a very slight division of the bands of cellular substance with the edge of the amputating knife towards the point, will generally preserve a sufficient quantity for covering, in conjunction with the muscles cut in a mode about to be described, the extremity of the bone; and the painful method of dissecting up the skin from the fascia, and turning it back, previously to dividing the muscles, may be considered useless and improper in all amputations of the thigh, where the skin retains its natural movableness and elasticity…
Fingers and toes: The operation may be done in various ways. Sometimes a small semilunar incision is made on the back of the finger or toe to be amputated, extending across the part with its greatest convexity about half an inch beyond the joint. The Rap is next raised, and reflected. The skin on the other side directly opposite the joint, is divided by a second cut, extending across the finger, or toe, and meeting the two ends of the first semilunar incision. The joint is now bent, and the capsular ligament opened. One of the lateral ligaments is then divided, which allows the head of the bone to be dislocated, and the surgeon has nothing more to do, than to cut such other parts, as still attach the part, about to be removed, to the rest of the limb. When the arteries bleed profusely, they must be tied; but, in general, the hemorrhage will stop without a ligature, as soon as the flap is applied to the end of the stump, and the edges of the wound have been brought together with adhesive plaster. Of the plan of stopping the bleeding by pinching the vessels, sometimes recommended, I can say nothing from my own experience.
Angela Serratore (Courtesy, Lapham’s Quarterly)
WE’RE LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY from NSSLF 2013! The schedule is now online at http://notsosimple.info. On the home page click on tentative schedule for 2013. We will try to minimize changes at this point, but you should keep checking back up to Fair time. We also have four satellite workshops this year. Two are the weekend before the fair (which is this next weekend) and two are the Fri-Sat of the Fair. You will find links to them on the home page. Also on the home page are links to information about our Barter and Trade Circle, Preserves Table and Kids Area if you want to find out about how to participate. See you at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville July 26,27,28.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME at the Manchester School Alumni Association's 3rd Annual BBQ Benefit on Saturday, July 20. The celebration starts at 1pm until 8pm, at the Greco Field Farm Center, on Highway One in Manchester. This event will support educational programs at Manchester School. Enjoy Tri-Trip and Chicken BBQ with all the fixin's, Full Bar by Knights of Columbus, Dessert Auction, Silent Auction, Children's Games, Horseshoe Tournament, and more! Entertainment by Old Stage, Fast Company & DJ Sister Yasmin. Pre-sale Tickets: Adults $12, Children 6-12: $5 Tickets at the Gate: Adults $15, Children 6-12: $6 Sponsors: $50 or more gets you 2 free meal tickets To order pre-sale tickets, volunteer or sponsor call Cindy at 877-1676 or 884-1828.
THE BROTHERS COMATOSE Play Sundays in the Park
On Sunday, July 28th in Todd Grove Park at 6pm Fowler Auto & Truck Center, The City of Ukiah, KWNE-FM and MAX 93.5 are proud to present the fourth concert of the 22nd annual Sundays in the Park concert series featuring the Stomp Along String Dudes, The Brothers Comatose. Believe it or not, it's tough to create foot stomping rhythms without the use of percussion. San Francisco quintet the Brothers Comatose are one of those modern, rambling bluegrass ensembles that sustains up-tempo tunes, joint harmonization and plucking along via chirping mandolins, fiddles, guitars, banjos and upright bass. “The good thing about a string band, is that things tend to culminate with dancing rather than elbows flying in a mosh-pit,” says Gio Benedetti. As for the name, only a brother could pick it out by observing his sibling. Guitarist and vocalist Ben said when brother Alex Morrison (banjo and vocals) goes into a trance-like state while playing his banjo, “his eyes roll back in his head like he's in a coma.” It's certainly not indicative of their music, which doesn't have any of the indulgent noodling breaks characterized by other string based bands - though the musicianship is solidly there, it's given with a communal and inclusive spirit to sing and dance along to.
BILL NOTEMAN to Play Parducci Acoustic Cafe this Saturday This Saturday July 20th, Parducci Winery's Acoustic Café series will be presenting the fabulous Jump Blues Band Bill Noteman and the Rockets. The festivities start around 7:00 with gates opening at 6:00. General Admission is $14 and tickets are available at Parducci Wine Cellars tasting room, on 501 Parducci Rd. in Ukiah, by calling 463-5357, or online at parducci.com/Wine-Store/Event-Tickets. Food will be available throughout the summer from The Potter Valley Café and North State Street Café with part of the drink proceeds benefiting the Alex Rorabaugh Center (The ARC). Seating fills quickly so be sure to show up early enough to get a seat at 6:00.
ANNUAL RECREATIONAL ABALONE HARVEST REDUCED
by Dan Bacher
State officials and representatives of some corporate “environmental” NGOs have constantly touted the so-called “marine protected areas” created under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative as a “science-based” method for bolstering fish and shellfish populations in California.
Yet a recent California Fish and Game Commission decision revealed that traditional fishery management, rather than the marine protected areas supported by the Western States Petroleum Association, Safeway Corporation and other corporate interests under the MLPA Initiative, may be much more effective in addressing fishery declines than the creation of questionable “marine protected areas.”
The Commission on June 26 voted to modify abalone fishery regulations along the northern California coast. By doing this, the Commission effectively admitted that fishing regulations, rather than alleged “marine reserves” that went into effect on the North Central Coast on May 1, 2010 and on the North Coast on December 19, 2012, are the “solution” to reducing pressure on a declining abalone population. The decline was spurred by a die-off that coincided with a local red tide bloom and calm ocean conditions in 2011.
The Commission voted to reduce the annual limit to 18 abalone (previously 24), with no more than nine taken from Sonoma and Marin counties. Other changes to abalone regulations included a coast-wide start time for the fishing day of 8 a.m. and a closure at Ft. Ross in Sonoma County.
The changes were proposed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and then adopted by the Commission.
“The new management measures we’ve adopted today will help ensure that the red abalone remains abundant on the North Coast and the popular recreational fishery there continues to thrive,” said Commission President Michael Sutton. “Our job is to keep wildlife populations in California healthy and not wait for a crisis to take action.”
Jim Martin, the West Coast Regional Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance and representative of the Sonoma County Abalone Network (SCAN), responded, “Apparently Fish and Wildlife believes that traditional fishery management is more effective than marine protected areas in rebuilding fishery stocks – and that reductions in harvest are more effective than closing down areas.”
Martin noted that the abalone decline - caused by a die-off and not overharvesting - occurred in 2011. SCAN immediately supported a temporary closure at the Fort Ross index site to help the population to recover.
“They extended this temporary closure to a year round one,” said Martin. “We supported both that closure and an 8 am start time to help enforcement, as well as reduced bag limit south of Mendocino County.”
However, the abalone fishermen felt the reduction of the bag limit from 24 to 18 was “completely unnecessary.”
“What they really did was reduce the allowable recreational catch from 280,000 to 190,000 abalone, over a 30 percent reduction. And the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan only called for a 25 percent reduction,” said Martin.
In the course of discussing the regulations, Martin and other fishermen asked the Department to quantify the benefits of marine protected areas to the fishery.
The MPAs were touted by MLPA officials, including Ron LeValley, the former Co-Chair of the MLPA Initiative Science Advisory team now being investigated by federal authorities for conspiracy with two others to embezzle nearly $1 million from the Yurok Tribe, because of the “benefits” they would provide by bolstering abalone and fish populations. (http://www.times-standard.com/news/ci_23598585/escalation-an-embezzlement-court-documents-offer-new-details )
“The CDFW refused to quantify the benefits because they said it would take too long,” said Martin. “We believe there should be some benefit to quantify these benefits based on science.”
“The whole selling point of these MPAs is that they would make fish and shellfish populations more abundant,” said Martin. “The first test of that theory turned to be based on false promises.”
Martin emphasized, “We don’t think these marine protected areas benefit abalone at all. If they benefit abalone, give us some numbers. Instead they turned to traditional management to deal with a situation wasn’t harvest related.”
The CDFW press release announcing the regulations confirms Martin’s contention that the Department effectively admitted that the marine protected areas weren’t benefiting the abalone at all.
“Northern California red abalone are managed adaptively by the Commission, using traditional management measures coupled with fishery independent surveys to maintain the catch at sustainable levels, as prescribed by the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan (ARMP). Ongoing data surveys by the Department of Fish and Wildlife detected the effects of a recent abalone die-off along the Sonoma coast,” the Department stated.
“The declines in abalone density triggered the changes to management measures, because the densities dropped below levels that are prescribed in the ARMP for management action,” the release continued.
“The new regulations are intended to provide an opportunity for abalone populations in Sonoma and Marin to increase, and to help Mendocino County maintain a productive fishery. The set start time for the fishing day will also aid enforcement,” the DFW said.
Not mentioned anywhere in the news release are the “glorious” new marine protected areas, created under an allegedly “open, transparent and inclusive” process, that were supposed to bolster the populations of abalone and other species.
The release also didn’t mention the reasons for the abalone die-off and how to prevent a similar situation from taking place in the future.
NEW SEED LIBRARY OPENS AT THE ROUND VALLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY
Covelo, CA — The first seed library in Mendocino County has just opened at the Round Valley Public Library in the small (pop.1255), remote town of Covelo, California. The Seed Library is one of several seed libraries to open this year in Northern California.
Seed libraries are a fairly new phenomenon. The concept is simple: patrons “check out” seeds, take them home to grow tasty and nutritious food for their families, let a portion of the crop go to seed, save some of that seed for planting next season and return some to the library.
Why seeds? With high food prices gardening has come back into style. “Growing your own food is like printing your own money,” according to food activist Ron Finley. Combine that with the fact that people from all walks of life are rediscovering that fruits and vegetables grown in their own backyards have a flavor that just isn’t found in supermarket produce and you have a new generation of Victory Gardens sprouting up all over the country.
There are benefits to growing and saving seed of heirloom and other open pollinated varieties of food plants besides saving money. One is that after several seasons the plants grown become acclimatized to local conditions. The plants become better suited to the area than the plants grown from seed raised in other parts of the country. And by selecting for desirable traits, the gardener can develop strains that mature earlier, or taste sweeter, or tolerate higher temperatures.
People are also attracted to seed saving for philosophical reasons. According to many estimates, we’ve lost more than 90% of the food plant varieties that existed a century ago. Big agricultural corporations rely on monocultures, and the ensuing loss of genetic diversity reduces food crops’ ability to adapt to pests, plant disease, and changes in climate. A large percentage of seed savers are motivated to save seeds in response to corporations who quietly bought up seed companies over the last few decades only to “discontinue” production of old time varieties in favor of hybrid or GMO varieties that need to be purchased from the company every growing season.
“By reclaiming the tradition of seed saving, we are taking seeds out of the hands of big corporations and putting them back into the hands of backyard gardeners,” says Pat Sobrero, Seed Librarian at The Seed Library.
People can become members of The Seed Library and withdraw seeds by promising to return some open-pollinated seed at the end of the growing season, either seed they’ve saved or commercially grown seed, preferably seed grown close to “home.”
Anyone is welcome to check out any type of seed they want to plant, although The Seed Library discourages its patrons from returning “advanced difficulty” seed until the gardener has the knowledge, time, and skill to do it correctly. This ensures that the next person to check out seed will grow out what they intend.
The library offers brochures and handouts on basic seed saving, has many books on seed saving available for checkout, and plans to offer classes on gardening and seed saving in the future.
The Seed Library is open during the Round Valley Public Library’s regular hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 to 5. You can find out more about The Seed Library by visiting their facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheSeedLibrary .