A DEAD MAN was found in the trash Thursday morning at the transfer station on Taylor Drive, South Ukiah. According to Captain Greg Van Patten of the Sheriff's Department, the man died from a 40-foot fall while going through the garbage. “They found a flashlight with him, so it appears he was going through the rubbish in the dark,” Van Patten said. He is preliminarily identified as a 47-year-old Hispanic whose car was found nearby.
WARREN BUFFET, the liberal capitalist, said recently that Breaking Bad was his favorite show. The Wizard of Omaha is about my age. Our formative years, and everyone else's of our vintage, passed in the predictable stability of postwar America. In the late 1950s, early 60s the social contract began default proceedings and, by the late 1960s, the social-political assumptions shared by most citizens were up for interpretation. I came in way late on Breaking Bad, hadn't even heard of Mad Men, and just started watching The Sopranos this month. They're all different of course, but their presumption is the same, and that presumption is that millions of Americans are so accustomed to aberrant behavior that it can be artistically exploited for many millions of dollars.
OF THE THREE SERIES, I think Breaking Bad is the most satisfying. The script and the acting is flawless. As for the criticism that it encourages the tweek life, I'd say that no rational person would choose tweek as a career path, either as user or entrepreneur, after watching it. But there are lots irrational people out there, and there are certainly an increasing number of desperate people out there. Breaking Bad doesn't romanticize thug life, but when you offer a scene of a storage unit stuffed with cash a lot of people will think, “Well, I think I'll give it a go. Even if I make manager at CostCo I'm basically screwed over the long haul in this economy.” But it's mildly shocking that a guy like Warren Buffet completely gets it. One thinks of him, and most tycoons, as so focused on grabbing off fortunes that they're oblivious to the basic fact of contemporary American life — that it's coming apart faster and faster which, in a way, is the foundation for Breaking Bad. But if the point of your life is accumulation, and you're good at it, at least at the more sophisticated levels of understanding like Buffet's, you don't want social chaos; it's bad for business.
THE SOPRANOS, a celebration of Italian gangster life, has great acting and, like Breaking Bad, good writing emphasizing lots of funny stuff. It's less plausible than Breaking Bad because the people depicted are too stupid, too brutal to last as long as they do. It's consistently entertaining, though, but utterly false in the ordinary American context.
MAD MEN is about a late fifties ad agency and, like Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, an intelligent soap opera that follows office personnel as they “creatively” devise jingles and slogans to create possession-lust, drink heavily on the job, and romp with their secretaries, all of whom are improbably beautiful; in the fifties, beautiful women were rare; I remember exactly one in my entire high school, none in college. These days, they're everywhere, and it's the young men who look goofy and unattractive. Mad Men accurately reflects the casual racism and the equivalently casual assumption that women shouldn't aspire to anything more than positions subservient to men. The time frame is America on the lip of the great beatnik, then hippie, breakthrough. The lead guy is a go-with-the-flow dude who smokes the first dope, drops the first acid, sit downs at a lunch counter next to a man reading Frank O'Hara poems (which would have been ultra-hip in '56; even a totally cool guy like me didn't get into O'Hara until some time in the '70s), all the while pulling down a lot of money and dressing for success. I think Mad Men gets that time pretty good.
TO SUMMARIZE, CLASS: Although we're clearly headed for fascism — I predict a more or less benign general along the lines of Zinni, if not Zinni himself — popular art has never been better.
POTTER VALLEY HARVEST PARTY GOES AWRY
H.Gentry, Vaughan, J.Gentry
On October 29, 2013, at 1:37am Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 17000 block of Van Arsdale Road in Potter Valley, for a reported shooting. Harlan Gentry, 24, of Potter Valley, had called the Sheriff's Office dispatch center and reported he had intentionally shot his friend, William Vaughan, 24, also of Potter Valley, in the leg with a .45 caliber pistol. Upon arriving in the area of the residence Deputies learned Gentry and Vaughan had spent the evening drinking alcohol and shooting firearms at the residence. Gentry and Vaughan got into an argument that led to a physical altercation. During the altercation Gentry forcibly removed Vaughan from the residence. When Vaughan attempted to re-enter Gentry’s residence, Gentry retrieved his .45 caliber pistol from the living room before returning to Vaughan's location near the rear porch. Gentry shoved Vaughan down onto the ground and then fired a single shot into one of Vaughan's lower legs. Gentry and another man who was at the residence then placed Vaughan into a pickup truck with the intention of driving him to a hospital. Sheriff's Deputies and medical personnel intercepted the pickup leaving the residence. Vaughan was flown by air ambulance to a hospital in Santa Rosa, California to be treated for a non-life threatening injury. Gentry was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, being armed in the commission of a felony, possession of marijuana for sale, and cultivation of marijuana. Gentry was transported to the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail. Sheriff's Detectives and members of the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team served a search warrant at Gentry’s residence and eradicated a total of 366 growing marijuana plants with 313 of those plants being from an indoor grow operation. There was 70 pounds of processed marijuana bud, 150 pounds of drying marijuana bud, three firearms, and approximately $19,000 in US currency also seized from the location. John Gentry was contacted at the location and was arrested for cultivation and sales of marijuana. John Gentry, 26, also of Potter Valley, was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked to be held in lieu of $15,000.00 bail.
BOONVILLE CHILIE PEPPERS—
A READER WRITES: Advice for Johnny Schmitt.
Yesterday (Halloween) you wrote about Johnny Schmitt's need to market sweet red chili peppers. There may be a monumentally wonderful solution. I recently read a piece on the London Independent (URL below) about two ways to promote brown fat, and therefore lose weight. Way number one is to be exposed to bouts of very cold temperatures. The alternative way, infinitely more fun for me, is to eat sweet red chili peppers. Preferably lots of 'em. If Mr. Schmitt can really get these things to market, the might do very well. I know I'll buy kilograms. Some asides, do I understand he's the Prop. of the New Boont Hotel? (And, gee, he hasn't departed in the middle of the night with the wine cellar in tow and the employees unpaid. What a coup.) And he's growing the pepper on the old Falling Star property? You know, you turned me on to Stella Cadente years and years ago, and I regularly bought their oils (and had them shipped down here) until the founders retired.
Here's the URL for the Independent sweet red pepper story...
A few months ago, under your direction, the county employees received an email, asking as “What Type of Leadership” do we want. To be clear we have no grudges around the supervisors or managers. We are however, deeply upset with our Board of Supervisors and CEO.
A couple of years ago, county employees had a 10% pay cut imposed upon them. We know you are tired of hearing about restoration of our wages. I would like to point out that in times of difficulty all of us suffer but not everyone. Three out of five Supervisors took pay cuts. However, as CEO you did not offer to take a cut in your salary. The reasoning behind this, as we understand, you already had a 10% cut when you accepted becoming a CEO from HHSA Director. Your salary is 5x more than the ordinary employee. You have a car allowance of $400.00 a month whereas we have to pay our fuel plus mileage reimbursement. You have free health club membership whereas we have to pay ours. You have $50,000 life insurance.
As CEO you did not suffer loss of wages compared to your employees who, in some cases, have lost their homes or are in fear of losing their homes. Further, we have not received a Cost of Living Allowance for seven years. You did not exhibit the decency, compassion and integrity to share the suffering of your fellow employees.
As CEO you had the “brilliant idea” to put hiring freeze on much needed employees. As a result, the county lost 2.5 million dollars. The community does not know that it is the social workers and the eligibility workers who bring money to the county through Federal funds. The county is being paid for every case a social worker or eligibility worker has case managed.
We feel, as CEO you do not have the conscience to look long and hard at how your employees have suffered. We wonder if the Board of Supervisors knew that for the month of September and October, there were 18 employees who left the county yet “there are no changes in services” per John Pinches. They either retired or quit. For the remaining employees, we continue to work; feeling defeated, resigned to our fate and demoralized due to lack of respect. We believe the BOS and CEO do not respect the employees who toil everyday to make a living and provide services to county residents. The morale of your employees is at the lowest in all the years we have worked in this county.
Signed by the following employees:
Alwyn Falkenberg, Judi Butow, Tamara Newell, Shirley Fulks, Tammy Lynch, Scott Angel, Christine Thrilkill, John Nugent, Ana Madrigal-Duran, Joyce Cader, April Lewis, Arno Gassen, Helen Michaels, Olivia Hernandez, Debora Luvisi, Jess Calderon, Terry Manning, Ian Winter, Ernie Nagy, Gail Chilton, Laura, Tammi McKee, Dave Eberly, Danielle Shields, Sharon McCuthcheon, Joy Calvert, Janine Thompson, Lola Trevithick, Jackie Branick, Terry Ramos, Jennifer Neper, Pam Voris, Pamela Scroggins, Faith Walrath, Jerome Nuyery, Steve Gornecz, Marty Baker,Michael Cuppateli, Lynnette Cader, Cathy Lonergan, Kyle Mari O’Brien, Cheri O’Shaughnessy, Cerre Knox, Jesamyn Lowery, Jacqueline Otis, Lynn Edwards, Dalia Perez, Dee Pallesen, Kelly Ford, Anna Midling, Don Crawford.
FIRST DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN JARED HUFFMAN concluded Dan Rather’s recent show on AXS TV about outlaw marijuana grows on the northcoast with this statement:
“How do you feel about people getting all that marijuana that's everywhere you turn in this country and has been for years — from an underground economy that includes violent criminal elements, that has no public health controls, no environmental controls, no taxation or regulation of any kind. Can you really justify that status quo? Because that's a choice. It's not between some idealized scenario where marijuana just goes away. It's a choice between a highly dysfunctional policy with all sorts of negative consequences and maybe a more enlightened policy, where we have to accept some tough tradeoffs, but we will find a way to regulate and manage marijuana, as we did with alcohol, when we learn that prohibition lesson.”
LETTER FROM EDWARD SNOWDEN TO ANGELA MERKEL, German Chancellor:
FROM THE NOVEMBER 5 Board of Supervisor meeting agenda:
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: Mendocino County Counsel recommends Board consideration of the creation of a Mendocino County Water Issues Ad Hoc Committee pursuant to the Board’s Rules of Procedure No. 31. The scope of the Mendocino County Water Issues Ad Hoc Committee is as follows: The Mendocino County Water Issues Ad Hoc Committee, if created, would review all currently available information regarding the operation and releases of water from Lake Mendocino as well as downriver diversions in Sonoma County. The Ad Hoc would review what information is not immediately publicly available, make recommendations on what further information the Mendocino County Water Agency needs to fully understand the releases and diversions in the Russian River in both Mendocino and Sonoma Counties, and take no further action beyond meeting with Sonoma County officials to request said information.
RECOMMENDED ACTION/MOTION: Form an ad hoc committee composed of two members of the Board, directing said ad hoc committee to define its own scope, composition and timeline related to information on Lake Mendocino water releases and downriver diversions of Russian River water in Sonoma County, returning to the Board with a report and recommendation on how to proceed in accordance with the ad hoc committee’s timeline.
MASOCHISTS ONLY FROM HERE ON
On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, the Board of Supervisors will consider a “Right To Industry” Ordinance that would effectively tell anybody near any industrial activity in the County to just shut up about it. The proposed ordinance is along the lines of the County’s controversial “right to farm” ordinance from the 1990s which does something like the same thing for people living near farms. Tuesday’s proposal is accompanied by the following fact-free backgrounder which alleges — without a single example — that people who complain about noise, smell glare or other “annoyances” have effectively made Mendo into an industry-free zone, not only scaring away prospective industries, but forcing existing manufacturing facilities to flee Mendo weeping in the streets rather than face “overly burdensome” agreements to “change their operations.”
Unfortunately, the backgrounder, prepared by young County Admin staffer named Brandon Merritt (who also occasionally posts dubious opinions on the AVA’s website under the name “Wraith”) provides no examples of industries or businesses which have been scared away or run-off by neighbor complaints so it’s hard to judge the real necessity of a “right to industry” ordinance. As presented, the backgrounder reads more like a standard Chamber Of Commerce editorial rant full of boogiemen and unsubstantiated claims, than an actual attempt at justification. At the very least such a proposal should only grandfather in industry practices that pre-existed a neighbor moving in next door. Certainly, neighbors should have a right to complain about proposed increases in industrial activity – which we strongly suspect may be an attempt to green-light more wineries in Mendocino County — if the neighbor pre-existed the industrial activity.
* * *
Date: November 5, 2013
To: Honorable Board of Supervisors
From: Brandon Merritt, CEO Administrative Analyst
Subject: Proposed Right to Industry Ordinance
Before the Board today is a proposed ordinance, known as the “Right to Industry Ordinance.” This proposed ordinance is pursuant to Section 65850(a) of the Government Code, wherein the legislative body of any city or county may adopt ordinances that “regulate the use of … land as between industry, business, residence, open space, including agriculture, recreation, enjoyment of scenic beauty, use of natural resources, and other purposes.”
The main purpose of this ordinance is a reflection of historical challenges that manufacturing businesses and related industries have faced in Mendocino County. While engaging in ordinary industrial operations to manufacture and transport their products, these businesses have often borne criticism from local residents or other businesses located adjacent to these industrially zoned districts. These grievances involve accusations that the manufacturers are producing excess noise, smell, light glare, and other “annoyances” that are often the simple consequence of day-to-day industrial operations.
The criticism received by manufacturers located in industrial zones often results in a public nuisance complaint to the County about the annoyances that the resident, or business, perceives from the manufacturer. This in turn results in an investigation by the County and a fine to the manufacturer if the nuisance complaint is validated to be true – the fine being so that the County may recoup its cost of investigating the complaint.
The more damaging outcome of this escalation of tensions between residents and manufacturers is a mediation process that often produces an overly burdensome agreement by the manufacturer to change their operations. In some cases, manufacturers have to uproot their place of business entirely and move to another location that is less disturbing to the local neighbors. In other cases, sound modification devices have had to be installed at a cost borne entirely by the manufacturer and to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. In still other cases, certain manufacturing techniques have had to be eliminated, resulting in a manufacturing process that may be less efficient, less effective and at times less environmentally sound.
The immediate costs of the complaints of residents and other businesses – who chose to locate themselves next to an industrially zoned district – are clear. What was unforeseen by many, and intentionally overlooked by more than a few, has been the long term costs to the economy of Mendocino County. Industrial operations and manufacturers who would like to do business in Mendocino County are often discouraged by local residents who have located themselves near to an industrial zone and who ardently object to any disturbance to their lifestyle. The exact long term costs to the County of this behavior by these residents are unknown. However, an estimate may be arrived at by the hypothetical number of manufacturing jobs, in the dozens if not hundreds, that have been foregone because of a lack of public support for industrial businesses and manufacturers locating themselves in Mendocino County.
SUMMARY OF THE ORDINANCE
The Right to Industry ordinance specifically affects all parcels zoned (or parcels located within 300 feet of them) as the following: Limited Industrial (I-1); Industrial and also known as “Coastal Industrial” (I); General Industrial (I-2); and Pinoleville Industrial (P-1). The ordinance is similar to Mendocino County’s existing Right to Farm ordinance, wherein any resident located on or within 300 feet of the boundary of an agriculturally zoned district waives their right to file a public nuisance complaint about operations within the agricultural district.
The Mendocino County Right to Farm Ordinance waives the right for an adjacent resident to file a public nuisance complaint against a farming operation located on agriculturally zoned land as long as the business in question is operating in accordance with acceptable environmental and regulatory standards. This waiver is achieved by requiring that the resident receive and sign a disclosure document that a “purchaser, lessee or transferee signs evidencing the sale, purchase, transfer, or lease of real property zoned ‘Agricultural Land,’ or is located within 300 feet of such land” (Chapter 10A.13.040(B) of Mendocino County Municipal Code). The entity often involved with producing this disclosure for the buyer or lessee of said real property is the realtor, as most if not all sale or leasing of land or property occurs through these agents.
A second point of disclosure of the Right to Farm ordinance to these residents is through building permits issued through the Mendocino County Planning and Building Services (PBS) Department. Prior to the issuance of these permits, owners of parcels affected by this ordinance (living on or within 300 feet of an agriculturally zoned district) are required to sign a statement acknowledging this fact on forms approved by PBS.
The Right to Industry ordinance would ideally operate the same way as Mendocino County’s existing Right to Farm ordinance, in that residents or businesses moving onto land that is directly adjacent to industrially zoned parcels receive and sign a disclosure. This disclosure is as follows:
The property described herein is zoned as “Industrial Land", or is located within 300 feet of such land and residents of the property may be subject to inconvenience or discomfort arising from use of machinery, and from the pursuit of industrial operations including, but not limited to, assembly, manufacturing, cutting, drilling, machining, metalworking, milling, punching, “tapping”, soldering, transportation of materials and goods, and welding. All of these activities, and others not mentioned in the non-exclusive preceding list, occasionally generate light glare, dust, smoke, noise and odor, all of which may be experienced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for an extended period of time. Mendocino County has established zoning for industrial land which sets as a priority the industrial use of the lands included therein, and residents of such property, or within 300-feet of the border of zoned areas, should be prepared to accept such inconvenience or discomfort as normal and necessary to industrial operation.
The Board of Supervisors needs to decide how it would like to implement the noticing and signing of this disclosure for the Right to Industry ordinance. The options available are listed next in the “Disclosure Implementation Options” section of this report.
DISCLOSURE IMPLEMENTATION OPTIONS
The Board of Supervisors may choose one or more of the following 5 options to implement the disclosure noticing aspect of this ordinance:
1.) The Board of Supervisors can declare a written notice against all parcels affected by this ordinance declaring that owners or residents of those affected parcels waive their right to file a public nuisance complaint about industrial operations occurring on adjacent industrially zoned parcels. The list of these parcels would then be used to create an index in the County Recorder’s Office known as the “Right to Industry”, against which title companies and realtors may search for affected parcels to include in preliminary title reports and Transfer Disclosure Statements (TDS). This written notice is as follows:
Pursuant to Mendocino County Code Chapter 6.35, purchasers of real property located within 300 feet of land or zoning code parcel districts zoned “Industrial Land” by the Mendocino County Zoning Code are or may be subject to the “Mendocino County Right to Industry” ordinance provisions found at Chapter 6.35 of the Mendocino County Code. Landowners adjacent to properties zoned “Industrial Land” may be waiving their right to assert nuisance abatement complaints pursuant to Chapter 6.35 of the Mendocino County Code.
There is some uncertainty about a small possibility of creating a “cloud,” or an irregularity, on the chain of title by creating this index that may negatively affect the ability for a prospective purchaser to obtain a loan from a bank or to sell the property. This merits further discussion by the Board on the risks associated with this option.
2.) The Board of Supervisors can delegate blanket authority to the Planning and Building Services (PBS) Director to implement the provision of disclosures as he or she sees fit to do so. Currently, the preferred method may be to emulate the County’s existing Right to Farm ordinance by providing disclosure notices to owners of these affected parcels during a building permit application, requiring them to sign the notice before being issued the permit, and then filing the notice in PBS records. The exception would be if the resident produces evidence that the disclosure has already been signed.
3.) The Board of Supervisors can require local realtors to update the Mendocino County Recorder’s Office twice a year with copies of their signed disclosures acknowledging the Right to Industry ordinance notice. The Board of Supervisors should keep in mind that the County Recorder may impose a recording fee of $13 per document if she determines the process is in the realtor’s best interests and not the County’s.
4.) The Board of Supervisors can require local realtors to allow the County access to the signed disclosure statements at the County’s request should a dispute arise between a resident the realtor sold to, and who is located adjacent to an industrial zone, and the business involved with the dispute. This option would eliminate any fees imposed on realtors arising from option #3, listed above.
5.) The Board of Supervisors can impose a requirement on local title companies to include this disclosure in the preliminary title reports given to prospective buyers of a property affected by this ordinance. There is some question about the ability of the County to require this, as provided by state law, and needs to be clarified.
The fiscal impact of this ordinance is broken into a summary cost description of each disclosure implementation above in the previous section.
Disclosure Implementation Option #1
If a written notice is declared by the Board of Supervisors against all parcels affected by this ordinance, then staff time will be required to prepare a list of all of those parcels. However, a map of all parcels within a 300- foot radius of the boundary of the County’s industrial zones has been created by the Planning and Building Services GIS Coordinator. This is a clear map that will allow a PBS staffer, or a County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder staffer, to quickly and efficiently create the “Right to Industry” index with the list of parcels to be officially documented online within the County Recorder’s system. The time estimated for this process is 10 hours or less.
Disclosure Implementation Option #2
The costs of this option for Planning and Building Services (PBS) staff to provide the notice and file the signed Right to Industry disclosure documents are limited. This would occur concurrently when residents come in to PBS for a building permit application, and is exactly the same process that is already mandated through the County’s existing Right to Farm ordinance.
Disclosure Implementation Option #3
Additional staff time in the County Recorder’s Office would be required for the twice-yearly mandated recording of signed disclosure statements held by local realtors. This is also estimated to be a limited cost factor, as it would be performed in batches twice a year. However, local realtors may be required to pay $13 per document as a recording fee if the County Recorder determines the recording of these documents is more for the benefit of the realtors than for the County.
Disclosure Implementation Option #4
This disclosure implementation option would have zero cost to the County, as many local realtors currently require their clients to sign disclosure statements anytime that a purchaser or lessee is at risk of being affected by the Right to Farm ordinance. Requiring realtors to allow the County access to those signed disclosure statements would be cost-effective. Realtors would most likely gladly give the County a free copy of these signed statements when requested by the County in the event of a land use dispute.
Disclosure Implementation Option #5
It is estimated that any burdens to title companies from including the disclosure in their preliminary title reports are negated as well. These are functions that are already performed by these companies on a day-to- day basis and whose costs are already factored in. Note: This option would require the adoption of Disclosure Implementation Option #1, as title companies would need an index of parcels to search against in the first place. Title companies already perform searches on a daily basis to search the County Recorder’s online index of parcels and look for any written notices against whatever parcel it is they are searching against. They commonly include their findings from this search in the preliminary title reports to the prospective purchaser. This would not include any cost to the County, beyond the cost of implementing option #1.
It is the CEO’s Recommendation that the Board consider the merits and drawbacks of this ordinance with the perspective that the Board has previously stated its desire for sustainable economic growth in the County. It is also recommended that the Board discuss the options for implementation of the disclosure statement in a manner that considers costs to itself, to realtors, and to title companies and make a decision on which option(s) they prefer to implement.
Introduce and waive the reading of an Ordinance adding Chapter 6.35, known as the Right to Industry Ordinance, to Title 6 of the Mendocino County Code along with the direction to staff to insert into the ordinance the disclosure noticing option(s) the Board has chosen, and authorize staff to present the Ordinance for adoption subsequent to proper notice.
For those readers of your paper who are following the NSA saga, they should read the email debate between Glenn Greenwald and Bill Keller, former CEO of the New York Times on the role the mission of journalism in today's world. In talking about his new media venture with Pierre Omidyar Greenwald said “As for whether our new venture will be ideologically homogenized: the answer is 'definitely not'. We welcome and want anyone devoted to true adversarial journalism regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum, and have already been speaking with conservatives journalists like that: not the East Coast rendition of 'conservatives' such as David Brooks. Our driving theology is accountability journalism grounded in rigorous factual accuracy.” In response to a comment by Keller he said “ My 'contempt' is grounded in his years of extreme war cheerleading and veneration of an elite political class that has produced little beyond abject failure and corruption. I don't see anything moderate about him at all.” As for his comments about Brooks all I can say is Greenwald speaks my mind. There is certainly a need for the type of journalism Greenwald and Omidyar are planning. Hopefully, they can carry it out.
In peace, James G. Updegraff, Sacramento
CHRISTMAS TREE PERMITS ON SALE FRIDAY
Willows, Calif. — Beginning Friday, November 1, Christmas tree permits will be available from the Mendocino National Forest for the 2013 holiday season. Permits are available for purchase in person or by mail from Mendocino National Forest offices, as well as at area vendors. Vendors are listed below with contact information for the Forest Service. Permits are $10 per tree at Forest Service offices. Customers are advised to call vendors to verify permit price and availability. The permits will be sold at Forest Service offices through Monday, December 23. Trees may be cut and removed any day of the week in authorized areas of the Mendocino National Forest. Please check current Forest fire closure areas in case your annual tree cutting spot is within the closure. There is a limit of one permit per household, with each permit using a valid name and address. Up to four additional permits may be purchased for additional households, using separate names and addresses. Individuals must be 18 or older to purchase a permit. All Christmas tree permit sales are final, with no refunds. Permittees will receive a tree tag and Forest map. To purchase a permit by mail, send a printed name and mailing address for each permit purchased, a daytime telephone number, and a check or money order made out to “USDA Forest Service” for $10 for each permit to either the Willows, Stonyford, Upper Lake or Covelo offices with “Christmas Tree Permit” written on the outside of the envelope. Mail-in requests received after December 14 will not be filled. A form can be found online at www.fs.usda.gov/main/mendocino/passes-permits/forestproducts<http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mendocino/passes-permits/forestproducts> under “Christmas Tree Permits.” If you are planning on cutting a Christmas tree for someone who isn't present, a Third Party Authorization must be in the possession of the cutter. This form is also available on the Forest website and should be completed prior to leaving for the forest. Permit holders should be aware that federal and state quarantines to prevent the spread of sudden oak death (SOD) are in effect for Lake and Mendocino Counties. Any Christmas tree cut in these counties can only be transported into other SOD quarantine counties, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Marin, San Francisco, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma. All Mendocino National Forest offices will be closed Thursday, November 28 in observance of Thanksgiving. Christmas tree permits can be purchased from the following Forest offices for $10:
Mendocino National Forest Supervisor's Office, 825 N. Humboldt Ave., Willows, CA 95988, 530-934-3316, Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Stonyford Work Center, 5171 Stonyford-Elk Creek Road, P.O. Box 160, Stonyford, CA, 95979, 530-963-3128, Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 8 a.m.-noon, 1- 4:30 p.m.
Paskenta Work Station, 13280 Paskenta Road, Paskenta, CA 96074, 530-833-5544, Hours: Saturday, December 7 and 14 ONLY 9 a.m.-noon, 12:30-3 p.m.
Upper Lake Ranger Station, 10025 Elk Mountain Road, Upper Lake, CA 95485, 707-275-2361, Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-noon, 1-4:30 p.m., Christmas tree permits are available from the following vendors. Please call for prices and availability:, Sacramento River Discovery Center, (Only 40 permits available), 1000 Sale Lane, Red Bluff, 530-527-1196, Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Hi-Way Grocery, 160 E. Hwy 20, Upper Lake, 707-275-2380, Hours: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
M&M Feed and Supply, 74540 Hill Road, Covelo, 707-983-6273, Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cutting a Christmas tree on the National Forest is a great holiday tradition for many families and also helps with hazardous fuels reduction by removing smaller trees from the Forest. Following are some tips to make your experience more enjoyable. Plan your trip — check the weather, bring plenty of warm clothes, water, emergency food, tire chains, shovel, a saw or axe to cut your tree, and a tarp and rope to bring it home. Make sure you have a full tank of gas when you leave and are prepared for changing conditions in the mountains! Also, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back. Keep vehicles on designated roads and be aware of changing weather and road conditions. Wet dirt roads can quickly turn to mud, making it possible to get stuck and causing damage to road, soil and water resources. If there are puddles in the road, mud flipping off the tires or you can see your ruts in the rearview mirror, consider pulling over and taking a hike to look for a tree, or turning around and finding a different area to cut your tree. Cut your tree early in the season before favorite cutting areas can't be reached because of snow. Make sure you are cutting a tree on approved areas on the Mendocino National Forest and not from other federal, state or private lands. Cut the tree as close as possible to the ground and leave as little of a stump as possible. Attach the permit on the tree where it will be easily visible with the tree packed or tied on your vehicle for transport home. To help keep your tree fresh, cut at least one inch off the base when you get home and stand the tree in a container of water in a cool, shaded area, checking the water level daily.
THE FOLLOWING TOTAL MESS OF A PRESS RELEASE was sent to us electronically yesterday and we are unable to make much sense of it, but we’re posting it here in raw form 1: so readers can see what we have to work with EVERY DAY, 2. It’s way to much work to put into presentable form, and 3. Because somebody might be interested enough in attending that they can figure it out.
Subject: Closing Soon: Popular Comedy/Drama Time Stands Still!