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Mendocino County Today: February 5, 2014

by AVA News Service, February 5, 2014

LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, I was saddened by the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. What a talent. How awful that something in him was so haunting that only the killer drug could fight it off. And then the killer drug killed him. Like all the really good actors he was brilliant even in bad movies. My Hoffman favorite was “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” where he plays the finance guy at a real estate outfit who’s stealing from the company to pay for his dope. Thinking about that one in light of how Hoffman died, except for the embezzling part of the character he was playing himself.

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RECOMMENDED READING: FORT BRAGG by Sylvia E. Bartley, published by Arcadia as one of its Images of America series. Considering that its recorded history began less than 200 years ago, Fort Bragg has seen an awful lot for a small town, and Ms. Bartley has collected much of it in this interesting little collection, everything from the town’s beginnings as an Army outpost whose mission it was to suppress Indians to make the area safe for the first timber mills to the closing of the big mill that was Fort Bragg’s economic engine for most of the town’s existence.

FortBraggBookThere are some fascinating photographs of pivotal events — the big strike of 1946-48, the last work day at the mill on August 8th, 2002, Redwood Summer protests of the cash-out corporate cut that led to the mill’s demise, and some wonderful shots of men in their Civil War uniforms in the 4th of July parade of 1900. One photo propelled me right out of my chair to show it to a couple of office visitors; it’s of a tightrope walker gingerly making his way across Main Street from the old Shafsky Brothers building to the area of the Company Store. Now there’s an act unlikely to be seen again in Mendocino County. The only omission, I’d say, was baseball and maybe boxing. There’s a great shot of a fisherman holding up a 65-pound salmon when big fish were commonplace, but no town team baseball or shots of the smokers that packed ‘em in back in the day. But that’s a tiny caveat put against everything else the author brings us. What’s always striking about photo collections of life in America BF (Before The Fall) is how good people looked in their honest dignity. These days, about half the people you see could be circus clowns, or so debauched old Fort Bragg would have packed them off to the State Hospital at Talmage. These local histories should be mandatory studies in the schools. After all, Fort Bragg is the history of this country contained in one small place.

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BOONVILLE’S GREAT WHITE WAY. Dry Rieslings, aromatic Gewurztraminer and other white wines take center stage at the International Alsace Varietals Festival the weekend of the 14th. $45-65. Winemakers Dinner $150.

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TWO BEEFS. Ready? A County worker, who appeared to be an adult-type person, asked us, “Why do you hate unions?” We don’t hate unions. Never crossed a picket line in my life and wouldn’t cross one if my life depended on not crossing one. We are, however, critical of the SEIU’s incompetent representation of County workers, a distinction most adult-type readers of this fine publication would be able to make. If I were a County worker I would not want to see thirty to forty bucks a month pulled out of my check to fund people out of the city who are too lazy to fully inform themselves on local issues. That is not hating unions. That’s a criticism of the union we see most of in Mendocino County. In the current dispute between its labor and Mendocino County we also think the County is outtaline in paying big money for a so-called negotiator, especially one from a firm specializing in whacking unions. We do, however, think it is obvious that the County’s side of this one is much stronger than the union’s. All the union is saying is we want the money even if the money isn’t there. Which it mostly isn’t. Incompetent previous boards of supervisors so indebted the County that the current supes did an excellent job in averting bankruptcy. Bankruptcy would mean lots of lost jobs and could mean the end to current pensions. Is this what the jive SEIU long distance leadership is looking for here? Is there enough money in the County treasury for a small raise? It seems so. Will there be an agreement? Yes, if the two sides goes for baseball, meaning binding arbitration and a splitting of the diff.

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SECOND BEEF. Ongoing disputes at KZYX, and even typing out the four dread call letters I feel like I’ve been run over by the Dumb Machine. Doug McKenty is a long-time station stalwart. Who could possibly question the guy’s devotion to the enterprise? Well, the two wholly self-interested individuals who sit in the two manager’s chairs, Mary Aigner and her faithful little bow-wow, John Coate, that’s who. These two are not what anybody would call “people persons.” They’re instinctively rude and unyielding. They’re at the root of the station’s unhappiness. They’d both be long gone if KZYX were a commercial enterprise. But here they are, Aigner and Coate, creating probs where there are none, or none that intelligent management wouldn’t cool out long before they reached the point of public recriminations. Blame the trustees? Maybe, but who joins a non-profit board expecting to defend incompetent management? How would a board even know that they’re defending people with serious personality defects? This group of KZYX trustees only sees Aigner and Coate when they’ve got their smack-smack lips on, not when they’re snarling at even the mildest inquiries. McKenty and FCC complaints are not the problem. Bad management is the problem. Vote them off the island, I say.

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JUDGE NELSON called Tuesday morning. He said we had managed to be factually incorrect for the third week in a row. He said our figure for the proposed new County Courthouse was wrong. We think the judge was correct to point out that our initial price of $300 million was wrong, obviously wrong and, we think, probably a typo, not to weasel-lip out of responsibility. But the judge says our corrected figure of $120 million is also incorrect. We think, though, that $120 mil is closer than the judge’s figure of somewhere between $78 and $94 million, which he says is what the eight courtrooms, downsized from nine courtrooms, will cost. And $120 mil is the figure still cited on the state’s judicial website. Given the inflationary givens when and if construction begins, this thing will easily cost $120 million. We, of course, think the existing Courthouse is fine. If any money is spent to enhance their honors’ daily comfort, it should be spent remodeling the existing County Courthouse.

NEW COURTHOUSE FACTS:

Sonoma County has a new courthouse in the unstoppable pipeline that is estimated to cost $174 million. And Lake County has one in the works estimated at $55 million. The numbers are low estimates of the likely costs by completion, of course. But the proportions are interesting. In rough terms:

SoCo’s Population is about 500,000

Mendo’s population is about 90,000

Lake County’s population is about 64,000.

So…

Sonoma County’s courthouse costs about $350 per person.

Lake County’s costs $860 per person.

And Mendo’s costs $1050 per person (based on a $94 million estimate)

(down some from $1350 per person based on $120 million, but still higher than neighboring counties).

From: http://www.courts.ca.gov/facilities-mendocino.htm (as of 2/4/2014).

“Current Status: This project is in site acquisition with architectural design delayed until FY 2014–2015, based on the Judicial Council’s February 26, 2013 decision. The current expected completion date is 1 Q 2019.

Vital Statistics: Courtrooms: 9. Square footage: 113,757. Current authorized project budget: $121,627,000. (In anticipation of additional cost-cutting measures, all facts are subject to change.)”

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ON JANUARY 29, 2014 Deputies with the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team assisted by the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force served a search warrant on a residence in the 1700 block of Hawk Lane in Willits, California. Located at the residence was an indoor marijuana growing operation with 174 marijuana plants, 13-pounds of processed marijuana, $3,250 in US Currency and paperwork in the name of Clayton King, 31, of Willits. During the service of the search warrant Clayton King arrived at the residence and was arrested on the above listed charges and booked into the Mendocino County Jail. King was subsequently released from jail after posting $25,000.00 bail. Seized pursuant to State Asset Forfeiture laws was the $3,250.00 in US Currency and King’s 2011 Toyota pickup truck. (Sheriff’s Press Release)

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COUNTY CRIME AS OF TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH

• Officers were summoned on Jan. 28 to a home in the 200 block of Whipple Street for a report that two chainsaws were taken from the front porch of the home. Later that day, they were summoned to the same home for a report that 12 to 16 firearms were also stolen from a gun safe inside, according to the FBPD. Officers identified Kenton Colberg Jr., 25, of Fort Bragg, as a suspect, and, being familiar with him from “multiple prior contacts,” went to his mother’s home and searched the property, the FBPD stated. They found one of the stolen chainsaws and a camouflage Carhartt jacket that was also reported stolen. Further investigation revealed that Colberg had given one of the allegedly stolen guns to someone to whom he owed a debt as collateral, according to the FBPD. The debtor cooperated with officers and gave them additional information linking Colberg to the Whipple Street burglary, and officers obtained a warrant for Colberg’s arrest. Colberg remains at large, and police have not found any of the other guns or property reported stolen. Anyone with information about Colberg’s whereabouts is urged to call the FBPD at 964-0200. Information may be left anonymously on the department’s crime tip hotline at 961-3049.

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• Wife allegedly attacked trying to take keys — A Laytonville woman who tried to take car keys from her drunk and high husband was “charged” and knocked to the ground in a domestic incident Saturday, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were summoned at 12:59 p.m. Feb. 1 to a Lucas Lane home in Laytonville for a report of domestic violence. They spoke with the woman, 35, who told them her husband, Monroe Lucas, 36, had been using methamphetamine and cocaine and drinking alcohol since the previous night, and had driven a vehicle while intoxicated, according to the MCSO. Sometime between 12:45 p.m. and 12:59 p.m., Lucas started to walk away from his wife with his car keys. Concerned he would drive again and hurt himself, she tried to take the keys from him, according to the MCSO. She told deputies that her husband charged at her and knocked her to the floor. The woman, who wasn’t identified, had scrapes on her lip, left forearm and left shin from the incident that did not need medical attention, according to the MCSO. Lucas was arrested on suspicion of spousal abuse and booked at the Mendocino County Jail under $25,000 bail.

Vandalism — Caller in the 1100 block of South State Street reported at 8:44 a.m. Monday that a bathroom had been vandalized. An officer took a report.

BB Guns Turned In — A resident turned in old BB guns to the UPD at 12:14 p.m. Monday for destruction. An officer took a report.

Transient In Bushes — Caller in the 800 block of North Bush Street reported at 12:44 p.m. Monday that a transient was in the bushes, talking to himself. An officer responded and cited him for camping.

Domestic — Caller in the 600 block of North Orchard Avenue reported at 12:49 p.m. Monday that she was fighting with her boyfriend. An officer responded but did not make an arrest. At 1:07 p.m., the boyfriend reported that the pair was fighting again. An officer responded and arrested Amelia Ramirez, 23, of Ukiah, on suspicion of domestic violence. She was booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail.

Possible Drunk Driver — Caller in the 1200 block of Airport Park Boulevard reported at 5:36 p.m. Monday that an older woman who was slurring her words and unable to stand had gotten into a golf Ford Taurus and drove away. An officer checked the area but did not find the car.

Drug Possession — An officer responded to Jack-In-The-Box on Airport Park Boulevard at 10:36 a.m. Tuesday and arrested Ted Palmer, 38, of Ukiah, on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

Camera In Tree — Citizen reported at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday finding a large surveillance camera bolted to a tree in the 1100 block of Low Gap Road.

Burglary — Caller in the 500 block of Peach Street reported at 10:02 p.m. Tuesday that a couple was trying to get into a vacant house. An officer responded and secured the house.

The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Ukiah Police Department regarding calls handled by the Fort Bragg Police Department.

Man Selling Puppies — Caller at Safeway on South Main Street reported at 1:29 p.m. Monday that a man was selling puppies for $100, and their mother was “vicious.” An officer responded and advised the seller that puppies could not be sold there.

Vehicle Theft — Sammi S. Leggett, 40, of Covelo, was arrested at 12 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of vehicle theft and booked at the county jail under $15,000 bail. The MCSO arrested her.

Marijuana Sales — Francis K. Macias, 42, of Philo, was arrested at 2:17 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, failing to appear in court and driving with a suspended license, and booked at the county jail. The MCSO arrested her.

DUI, Child Endangerment — Elizabeth M. McAllister, 31, of Willits, was arrested at 2:50 p.m. Jan. 28 on suspicion of driving under the influence, child abuse or endangerment and being under the influence of a controlled substance, and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The MCSO arrested her.

Marijuana Sales — Joseph Ciurla, 37, of Laytonville, was arrested at 4:25 p.m. Jan. 28 on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale and booked at the county jail under $75,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

Marijuana Sales — Cassandra M. Nixon, 25, of Laytonville, was arrested at 5:41 p.m. Jan. 28 on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale and booked at the county jail under $75,000 bail. The MCSO arrested her.

DUI — Joseph R. Myers, 24, of Ukiah, was arrested at 12:34 a.m. Wednesday on suspicion of driving under the influence, being under the influence of a controlled substance, battery, false personation and failing to appear in court, and booked at the county jail. The MCSO arrested him.

Domestic Violence — Marshall D. Efishoff, 32, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 12:36 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of domestic assault and violating his probation terms, and booked at the county jail under $50,000 bail. The Fort Bragg Police Department arrested him.

Marijuana Sales — David O. Simonson, 26, of Willits, was arrested at 3 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of transporting marijuana for sale, possessing drug paraphernalia and violating his probation terms, and booked at the county jail under $40,000 bail. The Willits Police Department arrested him.

DUI — Kenneth A. Bennett, 45, of Ukiah, was arrested at 3:23 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit and booked at the county jail under $10,000 bail. The Ukiah Police Department arrested him.

Meth Sales — Knox O. Sowers, 35, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 12:08 a.m. Friday on suspicion of selling methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine for sale, possessing drug paraphernalia and violating his parole terms, and booked at the county jail. The UPD arrested him.

Drug Transport — Frank Rodriguez, 63, of Ukiah, was arrested at 10:20 a.m. Friday on suspicion of transporting an organic drug for sale and booked at the county jail under $35,000 bail. The California Highway Patrol arrested him.

DUI — Angelo J. Dieli, 30, of Santa Rosa, was arrested at 11:15 a.m. Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence and booked at the county jail. The CHP arrested him.

Domestic Violence — Nicholas S. Cochran, 28, of Ukiah, was arrested at 4:46 p.m. Friday on suspicion of domestic assault and booked at the county jail under $25,000 bail. The UPD arrested him.

DUI — Douglas K. Hance, 33, of Fort Bragg, was arrested at 5:23 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving with a suspended driver’s license and violating his probation terms, and booked at the county jail under $45,000 bail. The FBPD arrested him.

DUI — Graham C. Osman, 48, of Slat Lake City, Utah, was arrested at 9:10 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The CHP arrested him.

DUI — Margaret K. Pedroni, 51, of Ukiah, was arrested at 11:55 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit, and booked at the county jail under $5,000 bail. The CHP arrested her.

Domestic Violence — Charles A. Blunt, 27, of Ukiah, was arrested at 7:34 p.m. Sunday on suspicion of domestic assault and violating his probation terms, and booked at the county jail under $30,000 bail. The MCSO arrested him.

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WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

by Jim Gibbons

Imagine you’re in Hawaii for the winter months enjoying the sunshine and tropical breezes, hardly a care in the world. Sure, back in California things are dry, in fact, this year is turning out to be the driest on record, but your Northern California rural property is shut down for the winter; the house is locked up, the inverter that runs the electrical system is turned off, and perhaps most important, especially during a drought, the water is shut off at the road where it passes through the Brooktrails Township Community Services District meter to your valve, the one you shut off before leaving.

You’ve had pvc pipes break before due to freezing over the years and know that when temps drop into the 20s, uninsulated, water-filled plastic pipes can break, which is why you wrapped your pvc pipes when you installed them, and always shut off the valve by the meter before leaving on any extended period away from home.

Then you wake up one day in January, make some coffee, and have a bite to eat while reading the local newspaper. The same routine you’ve been doing since you returned to Hawaii back in November, having left just before the first frost of the season. Since it’s another beautiful day on the Big Island you decide to take a bike ride, and stop by the local post office to get your mail. You get your Willits Weekly, where every front page article is about the local water shortage, and mandatory water rationing. Yet another good reason to be in Hawaii right now, you think to yourself.

Actually the Big Island of Hawaii has been in a drought since ’08, but water still falls on parts of the Island and it still snows occasionally up on Mauna Kea. Just a few weeks ago the Hamakua Coast, about 10 miles east of your Hawaii home, got hit with a drenching rain that dropped three inches in just one hour! Mendocino County, California hasn’t had much more than three inches in the past year! But again, you’ve done your part conserving Brooktrails water by wintering in Hawaii.

Oh, and you get your monthly water bill. The Brooktrails water monthly base rate is $49.37, meaning that whether you use water or not it’s $49.37 a month. Of course if you use more than the allotted amount it costs more, but you made the decision when you decided to build your new house back in the Spring of 2001 that you would build to code so that you could get your building permit, which Brooktrails requires in order to hook up to their ever more precious water supply. You actually have your own spring at the bottom of your hill, and you’ve been pumping water up the hill to your holding tanks above both houses since 1986, when hooking up to Brooktrails water was free. Then sometime after that they started charging to hook up, and that price continued to climb and was at $2700 when you finally got your building permit in 2002.

The day you got your permit you were running late. It was already pushing 5 o’clock when you got back to Willits, and although you were planning on going straight to Brooktrails to show them your permit and pay for the hook up, you decided it could wait till Monday because it was beer o’clock, so you stopped at your favorite pub. While sitting at the bar chatting with other patrons, a man entered and announced quite loudly to no one in particular that the Brooktrails board is having a special meeting tomorrow — Saturday — to raise the hook-up fee from $2,700 to $6,200. Wow, someone said, that’s more than twice as much!

You had read about a price increase in the Willits News, but thought it was still sometime in the future. Monday came and you made sure you showed up at the Brooktrails office first thing in the morning, but when you did you were told the hook-up fee was now $6,200. You couldn’t believe it at first, sort of like the feeling you had when you saw your recent water bill… Speaking of your recent water bill, before sticking it in your saddle bag you glanced at it just to make sure it was still $49 and 37¢, but as you read the numbers they made no sense — something was wrong! The bill said you owed $1,361.11, and that you used 160,393 gallons of water in December, your first full month in Hawaii.

This idea to get Brooktrails water so you wouldn’t be inconvenienced by having to go all the way down your hill to pump water once a week was getting expensive, you said to yourself. The hook-up cost you $6,200 and now a broken pipe may cost you $1,361. That’s a total of $7,561 just for the privilege of getting Brooktrails water!

Needless to say, you go straight home and call the Brooktrails District office. You talk to a secretary who tells you she will get someone to call you back. No one does, so the next day you call again. You tell her again about the bill and that you’d like to talk to her boss, but she tells you that the break was on “Your side of the meter, and you’re responsible,” with an “and that’s that!” tone in her voice.

You call your neighbor Bob, who is keeping his eye on your place while you’re away, and he stops by and takes photos, which explain the problem. Their meter goes to the next box which holds the backflow-prevention valve (something they installed back in the 90s), before it goes into your shut-off valve. The pipe holding their backflow-prevention valve broke, but Bob doesn’t see how that much water could have gone into the ground.

That much water into the ground was a scary thought since your house was downhill from the road. And Brooktrails water comes down the middle of the road through a 4-inch diameter pvc pipe that’s about five feet under the roadbed. The reason you know this? That pipe has broken before, more than once, the last time was March 2011.

It was about 5:30 in the afternoon that day in March, and you stepped out your back door to grab another beer when you heard this gushing sound coming from up on the road. “Oh shit,” you said to yourself, the pipe broke again. You went up to the road and saw water bubbling up the middle and running down both sides of the road. Gallons and gallons. You estimated at least 100 gallons per minute, and most of it was pouring over the road onto your property. This is why you dug a ditch between the road and your house site back when you decided to build a new house because the old house further down the hill was moving — further down the hill. And now the ditch was filling up.

You called the Brooktrails office and were told the workers had gone home, but Scott, one of the road crew guys, was contacted and soon showed up to see the break. By the time Scott was notified, came to look at the break, and drove up the hill to turn it off at the tank, more than an hour had gone by. That’s six thousand gallons, according to your conservative estimate of 100 gallons a minute. Still, 100,000 gallons less than the latest break.

Turns out the 20,000 gallon tank at the top of the hill that feeds you and your neighbors has an automatic turn ON valve, meaning that when water in the tank drops to a certain level (about 20%) it automatically pumps more water in, so of course more water comes out… And since there is no automatic shut OFF valve, it continues until when? Either the pump dies or both the reservoirs are emptied?

So you asked Scott, “What if I hadn’t seen the break and it went all night? You mean it would just keep pumping more water in as more would come out?” Scott looked at you as if he hadn’t thought about that before. You guess it’s not something one thinks about until there’s a drought… followed by a cold spell…followed by a profusion of broken pipes.

In fact, a drought has a way of changing everything. The latest mandatory rationing in Brooktrails is 110 gallons a day per household. In Willits it’s 150 per day. And the forecast shows no significant rain in sight through April. Funny coincidence, that’s when the rainy season ends! As JUNEuary comes to a close, you hope FebRAINary is around the corner.

Back again to present day Hawaii. The weekend came and you told your wife you would call again first thing Monday morning and ask to talk to Robert, the road crew leader, and ask him to check out the break. After the March 2011 break , a four-man crew showed up with what you called a Giant Vacuum Truck that sucked up the dirt and rocks, exposing the broken pipe. Two guys dropped into the hole and repaired the pipe, which already had a flex connector. One of the workers you talked to explained that the flex connector was installed after it already broke a few times before because “this hill is moving,” he said, while pointing down the hill toward your house, and added, “Hell, there’s a river under here and this whole side of the mountain is moving.”

You found out before building your new house that the old one was built on a slip plane, meaning that under 10 or so feet of dirt and rocks there’s clay, and when the ground gets saturated enough, the water can’t penetrate the clay so everything moves — it slips. After your old house slipped the first time you tried to save it with more concrete, but after the next wet winter it slipped again. You got a backhoe to find out how deep the clay was, but the back-hoe couldn’t reach down that far, so you gave up after two attempts to save it. You decided to move up to the flat spot nearer to the road, which was the log deck back in the 70s when they clear-cut this redwood forest and sold it to Brooktrails, who named it the Spring Creek subdivision, and cut it up into 20-acre parcels.

Where were we? Monday came and you called the office again and finally got Robert, who also told you it was on your side of the road. You told him that your friend was there and saw where it broke and took photos. He relented and said he’d check it out. That afternoon he called back and apologized and said you were right and he’d take care of it.

It was over, just like that. You hung up the phone, wrote a check to the Brooktrails Township for $49.37, and mailed it. You never want to be late because there’s a late fee and they can shut off your water on their side of the meter. And yes, they charge an additional fee for turning it back on.

The End. I Hope.

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THE REMAKING OF AMERICAN PROTEST INTO A SERIOUS CRIME, AGAIN

by Laurel Krause

Micats3Vicci Hamlin, Lisa Leggio and Barbara Carter of the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MICATS) have been found guilty of trespassing and “resisting and obstructing an officer”, a felony charge in Michigan that carries a maximum jail sentence of three years.

Over-charging ‘prisoners of conscience’ is also an ongoing, global concern of Amnesty International. http://bit.ly/1fpmvnO

Hamlin, Leggio and Carter put their bodies, their lives, on the line, to draw attention to serious crimes against the #environment we all share. Their acts of civil disobedience are in the great tradition of American protest. http://bit.ly/1cNDuSu

At their trial ending January 2014, the non-violent resisters were found guilty and taken into custody, jail where they are being held without bail awaiting sentencing in early March.

The defendants were arrested on July 22, 2013 as part of a protest organized by the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands aka MICATS.

The charged MiCATS protest action was against the Enbridge corporation’s efforts to construct, extend the northern leg of the Keystone KXL TarSands Oil Pipeline.

This uniquely destructive project has alarmed millions of Canadians and Americans because the responsible corporations have demonstrated their total inability to safely manage other than their work.

WATCH filmmaker Emile de Antonio’s commentary on Kent State and the American protest set-up, begins at 2:22 http://bit.ly/MqfsCT

The Kent State Truth Tribunal has grave concerns for the safety and rights of American protesters. The trajectory of this court ruling and the uptick of the civil liberty harassing, minimizing trend is worth every American protester’s consideration.

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ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY: Throughout history, money, in whatever form it takes, has always been a matter of faith — faith in its imputed value. Whether seashells, tally sticks, wampum, metal coinage, or whatever, the imputed value of the money is completely dependent upon the public’s belief of its worth.

When this belief is tied to objects of scarcity (gold, and to a lesser extent, silver, are rare and expensive to mine) there is at least a presumption that they cannot be devalued simply by replication. However, when paper representation of those objects came into existence (e.g., silver certificates), those constraints were removed, and paper could be printed at will. Numerous examples exist where entire nations’ economies have been destroyed by exactly this methodology.

However, now, even tangible paper currency has been virtually supplanted by electronic data — as ephemeral as an illusion. Nothing backs any currency today other than a belief in the “full faith and credit” of the sovereign issuer.

And, with a sufficient tipping point, beliefs can be destroyed overnight. The world’s currencies have become bloated balloons, with nothing more than lukewarm air to support them, and the tiniest of needles is all that is needed to collapse the entire scheme.

That needle is approaching with relentless determination.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY DROUGHT AD HOC COMMITTEE RECONVENES FEBRUARY 12, 2014

On Thursday, January 30, 2014, during its publicly noticed 1pm meeting, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Drought Ad Hoc Committee decided to invite the County’s water purveyors to its next meeting on February 12, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Mendocino County Administration Center’s Conference Room C at 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482. The public is invited to attend this Ad Hoc committee meeting.

The purpose of the meeting, according to Supervisors Brown and Hamburg, will be to gauge the interest in moving forward with community meetings around the ongoing drought. The agenda for the meeting also includes a roundtable with water purveyors on issues they are facing. The meeting will conclude with any next steps to deal with problems arising from the below-average rainfall the County is receiving. — Carmel J. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer

MEMORANDUM

DATE: February 3, 2014

TO: All Cities, Special Water Districts, Private and Mutual Water Purveyors, and other Major Water Stakeholders

FROM: Mendocino County Drought Ad Hoc Committee

SUBJECT: Request for Your Presence at February 12, 2014 Drought Ad Hoc Meeting

Dear Managers, Board Members, Owners, and Staff,

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Drought Ad Hoc Committee requests your presence at its next meeting on February 12, 2014 at 1pm in the Mendocino County Administration Center Conference Room C, located at 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482.

We are inviting one or more representatives from your organization to attend this meeting. You may RSVP by emailing Brandon Merritt, Administrative Analyst, at merrittb@co.mendocino.ca.us, with subject line “RSVP for February 12 Drought Ad Hoc Meeting,” or by calling 707-463-7236.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the ongoing drought and potential ways to address areas of critical need within the County. The opportunity will further be used to gauge the overall interest in having a community member or organization facilitate community meetings around the drought.

The agenda for this meeting will be included when it is publicly noticed by the Mendocino County Sr. Deputy Clerk of the Board, Tim Mitchell. We hope you can make it.

Sincerely, Carre Brown, 1st District Supervisor

Dan Hamburg, 5th District Supervisor

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KUDOS TO JOHN PINCHES for initiating the demand for a review and update of the Lake Mendocino water rights. If Sonoma County, as John Pinches believes, has illegally kept all the profits from selling Mendocino and Sonoma’s jointly owned lake water to Marin County and San Francisco, then surely Sonoma County’s investment in building Coyote Dam has been recouped. In spite of the need for adequate water for a thirsty county, the other three lessorvisors refuse to cooperate with Mr. Pinches. They voted NO. Who do these politicians represent? Not the families whose wells are running dry thanks to corporate wine grape deforestation and lack of rainfall. Why have the supervisors been so tortoise like in instituting water use monitoring and restrictions? Why so little so late?

Where are simple mitigations like permitting the use of sink, bath and washing machine water to water home gardens? People need to be able to govern themselves with common sense solutions like using only biodegradeable soaps, eliminating chemical and chlorine bleach from their wastewater. Just do it. A hundred years ago, home cisterns to catch roof rainwater were common. They are still a good investment.

Are corporate wine grape growers, many of whom have destroyed large tracts of watershed protecting forests still planning to irrigate their shallow rooted, crowded grape vines? Frost protection? With watershed stolen water? Why are elected politicians silent on this subject? Are they more concerned with the next election rather than risking votes by doing what is right — now? All over this denuded, chemicalized, irridated, polluted planet, people need to begin replanting our disappearing forests to help reverse desertification, control periodic flooding. But where is the available labor force? Unemployed, especially young people needing to find something to believe in, work to be proud of. Stagnating in boredom in dungeon-like jails and prisons, devoid of educational opportunities. Where idleness is an enforced policy. Where is long range planning? Governor Jerry Brown has been procrastinating in the Supreme Court-ordered prisoner release. Perhaps he should start inquiring with the Innocence Project which declares at least 10% of incarcerated people wrongfully convicted. Really, what is needed is case by case reviews, psychological evaluations for release guidelines. You have people now in their forties or fifties condemned with inordinately long sentences, graduates from juvenile hall and jail who have never been offered any realistic alternative to imprisonment. Plea bargainers who have been convicted, evidence free, because they could face draconian punishment for demanding a jury trial, to nearly equally oppressive sentences. A dead-end system which fails to solve its social justice and environmental problems, which will be releasing prisoners with no additional job training, no jobs to apply for, especially difficult to find work wearing a prison “jacket,” aka label as an ex-con or facing an obsolete rule-bound parole system which punishes the friends, employers, and well wishers of a parolee with repeat bouts of imprisonment. A legal and prison system which profits off the problems it purports to solve. Utilizing the skills of the caged, underemployed and unemployed, the State and County governments could find it cost effective to provide needed work rather than continue locking up more and more alienated citizens.

Superior Court judges earn $180k per year with perks. This kind of salary offers years in which to invest in additional money making instruments. Surely our court judges could fund the money themselves to begin alternative sentencing at an honor farm, with prisoner-grown gardens and fruit trees, classes and job or college training passes. With an alternative sentencing program of service to your community, we could create new parks, gardens for locally grown food, off road bicycle trails connecting towns, clean up the national parks from the detritus left from illegal marijuana growing, replant the demonstration clearcuts in Jackson State Forest… So much needs to be done, while our political system stagnates. A good judge is an oxymoron when the job description entails sentencing young people to a dungeon system which provides no hope, no education, no opportunity. We need healing centers and schools, not cages.

With a nod to Caltrans honcho Michael Dougherty and the Caltrans decision makers, I wonder if you are proud of yourselves for the preliminary draining of the ancient Little Lake Valley marsh, traditional land of the Pomo native residents in the worst drought in recorded California history. Every year the bird watchers of Peregrin Audubon Society report fewer and fewer migratory birds. Habitat destruction and climate change are the chief reasons. Are you proud of having destroyed the black oak and Oregon ash woodlands of the Pacific flyway, a stopover for yellow warblers and other threatened songbirds on their flights to and from Central Amerika?

Perhaps we need a new definition of criminality.

Sincerely, Dorotheya M Dorman, Redwood Valley

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EVENT OF THE HEART — According to Wikipedia, Love is said to be a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection – “the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.” The theme for this year’s Event of the Heart is Celebrate Love. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this year’s Event of the Heart is on Saturday February 8th. What better way to express your love for your fellow human being than by attending the 27th anniversary of MCAVHN’s Event of the Heart at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center.

Event of the Heart raises funds for Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network. Funds raised are put back into the community by providing services for those living with, affected by, or at risk of AIDS or Viral Hepatitis by reducing harmful practices and promoting healthy lifestyles.

This year’s Event of the Heart begins at 5:30 p.m. with an elegant reception with gourmet hors d’oeuvres featuring Roederer Estate sparkling wines followed by a sumptuous dinner prepared by North State Cafe paired with Jaxon Keys and Frey Vineyards wine, and concluding with delicious desserts and coffee. The live and silent auctions will feature desirable items sure to tempt. The evening will also feature live music and dancing from Double Standyrd.

The festivities are made possible by the generous contributions made by Ukiah Valley Medical Center, Daniel Schott, Mariposa Market, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, Coyote Valley Casino, and Doug Louis.

For more information about Event of the Heart, and services provided by MCAVHN, call 707-462-1932. You can also “Like” them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MCAVHN or visit their website at www.mcavhn.org. Tickets are available at MCAVHN located at 148 Clara Ave. or the Mendocino Book Company. No tickets are available for purchase at the door. If you would like to donate to the auction, please call Judy at 707-462-1932.

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THERE ARE GOING TO BE A LOT OF RULES at the Sochi Olympics, as Russia and world athletes strive for tight security, but some of the strictest and strangest may come inside the bathroom. Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant tweeted a photo this past weekend of a sign hanging inside the bathroom in the Sochi games. No fishing in the toilets. [No spraying, no squatting, no puking either. And if you look closely, no shooting heroin, according to panel #6. – AVA] That’s a good one to remember in loos around the world, Olympics fans. — Colleen Curry, ABC News

SoschiBathroom=============================

CALTRANS DENIED

Greetings …

Some very good news for all who have supported the effort to protect the old growth redwoods of Richardson Grove State Park. As you may remember, after the years-long struggle to even get CALTRANS to write an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the resulting EIR was so inadequate and pock-marked with errors that it could not be allowed to stand unchallenged. The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATS), local individuals and dedicated pro-bono attorneys took it upon themselves to challenge the mighty bureaucratic monolith that is CALTRANS in two separate Court actions – one lawsuit in Federal Court for violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and one action in State Court for violations of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA.)  The Federal Court action resulted in the injunction that has halted the project to date. The State Court action was heard in Humboldt County Superior Court and ruled that CALTRANS had followed the requirements of CEQA, upholding the EIR. The plaintiffs (the opponents of the project) disagreed and appealed the verdict to the California Court of Appeals. The appeal was heard in January in San Francisco (January 15, 2014). We felt it had gone well. Yesterday a decision was handed down by the three-judge panel. The panel ruled unanimously that: “The EIR fails to comply with CEQA insofar as it fails to evaluate the significance of the project’s impacts on the root systems of old growth redwood trees adjacent to the roadway.”   The Appeals Court reversed the judgement of the Trial Court and decertified the EIR pending modification by CALTRANS of those portions of the EIR discussing impacts on old growth redwood trees and proposed mitigation measures in compliance with CEQA.  What does this all actually mean? Is the fight over? Can we relax? Unfortunately no. With all the resources of the State behind it and with all of your taxpayer dollars paying the way, this outfit will not mend its ways. Like the terminator, we expect that “they will be back” with another attempt to push this project through so stay tuned.  Meanwhile, as a result of Governor Brown’s call to reorganize the State government, a new State Super Agency has been created called CalSTA which takes all the scattered State agencies dealing with transportation under its umbrella. In conjunction with this effort, a study of CALTRANS was undertaken by a think-tank in Wisconsin called the State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) to provide an assessment of the performance of CALTRANS and recommendations for improvement. The study was just published yesterday, 01-30-2014 and can be found at:  http://www.calsta.ca.gov/res/docs/pdfs/2013/SSTI_Independent%20Caltrans%20Review%201.28.14.pdf   It should make for interesting reading!  Finally, thanks to all who have supported the effort to protect the ancient old growth redwoods of Richardson Grove State Park. The battle is not over and your continued support is VITAL. Financial support is needed to continue these efforts. Please consider sending whatever funds you can spare to EPIC (a tax-deductible contribution.) You can reach their website at:  http://wildcalifornia.org  In addition, if you are able, please also consider a contribution (tax-deductible) to the Center for Biological Diversity at:  http://biodiversity.org  Feel free to send any comments or questions to me at bkenn202@att.net.

Regards, Barbara Kennedy, Humboldt County

One Response to Mendocino County Today: February 5, 2014

  1. Harvey Reading Reply

    February 5, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I had a feeling when the issue first came to light a few years back and obummer delayed it, that the scumball would eventually sell out on the XL pipeline. What a con artist he is, and yet democraps still love him, and they love his former secretary of state, the war criminal, billary. There was an article a while back, on Counterpunch, that postulated that the real goal of the ‘craps was to displace the rethugs as the representatives of wealth. How prescient.

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