Mendocino County Today: Friday, February 7, 2014

by AVA News Service, February 7, 2014


 

TWO MISDEMEANOR COUNTS were filed Tuesday, February 4th in Sacramento County Superior Court against former Mendocino County prosecutor Damon Gardner alleging violations of Penal Code 25850 A (Carrying a loaded firearm in public), and Penal Code 25400 A (2) (carrying a concealed weapon). Case No. 14M00210. Arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 26 in the downtown Sacramento courthouse at 720 Ninth St.

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Mendocino County Prosecutor Arrested In October Shooting In Sacramento

By Cathy Locke

Feb 4, 2014. Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully announced today that a Mendocino County prosecutor who shot a pedestrian during a fight in Sacramento in October has been arrested on misdemeanor counts of carrying a loaded firearm in public and carrying a concealed weapon.

Damon Gardner, 39, was on leave with the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office at the time of the incident, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release.

About 12:24 a.m. Oct. 17, Gardner got in an argument with a pedestrian near 15th and L streets. The argument escalated into a physical fight, during which Gardner punched the pedestrian in the face with a closed fist, officials said.

The pedestrian and a friend retaliated, forcing Gardner to the ground in a fetal position. A witness reported seeing the pedestrian get on top of Gardner and punch him in the midsection, while his friend repeatedly kicked Gardner’s head like it was a “soccer ball,” according the news release.

Gardner retrieved his .38 caliber handgun from his back pocket while lying on the ground and fired one shot at the pedestrian in self-defense, officials said.

The pedestrian suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Gardner suffered a fractured nose, as well as bruises to his eyes, head and ribs.

Gardner allegedly had consumed alcoholic beverages at local restaurants and bars beginning at 5:30 p.m. and was under the influence when the fight occurred. Those acts, according to the DA’s office, violated the terms and conditions of Gardner’s permit to carry a concealed weapon, which was issued from Mendocino County in November 2012.

Each count carries a possible penalty of up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

(Courtesy, the Sacramento Bee)

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GIVEN THE FACTS as they are so far known, Gardner was entirely justified in shooting the yob. The yobs, plural, started it by verbally accosting Gardner’s female companion, who just happened to be a co-worker in the Mendo DA’s office, which is not relevant here. Two oafs casually insulting a young woman? Gardner objected, and soon he was on the ground with one of the yobbos kicking him in the head. A single well-placed kick can be fatal. Gardner’s probably lucky he had a gun. And note that the episode has been filed as a misdemeanor, confirmation that Gardner acted in self-defense. The guy should be up for a gallantry award.


 

AN INCH OF RAIN for Mendo today with lots more to come through Sunday. Not enough, of course, to spare us a fire-torrid summer, but good for all of us on aquifers and springs through the first hot days of late April and May.

WE ASKED a water guy about Ukiah’s supply, specifically the well at the old Masonite plant long rumored to be an abundant source, and we asked about the true state of Ukiah’s aquifer: Here’s what he said:

1. Proponents of Masonite well #6 say it is percolated groundwater (unconnected to the flow of the Russian River) and thus not subject to regulation. Others say it is underflow to the Russian, and thus subject to regulation. And if the latter is true it is arguable that the water right has been forfeited due to lack of beneficial use for more than five years. Assuming it is available for pumping, the water would still need to be treated. Five years ago Millview was in negotiations with DDR [the big corporate mall developer] and Masonite. Masonite would sell the water right to Millview which would then supply water to DDR and the lands retained by Masonite. Not sure if Millview is still trying to get the well #6 water. They are still chasing the Waldteufel (Woods) water right which they say is 1,100 acre-feet per year and which the water board says is 15 acre-feet per year.

2. Search the Ukiah Urban Water Management Plan and there is a reference to a state determination from the 50s that the first 100 feet of the aquifer contains 90,000 acre-feet of water with an additional 45,000 acre-feet going down to 200 feet and to the fringes of the valley. The previous determination has been re-validated based on an on-going study of well logs. The aquifer recharges every year. Will it with no rain? And for a number of its wells, Ukiah is in the same debate of percolated groundwater v. underflow. But there is, or at least always has, been water to pump. And Ukiah has a 20cfs water right and currently uses about 7cfs.

THE MENDOCINO CITY COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT BOARD of directors will hold a town meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, at the Community Center of Mendocino to discuss the water shortage crisis in Mendocino. Mike Maley, principal hydrologist for Kennedy/Jenks Engineering, will present information about the current drought situation. He will talk about the groundwater model for MCCSD and groundwater availability. Maley developed the groundwater model and the water shortage contingency plan for Mendocino. The MCCSD board will consider and vote on declaring a Stage 4 water shortage condition. The requirements of a Stage 4 will be discussed. For information contact the Mendocino City Community Services District office at 937-5790.

JOHN SAKOWICZ WRITES:

“All About Money” returns on Friday, February 7, at 9am, with a special edition show we’re calling “Water, Drought, and Water Politics.”

In-studio guests will include: Sean White, General Manager of the Russian River Flood Control District; Richard Shoemaker, member of the Board of Directors at the Russian River Flood Control District and former member of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors; and Mark Scaramella, at The Anderson Valley Advertiser, who has written knowledgeably about water issues for many years.

We are hoping Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will also call into the show.

The drought here in Mendocino County is now being covered by state-wide media.

See: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/9800762-water-released-from-mendocino-lake-despite-dry-conditions/

Our show’s broadcast is heard at 88.1, 90.7, 91.5 FM in the Counties of Mendocino, Humboldt, Lake, and Sonoma in northern California.

We also stream live from the web at www.kzyx.org


 

FRACKING IS DEPLETING WATER SUPPLIES IN AMERICA’S DRIEST AREAS, REPORT SHOWS

America’s oil and gas rush is depleting water supplies in the driest and most drought-prone areas of the country, from Texas to California, new research has found.

Of the nearly 40,000 oil and gas wells drilled since 2011, three-quarters were located in areas where water is scarce, and 55% were in areas experiencing drought, the report by the Ceres investor network found.

Fracking those wells used 97bn gallons of water, raising new concerns about unforeseen costs of America’s energy rush.

“Hydraulic fracturing is increasing competitive pressures for water in some of the country’s most water-stressed and drought-ridden regions,” said Mindy Lubber, president of the Ceres green investors’ network.

Without new tougher regulations on water use, she warned industry could be on a “collision course” with other water users.

“It’s a wake-up call,” said Prof James Famiglietti, a hydrologist at the University of California, Irvine. “We understand as a country that we need more energy but it is time to have a conversation about what impacts there are, and do our best to try to minimise any damage.”

It can take millions of gallons of fresh water to frack a single well, and much of the drilling is tightly concentrated in areas where water is in chronically short supply, or where there have been multi-year droughts.

Half of the 97bn gallons of water was used to frack wells in Texas, which has experienced severe drought for years – and where production is expected to double over the next five years. Shortage of water and fracking in Texas Large hoses run from hydraulic fracturing drill sites in Midland, Texas. Fracking uses huge amounts water to free oil and natural gas trapped deep in underground rocks. With fresh water not as plentiful, companies have been looking for ways to recycle their waste. Photograph: Pat Sullivan/AP Farming and cities are still the biggest users of water, the report found. But it warned the added demand for fracking in the Eagle Ford, at the heart of the Texas oil and gas rush, was hitting small, rural communities hard.

“Shale producers are having significant impacts at the county level, especially in smaller rural counties with limited water infrastructure capacity,” the report said. “With water use requirements for shale producers in the Eagle Ford already high and expected to double in the coming 10 years, these rural counties can expect severe water stress challenges in the years ahead.”

Local aquifer levels in the Eagle Ford formation have dropped by up to 300ft over the last few years.

A number of small communities in Texas oil and gas country have already run out of water or are in danger of running out of water in days, pushed to the brink by a combination of drought and high demand for water for fracking.

Twenty-nine communities across Texas could run out of water in 90 days, according to the Texas commission on environmental quality. Many reservoirs in west Texas are at only 25% capacity.

Nearly all of the wells in Colorado (97%) were located in areas where most of the ground and surface water is already stretched between farming and cities, the report said. It said water demand for fracking in the state was expected to double to 6bn gallons by 2015 – or about twice as much as the entire city of Boulder uses in a year.

In California, where a drought emergency was declared last month, 96% of new oil and gas wells were located in areas where there was already fierce competition for water.

The pattern holds for other regions caught up in the oil and gas rush. Most of the wells in New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming were also located in areas of high water stress, the report said. Shale gas and water use in the US Source: Ceres Some oil and gas producers were beginning to recycle water, especially in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, the report said. But it said those savings were too little to offset the huge demand for water for fracking in the coming years.

(Courtesy, the London Guardian)


 

COMMISSION CLOSES FISHING IN AMERICAN, RUSSIAN RIVERS DUE TO LOW FLOWS

by Dan Bacher

The California Fish and Game Commission on February 5 voted to close fishing on the American and Russian rivers and a number of coastal streams in order to protect steelhead and salmon threatened by low flow conditions caused by the record drought and the poor management of upstream reservoirs.

The Commission at its meeting in Sacramento unanimously adopted the following emergency regulations as recommended by the Department of Fish and Wildlife last week:

• Closure of the American River from Nimbus Dam to the SMUD power line crossing at the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park until April 30.

• Closure of the Russian River main stem below the confluence of the East Branch of the Russian River until April 30.

• Extension of the low flow restrictions angling closures for the north coast and central coast areas (above San Francisco Bay) until April 30.

• Close all portions of any coastal stream west of any Highway 1 bridge in the South Coast District (iSan Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties) until April 30.

“We can’t make it rain, but we can take action to relieve our beleaguered salmon and steelhead populations from any additional stress,” said Commission President Michael Sutton. “I’m proud that the fishing community supports this action as essential for the conservation of our precious fishery resources.”

All of the representatives of the fishery conservation organizations who spoke at the meeting supported the closures. However, Lowell Ashbaugh, conservation vice president of the Northern California Council of the Federation of Flyfishers (NCFFF), also recommended instituting a low flow closure whenever the American River goes below 800 cfs, as well as extending the closure line on the American River from Ancil Hoffman Park to Gristmilll.

“You can be assured you have the backing of flyfishers in this state,” Ashbaugh told the Commission before the vote. “I hate to request a closure, because I’d rather be out there on the river fishing. But protecting of fish is most important. If we don’t have the fish, we don’t have the fishing.” (http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/05/6130927/emergency-fishing-closure-approved.html)

Stafford Lehr, CDFW Fisheries Branch Chief of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, explained the dire situation the steelhead, salmon and other fish are currently in.

“For example, the snowpack in the American River watershed is only 12 percent of normal and Folsom Lake is only 17 percent of capacity,” said Lehr. “We are trying to maximize the protection of as many wild fish in the American as other rivers as possible. We are implementing the emergency closures on some waters to reduce mortality caused by angling.”

Lerh added, “This is about keeping as many adult spawning salmon and steelhead in the rivers as possible. We are fully aware of the impacts these closures will have on anglers and related businesses. However, anglers have overwhelmingly supported the decision to close fisheries because they are the original conservationists. They understand the severity of this drought.”

Zeke Grader, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), emphasized that the Department should be proactive in taking measures to protect salmon and steelhead, including looking at trucking hatchery fish and trapping and rescuing natural spawners on the rivers and tributaries. The measures were outlined in a recent letter to the Secretaries of Interior, Commerce and California’s Natural Resource Agency by PCFFA, the Golden Gate Salmon Association, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Golden Gate Fishermen’s Association and Coastside Fishing Club.

The groups asked the Secretaries to convene a joint emergency meeting to save Central Valley Chinook salmon from the drought. All four of the Central Valley salmon runs – winter-run, spring-run, fall-run, and late fall-run – are in immediate peril because of the drought and poor water management by the state and federal governments (http://calsport.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Fish-Drought-Action-Plan-27Jan2014.pdf)

Tyrone Gorre of the Sierra Salmon Alliance, the first one to propose the emergency closure on the American this January, discussed how passage of salmon above the Central Valley dams must be provided under FERC processes in order for the fish to be restored. He urged the Commission and Department to work closely with Indian Tribes, the “strongest voices for the salmon,” to rebuild salmon populations.

The regulatory actions approved by the Commission will become effective upon approval by the state Office of Administrative Law (OAL). At the earliest, these emergency regulations will become effective in mid to late February.

In my testimony before the Commission, I said I supported the emergency closure on the American and other rivers while pointing out that bad water management contributed to the current problems on the American and other Central Valley rivers.

The Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Water Resources systematically drained northern California reservoirs, resulting in low flows and endangering salmon and steelhead in the Sacramento, Feather and American rivers while filling water banks and Southern California reservoirs.

Last summer, high water releases down the Sacramento, Feather and American left Shasta, Oroville and Folsom reservoirs at dangerously low levels. Shasta is at 36 percent of capacity and 54 percent of average; Oroville, 36 percent of capacity and 54 percent of average; and Folsom, 17 percent of capacity and 34 percent of average.

Yet Pyramid Lake in Southern California is at 98 percent of capacity and 105 percent of average; and Castaic Reservoir, 86 percent of capacity and 105 percent of average.

The state and federal water agencies exported massive quantities of water to corporate agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies, endangering local water supplies and fish populations as the ecosystem continues to collapse.

Coastal and North Coast Streams Closed to Fishing

Below are the specifics on the coastal stream closures from the CDFW news release:

Last week, CDFW closed some waters to fishing in order to protect native salmon and steelhead from low water flows in California streams and rivers that have been significantly impacted by drought.

CDFW has the authority under Title 14, Article 4, Section 8.00(c) to close south central coast streams to fishing from December 1 through March 7 when it determines that stream flows are inadequate to provide fish passage for migrating steelhead trout and salmon.

As a result, the following waters are closed to angling until March 7 or until stream flows are sufficient to allow fish passage for returning adult steelhead and salmon (to determine whether or not these waters are open to fishing, please call the south central coast closure hotline at (831) 649-2886):

Pescadero Creek and all anadromous reaches of San Mateo County coastal streams normally open for fishing, from Elliot Creek through Milagro Creek.

The San Lorenzo River and all its tributaries, as well as all anadromous reaches of coastal streams normally open for fishing in Santa Cruz County from the San Lorenzo River on North through Waddell Creek.

Aptos and Soquel Creeks (Santa Cruz County).

The Pajaro River and Uvas, Llagas and Corralitos Creeks (Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Clara counties).

The Carmel River and those sections of San Jose, Gibson, Malpaso and Soberanes creeks west of Highway 1.

The Big Sur River and those Big Sur area streams from Granite Creek to Salmon Creek west of Highway 1.

The main stem of the Salinas River below its confluence with the Arroyo Seco River and the Arroyo Seco River (Monterey County).

In addition, CDFW has the authority under Title 14, Article 4, Section 8.00(a) to close north coast streams to fishing when it determines that the flow at any of the designated gauging stations is less than minimum flows stated in regulation through January 31. Today, the Commission decided to extend the end date of that authority to April 30.

As a result, the following north coast streams will be subject to angling closures until April 30 upon OAL approval (to determine whether or not these waters are open to fishing, please call the north coast closure hotline at (707) 822-3164):

The main stem Eel River from the paved junction of Fulmor Road with the Eel River to the South Fork Eel River.

The South Fork of the Eel River downstream from Rattlesnake Creek and the Middle Fork Eel River downstream from the Bar Creek.

The main stem Van Duzen River from its junction with the Eel River to the end of Golden Gate Drive near Bridgeville.

The main stem Mad River from the Hammond Trail Railroad Trestle to Cowan Creek.

The main stem of the Mattole River from the mouth to Honeydew Creek.

The main stem of Redwood Creek from the mouth to its confluence with Bond Creek.

The main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to the mouth of Patrick Creek (tributary of the Middle Fork Smith River); the South Fork Smith River from the mouth upstream approximately 1,000 feet to the County Road (George Tyron) bridge and Craig’s Creek to its confluence with Jones Creek; and the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to its confluence with Stony Creek.

Under Title 14, Article 4, Section 8.00(b) the following central coast streams, which are currently subject to angling closures through April 1, upon approval by OAL will now be subject to angling closures until April 30 (to determine whether or not these waters are open to fishing, please call the central coast closure hotline at (707) 944-5533):

Sonoma Creek (Sonoma County), and all streams tributary to the Pacific Ocean (and its bay) in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, except the Russian River.

Napa River (Napa County) between Trancas Avenue in Napa and Oakville Cross Bridge near Yountville.

These closures affect recreational fishing only as there are no commercial fisheries in California’s inland rivers. This is the first time the Department and Commission have taken this type of emergency action due to drought.

The closures listed above represent only about five percent of the fishable rivers in the state. There are still plenty of opportunities for California anglers to catch fish in the state’s rivers and streams. Additionally, California’s coast offers substantial ocean fishing. Both are subject to current regulations already in place. For more on fishing in California, please visit http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/.

Current low stream flow conditions will prevent the movement of migrating anadromous fish. Stream flows in many systems are inadequate to allow passage of spawning adults, increasing their vulnerability to mortality from predation, physiological stress and angling. Furthermore, survival of eggs and juvenile fish in these systems over the coming months is likely to be extremely low if the current drought conditions continue. These angling closures on selected streams will increase survival of adult wild steelhead and salmon.


 

CANADA WON’T SHIP ITS WATER

SF Chronicle, November 6, 1987 — The conservative government categorically rejected yesterday large-scale water diversions to the United States, saying the project would devastate the environment and society. Environment Minister Tom McMillan, who presented the government’s water policy to Parliament, told reporters Canada was no longer a water-rich nation and cannot afford to divert massive quantities of water to parched regions of the United States. However, McMillan said he would allow small-scale shipments of water by tanker to the United States and other parts of the world. Specifically, the government will use its constitutional authority to quash two major schemes to divert water to the United States. The best known of these, the $100 billion Grand Canal scheme first proposed in 1959, would send water from James Bay in northern Canada through the Great Lakes and as far away as Mexico. The other, developed by the Los Angeles engineering firm of Ralph M. Parsons, envisioned flooding the Rocky Mountain Trench with water from arctic rivers and diverting it east across the prairie provinces and south into the Midwest and Mexico.


 

UKIAH POST OFFICE workers, reinforced by San Francisco postal union members, picketed the Ukiah Staples yesterday to protest a deal the US Postal Service has made with Staples to establish post offices inside Staple stores. The Staples post offices would be staffed by Staples employees who are not unionized, paid much less the union postal people, and the deal would probably mean poor customer service and, perhaps, less mail security.


 

KZYX FCC LICENSE UNDER FIRE.

Editor,

KZYX is in big trouble. At least 3 complaints to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) that I know of have been filed challenging renewal of the stations’s license. Being only a long-time listener myself, all I know is that the station has gone downhill. The last time I was in the studio was many years ago when I volunteered to take phone calls during pledge drive. The only membership or board meeting I ever attended was at the Saturday Afternoon Club after Christina Aanestad was abruptly fired, the station was near bankruptcy, and we had just concluded a supposedly successful pledge drive.(?) That disconnect was the official beginning of my discontent.

Since then, things have only gotten worse. The full news hour has been cut to 4 minutes, now up to 10 including weather. There is no call-in show for the public. Previous local programming has been replaced by pre-recorded non-local shows. Two programmers don’t even live here anymore yet continue their shows. Certain topics are off-limits.

The board meets infrequently, has no power, and does not communicate with the listeners. KZYX is a closed shop. It is for all of the above that I am running for the 3rd District board seat, hoping to be part of a majority that will work for change, and light. There are many of us  who feel this way and I want to represent them.

I almost didn’t renew my membership because I was so disgusted by the station’s fall from grace. For years I depended on KZYX news to inform me, from Point Arena to Whale Gulch. Annie Esposito went out of her way to solicit news from all over this huge county. The station allowed open debate on hot local topics. That’s why, I believe, we were able to pass Measure H, banning GMOs in agriculture. The public was informed and resisted Monsanto’s money that poured in to deceive us.

I want the old KZYX back, the station I knew and loved, despite its faults. The station that let Judi Bari have a weekly hour long show. Can you imagine that happening now? How about a fun, playful version of KMUD:s Thank Jah It’s Friday? The only show close to it was Click and Clack, one of my favorites, which got canned.

For the record, I am not opposed to NPR, since it supposedly has a large following (how do we know that?). It’s not my preference but I believe in diversity. It’s that I’m for more local programming, debate, diversity, and transparency.

I now get my Mendocino news from KMUD’s expanded newshour since I can’t get it on KZYX. It’s even reported by former KZYX news staff! I’ve heard Christina Aanastad, Dave Brooksher, and Annie Esposito reporting on KMUD, all of whom have been replaced on KZYX. I think the press should reprint all 3 formal complaints to the FCC as a first step. ‘Something is rotten in Denmark, so to speak. Let’s clean it up.

Patricia Kovner, Laytonville


 

WINEMAKING PIONEER JOHN PARDUCCI DEAD AT 96

JohnParducciWinemaker and industry pioneer John Angelo Parducci died at his home in Ukiah Tuesday at 96.

Honored numerous times over his lifetime for his role in shaping the wine industry not only in Mendocino County but in California, Parducci will be remembered for his determination to produce a quality wine at an affordable price.

Born on January 22, 1918 in Preston, Calif. (just north of Cloverdale), in the same house his mother Isabelle Katherine Lucchetti was born, the family moved to the Ukiah Valley in the 1920s. Once in Ukiah, Parducci and his three brothers helped their father construct Parducci Wine Cellars in 1932. After graduating from Ukiah High School in 1936, Parducci attended Santa Rosa Junior College. In March 1937 he married the love of his life, Margarett Louise Romer.

Parducci returned to work at the family’s winery and took over winemaking in 1940. He strove to improve the quality of wine while making it accessible and affordable. Affectionately labeled Mr. Mendocino, he championed this winemaking region nationally for more than half a century. He stayed active in winemaking for 70 years, most recently with his grandson Rich, at McNab Ridge Winery.

“He was a man of many things like all great characters are,” remembered long time friend Mike Geniella who met Parducci when Geniella was a newspaper reporter. “He was a contrarian and crusty and he could be the kindest, sweetest, loving man.”

Geniella says his favorite of Parducci’s stories was one the winemaker told about being at an event in a Dallas hotel back in the days when white zinfandel – the pink wine – was a huge trend. Geniella says Parducci told him he was asked to speak before a large crowd in the hotel ballroom where many Dallas socialites “were swilling pink zinfandel’ as John put it,” and “he launched into this tirade about this trendy wine he called soda pop. The room went silent, because the whole room was drinking it. The marketing people were waving their hands and going nuts.” As Parducci continued his story, according to Geniella “He looked sheepish, and he said, Well, I was just telling them what I thought.'”

Geniella points out that Parducci’s pioneering efforts include being the first Mendocino County winemaker to put a varietal on the label.

“That was huge,” Geniella said. “We were just bulk wine producers before that.”

Parducci was well-known for his determination to produce a wine people could drink with meals everyday.

“The 50 dollar bottle of wine just blew his mind,” Geniella said.

Parducci was a “colorful character,” Geniella said, and “I was honored and entertained to be in his company.

Geniella says he thinks Parducci’s legacy will be his “feeling that most people want a good wine everyday like in the old world, a glass of wine with your meal. He used talk to me all the time about that.”

Another friend, whose family was close to the Parduccis is 1st District Supervisor Carre Brown.

“What I remember is he was very passionate about the wine industry, the reputation for Mendocino County and the industry itself. He was the Godfather’ of winemaking in Mendocino County,” Brown said.

She recalls that when she became executive director of the Mendocino County Farm Bureau years back, Parducci called her at harvest season and said she needed to “come out and see this harvest. So I went out and learned.”

Brown believes the Parducci legacy is not only in his family, who are carrying on the winemaking tradition, but also “his passion, how he promoted the wine industry.”

Parducci was honored numerous times with awards by his industry associates for contributions to the wine industry; named winemaker of the year many times, received lifetime achievement awards and most recently was inducted into the Vintner’s Hall of Fame.

Here in Ukiah, he was president of the Ukiah Rotary Club, past president of Pomo Shrine Club and was awarded Mendocino County Agricultural Man of the Year. He and his wife, Margarett, were also ardent supporters of the Grace Hudson Museum.

He is survived by his wife Margarett of 76 years, son William, brother Dolph, six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. His father Adolph, mother Isabelle, son Richard, brothers George and Vernon precede him in death.

The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10 at Eversole Mortuary, 141 Low Gap Road, Ukiah. Memorial donations can be made in John’s name to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2425 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, Calif. 95817.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)


 

POLICE CALLS as of Thursday morning

Man Sleeping — Caller in the 100 block of Freitas Street reported at 7:11 p.m. Saturday that a man was sleeping near the front door. An officer responded and the man left upon request.

Burglary To Car — Caller at Pomolita Middle School reported at 7:56 p.m. Saturday that a car in the parking lot had been burglarized. An officer took a report.

Possession Of Stolen Property — An officer contacted a suspicious man at the corner of South State and Church streets at 4:16 a.m. Sunday and arrested Mark J. Brandt, 47, of Ukiah, on suspicion of possessing stolen property, possessing a knife and violating his probation.

Bikes Stolen — Caller in the 100 block of Norton Street reported at 9:58 a.m. Sunday that bicycles were stolen overnight. An officer responded and took a report.

Tools Stolen — Caller at the Super 8 on South Orchard Avenue reported at 10:41 a.m. Sunday that tools had been stolen from a vehicle. An officer responded and took a report.

Drunk In Store — Caller in the 500 block of East Perkins Street reported at 11:49 a.m. Sunday that a drunk man was inside the store. An officer responded and arrested the 45-year-old man for being drunk in public.

Window Broken — Caller in the 500 block of East Perkins Street reported at 11:16 p.m. Sunday that a window had been broken. An officer responded and took a report for burglary.

Broken Window — Caller in the 700 block of North State Street reported at 4:36 a.m. Monday that a window had been broken and someone could be heard inside. An officer responded and took a report for vandalism.

Burglary — Caller in the 100 block of South School Street reported at 9:42 a.m. Sunday that someone broke through the door and may still be inside the business. An officer responded and took a report.

Driver With Flask — Caller in the 300 block of North State Street reported at 11:32 a.m. Sunday that a man driving a dark blue Ford F-150 was drinking out of a flask. The information was provided to officers.

People In Apartment At Night — Caller in the 700 block of Waugh Lane reported at 3:07 p.m. Monday that people were being let into her apartment at night, and they were smoking and sleeping in her bed. An officer responded and found no evidence of a crime.

Skateboarder Stole Beer — Caller at Safeway on South State Street reported at 8:07 p.m. Monday that a young man riding a skateboard had paid for his pizza but not his beer and left. An officer checked the area but he was gone.

Burglary — Caller in the 700 block of Apple Avenue reported a burglary at 9:16 p.m. Monday with suspect information. An officer responded and took a report.

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

Kids Hitting Trees — Caller in the 300 block of North Harrison Street reported at 4:46 p.m. Saturday that kids were hitting the bark off of trees with a bat. An officer checked the area but they were gone.

Out Of Propane — Caller in the 100 block of North Corry Street reported at 2:07 p.m. Sunday that she was out of gas and needed heat. An officer responded and propane was purchased for her.


 

EEL RIVER RECOVERY PROJECT Invites Community to February 16 Meeting in Piercy The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) will hold a public meeting at Krishnayala Retreat Center in Piercy on Sunday, February 16 from 10 AM to 4 PM.The grassroots group works on solutions to Eel River problems, using a network of volunteers and strategic alliances with agencies, Tribes and academic institutions to work collaboratively. ERRP project plans for 2014 will be discussed at the meeting, including a new document being submitted to the Eel River Forum that may become part of their /Eel River Action Plan/.The Forum is a stakeholders group comprised of government agencies, non-profit groups, Tribes, and private companies.ERRP has been participating actively in Forum meetings and on committees, and 2014 representatives will be selected at the meeting.In addition to seeking validation for planned activities, attendees will be offered opportunities to participate in various projects.The meeting is also part of continual ERRP scoping to get new ideas from the community about how we can work together to resolve identified problems. *Photo from January 2012 meeting with citizens sharing ideas and discussing community needs.* The afternoon will include a logical, friendly, and dispassionate discussion of the ethical dilemmas of our time that confront an idealistic but practical grassroots group.Can ERRP have strong support from businesses, including financial support, and not be co-opted in its quest to restore the Eel River ecosystem? From its inception, ERRP has not played an advocacy role because being adversarial prevents building community trust needed to win cooperation.Will the ecological restoration ERRP helps promote be out-paced by more rapid environmental destruction (i.e. Willits By-Pass)?What about an Organic Eel movement?Should we set up Salmon Parks as refugia and for recreation? Planning for Water Day, which will be held on Sunday, April 13 at the Mateel Community Center in Redway, will also be the focus of afternoon discussion.For more information and directions to Krishnayala, see www.eelriverrecovery.org <http://www.eelriverrecovery.org/> or call 223-7200 or the Trees Foundation at 923-4377.


 

COMMENT OF THE DAY

Ivan Macfadyen describes his recent sail from Japan to the West Coast:

“It was the silence that made this voyage different from all of those before it. Not the absence of sound, exactly. The wind still whipped the sails and whistled in the rigging. The waves still sloshed against the fiberglass hull. And there were plenty of other noises: muffled thuds and bumps and scrapes as the boat knocked against pieces of debris. What was missing was the cries of the seabirds which, on all previous similar voyages, had surrounded the boat. The birds were missing because the fish were missing.”

Exactly 10 years before, when Newcastle yachtsman Ivan Macfadyen had sailed exactly the same course from Melbourne to Osaka, all he’d had to do to catch a fish from the ocean between Brisbane and Japan was throw out a baited line.

“There was not one of the 28 days on that portion of the trip when we didn’t catch a good-sized fish to cook up and eat with some rice,” Macfadyen recalled. But this time, on that whole long leg of sea journey, the total catch was two. No fish. No birds. Hardly a sign of life at all.

“In years gone by I’d gotten used to all the birds and their noises,” he said. “They’d be following the boat, sometimes resting on the mast before taking off again. You’d see flocks of them wheeling over the surface of the sea in the distance, feeding on pilchards.”

But in March and April this year, only silence and desolation surrounded his boat, Funnel Web, as it sped across the surface of a haunted ocean. North of the equator, up above New Guinea, the ocean-racers saw a big fishing boat working a reef in the distance.

“All day it was there, trawling back and forth. It was a big ship, like a mother-ship,” he said. And all night it worked too, under bright floodlights. And in the morning Macfadyen was awoken by his crewman calling out, urgently, that the ship had launched a speedboat.

“Obviously I was worried. We were unarmed and pirates are a real worry in those waters. I thought, if these guys had weapons then we were in deep trouble.” But they weren’t pirates, not in the conventional sense, at least. The speedboat came alongside and the Melanesian men aboard offered gifts of fruit and jars of jam and preserves.

“And they gave us five big sugar-bags full of fish,” he said. “They were good, big fish, of all kinds. Some were fresh, but others had obviously been in the sun for a while. “We told them there was no way we could possibly use all those fish. There were just two of us, with no real place to store or keep them. They just shrugged and told us to tip them overboard. That’s what they would have done with them anyway, they said. “They told us that his was just a small fraction of one day’s by-catch. That they were only interested in tuna and to them, everything else was rubbish. It was all killed, all dumped. They just trawled that reef day and night and stripped it of every living thing.”

Macfadyen felt sick to his heart. That was one fishing boat among countless more working unseen beyond the horizon, many of them doing exactly the same thing. No wonder the sea was dead. No wonder his baited lines caught nothing. There was nothing to catch. If that sounds depressing, it only got worse.

The next leg of the long voyage was from Osaka to San Francisco and for most of that trip the desolation was tinged with nauseous horror and a degree of fear. “After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,” Macfadyen said. “We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumor on its head. It was pretty sickening. “I’ve done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I’m used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen.”

In place of the missing life was garbage in astounding volumes. “Part of it was the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan a couple of years ago. The wave came in over the land, picked up an unbelievable load of stuff and carried it out to sea. And it’s still out there, everywhere you look.” Ivan’s brother, Glenn, who boarded at Hawaii for the run into the United States, marvelled at the “thousands on thousands” of yellow plastic buoys. The huge tangles of synthetic rope, fishing lines and nets. Pieces of polystyrene foam by the million. And slicks of oil and petrol, everywhere. Countless hundreds of wooden power poles are out there, snapped off by the killer wave and still trailing their wires in the middle of the sea. “In years gone by, when you were becalmed by lack of wind, you’d just start your engine and motor on,” Ivan said. Not this time. “In a lot of places we couldn’t start our motor for fear of entangling the propeller in the mass of pieces of rope and cable. That’s an unheard of situation, out in the ocean. “If we did decide to motor we couldn’t do it at night, only in the daytime with a lookout on the bow, watching for rubbish. “On the bow, in the waters above Hawaii, you could see right down into the depths. I could see that the debris isn’t just on the surface, it’s all the way down. And it’s all sizes, from a soft-drink bottle to pieces the size of a big car or truck. “We saw a factory chimney sticking out of the water, with some kind of boiler thing still attached below the surface. We saw a big container-type thing, just rolling over and over on the waves. “We were weaving around these pieces of debris. It was like sailing through a garbage dump. “Below decks you were constantly hearing things hitting against the hull, and you were constantly afraid of hitting something really big. As it was, the hull was scratched and dented all over the place from bits and pieces we never saw.” Plastic was ubiquitous. Bottles, bags and every kind of throwaway domestic item you can imagine, from broken chairs to dustpans, toys and utensils.

And something else. The boat’s vivid yellow paint job, never faded by sun or sea in years gone past, reacted with something in the water off Japan, losing its sheen in a strange and unprecedented way.

Back in Newcastle, Ivan Macfadyen is still coming to terms with the shock and horror of the voyage. “The ocean is broken,” he said, shaking his head in stunned disbelief. Recognizing the problem is vast, and that no organizations or governments appear to have a particular interest in doing anything about it, Macfadyen is looking for ideas. He plans to lobby government ministers, hoping they might help. More immediately, he will approach the organizers of Australia’s major ocean races, trying to enlist yachties into an international scheme that uses volunteer yachtsmen to monitor debris and marine life. Macfadyen signed up to this scheme while he was in the US, responding to an approach by US academics who asked yachties to fill in daily survey forms and collect samples for radiation testing — a significant concern in the wake of the tsunami and consequent nuclear power station failure in Japan. “I asked them why don’t we push for a fleet to go and clean up the mess,” he said. “But they said they’d calculated that the environmental damage from burning the fuel to do that job would be worse than just leaving the debris there.”

(by Greg Ray, Newcastle Herald)


 

PETE SEEGER: CHARACTER, PERSONALITY, INTUITION AND FOCUS

The Man Who Planted Many Seeds

by Ralph Nader

PeteSeegerAfter 94 years, on January 27, 2014, the world lost Pete Seeger. The world is the lesser for that loss. The accolades for this giant of folk songs and herald of all causes just, are pouring in from around the world. He is celebrated for regularly showing up at mass protests, for singing songs so transcendent (This Land is Your Land; We Shall Overcome; Where Have All the Flowers Gone) they are sung in many foreign languages all over the earth and for his mentoring and motivating of millions of people and children.

Pete Seeger overcame most of his doubters and adversaries. On his famous five string banjo, he inscribed the slogan, “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.”

No less than the Wall Street Journal, after reprinting an ugly commentary on Seeger’s earlier radicalism, wrote: “troubadour, rabble rouser, thorn in the side of the bloated and complacent, recipient of the National Media of Arts, American idealist and family man, Seeger maintained what Mr. Springsteen called his ‘nasty optimism’ until late in life.”

At a Madison Square Garden songfest for Seeger’s 90th birthday, Springsteen added: “Pete Seeger decided he’d be a walking, singing reminder of all of America’s history. He’d be a living archive of America’s music and conscience.”

I met and spoke to Pete Seeger a few times and can attest to his steady determination and uplifting spirit. All the above are measures of this authentic man and his rare traits of character, personality, intuition, scope and focus.

The man’s character shone when he was subpoenaed before the powerful House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in August 1955, along with other outspoken entertainers and actors, he refused to take the easier way out and invoke the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. Instead, he made himself vulnerable to later prosecution by pleading the First Amendment and his right to free speech, petition and assembly.

After rejecting the Committee’s probe about whom he associated with politically and his beliefs, he suggested that they discuss the music that the committee members found so objectionable. He offered unsuccessfully to sing his songs, then and there, before the startled clenched-jaw politicians.

“I think,” he told them, “these are very improper questions for any American to be asked especially under such compulsion as this.” In those days, that was an astounding act of courageous character.

Pete Seeger appears before HUAC in 1955.

Pete Seeger appears before HUAC in 1955.

He paid the price, when he was prosecuted and convicted before winning his appeal. In those years of “commie symps” witch-hunts by McCarthyite zealots, his career nearly collapsed. Television networks banned him for over a decade; record companies shunned him; concerts dwindled. So what did he do? He continued recording, touring among everyday people around the country, learning music from them and singing on street corners, at union halls, churches, schools and what he called “hobo jungles.”

He quit a popular band he formed – the Weavers – after it did an advertisement for Lucky Strike cigarettes. More recently, according to his producer, Jim Musselman, and record label (Appleseed Recordings – http://appleseedmusic.com/), he turned down an offer by BP of $150,000 to use one of his songs in a commercial, even though he could have given the money to charity.

Complementing this sterling character, Seeger possessed a stunningly functional personality. His resilience in overcoming setbacks, ideological adversaries and smear specialists was legendary. That was because he never let his ego get in the way and wear him down and he recognized the big picture of social change and how he could use his stardom to amplify the people’s efforts for peace, justice, the environment and other necessities of the good life. It helped mightily that he was married to the stalwart Toshi for seventy years.

“The key to the future of the world,” he remarked in 1994, “is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.” In 2009, he said his task was “to show folks there’s a lot of good music in this world, and if used right it may help to save the planet.” He placed his greatest hope in women wisely teaching their children. Three years ago, he won a Grammy for his album, “Tomorrow’s Children.”

His connection with audiences of all kinds, here and abroad, was uncannily attuned to getting them to participate and sing. For Mr. Seeger, it was not about the song or the singer – these were the means – it was about the audience’s own experience.

He disliked the overwhelming sound of rock that blotted out the lyrics. The lyrics, he believed, were what needed to be communicated and therefore had to be heard, sung and understood. That is one reason he avoided electric guitars and other electrified instruments.

In his biography by David Dunaway, titled How Can I Keep From Singing: Pete Seeger, Mr. Seeger spoke about rural traditions. “I liked the strident vocal tone of the singers, the vigorous dancing. The words of the songs had all the meat of life in them. Their humor had a bite, it was not trivial. Their tragedy was real, not sentimental.”

Arlo Guthrie, son of the great Woody Guthrie, a mentor of Seeger’s, played with Pete for nearly fifty years. He spoke to Time Magazine about his magic in getting audiences to “relax and sing along with him. My eyes just opened up and I couldn’t believe what was happening in front of me. He would just wave his hand, and you could hear people singing…Someone who has not [seen him] will find it hard to believe. It was almost as if he had some extra sense that allowed that kind of response. There’s no one else I have ever seen in my life that has had that, on any country, on any continent or in any city. Nobody came close.”

His intuition was augmented by a vast knowledge of American history, astonishing memory and what one reporter called “a vast repertoire of ballads, spirituals and blues songs.”

Seeger’s scope covered just about every social justice cause that arose from the people and some that he helped ignite such as opposing wars and cleaning up rivers. He knew what he was singing about, such as when he focused on his beloved Hudson River. He launched his famous 106-foot sloop, the Clearwater, whose journey with musicians up and down the Hudson unleashed civic and litigation energies that have greatly reduced the pollution of that storied river. Again and again, the Clearwater would take adults and children on these trips so they could appreciate the river, learn, sing, and resolve to combat the polluters, such as General Electric and its dumping of PCBs. The children, recounted Musselman, would go home knowledgeably motivated and urge their parents to act. The work done on the Clearwater is now a model for cleanup efforts in other rivers.

This man, who led sing-alongs and gave benefit concerts for the downtrodden and the defiant, would bring his audience to silence and then joyous singing. Imagine, today’s domineering, ear-splitting, flashing bands jetting their fans into frenzied, uproarious, sweaty reactions with the sounds drowning out the lyrics. That was never Seeger’s vision. Thank goodness he leaves behind hundreds of hours of music that stimulates both the ears and sweetens or alerts the minds.

Musselman related a powerful example of how Pete Seeger communicated at gatherings. He quotes Seeger as saying, “Nelson Mandela went from prison to the presidency of his country without a shot being fired. The Berlin Wall came down without a shot being fired. And did anybody think there would be peace in Northern Ireland? There is always hope when it comes to unlikely social change.”

“Pete planted many seeds all over the world,” Musselman concluded. That is why Pete Seeger lives on.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.)


 

ALBION COMMUNITY AWARENESS NETWORK

Lower Albion River

Little River Navarro Ridge

On Thursday January 23 the Albion/ Little River Fire Protection District Auxiliary sponsored a community meeting at the The Woods in Little River. The ALRFPD faces a number of challenges and there is a desire within the department and the auxiliary to do some outreach and education with the residents of the fire district and to seek feedback about possible solutions. This was the second successful meeting; the first one occurred at the Albion School in November 2013.

Over 60 people attended the meeting. Board Member Chris Skyhawk thanked everyone for coming. Board members Bob Canclini, Sam Levine, Scott Roat, and Richard Riley were introduced. The need for community participation was emphasized and it was hoped that attendees would leave the meeting with a greater knowledge of what their volunteers do as well as the challenges facing the district.

As if to emphasize the importance of the Department, several firefighters had to leave the meeting to respond to a medical call within The Woods.

ALRFPD Fire Chief Ted Williams gave a fascinating Power Point presentation that was informative and entertaining. Through mostly still photos as well as a few video clips, residents were treated to a variety of real-life scenarios that their department deals with. Training sessions, fires, vehicular accidents, cliff rescues, water rescues and medical emergencies were all featured. Chief Williams also presented graphs that showed the financial difficulties the department faces. Attendees were quite engaged with the presentation, and Chief Williams made it very fascinating.

Among the many things attendees learned:

-Volunteers typically receive 200-300 hours of training per year

-it costs around $7000 to properly outfit a volunteer

-our trucks are ageing and need to be replaced

-our current fire stations are not large enough to accommodate modern trucks

– maintaining 5 stations assures everyone in the district can comply with insurance and mortgage company requirements

-water supply is limited and in the event of major structure fires we are often dependent on Mendocino or Calfire to assist

-the Department needs to map more water sources (i.e. ponds, large tanks, etc.)

-personnel sometimes have a hard time finding addresses due to inadequate, unclear, or absent posting by residents

-many of the over 200 or so annual calls are medical in nature and the many of these are from The Woods in Little River where nurses are on site but not allowed to treat in cases of emergency

-the current parcel tax is insufficient for the department to be able to acquire modern equipment. Range and timber land is exempt, and many parcels have unpermitted structures that the department is sworn to protect, yet it receives no financial contribution from said structures.

Several Firefighters participated in the discussion, adding a very personal dimension to Chief Williams’s presentation. Also present were volunteer personnel for Mendocino and Elk. Rich Jung of the Mendocino Department spoke eloquently about the cooperation between the departments. Many in the audience asked very astute and helpful questions.

Several people rose to share personal experiences with being helped by the Department. One man who had fallen off a roof 2 months ago spoke of the care he received and how impressed he was about how quickly he was in Santa Rosa getting the attention he needed. It was clear that he was not only speaking about the medical care, but the emotional safety he experienced in a tragic moment. Dave Thorpe, former Firefighter who rune the LR Airport, rose to applaud the department, saying that it was moving in a healthy direction.

It is our long-range vision for ALRFPD to have each area of its district (Navarro Ridge, Albion Ridge, and Navarro Ridge) properly fitted with adequate equipment and water. We also want to be able to train our volunteers further in medical procedures, thus increasing the safety of all in the community. This process will take years, but working together we can and will move forward.

Through sustained outreach we will continue to engage the citizens of our district; after all, it is your Fire Department. We ask that you watch for meetings in the future and consider attending. We are also having regular Taco Stands and Recycling opportunities to benefit the District. The ALRFPD Auxiliary meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7PM at the Fire Station behind the Albion Grocery, and the Board meets at the same location and time on the second Wednesday of each month.

And if you see a Firefighter, thank them.

Chris Skyhawk, Albion

 

2 Responses to Mendocino County Today: Friday, February 7, 2014

  1. Jim Updegraff Reply

    February 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Bruce:

    in regard to Damon Gardner as I previously commented the police and the DA would not bury the incident even though Gardner was an ass’t DA in Mendo County. The Sacto DA’s office I think because of budget cuts and an overload of murder cases gives a low priority to cases like Gardner but they do get to them. Gardner if he is smart will plea out and do some community service.

    Best,

    ps. The 2/5 issue of AVA arrived today – can only hope the good service will continue.

  2. Harvey Reading Reply

    February 7, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Good luck with holding on to your water, Canada. You folks apparently don’t know what a bunch of total assholes we ecksepshunals really are. If push comes to shove on water here, it won’t be long before the nutty, self-entitled folks here will consider going to war with you for your water as just another way of expressing our ideals of freedom and democracy.

    And those who disagree will be lynched, just as we lynched people who opposed the first half of the world war of the twentieth century … with newspapers justifying the actions of those doing the lynching.

    Keep in mind, too, that the rulers here have had a notion of annexing Canada since the U.S. came into existence. Nevertheless, good luck. Hopefully you’ve got a secret weapon that will put us out of our misery …

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