Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016
by AVA News Service, March 16, 2016
PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS (Preliminary percentages):
D: Clinton 65, Sanders 43.
R: Trump 46, Rubio 27, Cruz 17, Kasich 7.
D: Clinton 50, Sanders 50.
R: Trump 41, Cruz 41, Kasich 10, Rubio 6.
D: Clinton 57, Sanders 43.
R: Kasich 47, Trump 36, Cruz 13, Rubio 2.
D: Clinton 50, Sanders 49.
R: Trump 40, Cruz 31, Kasich 20, Rubio 8.
D: Clinton 55, Sanders 41.
R: Trump 40, Cruz 37, Kasich 13, Rubio 8.
LAURA’S LAW IN MENDO: A $160K FLOP
In November of 2014 the Board of Supervisors allocated $160k to a Laura’s Law pilot program for up to four mentally ill people who might meet the criteria. The establishment of the program was accompanied by a good bit of hoopla and cheering from advocates of the mentally ill who saw it as a possible way to avoid another Aaron Bassler style fatal situation (even though most of the people familiar with the Bassler case didn’t think Bassler would have qualified). The Laura’s Law advocates had been working for about three years in the wake of Bassler’s 2011 murder of coast enviro Matthew Coleman and Fort Bragg City Councilman Jere Melo to convince the Board of Supervisors to be only the second county in the State of California to enact it.
But this month, some 16 months later, according to a recent Ukiah Daily Journal article, only one (unidentified) person has even applied to be treated under Laura’s Law — known as a “referral.”
To be “referred” — aka considered as a candidate for Laura’s Law, a “qualified” referrer (family member, mental health staffer or cop) must go to some extreme lengths to fill out the County’s Laura’s Law referral form.
According to a flippant Karen Lovato, Mendo’s mental health program administrator, referral sources must be “credible.” “It can’t just be a neighbor or grocer,” said Lovato, as if a neighbor or a grocer would ever in their right mind even so mujch as consider trying to fill out the County’s ridiculously onerous referral form much less undergo the subsequent review process.
Imagine that you have an adult family member who you think might be disturbed enough to qualify for Laura’s Law.
Here’s what you have to provide to even apply (based on the application form on the County’s Mental Health webpage):
List and describe the mental illness, describe why the person is a “safety risk” in the community “without supervision.” Provide a “history of non-compliance with treatment,” and summarize the particular treatment that was offered but “non-complied” with, and explain why the “person may be at risk to self or others without treatment (or has been within the past 48 months).” Then you must declare that the “person does not/has not met 5150 criteria when evaluated, dates if known).” Then add an explanation that “person’s condition is substantially deteriorating,” and explain how the “person would benefit from assisted outpatient treatment” (aka, Laura’s Law).
Assuming you have accumulated something approximating the records for your adult family member “person” which would allow you to even begin to fill out the County’s Laura’s Law form… Or maybe you can consult with the Ortner privatized mental health staff and ask them to help you with the form… Oh wait, Ortner Management Group, having received a barrage of complaints from experts, cops, doctors and many people in the “mental health community,” has announced that they’re leaving Mendocino County on July 1. Maybe you can ask Redwood Children’s Services who has been asked to pick up the pieces for the adult mental health services — although they also have little experience with adult mental health or Laura’s Law.
Anyway. So you’ve finally managed to fill out the form upon which your disturbed adult family member’s treatment may depend — assuming you even knew about Laura’s Law or could find the form or could obtain and assemble some highly specialized information to fill it out — presumably without the cooperation of your family member. Now what do you do?
You first turn the form in to Ms. Lovato and her staff who will review it and comment on it (presumably not having been involved themselves prior to that point, or they would have filled out the form if they thought the person qualified). Then if the form makes it past Ms. Lovato, it goes to the County Counsel’s office.
Back in November of 2014 then-interim (now former) County Counsel Doug Losak told the Board what his office would do with the referral:
“Implementing Laura's Law— a lot of the process will go through the County Counsel's office, as far as reviewing— once they are given to us by Mental Health we will review the petition approximately one hour. At that point if we determine that it meets the state requirements it will take between two and four hours preparing the petition, gathering information necessary to file it and get everything ready for it, another hour for the attorney to review the petition, etc. and then one to two hours for initial hearing of an uncontested hearing and four hours if it's contested and then approximately an hour to an hour and a half for a follow-up court hearing, about, I believe, every quarter at that point.”
At that time back in 2014, based on conversations Losak had with Nevada County’s legal staff, Losak estimated there might be as many as 20 petitions per year. And given the workload involved — for County staff (not for actual treatment) — that’s how they came up with the $160k fund allocation.
But in the 16 months since that time, there has only been the one referral — and zero County Counsel reviews and Court Petitions and the resultant “assisted outpatient treatment.”
Yesterday’s Ukiah Daily Journal article didn’t address the question of why only one person has applied. But then looking at the process and the near-zero likelihood that the applicant would even make it past the County Counsel’s office, it’s pretty obvious.
MONTANA PODVA is back in town. Maybe he never left, but last we heard of the garrulous attorney and chronic candidate he was somewhere to the east, some wild territory like Colusa or Glenn and he was running for a state office. But here the old boy is back in Potter Valley where he's taken out papers to run against incumbent 1st District Supervisor, Carre Brown. Who is unbeatable. Who is entrenched. Whose political purpose in life is to make sure Potter Valley's noble sons of the soil get free diversion water forever. Mrs. Brown hasn't been a bad supervisor. She's blind to criticism of the rampaging wine industry, and an automatic vote for their interests, but on other issues she's knowledgeable and fair. We were especially happy that she joined supervisors Gjerde and Woodhouse to pull the plug on the Ortner Management Group, private owners of half Mendocino County's formerly public mental health services. We think Mrs. Brown should be re-elected.
PODVA calls himself a "Constitutional" lawyer, meaning, at least to us, he has serious crank tendencies, one of these guys who carries it around citing his dubious interpretations of the sacred document, originally drafted, some of us may recall, by 18th century aristocrats to exclude from political participation everyone who wasn't like them, meaning that all but about one percent of the American population was excluded from the playground. (Kinda like now, come to think of it. We get to vote for one of their reps but they own it.) We nevertheless look forward to hearing from him directly about why he thinks he would be a better supervisor than Mrs. Brown.
THE LATE DA NORM VROMAN, was a Constitutional lawyer. He managed to conclude from a close textual analysis that he didn't have to pay income taxes, an opinion that bought him nine months in the federal pen.
TRULY EXCELLENT REPORTING by Sarah Reith of the Ukiah Daily Journal on the Hopland Pomo Tribe's recent purge of tribal rolls.
* * *
Hopland Tribe In Turmoil
by Sarah Reith
Tribal member Lori Thomas and fellow tribal member Renetta Payer say that on February 29, they received notice that they had lost the right to vote and attend meetings for one year. No explanation was immediately available.
On Saturday, the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians voted 127-71 to confirm the disenrollment of 74 members of the tribe. Those who have been disenrolled are no longer eligible for tribal housing, tribal healthcare, or academic scholarships provided through the tribe.
Questions about discrepancies arose immediately. According to tribal member Susan Billy, 181 voters responded to roll call after signing in and presenting their voter ID cards. But 199 ballots were cast, with one spoiled. Rather than considering each disenrolled member separately, voters were asked to cast their ballots for or against the disenrollment of all 74 members, who were told they had two minutes each to appeal the Council’s decision. Voters were also told they could cast their ballots and leave before the disenrolled members presented their cases.
Tribal member Aliya Burrows, who traveled from Oregon with her adult daughter to vote at the special membership meeting, believed that the disenrollments were necessary, because “people got signed up improperly,” and joined the tribe using faulty registration documents. No reporters or disenrolled members were permitted to attend the meeting, which was only open to the General Council, or registered tribal voters. But Billy stated afterwards that Tribal Chair Iyesha Miller told voters that flaws in tribal registration had been found in the year 2000. Former Board Chair and current Council Member-at-large Joe San Diego declined to comment, saying, “we can’t really issue statements on behalf of the tribe without the Chair’s consent.” Miller did not respond to telephone or email requests for comment. Approached by a reporter in person as she left the meeting, she walked away without responding to her name.
Next Saturday, on March 19, the tribe will hold an election for four of the seven Tribal Council positions.
Asked why action was being taken now to disenroll allegedly improperly registered members, a woman who declined to identify herself said she believed there has been “an undertone of knowledge of it.” She expressed sympathy for those who “feel like they’re from here,” but who “came in the back door.”
That’s not how disenrolled members and their supporters interpret it.
Cierra Hale-Davis received her Notice of Disenrollment Action last month, via certified mail. Dated Jan. 29, the notice informed her that “Due to the fact that there are no records to validate your claim of membership and that your application was processed in error, the Tribal Council has determined that your enrollment is invalid.” As of Jan. 15, the letter continues, “you are hereby disenrolled as a tribal member of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians.”
Jan. 15 was the date of a Tribal Council meeting in the Tribal Police Headquarters, where the Tribal Council Secretary, Sandy Sigala, received notice of her own disenrollment. Article IV, section I of the Tribal Consitution states that “the tribal council shall consist of seven (7) members elected from the general council.” Since Sigala’s ouster, there have been only six Council members.
An online copy of the Aug. 25, 2009 Tribal Consitution shows that it was certified by Trina M. Vega and Alfredo “Joe” Carrillo, the Election Committee Chair and Secretary at that time. There is another signature line, for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs to indicate approval of the document, but that line is blank.
Regarding the Constitution, a sticking point for many who argued that their disenrollments were illegal was that their letters concluded with the declaration that “If…the General Council is unable to establish a quorum, the General Council shall be deemed to have waived the right to review the Tribal Council’s disenrollment determination ...” But according to Article III, Section V of the tribal Constitution, those being disenrolled can appeal the decision, “…at the next regularly scheduled general council meeting at which a quorum is present.” This last was a moot point, since a quorum was established, but recent changes in absentee voting protocol and the lack of a written agenda for the Jan. 15 meeting led many to cry foul, both online and in person.
Many tribal members were aghast that this meeting, which they expected to be open to the voting membership, turned out to be a closed-door affair. They recalled that the access road, approximately a quarter mile away from Tribal Police Headquarters, was blocked off to vehicle traffic and guarded by Mendocino County Sheriff personnel and Tribal Police. A verification of the Sheriff’s representation on Jan. 15 was not immediately available, but a deputy was present at the meeting on March 12.
Especially infuriating, according to four separate interviews involving eight tribal members, was the sight of frail elderly people walking up the access road to collect their monthly stipend checks. “They had to walk the length of three football fields,” estimated tribal member Lori Thomas, who declared that Jan. 15 “was probably the ugliest day in our tribal history.”
Thomas, who recently completed an app for the Central Pomo language and is a doctoral candidate at UC Davis specializing in Pomo history and language curriculum, has conducted a case study of disenrollments in California tribes. She has a theory about the motivations for the actions taken recently at Hopland. She believes that disenrolling members “is really a political movement,” with the goal of removing voters who do not support current Council members. Sigala confirmed this independently when she commented that, “we oppose a lot of things, we’re vocal, we never sit down and shut our mouths.”
Thomas also expressed the belief that the Council was motivated for financial reasons, though she acknowledged that “a lot of us are really in the dark about how our tribal funds are being used.”
One source of tribal revenue Thomas suspects of spurring disenrollments is gaming money, specifically from the Revenue Sharing Trust Fund. Because Sho-Ka-Wah, the tribal casino, has fewer than 350 gaming devices, Hopland is considered a non-gaming tribe. Members do not receive “per cap” disbursements, or individual payments, from the casino. However, the tribe does receive funds from the RSTF, or money from licensing fees on gaming devices at larger casinos. The purpose of this fund is to allow non-gaming tribes to benefit from casino earnings. According to an analyst with the California Gambling Control Commission, in the last quarter of the fiscal year, the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians received $275,000 from the RSTF. To the analyst’s knowledge, “there is no accountability formula” for how that money is spent.
Asked about rumors of another source of revenue for the tribe, San Diego, who is the General Manager of Sho-Ka-Wah, said that “every tribe out here has been approached by random people” representing cannabis interests, but that “we’re not receiving any cannabis funds.”
A complete list of federal grants and the contracts under which they were distributed was not immediately available, though last year the tribe did receive a Justice Department grant for $1.7 million. Thomas believes that the tribe’s receipt of federal money obliges the Bureau of Indian Affairs to oversee the “trust and fiduciary responsibilities” of tribal government, though she acknowledged that it is extremely rare for expelled members to be reinstated.
In the tribal courthouse, a short distance from the gym, Hale-Davis, Sigala, and other disenrolled members waited to present the evidence they hoped would overturn the Tribal Council’s decision. Hale-Davis believes that “all of this is done under pure vengeance and hate and family rivalry.” Her family, she says, goes back six generations and is on “every census role going back to the early 1900s…we’re on every single distribution plan. We have every single piece of evidence to prove that we are Hopland Indians.” She brought out a family tree from a 1900 census, indicating that “the people disenrolling us” are descendants of her great-great grandmother’s siblings.
A part of the story that is most galling to Billy is that she and other tribal members believe that she herself created the documentation used to expel her cousins from the tribe.
In 1996, Billy and two other women compiled a book based on the catalog for an exhibit of Pomo baskets. Many of the finest Pomo basket weavers were related to one another, by blood or by marriage. The book, “Remember Your Relations: the Elsie Allen Baskets, Family and Friends,” is about family ties, cultural practices, and orally transmitted knowledge. The weavers were married, widowed, remarried, adopted into other tribes, or, in some instances, anonymous. If anything, Billy’s book serves as a reminder of the difficulty of maintaining written records. But among the glossy pictures of baskets, black-and-white photos of ancestors, and biographies of basket weavers, there is an abbreviated family tree. The caption reads, “This selective genealogy illustrates the relationships among the weavers in Elsie Allen’s immediate family. It does not include all family members.”
But Sigala claims that the Tribal Council used “falsified documents…based on a basket-weaving book…they abused this book that has historical information about basket-weaving and applied it to a disenrollment…so that’s where we’re at today.”
One man, Rafael Hopper, waited outside the gym until the meeting was over. Hopper belongs to another Pomo tribe entirely, but said some of his relatives were facing disenrollment and he wanted to be there for them. “Even if I hated a person,” he said, “I wouldn’t disenroll them, because it’s like saying you’re not Indian anymore.” Asked what a person would be after that, he paused for a moment and said softly, “nothing.”
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
MENDOCINO SUPERVISORS TO CONSIDER CANNABIS CULTIVATION
(Ukiah) Today at 2 PM the Mendocino County Supervisors will consider recommendations made by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Medical Cannabis. The meeting will be held at the County Administration Center, located at 501 Low Gap Road in Ukiah, CA. The discussion will focus on potential Changes to Mendocino County's Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation and Additional Recommendations Related to the State Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. Public comment will be taken.
“It has been phenomenal to be part of the collaborative dialogue that has resulted in this set of recommendations by the committee to the Board of Supervisors. Over the last several months the committee has listened carefully to many stakeholders, including the cannabis growers,” said local farmer Casey O’Neill.
O’Neill, who also serves as the Chair of the California Growers Association, went on to say “The ad-hoc committee has been open and communicative, demonstrating a willingness to listen and consider the interests and needs of our membership. It is empowering to be able to have a participatory dialogue, and we look forward to continuing the process.”
The committee has submitted a list of 23 specific recommendations to the Board of Supervisors to guide discussion. O’Neill highlights a few of these, including recommendations that the Agricultural Commissioner take the lead on development of an updated cultivation ordinance, streamlined permitting for cottage cultivators, and a move away from plant count toward the more flexible square footage restrictions.
Hezekiah Allen, the Executive Director of the California Growers Association applauded the recommendations. “Mendocino County desperately needed a new pathway to a well regulated cannabis future. These recommendations are an exciting and encouraging first step. As with any first step, the recommendations from the Ad Hoc Committee leave much of the hard work and detailed decisions still to be made.”
Allen continued “Mendocino County is quickly becoming a statewide leader in cannabis policy, even recommending cutting edge policy solutions consistent with those introduced by Assembly Member Jim Wood in AB 2516.”
The recommendations leave the door open for discussion of commercial activities other than cultivation. Specifics include processing, testing, manufacturing, transportation, distribution and dispensing with input from relevant County departments. In fact, the committee recommends that “Mendocino County adopt regulations that authorize local permits…for Nursery, Manufacturer, Testing, Dispensary, Distribution, and Transportation.”
— Hezekiah Allen, 916 879 5063
DAFFODILS & KNIVES IN REDWOOD VALLEY
On March 12, 2016 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center to contact a reported victim of an assault with a deadly weapon. Upon arrival, Deputies contacted an adult male who had a wound to his right inner leg, near his knee consistent with a stab wound. Deputies learned the adult male was at a bar in Redwood Valley when he was attacked for no apparent reason by Zachary Buschbacher, 29, of Ukiah. Deputies learned Buschbacher was a friend of the adult male and that Buschbacher was dating his ex-girlfriend. While at the business, the adult male was confronted by Buschbacher and without saying a word was struck on the left side of his face with a closed fist. At some point during the physical assault the adult male grabbed Buschbacher by his shoulders when he saw what he believed was a "blade" in Buschbacher's hand. The adult male pulled Buschbacher towards him and downwards in self defense resulting in a stab wound to his leg. The adult male was subsequently transported by private vehicle to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center for treatment. A search for Buschbacher was conducted and he was not located. On March 13, 2016 Buschbacher arrived at the Sheriff's Office Ukiah station at the request of Deputies and was subsequently placed under arrest for assault with a deadly weapon in regards to the incident. Buschbacher was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on $30,000 bail.
PROP 172 WAS A SCAM
When the California legislature ran low on cash in 1992, rather than live within its fiscal boundaries, Sacramento found a new honey pot — county and city property tax revenues. With a stroke of the pen, the legislature robbed counties in 1993-1994 of $2.4 billion, cities of $500 million and special districts of $250 million by forcing county auditors to divert property taxes which had previously funded local government into a special “educational revenue augmentation fund” (ERAF).
Money in the ERAF backed out money formerly spent on education from the state general fund. Essentially this provided a multi-billion dollar windfall to state government. It allowed Sacramento lawmakers to balance the budget without cutting state programs. This backroom deal required no super majority vote and was never presented to the voters.
This insidious special “tax” grows automatically each year, topping more than $1 billion for cities in 2012-2013 and $5.3 billion for counties.
Governor Pete Wilson and the legislature knew the voters would never support a tax increase to avoid cuts at the state level to cover any deficit in California’s general fund.
Based on polling, the powers-that-be learned voters were willing to raise taxes to fund local police and firefighters. Early drafts of Prop 172 only provided money for counties — which had been the hardest hit in the money grab. But then pollsters found the proposition had to provide some relief to cities or it wouldn’t pass. Special districts, also losers in the money grab, were specifically left out of the proposition. They just didn’t have enough political clout in 1993 to be added to the Prop 172 meal ticket.
Legislators also knew that when local service cuts in counties and cities began rolling out across California this could create a significant voter backlash against Sacramento. In came Prop 172 to the rescue.
Prop 172 does not require any of the generated money to be used for public safety. Since the band aid only backfilled 40% of the revenues taken away from counties and cities by ERAF, Sacramento hoped the lack of specificity would allow local governments to reduce the impact of cuts to local services on voters.
Following a public outcry, in 1994 the legislature set “maintenance of effort” minimums on public safety funding. These limits still allowed local governments to add or withhold general fund moneys from the public safety functions based on other budget priorities.
The ERAF heist also pilfered special districts across the state. While subsequent voter initiatives have attempted to restrict the state from making future local money grabs, none has forced the state to reverse its 1992 coup.
The state still enjoys 100% of the ERAF each year. Without ERAF or Prop 172, local Mendocino County governments would have received another $12 million in revenues last year.
The extra money siphoned from county, city and districts around the state through ERAF helped fuel the explosion in both the number of state employees and their salaries. The number of state employees increased by 34% between 1992 and 2008; while state average salaries increased by 72%. It is doubtful this expansion would have been quite so spectacular had the state government not benefited from ERAF.
While we sympathize with our local fire districts which deserve and need more funding, chasing the Prop 172 rainbow is an unlikely avenue for success. The big pot of money is the state’s ERAF scheme.
It seems unlikely the state will voluntarily restore the ERAF funds to local agencies without a grass roots statewide initiative. It would be great if California counties, cities and special districts came together to help voters reverse this fraud.
(Linda Williams, Editor-The Willits News Courtesy, The Willits News)
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 15, 2016
Bowes, Gonzalez, Jacoboni, Jewett
KATHERINE BOWES, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ERIC GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
DANIEL JACOBONI, Fort Bragg. Ex-felon with firearm, probation revocation.
CAROL JEWETT, Fort Bragg. Battery.
Knight, Lawson, Lopez
TODD KNIGHT, Mendocino. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
ZACKARY LAWSON, Ukiah. Suspended license, ignition interlock override, probation revocation.
PHILLIP LOPEZ JR., Ukiah/Fort Bragg. Ex-felon with firearm, brandishing where children gather, parole violation.
Nadeau, Pippert, Smith
LUKE NADEAU, Fort Bragg. DUI, resisting.
DOUGLAS PIPPERT, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Distribution of lewd material sent to seduce a minor, contact with intent to commit lewd act with minor, distribution of obscene material depicing person under the age of 18, enhancement for prior concitions, child endangerment.
TERESA SMITH, Ukiah. Controlled substance, smoking/injecting device, petty theft, probation revocation.
Vigil-Lopez, White, Yeomans
ARMANDO VIGIL-LOPEZ, Rohnert Park/Ukiah. Unspecified offense.
SILVER WHITE, Clearlake/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
THE UGLY TRUTH: The Legislature’s budget analyst and the Governor's Department of Finance jointly told voters in their official summaries of Proposition 47 that “Net state criminal justice savings … could reach the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually.” The savings were to be spent on drug treatment, juvenile delinquency prevention and other programs to reduce incarceration.
But when the Department of Finance recently made public its savings estimate for the budget this year, the "net state criminal justice savings" from Prop 47 is only $29.3 million.
What does this mean in the big scheme of things? Assuming only for the sake of argument that all 58 counties will receive an equal allotment (which we all know will never be the case), the current estimated Prop 47 savings to be allocated per county is only $500,000, hardly enough to pay for all the programs that the voters were promised.
Bottom line: state prison inmates down 22 percent, state prison costs up nearly 20 percent. Such a deal.
ON-LINE TRUMP TALK
(One) It is not necessary to separate Trump supporters by education or call them stupid, etc to understand them. Simply saying “they are angry” is not adequate, as many of them have jobs, retirement, healthcare, etc. Their status is intact, so anger would be inexplicable if not for the social changes like gay marriage, women in the military, mixing of the races, the demands of minorities for respect, a weakened foreign image abroad, etc.
It is a yearning for order that drives them. Here are the four questions about parenting that may determine ones’ penchant for a Trump. Which of two traits were more important in children:
1.independence or respect for their elders;
2.curiosity or good manners;
3.self-reliance or obedience;
4.being considerate or being well-behaved.
Those who answer a certain way will cut across economic, demographic, and religious lines.
* * *
(Two) I am having a real problem sorting out my feelings about Trump. As a lefty, I find much of what he says to be despicable. Yet, as others have said, I really enjoy watching how he is blowing up the system. If Trump were the candidate many of us would like to see, one who speaks out against the corruption that exists in both parties while remaining above the fray, he would have had to run as a third party candidate. As a third party candidate, he wouldn’t have a chance of winning. Trump wants to be a winner, and assuming he has a message he wants to get out that is at odds with the Rep/Dem status quo, how else could he both challenge the system and have a shot at winning the presidency without following the low road that he has chosen? If he had taken the high road, he would have been praised by the elites, ignored by the masses, and written off as irrelevant a long time ago.
FIRST CRAB, NOW SALMON
California’s commercial fish industry, already struggling with the devastating loss of the crab season, is likely to see its run of bad luck continue as new and far-reaching restrictions take aim at the state’s salmon opener in May.
Federal fishery regulators unveiled plans to limit this year’s Chinook salmon catch as the state’s signature seafood faces growing threats from a warming ocean and drought-parched rivers and creeks.
Three proposals offered this week by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the agency that regulates West Coast fishing, call for reining in the places and times that fishermen can pursue salmon. Each of the proposals are much more stringent than last year.
A final plan is expected next month before the commercial season opens May 1.
“It’s almost like a one-two-three punch,” said John McManus, executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association. “Fishermen had a poor 2015 season, they’ve been shut down for crab, and now they’re looking at a poor 2016 season.”
Those in the industry say salmon restrictions would not only send anglers north to more bountiful waters, particularly to Alaska, but also mean a lot less local fish on the docks. That means higher prices for restaurants and markets pushing a California product.
“Alaska salmon is good, but we like to think ours is better,” McManus said.
Far fewer Chinook
The proposed regulations follow projections that the number of fall-run Chinook, which make up the bulk of California’s commercial and recreational catch, is significantly down.
Fishery officials estimate about 300,000 salmon that spawn in the Sacramento River system — but spend most of their life at sea — are currently swimming off the California coast, about half of what was projected in past years. Only about 142,000 salmon from the Klamath River are out at sea, a number that is similarly low.
The pending restrictions also serve to protect the endangered winter-run Chinook, which cross paths with their fall-run counterparts.
“To get enough fish back in the river, we have to curtail some of the ocean activity,” said Mike Burner, deputy director of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, who advises a 14-member panel that will vote on the final restrictions.
Under the proposals, the opportunity for commercial salmon fishing will be about half of what it was last year, said Dave Bitts, a salmon troller who serves as an outside adviser to the council.
Blame warm waters
Federal regulators attribute the low counts of salmon to ocean waters that have been warmer than usual, due in part to a peculiar blob of balmy water off the West Coast last year. The increased water temperatures — also traced to climate change — have disrupted the fish and its prey, experts say.
Inland, reduced snowpack and competing demands for water amid the California drought has dried up and warmed the rivers and creeks where the salmon spawn. Just 3 percent of last year’s young winter-run Chinook are believed to have survived their migration to sea in the soupy Sacramento River.
Anglers hoping that last year’s disappointing salmon season would be followed by a successful crab season were shocked to find the Dungeness opener in November canceled. Regulators found high levels of a neurotoxin, domoic acid, in the shellfish, due to an algal bloom also linked to the warm Pacific.
Most California waters have not opened to crab fishing since.
(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)
I'm not anxious to unnecessarily burn up time or valuable AVA column-space here pursuing a worn-out debate. Still, I can be convinced that in some cases, marijuana (especially modern coma-weed) may have adverse effect(s) on some folks; as I said, I'd have to see it. I have not, as MS guesses correctly, read the Cockburns' book nor seen the movie, though I have been interested to see mention of that work here and elsewhere. I have admired and respected the Cockburn family 'brand' for some time, and would appreciate the opportunity to read this particular book. I stress again, as I said before, that my own view is not scientific, it's based on my own limited personal experience. Honest. MS's last sentence invites us to be honest about how bad pot is at an early age. Honesty is a good idea. Maybe I can be of assistance:
However emphatically one says (or mentions, suggests, asserts, rumors, promises, claims, intimates, hints, insists, etc.) there is science, there is evidence to support their point, and then neglects to get Explicit, to cite any study, author, location, method of research, findings in the way of data, etc., then the claimed 'science' remains just Implicit,...call it Macaroni, if you like.
In the pursuit of Honesty, might I suggest that it would be counterproductive to engage in any misrepresentation, whichever 'side' one is on? Big doses of THC being toxic to sufferers of schizophrenia is considerably different than pot being 'bad' across the board. If there is indeed evidence to support such an assertion, somebody should drag it out. In the absence of such evidence, there doesn't seem to be any basis whatever for naming marijuana an 'addiction accelerator'...except strong feelings. One can't be blamed for feelings, but they may not stand up as Evidence. It would split very few hairs to determine which is worse -- alcohol v. pakalolo -- since their vast differences have been available to view for some thousands of years (and in some serious concentrations) ...they're not even close. I admit MS isn't splitting hairs; calling weed an addiction accelerator on the visible evidence is very like scalping the subject and leaving it for dead.
FISHERY COUNCIL ADOPTS OCEAN SALMON OPTIONS FOR 2016 SEASON
by Dan Bacher
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the federal body that oversees the management of ocean fisheries on the West on March 13 adopted three public review alternatives for the 2016 West Coast salmon season at their meeting in Sacramento.
The Council will select a final alternative at their next meeting in Vancouver, Washington on April 9-14.
Commercial, recreational and tribal fisheries will see some restrictions this year due to salmon declines along the West Coast. The proposed seasons and regulations vary widely by region and type of fishery.
“The mix of salmon runs this year is unusual,” said outgoing Executive Director Donald McIsaac in a PFMC news release. “In the north, the return of fall Chinook to the Columbia River is forecast to be exceptionally high again, but expectations for wild coho runs to the Washington Coast and Puget Sound areas can only be described as disastrous. In the south, the Sacramento River fall Chinook are healthy, but Klamath River fall Chinook are so poor that the Council’s policy calls for a low ‘de minimis’ catch in ocean fisheries.”
“This will be a challenging year for salmon fisheries,” said Council Vice-Chair Herb Pollard. “Several key stocks are less abundant than usual due to environmental conditions like the California drought and El Niño, which have affected ocean abundance for some stocks. However, there are alternatives that provide opportunities for both commercial and recreational salmon fishing coastwide,”
“All of the options include sacrifices to be made by fishermen to preserve our salmon stocks” said Marc Gorelnik, the recreational fishing representative on the PFMC Salmon Advisory Subpanel and the chairman of the Coastside Fishing Club. “Once again fishermen have to pay the debt incurred by poor decisions by the water managers, particularly the way the Bureau of Reclamation operated Shasta Dam over the past two years, effectively cooking the salmon in warm water on the redds (nests) on the Sacramento.”
“I’m glad that we’ll have the opportunity to fish for salmon this year, but I’m not expecting a lot of success,” said Gorelnik.
The two fish populations impacting the California ocean salmon fisheries most this year are the Klamath River fall run stocks in the north and endangered winter-run Chinooks in the south.
Over 95 percent of the winter run juveniles in 2014 and 97 percent of the winter run in 2015 failed make it past Red Bluff on the Sacramento River because of lethally high water temperatures, spurred by poor management of Shasta Dam operations by the Bureau of Reclamation, fishing groups point out. Ninety-eight percent of the naturally-spawning fall run Chinook juveniles and eggs were lost over the past year.
Agency scientists estimate that there are approximately 299,600 adult Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon and 142,200 Klamath River fall Chinooks in the ocean this year, based on the returns of two-year-old salmon, called “jacks” and “jills,” The salmon from these two rivers make up the majority of salmon taken in California’s ocean and inland fisheries.
California ocean sport fishing alternatives provide seasons that range from fairly continuous traditional seasons to more conservative alternatives with mid-season closures or shortened seasons to protect Klamath River fall Chinook or Sacramento River winter Chinook, according to the Council.
Chinook directed Klamath Management Zone alternatives (Humbug Mt., Oregon to Horse Mt., California) generally open in May and run through Labor Day (except that one alternative closes August 31), and all alternatives have closed periods to reduce impacts on Klamath River fall Chinook.
The salmon season proposals adopted Sunday each include three management alternatives. For example, below are the three recreational salmon season alternatives from Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco):
Alternative 1 • April 2 through May 31 and June 18 through November 13 (C.6).
Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).
Alternative 2 • April 2 through May 31 and June 11 through November 13 (C.6).
Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length through May 31, 20 inches
Alternative 3 • April 2 through May 31 and June 18 through November 13 (C.6).
Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3)
Below are the draft salmon management measurement tables, with three alternatives for each proposed season this year.
Public hearings to receive input on the options are scheduled for March 28 in Westport, Washington and Coos Bay, Oregon; and for March 29 in Fort Bragg, California. The Council will consult with scientists, hear public comment, and revise preliminary decisions until it chooses a final option at its meeting April 9-14 in Vancouver, Washington.
In a parallel process, the California Fish and Game Commission will adopt recreational salmon fishing seasons for the Sacramento and Klamath/Trinity River systems at its April meeting.
Detailed information about season starting dates, areas open, and catch limits for all three alternatives are available on the Council’s website at www.pcouncil.org or tinyurl.com/....
FROST FANS, PIANOS & VARIETY
A couple of things. First the frost fan issue. We are in the season now and I have seen many a new fan trailer enter the valley. They appear to have smaller props and let’s hope so. Major Scarmella’s law suit should do something. It is too bad our Supervisor totally fumbled the ball that was not even handled by the Rah-Rah Ag Commissioner. Both missed the game, where they could have been supporting the erosion of the important Right To Farm law which does not apply when a farmer is moving a farm into a suburban or township area as it was in Boonville and Philo. The New Zealand Noise Ordinances provoke the development of the New Zealand fan blade adaption which makes fans that move the same amount of air at lower RPMs quiet, possibly saving operational cost as well. With a noise ordinance we all win, because violators must comply. The Ag Commissioner could have been looking for grants or working with local legislators to get funding for famers to adapt with low interest loans. To their credit some of the wine folks use frost fans to reduce water consumption for the frost battle. Sadly the wine industry is not educating their fellows about the clear disruption poorly designed fans can cause and the solution which probably has no extra charge if purchased correctly. The wine industry could subsidize others to make the shift because the local image and neighborly relations are very important. The ordinance would insure rental companies sell complying quiet fans.
The Grange has a few things to present including Dancing On Ivories Piano series with talented Spencer Brewer and Ed Reinhart at 7:30 PM on March 26th followed by the First Friday Film and Social Nite (April 1, 7 PM) featuring Timbuktu, a scenic movie about the impact of Jihadist manipulating a town or herders toward their fundamentalist beliefs. Colorful, thought-provoking and well received. Worthy of your perusal, and you can discuss it post filming as it is only 1 ½ hrs long. You don’t have to scramble for dinner as Tim Ward plans to whip up Pizzas in the Grange kitchen in the normally pot luck snack-Social hour (6 PM) that precedes, but folks can bring their own box dinners.
Next night (April 2, 7:30) is Big Band Night! Twenty one or more great musicians running through the Bob Ayres blender to make some darn good danceable music. And dance you can and compete if it is your desire for 5 different prizes.
A minor addition to the Variety show report. The well-hidden, but definitely heard Pit Band not only filled preshow and intermission with tunes, but also the first few acts and the Jackson Pollock act. Ukelonic Dennis Hudson, Swing-low, basser Dan McDonnel, horn man Professor Hot lips Sims, Slide Patelle on the trombone, Polka Queen, Lynn Archambault on keyboard and accordionist, Down beat Kevin Burke, and stand in Pres-Greg on Accordion and keyboards all crammed in the pit. Don’t try this at home! Our Queen and leader also fills in sound effects along with Kevin’s rim shots. As Pres., I too wish to thank all involved. The V show is the Granges biggest fund raiser and we’ll need it as our insurance is going up up up! Last note, per Brother Lewallen’s comments last week. National Granges attempt to herd Calif. grangers has been to sue our elected leaders; wasting money on both sides of the suits, and demand we join its appointed version or lose our halls. They are offering to sell our locally constructed & maintained halls on donated land to us at no reasonable cost. They would prefer we rejoin. We never left. They kicked us out. Now they are stomping over their values to force us back into the fold. There are two problems, they want to leave beloved leading members out, ignore our democracy and make us accept bylaws that give them ownership of our halls. Hard stuff to swallow. The AV grange is incubating on this. Meanwhile as I am not all knowing, call me President and not Master unless referring to my education.
Master/President of the 1st Solar Grange
Anderson Valley Grange 669
Executive Officer Mendocino Pomona
Co-musician with David Zinc State Grange
by James Kunstler
The Twitter-incited mob that shut down last week’s Donald Trump rally at the University of Illinois’ Chicago pavilion was the first skirmish in what is shaping up to be a civil war between a political Left that has lost its mind and a political Right that has lost its mind and its soul. The tensions between these two camps are so contorted and dishonest that even trying to unpack the issues puts the un-packer in jeopardy of being branded as one kind of thought-criminal or another.
The Left has lost its mind in a climax of zealotry over the new religion of social justice, with its sacred “victims” (blacks, LBGTQs, etc), its sacred tenets (“diversity,” “inclusion”), and its endless charges of blasphemy (renamed “micro-aggressions”) against heretics (“racists,” “homophobes”) who object to absolutist thought policing. This was nicely described by Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University in a recent podcast with author Sam Harris. (Skip to 1 hour 30 minutes in the long discussion.)
The religion got started on the campuses, where social science careerists ginned up an elaborate doctrine to justify the self-importance of their new departments in so-called race, gender, and privilege studies — the main point of which was to create new categories of sacred victims suffering spiritual torments (“traumas”) that could never be healed. These crypto-religious “studies” led to a multiplication of demons that had to be exorcized by an equal multiplication of diversity deans and committees aimed at punishing blasphemies — such as arguing against affirmative action (“racist”), or wearing a Mexican sombrero at a tequila party (“cultural appropriation” + “racist”), which happened recently at posh Bowdoin College.
The hysteria incited by the academic diversity corps spread readily and easily into Democratic Party politics, where badly-needed minority votes could be harvested to shore up the dwindling votes of traditional supporters such as labor unions, and make up for (you might say cover up) the Party’s complete surrender to both Wall Street and the war industry.
The religion of the social justice warriors, got a huge boost with the deaths, and subsequent canonization of the new mega-saints, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and other black youths who were killed under circumstances that were, at least, ambiguous, and, at most, due to their own poor judgment and misbehavior. (Pause for cries of “racist” to subside). The Michael Brown / Ferguson, Mo. incident and subsequent riots led to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, with its now secular (“the street”) and campus branches, and its vote-garnering panders (Hillary) in politics.
Possibly the worst blasphemy — which I will now state — is the idea that the new religion of social justice exists to disguise the vast disappointment over the failure of the civil rights movement to uplift — that is, raise out of poverty, illiteracy, and crime — a substantial part of the black population. In fact, much of the official policy of the civil rights era only made matters worse, especially the well-known failures of the welfare system with all its disincentives to economic striving. So, the well-intentioned people of the Left — a dying breed — are left in dismay and embarrassment, fighting demons, while black America chooses more and more remain an oppositional culture, apart, antagonistic, and increasingly bent on vengeance.
Enter Trump, perhaps the worst figure possible to call bullshit on this vast matrix of dishonesty, with his ugly cohort of “poorly-educated” white yahoo supporters. Why? Because the well-educated non-yahoos of both parties are too cowardly and too corrupt — too busy making money off the war racketeers and the medical racketeers, and the Wall Street racketeers, and the campus racketeers — to take on some of the central lies of our times, which Trump manages to do in the crudest possible ways.
What the politicians and the media and the cringing, pandering intellectuals of this country aren’t figuring is what happens when the political crisis of the moment is amped up by the financial and economic train wreck that is certain to come before the fall elections. The nation has already gone mad with the internal contradictions of its own beliefs. The next step will be when it literally goes to war with itself.
To support Kunstler’s writing to go his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h
INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE FILM FESTIVAL’S POST-FESTIVAL TOUR
March 18th at the Civic Center will be a fun night for families with school-age children, Grandma and Grandpa, and the rest of us. An award-winning feature film and two short films will focus on water. The fun starts at 6:15 p.m. with live music provided by the Thin Air String Band starring Sheridan Malone, Steve Hahm, Sid Bishop, Marilyn Simpson, and Rodney Grisanti. Films begin at 7 p.m.
The evening's feature film, "Earth -- A New Wild: Water" (55 min.), takes a fresh look at humankind’s relationship with water in the wildest places on planet Earth. Unraveling dramatic connections between fresh water and the health of the planet, Dr. M. Sanjayan discovers spectacular wildlife stories that center around how humans manage the natural pulse of the planet’s water. This film received an award for Best Human-Wildlife Interactions.
Also screening: "The Marvelous Musical Report" (10 min.) provides us with a hilarious and melodious look at why remote monuments of the Pacific Ocean are worth protecting for future generations. "The Last Dragons" (10 min.) gives an intimate glimpse at North America’s largest salamander, the Eastern Hellbender, an ancient creature that lives as much in myth as in reality…. and increasingly, myths are all that remain of these stream-dwelling sentinels. “The Last Dragons” received the Best Government Production Award.
The Ukiah Civic Center is at 300 Seminary Ave. Tickets for the film fest can be purchased at the Mendocino Book Company or at the door for $10 adults, $5 children. Proceeds from the film festival are an important funding source for the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP), a special program of the Ukiah Unified School District that provides outdoor environmental education programs to over 2,000 students a year.
The film fest continues on Friday nights through March. For a full program and more information about the RVOEP visit its website, www.rvoep.org. For further inquiries, contact Maureen Taylor, RVOEP Education Coordinator, at 489-0227.
Vigilante hacker group Anonymous declared “total war” on Donald Trump, ratcheting up its offensive against the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.
“This is not a warning, this is a declaration of total war,” a computerized voice said in a video posted earlier this month, speaking over a shot of someone wearing a hood and the collective‘s trademark Guy Fawkes mask.
The video called on anyone with a computer to join them on April 1 to help dismantle his campaign, whether by sharing the video, hacking his websites to shut them down, or exposing secrets to sabotage his brand.
Also Read: Bill Maher Calls B.S. on Donald Trump's F-Bomb Gripe With Expletive Montage
Anonymous’s proclamation builds upon its December video message, which warmed the real estate mogul and reality TV star to “think twice” after proposing a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Soon after, the website for his New York Trump Tower reportedly went offline.
Earlier this month, tech executives from traditionally liberal Silicon Valley discussed the dangers of Trump’s candidacy with GOP leaders at a closed-door economic summit on a private island, while Brandon Stanton of the popular photo blog Humans of New York posted an open letter decrying the candidate as hateful this week.
Also Read: Anonymous Warns Donald Trump Over Muslim Ban: 'This Is What ISIS Wants' (Video)
In addition to our regular full schedules of events for family members of all ages, we are proud to announce the Family preview of th Explore Space: Our Solar System and Beyond exhibit on Friday, April 8th from 4-7 pm. Ukiah Library is the only California library among the 14 recipients of the exhibit grant. We are planning an Grand Opening of the Exhibit for Adults on Friday, April 15th. Martin Bradley, President of the Friends of the Ukiah Observatory, will speak on the history and future of our very own Latitude Observatory.
KZYX WILL BROADCAST its on air candidate forum (for board of directors) on Thursday night, March 17, at 7pm.
EASTER WEEKEND AT THE GARDENS Celebrate the arrival of spring at Mendocino Coast Botaical Gardens
March 15, 2016 — The Gardens will be a-buzz with activities for the whole family all weekend long! Join us at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens March 26 and 27 from 9:00am to 5:00pm and celebrate spring with a stroll at our garden by the sea.
Rhododendron Walks will be held on Saturday and Sunday at 11:00am and again at 2:00pm. More than 1,000 Rhododendrons can be seen blooming throughout the Gardens this time of year. Join MCBG Gardener Jim Celeri and American Rhododendron Society’s local chapter President, Dennis McKiver to learn more about these breathtaking beauties.
Get festive on Sunday with free face painting from noon to 3pm and an Easter egg hunt on the Event Lawn at 1:00pm. The first 50 guests will receive an egg-cellent prize— so be sure to hop over to the Gardens early on Easter Sunday! Pop in to The Garden Store and Nursery on the Plaza for fresh new decor and plants.
All activities are free with Gardens admission. Visit www.gardenbythesea.org for more details on all of the happenings over Easter weekend.
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
18220 North Highway 1, Fort Bragg
707-964-4352 ext. 16
Summer Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (March-October)
The Garden Store and Nursery on the Plaza are open year-round; Rhody’s Garden Cafe re-opens for the season on April16, 2016. (No admission fee to visit the Store, Nursery, or Cafe.)
THIRD ANNUAL MCCORMACK RANCH SHEEPDOG TRIALS
Highly trained dogs and their handlers convene Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 3 at the McCormack Ranch outside of Rio Vista in hopes to win a place at the upcoming National Sheepdog Finals in September. The rolling Montezuma Hills are bucolic, the trial course is tough, the dogs amazing and the sheep typical, meaning they act naturally but not always as expected! This all adds up to a challenging event for dogs and handlers alike and great fun for the viewing public. Bring your blanket or folding chairs and don’t forget your binoculars!
Over 80 dogs and handlers from several western states and as far away as the east show their skills moving sheep around a large course within an allotted time limit. Dogs and handlers are judged by their ability to complete all the tasks required for competent livestock work. All dogs are veterans of previous trials hoping to qualify for the USBCHA National Sheepdog Finals held in Carbondale, Colorado September 13 – 18.
The event, at 7680 Montezuma Hills Road, is open to the public Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 3 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Admission, good for one day, is $15 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. Separate tickets for a delicious lamb barbecue, hosted by the Montezuma Fire Department, Saturday, April 2 from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM are available for $15. Rio Vista Youth Services sells drinks and barbeque hamburgers, cheeseburgers and hot dogs every day from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Alcohol is not sold. Tickets go on sale March 14 at Pets 4 All, Books Rio V, Awender Chiropractic (all on Main St.), Galleria Bras (on 2nd St.), and Highway 12 Diner (at Hwy 12 & Hillside Terrace) in Rio Vista. Tickets are also sold at the gate. The event takes place rain or shine so tickets are non-refundable. Attendance is limited to 200 people per day. Parking is free. A farm wagon takes you from the parking lot to the event.
The only animals allowed at the dog trials are those dogs entering the contest. No other dogs or pets are permitted to enter the gates, except for legitimate service dogs for disabled persons.
Event sponsors are the National Border Collie Association, McCormack Sheep & Grain, Rio Vista Youth Services and Rio Vista Soroptimist, with much help from the wider Rio Vista community.
For information, please call Jeannie McCormack at (707) 374-2254, Ellen Skillings at (707) 374-5236 or Hope Cohn at (925) 550-0566.