Mendocino County Today: Friday, Mar 25, 2016
by AVA News Service, March 24, 2016
MENDOLAKE FOOD HUB
Connects the Dots for Local Farmers
by Alex Nielson
A typical morning for a produce manager at a grocery store may begin like this: coffee, inventory check, phone call, place an order with a large distributor, done. It takes only moments to order a truckload of produce sourced from afar and have it on the shelves the next day. The process is easy, quick, and comes with minimal hassle. The downside? That money flows out of Mendocino County and away from our local farms. Not to mention the tomatoes taste like sour water and the melons lack that freshly picked sugary aroma.
What if it were just as easy to get fresh, seasonal, locally grown produce full of flavor and with the connection to the farmer intact? Enter the MendoLake Food Hub, Mendocino and Lake County’s source for the freshest offerings direct from our farmers. The idea for the Food Hub has been in the brainstorm phase for years in our area, but was finally translated into solid action in 2014 thanks to a Specialty Crop Block Grant written by North Coast Opportunities, the regions Community Action Agency. Through the collective vision of NCO’s Patty Bruder, Susan Lightfoot, and Miles Gordon, the Food Hub grant was written with the intent to expand the food system by increasing local food access across Mendocino and Lake Counties while increasing the viability of local farms. John Bailey now heads the program as the Food Hub Coordinator.
Until now, a viable option for wholesaling produce grown by local farmers has been non-existent and completely reliant upon the farmer to do the leg work when it comes to marketing to grocery stores and restaurants. This requires the already busy farmer to make phone calls to potential wholesale customers and, if they place an order, drive one to two hours one way to make a delivery. For many of our small-scale farmers this is simply not an option because in many cases it requires a refrigerated truck and, of course, valuable time.
What the Food Hub strives to do is close the gap and connect the dots between farmer and customer. Twice a week in the summer and once a week in the winter, farmers list their available produce on the Food Hub website with a few clicks of the mouse. Instantaneously, restaurants and grocery stores — or even individuals who wish to buy in bulk — can view available produce on the website and place an order from one or multiple local farmers. The Food Hub’s customers include Harvest Market in Mendocino and Fort Bragg, Surf Market in Gualala, and Anderson Valley’s Boont Berry Farm Store. Farmers then receive a pick ticket so they know what they need to harvest and bring to their closest cold storage node, each of which are re-commissioned freight containers that have been insulated, outfitted with washable surfaces from top to bottom, and wired with Cool Bot A/C units to make sure produce is kept cool and fresh. Within a day, our friends at Mendocino Coast Produce deliver the goods to their respective customers via rapid transit on a route covering Mendo and Lake Counties from the south coast to Clearlake.
Finally, there is a wholesale way to go local, and our farmers have a hassle-free method to get their veggies on the shelves across the county!
“The Food Hub has literally doubled my sales!” said Irene Engber of Irene’s Garden in Laytonville at the 2016 Farmer’s Convergence at Ridgewood Ranch in Willits on Tuesday, March 1. As one of the Food Hub’s largest producers, she is very eager for the coming season and is planning her planting schedule to meet local supply and demand. Engber, a certified organic farmer through CCOF, is able to get her products on the shelves at grocers such as the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-Op, which requires its producers to be either Mendocino Renegade or California Certified Organic. She was a big contributor to the $90,000 in sales that the Food Hub facilitated in 2015. As it gears up for its second year, the Food Hub is looking to double sales for 2016 and be self sustaining by the 2017 growing season. For farmers wanting to get their produce onto local shelves and plates, the Hub is a viable wholesale option.
The Food Hub really is the “easy button” for farmers. The website interface allows them to create a profile similar to a Facebook account where they can wax poetic about their farm and growing practices. Or they can keep it simple. Once their profile is created, they can add produce that they grow for retailers and restaurants to purchase. It all happens within minutes. We all love Farmers’ Markets and they are crucial to local food supply, but retailers don’t always have time to go and buy from each farmer individually. The Mendo Lake Food Hub has covered that base, making it possible for customers to buy from every farmer with available listed produce at light speed! All that the Food Hub requires is a bit of accountability from registered farmers including an approved source certification and a certified producer’s certificate. In short, the Food Hub requires the documents that a certified Farmers’ Market requires for registration as a vendor. The producer can signify other certifications when creating their profile, such as CCOF certified or Mendocino Renegade certified.
Buying local is quickly becoming the norm in Mendocino and Lake Counties. Our school districts have created programs to purchase local produce for cafeteria meals, as well as for Harvest of the Month in which schools feature a specific item grown by nearby farmers. Last month’s harvest was carrots, and the transaction was facilitated by the Food Hub. With spring and summer production gearing up, our youngsters will have the pleasure of eating delicious fruits such as watermelons and peaches fresh from our farms. And we all know how a freshly picked tomato compares with one from a supermarket.
With the bright yellow and red Buy Local brand that has been popping up in local grocery stores, our fine farmers have an opportunity to get their farm on the scene and in the hearts of all who eat! Seely’s Farmstand of Lake County has had its apples and pears appear on center stage at Surf Market on the Mendocino Coast, an eager participant in the Food Hub and a major supporter of buying local. Its staff is ecstatic to be part of a movement that can supply broccoli from our farmers that is in co-owner Steve May’s own words, “the best broccoli I have ever had! I will be unable to have any other broccoli unless it is grown by a local farmer.”
Anderson Valley has a location advantage for use of the Food Hub: it is right on the route that our Mendocino Coast Produce delivery truck, driven by Josh Cavender, uses to get from the Ukiah area to the coast. The Valley’s own Petit Teton, Filligreen Farm, and Anderson Valley Community Farm are already on the Food Hub’s producer list, and the Hub encourages any local startups or seasoned farmers to get on the Food Hub website and get your produce out there! Visit mendolakefoodhub.com or call us at 707-467-3238.
KELISHA ALVAREZ ORDERED TO LEAVE CALIFORNIA
by Justine Frederiksen
A Ukiah woman arrested repeatedly over the past several years for assaults, vandalism and illegal camping has reportedly accepted a “unique” plea agreement that reportedly moved her out of state to live with family.
According to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office, Kelisha S. Alvarez, 27, was arrested Nov. 9, 2015, after reportedly breaking a piece of equipment while being treated at Ukiah Valley Medical Center.
Mike Geniella, spokesman for the office of District Attorney David Eyster, said that due to repeated misdemeanor vandalism charges in her history, Alvarez was charged with felony vandalism and was facing jail time for the latest incident at the hospital.
However, Geniella said the DA’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office crafted a plea agreement that would waive incarceration if Alvarez agreed to be released into the custody of her mother in Oklahoma and seek treatment there. He could not comment on what type of treatment she would receive.
On March 9, Alvarez pleaded no-contest to the felony vandalism charge, and Geniella said “she was released from Mendocino County Jail on March 17 into the custody of her mother, a resident of Oklahoma, and to our knowledge she is now in Oklahoma.”
Geniella said the deal will be formalized at her sentencing, which is scheduled for April 15 before Judge David Nelson. Alvarez is not required to attend.
Geniella said this plea agreement was not typical, but rather a “unique attempt at solving a chronic and frustrating problem for everyone,” referring to the defendant’s “chronic vandalism incidents and chronic run-ins with law enforcement.”
Due to repeated disturbances that included assaults on its staff prior to her November arrest, the hospital had filed a protection order banning Alvarez from entering the facility, and she was arrested repeatedly for trespassing.
Following her formal sentencing, which will likely involve her receiving a year of probation to be served in Oklahoma, Geniella said if Alvarez returns to Ukiah she will likely be in violation of her probation, which does not end until January of 2017.
“If that happens, she will be picked up and charged with violating her probation, and the merry-go-round starts all over again,” Geniella said. He estimated that Alvarez has been arrested, charged and jailed temporarily at least 22 times in Mendocino County.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
YES ON U
What is Measure U?
Measure U is a simple, non-discriminatory zoning adjustment. Measure U is about smart city planning.
The people who live and vote in Fort Bragg want to protect and support the service organizations settled
into the CBD before January 2015. U is supported by advocates for patient rights. U supports appropriately
located social services in Fort Bragg where clients have privacy, access for the disabled and a lead free
environment for services.
The Central Business District (CBD) in Fort Bragg is a small district and social services are best located in other
neighborhoods. Hospitals, veterinarians, caterers, emergency /transitional shelter, and thrift shops
are “not allowed” in the CBD; the measure simply adds to the "not allowed" list that must
be appropriately locatedin neighborhoods zoned for services.
The arguments against U are unfounded. The opposition states that “legal questions exist…..it maybe litigated…..staff anticipates…” This
argument against U spins these questions and presents them as fact; this is just political and emotional speculation.
Those against this measure put on the ballot by the folks who live in Fort Bragg make inaccurate, misleading claims only to defeat U.
Don’t be bullied or manipulated by fear or guilt from City Hall or elsewhere.
Don’t be fooled. If U want to preserve the Historic Business District make your opinion count. If you want to support client privacy and access to services, say YES.
U says yes to patient privacy, access for the disabled, responsible use of tax dollars, small business, tourism, and a historic, safe, clean downtown
for our children and elders. Everyone wins. Democracy is restored in Fort Bragg with this Vote. U can make a difference and do the right thing- VOTE YES!
The Proponents of Measure U, who talked to their neighbors, exercised their democratic rights and collected enough signatures to call for this vote.
FOREVER AND EVER goes the discussion about what to do with the abandoned and crumbling Palace Hotel in downtown Ukiah, enriching lawyers as the endless jawing endlessly continues. Ukiah's attorney, David Rapport says the lawyers for the city and the building owner have scheduled another conference for the end of the month. He says the city is firm on what they want and should know then if they can reach an agreement. Ukiah has asked the Mendocino County Superior Court to get involved, appointing a receiver to take over rehabbing the building, but instead went to mediation. Some are asking for the money for mediation to instead go to rehab the old hotel.
HAND OVER SHELTER
To the Editor:
I am writing as a concerned citizen and member of this community. I have been involved in animal rescue, specifically GSD (German Shepherd Dog) since 1992. I have been involved in providing foster care, training, and placing dogs in adoptive homes. I have done this in Louisiana, California and Mexico where dogs are brought to the states for safe adoptions. I have also done animal assisted therapy with children at HSIM up until 2012.
I have been dismayed by the ongoing issues at the Ukiah Animal Shelter for some time. But the recent events have been the most troubling when I heard of firing volunteers for alerting the public to health concerns and protocols there and rejection of a much needed involvement of a successful organization like Petaluma Animal Services Foundation (PASF). This organization could get the Ukiah Animal Shelter on the road to being a truly humane and highly functioning service for helpless animals in our area.
I have avoided involving myself with Ukiah Animal Shelter because of the lack of professional adoption policies and conditions of the facility for cats and dogs at times I have visited. Back in August when I was looking to adopt, I did decide to give this facility a chance however. I was treated rudely and unprofessionally. She was very excited initially when I came in to interview a GSD up for adoption. I told her my personal protocol of meeting the dog, bringing my dog in for a meet and greet, testing for cat safety and of course having my husband meet the dog. She asked me to fill out paper work to hold the dog and so I did. When my husband came by the next day to meet the dog, Amy denied ever saying any of these things and promised the dog to a man from out of the county over the phone that was coming to pick up the dog the next day. I called and confronted her; she again blatantly denied ever asking me to fill out paper work and blamed it on her volunteers. I redirected her back to the facts and she stated that it must have been a misunderstanding. Through this experience I knew not only that the Ukiah Animal Shelter does not make sure people have the means to provide for a large breed dog, there is no expectation that an adoptee have any knowledge of a breed, or that the dog will match to other animals that might be living there, not to mention children in the home. These are huge safety and community issues.
As steps in the right direction I would ask that you allow the volunteers who were dismissed to return and that an objective outside audit be conducted on how the money is spent to insure that tax payer money is being allocated for the appropriate care of the animals and all tax payer money is accounted for as I also have heard that there has been cash handling problems. In addition, I am in full support of Petaluma Animal Services Foundation to take over management of the Ukiah Animal Shelter given their history of success with other city facilities for animal care services and sheltering. I am sure that we all have the best interest of the animals at heart and these would be the necessary steps to insure Ukiah and surrounding areas have a humane and successful facility that is up to speed on appropriate containment and adoption policies.
Chris Frienkle, Redwood Valley
SHELTER ANIMALS, NOT STAFF
To The Editor—
I have reviewed the County's Animal Care Services' (ACS) Standards of Behavior and the earlier Volunteer and Community Involvement documents. The contrast between the two is striking. The first was approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors March 15, 2016. The second has no date and is on the County's website. It is a simple two page statement that welcomes volunteers and encourages "open and easy communication" between the public and the shelter.
The recent document makes the shelter sound like it is operating in a third world country in the middle of a civil war. Much of the banned behavior would call for police action no matter where it occurred. Is the City of Ukiah so uncivilized that it is subjected to so much unpleasantness on a frequent basis that such a document is called for?
The part that is most objectionable to me is the section on "harassing behavior." Some outlawed behavior impinges on the First Amendment rights of the public (and volunteers). Outlawing "staring" could require a member of the public to act as it they had Aspergers Syndrome when carrying on a simple conversation with staff. One normally looks directly at a person when carrying on a conversation — even a conversation that expresses differing viewpoints.
From the recent experience of a number of volunteers who voiced disagreements about staff behavior regarding the mess the County made of the recent RFP process and were denied shelter privileges because of opinions expressed on social media, it sounds as if the County cannot tolerate any criticism.
I think the County needs to rethink this section of the document immediately. The public (and volunteers) are entitled to express their opinions on County operations in any format available. I would encourage the public to do so. Has the County hired such delicate shelter staff that they cannot tolerate any criticism? I would suggest that the staff needs to cultivate tougher skins.
Public service is not a popularity contest. That is one reason County staff is well paid, has excellent benefits and is rarely fired. For example, the former shelter manager is facing serious charges and is still on paid leave. Trying to protect public employees from negative opinions from the public they serve makes them much less effective as employees.
The County is throwing money at ACS. It has a paid former shelter manager, an interim paid shelter manager, a paid security guard (why?), and a paid assistant CEO for ACS plus the regular managers in the Health and Human Services division. And yet, not once in the recent months has the County sought to address the fact that a large part of the County on the Coast is totally unserved. If some of these duplicated positions were unfilled, perhaps the County could afford the $100,000 for the two employees needed to reopen the Fort Bragg shelter they closed in 2010 due to budget constraints. Many volunteers, who did the bulk of the "grunt" work and raised money tirelessly, worked at the shelter. They did not need paid guards or voluminous rules and regulations. They provided humane services for the public and the animals.
We need smart management of ACS not additional staff in the County offices in Ukiah.
And, for heavens sake, get the County Care-a-van back on the road to the Coast to provide spay and neutering and shots. The non-profits here are left to try to provide the missing County services and are running on empty.
BACK IN 2004 we received a generic accusation of a misquote from AV High math teacher Kathy Borst. Ms. Borst said we hadn’t quoted her graduation speech accurately, and what we did quote was out of context. So, what should we do? Take her word for it? Of course not. All we said was that she announced she was going to give a long, boring speech and she lived up to her opening remarks. What was there to misquote? Ms. Borst fails to provide specifics.
WE TAKE MISQUOTES very, very seriously because we’ve been misquoted literally hundreds of times over the years, often deliberately, by our media colleagues. And these idiots use tape recorders! How can you screw up a quote if you’ve got the goddamed thing on tape? But… But the complaints about misquotes we get are usually nothing more complicated than the quoted person not liking or even remembering what he or she in fact said.
BUT MS. BORST, in her lively, quotable communiqué, has provided us with an opportunity to review the AVA’s Misquote Complaint Policy. First promulgated in the early 90s when the late Ms. Diane Paget, a CSD board member at the time, said she had been misquoted in our report of a CSD meeting, went on at length to say she had been misquoted, implying that it was common and intentional, but did not provide us with the alleged misquote or prior misquotes Like most media critics she simply stated it as fact, and as if she were infallible, and as if to so much as suggest otherwise, well, we never have claimed infallibility on our end.
WE WORK hard to get accurate quotes into our reporting. If there are significant misquotes we correct them, but we’ve never received a request to correct a specific misquote. What we have received is a hundred or so demand letters from woof-woof lawyers threatening to sue us unless we print a retraction of some opinion their clients have found objectionable. Jared Carter, the famed attorney now doing the work of the righteous for Charles Hurwitz out of Scotia, once demanded that we retract an editorial cartoon depicting Supervisor Butcher and her husband as drunks and their two Amazon daughters as out-of-control rich girls who seemed to think they could whatever they felt like doing in the Ukiah context. One daughter had kicked a Ukiah Police officer in the pills, another had appeared at a board meeting to denounce her mom’s fellow supervisor, Norman de Vall as “a fucking asshole.” Madam Butcher, a hypocrite of the first order, had also threatened to sue the Ukiah PD for mistreating Amazon Girl, her daughter, to which the Ukiah PD threatened to sue Butcher for malicious prosecution because the kid had gone off at Taco Bell in front of many witnesses and assaulted the cop, not vicey versa. The Butcher girls liked to go around saying, “You better watch out; my mommy is a supervisor.” (Lots of the, ah, dimmer Mendo kids grow up thinking Ukiah or Willits or Mendocino or Boonville or Fort Bragg is the whole wide world.)
IF YOU THINK you’ve been misquoted and go to all the trouble to write in about it, the least you could do is cite the misquote and/or its context in order that we might all judge if you’ve joined the local legions victimized by the meanie faces at the AVA. The format for such complaints is as follows: a. “You reported that I said x, but I never said any such thing.” b. “You reported that I said x, but I actually said y.” c. “You reported that I said x, and I said something like x, but for the record what I meant to say was y.” d. “You reported that I said x, and I said x, but I also said y which you left out.” e. You reported that I said x, and I said x, but on hindsight I should have said y.” Failure to adhere to this complaint format will render your accusation false; moreover, your name will be written down in the AVA’s Big Book of Snivelers. Thank you. — ms
THE LAKE COUNTY RECORD-BEE reports that students at Coyote Valley Elementary School [Hidden Valley Lake, Lake County] are still drinking bottled water because water tests reveal chromium-6 contamination in the Hidden Valley Lake municipal water supply.
by Crawdad Nelson
The road out of Gualala, at least the road I chose, climbed from a pleasant creekbottom, cooled by tall trees and damp breezes, abruptly and continuously uphill for several miles. It doesn't matter how many, although I knew then: every few hundred yards a white aluminum sign marked the distance, measuring backward, so that my journey began at a precise distance from some uncertain object, a distance which became smaller as I moved forward and my past rolled up behind me like a sprung window blind, or a riddle of quantum mechanics. I felt myself drawn into something bigger, perhaps the place where numbers begin, or where stars are ground down in giant machines and polished in velvety baths by way of renewal. I couldn't describe what I was looking for, except that I wanted the quickest possible change of scenery, but there was a force to the rear which made retreat inadvisable.
Love and hate, loneliness and desperation, reality and fantasy. After years of mismanagement, my only real choice was to head for the safety of the road, with what I could carry on my back or the bike, and nothing else.
Sometime that afternoon, hours up and away from that cool flat, I reached a summit. The ridge was warm, high above any hope of fog, and the woods were an arid upland scatter of Doug fir and inland oaks. Brush and ferns were sparse and light, so I could see far between tree trunks. I came to a gate, which seemed rarely used, lay back against it, swallowed the last mouthful of water from my jug, which had seemed so plentiful on the coast, and fell asleep.
I had my mountain bike, the Giant I had beefed up with heavy-duty wheels and drive gear back in Arcata, sometime earlier that year. The tubular aluminum trailer was packed tight with my belongings. Most of what I owned was being left at the place I had been living, a house I have not seen since, inhabited, at least that day, by a woman bearing severe hostility toward me, a semi-innocent man. Although I was not guilty of the crimes alleged, I wanted to be, which is as bad if not worse.
Looking back, down the relentless hill I had climbed, I peered into my recent history, attempting to somehow tabulate and evaluate what I had lost. It seemed every move I made was a sure loser. On the way up the hill, as I struggled to push the wobbly bike and trailer, while also burdened with an overstuffed messenger bag slung over a shoulder, cursing, slipping in my boots on the loose gravel, as each corner, slightly higher and drier than the one before, revealed only more and steeper corners ahead, and all maddeningly measured to the hundredth place, I had an overwhelming sense of loss. For every door that closes, I thought, there's another just about to be slammed in your face.
That afternoon, in early May after weeks of rain, was warm and long in Mendocino County's uncluttered interior. I could see miles of repeated ridges, dwindling away toward dusty-looking grassy meadows and steep slopes of oak and fir woods. The bike rolled fine on flat ground and gentle slopes, but with so much weight the trailer made almost any grade too steep to climb without straining. I had plenty of time to admire the landscape; undue straining was out of the question. Instead, I spent hours patiently pushing the bike up small knobs and coasting into swales, between the precisely measured increments of miles I covered cruising easily along flat ridges.
I don't know what I thought, really. I had been caught off base, hung out to dry. A man does whatever he needs to after two or three years of bachelor living. For now, I paid attention to the mileage paddles, my only real company. There were no deer out, just a few thrushes rattling in the oak leaves, maybe a chipmunk or two, and jays. I was on the road from late morning until dark, in fact for half the next day as well, and encountered only a handful of brave drivers.
Like most of my adventures, this one began with, or because of, at least one female companion, this one lovelier than most, and full of lust. She sat near me, endured my funk, tantalized me, for several months, after a period of years notable for many a lonesome evening. A classic example of bad timing, she wanted me but was still, at that point, faithful to her pale, ironic boyfriend. She was a generation or two younger than me, and daring in ways I wasn't. As a result, she took me out for food and drinks, at all the best joints in Old Town, but dropped me off at home, like a date, each time.
As sort of a culmination to this months-long seduction, she had taken me to San Francisco the day the Giants blew the 2002 Series. As a fan, I had deep misgivings about the situation — I ought to have found a way to see or at least listen to the game — but as far as I knew the bullpen could be trusted without my constant monitoring. Instead, perhaps fatally, I hoped for the best and expected, later that night, to be forced to avoid downtown because of the mad celebration.
I kept up with the early part of Game Six by monitoring the crowds in bars as we drove or walked past them. Around the fifth inning, with what I assumed was a comfortable lead, we went inside a building in Fort Mason where there were no radios tuned to KNBR, and no chance of any. Instead, the room was full of women just like or very much like my young friend, that is to say lusty, fully developed, and prone to experimentation. They wore loose, comfortable clothing, many of them required bras, sometimes desperately, though nobody seemed to have one on.
I can't fully recall what happened in the large room with me, all the young women, and a few other guys, mostly in drawstring pants and smelling of clove cigarettes. There were at least several hundred of us. There was singing and a few poems and lots of hugging. One young woman complained to another, "it was totally feelable," after enduring a long hug from one of the drawstring pants guys. That's the one fact I can recall accurately, it was such a choice line, and delivered with deadpan naivety, by a girl with nipples enlarged and hardened inside her loose, transparent blouse.
It went on for hours. We had to stand the whole time. Most people would probably confess to just about anything if forced to stand still long enough, especially when required to hold a piece of ground in a milling crowd. I was ready to confess to anything from heresy to peeing in the Jacuzzi before it was over, although I'm sure I made the best of it, seeing that I was the bull male in a room full of young women who viewed sexuality as an expression, rather than a necessity, or worse. In any case my partner knew dozens of the ripest specimens and they were in hugging moods already, not to mention hardly dressed. It was titty-squishing time, a regular marathon of cushiony embraces. They came at me like comets ricocheting across the path of time, or particles excited by the shape of an ion, single tangible facts drifting across years of fluid illusions.
Between that and being unable to sit down, I endured a ceremony so bland I can't remember anything about it, just the atmosphere. When it finally ended, we emerged into the San Francisco night, where the streets should have been jammed with ecstatic Giants’ fans. I immediately knew something had gone wrong.
The arc from that happy, breast-filled evening in San Francisco to my present circumstance, kicking around in the dry weeds and mint, high on a sunny slope, somewhere between Gualala and Highway 128, seemed erratic at the time but was surely predictable if one subscribes to mathematical prediction theories. Somewhere along the way I got my hands on a vial of love potion (which came wrapped in a warning) something I had not believed existed, and didn't believe could possibly work. It was the one thing I brought home from that ultimately melancholy trip, so rich with promise at the start, and at least through the fifth inning. I fingered the vial for the first time as we cruised a desolate Columbus Avenue and then found the freeway downtown. Anything potent could only sour on a night like that. I know she meant well, and everything after she gave it to me was my fault.
Whether it worked or not I don't really know, but what happened was a small paper disc which had fit into the cap of the vial was lost, and I thought nothing of it at the time. However, I put the vial in my pocket and leaked a good dose of potion — maybe too much, I can't say — so that it soaked in, leaving a strong citrus odor not unlike, and easily mistaken for, perfume. As to why I was carrying the potion at all — I had suddenly, recently — because of an elk hunt in weather so cold we had to drink the wine quickly before it froze in the tin cups — become involved in a love affair which was not supported by the facts, and I was obviously, deliberately toying with fate, on that walk up and down Columbus Avenue preparing for the reading in the out-of-the-way tavern. All I can say is that I had desperately confused love, art, the muses, lust, and poetry, stirred them all together in my mind, and lit the resulting Frankenstein of midlife crisis, creative ennui, delusion and poverty — held together only by loosening glue of entropy — afire.
Once the decision had been made that I would be leaving, there was little choice. I chose the few possessions portable enough to strap onto the trailer, and what I hoped would be enough gear and coffee to get me to a new location, and was gone within hours. I'll never get back the treasures I left behind.
I unrolled my sleeping bag on a mat of greenish grass, careful not to include the near-ubiquitous star thistle. As the sun dropped into fog, now miles away from me, I rested in a crude roadside camp, siwashing it, down to the nitty-gritty. Some deer, sneaking down the hill to their feeding grounds in the gulch below me, suddenly started when they encountered me in the place they habitually crossed the barbed-wire barrier meant to keep some unseen cattle in their place. The deer made a great racket, two or three of them bouncing across the small head of a draw, to my right and up the hill. In a while I could see them, out in the open, picking their way through brush and vines toward the blue-green timber, where they would figure out another way down the hill, or make do.
DEMOCRAT'S WOMAN OF THE YEAR
MENDO COAST FEELS THE BERN
For those who are interested, there are two online local groups of supporters for Bernie Sanders for President. Feel free to join if you are part of this campaign.
peace to all,
* * *
Comment: Re: Online local support for Bernie Sanders
On line is good, flesh-and-blood volunteerism is even better. Just a footnote. Mendocino Coast Folks for Bernie Sanders opened the first-in-California HQ for Bernie last October and we're going strong with over 60 volunteers presently and a Fort Bragg storefront open 7 days a week. We're busy doing local phonebanks to voters in the City and then will be moving to larger areas in our county. We also do events, postcard writing, etc. So do look at our facebook page. But then come and help us put California in Bernie's camp! We're only a few points behind statewide, so your two-hours real volunteer effort each week could make the difference.
— Rod Jones, Mendocino
AS OF MARCH 29th, single tax filers earning $250,000 will not qualify for rebates on plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. The Sacramento Bee reports the income cap is $340,000 for head-of-household filers and $500,000 for joint filers. Conversely, low- and moderate-income residents will be eligible for an additional $1,500 in rebates. The California Air Resources Board Chair says they hope that will help the program get into more communities most impacted by air pollution.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 24, 2016
Belvin, Bennett, Caradine, Cisneros-Munoz
RODNEY BELVIN, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ISAIAH BENNETT, Willits. Burglary, under influence.
LEARTIS CARADINE, Red Bluff/Ukiah. Community Supervision violation.
JOSUE CISNEROS-MUNOZ, Santa Rosa/Hopland. DUI, no license.
Davidson, Escamilla-Garcia,, Harp
JOY DAVIDSON, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
DANIEL ESCAMILLA-GARCIA, Ukiah. Resisting.
JEREMY HARP, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
Leloup, Leon, Luna
GINA LELOUP, Lakeport. Probation revocation.
ELISEO LEON, Willits. Protective order violation.
STEVEN LUNA JR., Covelo. Probation revocation.
Macias-Fernandez, Maki, Oneil
EMANUEL MACIAS-FERNANDEZ, Napa. Failure to appear.
CHRISTOPHER MAKI, Fort Bragg. Meth, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.
AGOSTINHO ONEIL, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.
Owens, Potts, Quadrio, Waters
PHILLIP OWENS JR., Eureka/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
TRENTON POTTS, Oroville. Probation revocation.
CLARISE QUADRIO, Willits. Drunk in public.
AUSTIN WATERS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
SPOTTY THE OWL
by Hank Sims
During the Pacific Northwest “Timber Wars” of the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was no more potent symbol of the division between environmental activists and the wood products industry than the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina).
Long put forth as a “sentinel species” whose decline reflected vast problems in Northwest forest management practices, the spotted owl was finally listed as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act in June 1990 – smack-dab in the middle of the Redwood Summer protests. Environmentalists viewed the owl’s listing status as a victory — not only would it mean that the owl would be accorded protection under the law, but the rapacious logging practices of the time could be challenged in court, because of their effect on the owl’s habitat. If an old-growth forest was home to a spotted owl, logging practices in that forest could be more strictly regulated, and perhaps curtailed entirely.
Timber industry folks, meanwhile, seized upon the same symbology and adapted it to their own purposes. At the time – and to this day, in fact – they held up the owl as a figure of federal overreach and an America gone mad. We’re losing our jobs because of an owl? they asked of anyone who would listen. Defiant bumper stickers disdaining the owl, and sometimes offering recipes for its consumption, were pasted on pickups throughout the region, where they may still be seen from time to time.
The reasons for the subsequent decline of the Northern California timber industry are complex – too complex to treat in detail here – but certainly it may be said that the protection of the owl did, in fact, help slow the historically unprecedented rate of logging happening at the time. Timber harvesters still employ biologists to determine the presence of the owl on lands they plan to harvest, and they must by law adjust their plans if one is found.
In recent years, though, scientists have discovered that the northern spotted owlis facing a new threat: The barred owl (Strix varia), a Midwestern bird that has been expanding its range into the Pacific and displacing its native, spotted cousin. Their threat to the local owl is great enough that federal agencies have begun killing barred owls found invading spotted owl territory.
A few more notes. Many conservation organizations employ Washington lobbyists to influence policy decisions in Congress (“Capitol Hill”), and often those organizations seek legislation that will benefit various classes of fauna — e.g., an owl. However, the thought of animals themselves directly employing lobbyists is whimsical and, it is to be hoped, humorous. Animals have no money.
Also: In the English language, the owl’s call is usually transliterated as “hoo.” This is nearly always followed by an exclamation point. When said out loud, this word – “hoo!” – is pronounced as a homophone of a certain common relative pronoun with which you may be familiar.
OK! You now have enough background to understand the joke contained in the following cartoon, which comes to us from LoCO reader Peggy Molloy:
(Courtesy, LostCoastOutpost.com (aka LoCO).)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Seems to me that this is a time of upheaval in this country. The people who were dumb enough to vote for GWBush, have finally figured out that the middle class is being sold down the drain. The prominence of Trump and Sanders underlies the politics of what’s going on. Personally I thought getting rid of Saddam Hussein was a mistake. Say what you will, he kept the terrorists down. If you fucked with Saddam, he would not only kill You, but he’d kill your whole family, & probably everyone else on your block. I know. I know that is not the PC response that everyone would like to see, however, when Saddam was in charge, none of that shit happened in Iraq, nor was it imported to the rest of the world. As far as I’m concerned, that is the fault of the Republicans who were stupid enough to vote for “W”, not once but TWICE. Trump is the direct result of that idiocy. Gonna keep this short, so that people don’t scroll over it like I do with other people’s long winded diatribes.
IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE the Fed can dump more than $4 trillion into the financial system and not even hit their 2% inflation target? How is that possible? I thought more money meant more inflation? Was I wrong?
Yes and no. You see, the Fed’s policies have created inflation, just not the kind of inflation that revs up activity. What the Fed has created is asset inflation, soaring stock and bond prices that eventually lead to financial instability and painful periods of adjustment. The S&P has more than doubled since 2009, while the Dow Jones has actually tripled. Stock prices have skyrocketed while Wall Street speculators have made an absolute killing. It’s only working slobs who haven’t benefited from the Fed’s policies because none of the money has trickled down to the real economy where it could do some good. Instead, it’s all locked up in the financial system where its inflated one gigantic bubble after another.
— Mike Whitney
THE JOYS OF AIR TRAVEL
SALUTE TO A COMMUNIST
“For Whom the Bell Tolls” was my favorite novel, and its hero, Robert
Jordan, my literary idol. Like him, Delmer Berg fought in Spain, for love.
by John McCain
An interesting obituary appeared in The New York Times recently, though the death of its subject last month was largely unnoticed beyond his family and friends.
That’s not surprising. Delmer Berg wasn’t a celebrity. He wasn’t someone with great wealth or influence. He had never held public office. He was a Californian. He worked as a farmhand and stonemason. He did some union organizing. He was vice president of his local NAACP chapter. He protested against the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons. He joined the United States Communist Party in 1943, and, according to The Times, he remained an “unreconstructed Communist” for the rest of his life. He was 100.
He was also the last known living veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
Not many Americans younger than 70 know much about the Lincoln Brigade. It became the designation given to the nearly 3,000 mostly American volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War in 1937 and 1938. They fought on the Republican side, in defense of the democratically elected leftist government of Spain, and against the Nationalists, the military rebels led by Gen. Francisco Franco.
The Nationalists claimed their cause was anti-Communism and the restoration of the monarchy, and the Republicans professed to fight for the preservation of democracy. Fascists led the former, while Communists, both the cynical and naïve varieties, sought control of the latter. And into the Republican camp came idealistic freedom fighters from abroad.
The Lincoln Brigade was originally called a battalion, one of several volunteer units that were part of the International Brigades, the name given the tens of thousands of foreign volunteers who came from dozens of countries, and were organized and largely led by the Comintern, the international Communist organization controlled by the Soviets. Franco’s Nationalists were supported by Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.
Spain became the theater where the three most powerful ideologies of the 20th century — Communism, fascism and self-determination — began the war that would continue, in some form or another, for more than half the century until the advocates of liberty, and their champion, the United States, prevailed.
Not all the Americans who fought in the Lincoln Brigade were Communists. Many were, including Delmer Berg. Others, though, had just come to fight fascists and defend a democracy. Even many of the Communists, like Mr. Berg, believed they were freedom fighters first, sacrificing life and limb in a country they knew little about, for a people they had never met.
You might consider them romantics, fighting in a doomed cause for something greater than their self-interest. And even though men like Mr. Berg would identify with a cause, Communism, that inflicted far more misery than it ever alleviated — and rendered human dignity subservient to the state — I have always harbored admiration for their courage and sacrifice in Spain.
I have felt that way since I was boy of 12, reading Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” in my father’s study. It is my favorite novel, and its hero, Robert Jordan, the Midwestern teacher who fought and died in Spain, became my favorite literary hero. In the novel, Jordan had begun to see the cause as futile. He was cynical about its leadership, and distrustful of the Soviet cadres who tried to suborn it.
But in the final scene of the book, a wounded Jordan chooses to die to save the poor Spanish souls he fought beside and for. And Jordan’s cause wasn’t a clash of ideologies any longer, but a noble sacrifice for love.
“The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for,” Jordan thinks as he waits to die, “and I hate very much to leave it.” But he did leave it. Willingly.
Mr. Berg went to Spain when he was a very young man. He fought in some of the biggest and most consequential battles of the war. He sustained wounds. He watched friends die. He knew he had ransomed his life to a lost cause, for a people who were strangers to him, but to whom he felt an obligation, and he did not quit on them. Then he came home, started a cement and stonemasonry business and fought for the things he believed in for the rest of his long life.
I don’t believe in most of the things that Mr. Berg did, except this: I believe, as Donne wrote, “no man is an island, entire of itself.” He is “part of the main.” And I believe “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”
So was Mr. Berg. He didn’t need to know for whom the bell tolls. He knew it tolled for him. And I salute him. Rest in peace.
(John McCain is a Republican senator from Arizona.)
NORA EPHRON'S NOVEL, HEARTBURN, is based on her failed marriage to Carl Bernstein. Ephron famously included a recipe for the Key lime pie her protagonist, a food writer, hit her unfaithful husband in the face with (Nora Ephron and Martha Stewart make Key lime pie in this video). Ephron explains ("Writers are cannibals...") the derivation for her of Everything is Copy in the video: her parents were writers who lived by it.
When I first heard it, I thought of Norman Mailer's short story, "The Notebook," which is in Advertisements for Myself.
The excerpt below gives you the idea:
The writer was having a fight with his young lady. They were walking toward her home, and as the argument continued they walked with their bodies farther and farther apart..."There's one thing I will tell you," she went on bitterly. "You hurt people more than the cruelest person in the world could. And why? I'll tell you why. It's because you never feel anything and you make believe that you do." She could see he was not listening, and she asked in exasperation, "What are you thinking about now?"
"Nothing. I'm listening to you, and I wish you weren't so upset."
Actually the writer had become quite uneasy. He had just thought of an idea to put in his notebook, and it made him anxious to think that if he did not remove his notebook from his vest pocket and jot down the thought, he was likely to forget it. He tried repeating the idea to himself several times to fix it in his memory, but this procedure was never certain...
He was thinking that if he removed the notebook from his pocket, and held it in the palm of his hand, he might be able to scribble in it while they walked. Perhaps she would not notice.
It turned out to be too difficult. He was obliged to come to a halt beneath a street light. His pencil worked rapidly in nervous elliptic script while he felt beside him the pressure of her presence. Emotional situation deepened by notebook, he wrote. Young writer, girlfriend. Writer accused of being observer, not participant in life by girl. Gets idea he must put in notebook. Does so, and brings the quarrel to a head. Girl breaks relationship over this…
(Rob Anderson, Courtesy, District5Diary.)
“THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH BERNIE, in the end, is that he’s running as a Democrat – as a member of a political party that not only capitulated to right-wing demagoguery but is now owned and controlled by a relatively small number of millionaires and billionaires. Yes, Sanders has raised millions from small donors, but should he become president, he would also become part of what he has otherwise derided as ‘the establishment.’ Even if Bernie’s racial-justice views evolve, I hold little hope that a political revolution will occur within the Democratic Party without a sustained outside movement forcing truly transformational change. I am inclined to believe that it would be easier to build a new party than to save the Democratic Party from itself.”
— Michelle Alexander
TRIBUNAL TO HEAR DELTA TUNNELS CASE
by Dan Bacher
A lot of folks have opined on Governor Jerry Brown’s California Water Fix to build the Delta Tunnels, but nobody, including the Brown and Obama administrations promoting the plan, have asked the alleged “beneficiary” of this project — the San Francisco Bay-Delta Ecosystem - what the estuary has to say about the tunnels.
That will all change on April 30, 2016, when a panel of judges convening in Antioch will consider the question: “What would the San Francisco Bay-Delta Ecosystem say?” when examining a case brought before them in the first-ever Bay Area Rights of Nature Tribunal based on an international rights of nature tribunal held in Paris during the Paris Climate Talks last December.
“It’s a question gaining ground as dozens of U.S. and international communities and a handful of countries have begun recognizing rights and legal standing for ecosystems as a new framework for environmental protection," according to a news release from the Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance (BARONA.)
The tribunal will be held at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center in Antioch, CA on April 30 from 9:30 AM-2 PM.
“The case being brought before the tribunal address nature’s, community, and human rights violations presented by Governor Brown’s water policies, and particularly his proposed Twin Tunnel plan, which would significantly reduce flows needed for Delta waterways and fish. The tribunal is being put on by the Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance (BARONA) —a network of organizations seeking to explore how recognizing legal standing for ecosystems can put new governance tools in the hands of communities,” the release stated.
In addition to detailing rights violations, Tribunal witnesses and experts will also offer solutions to water flow and economic development challenges that protect, not injure, human and nature’s rights.
“The proposed project not only violate nature’s rights and human rights, but also illustrates that our laws legalize such harms,” said Linda Sheehan of the Earth Law Center. “This Tribunal is about confronting a system of laws that places people and nature in harm’s way, and demonstrating a new way forward.”
“We are pleased to work with BARONA to make the case for the San Francisco Bay-Delta,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director for Restore the Delta, a group that has been working to fight the governor’s plan and support sound water alternatives.“The Delta is an imperiled national treasure — a home for wildlife, fisheries, and human culture. After 30 years of over-pumping, the Delta Tunnels proposal would complete the destruction of the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas. Those who view the Delta as simply another water source to be drained are in for a fight. The people and wildlife of the Delta will not be erased.”
Judges for the tribunal include: renowned eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, governmental liaison for the Winnemem Wintu tribe Gary Mulcahy, Movement Rights director Shannon Biggs and others to be confirmed.
“Rights of nature” is a global movement that has been named one of the Top Ten Grassroots Movements Taking on the World by Shift Magazine. International Tribunals in Paris, Lima and Quito have recognized nature’s rights, as has the Pope and other leading figures, according to BARONA.
“Rather than treating nature as property under the law, rights of nature acknowledges that the ecosystem—in this case the Delta itself—is a rights-bearing entity,” concluded Shannon Biggs, Director of Movement Rights, a group that assists California communities pass laws that place the rights of communities and ecosystems above corporate interests. “Mendocino County and Santa Monica have already recognized these rights in order to ban fracking and develop sustainability initiatives.”
Ecuador under President Rafael Correa is the first county to recognize the Rights of Nature in its Constitution, rewritten in n 2007-2008. The people of Ecuador ratified the Constitution in 2008. (therightsofnature.org/...)
In Bolivia under President Evo Morales, the Plurinational Legislative Assembly in December 2010 passed the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth (Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra). The law defines Mother Earth as "a collective subject of public interest," and declares both Mother Earth and life-systems (which combine human communities and ecosytems) as titleholders of inherent rights specified in the law.
The Antioch event is free and open to the public, but will require an RSVP. Donations encouraged. Please mark your calendars and join the growing movement for nature’s rights.
Brown Celebrates World Water Day As He Promotes Salmon-Killing Delta Tunnels
Governor Jerry Brown on March 22 issued a statement celebrating World Water Day and the White House Water Water Summit as he continues to promote the most environmentally destructive public works project in California history, the California Water Fix to build the Delta Tunnels
“On World Water Day – as California’s drought stretches on – we’re reminded that no matter where you live, access to water is not guaranteed,” proclaimed Brown. “With today’s Summit and the Federal Action Plan, the Obama Administration is confronting this reality and planning for the future.
“The White House Water Summit focused on water challenges throughout the country, including California’s drought, and ways to build a more resilient water future," according to the Governor's Office.
Ahead of the Summit, the Obama Administration released a Presidential Memorandum and Federal Action Plan that aim to bolster long-term drought resilience in the United States by setting drought resilience policy goals, directing specific drought resilience activities to be completed by the end of the year and permanently establishing the National Drought Resilience Partnership as an interagency task force responsible for coordinating drought resilience, response and recovery efforts.
The Governor's Office proclaimed, “These efforts complement the state’s updated California Water Action Plan, released earlier this year, which lays out the actions that must be taken to protect water supplies for people and the environment and to fix the state’s critical water resource problems.”
One of the key components of the California Water Action Plan is the California Water Fix to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to export Central Valley and Trinity River water to corporate agribusiness interests, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting fracking and other extreme oil extraction methods in Kern County.
The Delta Tunnels Plan, with an estimated cost of up to $67 billion. would not yield one single drop of new water. Yet it would hasten the extinction of Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, along with imperiling the salmon and steelhead runs on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.
EASTER WEEKEND AT MENDOCINO COAST BOTANICAL GARDENS
What better place to celebrate the arrival of spring? The Gardens will be a-buzz with activities for the whole family all weekend long! Celebrate spring with a stroll amidst thousands of beautiful blooms at our garden by the sea. There will be guided tours of our Rhododendron Collection, great giveaways with a number of egg-celllent prizes, face painting, an Easter egg hunt, a visit from the Mendocino Coast Humane Society's Mobile Adoption Van, and much more! All activities are FREE with Gardens Admission!
Dahlia and Begonia Tubers from the Gardens' own currated collection available for purchase all day at Nursery on the Plaza Easter items 40% off at The Garden Store
Saturday, March 26th:
- Rhododendron Walk meets on the Plaza — 11:00am
- Rhododendron Walk meets on the Plaza — 2:00pm
Sunday, March 27th:
- The first 50 visitors will receive an egg-cellent prize!
- Rhododendron Walk meets on the Plaza — 11:00am
- Face Painting on the Plaza — 12:00pm to 3:00pm
- MCHS Mobile Pet Adoption Van — 12:00pm to 3:00pm
- Egg Hunt on the Event Lawn — 1:00pm (children age 12 and under; allow plenty of time to reach the Event Lawn - we suggest arriving by 12:30pm)
- Rhododendron Walk meets on the Plaza – 2:00pm
CLIMATE JUSTICE AT THE FERC and Eternally Witnessing
On March 24, 2016 the various factions representing climate justice in the Washington D.C. region assembled at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The specific reason was to protest the collusion of energy companies and the FERC, which is using legal tactics to force landowners to accommodate new pipeline installations related to fracking activity. Committed climate justice participants were at the FERC in force this afternoon, along with outraged New York state landowners, plus a film maker involved in creating a documentary. We Are Cove Point and Beyond Extreme Energy were principally involved in the protest, which evolved from a pancake breakfast served with maple syrup by landowners (whose maple trees were cut down to make way for a proposed new pipeline) in front of the FERC building, to marching-chanting-singing with banners, to blocking one of the vehicle entrances which resulted in arrests; all the while singing inspired re-worked classic songs of dissent. Indeed, whose side are you on? What makes this different from conventional environmental campaigns, is that there is no end date, there is no specific goal which would spell victory, and the "other side" is unreachable. Some United States energy companies are involved in fracking to maintain their market share in Europe, regardless of the current low price of the product, and its surplus. The bottom line is to maintain market share so that somebody else does not come in and seize it. Secondly, the FERC is not behaving in an objective manner, which it was created to do. Instead, it is functionally serving the demands of the energy companies. The consequence of this is that it is not rationally possible to successfully dissent, because there is no objective entity to take dissent to! In the midst of this theater of absurdity, we concerned citizens about environmental well being, public health, and global climate destabilization continue to press on with our actions, because we are spiritually called to do so. There is no other sane explanation. Mundanely speaking, successful dissent in this situation is impossible. Consequently, we are doing what we are called to do above and beyond the mundane in the Washington D.C. region, which requires some spiritual dexterity. We must fully participate, and at the same time be witnesses; in other words, have "double vision". At present, I am staying in travel hostels in Washington D.C. and I am willing to be here longer term. I am able to financially support myself. What I am asking for is cooperation to be participatory, which means that I will at some point need to move out of travel hostels to another living situation, which would be more accommodatable. IMPORTANT: Beyond Extreme Energy must have a mechanism established to ensure a continuous flow of money. Catch as catch can donations is insufficient, in view of the fact that this may well go on indefinitely. Remember that there is no end date, no known single accomplishment which would spell victory, no apparent political solution, and although Divine Intervention will need to happen, we know not when. Feel free to send me your love and maintain contact at CraigStehr@inbox.com.
C & O BLUES
Did you ever wake up
between midnight and day
And felt for your rider?
An’ she done eased away
Fourteen long years
C & O run by my door
My fair brown told me this morning
she didn't want me no more
If you don't want me baby
what makes you whine and cry
You put that thing on me mama
and let a black child die
Which away, which away
did the C & O leave your town
She's gone west baby
Capital Creek Junction bound
My mama told me baby
two long years ago
If you fool with that little woman
you'll have nowhere to go
Want all of you men
to clearly understand
Take a Alabama woman
sure going to quit you for another man
I love you baby
tell the whole round world I do
I love you baby
don't care what you do.
— Walter Taylor, 1927