Mendocino County Today: Monday, May 16, 2016
by AVA News Service, May 16, 2016
VOTE NO ON MEASURE V
After listening to both sides in a discussion about Measure V this week, we have come to the conclusion that Measure V is just not necessary. It is perhaps well-intentioned but it’s a confused ballot measure that may have unintended consequences.
The proponents say that the standing dead trees created when private forest owners use herbicides to kill invasive species are an especially dangerous fire threat and private landowners should not be allowed to let the trees stand.
The measure is aimed squarely at Mendocino Redwood Company and many of its supporters are among those who have fought timber operations in this county for years. We note that during the discussion this week an audience member shouted out “Stop logging!” to the MRC representative trying to explain the company’s position. We think “stop logging” is the real goal for many of the Measure V supporters.
We also point out that while many supporters talk about the “deadly chemicals” in the forest, the ballot measure itself does not ban the practice of treating trees with chemicals. Its focus is whether the trees that are killed are allowed to stand or must be taken down.
The fire chief from Albion and the retired firefighter joining him, wrote Measure V, we believe, with the sincere belief that standing dead trees are deadlier to firefighters than dead trees on the ground. MRC disputes that, citing, for one thing, their own studies of tree stands after the widespread Lightning Fires of 2008. The company says its own foresters noted no difference in fire strength or heat in stands treated with what has become known as the “hack and squirt” method. In a nutshell, what the company is doing is killing the invasive tanoak species which competes with the redwoods and other conifers they are trying to restore to hundreds of thousands of Mendocino County acres, once devastated by clearcutting. The tanoak is injected with herbicides and left to die standing. After about two to four years it falls and then over the next 10 years or so, decays entirely.
A study of recent scientific research on the subject of standing dead trees and fire safety, done for the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council by the UC Extension Service, concluded that first, how the tree died – whether by disease or herbicides – does not change the severity of the fire if it catches. Second, the study concluded that standing dead trees do not pose a more severe fire risk than fallen dead trees.
The proponents of Measure V simply do not have the science behind them. They do not have all firefighters behind them either. Firefighters are split on the issue and the Chief in Laytonville has publicly opposed Measure V.
And while Measure V would make it harder and more expensive for MRC (or any private timber owner) to transform grown over lands into healthy redwood forests again, it does nothing about the more than 80,000 acres of standing dead trees caused by Sudden Oak Death in Mendocino County since 2011. Compared to the 3,000 acres of MRC treated tanoaks in that time, we have to wonder how fire safety is really improved with Measure V.
K.C. Meadows, Editor, the Ukiah Daily Journal (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
* * *
THERE IS A LOT of confused reasoning and bad information in this piece, but let's begin with the final sentence. According to data from the Mendocino County Agriculture Division, since 2012 the timber industry has used imazapyr (their drug of choice for Hack-and-Squirt) on 31,591 Mendocino County acres. (FYI, that was 4,856 gallons of imazapyr, enough poison to kill over 6 million hardwood trees.) MRC, alone, accounted for 22,723 of those acres (or 72% of the total).
Here's another opinion: get your facts straight before you start telling people how to vote. — Mike Kalantarian
* * *
A LOGGER COMMENTS ON MEASURE V
Whoever was in charge at MRC five years ago when they mindlessly created panoramic views of dead tan oaks, should have known better. The tan oak control could have been done in phases, and no one would have noticed. BTW, I believe Mike Jani was in Humboldt when this happened. The de facto issue is the use of herbicides. So is it going to be OK to knock the tree down and treat the stump with an herbicide? Or is it OK to kill the tree standing, and then knock it down later? Albion-Little River Fire Chief Ted Williams has said this is a good idea. We have been through this before. Remember, "hack and squirt" was what the anti-herbicide people wanted instead of aerial spraying with a helicopter. I believe a person at LP refined the technique to make it economical, as a result of pubic resistance to the use of helicopters. I have used the method of falling tan oaks and treating the stumps. It is called “slashing.” There are some advantages to this, but it creates an immediate high fire risk situation. When I have used this method, I have figured if the slashed area caught fire it would go up with a big roar, and no one was going to stop it, or be stupid enough to try. Slashing also creates large areas where access is almost impossible, until the trees rot. This is a problem for forest owners and for potential firefighters as well. Planting these areas is exceedingly difficult, at best. If there is a fire in a slashed area, conventional means for fire suppression are out the window for probably five to eight years. But of course fire risk is not the real issue with Measure V. Neither is fire fighter safety. Falling trees is more costly and involves more risk as well. Increased safety risk is one of the higher cost components of falling tan oaks instead of leaving them standing. I am pretty sure the comp rate for falling tan oaks is considerably higher than for hack and squirt…
* * *
TO HEAR THE ADVOCATES talk about Measure V, you’d think it required MRC and other landowners who have standing dead timber due to hack-and-squirt to do something about it. Unfortunately, the actual text of the measure [see below] doesn’t say anything like that. It simply declares the standing trees a nuisance and that MRC and other landowners have specific liability for any damages if a fire in those trees damages certain neighboring properties. Which would be nearly impossible to prove if it came to it. Yes, the standing dead timber is an artificially introduced additional hazard. But if the Measure V advocates were serious, they would have required something be done about it. One advocate told us that if MRC does nothing after the standing dead timber is declared a public nuisance it might jeopardize their forestry certification and that might cause them to do something to restore their certification because certification might allow them to sell their certified lumber at a slightly higher price. But there are so many “mights” in that argument that if it somehow came to pass, the standing dead trees will have already decomposed.
* * *
MENDOCINO REDWOOD COMPANY is tone deaf. They should know that unless they do some commonsense outreach they'll have endless trouble in Mendocino and Humboldt counties where anti-corporate feeling is so prevalent any measure, however flawed, that makes life more difficult for corporations and, by extension, sweat shop billionaires like the Fishers, who own MRC, is likely to pass. If I were running MRC I'd hire LOCAL gyppos to fell non-commercial tree species, thus providing local people work at a good wage and, in the process, creating lots of good will. "Oh, that's too expensive to do it that way." I wonder. What's MRC's annual chemical bill? What's its green certification worth to them in redwood sales at mega-outlets like Home Depot?
NOT SO INCIDENTALLY, MRC's reputation with local loggers couldn't be worse. Whatever probs MRC has they've earned for themselves via a nearly L-P quality arrogance. As for not being able to afford to hand fall trees, please. Hillary says "we" can't afford single payer health insurance. Billery could almost pay for single payer out of the money they've stashed in their phony foundation. The One Percenters are forever claiming "we" can't afford this or that while they hide money overseas and pay no proportionate taxes here in the motherland. The Fisher family could pay to hand fall non-commercial tree species simply by selling a couple of their Warhols.
* * *
DECLARE INTENTIONALLY KILLED AND LEFT STANDING TREES A PUBLIC NUISANCE
(The text of Measure V)
Title 8 of the Mendocino County Code entitled PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE grants Mendocino County the authority to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the county’s residents. The citizens of Mendocino County find as follows:
The county has over 1 million acres of forest lands with much of it in private industrial ownership; and
Some industrial owners manage their forest lands by intentionally killing but not downing unwanted trees; and
Intentionally killed and left standing trees present an extreme fire hazard; and
Intentionally killed and left standing trees can impede rapid suppression of fires; and Intentionally killed and left standing trees pose a life safety risk to firefighters; and
Intentionally killed and left standing trees endanger the public health and safety of rural residents.
The citizens of Mendocino County, by their authority to adopt ordinances by initiative add a new chapter to Title 8 of the Mendocino County Code to read as follows:
Trees greater in height than 5 meters, intentionally killed and left standing for more than 90 days (except those created for the benefit of wildlife habitat) are a public nuisance and the party responsible shall be liable for any resulting damage when the tree is:
(1) within 1,000 meters of one or more critical infrastructures:
(a) roads including public roads, private roads and driveways, fire lanes
(b) telecommunication infrastructure including poles, wire, fiber, terminals, towers
(c) electrical infrastructure including poles, wire, substations, transformers
(d) significant water sources, including rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes
(2) within 1,000 meters of a structure
(3) within CAL FIRE State Responsibility Area The County shall not enter residential property to verify compliance.
If any section, subsection, sentence, phrase or clause of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of the Ordinance. The citizens of Mendocino County here declare that they would have adopted the Ordinance and each section despite the fact that one or more section, subsection, phrases or clauses be declared invalid.
Date of Effect
This Ordinance shall take effect and be in full force immediately upon adoption by the voters of Mendocino County.
Ted Williams, Fire Chief, Albion Little River Fire Protection District
James Sibbet, Firefighter, Comptche Volunteer Fire Dept.
Mike Coltan, Firefighter, Comptche Volunteer Fire Dept.
Kirk van Patten, Cal Fire Air Attack Captain, ret.
Katy M. Tahja, Librarian, ret.
* * *
MEASURE V ON KZYX
Tues May 17, from 7-8 PM, Ecology Hour
Charlie Acker will host Fire Chief Ted Williams, retired Cal Fire Air Attack Captain Kirk Van Patten and Biologist Els Cooperrider.
Mendocino Redwood Company declined to participate.
They'll discuss the fire and public safety hazard due to the millions of dead but standing (poisoned hack & squirt) trees in Mendocino County.
Get ready with your questions! 895-2448
KZYX 91.5 90.7 88.1 online at kzyx.org
Citizens for Fire Safe Forests, Campaign Coordinator
THESE RESPONSES SUNDAY to the usual Press Democrat pufferoo on wine, this one about how the industry is "taking off" in Lake County:
(1) I will never understand why you people glorify wine like it's some great thing for humanity, yet you vilify cannabis like it's the worst thing that ever happened to the planet. When I drive down 29 and see all of those alcohol plants growing it makes me think of all of the lives destroyed and the harm caused by alcohol. Andy Beckstoffer is personally responsible for untold thousands upon thousands of deaths and destroyed lives because of the poison he produces. Yet, you morons say, "HIDE THE POT PLANTS!" Yes, you want the revenue, you know for a fact that cannabis brings far more money into this county than alcohol ever will, yet you want to hide it behind fences and force us into the shadows. We, the cannabis growers, help people. We make life better for people. We do the exact opposite of what alcohol does. You people are so sick and twisted that you are beyond help.
(2) Your product stinks and is disgusting to be anywhere near. Wine drinkers don't pollute everyone near them with their choice and is every bit as medicinal as marijuana. Medicinal use is very limited and a scam. And your growing methods destroy the watersheds. It turns young minds into stoner brains. The cartels are everywhere and violence with it is endemic. Want more? I expect I can keep going…
Dear Friends of MendoVito:
As you will by now know, Andrew will be returning to Europe to try a different approach to enabling people to build communities. However that does not mean that the vision for a village town in Mendocino County is over.
When I left in February it was clear to me that until we secured funding there was little more that I could do in Ukiah. Also, it was also a bit challenging for me to work through the dishonest hostility encountered after the November Hopland meeting. For the first half-year from April through October 2014 everything was falling into place so well. We found an approval process, we found land, and while there was skepticism that it could be done, it appeared folks were open to the idea and wanted to know more. There had been pressure from the beginning to call meetings, yet we found the one on one working well. It was my mistake to go along with the idea of the November meeting. It was not fatal, but it sure turned the whole vibe upside down. It was a bit mind blowing to encounter the likes of Wendal Nicholaus turning the vintners against it — including ones who previously had expressed strong support. Sure, it's just politics, and there will always be opponents, but I began to understand what one insightful person meant when he said there are a lot of seemingly solid people in the Hopland region who have a few screws loose. When I got home I took some time to detoxify as well as mend some fences (literally) since leaving our place for a year took its toll on the property as well as our bank account.
After I got home to New Zealand, Andrew had me read "Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World" by Peter Diamandis and he then asked me what the "takeaway" was. He intended that the takeaway was crowd funding, but for me it was to secure a super credibility. So before we go find funds we need to bring on board key influencers to give it that credibility. Basically, it's time to put the idea into the national and international dialogue without the pressure of a fur-fight in Hopland. My understanding is that a lot of the opposition as shown in the Nicholaus letter is actually quite weak and in fact I would be opposed to what Nicholas wrote about. Only thing is the proposal in his letter was not MendoVito, it was MendoVandal (the origin of the name Wendel is "Vandal"), a figment of his imagination.
So here is where I see we are:
The land is there and I expect the Bilbos will be farming it for the next 30 years. If a village town proposal comes back to them with the right money and a fully approved specific plan, I expect they will sell. I don't see any time pressure there.
The citizen sponsored land-use initiative process is still there. If funding can be put together to implement a proper consultation and engagement process. I expect it will get the signatures and the votes. Again, no time pressure.
The pressure is regional, national and global. Things are failing. People are getting more desperate (especially Americans, I have to say). They want new answers, better solutions — especially parents of young children and baby boomers.
We need to work with that timing, not fight it. Go with the flow. It flowed until November, then the tide turned. It will turn again, but when it does it will need village towns to have attained super credibility.
Andrew suggested to me when we spoke last week that it probably should not be branded MendoVito. Bring in funding with a new name with professionals taking control of the message so that people know precisely what is proposed and the silliness of opposition like the Susan Poor letters don't gain standing. I don't have a problem with people debating the facts — it will add 10,000 people to the county — but let's make sure we argue about a village town and not someone's MendoVandal dystopian nightmare as Nicholaus presented.
I'm not sure what to do about the momentum. I understand friends of MendoVito plan to have a booth at the Bioneers conference. People are still clicking "like" on the MendoVito webpage. So I look to you for guidance. It is your county, not mine. I'm here to support. Feel free to pick up the phone and call me. 707/320-1100 works as does 510/629-3000, both California numbers. Remember that when it is 5pm in California it is noon in New Zealand.
Thank you all for the great progress to date.
Claude Lewenz, New Zealand
REMEMBER COUNTY COUNSEL TOM PARKER? He was hired by Mendo in 2010 over the smart, personable Terri Gross who should have gotten the job. The Supes of the time thought Parker was an expert at property tax policy. Parker turned out to be an expert at nothing. When he memorably advised the Supervisors that 2 of 5 constituted a quorum, that was a little too incompetent even for Mendocino County. (At the time, Supervisor McCowen was trying, in vain as it turned out, to convince his colleagues that the perpetual re-sale of unbuildable Brooktrails lots was a scam which, any other place, would be unarguable.)
PARKER was unloaded on Mendocino County by Colusa County, upon whom he'd been unloaded by El Dorado County. County Counsel personnel apparently are much like city managers, school administrators. Like the proverbial bad pennies they just keep showing up somewhere, unloaded on the unsuspecting by previous employers. After Mendo, Parker finally retired — at about a hundred grand a year plus bennies — out of the LA County Counsel's office where, presumably, he labored in a large office of equivalently handicapped lawyers who wouldn't (and didn't) notice.
DUMB LAWYERS are nothing new to Mendo. Parker was and is the tip of the iceberg around here. He was appointed in the first place by a board of supervisors consisting of two crooks caught by the Grand Jury cheating on their travel reimbursements and one dopehead who may also be clinically insane. There were only two fully operational supervisors at the time, McCowen and Carre Brown. The other three would not have been able to pass even the loosest mental health exam. Parker lingered for two years in almost total silence, promising to "get back to you" every time he was asked to express an opinion. Parker's successor was a guy arrested for driving around late at night with an unpermitted, loaded gun and a stash of marijuana. (I've done the same thing with an open container rather than dope, but I'm not paid to give Mendocino County legal advice.) We have nine judges for a population of 90,000 people. Our chief prosecutor on the Mendocino Coast served for years as People's Temple attorney. Fortunately here in Intoxicants County, we also suffer a collective amnesia where you are whatever you say you are, and history starts all over again every day.
ANNA SHAW of Hospitality House, Fort Bragg, with 4th District County Supervisor Dan Gjerde, the latter maintaining a savvy silence on the expansionist charity that's brought so much controversy to Fort Bragg.
MENDOCINO SPRING POETRY CELEBRATION * SUNDAY MAY 22
The 41st Anniversary Mendocino Poetry Spring Celebration takes place Sunday May 22 at the Hill House in Mendocino. There will be two open readings: sign up at noon for the reading at 1:00 PM; sign up at 5:00 for the reading at 6:00 PM. Readers should prepare four minutes per session, of their own work or of favorites by others. This is the 11th annual revival of Spring readings held in Mendocino 41 years ago. This event draws some 40 poets from the north counties and beyond. All poems will be considered for broadcast by Dan Roberts on KZYX&Z. Open book displays, fellowship, choice comestibles. Donation requested. Walt Whitman said, “Great poetry requires great audiences.” Celebrate the word! For information, contact Gordon Black at email@example.com.
ANYTHING FOR MONEY?
To the Editor:
Have to laugh at the article in Sunday’s Ukiah Daily Journal. The City is considering allowing live music all up and down Dora Street (a residential area), and in other residential areas all over town without requiring a permit. This allows live music until 10pm. Has any thought been given as to how it will negatively impact people who want peace and quiet at home after a long work week? Most people go to a venue to listen to music, as a venue is generally isolated from neighborhoods. This works, and was an outgrowth of concerns raised when live music impinged on the rights of homeowners to enjoy the quietude of their home. Here’s where it gets amusing. If you want to have a Community Garden, there will be a “standard for noise.” Really? Rowdy bunch, those gardeners. What in heck is going on at City Hall, and with the City Council? Have they all lost their minds? It seems like each new decision made degrades our personal quality of life in the pursuit of them making money. Perhaps the new City slogan should be “will do anything for money.” The shoe fits.
L.Gail Dammuller, Ukiah
I THINK TOMMY WAYNE IS AGAINST PROP W
I don’t know if we should make Mendocino County a charter county or not, but I do know that those campaigning to be its directors are the wrong people to run it.
There are 17 candidates for the 15 charter positions. All of them come from the same tiny sliver of the political spectrum: power-craving dimwit fringe lunatic progressives.
These are the kind of narrow-minded idiots who run KZYX and who flood public meetings wearing tinfoil helmets while raging on and on about contrails and nuke-free zones. These are the worst people in Mendocino County, and putting them in charge of anything more than a popsicle stand is a mistake. In fact I wouldn’t let any of them run a popsicle stand because I doubt they’d wash their hands before coming to work. And if running a popsicle stand turned into work they wouldn’t come in at all.
A few months ago I saw a photo in the Daily Journal of a batch of slobs with clenched fists leaping into the air. I figured it was just another “No Blood for Oil” protest, or maybe one of those “We Hate the Willits Bypass” groups. But no.
The poorly dressed mob was celebrating outside the county elections office because it had just qualified its cause — Proposition W — for the upcoming ballot. That photo was all I needed to know about the pedigree of the group, and when the ballot statements came in the mail it was proven all over again: these people do not have your best interests at heart.
Even if a charter county makes perfect sense, it would not be a good idea to have the entire board made up of hippies who think all the ills in the world and in Mendocino County are the fault of banks, corporations, Republicans and people who work for a living. But that’s 100 percent of the charter mob.
There isn’t a construction worker, rancher or mechanic in the mix. It’s mediators, educrats, grants-grubbers, acquaponic experts, retired teachers, eco-warriors, anti-business agitators, consultants and lefty activists from Berkeley.
Some names we know, like the loud and erratic Lynda McClure, who once operated the nutty Mendo Enviro Center, and Robin Sunbeam, who recently ran for county office on a promise to break up corporations, banks and other hobgoblins that make her tremble and sweat. She now wants to establish a county bank using your money, with Prop W as a front, although she may not realize that starting a bank requires her to set up a corporation. Sunbeam will meet the enemy and it will be her, although I doubt she’ll realize it.
Then there’s ex-supervisor Norman “Koombayah” deVall. He’s whackier now than ever, but to criticize old Norm you have to get in line. And my growing doubts about Ukiah’s mayor, Steve Scalmanini, increased dramatically after seeing his name on the ballot.
Reading through the candidate statements, it’s all the usual bland guff about diversity, transparency, corporate power, fracking, GMOs, low carbon this and solar that. They love a pure, clean, natural Mendocino County and don’t want it trashed by anyone, except maybe marijuana growers.
Again, even if making Mendocino County into a charter county is a good idea, why are all the backers of the same political persuasion? Where is the balance? Where are the people who might offer contrary viewpoints? There surely are none among the 15 handpicked politically correct conformists lined up to take control.
A Mendocino County charter? Not with this dried out, warmed over bunch of old hippies running things.
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 15, 2206
Abernathy, Alvarez, Delaguila
LORIE ABERNATHY, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, protective order violation.
VINCENT ALVAREZ, Covelo. Reckless driving.
ELISEO DELAGUILA, Willits. DUI.
Didrickson, Eligio, Fowler
SARAH DIDRICKSON, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
DANIEL ELIGIO, Boonville. DUI.
DEONNA FOWLER, Ukiah. Domestic battery, vandalism.
Gomez, Granados, Hoaglen, Lugo
RAMON GOMEZ, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.
YVONNE GRANADOS, Talmage. Drunk in public.
IRAN HOAGLEN III, Covelo. Parole violation.
JAIME LUGO, Ukiah. DUI.
Tucker, Villalobos, Yang
NICKOLAS TUCKER, Willits. Drunk in public.
LUIS VILLALOBOS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
LIANG YANG, San Jose/Ukiah. Domestic assault, probation revocation.
Jay Duret is a San Francisco based writer and illustrator. More of his work can be seen here [link to https://jayduret.com/illustrations/imagined-conversations-our-politics/]
The amount of farm weed-control compound that actually gets into your body, whether or not you eat anything grown using it, is even less of a medical issue than whatever else you're paranoid about this week or this month or this year — such as z-rays from chemtrails and cell phones and electric blankets and alien mind-control satellites and the homeopathically infinitely potent (barely detectable) background noise of the entire fricking universe. And it's less of a medical issue than many things you expose yourself to much greater levels of that are actually easily shown to be toxic, such as soap (bath, dish, laundry), pet-borne insects and microbes, aerosol particulates from cooking food, smoke and burn products from whatever you use for heat, the paint and varnish and glue (and wood and/or plastic) of furniture, every kind of clothing, the dangers of riding in a motor vehicle, much less breathing while you're in one or near a place where cars go by, exposing your bare ear to the sun, and so on. Sure, you have a choice to live naked and cold in a hole in the dirt and eat raw fungus, but that's not a choice that anyone who isn't crazy makes, so what's the difference?
When you're in a crowd and you smell a fart, that's actual particles of waste from inside the shit-colon of another person flying through the air and sticking in the sensitive tissues up inside your nose, and even that's only a medical issue if you recoil in disgust and hit your head on something behind you.
Farmworkers, because of unscrupulous or ignorant farm owners who don't provide training and protection, may be sickened by being exposed to massive overdoses of farm chemicals, just as you may be sickened by biting into soap, or you may be injured by lifting your giant musical instrument. Just don't eat the soap, and lift with your knees not your back. Keep a straight back; don't lift and twist at the same time.
IT LIKES ALL KINDS OF FLESH, DOESN'T IT?
“Thirty white horses on a red hill. First they champ, then they stamp, then they stand still.”
The recording of Friday night's (2016-05-13) 107.7fm KNYO (and 105.1 KMEC) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available to download and listen to via
Scott Peterson phoned about half an hour into the show and talked for about twenty minutes about the bizarre Mendo Art Center special board meeting last week (he says there'll be another one on the 25th, in the main gallery), and about a born-and-raised perspective on Mendocino Village development over the years.
I had an exciting/dismaying below-the-gumline tooth damage event the night before the show, and I was worried I wouldn't be able to make the proper embouchure on the mic to read aloud for all those hours, but it turned out to be not too much trouble to deliberately almost-but-not-quite close the rack to say the approximately 15,000 ess, ex, cee and zee sounds involved. Just now I listened to bits of the recording, throughout, and can't tell the difference. In fact, except for the places where I forgot and clamped down and so (!) winced in the middle of a word, no-one would have a clue if I hadn't brought it up. For content, anyway, it's a pretty good show, if I do say so myself. (Ow.)
Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a sticky morass of links to not necessarily radio-useful but worthwhile things to sink your own teeth into, such as:
In the pin-up style.
The 32 types of anti-feminism.
“History is not all awful. There was this one time, way back, when a thing went okay.”
And historical Russia, bright, sharp, close up and in natural color.