Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016
by AVA News Service, September 28, 2016
OILFIRE UPDATE, 6:23pm. Started about 4pm Wednesday off of Hwy 101 and Oil Well Hills Road, north of Willits (Mendocino County) near the northbound shoulder of Highway 101. 20 acres and 50% contained. Forward progress stopped. One residence confirmed destroyed. (Cal Fire Twitter update.)
OUTTA THE WAY, GRAPES! HERE COMES POT!
Apparently the almost 900,000 acres where “medical” pot is currently allowed to be grown isn’t enough for local pot growers, otherwise they wouldn’t have proposed Measure AF.
From Mendocino County’s: “Project Description — Medical Cannabis Cultivation Ordinances; Mendocino County. 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 85482; LACO Project Number 7746.12. September 01, 2016”
Overview: “1.0 PROJECT OVERVIEW:
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors intends to adopt a comprehensive ordinance regulating the cultivation of Medical Cannabis. This ordinance is the local complement to a variety of actions currently being taken by the State of California to provide a legal framework for the Medical Cannabis industry (see Regulatory Setting Section, below). The Ordinance will consist of Chapter 10A.17 of the Mendocino County Code and Chapter 20.242 of the Mendocino County Zoning Ordinance (Inland). A complete copy of the draft ordinance may be found at
In brief, the Mendocino County Medical Cannabis Ordinance includes provisions to establish a comprehensive local ordinance generally including (but not limited to) the following:
“Creates a phased review of medical cannabis operations:
“Phase 1 consists of the review of operations in existence as of January 1, 2016 and extends from adoption of the ordinance to January 1, 2018,
“Phase 2 extends from January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2020 and consists of the review of new medical cannabis operations restricted to Type 1A and Type 2A requests which are applications for indoor cultivation using only artificial light, with a maximum growing area of 5,000 square feet (Type 1A) or 10,000 square feet (Type 2A), and
“Phase 3 begins on January 1, 2020 and consists of the review of all types of cultivations applications.
Appropriate locations for the cultivation of medical marijuana at a variety of intensities and in a variety of growth conditions;
Appropriate County entitlements and permitting for the cultivation of medical cannabis in a variety of intensities and methodologies;
Track and Trace controls throughout the cultivation, preparation, manufacturing and distribution of medical cannabis and related products (such as edibles);
The application and review process for cultivation and other related permits;
Performance standards regarding the cultivation of medical cannabis including licensing requirements, requirements to comply with state regulations, water quality requirements, limitations on pesticide use, handling and storage of hazardous materials, and inspection mechanisms;
Establishment of a “third party” inspections process to monitor ongoing compliance; and
Certification of medical cannabis products as “Mendocino County Grown.”
* * *
The total area within Mendocino County made available for Medical Cannabis Cultivation is approximately 1,788,000 acres, including FL and TPZ zones and 889,000 excluding FL and TPZ Zones as follows:
(ED NOTE: There are about 3900 square miles in Mendocino County. At 640 acres per square mile, that’s about 1.8 million acres out of about 2.5 million total acres. So under these regulations Mendocino County is proposing to allow pot to be grown in nearly all zoning categories in Mendocino County making up about 72% of the County.
* * *
* * *
AND THAT’S JUST CULTIVATION!
“Non-Cultivation Cannabis Activities: Mendocino County is developing an ordinance to permit the other aspects of the cannabis industry outlined in the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act of 2015 (dispensing, distribution, processing, testing, manufacturing, delivery and transportation). An overview of the proposed permitting structure is tentatively scheduled for the General Government Standing Committee on October 17, 2016.”
SOMA is the imaginary "ideal pleasure drug" in Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World (1932). Its chemistry and pharmacology are undefined. As described, the drug resembles a hangoverless tranquillizer or anopiate.
SOMA is also the plant, or the intoxicating juice of the plant, used in ancient Indian religious ceremonies. Inevitably, given the Indian tradition, the plant and its juice were personified as a god, Soma.
FROM BRAVE NEW WORLD: "..there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gram for a half-holiday, a gram for a week-end, two grams for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon..." … "Swallowing half an hour before closing time, that second dose of soma had raised a quite impenetrable wall between the actual universe and their minds." … "The service had begun. The dedicated soma tablets were placed in the center of the table. The loving cup of strawberry ice-cream soma was passed from hand to hand and, with the formula, ‘I drink to my annihilation,’ twelve times quaffed." … "By this time the soma had begun to work. Eyes shone, cheeks were flushed, the inner light of universal benevolence broke out on every face in happy, friendly smiles. Even Bernard felt himself a little melted." … "As soon as they got back to the rest-house, she swallowed six half-gram tablets of soma, lay down on her bed, and within ten minutes had embarked for lunar eternity. It would be eighteen hours at the least before she was in time again." … " ‘Don't you want to be free and men? Don't you even understand what manhood and freedom are?’ Rage was making him fluent; the words came easily, in a rush. ‘Don't you?’ he repeated, but got no answer to his question. ‘Very well then,’ he went on grimly. ‘I'll teach you; I'll make you be free whether you want to be or not.’ And pushing open a window that looked on to the inner court of the Hospital, he began to throw the little pill-boxes of soma tablets in handfuls out into the area. For a moment the khaki mob was silent, petrified, at the spectacle of this wanton sacrilege, with amazement and horror."
NEIGHBORS of that convicted Ukiah chomo, the one from a famed local wine family, the one who lives on Empire Drive, the one the cops have at the very top of their watch list, well, neighbors wonder how he gets away with a backyard full of dope. Ukiah has a city ordinance against neighborhood grows, and this guy's nabes wonder how come his gro isn't a violation of the chomo's parole?
SPEAKING OF DOPE, prices continue to fall. Long-time Boonville growers tell us they're lucky to get $1500 a pound these days. Everybody and his brother now has a garden going. Devil Weed is so pervasive here in Boonville you can smell it just driving through town. When it was still illegal, and the cops were actively going after it, these same long-time growers got $5,000 a pound and up. For years, law enforcement functioned perfectly as a price support presence, taking off just enough dope to keep prices up. Last few years, the cops raided only the more egregious grows, the ones that are also doing major eco-damage or otherwise annoying neighbors. With legalization, Mom and Pop Gro will become museum pieces, as the Marlboro Man rides into the Central Valley and grows it like grapes.
DOOBIE DOOBIE DOO
What is Measure AF: the Mendocino Heritage Initiative? Measure AF is a citizens initiative to regulate cannabis that is on the ballot for Mendocino County voters this November.
Measure AF Town Hall meetings will be held across Mendocino County starting on Sept. 28, continuing through October. Find out more about this grassroots initiative drafted to protect community safety, natural resources, family farms and local businesses. Town Hall meetings will feature presenters and audience Q & A.
Measure AF Town Hall meetings will be held at the Little Lake Grange in Willits on Monday, Oct. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.;at Fort Bragg’s Town Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.; at Gualala Community Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m.; at Harwood Hall in Laytonville on Thursday, Oct. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.; at Round Valley Public Library in Covelo on Friday, Oct. 7 from 5 to 7 p.m.; at the Comptche Community Hall in Comptche on Monday, Oct. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m.; and at the Anderson Valley Grange in Philo on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.
In addition to the Town Hall meetings, other outreach events are planned, including tea-time discussions of Measure AF in Mendocino on Wednesday, Sept. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 20 from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Annex, near the corner of Lansing and Ukiah streets.
More information about these Measure AF Town Halls and other events is on Facebook, atyesonaf.com, and available by email firstname.lastname@example.org by phone 707-200-8239. These events are made possible with the support of the nonprofit Cloud Forest Institute (information atwww.cloudforest.org).
FOOD AND TRAVEL WRITERS prowl the Anderson Valley exclaiming at California's hottest new “undiscovered” destination, unearthing Boonville and Philo at least a dozen times a year. (Yorkville and Navarro remain as remote as an Andean village.) The gastro-locusts spend a couple of expense account days here and fly back to LA or New York to churn out reams of pinot prose with, natch, favorable and well-deserved mentions of our heart-stopping vistas and our many fine little restaurants and cafes. “The unhurried Napa Valley!”
THESE TRAVEL spreads on the marvelous Anderson Valley are illustrated with color photos of our unsurpassed vistas and, in the more high end mags, we get handsome couples holding glinting goblets of wine to the sun.
BUT IN ALL that gushing prose, among all those big color photos of vineyards and artfully arranged plates of “culinary delights” (formerly known as “food”) has there ever been a single mention of Boonville's unsurpassed and unique contribution to the national palate, that true undiscovered edible treasure found only in the Anderson Valley?
FELLOW GOURMANDS allow me to introduce you to the Boonville Donut. No, no, no! Not one of those fluffy, glazed imports from Healdsburg or wherever they're mass produced that you find in morning cafes and coffee shops everywhere on the Northcoast. You won’t find those ho-hum gut bombs at the Redwood Drive-In, home of the Boonville Donut, unchanged since that glorious September day in 1970 when I ate my first one until the one I enjoyed just last week almost 50 years later. Nobody else anywhere makes them like they're created at the Redwood Drive-In, Boonville, Ca, and where the hand-crafted Boonville Donut is produced fresh every morning right on the premises in downtown Boonville, Mendocino County’s most happening venue.
THE DRIVE-IN'S DONUTS today are exactly the same as the first Drive-In donuts plucked from roiling vats of deep fry cooking oil back in '62, the same oil from which the fries, the corn dogs, the chicken noogies, and all the other Drive-In delectables were plucked back then and are plucked today. And don't you dare say it's the same oil, wise guy, and so what if it is? The end product has character, and may well get its unique, multi-flave from that deep fry bucket.
THE WINE PEOPLE go on about essence of this, aroma of that, hint of whatever, but the Boonville Donut has a single unique taste, as memorable as Frisco sour dough, pan-fried abalone, a Carrine crab sandwich, a Boont Amber beer. What is it? An indescrible delight, that’s what it is. No other way to put it. Yes, sir. The Boonville Donut! Once you've tasted one, you'll never forget it and you’ll be back for more.
THE REDWOOD DRIVE-IN began life, near as I could find out from primary sources Eva Holcomb and Karen Ottoboni, about, maybe, around, 1962. It was called the CBR Drive-In after its founding families — the Charleses, the Bates, and the Rawles. Peggy Bates, probably best known as Boonville's long-time postmistress, ran the place and can be said to be the creator of the breakthrough savory described above.
THEN CAME the Johnson and Pardini families, the redoubtable Ottoboni, Cheryl Schrader, Mike Shapiro and Cheryl Schrader, and, today, Ricardo and Francisca Suarez. All those owners, all those donuts, and not a single deviation since '62!
THE RECIPE? Sorry, I'm sworn to secrecy.
HARD TO BELIEVE, especially in a county that regards itself as so sophisticated and generally cool-o, that various of our luminaries — Doug McKenty and Doug Roycroft to name two — still argue that vaccination is to be avoided, citing the usual totally discredited internet sources. (The internet has been very bad for the credulous, expanding their areas of concern from, say, the relative efficacies of rattling chickenbones to ward off the evil eye in tin or porcelain containers to the even more crucial, Why did Building 7 collapse? They dismissed my Building 7 explanation as "simplistic" when I replied, "Hell, everyone knows Bush and Cheney humped in explosives for months prior to 911...."
Coast polymath Marco McClean nicely answers Roycroft on vaccination...
* * *
VACCINES CAUSE DISEASE LIKE BRAKES CAUSE TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS.
On 9/27/2016 3:44 PM, Douglas Roycroft wrote: “I read the others and conclude that the jury is still out on this issue. I'd like to be as sure as Tom is that what I think is the TRUTH — IS the truth.”
* * *
Douglas, vaccines have saved literally millions of people from every kind of misery, disfigurement, paralysis and tragically early death. In many cases vaccination reduces the need for other medicine that we need to keep in reserve. Sweden, for example, vaccinates individual fish in fish farms and so has eliminated the need for antibiotics there. The jury went out, said /Yup, good/, and went right back in again a long time ago.
Here's yet another example of a terrible scourge, impervious to prayer and magic and numerology and planetary consciousness and all of the rest of it, being solved by real science and real medicine: http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/86780/americas-have-officially-been-declared-measles-free
In short: "Measles—which can cause brain swelling, pneumonia, and, in extreme cases, death—was once responsible for nearly 2.6 million annual deaths worldwide. (That's 26 million entirely unnecessary deaths of children every ten years.) In 1963, physicians developed a vaccination for the highly contagious airborne virus, and in the 1980s officials launched a 22-year campaign involving mass vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella throughout the Americas. Today, measles is the fifth vaccine-preventable disease to be eliminated from the Americas, they added, along with smallpox, poliomyelitis, rubella, and congenital rubella syndrome."
And when's the last time you met a young person crippled by polio? Thanks to vaccines, a child in America has a greater chance of being struck by lightning than of catching polio.
Regarding the material you forward from conspiracy-theory websites, um, just for something to think about: How do you feel about the Hollow Earth theory? You'll have no trouble finding bits of data and parts of studies and whole badly done scientific-sounding but science-free references to cherry pick to back it up. And thousands of people believe in it, even now — when we've had cameras in orbit for decades, and we have instruments that can image the interior of the planet all the way to the core using vibration from earthquakes and bombs (a giant sonogram) — there are websites that promote belief in a hollow Earth, and books to read on the subject, and on and on. But, as with the anti-vax crowd, and the religious crowd, and the "energy work" and homeopathy and howling at the moon crowd, just because people obsessed with an idea have lost the ability to think critically about it doesn't make their belief valid. In fact, Earth isn't hollow, there's no ancient civilization of telepathic dinosaurs nor a race of cat-human proto-Aztec Pellucidarians living on an inner surface, feet outward, looking inward (up, from their point of view) at a tiny sun in the center. It's a setting for fun stories, but it can't be real except in someone's imagination.
Repeating over and over that the Earth is hollow, and that magic works, and that science doesn't (!), and posting YouTube videos about it, and interviews with a postal worker who had a near-death experience and visited the inside of the Earth via psychic projection, and ganging together in like-minded cliques to wildly misinterpret actual science to back up the idea of any kind of nonsense will continue to be stupid and funny forever.
Vaccines cause disease like brakes cause traffic accidents. You had a rare bad experience, and it was horrible and may even have been avoidable, but that's no argument for removing the brakes from all cars everywhere; it's an argument for using science to make them even better.
"BRONWEN HANES of Boonville has been sentenced to two years in prison, despite pleas from defense lawyer Victoria Shanahan for leniency (asking for 16 months) and a suggestion from the District Attorney to split a three-year sentence, with half on supervision, which was even more generous than the judge settled on. Ms. Hanes had violated the terms of her probation for previously embezzling a large sum of money from the Anderson Valley PTA."
The defendant's offense carried a potential Realignment county prison (RCP) sentence of 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years.
The Probation Department recommended that the defendant's probation not be reinstated and that a 2 year prison sentence instead be imposed, with no term of post-incarceration supervision.
The defense attorney argued for a 16 month prison term, with no term of post-incarceration supervision.
I argued for the maximum of 3 year prison term -- a 2 year prison sentence but with an additional 1 year on post-incarceration supervision (2+1=3).
Mr. McEwen was present in the courtroom so I am assuming the AVA wrote its "story" paragraph on what McEwen perceived. If that is the case, what he perceived was wrong. His impression that the three years I requested was somehow "more generous" than the two years the judge settled on defies logic and basic math. I argued for three years, that 3 years split 2 years in RCP, followed by 1 year on mandatory supervision (a form of parole.) Judge Moorman went with the 2 years in RCP but declined the 1 year on parole (mandatory supervision). For people paying attention, the DA was anything but generous with this defendant.
District Attorney C.David Eyster
* * *
I'VE BEEN in court when the usual suspects are getting sentenced and everyone in the room has had their calculators out doing the math, often arguing about it. It's easy for someone looking on, even an acute observer like Bruce McEwen, to get the precise numbers wrong. Besides which, in this case, as is the point in most cases, the point is that Ms. Hanes is going to the County Jail for a year or so.
DENNIS ROUSE spotted this bumper sticker on a Wyoming big rig: "Don't like trucks? Quit buying all the shit. End of problem.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 28, 2016
Ceja, Delossantos, Dutra
RODOLFO CEJA III, Ukiah. Burglary, failure to appear, probation revocation.
DANIEL DELOSSANTOS, Talmage. Dirk-dagger, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
JODI DUTRA, Calpella. Pot sales.
Edwards, Gillespie, Heater, Herrera
DAVIDE EDWARDS, Laytonville. Drunk in public.
KYLE GILLESPIE, Ukiah. Petty theft, controlled substance, probation revocaiton.
DERRICK HEATER, Fort Bragg. Failure to register.
RUBEN HERRERA, Ukiah. Drunk in public, vandalism, resisting.
Jarvis, Mannon, Neagle, Neal
HEATH JARVIS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.
ANDERSON MANNON, San Jose. Drunk in public.
RICHARD NEAGLE, Willits. Drunk in public.
DANIEL NEAL, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
Owen, Rozek, Wright
NATALIA OWEN, San Francisco/Ukiah. Petty theft.
ZACHARIA ROZEK, Mendocino. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
ANDREA WRIGHT, Ukiah. Drunk in public, meth possession, under influence.
by Louis S. Bedrock
The fat red-haired cop was talking to the attractive blond woman who was working at the Swissair information desk. He seemed oblivious to everything else going on in the terminal. I would have been too. She was smiling. And she was dazzling.
I was not happy for many reasons: the girl was speaking to the unkempt cop and not to me; the air conditioning in the International Arrivals Building at JFK was losing the battle to the hot July afternoon; I was worn out from my summer job as a limo driver.
I was working day and night, seven days a week, driving a late model station wagon back and forth between suburban Essex and Union counties in New Jersey to the area's three major airports: Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK. JFK was the worst because it attracted more passengers and more traffic, had the most delays, and was the farthest away. But my full time job at Temple University as an ESL instructor did not cover my expenses and although I didn't like spending most of the summer in a car, the job paid very well.
My shirt was stuck to my back and perspiration was running down my face. My flight was delayed--that is, the flight of the people I was picking up. Damn Lufthansa. Their flights never arrived on time. I remembered a conversation I had overheard between a Lufthansa representative and an irritated man waiting for the arrival of one of the airline's flights:
— Is Flight 400 from Frankfort delayed?
—No sir. Flight 400 is on time.
—Flight 400 was scheduled to arrived at 3:30 p.m.. It is now 4:30 p.m.. The flight has not arrived but you are telling me that the flight is on time?
—Yes sir. Flight 400 is on time.
—So Flight 400 from Frankfort, which was scheduled to arrive at 3:30 but which has not yet landed at 4:30, is on time?
Even after the plane landed, the passengers had to deplane, walk to the terminal, fetch their luggage, pass through customs, and then find me in the crowded terminal. Then I had to get the car from the garage, pay the parking fee, find my way to the arrivals level of the terminal, and hope the cops would let me gather up my passengers and their luggage before chasing me away. After all this, there was at least a two-hour drive to Livingston, NJ. I would not be home before midnight.
I looked again at the cop flirting with the Swissair girl. What a disgrace this guy was. His longish red hair was disheveled and obstreperous, he looked overweight and out of shape, and he was leaning on the counter. Didn't this guy have any pride? Why wasn't he patrolling the terminal? Why wasn't he paying attention to the activity around him?
The International Arrivals Building was packed. People from all over the world were emerging from customs, passing through the cordon, and were being greeted by euphoric relatives or friends who had been waiting for hours. All were chattering excitedly in Spanish, Italian, German, Amharic, Mandarin or Cantonese, Farsi, Arabic, Swahili, and a dozen other languages.
I decided to move to the second level where perhaps I could find someplace to sit down and read. Maybe the air conditioning was working better there. Upstairs, I could always stand by the huge windows overlooking the runways and watch the planes take off and land.
I moved toward the escalator and got on behind a large family of people from India or Pakistan--were they speaking Hindi or Urdu? They were attired in brightly colored gossamer. There were about a dozen of them, all smiling and talking excitedly: four or five children, about half a dozen adults, and two older people, perhaps the grandmother and grandfather.
Two thirds of the way up, the old man collapsed. Several people on the escalator gasped and cried out, but in the din of the airport, I doubted that anyone could hear them. I turned to shout for help but the word never got out of my mouth.
A bluish blur shot across the terminal to the escalator. Without knocking down or hurting anyone, the red-haired cop scaled the escalator in three gargantuan strides, scooped up the old man with one beefy arm, and carried him safely to the second floor. He was already on his walkie-talkie with EMS and giving them directions as he politely asked people to clear the area and lowered the man gently to the floor. Someone had found a towel and the cop put it under the head of the man as he carefully spread him out.
Close up, the cop looked a lot less overweight and a lot more like a linebacker or a full back. He moved like a halfback. He wasn't even sweating or breathing hard after running about 200 feet at full speed, flying up the escalator, and scooping up with one hand a person who was in danger of being mutilated or killed by an escalator.
Later, I returned to the first floor to check the arrivals board. I took a detour past the Swissair information desk. The cop was again chatting with the Swiss princess. She was smiling and her eyes were shining. She'd probably seen this guy display his skills before.
I shuffled over beside the cop.
—Is the old man OK?
—Yeah, he just fainted. The medics gave him some oxygen and a glass of water and he was fine. Probably the heat just got to him.
—Thanks. That's what I'm here for.
Then I walked to the board to see if my flight would ever arrive.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
But in this “anti-Establishment” election I can see The New York Times endorsement back-firing on Clinton.
There is nary one “establishment” figure who is NOT supporting Hillary Clinton! Even George H.W. Bush will be voting for her! All of Wall Street, the entire MSM (think Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and Co., except for Sean Hannity and Co.), Michael Bloomberg, Mark Cuban, Warren Buffett, Condi Rice, and some dastardly types like Henry Kissinger and Neocon architect Robert Kagan.
Not to mention all the wealthy Hampton’s crowd and the west coast movie stars.
Haim Saban and his wife are supporting her strictly because she says she will always put “Israel First!”.
I think there will be a tidal wave of voters coming out on November 8th to vote for Donald J. Trump “the non-politician” with zero political experience and zero “establishment” backing.
People are in the mood to upset the apple cart and my prediction is that on election night the pundits heads will be exploding on CNN and MSNBC as their fancy electoral map turns red, red, red.
I just want to hear Hillary Clinton’s congratulatory call to Trump.
ZYDECO DANCE PARTY, 7pm Sat Night, Philo
The Anderson Valley Grange, KZYX, Navarro and Roederer Estate Wineries are sponsoring a Zydeco Dance Party on Saturday, Oct 1st 7-11 PM at the Anderson Valley Grange at 9800 Hwy 128 featuring Delta King Mark St. Mary and his band. The event will also feature Zydeco dance instruction by Ted Sherod at 7 PM and at intermission. Navarro and Roederer Estate wines will be served with Anderson Valley Beer and nonalcoholic drinks, Cajun sausage, Shrimp and vegetarian Jambalaya and sweet treats. The event cost: fifteen dollars advance (Ukiah Natural food, All that Good Stuff, Harvest and Brown Paper Tickets dot com) or $20 at door. More info at Zydeco Dance Party on Facebook, email@example.com or 895-3842
US DRIVES RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION by importing Amazon oil, study
ANDERSON VALLEY FOODSHED SHINDIG
Saturday, October 15th at 6:00 PM
(Behind Paysanne Ice Cream Shop)
THE PROBLEM OF LEAD POLLUTION AT THE UKIAH GUN CLUB
Outdoor shooting ranges provide recreational facilities for millions of shooting sports enthusiasts in the United States. Recently, there has been a growing public concern, including concern from neighbors of the Ukiah Gun Club, about the potential negative environmental and health effects of range operations. In particular, the public is concerned about potential risks associated with the historical and continued use of lead shot and bullets at outdoor ranges.
This concern is not unfounded. An estimated 9,000 non-military outdoor ranges exist in the United States, collectively shooting millions of pounds of lead annually. Some ranges have operated for as long as several generations. Historical operations at ranges involved leaving expended lead bullets and shot uncollected on ranges. Many of these ranges continue to operate in the same manner as in the past.
It is estimated that approximately four percent (4%) (80,000 tons/year) of all the lead produced in the United States in the late 1990’s (about 2 million tons/year), is made into bullets and shot. Taking into account rounds used off-range, and rounds used at indoor ranges, it is clear that much of this 160,000,000 pounds of lead shot/ bullets finds its way into the environment at ranges.
Since the mid-1980’s, citizen groups have brought several lawsuits against range owners and have urged federal and state agencies to take action against owners and operators of outdoor shooting ranges. The citizen groups argued that range owners improperly managed discharged lead bullets and shot. Federal courts have supported parts of these suits, requiring range owners/operators to clean up lead contaminated areas. Concurrent with the increased citizen suit activity, the federal EPA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), and a large number of states have identified human exposure to all forms of lead as a major health concern in the United States.
Lead management practices at ranges across the United States remain inconsistent. Some range owners/operators have examined the impact of range operations on human health and the environment and have implemented procedures to manage and/or remove accumulated lead from ranges. Other range owners/operators are just beginning to characterize and investigate their ranges in order to design an environmental risk prevention and/or remediation program(s) specific to their sites. A third group of ranges has adopted a “wait and see” policy – taking no action until specifically required to do so by law or clear guidance is in place. Finally, a fourth, small, but important group of range owners/operators remain unaware of lead’s potential to harm human health and the environment, and of existing federal and state laws.
To manage lead, many owners and operators have successfully implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs) at their ranges. These range owners and operators have realized many benefits from sound lead management including:
- stewardship of the environment, natural resources and wildlife,
- improved community relations,
- improved aesthetics of the range/good business practices,
- increased profitability through recovery/ recycling lead, a valuable and finite resource, and
- reduced public scrutiny, including Grand Jury investigations.
Lead Contamination's Impact on Human Health and the Environment
Historically, the three major sources for human exposure to lead are lead-based paint, lead in dust and soil and lead in drinking water. Typically, human exposure occurs through ingestion, which is the consumption of lead or lead-contaminated materials, or by inhalation. The main human exposure to lead associated with shooting ranges is through lead contaminated soil. However, other pathways are discussed below, along with lead’s detrimental effects on humans and animals.
Lead can be introduced into the environment at shooting ranges in one or more of the following ways. Each of these pathways is site-specific and may or may not occur at each individual range:
- Lead oxidizes when exposed to air and dissolves when exposed to acidic water or soil.
- Lead bullets, bullet particles, or dissolved lead can be moved by storm water runoff.
- Dissolved lead can migrate through soils to groundwater.
Lead oxidizes when exposed to air and dissolves when exposed to acidic water or soil. When lead is exposed to acidic water and/or soil, it breaks down by weathering into lead oxides, carbonates, and other soluble compounds. With each rainfall, these compounds may be dissolved, and the lead may move in solution in the storm runoff waters. Decreases in water acidity (i.e., increases in its pH) will cause dissolved lead to precipitate out of solution. Lead concentrations in solution are reduced by this precipitation. At pHs above 7.5, very little lead remains in solution. Increased time of contact between lead and acidic water generally results in an increase in the amount of dissolved lead in the storm runoff water.
Lead bullets, bullet particles or dissolved lead can be moved by storm water runoff The ability of water to transport lead is influenced by two factors: velocity of the water and weight or size of the lead fragment. Water’s capacity to carry small particles is proportional to the square of the water’s velocity. Clear water moving at a velocity of 100 feet per minute can carry a lead particle 10,000 times heavier than water moving at a velocity of 10 feet per minute. Muddy water can carry even larger particles.
Dissolved lead can migrate through soils to groundwater Acidic rainwater may dissolve weathered lead compounds. A portion of the lead may be transported in solution in groundwater beneath land surfaces. Groundwater may transport lead in solution from the higher topographic areas to the lower areas such as valleys, where it is discharged and becomes part of the surface water flow. If the water flowing underground passes through rocks containing calcium, magnesium, iron, or other minerals more soluble then lead, or through minerals that raise the pH of the water, then the lead in solution may be replaced (removed) from the solution by these other metals. However, if the soil is a clean silica sand and gravel, fractured granite, or similar type material, then the lead may move long distances in solution.
How is Lead Shot Regulated Under the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)?
The RCRA is the main body of law that applies to lead pollution at gun clubs, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the agency for enforcement of the RCRA.
Lead shot is not considered a hazardous waste subject to RCRA at the time it is discharged from a firearm, because the lead is being used for its intended purpose. As such, shooting lead shot (or bullets) is not regulated nor is a RCRA permit required to operate a shooting range. However, spent lead shot (or bullets), left in the environment, is subject to the broader definition of solid waste written by Congress and used in sections 7002 and 7003 of the RCRA statute. With reference to reclaiming and recycling lead shot, the following points should serve as guidance in understanding RCRA and how it applies to your range. (A more detailed discussion of the underlying RCRA rules applicable to lead shot removal at ranges is included in Appendix D of the EPA's "Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges")
- Removal contractors or reclaimers should apply standard best management practices, mentioned in this manual, to separate the lead from soil. The soil, if then placed back on the range, is exempt from RCRA. However, if the soil is to be removed off-site, then it would require testing to determine if it is a RCRA hazardous waste.
- Lead, if recycled or reused, is considered a scrap metal and is, therefore, excluded from RCRA. • Collected lead shot and bullets are excluded from RCRA regulation, and need not have a manifest, nor does a range need to obtain a RCRA generator number (i.e., the range is not a hazardous waste “generator”), provided that the lead is recycled or re-used. The reclaimer does not need to be a RCRA transporter. However, it is recommended that ranges retain records of shipments of lead to the receiving facilities in order to demonstrate that the lead was recycled. Records should also be kept whenever the lead is reused (as in reloading.) The range should be aware that it ultimately may be responsible for the lead sent for reclamation. Therefore, only reputable reclaimers should be utilized.
- Lead from ranges destined for recycling may be temporarily stored on range property after separation from soil if the lead is stored in closed, sealed containers, the containers are stored in a secure location and routinely inspected by range staff, and records of inspections are maintained.
- Sections 7002 and 7003 of the RCRA statute allow EPA, states or citizens to use civil lawsuits, to compel cleanup of or other action for “solid waste” (e.g., spent lead shot) posing actual or potential imminent and substantial endangerment. Such actions can be sought whether the range is in operation or closed, and is based solely on a determination that harm is being posed or may be posed by the range to public health and/or the environment. Since the risk of lead migrating increases with time, making ranges that have not removed lead more likely candidates for government action or citizen lawsuits under RCRA Section 7002 and 7003, ranges are advised to maintain a schedule of regular lead removal.
- With time, lead in soil can become less desirable to reclaimers and smelters, thereby potentially reducing or eliminating financial returns from lead removal. Moreover, such soil may be subject to more expensive treatment to separate the lead for recycling. • Lead removal will allow the range to: avoid contamination of the site and potential impacts to human health and the environment; reduce liability with regard to potential government agency or citizen suit action; and, possibly, benefit economically from the recycling of lead. Additional guidance on reclaiming lead is provided in other parts of this manual.
- Soil from berms and "shot fall" zones may be moved to another area of the range for such reasons as addressing potential environmental impacts (e.g., runoff), altering the layout to address safety concerns or allowing different types of shooting activities, or adding or removing shooting positions. However, removal of lead prior to such Chapter I - Page I-9 BMP for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges movement of soil is normal practice and highly advised because it extends the usable life of the materials and reduces the possibility of release of lead into the environment. If lead is not first removed, it will be further dispersed and will be more difficult to remove in future reclamation. Written records of all such activity should be maintained indefinitely, as they will be necessary in subsequent construction or range closure.
- This RCRA summary applies to operating and non-operating ranges, like the Ukiah Gun Club, and the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) at all operating ranges is highly recommended. However, because of increased risk if lead is not actively managed, such application may not preclude the need for remediation, as appropriate and/or as required by states’ regulations, when a range is permanently closed, on-site lead is abandoned, or the land use changes.
Special Note to the Neighbors of the Ukiah Gun Club: Vichy Springs Estates, Guidiville Rancheria, and Vichy Springs Resort
Introductory guidance for remediation can be found at www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw or www.epa.gov/superfund. Look under the sections “Cleanup” or “Resources,” or use the Search function.
If you want to stop lead pollution at the Ukiah Gun Club, you must take the initiative. Neither the County of Mendocino nor the City of Ukiah will take responsibility for the problem of lead pollution.
Why? Because of jurisdictional issues. The Ukiah Gun Club is a city-owned property location outside of the city limits. Whenever a problem arises at the Ukiah Gun Club, the City points at the County, and the County points at the City. This jurisdictional confusion was intended by the founders of the gun club -- a lack of responsibility by design. Numerous Grand Jury investigations came to this exact conclusion.
Here's the good news.
If you thought it's impossible to close a gun club due to high lead levels from spent bullets, you would be wrong. If you thought gun clubs can't be closed down because their members are politically influential or politically connected, including members who are themselves elected officials, or members who work for law enforcement, you would be wrong.
Recently, right here in California, the Mangan Park Gun Club in south Sacramento was shut down last year due to lead pollution and other environmental issues.
Also, there is growing awareness by the press that high levels of lead at gun clubs is a concern, especially for children.
In 2014, NBC News aired a special feature on lead pollution at gun clubs: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/lead-poisoning-hidden-danger-shooting-ranges-n237766
The Seattle Times did a similar feature in 2014: http://projects.seattletimes.com/2014/loaded-with-lead/1/
More recently, in 2016, The Trace, an independent, nonprofit news organizzation dedicated to expanding coverage of guns in the United States, ran the following article: https://www.thetrace.org/2016/04/gun-range-toxic-lead-pollution/
It's time to take a closer look at the Ukiah Gun Club, and there's no better way than to file a complaint with the EPA. The children of Flint, Michigan, were poisoned by lead for many years. Politicians did nothing. Here in Mendocino County, the children of Vichy Springs Estates and Pomo children of the Guidiville Rancheria may also have high lead levels. And politicians also do nothing.
WHERE FROM HERE?
12:08 A.M. Honolulu Celebrating Birthday # 67
Listening to tunes on You Tube in my travel hostel room, recorded by Green Day, and other randomly chosen punk artists. Enjoying a tangerine probiotic drink, the evening is cool and the dreaminess of O'ahu is indescribably enjoyable. Island living. Amazing. Where do we go from here? :-)))))
Spiritual Writing. Walking along the Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu, not attaching to either the body nor the mind, resting comfortably in the internal spiritual center (Svarupa), no concern about going anywhere nor doing anything, and now writing this. This is spiritual writing! Non-interference with the unceasing flow of spiritual energy, no concern where the body-mind complex goes nor what it does, and no doubting of the wisdom of the Source of all creation. Nothing at all affects the real you. We are the unchanging constant, the "That" of the Vedas, which the Rishis spoke of. The Brahmic vrittis take over, and there is nothing for one to do other than to not interfere. Just watching the scene is enough. This is liberation, and writing about it is "spiritual writing". I invite all to join with me in being a part of a spiritual writing group. We will write as the experimental improvisational musicians played, as The Living Theatre performed, as all having-no-preconceived-ideas artists created, as authors who have completed works via automatic writing (just holding the pen over the paper, and allowing the words to flow onto the page, themselves functioning as instruments of a Higher Will). This way is beyond conventionally "writing down the bones"; this is beyond writing down the entire skeleton! If you relate to this message, if you are essentially free from a miserable identification with the body-mind complex, and instead identify with the Atman or Spirit Soul, and if you wish to embark on a grand adventure of spiritual creativity, then please join with us.
Craig Louis Stehr
September 28, 2016