Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016
by AVA News Service, December 10, 2016
RICKY OWENS of Boonville, 49, has been arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment after a six-year-old child almost drowned in a Ukiah hotel swimming pool.
Owens told police investigators he was teaching a 6-year-old relative how to swim Monday night when the boy became unconscious. Witnesses at the Fairfield Inn & Suites pool near Highway 101 said Owens had not been negligent, but a hotel video allegedly showed Owens plunging the boy's head under the water until the child went limp.
The boy was pulled from the pool to be resuscitated, then flown to Oakland Children’s Hospital for further treatment and observation. He was released from the hospital Wednesday and is expected to make a full recovery.
Owens was booked Friday into the Mendocino County Jail on suspicion of felony endangering a child or causing or permitting a child to suffer physical pain, mental suffering or injury, police said. He was held Friday on $50,000 bail.
Authorities obtained an emergency protective order prohibiting Owens from contacting or being near the child. Police have not said exactly how the man and the child are related.
(courtesy Press Democrat)
JOSHUA RUOFF MURDER CASE PRELIMINARY HEARING BEGINS
The preliminary examination of the evidence against Joshua R. Ruoff in the murder of a co-worker, Timothy Sweeting, at a pot pharm on the Charlie Hurt Highway near Covelo last May 17th got under way Friday morning with the eyewitness testimony of Tyler Marschok, who also worked on the grow. Mr. Marschok said he saw defendant Ruoff attack Sweeting at around midnight, as Sweeting slept on a couch at the house of John Overend where the grow was operated by a group of old high school classmates that included Joshua Ruoff, Tyler Marschok, Timothy Sweeting and Connor Day, all from New Hampshire. At the time of the fatal attack Sweeting, Marschok and Ruoff were the only ones present at the residence. Marschok said Sweeting was still alive, but breathing with great difficulty and gurgling on his own blood when he, Marschok grabbed his cell phone and his two dogs and left the residence in fear for his safety. Testimony by Mr. Marschok indicated that Ruoff had complained that Sweeting was “lazy” and didn’t clean up after himself and his dogs. Shortly before the attack, Sweeting’s dogs had gone missing as well. The prelim had to be postponed because Ruoff’s lawyer, Public Defender Linda Thompson, was defending another client in a court trial the same day, and only had time to cross-examine one witness, Mr. Marschok, who came from Grass Valley for the hearing which was set to resume on December 20th at 9:00am. The other prosecution witnesses are law enforcement investigators who will later take the stand to corroborate what information has already been released by the Sheriff’s Office regarding the case; essentially, how a cadaver dog was used to find the body buried in a shallow grave, and the subsequent tracking down of Ruoff who rented a U-Haul and fled to New Hampshire.
Full details of Marshok’s testimony will follow in the print edition.
(— Bruce McEwen)
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On 05-18-2016 at approximately 7:08 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were called regarding a possible physical assault that occurred the previous day at a residence located in the 23500 block of Road 337D (Also known as Charlie Hurt Highway] in Covelo, California.
Upon arrival, Deputies found evidence of a physical assault and contacted potential witnesses. During this initial investigation, Deputies learned Joshua Richard Ruoff, 30 of South Lake Tahoe, had been witnessed assaulting Timothy William Sweeting, 27 of Rohnert Park, with a blunt object on 05-17-2016.
Deputies began a missing persons investigation since Sweeting's whereabouts were unknown and he had no recent contacted with family or friends since the alleged physical assault.
Sweeting's vehicle, a white 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe was missing and Ruoff's whereabouts were also unknown.
Detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Investigative Services Bureau responded to the residence where the scene was further examined.
The scene was processed with the assistance of investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office and criminalists from the California Department of Justice.
During the follow up investigations, Sweeting was not located and was considered to be a missing person under suspicious circumstances.
On 05-19-2016 Sweeting's vehicle was located on Mendocino Pass Road, parked on the side of the roadway about a mile from the residence.
As the investigation continued, it was learned Ruoff had rented a U-Haul truck and left the area for the state New Hampshire, where he previously resided.
Detectives contacted the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit and requested their assistance.
The investigation continued and evidence was gathered, including witness statements and physical evidence that supported the belief that Ruoff had murdered Sweeting and disposed of his body.
Initially a felony arrest warrant was sought and issued for Ruoff for felonious assault with a deadly weapon, and on 05-23-2016 the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office filed charges seeking an arrest warrant for murder against Ruoff.
On 05-23-2016 the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics and Investigations Unit located and arrested Ruoff in Concord, New Hampshire.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives traveled to New Hampshire on 05-23-2016 and continued investigations for two days with the assistance of the New Hampshire State Police.
Multiple search warrants were served by the New Hampshire State Police at the request of the Sheriff's Detectives.
During the two days in New Hampshire additional evidence was gathered to support the belief Ruoff had murdered Sweeting.
Ruoff was booked into the Merrimack County Jail (Concord, New Hampshire) where he was to be held on a no bail status. Ruoff was challenging extradition to Mendocino County and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office is working on getting him extradited to Mendocino County.
On 06-02-2016 at about 6:30 AM, a caller in the 23500 block of Road 337D (Charlie Hurt Highway) in Covelo, called to report suspicious dog activity where possible human remains had been unearthed.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies and Detectives from the Investigative Services Bureau responded and identified human remains in a significant gravesite. This gravesite was located in proximity to the residence processed as a crime scene in connection with Timothy William Sweeting's disappearance.
Due to the nature of the grave, and the condition of the remains, anthropologists from the California State University at Chico Anthropology Department were called in to assist in the excavation of the remains.
On 06-07-2016 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division identified the human remains as being Timothy William Sweeting based upon observations of tattoos noted during the forensic autopsy.
On May 17, 2016, Investigators from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Bureau was in contact with the New Hampshire State Police regarding a homicide investigation that occurred at 23501 Charlie Hurt Highway in Covelo,. (Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Case 2016-14667). During the communications, it was learned the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics Investigations Unit had intercepted marijuana being shipped to Katherine Overend in Francistown, New Hampshire and that the marijuana was being shipped by her son, John Overend of Covelo. In an effort to further assist the New Hampshire State Police’s marijuana distribution investigation, Detectives with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team, Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, Ukiah Police Department, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Cal Fire served a Mendocino County Superior Court search warrant at 23501 Charlie Hurt Highway. Upon serving the warrant, 190 growing marijuana plants were located and subsequently eradicated. Detectives also seized 5 pounds of processed marijuana, which was along side shipping materials. Additional evidence of marijuana sales for profit to include a large sum of US currency was also located. There was no evidence that the marijuana was being grown for medicinal purposes. Further investigations revealed Robert Overend and Katherine Overend had purchased the property so their son, John Overend, could operate a commercial marijuana growing operation. The investigation revealed Robert Overend and Katherine Overend had received financial profits from the commercial growing operation. At least one firearm was located at the location. All three subjects were booked into the Mendocino County Jail for cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and for being armed during the commission of a felony. All three were to be held in lieu of $50,000.00 bail.
(Sheriff’s Press Release, August 17, 2016)
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Capt. Greg Van Patten said East Coast connections apparently brought Ruoff and Sweeting together to grow pot on the parcel, owned by a New Hampshire family. Ruoff originally came from New Hampshire and Sweeting grew up in Seneca Falls, New York.
In August, narcotics detectives returned to the property and arrested a couple and their grown son — the Overends — who investigators said were running an illegal pot farm and sending at least some of the marijuana to the East Coast.
Robert and Katherine Overend, 66 and 67, both of Francistown, New Hampshire, bought the property for their son, 28-year-old John Overend, to grow pot, according to the sheriff’s office.
Robert, Katherine, John Overend
All three Overends were booked into the Mendocino County Jail Aug. 11 on suspicion of marijuana cultivation and sales, and a weapons charge, according to the sheriff’s office. Detectives found 190 growing marijuana plants, 5 pounds of processed pot and “a large sum of U.S. currency.”
They were released and prosecutors have filed no charges against them.
New Hampshire State Police had intercepted packages of marijuana being shipped from the son to his mother, according to the Mendocino investigators. The Mendocino County sheriff’s team said they raided the property to assist the New Hampshire investigation.
Tension had been building between Ruoff and Sweeting before the assault, Van Patten said.
Sources familiar with the investigation said investigators suspect Ruoff had sent angry text messages about Sweeting to one of the property owners and had even indicated he might attack Sweeting with the suspected murder weapon, a metal Little League-sized baseball bat.
IN 2015, THE NATION’S LARGEST FIRE IN TERMS OF DIRECT PROPERTY LOSS WAS THE VALLEY FIRE THAT OCCURRED IN CALIFORNIA.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, "Two CHP officers in one unit, I guess you call 'em, pulled over this blowzy blonde right in front of Boont Berry Farm today. Wrote her up for speeding. I could hear her complaining clear across the street. Made my day. You should see how many people speed through here. My old pal Fluffy got run over a coupla years ago, and the guy who killed him never even slowed down!"
RAINFALL HAVING LITTLE EFFECT ON NAVARRO RIVER LEVEL
The light rain we've been experiencing is having little effect on the Navarro River level according to the USGS river gauge.
The latest report (10:15 am) had the level at 3.41' - a LONG away away from the river's 23-foot flood level.
The river was discharging 170 cubic feet of water per second into the ocean, or in understandable terms, - 1,272 gallons of water per second.
RAINFALL TOTALS OVERNIGHT (THURSDAY - FRIDAY)
ALBION GETS 'MOST ON THE COAST' - 0.81"
The following are the 24-hour rainfall totals from the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRAHS) posted Friday morning - Albion had the "Most On the Coast" (0.81") with Caspar & Mendocino logging 0.40".
Here are some other CoCoRAHS totals from neighboring counties:
DEL NORTE COUNTY
- Crescent City - 1.13", 1.11", 1.01" & 1.00" reports
- Smith River - 1.01"
- Fort Dick - 1.00"
- Whitehorn - 1.62" & 1.49" reports
- McKinleyville - 1.07" & 0.96" reports
- Trinidad - 1.03" & 0.93" reports
- Redway - 1.02" & 0.72" reports
- Miranda - 0.83"
- Petrolia - 0.68"
- Arcata - 0.59"
- Garberville - 0.50" & 0.42" reports
- Fortuna - 0.20"
- Cazadero - 1.55", 1.52" & 0.91" reports
- Guernville - 0.91"
- Sebastopol - 0.75", 0.66" & 0.60" reports
- Windsor - 0.57"
- Santa Rosa - 0.50" & 0.29" reports
- Cloverdale - 0.39"
- Healdsburg - 0.38"
- Glenn Ellen - 0.35"
- Lower Lake - 0.40"
- Lakeport - 0.29" & 0.28" reports
- Upper Lake - 0.24"
REMEMBERING DENNIS BOARDMAN
It was the Southern voice of a man who identified himself as Harry Jacobs, "Jacobs as in Jacob's ladder," he said. He said he was calling from Hattiesburg, Mississippi about an old friend, Dennis Boardman. "I saw where he had been murdered," he said, and began weeping.
Mr. Jacobs said he was 71, and had only recently mastered computer technology well enough to find our on-line stories on the sad fate of Dennis Boardman.
"It was a terrible shock to me. He and I were in the Navy together back in the late '60s. I knew him and his wife Sharon, and I remember his baby daughter, Lori."
I said I had known Dennis quite well from the years he lived in Boonville, knew him over all the time he was lost to alcohol. "We were all shocked at Dennis's murder," I said. "Not only the way he died, beaten to death in his own home, but after he'd stopped drinking, had gotten himself together only to end like that. We were all very fond of him, and very, very angry at his death."
"I read some of the different stories about him," the old man said, "and I read your obituary. Broke my heart. I wondered what happened to Sharon and Lori. Did he end up divorcing Sharon?"
"Dennis lost everything, including his wife and daughter when he lost himself," I said. "But he'd come back, and then…"
"They were a wonderful young family when I knew them," Mr. Jacob's said. "I met him in Navy ordnance school in Jacksonville, Florida. When we got our orders I was sent to California and that's when I made friends with Dennis. We were stationed together down in Lemore Naval Air Station in the late '60s. We had a great time together. He moved his family down there. I spent days with them, barbecues and that kind of thing. Dennis and Sharon and the baby were like my family out there. I lost contact over the years. When I saw what happened to him I nearly had a stroke myself. What a pitiful situation."
I could only agree, and said that Dennis, despite the alcohol, was liked by everybody. We all tried to help him out, but the demons had him until he freed himself.
"He was a character and a half in the Navy," the old man remembered, laughing into a sob. "Sorry, I get sentimental. We had a great time together. We also served on the Constellation down in San Diego. One of my best memories is Dennis and I standing on the deck looking down and waving to his wife and baby, and they were looking up at us and waving to us. That was a time for sure. I saw the picture of the boy who killed him. Such a waste of his life, too."
I said it wasn't the same country we'd grown up in.
"No, it is not, it’s not the days of the '56 Chevy. Dennis had a 61 Chevy convertible. We tore up some country roads around Lemore in that car. What a time we had! Dennis invited me to come up to Fort Bragg one time. I went up and visited. What a beautiful town, right there on the ocean. Wonderful people. I hope it hasn't changed too much. I grew up in a small town here like that. Well, sir, I'm sorry we had to meet like this. I'd like to see Fort Bragg again some day. It was the home of my man, the best man I've known."
CRUISING the on-line archive of the Ukiah Daily Journal, an improbable sports item caught my attention: ".... Smooth Dave Eyster led the Sports Attic with 19 points..." Smooth in the courtroom for sure, but "smooth" in the basketball context conjures up Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe, Walt Frazier, Steph Curry, for god's sake. That particular hoop's standard is stratospheric and, no offense to Mendocino County's lead law enforcement officer, but the writer, Mostyn Thayer, must have had a DUI pending. Most of us would commit a major felony for a press notice like that one.
SMALL FARMER ASSOCIATION DISPUTE: JULIA CARRERA RESPONDS
I have received several calls to alert me of an open letter to the AVA that linked me to several unsubstantiated charges. Rather than respond to specific points, I prefer to devote my time helping my clients and continuing to establish a healthy community/environment for us all to live in and enjoy. I am one of five independent contractors that works with the Small Farmers Association. As a minority owned, ethically operated, small business, who is under contract to provide sustainability certification inspections and consulting to the Board of the Small Farmers Association. In the four years I have contracted with the SFA, I have never received any indication or communication from the SFA Board or from members that my work was in any way unsatisfactory or compromising. I send healing prayers to Mr. John Mark concerning his public resignation. In these difficult transitional times, I will continue to provide transparency and support to all my small farmer clients. They are the backbone of any rural community.
Julia Carrera & Associate
9725 Main St.
Upper Lake, CA 95485
To: Bruce Anderson, Editor, Anderson Valley Advertiser
This letter is in response to the Open Letter posted December 6th, 2016 in the Anderson Valley Advertiser. On December 2, 2016, the membership of the Small Farmers Association, (SFA), acting according to its bylaws, voted in a new board of directors. These actions were taken to ensure that the SFA continue to provide service and benefits to its membership, and is directly related to the lack of leadership of the previous board. The new SFA board has been constituted following the rules and bylaws of the Small Farmers Association, and under the guidance of the SFA’s legal representation. The Small Farmers Association will continue to serve small farmers with the utmost professionalism. The newly elected SFA board looks forward to establishing a stable and fruitful forward momentum for it’s members.
It is with sadness we accept this public resignation of the previous board. We respect the work of John Mark as a founding board member. Your hard work and passion will not be forgotten.
If you have any questions prior to our meeting, please direct them to Del Potter – email@example.com.
Del Potter, Lane Labbe, Julia Dakin, Joe Fernandez
* * *
2016 Cost of Regulation in Mendocino County for the Small Farmer
Every successful business has a strong budget and investments in multiple venues….
“never putting all your eggs in one basket.” The future of medical cannabis as it relates to the Mendocino County Small Farmer must heed this old farming fable. With the deluge of newly minted cannabis investors, manufacturers, distributors and cultivators, the small farmer of Mendocino County has never been more endangered. Not by the helicopters, rifles, guns and handcuffs that most have become accustom to. Instead, the sport jacket wearing, bags of money toting, cannabis prospector who is going to make it rich in the lands of Mendocino County.
This report provides a glimpse into the current truth in Mendocino County of the financial cost to be compliant. With Proposition 64 passing in California and the MCRSA written along side, the environmentally damaging profiteer has required robust and stringent ordinances and waivers that regulators hope will succeed. In 2016 State departments hired 12-30 new enforcement personnel, increasing costs and overhead for each department. Hiring mostly through loans, looking to recover costs via licensing and enforcement to repay those loans, and become economically self sufficient. This all on the backs of those that can afford it – dispensaries, distributors, manufacturers. And those that can not – the Small Farmer.
Appropriately, the Small Farmers Association definition of a small farmer – family owned and operated with five employees or less, is the definition used in this report. Historically, the small farmers were the cannabis industry: cultivating, manufacturing, distributing and in most cases, dispensing to their patients and on the gray market. At present, all these historical income generating venues have been separated out, leaving the long standing small farmer, the native of this industry, with only cultivation and manufacturing. Every other component of their old way of business is longer allowed. Cultivators can only have 1 other licenses, according to the State, a manufacturing license. But come 2018, no small farmer can take their product off the farm or sell it. Only transporters or distributors can.
Based on Julia Carrera & Associates seven year long reach into the small farmer community via daily inspections for compliance and sustainable certification, traveling into every cranny of this county (there are a lot of them!) and using scientifically based data, there are at minimum, 30,000 small farmers in the hills and flatlands of our beautiful county. Creating, without argument, an economic driver that has sustained this rural community for decades. And has done it without government regulation. The costs to our environment have been devastating, many only here to make it rich in one year, then gone to the next county to pillage the environment for their profit. The authentic small farmer has always been a highly regarded land steward, and the Small Farmers Association thankfully requires that standard of sustainable/regenerative BMPS as a part of their membership.
* * *
The Expense Of Being A Regulated Mendocino County Small Farmer
In presenting the costs to a Mendocino County small farmer for regulation of cannabis only in 2016 and 2017, we felt it best to break things down, like any good budget or financial forecast, one component at a time. These numbers are averages based on 213 9.31 permitted farms. We begin here at home with Mendocino County’s ground breaking cultivation regulation known as 9.31.
Total Expenses for the 9.31 permit in 2016 based on minimum cost averages for a full 99 plant or 9,990 square foot green house:
To be fully regulated in 2016, it cost the Mendocino County Small Farmer on average a total of $83,325 for outdoor and $109,825 for greenhouse. Never before have they small farmers that include cannabis in their crop rotations experienced this kind of expense in one year. This money was profit just the year before. It is a shocking financial reality that many will not be able to survive. And if all your eggs are in one cannabis basket, the shock is that much more fierce.
In the month of December 2016, we are conducting on average 3 inspections a day five days a week. Out of the 15 inspections a week, half of them – 7.5 - are concerned it is too costly to continue in a regulatory program. Just prior to the publication of this report, one client shared he will have to borrow money to be regulated next year. This is what the Mendocino County small farmer faces in 2017. Much needed regulation at a cost that is already putting, on average, half of them out of business.
What does this mean to Mendocino County’s economic driver if the county loses half of it’s small farmer population due to unaffordable regulation costs? This remains to be seen and a good project for Leadership Mendocino to take on. However, one can draw some conclusions now that will apply, but most likely shift, in the future-this industry is changing rapidly:
Just as our research in Colorado and Washington showed a removal of most of the small farmers from these states two years after adult use passed - either by going out of business or going deeper underground. It appears the same situation is occurring here.
The eclectic charm of our community faces urban gentrification.
Investors are here and assisting small farmers. But just as in Colorado and Washington, while the working capital is available up front, the promise to buy or distribute the product at a certain price was not delivered. And the farmers lost their farms. These investors then went in and bought up the farm, moved it into greenhouse production of light deprivation, and created neighborhood unrest through lights, fans and generators. Our community faces a similar dilemma.
A substantial increase to the county entitlement programs is a component that can not be ignored. How will the county - with it’s limited budget that is still dealing with the aftermath of a mandatory pay cut of 10% for all employees - meet this additional financial burden? The small farmers who can not make it and remain in the county will need public assistance. Remember, the County is only able to collect fees that directly cover the expense of their programs and no more.
The unknown consequences of taxing something yet to be understood. And the unknown consequences of robust regulation in an industry that is just coming out of the shadows.
This conclusion would not be thorough without adding an important factor, the teamsters and distributors. Come 2018, the only people/organizations who can purchase product off the small farm are the distributors. And the only people/organizations that can move cannabis off farm to the distributor is a transporter. The farmer can no longer do any of this. According to the California Teamster lobbyist, Barry Broad in December 2015 at the State Capital – “There will be no more of you small farmers left in California, all of you are going to be wiped out. This is the plan.” It seems this prediction is well on it’s way to fruition, sadly. As the teamsters and distributors do not have all their eggs in one basket, unlike the traditional cannabis small farmer.
It is imperative that our government officials and community leaders take a closer look at what is actually happening here in our community that is world renowned for it’s cannabis. Many want to capitalize on the Mendocino County brand, and are moving here to do so, currently at a 12 year high. This brings new money into the economy, something much needed is this low income designated county.
And, as an industry who has thrived on living under a veil and skirting the truth, the truth is what needs to be provided now and analyzed over time as one way to protect and enhance our community during this cannabis transition. The truth will help our small farmers survive. When people who have moved here over the last twelve years are grabbing for money and the Mendocino brand, the truth is not their priority. And if the truth will infringe on profit, one could easily conclude the truth most likely will be veiled.
This report is one way to bring the truth forward – the real cost of regulation. It is imperative the small farmer of Mendocino County not have all their eggs in one basket – a requirement of the Small Farmer Association member. Based in sustainability, their small farmer program requires farming of all agricultural commodities in a way that sustains and regenerates the farm/land ecosystem and their pocketbook. We encourage all of you to seek out the truth in the cannabis industry, starting with this report. Listen to your hearts to know what the truth is. Our rural way of life depends on it.
WHO’S POSING AS BILL ELMORE?
Regarding the well written letter titled "Heil Donald" in the November 30 issue of the AVA: The author is obviously bright and thoughtful but forgot to consider the family and friends of Bill Elmore when he/she falsely used Bill's name as the author of the letter. Bill Elmore of Point arena died more than a year before the election of Donald Trump. If you want to use a pseudonym, invent one.
ED NOTE: We didn't know the deceased and have no idea who would sign his name to the letter. Apologies to whoever is offended.
Katy Tahja reports:
Mountain lion sighting. A full grown cinnamon colored mountain lion crossed Comptche Ukiah Road in front of my car two miles up the road from the coast. What a beautiful surprise, but worthy of a "heads up" to locals inn that area.
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 9, 2016
Alejandres-Bravo, Davis, Hendry, Hughs
JOSE ALEJANDRES-BRAVO, Willits. Burglary, under influence, vandalism.
BRITTANY DAVIS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JIMMY HENDRY, Willits. Domestic battery, witness intimidation.
MARK HUGHS, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
Iriberri, Lewis, Stroud
WENDY IRIBERRI, Santa Cruz/Ukiah. DUI.
VERONICA LEWIS, Ukiah. DUI.
JAMES STROUD, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
DEATH PENALTY SADISM
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the execution of a 45-year-old convicted killer to go ahead in Alabama after it was twice halted. Ronald Bert Smith Jr., who was convicted of killing a convenience-store clerk, had pushed for a delay, saying the death penalty should not be imposed since a jury recommended life imprisonment. The argument resulted in two court-ordered delays before the U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled it could go ahead late Thursday. A jury convicted Smith in 1995 and recommended life imprisonment, but a judge overruled that and sentenced him to death. The execution was Alabama’s second this year. Smith was confirmed dead at 11:05 p.m. local time, after reportedly coughing and heaving 13 minutes into the execution procedure.
AN INSPECTOR CALLS closes this Sunday!
A young woman is dead. But are the Birlings to blame?
Don't miss your chance to see AN INSPECTOR CALLS, a classic whodunit directed by Dan Kozloff
now playing at the Mendocino Theatre Company.
Tickets may be purchased online
<http://mendocinotheatre.org/single-tickets/>, or through our box office,
Find out more about the Mendocino Theatre Company at mendocinotheatre.org.
SALEM, Ore. -- For the first time, seaborne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster has been detected on the West Coast of the United States.
Cesium-134, the so-called fingerprint of Fukushima, was measured in seawater samples taken from Tillamook Bay and Gold Beach in Oregon, according to researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Because of its short half-life, cesium-134 can only have come from Fukushima.
For the first time, cesium-134 has also been detected in a Canadian salmon, according to the Fukushima InFORM project, led by University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen.
In both cases, levels are extremely low, the researchers said, and don’t pose a danger to humans or the environment.
Massive amounts of contaminated water were released from the crippled nuclear plant following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. More radiation was released to the air, then fell to the sea.
Woods Hole chemical oceanographer Ken Buesseler runs a crowd-funded, citizen science seawater sampling project that has tracked the radiation plume as it slowly makes its way across the Pacific Ocean.
The Oregon samples, marking the first time cesium-134 has been detected on U.S. shores, were taken in January and February of 2016 and later analyzed. They each measured 0.3 becquerels per cubic meter of cesium-134….
Editor (and Hi, Little Dog!),
I seem to have either confounded the algorithm gods or offended their sensibilities (although, as you can probably attest, not by means of utterance categorizable as beyond the norm, as I have read many comments on Facebook that exceed my expressive range by a mile): Facebook has locked me out!
The principle tragedy in this faux pas (my crime is simple, I created two identities — neither of which has committed any vicious or vacuous sins against nature, let alone subversive to the sanctity of “social media” — and my local Librarian informs me that Facebook’s machinery ground to a halt after encountering their presence(s) is that I use many and various Facebook pages to obtain realtime information about the lives and times of citizens in both Mendocino and Lake Counties, on a daily basis. These sources inform our listeners of current needs of fire survivors, charitable organizations, and critical government propositions that come from no other source in the County of Lake. It is beyond strange to me that the best source of current (if perhaps slanted) info is this lowly form of free exchange, but perhaps that is the ultimate democratization of the media — in the hands of the users themselves. Whatever it is, the big shots in Menlo Park have no idea what a profound impact their little algorithm snit has created for this dedicated “reporter."
There seems to be no way to contact the manufacturers — despite their having a physical address and telephone number in a slumbering city by the Bay — and thus no means to intervene on behalf of the users of the pages provided for public education and outreach on a number of public health and safety issues here in Lake County.
Likewise, a resource which rapidly became a primary source of up-to-the-minute information (the calibre of which is not measured by its acuity or grammatical accuracy) regarding the doings and undoings of private citizens hereabouts — such as the unfortunate soul who defended his life from an overly aggressive miniature canine by hacking it to bits with a machete (the Lakeport lunatic lunger of recent renown). Perhaps I could appeal to the inhabitants at 1 Hacker Way on his behalf, or vice versa?
The Essential Public Information Center
Upper Lake, CA
MEMO OF THE AIR THIS WEEK
From the Anderson Valley Advertiser's police log:
On 12-7-16 at approximately 8:28 a.m., Officers were dispatched to a report of an unwanted subject at CVS Pharmacy causing a disturbance and threatening to return to the location with a firearm. Upon arrival, Officers contacted and detained the male suspect, identified as Alan Graham of Fort Bragg. An investigation revealed Graham was upset after he discovered the pharmacy would not provide him with a medication he desired. Graham threatened to return with a firearm and rob the location in order to obtain the medication. Graham was subsequently arrested for violation of 422(a) of the California Penal Code, and 664/211 of the California Penal Code. He was booked and transported to the Mendocino County Jail.
In other news, I'll be in Fort Bragg* for tonight's Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show, for the severalth time in a row, in case you had been keeping track and you thought I'd be doing it from away this time. /Next/ week I'll be doing it from Juanita's house.
It looks about medium-busy. Max the Piano Player says he'll be coming by after midnight to play KNYO's haunted and haunting analog piano. (And that reminds me to put the long mic cord in the car so I don't forget to bring it.)
A young man with information about CalExit might appear. That's the effort to secede from the Union in, we hope, a more peaceable manner than when the slave states tried it. Some call them the ceiling-fan states now.
You're very welcome to come, if you like. Bring your musical instrument or show-and-tell item, or just bring your knowledge of whatever obsesses and perturbs or delights you. I never know who, or how many, will show up. I always have enough material to read all night anyway-- and it's some pretty great stuff this time, including stories by H.P. Lovecraft, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Return of the Ghost Ship), the above-mentioned Captain Fathom, and firsthand accounts, both transcribed and recorded on various recording media, of Pearl Harbor, the Iroquois Theater fire, the recent Oakland real-life Ghost Ship fire, and more, and more.
There's plenty of water pressure in the water closet, but no pressure on you to either show up or wander by. Two unobstructed fire exits. It always works out fine as long as the electricity doesn't shut off. Electricity is the string of radio. As we all know: "Without string the world is chaos."
9pm to about 4am every Friday night, 107.7 KNYO in or near Fort Bragg. Midnight to 3am 105.1 KMEC in or near Ukiah. Also you can listen via http://knyo.org, or go to TuneIn.com and look for KNYO-LP
* 325 N. Franklin, next to the Tip Top bar. Waltz in and head for the lighted room at the back.
RUSSIA DIDN’T HACK HIL?
My latest article is about how Russia could never have hacked the 2016 presidential election, why it couldn't have hacked it and how our democracy will always be safe from Russian hacking:
Scott M. Peterson
TRUMP INTERIOR SECRETARY PICK WOULD PLUNDER PUBLIC LAND AND WATERS
by Dan Bacher
Reports of President-elect Trump’s nomination of Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers to head the U.S. Department of the Interior have drawn outrage and concern from conservation groups and public trust advocates.
McMorris Rodgers has served as U.S. Representative for the state of Washington's 5th congressional district that includes Spokane and the eastern third of the state. The five-term Republican is chair of the House GOP Conference and is vice chair of Trump’s transition team. The New York Times first reported news of her expected nomination.
McMorris Rogers is beholden to the oil and gas, timber industry and other corporate interests - and seeks to open federal land and waters to fracking and other fossil fuel development, according to environmental groups. She received $109,600 from the oil and gas industry and $83,950 from the forestry and forest products industry in 2016, according to Open Secrets. bit.ly/..
She is strongly opposed to the removal of Snake River dams to restore salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest, a campaign that is backed by Tribes, recreational and commercial fishing groups and environmental organizations.
“I’m proud to be a champion for our dams and the power they produce for our region,” said McMorris Rogers on her facebook page on November 22. “This year, I authored bipartisan legislation to streamline the dam relicensing process, which, if enacted, would lower electricity costs in Washington State. Everyone benefits from our dams, and I’ll continue to do my part to make sure they remain the lifeblood of our economy. Today, I authored an op-ed in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin about the importance of supporting our dams.”
Since the election, President-elect Donald Trump's has appointed corporate agribusiness advocates, oil industry shills and other anti-environmental politicians to his transition team and nominated them for key cabinet posts. The nomination of McMorris Rodgers to the Secretary of Interior position poses an enormous threat to the fish and wildlife populations and the river, lake, bay and ocean waters of California and the nation, according to conservationists.
Earthjustice urges Trump to retract announcement
In a statement, Drew Caputo, Earthjustice Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Oceans, and Wildlife, urged Trump to retract the announcement or the Senate to block the nomination of a politician with such an “anti-environment” agenda:
“Americans should be deeply concerned by the nomination of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to lead the Department of the Interior She has a troubling track record of actively undermining our environment.
The Secretary of the Interior is charged with stewardship of most of our nation’s public lands, including national parks and wildlife refuges. The person who fills this role sets the tone for relationships with tribal governments and bears crucial responsibility for protecting wildlife, including endangered species.
Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers’s environmental record is frankly terrible. She has repeatedly voted against the environment and in favor of special interests who want to use public lands and resources for private gain. She has supported rollbacks to critical environmental protections for our nation’s forests, voted to undercut the president’s authority to protect public lands as national monuments in Western states, and voted against restricting taxpayer hand-outs to companies that profit from oil and gas extracted from federal public lands.
On wildlife, McMorris Rodgers has stood in the way of species recovery. She has co-sponsored legislation to remove all federal protections for the endangered gray wolf. She is also one of the most vocal opponents of restoring the lower Snake River, long highlighted by biologists as the most promising tool for recovering endangered wild salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest.
Her congressional voting record shows lots of evidence that McMorris Rodgers will serve the interests of corporations that seek to plunder resources from public lands, rather than acting on behalf of all Americans to safeguard our wild lands and natural treasures.
President-elect Trump should retract this announcement, or the Senate should reject this nomination. If not, and if McMorris Rodgers attempts to carry out her anti-environment agenda, Earthjustice and its attorneys will see her in court.”
Responding to the announcement, Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers, did not ask that Trump retract his announcement like Earthjustice did, but said he hopes that the Senate “will carefully scrutinize Rep. McMorris Rodgers’s record on clean water, public lands, fish and wildlife, climate change, and other environmental issues in deciding whether to confirm her to lead the Department of the Interior.”
“President-elect Trump’s choice of Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Secretary of the Interior raises concerns about what kind of Interior Secretary she will be and her commitment to conserving our rivers, clean water supplies, wild salmon and our nation’s priceless natural heritage,” said Irvin.
Irvin pointed out the contrast between legislation weakening protections for rivers and fish that she authored over the past two years — and legislation that she worked with American Rivers on in 2013.
“Over the past two years, Rep. McMorris Rodgers authored and championed legislation to roll back protections at hydropower dams, weakening safeguards for clean water, fish and wildlife and public lands, and undermining the protection of tribal lands in hydroelectric dam relicensing proceedings. By contrast, in 2013 Rep. McMorris Rodgers worked with American Rivers on successful legislation to promote hydropower without undermining bedrock environmental laws like the Clean Water Act. We hope that, if confirmed as Interior Secretary, she will return to that approach and work for the conservation interests of the American people, not just the interests of large energy companies,” said Irvin.
“Important river restoration and water supply agreements such as those on the Klamath, San Joaquin, Yakima and Colorado are at stake, along with the health of thousands of miles of rivers and streams nationwide. With drought gripping western states, wild salmon runs on the brink of extinction in the Columbia and Snake rivers, and climate change threatening local communities and economies nationwide, we need a Secretary of the Interior who will prioritize restoration, protection and stewardship of our nation’s natural resources,” Irvin stated.
Mark Trahant: Will salmon recovery continue if dams are not removed?
Mark Trahant, the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota, an independent journalist and a member of The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, said the most problematic issue for Northwest tribes with McMorris Rodgers’ appointment “might be salmon.”
Trahant wrote, “She describes herself as ‘a champion of our dams and the power they produce.” She recently told Washington Ag Network: ‘There are some who believe the Snake River dams are not allowing for adequate salmon recovery. However, thanks to collaboration between states, tribes, federal agencies, and private property owners, our salmon are returning at record levels. Since 2014, more than 2.5 million adult salmon and steelhead passed Bonneville Dam, the highest returns since they began counting in 1938. The Sockeye, Fall Chinook, and Coho were also among record and near-record runs as well.’”
“But will salmon recovery continue without removing dams on the Snake River? A federal judge in May said rejected the government’s recovery plan and set the government had to calculate at least the potential of removing dams,” said Trahant in the Trahant Report, trahantreports.com/...
Kieran Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity, summed up his assessment of the appointment in a tweet:
“Trump pick for Secretary of Interior, Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Climate denier, oil/gas booster, tried to sell 3,000,000 acres of public land.”
Lets review some of the appointments in key environmental positions by President Elect Donald Trump to date, in light of Trump’s nomination of McMorris-Rodgers for Interior Secretary.
On November 11, Trump appointed Representative Devin Nunes (CA-22), one of the most aggressive Congressional proponents of increasing Delta water exports to agribusiness and opponents of fish and wildlife restoration in California and the West, to the 16-member executive committee of the transition team.
On November 21, Trump named Doug Domenech, the director of a pro-Big-Oil think tank, to lead his Interior Department advisory group. Domenech is director of the Fueling Freedom Project, a subsidiary of the right wing Texas Public Policy Foundation, an organization heavily funded by the billionaire Koch brothers and ExxonMobil.
Domenech replaced David Bernhardt, a lawyer and Westlands Water District lobbyist who co-chaired the natural resources department at the firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and served as a George W. Bush Interior Department official, as the head of the Interior Department team. Bernhart represented the Westlands Water District on litigation involving the Delta and the Endangered Species Act.
On December 7, Trump announced Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma Attorney General, as his pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, “Pruitt has fought and sued the EPA to protect industry interests, and now he’s poised to lead the agency,” said Katy Kiefer, Campaign Manager for Food & Water Watch.
Trump also met on December 6 with Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, to consider him for Secretary of State. “One of the biggest frackers in the business, Exxon not only knew about climate change nearly 40 years ago, but has spent millions to mislead the public on the most critical environmental crisis of our time,” said Kiefer.
In addition, Tom Pyle, the president of the American Energy Alliance (AEA) heads the Trump Energy Department transition team. The AEA is the political arm of the Institute for Energy Research, a Washington, D.C.-based “non-profit” organization that “conducts research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.”
If people think that the capture of the regulatory apparatus by the regulated has been bad under Obama, it will undoubtedly become even worse under the Trump administration.
You can expect McMorris Rodgers, Representative Devin Nunes, Scott Pruitt, Rex Tillerson, Tom Pyle and other Trump transition team appointees and nominees for administration posts to fiercely oppose the restoration of salmon and steelhead populations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the Klamath and Trinity rivers, the Snake River and other river systems.
Delta advocates also worry that if the Obama administration doesn’t terminate the California Water Fix before President Obama leaves office, Governor Jerry Brown may make a deal with incoming President Donald Trump to weaken the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act in order to fast-track the construction of the Delta Tunnels. The California WaterFix is based on the absurd contention that taking up to 9,000 cubic feet per second of water from the Sacramento River at the new points of diversion, as requested in the petition by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to the State Water Resources Control Board, will somehow “restore” the Delta ecosystem.
REDWOOD VALLEY GUILD ARTS FAIR AND SANTA
11-4 Sat Dec. 10
In case you missed the Bazaar in Boonville last weekend, Jaye will be at an event Saturday, December 10 (tomorrow as I write this), along with dozens of others. There is a great way to shop locally and support your creative neighbors and/or just celebrate community this weekend, Saturday December 10th from 11-4, at the Redwood Valley Community Guild hall, 8650 East Road, just north of the Redwood Valley Market and fire station. There are many artists, craftspeople, and artisans with their creations for you or friends or family: soaps, felt and other fabric wearable art, paintings, books (Jaye Alison Moscariello's just-back-from-the-printer Capture the Moon with Chase the Monkey), jewelry, etc. There are activities for kids, Santa, holiday tamales and other refreshments. Lots of festive fun, and we hope to see you there! Thanks to Jini Reynolds and Lynne McGuire for organizing this year's event!
Bill Taylor, Jaye Alison Moscariello
DECEMBER 14, 2016 BOARD OF RETIREMENT MEETING AGENDA
access the agenda and supporting documents.
BETSY DEVOS, the nominee for Secretary of Education is a multi-millionaire, has no experience in higher education, supports for-profit charter schools, and is a strong advocate for private school vouchers. Without irony, she has described her role in education as one way to "advance God's kingdom."
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE DAY
(1) Look folks, all this arguing about supposed errors of humanity in the past and/or what reparations are owed based upon such suppositions is superfluous and…supercilious. Mom nature has tallied the numbers and is closing the circle on what elements of humanity have any prospect of survival at all.
And know what, that prospect exist only where remain balance between sustainable resources to population. Further, “resources” is more than just minimum caloric requirement but includes species diversity — as in true wilderness habitat — along with quality of life for humans beyond urban equivalent of rabbit warrens. Yes, human mental and social health require availability of wilderness experience and open spaces.
Wringing hands about who was left out of the equations of the past is throwing away the last prospect for human survival, fate has drawn its line having nothing to do with race but has everything to do with cultural alignment away from mystical interpretations, instead more toward scientifically defined objectivity — Western Culture, essentially.
* * *
(2) “Mom nature has tallied the numbers”
Mom nature has been wrong so many times she cannot be trusted. She is both violent and careless (indifferent actually), a dangerous combination. Mom nature is terrible at math.
Nor can scientism of the kind you believe in, cavepainter, be blindly trusted. Look around. Science has been at work for 500 years with mixed results.