Mendocino County Today: Sunday, March 12, 2017
by AVA News Service, March 12, 2017
DEPUTY MASSEY LOOKS BACK
Interviewed by Mark Scaramella
(In our continuing interview, Deputy Orell Massey, Mendocino County’s first and only black deputy, looks back after about 20 years as a Mendocino County patrol deputy.)
AVA: What's your experience testifying in court? I gather that most deputies try to avoid it. It seems like sometimes the officer is on trial to prove that all the correct steps were taken rather than the suspect for the alleged crime.
Massey: That's true. We get a lot of young attorneys coming through here who want to learn what they can and maybe make a reputation. There was one young attorney who is no longer here who tried to file as many 1538 motions to suppress as he could. He did it to see if the officer was truthful in his report. I spoke to this attorney before he left. He actually asked me if I was tired of those 1538 motions? He knew that he was doing it and what effect it would have. He wanted to challenge every little thing that I did and said in my report. It was one of his tactics. He will probably use that tactic the rest of his career. Usually by the time you are testifying its months after you wrote the report. And you have to get up there and testify about what you wrote. In addition, they put you on the record during the preliminary hearing and then if it goes to trial, your testimony better not differ from what you said at the preliminary hearing. If you say something even slightly different, the defense attorney will compare it to what you said in the transcript three months ago in an attempt to undermine your credibility. "Now which is it?" You are expected to testify to the exact same thing that you said at the preliminary hearing. Sometimes it could be as much as a year later when you finally go to trial. You cannot read from your report either, you can use it you can use it to refresh your memory, but you can't read from it. "Your honor, he's reading from his report. Please ask him to answer the question." And then if you missed something there, they'll accuse you of not remembering accurately. So yes, defense attorneys will use that tactic.
AVA: Did racism come up during any of your court appearances?
Massey: Not as much. But there was one attorney who is still there in the public defender’s office who made some racist comments to one of the prosecutors by email. Of course, the prosecutor notified the court and it came down to — basically the email said that the attorney didn't think I was telling the truth when I was stopping all these white women. This attorney still works in the public defender's office! The prosecutor also still works in the District Attorney's Office. I read that and I said to myself, Holy Jumping Jack! If he made those comments in a formal email, I can only imagine what he and his friends might be saying.
And there is a judge on the bench right now who made comments about me saying my traffic stops were frequently unjustified. One of the clerks told me about that. That may have explained why this particular judge was tossing some of my arrests out. It's unusual because I am very thorough and careful in handling these things. I suspect that it might be personal, there might be a connection between one of my arrests of a family member of this judge. That same attorney who filed all the 1538 motions preferred to have his cases before this particular judge because there was a better chance of having the case tossed for insufficient evidence or lack of probable cause. To me, there is no question that the person is in violation when I file a report.
When the District Attorney’s office heard about this judge’s opinion, they assigned a senior prosecutor to my cases when they came before this particular judge. I still don't see how a Superior Court Judge could say things about my arrests like that. It was shocking. That said, most of the time I think the judges are pretty fair, but you will always find some people who let personalities or your race enter into their decisions. I always felt like it was particularly hard for me to win a case in front of that judge.
There was a case I recall involving a guy who was speeding near the boat ramp at Lake Mendocino. I pulled up behind him and he was still speeding. I pulled him over. I recorded the conversation. It ended up being a drunk driving stop. A CHP officer came by to pick up the case like they regularly do. The CHP Officer casually said, Okay what's going on? And I joked, Oh, I'm just out here trying to scrounge up some business. Lo and behold, that tape came out and a defense attorney said that I was out there trying to scrounge up business so that meant I had no basis to stop his client. In the recording, however, the man admitted that he was speeding over the speed limit. So even though he admitted it, the judge took that “under advisement” and then came back with a written conclusion saying, "I begrudgingly find the defendant guilty” of that violation, the DUI. Again, even though this guy said he was going over the speed limit. The implication was that I was out there making up stuff and arresting people for no reason. It’s preposterous! He admitted he was speeding and the speed was recorded based on the GPS in my patrol car. I certainly didn't like appearing before that judge because of that attitude about my cases in particular. I don't know for sure where it all stems from, but I can guess.
AVA: I thought deputies tried to avoid speeding stops.
Massey: Yes, but this was at the boat ramp. It's very dangerous there. It's a big issue, families and kids run around all over the place. There's a spot coming down Marina Drive that is 15 mph and you see people zip through their dangerously a lot. So yes, I'd park on the side of that road and watch for those speeders. The Park Service wants us to do that.
AVA: People just drive right by you like that?
Yes. They speed through there and when they see me they jam on the brakes. That's part of Lake patrol. And frequently they are drunk.
AVA: In and out?
Oh yes. In and out. Most of the time I don't issue tickets for speeding alone. Just a warning. I’ve probably only written two speeding tickets in my career. The GPS system in your car accurately tells you how fast you are going and you simply compare that to how fast they are going. It's all recorded. It's pretty obvious when somebody's going well over 15mph. So you deal with the blatant violators. The speeding is probable cause to stop them, but I usually don't issue speeding tickets if that's all it is — maybe if a person doesn't heed a warning. People will admit to speeding, but they typically won't admit to being drunk.
AVA: I can see where if somebody drives by you going in, and then gets drunk and then comes back the other way knowing you’re there, that would be pretty blatant.
Massey: That, or being on a cell phone, weaving, give me a break! Lake patrol is mainly just to make sure everybody is safe.
TOP GLYPHOSATE (ROUNDUP) USERS, MENDOCINO COUNTY, 2016
Beckstoffer Vineyards-Mendo [winegrape] 442 gallons
Mendocino Redwood Company [timber] 373 gallons
Chevalier Vineyard Mgt Inc [winegrape, pear] 269 gallons
Roederer (Anderson Vineyards Inc) [winegrape] 267 gallons
Ardzrooni Vineyard Management [winegrape] 152 gallons
Hildreth Farms [winegrape, pear] 90 gallons
Brutocao Vineyards [winegrape] 86 gallons
Constellation Wines [winegrape] 78 gallons
Shadowbrook Farms [winegrape, pear] 69 gallons
Valley Foothills Vineyard [winegrape] 64 gallons
Downey Management [winegrape] 54 gallons
Devin Gordon (Whispering Oak Vineyards) [winegrape] 51 gallons
Redwood Empire Vineyard Management [winegrape] 51 gallons
NOTE: Larger entities (like Beckstoffer, MRC & Roederer) often manage their own poison work; while smaller outfits tend to hire that work out (to management companies like Chevalier & Ardzrooni).
Beckstoffer Vinifera Vineyard [Ukiah] 178 gallons
Bald Eagle Vineyard [Potter Valley] 74 gallons
Beckstoffer Hopland Ranch Vineyard [Hopland] 68 gallons
Beckstoffer Mendocino 101 Vineyard [Ukiah] 67 gallons
Valley Foothills Vineyard [Philo] 64 gallons
Beckstoffer Russian River Vineyard [Ukiah] 53 gallons
Beckstoffer Feliz Creek [Hopland] 48 gallons
Lakeview Vineyards [Hopland] 46 gallons
Madonna Vineyards [Ukiah] 44 gallons
Brutocao Bliss Ranch [Hopland] 39 gallons
Orsi Vineyards [Hopland] 36 gallons
Roederer Clark/Perkins Ranch [Philo] 32 gallons
Haiku Vineyards [Ukiah] 31 gallons
(All figures derived from Mendocino County Agriculture Division data https://mendocinocounty.nextrequest.com/requests/17-27)
* * *
Buyer Beware: Wines Made From Beckstoffer-Mendo Grapes
- Cartlidge & Browne Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast
- Clos du Bois Chardonnay North Coast
- Clos du Bois Merlot North Coast
- Constellation Wines Chardonnay
- Fetzer California Chardonnay
- Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Gold Label Chardonnay
- Frey Vineyards Mendocino Chardonnay
- Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon
- Landmark Vineyards Chardonnay
- Mendocino Fog Chardonnay
- Mendocino Wine Company Chardonnay
- Parducci Mendocino County Chardonnay
- Topel Chardonnay
(List compiled from information provided at http://beckstoffervineyards.com)
GOT 'EM ALL!
Jeffrey Settler Murder Case Update
Victim: Jeffrey Quinn Settler (35 year-old male from Bethel Island, California)
On 11-11-2016 at 3:39 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were summoned to a reported man who had been murdered on a remote property located in the 49000 block of North Highway 101 in Laytonville, California.
The property was a rural parcel approximately 5 miles from Highway 101, on a dirt road that traveled in a westerly direction. Deputies responded to the scene confirming there was a male adult who was obviously deceased as a result of what appeared to be a violent assault. Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives were summoned to the scene, along with Investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office and Criminalists from the California Department of Justice.
During the investigation it was determined the deceased male adult, Jeffrey Quinn Settler, was operating a commercial marijuana growing operation on the property. In the early morning hours of 11-11-2016 (Thursday), multiple subjects who had been recently employed by Settler as marijuana trimmers returned to the property in the middle of the night with the intent to commit robbery of processed marijuana. The investigation has revealed the subjects knew the marijuana was stored in the same structure where Settler slept and the subjects violently assaulted him during the robbery, causing his death. The subjects were believed to have fled the property in at least two vehicles and were believed to have stolen over 100 pounds of processed marijuana. The suspects were believed to have fled to Southern California or out of state.
In all seven suspects were identified and subsequent felony arrest warrants were sought.
Prior to 03-10-2017, six of the suspects were in custody and awaiting prosecution for homicide or in the process of being extradited to Mendocino County.
In late February and early March of 2017, Detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were in communication with numerous state, local and federal law enforcement agencies in multiple states in efforts to try and locate and arrest Gary Louis Blank III (AKA Cricket). This included agencies in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey as information had been provided by anonymous sources that Blank had been provided a ride from Southern California towards the northeast.
On March 10th, 2017, at approximately 9:07 PM (Pacific Standard Time), Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives were notified by Detectives from the New Jersey State Police that they had good information about Blank's whereabouts. At 9:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time) the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was notified by the New Jersey State Police that they had located and arrested Gary Blank III at residence in the Borough of Red Bank, New Jersey. Blank was arrested without incident and subsequently booked into the Mercer County (NJ) Jail on the Mendocino County Superior Court NO BAIL arrest warrant, for murder.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Office detectives are traveling to New Jersey to follow up on the arrest. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office will work with the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office and the State of New Jersey to have Blank extradited to Mendocino County for prosecution on Jeffrey Settler's murder. This arrest concludes a 4 month apprehension effort to locate and arrest the seven suspects.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to extend our appreciation to the New Jersey State Police and the Toledo Ohio Police Department for their assistance on this case.
WHERE'S COSTCO? The City of Ukiah is still working on the fix to the energy component of the EIR, the one area where the court found in favor of Mr. Kopper, the Davis-based attorney for the anonymous group of "progressives" who sued the city over this, that and the other CostCo-related matter, thus endlessly retarding the one big box store everyone (except them) wants. We're informed that final obstacle is about to be cleared and should be coming back to the City Council soon for the green light.
PRAISE THEM! Howard Dashiell's County Road crews do a remarkable job considering the dual whammies of funding shortages and this year's road-punishing rains. Dashiell's macadam marvels managed to bridge that 60-foot-long stretch of Orr Springs road that disappeared in a massive slide-away less than three weeks after the road was severed. Orr Springs Road opened to light vehicles Friday afternoon. It's one way on an ingeniously engineered, pre-manufactured Bailey Bridge that Dashiell says cost $135,000, most of which will be reimbursed by disaster relief funds at about 90 percent.
HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED ALONG LOVERS LANE IN UKIAH
by Justine Frederiksen
The owner of Crush restaurant became keenly aware of the housing shortage in Ukiah as soon as he took over what was then Branches.
“We had no housing for our staff,” said Doug Guillon, who came to Ukiah to build the new Sears location on Airport Park Boulevard with his construction company based in Chico, and fell in love with the building that housed the former restaurant about a block north.
“It took us several months longer than we intended to open the restaurant because there was nowhere to put our staff from Chico,” said Guillon, explaining that it was very important to have trusted employees from Crush’s Chico location training the staff in Ukiah.
“But they were sleeping in the hotels or on each other’s couches,” he recalled. “And we still have that problem. One of our chefs now is still staying at the hotel here. And one of our bartenders drives home to Lake County every night because that’s where she could buy a home.”
In a first attempt to build housing, Guillon and fellow developer Steve Honeycutt set their sights on the empty lot behind Rite-Aid at the corner of West Gobbi and South Oak streets. Their plans for an apartment building were approved by the city, but Honeycutt said new regulations for low-impact development and other factors made the project too costly and they ultimately abandoned it.
As they looked around the valley for other possible properties, the developers met Zach Schat and Heath Dolan, both longtime residents and business owners who shared the belief that the area’s ability to not only attract new jobs and workers, but simply keep the ones it has, is smothered by its severe housing shortage.
“Our vacancy rate is less than one percent,” said Dolan, standing recently on the 154 acres he and his father, Paul, own along Lovers Lane as part of the Mendo Farming Company. “Everyone in this valley knows more housing is needed.”
Dolan said that when Guillon and Honeycutt expressed interest in the land, touting its proximity to Highway 101, the Crossroads Shopping Center, schools and utilities, the idea for a housing development began taking shape.
In 2012, the Dolans, majority owners of the Mendo Farming Company, bought more than 100 acres of vineyards north of Lovers Lane when the former owners of the property went bankrupt after failing in their plan to bring a much larger development with 1,200 homes to the parcel.
Guillon’s development plan, called Vineyard Crossing, has a total of 120 single-family homes on 23 acres, leaving the majority of the property with active vineyards. And the Dolans hope to put the remaining 131 acres into a conservation easement, which would prevent future development.
And while the vines closest to the western hills are great producers, Paul Dolan said those closest to Highway 101 are not.
“We were able to get them into much better health, but we can’t get them efficient enough,” said Dolan, explaining that the vines in the higher-quality soil produce about 7 tons an acre, while those to the east only produce about 3 tons an acre.
“The bottom line is, the need for housing outweighs the need for those 23 acres of vineyards,” said Heath Dolan, and Schat agreed that the lack of housing affects not only his ability to run a successful business by allowing valuable employees to find and retain housing, it affects the quality of residents’ current and future lives.
“I want my kids to be able to stay here,” said Schat, who vividly remembers the positive impact the “influx of young people” had on the community when a new housing development came in near Lake Mendocino in the 1990s, and said he hopes another development might spur more positive change, such as helping the hospital create a residency program for new doctors.
“If they live here while training, we hope they will want to stay here and practice,” said Schat, pointing out, however, that sparking a love of the valley in young professionals isn’t enough. You have to have homes for them to move into.
And having those homes, Honeycutt said, could then attract new businesses to the area, such as those Ross Liberty is hoping to add to an industrial park on the former Masonite property just across the highway.
Honeycutt and Guillon recently filed a formal application with Mendocino County to build the subdivision, which Guillon said is very similar to one his company built in Chico with 160 single-family homes.
And while many of this project’s details are “fluid,” Guillon said it is likely that Vineyard Crossing will offer 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom homes spanning about 1,500 square feet that could sell for about $325,000.
And Honeycutt said the development would not only benefit residents who can afford to buy those homes, but everyone struggling to find and keep housing.
“Those who buy homes will free up the existing housing for others who need it,” he said. “We need to un-freeze this market.”
With individual lots ranging in size from 4,500 square feet to 11,000 square feet, the subdivision would have about five homes per acre, and the developers plan to build out seven acres at a time. The plan also includes an 18,000 square-foot “pocket park,” as well as a 50-foot-wide exercise park and an eight-foot-wide bicycle and walking path inside the “neighborhood.”
Outside the neighborhood, they are considering building a new access road that would join with Kuki Lane farther west than Lovers Lane does currently by extending Millview Road, which runs behind the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority’s North Station.
Heath Dolan said those proposed improvements would not only benefit people driving out of the proposed subdivision, but also current and future residents wanting to walk to nearby businesses.
The proposal is being evaluated by county planning staff, and Honeycutt said there will be public hearings and other vetting if and when it moves forward.
MY TWO MOMENTS WITH ALEXANDER COCKBURN
by Jeff Costello
At this point, after nearly 30 years, I seem to be an older-timer at the AVA, the Editor and The Major notwithstanding. I discovered the paper at the home of my old friend and fellow senior AVA contributor Jim Gibbons, on the outskirts of Willits. It was in the AVA that I first heard of and read columns, then called Ashes and Diamonds, by Alex Cockburn. This was a scant year after I quit drinking due to liver troubles, and other than voting against Nixon in '72, I began — to some extent — getting immersed, or at least interested, in politics. And that wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the radical nature of Bruce Anderson's newspaper. Political matters had always seemed mostly a bunch of boring bullshit. Cockburn and Anderson made it interesting.
Cockburn & Anderson
These were the days of Wanda Tinasky, Charles Hurwitz's assault on the redwoods, the Bari bombing, and the editor's arrest for courtroom disruption. I did meet Judi Bari, when working with Gibbons starting a new building on her property, but the closest I came to meeting Cockburn was reading a freshly arrived article from him at the old AVA compound on Anderson Valley Way — the article was typewritten and loaded with slashes, crossed-out words and scribbled notes in the margins.
I read his columns every week, it was more or less my introduction to political observation in print, beyond my old fuck a buncha bullshit view. He treated the power-mongers and authority figures as the flawed humans they were, rather than people to be feared and respected simply because of their lofty positions.
One day, in a piece about then-president Bill Clinton, he pointed out that Clinton referred to children as "investments," which tells you a lot about the workings of the Bubba mind. Unfortunately, at the time, AC was capping off the columns with a final note he called The Bottom Line. After the Clinton reference, use of another finance industry metaphor was too much for me, and I wrote to the AVA, pointing out the irony. The Bottom Line section disappeared from AC's column forthwith.
Another AC column dealt with overpopulation, with reference to WASPs (a nearly bygone term for White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, the whitest of the white). This reminded me of a Richard Pryor routine where he asked a white audience, "What's the matter? Y'all stop fuckin'? There will be no shortage of niggers. Niggers is fuckin' " I emailed this quote to AC and he replied, "Thanks for reminding me."
Many years later I bought a copy of ‘A Colossal Wreck’ from Counterpunch, in which I came across that same Pryor quote. Once again, I was glad to have helped.
CHUCK BUSH, THE CHAOS MAN
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Cummings is good, but Yeats rules. Try this one for Spring—”
ALL-EMPIRE SMALL SCHOOL FOOTBALL AWARDS
Player Of The Year
Lucas Triplett, sr., Fort Bragg
Offense First Team
QB: Hokulani Wickard, jr., Lower Lake
RB: Trystin Strickland, sr., Fort Bragg
RB: Dwayne Yiggins, sr., Middletown
WR: Shane Giaccani, sr., Fort Bragg
WR: Alfio Basile, sr., St. Helena
TE: Austin Cia, sr., St. Helena
OL: Gavin Bartell, jr., Clear Lake
OL: Justin Celeri, jr., Fort Bragg
OL: Aaron Teal, sr., Kelseyville
OL: Virgil Ellis, jr., Clear Lake
OL: Colton Hall, jr., Middletown
PK: Dominic Gorman, jr., Fort Bragg
Offense Second Team
QB: Logan Barrick, jr., Kelseyville
RB: Niko Lopez, sr., St. Helena
RB: Paul Bartholow, jr., Rincon Valley Christian
RB: Tony Pardini, sr., Anderson Valley
WR: Robbie Carey, sr., Middletown
WR: Michael Davis, sr., St. Vincent
TE: Devon Ross, jr., Middletown
OL: Clayton DeForge, sr., St. Helena
OL: Alex Ybarra, sr., Fort Bragg
OL: Isaac Arnold, soph., Fort Bragg
OL: Nick Murphy, sr., St. Vincent
OL: Mitchell Hollingsworth, jr., Willits
Defense First Team
DL: Gavin Bartell, sr., Clear Lake
DL: Cameron Ketchum, jr., Middletown
DL: Jess Cavender, sr., Fort Bragg
DL: Devon Ross, jr., Middletown
LB: Michael Cavender, sr., Fort Bragg
LB: Peerliss Brooke, jr., Lower Lake
LB: Aaron Teal, sr., Kelseyville
LB: Willie Maples, jr., Rincon Valley Christian
LB: Ty Chorjel, sr., Middletown
DB: Lucas Triplett, sr., Fort Bragg
DB: Gabe Guzman, sr., Middletown
DB: Aiden McAdon, jr., Kelseyville
DB: Marlon Jones, sr., Lower Lake
Defense Second Team
DL: Bryan Carrillo, soph., Kelseyville
DL: Daniel Solano, sr., Fort Bragg
DL: Will Foley, jr., Cloverdale
DL: Tyler Hawkins, jr., Rincon Valley Christian
LB: Austin Cia, sr., St. Helena
LB: Bobby Gonzales, jr., Clear Lake
LB: Daniel Cook, sr., Fort Bragg
DB: Jason McCoard, jr., Fort Bragg
DB: Brian Orozco, sr., Clear Lake
DB: James Wirt, jr., DB
DB: Michael Davis, sr., St. Vincent
Coach Of The Year
Roy Perkins, Fort Bragg
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 11, 2017
Billy, Bray, Cameron, Collins
TYLER BILLY, Hopland. Probation revocation.
JAMES BRAY JR., Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
SEAN CAMERON, Bodega/Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, domestic assault.
MARSHALL COLLINS, Albion. Vandalism.
Eich, Hulbert, Jackson
ALEXIS EICH, Mendocino. Drug possession for sale, probation revocation.
MONTY HULBERT, Philo. Drunk in public.
JAMES JACKSON, Ukiah. Criminal threats.
Kidd, McCain, Ordonez-Restrepo, Pena-Martinez
JARED KIDD, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
DIAMANTE MCCAIN, Willits. DUI.
FAUSTO ORDONEZ-RESTREPO, Willits. Probation revocation.
JAVIER PENA-MARTINEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Grand theft.
I CAN REMEMBER the first time I had to go to sleep. Mom said, ‘Steven, time to go to sleep.’ I said, ‘But I don’t know how.’ She said, ‘It’s real easy. Just go down to the end of tired and hang a left.’ So I went down to the end of tired, and just out of curiosity I hung a right. My mother was there, and she said, ‘I thought I told you to go to sleep.'
GOP HEALTH PLAN
My wife and I have Kaiser health insurance. Before the Affordable Care Act, I was paying $1,200 a month for myself and $650 for my wife every month. Since then, the rates have dropped to $780 for both of us. I think that the Republicans are picking a few select cases where the square peg doesn’t fit the round hole to eliminate this move toward health care for all.
We are one of the few nations that doesn’t have universal health care. If we want to make America great again, shouldn’t we be healthy to enjoy it? Or maybe Congress could give us all the health care plan its members enjoy at our expense.
THAT'S IT FOR ME
Judith Curry Retires From Georgia Tech
"A deciding factor was that I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science. Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment — funding, ease of getting your papers published, getting hired in prestigious positions, appointments to prestigious committees and boards, professional recognition, etc. How young scientists are to navigate all this is beyond me, and it often becomes a battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide (I have worked through these issues with a number of skeptical young scientists)."
MARCH 15, 2017 BOARD OF RETIREMENT MEETING
Please visit http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/retirement/meetings.htm to view the agenda and supporting documents.
WILLITS GOES WILD FOR FISH & Eel River Aquatic Life – March 18-19 Field Trip and Presentations
The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) is sponsoring two events on the weekend of March 18 and 19 to celebrate Eel River fish, aquatic life and restoration. On Saturday, March 18 there will be a field trip to the upper Eel River to look for spawning steelhead. On Sunday March 19, there will be a series of presentations at the Willits Hub at 630 South Main Street just north of Highway 20.
The Saturday field trip will depart from the Willits Hub at 9 AM. We will travel to the upper Eel River, Soda Creek and Lake Pillsbury via Upper Lake. Soda Creek is the largest tributary to join the Eel River within the Potter Valley Project, and it does so just one mile downstream of Scott Dam that forms Lake Pillsbury. The creek is on Mendocino National Forest and the group will visit a restoration site that resulted from a cooperative effort funded by Trout Unlimited and implemented by BioEngineering Associates of Laytonville.
After touring the restoration site, we’ll walk further up Soda Creek to see spawning steelhead, if they are present. Just 15 minutes from Soda Creek is the grassy plain above Lake Pillsbury, where we’ll eat lunch and likely see several hundred Tule elk.
On Sunday, March 19, doors will open at the Willits Hub at 9:30 AM for coffee, bagels and fresh fruit and presentations will begin at 10 AM. The event will allow people of Willits and residents of nearby areas to drop in throughout the day to listen to experts on fisheries, aquatic life and restoration in an intimate setting.
ERRP collects data all over the Eel River basin and fisheries biologist Pat Higgins, who is also ERRP’s Managing Director, will give presentations at different times. Topics will include fall Chinook salmon, Sacramento pikeminnow dive results, basinwide temperature patterns, and using aquatic insects to understand stream health. Long time Mendocino County fisheries biologist Park Steiner will summarize findings of his 30 years of work on the upper Eel River, and also provide results of recent salmon surveys within and below the Potter Valley Project and in Tomki Creek.
Dr. Mary Power is a faculty member at the University of California Berkeley in the Department of Integrative Biology and the Faculty Director of the Angelo Reserve on the upper South Fork Eel River near Branscomb. Mary will talk in the late morning about UC research in the Eel River basin, which includes assisting ERRP with toxic cyanobacteria monitoring. Her husband, UC Berkeley Professor of Geology Bill Dietrich, will also present a summary of findings of National Science Foundation Critical Observatory Zone project that has been going on for several years.
In the afternoon two accomplished restoration practitioners will share photos that show very successful Mendocino County stream-side or riparian restoration projects. Evan Engber of BioEngineering Associates will talk about restoring river banks and stream channels using large amounts of live willow and strategic amounts of large rock, including projects within the Eel River watershed. Former watershed coordinator and retired river guide Craig Bell will follow with a slide show demonstrating riparian restoration, using bioengineering, of seven miles of the lower Garcia River, a southern Mendocino coastal river.
Also in the afternoon, film maker Shane Anderson will show a clip of A River’s Last Chance, a movie about the Eel River he is soon to release, and talk about his craft. There will be wild caught rock fish served for dinner from 4-6 PM to celebrate the wild Eel River and the re-invigoration of the Willits Hub. There is no charge for admission to either of the ERRP weekend events, but donations will be accepted.
More events are planned to help support crowdfunding, which continues through April 15, to raise one year’s rent for the Willits Hub building. Several Willits based groups will be located there and ERRP also intends to establish an office. Follow ERRP on Facebook, or go to www.eelriverrecovery.org for agenda details and to learn about other activities. Donate to crowdfunding at https://www.everribbon.com/ribbon/view/64018.
You can also call Robin at 459-0155, if you have questions
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
So much arguing about either NPR or the “Defense” Department should be funded! Firstly, NPR has always shown their bias, although it used to be a lot more cleverly nuanced. I stopped listening to NPR for two reasons; their obviously bias, and their hosts’ obsequiousness, bordering on the odious. But about that bias, at least prior to Trump’s emergence. They just love the “Republican/Democrat war party”. Am I dreaming that NPR’s bias was heavily in favor of our continuous presence in Chaosstan and Syria? The notion that NPR is a bunch of peaceniks hasn’t been true for decades. If nothing else, the NPR toadies know where their bread is buttered and they certainly have feet of clay. As with any bureaucracy, their primary objective is self-preservation. There is little, if any, genuine belief within their walls. But back to the point at hand – In no way has NPR been averse to spending lot of blood (not theirs of course) and treasure on foreign wars, so we should have none of this notion that somehow NPR are “poor peaceniks” who must fight for scraps while the military waxes fat. NPR has waxed really fat over past several decades. Defund them. And incidentally, I am by no means a war hawk. In fact, quite the opposite.
IDES OF TRUMP POSTCARD PARTY Sunday March 12 in Caspar 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Caspar Community Center
Gather to write postcards to Trump and other elected officials! The Ides of Trump is a national postcard campaign to flood the White House with feedback. The goal is to mail one million postcards on March 15th. Let's get together on the 12th to write our cards! We'll provide tea, postcards, stamps and information; it's potluck snacks. Ideas and information for writing other postcards to our officials will be on offer as well. Donations are welcome! Would you like to volunteer to staff a table at the Mendo or Fort Bragg Post Office on March 15th to offer folks a free, stamped, addressed postcard and pen? Questions about the Postcard Party? Contact Christie at email@example.com. For more information about the national Ides of Trump campaign: https://www.theidesoftrump.com
See you Sunday!
READY FOR SPRING PLANTING and a vacation from spring planting
Petit Teton Monthly Farm Report — February 2017
Overnight our weather has become spring-like and everything is blooming. The endless rains and cold over the past 5 months have kept us from our field prep and weeding so on this first week of clear warm weather we've been working ourselves to death. All of the brassicas we sowed in flats and grew in the greenhouse for the past month and a half are ready to go in the ground and we've been scrambling to make a place for them. The kales were planted two days ago and the Chinese broccoli was put in today. Tomorrow two flats of other broccoli's need to be planted before we leave for a week on our train trip vacation. The spring cabbages will be transplanted while we're gone but the winter ones are heading up to be krauted soon. Today the asparagus bed looked like the back of a frightened porcupine so tomorrow it will be cut for pickling.
Our hands and backs are tired but it's a pleasure to be out in the sun, digging in the warm moist dirt, listening to the birds and frogs, and occasionally kneeling up to look around at the beauty of the place we have created. We didn't want to leave at this time, and were scheduled to go last month, but the rains destroyed some tracks and our trip was cancelled. It is a circular train ride from CA to Grand Junction, a drive to Gallup, NM, and a return train ride via LA. And the point is — to do nothing much aside from read, eat, drink, play cards!
Nikki Auschnitt & Steve Kreig
DORMAMMU, I’VE COME TO BARGAIN.
"A garment that squeezes the testicles makes a man think differently." — Umberto Eco
The recording of last night's (2017-03-10) KNYO and KMEC Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available to download and enjoy via http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Ezekiel Krahlin called, and also Scott Peterson (later I read Scott's story /Death Spiral/). TJ came in and shared his insights into self defense. At about 1:30am (that’ll be 4 hours 30 min. into the recording) a bunch of people leaving the bar saw Jerry working on a computer in the front and came in. Jerry sent them back to me. They were friendly, but you know how easily I am overwhelmed by a crowd, and at first I didn't understand what they were all saying. It soon became clear: Jay or Jake Smeck (I’m guessing at the spelling), of Yuba City, has a new song out. I gave him a wire from the mixer to plug into his phone, and he sang along with his recording that I played on the monitors. When I'm doing the show from Fort Bragg I don't use headphones, so it didn’t occur to me in time to hand them to him, and I felt a little silly about that, but it worked out fine and he sounded like a pro, which means he’s very good; the monitor situation was primitive and terrible and he just instantly adapted and performed. They all shook my hand, I was hugged from several directions at once, and they left.
I'm trying to convey how this all felt to me: I'm alone in a quiet room in the middle of the night, reading into a microphone, and suddenly there's this kaleidoscopic whirl of activity, like a scene in The Magic Christian, and everything's happening at once, and then I'm alone again, and it's quiet, and I go back to reading. It's like: did that really happen? Well, yes, because one of them brought a cigaret in and it still smells like cigarets. But on the air, and in the recording, it's just radio. Somebody's talking, you hear some music, somebody's talking again. The inside is so different from the outside.
Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find directions to many non-radio though worthwhile goods that I found while putting radio shows together. Items such as:
Back to the future.
And the Hupfeld Phonoliszt.
THE PRINCE OF ALIENATION, CHAPTER ELEVEN
Judi Bari of Earth First,
by Tom Cahill
Judi Bari promised us the "Nineties would make the Sixties seem like the Fifties," and she damn near pulled it off almost single-handedly.
While in Oakland, California on her way to a rally at the University of California at Santa Cruz on May 24, 1990, a bomb exploded under the seat of Judi's car. She was of course badly injured and because her companion, Darryl Cherney, was lightly injured, he was arrested and jailed by Oakland Police at the behest of the FBI who stuck to their story for years that the bomb belonged to the "Earth First" duo and had gone off prematurely even though it was a highly sophisticated device beyond the mechanical ability of either of the two, as Bruce Anderson, publisher of the "Anderson Valley Advertiser" observed at the time. But it was the Bureau's story that area radio and TV stations in their FBI-orchestrated rush-to-judgement were broadcasting within minutes of the car-bombing almost exactly like the CIA-dominated, corporate-owned main stream media put out within an amazingly short time of the BIPARTISAN execution of John Kennedy that a "lone left-wing nut" shot the president.
In both cases, I could visualize a dozen or more FBI agents in some office nearby like salesmen each with a telephone and a list of phone numbers of media people to call-on-cue from some agent-in-charge of the FBI frame-up--a common FBI political fairy tale turning innocent lambs into predatory wolves. A US Marine Corps veteran and father of two has lain in his grave for more than a half century falsely-accused of regicide.
Screw the FBI, the Warren Commission and the main stream media. "Earth First isn't an organization, it's a slogan," Judi would say when the spotlight was on her since she and Darryl were Earth First's leading spokespersons as well as entertainer-educators pitching to idealistic youth "Redwood Summer," a knock-off of "Mississippi Summer," the 1964 campaign 'to register Black voters in the USA's most racist state. "Bari & Cherney" were a song and joke team with Judi on fiddle and Cherney on guitar singing original songs about saving the last of the Pacific Northwest rain forest that lumber companies were clearcutting like harvesting corn. But unlike corn that matures in a summer, redwood trees take decades to mature. And already in the 1990s about ninety-five percent of the original rainforest of the Northwest coast up into Canada was long ago harvested, made into homes and picnic tables and firewood and toothpicks and even chips for fiberboard that could be made from much faster-growing hemp.
Archaeologists tell us the Sahara Desert was once a rainforest until the people of the Mediterranean Rim harvested it all. My friend and former neighbor at Ten Mile Ranch, Eric Taylor keeps reminding me that trees are the earth's lungs and deforestation is a major reason for global warming. I can testify to this. When I lived on the Mendocino Coast in the mid-Seventies, Summers were mostly overcast with a few nice days.
By the Nineties, it was the complete opposite. Summers were mostly nice with a few overcast days. Climate deniers are corporate courtesans. Eric thinks the US government should put young people to work planting millions of trees like the government in India is doing. But Eric's opposite number, especially the Christian right-wing fundamentalists and "Dominionists" believe these are the "End Times" and that they will soon be "Raptured Up" into heaven, so to hell with the Planet and the rest of us who don't buy their dogma.
Bari & Cherney had unkind words for the Christian right concerning abortion and received a death threat from someone identifying himself as the "Lord's Avenger."
Bari & Cherney had unkind words for the Christian right one of whom was suspect in the car-bombing in Oakland along with someone very close to Judi as well as the FBI itself. After more than a quarter century, the bombing remains a "cold case." Only four weeks before the bombing, the FBI conducted a week-long training course for … bomb investigators … conducted through the College of the Redwoods in Eureka with college credits for area police officers including the Oakland PD. "Classes" were on property owned by Louisiana Pacific, one of the biggest lumber companies in the world. The instructor was FBI Special Agent Frank Doyle, a twenty-year expert in bombing investigations and who was one of the FBI agents amazingly quick to respond to the car bombing of Bari and Cheney. Doyle even got into an argument with some of his own students, Oakland police investigators, about the location of the bomb. Doyle insisted the bomb was in the rear of the car since no one in his right mind would ride with it under his seat. And since he was an "expert," the Oakland cops eventually went along with him knowing better to get on the wrong side of the secret political police.
But as soon as she heard about the bombing, my friend, political soul-mate, and future wife, Anna-Marie Stenberg, who was a close friend of Judi, rushed to Oakland in time to see the car and made the observation that the bomb was without doubt under the driver's seat of the White Subaru since there was a huge hole in the floor there with edges pointing downward. "Who could be so simple-minded as to ride with a bomb under her seat?" Anna-Marie asked us when she returned to Fort Bragg. "Certainly not Judi," Anna-Marie answered her own question with obvious knowledge of her friend. A few days later Anna-Marie took me with her to see Judi in the hospital. On a wall entirely covered with cards from admirers and political supporters, I found a get-well card from my sister.
"COINTELPRO," Judi, Anna-Marie and I agreed, may not have built and placed the bomb but was now running the show to discredit not only Bari and Cherney but the rest of us in Earth First and our mission to save the last of the Redwoods. CORPORATISM UBER ALLES!
As mentioned in an earlier chapter, COINTELPRO was the FBI's counter-intelligence program against the New Left and anyone else that might interfere with the smooth operation of the corporate dictatorship from the time of JFK's BIPARTISAN execution to about 1971 when so much abuse including murders of Black Panthers forced Congress to come down hard on the Bureau.
"We're out of that business forever," said J. Edgar Hoover or one of his clones. But Redwood Summer in Northern California proved beyond a doubt that COINTELPRO was still alive and well but under deeper cover. In fact Richard Held, who worked with COINTELPRO in its earlier incarnation was now Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco field office and the government's lead mouth in the attempted assassination of Bari and Cheney.
Especially those of us who have been on the receiving end of COINTELPRO know of the dark side of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. Ward Churchill knows and has written at length about the crimes committed in the name of justice--what Congress calls "excesses" and the corporate media mockingbirds call "dirty tricks" but we survivors call "atrocities." A Native American, Churchill is the author of "The COINTELPRO Papers" (1990), "Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement" (1988) and seventeen other books. He is also a long-time political activist and a former professor at the University of Colorado.
Clint Eastwood didn't even scratch the surface of J. Edgar Hoover's vices in his movie "J. Edgar" (2011) although Leonardo DiCaprio did an amazing job portraying the Director.
Also on the far right of the political spectrum where Hoover lived all his life, Lawrence Silberman said of Hoover after discovering Hoover's secret files in 1974, "J. Edgar Hoover was a sewer that collected dirt. I now believe he was the worst public servant in our history." Silberman was made a federal judge by Pres. Reagan and was part of the Federalist Society that screened Pres. Bush's judicial nominees.
When he was JFK's attorney general, Bobby Kennedy called the FBI director a "mean, bitter, vicious animal" that fit perfectly Hoover's mug and moniker, "Bulldog." And in the review of Noel Twyman's book "Bloody Treason" (1998) about the assassination of JFK, John Kelin wrote, "It is amusing, in a sick sort of way, that Hoover seems to be the one person who had no redeeming qualities. He then quoted Twyman, "I have searched the literature and . . . if there is something likeable about him I haven't found it." And yet the FBI's headquarters in Washington, DC is still called "the Hoover Building." Like many associated with the JFK execution and LBJ's Murder Inc, Hoover died "unexpectedly" on May 2, 1972. Although he was 77, cause of death was listed as "undiagnosed heart disease." But some of us "conspiracy nuts" believe he was poisoned for his clash with the Nixon Whitehouse and the CIA.
As we saw in the Presidential election 2016, the ghost of J. Edgar Hoover still haunts the FBI decades after his death. Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a serious accusation of the present director. But back on May 24, 1990, the response to the car bombing in Oakland was so rapid as to compare it to FBI agents on the scene of the airplane crash that killed a US Presidential hopeful and his wife on Oct. 25, 2002. As Professors James Fetzer and Don Jacobs described in their book "American Assassination: The Strange Death of Sen. Paul Wellstone" (2004) agents from their various field offices in Minnesota would have had to be on the road to the crash site while the airplane was still in the air to have arrived so soon after the "accident" to secure the site from pesky journalists and others. Sen. Wellstone, a Democrat, may have interrupted Pres. Bush's second term agenda and undid some of the machinations of the neocons and their neoliberal comrades in Iraq and elsewhere.
The FBI was on the scene of the Bari/Cherney bombing in a flash, "almost as if they had been standing around the corner holding their ears," said one of Bari's lawyers according to Steve Ongerth in his book "Redwood Uprising: From One Big Union to Earth First And the Bombing of Judi Bari" to be published soon.
FBI Agent McKinly from San Francisco, for instance, just happened to be in the neighborhood shopping for an apron for his child to use in a school play "when he heard on the radio about the explosion and went over to see what was going on," wrote Ongerth. Like there weren't enough stores in San Francisco? Here are the lyrics of a song written by Darryl Cherney not long after the bombing that Steve Ongerth includes in his book. "Now Judi Bari is a mother of two children. A pipe bomb went ripping through her womb. She cries in pain at night time, In her Willits cabin room. FBI is back again with COINTELPRO. Richard Held is the man they know they trust. With Lieutenant Sims his henchman, It's a world of boom and bust. But we'll answer with non-violence, For seeking justice is our plan, And we'll avenge our wounded comrade, As we defend the ravaged land…" Darryl's song may never hit the top ten but he's put into song a memorial to a woman who will be long-remembered and admired on the USA's "Left Coast" and anywhere environmentalists try to raise consciousness.
At her first public appearance, August 14, 1990, Judi Bari attended an eco-femininist demonstration at the Federal Building in San Francisco demanding an "Investigation of the Investigators." A photo I took shows Anna-Marie Stenberg standing behind Judi's wheelchair, the bright colors of A-M's tie-dye T shirt making an unmistakable halo for our living martyr.
"WHEN YOU FIND THE BOMBER, FIRE HIM," shouted Anna-Marie, whose IQ and quick wit matched Judi's and may have been one of the reasons Judi--a definite control freak--eventually turned on Anna-Marie. When I took Anna-Marie's side in a dispute between the two, the look I got from Judi made me know I was persona non grata forEVER.
And sure enough after that, I would get the cold shoulder at meetings or base camps or demos. At the rally in front of the Federal Building, speaker after speaker including Dolores Huerta, the farmworker organizer, cited a long list of FBI abuses while others in the crowd circulated petitions demanding legislators move quickly to protect environmentalists from such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Now that the Cold War was cooling, it was obvious to many of us that COINTELPRO had targeted the environmental movement as currently the most serious threat to the lifestyles of America's rich and famous," I wrote in an article published in "The Mendocino Country Environmentalist" September 1, 1990.
The name Buckminster Fuller tagged the CIA with--"Capitalism's Invisible Army" also included the FBI and the rest of the vast Intel community I still claim. In a show of credibility and solidarity with Bari and Cherney, many at the rally wore silver colored duct tape-like armbands. It was similar tape that can be found in most homes that was allegedly used to make the bomb and was key "evidence" in the Bureau's case against Bari because a roll of it was found in her home. Expletive! Expletive! EXPLETIVE! Some of the signs at the rally appeared like a contest to rename the Bureau using it's present acronym--"Federal Bureau of Inquisition," "Fabricate, Brutalize, Intimidate" to name a few. Sedonia and her new husband-to-be, Barton Stone (aka "Bird Brother"), were at the rally. I had Bird Brother write with a broad felt pen on the top of my bald pate "FBI Exposed" over which I placed a traditional English barrister's wig that went with the black gown I wore and the sign I held, "Verdict is in … FBI GUILTY. . . on all counts." Anytime I saw a camera, I'd remove the wig and bow low enough for the words on my head to be seen. But the gimmick didn't go over nearly as well as a similar message I created at a Redwood Summer rally in Fort Bragg the previous July 21. At that demonstration I had a friend write "The Great Mendocino Desert" on my dome. "One 'S' or two?" my friend asked. "Two," I responded wrongly. But luckily a better speller intervened. Over that sign, I wore a baseball helmet covered with lichen and tiny wire brush-like green trees common at Christmas. Signs fore and aft on the helmet read "Ask me what a clearcut is." At which request, I would remove the helmet, and bend over to show the sign on my head. The TV and print media loved it and a photo even appeared in the "Fort Bragg Advocate," July 26, 1990. Judi Bari died 6:45 AM, Sunday, March 2, 1997, of inoperable breast cancer less than six months after diagnosis, proclaiming her innocence in the car-bombing. She was 47.
Bari "frequently resorted to theatrical antics to drive home her message," wrote Mike Geniella in the Santa Rosa "Press Democrat," March 3, under the heading "Intense style, rankled many, belied warmth."
In a letter to the editor of the "Anderson Valley Advertiser," I wrote: "There were parts of Judi Bari I disliked intensely. Her razor sharp tongue made her sarcasm unmatched as she was a master of the put-down even with her own friends and allies. She seemed to not know the strength of her words or the deep hurt they could cause even among those of us who are not very thin-skinned. She was manipulative to the max, a control freak extraordinaire who would browbeat you one moment, then make a play for sympathy the next in order to get her way. She was also adept at making you feel like the smallest being on the planet if you didn't agree with her one hundred percent. I've experienced all this for what I consider minor transgressions. On the other hand, Judi Bari was the most intelligent and effective and by far the bravest activist I have every known or known of in the 30 years I've been a political activist. I forgive you, Judi, for your Scorpio stings. I love you and I'll miss you." On the very day of her death, many of us had a farewell circle on Navarro Beach.
But on the day of the bombing seven years earlier, I talked Fr. Anthony di Russo of Our Lady of Good Council Church in Fort Bragg into giving a benediction at a prayer circle that evening near the town's museum for the recovery of our comrades.
I confessed that I hadn't been a practicing Catholic for years and that I had been attracted to his Church for the free meal each Wednesday. Then with tears in my eyes, I assured Fr. di Russo that what the media was broadcasting was untrue. We were all absolutely dedicated to nonviolence. The bomb was NOT Judi's and Darryl's, I broke down.
Fr. di Russo arrived promptly and after he gave the benediction, I played "Amazing Grace" on my harmonica while many sang along.
The next day when I went back to the Church to thank Fr. di Russo, I learned he had been very suddenly transferred.
Days later, in Foresti Park on Ten Mile Ranch soon after her death, I created a memorial to Judi with a statue of Kuan Yin, goddess of compassion and mercy.