Letters to the Editor
by AVA News Service, June 17, 2010
Here are some humbly suggested marginalia.
Comparisons are slippery.
Any ordinary city is in fact two cities, one a city of the poor, the other of the rich. Each at war with the other.
Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, cities will never cease from ill. Nor the human race.
To require the help of medicine because by lives of indolence and luxury men have filled themselves like pools with waters and winds, flatulence and catarrh, is this not a disgrace?
When a man's pulse is healthy and temperate, and he goes to sleep cool and rational, having indulged his appetites neither too much nor too little, but just enough to lay them to sleep, he is then least likely to be the sport of fanciful and lawless visions.
Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore, do not use compulsion, but let early education be rather a sort of amusement. This will better enable you to find out the natural bent of the child.
Justice is the having and doing what is one's own.
(All the above is attribited to Plato.)
My trade is to say what I think.
If you do not want to commit suicide always have something to do.
History is after all nothing but a pack of tricks which we play upon the dead. History proves that anything can be proved by history.
God preserve me from my friends: I will take care of my enemies myself.
The man who says to me “Believe as I do, or God will damn you,” will presently say, “Believe as I do, or I shall assassinate you.”
Nobody thinks of giving an immortal soul to the flea: why then to an elephant or a monkey or my valet? I am persuaded that if a peacock could speak he would boast of his soul and would affirm that it inhabited his magnificent tail.
When an old error is established, politics uses it as a morsel which the people have put into their own mouths until another superstition comes along to destroy this one and politics profits from the second error as it did from the first.
(All the above attributed to Voltaire.)
Nature is satisfied with little and if she is, I am also.
It is unreasonable to wrap things of little or no value in a precious cover.
(These two: Baruch Espinoza.)
D.M. Bullock, loyal subscriber
MENDONIAN HIGH LIVING
Thanks to Bruce McEwen for his recent story on the upscale Mom and Pop Sanderson medi-pot scam, welfare fraud case in the June 9 AVA. He really nailed it. I don't know how he does it. I was in the courtroom and couldn't understand most of the proceedings — obscure, mumbled jargon, code words and a whispering judge. Foghorn Petersen was the only articulate one in the courtroom. McEwen went beyond mere reporting and journalism, he's a bonafide storyteller — the Pat Patterson of courtroom drama. A rare talent. Time for a well-deserved raise.
Pop Sanderson was originally scheduled for judgment and sentencing on May 28, a date requested by his attorney, Richard Petersen. But Petersen was a no-show, so the court put out an APB on him and went into recess at which time the giggling probation officer told the prosecutor, “we're gone a throw you under the bus” — and so they did.
Peterson's son, Justin, was finally located and said his father was in Bishop, California at a muleskinners convention having failed to notify the court of his absence. In any other jurisdiction in the state this would be contempt of court, but not in Mendopia, the land of woo-woo justice.
The Mom Sanderson pleading was scheduled for June 8, but her attorney, Mark Kalina, was also AWOL, so the court put out an APB on him as well and after an hour he finally showed up and informed the court that his client was prepared to pay the five grand welfare restitution fine in exchange for reducing the welfare fraud to a misdemeanor and dropping the other felony charges. The money, however, wasn't available yet because it was a loan from his clients’ upscale family. Kalina promised to have the payoff in hand by June 23, the next scheduled court hearing.
Mom and Pop Sanderson were routinely receiving FedEx boxes of cash — up to $80,000, while receiving welfare payments, and were living in a luxury oceanview home in Mendocino Village that was being purchased with a $2.7 million cash down payment. So, why did they need to borrow five grand from mommy and daddy?
High living, Mendopia style?
CALLING ALL NASHES
I have lost contact with Nash Ranch.
I am writing from High Desert State Prison where the pepper spray and gas grenades fly daily. The medical staff here as in most of the California Department of Corrections is a joke. And in general the whole prison system is one big injustice to the human race.
I'm writing in hopes that I might receive the AVA for a time. Another inmate here was receiving it but for some reason it stopped and I dearly miss the paper. I am from Mendocino and Humboldt County. My mom was born in Boonville. Her name is “Nikki McKinley.” My dad was raised on the Nash Ranch which brings me to the second part of my letter.
He passed away in 1989 from Leukemia and he asked that I keep in contact with the Nash family. I remembered some of them from his funeral in Ukiah, but I don't really know any names. His name was Gene Anderson, or “Gino” as his friends called him. I remember trips to the big house on the Nash Ranch swimming in the pool there while my sister and I would receive Christmas gifts from an older couple who I was always told were my grandparents -- not by blood, of course, but I remember that we were a family.
So anybody who might remember my dad or me: I could use a letter and a friend. I'm 35 years old. I've made some mistakes. But I've learned from them also. I ran a trucking company out of Ukiah for awhile. To make a long story short for now, I'm a good person and I just want to honor my father's wishes and get to know the Nash family.
P.O. Box 3030
Susanville, CA 96127
HAITI SLIDE SHOW
Ukiah Valley Medical Center volunteers host two free slideshow presentations of their recent trip to Haiti.
First Presentation: June 17, 7-8:30pm at the Saturday Afternoon Club, 107 S. Oak St., Ukiah. Come and enjoy live music by the duo Majide and a fabulous bake sale, to support the Reveil Matinal Orphanage (www.rmof.org) in Port au Prince.
All are welcome. Join our team in our continued support for Haiti. Sign up to volunteer at our August 21 music benefit for the orphanage, or come see what we’re about. Donations welcome to support Haiti’s orphans.
Second Presentation, June 18, 7-8:30pm at Ukiah Valley Medical Center, 275 Hospital Drive, OB Conference Room (North Building). Slide show and live music by Majide, to support the Reveil Matinal Orphanage (www.rmof.org) in Port au Prince. All are welcome — join our team in our continued support for Haiti, sign up to volunteer at our August 21 music benefit for the orphanage, or just come see what we’re about. Donations are welcome to support Haiti’s orphans.
CENSORSHIP OR IRONY?
Censorship at The Arcata “Blind” Eye
My partner and I were recently privileged to attend Cubasolar, a solar conference in Cuba. Our trip was sponsored by Global Exchange, an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world.
Upon our return home we arranged to share our experience by presenting a public slideshow and talk in an Arcata venue. We sent PSAs to local media and publications. All but one of those we contacted were happy to publicize our event. The Arcata Eye did not include our PSA in the weekly newspaper.
The omission was not just an oversight. It was obvious censorship by the editor/publisher Kevin Hoover. Upon receiving our announcement Kevin shot back with questions about the content of our presentation. His response was more of an assault than reasonable questioning. He wanted to know if we were going to address human rights issues, lack of a free press, jailing of dissidents etc. His questions were accompanied by a very negative unbalanced wikipedia link.
I responded by inviting him to attend our presentation and told him he would be welcome to ask questions about those topics. He responded with more criticism and did not attend.
We legally traveled to Cuba to learn about the many innovative things Cubans are doing to improve their own lives and maintain a healthy planet. We are well aware Cuba is not a perfect country but the intent of our presentation was not to dis Cuba, rather to promote peace and understanding.
Kevin's censorship can best be summed up by this quote from a friend. “And so his version of a free press is that he wouldn't publish an event of a country that doesn't permit one?”
Arcata Eye Editor Kevin Hoover replies: Regrettably, I didn't run their PSA. That's about the one thing Judi is right about. There just isn't room to publish everything submitted to the paper, and since we've laid off almost all our staff, my time is limited. But in this case, as I told her partner John when I called him and apologized, I simply forgot to run it in the mad Monday footrace to go to press. Among the ironies here: Judi calls the Wikipedia entry “unbalanced,” I suspect because it dares to mention Cuba's chronic human rights abuse situation. Any mention of that in their PSA? Balance to her must be whitewashing this military dictatorship's single-party rule. Judi can't make a credible case for censorship based on not running one PSA. We run all kinds of political and cultural notices, as a glance at any edition of the paper will show. We've run innumerable Cuba-related blurbs too, from when Becky Luening used to offer similar talks. Ironic that Judi cries “censorship” in the US over one PSA not running while ignoring the systematic suppression of political expression in Cuba. Obviously, we make a point of publishing all kinds of diverse political advocacy. As I wrote in the paper this week, the only line I draw is with medical quackery — things like “detoxification” and “immune system strengthening” that have no scientific foundation and which people might resort to instead of legitimate medical treatment. Climate-change denialism is almost but not quite on the list of things I wouldn't run. Anyway, Judi and John are really great, they mean well, their hearts are in the right place, etc. But they interpret criticism as hostility, and clearly don't want their rosy picture of Cuba marred by troubling questions about the plight of political dissidents in that country. Next time they submit a PSA, we'll run it, as long as I have room. And remember: Not having to correct typos helps too.
WORLDWIDE WATER WEB
About a month ago you published my letter about the State Water Project and how agricultural interests have bellied-up to the bar, conscripting water for their use that rightfully belongs to the citizenry.
Below is the URL for the California State Water Project. It puts some numbers agricultural usage in average, wet and dry years.
It's even worse than I thought.
Below is the URL to the portion of the State Water Code that applies to the State Water Project. The specific sections are 350 to 359. The most important are 350 and 353. In legalese, these spell out who gets what, especially when supplies are limited.
These are public documents. I think you could legally print them.
We here in San Diego are suffering water restrictions. This, in spite of the fact, we've had a pretty good water year. But Schwarzenegger is trying to pass yet another water bond issue — more damns and a peripheral canal. So he needs a water shortage — even if it's contrived.
Below is the URL for a site that provides up-to-date info on water levels in the state's major reservoirs. As you can see, all the State Water Project reservoirs are in excellent shape except the Oroville — and it's rising fast.
Nobody should be suffering any water restrictions this year — not even agri-business.
A — BIG STEP
Letter to the Editor:
Thank you citizens of Anderson Valley for supporting our schools by so convincingly approving Measure A in the June 8 election. The vote was a strong validation of the job our teachers and school staff do year in and year out. Now our schools have the resources to greatly improve the classroom environment, make much needed repairs and install photovoltaic systems that will markedly reduce energy costs and help the planet. Our students, teachers and community will benefit from the bonds for decades to come. Together we took a big step forward for education in our Valley.
Chair, Yes on A V School Bonds Committee
McGOURTY HATES THE GRAND JURY
Water scarcity is consistently a leading topic in Mendocino County, (County). Water is essential to our community. In addition to satisfying residential and commercial needs, water feeds the major driver of our economy: agriculture. Estimates show that agriculture provides more than 7,500 jobs in the county, with an approximate annual payroll of $110 million. When related business receipts, payrolls, and the value of the products are included, the County economy benefits more than $450 million per year. Low rainfall over the past three years in the County combined with restrictions on the flow of water from the Eel River via the Potter Valley Project, has resulted in low water storage in Lake Mendocino. In 2009, an extended period of late frost resulted in overdrafting of the river waters for frost control. This brought attention to the County from the State Water Resources Control Board, (SWRCB), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA).
Recent water flow concerns below the Coyote Valley Dam have prompted hearings chaired by the SWRCB, which plans to begin monitoring frost control management in 2011. The use of water in agricultural frost control has the potential of drawing significant water from the river, and negatively impacting water levels for fish habitat. Seven water districts in the Russian River Flood Control District, (RRFCD), as well as other entities within the County provide water to residential, commercial, and agricultural users. These entities speak only for their own needs. There is an absence of common governance over water management, for which the County has suffered economically and politically.
The Valley-Wide Task Force of 1990 and four subsequent Grand Jury, (GJ), reports have pointed out that there is a need for one voice for the management of the Russian River watershed. There must be consistent policy, uniform conservation practices, better communications and enforcement, professional management, and fiscal responsibility. Twenty years ago, County residents were not being pressured by lobbies, lawsuits, legislation, and regulatory action; it is imperative that County residents take this action now.
Kathy Wylie, Foreman
09/10 Mendocino County Grand Jury
PS. For the full report:
A VERY BAD RACIST JOKE
Sex in the Shower: In a recent survey carried out for a leading toiletries firm (Brut), people from Detroit and Chicago have proved to be the most likely to have had sex in the shower!
In the survey, 86% of Detroit's and Chicago's inner city residents (almost all of whom are registered Democrats) said that they have enjoyed sex in the shower.
The other 14% said they hadn't been to prison yet.
Stevie “Big Dog” Smith
On Thursday June 11th, 2010 Anno Domini, I enjoyed a breakfast with Berkeley's Catholic Worker, and then went on a walk with no destination. On Shattuck Avenue I found a BART fare card with $44.70 on it! Chanting “Om Sri Kali Ma!” in thanks to the divine goddess of destruction, I took BART to San Francisco, which led to my visiting the literary legendary meeting place City Lights in North Beach. Later, after enjoying a book of Beat Poet photographs, I exited through Kerouac Alley guided only by the unseen (described in the Vedas as “Brahman”). I walked west on Turk Street through the Tenderloin neighborhood, stepping over passed out bodies and discarded clothing and navigating through crowds of ghost-like people who were suffering the after effects of drug and alcohol abuse. Arriving in the Fillmore district, I got inspired viewing the retrospective art exhibit at the Jazz Heritage Gallery. The paintings and prints of the muralist Michael Rios are incredible — visionary, magical, full of complex colorful images depicting Carlos Santana, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix and others. The larger sized works are in the lobby of Yoshi's jazz club next door.
Fully heightened at this point, my amble continued on to the Love of Ganesh gift shop on Haight Street (at Central, east end of upper Haight), and after the owner Noot served me complimentary tea and snacks, I was permitted to go into the meditation room that still is the best kept secret in the bay area. The shop is run by devotees of Amma, and the energy within this miniscule meditation room is difficult to describe. It approximates the sacred places I was at in India in the summer of 1994. It's unlikely that the tourist guide books will include it, but there is a palpable concentration of spiritual shakti. Yep, you can feel it.
Blissed out and full of tea, I dropped by the anarchist Bound Together bookstore across the street and got the update from longtime collective member Tom; he guarantees that permanent and constant opposition to the insanity of capitalism will continue in Northern California. Tom is one of the organizers of the annual Anarchist Book Fair in SF.
On my way back to BART I needed to use a bathroom, so I dropped in at Delirium, whose motto is “Service for the Sick,” at 16th St. and Albion in the Mission. In this happy hardcore Mission bar, I was treated in the friendliest manner I've ever seen in a serious drinking establishment. The bartender was wearing a SF Zeitgeist bar t-shirt featuring a rabbit wearing pink shooter shades! The Delirium t-shirt, by the way, features a winged angel and below that image a drawing of brass knuckles dripping with blood. Trust me on this one, the place is very friendly and also on weekends free food is grilled up.
I was too late in getting back to the East Bay to attend my usual evening meditation at the Berkeley Vedanta Society, so I just winged it and did some Oming at Book Zoo instead. Got back to the jazz rehearsal studio I sleep at in Oakland around 10pm, discovering that my roomates from France in the main house were hosting a cocktail party on the back patio.
I want everyone to know that I just enjoyed a fun, wonderful June 11th in the midst of statewide economic depression, global war, world environmental degradation, general hysteria, and the news that real estate companies wordlwide are starting to sue municipalities in order to force the elimination of cemeteries because they need the land for development.
Donations for further life in the Absolute are being accepted here:
Craig Louis Stehr
593 62nd Street, Oakland, CA 94609-1246.
Make no mistakes folks. The budget the supervisors is proposing is a joke and their statement of what the County has in its coffers is a joke as well. The supervisors are going to vote on the Sheriff's department budget cuts on Tuesday, June 15th.
You want to solve the problem, you don't spend money you don't have — period. You file for bankruptcy protection, negate the union contracts and work on solving wage and benefit issues now. This is a classic California politician scenario. Pass a budget you know won't solve the problems and hope the fairy god mother waves a wand and it will be “all better.”
As I said before Mendocino County’s unfunded liabilities total $67,000,000 in the hole, not all the funny money numbers you see now. And as I recall the County increased the Health and Human Services budget about $8 million in the last three years budgets which was about 40%. That is a welfare increase.
What about the welfare of the taxpayers of this County who want an effective Sheriff's department? How about welfare to the taxpayers who want their investments and lives protected?
This is just the start of the bubble problem — benefits — and it isn't going to get better anytime soon unless the Supervisors act in the next meeting.
Additional unfunded liabilities for 2008-2009, $3,2878,873 and an additional $286,184 to cover expenses over and above the basic plan.
To covert the basic PEPM (per employee per month) the County needs to fully fund the employee plan with an additional 38.7% increase.
In one year, August 2008 through July 2009 there were 15,388 insurance claims for County employees which totals 1063 employees. That is 14+ claims per year per employee or more than one a month per employee.
Medical claims for the above year: $8,208,590, $7,718 per employee.
Pharmacy claims for the above year: $1,788,402, $1,682 per employee.
Dental claims for the above year: $819,650, $771 per employee.
Vision claims for the above year: $18,906, or $18 per employee,
Total employee cost per year for medical per employee: $10,189 per year.
OOPS, WRONG INTOXICANT
Going to seed: Grand jury says wine drinkers beware
Ukiah Daily Journal Staff
The Mendocino County grand jury on Thursday issued a report on viticulture in the county which gathers a lot of well-known information about the state of grape growing in this county and basically recommends that the sheriff and the District Attorney's Office do a better job of prosecuting cases.
The grand jury also found that much of the grape crop grown here is contaminated with chemical poisons harmful to wine drinkers.
The grand jurors concluded that “Vineyards and wineries contribute to an environment of crime, social problems, costs for government services, and environmental degradation.”
“Witnesses stated that when there is excessive use of pesticides in a wet or irrigated area, it will be absorbed by any plant in close proximity, and is unfit for human consumption. The chemicals used in viticulture can negatively affect your health. Caveat emptor; let the drinker beware.”
The grand jury says while its investigation shows that grape growing is still causing criminal and environmental problems in this county, the laws and regulations affecting viticulture continue to be unenforced.
More than 31 findings are included in the report, which can be read at www.co.mendocino.ca.us/grandjury.
PS. Original Ukiah Daily Journal article—
Going to pot: Grand jury says smokers beware
Ukiah Daily Journal Staff
Updated: 06/10/2010 11:16:57 PM PDT
The Mendocino County grand jury on Thursday issued a report on marijuana in the county which gathers a lot of well-known information about the state of marijuana growing in this county and basically recommends that the county allow the sheriff to continue to do his job to crack down on it and the District Attorney's Office do a better job of prosecuting cases even-handedly.
The grand jury also found that much of the marijuana illegally grown here may be contaminated with chemical poisons harmful to marijuana smokers.
The grand jury also recommends that:
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors use the zip-tie funds for a six-month full-time position for the administration of the program.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office continue to administer the “zip-tie” program and develop other programs that will eliminate costs and create revenue.
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors not decrease the number of sheriff's deputy positions in the budget.
Law enforcement and the legal community establish a uniform definition of a “mature” marijuana plant.
The grand jurors concluded that “There is controversy regarding the effectiveness of marijuana for the relief of some symptoms of illnesses and disabilities. Marijuana grows contribute to an environment of crime, an underground economy, social problems, costs for government services, and environmental degradation.
“Witnesses stated that when there is excessive use of rat poison or pesticides in a wet or irrigated area, it will be absorbed by any plant in close proximity, and is unfit for human consumption. The unknown chemicals used in marijuana grows can negatively affect your health. Caveat fumor; let the smoker beware.”
The grand jury says while its investigation shows that pot growing is still causing criminal and environmental problems in this county, the laws and regulations affecting marijuana cultivation continue to be complex and confusing.
More than 31 findings are included in the report, which can be read at www.co.mendocino.ca.us/grandjury.
CALIFORNIA COASTLINE BLUES
Walking California shores, Looking for some peace of mind; Welcome to the great outdoors, Leaving all your cares behind. Listen as the water breaks, Crashing up against the rocks;California coastline makes You forget the city blocks. Nothing in the world's the same. But everybody I got news, I'm looking at a crying shame, California coastline blues.
I didn't have to walk too far — Walking barefoot in the sand, Before my feet picked up some tar. Right away you understand That when they start to drill off-shore, They'll be spilling more than drops — Drilling through the ocean's floor. Starts a leak that never stops. You know a spill is going to kill More than ever makes the news. When equipment starts to drill, It's California coastline blues. Flying up and down the coast, The seagulls know what's going on — Knowing who'll be hurting most, From Mexico to Oregon.
California's going to see Troubled waters needing help — See the oil and debris Floating over dying kelp. Sea-life needing changes quick, But all it gets is clean-up crews Mopping up an oil slick — California coastline blues.
THE REC COMMITTEE DISCUSSION
A Reply to Gene Herr:
Gene Herr concluded her comments about the Anderson Valley Community Services District (CSD)’s 40th Anniversary celebration with a call for better communication. I’d like to start mine with the suggestion that if she wants better communication she might have started our conversation about the celebration by telling me that I was being interviewed for a story in the AVA. It came as quite a surprise to see myself quoted. Although the quote was accurate, it is always nice to know at the time when you are speaking casually to a friend and when you are being interviewed.
The most important part of Gene’s story comes later in the article when she discusses changes proposed for next fiscal year (2011-12) in the way the Property Tax revenue is budgeted. Her suggestion that the fix is in and that in violation of the Brown Act three of the Directors have discussed how the property tax should be budgeted with each other outside of public meetings is untrue and a red herring. It is possible that three or even more Directors thought that a change might be a good idea at this time, have talked about it with members of the public and that each talked to the General Manager about how it could be accomplished, but we have not talked to each other about it except in Board Meetings, where it has been discussed several times.
The CSD has taken an interest in providing recreational opportunities for valley residents from its founding in the early seventies. It has also seen the provision of fire protection as its primary function since then. Originally a General Manager paid from Property Tax revenue provided administrative support for both the fire department and the recreation committee. In the early nineties, before the Benefit Assessment was passed, at a time when the Fire Department was struggling to make ends meet, the Recreation Committee agreed to help by covering the cost of the administration of its programs with an increase in the fees charged to participants in the programs. Since then, the Benefit Assessment passed, was implemented, and has enabled the Fire Department to thrive, hire Colin Wilson as a full time Fire Chief, recruit more volunteers, upgrade its equipment and build new Fire Stations in Boonville, Philo and Navarro.
During this same period, most of the provision of recreational activities has moved from the CSD to the School District’s After School program and Adult School. The Recreation Committee now mostly coordinates and provides oversight of recreational activities in the valley: coordinating the community meeting to assess recreational opportunities, publishing a summer activities flyer for children and youth, investigating new recreational facilities and funding, serving as an oversight body for the Teen Center, the Community Park and a few community activities that do not fit into the school programs like the upcoming Not So Simple Living Workshop. These functions generate very little income and very little need for administrative services — mostly the oversight of bank accounts holding funds generated in the past for community projects that have not yet been used and are being held in reserve for future projects. In recent years, the CSD Board has recognized that the recreation committee no longer generates revenue from its programs and has granted an annual waiver of the recreation committee’s administrative fee, in effect paying for those administrative costs from Property Tax revenue. When there are recreational programs costs, they are always paid for by the programs or though fund raising.
About five years ago, the CSD became part of a coalition of community groups supporting a Teen Center, which provides a drug and alcohol free place for valley teens to gather on Friday nights and field trips out of the valley through out the year. Fundraising, grants and volunteers provide support the Teen Center’s activities and the Teen Center pays an administrative fee of $500, plus 5% of all grant revenues to the CSD to provide administrative services.
At tonight’s meeting the Board will be deciding whether to grant the Recreation Committee an administrative fee waiver for the 2010-11 fiscal year. And considering whether the administrative fee paid by the Teen Center should be increased. In the next couple of months the Board will be deciding whether the provision of administrative services for recreation programs, including a Teen Center, should be part of what we pay for with our property taxes or not.
This is definitely a discussion that would benefit from community participation and everyone interested in participating is invited to attend meetings of the CSD Board (in the Boonville Fire Station Training Room, the third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 with items of interest to the public always moved to the top of the agenda), to write to the Board (PO Box 398, Boonville CA 95415 or email@example.com) with comments and opinions or join this discussion in the AVA.
About the celebration, when General Manager Serina Wallace suggested the celebration it was in the context of highlighting the history and accomplishments of the CSD over the past forty years. My vote of approval was for such an event. However I chose not to participate in planning it and it evolved into something different: a very pleasant family party with lots of activities for children, an opportunity for local organizations to share with the community and a fund raiser for the Teen Center. Serina and both of the Directors on the Committee have not been here long enough to know a lot of the history. I offered to help Serina put a history of the CSD together, but after I went to work on the Census I didn’t have time to help her with it and dropped that ball, so I’ll take part of the responsibility for the celebration not being what I had anticipated. Gene, as one of the people who knows the most about CSD history, did you consider volunteering to help Serina with the historical part of the event?
GENE HERR REPLIES
Diane's statement: “It is possible that three or even more Directors thought that a change might be a good idea at this time, have talked about it with members of the public and that each talked to the General Manager about how it could be accomplished, but we have not talked to each other about it except in Board Meetings, where it has been discussed several times,” is a definition of a serial meeting, specifically one called a “hub and wheel” serial meeting where officials speak, not in an open meeting but to and through an intermediary, in this case the General Manager, to direct her actions to achieve a previously agreed or developing consensus.
Although I try to keep current on CSD action, I may have missed the agenda items Diane refers to announcing a proposed reallocation of tax revenue from the Fire Department to Recreation (or other) use. I do think they would have caught my attention, however, and I would appreciate any information as to when and in what form the subject was on the agenda.
Regarding previous funding of Recreation activities with tax dollars, I refer her to correspondence in the files of the 1985 Annexation, which I believe clearly states the intent of the District to fund Recreation programs through grants, donations, and fees, and which made no provision for additional tax revenue to be allocated for this use. The same correspondence with LAFCO stated, as I recall, that there was no intent to operate any additional airports in the newly expanded district and that there was to be no additional taxation to support airport activity.
DIANE PAGET RESPONDS
If, in compliance with the Brown Act, the Directors are not speaking to each other about a topic, how would they know that other Directors had also asked the General Manager questions about the same thing? and if they didn't know, how can it be a hub meeting? are you implying that Directors can not talk to the General Manager about District business except in a noticed meeting?
CREEK WORK THANKS
The Navarro River Resource Center wants to send out a HUGE THANK-YOU to all of the student volunteers, parents, teachers and community members that participated over two Sundays last month to help finish building the creek trail that runs along Robinson and Anderson Creeks adjacent to the AV Jr./Sr. High School. Maribel Garcia did a fantastic job helping to coordinate the Volunteer workdays by enlisting a small army of students as a part of her senior project. AV Jr. High Teacher, Nat Corey-Moran and his leadership class also were a big help in bringing in volunteers and ordering the materials for the project. Meade Williams and the Teen Center were very generous in bringing snacks and beverages at mid-day break for the 35 plus kids there on the first Sunday. We broke into various work crews, 2 stair building crews, 2 trail clearing crews, 1 handrail building and installing crew, and one weeding around new native plantings crew. We accomplished so much the first Sunday that it seemed virtually miraculous and gives truth to the saying that “many hands make light work”. Meade and the Teen Center organized to have Maribel’s mom Alicia, from Alicia’s Restaurant come at the end of that first workday with her taco wagon. All of those that were left at the end of the day were able to eat as many delicious tacos until their bellies were full and content.
The 2nd Sunday was a little more relaxed in pace and scale with about 12 older students showing up to help finish off the last of the work installing the staircase of over 17 stairs, installing hand rails on 2 staircases, and installing one bench at the top of the slope that overlooks the confluence of Robinson and Anderson Creeks. Fred Martin generously donated his time, craftsmanship and materials to make the benches.
You can access the trail from Boonville. There are no signs as of yet, we are working on signage and hope to have them made and installed soon. An Education Foundation intern, Alex Vargas is working with Wally Hopkins this summer and will be working on manufacturing the signs.
The trailhead is located along the PG & E easement on the far side of the Robinson Creek bridge on Mountain View road adjacent to the High School. The trail is very beautiful, as it takes you down several staircases to the Riparian or Creek-side zone and follows along the lower terrace, it then comes out again and follows a gravel path over some rip-rap that was put in to stabilize the bank 30 years ago, and then heads up the slope, up a couple more staircases to a wonderful vantage point over looking the confluence of the two creeks. Here is where one of the benches is placed for a peaceful seat with a great view for bird watching and taking in the natural surroundings. You can continue the loop as it follows the fence adjacent to the Ag program that will bring you back to where you began.
Part of the reason why this thank you letter is late in coming is that we have then gone on to work with the Sciences classes and their teachers; Nat Corey-Moran and Todd Adams, implementing a Connecting to Creeks curriculum for the month of May. We took the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th graders out sequentially 3 or 4 times in the month to study the stream ecology, utilizing the new trail as an outdoor classroom, studying everything from native and invasive plant species, interpretive walk through the restoration project, conducting bird surveys, visual stream habitat and macro-invertebrate surveys.
It has been an incredible exploration for all of those involved to see the evolution of an idea to fruition and ultimately utilization. The project was made possible through funds from the Community Foundation, STEM service learning, and Mendocino Tobacco Settlement funds. It is our hope that this trail will bring years of benefit to the students of AV Jr./Sr. High School and the community of Boonville and Anderson Valley as a whole. Please take the time to check out the trail, take a walk, and see for yourself what the power of focused youthful energy, when fueled by the beauty of nature, can do and accomplish.
Linda MacElwee, Education/Outreach Coordinator
Navarro River Resource Center