Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, August 2, 2017

by AVA News Service, August 2, 2017

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TUESDAY (AUGUST 8) the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously for a moratorium on new vacation rentals and to impose interim restrictions as recommended in the agenda item. Presumably, in about 45 days staff will come back with recommendations and clarifications for a long-term ordinance. Supervisor Dan Gjerde asked specifically that the requirement for a major use permit for renting rooms in your house be reduced to a minor use permit requirement. People with existing rentals can continue renting if they can prove that they have been renting rooms prior to August 1 and have their paperwork — license, permits, fees paid, bed tax registration, etc. — in order.

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KATHERINE REDDICK has settled with the Anderson Valley School District and has resigned her position as Elementary School principal. High school principal, Keri St. Jeor, has also left the district, and both have also left the Anderson Valley. (We'll unearth the out-the-door deals the two departed administrators, both represented by legal counsel, received as incentive to leave. Superintendent Michelle Hutchins herself is apparently under fire from at least two members of the now-four person school board because her contract will be re-negotiated in February, mid-school term. Both she and her family are committed to the Anderson Valley and want to stay, although they are still unable to find permanent housing and are looking in Ukiah. (AirBnB and other on-line vacation rental sites have taken a large number of rentals off the local market.) There are three seats up for election to the school board. Jim Snyder, formerly a teacher at the high school, has been appointed high school principal. The Elementary School may be led by an interim principal when classes resume in the fall.

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August 24, 2015 report from the Department of Toxic Substances Control: DTSC report on GP Mill Site

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SO THIS GUY tells me that his grandson, 13, comes home from school one day and says, "We had this class today on homosexuality and I think I might be gay." Grandad in his account, immediately produces two photos, one of a naked man, one of a naked woman. "Which one is more interesting to you?" In grandad's telling the kid immediately picked the female photo, which was a relief to gramps, and probably the reason he told me the story in the first place. It sounded kinda internetty to me, kinda urban legendy. If I had to do a hurry-up gay test for my grandson it would take me considerable research time to find a naked photo of anyone, and there are a zillion other variables in play here that I didn't know the guy well enough to quiz him on. But this guy sounded like he'd produced them both instantly-pronto. I think kids should be allowed to be kids. If they ask you a specific question about a specific issue you ought to tell them your opinion of it best as you know it. Period. I don't think 13-year-olds ought to be compelled to listen to stuff in school they aren't old enough to handle, let alone determine the truth of. It's not easy being a kid these days, and a kid is very lucky indeed, and probably in the minority, if he grows up around people who are fully sane, who can help him understand the confusion that besets all of us.

THERE'S SO MUCH misinformation floating around anymore, even savvy truth-sifters like us have to constantly run our brains on re-check to sort it all out. Before the internet, misinformation wasn't as prevalent; you had to work at it, search it out via person-to-person gossip and newspapers. Anymore, the daily deluge of pure un-truth dumped on us everyday out of cyber-space, well, golly no wonder Mendocino County is teeming with young mommies and daddies who believe, thanks to the internet, that vaccination is bad for their children!

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102.3° IN BOONVILLE today at 2pm. I've found Weather Underground to be the most accurate weather site. The one that popped up first today said it was 113. I doubt I could tell the diff between 102 and 113, but it's never been 113 anywhere in the countyever, that I know of, even in Covelo, consistently the hottest place in the county.

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MY VERY OWN conspiracy theory: I think General Kelly has been inserted into the White House as site-prep for a kind of soft coup, which will be announced in a few months as "a public-private partnership to help the president restore order to our government. President Trump has suffered a mild stroke; he will be confined henceforth, with his family, to Mar-a-Lago where he will remain under full military guard until he is able to fully resume his duties. In the meantime, the Joint Chiefs of Staff will caretake the country. We have disbanded Congress, and commencing tonight at 2400 hours, in all cities and towns of populations greater than 5,000 a dusk to dawn curfew is in effect until further notice…" The general, falsely assuming he was off-mike, turned to an aide and said, "This goddam clown show is now over." There were gasps from the press corps before they rose as one and saluted.

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Dear Brian Padilla;

Not sure if you remember meeting me but my dad had the ranch property above Sam Prather’s land and the Edwards’ house. We met shortly after you purchased from Helen Edwards’ nephew, Jim, I think.

I am sure you realize that your recent legal maneuvering to take Sam’s land has not been well accepted in the community. For now, I am refraining from any comment.

Like most in the area, I am not convinced that this matter has been put to bed. But in the meantime, I need to respond to your numerous “No Trespassing” and other threatening signage with a simple, much less unsightly notice that if anyone trespasses onto our land or Sam’s, it will be met with full prosecution just as you have declared on your signage. Please let your guests know as well. I don’t want to litter the landscape with more signage.

It has been challenging explaining to our guests why there is suddenly a barbed wire topped fence where there was previously just a clear view of what was once a charming little house where I would sit with Miss Edwards and her friends, having a cocktail on the porch. (Pretty much pure vodka I think!) Without the fence, the house seemed quaint and surrounded by hundreds of beautiful acres. Now, it just looks small. Hope you guys are happy in there.

I am only relieved that my dad is not still alive to see the new fence. He was a realist, an honest man, a handshake dealmaker, and fair to a fault. He would be sad.

Scott Pratt


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Dear Mr. Anderson,

My name is Daniel Dieters and although you may not recognize my name I hope you can remember my mother Kelly Dieters who once spoke with you in person and shared with you the events that transpired on March 18, 2014. it was on this day that I found myself in a life or death situation. The consequences of which forever changed my life and the lives of so many others who were involved in my case. Through an unfortunate chain of events I'm here in prison reflecting on the details that took place during my trial and the events that led to one person losing his life. It troubles me to have to ask for your help but given my confinement I have no one else who I can confide in who has the ability to share what I have to say with others.

There is so much sorrow I still hold inside and while time has managed to lighten the pain I once felt, it has done nothing to change the loss I feel from having so much left unsaid. I wish my situation could be that of someone under different circumstances, so what I have to say could be seen for the truth of the matter and not dismissed simply because I was once charged with murder even though I was found not guilty.

On January 21, 2016, I was sentenced to seven years to be served in prison after having been found guilty of a lesser crime known as imperfect self-defense. By its very name I was found guilty of having defended myself but having used too much force to do so. Three years have passed since that tragic night and while my time prison has been productive I still feel that so many details regarding the events of my case have been ignored. Leaving so many things unexplained such as why 12 random strangers after hearing the testimony presented by two district attorneys over the course of three weeks would come to a unanimous decision that regardless of me having taken a life I was still seen as "a gentle giant."

But I can only describe who I am as a man having gone through this experience and while it continually brings me nothing but unrest, I would like to write a wrong that has existed since the media first wrote about what happened to me. It is unfortunate that given our modern era that we as a society should be so quick to overlook what is right before our eyes in favor of someone else's opinion and therefore be blind to see the truth. If given the opportunity I would like to bring to light the events that lead to one person losing his life while another lost his freedom and how one person was never held accountable. At the very least I would like to acknowledge some important issues that are significant to me.

I wish I could change the past for it was never my intention to end a life that night and while some may disagree with me for resorting to using deadly force to defend myself, others saw the situation for what it was. You only have to look at the jury's decision to see that the events that unfolded were not that of my doing. Please don't misunderstand me for what I am saying because I take no solace in the fact that even though I was given a life sentence that will be completed by 2019, I will still live with the pain of having taken someone's life.

It saddens me to see that everything that I am is defined by the events of one incident and not even that of the incident in its entirety. I've taken a life and I will have to live with that, but while others may judge me for what I have done I will not stand idly by while the events within themselves go unaccounted for.

I was just a regular guy born and raised in the small town of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County. I grew up with two younger brothers and attended school at Fort Bragg High School where I would meet Kayla Lindsay and share with her a wonderful relationship that lasted for almost 8 years. So much can be said for the relationship I once shared with Kayla and all the experiences we enjoyed with one another. I just wish Kayla turned out to be a better person in the end.

When I think of her I can't help but feel disappointed and at a loss. I remember Kayla being this really amazing girl who upon meeting you instantly knew she was a kind and caring person. That is why it was so hard for me to sit there in the courtroom and watch as Kayla was ridiculed for her idiotic behavior. I know that Kayla didn't intentionally mean to cause the incident that changed all our lives and, to be completely honest, there were times when I look back I can see that I allowed it to happen. I was so worried about upsetting her or making her unhappy that I allowed myself to be manipulated. Even though the full account of our breakup has been one-sided, please believe me when I say that for those eight years that Kayla and I were together I gave everything I had to show her how much I loved her.

In all my time of having been imprisoned I have never forgotten about RJ's (Roy Kauwe) and the pain they must have gone through and watching everything unfold during the trial. It pained me to see both RJ’s mother and sister struggle to cope with the reality of events as they were shown to the jury and to watch as they succumbed to denial. I think of them all the time around the holidays and especially that day of March 18. I know there is nothing I can say that will take away their pain but that doesn't change the fact that I am sorry for what I had to do.

There was one thing that RJ's mom (Joyce Kauwe) said during my sentencing that stuck with me. It may have been said for appearance sake or out of honesty, but regardless of why it was said I will never forget the request that was made of me. It was asked that I do something with my life to help others and even though I'm still in the process of discovering what that something is, I have made it my goal to never stop searching.

In the end though I just want it to be known that while everyone else has moved on with their lives I will never forget all the pain and suffering this horrible tragedy has caused others. I just wish I knew if whether or not Kayla still thinks about everything that happened and the part she played. There are still several things that transpired throughout the weeks Kayla and I were going through our breakup that have gone unaccounted for.

I don't know what you will make of this letter Mr. Anderson, but in some ways I hope you can understand where I'm coming from and see that I am just looking for closure. I can't change what people think of me for what I've done, but I hope in some small way I can at least show everyone who's willing to listen that I'm not a bad person. There's a reason why people still see me for who I am and refer to me as the gentle giant.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear back from you and please let me know if there's any way that this letter or that of another correspondence can be featured in your newspaper.


Daniel J. Dieters


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Rohnert Park Man Sentenced In Fatal Stabbing Of Romantic Rival

JAN. 21, 2016. SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – A Rohnert Park man was sentenced Thursday morning to seven years in prison for the stabbing death of a romantic rival two years ago.

Daniel Dieters, 27, was convicted in November of voluntary manslaughter for the killing of Roy “R.J.” Kauwe, 22, in Kauwe’s Rohnert Park apartment on March 20, 2014.

Dieters testified he was afraid of Kauwe, who had a knife collection in his bedroom, and stabbed him in self-defense. The stabbing happened soon after Dieters learned his girlfriend Kayla Lindsay and Kauwe became a couple, according to trial testimony.

Lindsay warned Kauwe in a text message that Dieters was either going to kill him or her where she lived, according to prosecution testimony at the trial.

Kauwe was stabbed seven times and Dieters was arrested at the scene. He faced a maximum term of 12 years in prison for manslaughter and use of a knife.

Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite said the fatal stabbing was “an intentional killing for whatever reason,” and Dieters took advantage of his position of trust when he went to Kauwe’s apartment.

“I cannot let go of the fact that you were twice the size of the victim,” Thistlethwaite said.

Kauwe was 5 feet 3 inches and 155 pounds, according to his family.

Dieters is stocky and at least 6 feet tall.

Defense attorney Joseph Bisbiglia told the judge Dieters was depressed and suicidal at the time. Bisbiglia characterized Dieters as a “gentle giant.”

“What you see is what you get with Mr. Dieters. He is a good, young man,” Bisbiglia said.

After the sentencing, the defense attorney said he had hoped Dieters would get probation or four years in prison because he showed remorse, called 911 that night and acknowledged his guilt right away.

Deputy District Attorney Tashawn Sanders argued for the maximum 12-year term. Sanders told the court the crime was callous in light of the seven stab wounds to Kauwe’s neck, and happened seven minutes after Lindsay sent Kauwe the text about Dieters.

“Ten minutes later, R.J. was dead,” Sanders said.

Kauwe’s family members said Dieters lied and faked empathy for Kauwe during his testimony.

“R.J. died because he let Daniel Dieters into his apartment so they could talk,” Kauwe’s mother Joyce said.

She said Dieters is “scary” when he is annoyed and should be sent to prison.

Dieter’s mother Kelly Dieters-Blaney screamed “No, no,” when Thistlethwaite announced the seven-year prison term and she was escorted by bailiffs from the courtroom.

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ED NOTE: The CBS News account leaves a lot out. The jury saw it clearly, clearer than the DA and the judge. There was no intent, and Dieters, who had no criminal history, was genuinely remorseful.

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State regulators have ordered a detailed assessment of the spillways at 93 dams, including three dams that supply water to central and southern Marin County.

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Trevor Jackson, 34 years old, 6' 0" - 190 lbs

Trevor Jackson is wanted on a $500,000 felony warrant for an armed robbery that took place off Hwy 162 on July 16, 2017 at approximately 2:30 a.m. Jackson has been identified as the "ring leader" and the one who planned the entire robbery. Jackson is being sought by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau.

Jackson is known to frequent Potter Valley / Redwood Valley / Hopland / Willits and Ukiah.

If you see him DO NOT APPROACH HIM. Jackson should be considered armed and dangerous based on information known to investigators.

Anonymous tips can be made at the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at (707) 234-2100 or the Mendocino County Sheriff's Dispatch at (707) 463-4086.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Last night I told you how the Fun Gang wouldn't let me run through their new high tech sprinkler? Well, har de har, I got the last laugh. They can't figure out the timer on the thing!”

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With summer winding down, it’s time for parents to gather school supplies and backpacks and make sure their kids are up-to-date on their vaccines.

In July 2016, a new state mandate went into effect that requires all children entering transitional kindergarten, kindergarten and seventh grade be vaccinated, or in the process of being vaccinated, against measles, mumps, whooping cough and other diseases. Children in child care settings must also be immunized. In the rare instance when a child has a compromised immune system, that child’s physician can provide a medical exemption.

“Vaccines are the safest and most effective way to prevent illness,” said Michele Stephens, director of Public Health for the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services. “They provide protection from serious diseases that can be spread throughout the community—including to babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.”

Stephens said because of childhood vaccines, most serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, like measles and polio, are rare in the United States. However, many still exist here and abroad. “These diseases can make children very sick, leading to missed school, missed work for parents and even hospitalization.”

Vaccines are available from clinics and other local health care providers. For more information about immunizations, contact the Public Health Clinic at 707-268-2108. Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at

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Horses and special needs children:

About three years ago, Barbara Auerbach started a therapy-horse riding program for special needs children. It has been a success from day one. They have recently moved to their permanent home at Ricochet Ridge Ranch in Cleone. They need a horse of their own, equipment, and volunteers. This Go-Fund-Me page is a way to help. Please do if you can.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 1, 2017

Cortinas, Diaz-Avila, Dues

ALEX CORTINAS, Ukiah. Fugitive from justice, community supervision violation.

MANUEL DIAZ-AVILA, Redwood Valley, Domestic battery, criminal threats.

DAVID DUES, Eureka/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Ellison, Faber, Gibbons

JHANNA ELLISON, Willits. Willful cruelty to child causing injury or death, stolen vehicle, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

SCOTT FABER, Ukiah. Petty theft, under influence, county parole violation.

DILLON GIBBONS, Rio Linda/Ukiah. DUI-drugs.

Hoffman, Holm, Keys

JAMES HOFFMAN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol

ANDREW HOLM, Ukiah. Battery, controlled substance, probation revocation.

RONALD KEYS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

Martinez, Pickett, Swearinger

FERNANDO MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. DUI, hit&run with property damage, offenses while on bail.

JASON PICKETT, Willits. Probation revocation.

FELIX SWEARINGER, Covelo. Suspended license, community supervision violation.

L.Williams, W.Williams, Yates

LEONARD WILLIAMS SR., Covelo. Concealed dirk-dagger, probation revocation.

WILLIAM WILLIAMS JR., Willits. Probation revocation.

SHAWN YATES, Willits. Trespassing.

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by Katy M. Tahja

I’m weird. I admit it. I go on a 3,768-mile car ride through Eastern and Midwestern back roads and I find the strangest darn things to get excited about, or question. After two weeks on secondary highways and trains what do I carry away with me as my #1 best memory? Collecting petrified wood in the most absolutely godforsaken “it’s not the middle-of-nowhere but you can see it from there” location in central Wyoming’s Shirley Basin. (but more on that later…)

This year’s road trip idea came from the overwhelming desire of my train-loving hubby to see three geared steam locomotive engines, a Climax, a Shay, and a Heisler, and one 2-4-2T rod locomotive built by Baldwin. These engines just happen to be 3,000 miles away in New Hampshire. So if that’s where we start what else, and who else, can we visit between here and there? That is where the excessive mileage begins.

We flew a red-eye special through the middle of the night from Sacramento to Boston and picked up a rental car promising unlimited mileage and headed north. We were on our way to the Clark’s Trading Post in Lincoln, NH. to ride a train. Folks raised in the East may know about summer roadside attractions. This place has train rides, bear shows, boat rides, a Segway racecourse, climbing walls, a shooting gallery, food, and every kind of tourist souvenir you could imagine. It was exceedingly clean and 100 local folks of all ages had summer jobs.

Since my hubby volunteers with Roots of Motive Power in Willits he already knew a lot about steam engine operations and with correspondence done in advance he had the chance to spend the day in the cab of the locomotive as it traveled through White Mountain forests. So many old steam engines are stationary objects in parks and museums finding a century old one in operating condition is a treat.

While he rode the train I talked to employees about exhibiting bears. Most of us might think…”OMG…poor bears…what a cruel life…” but I’m telling you folks, these bears have a good easy life. Clark’s is so well respected having dealt with bears for 60 years that the state wildlife department turns to them with questions about bears. Bears that have passed away are buried on a lawn with headstones over their graves. There are enclosures for retired bears away from the arena and for performing bears there is adequate space.

The instrument for training a show bear? An ice cream cone. I kid you not…the handler has an ice cream cone and a spoon. A trick is done right and the bear gets a spoonful of ice cream. Happy bears. I watched the bears being washed and groomed for a show. The hair that is shed is collected for weavers, who spin it into yarn to be knitted into hats and scarfs. Those bear hair adornments are donated to local non-profits to be auctioned off as fund-raisers.

Headed to New York after NH we realized there is just about no place in the USA without a microbrewery. Woodstock Inn Brewery was the first one we hit in NH and Kannah Creek Brewery in CO was the last. We had a chance to visit one of the last survivors of my father’s generation and heard stories of families long gone. We headed west through the Catskills and took a road across Pennsylvania just below the New York state line. When we hit Erie PA we dropped down into Ohio.

Now I freely admit to being a back-to-the-land old hippy, and in Ohio, in the midst of their Amish country is Lehman’s store in Kidron. If any of you are old enough to remember the Sear’s Catalog imagine a modern day print catalog of everything you could ever want for your off-the-grid homestead out in the hills. It was like a Walmart for hippies…building after building all connected, full of practical stuff you can actually use productively.

Take dehydrators for example. We own a 20 year old Excalibur and they not only had the replacement parts for all of it they had five different models, along with solar ones. Aladdin kerosene lamps? A museum of them along with replacement shades, wicks and mantles. There was a whole building of wood burning heating stoves and kitchen ranges and many Amish workers of all ages working and answering questions and providing great customer service.

From Ohio we drove into Indiana to go to Gene Stratton Porter’s cabin. A famous writer a century ago her books include “Girl of the Limberlost” and “Freckles”. A conservationist before the word was popular she wrote detailed accounts of man and nature. She built a lovely home by the Limberlost swamp only to have developers move in and log the swamp and drain it for farmland. Heartbroken she moved north to Rome City and later California. Lands surrounding her home-site are now parklands and being returned to a natural state. Visiting author’s homes is what makes this librarian’s heart go pitty-pat.

We drove north through Ohio and Michigan and crossed the Straits of Mackinac to the Upper Peninsula. There’s a huge Finnish population around the Houghton/Hancock area and we stopped at the Finnish American Heritage Association to see if our last name was in their database. I pointed out I could name about 20 people in CA, WA, MN, and CO and they asked that I send information for their genealogy files.

So on we went to Duluth MN to meet some of the extended Tahja family. My son Matthew Tahja had met another Matthew Tahja from Duluth so we arranged to meet his family. A dozen Tahja’s turned up to meet us and we learned we were not related by blood, but by taking a place name as a last name when the families immigrated to America a century ago. It was another great afternoon of storytelling.

West across Minnesota we drove all the way through North Dakota. Jamestown has a buffalo museum with a real live white buffalo. They have a hundred acres fenced with prairie, streams and woodlands and brown buffalo to keep the white one company. Only problem (to me) was the interstate freeway that formed part of the border of the enclosure…hard to look at something you want to be spiritually inspiring with freeway noise droning in the distance.

In Montana we visited the Little Big Horn Battlefield and it pleased me to see the native side of the conflict had as much information as the traditional white man’s version of what happened. The visitor center was staffed by native people and half the gift shop dealt with native culture.

Wyoming was driven north to south and on a dirt road off of a back road south of Casper we went rockhounding. Envision flat prairies, nothing growing more than six inches high, blue skies, bright sun, and cow flops. The farther you walked from your parked car the bigger the pieces of petrified wood became. No one around for miles. It was lovely.

From Laramie we dropped down through Saratoga and the Sierra Madre mountains into Colorado. We visited a friend, turned in a dusty bug splattered rental car, and jumped aboard AMTRAK’s “California Zephyr.” That 1,000 mile ride was relaxing, the food had improved, and it arrived in Sacramento ahead of schedule.

I journal as I travel because aging brains can’t remember everything and I constantly write down questions that arise when I look at a landscape. Then when I get home I look up answers on the internet. Is the fennel plant naturalized in New England? Yes. Do cormorants live in North Dakota? Yes. What were the Farm Rescue billboards for? A non-profit that plants and harvests crops and does haying for free for families with major injuries, illness of natural disaster effecting them.

Is there a rule that all big barns have four lightening rods? Don’t know. We saw a VFW/American Legion Hall with an old freestanding big square mailbox painted bright red in front. It said “Flag Drop” so you could respectfully dispose of a worn flag. Do other military veterans groups do this? What was electric fence doing around beehives in pastures? To keep bears away?

I’m a map junkie and love place names. On this trip I passed Norway, Lisbon, Rome, Greenland, Cairo, Paris, and two towns in separate states named Scranton, Cleveland, Woodstock, and Boston. Also passed another Albion and Eureka. There was a town called New England ND and Midwest WY. Cementon NY was indeed named for cement manufacturing plants.

I find vocabulary on road signs different from CA. There are Registry of Vehicles locations. “No horses or snow machines on highways.” Rest stop sign said, “Rest Stops are Text Stops” and in PA “Buckle Up the Next Million Miles.” There were road crossings signs for moose, deer, elk, bear, turtles, fawns and slow moving horse drawn buggies.

Small town America is alive and well and full of good food. Main Street Station in Plymouth NH served me Eggs Benedict with the contents of a Philadelphia Cheese Steak on top and in Marmarth ND the Past Time Café served my hubby cottage cheese with fruit arranged as a happy face on it. Dinner for $25 for the two of us was not unusual.

Every little town had something to be proud of and had a cannon or a tank on the courthouse lawn. Maybe it was the $1,500 prize for the Catfish Derby or that the town had a Corner Bar, a Nu Bar, the Old Bar and the Other Bar. There are “World’s Largest Statue of…” all over the place. In small town truck stops I found coconut flavored sunflower seeds and pipe tobacco in one-pound bags and nightcrawler worms for bait.

I noticed cattails grew in every state we were in. I discovered Lake Superior seagulls sound nothing like ours out west. You can drive through clouds of butterflies in the Midwest. I saw nothing but huge round hay bales until we reached Colorado where square hay bales rematerialized. I questioned if folks would drive 10 miles off a secondary road in southwestern North Dakota to view a burning coal seam.

Coming home to Comptche we discovered at 6:30 a.m. that our neighbor had started a timber harvest. Yep, the whine of chainsaws and the thump of trees hitting the ground. The dogs are barking and the goats are spooked. Vacation was good while it lasted.

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We won’t change. History has proven over and over again that societies in the midst of catastrophic collapse foolishly double down on the lunacy that got them there in the first place rather than come to grips with the painful change that might possibly save them, or at least minimize their collapse. But at this point, that ship has sailed as well. We’re committed to our current course of (in)action now, no matter what the consequences. Frantic, red-hot money-printing by the world’s big central banks have made it possible for very many people to ignore the unfolding reality. This “solution” is highly flawed because the imbalance such an excess creates will at some point be a whole new problem in and of itself, or some “Black Swan” event will throw the system into disarray. I think this will actually happen quite sooner than most folks here realize.

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But the real action will be elsewhere – in the South, the East and the Far-East. The simple truth is that the world cannot simply wait for the Americans to come back to their senses. There are a lot of crucial issues which need to be urgently tackled, a lot of immense projects which need to be worked on, and a fundamentally new and profoundly different multi-polar world which needs to be strengthened. If the Americans want to basically recuse themselves from it all, if they want to bring down the constitutional order which their Founding Fathers created and if they want to solely operate in the delusional realm which has no bearing on reality – that is both their right and their problem. Washington DC is starting to look like a kindergarten on LSD – something both funny and disgusting. Predictably, the kids don’t look too bright: a mix of bullies and spineless idiots. Some of them have their fingers on a nuclear button, and that is outright scary. What the adults need to do now is to figure out a way of keeping the kids busy and distracted so they don’t press the damn button by mistake. And wait. Wait for the inevitable reaction of a country which is so much more and better than its rulers and which now desperately needs a real patriot to stop Witches’ Sabbath in Washington DC.

—The Saker,

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Friends of the Eel River <>

Dear Friends,

We have some exciting news to share. After six years in five different courts, we finally won our case against the North Coast Railroad Authority at the California Supreme Court! This is a huge victory for us and for the future of the Eel River.

Speaking of the Eel River's future, August 4th is the deadline to submit comments requesting analysis of decommissioning the Eel River dams. If you haven't already, please see below to submit comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Click here to read our more about the FERC process in our summer member letter.

Another action you can take this week is to ask your Senators to vote NO on the "GROW" Act. This bill would prevent California from managing its own rivers, fisheries, and public trust resources. It would even prohibit application of Endangered Species Act and Public Trust Doctrine in restricting water rights or diversions in particular projects. See below for more information.

Submit comments to the FERC re: Eel River dam removal

The Eel River dams (known as the Potter Valley Project) are going through the relicensing process, which is our opportunity to get them decommissioned and removed.

In the relicensing scoping notice issued by FERC, decommissioning the dams was not listed as an alternative plan for detailed study. We need you to request that FERC reissue the scoping document and include project decommissioning and dam removal as an alternative for detailed study under the Environmental Impact Study.

Click here to learn more about reasons to remove the Eel River dams, including impacts to listed native fisheries, better alternatives for energy production, and concerns about dam safety.

Your comments will be most effective in your own words, but feel free to use our sample comments as a guide.

Label your comments for docket # P-77-285

Send your comments to:

Kimberly Bose
Secretary Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426

or click here to submit comments electronically. 

Ask your Senators to vote NO on H.R. 23

Click here to learn more about H.R. 23 or the "Gaining Responsibility on Water" Act, which will prevent California from protecting its own rivers and fisheries.

If you live in a state with a Republican senator, please ask them to oppose H.R. 23. 

Find contact information for your senators here, or try using Resistbot and text “resist” to “50409”.

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The population of Chinook salmon that swims up the Klamath River in the spring once numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Last week, divers at the Salmon River Cooperative Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead Population Snorkel Survey only found 110 Spring-run Chinook, which is the second lowest return counted in over 20 years. The Salmon River dive surveys have occurred every year from 1995, and have ranged from 90 to 1,600 adult spring Chinook salmon.

“We knew that fish diseases practically wiped out juvenile populations in recent years,” said Nat Pennington, Spring Chinook Specialist with the Salmon River Restoration Council and Board member of Klamath Riverkeeper, “still it’s a shockingly low number of spring salmon.”

Spring Chinook were once the most prolific fish in the Klamath Basin, with hundreds of thousands of fish returning to the river each year to spawn. They thrived in the headwater streams of the Klamath and Trinity, in tributaries such as the Sprague, Wood and Williamson rivers in Oregon, and the Shasta, Scott, South Fork Trinity and Salmon Rivers of California. Throughout the 20th century however, Spring Chinook suffered precipitous declines due to hydraulic mining, diversions, large canneries, early un-checked harvest, sediment from road building and logging and especially dams, which blocked the salmon from accessing cold, low gradient rivers in the Upper Klamath Basin that provide some of the best Spring Chinook habitat. The majority of the West Coast’s spring Chinook habitat was lost following the construction of dams such as those on the Klamath, Shasta and Trinity Rivers.

Kenneth Brink, a Karuk tribal member who works with the Tribes’ Department of Natural Resources said, “I brought my son Taydin to check out the big Salmon River Survey event for the first time this year. These fish are his future but when we see incredibly low runs like this you worry if there will be any left. This is why we must get the dams out. These are the fish that our grandchildren will enjoy once they can spawn and repopulate in the Upper Klamath basin.”

At this year’s fish dives, researchers from UC Davis presented evidence that Klamath Spring Chinook salmon are genetically distinct from Fall Chinook. “The years of surveys and sample collection by the Karuk Tribe and the Salmon River Restoration Council may finally pay off,” according to Karuk council member Josh Saxon. “If we can prove to Western scientists what the Karuk People have known since creation, we can finally get federal and state agencies to create a Spring Chinook recovery plan for the Klamath River.”

Previous efforts to have Klamath River Spring Chinook added to the Endangered Species list failed because of a lack of genetic evidence that Spring Chinook were genetically distinct from Fall Chinook.

“We look forward to seeing peer reviewed science once again explain how the Tribes had it right all along,” concludes Saxon.

The cooperative annual survey is coordinated by the Salmon River Restoration Council with collaboration from members of local tribes, the Forest Service, NOAA Fisheries, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Watershed Councils and Community Volunteerism. The survey involves teams of counters snorkeling downstream for 3-4 mile stretches and covers over all 80 miles of river in one day. This survey is likely the longest running data set of this kind for salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

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by Michael Steinberg, Black Rain Press

That's Right. Wikipedia characterizes the meltdown as "the worst in US history" and asserts "the radioactive releases are thought to be much more than at Three Mile Island in 1979."

And where? Less than 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles and less than 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

July 2017 marks 58 years since this little known catastrophe, which occurred in July 1959 at the Santa Susanna Field Laboratory in Southern California's Ventura county, not many miles north of LA county.

Santa Susanna became a site for developing US commercial nuclear reactors in the 1950s. Over those years 10 such experimental "low power" reactors, operated by Atomics International, ran there. One of them became the first nuke to produce electricity for a US municipality, Moorpark in 1957.

But on July 12, 1959, an experimental trial at another reactor went terribly wrong.

In his 2012 book, Mad Science, author Joseph Mangano, director of the Radiation and Public Health Project ( describes these events: "temperatures climbed to levels much greater than during any of the other previous tests…A blazing-hot bull in a china shop now existed in the (nuclear) core…The fuel rods containing uranium pellets began to melt and large amounts of radioactive gases were formed."

Operators couldn't shut down the reactor until the next day. But instead of keeping it closed Atomics International ordered it restarted, meltdown and all, throughout the month. John Pace a worker in the reactor, remembers,"Starting the of the second day of the meltdown holding tanks (which hold radioactive releases until they are released into the environment) were full. They still didn't know how much radiation we were dealing with-the (radiation) monitors went clear off the scale."

Each day for the next two weeks," Mangano reported, "radiation in the holding tanks was gradually released into the air. Pace recalls that the exercise took place every day, sometimes twice a day…the greatest concern among officials was which way the wind was blowing." Pace told Mangano, "They tried to make sure it was blowing towards the Pacific Ocean, instead of the San Fernando Valley, so it would affect fewer people."

The reactor didn't fully shut down until July 23. But this was hardly the end of the story. More radiation was released subsequently, blowing in the wind wherever. Atomics International told workers like John Pace to keep theie mouths shut, and kept the meltdown from the public for decades.

Today it is still unclear who should clean up Santa Susanna, and what health problems it may have caused in surrounding communities.

On March 8 this year, KCBS TV Channel 2 in LA ran a story, "Concerned Parents Call For Full Cleanup of Toxic Santa Susanna Site." One of those parents, Melissa Bumstead, whose daughter has leukemia, told KCBS she documents cases of other rare cancers near the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. "We feel very strongly that there may be a pediatric cancer cluster surrounding the site that may be linked to the toxins," she told the news channel.

Santa Susanna was also the site of a rocket development facility, whose rocket fuel and other toxic chemicals add to the poisonous stew that still haunts residents and former workers.

David Hirsch, director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at UC Santa Cruz, told KCBS, "There have been federally funded studies that indicate the rate of cancer is 60 percent higher closer to the (Santa Susanna) site than further away."

(Sources: Wikipedia,, Mad Science: The Nuclear PowerExperiment, Joseph Mangano; KCBS TV LA,


16 Responses to Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, August 2, 2017

  1. Eric Sunswheat Reply

    August 2, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Two new studies offer evidence that vaccinated children have more health problems than unvaccinated children.

    Among unvaccinated premature infants, no link to neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) was found. However, a significant link between vaccinations and NDD was detected, regardless of whether the child was premature or full-term.

    The combination of preterm birth with vaccination was associated with a 660 percent increased odds of NDD, suggesting a synergistic effect.

    Consumers Say Merck’s Shingles Vaccine Poses Health Risks
    Law360 (subscription) – Jul 18, 2017
    [substantial article free access via search at ]

    • Steve Heilig Reply

      August 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Citing the commercial quackery site Mercola is confessing complete ignorance. Not that this was not already completely obvious.

    • BB Grace Reply

      August 2, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      If you travel internationally, you’re vaccinated.

      How much does it cost? Enough to wonder, “Are vaccines for the rich?”

      Lest we forget small pox being part of the gift to Indigenous tribes, and Avian Flu Virus being on “Alert” status at the WHO currently, the lack of vaccines available if a pandemic virus broke out, as Ebola continues to destroy lives and Zika has become a sexually transmitted disease, IF you can afford to sustain vaccinations as prescribed on your yellow vaccination card, you are living the life of the rich and famous.

      I wonder if the anti-vaccination campaign was targeted to low income, Medical dependents, so they would resist and take the risk, as vaccinations are elective medicine.

    • michael turner Reply

      August 2, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      Anti-vaxers should probably stick to dowsing, pendulums, and muscle-testing to make their decision because the science is never going to validate them.

      • sohumlily Reply

        August 3, 2017 at 5:52 am

        Really depends on who is funding the ‘science’, now, doesn’t it?

        • sohumlily Reply

          August 3, 2017 at 7:28 am

          An excerpt from the article reposted by Naked Capitalism below:

          Evidence-based medicine advocates making decisions for individual patients based on critical review of the best evidence from clinical research to make decisions that will provide patients with the most benefits and the least harms. However, the clinical evidence has been increasingly affected by manipulation of research studies, including aspects of their design, implementation, and analysis. Such manipulation may benefit research sponsors, now often corporations who seek to sell products like drugs and devices and health care services. Manipulation may be more likely when research is done by for-profit contract research organizastions(CROs) which may get more busines when they can produce results to fit the sponors’ interests. When research manipulation failed to produce results to sponsors’ liking, research studies could simply be suppressed or hidden. The distorted research that was thus selectively produced was further enhanced by biased research dissemination, including ghost-written articles ghost-managed by for-profit medical education and communications companies (MECCs). Furthermore, manipulation and suppression of clinical research may be facilitated by health care professionals and academics conflicted by financial ties to research sponsors. Clinical decision making based on evidence delibrately biased to favor particular products or services is liable to distortion, and the overuse of products and services that are excessively expensive, useless, and/or harmful.

        • BB Grace Reply

          August 3, 2017 at 7:54 am

          Like Climate Change?

          • Harvey Reading Reply

            August 3, 2017 at 10:08 am

            You mean, as in those instances where corporate-funded scientists play it down?

            • BB Grace Reply

              August 3, 2017 at 10:51 am

              Absolutely Mr. Reading.

  2. Harvey Reading Reply

    August 2, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Re: MY VERY OWN conspiracy theory

    We’ve been in the midst of a relatively slow “soft coup” since the end of the second war. The regression back to the originally intended authoritarianism, with the Working Class in its “proper, subservient” place, has been, and is, peddled to us by the major propaganda outfits and politicians as democracy; a “democracy” charged with promoting more so-called democracy around the world, by force when it suits the needs of the wealthy.

    Little-by-little, administration and congress by administration and congress, we have returned to the Gilded Age of the last half of the 19th Century. Calling a country a democracy or a democratic republic when the upper house of the legislative branch is not apportioned by population, and which relies for election of its executive on a similar apportionment for its peculiar abomination, called the electoral college, is, in my opinion, the height of cynicism. The country was set up to serve the needs of the wealthy on the backs of working people. And it’s doing just that.

  3. Alice Chouteau Reply

    August 2, 2017 at 10:08 am

    There are alsopossible problems for older people after having vaccinations. I was told to get a shingles shot by my nurse practioner, and soon developed a six month case of shingles without a rash. extremely painful, and debilitating. A close relative has Guillain Barre Syndrome, a hellish and mysterious illness involving ascending paralysis and nerve damage. Suggested causes are having had a virus, or having had a flu shot. The elderly are also susceptible to C-Diff, chromic, often lethal diarrhea, from overuse of antibiotics.
    As a child in the 1950’s, we had a few basic shots, and polio shots of course, but I cannot recall epidemics in my schools, or ever hearing of a child dying from common childhood diseases. At that time, most women were stay at home moms, unlike today. Personally I suspect having and recovering from the usual sicknesses of youth strengthens the immune system. Clustered shots might be part of the problem. I am no expert, but the hysteria and name-calling on this topic alarms me.

    • George Hollister Reply

      August 2, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      “New studies offer evidence–” means nothing more than what it says. Correlation does mean causation. We too often forget that. When there is a correlation found, scientifically, this provides the basis for a hypothesis. That means the hypothesis, or evidence, needs to be tested. Evidence, in itself, does not provide us with fact.

      This is a big beef with me. ‘Jews came to our village, and the plague followed. That means Jews caused the Plague.’ We have not changed one bit since the dark ages.

  4. Stephen Rosenthal Reply

    August 2, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Re Weird Restrooms: hmm, no mention of toilet paper. What do they provide, corn husks?

    Re Online Comment of the Day 1: think of baseball and insert the current organizational structure of the San Francisco Giants and… Voila!

    Kathy: nice report. I’ve roamed the back roads many times. My best adventures and discoveries have rarely been at points A or B, but those in-between.

  5. sohumlily Reply

    August 2, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    So many lies being told *for profit* in the ‘health care industry’.

    From Redheaded Blackbelt:

    The PSA is propaganda, but the comments are insightful.

    • sohumlily Reply

      August 2, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      The Naked Capitalism article is pure gold.

      Educate yourself and be forewarned.

      Or not. But quit scoffing and denigrating those of us who are.

  6. BB Grace Reply

    August 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Oh my such amazing things are happening in conspiracy whirled where I discovered that there is a book from the 1890s, “Baron Trump’s Marvelous Underground Journey” by Ingorsol Lockwood. It’s a story about time travel and magic. Lockwood’s second novel is “1900 Or, The Last President”, with a character named “Pence” and a riot on 45th Ave by anarchists, socialists and communists. Hmmm.

    This conspiracy goes deep with these connections:

    Is ‘Baron Trump’s Marvelous Underground Journey’ a Real Book from the 1890s? Mostly True

    “At the age of 16, in 1885 Friedrich Trump landed in New York after emigrating from Kallstadt, Germany. He made a fortune in the Pacific Northwest during the gold-rush era, selling restaurant rooms with prostitutes and alcohol to miners trying to find gold.”

    “”TESLA’s only military invention was a method to which he once eluded but nevr [sic] fully described. This invention was a means whereby an impenetrable [sic] ‘wall of force’ can be erected around the United States’ borders which would render helpless any military attack. TESLA disclosed the existence of his plan in 1934 and stated he intended to present it to the Geneva Conference but seldom referred to it afterward.”

    “Two days after Tesla’s death, representatives of the Office of Alien Property went to his room at the New Yorker Hotel and seized all his possessions.

    Dr. John G. Trump, an electrical engineer with the National Defense Research Committee of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, was called in to analyze the Tesla papers in OAP custody.”

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