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MCT: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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TEMPERATURES WILL COOL SLIGHTLY across the interior today through Friday. Another warmup is then in store for the region this weekend into early next week. Otherwise, dry weather is expected during the next seven days, with the minor exception of a light shower possibly occurring in Del Norte county during Friday morning. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Boonville 100°, Yorkville 102°

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Residents living east of Covelo are being told to evacuate due to an uncontained wildfire that’s burned about 40 acres and already has destroyed one structure, Cal Fire said. Residents living near Short Creek and Hill road and the Capistran Ranch are being ordered to leave due to the Creek fire, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Another fire is burning in Mendocino County, a 25-acre blaze in the Potter Valley area, according to Cal Fire.

TUESDAY EVENING UPDATES: Creek Fire (Covelo) at 200 acres (5% contained); and 3-19 Fire (Potter Valley) at 62 acres (30% contained).

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On Monday, August 17, 2020 just after 11:00 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) started receiving information from the Covelo area about possible shooting from a vehicle near the Round Valley Indian Health Center on Biggar Lane. A short time later reports were coming in that one person was shot, just east of the Health Center on Shady Lane with a possible suspect vehicle, a red Ford pick up, seen leaving the area. A short time later the vehicle was spotted by an Officer with the Round Valley Indian Tribal Police. The vehicle was seen traveling west bound on Biggar Lane and continued across Highway 162, almost striking the Tribal Police Vehicle. The vehicle then pulled into the Tribal Cemetery on the west side of Highway 162. The Tribal Police Officer attempted to contact the female driver and male passenger but they fled into a wooded area where he lost sight of them.

Another Tribal Police Officer responded to the east end of Shady Lane on a report of someone being shot there. The Officer located two victims who appeared to have been shot. An ambulance responded and it was determined one victim, an unidentified adult male, approximately 30 years of age, was confirmed deceased at the scene. The second victim, a 38 year old adult male, suffered a minor gunshot wound and was treated by the ambulance crew and released.

The Mendocino County Detective Unit responded, as did the Mendocino Multi-Agency SWAT Team, the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The MCSO Marijuana Unit had been working the area with the California National Guard Counter Drug Team Helicopter which also responded to assist. A "Shelter in Place" order was issued due to the armed and dangerous suspect loose in the area. A MCSO trailing bloodhound was used to track the suspects from the vehicle into the Mill Creek drainage. The adult female, Shayla Guerrero, 31, of Covelo, who had been the driver of the vehicle was located in the creek just north of the cemetery and detained. 

The bloodhound followed the creek bed for approximately 1 mile west, until it lost the scent at the intersection of Refuge Road and Crawford Road. A continued search of approximately 3 square miles was unable to locate the suspect and the shelter in place order was lifted at 7:30 PM.

The decedent was located in a very large marijuana growing operation encompassing approximately 15 acres. A search warrant was drafted for the scene. The second gunshot victim, was interviewed, and indicated his vehicle had been stolen the day before. He and another party saw the vehicle pull into the the marijuana growing area where he waited while the other party left to locate Tribal Police. While the first party waited, and third person, uninvolved with the vehicle issue, stood nearby. At one point the suspect entered the vehicle to flee and the vehicle struck a large pole, The suspect exited and fired one round from a handgun at the first party, striking him causing a minor wound. The round was believed to have continued on, striking the second party, who ultimately succumbed to his injuries. MCSO has not been able to make a positive identification of the decedent and next of kin have not been located.

Detectives learned the shooting suspect was Jameson Jackson, a 34 year old while male out of Ukiah. Several weeks early Jackson had fled from law enforcement in the Calpella area where deputies were seeking to arrest him on four outstanding warrants for his arrest. He currently has felony warrants for his arrest for making criminal threats, second degree robberty, cruelty to a child, disuading a victim by force, rape by force, failing to appear on charges, committing a felony while on bail for a felony. He also has misdemeanor warrants for his arrest for cruelty to a child, battery, violation of a court order, and violation of probation.

Shayla Guerrero was arrested for conspiracy and accessory and booked into the Mendocino County Jail. She is being held on $100,000 bail. An arrest alert has been issued for Jackson related to the homicide and the outstanding warrants. If anyone has any information related to Jackson's whereabouts please do not approach him, consider him armed and dangerous, and call 911 or MCSO Dispatch at 707-463-4086.


On Wednesday, August 19, 2020 [sic – more likely on Tuesday, August 18] at approximately 5:50 PM there was a possible sighting of Jameson Jackson in the area of Mina Road and Highway 162 in Covelo, California.

Officers from the Round Valley Tribal Police Department responded and subsequently located Jackson before the arrival of Sheriff's Deputies who were busy conducting fire evacuations in Covelo at the time of the sighting.

Jackson was placed under arrested and thereafter released to Sheriff's Office Detectives who will be having Jackson booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the listed charges. Bail has yet to be determined as of the issuance of this updated press release.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the Round Valley Tribal Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.

AVA, "Off the Record," January 27, 2010:

LOCALS ARE NOT HAPPY that Jameson Jackson is out of jail, and less happy that Jackson's back in Mendocino County. He was 15 on February 24th of 2001 when he and Chris Coleman, also 15, walked into the little convenience store in Brooktrails (west of Willits) and shot Joan LeFeat to death as she begged for her life. Coleman functioned as Mrs. LeFeat's executioner, Jackson provided the gun. Testimony revealed that Jackson made no effort to dissuade Coleman from shooting Mrs. LeFeat. The killers fled with cigarettes and a few dollars from the till. They were soon caught. Jackson was prosecuted as a juvenile, Coleman as an adult. Jackson was recently paroled to Riverside County after 8 years in the California Youth Authority. His parole was supposed to keep him in Riverside County, but he's been living in Willits and commuting to Riverside County to see his parole officer. Jackson will now, presumably, be returned to prison. Coleman got 25 adult years in prison where he remains. The murder shocked and disgusted everyone who knew Mrs. LeFeat, a long-time resident of Comptche before she moved inland to Willits. 

PS. ACCORDING to former Willits News Reporter Linda Williams, when Mendo Judge Cindee Mayfield decided that Jackson should be tried as a juvenile — the DA had filed adult charges — she said Jackson “had a good chance of being rehabilitated” at the California Youth Authority. Williams also reported that at that time psychologist John Podboy testified that Jackson was “a remorseless, calloused individual not amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile justice system.” 

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THE LIGHTNING FIRES that started Sunday, Aug. 16 on the Mendocino National Forest will be managed under one organization and will now be called the August Complex. The Complex is comprised of at least 20 fires, ranging from one-tenth acre to 2,000 acres, with more fires anticipated to surface. A California Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered to manage the Complex and is scheduled to arrive Tuesday, Aug. 18. 

Several of the fires in the August Complex spread rapidly and gained ground on Monday. The Doe Fire, by Valley View Orchard 35 miles northwest of Willows, grew to approximately 2,000 acres and became established in Bear Canyon. About 100 personnel are assigned to the Doe. 

Airtanker Support (photo credit: US Forest Service by Krystal Trice)

Suppression efforts were hampered by thunder cells and strong winds Monday afternoon on two fires west of Elk Creek: Rockwell and Pine Kop. The Rockwell Fire is estimated at 400 acres and the Pine Kop is estimated at 750 acres. These fires are 0% contained and have crews and engines committed. 

The Box Fire in the Snow Mountain Wilderness had minimal growth and stands at 25 acres. The Box is staffed by smokejumpers and aircraft. 

Meanwhile, several other small fires have been contained and will be monitored and patrolled. 

Please be advised that forest officials will be implementing a closure for firefighter and public safety on the M9 Road from the forest boundary west to the M4 Road. Forest visitors should call the office nearest their destination for current information before traveling to the forest. 

Incident information is posted on Inciweb:

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LIGHTNING FIRE last night on the Miner-Anderson ranch six miles east of Boonville. The tenacious blaze was eventually extinguished by a CalFire crew from CalFire's Boonville station.

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Eight earthquakes struck in quick succession of each other east of the Maacama Fault between Willits and Redwood Valley Tuesday evening, and people in nearby communities reported feeling the tremors.

On Aug. 18 at 5:46 p.m. the first earthquake hit with a magnitude 3.1 in the northern part of the Laughlin Range at a depth of 4 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Under 10 minutes later, at 5:55 p.m., a 4.0 magnitude hit at a depth of 4.7 miles, officials said.

Less than an hour later, at 6:43 p.m., a 3.6 magnitude earthquake struck in the same area as the first two, at a depth of 4.2 miles, according to the USGS. At 6:59 p.m. a 3.8 magnitude quake hit the same area at a depth of 3.4 miles. Then, a 2.8 magnitude earthquake hit about a minute later at 7 p.m. at a depth of 3.5 miles, and at 7:15 p.m. a 2.7 magnitude quake hit the same area at a depth of 4.2 miles, according to the USGS.

At 7:55 p.m. a 2.8 magnitude earthquake hit just east of the cluster, about 7.5 miles west of Lake Pilsbury at a depth of 11.7 miles.

A few seconds later, a 2.5 magnitude earthquake struck closer to the others, at a depth of 3.7 miles. 

No tsunami warnings or watches were triggered by any of these earthquakes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Click here for more information from the USGS.


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Two additional deaths in the Ukiah area.

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GRAY AREA KICKS IN ON EVICTION MORATORIUM. During Tuesday’s Supes Item about extending the eviction moratorium during the pandemic, the Supes couldn’t decide to do it just now because they didn’t know specifically how much of your covid income reduction is “substantial” enough to qualify you for non-evictionable status? Other related ripple effect questions then arose: State bailouts and settlements for landlords? Mediation; mediation cost? Proof of income loss? Meet & Confer before eviction? State versus local rules and definitions? Partial payments? Other Counties? Difficulties in re-renting a property made vacant by a covid eviction? …

PG&E SEEMS TO BE better prepared this year compared to last year. Their spokesperson told the Supervisors on Tuesday they hope this year will be better than last year, but that’s hardly saying much. They say they’ve got their grid broken down into smaller units so that the size of shutoffs and impacts are reduced. They say they’ve pre-installed more industrial-size prepositioned or mobile generators in strategic areas of the County, particularly in Fort Bragg, to backfill juice when trunk lines are cut off. They say they’ve upgraded their website which broke under heavy use last year. They say they’ll have more local resource centers. They say they’ve hardened a couple more hundred miles of distribution lines in Mendo with well over 1,000 to go. They say they’ll have more crews on hand to speed up return of power after a shut-off. They seem to be more familiar with Mendo-specific circumstances. They say they’ll have contact people just for Mendo with at least two formal status calls per day during power-off periods… 

PG&E has a long way to go to restore confidence in their management and systems. Their spokesguys at least admitted Tuesday that PG&E handling of the outages last fall was “completely unacceptable.” But it appears they’ve made some genuine improvements, although we won’t know for sure until the fires and shut-offs occur. Which nobody wants but everybody expects, anytime between now and the end of the year.

(Mark Scaramella)

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KATHY WYLIE: County Public Health Spokesman Becky Emory stated at today's BOS meeting that the majority of Covid-19 cases in this county have occurred from family gatherings. Only 13 cases have been contracted via “tourism” so far.

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MOST OMINOUS news of the day is that CalFire is "stretched very thin," especially its aerial capacity. Fires raging to the south and east of us, but so far Mendo has remained non-combusted.

RANDOM THOUGHTS from a failing mind. Even way back in my first flush of active estrangement I'd be at some demo some place in the Bay Area, and up front there would be speakers, few of them rhetorically gifted, and I'd say to myself, "Credentials, please. Who are you to be advising me on ethical/moral issues?” Thinking back on the "leaders" of the 60s, well, opportunists, crackpots, criminals most of them. Fast forward to 2020 Mendo, and I ask myself, "Who are these people to be demanding Fort Bragg change its name?" What are their goodness histories? Have they amassed enough righteousness to be lecturing the rest of us on how to behave? The ones I've seen on facebook… Well, hide the children.

BEST DESCRIPTION of last night's Democratic convention: "3am infomercial." You watch these people and wonder, "Are the Democrats trying to lose to Trump again? I like Michelle Obama. She has always seemed like a nice lady. But her presentation was peculiar in that she asked us Americanos to do all kinds of non-Trumpian things without once saying what her jive political party planned to do for US. (Or to US more likely.) Tonight, coming off the inspirational figure of John Kasich, we get Bill Clinton, you know, the guy from Jeff Epstein's cho mo island. The hits just keep on coming.

MOST PATHETIC Monday night was Bernie Sanders, the Democrat's pet "socialist" who the limo libs drag out to gull unsuspecting Democrats into thinking the party is "progressive." Bernie said fifty different ways that Trump is bad, which is the Demos main move, their only move, this election. Repeat that Trump is bad millions of times and hope nobody notices how bad they are. The only real progressive the party has, AOC, will get one minute of camera time.

CLOSER TO HOME where the Democratic Party occupies all the public power slots, there is much unhappiness with county leadership. We've heard, and have asked County CEO Angelo for comment, that she now requires supervisor McCowen, heretofore one of her most reliable rubber stamps, to ask her for permission to speak with various members of her team. But… but… but isn't McCowen a Supervisor, and doesn't Ms. Angelo work for him and his four colleagues?

DR. DOOHAN is an ongoing disaster. Of all persons to appoint to oversee medical strategies during a mass medical emergency why one based in San Diego, and one whose cockamamie advisories are so long and so convoluted they're unread? Another extravagant waste of County money, and all the while innumerable local businesses have had to close unnecessarily because of Doohan's lunatic inflexibility. She'll be outtahere soon, fortunately, and not that she was ever here, and why we never got a local medico will remain forever locked in the CEO's unaccountable office.

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A READER WRITES: “Local Control in Mendo,” San Diego style—

During the August 4 Covid update to the Board of Supervisors, CEO Carmel Angelo praised Mendocino County's public health officer, Dr. Noemi Doohan, who lives and works in San Diego, for putting Mendocino County in a position of local control. Angelo argued that Doohan achieved local control by preemptively putting Mendocino County businesses under state " watch list" restrictions. Which means gyms, hair salons and restaurants can only operate outdoors. Except many businesses are not in a position to move outdoors and those which can have seen a big drop in income.

Preserving local control is a nice soundbite but businesses that are struggling to survive are asking why watch list restrictions have been imposed when Mendocino County is not on the watch list. The short answer? The local covid response has been botched from the start.

Angelo and Doohan brag about the calls they are on claiming they are well informed about the state's intentions and thus able to stay ahead of the curve. In late July the county put out a press release saying the county was on the watch list. But that wasn't true and as I write is still not true. (Just lately it has become true.) Angelo says Doohan was constantly in touch with state health Officer Sonia Angell even speaking to her the evening of August 3 just before the supervisors meeting. But Angell was soon fired for not keeping Governor Newsom informed about the state testing backlog.

Doohan was hired as a part-time interim health officer about a year ago while the county recruited for a full-time health officer. The position was vacant because Dr. Gary Pace resigned in protest one day after CEO Angelo fired Barbara Howe from her position as public health director.

Technically, Howe was fired by HHSA Director Tammy Moss Chandler, but Moss Chandler would not make a move without approval from her boss, CEO Angelo. Howe’s offense? She told government-funded agencies that serve vulnerable populations that the county would provide emergency generators during PG&E's PSPS power shut off. 

Angelo is notorious for extreme micromanagement of the county. Nothing can happen without her approval. Which means many things that should happen don't happen because Angelo can't find time to make a decision. Which explains why Mendocino County is consistently behind the curve on just about everything.

Doohan was originally hired for $25,000 and her contract was quickly increased to $125,000 followed by two increases of $100,000 each for a total of $325,000 for her part-time job, much of it in San Diego. One of Doohan’s primary duties is issuing health officer orders. Shortly after ordering all Mendocino County residents to stay home except for trips out for food or medicine, Doohan violated her own order by taking off for San Diego.

Doohan issued a new order effective Friday, August 14 until Friday, September 11. With her power of local control did she do anything to help the small businesses in Mendocino County hampered by her preemptively imposed watchlist restrictions? No. Instead she reduced church services, funerals and protests from 100 participants to 50, outdoors only, but of course there is no enforcement. Doohan, who says she did not order schools to close, also issued orders on what they must do to open.

Despite her professed concern for public health, Doohan says schools must close if 5% of the total number of teachers, students and staff test positive in a 14 day period. Compare this to the state criteria which says 100 cases per 100,000 residents (one per 1000) in 14 days will put a county on the watch list. Doohan’s threshold for schools equals 50 per 1000, or 50 times less stringent than the watch list criteria.

During the August 4 board meeting the supervisors who typically accept the covid update without question showed signs of awakening. Supervisor Williams wanted to know why hair salons were being shut down without any data to show they were the cause of the increase in cases. The increase is consistently attributed to social gatherings in the Ukiah area, frequently by Hispanic residents. Williams wanted a letter sent to the state demanding to know why businesses were being shut down that had nothing to do with the problem. The board agreed that such a letter should be sent and that Williams and Haschak would work with staff to get the letter out. As we understand it a letter is finally planned to go out now this week, August 20.

No one bothered to ask why Mendocino County was complaining about watchlist restrictions when those restrictions were imposed by the local health officer, not the state. No one asked Angelo to explain the benefit of local control to businesses that were preemptively shut down by Doohan. Angelo claimed that Doohan’s preemptive stifling of local business was a paradigm shift but the only apparent shift is Doohan reneging on her previous pledge that she would not be more restrictive than the state.

CEO Angelo is responsible for this problem. She is a total control freak. If anyone crosses her or even speaks their own opinion like Barbara Howe did they are gone. My spouse works for the county so I must remain anonymous. I have heard a rumor that CEO Angelo killed the letter that was supposed to go out to the state. Hopefully the supervisors will correct that this week at least, albeit late.

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Miller Report for the Week of August 17th, 2020

by William Miller, MD – Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital

It is with cautious optimism that I report that it appears we have quelled the COVID outbreak at our local nursing home, Sherwood Oaks. This outbreak began on July 3rd and continued spreading for several weeks until a consortium was formed of health leaders from that facility, the county health department and our hospital. A plan was devised to bring every resident of the nursing home who tested positive to our hospital to limit continued spread as well as relieve what was developing into a staffing crisis.

Of the 24 nursing home residents who became infected, a total of 14 were hospitalized in our designated COVID unit. Most were elderly and frail, and several had advanced lung disease. Some remained without symptoms while about 1/3 got very sick. None required being put on a ventilator. The only medical treatment given was extra oxygen and dexamethasone. I am happy to report that every one of these patients has made a complete recovery and returned to Sherwood Oaks and as of this week, the last resident was returned to his home in Sherwood Oaks.

I am indeed proud of the outcome of this collaborative effort which clearly saved lives. Thank you to both Mr. Maloney and Dr. Cottle for your leadership of your facility during an incredibly stressful time and holding things together when the staffing crisis was truly at a breaking point. Thank you so much to our Public Health partners, especially Dr. Doohan, who provided guidance as well as facilitating the testing needed and supplied ample amounts of PPE. Thank you to Adventist Health leadership who stepped up quickly and made it possible to take these patients to our hospital. And thank you to our partners in the City of Fort Bragg government, Mayor Will Lee and City Manager Tabatha Miller.

Most of all, however, I want to thank the staff of both Sherwood Oaks and Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Hospital. The nurses, nursing aides, housekeepers, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, lab techs, ambulance crews and so many more are the true heroes. I am so proud of all of you for your professionalism and courage. In our debriefing that we held yesterday after the last patient left, we identified that it was strong team work and good communication that made this possible. I would add that it was also the tender loving care that the staff of both facilities have given these patients that made the biggest difference and is the reason behind this success.

We learned a lot from the experience and our debriefing identified areas that we will improve upon for the next time that we admit COVID patients to our hospital. We know that this was only the first of what may be many more opportunities yet to come to show what we can do as a community to fight this pandemic. 

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BOONVILLE AIRPORT has approximately 500 bales of grass hay for sale! Help support the Boonville Airport. Asking $7.10 per bale but quantity discounts are available. Please contact the Airport Manager, Kirk Wilder, at (707) 895-2949.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 18, 2020

Ayala, Calleja, Cram

LUIS AYALA-ORTIZ, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment, criminal threats, stolen property, probation revocation.

CHARLES CALLEJA, Willits. Domestic abuse, controlled substance.

JENNIFER CRAM, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Kauka, Leach, Reinecke

MARLENE KAUKA, Nice/Redwood Valley. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

SAMPSON LEACH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, controlled substance, false ID, false report of crime.

DANIEL MEINECKE, Leggett. Parole violation.

R.J. Shannon, R.N. Shannon, Stever

RICHARD J. SHANNON, Willits. Battery with serious injury, obstruction of justice. 

RICHARD N. SHANNON, Willits. Battery with serious injury, conspiracy.

GEREMY STEVER, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation.

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THERE IS A SILENT KILLER stalking the National Forests and BLM lands of California. It cares nothing for the fish and wildlife that call it home. It poisons wildlife on a landscape scale, contaminates public water supplies, and if you are not careful, will poison you as well.

Cartel-operated trespass cannabis grows are toxic dumps in remote, pristine habitats. They divert streams to the point of depletion, use EPA-banned pesticides that poison wildlife, water, and soil, and leave tons of trash in sensitive ecosystems. They contain plastic irrigation lines, strewn trash, makeshift water reservoirs, propane tanks, primitive camps, and planted cannabis, especially in burn scars or other exposed habitats.

The issue of trespass grows has flown under the radar for years. Hidden away, illicit growers use banned pesticides to protect their plants, poisoning wildlife and users alike. The northern population of Pacific fishers, a candidate species for the ESA, now tests over 80 percent positive for rodenticides (rat poisons)—a poison in heavy use at trespass grows. Northern Spotted Owls—an ESA-listed species—test 70 percent positive for the same poisons. Even game species have tested positive, including mule deer. Incredibly, trespass growers will even bait fishing hooks with poisoned meat to kill foraging wildlife. The amount of wildlife poisoned by pesticides shows how it has bioaccumulated through the food web, leading to major ecosystem implications. Furthermore, those toxics are sometimes weaponized by growers to target law enforcement, and can readily poison unsuspecting hikers. Until recently, it was “out of sight, out of mind.” That is now over.

Federal appropriations requests for reclamation and prevention championed by Congressmen Huffman (CD-2) and LaMalfa (CD-1) are now under review in Congress, and will hopefully be approved in the coming months. The requests could mean as much as $25m/year to address this seemingly intractable problem. A further request was submitted under the COVID-19 stimulus plan for “shovel ready” projects, which includes reclamation. If approved, the reclamation funding would: (1) provide economic opportunity for Northern California’s rural, economically disadvantaged communities, keeping the funding and jobs local; (2) increase USFS law enforcement on California’s federal lands to preclude new grows from being established, and (3) prioritize tribal reclamation partners, furthering their participation in the management and clean-up of their ancestral territory and protection of cultural resources.

The Cannabis Removal On Public Lands (CROP) Project, working to address this issue since 2017, significantly raised the profile of this issue through national press in 2019 and has been integral to congressional action. True to its bi-partisan nature, CROP is a broad-based coalition of scientists, elected county officials, conservation interests, state and federal agencies, tribes, the legal cannabis industry, and USFS law enforcement. Now, CROP’s mission to remove and prevent trespass grows is bearing fruit, and presenting an opportunity for regional collaboration between diverse, and sometimes polarized, interests to reclaim public lands. The CROP Project, now expanding out of the Emerald Triangle into Siskiyou, Shasta and Lassen Counties, looks forward to working with interests to solve this problem.

In the meantime, hikers and recreational users of California’s public lands need to exercise extreme caution should they come across a trespass grow. Public land users that stumble upon a trespass grow should immediately and discretely leave the scene, preferably going out the same way you came in (most growers are armed). Remember the location of the site, and immediately report it to 1-888-334-CALTIP (888-334-2258), the anonymous environmental crime tip-line for CDFW.

To learn more about CROP, or how to support us, please visit

Jackee Riccio is the Regional Field Director for the CROP Project, and resides in Humboldt County.

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Water matters — The public must understand the sources of our water supply and how a bad decision to remove Scott Dam, which forms Lake Pillsbury, would affect five counties and two river systems. Scott Dam is targeted for removal because of claims that it closes off miles of spawning grounds. In fact, the tributaries above Lake Pillsbury are of poor quality for spawning and not worth the loss of a major water supply. Why are the hundreds of miles of main forks and tributaries below Scott Dam not producing the salmonids? Lake Pillsbury supplies water for the Eel and Russian river systems, feeds Lake Mendocino, which in turn maintains supply to the upper Russian River and beyond. Removal of Lake Pillsbury would eliminate this source of water for five counties and wouldn’t resolve the declining salmonid fish population. There are many historical reasons for declining fish counts on the Eel River besides Scott Dam. In recent years, illegal water diversions for cannabis grows have dried up and polluted critical spawning tributaries throughout the entire drainage system. In summary, don’t spend millions of dollars to destroy a proven water delivery system based on insufficient and inaccurate information. Wake up people and get involved. 

David Fanucchi


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OLD LOGGING CHOKER CABLE, used to load Redwood logs onto railroad flatcars. San Mateo County.

(photo via Marshall Newman)

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Then there’s the woman from Scotland who saw Jesus’ face on a potato. Yes, a potato. I may not ever eat one again. 

I just have to ask: Why would Jesus wait 2,000 years for his second coming by putting his face on a potato?

To me, it looks like the whole world is mad and has gone down the shitter. Scotland, it turns out is not immune to madness, either. Sorry, GA.

I can only conclude God has a robust sense of humor (or is shaking his head about his decision to let some people live after the flood.).

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“Does this parcel contain anything liquid, fragile, perishable, or potentially hazardous to the President’s re-election chances?”

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by Dave Zirin

Justin Fields is one of the great talents in college football. The Ohio State quarterback was supposed to be a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy this season, and the Buckeyes in turn were poised to win a national championship. That all changed last week, when the Big Ten Conference canceled the fall football season because of the continued spread of Covid-19.

Fields, terribly desperate to get on the field and further prove his worth to the NFL, has started a MoveOn petition to get the Big Ten to change their minds. Already amassing more than 250,000 signatures, Fields is building on the #WeWantToPlay hashtag, which college athletes used on Twitter to implore conference leaders not to cancel the 2020 season. So far, two of the Power Five conferences, the Pac-12 and the Big Ten, have done just that.

In his petition, Fields writes:

“We, the football players of the Big Ten, together with the fans and supporters of college football, request that the Big Ten Conference immediately reinstate the 2020 football season. Allow Big Ten players/teams to make their own choice as to whether they wish to play or opt out this fall season. Allow Big Ten players/teams who choose to opt out of playing a fall season to do so without penalty or repercussion.… We want to play. We believe that safety protocols have been established and can be maintained to mitigate concerns of exposure to Covid 19. We believe that we should have the right to make decisions about what is best for our health and our future. Don’t let our hard work and sacrifice be in vain. #LetUsPlay!”

It’s understandable why Fields is taking this step. He has a lucrative NFL future ahead of him, and losing a year could harm his development and prospects. His plea also speaks to the frustration that many college athletes feel over the fact that they do not have a say in what will happen this upcoming season. They have no players’ association, no seat at the table, and therefore no agency about this decision that will so thoroughly affect their lives.

On one side of this fight are medical professionals and school presidents; on the other side are coaches, players, and many parents—some of whom are traveling to Big Ten headquarters in Illinois to protest the decision. The doctors advising on this decision focused on myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, that can be an aftereffect of Covid-19. It was found to be present in five to 15 Big-Ten athletes who contracted Covid-19 during the off-season. This is a rare and potentially deadly condition—it can kill you if the heart is subjected to strenuous exertion.

Canceling the season will cost millions if not billions of dollars, but the medical experts won out. Meanwhile, this entire ordeal has exposed a reality that athletes understand all too well. They are not so-called “student athletes.” They are minor league players taking their shot at the National Football League. Many have no problem if the entire campus is learning remotely if it means they get to play, even if that means carrying a risk that other students do not have to shoulder. That’s just par for the course. Preventing them from taking the field is also preventing them from pursuing an opportunity to make the major league—something that only a minuscule fraction will actually achieve.

The desire to get back on the field no matter the risk is understandable, because football itself holds the element of risk in every play. Just this past week, the NFL celebrated the return of quarterback Alex Smith, two years after he almost died and nearly lost his leg from a vicious hit during a game. It’s been framed as an inspirational story, with Smith saying, “It’s amazing to return to do something you love.” Players don’t dwell on the dangers, because if they did so, they might never walk onto the field.

This is precisely why you need medical professionals to step in and assess the risks. It exposes the worst about college football that the other conferences that include schools already experiencing Covid breakouts as students return to campus have no centralized mechanism for shutting it all down, and instead cherry-pick the medical information they want to hear so they can keep the trains running. It’s the Trumpian triumph of the negation of science, and young people whose goal is to play by any means necessary will pay the price.

Make no mistake about it: There is no college football for Ohio State for two reasons. One is because of the ways in which the Trump administration has mishandled the pandemic response at the cost of thousands of lives. The other is because this country—thanks to a bipartisan consensus forged over a generation—has no kind of social safety net to effectively keep people at home, save people’s jobs, and keep businesses afloat until the worst has passed. If we obfuscate that truth, we lose clarity as to where the responsibility for this calamity lies, and we doom ourselves to never seeing it come under any semblance of control. You can feel for players like Justin Fields and still recognize this truth.

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Mr. Taylor also claimed that the president had directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to "cut off the money and no longer give individual assistance" to people in California following deadly wildfires in the state. "He told us to stop giving money to people whose houses have burned down in a wildfire because he was so rageful that people in the state of California didn't support him and that politically it wasn't a base for him," Mr Taylor said.

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  1. James Marmon August 19, 2020


    None of them, but doing away with the First and Second Amendments does. Once they’re gone so is America, but that’s the plan right?

    James Marmon

  2. Bruce Anderson August 19, 2020

    Got some bad news for you, James. I checked with Hillary and she said, “Yes, the master plan is to disarm America beginning with M surnames.” Sorry.

  3. George Dorner August 19, 2020

    I always wonder why the Second Amendment nuts fail to parse, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” I mean, if your militia doesn’t issue you a rank or uniform, is it “well-regulated”?

  4. Lazarus August 19, 2020


    Do’n the Conga, Floreal, Mauritius style…

    Be Swell,

  5. Ted Williams August 19, 2020

    “No one bothered to ask why Mendocino County was complaining about watchlist restrictions when those restrictions were imposed by the local health officer, not the state.”

    This was discussed. See video.

    “I have heard a rumor that CEO Angelo killed the letter that was supposed to go out to the state.”

    Not true. Two weeks earlier, when I pushed for approval to author and send a letter, it was based on word from the state that we were to be added to the monitoring list and would therefore be restricted by state order. This didn’t happen. The state froze the list, citing inability to manage a spreadsheet with 58 rows or whatever. County PHO had put restrictions in place hoping we would retain local control, not knowing that the state monitoring list update would be weeks out. Complaining to the state about restrictions prior to actually being on the list would have convoluted the argument.

    The county has systemic problems. In eight months, we couldn’t get a business plan together for intended Measure B operations. This situation with the pandemic response is entirely different. The state has structured a model where the county receives insufficient funding, crippling local authority, while taking the blame.

  6. Marquita bannana December 1, 2020

    Are you the one they call madd catt.

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