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Mendocino County Today: March 20, 2012

Sea Shell Inn

THE SEA SHELL INN, Point Arena, is closed until further notice. At approximately 3 p.m., Friday, March 16, 2012, following two days of through inspections by a team of City Officials, Licensed Building Contractor, Structural Engineer and County Officials, the County of Mendocino Building Official has red-tagged all structures. Notices of “Substandard”, “Unsafe” and “Dangerous Buildings” were posted to all exterior walls of the five buildings owned by Kenneth LaBoube in the City of Point Arena. The building were found to be unsafe to occupy, the premises to be vacated immediately. The buildings cannot be occupied until repaired and approved by the County’s Building Official. Subsequent to posting notices, official notification has been made to Pacific Gas and Electric for power disconnect of all structures today, March 19, 2012. It is understood that the water and septic services to the properties will be terminated in the next day or so. The Point Arena City Council is looking into future rehabilitation options for these properties. — Hunter M. Alexander, Point Arena Administrator/City Clerk

THE SEA SHELL has long been regarded by law enforcement as a nest of dopers, mopers and gropers despite the best efforts of the motel's owners, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth LaBoube, to maintain order. There are certainly more dilapidated structures in Point Arena, and the South Coast even more certainly has an equitable distribution of unsavory citizens as menacing as any the Sea Shell might muster. Judged solely by its exteriors, the Shell wasn't bad at all. Maybe you had to be there after dark to understand why so many people wanted to see it closed down. An acquaintance told me recently that his overnight there “was just about the scariest goddam night I ever spent anywhere.”

A BENEFIT herb sale (from noon-5pm) for the effort to save Hendy Woods will precede a presentation by The Greenhorns, a national grassroots nonprofit organization of young farmers, who will screen short films from their newest project, “OUR LAND,” in Philo at the Juniper Ridge Redwood Distillery on Saturday, March 24 at 6:30pm. All proceeds from the herb sale will be donated to the Hendy Woods Community organization to support the effort to keep Hendy Woods open. Juniper Ridge is located across from Jack's Valley Store, Philo. Director Severine von Tscharner Fleming will be in attendance. The screening will be followed by a moderated panel discussion with representatives of the sustainable wine and food farmers of the region, and a Greenhorns mixer with locally produced food and wine and live music. The “OUR LAND” short web films focus on rural and urban farmers across the United States and their new strategies for growing local farm economies. One farm at a time, “OUR LAND” examines proposed solutions to systemic failings in American agriculture. We are sitting between two impossibilities. The impossibility of remaining with our current system, and the impossibility of building anything different. These episodes describe the poster needed to change systems, practically, and build the new economy in the shell of the old one. By interpreting from the ground level and showing the transformative potential of our strategies, we believe these films can convert viewers into actors. Through the OUR LAND Wine Land discussions, let us bring the wine community to the table in the Greenhorns’ conversations about the future of farmland, policy platforms pertinent to the farmer movement, and an understanding of the ecologies, both physical and cultural, of the host valleys. Together, with honest conversations, we can propel ourselves into a beautiful and sustainable future for our rural livelihoods. Directed by farmer/activist Severine von Tscharner Fleming, spanning dozens of states, each “OUR LAND” short runs 8-10 minutes. All proceeds from this event will support the projects and outreach programs of the Greenhorns nonprofit organization. Entrance is $5-$20 donation at the door. Three comp tickets are available for press. RSVP to Other dates for the tour: Friday March 30 at 6pm Scribe Winery 2300 Napa Road, Sonoma Sunday April 1 at 3pm Oxbow School, 530 3rd Street, Napa, Thursday April 5 at 6pm Bonterra Wines, Hopland, RSVP for carpool Friday April 6 at 6:30pm 18 Reasons, 3674 18th Street, San Francisco The Greenhorns national nonprofit organization recruits, supports, and promotes young farmers in America. Using radio, blogs, film, new media, original resources and live events, the Greenhorns build agrarian culture by connecting young farmers with land, resources, and each other. We are based on a farm in the Hudson Valley of New York.

PROMINENT LEFT ECONOMIST, Doug Dowd, writes: " For several decades — the USA in the lead — the main economies in the world have become dominated by their financial sectors, and they in turn have been transformed from being the most conservative to the most reckless sector of the economy and have also come to dominate politics. Far from being a coincidence, In those same years the U.S. economy was lurching tioward recessions which are likely to become part of a global depression. Moreover, as the USA has weakened, so too have the societies whose best customer we have been; a process already under way in Europe (and which has worsened the weakness of nature's disaster in Japan). The oncoming election threatens to push an already precariously situated sysem over the cliff. Perhaps 'we the people' are too few to slow and reverse that tendency? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. Now in my 93rd year, I was involved directly and indirectly in the efforts to reverse what is all too likely to be a repetition of the horrendous economic and military disasters of the interwar period. The positive efforts of 'ordinary people' in the USA which began to take hold after 1934 in the USA also reduced their hold and, after 1937, Wall Street regained its influence over the White House and the Congress. In Europe, in those same years matters were worse: militaristic totalitarian nations which, along with Japan, brought about World War II. Now?The world -- still led by the USA militarilly, if not economically -- is all too close to enterng those same suicidal realms economically and militarily ( as is argued in the attached work). It may or may not be too late for us to become seriously involved in prolonged politcal efforts working for democracy and peace. Perhaps, but the spread and deepening of the "Occupy" movements in the USA are a strong indication of the felt need for substanial economic, political, and social reforms; nor are such movements confined to the USA. Once more, we are on the way, indeed faced with, toward social-economic disasters. Those who created and profitted from those developments still occupy the seats of power in the USA and elsewhere. It is not only our "turn" to occupy those seats, it is our need to do so if ve are to have decent and safe lives. If we work seriously and hard, we might get on our way to a safe safe and sane society; and we may fail. One cannot predict, anymore than anyone predicted "Occupy." If we win? Marvy. If we lose? It will be better to know we tried and lost than just sat back. No?"

HEY! Here's a big surprise. The California Republican Party announces the endorsement of Dan Roberts of Mill Valley for Congressional District 02, covering Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties. Dan had earlier received the endorsement of the Mendocino County Republican Central Committee on March 5. In addition to Mr. Roberts, the CRP also endorsed Elizabeth Emken of Danville for United States Senate as “the” Republican candidates on the June ballot.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Anyone who wants to know what the Occupy Wall Street protests are all about need only look at the way Bank of America does business. It comes down to this: These guys are some of the very biggest assholes on Earth. They lie, cheat and steal as reflexively as addicts, they laugh at people who are suffering and don't have money, they pay themselves huge salaries with money stolen from old people and taxpayers – and on top of it all, they completely suck at banking. And yet the state won't let them go out of business, no matter how much they deserve it, and it won't slap them in jail, no matter what crimes they commit. That makes them not bankers or capitalists, but a class of person that was never supposed to exist in America: royalty. Self-appointed royalty, it's true – but just as dumb and inbred as the real thing, and every bit as expensive to support. Like all royals, they reached their position in society by being relentlessly dedicated to the cause of Bigness, Unaccountability and the Worthlessness of Others. And just like royals, they spend most of their lives getting deeper in debt, and laughing every year when our taxes go to covering their whist markers. Two and a half centuries after we kicked out the British, it's really come to this? — Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Magazine

ANDERSON VALLEY ARTISTS and Friends present a collection of fine art from 25 artists. Odd Fellows Gallery, corner of Kasten & Ukiah Streets, Mendocino CA, April 4, thorugh April 29. Gallery hours: 10:30am-5pm (closed Tuesdays). Opening Celebration, 2nd Saturday, April 14, 5-8pm with Great Music by the Broadcasters! Also: Visit the Anderson Valley’s Open Studio Tour, Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28, 2012. This show is facilitated by FLOCKworks,, 707-937-2486.

POINT ARENA has closed the Sea Shell

So the Coast landmark will soon say farewell

To some disturbing mopes

at the end of their ropes

But the place is still a long way from swell.

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