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TRIPLE DIGIT TEMPERATURES and dry weather persist across interior valleys through Sunday while a marine airmass keeps coastal areas seasonably cool, with periods of afternoon sunshine possibly moderating coastal temperatures. (NWS)
YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Death Valley 130°, Ukiah 108°, Yorkville 106°, Boonville 98°, Fort Bragg 61°
DEATH VALLEY WEEKEND FORECAST (look at those lows):
CANNABIS COMPANY'S LAWN MOWER starts NorCal wildfire that destroyed 9 structures
by Amy Graff
A California cannabis company released a statement Friday saying that a lawn mower operating on its property started a wildfire on Wednesday in Mendocino County that triggered evacuations and destroyed nine structures (including three homes) and damaged two.
Flow Cannabis President Jarom Fawsom said in a statement shared on Twitter by North Bay reporter Sarah Stierch that the July 7 fire near Redwood Valley originated on the company's property after the blades of a mower, operated by an employee, struck a rock and caused a spark.
"Words cannot express how truly sorry we are for the stress, anxiety, fear and loss that our Redwood Valley neighbors endured as a result," read the statement from Fawsom. "Nor can words express how truly grateful we are to the first responders who were immediately on the scene and who, through their heroic and coordinated efforts, prevailed further devastation."
Don Dale, a chief with Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department that managed the fire, said the department needs to complete their official investigation before declaring the definitive cause of the blaze, but he said Flow Cannabis' transparency and statement was an initial step.
The so-called Broiler Fire started at 2:44 p.m. near Uva Drive and Finne Road, southwest of Redwood Valley, according to an incident report posted by Cal Fire. The blaze had burned 80 acres as of Friday morning and was 100% contained. Firefighters are continuing to monitor the area for smoke and hot spots.
The Flow Cannabis statement continued:
We are actively reaching out to the impacted families as well as local community organizations to assist with recovery efforts and community healing, including
The Humane Society of Inland Mendocino, the Fire Safe Council of Mendocino County, and Redwood Valley Emergency Fund.
We are dedicated to keeping our employees, neighbors and local community safe. We are mindful and vigilant of the wildfire danger that exists in our community and committed to working closely with fire officials to improve our current fire prevention program and ensure that, moving forward, we are at the forefront of wildfire prevention.
Jarom Fawson, President of Flow Cannabis Co.
1 NEW COVID CASE reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
SATURDAY BBQ AT THE YORKVILLE MARKET
This weekend we have decided to prepare a cool and refreshing meal for our Saturday BBQ:
We will be serving a Chinese chicken salad with crispy rice noodles and toasted almonds with local greens.
Also, Chef B is preparing his special vegetarian Dan Dan noddles, with peanuts and sesame.
The price is $12 a plate and we will be serving from 12:30ish to 4:30ish.
We have some other great options in our deli case, both vegetarian and meaty, as well as Cowlick’s ice cream and a wide selection of cold beverages. Of course the Market is always a great place for friends to gather, even on these hot summer days!
POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES Identified among: Jensen’s Restaurant and Willits Frontier Days events.
Frontier Days June 25th – July 4th, 2021. Jensen’s Restaurant June 28th – July 1st, 2021.
With these confirmed cases, members of the public who have attended either location or event might have been exposed to COVID-19, and are advised to seek COVID-19 testing if unvaccinated, or to seek testing if exhibiting symptoms while vaccinated.
At least five people who attended Willits Frontier Days, and two employees of Jensen’s Restaurant (1550 Lovers Lane, Ukiah) have recently tested Positive for COVID-19.
Public Health is prepared for the possibility of outbreaks due to increased close contact during the summer months. Public Health still urges members of the public to exercise their best judgment when choosing to attend events that might carry with them a higher risk of exposure
Investigations are underway to determine the extent that these individuals might have had close contact with the public. Jensen’s Restaurant reported their two cases to Public Health, and those individuals are currently in isolation. We appreciate Jensen’s and Frontier Days efforts to find those who could be exposed, and Public Health only publishes their names since we are unable to identify everyone in the public who could have been exposed.
Public Health Officers Dr. Andy Coren and Dr. Noemi Doohan would like to emphasize the importance of staying home from work when exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19. Common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell.
We ask that the community stay vigilant and follow the guidance outlined by the California Department of Public Health and Mendocino County Public Health. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and masking, contact the Mendocino County Public Health COVID19 Call Center at (707) 472-2759 or visit our website at: www.mendocinocounty.org/covid19
(Mendocino Public Health Presser)
WELLS GOING DRY
My name is Jason and I’m a water technician in Laytonville. I sounded my 16th dry well in Laytonville so far this year. This one is different. Well depth = 200 feet. Location in the bottom of the valley. Uphill I can see 15 greenhouses clear as day. Two old ladies live at location with very low usage. Now they have to pay for and find (good luck) a tank and booster system so they can get a city water delivery. It will cost $4000 for install with water costs for delivery $350-400. Hard for older ladies on a fixed income to produce, and I will be forced to work out a payment plan so they can have life’s most precious necessity. And we want to draw more? How? From where? This is truly a mess that will take 3-5 years of 60 inches of rain to mitigate. As far as the county’s direction for wrapping Phase 1 into Phase 3, the Supervisors should eat cake for not listening to the state…. But it will penalize Phase 1 applicants if the Willits referendum succeeds. I strongly suggest voting for the Small is Beautiful referendum. It’s the best way forward, especially in this long-term drought.
CEO REPLIES TO BUDGET INQUIRY
Thank you for your inquiry. The very nature of your questions is the reason the County budget team has been hesitant to present a “budget to actual.” County Government is dependent on State, Federal, and grant revenue funding, which typically is billed quarterly or annually, and reimbursement is not received until at least 30 days after billing. This cycle of billing and reimbursement causes a delay in posting revenue, which impacts “budget to actual” reports produced on a monthly basis.
I would like to reference back to the comments presented in the main part of my CEO report.
First item of note is there are several departments with lower than expected revenue which is causing them to reflect a deficit at this time. It is expected revenues from State funds and grants will be drawn down by the end of the fiscal year, to reduce or eliminate the gap.
Secondly, three departments, partly due to the wage increases over the last two years, have been able to hire and retain staff members. There currently are funds set aside in the miscellaneous budget unit to cover these costs, if a department is over budget on salaries and benefits
Third, as the department heads look to close year end, contractor and vendor invoices will need to be reconciled, which may reduce the surplus in some departments.
The County would expect to be at 88% of budget but is calculating 91% with the three major points above impacting year end projections.
Please note, the Auditor Controller will be working to close FY20-21 in August and September. The finalized budget reports for FY20-21 will available at 1st Quarter in the Fall.
Please see answers to your questions below.
Q. The County Counsel’s office is projected to be 143% over budget ($924k budgeted vs. $1.3 million spent for an overrun of almost $400k. The reason offered for the overrun is “Benefits greater than budget.” Is there any detail available about that? We thought it had to do with higher than expected outside counsel costs.
A: There was a budget adjustment approved for salaries, however the corresponding adjustments to retirement and taxes were not accounted for as part of the approved budget adjustment. Based on 3rd quarter projections, County Counsel is projecting to be under budget by $51K at the end of FY20-21.
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Q. The Sheriff’s Department is listed as being about $620k over his $14.5 million budget (not counting the jail which is running a little under budget). Explanation: “Overtime and extra help greater than budget.” Again, how much of the overrun is overtime and how much is extra help and what was the extra help for? Also, what is the final Sheriff’s budget for the 2021/2022 fiscal year and how much overtime and extra help is budgeted?
A: Based on YTD May 2021 actuals, Overtime was over budget by $983,480. Based on YTD May 2021 actuals, Extra Help was over budget by $254,064. The question relating to the need for extra help, will need to be answered by the Sheriff's Office. Based on 3rd quarter projections, Sheriff's Office is projecting to be over budget by $1.9M at the end of FY20-21. FY21/22 Budget - General Fund impact $16,125,476: OT = $1,161,185. Extra Help = $250,00.
* * *
Q. Probation appears to be on track to be way over budget at $2.5 million, $1.1 million over its allotted $1.4 million by the end of June. No explanation is offered. Is there any explanation?
A: When the report was presented, actual revenue (including inter-departmental) was less than budget. As noted on the report, any department with an asterisk had revenue less than budget (including inter-departmental revenue). Based on 3rd quarter projections, Probation is projecting to be under budget by $266K at the end of FY20-21, due to impacts related to COVID-19.
* * *
Q. Planning and Building is listed as way under budget, running at less than 40% of its budget for this fiscal year. The explanation given is “Salaries less than budget.” Does that mean that the department is understaffed and therefore total salary expenditures are low? Or is the current staff being paid less than was budgeted? In either case, what is the plan for next year? Will the P&B budget reflect “salaries that are less than budget” again? Or will staffing and salaries be brought closer to budgeted amounts?
A: Due to numerous staff vacancies (approx 20%) related to retirements, and staff departures for other agencies, Planning and Building Services (PBS) is under budget on salaries, and associated costs for employees. PBS was also impacted by COVID-19, which slowed the ability to hire from outside the existing County staff. Since that time, PBS has been recruiting for all vacant positions and hopes to be able to fill a majority of the vacancies prior to the first quarter of FY 21-22, at which time we anticipate the projections and salaries coming into alignment. As for the plan, PBS is currently recruiting to fill positions.
* * *
Q. The Health and Human Services Agency is not on the list. Presumably because they don’t expend any general fund revenues. But don’t they have a budget? Shouldn’t they be on the list? Will they be on future reports?
A: Yes this is correct, the report is only showing General Fund departments. Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is not reflected on this list, as the only impact they have on the general fund, is a maintenance of effort agreement. A majority of their funding is through Federal and State allocations and/or grants.
* * *
Q. Will any budget adjustments be made at the end of the fiscal year to reflect any of these (and other lesser) variations?
A: Annual and quarterly actual revenue and expenses will be accounted for during the fiscal year end process. There will be no adjustment to the budget, only adjustments to the actual revenue and expenses.
* * *
Q. Lastly: the Board referred the question of holding department heads personally responsible for their budgets to the General Government Committee. The next meeting of the General Government committee is set for August 9, 2021. Will that meeting agenda include that specific issue in the agenda?
A. Supervisor Williams and Mulheren set the agenda for General Government. I am unaware of the agenda topics at this time.
Thank you for the opportunity to explain these questions,
Carmel Angelo, CEO
ms notes: We have forwarded the CEO’s response about the Sheriff’s department to the Sheriff for possible comment.
FORMER MENDO PLANNER SCOTT WARD WRITES:
Regarding the Board of Supervisors Agenda item for temporary water tanks. The 2019 California Building Code sec. 105.2 already exempts from permit water tanks up to 5,000 gallons with a height to width ratio not exceeding 2:1.
WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?
I see our Measure B funds are being used to build a state-of-the-art residential crisis treatment facility on Orchard Street in Ukiah. Once again, as in the nearby new Ukiah Unified Administration Building built not long ago on Orchard Street, both lack a renewable energy generator, i.e. solar. Here we are with accelerating climate catastrophe upon us with no more time to wait or kick the can down the road, and our public funds are constructing an entirely new building without any regard to climate change.
I hear a lot of rhetoric about mitigating climate change, but I don’t see a lot of action behind the rhetoric. When will Mendocino County mandate that every new construction must be fitted for a source of renewable energy? What are we waiting for?
After a reconnaissance mission earlier, we launched our Kayaks into the Russian River at "Johnson's Beach" in Guernville. Big signs try to tell you this is not a public access, it is, they are lying. Read the signs more carefully and you will discover it is, "Public Access".
River was actually higher than even I had hoped. Had a wonderful time and even went swimming. You can drive to the river to deposit your boats or gear. Just remember that Johnson's locks the gates at 6pm.
We did a lunch break on the river's edge and then upset some dogs as we passed their "Private Property".
Millie, Officer Wong and the dislocated elbow!
My two children have been studying martial arts most of their young lives. Millie achieved her junior black belt at the age of 13 years. Milo’s Junior black belt came at nine years.
In aikido the higher ranking students are required to work with the lowest belt levels. This is to ensure the beginners are doing their techniques properly. I felt it was not fair to make a nine-year-old babysit a six-year-old. When the kids got their junior black belts I told them we could check out some other arts to practice.
Jujitsu was our choice. When covid struck no more gym. So what do you do? Skateboard!
Our favorite skate park is in the little tiny town of Monte Rio west of Guerneville. It's a small park that is great for beginners to novice levels. If a skater wants to go big they head to Sebastopol or Napa. I was sitting in front of the Sebastopol Park in my car and I looked up and here came Millie with a dislocated elbow. Millie said, "Dad, it won't go back in and it hurts really bad." The skate park is one block from the police station. I took Millie and drove her over and rang the bell outside the station. The door was answered quickly by Officer Wong. He said, "What's going on?" and looked at Millie's arm and said, "Oh, the skate park!" I told him I didn't know what to do. He said, "If it was my daughter I'd call an ambulance and have them immobilize it and give her something for the pain." I said, "That sounds like the best idea." He called for medical assistance on his walkie-talkie. I swear the ambulance was there in under 30 seconds.
They slung her arm and put her in the ambulance and told me they would meet me at Sutter Hospital after I took my dogs home. I dropped my dogs off and went to the emergency room. It was really crowded and busy. Millie was in one room with a whole bunch of monitors and equipment.
They must have given her some serious meds because when she saw me she called me Daddy for the first time in years. (Millie is 17 now.) The x-ray technician was just getting ready to take Millie for pictures of her upper arm. I offered to help and a young lady told me to grab the back of the roller bed and don't let it hit anyone and to hold the IV bottle so it wouldn't bang around.
It was Saturday night. The hospital was super busy and we were just moving right along. We got to the x-ray room and took five x-rays. One shoulder, three elbow, one wrist. The lady said, "Yep, there is the problem."
So we took Millie and the x-rays and headed back to the emergency room. When we arrived back at the emergency room there were three people all ready for Millie.
A head nurse/anesthesiologist on a computer, a registered nurse with cast-making stuff and another registered nurse for communication dosage and patient confirmation.
The doctor came in and said Hi to everyone and told Millie what they were going to do and got to work. The doctor tried to put Millie’s arm back together but she yelped in pain so they up the dosage and were able to get it to go back into place.
From the time Millie got hurt to the time we were headed home from the hospital was just under 2-1/2 hours. That is amazing to me!
Cool beans to everyone involved!
The next time I’m tempted to say something disparaging about the police I might just shut up! Maybe?
Oaky Joe Munson
PS. I think the United States is the only developed country that allows medical bankruptcy. That means if you get really sick you can lose everything in your name to pay the hospital. Not the doctors and nurses, the hospital!
REPORT FROM SAN QUENTIN
There has been a lot of monkey business with our mail here of late. The covid outbreak here at San Quentin was bad, 29 deaths! Numerous lawsuits are underway. Lots of mail is confiscated and/or censored or seized. I hope this makes its way to you. I continue to fight for a just ending to my now 13+ years of incarceration for a crime I did not commit. If I only had known how crooked the system really was back when I was charged. Oh well. God had a different plan for me?
I sure appreciate reading about how my former home is faring in light of all the changes in the world. I finally succumbed to the taking the vaccine. I was reluctant due to the fact that I had covid, got sick as hell from it, and my doctor told me that likely my own antibodies were still at 100%. Here however, there are restrictions imposed on men who refuse vaccination. I got the Johnson & Johnson rather than the Moderna. I actually had the choice believe it or not. I ran a high fever, lost taste and smell for several days but I'm fine now.
I am presently awaiting an interview for resentencing via the Governor and the Innocence Project continues to dig up new stuff. But everything takes time. Time sure goes by here. Anyway I will continue to make the best of things while in this chapter in life.
Some members of my family are still pissed off at my stubbornness for not taking prosecutor Tim Stoen's original plea deal of one year. Me too! Oh well. Stoen got what he wanted: the conviction of a Christian heterosexual white gun toting Republican. Wow! Sure hurts when I write it!
Keep doing what you do. I always look forward to getting your paper and reading honest truth. Believe.
God bless. Sincerely, your friend
Kenny Rogers #AC8841
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin CA 94974
PS. Since I’m now divorced, if you know of any ladies in the age range of 30-60 who are interested in corresponding with me it would sure be nice. I could sure use some interactions. Thanks, just a thought. I don't have Internet like most people.
ED NOTE: Still known around the County Courthouse as "the miraculous conviction," Mr. Rogers got packed off to the state pen on zero evidence that he either ordered or in any way encouraged shots fired at the front door of a person Mr. Rogers didn't care for. I agree that the vehemence of his prosecution by Tim Stoen was largely inspired because Mr. Rogers isn't Mendo Mellow. And the whole way, Mr. Rogers was jobbed by so-called defense attorneys and idiot rulings by local judges.
SUCH A DEAL!
Dear AVA Readers,
The Anderson Valley Advertiser is probably one of the last real papers. The paper previously published an article about my invention, the Buckle Handle Retainer.
My name is James A. Lee Jr.. You can google "the bucket handle retainer."
Or youtube videos: The bucket nut channel.
Google Earth: 275-A Cherry St., Ukiah, California.
Check out the patent office website for number 10173808.
There are 200 million five-gallon buckets and manufactured each year. Leak-Tite Corporation located in Massachusetts is one of the largest manufacturers of buckets. Leak-Tite also sells 5 gallon buckets to Ace Hardware, True Value hardware and many other hardware stores.
I am in the Mendocino County Jail.
Here is my challenge to all the great AVA readers:
My bail is $12,500 at 10%. The bail bond company is All Pro Bail Bonds in Santa Rosa. You can pay my bail with your credit card. To accomplish this you do not need to leave your home. Just call the co-owner of the patent, Wendy Lee at 707-391-5911. Call or text.
Another source is my son Aidan Lee at 707-510-9896. Call or text.
There can only be one winner. The first person to bail me out will receive 10% of all net sales from the remainder of the patent over the next 18 more years.
Kelly Moore Paints wants my product. Dunn-Edwards Paints wants my product. Sherwin-Williams paint company wants my product.
So in summary, the first person to step up to the plate with $12,500 for my bail with no risk involved will eventually become a millionaire.
For example, $1 million in sales will net you $100,000. When I get into Home Depot there will be at least $1 million in sales per week. That would be $10,000 to the winner.
The winner will receive a legally binding contract drawn up and signed by Wendy Lee. You will never have to work again.
James A. Lee Jr. (inventor) A#84310
951 Low Gap Road
Ukiah CA 95482-3797
ED NOTE: Mr. Lee was booked into the Mendocino County Jail in October of 2020 on charges of Assault with Caustic Chemical, battery with serious injury and probation revocation. In January of 2018, he was booked on charges of Domestic Abuse, and assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
* * *
JAMES & THE GIANT ACID BOTTLE
On Monday, October 5, 2020 at approx. 2218 hours, Ukiah Police Officers were dispatched to the area of 200 Cherry Street for a report of a disturbance between neighbors. While responding to the call, UPD Officers learned that one of the involved parties may have been doused with a chemical agent.
Once on scene, Ukiah Police Officers began their investigation and learned that during the course of the neighbor argument, James Lee, 53, of Ukiah, became angry and doused his two neighbors with a gallon bottle of muriatic acid.
The acid was poured in the face and neck area of both victims.
UPD requested the assistance of Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and medical personnel. Medical personnel arrived on scene and began treating the victims for their injuries. Ukiah Firefighters began hazmat procedures to contain the acid which had been spilled on the sidewalk and concrete.
One of the victim’s injuries were so severe that she was transported to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley by ambulance and then transported by air ambulance to an out of county hospital for more specialized medical treatment.
Ukiah Police Officers contacted Lee and placed him under arrest for two counts of Using Caustic Chemical on Another and Assault Causing Great Bodily Injury. Lee was transported to Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for the above offenses. Due to the severity of the crimes Lee had been alleged to have committed, Ukiah Police Officers contacted the on-call Superior Court Judge and requested a bail enhancement on Lee. A bail enhancement was granted and Lee’s bail was raised to $125,000.
Letter to the Editor,
Mendocino County cannabis farmers finally have clear direction and rigorous environmental standards to comply with, thanks to the new Phase 3 ordinance, Chapter 22.18. Opponents of this ordinance and their referenda want you to believe that this new legislation is worse for our environment than what currently exists, and that it will open the doors for big business. The reality is, practically no environmental protections existed with the previous ordinance, and illicit grows currently operate more acreage than 22.18 could ever allow. No policy makes no sense and has no enforcement. Phase 3 is the only path for legal, local, conscious cannabis farmers. Please do not sign a referendum against it.
Cannabis Compliance Consultant
A READER COMMENTS: Something you cannabis consultants (and your clients) seem to forget, is that often the land you are setting up shop on is in a long-established community of people. People that have built and maintain the infrastructure you depend upon for your business, like the roads. And these same people understand the availability of water, the stability of the hillsides, etc. Yet you all act as if it is some business-zoned parcel completely abstracted from the beauty and solitude of these hills. Our streams and wells are running dry, our insect populations are crashing, as are the birds (swallows, etc. ) and bats due to night illumination. And the roads, never meant for more than homeowner ingress and egress, are being torn to shreds by the heavy traffic of workers, water and soil trucks. And our gorgeous views, now interrupted by popsicle fences and hoop houses. How does ‘good farming’ methods equate to hoop houses, imported starts and soil (and their accompanying pests and diseases) and mixed or full artificial lighting? I would be ashamed to be a consultant representing these so called ‘farmers’. No, it is simply pure greed. So consultant, add to your client advisement the aspect of getting to know the neighborhood the ‘farmers’ are coming to, to ensure the roads are sustained, that your property frontages are maintained, and that you are conscious of your intrusion into other’s lives that know these hills…
ON LINE COMMENT BY ‘JANE’: I wonder if any of the talking heads have ever looked or attempted to complete any local or state cannabis application, site management plan, CDFW clearance, or coordinate biological and archeological applications or reports for the cannabis program. Not to mention attempting to keep up with costs for these services and an ever changing ordinance or back door changes that happen within a department without clearance. So to say one, “can easily move forward with the Phase 3 Ordinance”, I guess would be the same as you can easily drive down Clara Street in Ukiah without hitting any pots holes.
NO ON BOTH
Don’t sign either cannabis referendum
If the proponents of the proposed cannabis referendums are to be believed, enacting the new ordinance will result in untold environmental devastation. In truth, the dysfunctional system of little to no regulation is the cause of actual environmental damage.
The new ordinance actually provides greater protections to the environment and is a huge step to reducing the environmental impact of cannabis cultivation in our county. The county has spent countless hours hearing from the broad spectrum of stakeholders and has crafted an ordinance that creates a path forward for compliance, while enacting strict environmental protections and water use regulation. In addition, enacting the new ordinance will create a clear distinction between those in compliance and those flaunting oversight, enabling effective enforcement against bad actors.
Should either of the referendums qualify, we’ll be stuck with the current dysfunctional system for months, and should they pass, for years. It is time for us to begin to repair our broken cannabis system and allow the process of thoughtful representative democracy to move ahead.
I urge voters to decline signing either referendum.
First District Planning Commissioner
During my interview I was asked what I think of the notion or rumor that the Board is bought off by corporate interests. I didn’t laugh it off because I don’t think it’s funny. For years I have sacrificed relationships, time with family and my own career to dedicate my time to serving this community. I’m appalled every time I hear this flippant comment. These girls are my reason not financial gain. My two daughters and my granddaughter. I want them to have a future in Mendocino County. I want their children’s children to live in a beautiful environment that provides economic opportunities. Will they go in to the cannabis industry, I don’t know it doesn’t matter. The cannabis economy touches every piece of our economy whether you are an electrician or the cashier at the hardware store. This notion that anyone on the Board of Supervisors is being financially compensated is absurd. We are each doing what we think is best for our community in our own way and for our own reasons. These are my reasons.
* * *
I'm still trying to provide more clarity.
The Board wants to cap expansion at 10 acres max. The timeline is over the next 8 years. This gives an opportunity for businesses to prepare and also time for the Board and Community to see if this idea of expansion will work in Mendo. There will be no new permits during the drought and no expansion projects that can begin before 2023. This is for outdoor sun grown cannabis with water on site.
CHECKED in with Brentt Blaser, director of the county's Office of Emergency Services, to ask him how the warning system had worked out during this week's Broiler Fire: “Things went well. The application operated as it should. Various (6) messages were sent. The message was targeted at a smaller area, field staff estimated there were 100 -200 residents in the area.”
YES, Mr. B spells Brentt with two t's. As an aside here, Mendo is well prepared for the disasters we all hope to elude this summer with capable people in all the key positions. Everywhere you look in the county, including here in the Anderson Valley, there are competent, well-trained fire and emergency service people, all this backed up by effective city police departments, and a county Sheriff's Department, ably led by Matt Kendall. Lots of things aren't working, but the emergency services, in a time of perpetual emergencies, have never been better able to cope with whatever comes their way.
ANNE SIRI NOTES: “It has been in the high 90's and 100's for a month and a month this spring. I moved to Mendocino 40 years ago when it was thought to be rainforest? Well, most of my planting has been for that kind of weather but is now kind of burned up, but the yellow blooming trees are going wild this year. Chestnut, Dogwood and Linden.”
THE SIRIS live in the west hills off Greenwood Road in forested land, but even us flatlanders can't help but note the numbers of struggling trees, some of which look like they look in the fall when their leaves go from green to yellow. And all of us in the Anderson Valley, when the wind comes up off the Pacific every afternoon say silent prayers that today isn't the inevitable day…
IT WAS 97 in Boonville today at 3pm, according to the Weather Underground, the most reliable temp site I know of. Other sites, including the Chuckle Buddy TV News, claimed it was over a hundred degrees throughout Mendocino County, with Ukiah allegedly coming in at 107. The range of daily summer temps has always amazed me. When I hit the road this morning for my aerobic jolt, it was 56. Six hours later, 90.
I DIDN'T KNOW that the ahistorical move to rename Fort Bragg was alive and well. Questionnaires have gone out asking residents their druthers for a new town name. If Boonville can vote, I vote to retain Fort Bragg. I know Mendo can be a very silly place since, say, 1970 when fey and faux liberals began their quest for the social controls, but this is dumb even by fake lib's low standards. Marco McClean's suggestions follow:
Regardless, I'd like to put in a plug for the best two choices, for locals who actually count in this to suggest:
1. Lindy Petersville.
2. The Palms. (With a project to line main street with beautiful genetically climate adjusted palm trees with faint pastel lamps up inside them, a home for bees, a nest for birds.)
Also, one of the questions on the survey is, Do you live in Fort Bragg or not, so it's not rude to send it in if you're an auslander. They're fine with that.
(Original Fort Bragg Police Presser):
On July 6, 2021 at approximately 5:40 P.M., Officer Anthony Welter and Officer Padraic Ferris of the Fort Bragg Police Department were dispatched to 490 S. Franklin Street, Rite Aid, for the report of a robbery involving a firearm. The suspect had reportedly fled the location towards the Department of Motor Vehicles, located in the 400 block of S Franklin Street. Officers responded and arrived in the area within two minutes of receiving the call. Officer Welter began a check of the area for the suspect while Officer Ferris contacted the witnesses to the incident at Rite Aid.
During the investigation, it was determined the suspect, later identified as Kevin Seltenrich, 68, of Santa Rosa, had entered Rite Aid and approached a teller. Seltenrich demanded money from the register, threatening he was in possession of a firearm and was willing to use it if his demands were not met. After being provided with the money, Seltenrich fled the location towards the Department of Motor Vehicles. Officers also obtained an updated description of Seltenrich, and broadcast it to the units searching the area. It was also determined while Seltenrich threatened to be in possession of a firearm, he never displayed one.
At approximately 5:54 P.M., Officer Welter located Seltenrich, who matched the suspect description, crouching behind a wooden box located in the alleyway east of the 300 block of S. Franklin Street. Officer Welter detained Seltenrich and took him into custody without incident.
At the time of his detention, Seltenrich was in possession of the reported stolen money. Officers also conducted an infield show up at which time a witness positively identified him.
Seltenrich was transported to the Mendocino County Jail and booked for Robbery and Terrorist Threats.
No one sustained physical injury during this incident. No firearm was located.
Seltenrich is currently on Federal supervised release out of Sonoma County for bank robbery.
If you have any further information on this incident, please contact Officer Welter at (707) 961-2800 ext. 168. Anonymous information can be left on the Crime Tip Hotline at (707) 961-3049.
(Fort Bragg Police presser; booking photo not yet available.)
Mark Scaramella Notes: Mendo DA David Eyster has now filed charges for 68-year old suspect Kevin Seltenrich for the Rite Aid Robbery in Fort Bragg on July 6. The DA’s charge sheet also includes special strike allegations for a dozen prior bank robberies going back to 1973 (in San Francisco). Including that first 1973 conviction, Seltenrich was convicted for a total of 12 prior bank robberies in 1977, 1982, 1984, 2009, and 2017. It’s almost as if he wants to be in prison, but the system doesn’t really want him.
HOMICIDE CONVICT RYAN DIES IN STATE PRISON
UKIAH - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced this week that Steven Patrick Ryan, 66, died in state prison while serving a state prison sentence in the 2016 shooting death of an unarmed young black man.
Mendocino County District Attorney Dave Eyster said Ryan was convicted by jury in May 2018 of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of De’Shaun Christopher Davis.
Ryan was sentenced to 21 years in state prison in June 2018 for his crime and for his use of a firearm to commit the crime. Ryan would not have been eligible for parole until he was at least 81.
The defendant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. The jury also found true that the defendant intentionally and personally used a firearm to cause that death.
In brief, defendant Ryan shot Davis to death just before Thanksgiving 2016.
Claiming that he was in fear, the defendant admitted continuing to shoot at Davis even after the victim was down. An eyewitness testified at trial that the victim was on his knees with his hands up telling the defendant he was surrendering when the defendant, firing three times, shot Davis to death.
At the sentencing hearing, the defense argued for a grant of probation and credit for time already served. If probation were to be denied, the defense argued a sentence no greater than six years was the appropriate sentence.
De'Shaun's mother, supported in the courtroom by both her mother and brother, traveled from the East Coast to address the court and gave an emotional plea for the maximum prison sentence possible.
DA Eyster, who prosecuted the case against Ryan, argued that the aggravated manslaughter conviction and an aggravated use of a firearm, justified a 21-year prison term, the maximum sentence allowed by law given the verdicts.
Ryan’s appeal of his conviction was denied in October 2019.
UKIAH STREETSCAPE PROJECT Construction Update - July 9
Very exciting news--the first layer of new pavement has been placed! (See pics below.) State Street between Henry and Smith, East and West Standley, West Perkins, and West Church all have their first layer of pavement and temporary striping now, and it looks amazing! This is called the "bottom lift," and is still about 3" shy of where the final surface will be, but it gives us a good glimpse of what the final project will look like.
Next week, we'll be grinding and compacting East and West Clay Street so that the bottom lift can be placed; after that, we'll do the rest of State Street. The final layer of pavement will go down in about 3-4 weeks.
The streetlights are working now! Well-functioning, pedestrian-oriented lighting is just one of the many features of this project that are designed to make walking around downtown safer and more enjoyable.
Let’s talk about parking. We often hear, “There’s not enough parking downtown.” Or, “Ukiah needs a parking garage.” Neither of those is actually true. There are already over 1,000 public parking spaces downtown, and we can almost guarantee that there is always a space available within a block of your destination. Sometimes, that may require walking around the corner or crossing a street. Many people were afraid to cross the six lanes of State Street before, which left many of the spaces on that street unused—problem solved!
Also, we need to get over the idea that we should be able to park immediately in front of our destination at any time. Consider this: the average downtown block is about 264 feet. Visit Home Depot or Walmart, and the distance from the parking lot to inside the store is over 600 feet!
And finally—a busy downtown full of cars is a good thing. That represents customers, conversations, meals, experiences…the things that build community.
Construction Overview, Week of July 12
Monday: Grinding East and West Clay Street between Main and Oak Streets; compaction and adding of base rock will occur in the following days.
Monday-Friday: Miscellaneous curb ramps (corners) will be constructed throughout the project area, including at Clay/School, E. Perkins/Main, E. Standley/Main, and others.
Also, work will occur of State Street in advance of grinding the remaining section between Smith and Mill Streets, which will happen the following week (week of 7/19).
Construction hours: 6am – 6pm
It's going to be a hot weekend, folks...hang in there! This Sunday is our first Sundays In The Park concert at Todd Grove Park since 2019. Hope to see you there!
— Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, City of Ukiah, w: (707) 467-5793
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 9, 2021
JACK ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, paraphernalia, failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)
DENNIS ANDERSON, Willits. DUI, no license, probation revocation.
TODD BOHANNON, Carrollton, Georgia/Willits. DUI w/blood-alcohol over 0.15% resisting, failure to appear.
BAILEY BLUNT, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
JAMES BUTTERWORTH, Brownsville/Ukiah.
OSCAR CABEZAS-TAFOYA, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.
DEE GINGELL, Caspar. Domestic battery.
TIMOTHY MCCORMICK, Portland, Oregon/Willits. Vandalism.
THE FACEBOOK MONSTER
The Federal Trade Commission’s case against Facebook got tossed out because the service is “free” to consumers, therefore no harm to commerce. (It’s complicated.)
Here’s the problem: Facebook is using its “free” platform to make an enormous amount of money from advertisers based on data collected from its users’ activity.
Antitrust is about companies that make stuff and rig prices to make bigger profits. Facebook doesn’t make anything; it’s more like a public utility providing a service.
What if PG&E worked like Facebook — try to imagine while I explain.
PG&E would provide electric power for free. First, it would have to install some apps in your home, no problem, also free. Every light switch would be replaced by a touch screen — how cool is that? — and useful information would be available anywhere in your home. Interactively. You could see something interesting and find out more about it.
In the background, PG&E would monitor every page view, keystroke or gesture and your reaction to every message. Artificial intelligence would sift through all of it to discover your interests and serve up “useful information” to businesses that might sell you something.
That was Facebook’s business model. Now it’s getting worse.
Donal B. Botkin
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
Yesterday I went with my wife over to an outlet shopping mecca. Normally, I wouldn’t go but I was acting on a “best burger ever” recommendation that I’d get if I went for the ride. It was a lousy weather day and so all of the lake tourists that had nothing else to do went outlet shopping too.
There not being anything in any of the stores that interested me, I just sidewalk people watched. Nothing was new or different than what I had seen many times before but there was just something about it that stuck with me. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was specifically though. I think maybe it was just how normal it all was. People shopping as entertainment. The cracks in the system may be widening but normalcy bias will keep the old system moving forward on momentum longer than perhaps it might have had we stopped to think about what we were doing.
The fries & ice cream were good, but the burger was lousy. Didn’t even finish it.
I played girls’ sports with girls, not against boys pretending to be girls. One was either or. We knew what we were and which restroom to use. We used pronouns associated with our sex.
Joe Biden signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in school sports and elsewhere. That allowed trans-women to compete in women’s sports. I believe it is wrong to allow biological boys who want to be girls to compete in girls’ athletics, to use the girls’ restrooms, locker rooms and showers. Caitlyn Jenner said if she returned to sports, she would beat any biological girl against whom she competed. Yes, she would. She retains male bone density, blood-oxygen level and lung capacity.
Trans-women who compete against women take top honors, eliminating female record holders (who presumably would win). Female athletes and their parents are understandably upset. These girls, who have trained for years in their chosen sport, are losing to boys.
I understand the DNA sequence of codes remains largely the same throughout a human’s life. Long hair, breast enhancements and fingernail polish do not make a man a woman. Let real girls compete against real girls, real boys against real boys.
CALIFORNIA FISH & WILDLIFE: ‘Nearly All’ Sacramento River winter chinook salmon juveniles could perish this year
by Dan Bacher
On July 6, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife published an update on the status of federally and state protected winter-run Chinook salmon that warns “it is possible that nearly all in-river juveniles will not survive this season” as the cold water pool in Lake Shasta is depleted earlier than modeled because of increased downstream water deliveries during the hot weather.
The winter-run Chinook salmon is listed as “endangered” under both the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The once abundant sub-species of salmon declined from a high of 117,000 in 1969 to 200 fish in 1991.
Previous reports from the CDFW documented a large mass of winter run Chinook in stressed condition below Keswick Dam, including adult fish dying before spawning in the relatively warm water conditions.
The update states:
“7-6-21- Continued hot weather above 100 degrees for periods in late May, early June and past two weeks continuously will lead to depletion of cold water pool in Shasta Lake sooner than modeled earlier in season. This hot weather is leading to more demand downstream for water (flows from Keswick from 8,500 to 9,250 on July 4th). Previously modeled season long cold water availability scenarios used steady flows in the 7500 cfs range from Keswick. Those earlier scenarios had very high expected juvenile mortality due to warm water later in Aug-Oct that would be lethal to incubating eggs and alevins in the gravel.
This persistent heat dome over the West Coast will likely result in earlier loss of ability to provide cool water and subsequently it is possible that nearly all in-river juveniles will not survive this season. Counts of carcasses continue to indicate a large run of winter-run this year. Unspawned fresh females for the season are 71 with an overall percentage of 12.3% of all fresh females this season were unspawned.”
The link to the update is here:
While the CDFW attributes the potential loss of nearly all juvenile winter-run chinook this year to the hot weather and the “persistent heat dome,” representatives of fishing and environmental groups attribute the dismal situation of the winter Chinook to state and federal mismanagement of water.
“This is EXACTLY what we warned the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) about when we spoke on the precarious condition of Sacramento River winter run at their meeting in April,” said Mike Conroy, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “While I appreciate the deflection and trying to blame the weather — this is most assuredly NOT about hot weather.”
“Our government officials have generally been failing to provide adequate conditions (or even meet their own plan) since spawning began. This is negligence and incompetence by those in power,” stated Conroy.
Likewise, John McManus, President of the Golden State Salmon Association, blamed government inaction for this looming disaster.
“Californians should be alerted that the extinction of a native salmon run is underway right now as a result of government inaction to stop it,” said McManus. “State and federal water managers have apparently decided it’s politically inconvenient to reroute short water supplies to prevent extinction if it means a few less acres of crops.”
“We’re losing winter run salmon right now and the fall run salmon that supply the sport and commercial fisheries will be decimated too. Californians who care about the environment need to hold government officials accountable for allowing the loss of the state’s natural resources on their watch,” said McManus.
Despite the winter run’s protected status under state and federal laws, the Sacramento River mainstem winter run Chinook salmon escapement (1970-1974 v. 2015-2019) has declined 91.0 percent, according to Bill Jennings, Executive Director and Chairman of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).
And despite the winter run’s protected status, the State Water Resources Control Board continues to approve the delivery of millions of acre-feet of water to state and federal water contractors during a record drought.
On June 1, fishing and environmental groups submitted an emergency water management plan to the State Water Resources Control Board as an alternative to the controversial Bureau of Reclamation water temperature management plan approved this spring, but the Board continues to support the Bureau’s plan.
Drafted by the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), the California Water Impact Network (CWIN), and Save California Salmon (SCS), the plan would significantly reduce salmon-killing high temperature water releases from Shasta and Trinity reservoirs. It would also protect carryover storage in the event of another dry year.
This plan would reduce Sacramento River water temperatures and significantly increase salmon survival in the following ways:
1. Limit June-through-October releases from Shasta-Keswick dams to 5,000 cfs (cubic feet per second), using Shasta’s cold-water pool to maintain Keswick releases at less than 54oF.
2. Eliminate June-through-October use of the Spring Creek power tunnel between Whiskeytown and Keswick reservoirs.
3. Maintain June-through-October flows of 300 cfs to Whiskeytown Reservoir through the Carr powerhouse, increase June-October releases to Clear Creek to 300 cfs, and increase June- October releases from Trinity-Lewiston dams to the lower Trinity River to 800-870 cfs.
Then on June 30, a coalition of Delta-based groups sent a formal Petition for Reconsideration <https://restorethedelta.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=06887fa70084fef8e939fef63&id=271ef43506&e=120d0c2b69> to the State Water Board opposing the Board’s June 1 order to relax water quality standards for Delta operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project. The Temporary Urgency Change Order (TUCO) was issued by the Water Board on June 1, 2021.
*The coalition’s petition <https://restorethedelta.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=06887fa70084fef8e939fef63&id=fa1b94d4ad&e=120d0c2b69> reveals that 4.5 million acre-feet of water will be delivered to state and federal water contractors (including about 10 percent for Central Valley wildlife refuges), based on Water Board information. The Board’s action will only add another 3 percent in water savings to put toward protecting salmon and the Delta, “a miserly allocation,” said the petition for reconsideration.*
*Background: Massive amounts of water exported from the Delta from 2010 to 2020*
The poor water management by the Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation that has exacerbated drought water conditions, resulting in the deaths of many winter-run Chinook salmon below Keswick Dam before spawning this year so far, is revealed in my analysis of water exports out of the Delta for the past decade.
In 8 out of the past 10 years, the combined water exports from the state and federal water projects have exceeded the 3 million acre feet annual export figure that many believe to be the maximum amount of water that can be exported from the Delta without destroying the ecosystem and harming fish species.
In every water year except two, 2014 and 2015, the state and federal projects exported well over 3 million acre feet of water from the Delta.
The 3 million acre feet cap of water exports in all years is a key recommendation of the Environmental Water Caucus (EWC) updated solutions plan titled “A Sustainable Water Plan for California.” <http://www.ewccalifornia.org/reports/EWC_WATER_PLAN-Revised_2018.pdf>
In fact, 2011 was the all time record export year with 6.67 million acre feet of water diverted from the Delta, followed closely behind by the 6.46 million acre feet exported in 2017. 2018 saw 4.62 million acre feet exported from the Delta, while 2019 saw 5.3 million acre feet exported and 2020 saw 3.65 million acre feet exported: https://viewperformance.deltacouncil.ca.gov/pm/water-exports.
Due to the projected poor water conditions in the Sacramento and its tributaries this year, all of the juvenile chinook salmon (smolts) from state fish hatcheries were trucked to saltwater this spring to increase their survival.
“If you don’t conserve enough water to maintain carryover storage to enable successful spawning and outmigration of salmon in a drought, then the CDFW has to truck the fish downriver to the bay so that fish are able to survive,” said Bill Jennings, chairman and executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA): www.recordnet.com/