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Mendocino County Today: Monday, August 9, 2021

Milder Temps | Sunset Colors | Greedy Kulaks | Boonville Hills | Gualala Strained | Whiny Dolt | Climate Refugees | Ukiah Mural | Generation Gap | Animal Rescue | Mouseketeer | Preserve Nature | Levi Loose | Lollapaloozing | Spirit Animals | Sheep Shearing | Idahohos | Our Own | Symbolic Frivolity | Bucklesby Bench | Ed Notes | Human Traffickers | False Division | Yesterday's Catch | Powerplant Offline | Stay Put | Obama Mansion | Tax Dollars | Ready Teddy | Rigged Race | Recall Votes | Installed On | Global Greenhouse | Ukulele Song

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A WEAK LOW PRESSURE TROUGH over the area will continue to bring slightly milder temperatures today. Warmer temperatures will return on Tuesday and continue through the rest of the work week as high pressure builds in. (NWS)

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Deep End Sunset (photo by Carston Butters)

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by Mark Scaramella

Back in 2009, when the State Water Board told Russian River Grape Growers — of which 1st District Supervisor Glenn McGourty is one — that they would have to prepare their own frost protection water plans to prevent them from turning on all their frost protection pumps at the same time thus stranding endangered fish in what’s left of public rivers and streams, the Mendo wine mob screamed bloody murder at having to prepare their own plans to coordinate their pumping, first sending a contingent of Richard Shoemaker, John McCowen, Glenn McGourty and an extremely aggrieved local grape grower — who actually shouted his comments — to Sacramento to screech at the Water Board for their outrageous imposition on the poor grape growers. The nerve, asking the wine gentry to cooperate just a little in the public interest! 

The Water Board held firm in their position.

The still outraged Mendo Grape Mob then sued in Mendo Superior Court and got Judge Ann Moorman to issue a restraining order on the Water Board’s ruling. That was later overturned on appeal, of course — the appeal being considered outside of Wine County — and the yowling grape babies had to prepare a few plans, which they have since done without complaint since even these whining kulaks recognize that it was obviously not much to ask, especially in lieu of real regulation.

Fast forward to Drought 2021. Yesterday we saw the following quote from Russian River Flood Control District Manager Elizabeth Salamone in yesterday’s report by the Ukiah Daily Journal’s Justine Frederiksen about the ongoing overdraft of the Russian River while the River and Lake Mendocino are in an unprecedented drought:

Frederiksen: “ ‘We were losing about 220 acre feet a day,’ Salomone said on Friday, explaining that late last week before the long-expected curtailments were imposed, ‘there was a big draw down on the river,’ which she said was likely due to people taking out as much water as they could before their rights were terminated.”

“People”? Which “people”?

Since most of the water rights holders in the Russian River are grape growers, those “people” are clearly the aforementioned self-entitled wine people.

This was in spite of the Water Board’s earlier but still belated call for voluntary reductions of a piddling 15% (which should have been mandatory 50% restrictions in April when it was obvious how bad the drought was). The Supervisors, lead by their water point person and longstanding member of the “people” in question, conspicuously avoided discussing, much less imposing, any local water restrictions even though they had declared a water emergency.

Note also here that Ms. Salamone was referring to water rights holders, not pot outlaws. Not only did the grape growing water rights holders in the upper Russian River watershed NOT reduce their pumping from the River, they INCREASED it at the rate of a whopping 220 acre feet PER DAY!

One acre-foot is about 325,000 gallons. Your average water truck carries up to 2500 gallons, and 325,000 gallons times 225 = about 30,000 trucks worth of water PER DAY. That’s water that local non-wine people are paying $400-$500 per truckload for — if they can get it.

And this was after the Water Board sent out notices in advance — essentially encouraging the wine mob to hurry up and pump every drop — that the Board was about to curtail their rights (but not necessarily their actual water because the Water Board seldom enforces their edicts).

The point? We were reminded of that embarassing 2009 water agency whine episode when among other dumb statements made by the local wine mob representatives, then UC-Ag Extension wine advisor, now Supervisor, Glenn McGourty, told the Water Board: “Regulations never work. Look at marijuana. It’s illegal as heck and yet we have marijuana all over northern California and our county in particular. So people don’t necessarily go along with regulation.” (Nevermind that asking grape growers to prepare their own water pumping plans barely amounts to “regulation” at all.)

The “people” McGourty’s was referring to were his grape growing buddies along the Russian River, the people he continues to represent as Supervisor, the people who brazenly take more water from the Russian River after being asked to cut back due to the drought, the people he indirectly helps by making sure that Mendo delays imposing any water restrictions on for as long as possible so they can take as much of what’s left as they can while they can.

Oh, but you non-wine schmucks? You’re supposed to abandon your gardens and take shorter showers and turn the water off while brushing your teeth. We’re short on water. You might want to consider brushing your teeth with a nice bottle of chardonnay.

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Boonville Hills In Evening Sun

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On August 3, the USGS flow gauge reported flow on the drought stricken South Fork Gualala River near Sea Ranch dipping below a quarter of a cubic foot per second. The median or normal flow for this time of year is around 3 cubic feet per second.

The normally aquatic bed of the lagoon below Highway 1 was mostly drained and exposed by the end of July. The last shallow aquatic habitat around Mill Bend is concentrating native aquatic plants and algae that normally shelter juvenile steelhead and stickleback, stranding them in dense mats.

In 2015, in the third year of the last historic extreme drought I wrote a letter to the editor asking, “Does the Gualala River have 25,000 gallons per day to spare in addition to ongoing diversions during yet another historic critical drought year?” That question was a reference to the water drafting proposed for dust control on logging roads of the then new "Dogwood" Timber Harvest Plan.

The Dogwood THP has been approved by all state resource agencies along with numerous other THPs that propose water drafting from the river to keep down the dust that is kicked up by logging truck traffic. The approvals are based on assurances by timber company consultants that pumping 25,000 gallons a day (3,350 cubic feet) in itself would have “no effect on downstream flow” based on analysis from pre-drought 2010 conditions.

Again in 2021 there is no cumulative impact analysis of water drafting in all logging plans adjusted for drought conditions. No change in conditions for approval. Business as usual.

Gualala and Sea Ranch and Gualala Redwood Timber divert water from the same river — regardless of whether it is from below or above the gravel bed. The river and estuary are collapsing from business as usual during another extreme drought.

Peter Baye


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CHRIS CALDER: The refugees are starting to arrive. Being a grocery store checker, you notice these things. A Lake Almanor sweatshirt here, a Quincy ballcap there. People who start driving until there isn't much smoke, end up here. We've served as the last resort more than once in the past few years. They don't freak out. They're quiet and grateful. Families just getting what they need, happy for a chance to breathe some fresh air and stare at the ocean for awhile. Keep them in your thoughts. Help if you can. Because there is no “them” in this. There's only us.

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Stop by my monumental history mural during this Friday’s Art Walk, August 6! There are now more than 105 portraits in the work as it nears completion. Come see who you recognize!

My scaffolding with a canvas shade will be set up at the far western end of the block: Church Street between School and Oak, on the north wall of Ukiah Valley Conference Center Ukiah's First Friday Art Walk.

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Looking for volunteers: Some of you might not know that Mendocino County has a new organization called the CART team, Community Animal Response Team, with trained volunteers to help with a situation just like this. They will help with evacuation of animals and the rescue of those left behind. They need volunteers that are willing to be trained and ready to jump in when our next disaster hits. Please consider getting involved or making a donation. They are in the process of assembling/buying all the equipment and supplies so they are ready to go at a moment's notice.

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To the Editor

I was so inspired by the letter to BOS of Mendocino County, from the San Hedrin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, stating, not to expand cannabis growing.

I grew up in a time of plentiful water, in this county. Hiking every weekend and anywhere, was safe to do so. Tourist flocked here for fishing and camping, in Lake & Mendocino counties. Hunters kept herds, from starving and most respected the ways of honorable hunting practices. Sacred practices.

But now there is a disrespectful use of watershed diversion. There is a disrespectful abandonment of animals, closing off access of water and lands. There are no trespassing signs, with fences and guns. The fines do not deter abusers, from the damage to the environment, already done. A fine, after the fact, does not protect the environment at all. When will we learn.

Looking at a Redwood Grove, on a screen saver, is not the same as being in one, in person. Or living near one. Watching salmon spawn and tide pools grow generations of fish, cannot be replaced by books and photos, even art, of what used to be?

The next generation, deserves the preservation, of our counties natural beauty. Yes. The drought is a big part. But why are we making things worse, with the precious nature that’s left? The next generation, needs us to protect, nurture and care, about the healthy mountain areas that are left, after drought and fires. Please, become one of Natures Guardians. Find healthy alternatives to earn money. Inspiration and imagination, can provide revenues. And let’s be the change. For the future of the children. Let’s stop promoting body and wilderness abuse.

Because as nature goes, so shall we.

Catherine Lair


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On Monday, August 2, 2021 about 2:45 PM, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office dispatch center received a call regarding a subject (later identified as Levi Lamoureux, 32, of Laytonville) possibly damaging Harwood Park and made statements about a firearm.

Deputies responded and contacted Lamoureux in the parking lot. Lamoureux was found to not be in possession of a firearm. Deputies spoke with individuals in the area and learned no crime had been committed, resulting in Lamoureux leaving the area.

After leaving the scene, Deputies were advised County Probation was issuing a pick up order for Lamoureux for violating the terms of his Post Release Community Supervision.

At about 4:35 PM, Deputies received another call stating Lamoureux had stolen a flag from a local Laytonville business. As Deputies were responding, the reporting party stated they had recovered their property and did not desire prosecution.

At about 5:10 PM, Deputies located Lamoureux in downtown Laytonville and again went to talk to him.

Lamoureux was immediately hostile towards Deputies and began to physically resist when they went to arrest him on the probation pick up order.

Lamoureux fled from the Deputies and began picking up various objects displaying them in a threatening matter. Deputies attempted to verbally deescalate the situation for a period of time but Lamoureux was physically aggressive by grabbing onto a Deputy's portable radio.

Deputies again tried to take him into custody while giving him verbal commands. Lamoureux physically assaulted both Deputies causing visible injuries (scrapes/abrasions).

Lamoureux was ultimately restrained and placed into handcuffs before being transported to the hospital for a medical clearance. Neither of the Deputies required medical treatment.

Levi Lamoureux

Lamoureux was arrested for resisting with violence, resisting or delaying a Peace Officer and violation of the terms of his PRCS. Lamoureux was also arrested on a second count of resisting the probation pick up order.

Lamoureux was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No-Bail status due to the PRCS violation hold.

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by Tommy Wayne Kramer

Two swallowtail butterflies are again fluttering in my backyard, bringing me cheer for about the 20th year in a row.

It remains a mystery whether the same pair of butterflies, now deep into old age, return year after year to frolic in my yard (unlikely) or if two new butterflies emerge fresh from caterpillar larva every season, tune their GPS antennae to my house and arrive just the way their ancestors have done for decades. Also unlikely.

My old friend Pat knows of my swallowtail twins and he once quietly, gravely, told me the butterflies were messengers from my parents. Huh?

He said it was not uncommon that contact with lost loved ones be conveyed through birds, broken glass, lost coins or rainbows. “But butterflies,” he said, “are the top choice.”

Pat Walsh is Irish to the bone, clear-headed, an excellent drinker and as touchy-feely as a Hemi engine. But can it possibly be true that butterflies are trying to communicate with us?

Let us pause, take a deep breath, and consider my wife.

She was struck by a series of complicated medical problems that brought roughly 20 years of pain to her shoulders and neck. Very roughly. Along with pills of every sort she’s had countless encounters with doctors, lawyers, nurses, physical therapists, workers’ compers, chiropractors, frauds, quacks, masseuses and healers.

Amid the complications, unexpected intruders joined her healing journey: Ravens.

Scant weeks after her woes kicked in ravens began crowding her life. Their presence was obvious but their purpose was puzzling. What did they want? What were they trying to tell her?

Mornings a pair of ravens began patrolling the short brick pathway from the front porch to the sidewalk, sometimes striding back and forth, otherwise simply staring at her. Mysterious encounters with ravens were unprecedented in her life.

Approaching our offices another pair waited on the cement blocks on either side of the steps, like lions astride the marble staircase at New York’s Public Library. The birds, close enough to touch, chattered at her as she mounted the steps.

There was a single skylight in the second floor office of lawyer Bert Schlosser. With creepy regularity a raven, sometimes two, would clamber atop the skylight when she came into his office, their images clouded but unmistakable through the translucent rectangle. They strutted on boney toes with horny claws and the clattering noise, sometimes loud enough to awaken Bert, seemed ominous.

What did they want? What were they trying to tell her?

Ravens lined the edge of the roof across the street. She watched them from a second floor window, and maybe the birds watched her. They seemed to monitor her entering and exiting, flapping off when she got to her car.

Physical pain interfered with both work and fun. Even the car she drove, a spirited little Miata convertible, tortured her with its rough, jouncy ride. A local lawyer and concerned friend, Ann Moorman, decided to buy a new car and essentially gave away her used Cadillac.

The car’s soft, limo-like ride provided SS Queen Mary comfort on long trips, but provoked humorous inquiries from family members amused at our pretentious new wheels. Our response was to pose for a family photo in outfits befitting our cool car.

Daughter and wife wore exquisite mink wraps and Hollywood sunglasses; the young lad dazzled in a pink-on-pink tuxedo jacket. I wore a green-yellow-red plaid wool sport coat.

Professional lawyer and amateur photographer Dan Haehl snapped a shot of us in front of our house, draped about the hood of the Caddy, looking about as impressive as local Burke Hill-billies. We took the film to Triple S, got back 5x7 prints and sent copies to family members.

Weeks later my wife spotted a tiny detail. High in the photo’s bright clear sky, hundreds of feet distant, is the unmistakable image of a single spread-winged raven dead-center above her head.

Was it all a message from the Corvid Gods (unlikely) or a long-running series of dramatic, coincidental, fragmentary, incidents signifying nothing? (Also unlikely.)

If we’d gritted our teeth and concentrated, or if we’d smoked hashish and dreamed the dreams of ravens we might have learned their secrets to unlocking pain, unless the ravens were instead encouraging her to jump off the Noyo Bridge.

And because we ignored the birds, the birds abandoned us. Or else the exhausted ravens turned the assignment over to swallowtail butterflies in our back yard.

What do the butterflies want? What are they trying to tell me?

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VISITORS (an on-line comment): Went to an estate sale this morning. Met a lovely family from Idaho, who were apparently here selling grandma’s estate. When I got out of my vehicle, I asked if they would like me to wear a mask and stated that I’ve been vaccinated. The woman replied, “Oh no, we’re from Idaho and we don’t do that.” Now, I know better to engage in that conversation, but I should have told her that my niece visited Idaho early on in the pandemic and contracted COVID-19. What is wrong with people?!! So, just a reminder - our hospital has 25 beds to serve the entire coastal community surrounding FB, and only 6 max of those beds are for intensive care. So, be safe out there as we have visitors who may be contagious, and, in this case, are planning to go to the botanical gardens today. 

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Point of fact is that there is no such thing as a “symbolic” vote. Votes are real. They add up. In any viable democracy they count. They matter. The right to vote has been hard-earned and not to be frivolously frittered away.

Prop 64 passed in 2016. Five years have passed. The County of Mendocino so botched the permitting process to get Mom&Pops legal, we’re now facing a referendum which, if adopted, will jettison all the long hard rehabilitative work that has gone into trying to straighten out the train wreck our County’s initial permitting process was/is. Is this progress?

Finally, Governor Newsom does not — never has — directly administered the implementation of Prop 64. All he (ever) did was sign off on the implementing legislation (if that) and left it (rightly) to the appropriate agencies to run.

Gawd, how greatly our country, state and county would benefit from mandatory courses in government and civics… Such education might (?) help shed real light on the continuing malfunctioning of our own county’s government.

I’m just too old and cranky to waste time on “symbolic” acts. I want real ones.

Vote NO on the Recall.

Vote NO on the Referendum.

Now, as for coastal water…

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THE HORRIFIC Dixie Fire continues to wreak havoc in Northern California, becoming Sunday the second largest blaze in the state’s history at nearly 500,000 acres. Dixie has surpassed the Mendocino Complex Fire of 2018 and the SCU Lightning Complex Fire of 2020. Only the mammoth million-acre August Complex Fire of 2020 remains larger. Dixie has destroyed the town Greenville, Plumas County, and is menacing the even larger town of Chester. The seven largest fires in state history have all occurred since 2017, further evidence of a dangerously changed climate. Fire officials said Sunday that they hope to extinguish Dixie by the end of August, but the blaze is only 21% contained as of today (Sunday).

THE GRUELING DEPARTMENT, local desk, will see a mass of serious cyclists, women and men, assembled Saturday morning the 28th of August at Boonville High School's parking lot for the Fish Rock Mountain Bike Race. The pack will set off up Mountain View Road, a grade that rises a steep 700 feet until it eases more or less flat before Faulkner Park, but is up and down all the way to Manchester. These people, however, don't pause at Manchester but keep cycling on south to Point Arena, then east onto Fish Rock Road out of PA, over that steep ridge and then north on 128 and on into the welcoming embrace of the Boonville Brewery, completing a giant circle Boonville to Boonville of an unimaginably tough 72.3 miles. A couple of years ago, pre-Covid, a man named Sandy Floren won it with a remarkable time of 4 hours and 9 minutes. 

Sandy Floren

Amity Rockwell was the first woman finisher in 4 hours and 58 minutes. 

Amity Rockwell

Most of the competitors finished in the 5-6 hour range. This will be the 5th Fish Rock race. There was no race in 2020 because of covid.

RACE ORGANIZERS have pegged the event to the Boonville Brewery: Conveniently, a farmer's mini-market with a small number of local vendors selling goods will take place on Friday afternoon at Anderson Valley Brewing Company. It's a very low-key operation, and honestly we don't have a ton of additional detail about this other than maybe you can buy some plums? Either way, bring some cash in case there's something special from Mendocino County that tickles your fancy (or someone else's).



11:00 AM - 7:00 PM: AVBC taproom is open

3:00 PM: Camping opens at AVBC (Additional fee required)

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Farmer's Mini-Market at AVBC

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Packet Pickup at AVBC


7:00 AM - 9:00 AM: Packet Pickup at Anderson Valley Jr/Sr High

9:00 AM: Mass Start at Anderson Valley Jr/Sr High

1:00 PM: Riders begin finishing

3:30 PM: Awards Ceremony

5:30 PM: Welcome final riders back from the long journey

7:49 PM: The sun sets in Boonville


10:00 AM: Pack up camp & head home.

Support Anderson Valley Jr/Sr High School

For those of you registering for the event, there is an optional recommended donation to Anderson Valley Jr/Sr High. They have graciously allowed us to start the ride from their parking lot on Mountain View Road each and every year since Fish Rock's inception. We want to reciprocate. Luckily, the school is growing a new bike program for their students! Please consider making a donation to the school when you register for Fish Rock. By default, a recommended $15 donation is already pre-selected. Thank you!"

HAVING TURNED 82, I read the local obituaries not, as the old joke has it, to see if I'm one of them, but to confirm my finding that a bad person has not ever died in the Redwood Empire excluding, of course the presumed villains who've ended their days in prisons. Invariably, the departed is described as selflessly committed to the human project. But those of us who actually knew the saint would have a more nuanced memory shall we say, as he or she steps into the void, as atheists, gleefully seem to look forward to. If the gone person hasn't stepped into eternal nothing, and he has to confront his life as it was truly lived in some kind of cosmic courtroom, we won't know, but darned if we don't hope a lot of past tense people have to explain themselves. I just wish people would spend more time writing obituaries, flesh out the life of their gone one in anecdotes that give us some idea what the person was like. Hire a pro to do it for you if the prospect of summing up the life of a loved one intimidates you. Newspapers used to do it but, except for the NYT and a couple of other mass circulation papers, most of the obits you see these days are obviously rush jobs, toil for the relative assigned to do it. And the very old never, ever attribute their years to pure luck, which old age mostly is.

I ALSO READ columns by older people to see how my peer group is faring. The amusing piece by Dalton Delan, a mere 66, we posted last night, neatly summed up my feeling of Rip Van Winkle-ism, a cultural reference itself probably lost on people younger than sixty. (Rip dozed off one afternoon and woke up in a world he didn't recognize.) I've had my eyes wide open the whole way and I'm telling you, no insult intended, I don't approve of much of what I see. 

MR. D writes: “My cultural references — author, singer, baseball batter, star of television or silver screen — all receive blank stares. Truffaut recognition is rare as truffles. Was Norman Mailer a kind of Amazon packaging? I might as well be discussing pterodactyl sightings at the La Brea Tar Pits. Yes, Virginia, the late Jurassic is where I hail from. They named the park there for me. Is there some wisdom that comes with dotage?”

NOPE. Young fools become old fools, and please don't call me or anybody else an “elder,” as if age confers sagacity. It doesn't. Culturally? The place is unrecognizable. It's all references to people that I hope real young people, like my grandchildren, don't think are admirable or in any way worth emulating. 

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TWO MEN ARRESTED FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING And Cruelty To Children After Traffic Stop Near Laytonville Yesterday

Yesterday afternoon, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop near Laytonville and discovered what was believed to be a human trafficking situation resulting in the arrest of at least two men and the release of two children to the custody of Mendocino County Child Protective Services.

Calihua & Casilla

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NORTHCOAST COPS, an on-line exchange:

(1) I’m liberal and I want more crack down on petty theft and have more police presence. How do you make sense of that?

(2) I’ll take that question! 

The explanation is simple. Most of us agree generally on most things. We all want (need) clean air, shelter, water, food, security, love. The liberal/conservative (or Republican/Democrat) divide is a false construction. The modern two party political system is horrible. There is no reason for it and it does not need to be this way. Don’t buy into the division. We are the UNITED States of America. Most people are mostly good. The bad draws more attention. I have been treated with love by all varieties of folks (races, religious and non, genders, sexual identities, ages, political views, etc.). I have also been treated poorly by a much smaller group of equally diverse people. The middle ground on almost every issue exists and is actually where most people want to be. Extremists make a great deal of noise and draw attention. They have more influence than they deserve.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 8, 2021

Calihua, Cisneros, Sumano, Wyatt

PAULINO CALIHUA, Yuba City/Ukiah. Cruelty to child-inflicting injury.

JONATHAN CISNEROS, Hopland. Domestic battery.

ABRAHAM SUMANO-CASILLAS, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Cruelty to child-inflicting injury, human trafficking to obtain forced labor or service.

NICHOLAS WYATT, San Francisco/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, smuggling controlled substances or liquor into jail.

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DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES takes Hyatt Powerplant offline as Lake Oroville drops to lowest-ever recorded water level

by Dan Bacher

On August 5, California DWR State Water Project operations managers took the Hyatt Powerplant at Lake Oroville offline as the lake dropped to its lowest-ever recorded water level.

The current water level is only 641.39 feet above sea level, approximately 259.61 feet from maximum pool. The lake is holding 860,338 acre-feet of water, 24 percent of capacity and 34% of average.

Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth released the following statement regarding the status of hydropower operations at the Hyatt Powerplant at Lake Oroville:

“DWR State Water Project operations managers have taken the Hyatt Powerplant at Lake Oroville offline due to falling lake levels. This is the first time Hyatt Powerplant has gone offline as a result of low lake levels. However, DWR anticipated this moment, and the state has planned for its loss in both water and grid management. We have been in regular communication about the status of Hyatt Powerplant with the California Independent Service Operator (CAISO) and the California Energy Commission and steps have been taken in anticipation of the loss of power generation.

“This is just one of many unprecedented impacts we are experiencing in California as a result of our climate-induced drought. California and much of the western part of the United States are experiencing the impacts of accelerated climate change including record-low reservoir levels due to dramatically reduced runoff this spring.

”DWR will continue to focus on reservoir operations and water storage management at Lake Oroville to preserve as much water in storage as possible. DWR will use the River Valve Outlet System to release some water from the base of Oroville Dam to maintain river temperature requirements and outflows to the Feather River.

“Falling reservoir levels are another example of why it is so critical that all Californians conserve water. We are calling on everyone to take action now to reduce water use by 15 percent, to preserve as much water supply in storage as possible should we experience another dry year. We are all in this together.” 

For more information about state grid management, please contact CAISO at 

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My Response:

The poor management of reservoirs and massive water exports over the past ten years and in 2021 to date has led to the critical situation at Lake Oroville and other reservoirs that we are seeing this year during this unprecedented drought.

Nemeth calls on Californians to “reduce water use by 15 percent,” when the real problem here is systematic water mismanagement by the state and federal governments over the past 10 years and in 2021, a critically dry year, during a climate change-induced drought.

The draining of state and federal water project reservoirs to supply water to Central Valley corporate agribusiness over the past 10 years has resulted in the situation where the State Water Project’s Oroville Reservoir has declined to its lowest water level in history, threatening salmon and steelhead populations on the Feather River, fish populations on the reservoir and both domestic and agricultural water supplies this year.

Meanwhile many endangered winter run Chinook salmon have already died before spawning below the Bureau of Reclamation’s Keswick Dam, the regulating reservoir for the Central Valley Project’s Shasta Reservoir. The California CDFW also reported that “nearly all” endangered winter-run Chinook salmon juveniles could perish this year in low, warm water conditions.

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.” 


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:

A coalition of Delta-based groups recently sent a formal Petition for Reconsideration 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 coalition’s petition 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) in 2021, based on Water Board information. 

“The spring releases of water that should not have happened need to be burned into our collective memory,” according to a tweet from Restore the Delta. “We told state officials of the conditions that would absorb runoff in 2016. If we could figure it out, why couldn’t state water planning experts?”

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 received truck rides to saltwater this spring to increase their survival.

Over 16.8 million young fall Chinook salmon from four Central Valley hatcheries — the Feather River, Nimbus, Mokelumne and Merced facilities — were trucked this spring to release sites around San Pablo and San Francisco bays and in Half Moon and Monterey bays by early June, according to the CDFW.

The bottom line: 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 is forced to truck the fish downriver to San Francisco Bay, as it did this spring, so that the fish are able to survive, unlike nearly all of the endangered juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon that are likely to die this year.

If 2021 is another dry year in California, the impact on already over-exploited rivers and reservoirs — and on water supplies for both fish and people — will be unimaginable.

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Phew! Glitterati from all over the world flying into Martha’s Vineyard on private Gulfstream IVs for Obama’s Birthday Bash; Meanwhile, in Obama’s Hometown, Chicago, at least 50 people already shot so far this weekend, including 2 police officers, one of whom is dead, one critical. Apparently Obama’s $15 million mansion was built on water’s edge, so apparently nobody is worried too much about ‘Sea level rise’. Many of the Honored Guests arrived on massive motor yachts the size of WW2 Navy Destroyers. Those things are powered up by diesel fueled turbines that really suck up the juice. I don’t know if the Climate Czar — John Kerry — sailed over from Nantucket in his impressive yacht. Eventually the guest list will be released. Springsteen’s daughter has been competing in equestrian events at the Olympics. My brain started mulling around how much it must have cost to raise an Olympics level equestrian. It got to 7 digit numbers, and I gave up with a couple conclusions: the expense of transporting the horse to Tokyo and back was a mere drop in the overall cost bucket; and her daddy’s working class hero routine paid off really, really well.

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Ready, set, go man go,
I got a girl that I love so,

I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready to rock 'n' roll.

Going to the corner, pick up my sweetie pie,
She's my rock 'n' roll baby, she's the apple of my eye,

I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready to rock 'n' roll.

All the flat top cats and the dungaree dolls,
Are headed for the gym to the sock hop ball,
The joint is really jumpin', the cats are going wild,
The music really sends me, I dig that crazy style,

I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready to rock 'n' roll.

Going to the corner, pick up my sweetie pie,
She's my rock 'n' roll baby, she's the apple of my eye,

I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready to rock 'n' roll.

All the flat top cats and the dungaree dolls,
Are headed for the gym to the sock hop ball,
The joint is really jumpin', the cats are going wild,
The music really sends me, I dig that crazy style,

I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready to rock 'n' roll.

Gonna kick off my shoes, roll up my faded jeans,
Grab my rock 'n' roll baby, pour on the steam,
I shuffle to the left, I shuffle to the right,
Gonna rock 'n' roll to the early, early night,

I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready teddy,
I'm ready, ready, ready to rock 'n' roll.

— Robert Blackwell & John Marascalco

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* * *



I urge all voters to participate in the recall of Gavin Newsom. This includes voting yes or no for the recall and voting for a candidate. Even if you vote no, please find a suitable candidate and vote. Right now, it looks like the most enthusiastic voters are conservatives. If you disagree with the Republican platform, vote for a candidate that is more suitable. There are 46 candidates running and good sources of information about them are their webpages. Sources of candidate information include, maintained by the nonpartisan League of Women Voters, and, which includes links to the candidates’ websites.

Unfortunately, the anti-recall ads do not include the fact that there are two parts to this election, the recall and choosing a candidate. If the recall wins, the candidate with the most votes wins even if it is not a majority of the votes. So, remember to choose and vote for a candidate.

Linda Robinett


* * *

* * *


by Somini Sengupta

It’s too late to reverse the damage done to the Earth’s climate. It’s not too late to change course right away to prevent things from getting far worse.

That’s the scientific consensus presented this morning to world leaders by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It’s the most complete synthesis of climate science available, based on a review of thousands of research papers assessing how the combustion of coal, oil and gas has altered the Earth’s climate and with it, human destiny.

The report doesn’t present one future foretold, though. Its most important finding is that there are several futures possible.

Heat baked in

The cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases — led by the U.S. and the countries of Europe since the start of the industrial age, and more recently by China — have not only heated up the planet, but also placed it on course to get much worse in the next 20 years, according to the report.

The panel concludes that the average global temperature is very likely to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels by 2040, and to continue to warm for another 10 years. At that threshold, nearly 1 billion people could face life-threatening heat waves at least once every five years, the report finds.

We will confront more record-breaking heat (as in the Pacific Northwest in July and southern Europe last week); more frequent floods (as in India, Germany, and China); more frequent droughts (as in the U.S. West); and rising sea levels that will threaten coastal cities (as in Miami).

Those changes are baked in, and it’s imperative to prepare.

But it is still possible to limit further warming by midcentury and prevent far worse consequences, the report says. At 2 degrees Celsius of warming, the picture gets worse, with more frequent bursts of heat spikes. At 4 degrees, the world is unrecognizable.

The report’s authors show each scenario as if holding up a set of binoculars to see the road ahead, and the paths that branch off.

Which way to go?

It’s up to the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations and companies to determine which path to take. Limiting temperature rise requires big structural changes to the way the world produces electricity, heats buildings, moves around and produces food.

So the choice before those leaders boils down to this: They could pursue policies that inject more planet-warming gases into the atmosphere and warm the planet further. Or they could replace fossil fuels with clean energy and stop mowing down forests. Technologically that’s all feasible, but it hasn’t happened — not nearly fast enough — which is why we are in this predicament.

The U.S. has promised to reduce its emissions by around 40 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The European Union and Britain have more ambitious targets for emission reductions. And, unlike the U.S., the European countries have enshrined those commitments into law.

China, which today accounts for roughly 30 percent of global greenhouse gases, has said only that its emissions will reach a peak before 2030. India, which accounts for around 6 percent today, has said it would sharply increase renewable energy sources but nothing about when its emissions would start declining.

This report is hardly the first such detailed assessment of climate risks. Scientists have repeatedly offered these binoculars, and many politicians have repeatedly ignored them. The question now is whether citizens, having seen the risks close up, will force their leaders to act. “For far too long, policymakers have placed their short-term political interests and the greed of corporations ahead of the needs of their constituents,” Rachel Cleetus, climate policy director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said.

You can read more about the report.

(New York Times)

* * *


  1. Professor Cosmos August 9, 2021

    Does anyone know where Dr. Who’s telephone booth is? I need it to attend last Friday’s Art Walk.

    August 28 is the date for the Ukiah streetscape celebration. The mural will be part of that.

    From July 30 thru Aug 7, 333 people here attained fully vaccinated status. 51.82%

    In regional news, Danny Sheehan has recently been discussing plans for the community center/college at the “castle” in Lucerne, with first a virtual college set up as that Lucerne venue undergoes some remodeling work. There also have been only limited activities there during the pandemic. Sheehan’s plans would put Lucerne in a major spotlight.

  2. Rye N Flint August 9, 2021


    WTF was with all the crazy drivers this weekend? What’s with all the big rigs flying through Hopland and Laytonville? I saw the CHP pull over 3 water haulers near the 101 and 162 intersection on Friday! I know they are out there doing something.

    “Big-rig collision blocks U.S. 101 in both directions 3 miles south of Laytonville — victim transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital

    UPDATE: 5:15 p.m. — At least one victim was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, and CHP officers are attempting to find out more about the extent of their injuries. Roughly 40 gallons of diesel fuel and four gallons of oil have spilled out onto the roadway. Information about the cleanup effort was not immediately available.”

    • Harvey Reading August 9, 2021

      S-it, it’s been like that for over a year here in fascistlandia, seven days a week.

  3. Miranda Edison August 9, 2021

    Dear Editors;
    I was wondering if maybe once a week instead of yesterday’s catch we could have “Today’s Heroes.” To my my these include firefighters, EMT folks, health care nurses and doctors, and also just random folks doing a good deed.

    Thank you!

    • Marmon August 9, 2021

      This is the AVA, not the UDJ. If you want fluff, stick with the Journal.


    • Mark Scaramella August 9, 2021

      Dear Ms. Edison: 1. Every year (except for covid/2020 of course) we cover the AV Firefighters awards. 2. As for the Catch of the Day: I suggest you revise your perspective and a. Think of it as an art form rather than a literal downer; and b. Realize that most of the catch is for non-serious stuff and it could be a lot worse. In other words, enjoy!

    • James Luther August 9, 2021

      Dear Ms. Edison:

      I imagine that many of the people pictured in “Catch of the Day” must feel it impossible to live down or rise above. If all you’re asking for is a little balance in the way people are portrayed and perhaps permanently cast, I agree with you.

      • Lazarus August 9, 2021

        In the past, a Booking Photo could have been one of the worse days in a person’s life, and the photo could confirm that.
        But now, it seems, with many in the COTD hit parade, it’s just another day. I see a lot of dead eyes…
        As always,

  4. chuck dunbar August 9, 2021


    Away for a moment from the woes of this world:
    You Tube videos: One of the finest uses of this medium is to venture back in time, in this case 40 or so years, to watch great musical performances. (Needless to say, a glass of wine, or some other substance, enhances the experience.) Here is the young Van Morrison in his prime—deep, deep into the music and backed by great bands. He sings his heart out in a song of romantic yearning:

    Version #1: “Angeliou,” Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ., 10/6/79, 9:04.

    Version #2: “Angeliou,” Montreux, 6/18/80, 9:03. The instrumental work on this one is gorgeous; the musicians’ smiles say a lot.

    I’m sure there are other fine versions of this song, but these 2 are stand-outs.

    (For Steve Heilig, a true lover of Van Morrison’s work, and for anyone who has been moved by this man’s vision and artistry.)

    • Stephen Rosenthal August 9, 2021

      “for anyone who has been moved by this man’s vision”

      I’ve been moved by this man’s vision – about as far away as possible. Van Morrison is a vehement and, frankly, vile Covid denier and anti-vaxxer. No denying his musical talents (Eric Clapton’s, too), but with their message and platform these people are contributing to the spread of the pandemic and must be stopped in the only way they’ll understand, viz., their bank accounts.

      • chuck dunbar August 9, 2021

        I agree, Stephen, regarding his recent BS regarding Covid issues, have only seen snippets of it and was annoyed and shocked. In actuality, he has always been a kind of nasty guy in ordinary life, as is widely know, So by his “vision,” I was referring only to his musical vision way back in time…

          • Stephen Rosenthal August 9, 2021

            Good riddance to them. Public health orders don’t work like that. You don’t give people the choice. That’s how you end pandemics.

            Governments have a responsibility to protect public health. Governments are not violating “human rights” to protect public health.

            Mask and vaccine mandates have become a public health and workplace safety issue. And they are not optional. That’s why they’re called “mandates.” If people don’t like them they can move to Texas or Florida where they don’t care whether citizens live or die.

            And as for “MY BODY, MY CHOICE”, how come these hypocritical morons don’t share the same viewpoint when it comes to a woman’s right to choose?

        • Stephen Rosenthal August 9, 2021

          I’ll admit to liking his music, but can’t tolerate the man. A friend of mine saw Van in concert at the SF Masonic Auditorium, although calling it a concert is a stretch. Van was drunk and slobbered through an hour long set, walked off the stage and didn’t return for an encore. I endured a similar experience at a Ramblin’ Jack Elliot appearance at Sweetwater in Mill Valley. But at least Jack wasn’t a mean drunk and it didn’t cost me $60.

          • Marmon August 9, 2021

            I posted this yesterday before all you went crazy again. I think this song should played to any and all migrants legal or not legal just to put things in perspective.



  5. John McCowen August 9, 2021

    Mark Scaramella:

    You wrote: “Back in 2009, when the State Water Board told Russian River Grape Growers…they would have to prepare their own frost protection water plans to prevent them from turning on all their frost protection pumps at the same time thus stranding endangered fish in what’s left of public rivers and streams, the Mendo wine mob screamed bloody murder at having to prepare their own plans to coordinate their pumping….”

    In fact, frost protection plans that protected fish were successfully implemented prior to the hearing you describe. Following a single instance of stranding, the upper Russian River water diverters, under the umbrella of the Upper Russian River Stewardship Alliance (URSA) quickly agreed on protocols for staggered diversions coordinated with releases from the dam. The dispute had more to do with the Water Board targeting frost water, a recognized beneficial use, regardless of the source of the water.

    The comment that upper Russian River grape growers diverted 220 acre feet a day is also inaccurate. That was the total released, a good portion of which is required to meet instream flow requirements of 25 cfs at the Healdsburg gauge. In addition to Ag use, several cities have approved diversions for municipal uses. Evaporation and evapotranspiration, although relatively minor, also play a part.

    The previous curtailment order only affected appropriative water rights. The most recent one applies to riparian and pre-1914 water rights. Then there’s the issue of surface water vs. percolated groundwater. It’s tempting to boil water rights issues down to soundbites but reality is far more complex.

    • George Hollister August 9, 2021

      Your last line is the most pertinent. Speaking for myself, it is very easy to stray from reality when generalizing about water in the West. Everywhere is different.

      • Harvey Reading August 9, 2021

        Enjoy your dream world, old man.

      • Tim McClure August 9, 2021

        The Intergovernmental panel on climate change sixth assessment report is here and it does not look good! JAG heads up, the you know what has hit the fan! Your contention that logging must continue because that is all we know how to do is completely out of sync with reality. And how can you possibly know what the forest ecosystem was like 10,000 years ago? This is a new day with completely new data. The intact forest ecosystem is our only hope, logging has brought us the infernos we are witnessing today. Scientific fact: when the mature forest is logged the earth becomes drier, wind velocity increases and the propensity for catastrophic wildfires increases.

  6. Harvey Reading August 9, 2021

    US Military Spending Cartoon

    Whaddya expect? Remember, we’re the indispensable ones, the exceptional ones! LOL.

  7. Kathy August 9, 2021

    The BOS General Governance standing committee agenda included a discussion on BOS special assignments, approval of draft meeting minutes and a review of the social service and HHSA active contracts
    on today’s 8/9/21 agenda.

    Introduced by deputy CEO Darcie Antle, Jenine Miller, Bekkie Emery, Jeffrey Champion and Megan Van Sant reviewed the Social services/HHSA contracts with this sub committee. They discussed the need for retroactive contracts, which are generally due to patient levels of care in Life or death situations.

    Supervisor Mulheren asked for better updates on ‘who is doing what’ with Mental and Behavioral health services, especially in relation to the schools and youth services in light of the tragic death of a local teen over this past weekend. Dr. Miller is working on a flow chart that describes services for various populations, including schools, to be added to their webpage, and made a part of their public outreach campaigns. Dr. Miller agreed that this item could be presented at the annual budget hearings, with ongoing quarterly updates.

    Supervisor Williams asked that the list provide future outcomes for line items: who is monitoring the line item (who is the responsible staff if there’s a question), whether or not it is a success, a thumbs up/thumbs down; and a way to provide the data and additional services, contract merge potential etc. Dr. Miller replied that she can provide this information, and that they DO try to micromanage their contracts. Supervisor Williams asked A question if all contractors are equal or some or better than others.
In answering, Bekkie Emery started her data analysis by initially looking at the county’s CalFresh program. Emory agrees contract monitoring including orientations and outreach to the community, better identification of services available to the community, submissions help and liaisons for the public. It is successful and CalFresh applications have increased locally. (The county is going to post an 3-year RFP for these services).

    Both Supervisors agreed that people need more information given to the public on CalFresh and other services and programs. Megan Van Sant gave an example of challenges to a measurement metric for some services, including large variations with National events. “We evaluate contractor competency as well”.

    Megan Van Sant added that funding sources for state approval for backdated contracts that are 1 1/2 years old for homeless related services, where we couldn’t wait for authority or we would lose funding – a situation which is out of our local control. “If we can’t do retro contracts, it would leave vulnerable people without services.” The report was accepted, with a recommendation to have it included in an annual budget review with quarterly updates to BOS, adding a column about ‘responsible staff’; Staff will also add the date of the contract and staff will work on providing a link to the current contract on a web-based information page for the public. Motion carried unanimously.

    There was no public comment on the item.

    You can watch the 1/2 hour meeting on YouTube

    Maybe somebody has time to total up the total $ amount (rounded to the nearest million would be great) of these contracts, as it wasn’t listed on the agenda item

  8. Nathan Duffy August 9, 2021

    RE: Fish Rock Mountain Bike Race. Wow very impressive thats great time by Sandy and Amity. And a finish at the brewery just perfect, wish I could be there. I used to do the Firehouse 50 back in the 80’s and 90’s in Grand View, Wisconsin. Take me home country road, so much fun!!!

  9. Nathan Duffy August 9, 2021

    RE:Online comment of the Day. No the Climate Czar John Kerry reportedly showed up in his private jet.

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