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Mendocino County Today: August 5, 2012

THE HIDEOUS McDONALD'S that greets Ukiah's visitors at the 101 off and on ramps at North Orchard and East Perkins will be replaced by a slightly less hideous McDonald's if the Ukiah Planning Commission approves.

The new McDonald's would not include that garish fish tank-like play area attached to the old McDonald's into which few children are known to have ventured in the 40-year history of the restaurant even if they survived their Happy Meals. The new McDonald's, CRM Architects claim, will include more trees and “…will take a major corner and entry to the city of Ukiah that currently has little landscaping, an outdated building and challenging site access and flow, and the end result will be an attractive project that has gone through multiple design stages using sound architectural design strategies.”

ROCKY ANDERSON has dropped out of consideration for California Peace and Freedom nomination president apparently out of deference to the emergence of the Roseanne Barr-Cindy Sheehan ticket. Ms. Stein of the Green Party will be on the California ballot but at least there will be left alternatives to Obama.

NORM DeVALL shares our mystification at “organic” as now applied to confiscated marijuana by the Mendocino Sheriff's Department. When Mr. Jesus Chuy Martinez of Covelo was arrested Thursday, among the charges was “sale/transport/furnish organic drug.” CCOF certified?

A LIGHTNING STORM predicted for today (Saturday) has Mendocino County residents remembering the June 2008 lightning strikes that ignited some 100 fires in Mendocino County that burned thousands of acres of forest. CalFire has issued a red flag warning for Mendocino County and the surrounding NorCal areas that the strikes are expected to hit mostly Saturday afternoon and evening.

LOIS KAZAKOFF of the Chronicle pointed out in Friday's edition of the paper that “Many states (most notably Texas) post checkbook-level financial transactions on state websites and aggregate the data so anyone can see how the state spends. California does make financial data available online, but the documents are scattered across department websites.” It could be done here but for now, and probably for eternity, we'll depend on scandal and after-the-fact audits of hundreds of individual department budgets. Texas achieved total state fiscal transparency for $310,000.

JOHN REDMAN of the Californians for Drug Free Youth cited a California study that found that about 3% of people using medical marijuana had a chronic disease like cancer or AIDS. The average medical marijuana card holder in California is a 32-year-old white male with a history of alcohol and marijuana use.

AND THE REV. SCOTT IMLER, who co-wrote Prop 215 and is an advocate of the limited medical use of marijuana said, in the wake of the federal crackdown on pot dispensaries, “We created Prop 215 so that patients would not have to deal with black market profiteers. But today it is all about the money. Most of the dispensaries operating in California are little more than dope dealers with storefronts.”

REDMAN CONCLUDES: “Selling joints to anyone with a pulse and $200 cash was never the bill of goods that the voters were sold.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Only a few species of shark have been observed mating — the business is very rough. Larger male sharks have to bite or trap the females to keep them around during courtship; marine biologists can tell when a female has been mating because her skin will be raw or bleeding. The process is so violent that, come the mating season, female nurse sharks will stay in shallow water with their reproductive openings pressed firmly to the sea floor. Otherwise they risk falling prey to roaming bands of males who will take turns inserting their claspers in her (the clasper is the shark version of a penis found in a pair behind the pelvic fins. A litter of fifty pups will have anything from two to seven fathers. But the reproductive story gets rougher still. A number of shark species go in for oophagy, or uterine cannibalism. Sand tiger fetuses eat each other in utero, acting out the harshest form of sibling rivalry imaginable. Only two babies emerge, one from each of the mother shark's uteruses: the survivors have eaten everything else. A female sand tiger gives birth to a baby that's already a meter long and an experienced killer.” (Juliet Eilperin)

SHARK ATTACK (1985). The victim, Shirley Ann Durdin, was snorkeling for scallops with her husband, Barry, and a friend, Keith Coventry, out from Wiseman's Beach, Peake Bay, South Australia. Peake Bay had always been a popular picnic spot and the beach was dotted with families, including Mrs. Durdin's four children. It was a beautiful day with clear, calm water. Keith Coventry told me that he was just swimming away after comparing his scallop catch with that of Mrs. Durdin, when he heard a strange sound, but definitely not as the papers reported, terrible screams… “I heard a sound rather like a sharp groan. Turning around I saw Shirley high above the surface. My first thought was how could she lift herself up like that, then a huge fin broke the water. There was some thrashing and the surrounding area turned dark. I instinctively swam toward Shirley, then thought: ‘Hey, what can I do? She's gone.’ Barry was shattered. ‘I must go to Shirley. I must help her,’ he cried, but knowing it was useless, I held him back lest he meet the same terrible fate as his wife. We struggled for a minute, then turned towards the beach. The 120 meters looked like 120 kilometers. I don't think I have ever swum so hard in my life. One of my flippers came off, but I dared not hesitate to retrieve it. The thought of that huge black shark kept me going.’ A Mr. Hirschausen, watching from a nearby cliff, raced to his dinghy at the water's edge. Within minutes, he and a friend had launched his boat and headed towards where he had last seen the woman. Her head and top torso were floating in a pool of blood, but before the rescuers could reach the remains, a great conical nose broke the surface and snatched them down, leaving nothing but empty blood-stained water. A huge search was organized, but only one blue flipper was ever found.”

SHARK ATTACKS — by the staff of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Shark attacks on humans are basically cases of mistaken identity. There are simple ways of reducing the infinitesimal risks, even in waters inhabited by large sharks. Don't swim at dawn or dusk, when many sharks feed. Don't swim in murky water, especially near river mouths. Don't urinate in the water, or swim if you're bleeding. Don't thrash around too much, or swim with a dog, or near schools of fish. Spearfishing, and to a lesser extent surfing, will definitely raise the odds of a bite. Don't wear shark-attracting colors, particularly not the safety yellow favored by coastguards — researchers call it ‘yum-yum yellow.’ Pulling a shark's tail is strongly discouraged. But even if you are attacked, your chances of survival are around 90%. Here is some no-nonsense advice on what to do if the worst happens: We advise a proactive response. Hitting a shark on the nose, ideally with an inanimate object, usually results in the shark temporarily curtailing its attack. One should try to get out of the water at this time. If this is not possible, repeat bangs to the snout may offer temporary restraint, but the result will likely become increasingly less effective. If a shark actually bites, we suggest clawing at its eyes and gills, two sensitive areas. One should not act passively if under attack — sharks, like the Press Democrat, respect size and power.

One Comment

  1. izzy August 5, 2012

    Here’s an idea – turn that big glass box into a thriving grow room! Now that would solve the landscaping problem with a truly indigenous plant, and be an appropriate “entry to the city of Ukiah”. As well as give a whole new meaning to the notion of Quarter Pounder.

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