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Mendocino County Today: March 22, 2013

WILLITS WEEKLY'S CAT LEE reporting from the CHP press conference Thursday regarding the Willits Bypass and related protest(s):

Eight arrests, no violence, no resistance, no destruction of equipment or damage to land. Protesters transported to Mendocino County Jail. About 20 CHP officers brought in from out of Mendocino County; here “as long as we’re needed.”

A statement from Steve Krul, Public Information Officer, Ukiah CHP, regarding today’s arrests of eight protesters: “There are No Trespassing signs posted throughout the project, and our intent is to enforce that. So what we’ve done with the people who are trespassers is we’ve given them many opportunities, many dispersal orders and many opportunities to do that on their own. If they refuse to do that, then they’re being arrested for trespassing... The seven that I know of have all been for trespassing. I understand there has been an eighth arrest, but I don’t have any information on the eighth arrest.”

Those arrested were transported to Mendocino County Jail.

Seven arrests, as confirmed by CHP: Tara (or Cara?) Dragoni, no city listed; Jamie D. Chevalier - Willits; Matthew J. Caldwell, Willits; Sara L. Grusky, Willits; William E. (‘Will’) Parrish, Ukiah; Elizabeth K. Riegle (sp?), Forestville; Sandra E. Marshall, Redwood Valley.

When asked by the KZYX reporter “what provided the tipping point for you [CHP] to start arresting today,” Krul responded: “They’re here to work without being interfered with. We respect the right of protesters to exercise their first amendment but if what they are doing exceeds what is intended by those rights or the right to demonstrate or if violence were ensued, we would take action to protect lives and property.”

PD reporter questioned if there was any exit strategy for removing Warbler from the tree. What’s your plan?

Krul: “Our hope is that they will self-evacuate themselves. We will give them plenty of opportunity to do that. If that doesn’t happen, then we have plans in place to address that.”

I asked him about the gate that was reportedly installed which would separate Warbler and the tree she is in from her supporters, and he responded, “I am not sure what they installed at that end. I’m not down there.”

I asked if there was any resistance from those arrested. Krul said, “The seven that were arrested, no resistance at all. First and foremost, above all, we want people to be safe. We’re here to provide a service. We’re here to make sure the public is made safe. The equipment out here is dangerous. The contractors out here have a job to do. The Highway Patrol respects lawful demonstrations, and they have the right to protest.”

I asked if there was any evidence of the trespassers doing anything destructive to equipment or to the land.” He said: “Not to my knowledge.” I followed up with, “Then it was JUST trespassing?” He said. “The first seven … they were arrested for trespassing, no destruction of property, no violence, no resisting arrest, nothing like that.”

When asked by the KZYX reporter if the demonstrators would be allowed to legally stand on the outside of the fenced-in area [between the fence and the road by DripWorks]. Krul said he would have to refer that question to Caltrans: “I don’t have the answer to that.”

One of the PD reporters said she had heard that the seventh arrestee had been dragged off kicking and screaming, and asked if he had heard that or had any information on that, and he said: “I have not.”

I asked him where all these CHP officers came from today, and if this was going to cause a shortage of officers in other areas. He said: “We are a statewide organization. We are trained to respond to many different events throughout the state. Because of that, we have similarly trained officers that are able to respond when needed. This is one of those cases where not everyone that you see here is from here. The motoring public is still being protected. There are still officers working the road doing other duties, other daily duties that would normally be done.”

He was asked by the KZYX reporter for numbers of officers from today’s action and how many are from outside our county, and he said he did not have those numbers, no numbers on units or anything like that.

I asked how long this level of CHP presence is going to be in effect. He said, “We’ll be out here as long as we’re needed. How long that is, I don’t know.”

When asked about getting numbers to the media concerning the number of officers involved and how many are from out of the area, Krul said: “I can attempt to do that. My bet is that if it involves any sort of tactical information, I won’t give that to you. But I will inquire. Yes.”

I asked if getting Warbler out of the tree is a priority, or if there was a tactical plan of action to do that. Krul said, “We would like to see everybody leave on their own, so that work can go forward.”

There was a brief side conversation between two reporters that perhaps two others have gone up into the tree or some tree other tree, within the last three to five days. I haven’t heard any such talk, and I haven’t seen anyone in the past couple of days besides Warbler.

This stimulated me to ask if all who were trespassing were removed except Warbler, and Krul didn’t know. I had heard in the early morning that people had gotten in to the area before all the blockades, and I was wondering if all had been removed or arrested. Krul said: “It’s a fluid day. I don’t know everything that goes on when we’re out here. I just know seven were arrested prior to us meeting here.”

We were then escorted out of the fenced area. No one was allowed to wander or explore the area. The email announcing the press conference had announced the location as the Caltrans HQ on East Hill Road, but it was moved to a different site on East Hill Road. The protesters that had gathered at the Caltrans HQ had come to the site during the media update, and then Sara Grusky of Save Little Lake Valley — who had been arrested early this morning — walked up to join the protesters. — Cat Lee

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Tom Burnap, Self Portrait
Tom Burnap, Self Portrait

THOMAS HENRY BURNAP appeared last Sunday in the parking lot of Coast Hospital where he shot himself. Mr. Burnap, a local artist of Fort Bragg, was born Dec. 31, 1948. A full obituary will follow. According to his website Mr. Burnap was born to American parents in Osaka, Japan in 1948, and spent his childhood in Texas and Southern California. His mother, a successful commercial artist, encouraged his artistic exploration throughout his formative school years. He commenced his own career as a licensed sign painter and freelance artist, but eventually refined his fine art style attending California State University at Fullerton. The incredible beauty of Northern California drew him to the coastal area of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County in 1970, where he resided until his untimely death. Mr. Burnap primarily painted with oils favoring the genre of subtractive painting, an old glazing technique used for centuries to achieve the subtle effects his work so skillfully demonstrates. A new piece starts in the field where nature dictates the momentary mood and inspiration, then is consummated in the studio from reference. The canvas is stretched over mahogany plywood on redwood supports; providing a substantial base that can withstand the heavy (palette) knife work that follows. A white oil lead primer is laid on and Windsor/Newton oils are used with turps and Liquin©. While somewhat volatile, Tom believes the color fastness and malleability achieved through this process to be unequaled.

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FairgroundsTHE MENDOCINO COUNTY FAIR, based in Boonville, is struggling. State subsidies have been slashed, and the Fair, much anticipated every Fall by thousands of people and central to life in Mendocino County for three-quarters of a century, is trying to bring in substitute revenues. We were kicking around ideas last week, and here's what we came up with: The Fair's website needs an overhaul with a view to its becoming more of a regularly updated outreach device; the Fair could use a publicist, although the position would have to be funded somehow, perhaps on the grant model of a certain percentage of the business raised by the publicist went to him; cheaper premium books (the higher they go the less affordable they become, thus defeating their purpose); outreach to the greater Bay Area's infinite number of clubs, family associations, recreational groups etc. who are likely to be interested in commodious, pleasant, weekend facilities. We're aware that the Fair staff is already running at full throttle and all this stuff would need a person to do it, but given that Boonville is only a couple hours drive north (and west) of large population centers and offers, in the Boonville Fairgrounds, one of the few secure and happy venues capable of accommodating thousands of people well, heck, we should be able to pack 'em in and make up for the loss in state funds. (If the Visit Mendocino people would put down their wineglasses for a little while, they might pay a little attention to marketing the County Fair too. It brings in more people than the Crab and Mushroom festivals combined.)

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SUDDENLINK SABBED AGAIN. FOR THE THIRD TIME IN A MONTH. Suddenlink Out Again, Report Customers All Around the County  News On Wednesday afternoon we saw reports from Ferndale, Eureka, McKinleyville, Fieldbrook, Arcata … more or less everywhere. Best guess would be that the Suddenlink Saboteur has struck again, but we’ll see.

UPDATE, 5:21pm Wednesday: People are saying that they’re coming back online. Short one. (Courtesy, Hank Sims, LostCoastOutpost.com)

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SIDE-BY-SIDE movie announcements in this week's SF Bay Guardian announce these two releases: 'Manson Family' and 'Spring Breakers.' Given the choice the Manson Family doesn't look bad. The media are full of spring break stories accompanied of course by the point of these stories — barely clad young flesh. Two local hooks: Many people are aware that the Manson Family briefly made its rural headquarters in the Anderson Valley in a then-ramshackle house on Gwschend Road near Navarro. That would have been about 1967 or '68 before Chuck led his gang into random murders. The man himself was arrested near Ukiah and held briefly on suspicion of being a hippie. The second hook, college 'students' running amok in Mexico, translates to lots of us as mass evidence that lots of young people go to college simply because they can, not out of any scholarly aptitude. Boonville High School is always quick to advertise its academic success by the number of its graduates who go on to higher learning, although how many go on to college and stay there long enough to graduate is unknown because the answer to that dangerous question is not pursued by the school's propagandists, probably for fear of what they'd find. Anymore, college, for young people with vague intentions of some kind of liberal arts diploma is positively unwise given how much it costs and given the scarcity of jobs there are for people with college credentials in blah-blah or folderol. If you want to be a physicist or an engineer or a doctor, you're going to have to go to classes beyond high school. But if you're going for Spring Break, well, the Army is a much better choice, although in Mendocino County — the Anderson Valley, certainly — liberal sentiment overwhelmingly discourages young people from military service, thereby excluding a viable option for a young person of ordinary means, which is most young people.

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ATTORNEY GENERAL KAMALA D. HARRIS Thursday announced the results of a multi-year operation that resulted in six arrests and the seizure of nearly 3,000 marijuana plants and 44 weapons, including five assault weapons. The investigation by the North State Marijuana Investigation Team, a California DOJ-led task force, targeted a ring that cultivated and trafficked large amounts of marijuana to be sold illegally on streets across the United States. ”California Department of Justice-led task forces target criminal enterprises running drugs, guns and human beings up and down California,” said Attorney General Harris. “In this case, we have shut down an illegal, multi-state operation and seized drugs, guns and assault weapons.” On Tuesday, NSMIT agents served 12 search warrants at several locations, in Humboldt County, San Francisco and Sonoma. Agents also served two additional follow-up warrants later in the day at Coldwell Banker office and a storage unit in Fortuna. As a result of the search warrants, NSMIT agents seized the following: 2,896 marijuana plants, 44 weapons (9 handguns, 9 shotguns, 5 assault rifles, 21 rifles), 15 high-capacity magazines, approximately 400 pounds of processed marijuana, 2 ounces of cocaine, 2 ounces of mushrooms and $74,000 in cash. Six individuals were arrested during yesterday's operation: Erik Sordal, 31, charged with child endangerment, cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and possession of assault weapons; Jamie Gilbert, 35, charged with possession of marijuana for sale; Scott Moore, 31, charged with possession of marijuana for sale; Emory “Kip” Ayers, 64, charged with possession of cocaine; Shawn Mitten, 35, charged with possession of marijuana for sale; and Alvin Cody Machado, 27, charged with a probation violation, possession of cocaine. Jamie Gilbert was booked into the San Francisco County Jail; Emory Ayers and Alvin Machado were booked into the Sonoma County Jail; and the others were booked into the Humboldt County Jail. In 2010, NSMIT agents received a tip and launched an investigation. The DOJ task force was assisted by the Alcohol Beverage Control, California Highway Patrol, Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, DEA, Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County District Attorney's Office, Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, Siskiyou County-wide Interagency Narcotic Task Force, and Trinity County Sheriff's Office.

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STATEMENT OF THE DAY: “I could not bear the humiliation of being an unpublished novelist in a country where bad writing, as it seemed to me, had become institutionalized.” — Greg Baxter

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LETTER-OF-THE-WEEK

Editor: 25 years ago, I was the managing editor of the News-Times of Danbury, a local newspaper that circulates in Newtown, Connecticut, and that has been covering the town for more than a century, alongside the Newtown Bee. My wife, Jacqueline Smith, is the current managing editor, and she helped direct coverage of the massacre of twenty students and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She supervised the reporters writing about those who died. They composed dignified, beautifully written profiles of the children and their teachers. When a young reporter called my wife from a mourning Newtown neighborhood and shakily related how a man had yelled at her, called her names, and told her to get out, her editor reminded her of the paper's obligation to inform tens of thousands of readers of the who, what, when, where, and why of the story. When you are the local paper, the responsibility to serve your readers is heightened, because you know — as the national and international media that must parachute in do not — that the local paper will still be here, still reporting on the community so shaken. Journalists should not harass but inquire; they seek the truth, or what is as close to the truth as they can get. If you choose to be a first responder in law enforcement or emergency services, God bless you. If you choose to be a storyteller, God bless you. Just as firefighters and EMTs must, a newspaper's first responders in storytelling must hold at bay all the terrible emotions and go about their jobs as professionally as possible. (James H. Smith, Oxford, Connecticut)

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SAMANTHA DELVALLE, 22, and Raymond Mabery, 21, both of Philo, were arrested the night of March 7th for child endangerment when the 2-year-old boy's grandmother, visiting the Delvalle-Mabery home, smelled alcohol in the child's vomit. Rushed to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center by the grandmother, the toddler's blood-alcohol was measured at what could have been a lethal 0.16. The boy also had methamphetamine in his system. Ms. Delvalle was in court Wednesday to set a date for her preliminary hearing on the endangerment charges. She is being held on $50,000 bail. Mabery's bail was also set at $50,000, which he posted last week. He was released pending court appearances. Mabery and Delvalle are not a couple, and Mabery is not the father of the child and, from everything we can gather so far, not responsible for the child's ingestion of alcohol and methamphetamine.

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THE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION announced Wednesday that officials will postpone collection of a controversial fee designed to pay for fire prevention work in areas where Cal Fire is responsible for protecting the state's wildlands. State officials reported that the high volume of appeals have created a heavy workload for state officials and a delay may give Cal Fire more time to make sure officials are using accurate billing information. The fire prevention fee is a $150 charge to be levied on homes within the “State Responsibility Area,” where Cal Fire is tasked with preventing and fighting fires. The area includes several places up and down the state, including much of the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the fee. The group argues the fire prevention fee should be regarded as a tax. The bill that created the fee passed both houses of the Legislature by a simple majority instead of the two-thirds majority required for taxes, so the Howard Jarvis group is contending the bill never really became law. "Until the Courts decide the constitutionality of this legislation, it remains the law and the Board has no alternative but to follow the law which gives Cal Fire the authority to direct the board to delay the collection of the fee. Time will determine whether these funds were necessary to help prevent and manage fires in certain areas, and whether the law is constitutional. If the law is found to be unconstitutional, we will not permit these fees to further burden feepayers," Board of Equalization chairman Jerome E. Horton said in a news release. The courts are not the only venue where the fee is being challenged. Multiple lawmakers, including Assemblymen Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, and Tim Donnelly, R-Hesperia, have introduced bills seeking to eliminate the fee.

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ALL ABOUT MONEY, hosted by John Sakowicz, returns to KZYX, on Friday, 9am, with a special edition show about the bankruptcy of the Coast Hospital with guests Michael Dell'Ara, former Coast Hospital Board member, and Mark Scaramella of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, whose reporting of the Hospital's bankruptcy has been widely followed.. We also hope to hear from Dr. Richard Miller, and possibly other call-ins. Time permitting, we'll also give a quick report on the March 14 meeting of the Mendocino County's $213 million Treasury Pool. Listener call-in number is: 895-2448.

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THE FRIENDS OF OUTLET CREEK are planning on taking their objection to the Grist Creek Aggregates proposal to add a concrete batch plant to the services on their Hwy 162 gravel yard. They just re-opened the dormant gravel plant about 2 miles on HWY 162 off Hwy 101. A concrete batch plant will virtually destroy the return on the salmon run to Outlet Creek and the tributaries up in Little Lake Valley. Also cause great harm to the other creatures. My guess is after this is approved they will request the addition of supplying asphalt. Besides objecting to the concrete batch plant we feel the owners should, at a minimum prepare a EIR to expose and address the concerns this operation will bring to this area. We have made comment and the decision has been delayed. We have decided to make an appearance at the BOS meeting Tuesday. March 26. Further information, read below. Bring friends.

Friends of Outlet Creek will be attending the next Board of Supervisors meeting, Tuesday, March 26. Start time is 9:00 a.m. Public comments are heard at the beginning of the meeting and we will be making ours on behalf of Outlet Creek. We will also be handing out info. packets to the board members, press, and hopefully to the right, honorable Jared Huffman, our Congressman, who will be speaking on an unrelated matter. He has recently been appointed to the Wild Salmon caucus. It is crucial to be there before the 9:00 a.m. start. ( 8:50 a.m. is good ) We will be finished with our business before 9:30. Our goal is to have 20 friends at the meeting. We feel this will make a powerful statement, and help prevent the building of a concrete plant on Outlet Creek. Please let me know if you plan to attend. The BOS chambers are on Low Gap Rd. in the county complex.

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Kenyon
Kenyon
Mendez
Mendez

JUBA LEE KENYON JR., 34, of Fort Bragg, is being sought in connection with what seems to have been a one-stop tweek shop located in Kenyon's home on North Harrison Street between East Alder and East Redwood. According to Lt. John Naulty of the Fort Bragg Police Department, "Officers found a room outfitted like a drug store with supplies and a significant amount of methamphetamine in four chunks, each about three inches long and half-inch thick." Police were at the home to conduct a routine probation search because Kenyon is on probation for a theft conviction. Kenyon was not at home, but Naomi Elysia Mendez, 32, was. She was arrested on charges alleging possession of marijuana and methamphetamine for sale.

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SURPRISE!

ECMCletter

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TEXT OF SENATOR NOREEN EVANS’ 3-21-13 Letter to Caltrans.

March 21, 2013 Contact: Teala Schaff

p. 916-651-4002 c. 916-541-5231

Evans Statement on Willits Bypass Project Status

Sacramento, CA—Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) today issued the following statement today regarding her receipt of a response letter from Caltrans on the Willits Bypass Project:

“Caltrans has responded to my letter and I am passing on the response to Willits City officials and constituents who have contacted me with their concerns about the project.”

“One of the major concerns was that Caltrans was planning to fill in wetlands for Phase 2 of the project, adding another two lanes. Caltrans has clarified in their response letter “that no additional fill will be placed for the second phase of the bypass as part of the first phase of the project.”

“This is a project that has both wide support and opposition, and there remain disagreements about its benefits, potential adverse effects and alternatives. Nonetheless, Caltrans has received the required approvals from funding and regulatory agencies to move forward, and Caltrans intends to begin construction. Protesters have been asked to disperse the site due to safety concerns, although alternative protest sites have been offered and declined. Opponents of the current construction plan have failed to get a preliminary injunction to stop the project, but ultimately the project’s fate will be decided in court.

“I look forward to meeting with Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty on April 2 to discuss the continued status of the project, Caltrans’ efforts to mitigate environmental issues, and what may be done to further alleviate traffic in Willits.”

(State Senator Noreen Evans represents the Second Senatorial District, including all or portions of the Counties of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Marin (caretaker), Napa, Solano and Sonoma. Senator Evans Chairs the Senate Committee on Judiciary and is the outgoing Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus.)

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CONDALEEZA RICE, George Schultz and other of our bloodier imperial personages, pop up as honored citizens all over the Bay Area, not to mention the rest of the country and the world they preyed on. They live here, of course, and of course they're affiliated with the global menace of a university at Stanford. Condi helped destroy Iraq, and still says the transparently false claim that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction was the best information she and the rest of the Bush Gang had at the time. They just had to act fast before Bin Laden popped US again, you see. But thousands of Bay Area people not only knew instantly that the WMD pretext was untrue, and had been reported as untrue by British journalists, and thousands of protesters were soon in the streets, and a couple thousand arrested, so many arrested most of them were herded into the warehouses on the Embarcadero. Ten years later, Iraq remains in the state of civil war that had been predicted if the U.S. invaded, thousands of Iraqis have been killed and Iraq pretty much destroyed as a functioning entity. 4,300 American troops are dead, many more wounded and we've spent something like $2 trillion without even securing the oil fields for Standard. Way to go, Condi! It's as if a mass amnesia has infected this country, and on we go murderously interfering everywhere on the globe, while here in the home of the brave and the land of the free we're coming apart at our civic seams. Condi! George! You may have Stanford buffaloed, but you are what you are, and we know what you've done to US.

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ELK'S ANNUAL RUMMAGE SALE! The Greenwood Civic Club invites you to take part in the 26th annual Elk Rummage Sale to be held Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7 from 10am to 4pm at the Greenwood Community Center in downtown Elk. Discover antiques, collectables, clothing, books, toys, furniture, tools and more at bargain prices. Join "The Great Race" Sunday afternoon-all you can stuff in a bag for $2.00. While shopping feast on baked goods and tempting lunch items. Proceeds from the annual event benefit community projects, children's summer program and student scholarships. Donations in good condition are welcome and can be dropped off at the Community Center on April 3 and 4 from 10am to 3pm. For more information or pickup assistance, call Rae at 877-3224. The Greenwood Civic Club is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible. Submitted by: Mary O'Brien for the Greenwood Civic Club PO Box 282 Elk, CA 95432

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BAY DELTA CONSERVATION PLAN WILL FAIL TO RESTORE THE ESTUARY

Water Board must restore San Joaquin River flows!

by Dan Bacher

Tuesday, March 20 was a busy day for Restore the Delta (RTD), a coalition opposed to the Brown administration's rush to construct massive peripheral tunnels to divert millions of acre-feet of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to corporate agribusiness, oil companies and Southern California developers.

Representatives of the group, along with fishermen, environmentalists, and other Delta advocates, testified at both a public meeting in West Sacramento to discuss the first three chapters of revised Bay Delta Conservation Plan proposal and a State Water Resources Control Board (SWRB) meeting in Sacramento hearing regarding San Joaquin River flows.

Restore the Delta criticized the revised BDCP proposal as still being "fatally flawed” - and blasted the water board for presiding over years of water quality violations on the San Joaquin River and failing to increase river flows sufficiently to restore salmon and steelhead.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, told the water board public hearing in the morning, "The BDCP will simply fail to restore the estuary. The proposed plan for the San Joaquin also fails to rectify years of water quality violations in the San Joaquin River and South Delta."

"The plan fails to balance the public trust. And it fails to protect all parties equally dependent on the health of the San Joaquin River, by giving priority status and protection to upstream users - all at the expense of water users on the lower San Joaquin River, Delta farmers, Delta residents, and Delta fisheries," she said.

"The San Joaquin River plan does, however, ensure that water exporters do not have to give up one drop of water for river and Delta restoration," Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla continued. "And it sets a dangerous precedent for how flow standards for the Sacramento River will be set if the twin tunnels are constructed and brought into operation."

She also criticized language in the BDCP Administrative draft, in the water facilities and operations section.

"The language does nothing to reassure us that this project will be operated any differently than the pumps are at Tracy in the present," she noted. "An adaptive management process for which a standard for cannot be set because agreement cannot be reached on the importance of spring and fall outflows is not a plan."

Barrigan-Parrilla also zeroed in on the enormous cost of the canal at a time when the state is in economic crisis.

"Asking the public through higher water rates and/or taxes to pay for theses tunnels, probably the first or second most costly public works project in the history of California, without understanding in advance how they will be operated, is incomprehensible. We are told to trust the regulating agencies. Well we are all learning today how well that is working out for the San Joaquin River."

When Brown he says the tunnels will cost $14 billion, he is not giving the full cost of project. The cost will exceed $60 billion by the time financing, cost overruns, mitigation, operations and maintenance are counted. Californians will spend billions with not a drop more of water delivered to our cities and no benefits to the environment.

An economic analysis released on August 7, 2012 by Food and Water Watch and C-WIN (the California Water Impact Network) reveals that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) customers could be on the line for $2,003 to $9,182 per customer.

The meetings took place as the Brown administration appears dead set on driving Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations over the abyss of extinction.

Between 2000 and 2011, more than 130,000,000 fish were "salvaged" in the massive state and federal pumps diverting water to corporate agribusiness and southern California, according to a white paper written by Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA). Considering that recent studies point out that 5 to 10 times more fish are lost than salvaged, the actual number of fish lost could be 1.3 billion or higher. (http://www.restorethedelta.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/CSPA-BDCP-Fish-Screens-Revised.pdf)

The carnage in the pumps has impacted 42 species, including Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Sacramento splittail, green sturgeon, striped bass, largemouth bass American shad and threadfin shad.

Record water amounts of water were exported from the Delta under the Brown administration in 2011 – 6,520,000 acre-feet, 217,000 acre feet more than the previous record of 6,303,000 acre feet set in 2005 under the Schwarzenegger administration. The massive diversion of water resulted in the record "salvage" of nearly 9 million splittail, a fish formerly listed under the Endangered Species Act and delisted during a political scandal under the Bush administration, and over 2 million other fish.

While fall-run Chinook salmon numbers have improved from the collapse of 2008-2009, allowing recreational and commercial fishing to resume on the California and Southern Oregon coast, the species is still in big trouble. The Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 set a goal of doubling Chinook salmon and other anadromous fish species by 2002. (http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05/07/carnage-in-the-pump

The salmon population now stands at only 20 percent of the population goal required by federal law. There was a steady decline of fish from 2003 to 2010, including a record low of 7 percent. The closest we got to meeting the salmon doubling goal was in 2002, when the index peaked at 64.33 percent of the doubling goal.

Rather than improving the dismal state of California fish populations, the construction of the peripheral tunnels would likely lead to the extinction of Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt and other species, according to agency and independent scientists. (http://www.bay.org/assets/BDCP%20EA%20Briefing%20Paper%2022912.pdf)

As Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader, Winnemem Wintu Tribe, said, “The common people will pay for the tunnels and a few people will make millions. It will turn a once pristine waterway into a sewer pipe. It will be bad for the fish, the ocean and the people of California.”

“The Winnemem Wintu Tribe supports No Tunnels – No Shasta Dam Raise! There should be billions of dollars spent for cleaning up the rivers, not diverting them,” she concluded.

For more information, go to: http://www.restorethedelta.org.

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