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Mendocino County Today: July 2, 2013

WILLITS BYPASS PROTESTER Will Parrish, aka Red Tail Hawk, was arrested Monday morning after being cut out of the metal sleeve by which he'd fastened himself some 60 feet above ground on a piece of construction equipment. More than 40 California Highway Patrol officers assembled at the north end of the Bypass site where Parrish was locked down. They were accompanied by two cherry pickers, and soon several officers were aloft and attempting to saw through Parrish's lock down device. As a CHP helicopter hovered over the odd scene, the main body of the CHP contingent kept roughly 20 Bypass protesters away from the extraction effort. A metal saw was unable to penetrate the lock down equipment so the CHP deployed a grinder that finally freed Parrish. Prior to sawing away at the metal encasing Parrish's arm, the extraction team covered him with a protective blanket to protect him from sparks. The extraction took more than an hour before The Hawk was taken into custody along with Amanda Senseman, aka Warbler, who said she was being arrested in solidarity with Parrish. Parrish was taken to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits for a medical evaluation then driven to the Mendocino County Jail and booked for trespassing. He'd been strapped to the equipment just north of Willits since June 20th. A tree sitter continues to occupy a grove slated for destruction.

CaltransHeadless2AS THE CHP pulled The Hawk from his nest, Caltrans commenced pile driving along the route of the Bypass. Hawk had not been re-supplied in a week until CalTrans, tardily aware that a skeleton of a young man dangling from one of their pieces of equipment would present image probs for Big Orange, had relented in allowing Parrish to receive water and food once a day.

IT HAD OCCURRED to us here at the mothership that our star direct action enviro-reporter, might parlay his good looks to become a male version of Julia Butterfly. Of course he'd have had to stay locked down and to have enlarged his platform to accommodate visiting media and movie stars, but the kid does have Butterfly-quality charisma. And she parlayed two years in a redwood tree into quite a lucrative career for herself, peddling new age platitudes and $500 huggsie-wuggsies on into a new Lexus and a home in the Oakland hills.

WillParrishNOT TO BE. As of Monday evening, Parrish was again locked down, but this time in the County Jail where he has been booked on trespass and resisting arrest charges.

THE HAWK had been fastened to the equipment at the Willits bypass for a week to protest the Willits Bypass boondoggle before he was finally allowed to be re-supplied with water and food. An agile comrade had earlier scaled nearby equipment to get Parrish another few days of supplies, but Parrish was up there in bad heat with no water for several days.


THE CLOVERDALE REVEILLE has been sold. Publisher Val H. Hanchett has announced that the ownership of the newspaper is changing hands from one local family to another. Owned by the Hanchett family since 1988, the Reveille will now be owned by Sonoma West Publishers, owners of The Healdsburg Tribune, Windsor Times and Sonoma West Times and News. The new publisher and owner will be Rollie Atkinson and his wife Sarah Bradbury. Atkinson has worked at The Healdsburg Tribune since 1982, assuming ownership in 2000. Neena Hanchett will continue in her various roles for the Cloverdale Reveille under the new ownership, serving as Associate Publisher.


A BAD THING HAPPENED in central Boonville about 4pm Sunday, but by 9pm a very good thing had happened at the same place. The bad happened when a Subaru, driven by a woman later arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, and containing three teenage girls, rear-ended a pick-up driven by a dad with his wife and their little girl as passengers. The pick-up was struck with so much force it was shoved off the highway and into a Fairgrounds walkway pole, while the Subaru veered and sheered Lauren's overhang, taking out a combined phone and power line plus the timbers holding up the overhang. No one was seriously hurt, although a total of five people from the two vehicles involved were hauled over the hill by ambulance to be checked out.

LAUREN HERSELF was soon on-scene. At first glance she must have assumed her popular restaurant would be out of business for some time. But The Good Thing had commenced almost immediately when Anderson Valley's volunteer firefighters went to work on Lauren's fallen overhang and, by the time night had fully fallen, what had appeared at first glance to have been catastrophic damage to the front of the enterprise had been converted to a spiffy new face lift, complete with new supports.

MONDAY MORNING, the only evidence that a major collision had occurred were Lauren's crushed planters and the severely bent metal pole at the Fairgrounds. That pole, incidentally, seems to have prevented the careening pick-up from crashing into the Fairgrounds office itself. Any pedestrian in the path of either vehicle as both left the roadway would have been seriously injured. The Subaru had set out from Mountain View for a camping stay near Fort Bragg. An onlooker, commenting on his fellow onlookers, “This is the biggest local crowd I've seen since the night the Mannix Building burned down.”

I HAD BEEN ENJOYING the twin delights of a taco and Anel's radiant smile at Anel's restaurant when the vehicles collided down the street. There was a pop, a sizzle and the lights went off. People poured out of the bar next door, and we all began to speculate about what had happened. Soon, a large crowd of kibbitzers had assembled behind the yellow crime tape fencing off the two damaged vehicles. Power remained out at Anel's and several locations in the downtown area until later in the evening, but nearby Anderson Valley Market never did lose power.

RAINA FAIGEN, 20, Mountain View, has been identified as the driver of the 2002 Subaru Outback; Emiliano Soto-Valencia, 28, of Boonville, the driver of the truck. He was driving his Ford pick-up at about 30 mph when the speeding Subaru hit him from behind. Soto-Valencia's wife and four-year-old daughter were taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center with minor injuries.

THE SUBARU'S THREE passengers are identified as Kate Robbins, 16, of Watsonville; Alanna Reyes, 18, of Walnut Creek; and Sophie Drukman-Feldstein, 16, of San Francisco. Ms. Faigen was arrested at the Ukiah Valley Medical Center and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on $30,000 bail.


DrunksTHESE THREE GUYS are arrested every couple of weeks. Often, they're not in jail long enough to dry out, long enough to maybe reconsider their options which, at this time, range from immediate death to slow death. The local justice system, presided over by people who make a lot of money, serve as sponsors for what amounts to torture of these three men and about 50 more like them in Mendocino County.


A MARIN COUNTY judge has dismissed a two-year lawsuit aimed at stopping the North Coast Rail Authority from expanding rail operations from Napa County to Willits. Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics filed a lawsuit July 2011 in state court to block expansion of service by the railroad north to Willits. The two groups contended the NCRA should be forced to conduct an in-depth environmental review along the entire length of rail line from Napa County to Arcata before expanding rail operations along any corridor. The NCRA contended it is not subject to California Environmental Quality Act requirements and had conducted the Environmental Impact Report as part of a private settlement with the City of Novato. Marin County Superior Court Judge Roy Chernus agreed the railroad was specifically exempted from requirements of CEQA. Railroads are mainly regulated by the federal Surface Transportation Board. “The STB [has] exclusive jurisdiction over railroad construction and operations,” ruled Chernus. “As such this court does not need to address the merits of the CEQA challenges alleged in the petitions. The ‘project’ as described in the EIRs… is the resumption of freight rail service, as well as the rehabilitation, construction and repair activities to upgrade the track, along the 142-mile segment of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad from Willits…to Lombard in Napa County."


WHY THE SECRECY? Carmel Angelo, Mendocino County's chief executive officer, will be answering written questions at Fort Bragg Town Hall on Friday, July 12, 2013 beginning at 10:30am from, it seems, invited persons only. Brandon Merritt is screening the questions for Her Majesty. He can be reached at 463-7236,


OKAY, WAIT A MINUTE. I was on the sound crew at the SF gay pride parade in '83 or so. I sat there and watched thousands of people walk (not march) by in all kinds of outrageous outfits, including guys in some kind of black cowboy chaps that showed their hairy asses. It was not a particularly pleasant sight and I didn't dwell on it. This went on for hours and for all the flamboyant behavior and outfits, I was bored nearly to death. My attitude is live-and-let-live, but none of this interested me, nor did the speeches we were there to amplify. It was a job. Most of the comments in the July 1 column boil down to moral judgment and it seems a lot of people pretending "tolerance" would still rather all the queers go back in the closet and stay there.

By contrast let us consider the typical 4th of July parade. Always the uniformed soldiers flashing their (phallic?) rifles and flag-bearers with their jockstrap-like pole holders. All this to glorify our mighty military and killing. Next come the high school marching bands playing out of tune and wearing ridiculous outfits that lots of homosexuals wouldn't be caught dead in. And the bagpipers. I'm part Scottish and can't help loving the sound, but let's not forget the real purpose of this music, to fire up British soldiers into a murderous patriotic frenzy, the better to mow down the wogs in the imperial colonies. I might also mention the Russians and Chinese and Koreans, for instance, marching their tanks and missiles (speaking of phallic) down the street. But these cultures have a pretty dark view of homosexuality, do they not? It might be instructive to note that all human cultures have two things in common: beer (some kind of fermented alcoholic beverage) and homosexuality. If homosexuality is taught, who might be perverting kids in equatorial African bush tribes?

So the queers celebrate life by showing some skin and the rest of us glorify death and mayhem. It boils down to what we consider obscene, doesn't it? — Jeff Costello


FAMILY FUN At The Museum Goes Abstract

Workshop Complements Modern Art Exhibit

by Roberta Werdinger

The Grace Hudson Museum offers its next Family Fun at the Museum workshop, "It's Abstract!", on Saturday, July 13th from 1 to 3:30 pm. Taught by professional illustrator Surya O'Shea, this will be a day of experimentation and exploration in the world of abstract art.

When encountering abstract art, many people comment that it looks like something their child could have painted. On this day, kids and adults can explore the rich and creative relationship between spontaneous expression and the art that hangs on the walls of the world's museums. Participants will learn about abstract art throughout history and will make their own artworks to take home using a variety of media and techniques. A special musical performance will also be offered demonstrating the art of abstraction in music.

The backdrop to this colorful workshop is the Museum's current exhibit, "Points of Encounter: Catherine Woskow and Larry Thomas," paintings by two internationally known Mendocino County artists who both use techniques of abstraction to create portraits and landscapes that weave inner moods with outer elements. "Points of Encounter" will be on display until July 28, 2013.

Enrollment in "It's Abstract!" is free with Museum admission and includes all materials. Space is limited and pre-registration is strongly encouraged. To register call the Museum at 467-2836. The Family Fun at the Museum program is made possible with a grant from the Rotary Foundation.

The Grace Hudson Museum and Sun House is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and from 12 to 4:30 pm on Sunday. General admission is $4, $10 per family, $3 for students and seniors, and free to members or on the first Friday of the month. For more information please go to


COMMUNITY CARE’S Senior Information & Assistance Program offers a new, free telephone reassurance program for individuals 60+ in inland Mendocino County. "Community Care Connect" is a weekly phone check-in -- a friendly voice to see how a senior is doing. It also offers the senior a chance to express new needs as they arise and for the Community Resources Specialist in Ukiah to suggest possible resources to help. Available to residents from Hopland to Leggett, from Anderson Valley to Round and Potter Valleys, and all points between, call 468-5132 or 1-800-510-2020 to learn more. — Kathy Johnson, 
Senior Information & Assistance Program, Community Care
301 S. State Street
Ukiah, CA 95482. Phone: 468-5132.

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