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Mendocino County Today: December 7, 2013

WITH TEACHER AND STUDENT TESTING much in the news, this sensible on-line statement: “I used to be a public school teacher. What terrified me about the prospect of having a significant portion of my evaluation on my students' test scores was that I had very little control over their lives: I couldn't ensure that they came to school every day, that they'd eaten anything (let alone something healthy), that they'd gotten enough sleep, that they were safe, and that they had a quiet place to do their homework. When I'd get my testing reports back that broke out who improved, who stayed the same, or who went down, I found very few surprises based on what I'd seen from their in-class effort or knowledge of their home situation. I had absolutely no problem being evaluated through observations and student work. Listen, you can fire bad teachers--my principal did that whenever necessary. If there are bad teachers, then there's bad leadership, end of story.”


YOU CAN BE AGGRESSIVE! The body, believe it or not, thrives on contact — on collisions. If a car gets in a collision, what happens? It's broke, right? Takes thousands of dollars to repair. But the human body callouses up; it gets stronger. — Jim Harbaugh, 49ers coach


REPORTS OF SNOW FALLING “in big flakes” in Ukiah late Friday afternoon, but not sticking much.




CHRIS POEHLMAN of Gualala writes:

Court Rejects Plan To Clearcut California Redwoods for Vineyard

We have another major milestone to report for the redwood deforestation for vineyards saga, following last year’s transformation of Preservation Ranch mega-vineyard project into a consolidated conservation forestry landscape in northwest Sonoma County. The below media release reports Sonoma County Superior Court’s decision on the flawed environmental impact report (EIR) for the Artesa vineyard conversion project (an older precedent-setting permit in the works for over a decade), confirming the inadequacy of the EIR prepared by CAL FIRE. Artesa’s project is the only current pending permit in California allowing redwood deforestation for vineyard development. It’s viewed as precedent-setting. This court decision itself doesn’t permanently strike down the permit for the project, but it makes the regulatory path forward more uncertain, slower, and burdensome. But it certainly prolongs the controversy over the project. We interpret the court’s decision as more writing on the wall for the prospects of vineyard conversion in redwood forestland, but the project’s fate isn’t sealed. Plaintiff’s efforts will intensify in the coming year to convince Artesa to find an environmentally suitable alternative site, and sell the current project site for a conservation-oriented landowner. The story isn’t over yet! We hope you will follow it. Thanks.

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SANTA ROSA — Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Elliot Daum has rejected a plan to clearcut 154 acres of Northern California redwoods to plant vineyards for a winery. The proposal in northwestern Sonoma County was challenged by the Sierra Club’s Redwood Chapter, the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Gualala River. In response, Judge Daum said the state’s “environmental impact report” for Artesa Winery’s forest-to-vineyard project violates the California Environmental Quality Act. "The highest and best use of coastal forests is to remain in their natural condition so they can protect our coastal rivers, support fish and wildlife, and combat climate change by sequestering carbon," said Victoria Brandon, chair of the Sierra Club Redwood Chapter. The judge found that, in preparing the environmental review for the project, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) failed to properly analyze alternatives that would be less damaging to the environment, such as using an unforested area for the vineyard.The court also determined that the agency did not appropriately address the lost carbon sequestration that would result from destroying the redwood forest. Redwood forests are well known for their capacity to absorb massive amounts of greenhouse gases as they mature over time. The judge also agreed with the conservation groups that the environmental report wrongly ignored California Board of Forestry policy regarding forest conversions. The board is charged with overseeing forest policy in California and opposes the conversion of prime timberland, like the project site. Finally, the court ruled that Cal Fire failed to properly address the project’s pesticide impacts as well as the noise impacts. “Rather than be destroyed to make room for a vineyard, this redwood forest will continue to do what it does best — provide habitat for wildlife and remove harmful carbon emissions from the atmosphere," said Justin Augustine, attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Sonoma County has already experienced a large-scale conversion of natural oak woodlands and inland forests to agriculture. We have drawn a line to stop further destruction of redwood forests and salmon streams for more acres of grapes,” said Chris Poehlmann, president of Friends of the Gualala River. The project is funded by Spanish company Codorniu S.A., the owner of Napa Valley’s Artesa Winery, and was approved by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The Sierra Club works to protect and restore wild places, public health and wildlife for future generations. The Redwood Chapter covers northwestern California. The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 625,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. Friends of the Gualala River is a volunteer nonprofit group that advocates for preservation of the Gualala River watershed in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.

Contact: Chris Poehlmann, Friends of the Gualala River, (707) 886-5182. Victoria Brandon, Sierra Club Redwood Chapter, (707) 994-1931. Justin Augustine, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 436-9682 x 302



Dear Editor,

The Real Willits

WillitsGatewayAs a happy Willitian of the past 15 years, I have to take serious umbrage at your scurrilous portrayal of our friendly little burg in your November 27 AVA. “Crankits”? “Skunktow”? “Canada is to California as Willits is to Hell”? Come on, be fair here. One might think Willits was a septic hole of sorts. And I suppose Willits could take some comfort in rating so significantly high on the AVA sleazo-meter. And we all know your bent for satire. In fact, I read the AVA for your hyperbole and yet, I also much enjoy your paper for its self-anointed role as a bastion of local Mendo truths.  Now as to the real Willits. Please be aware that we support a movie theater, the Noyo. No great shucks, but for any small town, pretty cool.  As a further sign of the civic life and high culture rife within our populace, we also sport the Willits Community Theater which puts on plays year-round, mostly romantic comedies. They're also doing a full-length King Lear this winter. Hah! There's culture. And we have an Art Center next to the old Carnegie Library building that showcases collections year round from high school artists to photographs, and hosts music concerts with international performers. And yes, we do sit at one end of the Skunk Train route, but how many small towns in America can boast a functioning tourist rail? We also now host the annual Steam Punk Festival, which definitely rates if you're anywhere in tune with youth culture.  We also have a hospital, which by the way is about to move into huge new digs, a hospital named after a kind of important former Willitian, who happened to own and race one of the greatest steeds that ever saw the front end of a mile and a quarter. We also host one of the three campuses for Mendocino College, our campus now housed in a new multi-million-dollar building funded by local voters. We also host a branch library, and please note, the activists of Willits were centrally instrumental in helping pass the Save the Library measure. Our precincts came in with a 75-plus-percent yes vote, to make up for a little less literary enthusiasm elsewhere in the county.  We have a gender split on our council, with two progressive, forward-thinking women, Marge Strong and Holly Madrigal. For years we have also been the first stop light on Highway 101 north of San Francisco, the first place where travelers had to slow down, and smell the wonderful, redwood-scented north country air. Of course, that will change with the advent of the bypass. But hey, Willits frankly has enough going for it to survive. And by the way, we also have a bookstore, not something that every small town in our county can brag about.  I'm left with still more to note, the Hometown Celebrations, the Rodeo, the Truck Pulls, the skate park, the Shakespeare Tent, the weekly vigil for peace and understanding, but I wouldn't wish to strain your patience.  The next time I rumble through the tourist-burg of Booneville [sic], on my way through the hobbit-holes of Philo and Navarro, I'll remind myself that I am so pleased to live in Willits, one of the friendliest, most accessible and culturally-rich towns in the county.  Have a nice day. And next time, do please pick your nose elsewhere. We in Willits have certain manners we abide by.

— Steven Hellman, Willits



by Tiffany Revelle

A local judge's ruling to throw out evidence from a vehicle search that resulted from the driver's admission that he had marijuana and a card authorizing him to use it as medicine went unchallenged and unpublished after the deadline to appeal it came and went.

The Mendocino County District Attorney's Office had two weeks to file an appeal after Mendocino County Superior Court judge Ann Moorman rendered her Nov. 8 decision, but did not do so, according to Mendocino County Deputy Public Defender Eric Rennert. Had an appeal been filed, the case would have gone before the state Court of Appeals and could have been used as statewide precedent for similar cases, and would have been the first of its kind, Rennert said previously.

Moorman ruled last month in favor of a motion, prepared by Assistant Public Defender Carly Dolan, to suppress the evidence used to charge her client, Kevin R. Hawkins, 55, of Cloverdale, with possessing methamphetamine when a Ukiah Police Department officer pulled him over on South State Street and searched his vehicle.

The officer didn't have reason to believe he would find evidence of a crime, so he hadn't established proper grounds to search Hawkins' vehicle, Moorman ruled.

At issue was whether a medical marijuana patient's admission of having marijuana and a valid doctor's recommendation constitutes probable cause for law enforcement to search, according to Rennert, who argued the motion when Moorman heard it last month. He said previously that no case law existed to answer that question.

Hawkins was pulled over by a UPD officer at 3:50 a.m. April 18 for a traffic violation. While the officer was checking his driver's license, registration and proof of insurance, he asked Hawkins if he had "anything illegal" in the car, according to Moorman's ruling.

Hawkins told the officer that he had less than an ounce of marijuana in the car with him, and showed him a Proposition 215 card (Compassionate Use Act of 1996) issued by the county of Mendocino without an expiration date because of "a chronic and terminal condition," Moorman's ruling said.

The officer searched Hawkins' car because of Hawkins' admission that he had the drug, according to Moorman's ruling. The "totality of the circumstances," including Hawkins' admission and "a complete absence of (marijuana) odor or impaired driving, or evidence of a larger amount of marijuana in the car" influenced Moorman's decision, according to the document.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)



by Tiffany Revelle

The preliminary hearing for a Ukiah surgeon accused of drug charges, including prescription fraud, was put off Thursday in Mendocino County Superior Court.

Dr. Brian M. Cable faces four counts of prescribing a controlled substance to a non-patient, two counts of prescribing a controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose and one count of possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, furnish or sell it.

Co-defendants Tonya L. Still and Kathryn L. Brown each also face a count of possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, furnish or sell it, according to Mendocino County Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox. Brown additionally faces a charge of health insurance fraud, according to Cox.

Neither Cable nor his Ukiah defense attorney, Keith Faulder, were in court Thursday for an appearance to request more time to prepare for the preliminary hearing, which is the district attorney's chance to show a judge enough evidence to bind the defendant over for trial.

Faulder had filed a waiver that would allow him to appear in court on Cable's behalf, according to Ukiah attorney Sergio Fuentes, who made a special appearance in Faulder's place. Judge Ann Moorman said the required waivers had been filed on behalf of Cable's two co-defendants, but that she saw no such waiver filed for the surgeon.

Moorman ordered Cable and both co-defendants to appear in court next week to reschedule the preliminary hearing. Fuentes said he believed Cable was in a treatment facility and would be unable to appear in court, necessitating the waiver that Moorman was assured would be filed if it was not already.

Still and Brown are represented by separate attorneys in the Public Defender's Office.

Cox said the attorneys needed more time to prepare for the preliminary hearing because of the complexity of the case. She said she has a large amount of evidence to review and release to the defense attorneys, and that she understood that Faulder also had "a large quantity of defense discovery."

Cable was arrested in July on suspicion of fraudulently obtaining controlled prescription narcotics, possessing fraudulently obtained prescription narcotics, possessing prescription narcotics, using another person's identity illegally and conspiracy after Ukiah Police Department detectives, along with county, state and federal investigators, searched his home and office.

The case goes before Moorman again, with at least two defendants ordered present, on Dec. 12.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)


HI FOLKS, Many of you have expressed interest in our "Salad University" classes, and this email includes the next one in February, along with an announcement of Jaye Alison Moscariello's art open house later this month: 1. 21-22 December: Afternoon Art Open House with painter Jaye Alison Moscariello. Coastal and Inland Water Colors $25 and up - holiday gift opportunity after most fairs have ended. Saturday December 21, 2-5 PM and Sunday December 22, 1-4 PM. At our farm on Laughlin Peak, 3 miles up Bakers Creek Road above Redwood Valley. Please RSVP for exact address and to let us know you are coming. or 707-272-1688 2. Sunday, 22 February, 2014: Salad University - Salad 101 Learn the secrets of Floodgate Farm's salad mix from Bill Taylor and Jaye Alison Moscariello. With the lengthening days but still wintery weather, discover how many of the 50+ ingredients can grow at this time of year. We will offer tips for growing and harvesting each plant, along with some information on medicinal and health properties. A potluck meal will follow the class; we all provide the salad and we will make a main dish and have homemade kimchee; you may bring a side dish. Cost is $20 for 3 hours, or you may work-trade 2 hours in exchange for the class. The farm is in a beautiful location overlooking Ukiah valley and surrounding mountains, and demonstrates several permaculture techniques which you can discover along with all the salad information. Informational handouts provided. Contact to confirm: (reply to this email) or 707-272-1688 We hope to see you soon!


A BUSY LOCAL FOOD WEEKEND It begins with the Boonville Winter Market on Saturday, 11:00 -1:00, in front of the Boonville General Store, rain or shine.

BoonvilleGeneralStoreThis week you will find: Philo Farmstead - eggs and persimmons Yorkville Olive Ranch - olive oil in two sizes, the usual 375 ml and one twice as large at 750ml WileAcre Farm - pickles, kefir, applesauce, dried asian pears (probably the last for this year), chia seed gluten-free muffins, winter root liver support tea blend, the last of the sunchokes And More Then Sunday morning is the monthly Grange Pancake Breakfast, 8:30 - 11:00, at the Philo Solar Grange. The grain, eggs, bacon and apple syrup are all local. Gluten-free available. Full plates 10:00, smaller plates less. Last, but definitely not least, is the Holiday Dinner at the Philo Grange at 5:30 pm on Sunday. This annual dinner features locally grown turkeys, ham and potatoes, provided by AV Foodshed Group. Dressing, gravy and decorations provided by the AV Grange. The community provides the side dishes and desserts. In addition to your potluck dish, please BYO (bring your own plates, utensils & cups.) Plan to be there by 5:15 to drop off your dish and find a place to sit. Kids activities begin at five to keep the young ones occupied. There will be on-going piano music and caroling after dinner.


SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO NELSON MANDELA ON KTDE, GUALALA 100.5FM: Celebrate the extraordinary life and legacy of NELSON MANDELA on Saturday, December 14th from 5pm to 7pm on KTDE, The Tide, 100.5FM, with your host DJ Sister Yasmin. Tune in for a musical tribute to this beloved, compassionate leader of his "Rainbow Nation", as we honor his life with music as resistance, rebellion and revolution. (— Sister Yasmin Solomon)



The Holiday Festivities Have Begun!

Friday . Dec 6th ~ Sunday . Dec 22nd, 2013

Thousands of lights transform the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens into a magical winter wonderland.

Be amazed. Be delighted. Come for the fun.

Friday . Dec 6th thru Sunday . Dec 8th

Thursday . Dec 12th thru Sunday . Dec 15th

Thursday . Dec 19th thru Sunday . Dec 22nd

5pm to 7:30pm: live music, beer & wine

Adults $10 | Children 15 and under free

Children must be accompanied by an adult. No pets.

No electric carts available after 5:30pm

Enjoy holiday treats and a casual supper at Rhody’s Garden Café.

Make Festival of Lights a Holiday Tradition

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

18220 N. Highway 1 . Fort Bragg . CA 95437

Tickets available at the Gardens Store and at the door.

Enjoy Festival of Lights And Spend the Night on the Coast

For more information including tips on where to stay:



The Jolting Peter Lewis

by Ralph Nader

Insurance, art, architecture, civil liberties, auto safety, think tanks, peace, free thinkers, political candidates, marijuana, his alma mater Princeton University — these and other varied interests drove the inquiring career of the late Peter Lewis, chairman of the board of Progressive Insurance, who passed away at age 80 last month.

He interacted with many people who sparked his sense of the “unconventionally possible” as he built Progressive into the nation’s fourth largest auto insurer and made himself into one of the nation’s leading philanthropists.

Peter was my classmate at Princeton. More than 25 years ago, I suggested he equip his company cars with air bags, both to prevent costly crash injuries to his employees and also to set an example for other insurance companies to give meaning to their “loss prevention” rhetoric. At lunch, he grasped the suggestion immediately and agreed. When I called for a progress report, he casually said it was done, as if to say, what else did you expect?

I never expected much in talking to corporate chiefs about what they should do in their own and the public’s interest. In my experience, they had difficulty listening to anything not on their bureaucratic wavelength. With Peter it was different, and not because of any Princeton connection.

For example, he heard about my remarks that insurance companies were not engaged in meaningful competition. On a trip to Washington, DC, we had lunch and he said that the big auto insurers compete like crazy. “What do you mean?” he asked.

I replied that State Farm, Allstate, Geico, Progressive, etc. competed against each other in ads, marketing, sales incentives and imagery, but not directly for the consumers’ benefit. I explained that it was almost impossible for the average customer to compare policies and prices between the various companies. His eyes lit up. It wasn’t long before the famously successful Progressive ads were offering free competitors’ rates, including Progressive’s, even if the latter was higher than one or more of the other auto insurers.

Other proposals he thought about and turned down. One that he considered too complicated was for Progressive to build a few prototype safety cars in order to push the auto companies to liberate their engineers and build more crash-worthy vehicles with better handling and therefore fewer claims. This idea stemmed from the pioneering Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. project in the 1950s when it rebuilt a much safer Chevrolet.

However, in the early ’90s, Peter made sure Progressive was a financial supporter of the effective new group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Another proposal was to fund organizers who would convince coalitions in major cities across the country to demand that presidential debates come to their communities in 2012. This would break the grip of the three “debates” choreographed by the Republican and the Democratic parties, through their creation, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). CPD is a private nonprofit that picks the reporters, invites only candidates from its two patron parties and solicits corporate donations for its budget. Peter “œloved the idea,” but after considerable back and forth, concluded it was not possible to pull it off.

Peter was deeply serious about civil liberties and worried about invasions of privacy, repression of dissenting views and government snooping in the aftermath of 9/11. He became the largest individual donor to the American Civil Liberties Union, with a record-breaking endowment gift of $7 million. He hated President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, which he called “a disaster in all ways,” and funded civic opposition, including ours, to this worsening, brutal quagmire.

As a prominent Democrat, he supported John Kerry’s presidential campaign with many millions of dollars. After Bush’s re-election and Kerry’s wishy-washy performance in 2004, he told me he was pretty much turned off of political campaigns.

He became “more focused on building the institutions that will facilitate and support progressive policy for years into the future.” As was his wont, he went beyond by helping launch Media Matters and the Center for American Progress, and was the founder of the Management Center, which conducts seminars to help nonprofits be more efficient and effective.

Once Peter joked that before joining the Princeton University Board of Trustees, the due diligence report called him a “functional pothead.” Yet to my knowledge, he was known for promptly returning calls. He suffered pain — his leg was amputated below the knee due to chronic infection and poor circulation — but rarely exclaimed it. Instead he responded by becoming physically fit.

As a major patron of the arts from his hometown in Cleveland to New York City and elsewhere, he saw artists as making people view their surroundings through innovative, irreverent eyes. At Progressive’s headquarters, he hung Andy Warhol’s “Mao” portraits and relished the anger of some employees, noting that at least they were stimulated.

Whenever I asked him how business was, he would talk about how “terrific” his successor — New Zealander Glenn Renwick — was as CEO, before noting some new approach like “instant claims service.”

Occasionally he expressed disappointment about his and other charitable and political contributions not getting results. “I’m at the edge of despair” about the state of the country, he confessed several years ago.

That disappointment, bordering on resignation, seemed to come forth during a discussion I arranged at the New York Public Library with Peter and Ted Turner, two of the protagonists in my book, “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!” — a work of political fiction that could inspire real world change. He began to doubt whether any major proposals for change could break through.

But Peter had so many irons in the fire that he always found sources of resiliency. And he liked to shock people out of their comfort zone. Earlier this year, he relayed a conversation that he had with the new president of Princeton, Christopher L. Eisgruber, wherein he urged the Princeton football program be dropped. Even though Peter is Princeton’s largest benefactor in the modern era ($220 million), he may have stepped out of bounds on that one. Which is just what the boundary-breaker expected, to turn silence now into conversation later.

Peter Lewis put so many forces in motion that his beloved extended family need not wonder about a legacy. They grieve through the enlivening presences, futures and memories he gave them. He leaves behind a candid forthcoming autobiography that should show how he kept evolving and renewing himself to the benefit of many people.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.)



Obama's No Warren Harding

by Clancy Sigal

Despite his platform grin and bouncy walk, Obama is notoriously uptight. Accredited journalists and news photographers have recently protested the White House’s defensive rigidity so extreme that a New York Times photographer compares it to the Soviet Union in the bad old days. Maybe if Obama had let some early air and light into the government website he might not have screwed the pooch. Lord knows what Daddy was paying attention to. It certainly wasn’t his Christian duty.

Obama makes a big deal of his religious faith. “I am a Christian.” “I have a deep faith. So I draw from the Christian faith…. So, I’m rooted in the Christian tradition.” And so on. He seems to have forgotten that a Christian’s duty is to forgive and pardon.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15.

In the six years Obama has been president he has pardoned or commuted the prison sentences of exactly 39 people while denying 6700. (A pardon implies justice gone wrong; a far simpler commutation means no opinion but release on time served.)

As noted by visiting Harvard law professor Sanford Levinson, “Harry S. Truman pardoned his first prisoner eight days after taking office. In contrast, Mr. Obama waited 682 days into his presidency before using his power…”

Look at the contrast with Ronald Reagan who only in his first term pardoned and commuted more than ten times Obama’s number. George H.W. Bush three times as many. Former Republican governor Haley Barbour — in Mississippi! — pardoned 215 last year including convicted killers. “Christianity teaches us forgiveness and second chances,” the very conservative Republican Mr. Barbour explained.

Let’s remind ourselves that Obama begs us to give his messed up Obamacare a “second chance.”

Half of the 210,000 federal prisoners are behind bars due to nonviolent drug related crimes. Many older non-violent inmates, some in their 80s and 90s, are under insanely harsh, federally mandated “Maximum Bob” sentences. Attorney general Holder openly crusades against these medieval sentencing guidelines; his boss simply doesn’t care.

The executive’s right, nay its duty, to pardon was built into the Constitution since 1789. The President can be a good Christian and also save the country $66,000 per elderly low risk (usually very sick) prisoner.

If Obama really wants to go crazy and think creatively why not show a little generosity by pardoning those arch-traitors (or people’s benefactors depending on your bias), Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning who brought down the imperial pillars of Hercules all by their lonesome and a couple of computers?

Since I dislike “activist” presidents who often actively take us to war, I’ve grown a real fondness for some of our historically more disreputable chief executives. After one of our worst presidents, the misogynistic racist redbaiting Woodrow Wilson, we returned to “normalcy” with a supposed nonentity from Ohio, Warren Harding, God bless him. Historians give Harding a bad time for appointing corrupt pals who looted the treasury, and because, once even in the White House broom closet, he fathered an unknown number of bastards from an unknown number of females some of whom were named Maisie and Blossom.

But old Warren was a decent sort who supported a 40 hour work week and an anti-lynching bill. More to the point, against fierce opposition from American Legion patriots and his own wife, he pardoned the labor saint, Eugene Debs, whom the vindictive Woodrow Wilson had thrown in the federal slammer for opposing America’s entry into the First War. Harding not only pardoned the socialist Debs but invited him to the White House for a friendly chat.

Come on, Barack. You have nothing to lose. Come January 2017 you’re gone. Commute or pardon Ed and Chelsea and let’s see what kind of Christian you really are.

(For facts and guidance I’m indebted to Murray Polner, Prof. Levinson, the former WashPost reporter George Lardner Jr., various agency items and Power Pardon blog. … Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Hemingway Lives.)


JANIE REZNER'S GUEST on Women's Voices, KZYX, on December 16, 7pm PT will be initiator and activist Sunsara Taylor.

Sunsara Taylor is a writer for Revolution Newspaper, a host of WBAI's Equal Time for Freethought, and sits on the Advisory Board of World Can't Wait. She has written on the rise of theocracy, wars and repression in the US, led in building resistance to these crimes, and contributed to the movement for revolution to put an end to all this. Sunsara Taylor was a key initiator of the movement to End Pornography and Patriarchy: the Enslavement and Degradation of Women, a.k.a. Stop Patriarchy. She led the nationwide Abortion Rights Freedom Ride in the summer of 2013, launching a nationwide political and moral counteroffensive against the attacks on abortion, re-setting the terms and re-claiming the moral high ground from the anti-abortion movement FOR the liberation of women, and rallying people together across 15 states "to rely on ourselves" to defeat the war on women. There may be time for call-ins. The show will air Dec 16, 7 PM PT, at 90.7 FM Philo, 88.1 FM Fort Bragg, and 91.5 FM Willits and can also be heard streaming live at

It will be archived at along with past shows. You can also Google Janie Rezner radio. Janie Rezner, MA Programmer, KZYX, Spiritual Feminist Warrior



Crews from Anderson Logging are thinning excess biomass in Usal Redwood Forest guided by the Ecological Assessment of Biomass Thinning in Coastal Forests, by Greg Giusti of U.C. Cooperative Extension.

RFFI's Biochar Demonstration Project officially began on November 11, 2013!
The Biochar Demonstration Project emerged from the community through a series of community outreach events organized by the Mendocino County Woody Biomass Working Group (WBWG).

The Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RRFI) agreed to take the lead responsibility for implementing the project because it is synergistic with RFFI's values and objectives.

Working with the Mendocino WBWG, Humboldt State University and a network of partners, RFFI has been able to secure the funding to get the program started. Some operational funding support is still needed to bridge the gap until the project will become self-supporting.

RFFI chose to support this project because it is a congruent of its commitment to the "Three Es:"

Ecology: Acquire, promote and restore the ecological integrity of large working landscapes that are critical to addressing climate change and providing habitat for an abundance of wild species.

Economy: Advance economic solutions to timberland ownership and management that support local employment and local businesses while insuring that the resource remains economically productive in perpetuity.

Equity: Promote social equity through sustainable management solutions shaped in collaboration with regional stakeholders. Future excess revenue will be reinvested in the community for its continued benefit.

From an ecological perspective, removing excess woody biomass from overcrowded forest stands is a form of forest restoration - reducing risk of catastrophic forest fire events, improving forest habitat and biodiversity and increasing water discharge into local streams and tributaries. In addition, biochar itself has an array of ecological benefits including carbon sequestration, the prevention of fertilizer run-off and overall improvement of soil health.

Economically, biochar has a higher value than other end products such as biomass converted into electricity. This higher value allows for a smaller scale project that can produce enough revenue to pay for itself. The economic sustainability of the project will be a key factor in the eventual replication of the project throughout the region.

From the perspective of social equity, this project will provide well-paying jobs thinning, transporting, operating the conversion unit and managing the project. Additionally, this project is part of the localization movement, which has gained widespread support throughout the region. RFFI will be producing an input into local agriculture from local forests.

Finally, RFFI hopes to help other landowners replicate this project, improving large tracts of forestland / ecosystem services, developing a local biochar industry and creating additional sources of revenue for forest landowners, biochar producers, soil retailers / wholesalers and farmers in the region.

For more information or to sign up for periodic email communication from RFFI or view a few photos and videos visit RFFI’s website periodically to track project progress.

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