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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Nov 20, 2014

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LAST WEEK Jamie Sheppard of Ukiah wrote:

Meeting Reminder: Thursday Evening 7 Pm At Shipley Hall, Hopland Research Station.

The limiting factor for this development is likely water. According to information supplied by Mendo Vito and the State of California, MendoVito is looking to the reservoir on the Crawford Ranch, which is owned by McDowell Vineyards to supply it with water. The reservoir has a capacity of 340 acre feet. According to the US Bureau of Reclamation, an acre foot of water supplies enough water for a family of four for one year. Using the Bureau’s figures, 340 houses appear to be a more realistic number for this development. Please come to the meeting on Thursday evening at Shipley Hall to participate in the discussion.

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Subject: MendoVito
From: ""
Date: Wed, November 19, 2014 1:24 pm
Cc: "Andrew Blake" <> -


I just got a call from Paul Lambert of KZYK who asked to do a radio chat on MendoVito, and he also suggested I contact you about a story in your paper this week. I can't see the story online, but Paul said it was about the proposed water consumption, which I presume came from Janie Sheppard's email that was copied to me yesterday (see below).

It's true that places like Ukiah use about 1,000 gallons a day for a family of four. In fact the Ukiah house that was provided to us under a free lease since March was using 120,000 gallons a month and the Ukiah utility board said it had been doing so for years. I live in New Zealand, where a 7,000 gallon rainwater tank provides all the water we need for the family and a 2,000 square foot raised bed garden growing our food and herbs, including planning for the up to 4-6 months of no rain in the summer. Even though water is cheap here in Ukiah, it seems wrong to use such high volumes, so we set about finding out why. We found that the house came with an air conditioner that used fresh drinking water to cool the house, then dumping the warmed water in the sewer at about 12 gallons a minute. Also it had an outdoor irrigation system that was watering plants like manzanita, and that the pipes had numerous underground breaks from last winter's freeze. On our advice, the owner of the house has now corrected this water wastage.

If MendoVito homes were build conventionally, then yes, Janie is right, but none of this is about convention. The fact that the average American family uses an acre-foot of water a year is the problem. If you read you will see that MendoVito is not a proposal for convention.

To be clear, MendoVito is not a developer, indeed at present, it has not yet even been incorporated as a California B - Corp. It is an idea. We were invited to come to Mendocino County to see if there was potential for a fit. It's notable that in 2007, your occasional correspondent, Dave Smith apparently read my book, How to Build a Village, and promoted it locally. We only learned this in 2014 when we were invited to come to Mendocino County to see if it might be a candidate for a VillageTown. On visiting people in their homes, saw copies of the first edition of the book on tables and kitchen counters. We call ourselves stewards, but the generic term is social entrepreneur. Unpaid, and working on a shoestring budget, we put in eight months of meetings, investigation and research in the county. Now that stage is complete, and the first community dialogue is where we will present our findings and see what the community wants to do with it.

The water question will be decided by the regional water board, and prior to 2009, they probably would have told us to go away. But if the recent droughts become the new normal, then California needs to find a Plan B, of which water is a small part of the comprehensive changes in habitat that we are proposing. The drought has captured the attention of the politicians and the bureaucracies.

However, there is so much more to this VillageTown framework than water, and we set it out transparently in There is a lot to read, because we looked at so many aspects of society that are not working, and put in years of work to come up with positive alternatives. Having said that, what we will present on the 20th is a framework, not a plan. The plan will come from the people and communities of this county, indeed in the 8 months we have been here, they already have substantially shaped the framework. It's a framework for sustainable living, reducing local dependence on global systems that are failing, creating an economic engine for the county and leaving an optimistic future for those who come after us. Stewart Udall (1920-2010) was our chairman emeritus until he died, and he put it nicely:

"Each generation has its own rendezvous with the land, for despite our fee titles and claims of ownership, we are all brief tenants on this planet. By choice, or by default, we will carve out a land legacy for our heirs. We can misuse the land and diminish the usefulness of our resources, or we can create a world in which physical affluence and affluence of the spirit go hand in hand."

Best regards, Claude Lewenz (707) 320-1185

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JANIE SHEPPARD RESPONDS: Even if MendoVito-ites used half as much water as an average American family, that would mean there would be enough for 680 homes, not 3000 to 4000. Although the concept behind MendoVito “is about much more than water,” water is the sine qua non component. Ukiah needs an infusion of sustainable development in its midst, not 15 miles away from its town center. We have a perfectly serviceable town already; why not enhance it? — Janie

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GIRL SCOUTS will be hosting their Holiday Boutique Saturday, November 29th at Carl Purdy Hall from 10-3. There will be over 70 vendors with handmade wares, baked goods, food, crafts, and much more; so bring the whole family and come join the Holiday FUN!

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CORRECTED VERSION of DA’s Press Release re: Lacee Ross, the suspect in the Willits arson case. She was arraigned last Tuesday in Mendocino County Superior Court. Ross entered not guilty pleas to felony arson of inhabited structure, and 2nd degree burglary in 2nd degree. Public Defender Linda Thompson was appointed Ross' legal counsel. Bail is set at $125,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in Superior Court before Judge John Behnke. (Corrected DA Press Release. — Mike Geniella, DA Press Liaison)

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ON MONDAY, November 17, 2014 at approximately 10:30 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to Taylor's Tavern Bar in Redwood Valley, California regarding a male subject sitting in a gray Toyota Tacoma pickup truck holding a shotgun to his head. While Deputies were responding they were advised the vehicle left the area and was driving northbound on Highway 101 towards the city of Willits. The driver of the vehicle was described as being a white male adult, with a shaved head, a goatee beard and in possession of a black colored shotgun. An officer safety (B.O.L.O) broadcast was sent out to all local public safety agencies including the California Highway Patrol and the Willits Police Department. A short time later an Officer with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) located a vehicle matching the description of the B.O.L.O vehicle driving northbound on Highway 101 near the White Deer Lodge. The CHP Officer pulled along side of the vehicle to see if the driver matched the description of B.O.L.O subject. When the CHP Officer neared the vehicle, the Officer heard what he thought was a gunshot and observed the drivers side window explode outwards. As the vehicle approached Brown's Corner on the south end of the city of Willits it pulled into the gas station parking lot and stopped. At that time numerous Officers from the California Highway Patrol, the Willits Police Department and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office conducted a felony car stop on the vehicle. The driver and sole occupant, Kevin Bobby Norton, 34, of Willits, exited the vehicle. Sheriff’s Deputies could see that Norton was bleeding from his face and left cheek area. After Norton was handcuffed and secured, he admitted to Officers that he had intentionally discharged the shotgun at himself while being followed by the CHP Officer. Norton was transported to Howard Memorial Hospital and treated for a minor gunshot wound to his left cheek area. Deputies located a loaded sawed off shotgun and a loaded 9mm semi-auto pistol in Norton's vehicle. Deputies learned Norton was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms. Norton was arrested Possession of sawed off shotgun, Felon in possession of firearm, Shooting firearm from a vehicle, Carrying a concealed weapon. Possession of a loaded firearm by ex felon — and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail.

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“THE CLINTONS corrupted the soul of the Democratic Party.”

— Henry Ruth, former lead Watergate courtroom prosecutor

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FROM MENDOCINO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE: LESS THAN 1/2 HOUR FOR XMAS SHOPLIFTING GUILTY VERDICT From the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office just before 6:00 pm: "UKIAH, Nov. 18. -- Jury Trial Result: Deliberating for less than thirty minutes, a jury returned late this afternoon and announced its guilty verdict against Heather Renee Christiansen, age 24 of Ukiah. Charged with stealing merchandise from Walmart of a value less than $950, Christiansen was found guilty by the 12-person jury of misdemeanor petty theft from a merchant. Formal sentencing of the defendant will take place this coming Friday, November 21, 2014. The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence was Deputy District Attorney Nicholas Sympson. The investigating law enforcement agency was the Ukiah Police Department. Walmart security apprehended Christiansen five days before Christmas last year. Judge Jeanine Nadel presided over the two-day trial.

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APPLICATIONS are being accepted for anticipated vacancies on the following Boards or Commissions:

Air Quality Management District Hearing Board (1) --Alternate Physician Member-

Mental Health Board. (2) — 2nd District Consumer Direct, 4th District Consumer – Family.

Museum Advisory Board (1) --5th District Representative

Westport Municipal Advisory Council (2) Members

(— CEO Carmel Angelo)

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Censure & cens(HER)ship in Mendocino College
From: "Glenn Schmoll" <>

We were told on the first day of class “No words are forbidden” but issue was taken with tits (cows) and ass hole in my autobiography, Taking Liberty With Justice For Schmoll.

Dear Glenn,

I don't want to single you out, but you may have noticed negative reactions to the comments and puns you make in class. This is your first semester. Joking about women's body parts and making sexual innuendos, either aloud or in your writing, are not done. You are free, of course, to write whatever you like in private, but not for class. Straight people shouldn't make jokes about gays, white people can't use the n word, and jokes about women can be made by only by women. The rule goes for writing vitriol about local people you feel have wronged you, as well. This may sound pc, and you may label it feminist, but it's really about the respect we want to show each other.

Your teacher, Norma

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By Henry K. Lee


A registered sex offender was arrested on suspicion of murder and sex crimes in the death of a woman strangled during a Halloween party in the Mendocino County city of Willits, authorities said.

Terrell James Marshall, 44, is being held without bail at Mendocino County Jail in the slaying of Kayla Grace Chesser. He has been charged with murder, rape and sodomy.

The investigation began after friends found Chesser’s body about 5:36 a.m. Nov. 1 in a bedroom of a home on the 26000 block of Poppy Drive, said sheriff’s Capt. Greg Van Patten. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

Chesser was socializing at the home with friends on Halloween, Van Patten said. The friends left, then returned several hours later to find Marshall, a cousin of the homeowner, in the home, along with Chesser’s body.

Marshall drove away in a pickup truck before deputies could respond to the friends’ 911 call, authorities said. About 1 p.m. that day, deputies learned that Marshall had driven his truck off a cliff on Highway 162 in an apparent suicide attempt, investigators said.

Marshall suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Marshall, whose last known address is in Vacaville, has previous convictions for sexual penetration with a foreign object with force or fear, records show.

(Courtesy, the SF Chronicle)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 19, 2014

Daniels, Hyer (2008), Hyer (2009), Hyer (2013) (2014 not available)
Daniels, Hyer (2008), Hyer (2009), Hyer (2013) (2014 not available)

STEVEN DANIELS, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

PATRICIA HYER, Ukiah. Battery, probation revocation.

Johnson, Lovato, Norton
Johnson, Lovato, Norton

JASON JOHNSON, Fort Bragg. Possession of meth, failure to appear, probation revocation.

NELLIE LOVATO, Ukiah. Dometic assault.

KEVIN NORTON, Willits. Possession of sawed off shotgun. Felon in possession of firearm, Shooting firearm from a vehicle. Carrying a concealed weapon. Possession of a loaded firearm by ex felon

Ornelas, Sanchez-Aguirre, Sturmfels
Ornelas, Sanchez-Aguirre, Sturmfels

TASHA ORNELAS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

ERIC SANCHEZ-AGUIRRE, Ukiah. Rape of intoxicated/drugged woman, court order violation.

DANIEL STURMFELS, Redwood Valley. Eat-And-Run, petty theft, possession of smoking/injection device.

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I’VE LONG KNOWN that the U.S. Communist Party, despite its name, essentially shills for Democrats come election time. But it’s funny to see that a lot of liberal Democrats have an almost Stalinist spirit about dissent. They really try to either ignore you or crush you. They’re not very open to criticism.

— Doug Henwood

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by Richard Cowan, Reuters

President Barack Obama is poised to give relief from deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or of permanent legal residents, according to a source familiar with White House deliberations.

Obama has promised to lay out the details of an executive order on immigration. The action could come as early as this week.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said some details were not yet available on which parents of citizens or permanent residents would be included. The Obama administration, the source said, had been looking at options including those parents who have been living in the United States for five years or 10 years.

A top Obama aide is scheduled to have lunch with Senate Democrats on Thursday on Capitol Hill. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, who will discuss the state of the economy and the post-election legislative agenda, is likely to be pressed on the immigration issue in the closed-door luncheon.

On Monday, in an interview with Univision, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said that Obama should move on immigration "now."

Obama is expected to take actions to allow some undocumented people to live here at least temporarily without the threat of deportation and to hold jobs in the United States. Obama's executive order could also include further border security steps, according to sources. Obama is expected to stress that he wants to focus efforts on deportations of illegal residents with serious criminal backgrounds.

Obama repeatedly has warned that he would take steps to fix immigration problems because Republicans in Congress have refused to pass legislation. He also has said that even with his unilateral steps, Congress could still replace his measures with permanent legislation.

For the past two weeks, Republicans in Congress have been looking at ways to stop Obama from carrying out these anticipated actions, arguing that only Congress should initiate such moves through legislation.

While the Senate in 2013 passed sweeping bipartisan immigration legislation, Republicans in the House of Representatives have blocked such a bill, saying they first want to concentrate on further securing U.S. borders.

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Credit Where Credit's Due

by Ralph Nader

In the aftermath of his party’s defeat in the midterm elections, President Obama surprised many when he reaffirmed his overwhelming support for net neutrality, proposing that the Internet should be treated as a public utility. On the other side of the political spectrum, Senator Ted Cruz sparked a firestorm of ridicule amongst net neutrality advocates when he tweeted a response to the president, calling net neutrality “Obamacare for the internet” and stating “the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.” House Majority Leader John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell affirmed the Cruz position.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans in Congress have chosen to side with the large, corporate telecom companies in the ongoing debate about controlling the so-called “pipes” of the Internet. Forty-one Republican senators and representatives recently sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler protesting a proposal to reclassify Internet service providers as “common carriers” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 — this would acknowledge that Internet service is a regulatable “telecommunications service” and not an “information service” open to commercial tampering.

This Republican call to action comes from the aftermath of the controversial Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposal earlier this year that would allow Internet service providers to implement “fast lanes” for certain data of their own choosing, presumably at a premium cost. Nearly 4 million comments — a record — were submitted to the FCC objecting to this proposal.

It doesn’t take active use of the Internet to see that at its core the fight about net neutrality is a fight about big corporations trying to stratify and limit the rights and options of consumers.

It’s the same old song and dance — corporations want more control at the expense of consumer choice and at the expense of a fair market. Net neutrality is about whether or not corporations have the right to seize this control and obtain the ability to givepreferential treatment to certain websites, companies or services.

An apt historical comparison is the movement to control the public airwaves. The FCC has a giveaway history of allowing giant broadcast corporations to acquire valuable radio and television licenses free across the country with no rent payable to the citizens who own them. When it comes to the airwaves, the FCC has chosen to largely ignore citizen speakers, writers, and artists who need and deserve a platform to share their message and values, in favor of big money “marketplace forces.” As such, there are no meaningful requirements anymore for broadcasters to provide useful, educational information or ascertain the needs of local communities.

The Internet, in an idealized sense, is an open medium far greater and more wide-reaching than even the public airwaves. Unlike any other time in history, people can freely share ideas, coordinate events or movements, have a platform for films and art, start businesses, do research or schoolwork, acquire and read books and more. If you walk into any college classroom in the United States today, you’ll see the majority of the students with laptops in front of them, taking notes and using the Internet to do their work. If it’s not laptops, it’s smartphones. The Internet, for better or worse, has fundamentally changed the way that people communicate, operate and see the world. Even job seekers rely on the Internet to search for openings, submit applications, and field responses. There are many ways the Internet is abused for trivial social exchanges, data collection and advertising, but comparing its benefits and its potential against its negatives, the argument for treating it as a public utility is overwhelming.

One of the main issues facing President Obama in his new push for net neutrality is his counterintuitive choice to head the FCC, Chairman Tom Wheeler. Wheeler, a former cable industry lobbyist, has been criticized for his past involvement with the big corporations that seek to end net neutrality. At this point, it’s not clear how Wheeler intends to proceed, although some reports state that he favors a middle-ground approach, which is an unacceptable compromise for open Internet advocates.

It’s no surprise that companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T are battling the open nature of the Internet because they cannot control how their customers use it. In fact, some op-eds have shown up in the major papers in the past week arguing against net neutrality, written by authors with industry ties, in a thinly-veiled effort to sway public opinion. Recent polls, however, have shown that the majority of Americans — including conservatives — are in favor of net neutrality.

I’ve written in the past about left-right convergence (see my book Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.) It is vitally important for those on the left and right to unite on this common ground. After all, nothing shakes up lawmakers like the rumblings from both ends of the spectrum.

(Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.)

One Comment

  1. Harvey Reading November 20, 2014

    “THE CLINTONS corrupted the soul of the Democratic Party.”

    What nonsense. The ‘craps were always corrupt, the party that supported Jim Crow in the late 19th and up to the mid 20th centuries. Wilson gave us the first war with his propaganda campaign overseen by the Creel Commission. Roosevelt was pushed into action that actually benefited commoners by Midwest populists, and Huey Long. On his own, he would have done very little except shepherd kaputalism along. Truman invoked Taft-Hartley after his veto was overridden by the sewer rats of congress. He also refused to support the Vietnamese plea for independence from France, and he got us into the Korean War, not to mention his needless use of nuclear weapons. Democraps did little to end McCarthyism and were just as paranoid as the so-called right. They were forced into passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act by knowledge that black people were seething and the country was about to explode from within. Their Vietnam war was an example of the “bipartisanship” that “both” parties peddle. With their loss of southern racist support, gained by the rethugs by the late 60s, the ‘craps have moved ever farther to the right, which is to say, back to their old ways of the time prior to the Great Depression.

    Truth is, the democraps, like the rethugs, never had a soul to corrupt. They, like their “opposition” have been in the hip pockets of wealthy for as long as they have existed. Picking an arbitrary starting point starting point for their supposed corruption, especially one as nonsensical as Blowjob Willie’s years, is just blathering propaganda.

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