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Mendocino County Today, Tuesday, Dec 2, 2014

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JUST IN: Caltrans seeks $64 million more to finish Willits bypass

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Some poor lost young man this morning thought it a good idea to rob at gunpoint CORRECTION: knifepoint (—Gary Moraga) our store. Details are not in but after our cashier gave out two screams it was when young Colton, Jason Hendricks’ son, sprang into action with only a dude in a green Honda, as a clue. Soon Colton saw a green Honda in Mendo and a chase up Comptche Ukiah Road ended when a nearby cop was alerted and the knucklehead taken to the slammer. Colton told me this afternoon that he didn’t like thieves and especially ones messing with Grandpa Doug’s store.

Good work Colton,

Gary Moraga, Albion

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More On The Albion Store Robbery: 
Was Albion Store 3rd Stop In 18-Year Old’s Crime Spree?

There has been no “official” press release from the Mendocino Sheriff on the robbery today at the Albion Store – but as usual, MSP has the “inside scoop” and although not “official,” we can paint a picture of what occurred from “reliable sources.” First, the suspect in the robbery at the Albion Store, if our information is correct, just turned 18 years old (this month) and is from Redwood Valley. He may have been involved in the robbery of a bakery in the Ukiah Valley as well as be connected to an alleged robbery at the Arena Theater yesterday. He may have even stayed in Albion overnight Saturday and “hit” the store on the way out of town.

The suspect entered the store and confronted the female emloyee demanding cash. He was described as “approx 5’5″ male, thin build, white, in oversized dark clothes with sun glasses, hood, and cloth-masked face.” He demanded “only 20’s” from the clerk then fled in what was described as a “green Honda.” An employee (who was out back working at the store) immediately came running when he heard the other employee scream twice. After asking for a description of the vehicle, he got in his own car and went up roads looking for the car – roads like Little River Airport Road. When he got to the “Y,” he saw a woman walking and asked if she’d seen a green Honda. The answer was “no.”

A trip to Little River, then into Mendocino found several “green Hondas” at various businesses but not the right ones. When leaving Mendocino, however, at the lights – there it was. A green Honda with the driver glancing nervously around (two people were in the vehicle), revving the engine, slipping the clutch like he was anxious to get out of traffic. And when the employee got behind the vehicle (whose plate ended in “696”), it took off south on Highway 1 then up Comptche-Ukiah Road. When it hit “the straights” it sped up to 90 mph in an effort to get away but had to back it down on the curves entering Comptche. The road conditions were wet & slippery. Luckily, the employee saw a Mendocino County Sheriff unit. The situation was explained, the plate number given and shortly thereafter an arrest made near the Comptche Store. Law enforcement had been looking for a “dark” green Honda, this was a “faded green” 1996-97 Honda Civic.

So that’s it in a nutshell – let’s see how close this is to the “official” release tomorrow. And someone deserves a HUGE RAISE at the Albion Store…

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On 11-29-14 at 2:15 PM, deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were summoned to the Little Baker’s Market, located at 6951 East Road in Redwood Valley for an armed robbery that had just occurred.

Upon arrival, deputies spoke with the store cashier and witnesses who indicated that a male adult entered the store, brandished a knife and demanded money. The cashier provided money from the cash register and the suspect fled the store, getting into the passenger seat of an early 1990’s model Honda sedan, and fled southbound on East Road.

The suspect was described as a male adult of unknown nationality, with olive colored skin, and he was wearing a lime green jumpsuit or coveralls, a black beanie style cap, black sunglasses, black cloth over his mouth and lower face, and black cotton gloves. The suspect was approximately 5’5″ tall and thin build. The driver of the car was a female with no further description.

Fortunately no persons were injured and the amount of money taken is, as of now, undetermined.

If anybody has any information regarding the robbery or possibly identity of the suspects, please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

UPDATE: On 11/30/2014 a similar incident happened at the Albion Store in Albion. Two suspects were apprehended in that incident with evidence, linking them to this robbery, was obtained from their vehicle.

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On 11-30-2014 at approximately 10:57 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a robbery at the Albion Store.

A young male subject reportedly walked into the store wearing dark clothing, a black beanie, black face mask, black gloves and sunglasses. A second male sat outside behind the wheel of a green Honda sedan. As the subject spoke to the female clerk, his hand was concealed in a bag alongside his hip in a position that suggested he was holding a firearm. The clerk thought she might have seen a handgun but could not be sure. He demanded money and directed the clerk to give him only the $20.00 bills. Fearing for her life, the clerk handed the suspect a stack of $20 bills she estimated to be worth about $500.00.

The suspect then ran out of the store and got into a green Honda sedan driven by an accomplice. A witness from the store was able to provide the suspect vehicle description and direction of travel. The witness said the vehicle left and headed east bound on Albion Little River Road, towards Comptche.

Deputies from the Ukiah area joined deputies from the Coast to converge on the Comptche area from several directions. They were assisted from State Park Rangers who were on duty in the area. At one point the suspect vehicle was spotted by a deputy sheriff, travelling at a high rate of speed, east bound on Comptche-Ukiah Road, approximately 4 miles west of Comptche. The deputy called out the suspect vehicle location and then turned around to attempt catch up with the vehicle. As the deputy arrived in Comptche, citizens provided information the suspect vehicle continued east on Comptche-Ukiah Road. There were other MCSO Deputies in this area but they did not meet the vehicle. A short time later the vehicle was spotted leaving a private driveway and was stopped on the Comptche-Ukiah Road near the intersection of Flynn Creek Road. It was later determined the vehicle entered the private driveway and attempted to flee on foot when the landowner confronted them. They got back into the vehicle and drove back out the driveway where deputies apprehended them.


Deputies identified the robbery suspect as eighteen year-old Tristan Mendez of Redwood Valley and the driver as a 17 year old juvenile, also of Redwood Valley. Evidence located on the suspects and in the suspects’ vehicle included approximately $500 in $20 bills, a knife, a black facemask, black gloves and a black beanie. Evidence located also linked the suspects to a similar robbery, which occurred the day before, at the Little Baker’s Market in Redwood Valley. Mendez and his seventeen-year-old accomplice were arrested for robbery and conspiracy.

The juvenile suspect was lodged into Juvenile Hall. Mendez was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he is held in lieu of $150,000 bail.

THIS IS A SAD ONE. Dumb kid, gangsta fantasies probably surging through his testosterone-charged head, goes on a little crime spree, thus screwing up, or at least complicating, the rest of his life. Even he straightens up after his jail house adventures, he'll be explaining these few hours until he turns up his toes. We understand that Anderson Valley's crack deputy, Craig Walker, made the arrest.

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MEANWHILE, just this weekend, a Mendo tweaker by the name of Daniel Saulsbury, who was running wild in Point Arena and scaring hell out of everyone along the main drag, had to be tazed by the cops who couldn't otherwise corral him, and we immediately see how Ferguson-ized the already demagogic media have become. The headline in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat read, “Fort Bragg Man dies after officers use Tasers.” The Chron headline also implied that the death was the cops' fault. “Man dies after being shot with stun guns.”

Saulsbury 2008-2014
Saulsbury 2008-2014

THE AUTOPSY is likely to sustain what was evident in the run-up to Saulsbury's death, a man with a long criminal history, not so incidentally. That is, that the guy was probably tweaked to the max, his heart already running at full throttle as he raged up and down Point Arena's main street. The tasers exploded his cardio-carrying capacity, propelling the guy into eternal submission. But the dead man was responsible for his death, not the police. What were the cops supposed to do, fight him into submission? Let him do whatever until he un-cranked?

BUT SURE ENOUGH, here comes MendoLib on ListServe: “There is another way to subdue a man or woman who has lost or is deliberately out of control. Officers are suppose to carry a heavy blanket in their vehicles for that purpose. Why don't they use it? Sounds like there were enough officers there in Point Arena to try. — Beth Bosk

“We citizens must stop this fear driven murder - it’s already spiraled out of control. De-militarize all the police departments from national to teeny cities/towns. And do not allow returning veterans to become LEO directly but must go thru de-compression from killing being the first response. Candidates need to be re-socialized. We also need to demand higher regular pay and a 4 year college/university degree for even applying. Standards are too low and bring in a low bar of employees over-all unfortunately. Time to stop war against US citizens by LEO’s — Officers of the Peace my ass!! We now fear them compellingly.” — Jessie VanSant

“I would never hold my breath waiting for ‘facts’ from the DA about a case of cops killing anyone. They will always, always justify it and find it reasonable. Three cops ought to be able to subdue one guy without resorting to shooting or electrocuting. Giving cops a license to kill anyone they say they are afraid of is what leads to situations like the one in Ferguson MO, and to the police-state which this country is becoming.” — Nick Wilson

“I agree with Eric on the need to follow up on these matters. I also know that it's hard to do. For example, when I questioned both the circumstances of the shooting and the overall handling of the Aaron Bassler situation (prior to the murders of Matt Coleman and Jere Melo), I didn't find a lot of support in official Mendocino County (and certainly not in the media). It's no secret that prosecutors and law enforcement often see eye to eye, particularly when officer safety is deemed to be at issue. I have heard praise for law enforcement in the handling of the recent tragic situation in Point Arena but also questioning as to why it was so difficult to subdue Mr. Saulsbury. All I can think is that he must have been "under the influence" of a substance that gave him tremendous strength to resist. Otherwise, would three separate officers have had to use their taser weapons to subdue him? Re the death of Shane Murphy on October 8, an autopsy was performed for the California Forensic Medical Group which contracts with the jail to provide medical services. I have not read that report but have been told that it noted contusions, broken ribs, a crushed spleen, and a clinical picture of Mr. Murphy being crushed to death. Here's an Advocate-News article questioning the apparent suicide.

— Supervisor Dan Hamburg

VANSANT has a truly touching faith in the humanity of college grads, Beth Bosk in blankets, Wilson limo lib second guessing, Hamburg, a supervisor with easy access to information, is vaguely suspicious, natch, of the Blue Meanies.

EYEWITNESSES say Saulsbury was totally, violently ape-shit. Tazing him was the only way the cops could subdue him without risking injury to themselves in hand-to-hand combat. The DA's investigators are smart and competent. If the poor guy from Cleone, Shane Murphy, whose autopsy Hamburg “heard about,” was murdered by his cellmates, or had been severely beaten during his arrest, we'll eventually learn the truth.

I SOMEWHAT AGREE with the Blue Meanie Brigade, though. There hasn't always been reputable authority in Mendocino County, and I know of a recent case right here in Boonville where a respectable woman was not only unnecessarily arrested but treated with gratuitous cruelty all the way over the hill to the County Jail. I've urged her to file a formal complaint, but she, understandably, just wants to forget about it. Mostly, though, Mendo cops — all cops — do a reputable job in a crumbling social context, and Hamburg, an elected supervisor with pals on the Superior Court, is certainly well-placed to get his questions answered.

BTW, FRANK HARTZELL'S excellent account in the Advocate of recent jail deaths (in the Advocate-News link above) brings us up to date on them. We note here that Ortner Management Group's role in Mr. Neuroth's death has not been commented on by Supervisor Hamburg, a staunch supporter of the privatization of the County's mental health services. OMG trundled the guy off to the County Jail without even giving him the drink of water that was his last known request.

HAMBURG did indeed ask the Sheriff about Murphy's death, and good on Hamburg for doing it: “I spoke with Sheriff Allman this morning regarding the death that occurred last Wednesday in Point Arena. According to the Sheriff, the officers had great difficulty subduing Mr. Saulsbury. This may have been due to his being “under the influence.” The situation will be investigated but it does appear that the officers did all that they could to avoid the sad ending. I also asked the Sheriff about the October 8 death by hanging that occurred in the jail. He shared the autopsy report with me. It made no mention of any injury to Shane Murphy's “musculoskeletal system,” referring only to injuries associated with death by hanging. The Sheriff did mention that when CPR is administered, it is very common that ribs are broken.”

SHERIFF ALLMAN is not an info hoarder. Ask him a question, you get an answer, almost always an informative answer, too.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec 1, 2014

Banks, Bodel, Bolton, Cabral
Banks, Bodel, Bolton, Cabral

KEVIN BANKS, Ukiah/Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, parole violation.

BRIAN BODEL, Willits. DUI-Drugs, under influence of controlled substance.

JOHN BOLTON, Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

VANESSA CABRAL, Springfield, Oregon/Ukiah. Driving without valid license. (Repeat from Nov 30 with recent mugshot.)

Dexter. Eller, Nelson, Odneal
Dexter. Eller, Nelson, Odneal


KENNETH ELLER, Kelseyville/Willits. Receiving stolen property, possession of controlled substance.

DEAN NELSON, Ukiah. Parole violation.


Pitts, Ramos, Rupp, Villalpando
Pitts, Ramos, Rupp, Villalpando

TIMOTHY PITTS, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, criminal threats, phone damage to prevent call for help, possession of hashish-marijuana.

JOHNNY RAMOS JR., Fort Bragg. Fugitive from justice.

SCOTT RUPP, Ukiah. Failure to register, probation revocation.

ALEJANDRO VILLALPANDO, Fort Bragg. Switchblade.

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PAUL LAMBERT WRITES: “I will repeat my retraction of my previous statements at the beginning of the next Mendo Matters, Thursday, December 4th between 9:00 am and 9:10 am. Mendo Matters is broadcast on KZYX on 90.1, 88.7 and 91.5 FM.”

THE GENESIS of Lambert’s communication? We’d written to the portly communi-caster after The Major had happened on Lambert’s casual slander of this fine publication on Lambert's Mendo Matters program. As uninformed as it’s possible for a single subject talk show host to be,  Lambert, unaware that Mendovito was still in its conceptual stage, had remarked that Mendovito EIR “came back negative.” When Mendovito’s proponent, Mr. Lewenz, replied that there was no EIR, Lambert said it was “a rumor published in the AVA and we all know the AVA is famous for publishing unfounded rumors.”

WELL! We certainly had no interest in force-feeding unseasoned crow to the tubby little fella, but we could hardly let him get away with that one, so we fired off the following:

  1. Please cite where any such claim about a Mendovito EIR was “published” in the AVA.
  2. Please cite one or more “unfounded rumors” published in the AVA.

Please consider this letter a demand at the next reasonable opportunity for

  1. An on-air retraction and proof of same via a CD or digital-audio file recording.
  2. An announcement to us in advance when such retraction will be broadcast.

WE WERE fully prepped for follow-up legal action, and will indeed pursue the matter if Lambert doesn't produce a copy of his on-air retraction for us, but he quickly has promised, “I will send you a digital audio file of the first few minutes of my show when I will make my retraction. Paul.”

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GREG KRAUSE REPORTS: “I got a resolution against wind machines and night time ag noise up at the regional Grange and accepted. We will distribute it after the next meeting Sunday in Jan. I am also getting info on New Zealand 4 prop wind blades that can go at slower speed to work on Bennet and others along with Ag Commissioner. I think we can do this without confrontation next spring.”

WE LIVE IN HOPE. But here at your beloved community newspaper we're pursuing a more aggressive strategy on the safe assumptions that the frost fan people won't budge; that the Ag Commissioner will support whatever the Wine People tell him to support; the County and our alleged supervisor will continue to pretend that the frost fans are not a problem; and the Planning and Building Department, where responsibility for the Right To Farm ordinance lies will continue to be non-responsive to our formal complaint, now six months old.

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ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY: I’ve been embarrassed by my white, middle-class “progressive/liberal” friends and acquaintances (who mostly have no first-hand experience with the vast poor black underclass that populates a neighboring city) express knee-jerk outrage at the Ferguson grand jury decision. I’m disappointed and surprised (perhaps naively) that they can’t respect the evidence and its lengthy examination by a legally-impanelled body. They are as easily manipulated as right-wing nuts. I think we live in a security state verging on a police state, and agree that the police can get out of control on occasion just as mobs or crazy individuals will sometimes. But individuals and communities (of every color) have to start making better choices and setting better examples for acceptable and sensible behavior.

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Thu Dec 4 - AV Foodshed Steering Committee - Boonville General Store - 9 am

Thu Dec 4 - Mendo County Bee Club Meeting - Ukiah Garden Club - 6:30 pm (see info below)

Sat Dec 6 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 10-12:30 (see info below)

Mon Dec 8 - Mendocino County Fair Board Meeting - FG Conference Room - 7 pm

Sat Dec 13 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 10-12:30

Sun Dec 14 - Foodshed/Grange Holiday Dinner - AV Grange (see info below)

Tue Dec 16 - AV Food Bank - Boonville Methodist Church (see info below)

Tue Dec 16- AV Grange #669 Meeting - Philo Grange - 7 pm potluck

Tue Dec 16 - Mendocino Farmers Guild - (see info below)

Sat Dec 20 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 10-12:30

Sat Dec 27 - Boonville Winter Market - Boonville General Store - 10-12:30

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December Local Food News Items

Eating Locally This Month in Anderson Valley

A foodshed is like a watershed. A watershed is where we get our water. A foodshed is where we get our food. The Anderson Valley foodshed is where those of us in AV can get our most local food. Here are some suggestions for maximizing your local food experience.

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If you have an abundance of fruit or winter veggies, come on down to the Winter Market (see below) to sell or trade.

The Apple Press is still available. It has moved back to AV Community Farm for the winter. You can call Tim at 831-332-5131 to arrange to use it.

The Boonville Winter Market is every Saturday, rain or shine, in front of the Boonville General Store, 10-12:30. Come on down with your locally grown or made food or crafts, to sell or trade. No registration required. For more info, call Cindy at 895-2949.

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Here are some of our other local food sources. Please let us know if there are any others that are missing.

AV Community Farm, on Lambert Lane (Lambert Ranch Road) in Boonville, sells at the Boonville Farmers’ Market & Winter Market and has CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture memberships) available

Blue Meadow Farm has a stand at the corner of Hwy 128 and Holmes Ranch Road.

Brock Farms sells at the Boonville Farmers’ Market and has a stand at the corner of Hwy 128 and Peachland Rd - follow the signs.

Chestnut Ridge sells chestnuts in season at the Boonville Farmers’ Market.

Emerald Earth offers pastured poultry eggs, $6/dozen, in the fridge in the hallway of the Ferrer building, behind Farmhouse Mercantile.

Filigreen Farm, on Anderson Valley Way, has a new farm stand.

Gowan’s Oak Tree, on Hwy 128 north of Philo, is a farm stand. (the oldest still in existence?)

Lone Oak Farm sells at the Boonville Farmers’ Market.

McEwen Family Farm sells at the Boonville Farmers’ Market.

Petit Teton Farm, on Hwy 128 between Boonville and Yorkville, has a variety of produce and eggs available at it’s farm stand. (See info below.)

Philo Apple Farm, on Greenwood Road by the bridge, has a farm stand.

Philo Hill Farm is on Hwy 128 in Philo, at the new Lula Cellars Home Vineyard, and sells at the Boonville Farmers’ Market.

WildeAcre Farm sells at the Boonville Winter Market.

Yorkville Olive Ranch sells olive oil at the Boonville Farmers’ Market and Winter Market.

The AV Senior/Community Center has a vegetable garden that is providing some of the produce for the delicious meals there. All community members are encouraged to take advantage of this local food opportunity. For meal schedule and more information go to or call Gina at 895-3609.

Eateries in Anderson Valley that support our farmers by using locally grown produce are Aquarelle Cafe, Boont Berry Farm, Boonville General Store, Boonville Hotel, Coq au Vin, Lauren’s Café, Mosswood Market, Paysanne and Stone & Embers. (Lauren’s identifies local ingredients in many of the offerings on it’s menu.)

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For more information about local food sources, please go to

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The AV Foodshed Steering Committee meets the first Thursday of each month. All are welcome to join in with ideas, either by coming to a meeting, emailing this address or calling either Jim at 496-8725 or Cindy at 895-2949. We have a variety of on-going projects to become involved with.

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Mendocino County Bee Club Monthly Meeting (1st Monday) - Ukiah Garden Club - 1203 W. Clay St., Ukiah, CA 95482 - 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

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There will be no second Sunday Pancake Breakfast at the AV Grange this month.

The annual Holiday Dinner takes it’s place on that evening. The dinner begins at 5 pm. AV Grange and AV Foodshed will provide turkey and potatoes from Redwood Valley and ham from Anderson Valley. The sides and desserts are potluck and are provided by all of you. There will be holiday music and singing. Kids activities will be available 4:30-5:30.

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Mendocino Permaculture's annual Winter Abundance Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop/Seed & Scion Exchange will be on Saturday, January 31st at the Fairgrounds. If there is anyone who would like to learn about the extensive scion or seed gathering process for the workshop or help with the organization of the event, please email Barbara at or call 895-3897.

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From the AV Food Bank — Gardeners, Farmers and Produce Growers of all kinds, please remember Food Bank days (3rd Tuesday of every month) as a place to donate your extra produce. It will be greatly appreciated. Please drop off on the Monday before, behind Boonville Methodist Church. Thanks

If you need someone to glean your produce to take to the Food Bank, contact Valerie Kim at

Denisse Mattei is the Food Bank director. You can reach her at 895-3763.

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From Doug Mosel

  1. The Mendocino Grain Project announces availability of shares of the 2014 harvest. For details contact Doug:
  2. December 15 is the deadline for comments on the second draft of the FDA's food safety regulations, which impact growers and processors. If you grow, process or distribute food or food products, you may be affected. To inform yourself and find directions for how to comment, visit the excellent website sponsored by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition,

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Petit Teton Farm put a holiday page on their website:

The farm is at 18601 Hwy 128, 4 miles south of Boonville, and is open most of the time during the week, Saturday after 2pm, and most Sunday afternoons. Stop by or email or call 684.4146 to find out if we're open and what's available or just drop in. We look forward to seeing you.

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Looks like lots of wild mushrooms this year! Soon we'll have them in pasta and then comes wild mushroom pizza! (check out our website to know for sure.)

*indicates locally produced (Some items will disappear as the month goes on.)

Small Plates-

  • Winter Squash* Soup 4.75
  • Roasted Chestnuts* With Local Olive Oil* 6.00
  • Wild Mushrooms* In Cream* Sauce On Toasts 9.50
  • Roasted Garlic With Pennyroyal Goat Cheese* & Toast Rounds* (Gluten Free Option) 7.50
  • Crostini With Rare Sirloin And Arugula* Aioli 7.50
  • Caponata* With Goat Cheese* And Toast Rounds 9.50
  • Arugula* With Pears*, Blue Cheese And Pecans 7.50
  • Savory Tart With Winter Squash*, Onions & Asiago Cheese 7.50
  • Mixed Greens With Beets*, Blue Cheese And Walnuts 7.00

Main Plates-

  • Pasta With Lemon's Italian Sausage* And Greens* In Tomato* Sauce 14.75
  • Served With Broccolini*
  • Roasted Rocky Chicken* Sandwich With Caramelized Onions & Greens On Schat’s Sourdough Wheat Bread* 14.50
  • Served With French Fries Or Salad
  • Pizza For One With Served With A Small Green Salad
  • Tomato*, Eggplant*, Onions*, Basil* And Pennyroyal Goat Cheese* 14.75
  • Asian Big Bowl - Chicken Teriyaki With Rocky Chicken* Thighs On Brown Basmati Rice* 15.50
  • Served With Red Cabbage Salad & Cucumber Relish

Desserts 6.00

  • Baby Rae's Cheesecake With Wild Blackberry Sauce*
  • Honey* Baked Pears* With Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Sierra Beauty Apple* Tartlet With Vanilla Ice Cream

Plus All The Regulars. (Burgers, Tostada, Meatloaf, Sesame Noodles, Grilled Avocado Sandwich, More Salads, More Pizzas And More!

Lauren's in downtown Boonville. Serving Dinner - Tuesday through Saturday, 5:00 to 9:00. Summertime Lunch - Thursday through Sunday, 11:30 to 2:30, May through Oct.

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by Dan Bacher

A Bechtel Foundation-funded water storage study released by U.C. Davis on November 20 promotes Governor Jerry Brown's peripheral tunnels and links the construction of new dams to tunnels, according to Restore the Delta (RTD).

(RTD), opponents of Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build two massive water diversion tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, today released their critical responses to the study, “Integrating Storage in California’s Changing Water System."

The study comes as the California Water Commission begins developing rules for allocating investments in storage projects from funds recently approved by California voters through the passage of Proposition 1. Critics say the $7.5 billion water bond, a deceptive measure funded by billionaires, agribusiness tycoons, timber company and sweatshop barons, Big Tobacco and Big Oil, is a huge water grab for corporate agribusiness interests, Southern California developers, oil companies and other special interests.

The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, funded by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, claims, "California’s approval of a $7.5 billion water bond has bolstered prospects for expanding reservoirs and groundwater storage, but the drought-prone state can effectively use no more than a 15 percent increase in surface water storage capacity because of lack of water to fill it, according to a new analysis released Nov. 20."

The report by U.C. Davis water engineers and scientists, three prominent "water consultants, and the Nature Conservancy, who contributed over $500,000 to pass the water bond, says California could potentially use up to 6 million acre-feet in combined additional surface and groundwater storage. This is about a third more capacity than Shasta Reservoir. They say exceeding this expansion runs into limits of available precipitation and the ability to transport water.

“Reservoir storage does not equate to water supply,” said Jay Lund, lead author of the report and director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. “Reservoirs cannot supply water without a water supply to fill them first.”

The report, “Integrating Storage in California’s Changing Water System,” evaluates the possibilities of increasing water storage capacity in the semi-arid state. "The study does not encompass economic or environmental analysis to determine whether additional storage is justified. Rather, they determined the maximum that could be used, both with and without coordination with other parts of California’s water system," according to the authors.

For more information, go to:

Restore the Delta disagrees with UC Davis that the study represents an "integrated" approach to solving California's water problems.

"The study promises a new 'integrated approach' to evaluating storage projects (surface and groundwater), but fails to deliver on that promise," according to a statement from RTD. "The study leaves out who depends on which water sources and how much, and what water rights are involved. Yet, it makes the link between new dam projects and Governor Brown’s Delta tunnels project, which would destroy the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary—the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas."

RTD said the study’s authors fail to integrate the system fully: they omit from their analysis any place for in stream flows - flows that benefit fish and other aquatic organisms and ecosystems along rivers below dams. Under California Fish & Game Code Section 5937, dam owners in California are required to keep fish populations below their dams in good condition.

"There are many unanswered questions for which the authors want more money (most likely from Bechtel yet again) to do more studies of how to have new storage approaches integrate with the Delta Tunnels project, to maximize water supply deliveries to SWP water contractors, either through wet-year storage or dry-year water transfers," said Barbara Barrigan-Parilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta.

"This study does not consider reoperation of existing facilities, water demand management, changes in prioritization of water uses or rights, or other policy or regulatory actions that might change the ability to supply water demands using existing water storage capabilities. In other words, it is half-baked," she said.

The S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation is funded by the Bechtel Corporation, which has a direct financial self-interest in building “conveyance” and “storage” facilities.

"We really worry about the framing of research, and the pollution of its intent and findings, when it is wholly funded by those with a massive financial stake in the outcome," Barrigan-Parrilla noted. "We also find it equally disturbing that academic leaders in water spend such little time studying, developing, and creating plans for implementing water technologies that could help alleviate problems with drought. Instead, they continue to promote nineteenth-century solutions that appease funders, rather than creating plans for a viable California water future."

Foundation Greenwashes Bechtel's Terrible Environmental Policies

Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. is the son of Stephen David Bechtel, Sr. and grandson of Warren A. Bechtel who founded the Bechtel Corporation. His San Francisco-based foundation, the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, has as its overall mission, "to support well-managed non-profit organizations that provide quality programs and create significant sustained benefits in areas of special interest to the Founders and Directors."

However, its real mission appears to be the greenwashing of one of the most environmentally destructive corporations on the planet. The Bechtel Corporation, one of the world’s largest engineering and construction firms that was instrumental in the "reconstruction" of Iraq, is a leading advocate throughout the world of the privatization of water systems. It was Bechtel that sued the country of Bolivia for canceling a contract there sponsored by the World Bank. (

A CorpWatch report, "Profiting from Destruction," provides case studies from Bechtel’s history of operating in the water, nuclear, energy and public works sectors. These case studies reveal a legacy of unsustainable and destructive practices that have reaped permanent human, environmental and community devastation around the globe. Letters from "Bechtel affected communities" included in the report provide first-hand descriptions of these impacts, from Bolivia to Native American lands in Nevada.

The report reveals a 100-year history spent capitalizing on the most brutal technologies, reaping immense profits and ignoring the social and environmental costs. For more information, go to

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The Dark Alliance Between U.C. Davis And Bechtel

The U.C. Davis Center for Watershed Sciences ( received a "gift" of $10 million from the Bechtel Foundation in September 2013 "to expand its scientific research and public engagement capabilities on the state's increasingly difficult water problems."

"The University of California, Davis, will build on its success as a center for problem-solving research on California's critical water issues thanks to a $10 million gift to the Center for Watershed Sciences," according to a UC Davis news release. (

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, who will be forever remembered as the "Pepper Spray Chancellor" for her role in suppressing Occupy protests at U.C. Davis in 2011 and 2012, claimed, "UC Davis has a long history of providing vital scientific and policy support for addressing water problems critical to the health and prosperity of Californians. This support will enable the university to expand this important work and further scientific discovery of this precious and limited resource."

Jay Lund, director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, and Jeffrey Mount, center co-founder, are strong advocates for the construction of the peripheral tunnels, in spite of all the scathing reviews and studies of the project by scientific panels, ranging from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to the Delta Independent Science Board, to the National Academy of Sciences.

In an Associated Press interview on Dec. 9, 2013, Lund claimed the goal of the state's Bay Delta Conservation Plan is not to increase the amount of water being sent to cities and Central Valley farms, but to make the conveyance "less environmentally damaging."

"This is really not about taking additional water from other water users ... it's just shifting the place of diversion," Lund said. "You can never have no impact when doing (something like this), but you're changing the impacts and transforming them for something that's less bad for the native fish." (

Restore the Delta is a 15,000-member grassroots organization committed to making the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable to benefit all of California. Restore the Delta works to improve water quality so that fisheries and farming can thrive together again in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. For more information, go to:

Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546;; Twitter: @shopcraft; @MrSandHillCrane; Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209/479-2053; Twitter: @RestoretheDelta

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