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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Feb 20, 2015

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13400 Block of South Highway 101 Hopland, Ca

02-18-2015 Time: 4:54 PM

On February 18, 18-2015 at 4:54 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received an agency assistance request from the California Highway Patrol (CHP). It was reported a CHP Officer had two persons held at gun point during a vehicle stop at the Hopland Superette located in the 13000 block of South Highway 101 in Hopland, California. While several Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were responding it was discovered the suspect vehicle had fled and was being pursued by the CHP Officer. The suspect vehicle fled southbound on Highway 101 until it stopped several miles later in the area of the landmark known as the Rock Shop. The driver of the suspect vehicle fled on foot while two passengers were detained by the CHP Officer and a Coyote Valley Tribal Police Officer who had stopped to render assistance. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies arrived, including a K9 team, and assisted CHP Officers in searching for the driver. Approximately one hour later the driver was located and arrested without further incident. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies learned an off-duty Deputy Sheriff with the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office had stopped to render assistance to the CHP Officer during the traffic stop at the Hopland Superette. It was reported the off-duty Deputy Sheriff discharged their handgun one time causing no injury to the involved persons. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detectives were summoned to the scene and began investigations into the circumstances of the shooting per the Mendocino County Officer-Involved Fatal Incident Protocol.

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THOMAS RINEHART died two weeks ago on Signal Ridge of an apparent overdose of fentanyl patches he may have applied to ease the physical pain associated with Marfan's Syndrome. He was from Colorado and seems to have come West to work in agriculture. Described as a "nice guy" and "semi-reclusive" by the few locals who knew him, Rinehart, 41, owned the 40-acre parcel he was found dead on.

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LONG-TIME Valley resident Jerry Huey has died. A star athlete at Anderson Valley High School in the 1960s, Jerry, a woods worker, was well-known as a dedicated volunteer youth coach. (We will have a full obituary by next week's print edition.)

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THERESA AVILA, a homeless woman who spent the last years of her life camping in the Navarro area, died last week in the Adventist Hospital, Ukiah. Ms. Avila, believed to be in her fifties, suffered from an array of ailments. She is survived by a daughter who lives in Albion.

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ZUMBA! The energetic exercise dance has become very big in the Anderson Valley, "the only local activity I know of," a Boonville woman says "where Anglo and Mexican women get together to do something — anything."

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drawings and paintings by Kyllikki ‘Kay’ Clark

Reception to Celebrate Kay’s Art

Friday, February 20, 2015

5:30-7:30 pm at the Scharffenberger Cellars Tasting Room


All proceeds to benefit the non-profit AVArts scholarship fund to further student studies in the visual, literary & performing Arts.

Special thanks to the Clark family for their support.

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SIGH. A local man told me the other day that I'm censoring "the other side" of the immunization argument. I told him I wasn't censoring him so much as I'm doing a public service in not helping to spread misinformation. There isn't another side of the immunization argument. The sources my critic cites have been thoroughly discredited. In my view, parents who refuse to vaccinate ought to be compelled to vaccinate. They're not only risking the lives of their children but everyone else's too. We don't print arguments on a whole range of prevalent quackery — extra-terrestrials, Building 7, non-scheduled forms of religious belief, CalTrans, and so on. The internet is very bad for the credulous.

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5pm, Friday Feb 20 at Methodist Church in Boonville

$10 for Pozole Dinner, eat there or take home

Fundraiser for Teen Center trip to UCLA during spring break

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Feb 19, 2015

Barriga-Barrera, Cooks, Dark, Delacruz
Barriga-Barrera, Cooks, Dark, Delacruz

JOSE BARRIGA-BARRERA, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

ANDRE COOKS, Stockton/Ukiah. Escape (or attempted escape) from city or county jail.

TIMI DARK, Ukiah. Trespassing.

ANGELA DELACRUZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Gouber, Hensley, Jennings, Morris
Gouber, Hensley, Jennings, Morris

JACK GOUBER, Redwood Valley. Trespass, refusal to leave a school campus; interfering with peaceful conduct.

CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting arrest, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

RANDAL JENNINGS, Westport. Recklessness with injury.

ADAM MORRIS, Willits. Pot possession for sale, pot cultivation, probation revocation.

Samano, Schwindt, Whitney, Williams, Zaccaria
Samano, Schwindt, Whitney, Williams, Zaccaria

JUAN SAMANO, Ukiah. Domestic battery.


DUSTIN WHITNEY, San Rafael/Hopland. Possession of smoking-injection device, evasion, resisting aarrest, probation revocation.

LYDELL WILLIAMS, Ukiah. County parole violation.

DIANE ZACCARIA, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture, just get people to stop reading them.

— Ray Bradbury

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All-Empire small school boys soccer team


  • Alexis Morales, Roseland University Prep, Sr.


  • Omar Rodriguez, Kelseyville, Sr.
  • Jose Chavarria, Tomales, Sr.
  • Ricardo Covarudias, Kelseyville, Jr.
  • Angel Mendoza, Fort Bragg, Sr.
  • Moises Segura, Anderson Valley, Sr.
  • Miguel Rojas, Tomales, Sr.
  • Mario Rosas, Tomales, Sr.
  • Sergio Jacinto, Willits, Sr.
  • Andreas Raunegger, Saint Helena, Sr.
  • Danny Valencia, Cloverdale, Fr.
  • Fernando Ferreyra, Anderson Valley, Jr.
  • Isidro Tovar, Anderson Valley, Soph.
  • Eric Mendoza, Tomales, Sr.
  • Enrique Sanchez, Roseland University Prep, Sr.
  • Enrique Cacho, Kelseyville, Jr.
  • Goalkeeper: Victor Cacho, Kelseyville, Soph.


  • Cody Hartsock, Summerfield Waldorf, Sr.
  • Saul Sanchez, Saint Helena, Sr.
  • Clemente Arreguin, Fort Bragg, Sr.
  • Nick Johnson, Willits, Sr.
  • David Fernandez, Lower Lake, Sr.
  • Connor Alioto, Geyserville, Sr.
  • Benjamin Lomeli, Tomales, Sr.
  • Orlando Huerta, Fort Bragg, Sr.
  • David Sammon, Saint Vincent, Sr.
  • Jose Cara, Willits, Sr.
  • Abraham Sanchez, Anderson Valley, Jr.
  • Jonathan Groothoff, Rincon Valley Christian, Jr.
  • Ricardo Carillo, Calistoga, Sr.
  • Gabe Andrade, Sonoma Academy, Sr.
  • Bezzi Lizzi, Rio Lindo Adventist Academy
  • Goalkeeper: Fernando Marquez, Archbishop Hanna


  • Steve Sparks, Anderson Valley

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The Comptche Community Organization is having a Flea Market on March 21 at Comptche Community Hall, 30672 Comptche-Ukiah Road. Come browse the treasures from the finest barns and sheds in Comptche. Locally made arts, furniture, crafts, household items, and food will be sold between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Interested vendors call the Comptche Community Hall at 937-2929, and leave a message. Or email Vendors must stay until the flea market ends at 3 p.m.

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Dear Editor;

Walmart has announce a wage increase to $9 a hour for 500,000 of their 1.3 million employees which will go to $10 a hour in 2016. These paltry increases are far below the Federal poverty guidelines and do not represent a livable wage of $15 a hour. Some people will be impressed by this increase in wages by Walmart. But those who care about workers who struggle to feed themselves and family on slave labor pay certainly are not impressed

In peace,

Jim Updegraff, Sacramento

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A Reader Writes: The key phrase in the linked document is "effective services." There's no reliable way to evaluate these alleged services and even if a few people are "helped," what's the definition of success? Fact is, a few tractable people are briefly enrolled in these programs while the great mass of homeless, ever increasing, continues to shuffle around public places all day doing their civic morale-destroying things. Ortner and HH doesn't even attempt to work with, say, Heather DeWolfe, and the rest of the Impossibles. The true beneficiaries of HH are upper management. They have way too much money to play with.

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Subject: Assault with Deadly Weapon - Stabbing

On Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at about 2:30 p.m., Officers were called to a business in the 700 block of S.State Street for a reported stabbing. Officers located a victim who had been stabbed two times in the upper torso. The victim, a 23 year male, hometown unknown, reported that he was walking into a business and was stabbed from behind as he was about to enter the store. The Victim reported that he did not know his attacker who was reported to be a white male. The victim was taken to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center for treatment and later released. The Ukiah Police Detectives continue to investigate this case and no further information is available at this time. Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to contact the Ukiah Police Department at (707)463-6262

(Ukiah Police Department Press Release)

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And this just in this morning, yet another hammer drops on what remains of Lance Armstrong’s big lie:

This one from SCA Promotions, an insurance outfit that was basically betting against him and the likelihood that he could keep reeling off TdF wins. Of course he had to sign affidavits swearing that he wasn’t doping or cheating to win them, so that all got scuttled when the truth finally came out.

Armstrong is perhaps the most the most public example of how easy it really is to pull off a fairly elaborate conspiracy involving a fairly large number of actors and a huge amount of money, most of whom were even basically honest, well intentioned people. His keys:

* Come up with a really big, really attractive lie and sell the shit out of it. In his case, Lance Armstrong, All-American boy, cancer survivor and super-human bike racer.

* Draw your accomplices in slowly until they too are compromised. Then remind them of that fact from time to time. Use both the carrot and the stick liberally as often as required to maintain discipline thereafter.

* Maintain an iron clad facade. Practice the lie and repeat it often. And if skeptics somehow find a crack, double down and attack!

* Spread the wealth around. This is where Armstrong eventually fucked up. He turned on former accomplices who were (rather amateurishly) trying to duplicate his fraud in his aftermath. He got greedy and they turned on him!

But of course the CIA, NSA, and all the various US agencies at work now have infinitely more game and resources at their disposal than Armstrong’s puny operation ever did, so one can only wonder what their playbook looks like. Maybe one day in the distant future someone will write a tell all. One can only wish!

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STORAGE REGIME CHANGES lets Lake Mendo hold more water back. Finally.

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The mystery man came over

And he said "I'm outta sight!"

He said for a nominal service charge

I could reach Nirvana tonight

If I was ready, willing and able

To pay him his regular fee

He would drop all the rest of

His pressing affairs and devote

His attention to me


But I said "Look here, brother,

who you jiving with that cosmik debris?

Now who you jiving with that cosmik debris?

Look here, brother, don't waste your time on me"


The mystery man got nervous

And he fidget around a bit

He reached in the pocket of his mystery robe

And he whipped out a shaving kit

Now I thought it was a razor

And a can of foaming goo

But he told me right then when the top popped open

There was nothin' his box won't do

With the oil of Aphrodite, and the dust of the Grand Wazoo

He said "You might not believe this, little fella,

But it'll cure your asthma too"


And I said "Look here, brother,

who you jiving with that cosmik debris?

Now what kind of a guru are you anyway?

Look here, brother, don't waste your time on me"


"I've got troubles of my own," I said

"And you can't help me out

So, take your meditations and your preparations

And ram it up your snout!"

"But I got the crystal ball," he said

And held it to the light

So I snatched it all away from him

And I showed him how to do it right


I wrapped a newspaper 'round my head

So I looked like I was deep

I said some mumbo-jumbo then

I told him he was going to sleep

I robbed his rings and pocketwatch

And everything else I found

I had that sucker hypnotized

He couldn't even make a sound

I proceeded to tell him his future then

As long as he was hanging around

I said "The price of meat has just gone up

And your old lady has just gone down!"


And I said "Look here, brother,

who you jiving with that cosmik debris?

Now is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?

Don't you know, you could make more money as a butcher?

So, don't waste your time on me"

Don't waste it, don't waste your time on me.

— Frank Zappa

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Slideshow Highlights the Experience of Making of a Garden with Stone Walls and a Bridge

Fort Bragg, California – February 20, 2015 -- The gardens at Harmony Woods are nestled into a cathedral of redwoods and reflect a penchant for collecting an enormous range of unusual and beautiful plants. Water and stone are uniquely integrated into the landscapes; a stone bridge and waterfalls appear to have existed for ages. Join Judy and Bob Mathey on Saturday, March 6 from 10:00am to 11:00am at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens Meeting Room for a presentation and slideshow about their journey creating their garden, which has been accepted in the Archives of American Gardens of the Smithsonian Institution.

The presentation will show the enormity of the project, from the first delivery of stones until the final christening party, in addition to the fun of selecting stones, then placing them, and revealing some unanticipated challenges along the way. The emphasis of the garden is on rhododendrons and conifers, with more than 300 specimens of each, but these are a small part of a vast array of plant material gracing more than 20 beds.

This presentation is free; however seating is limited. Please reserve a space by phoning The Garden Store at 707 964-4352 ext. 16.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is located at 18220 North Highway 1 in Fort Bragg, California. The 47-acre not-for-profit public garden’s mission is “to engage and enrich lives by displaying and conserving plants in harmony with our Northern California coastal ecosystems.” More information can be found at

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On Friday, March 6th, 5:00-7:30 PM the Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch will host:

March First Friday Art Walk

Re-use and Use Anew: enjoy making folded paper boxes from last year’s calendars and magazines.

Live music with Stephen Winkle

& yummy treats

Sponsored by the Friends of the Ukiah Library

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Friday Night Magic and Pokémon

This event is being held every Friday evening through March from 5:00 to 7:30 PM at the Willits Library, 390 East Commercial Street, Willits. Bring your cards and play at the Willits Library! This event is for youth ages 10 to 14. Parental contact info is required to sign in. Participants are welcome to bring snacks and beverages.

For more information contact Jill Dorman at 459-5908.

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Drop-in Knitting Circle

Willits library will be hosting a drop-in knitting circle on the first Saturday of every month, starting March 7, from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM. Bring your projects to share and show off! We will have expert knitters on board who can solve any problems and teach everyone to knit! Bring your own projects – we’ll supply the coffee!

If you would like a reminder before each knitting circle, sign up at the Willits library. Sign-ups are not necessary – everyone is welcome to drop in.

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The worst-ever run of steelhead continues to trickle into the American River, Sacramento's imperiled urban jewel.

The NImbus Fish Hatchery in Rancho Cordova has trapped a total of only 111 fish to date. In a good year, the hatchery would have already trapped thousands of steelhead.

The previous record low was 200 steelhead in the early 1990s, but this run looks like it will be well below that disastrous return. The peak of the run is over and increasingly fewer fish are expected to return to the hatchery while the ladder remains open.

During 2013 and early 2014, the Bureau of Reclamation drained Folsom to a record low level of 17 percent of capacity in order to export water to corporate agribusiness, Southern California water agencies and big oil companies. The Bureau did this in spite of it being a record drought year. Nimbus Dam releases were reduced to 500 cfs during most of the steelhead season last year.

“The steelhead died for a noble cause - almonds," quipped Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).

"California's almond orchards use almost 9 percent of the state's agricultural water supply, or about 3.5 million acre feet," according to Carolee Krieger, Executive Director of the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN). "That's enough water to supply the domestic needs of the Los Angeles Basin and metropolitan San Diego combined - about 75 percent of the state's population." (

Steelhead are just one of many dozens of species that are massacred in the Delta pumping facilities that export water to corporate agribusiness interests that grow almonds, pistachios and other export crops.

“On Monday, 20 steelhead were salvaged in the state and federal pumping facilities," said Jennings. "Twelve of these fish were hatchery fish with adipose clips and 8 were wild.”

Jennings emphasized that when the storm pulse came down the Sacramento River this year, the state and federal governments turned the Delta pumps on and the fish, including steelhead migrating their way to the ocean, got sucked into the South Delta.

“The reason why American River steelhead are in collapse is the same reason why Delta smelt, longfin smelt, striped bass and other fish are down to less that 1 percent of their historic levels – overpumping of Delta water,” said Jennings.

In addition, winter run chinook, an endangered species under the federal and state Endangered Species Acts, have been hammered for the second time in a row. “The water agencies 'saved' water in Shasta to export 2.1 million acre feet of water to the settlement contractors last June, July and August,” said Jennings.

Now the Bureau is reducing flows on the American River once again. The flows were reduced from 900 cfs to 850 cfs on February 18 and will be reduced from 850 cfs to 800 cfs on February 19.

The reason? “Storage Conservation,” claimed Randi Field of the Bureau.

Drought is not the reason for the collapse of American River steelhead, winter run Chinook salmon and the near extinction of Delta smelt, as agency officials and some reporters for the mainstream media claim. It is the terrible management of our reservoirs and rivers by the Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources during a record drought that is to blame for record low populations of fish species that once numbered in the millions.

The Delta smelt, an indicator species that demonstrates the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, reached a new record low population level in 2014, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's fall midwater trawl survey released in January. Department staff found a total of only eight smelt at a total of 100 sites sampled each month from September through December. ( The surveys were initiated in 1967, the same year the State Water Project began exporting water from the Delta. The surveys show that population indices of Delta smelt, striped bass, longfin smelt, threadfin shad and American shad have declined 95.6%, 99.6%, 99.8%, 97.8%, 90.9%, respectively, between 1967 and 2013, according to Jennings.

For information about the latest science regarding salmon and steelhead populations on the American River, go to:

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Six local high schools began competition at the 26th annual County Mock Trials, sponsored by the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE), at the County Courthouse in downtown Ukiah on Saturday, January 31, 2015. The high school teams came from Charter Academy of the Redwoods, Developing Virtue Girls' School, Fort Bragg High, Laytonville High, Mendocino High and Ukiah High. After the third round of semifinal competition concluded the morning of February 7th, the current champion Fort Bragg High and previous champions Laytonville High emerged as the finalist teams earning the right to face each other in the last round of this year's competition.

The final trial was held in Courtroom B at the Courthouse with a full house of parents and event supporters in attendance. After an intense battle with numerous objections and powerful arguments, MCOE Associate Superintendent Paul Joens-Poulton announced that the Laytonville team had won the right to reclaim the Ron Brown Memorial perpetual trophy from the Fort Bragg High team. The Laytonville High team will represent Mendocino County at the state competition in Riverside, March 20-22, 2015.

Charter Academy of the Redwoods team member Isabella Verducci won a medal in the Courtroom Artist category of the competition and also has the right to accompany the Laytonville High state team to competition in March.

[FBHS Team Pic]Fort Bragg High School Finalist Team: Front Row (L-R): Toby Kafin, Reilly Hackett, Travis Loomis, Vivien Fontanilla, Tracy Gordon, Molly Dorsey, Ben Kafin. Back Row L to R: Attorney Coach Ryan Perkins, Teacher Coach Josh Brown, Sam Perkins, Julia Ravella, Josepha Surgrue, Victoria Yanéz, José Gaona, Meghana Kao, Seidy Naal, Natalie Mix, Teacher Coach Tara Larson, Attorney Coach Peter Kafin.

High school mock trial coaches recruit students to participate in this academic enrichment activity each year. Participating schools and coaches are: Charter Academy of the Redwoods (coach-Ed Andersen), Developing Virtue Girls' School (coach-Kim Duong), Fort Bragg High (coaches-Tara Larson/Joshua Brown), Laytonville High (coach-Bruce Potter), Mendocino High (coach-Tyler Grinberg) and Ukiah High (coach-Matthew LaFever). Approximately 95 students represented the six high school teams.

Professionals from all aspects of the local legal community volunteer their time to coach teams or score/officiate during the competitions. Attorney coaches this year included Joshua Rosenfeld (Charter Academy of the Redwoods); Matthew Finnegan and Jennifer O'Brien (Developing Virtue); Peter Kafin and Ryan Perkins (Fort Bragg); Elina Agnoli and Elizabeth Norman (Laytonville); Jone Lemos (Mendocino); and Sergio Fuentes, Colin Morrow, Alexander Rich, and Zach Stephens (Ukiah).

Also participating in the two-Saturday event as presiding judges were the Honorable Judges John Behnke, Cindee Mayfield, Ann Moorman, David Nelson and David Riemenschneider. Serving the program on both competition Saturdays as both Judges Pro Tem and scorers were Senior Staff Counsel Giny Chandler, Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox, and private practice attorney Katharine Elliott. Scoring panels were also comprised of Deputy Alternate Defender Lewis Finch; Deputy District Attorneys Kaitlin Keane and Jon Hopkins; Public Defenders Anthony Adams Carly Dolan, Andrew Higgins, Jonathan Opet, and Lindsay Peak; and private practice attorneys Larry Ainbinder, Macci Baldock, Robert Boyd, Charlotte Scott, Michael Shambrook, Susan Sher.

The County Mock Trial competition gives students the opportunity to experience the American judicial system first-hand. Student teams argue both sides of a fictitious case developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the statewide coordinators of this academic enrichment activity.

This year student team members will portray all key roles in the case People v. Shem, the trial of Evan Shem who is studying for a masters of fine arts degree at Hamiltonia University. Shem faces one felony count, theft by larceny, for the theft of Treason, a painting by Fletcher Yazoo. The pretrial issue in People v. Shem centers on the Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.

The Laytonville High team continues to work with their school coach Bruce Potter and attorney coaches Elizabeth Norman and Elina Agnoli to refine and improve upon their performance in preparation for state competition.

Although MCOE is able to pay for team member state registration fees and a portion on their lodging expense, the school must still raise approximately $6,000 to cover transportation to Riverside and the expense of meals for the team for three days. Donations from interested supporters can be made payable to the Laytonville High State Mock Trial Team and sent to Laytonville High School, c/o Bruce Potter, PO Box 868, Laytonville, CA, 95454.

For more information about the Mendocino County Mock Trial Program please visit the event's webpage

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The Happiness Project


The following is an open letter to Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun." (2009). She is a Yale Law School grad who once clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Conner. She lives in NYC with her husband and two daughters.

I'm sending this letter even to friends who consider spirituality and self-help books "whu-whu" for more reasons to think I'm a light weight--like I care. Hey, enjoy life!


Dear Gretchen,

Two years ago, at the advanced age of 76 and not speaking the language, I moved to France for travel-adventure, spiritual unfoldment, and to get away from very, very disappointing USA politics. Although I've made a number of stretches in my life, I hadn't made such a big one since age 30 when I walked off a job destroying a budding career in industrial journalism and became a full-time activist and advocacy journalist for peace, justice and the environment.

A month ago, prompted by a friend who took a "vow of happiness," I followed suit and within weeks found your book "The Happiness Project" in a thrift shop in Napa, California, where I was recuperating from a serious operation at the home of my sister and brother-in-law.

The past two years in France have been very difficult for me especially with my health and the bureaucracy. But your book infected me with resiliency, determination, and faith that I am in the right place, at the right time, for the right reasons.

Two days ago, having flown into Paris from San Francisco, a pickpocket stole from one of my pockets with a velcro flap an envelope containing about 600 Euros AND my French bankcard with pin code. I telephoned my French "nanny" who in turn quickly called the bank and was assured my account would be closed immediately and a new card issued. But today my friend discovered my account had NOT been terminated and about 3000 Euros more had been stollen.

For hours today, I felt like I had been robbed by the bank as well as the pickpocket. Dazed as if I had been bludgeoned, I also felt incredibly stupid for having my pin code with the bankcard which, in my defense, I did because I cannot keep track of all the bloody codes in my cyber life.

What a welcome home to France, I thought.

But then my depression lifted enough to grab your book and start reading including notes I wrote on the inside back cover. I especially liked your quote by William Butler Yeats, "Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing." And as I recall, you added just "striving" for growth helps big time.

Thank you so much for your psycho/spiritual first aid. Once again I feel like I'm growing. And as someone once said, "Nothing bad ever happens to a writer. Everything is material." Who knows, I might make a novel out my misadventures in old age.

Tom Cahill

Granville, France

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Open letter to P.M.

by Ralph Nader

TO: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister:

Many Americans love Canada and the specific benefits that have come to our country from our northern neighbor’s many achievements (see Canada Firsts by Nader, Conacher and Milleron). Unfortunately, your latest proposed legislation — the new anti-terrorism act — is being described by leading Canadian civil liberties scholars as hazardous to Canadian democracy.

A central criticism was ably summarized in a February 2015 Globe and Mail editorial titled “Parliament Must Reject Harper’s Secret Policeman Bill,” to wit:

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper never tires of telling Canadians that we are at war with the Islamic State. Under the cloud of fear produced by his repeated hyperbole about the scope and nature of the threat, he now wants to turn our domestic spy agency into something that looks disturbingly like a secret police force.

Canadians should not be willing to accept such an obvious threat to their basic liberties. Our existing laws and our society are strong enough to stand up to the threat of terrorism without compromising our values.”

Particularly noticeable in your announcement were your exaggerated expressions that exceed the paranoia of Washington’s chief attack dog, former vice-president Dick Cheney. Mr. Cheney periodically surfaces to update his pathological war mongering oblivious to facts — past and present — including his criminal war of aggression which devastated Iraq — a country that never threatened the U.S.

You are quoted as saying that “jihadi terrorism is one of the most dangerous enemies our world has ever faced” as a predicate for your gross over-reaction that “violent jihadism seeks to destroy” Canadian “rights.” Really? Pray tell, which rights rooted in Canadian law are “jihadis” fighting in the Middle East to obliterate? You talk like George W. Bush.

How does “jihadism” match up with the lives of tens of millions of innocent civilians, destroyed since 1900 by state terrorism — west and east, north and south—or the continuing efforts seeking to seize or occupy territory?

Reading your apoplectic oratory reminds one of the prior history of your country as one of the world’s peacekeepers from the inspiration of Lester Pearson to the United Nations. That noble pursuit has been replaced by deploying Canadian soldiers in the belligerent service of the American Empire and its boomeranging wars, invasions and attacks that violate our Constitution, statutes and international treaties to which both our countries are signatories.

What has all this post-9/11 loss of American life plus injuries and sickness, in addition to trillions of American tax dollars, accomplished? Has it led to the stability of those nations invaded or attacked by the U.S. and its reluctant western “allies?” Just the opposite, the colossal blowback evidenced by the metastasis of al-Qaeda’s offshoots and similar new groups like the self-styled Islamic state are now proliferating in and threatening over a dozen countries.

Have you digested what is happening in Iraq and why Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said no to Washington? Or now chaotic Libya, which like Iraq never had any presence of Al-Qaeda before the U.S.’s destabilizing military attacks? (See the New York Times’ editorial on February 15, 2015 titled “What Libya’s Unraveling Means”.)

Perhaps you will find a former veteran CIA station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan, Robert L. Grenier more credible. Writing in his just released book: 88 Days to Kandahar: A CIA Diary (Simon & Schuster), he sums up U.S. government policy this way: “Our current abandonment of Afghanistan is the product of a…colossal overreach, from 2005 onwards.” He writes, “in the process we overwhelmed a primitive country, with a largely illiterate population, a tiny agrarian economy, a tribal social structure and nascent national institutions. We triggered massive corruption through our profligacy; convinced a substantial number of Afghans that we were, in fact, occupiers and facilitated the resurgence of the Taliban” (Alissa J. Rubin, Robert L. Grenier’s ‘88 Days to Kandahar,’New York Times, February 15, 2015).

You may recall George W. Bush’s White House counterterrorism czar, Richard Clarke, who wrote in his 2004 book, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror — What Really Happened, “It was as if Osama bin Laden, hidden in some high mountain redoubt, were engaging in long-range mind control of George Bush, chanting, ‘Invade Iraq, you must invade Iraq.’”

Mr. Bush committed sociocide against that country’s twenty-seven million people. Over 1 million innocent Iraqi civilians lost their lives, in addition to millions sick and injured. Refugees have reached five million and growing. He destroyed critical public services and sparked sectarian massacres — massive war crimes, which in turn produce ever-expanding blowbacks.

Canadians might be most concerned about your increased dictatorial policies and practices, as well as this bill’s provision for secret law and courts in the name of fighting terrorism — too vaguely defined. Study what comparable practices have done to the United States – a course that you seem to be mimicking, including the militarization of police forces (see The Walrus, December 2014).

If passed, this act, piled on already stringent legal authority, will expand your national security bureaucracies and their jurisdictional disputes, further encourage dragnet snooping and roundups, fuel fear and suspicion among law-abiding Canadians, stifle free speech and civic action and drain billions of dollars from being used for the necessities of Canadian society. This is not hypothetical. Along with an already frayed social safety net, once the envy of the world, you almost got away with a $30 billion dollar purchase of unneeded costly F-35s (including maintenance) to bail out the failing budget-busting F-35 project in Washington.

You may think that Canadians will fall prey to a politics of fear before an election. But you may be misreading the extent to which Canadians will allow the attachment of their Maple Leaf to the aggressive talons of a hijacked American Eagle.

Canada could be a model for independence against the backdrop of bankrupt American military adventures steeped in big business profits…a model that might help both nations restore their better angels.


Ralph Nader

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

* * *


by Joe Whitney

On January 29, Sanctuary Forest Executive Director Tasha McKee travelled to Santa Rosa to receive the 2014 Executive Officer’s Water Quality Stewardship Award from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. Sanctuary Forest was nominated for their efforts to protect and increase flows in the upper Mattole River during critical low-flow periods.

Presenting the award was North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Executive Director Matt St. John, who stated: “Given the unprecedented drought conditions that have impacted stream flows and water supply throughout California these past several years, it seemed fitting to bring attention to the exemplary work of an organization that is implementing innovative approaches to addressing stream flow conditions in the north coast.” He went on to say, “Sanctuary Forest has exercised leadership in its community since 2002 to protect beneficial uses and reduce stream flow diversions during low-flow months, using a three-pronged approach of engaging the local community, developing legal frameworks, and incorporating scientific understandings to guide implementation and establish flow targets. The efforts of Sanctuary Forest have resulted in significant reductions of water diverted during low-flow periods in the upper Mattole River Watershed.”

Addressing those present, McKee expressed gratitude for the award and told a story about how her father, Bob McKee, taught his children about water conservation and pioneered the concept of water storage and forbearance in the upper Mattole watershed 20 years ago. She explained how Sanctuary Forest “brought in the science and collaboration with agencies to make storage and forbearance possible on a community scale.” She praised the community for supporting the Tanks and Forbearance Program established by Sanctuary Forest with the assistance of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other partners. The program provides high-capacity water storage systems in exchange for legal agreements to stop pumping from the river during the summer months.

In closing, McKee spoke of her vision for restoring groundwater hydrology. She spoke about the parallels between the two programs, in that both storage and forbearance and groundwater restoration are needed to restore streamflows. Both programs are innovative, and both need agency support. She was met with an enthusiastic response.

* * *


Dear Charter members of the 1st Jailbirds Club;

I want to personally thank everyone who will be able to make it to sunny Washington D.C. for the First Amendment Symposium featuring those living reporters who were jailed trying to defend our First Amendment. Again, this is the FIRST time anyone has ever tried to get us all together in one spot and there is some excitement from several areas about the light we can shed on the problems reporters have in trying to provide substantive information to the public in a timely fashion.

Here is the update on the program:

The date is set for June 1st at 6 p.m. at the National Press Club. The Press Club will host. I will moderate. Each one of us will be introduced and tell, briefly, the story of how we came to go to jail. Then we will field questions and discuss the following issues: a. the need for better protection for reporters, b. how our brethren in the media deal with reporters who are jailed, c. how government deals with claims of First Amendment protection and reporter's privilege.

The symposium will air on C-Span.

If you need airfare or help with accommodations, then let me know sooner than later so we can set that up. The Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press is co-sponsoring and will help us with these needs where possible.

If you have anything else you need, then just let me know. I am still trying to get commitments from about three or four of us who have yet to weigh in on their availability.

The National Press Club plans to sell seats to this event and will, of course, provide seating for a limited number of family and friends.

Thanks in advance. Look forward to getting together with each of you.

Yours, Brian J. Karem, Executive Editor

The Sentinel Newspapers


* * *


Notice is hereby given that the Mendocino County Executive Office is accepting applications for anticipated vacancies on the following Board or Commission:

Covelo Public Cemetery District, 3 positions

Gualala Municipal Advisory Council, 1 position

Russian River Cemetery District, 2 positions

Workforce Investment Board, 2 positions

If you are interested in serving on this Board or Commission, contact your District Supervisor, or the Executive Office, at 501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010, Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 463-4441. Last date for filing: February 25, 2015, or until filled.

(County Press Release)

* * *


Mendocino Cancer Resource Center

We all are aware of the fact that life style choices impact our overall health and that many types of cancer are directly associated with unhealthy habits.

Tobacco and Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women and the most preventable form of cancer death in the world.

Besides lung cancer, tobacco use also increases the risk for cancers of the mouth, lips, nose and sinuses, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon/rectum, ovary (mucinous), and acute myeloid leukemia.

Cigars contain many of the same carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) found in cigarettes.

Smokeless tobacco products are a major source of cancer-causing nitrosamines and a known cause of human cancer. They increase the risk of developing cancer of the mouth and throat, esophagus (swallowing tube), and pancreas.

Each year, about 3,400 non-smoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing secondhand smoke. Each year secondhand smoke also causes about 42,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are not current smokers.

(source: American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 2014)

What you can do:

As anyone who has tried to quit smoking will tell you, tobacco cravings can wear you down. Getting help, rather than taking on the challenge of quitting alone, can support you in reaching your goal.

Talk with your doctor about establishing a plan for quitting tobacco. ( is a website sponsored by the National Cancer Institute that provides online support, telephone hotlines and maps out personal plans to help quit smoking.

The Mayo Clinic’s website offers several suggestions to help quit smoking, including relaxation techniques and physical exercise. (

Sun Exposure and Skin Cancers

Sunlight helps our bodies produce necessary vitamins that contribute to our overall health. However, incautious exposure can be harmful.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. More than 3.5 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States.

About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

What you can do:

Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.

Do not burn.

Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.

Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.

Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.
Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.

See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

Be aware of changes to your skin. Contact your doctor if you notice new and irregular growths or texture changes. The Skin Cancer Foundation provides information about what to look for when doing a skin self-exam.

Weight and Cancer

Being overweight or obese accounts for 20% of all cancer deaths among women and 14% among men. Losing excess pounds reduces the body’s production of female hormones, which are linked to breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer. Even if you’re not technically overweight, gaining just 10 pounds after the age of 30 increases your risk of developing breast, pancreatic, cervical, and other cancers. According to ACS, there is still much to learn about the link between weight and cancer risk. (

What you can do:

Calculate your body mass index. You are overweight if your body mass index is between 25 and 29.9.

Talk with your doctor about a weight loss plan. Ask about recommendations for a nutritious diet and a maintainable exercise regimen. With the help of your doctor, set realistic goals. Remember, weight loss is most effective and most likely to be permanent when it involves life style changes and occurs steadily over a planned period of time.

Work with a weight loss buddy. Losing weight with a buddy can increase your weight loss success. Choose someone who shares your goal and who you can count on to encourage you with your plan. In choosing a buddy, define what type of encouragement works best for you. “For some people, it means hearing kind and supportive words; for others, it means having someone come by and literally drag them out of the house and to the gym. As long as both buddies know what the other needs and expects, then they can be there for each other." (

Eat a healthy diet. A diet high in whole-grain fiber, lean proteins and colorful fruits and vegetables and low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars can greatly improve health in general.

To learn more, please contact the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County.

2015 Cancer Awareness and Prevention Campaign

Sponsored by the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County in collaboration with the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency (


  1. Trelanie Hill February 20, 2015

    To the he credit of the AVA, I’ve never been censored and I feel the editors do a good job of letting readers speak their mind.

    One key question:
    If the vaccines are so good for our kids and are so safe, why do the pediatricians make you sign a waver that you will not sue them if something goes wrong with their “safe” vaccines ? Think about that …

    It goes beyond that, NOBODY has any liability so far as vaccines go. By a special act of Congress!
    Ask yourself why such an act might be necessary.

    The line in the sand here is giving government the power to force vaccinations. I say no. I don’t get flu shots either because it seems to be a government and big pharma profit center. Every time I hear or read the “settled science” meme, the bullshit detector goes off.

    I’m sure the AVA is getting around to addressing many peoples question of If immunization works as advertised, then why the fuss over unvaccinated kids? Those who are vaccinated will supposedly be protected. What no one can deny is the insane NUMBER of vaccinations that are forced onto newborns these days and the attendent rise in incidence of autism. Metabolic disorder/diabetes. Chilhood cancers.

    That is the crux of the argument…Choice versus compulsion.

    If vaccination is so damned beneficial then SELL the idea.

    You do not have to force people to drink water. They know that it is beneficial.

    You do not have to force people to EAT FOOD. Most will given the choice.

    You do not have to force most people to obtain employment. Most will if it is available. Some may not but most will as they know that it is beneficial. They are SOLD on the idea that they may gain by their efforts.

    Medical ethics are clear: No one should be forced to undergo a medical treatment without informed consent and without their agreement to the treatment.

    Just my opinion,
    Jim Hill
    Potter Valley

  2. Trelanie Hill February 20, 2015

    In a similar vein, the government assures us that GMO crops and the use of agricultural herbicides related to agent orange are perfectly safe. The science is settled. Don’t bother reading dissenting views or studies. Don’t question. Don’t be a Neanderthal, or worse yet, an independent thinker.

    Never question authority, especially when they wear white lab coats.

    Gleaned from the Internet,
    Jim Hill,
    Potter Valley

  3. heilig February 20, 2015

    To Jim Hill –
    The factual answers to your questions/assertions are also available online, if you care to look at informed sources, not conspiracy-oriented sites. (And, nobody has ‘forced’ vaccination here, but it does make sense to keep such kids away from others; thus, there should be consequences to such dangerous decisions).
    The science is complicated and vast but it does answer all your concerns, which seem to derive from the uninformed alarmist school of Jenny McCarthy, who proudly noted she got her non-degree from “the University of Google.” Credulous, indeed.


    • Trelanie Hill February 20, 2015


      Maybe you use a different dictionary than the rest of us.

      You suggest I use the Internet for information but then offer no evidence to support your conclusions. Then you misrepresent the AVA position of using force. I never have been to Jenny Mccarthy’s site, but you seem to know her position quite well. How about using facts instead of attacks? If your child is vaccinated you should have nothing to worry about.

      People aren’t refusing to vaccinate because of a lack of information. They are refusing because the very agencies that are telling us to vaccinate have lost the trust of the people. All those who now want to force the procedure will simply drive even more to refuse. They feel they are being lied to once again. Similar to the GMO foods.

      The Ava wrote. ” In my view, parents who refuse to vaccinate ought to be compelled to vaccinate”

      Compelled definition:

      To force someone to do something.

      Full Definition of COMPEL

      transitive verb
      :  to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly

      Just my opinion,
      Jim Hil
      Potter Valley

  4. Eric Sunswheat February 22, 2015

    The above info on “Sun Exposure and Skin Cancers” contains bogus and improperly weighed variables.

    Questionable safety of commercial sunscreen materials which may lead to many cancers is not considered, from a Precautionary Principle health care strategy.

    Dissemination of this deceptive information is a violation of MENDOCINO COUNTY POLICY #43
    ADOPTED: June 27, 2006, as this information was prepared “in collaboration with the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency.”

    Recommended avoidance of skin sun exposure between 10-4 neglects to mention that limited full body exposure for limited time such as 30 minutes between 11-2 for vitamin D3 production, can actually prevent and reduce incident of skin cancer.

    Important with the above suggested change in guidelines, in addition with consulting with your licensed health care specialist for results of current studies, is perhaps application of pure coconut oil to encourage skin browning, instead of repeat sun burns that increase skin cancer risk.

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