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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015

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AS IF FORT BRAGG doesn't have enough controversies underway, here comes Chuck Bush, Fort Bragg's new superintendent of schools. The other night about a hundred angry people turned out for a meeting of the school board to complain about him on a range of issues, mostly stemming from his bull-in-a-china shop management style. Chuckie Babe is a native, too.

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by Byron Spooner

Best Thing I Saw All Week: Dr. Strangelove.

Next time you see some gushing twit handing out a load of bullshit at the Academy Awards about the power of movies to 'change the world,' consider Dr. Strangelove. To watch this acid satire again is to be convinced that movies can change exactly nothing. Portrayed here as flat insanity by a three-headed Peter Sellers, a priapic, rubber-faced George C. Scott and suicidal jingo Slim Pickens (not to mention cigar-chomping paranoid Sterling Hayden left in charge of small-but-key link in the command-and-control system), America's cowboy spirit lived on, indeed flourished, in the subsequent fifty years in the persons of Nixon, Kissinger (rumored to be Dr. Strangelove himself), Reagan, the whole Bush gang, Rumsfeld and Cheney and on and on. Strangelove was funny in 1964 because Americans suspected the country was secretly run by idiot/lunatics. It's funny today because Americans know the country is openly run by idiot/lunatics. The otherwise hilariously scathing script only dances briefly around the religious nuttery at the heart of all this mishegoss, but some things were verboten then; Stanley Kubrick and Terry Southern had to be very careful. The Cold War may be over, but American militarism will never die, guaranteeing Dr. Strangelove's indispensability. And thanks to Southern and Kubrick, it's as darkly funny as ever. This is what it used to mean when people said 'dark comedy.'

Best Thing I Read All Week: Chance by Kem Nunn.

My wife has tried to convince to read Kem Nunn for years, as has a colleague, so when Kevin Hunsanger described this, Nunn's latest, as 'the best San Francisco mystery since The Maltese Falcon' I figured it was about bloody time and went out and bought a copy — at Green Apple, of course. Chance lacks Falcon's tight-lipped 1930 carpentry instead rambling on psychologically in the manner of certain 2015 San Franciscans, capturing that self-referential zeitgeist. Dr. Eldon Chance, Nunn's protagonist, is a neuropsychiatrist whom you'd expect would come armed with a built-in analytical distance from his patients-people brain-damaged from war or greed or abuse or injury - but all his training doesn't prevent him from falling in love with one of them, and getting in over his head with a bunch more. Mayhem ensues. Like most 21st century problems there is no one simple solution to be had and one is left wondering, and even slightly anxious, by how it all ends up. Or doesn't. Not so The Maltese Falcon.

(Byron Spooner is the Literary Director for Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.)

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SUSPECTED ISLAND MOUNTAIN HOME INVADER Taken Into Custody at Garberville Residence After Anonymous Tip

On 03-09-2015 at about 3:00 p.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant received anonymous information from a concerned citizen that Seth Morton may be inside of a residence located in the 900 block of Locust Street, Garberville. The Sheriff’s Office went to the residence and received consent to search from the owner of the house.


When deputies entered the residence they located Seth Morton in the residence. Morton was taken into custody. Morton was then transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka where he was booked for, burglary, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, brandishing a firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of pepper spray, conspiracy to commit a crime and hit and run.

Deputies are currently still on scene processing the residence for any evidence associated with the incident on South Face Road, Island Mountain.

(Humboldt County Sheriff’s Press Release)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 9, 2015

Arellano, Barton, Borges
Arellano, Barton, Borges


JANELL BARTON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JENIFER BORGES, Ukiah. Burglary, possession of burglary tools, under influence of controlled substance, probation revocation.

Campos-Cisne, Davis, Fickle
Campos-Cisne, Davis, Fickle

XIOMARA CAMPOS-CISNE, San Bruno/Ukiah. DUI, resisting arrest.


SHAUNA FICKLE, Fort Bragg. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.

Mendoza, Stevens, Wolter
Mendoza, Stevens, Wolter

LAURA MENDOZA, San Bruno/Hopland. Drunk in public.

MATTHEW STEVENS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JEROME WOLTER, Burglary, possession of burglary tools, under influence of controlled substance.

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by Daniel Mintz

After the smooth operation of last year’s Reggae on the River festival, the Mateel Community Center has breezed through the approval process for this year’s event.

Reggae on the River will be held Thursday, July 30 through Monday, August 3 this year and at a March 5 Planning Commission hearing, unanimous approval for the event’s conditional use permit was gained.

The conditions attached to the previous year’s approval remain in place – attendance is capped at 9,000 people, with 6,500 ticket holders and 2,500 staff.

Water use has been a concern and this year’s festival will divert 96,000 gallons via an onsite well. That’s a sharp reduction from the 230,000 gallons used in 2013 and planning staff said it’s due to reduced need for dust control and irrigation.

The Mateel aims to make the event “water-neutral” in the future and post-event construction of a three-acre rainwater catchment pond is planned.

Riverside parking setbacks and inspections for leaking vehicle fluids will be repeated this year along with a temporary Highway 101 crosswalk.

The 2014 event also saw significant improvements in security. Jesse Parsons, who lives next to the festival site, had concerns about security in 2013 but he said last year’s festival was problem-free.

“I want to report that I was happy with the Mateel’s handling of the event last year,” he told commissioners. “They learned a lot from the year before and I’m sure there will be a lot more of that learned knowledge being put to use this year.”

Justin Crellin, the Mateel’s general manager, said the Arcata-based Greenway Partners firm oversaw construction of an access bridge across the Eel River, sanitary facilities and water quality testing.

There were no issues with those aspects last year and Crellin said the Mateel will strive to flatline the event’s water use.

He said the reason why the rain catchment pond will be built is to allow surplus water to be “discharged back onto the ground and essentially help recharge the aquifer after the event.”

He described the goal to achieve a “water-neutral” festival as “a revolutionary plan.”

The pond was originally proposed for construction after last year’s festival but Crellin said it was held off for economic reasons.

The 2013 festival drew some complaints from adjacent property and business owners and commissioners noted the lack of discontent following last year’s event.

Commissioner Ben Shepherd credited the Mateel for its water use planning.

“I’m impressed by the presentation and I’m particularly impressed by the water-neutral concept, I think that shows forward-thinking and a real concern for the area,” he said.

He added, “I think it shows the event is maturing because you don’t have a roomful of mad people here.”

Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the festival’s permit, with commissioners Lee Ulansey and Noah Levy absent.

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Opening Mendocino Theatre Company's 2015 — 2016 Season — GASLIGHT

by Patrick Hamilton, directed by Stephen Dedola

8:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, some Sundays, through April 12.

a review by Marylyn Motherbear Scott

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MTC's production of Gaslight is superb, from well-turned out performances, to the Victorian period Set, costumes, makeup, hair, the music, and of course, gas lights that brighten and dim. First nights are not always so great. This one was. I left feeling a certain thrill, part of a secret, on the cutting — did I say slashing? — edge of knowing something that only the rather full-house-for-a-Thursday evening, knew. We had witnessed something special.

The cast was first class, standing for a long curtain call, returning for a second resounding accolade. Director S. Dedola, must be applauded as well. The show is integrated with quietly layered nuances of character that, on one hand, beset us with suspense, and on the other, with pure torture, and surprisingly, on yet another, with a character so funny, we are taken aback, surprised!

No need to worry. There's only a reference or two to the bloody English murder that was a central point, though not the main theme. The murder is the reason that the Inspector enters to save-the-day in no uncertain melodramatic terms. To say a whole lot more of what happens and how the who-done-it resolves, would spoil. Many will recall, however dimly, the classic film with Bergman, Boyer, Cotton and teenager Angela Lansbury. It left an essence of power and fear that lingers still.

Set in the Victorian model of marriage, Dan Kazloff, all bearded and terribly Victorian and refined in appearance, plays Mr. Manningham, the husband. He offers an aspect of controlled violence that is often so convincing in its appearance of goodness, it's good to be reminded of its diabolical nature.

Pamela W. Allen, plays Mrs. Manningham, the young, naïve and trusting wife. Two sides of the pendulum, she projects feelings of trust and doubt that swing back and forth for us all to see and feel. Pamela is superb as she reveals a process of shifting the character's bits of personal and deeply held core belief as if they were a misplaced piece of treasured jewelry, lost and found again.

There is a definite edge of suspense in this production that is so well crafted, the audience, instead of standing back in fear, rather becomes immersed in somewhat eternal questions. Who to trust? What is real? The script and the characters subtly tune us in to our emotional landscape, as we wonder, if, when, and how Mrs M. will find herself again. How do we we find ourselves again?

Thank goodness for comic relief. Not pure and simple, but melodramatically clever. Inspector Rough, was in the very rightest of hands. Steven Jordan brings a vaudevillian aspect to the Inspector, but without the da-da-dada-da-da. True to the intention of the show, this character's frankness is refreshing and relieves us of the manipulative offerings of Mr. M. Despite emotional subtlety, the play is otherwise very direct. Inspector Rough makes it so. He brings us home to our true self, banishes fear and dark spirits. A reaffirmation instilled, perhaps distilled, like a draught of healing spirits, a dram of Scotch whiskey.

There are two other characters, both servants in the Manningham home. Opposite ends of a spectrum — dalliance and loyalty, gossip & discretion —loose tongues and tight lips, adolescence and maturity. Nancy and Elizabeth.

Nancy, played perfectly by Isla Bowery, the flirtatious 19 year old, is a place-holder for the unseen dalliances of Mr. M. Like many teens, she has secrets she loves to reveal. Having lead the Inspector, through gossipy chit-chat, to his discoveries, she is an unwitting tribute to transparency.

Elizabeth, also played so perfectly, by Lorry Lepaule, is the place-holder for the contained loyalty she quietly gives to Mrs. M. She knowingly brings the Inspector into the home and speaks her truth even when she wittingly obfuscates for the the sake of protection.

From the program: Mendocino Theatre Companies Season's theme

It’s All About YOU!

From the earliest Greek plays to contemporary American shows, great theatre has always involved the exploration of human relationships. As an audience, we come to theatre not just for entertainment, but for an empathetic reflection of a shared human experience. When we laugh, we laugh at what rings true. When we cry, we cry because our own experiences lead us to commiserate with the characters on stage. We are moved by that which we find familiar.

For tix, call (707) 937-4477 or go to

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I’m thrilled (and depressed.) In a February 25th piece here, I called out Mr. Sakowicz for his bullying behavior, laying out his tendencies of attacking, changing the narrative to suit his offense, repeating ‘fabrications’, blaming others for his faults, self-justification and bombast. His response on March 4th dutifully drags us past those same landmarks. He arrogates himself to know the minds of others and empathy eludes him. He decries the injustice to his daughter at the hands of those who criticize him without making the connection that Mr. Coate and Ms. Aigner also have people who care about them. Not knowing me from Adam and using the internet (which he advises should never be used to find truth about a person), he created my back-story from whole cloth and several false leads. In the process, he has elevated me to the level of Pope. In this instance, I accept. I send blessings and well wishes for long life. He may kiss my ring. Over and out.

Tom Melcher


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I read with some interest the extended hortatory by the erstwhile John Sakowicz. But will the erstwhile Mr. Sakowicz please remind us of the points in his demand, as a KZYX Board trustee in full fiduciary feathers, to the FCC for denial to renew the station license?

Gordon Black


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It's a curious thing that it takes odd lights at night in the sky to get people to look up around here.

When nearly every day our skies are filled with the results of a massive geo engineering crime.

Again for all you sky watchers, get this straight! There are currently no, as in zero, nada, zilch commercial jetliners crossing Northern California at this time. This is what's called a fact. A fact that is backed by the FAA itself.

So if you want to get spooked out about strange happenings in the skies do it every time you hear a large jet going over. Excluding of course the Coastguard and Cal Fire ones.

These jets are in fact US military stratotankers and a C-141 Starlifter. They are in fact spraying particles into our atmosphere for solar radiation management to keep us all cool.

This is not as thrilling as ET's and such, I admit, but so far it's the only thing going in our skies around here worth talking about.

Your night lights will most likely turn out to be some wine corporation or law enforcement playing around with drone toys. Pretty obvious to most of us by now that space aliens are in the same dust bin as God, Santa Clause, and Big Foot.

In case you haven't noticed, we live in a military air corridor. This air corridor has been used for at least 15 years as a route to the greater Pacific Coast regions from the Gulf of Alaska on down.

Better ask yourselves what unmarked military jets are doing to us. What possible good can come from tanker planes operating outside a theater of war performing their intended function. In an official information blackout no less!

Time to get spooked about the blatant and the obvious folks! Good luck,

Marvin Blake


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California’s Big Water Plans; The End of Private Water Rights?

Drought-stricken California, which just had its driest January ever recorded, smashed another dismal record last month: the hottest February. This will be the 5th year in a row of historic drought in California, breaking a 120 year old record.

For the second year in a row the Federal Water Agency, which controls CA mountain snowpack runoffs, announced that zero water would be allocated to the 3300 state water agencies that it has supplied water to from the Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges for the past 54 years. Until recently the states “ice chest” had accounted for 44% of the state’s annual water budget.

In a March 2 study last week from Stanford University, reported in the journal of the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, scientists are suggesting that we have “entered into a new era where nearly every year we have warming temperatures we will have low precipitation.” The report goes on to say that “essentially all years are likely to be warm – or extremely warm – in California by the middle of the 21st century.”

The ski industry and supporting tourist business around Lake Tahoe is in chaos. Baseline snowpack and skier traffic are down some 75% of normal and the only thing frozen around Tahoe these days are real estate sales.

Californians aren’t the only ones feeling the effects of our collective “new normal” of hotter weather and little precious rain. In Colorado they have been consistently shattering record warm temperatures by some 5-15 degrees. Eastern Colorado had record high temperatures of 82 degrees in early February.

Alaska, again this year, is consistently recording warmer temperatures than Texas, up to some 20 degrees above normal so far this year. It has gotten so bad up in the once Great White North that this week the Iditarod dog sled race had to move 225 miles north. Snowfall in Anchorage was one-quarter of normal for the year.

Locally, and regionally, we are seeing trees literally exploding from the inside out. Along 128 several beautiful oak trees have succumbed to increased pest manifestation and infestation due to lack of water root moisture. On Christmas Eve, at our ranch in Philo, a beautiful 30 year old Mimosa tree sheared off at its base above ground, nearly missing our dining room where we were having dinner.

Strangely, our government officials are silent as to calling for an all-out effort by all to preserve and conserve what water we have in this major crisis.

Golf courses are still being watered with only voluntary cut backs “requested”. Non-reclaimed water car washes, some facilities using 100 or more gallons of water per car, are still going strong. Energy frackers are still being satisfied with hundreds of thousands of gallons of potable drinking water per well site.

Building permits are still being issued for new wineries in Sonoma and Napa Counties. New housing and other constructions projects the same. North Bay wine sales hit records again this year.

Manicured lawns in the bedroom communities of Marin have never looked better. Restaurants are still pouring water to patrons without request.

Business as usual. Business must grow. Nasdaq just went over the 5,000 mark, an all-time record high. The banksters are very fat, wealthy and happy while Central Valley farmers are readying to fallow more Ag land and try and figure out how they can stay in business again this year.

Yet behind the scenes, in the dark recesses of California State governance, there is much scheming, plotting and long term planning going on for the protracted, decades and decades long predicted water shortages ahead for us all.

Governor Brown is quietly proposing bills and passing legislation to literally build many more damn dams throughout the state in low lying basins. The cost estimate from the Governor’s office is one-half a TRILLION dollars over the next few decades.

This is in addition to the $20 billion we currently spend annually for water management in the state. Last November, voters passed Propositions 1 & 2 to fund some $18 billion in additional bonds to primarily build-out two large dams each estimated to be one-third the volume of Lake Shasta. One proposed to the East of Lake County and the other near Fresno in the Central Valley.

Arrogantly and boldly, Brown announced these massive building and spending plans just a week before state voters approved Proposition’s 1 & 2, yet few local and state news services even carried this important announcement.

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 10/24/14:

“’California’s growing population and dwindling water require up to $500 billion in additional investment in water in coming decades, and new state fees for water users could be one way to pay for it’, a water plan released Thursday by the state’s top water officials said.”

“Currently, governments spend about $20 billion annually on California’s water supply, or $200 billion over 10 years, said Kamyar Guivetchi, head of integrated water management for the Department of Water Resources.”

“State officials are calling for another $500 billion in coming decades. That includes $100 billion in flood-control projects and $400 billion to fund a wide range of projects proposed by different regions of the state, Guivetchi said.

“The plan looks as far ahead as 2050, spanning a period when California will be dealing with everything from shrinking snowpack, rising seas and encroaching salinity in waterways to more frequent droughts under climate change.”

“The plan envisions growing cities increasingly taking more water, farmers using less, and water costing more in general. It shouldn’t be a surprise, Cowin said, that water is going to cost more for Californians in the future.”

(Included in these projects are the two 30 mile tunnels long planned to take water from the Sacramento River to give to Southern California which had been scuttled, we were told, to get the propositions passed last November.)

So the state is deep in the planning for a new era of warming temperatures and little rainfall while informing farmers, including small farms, to expect much less water while residents of the state can expect continued rising water costs.

Central Valley farmers had been supplying some 43% of the nation’s food until last year. Now they are being told that no water is coming again this year and they can expect less water in the future as well. Expect food prices to continue to soar.

Private Water Rights being taken away as well?

In addition, a month before that announcement, Governor Brown also signed into law the “Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014”:

This three-bill state legislation, (AB 1739 (Dickinson), SB 1168 (Pavley) and SB 1319 (Pavley), requires the formation of new local groundwater sustainability agencies responsible for establishing long-term locally-based groundwater management plans and ultimately protecting groundwater quality within their jurisdictions.

“A central feature of these bills is the recognition that groundwater management in California is best accomplished locally. Local agencies will now have the power to assess the conditions of their local water basins and take necessary steps to bring those basins in a state chronic long-term overdraft into balance,” the governor said in his official signing message.

“The new groundwater legislation also requires local water agencies to replenish underground aquifers that have been depleted. Farmers will likely have to meter their wells, and some may be forced to cease or dramatically reduce pumping, according to the new bills.”

“If local water agencies fail to comply with the new rules, state water officials will have the power to do whatever is necessary to enforce the legislation. The cost of doing nothing is the biggest economic gamble,” State Senator Fran Pavley said. “Thousands of homes and small farms cannot keep pace with the race to drill deeper and deeper wells.”

“We have to learn to manage wisely water, energy, land and our investments,” said Gov. Brown this morning. “That’s why this is important.”

Also, according to the new groundwater legislation:

By 2017, groundwater management agencies must be created across California.

By 2020, groundwater basins that are “overdrafted” (meaning more water is being pumped than replenished) must have “sustainability plans.”

By 2022, all other basins must have such plans.

By 2040, all “high and medium priority” basins must achieve sustainability

According to the above bill legislation, smart meters will be required on all private water wells through newly created local groundwater agencies. If the local agencies do not provide adequate enforcement, the state will intervene.

For the second year in a row the state is gross negligent in any effort to take critical measures in these critical times to restrict the residents and businesses and foster means for all to preserve and conserve what water we have left.

Their plans are to tunnel and dam, tax and spend, and pass laws to end over a hundred years of private water rights.

Measure S was passed last November in Mendocino County to give a legal framework for local communities in Mendocino County to assert their rights to decide for themselves through our legal systems, over state and federal jurisdiction.

If we do not come together to decide what is the best use of what water we have left and protect and preserve our private water rights, the state has clearly declared they plan to take control of our water rights from us.

Jamie Lee


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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am writing as a concerned coastal resident, worried about the possibility of yet another strip mall on our coastline, this one to be constructed alongside Highway One, just North of Highway 20 on the west side. The Fort Bragg City Council will discuss this and possibly take action on the proposal on March 23, 2015.

Here I will just list several of my own thoughts, but I also want to say that this is not just a Fort Bragg issue (important as that may be); it concerns us all on the coast (I live on Gibney Lane in the Fort Bragg postal zone). It is a significant open space on an increasingly crowded coastline.

First, I understand the current EIR is much outdated. We need an updated, timely EIR.

Second, it is my understanding that in city planning the entrance to a town or neighborhood is of the utmost importance. As of now, the open, rolling terrain alongside Highway One is one of the few welcoming, attractive points of entry to Fort Bragg and it should be preserved.

Third, strip malls are by definition unsightly and temporary. This one is certain to be both – and just think of looking at the backsides of the many malls along Highway 101 in Marin and Sonoma. Alas, dead strip malls litter this country.

Fourth, The Grocery Outlet will provide poor quality, often highly unhealthy food. It will provide minimum wage, unbenefited jobs, and most part-time. It will not offer “better” prices than Safeway. It is far from “local.”

Fifth, the mall will accelerate the decline of Fort Bragg’s core, now severely blighted. And it will present a very negative precedent given that the future of the headlands remains up in the air. As we all know, development feeds development.

I suggest that others who are concerned contact any or all of the following:

Linda Ruffing,;

Dave Turner,;

Dan Gjerde,;

Jared Huffman,

Any or all other council members. All correspondence should be copied to Bob Merrill, California Coastal Commission

Petitions and information are available from Daney Dawson: 964-2486,

Yours sincerely,

Cal Winslow

Fort Bragg

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THE PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA for Thursday, March 19, 2015, is now available on the County website:

Please contact the Planning Department at (707) 234-6650 if you have any questions.

(County Press Release)

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To His Holiness, Pope Tom Melcher:

What's wrong with you? Personalities are not the issue here at KZYX. It's the politics of distraction to talk about personalities at KZYX. Bread and circuses. Panem et circenses. Attacking me may satisfy your immediate and shallow need for amusement, but Rome is burning.

What's wrong at KZYX? Let me start with just seven "real" issues:

One. Women have suffered battery at the hands of men on KZYX premises -- two different women. One was the co-host of "Trading Time" at KZYX. She was choked or otherwise had a man put his hands on her in an aggressive manner. The other was spit at by a member of KZYX staff. Spitting at a person is battery in California. She has already written to the Ukiah Daily Journal about the incident. Shocking. Both incidents are shocking. But what is just as shocking is that KZYX Executive Director and General Manager, John Coate, refused to have the incidents investigated by the Sheriff's Office. Why? He doesn't want outsiders prying into things, thank you very much.

Two. KZYX's 2,300 members want to make the on-air programming choices -- but can't . They're not allowed. It's forbidden by station policy. Right now, KZYX Program Director, Mary Aigner, is the sole decider on what shows get put on the air. Aigner is the sole arbiter of style and content. The listenership is the big loser. This is unacceptable at a presumably public radio station. We have enough of the power elite in Washington, DC, and on Wall Street. Why have it here, too, in Mendocino County?

Three. Good programmers get purged at KZYX for speaking out against Coate or Aigner. Those programmers include myself, Norman De Vall, Doug McKenty, Johanna Schultz, Beth Bosk, and numerous others. Popular programmers who have been on the air for years at other radio stations, like Marco McClean at KNYO, will never even get a show. Why? For the simple reason that Aigner doesn't like them. Even Ukiah Daily Journal editor, K.C. Meadows, who once had a show at KZYX, ran afoul of Aigner.

Four. Transparency and accountability in station finances is nonexistent. Even a simple thing like staff salaries aren't disclosed at KZYX. Why the secrecy? Also, $5,000 raised by the community for a Ukiah studio, and another $5,000 from a family foundation grant stipulated for a Ukiah studio, have both gone missing. Ten thousand dollars in missing monies. That's a very bad thing at a nonprofit corporation like KZYX. That's the kind of thing that will draw the attention of the California Attorney General's Office and the IRS, both of which can yank the station's tax-exempt status.

Five. Broadcast equipment fails, and fails often. As recently as Saturday, March 7, the signal was down for hours. The signal has been down at least four other times in 2015 alone. When the signal isn't down, it's often scratchy. For the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they contribute, the listeners of KZYX deserve better than dead air or irritating scratchy signals. Why these problems with the broadcast? Because KZYX equipment is old and held together by bailing wire and masking tape. Money goes to salaries instead of equipment and technology, where it's needed. KZYX should dump the five salaried staff sucking valuable resources, and instead hire one really capable chief engineer with the balance of the money going to infrastructure improvements.

Six. We don't have a studio in Ukiah. And we need a studio in Ukiah. KZYX's main studio is in Philo, population 349, and far from anything that's newsworthy. No studio in Ukiah, our county seat, population 16,075. Again, why? It's crazy.

Seven. Station management scoffs at the spirit of the law for affirmation action and equal opportunity. This was a key complaint that's presently being reviewed by the FCC, which has held up the station's license for over a year. KZYX should advertise or post all jobs, even part-time jobs. But they don't. Jobs go to friends and friends of friends. It's unfair. And it reinforces the widely-held perception that KZYX is run like a private clubhouse for the benefit of the few people who work there and their friends — insiders.

So that's just seven real issues for you to consider, Pope Tom.

John Sakowicz

MCPB Board of Directors (2013-2016), Board Treasurer (2014)


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OIL GLUT: U.S. running out of storage; prices could plunge

Jonathan Fahey, The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The U.S. has so much crude that it is running out of places to put it, and that could drive oil and gasoline prices even lower in the coming months.

For the past eight weeks, the United States has been producing and importing an average of 1.1 million more barrels of oil every day than it is consuming. That extra crude is flowing into storage tanks, especially at the country's main trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, pushing U.S. supplies to their highest point in at least 80 years, the Energy Department reported Wednesday.

If this keeps up, storage tanks could approach their operational limits, known in the industry as "tank tops," by mid-April and send the price of crude -- and probably gasoline, too -- plummeting.

The supply growth may even be speeding up. U.S. crude supplies rose 10.3 million barrels last week, the government said Wednesday, the largest jump so far this year.

"The fact of the matter is we are running out of storage capacity in the U.S.," Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Citibank, said at a recent symposium at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Morse has suggested oil could fall all the way to $20 a barrel from the current $50. At that rock-bottom price, oil companies, faced with mounting losses, would stop pumping oil until the glut eased. Gasoline prices would fall along with crude, though lower refinery production, because of seasonal factors and unexpected outages, could prevent a sharp decline.

The national average price of gasoline is $2.44 a gallon. That's $1.02 cheaper than last year at this time, but up 37 cents over the past month.

Other analysts agree that crude is poised to fall sharply -- if not all the way to $20 -- because it continues to flood into storage for a number of reasons:

U.S. oil production continues to rise. Companies are cutting back on new drilling, but that won't reduce supplies until later this year.

The new oil being produced is light, sweet crude, which is a type many U.S. refineries are not designed to process. Oil companies can't just get rid of it by sending it abroad, because crude exports are restricted by federal law.

Foreign oil continues to flow into the U.S., both because of economic weakness in other countries and to feed refineries designed to process heavy, sour crude.

This is the slowest time of year for gasoline demand, so refiners typically reduce or stop production to perform maintenance. As refiners process less crude, supplies build up.

Oil investors are making money buying and storing oil because of the difference between the current price of oil and the price for delivery in far-off months. An investor can buy oil at $50 today and enter into a contract to sell it for $59 in December, locking in a profit even after paying for storage during those months.

The delivery point for most of the oil traded in the U.S. is Cushing, a city of about 8,000 people halfway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa at an intersection of several pipelines. The city is dotted with tanks that can, in theory, hold 85 million barrels of oil, according to the Energy Department, though some of those tanks are used for blending or feeding pipelines, not for storing oil.

The market data provider Genscape, which flies helicopters equipped with infrared cameras and other technology over Cushing twice a week to measure storage levels, estimates Cushing is two-thirds full.

Hillary Stevenson, who manages storage, pipeline and refinery monitoring for Genscape, says Cushing could be full by mid-April. Supplies are increasing at "the highest rate we have ever seen at Cushing," she says.

Full tanks -- or super-low prices -- are not a sure thing. New storage is under construction at Cushing, and there are large storage terminals near Houston, in St. James, Louisiana, and elsewhere around the country that will probably begin to take in more oil as prices fall far enough to cover the cost of transporting the oil.

Also, drillers are cutting back fast because oil prices have plummeted from $107 a barrel in June. And demand is showing signs of rising.

Despite the enormous increase in crude stocks reported Wednesday, inventories of gasoline did not rise and diesel fuel inventories have fallen slightly over the past two weeks. That leads some to conclude that demand for crude could soon pick up, easing the surplus somewhat.

But many analysts believe oil prices will fall through the spring, before summer drivers start to relieve the glut.

(Courtesy, Associated Press)

* * *


Modern man is not for me

The movie star and Dapper Dan

Give me the healthy Joe from ages ago

A prehistoric man


What has Gable got for me?

Or Mrs Johnson's blond boy, Van?

I want a happy ape with no English drape

A prehistoric man


Top hats, bow ties

He simply wore no ties

Bear skin, bare skin

He just sat around in nothing but bear skin

I really love bare skin


Some guys care a lot for me

But my excitement they can't fan

Because I still await my primitive mate

We've had a date since the world began

My prehistoric man


No psychoanalysis

He never knew what made him tick

He never paid, it seems, for telling his dreams

Poor prehistoric Dick


Jitters, jitters

He never had jitters

No repression

He just believed in free self expression

I love self expression


He had honest calluses

He never worked to pile up dough

So unlike you and me, no ulcers had he

Simple and free

In the long ago

Poor prehistoric Joe


Bebop, bepop,

They didn't have bebop

Tom-toms, tom-toms

They sat all day just a beatin' on tom-toms

I really love tom-toms

--Betty Comden & Adolph Green

* * *


by Dan Bacher

Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, who served as chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California and now leads the campaign to frack California, is also engaged in legal action to eviscerate one of Oregon's key environmental laws, the newly-adopted low carbon fuel standard rule.

"The Western States Petroleum Association, through legal counsel, today asked the Oregon State Court of Appeals to review the state's newly adopted LCFS Rule," said Reheis-Boyd in a statement on March 6. "It is the position of WSPA and its member companies that Oregon's low carbon fuel standard program is infeasible and could do irreparable damage to the state's energy market. Through today's action WSPA asked the Court of Appeals to also recognize that the LCFS rules are illegal."

"As written, the LCFS rules force producers to meet carbon-intensity targets, and/or purchase credits, at a time when alternatives are not available. Many studies have been produced suggesting alternatives will not be scalable for some time. Furthermore, Oregon's LCFS is far too intrusive in a market that is almost entirely dependent on out-of-state fuel sources, making the outcomes of the newly adopted rule hard to foresee. WSPA is asking the Court of Appeals to recognize the fundamental flaws in the LCFS rules and hold the rules invalid," said Reheis-Boyd.

"WSPA encourages Oregon's regulators and policymakers to consider strong environmental protections and work to reduce greenhouse emissions in the state. There are less risky and less costly ways to address climate change than a program that applies such burdensome regulations and undue strain on an industry all Oregonians rely upon. We are confident the Court of Appeals will agree with our position," she concluded.

Reheis-Boyd's attack on Oregon's low carbon fuel standard is only the latest episode in the Western States Petroleum Association's war on the air, water and people of the West. Reheis-Boyd and her collaborators have promoted the interests of Big Oil in California for many years.

She not only served as the Chair of the MLPA Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force for Southern California, but sat on the task forces to create fake "marine protected areas" on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast from 2004 to 2012. ( She also served on a NOAA federal marine protected areas panel from 2003 to 2014.

The result of the domination of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces by Reheis-Boyd and other political hacks and corporate operatives was the creation of alleged "marine protected areas" that fail to protect the ocean from fracking, offshore oil drilling, pollution, corporate aquaculture, military testing and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

Unfortunately, corporate "environmental" NGOs and state officials greenwashed the oil industry-friendly "marine protected areas" created under Reheis-Boyd's "leadership." They continually claimed the corrupt MLPA process, funded by the shadowy Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, was "open, transparent and inclusive" when it was anything but.

Reheis-Boyd's leadership role in creating "marine protected areas" at the same time she was leading the campaign to eviscerate California and Oregon's environmental laws is one of the biggest conflict of interest stories in the state's history, but the corporate media and many "alternative" media outlets refuse to cover it.

That is undoubtedly because Big Oil controls the state's politicians and political processes - and has inordinate influence over the media. The oil industry is the most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento - and it has dramatically increased its spending in recent years as it faces growing opposition to the expansion of fracking and other extreme oil extraction methods in California.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) spent $8.9 million on lobbying state officials in 2014, nearly double what it spent in the previous year. WSPA spent $4.67 million in 2013.

From 2005 to 2014, the oil industry spent an astounding $266 million influencing the Governor, the Legislature and other California officials, according to Stop Fooling California.

Now the same big oil lobbyist who oversaw the creation of "marine protected areas" that don't protect the ocean and is leading the charge to frack California is now attacking Oregon's low carbon fuel standard rule in court.

For an in-depth investigation of oil industry spending and influence in California, please read my article in the East Bay Express:

* * *



  1. Jim Armstrong March 10, 2015

    Perhaps FAA expert Marvin Blake will tell us next time just how jet airliners get to and from, say, Sacramento or San Francisco without flying over Northern California.

  2. Jim Updegraff March 10, 2015

    A few more years of the drought and water rights will cease to exist. Mr. Lee’s concerns will cease to be a factor. Many of the crops in California will not be doable.Climate change is for real.

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