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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Mar 12, 2015

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WHILE CRUISING UP HIGHWAY 1's NAVARRO GRADE Tuesday afternoon we fully expected to see additional buildup on the sandbar blocking the mouth of the Navarro River. The river flow was halted last Friday by the sand. To our surprise, and despite calm seas and no additional rainfall, the sandbar was breached on the north side of "Pinnacle Rock" - here's the photographic evidence. It looked like it had breached south of the rock at sometime Tuesday too. Curious...


(courtesy MendocinoSportsPlus)

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A look at the Norcal State Hoop Div VI game 
once again Anderson Valley looks 'over their heads' but we think they can upset #1 seed Wednesday night

Panthers 2015
Panthers 2015

We went to the Maxpreps page to look at the "team comparisons" between the crew from Boonville and the undefeated (at home) Liberty Christian "Patriots" (yes, their logo looks just like the New England Patriots football helmet logo).

Liberty Christian
Liberty Christian

From everything on "paper" Boonville should lose the game tonight. Six of the 10 players on Liberty Christian are over 6'0" - three at 6'3" (including a pair of Russians, Joro Dimitrov & Radostin Dimitrov) and two more players at 6'2".

By way of contrast, AV has 15 players on its team and (perhaps wisely) doesn't list their height.

Anderson Valley went undefeated (12-0) in NCL III play and go into the game with a 19-9 record (their record in away games is 9-1). The #1 seed Liberty Christian team went 7-1 in league play (in the five team "Five Star" league) and are riding a nine game winning streak going into tonight's contest. They did lose to league rival Chester (who also went 7-1 in league play) but Chester lost in the sections to Paradise Adventist Academy (66-40) who then lost to Liberty Christian 60-38 in the Division 6 Championship final.

The "Patriots" season averages show they have the advantage over the Panthers by outscoring AV in every quarter - winning every game by 63.1 points with the Panthers having won theirs by 59.4.

The Patriots also lead in EVERY statistical category:

Anderson Valley / Liberty Christian

58.6 - Points Per Game - 60.1

7.2 - Rebounds Per Game - 27.3

1.9 - Assists Per Game - 10.9

2.6 - Steals Per Game - 6.1

0.4 - Blocks Per Game - 2.5

And here's the individual stats:

Anderson Valley / Liberty Christian

12.5 Abraham Sanchez - Points Per Game - 16.2 Joro Dimitrov

1.6 Tony Pardini - Rebounds Per Game - 7.9 Aleska Mikic

0.9 Cesar Soto - Assists Per Game - 4.0 Jordan Chao

0.7 Cesar Soto - Steals Per Game - 1.9 Luka Djordjevic

0.2 Cesar Soto - Blocks Per Game - 1.0 Joro Dimitrov

Anderson Valley pulled the upset of the year by defeating #2 Seed Saint Elizabeth's in the section playoffs, we see no reason why they wouldn't pull their second upset of the year in defeating Liberty Christian tonight. We'll predict Anderson Valley takes this contest.

If that happens, they'll face the winner of the #5 seed Valley Christian - #4 seed Archbishop Hanna game Saturday. If they lose, it's on to baseball season...

PHOTOS-- (Top) Anderson Valley after their victory over Mendocino assuring them the NCL III championship. (Bottom) Liberty Christian team shot from their Maxpreps page.

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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UPDATE: TOO TALL: Liberty Christian proved too tall for Anderson Valley’s scrappy, well coached hoops team whose season record was impressive, even though they fell a little “short” in Redding. Final Score: Liberty Christian 75, Anderson Valley 48. So: On to Baseball!

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The Anderson Valley Teen Center will be having a food fundraiser this Friday, March 13, at 5 pm in front of the Methodist Church in Boonville!

The menu will include a selection of 3 tacos, 3 chicken enchiladas or 2 sopes. Each dish will come with beans, rice, salsa and a hibiscus drink. Single tickets are $10 or $30 for a family of four--fourth person eats free. Food to go will also be available. (Bring your own bag)

The Teen Center has organized a trip for 29 students to Los Angeles during Spring Break. The purpose of the trip is to provide students with an educational experience that will help enrich their learning and increase their motivation to pursue a higher education. Students will be visiting CSU Sacramento, as this is our departing location, UCLA and historical museums unique to the L.A. area. Students will be staying in Hostelling International Hostel in Santa Monica. The hostel is centered in a great area, as it is near the Santa Monica Pier, walking distance to Venice Beach and other locations of interest.

The 29 students participating in the trip have been active in the planning and coordination of the trip and fundraisers. We have currently raise $1,900, combined with a bake sale and a pozole fundraiser. Each student has also contributed a fee of $150, that has barely covered their round trip tickets and hostel. The additional funds will help us cover transportation in LA, meals for the students, chaperons and other expenses.

Feel free to reply back if you are interested in a ticket and I will personally deliver to you.

With dinner already made, there is no other great way to start your weekend... :)

Thank you, Daniel Angulo

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CATCH OF THE DAY: March 11, 2015

Anderegg, Bowman, Felton, Figueroa
Anderegg, Bowman, Felton, Figueroa

JAMES ANDEREGG, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

DONALD BOWMAN, Fort Bragg. Meth possession for sale, probation revocation.

MARK FELTON, Ukiah. DUI with injury, possession of controlled substance.

CLAYTON FIGUEROA, Redwood Valley. Driving on suspended license, possession of meth for sale.

Flores, Gallups, Halvorsen
Flores, Gallups, Halvorsen

STEVEN FLORES, Forestville/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

ALICIA GALLUPS, Willits. Prohibited person with ammo, possession of drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.

NICHOLAS HALVORSEN, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, resisting arrest, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Holloway, Jenkins, O'Malley, Verville
Holloway, Jenkins, O'Malley, Verville

JOHN HOLLOWAY, Fort Bragg. Parole violation.

GLENN JENKINS, Willits. Prohibited person with ammo, driving on suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of county parole, probation revocation.

WILLIAM O’MALLEY, Cave Junction, Oregon/Ukiah. Possession of drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.

ROBERT VERVILLE II, Willits. Trespassing, resisting arrest. (Frequent flyer.)

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THE AV FOODSHED 3RD SUNDAY POTLUCK in March will be followed by a brainstorming session for our upcoming Goat Festival at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville.  Goat Fest will be Sat April 25, in conjunction with the Annual Wildflower Show.

Join us at the AV Grange in Philo at 6 pm on Sunday March 15 with your food AND your ideas. If you cannot make it but have ideas, would like to be involved or know of someone who might, please contact Jim Devine - 707 496 8725 -

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Dine-Out at MacCallum House Restaurant

Wednesday, March 25th

Dinner served 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm, Bar opens at 5 pm

MacCallum House Restaurant

45020 Albion Street, Mendocino, CA

For reservations call 707-937-0289

or visit

Reservations recommended to guarantee a table.

All profits from the evening will benefit Mendocino High AE Week Top Sail.

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(same as every week!)

by Skip Taube


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by Jonathan Middlebrook

From page 1, The Anderson Valley Advertiser, which bills itself as America's Last Newspaper -- Spec MacQuayde writes, in the midst of shaggy doggetry in praise of local, hard-working Amish youth: "I'd always wondered why the Amish men shave their mustache and clear around their lips yet leave the rest of the beard untouched." After considerable tail-wagging, the indigenous, Mendocino County hippie woman googles the question. Answer: "they started shaving their mustaches off in the 19th century in Europe because they were favored by the military. So they shaved the opposite way, so nobody would associate them with the military . . . as the Amish are anti-war." Spec almost says, "Sounds just like the old school hippies," but she's handing him a plate of scrambled eggs after their night's work.

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FOR MY COLUMN IN THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL I just described feeding brush into a 6" woodchipper, " . . . a machine that, since 1996, has the aura of the Coen Bros' 'Fargo.'" Would Mary Burchenal's senior English students find that reference acceptable borrowed vividness?

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The chances are increasing that a major quake — far larger than Loma Prieta — will hit California within the next 30 years, while the odds are decreasing that somewhat smaller but still dangerous jolts will strike in the same period, the state’s leading earthquake scientists warned Tuesday.

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When you go down to Deep Ellum

Put your money in your shoes

The girls down in Deep Ellum

Can give a guy the blues


Oh, sweet mama

Daddy's got them Deep Ellum blues


If you go down to Deep Ellum

Keep your money in your socks

The girls down in Deep Ellum

Are gonna put you on the rocks


Oh, sweet mama

Daddy's got them Deep Ellum blues


Well, I once had a sweetheart

She was all the world to me

She went down in Deep Ellum

She ain't what she used to be


Oh, sweet mama

Daddy's got them Deep Ellum blues


Once I knew a preacher

Knew the Bible through and through

He went down in Deep Ellum

Now his preaching days are through


Oh, sweet mama

Daddy's got them Deep Ellum blues


If you go down to Deep Ellum

Just to have a little fun

Better have your fifteen dollars

When that big policeman comes


Oh, sweet mama

Daddy's got them Deep Ellum blues


If you go down to Deep Ellum

Keep your money in your pants

The girls down in Deep Ellum

Just won't give a guy a chance


Oh, sweet mama

Daddy's got them Deep Ellum blues

—traditional (A History of Deep Ellum)

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SHEPARD BLISS WRITES: PD articles today on wineries and Sonoma West editorial Sonoma, Napa, Lake, & Mendocino Winery Over-Expansion critics & others, Following is a link to today's extensive front-page, above-the fold PD article "Winery Limits Debated" detailed report on yesterday's Napa County Board of Sups meeting. Its lead sentence reports on "initial steps that may reign in winery development amid a contentious debate between community activists...and the county's powerful wine industry."

"Audit last year found nearly half of wineries violating permits" headlines the continuation of the article. So much for wineries following the current weak rules, which could benefit from being strengthened and enforced. Four photos illustrate the article and issue.

What is curious about the PD article is what is missing. There is only one brief quote from a critic of winery over-development from that 8-hour "hotly debated" issue. That person bemoaned that "this valley has become an adult Disneyland." Most of the ink was given to those defending the rampant growth of wineries. A coalition of groups called "Vision 2050" was there and testified against this growth and held signs.

The only Sonoma County person mentioned was the president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers. In addition, there were others from SoCo there, including Dee Swanhuyser. Her notes include the following: "A video of the entire meeting will be up on Napa Board of Supes website by Friday: and minutes...Some Supes commented that the commerce type has changed from growing and making wine to holding events and this is not healthy...They have approx. 460 wineries. 9% [41] of these make up 68% of production with 91% production from 426...Water use wasn’t even brought up but the Supes noted this and want stats, including ground water uses vs municipal source...My take away: Napa County is way ahead of us: with policies in place (could be better); elected officials being concerned and knowledgeable; and the citizens more organized on a county-wide basis - years and years of involvement and working together on various issues."

In addition to yesterday's Napa meeting, the top article on the PD's Empire News section reported on the SoCo Brd of Sups OK yesterday of a Lytton Pomo "plan for homes, resort, and winery in Windsor" area. It would allow "a 200,000-case winery and a 200-room resort." That is huge. At least neighbors are quoted in that article as "voicing concerns about traffic, noise and other potential impacts." The link follows:

This week's Sonoma West has an editorial by publisher Rollie Atkinson at the link below. It raises many good questions. It suggests that we could benefit from "new rules." And those which we do have need to be followed. Vintner Paul Hobbs is currently spraying on Watertrough Rd., apparently without informing the schools or having a permit. The Wagner family that proposes the Dairyman Winery and Distillery for Highway 12 between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol agreed to a $1 million settlement with Napa County for violating its rules by bottling 20 times more than it was permitted to bottle.

On Monday there was a meeting in Lake County of activists from Sonoma, Napa, and Lake Counties to talk about how to develop a North Bay Coalition that could resist such rampant development, especially in rural areas. We are looking to add people from Mendocino, if you know anyone there who might be interested. Feel free to forward this email and add email addresses of others who might want occasional updates regarding the expansion of wineries as event centers in the North Bay.

Also following is a link to the article on yesterday's meeting from the Napa Valley Register.

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Following up on my previous email, the coalition Vision 2050 Napa County made the following presentation at the Napa meeting yesterday. Why was this important input from a dozen groups not included in the PD and Napa Register articles?

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Comments for the Joint Meeting of the Napa County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission March 10, 2015

Thank you for providing this forum for all of us to participate in discussions of what Napa should do to maintain the rural quality of life we have all enjoyed.

I’m here this morning to represent a recently formed coalition of concerned citizens from across Napa County who are seeking more participation in local land use policy and environmental decisions. Our name, Vision 2050, reflects our desire to ensure the permanent sustainability of the finite resources of Napa County.

We currently represent a dozen community and environmental groups and will be creating a Political Action Committee. We have joined together to confront the common challenges of inappropriate and excessive development in the Agricultural Preserve, our watershed areas, and our municipalities.

Vision 2050 is a body of people who are proactive about conserving resources and the rural quality of life we see rapidly slipping away. We want to build on the legacy of the far‐sighted leaders of the 1960's and ‘70’s, who created the Ag Preserve and Rural Urban Limits (RUL) to prevent Napa County from becoming another sprawl of subdivisions and “winery” strip malls. We propose that we all refocus on agriculture, making wine in appropriate locations, and not running more and bigger ticketed events.

Vision 2050 exists to prevent the loss of local values, and to protect our water, forests, rural communities, agriculture and open space. In recent years the greater community of Napa County has had to come together to fix problems created in the past brought about by over-development.

For example, the Trancas Crossing Park in Napa was designed to restore a small fraction of what used to be the celebrated Napa Valley oak savannah and riparian community that had been destroyed. Among other restoration projects required due to overdevelopment, have been those funded by Measure A, the plan to lay pipelines to carry recycled water to the ground water deficient area of the MST; and the restoration of the Napa River in the Rutherford reach. We need to work together to prevent the need to fix what we do today.

Vision 2050 is the response to the disappointment felt by those who have attended Board of Supervisor and Planning Commission meetings where our members have continually worked at affecting policy, but feel they have not been heard. We see project after project getting approved with the questionable use of variances and mitigations. Therefore we are pleased to see the recommendation by staff to establish the ad hoc advisory committee to review the WDO and Conservation regulations and that suggests providing seats at the table for the citizens groups who advocate for environmental and neighborhood issues.

Today we in Vision 2050 are advocating putting controls on development to prevent further abuses so that our children won’t have to work to restore what we have destroyed. We have met with some of the leading grape growers and vintners and find that they too support a commitment to the commons to protect our watersheds and land. The Presidents of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Winegrowers and Napa Valley Vintners jointly sent a letter to Supervisor Dillon and Planning Commissioner Philips on March 3 encouraging the county to enforce [their] regulations…and stated, “We believe that unrealistic winery applications, shored up by the excessive use of variances, should be denied.”

And this past Sunday Susan Boswell, a Director of the NVV, wrote a letter to the Editor (NVR 3/8/15) sharing [their] “neighbors’ concerns about winery development and compliance, transportation, affordable housing, land use and environmental stewardship in our beautiful valley.” She went on to declare their “commitment to the community to protect our watershed, our land and the air we breathe.”

So it would seem that multiple constituencies are declaring their love of the land and their commitment to do the right thing. If so, it should be easy to quickly arrive at plans to do so.

On behalf of Vision 2050 I would like to briefly highlight several issues we would like to mention as worthy of our collective efforts to save our commons:

We support the WDO that mandates farming and agricultural processing in the AP. We ask that the county make explicitly clear what, if any, other accessory use activities can be carried out. We believe that the minimum parcel size for a winery should be 40 acres on the valley floor and 160 acres on the hillsides. We ask for increased enforcement of winery use permits by adding full time additional employees to the County budget. The county and the cities should work together to perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine the public costs of new winery and hotels.

We support the staff recommendation to issue a CAP and further suggest that the current Voluntary Oak Woodland Management Plan (2010) be made mandatory.

Water is a public trust resource. In order to protect our watersheds we favor the concepts of Alternative D (Resource Preservation Alternative in the 2007 General Plan EIR) to split off a WOS district where policies would be developed to achieve greater forest protection, riparian habitat protection, and water quality improvements than envisioned under the current General Plan. We look forward to sitting at that table to make a better Napa.

Thank you. Daniel Mufson Ph.D.

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To the Editor:

Wayne Menger recently wrote, “Why would a man come all the way from New Zealand to push this development here? You can bet it isn’t out of the kindness of his heart. Dig deeper and you will find the true reason.” As the target of that attack, it’s probably appropriate that I reply.

His questions and assertions suggest he has not understood what is being proposed, or why. He probably has not read the book (“How to Build a VillageTown”) that got this ball rolling, so instead of addressing MendoVito he has created a different proposition that he then knocks down. Look up “straw man” to understand what I mean.

There are no developers in the background or anywhere else. I’m not wealthy, and alleging so sets this up not as a deliberation but as an “us-vs-them” battle that avoids serious questions facing us all. I came to Mendocino County because I wrote a book that drew a strong and passionate audience from the North Coast. There are no investors, no developers, no deep-pocket capitalists, no speculators, no corporatism looking to exploit anyone; just people who read the book and felt the idea was worth doing. Ultimately the money comes from each buyer applying for a mortgage, which avoids speculative financing and results in the net profits being left in the community rather than being extracted by investors. It’s standard consolidated financing that does not begin until everyone is committed.

In terms of the idea that a project for senior housing would be wonderful, I respectfully disagree. It is unnatural for humans to isolate their elders, cutting off the young from the old, relegating the elders to a state of irrelevancy when the culture so desperately needs their wisdom, their time, and their presence. Nowadays, when you can’t drive anymore, you or your kids put you away. The next generation — many of whom who put their parents in “the home” — are adamant that they want a better alternative for their own eldership. But we need to plan today for what comes tomorrow, or we will suffer the consequences. In MendoVito, elders can live within the complete community until they die; it’s designed for it.

Our answers to Wayne Menger’s assertions and questions — and many more — can be found in the Q&A section on See question #68. There is nothing to hide. It will be up to the citizens of the county to make this decision, but at this point it’s time to learn, not give a premature thumbs up or down. Ask tough questions and demand clear answers, but let’s stop demonizing people who are promoting a serious public conversation about the future we can create. There will come a time for “yes” or “no,” but first the proposition itself needs to be understood so that we are talking about MendoVito and not recycled ignorance or straw man arguments.

It’s not a whole lot of fun being away from my family for almost a year, and it certainly is not a lot of fun to be attacked by people I have never met. My “ulterior motive” is that things are breaking down, people and planet getting hurt, and I’m tired of complaining about it. I also don’t want to suffer the consequences of doing nothing, or ask future generations to suffer what could have been prevented. So I asked people to not only tell me what was wrong, but to give practical ways to bring about change for the better. I wrote that in a book, and it attracted a lot of support among Mendocino County citizens. It’s now time to examine the ideas to see if they can become an alternative to what passes for normal. Mendocino County has challenged the status quo; it has forward thinkers. MendoVito is a forward-thinking idea that can be made real. But first it needs to be understood and its ideas debated. As that happens, please, let’s keep the personal attacks, innuendo, and straw men out of it.

I can be reached at, or you can ask questions on the web site survey. If you want to pick up the phone, call me at (707) 320-1185. Best time to call is evening. If I’m not in, leave a message and I’ll get back to you.

— Claude Lewenz, MendoVito

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FINANCE IS COMPLICATED, but not as complex as the wizards employed in it would have you believe. They would have you think it is an order of magnitude more abstruse and recondite than particle physics, when, in fact, it is often not much more than a Three Card Monte switcheroo. The whole ZIRP and QE game, for instance, can be boiled down to a basic wish to get something for nothing, that is, prosperity where nothing of value is created. Now, that’s not so hard to understand, is it? Until the economics wardrobe team comes in and dresses it up in martingales and bumrolls of metaphysics and you end up in a contango of mystification.

More galling and worrisome, though, is the failure of anyone even remotely in authority to stand up and publically object to the tidal wave of lies washing over this dying polity, actually killing it softly with truthinesslessness. The code of anything goes and nothing matters is turning lethal and the more it is kept swaddled in lies, the more perverse, surprising, and destructive the damage will be. The more our leaders lie about misbehavior in banking — including especially the actions of the Federal Reserve — the worse will be the instability in currencies. The more central bankers intervene in price discovery mechanisms, the more unable to reflect reality all markets will become. The more that the US BLS lies about the employment picture in America, the worse will be the eventual wrath of citizens who can’t get paid enough to heat their houses and feed their children.

— James Kunstler

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Music Drove Them Apart, Mush Kept Them Together

by David Yearsley

Religious discord dominates the news: from Charlie Hebdo and the War on Terror, to intra-Islamic mayhem in the regions conquered by ISIS, to shootings of Muslims in North Carolina, and even to the brimstone blasts from Erskine College of South Carolina, a Calvinist bastion that has condemned the sexual orientation of its own gay student athletes.

One of the most widespread clichés about music is that it is a universal language of humanity with the power to bring people together. But music has also caused intense strife within and among religious communities for as long as there has been organized religion. The forbears of the American Calvinists decrying same-sex relations as sinful down in South Carolina this week once threatened to wreck the organs in the churches they had wrested from the Roman Catholics during the tumult of the Protestant Reformation; these fanatics banished complex music from their denuded liturgy and replaced it with the unsparing singing of simple Psalms in unison. In our own time, one of the first things the Taliban did after coming to power in Afghanistan in 1995 was to ban music altogether. (The call to prayer—whose recitation from the soaring neo-Gothic tower of Duke University’s chapel caused such controversy a few weeks before the just-mentioned shootings of three Muslims in nearby Chapel Hill—does not figure as “music” in Islamic thought.)

During my many years on the organ bench of various Christian denominations, I’ve seen and heard how music often spawns conflict not just across confessional lines but also just as heatedly within a given religious community. In many churches the head musician and head cleric I’ve been caught in the middle of both Cold and Hot Wars, and have often sought cover behind the organ console as the grenades fly past from pulpit to choir stalls. The choir director of a Presbyterian church where I played for several years in the suburbs of San Francisco was given the sack after a ten-year tenure for changing a hymn without the pastor’s sanction.

One of the bitterest sacred musical struggles I witnessed had been going on for some years at a Reformed synagogue near Palo Alto when I got the job as organist there in the 1990s. The temple had been built in the late fifties in the hills above the Silicon Valley with views to the tidelands of the San Francisco Bay beyond. Where once there was nothing but fields of grass, poppies, and wild mustard, high-tech corporations and multi-million dollar homes had sprouted.

The synagogue resembled the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was an oblong building with a giant three-dimensional lozenge rising from its roof. The interior had wall-to-wall carpet, with about forty rows of long concave pews divided by a central aisle. The sanctuary was ringed by floor-to-ceiling windows that made the twilight sky the most beautiful part of the Friday evening service. At the front of the room four steps lead up to the bema, a large stage where the leaders of the service—the rabbis and the cantor (the head musician), led the rites. High above the bema white mesh scrim attempting feebly to disguise three large speakers that looked as if they had been lifted from Candlestick Park. These speakers were the “organ.” The console of this fully-loaded synthesizer with two manuals and a pedal board occupied a small niche just to the right of the bema.

When I began the job the congregation had just bought this overpriced contraption to replace an older electronic organ. The moving force behind this change of instruments was the cantor, my direct boss — a short man with a white beard, a large belly and a huge voice. He wheeled around the synagogue and the walkways of the congregation’s campus in a small, motorized cart. He was not completely confined to his vehicle, but could walk a few steps, rising out of his seat to crutch his way up the steps of the bema. Often, as we rehearsed for the Friday night service or for the Saturday morning bar mitzvah, he would sit in his cart some ten feet from the organ and sing in full voice, then, like Dr. Strangelove, rise from the machine and lurch toward me, crying, “What the hell are you doing? That sounds terrible!” He was refreshingly, abrasively direct and often immodest about his talents: “After my big solo last night, there was not a dry eye in the house.” The cantor had begun his career as a singer of Gilbert and Sullivan in New York, and he had got the megalomaniacal zeal of a real performer.

The cantor convinced the congregation to buy the new “organ” because he wanted to be able to simulate all kinds of different instruments so as to lend a certain version of “authenticity” to the assortment of Klezmer tunes, Israeli folksongs, and religious pop that make up the liturgical music of Reformed Judaism. When the organ was new, it gave him great delight to do the “Song for the Candle Lighting” with me playing a serpentine counter-melody on the Pan Pipes.

But the diverse approach to accompaniment favored by the cantor did not sit well with his boss, the rabbi. One night after a few weeks of being serenaded by pan pipes and clarinets and accordions, the rabbi marched over to one of our Friday night rehearsals to say to the cantor and me, “I know this is a very fine instrument, but many members of the congregation find the constant change of sounds disturbing. Tone it down would you?”

“Fine!” came the gruff reply Cantor, who immediately struggled over to the organ and took half-an-hour to set up an amorphous sound combination, giving it the title “MUSH.” These unchanging four letters appeared on the display panel for the rest of my tenure at the synagogue. Never had such an inoffensive sound been deployed for such an offensive sonic strategy.

Not in good health, the cantor nearly died a few weeks after that, and the rabbi immediately set about forcing him into retirement. Although he recovered, the cantor was eventually “emeritzed” and the rabbi moved on to another position and eventually became head of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the rabbinic leadership organization of Reformed Judaism. The two men hated each other religiously. It was music drove them apart, and mush that kept them together.

(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His recording of J. S. Bach’s organ trio sonatas is available from Musica Omnia. He can be reached at

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WELCOME TO A WORLD where Google knows exactly what sort of porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does. Welcome to a world where your cell phone company knows exactly where you are all the time. Welcome to the end of private conversations, because increasingly your conversations are conducted by e-mail, text, or social networking sites. And welcome to a world where all of this, and everything else that you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant.

— Bruce Schneier

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IN FEBRUARY PRESIDENT OBAMA’S 2015 NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY noted the risk of nuclear terrorism. “No threat poses as grave a danger … as the potential use of nuclear weapons or materials by irresponsible states or terrorists,” it said. Although Washington DC would be a likely target of such an attack, the issue seems to lack urgency there. Budget sequestration and the partisanship in Congress have greatly reduced spending on nuclear-security programs. The amount of money that will be saved this year by cutting those programs — about $340 million — is equivalent to 0.06% of the 2015 defense budget. Meanwhile, at last 25 countries now possess two pounds or more of weapons-grade fissile materials and some nuclear sites overseas don’t even have armed guards.

— Eric Schlosser

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EARTH, WATER AND FIRE DAY - March 21 at Garberville CR Campus

The community is invited to an educational event, called Earth, Water and Fire Day, on Saturday, March 21, at the Garberville Campus of the College of the Redwoods, starting at 9 AM. The event is sponsored by a number of local non-profit groups and businesses that want to help rural land owners implement best management practices to lessen water use and water pollution. Additional sessions will also cover Eel River aquatic monitoring and the need to protect and expand Wilderness Areas within the basin.

Water rights, water conservation, and water pollution prevention will be covered in a plenary morning session in the theater, with local experts and staff from the State Water Resources Control Board, including Chief of Enforcement Cris Carrigan. Those attending can learn how to conserve water and about employing sustainable agricultural techniques, as well as how to meet permitting requirements.

The wildland fire prevention and forest health session will take place in the early afternoon lead by Yana Valachovic of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE). Guest speaker Will Harling, of the Mid-Klamath Restoration Council, will share information about how National Forests and the Karuk Tribe use of controlled burns for cultural and ecological objectives and to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire. Land owners can also bring vegetation samples for analysis by UCCE, if they think they may have problems with sudden oak death syndrome. CAL FIRE and Natural Resource Conservation District staff will explain how land owners can apply for assistance for forest health and fuels reduction projects.


Erosion can be a huge problem in the Eel River basin and geologists, engineers and restoration practitioners will provide advice on how to prevent soil loss on rural parcels in the final afternoon plenary session. Stream bank and gully erosion are also major sources of sediment and the use of bioengineering using live willow material to stabilize banks and slopes will be discussed. Joseph Scriven of the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (RCD) will talk about assistance for land owners under current grant programs.

In the aquatic monitoring concurrent session, regional experts will make short presentations using lots of interesting visual aids and video and explain how citizens can become involved in monitoring. Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) volunteers will share results of the 2014-2015 fall Chinook salmon surveys and tell people how they can help monitor next year. Fisheries biologist Pat Higgins will make a presentation on the introduced Sacramento pikeminnow and discuss plans to collect dive data this summer with volunteer assistance. Sarah Kupferberg, a University of California, Berkley (UCB) researcher and Don Ashton of the U.S. Geologic Survey will headline a session on monitoring frogs, amphibians and turtles of the Eel River. Keith Bouma-Gregson, a doctoral candidate at UCB will present 2014 Eel River blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) study results, including patterns of cyanotoxin occurrence and concentration. In the afternoon, Keith will also focus on how small water districts might want to participate in future cyanotoxin monitoring, including in 2015.

The afternoon concurrent session will focus on protecting and expanding Wilderness Areas in the Eel River basin. In 2014, ERRP organized volunteers to help clean up industrial marijuana grows on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wilderness Areas in the South Fork Eel. More volunteer efforts are needed to complete clean ups on BLM holdings and expand to U.S. Forest Service lands elsewhere in the basin. Bruce Cann of BLM will talk about how volunteers can also help improve trail access to Wilderness Areas. Steve Evans of the California Wilderness Coalition will explain current legislative plans for expanding Eel River Wilderness.

Throughout the day, there will be posters and rotating presentations by experts in various rooms on the Garberville CR campus. This innovative method of engagement will allow people in small groups to have access to professionals, hear brief summary talks, and get materials to help them implement things they learn about. Topics will include 1) water rights and pollution waiver permits, 2) getting assistance on water conservation and pollution prevention, 3) forest health and fire protection, 4) expanding and protecting Wilderness, 5) erosion control and prevention, 6) cleaning up Eel River trash, and 6) why people should join the Institute for Sustainable Forestry (ISF) and Redwood Forest Foundation.

This event is possible because of the support of a number of co-sponsoring organizations including ERRP, ISF, UCCE, Trees Foundation, Mateel Community Center, Cal Trout, Piercy Watershed Association, and the Mendocino RCD. Businesses underwriting the event include Chautauqua Natural Foods, Community Credit Union, Pacific Watershed Associates, Dazey’s Supply, and Wonderland Nursery.

Doors will open and coffee, bagels, and fruit will be served at 8:30 AM. The plenary session will start in the theater at 9 AM and all sessions and presentations will be underway by 10 AM. Organic food for lunch will be provided, thanks to donations from Los Bagels, Eureka Natural Foods, Signature Coffee and Shop Smart in Redway.

There is no charge for admission, but donations will be accepted for lunch. The CR Garberville campus is at 286 Sproul Creek Road near the central Garberville exit going south. Anyone wishing to volunteer or request more information can call 707 223-7200. More information is also on-line at

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by Dan Bacher

Nimbus Fish Hatchery staff continue to witness the worst-ever steelhead run on the American River, Sacramento's unique urban jewel, but a few fish continue to trickle into the river.

“We have trapped 143 adult steelhead, including 93 females and 45 males, to date,” said Gary Novak, hatchery manager. “That compares to a total of 546 adult steelhead, including 527 adults and 19 half pounders, to date last season.”

The hatchery has taken a total of 186,488 eggs so far. With some additional eggs that they received from Coleman Fish Hatchery, they plan to release 144,000 steelhead yearlings next February on the American.

“We only saw 4 new fish this week and 18 fish last week,” said Novak. “On our best week, we saw 23 steelhead.”

Novak plans to keep the fish ladder open until the end of March, hoping that some additional fish come into the facility.

Releases to the lower American below Nimbus Dam continue to be 800 cfs, low for this time of year.

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. (

For more information about the destruction of American River steelhead, Delta smelt, Central Valley salmon and other species under the Brown administration, go to:

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WHY TOP TWO CAME TO BE IN CALIFORNIA Peace and Freedom Party (and the other third parties in California) might not be facing almost certain and eventual extinction under Proposition 14's Top Two limitations of voter choice if it wasn't for certain of the PFP "officers" who collaborated with the major party fight against the "open primary" system which was in effect here in California during 1998 and 2000.

Almost all the working class voters loved that system which came out of Proposition 198, which empowered them to make their primary choices from all candidates from every party for each particular office. The highest vote getter from each party then advanced to the general election runoff.

This "open primary" system gave exposure to all the third parties who fielded candidates both in the primary and also in the general election for each partisan race. This "double exposure" meant that in each election year and also in special partisan elections which fill vacancies, the entire electorate received notice of each and every partisan choice before them, not just their own label's office seeker(s).

Had the Prop 198 system not been overturned, I believe many of  the progressive electorate would have started moving  out and away from the Democratic Party and/or the "declines to state"  category. This leftward registration shift  would have increased  the ranks of Peace and Freedom Party to the point where we would have been able to maintain our ballot status by registration alone.

Proposition 198 allowed voters to affiliate with the party closest to their values and class and undermined the perceived need to join one of the two "major" parties. More importantly, by increasing a multi-party perspective among California's voters, 198 would have allowed a far easier transition to a system of Proportional Representation than the regressive and reactionary Top Two system we are burdened with today.

The defeat of 198 opened the way for Proposition 14's  Top Two. The elitist and dare I say  vanguardist PFP "officers", several of whom have been soundly defeated in intra-party primaries, sought to establish  their own TOP  DOWN system within Peace and Freedom Party reserving to themselves, the 13 out of about 60,000 registrants, the right to endorse the "leadership" candidates.

The  PFP "officers" played the State Central Committee membership with the tired old canard that Peace and Freedom Party might be taken over by some unnamed outside force. We as a party ought to have fought to maintain that "198 open primary" by upholding Proposition 198. Instead our state organization  joined in as the Sock Puppets the of the Republican and Democratic parties without any discussion of the unintended consequences.  Had Peace and Freedom as a state party organization preserved the "open primary" with a court victory we might have been the principled  and principal force to have put an early stop to the Top Two movement and perhaps even rolled back Top Two in other jurisdictions. California Peace and Freedom  should take responsibily  for  a plurality   of blame for the erosion of democratic rights under the Top Two limitations as well as total responsibility for making PFP the most internally undemocratic of any of California's still ballot qualified parties.

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Note the article from Ballot Access News:

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 — As in the movement of water in creeks, rivers, soils and plants, our lymph vessels also respond to the fluid movement of spring - wherever it does or doesn’t flow easily, both physically and emotionally.  The lymph system is partner in immunity and the connector between blood vessels, cellular space and the surface of things “out there”, thus sensitive to disharmony.  In shuttling nutrients/fats, wastes and white blood cells, the lymph system has an important role in heart health, fat metabolism, allergies, edema, kidney/reproductive insufficiency and respiratory issues.  The plants that break ground in the rushing enthusiasm of the growing season are the sour, pungent, bitter bright new greens that some call ‘weeds’.  No Matter where you are in spring, this new life, provides some of the most powerful medicine of the year:  Leaves of nasturtium, cleavers, chickweed, sorrel, dandelion, chickory, clover, young nettle, wild onion, plantain, fir tips, mustards, dock, young apple to name a few.  Sour flavor stimulates lymph movement where there is stagnation (swollen glands for example), pungent/spicy flavor stimulates the lungs and sinuses and clears skin, while bitter flavor wakes up the liver and helps it release accumulations. Cleanse and renew the flow of lymph in your body with these simple daily actions for the next 3 weeks:

Pick, clean then eat a handful of wild edible spring greens each day  (Chop and use as garnish, add to pesto or smoothies).

Drink 2-3 quarts tepid or warm water with a squirt of lemon/lime/grapefruit and/or apple cider vinegar.

Reduce/eliminate concentrated sweets, refined grains (flour) and animal fats in your diet.

Circulate your blood with rigorous aerobic exercise (sweat!), hot/cold water therapy, massage or skin brushing.

Sign up for Loving Your Lymph 1 evening class by emailing through

— Karin Uphoff

One Comment

  1. Harvey Reading March 12, 2015

    The open primary was great, which is why the corporate party (demuglican) had to destroy it.

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