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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Mar 20, 2015

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Yes, it's been one year since a mad man from Oregon took the life of Mendocino County Sheriff Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino in a hail of gunfire.

According to the news desk at KOZT (95.3 FM), Sheriff Tom Allman said there will be a small gathering for a memorial to the heroic deputy at MacKerricher State Park tonight @ 7:15 pm.


Fort Bragg Newspaper Downplays Anniversary Of Deputy's Sacrifice

The Fort Bragg Advocate felt a new police chief and a congressman's visit were the most important stories “above the fold” on their front page today — the 1st anniversary of the ultimate sacrifice by Mendocino Sheriff Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino. Not a mention on their website or Facebook page either at 8:30am.
 According to KOZT (95.3 FM), there will be a short memorial service 7:15pm at the memorial bench at MacKerricher State Park tonight.
 Former sheriff Jim Tuso posted a series of photos on the Fort Bragg Wellness page with a person commenting: 
"One would think this would be headlines in the local paper as a tribute to this fallen hero. Let's remember Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino on this day and stop for a moment at 11:51 to remember what he gave. Let's also remember Lieutenant John Naulty and his quick response to the situation. Without his quick action our community could have been in harm’s way. Also let's remember Chief Scott Mayberry who was on the scene within a moment to provide assistance. Let's try to keep this at the top of the wellness page to show our respect. Prayers to these families.”

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Chain Of Events For Horrific Day In Mendocino Coast History

by Paul McCarthy

I remember one year ago today with great pain. As usual, the scanner was on and I was “live” posting events happening after the Confusion Hill storekeeper was “shot at” by the Oregon lunatic who'd soon head down Highway 1 and take the life of Mendocino Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino. 
Little did I know at the time this human timebomb had already killed, kidnapped and was on his way to take another life. It was only through great law enforcement action this maniac was unable to take additional lives — he had the means and motivation for sure.
When the coward was finally cornered, I posted maps of the area to enure people stayed away and was then informed (by message) of an “officer down” and shortly thereafter which officer was down. The name was withheld until it could be “officially” confirmed. But it seemed surreal — almost unbelievable. And the toughest story to cover in the four-year history of MSP.
 This is what we posted back on March 19, 2014 when more facts were known about this tragic day in coast history in case some are unaware what transpired.

Search Of Jail In Lane County, Oregon, Finds Murderer There March 6 — Then Released Same Day

MSP went to the Lane County Jail website in Eugene, Oregon to see if it ever lodged the murderer of Mendocino Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino.
Sure enough, on Thursday, March 6, he was arrested & jailed for unlawful possession or concealment of firearms PLUS possession of MDMA... and released the same day
MDMA is “ecstasy” — Wikipedia says of the drug: “MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) is an empathogenic drug of the phenethylamine and amphetamine classes of drugs. MDMA has become widely known as “ecstasy” (shortened to “E,” “X,” or “XTC"), usually referring to its street form, although this term may also include the presence of possible adulterants. The UK term “Mandy” and the US term “Molly” colloquially refer to MDMA that is relatively free of adulterants.
 MDMA can induce euphoria, a sense of intimacy with others, diminished anxiety, and mild psychedelia. A search of the “Register-Guard,” Eugene's daily newspaper, found this just posted: 
"A crime spree that began in Eugene early this morning ended in tragedy around noon when a 32-year-old man fatally shot a Mendocino County sheriff’s deputy in Northern California before turning his gun onto himself.
 The sheriff’s deputy killed in the shootout was identified as Ricky Del Fiorentino, 48. The suspect later found dead in an apparent suicide was 32-year-old Ricardo Antonio Chaney, most recently of Eugene.
Chaney is suspected of going on a crime spree that began in Eugene around 1 a.m., when he carjacked a black BMW and forced the car’s two occupants into the trunk. The victims were later able to escape from the trunk sometime after the vehicle has crossed over into California, according to media accounts.
 The Eugene incident occurred in the Kinsrow Avenue area near Autzen Stadium.
 Eugene Police, however, refused to confirm many details, saying only that the man in the stolen BMW robbed a victim at gunpoint. After the incidents unfolded in California, Eugene police issued a statement indicating that the stolen vehicle had been recovered, and that the case remains under investigation. Police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin confirmed that the case is deemed still active, with no additional information immediately available for release.
 At around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, there was a confrontation between Chaney and the owner of Confusion Hill, a Northern California tourist attraction near the Humboldt-Mendocino County line on Highway 1 along the California coast, according to media accounts of a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department news conference. The owner exchanged gunfire with Chaney, then called 911 after Chaney drove away.
 At some point, Chaney’s Eugene victims managed to escape from the trunk, police said. 
A Mendocino County sheriff’s lieutenant spotted Chaney’s stolen vehicle near Leggett and gave chase, heading south on Highway 1 at speeds exceeding 100 mph. The lieutenant lost contact, but Chaney pulled over about three miles north of the city of Fort Bragg near MacKerricher State Park, and local law enforcement officials began to create a perimeter.
 Del Fiorentino spotted Chaney’s car and moved to block his escape, police said. That’s when Chaney shot multiple times and killed Fiorentino with an assault-type rifle similar to an AK-47, according to police.
A Fort Bragg lieutenant arrived on the scene minutes later, and found Chaney taking Fiorentino’s sidearm from his body. The lieutenant and Chaney exchanged fire, and Chaney was hit but escaped into nearby brush, police said.
Backup was called in, and Chaney was later found dead with what police said they believe was a fatal, self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Officers recovered two assault-type rifles, and a double-barrel shotgun.
 Del Fiorentino had 26 years of experience with Mendocino County law enforcement, 16 with the sheriff’s department and 10 with Fort Bragg police, officials said. The Oregon State Police issued a Twitter statement extending its condolences.
Local records show that Eugene police arrested Chaney on charges of unlawful possession of the drug ecstasy and unlawful possession or concealment of firearms on March 6. Chaney was booked, and later released, that same day from the Lane County Jail.
Chaney had no felony convictions in Oregon, records show. He was charged with felony domestic assault in Lane County in 2006, but the charge was later dismissed, records indicate. He was convicted on a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct in Lane County in 2003, records show.”

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Yet Another Fort Bragg Advocate Faux Pas — No Mention Of Tragic Shooting Anniversary In Today's (March 19) Issue

Many residents have (rightly) taken the Fort Bragg Advocate to task for failing to mention anything on the one year anniversary of the shocking shooting of one of Fort Bragg's finest — Mendocino Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino.

It was the story of the year.

The Advocate belatedly “shared” one rememberance post on their facebook page around 10:00 am Thursday.

But, after posting a photo on their Facebook page reminding their dwindling readership a Whale Festival guide was “tucked inside” this week's issue, someone commented:

“Hmmm. Is a tribute to our fallen hero tucked inside one of those pages?”

Then these comments followed:

“I am absolutely shocked at the huge error of this paper for not having a tribute on the one year anniversary of our beloved fallen hero. We were beyond blessed to have such an amazing man protecting us for so many years. I understand mistakes happen but this is a big one. An apology to the community is requested.”

“I realize mistakes happen, but unfortunately the Advocate choosing to have an article about the new Police Chief take up the entire front page on the anniversary of such a significant event is so out there. The Community is taking this as somewhat of a slap in the face. I wonder, with such a small town, why someone on your staff did not point out this huge faux pas? It just seems to be such an obvious error and omission, that I am having a hard time accepting that intelligent journalists missed something like this. I sincerely do hope the staff can find a respectful way to recover. I am not sure waiting a week would be in your best interest…”

“Ricky Del Fiorentino should have gotten the Front Page Today… Along with Officer John Naulty and, the Chief of Police at the time, Scott Mayberry!”

The Advocate, who just unloaded the new talented, energetic editor it hired from Florida Suzette Cook (before she passed 90 days on the job) have seen all their “award winning” staff jump ship.

Indeed, the newly appointed editor is gone, last year's Fort Bragg reporter (and the one before him) gone, the sports editor gone, the court reporter long gone.

The newspaper is up for sale as is the building that houses it. They “forgot” to cover the Jesse Ales Memorial Softball Tournament last year and now they “forgot” about a local resident who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Two major stories concerning beloved Fort Bragg residents.

Time for a new Publisher over there — you can't blame this on the editor.

In typical Advocate fashion they promised to remember the hero deputy — next week? Huh?

This is what the Advocate wrote in their comment section:

“It was our mistake not to have an article about Dep. Del Fiorentino this week. No disrespect is intended. We will make sure the anniversary is remembered in next week's paper.”

Yep, it's always “next” week with those guys. What good does that do — make them feel better?

Looks like they'll never catch up with current local news from the death spiral they're in… Readers, as well as staff, are jumping ship with good reason — this isn't a coast “news” paper any more. Sadly, they've lost touch.

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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by Kym Kemp

A study published yesterday looks at the effect of marijuana grows on water flow and on the wildlife that depends on it. Researchers examined four watersheds – three in Humboldt County and one in Mendocino County. The results do not look good for the fish. Water sucked out to produce glistening, sugary buds could, at times, exceed streamflow in three of the four watersheds which fits with witnesses who have recounted local waterways disappearing in places when they had never been known to do so before.


The authors concluded from their research, “In the most impacted study watersheds, diminished streamflow is likely to have lethal or sub-lethal effects on state-and federally-listed salmon and steelhead trout and to cause further decline of sensitive amphibian species.”

The watersheds looked at in the research paper, Impacts of Surface Water Diversions for Marijuana Cultivation on Aquatic Habitat in Four Northwestern California by Scott Bauer et al, contain differing amounts of grows. The grows on the northernmost watershed cluster in one small section while the grows in the two central watersheds freckle the area densely. Outlet Creek in Mendocino also has multiple grows spread across the study area.

Outlet Creek, Mendocino County

The study authors estimated that each watershed contained between 23,000 to 32,000 plants each sucking an average of approximately 6 gallons of water per day during the growing season which they compared to grapes–about 3 1/3 gallons of water a day. (Though the the amount of product to feel pleasantly buzzed per gallon of water used would be another calculation altogether. Marijuana plants presumably produce large amounts of bud while grapes produce few bottles of wine per plant.)

According to the study, the four watersheds “are already designated as impaired for elevated water temperature and sediment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.” Lower flows will exacerbate these issues and, according to the study’s authors, lead to fish dying in unacceptably high numbers. “Complete dewatering of stream reaches would result in stranding and outright mortality of salmonids, which has been observed by the authors at a number of [marijuana cultivation sites] just downstream of their water diversions.” Amphibians also could be at risk.

The authors warn that marijuana grows are more harmful to waterflow than logging. They state, “In contrast, timber harvesting, which until recently was the primary land use in forested ecoregions in the western United States, does not typically divert headwater streams in the same manner as [marijuana cultivation sites.] Timber harvesting operations, at least in California, have state regulatory oversight that requires bypass flows to maintain habitat values for surface water diversions.”

Northcoast Environmental Center’s Facebook page posted the link to this study saying, “This is probably the most conclusive study on the watershed-scale impacts of unchecked marijuana production in our region….While there are responsible growers out there, they are being overshadowed by many more who are sucking streams dry. Time to nip it in the bud!”

(Courtesy,, Redheaded Blackbelt’s excellent new and improved website. For full-size pictures go to

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In this time of attention-seeking protesters and one click of a mouse to whine in public, it’s easy to take a back seat when we see a chance to offer kudos for good work. Mea culpa. I’d like to correct my own negligence. I wasn’t among those “angry citizens” who got their smiling faces published in The Press Democrat last Thursday, calling for the ouster of Cloverdale City Manager Paul Cayler (“Call for ouster in police shakeup”). In fact, I’m among the many residents who appreciate his work but didn’t express it.

I’ve never met Cayler, but I can verify from experience that he responds to emails from local citizens within minutes, even if the citizen herself (me) thinks her concern is probably too innocuous to be on the radar of a city manager — offleash dogs, graffiti, illegal trash disposal. He follows up with a personal phone call and, even more unusual (startling, actually), he takes action.

It’s a rare government official who demonstrates this level of competence and takes this degree of personal interest in his job and the citizens he’s hired to serve.

Marsh Rose, Cloverdale

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Hi Friends,

Well, we've made a decision...we're bringing in the big equipment, leveling the land, and planting endless rows of nopales cactus. There will be lots of prickly pear items on our shelves going forward.

Ok, just joking. Some days — years — make one think like this. Oh sure, it's beautiful out here and everything seems to be in the bloom of health and literally, in bloom. But the grasses give away the deception. They're more weed than grass now and stunted to boot. We've already installed drip on all our crops and are hoping the water holds out until their fruition. We anticipate a long hot difficult season and are thinking we would have done better investing in a shade cloth company. All this “down” mood and we don't even read the world news!

We do continue to plug away though, and February was a very busy month. We've added meat to our offerings and it is selling well despite bizarre regulations from the feds on down. We hope you are all healthy and happy and enjoying the lovely spring/summer weather or the thaw, depending on your location.

— Nikki and Steve

(Petit Teton Monthly Farm Report — February 2015)

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Dear Editor

The comment by Prime Minister Netanyahu that he opposes the creation of a Palestinian state confirms what we already know. “Israel is a settler-colonial apartheid state.” The question now is how its shrinking number of supporters will react to Netanyahu's position. It certainly is apparent the Republican Senators approve of an apartheid state. More importantly will President Obama continue to threaten to veto any attempt by the State of Palestine to get full UN membership?   Plus what happens of the Palestinian Authority dissolves itself? How will the apartheid state govern the west Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza? What if the International Criminal Court supports the State of Palestine's charges against Israel? Natanyahau's action has opened a can worms that could destroy Israel as it currently exists.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff, Sacramento

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Dear Editor,

I want to say the use of the expression “Potemkin enterprise” to describe KZYX made my day.

While I’m at it, snagging Malcolm Macdonald from the coast paper was a good move. Mr. Macdonald is thoughtful, takes a long view and, as we say in Spanish, “No tiene pelos en la lengua.”

I also want to thank you for publishing the Grand Jury testimony of the Ferguson shooting in your December 3 edition, I think it was. Demonstrations were organized in many cities by “activists” to protest police shootings. The following week you ran a letter from a lady in Berkeley who said she and her neighbors had to prevent demonstrating vandals from starting a fire near her property.

Many years ago I used to read some history and move on, like “Bleeding Kansas” before the Civil War. Freebooters, to promote slavery, were organized to take over Baja California, Chihuahua and one, William Walker, even managed to take over Nicaragua and get himself briefly recognized by the United States. Gradually, I began to ask myself, “Who’s feeding these guys?” More reading and we learn that Walker had been backed by one Mr. Vanderbilt.

We had secret agents during the Civil War, and I read some of the testimony they gave at the trials of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. They followed them as they boarded a train in Baltimore to New York City, changed trains to one going to the border with Canada, and then another train to Montreal. There they went to a hotel patronized by British agents and they entered the rooms of those agents. They left the rooms and returned to Baltimore. They were given gold and paper money in Montreal.

During the French Revolution the King of England wrote the King of France, and I paraphrase here, “Cousin, do not permit the Duke of Orleans to visit England. He has been staying with the Prince of Wales, and they’ve been hanging with bad company.” The Duke of Orleans was rich, but not so rich as to finance the entire French Revolution. In one demonstration involving 40,000 people, the police killed a few and arrested many. All the dead and arrested had the same amount of money in their pockets.

My thanks go to the Israeli reader, Moishe Garson, who sends in letters to the AVA from time to time. He sent in a list of books a couple of years ago, one of which I read. It was Lenin In Zurich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. In that book we learn not only of the ride in the Sealed Train across Germany, but also that the financing of the Bolshevik coup was undertaken by big bankers, and the financing had been going on for many years.

Returning to the recent destabilizing demonstrations in our country, some demonstrators in the East Bay confronted vandals they perceived to be agents provocateurs and went to unmask them. One of them pulled a gun and then identified both of them as police officers. We learned this from the news. These demonstrations are being organized on a national level by “activists.” Once again, “Who’s feeding these guys?”

In dealing with our heightened national stress, I suggest we remember Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122. She smoked two cigarettes a day, rode her bicycle, and ate about a kilo of chocolate a week. She attributed her longevity to being calm, as her last name implied. “I only have one wrinkle,” she said, “and I’m sitting on it.”


Tom Rivard, Santa Rosa

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A CHANGE IN CALIFORNIA STATE LAW five years back allowed people to put in basic graywater capture systems for a few hundred dollars. These laundry-to-landscape systems now require no inspections or permits. 
It’s nearly impossible to track how many home water-recycling systems exist in California. But in the 2009 UCLA Institute of the Environment regional report card, Yoram Cohen wrote that if just 10 percent of Southern California homes reused their graywater, the savings would equal the output of a desalination plant.


Too much magic? Technofantasy? No, a simple, inexpensive solution to a fundamental challenge to a state with 40 million residents. Btw, we here in Brazil are facing water rationing on an unprecedented scale in Sao Paulo (20+ million residents) and Rio (10+ million). Faucets emit only air for several hours a day, with no water on some days. These are serious problems (duh), but could be easily fixed thru concerted large scale action. Technology does fix things, cfn’ers. Barcelona ran out of potable water several years ago, and put in desalination plants that have things under control. Water is not California’s problem, it is inaction on the part of the rulers in implementing simple, available fixes.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 19, 2015

Escalera, Kiger, Knight, Martin
Escalera, Kiger, Knight, Martin

JAVIER ESCALERA, Ukiah. Grand theft, vehicle theft.

CHRISTOPHER KIGER, Clearlake/Ukiah. Domestic battery.

LEVY KNIGHT, Willits. Drunk in public.

CHARLES MARTIN, Fort Bragg. Grand Theft, forgery, conspiracy.

Mendoza, Menendez, Ortega
Mendoza, Menendez, Ortega

FRANCISCO MENDOZA, Willits. Drunk in public, driving without a license, court order violation, probation revocation.


DANIEL ORTEGA, San Jose/Ukiah. Suspended license.

Tanner, Tuttle, Verville
Tanner, Tuttle, Verville

MINDY TANNER, Point Arena. DUI-Drugs, meth sale, under influence of controlled substance, possession of syringe, drug paraphernalia.

ALESHIA TUTTLE, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.

ROBERT VERVILLE II, Willits. Battery of peace officer, resisting arrest. (Frequent flyer.)

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They break down the door
As he opens the SPAM can.
The rabbi exposed!


Millions starve in Chad.
U.S. sends massive SPAM aid.
Millions starve in Chad.


What a mockery —
Lettuce and fruits surround SPAM.
Why gild the lily?


Silken pig tofu,
The color of spanked buttocks
Blushing at my knife.


A prostitute leans
From a rust-stained balcony
Spooning from a can.


This bow tie of SPAM
Matches my pink cummerbund.
What, is it too loud?


I felt a small thrill
When I nicked my ring finger
On the can’s sharp edge.


What once contained SPAM
Now rusts in tall roadside weed —
Kerouac long gone.


Eyelids hang heavy
As father drones on and on
About its great taste.


The ceiling fan turns.
The loaf sweats ominously.
Time is running out.


The beach picnic ends.
The sand blows, the naked SPAM
Puts on a tweed coat.

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by Dick Meister

Like every other fan of the National Pastime, I've looked forward with great anticipation to the new baseball season. But I know it won't possibly match my favorite season of all time.

It was 1950 -- the year that I, a 17-year-old shortstop not yet out of high school in San Francisco, took the first step toward what I was certain would be major league stardom.

You had to start somewhere, and my somewhere was Boonville, California, home of the Loggers, one of six teams in the semi-professional Mendocino County League.

Boonville. It sounded as if it was thousands of miles from San Francisco, and although actually only about 120 miles north, it might as well have been. There were only a few hundred people in town, two grocery stores, a service station, pool hall and a combination bar and restaurant with a dozen crumbling one-room cabins behind it -- the Boonville Lodge, our principal source of food, lodging and entertainment for the summer.

Though small, Boonville was exceptionally well placed, in the heart of massive forests of pine and redwood and lush farmland. Narrow towers of dense gray smoke surrounded the town, tall aromatic sentinels rising above lumber mills, guarding Boonville's economic well-being.

The Loggers played only on weekends; their fans were overwhelmingly preoccupied with work at other times. But, my God, those weekends!

The fans barreled into town at noontime on game days, straight down the highway that doubled as Main Street, climbed out of pickup trucks and long fish-tailed sedans and hurried into the bar and restaurant. They jostled good-naturedly as they yelled out their orders. Beer and chicken-fried steak, beer and hamburger steak, beer and fried chicken or, for those feeling flush, beer and the house special, T-bone steak.

Soon the laughing, noisy crowd headed for the ballpark just across the highway, grasping bottles of beer and washtubs filled with ice and more beer.

The heat rose in waves. You could see it through the thick clouds of dust kicked up by infielders warming up as the fans clambered up into the bleachers, rattling the seats formed from sagging wooden planks, old, dry and smelling of resin. They bellowed advice and encouragement full blast through the afternoon, and some came down under the bleachers between innings to offer icy, dripping bottles of beer that the players downed in quick, gasping gulps.

It didn't end with the games. We walked, players and fans, the sweat-soaked lot of us, across the highway afterward, replaying the games as we made our way to the lodge, there to continue our talk, inside and in boisterous groups that spilled out onto the sidewalk. More beer, and the raucous, endlessly blasting jukebox sound of country boys singing country songs.

It was like that in all the league towns, none more than an hour away by car.

We spent very little time in the cabins that were our homes away from home. There was work at a lumber mill, from seven in the morning until three or four in the afternoon. Then came two to three hours on the practice field, where the boss was the Logger manager's right-hand man, Woody, once a first baseman in the Chicago White Sox minor league chain.

Woody was the “old pro” who was standard on such teams as the Loggers, a heavy drinker in his mid-40s who'd been drifting around the country for the past ten years. He knew no trade except baseball and had no skills but those of a ballplayer, skills too blunted by age and hard living for him to make it with teams at any higher level.

Woody was just another hand at the lumber mill, but at practice he called all the shots, a drill master with a fat stomach and a long, thin fungo bat. He'd slap balls to our left, to our right, over our heads, balls that would hit just in front of us and pop right up. He'd stand us up at home plate while the pitchers fired away, reaching out to straighten our shoulders, twist us this way and that, move our feet together, then apart, out from the plate, then in, move us back in the batter's box, then forward.

Practice, practice, until our eyes stung with sweat dripping down our foreheads.

Woody didn't say so, and we certainly didn't think so at the time, but we were experiencing true joy. The moist warmth enveloping our bodies, our muscles responding spontaneously and uncomplainingly to our every demand, dashing across the field full tilt to catch up to a ball, sending a ball flying far beyond us with the mere swing of a bat, our bodies doing just what they were supposed to do, just what they had learned to do.

That's what it meant to be young. That's what it meant to be playing baseball. That's what Woody Wilson never said, but never forgot.

Copyright©Dick Meister

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“BUILD A COLD FRAME on the Equinox Workshop”


“Come learn how to build your very own cold frame at the Grange Farm School on Ridgewood Ranch!

Saturday, March 21st!

Using reclaimed windows donated from the Little Lake Grange or bringing your own, we will be splitting the day into two work sessions;

9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm with an hour lunch, and lecture on the Vernal Equinox and Rituals surrounding the first degree “faith” of the Grange. Takashi Yogi and Annie Waters will be leading the lecture.

You will be learning and constructing a cold frame of your own to take home with you the same day.

If you're not familiar a cold frame is a transparent-roofed enclosure, built low to the ground, used to protect plants from adverse weather, primarily cold. Used for season extension!

We are giving an option at $50 dollars to participate in the workshop with all materials included; windows, hardware, 2x2's, siding, and tools. Although, tools may be limited so we suggest that you bring your own measuring tape, cordless drill, and pencil.

There is also a second option to attend the workshop at $30 dollars and bring with you your own materials or to just watch and learn without building anything if you so choose.

Both options include informative and instructive workshop, lunch, tour, and lecture.

So come celebrate your Spring Equinox with us here at the Farm School and take away some new found knowledge and an awesome cold frame to extend your growing season!

We look forward to seeing you there!”

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by Dan Bacher

The endangered Delta smelt, once the most abundant fish in the entire Bay Delta Estuary, may already be extinct, according to UC Davis fish biologist and author Peter Moyle, as quoted on Capital Public Radio.

“Prepare for the extinction of the Delta Smelt in the wild,” Moyle told a group of scientists with the Delta Stewardship Council.

The latest trawl survey by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) found just six smelt to date. That survey follows the fall midwater trawl survey, when biologists recorded the lowest number of smelt ever documented, 8, at a total of 100 sites sampled from September through December.

“That trawl survey came up with just six smelt, four females and two males,” Moyle told Capital Public Radio. “Normally because they can target smelt, they would have gotten several hundred.”

“Moyle says the population of Delta smelt has been declining for the last 30 years but the drought may have pushed the species to the point of no return. If the smelt is officially declared extinct, which could take several years, the declaration could change how water is managed in California,” according to the report.

“All these biological opinions on Delta smelt that have restricted some of the pumping will have to be changed,” said Moyle.

The Delta smelt is an indicator species that demonstrates the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The 2.0 to 2.8 inch long fish is endemic to the estuary and spends all of its life in the Delta.

Restore the Delta and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), opponents of the Governor’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels, responded to the alarming news that the Delta smelt may be extinct by blasting a move by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to further weaken Delta outflow and water quality standards.

They said the smelt may be reaching the “point of no return” if swift action is not taken – and indicated that the Board’s action makes even more likely the decimation of this once flourishing Delta species and endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon this year.

The State Water Board's action lowered Delta outflow for the purpose of managing the ecosystems and salinity control, a move that the BDCP critiics said is “bad for fish, good for invasive species and helps storage” by reducing how much water the projects send from upstream reservoirs to keep salt out of the Delta.

“The State Water Board, even in the face of near-extinction of Delta smelt and salmon, is proposing to drastically relax minimal water quality and flow standards enacted to protect the Bay-Delta and tributary streams, for the third year in a row,” said Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. “Delta and longfin smelt and Winter-run Chinook salmon have collapsed to less than one percent of historic numbers, and are facing extinction.”

“Yet the Water Board and the Governor expect our rivers and fisheries to bear the burden and suffer the consequences of mismanagement, even as additional acres of almonds are planted in the Valley. The Delta is a national treasure belonging to all of the people in the state and nation. It must not be sacrificed to the insatiable greed of special interests,” he stated.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, said her group and its partners have worked for 8 years for the protection of Delta smelt. She pinpointed “excessive water pumping” by the state and federal water exporters, especially on behalf of those growing almonds in the Westlands Water District and Kern County, for leading to the collapse of the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.

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

“And here in the fifth year of drought, the State Water Resources Control Board has left open a loophole that one could drive a Mack truck through, by allowing water exporters to tell the board how much water they need, and allowing for emergency water for these same growers,” Barrigan-Parrilla emphasized. “State and Federal fish agencies are failing to enforce laws to protect fisheries.”

“The estuary is unraveling; California is running out of water; and all the Brown Administration can talk about is dry tunnels that will save neither the fish, nor the people of California,” she explained.

Barrigan-Parrilla asked, “How much longer will the Brown Administration fiddle, and ignore that California must adjudicate water rights. Huge industrial farms on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley cannot be sustained while the estuary collapses.

She also noted that droughts are recurrent and predictable weather patterns in California – and droughts are “not emergencies,” except when the water agencies fail to manage for their recurrence.

Barrigan-Parrilla and Jennings said the current water quality objectives give a “green light” to the California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to gamble that each water year will be normal to wet: they prioritize upstream storage for exports to south of Delta storage, resulting in a “beggar-thy-neighbor” competition pitting against each other exports, salinity control, fish protection, and ecosystem-protective outflows.

“This situation is preventable and state and federal agencies failed to prevent it,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “Mismanagement of our water resources by the State of California and federal government are sending both the endangered salmon and Delta smelt to extinction. Their political favoring of billionaire growers over the rest of us is finishing off the fish.”

Barrigan-Parrilla said Governor Jerry Brown favors corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley over the economic and environmental needs of the people who live in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. The salmon fisheries that this estuary sustains support a $1.5 billion economy, while Delta farming supports a $5.2 billion economy.

“We are poised to lose Delta smelt, Winter-run salmon, and steelhead as these fisheries are collapsing. Where is Gov. Brown’s concern for the people who live and work in the estuary?” she concluded.

If Delta smelt, Winter run Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead go extinct, the question must be asked: will people be next? An estuary and environment that is no longer suitable for these fish to live in is also no longer suitable for people to live and thrive in. Remember — extinction is forever.

* * *


* * *


Dear Stuart Campbell:

As the elections coordinator and Board member who has agreed to ensure the integrity of the elections process for the Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (MCPB) Board of Directors for this calendar year, 2015, you should be aware that two violations occurred on tonight's show, “The Discussion.” I was initially made aware of the incident by private citizens calling me at home during the show.

The first violation involved the show's two hosts attacking me -- a sitting MCPB Board member and one of five complainants to the FCC against the current management at MCPB.

Angela Picard DeWitt was one of the two hosts. I'm not sure of the identity of the other host. It sounded like a young man. It could have been Ms. DeWitt's usually scheduled co-host, Ryano Corrigan, but I'm not sure.

During the violation, I was the subject of several minutes of ad hominem -- personal -- attacks for filing an FCC complaint against MCPB's management.

Compounding tonight first violation, the two hosts made a mockery of the FCC's investigation -- kindly take note, the FCC investigation is still an ongoing investigation. It was entirely inappropriate for tonight's two hosts to be discussing the FCC investigation in a highly critical manner while live and on-air.

The second violation involved the Ms. DeWitt and her co-host engaging in on-air campaigning during the show; they showed a clear bias against candidates Dennis O'Brien and Doug McKenty.

Therefore, please provide me with the archived link to tonight's show for my further review. Let me know, too, the identity of the second host. Also, please let me know how the station intends to discipline tonight's two hosts or otherwise take corrective action.

I am coping Messrs. O'Brien and McKenty on this email, along with the CPB and FCC, and the MCPB Board of Directors.

Please be advised that a complaint has already been filed by a member of the public with Peter H. Doyle, Chief, Audio Division, Media Bureau, at the FCC, against MCPB Executive Director and General Manager, John Coate, for engaging in a similar incident of on-air ad hominem attacks and on-air campaigning.

The incident occurred during MCPB's recent Winter Pledge Drive.

Thank you.

John Sakowicz

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

* * *

Earlier this month, Holly Madrigal sabotaged my application to the LAFCO Board. It wasn't enough that I was a qualified candidate. Madrigal torpedoed my application by saying I was the “problem child” on the KZYX Board. Then she went on to say even worse things. It wasn't pretty. And it was videotaped.

Why sabotage me? As a KZYX Board member, during Board meetings I've been collegial in every way. Polite. Kind. Respectful. Obedient to Roberts Rules of Order. I've never been disruptive at Board meeting. In fact, it's been quite the opposite. Board members have subjected me to ridicule, criticism, public humiliation and censure at Board meetings.

Everything I've done as an activist has been done away from KZYX Board meetings. And it has been done only in the best interests of KZYX and its members. I've tried to to wrest control of the station out of the hands of Coate and Aigner and to return control to the members -- where it belongs. KZYX is community radio, not a private club operated for the benefit of a few people.

Madrigal is mean-spirited. She is a political opportunist. She is a go-along-to-get-along type of opportunist, with no real core values, and she is shamelessly ambitious, which is why voters saw right through her and elected a complete unknown, Tom Woodhouse, to the Board of Supervisors.

Woodhouse was the biggest upset in recent memory. He had never run for public office. Never. Not once. Meanwhile, Madrigal had been a lifelong, career politician in Mendocino County. She had endorsements. She had money. She had an army of workers. She had the network. But it wasn't enough against one guy with an honest face.

Madrigal has seethed in anger since the election. I occasionally bump into Madrigal at the county administration building on Low Gap Road. You can feel the heat of anger radiating from her. It's palpable. You can almost see her thoughts forming in cartoon word bubbles around her head -- “Why Woodhouse?” “Why Woodhouse!” “Why not me?” “Me!” “Me!” “Me!”

* * *

From: “King Collins” <>

Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2015 9:23:12 AM

Subject: Re: Holly Madrigal's KZYX post on Mendocino Community BB

Holly Madrigal has sometimes given tentative unreliable support for member control and is the sort-of left wing of the board. She proves here that she doesn't want to work with Dennis and Doug. Should I post t his on KZYXtalk? It shows that there is probably no one on the board who supports the reform candidates. This was sent by our friend Larry Sheehy who saw it on the mendo list which has over 2000 members. --king

On Mar 13, 2015, at 3:04 PM, Larry Sheehy wrote:

Friend and KZYX&Z Member, You may or may not know that I am a proud KZYX Board Member and it is Election Time. You have probably received your Board election ballots by now. This election is critical towards moving the station in a positive direction. My recommendations are mine alone and are based on personal experience with these folks in the community. At Large — Ed Keller has been on the Board 3 years and is a very active, helpful member. It would be a shame to lose such an asset to our board. I listened to the Candidates Forum and did not think he came across as amazing as he really is. Chalk it up to his terror at being behind the mic. Dist 5 – Clay Eubank is a former newspaper business guy, a recent transplant to the AV. Pleasant and practical, he shows up at every pledge drive to work the phones Dist 2 –Benj Thomas has been a thoughtful and dedicated Ukiah City Council member. I think he would do a great job on the board. I have not met Tony Novell but he sounds like a good fellow. Please fill out your ballot, stamp it and get it in the mail ASAP. If you want to hear more the Candidates Forum recording is on the website . Some may be aware that we are having an extreme challenge with one of our existing board members. He actively campaigns against the station, has filed a complaint with the FCC and regularly rallies against KZYX in the press. I had pointed out to this board member that his candidates statement was very supportive of the station and that he was elected on this basis. Despite the board and staff fully refuting all of his outrageous allegations he refuses to participate in accomplishing station/board business. It is most unfortunate but reminds me how important these elections are. Two of the challenging candidates, in Dist. 5 and the At Large seat have been campaigning in a similar manner. I do not think their candidates’ statements accurately describe the changes that they hope to enact, if elected.We existing Board members are a diverse group of respected community members. We desperately want to continue our hard work of ensuring the station stays financially viable, and responds to its members and amazing programmers. We are doing our best to be transparent and democratic in our decision-making. We are continually working to evolve and improve the stations infrastructure, policies and offerings. But we cannot do this without a top-notch board of directors.   I am a big believer in the election process so I plan to continue to support the station regardless of the outcome of the Board of Directors election however I hope me sharing my preference is helpful for those who are uncertain.

So please vote for Ed and Clay! And continue to support this amazing local, scrappy, grass-roots public radio station! We cannot do it without you. Holly Madrigal

* * *


The 2015 24th annual Ukiah Sundays in the Park concert series is proud to announce the booking for this summers lineup of incredible talent.

This year’s lineup:

Starting off the series on June 14th is the award winning Electric Vein-Popping Blues of Tommy Castro & The Painkillers.

On June 28th Ukiah will receive a Funk Rock Vaccination with Frobeck.

On July 12th The Suffers arrive from Houston to dish up some Classic American Soul & R&B.

On July 26th Mendocino County welcome the Traditional New Orleans Jazz band Tuba Skinny. These guys are the real deal!

On August 9th we welcome Mendocino/Lake’s very own Double Standyrd and Top Shelf to grace the stage.

Closing our season on August 23rd will be America’s Baddest Wall of Soul Band Jack Mack & The Heart Attack. 

“Jack Mack and the Heart Attack has been LA’s leading proponent of Rock’n'Soul music for a long time.
They’re one of my all time favorite bands.” --Glenn Frey, the Eagles

Jack Mack helps make any Lucas films party a huge success.”
 --George Lucas

If you or your business would like to sign up as a sponsor for the 2015 Ukiah Sundays in the Park 24th year, now is the time! We are approaching our deadline for sponsorships this year. To receive more information or a sponsorship packet contact the city at 463-6231 at the City of Ukiah community services department or go by at 411 W. Clay St and pick up a packet. The deadline for sponsorship forms to be handed in is April 10th.

Whether you are a sponsor or not, we hope that you, your family and friends will come and listen to a wide variety of music, meet your neighbors, enjoy the great evenings in Todd Grove Park and help make the 24th annual 2015 Ukiah Sundays in the Park series a memorable event for the entire community.

* * *



  1. Eric Sunswheat March 20, 2015

    Hopefully the Willits moderator ‘owner’ of the yahoo hosted Mendocino Community BB, will not consider Larry Sheehy’s forwarding of the email release outside of the listserve, of Holly Madrigal’s biased email on the KZYX candidates board election, as a personal attack of one of the listserve member subscribers.

    If the release expose were considered as such an abuse, because of the list serve arbitrary defined rules of conduct, Larry could find himself summarily banned from the listserve.

    Such an event occurred in the past to someone else, for simply asking off listserve, of Doug Fine author of ‘Too High To Fail’, as he began his national television guest show appearances, with new publication of his book about Mendocino County 215 zip tag program, following the beginning and ending of Matt Cohen’s Northstone Organics distribution collective.

    Doug Fine was asked if in writing his book, which he followed Northstone Organics from one season’s cycle of planting seed or cloning, to distribution in the SF Bay Area and federal raid, if Mr. Fine was aware of the inflammatory detailed help wanted ad published in the Ukiah Daily, just within two weeks of the federal action which shut down Northstone Organics, asking for high volume marketing experienced prospective employees to submit job resumes.

    The federal pressure on Northstone Organics and Mendocino County 215 zip tag program, fit as a glove, right into making Doug Fine’s book more newsworthy and profitable.

    Federal action further enriched Matthew Cohen with additional legitimate above board paid interview income on national television, while Mendocino County’s Sheriff 215 zip tag program became the patsy and permit growers got snookered and took it in the shorts, with stress and fear, as the Mendocino Sheriff County 99 plant exemption program was forced to shut down under federal threat of prosecution of Mendocino County elected officials.

    Read more about Matthew Cohen and his current career pathway at:

  2. Lazarus March 20, 2015

    “Madrigal is mean-spirited. She is a political opportunist. She is a go-along-to-get-along type of opportunist, with no real core values, and she is shamelessly ambitious, which is why voters saw right through her and elected a complete unknown, Tom Woodhouse, to the Board of Supervisors…”

    Woodhouse was the biggest upset in recent memory. He had never run for public office. Never. Not once. Meanwhile, Madrigal had been a lifelong, career politician in Mendocino County. She had endorsements. She had money. She had an army of workers. She had the network. But it wasn’t enough against one guy with an honest face…”

    “Madrigal has seethed in anger since the election. I occasionally bump into Madrigal at the county administration building on Low Gap Road. You can feel the heat of anger radiating from her. It’s palpable. You can almost see her thoughts forming in cartoon word bubbles around her head — “Why Woodhouse?” “Why Woodhouse!” “Why not me?” “Me!” “Me!” “Me!”…”

    Wow! and she lost…seems Jolly Holly has kicked the wrong dog…

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